Our problem: Government spending up; our revenues down

| July 31, 2011

For many of us, getting a visual picture regarding the debate polarizing the country around the nation’s debt and deficit is helpful in understanding just how big the problem is. I found a WSJ graphic to be a clarifying example as to the gap between what we spend and what we take in as a […]

Ever been to Traverse City Michigan? This might inspire you.

| July 31, 2011

If you’ve ever enjoyed a summer (or fall, spring or winter) trip to Traverse City Michigan, you then know that it is a great All American town. I’ll bet you’ll love this  Traverse City LibDub 2011 video, at least I know Michigander Steve will, although some Buckeyes are pretty set in their ways?

Wright ‘B’ Flyer Silver Bird accident « EAA Chapter 284

| July 30, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of Mitchell Cary and Don Gum who devoted so much to aviation. It is a difficult day for those of us who support efforts to keep history flying and the Wright B Flyer Museum. Crash kills 2 in plane based on Wright ‘B’ Flyer GREEN […]

How important is early boarding and securing carry on space?

| July 30, 2011

I read an aviation/travel article by Scott McCartney last week that reminded me of a post I made in June which dealt with booking flights and some of the changes we are all facing in air travel – well perhaps not elite travelers? From the sound of things, we’re in for a few more changes, […]

New fuel efficiency standards target is 54.5 mpg by 2025

| July 29, 2011

President Obama announces the new fuel efficiency standards with a few early jokes regarding his daughter and driving before stressing the prices of fuel and the demand “worldwide” for oil. His “fix” is to take steps to control prices through and energy strategy that 1) increase domestic production, 2) getting rid of tax subsidies to […]

No debt deal yet. Markets head down on Friday morning

| July 29, 2011

As the financial markets in the US trade down this morning on lousy economic recovery news (little growth – 1.3% annual rate) and no compromise in Washington DC on the debt ceiling … I’m wondering why politicians can’t find a solution with a country as strong as ours. The far right can’t come together for […]

Sweating the summer heat, financial markets & debt ceiling vote

| July 28, 2011

In the Midwest we’re still sweating from the 90+ degree heat (12 days in a row for Cincinnati), although I’m getting use to it. We’re also sweating the debt ceiling and cost cutting measures being proposed in Washington DC by politicians. Like most of America, I watch the haggling and posturing between the extremes on […]

The 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI is the face of VWs to come

| July 28, 2011

I had the chance to test drive the new 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel on Wednesday and was both surprised and impressed; it was not entirely what I expected. The SEL Premium package made this mid to large sized sedan seem more like the VW Phaeton than it did the previous Passat. Besides the larger […]

Home chores and a swim on a quite evening

| July 27, 2011

After an evening mowing the backyard grass on Tuesday night, a cooling dip in the pool was in order. The 90 degree water was a bit warm, but still felt refreshing. Besides cooling off, I “launched” (chuckle, chuckle) our hard dinghy we call Trinka and “moored” it in the pool. It is out of place, […]

Our aging Toyota Rav4 is almost back to acceptable

| July 26, 2011

After spending the weekend cleaning and “rebending” our Brenda’s bumped and bruised Toyota Rav4 into to some semblance of its former self … it now has a new piece of glass (opted for the $191.25 “real thing” rather than tacky Plexiglas). I can highly recommend Rich at Kiss Auto Glass for his quick service and […]

What should you own IF the U.S. defaults on its obligations?

| July 26, 2011

As Washington DC politicians debate how to deal with the U.S. debt ceiling and rapidly climbing debt, investors are faced with the growing possibility of default or at minimum a very real likelihood that we’ll see our nation’s credit standing slip. Individuals, companies and the government seeking to borrow money will see interest rates increase […]

The Elektra One Solar Powered Plane

| July 25, 2011

One of the more interesting EV airplanes at Airventure 2011 this year. SolarWorld, a large U.S. manufacturer of solar panels, will showcase the maiden U.S. appearance of a zero-emissions electric aircraft at EAA AirVentureOshkosh 2011 in Oshkosh, Wis., starting Monday. The single-seat Elektra One is designed for more than three hours of flight, a range […]

Yes it is an ad, but the Rube Goldberg Machine is impressive

| July 25, 2011

Since I didn’t finish a longer winded write up last night that I had planned for this morning, I’ll just include a rather impressive Mousetrap style advertising web video below; it took a lot of creativity and work. This is our Photography-themed Rube Goldberg Machine. We hope you all enjoy the clip! Watch our video […]

Doing a little re-bending on the Toyota Rav4

| July 24, 2011

It was a hot Saturday to be working on the Toyota Rav4, but I figured it was best to use the extra day just in case there was a complication. Instead of having the insurance company fix our car, we have opted to go the salvage title route and accepted the insurance company’s check after […]

Political commentator or comedian – where is the line?

| July 23, 2011

I enjoy political humor as much as the next guy … and have a pretty good tolerance for the lambasting of politicians whether it is by rightwing talk radio or leftwing comedians (most deserve it). In fact, I enjoy listening to a few of the well known loudmouths as a way to hear left and […]

Obama Administration taking heat from liberal senate Dem

| July 22, 2011

You know the frustration is building when those from President Obama’s own party are “losing their cool” over the administration’s tight lipped approach to what is being presented from the left. Republican’s have long complained that the President’s lack of leadership and a plan is making it difficult to debate the debt ceiling and budget […]

Diesel Chevy Cruze Coming in 2013 – KickingTires

| July 22, 2011

I’m not sure I’m ready to wait a full 17 months to see Chevrolet’s diesel Cruze, but glad to hear that at least one US domestic is planning to add a diesel option to the North American offerings. This is no small step considering what has to happen behind the scenes at dealerships, parts suppliers, […]

Debt ceiling, spending cuts and taxes: Deal or no deal?

| July 21, 2011

While Americans wait and watch politicians haggling in Washington DC, the stock markets seems to be banking on a deal. Mid day on Thursday, the NYTimes mid-day reported that President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner were close to a deal … only to have Whitehouse spokesman Jay Carney quickly say that there […]

The Solar Portable Toilet

| July 21, 2011

I’m not sure it will be a money maker, but the sanitation aspect for third world locations would be promising IF such a product is both serviceable and durable. A scientist from California Institute of Technology developed solar-powered portable toilets for a self-power wastewater treatment solution to some of the sanitation issues of some developing […]

Mission complete. The Shuttle program “has come to a final stop”

| July 21, 2011

“Mission complete, Houston. After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle has earned its place in history. Atlantis has come to a final stop.” — Shuttle Atlantis Pilot Doug Hurley With its recognized dual sonic booms, Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down this morning at the Kennedy Space Center completing the final scheduled […]

Campus Crusade for Christ changing name to Cru

| July 20, 2011

Something tells me that I’m not alone in wondering why an organization that has successfully carried out it’s mission while continuing to grow its ministry since 1951 is changing their name. Not only are they trying to create a less-descript “Cru” identity, but are dropping “Christ.” Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) — the popular, large-scale […]

AMR announces huge new plane order from Boeing and Airbus

| July 20, 2011

For those looking for a bright spot on the horizon for the economy, American Airlines must be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel if they are placing the largest airplane order in history. American Airlines parent AMR Corp. said Wednesday it reached agreements with Boeing Co. and Airbus to buy 460 single-aisle […]

New Senate Debt Plan Emerges – WSJ.com

| July 19, 2011

Press Conference President Obama 07/19/2011 A surprise jolt of bipartisan support emerged Tuesday for a $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction plan that had been in development for months, though it was thought to be dead just several weeks ago. Roughly half of the Senate’s 100 members sat through an hour-long briefing on the plan, which was designed […]

Researching a replacement inflatable for our old Zodiac

| July 19, 2011

Clipping and archiving to the blog. I could have just marked it private but figured I’d share just in case someone has an opinion. Length 9′ 10" Beam 5′ 1" Weight 114 Lbs Capacity: 4 Persons or 992 Lbs Maximum Motor 10 hp (Maximum motor weight 99 Lbs) Manufacturer recommends 8 hp (15" shaft) Tube […]

Volkswagen is Not Planning to Sell a Passat Wagon in the U.S

| July 18, 2011

I was really hoping to see a new TDI Passat wagon in North America. Maybe I’ll just keep waiting for the crossover? Despite the unabashed public appearance of a camo-draped Volkswagen Passat wagon on American soil, the company is not planning to offer such a vehicle for sale here, we’ve learned from company sources. The […]

Stocks Slump on Debt Fears

| July 18, 2011

Don’t look at your IRAs or 401K plans today — actually don’t look at them until the powers that be in Washington DC can figure out how to rein in our “Governement Gone Wild.” (I’ve already given up on Europe) Stocks fell as the combination of anxieties about debt in the bloc of euro-using nations […]

When talking taxes what is a wealthy American “fair share”

| July 18, 2011

Far be it from me to defend the “corporate jet” crowd, but am I the only one who wonders what numbers President Obama is talking about when they advocate that wealthy in America “pay their fair share.” I’ve looked at most of the numbers and no matter how you slice the pie, those earning over […]

Smartphone paperless E-Boarding went smoothly this week

| July 17, 2011

This was the first air travel that I opted to go fully paperless using Delta’s E-Boarding barcode utilizing my Palm Pre. The process from check-in online to bag checking and the TSA and boarding went well and although I questioned losing the barcode webos card (and Internet connection!) between the ticketing counter and TSA, it […]

Encore is stripped of canvas and rigged with a couple extra lines

| July 17, 2011

  Although the photo doesn’t show the dodger and ac awning down just yet, all the canvas that should be put below has been stripped. I’ve rigged the extra dock lines, but have left the solar panel up (but tied to the lifelines). Besides prepping Encore for the potential of a storm, I was able […]

Spotify.com comes to America after winning over Europe

| July 16, 2011

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Continuing to prepare Encore for the hurricane season

| July 16, 2011

I busied myself on Friday enough that I’m almost too tired to update the blog. As I sit yawning and pondering the “to-do” list for Saturday, I’ll at least post a few photos from the day. I spent the morning stripping the sails and putting them below on the settee below (top left photo in […]

Chemically storing solar energy

| July 15, 2011

While we continue to see slow but steady improvements in solar panels and batteries, most of us know that it is going to take a real break through to fill the appetite for longer term storage of electricity. Progress in being made through thermo-chemical storage and recent MIT research indicates that it is possible to […]

Sweating a bit more down in Florida, but enjoying it

| July 15, 2011

I’m reading my email and posting on another warm night  after a day that did not include any sailing …  but sailing wasn’t in the plans either. In between thunderstorms I watched the full moon is beam thru the companionway hatch (note top right of photo) and ate some Chinese carry-out for dinner. Besides spending […]

Fuel cap indicator: Why didn’t I know this before now?

| July 14, 2011

One would have thought that owning and renting cars for 30 years that I would have known that the little indicator arrow on the fuel gauge indicates which side the filler cap is located on. I don’t know how many times I’ve pulled into a gas station with a “new to me car” and guessed […]

Added a bit of shade to cover the portable AC on Encore

| July 13, 2011

One of the problems with being dockside during a hot and humid Florida day is that the cabin temperature can climb to a pretty uncomfortable levels. Since we are tethered to the dock, we have the advantage of having enough electricity to run appliances such as air conditioning – something not all that easy when […]

I do wish Governor Mitch Daniels was running for President

| July 13, 2011

Although Indiana’s Gov. Mitch Daniels is not running in the the primaries against other GOP candidates, I certainly hope that whoever is nominated looks to Daniels for advice and executive experience. With an economy stifled by excessive bureaucracy and adversarial to business, we need someone with his experience when it comes to putting America back […]

Job losses still continue to weigh heavy on the printing industry

| July 12, 2011

A recent article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal highlighted what I already know about my line of work – the printing industry is losing jobs. Most of us working in printing and publishing business continue to struggle to stay a float and are wondering if business will ever come back. Thankfully I’m no longer a […]

If this arrives in my email box, NetFlix will lose my business

| July 12, 2011

A friend of mine just forwarded an email noting an automatic change to his Netflix subscription. Not that long ago when we switched from our local Blockbuster store to NetFlix our subscription was $7.99/mo. When they changed it to adding a couple more for BluRay I decided to stick with DVDs. Now the change looks […]

Photography: Eclipse of the moon photos from South Africa

| July 12, 2011

In keeping with my previous theme of photography and space, my sailing acquaintance Fred Roswold currently working on his sailboat in South Africa posted his photo the June eclipse of the moon. His did a little Photoshop composite work after taking a series of shots 10-20 minutes apart. Great image Fred. The settings, for any […]

Photography: The night before the Shuttle Atlantis launch

| July 12, 2011

Most Internet savvy shutterbugs have seen photos or read about Trey Ratcliff, particularly those who are paying attention to High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. Trey Ratcliff has published many gorgeous photos and posted this one of the Shuttle Atlantis sitting on the launch pad the night before lift-off. (click image to left and also see […]

Looking at the Kodak Playsport Zx5 before ‘gifting’ it

| July 11, 2011

Since my wife Brenda rarely reads my blog, I think I’m safe talking about her birthday and gifts that are gadgets. I will probably get chastised by both men and women alike in repeating the similar mistake year after year by giving her something technology oriented for her birthday, I’m doing it one more time. […]

Going through extraordinary lengths to steal a dinghy

| July 10, 2011

Thief gives a CCTV camera a clear view of his face before stealing a dinghy My sailing friends will appreciate this … my nomination for a Darwin award — such as with this “dingy” or “dinghy” thief. Of course this is unless his case will be decided by the jurors who heard the Casey Anthony […]

Google+ does a whole lot, but is a little too cumbersome

| July 9, 2011

First Impressions: After a couple of days playing with the new social networking service being rolled out by Google call Google+ (or G+ or Google Plus), it is my conclusion that it is it is far better than the ungainly Google Wave — which really isn’t what most think of as social networking services. Google+ […]

Be careful of ‘bottle bombs’ when cleaning up the roadside

| July 9, 2011

My neighbor send me a link and an email (below) since we spend a few minutes each week cleaning up the ditch and roadside. The first 25 feet along the back of our property is usually scattered with cans, bottles, litter, etc and needs to be picked up before mowing. Kids are putting Drain-o, tin […]

Tech Friday: Giving Mozilla Aurora 7 browser a try

| July 8, 2011

I’ve been somewhat disappointed with my memory hogging Mozilla Firefox 5 browser install (as I have with the last couple versions) so decided to go out of my comfort zone to give their Aurora 7 browser (pre-beta) a try. Supposedly it will be faster to load and a much better memory manager for most users […]

Fender bender: All is fine but the Rav4 took a whack

| July 7, 2011

EDIT: Adding insurance photos over the weekend. All is well with Brenda after she was rearended tonight, but unfortunately her much loved Rav4 didn’t fare as well. As if the damage wasn’t enough, the age and 240,000 miles has me wondering how the repair will be handled. Besides the rear window, the rear door, spare […]

Prepare for lift-off – Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-135

| July 7, 2011

As we wait for the final scheduled liftoff of Shuttle Atlantis and STS-135 on Friday (weather postponement likely), I am of mixed emotion. As a child when the United States began its race to the moon, exploration of space was a pivotal part of being an American. As a tax paying citizen, the expense of […]

What is an overreaching “Terms of Service” agreement?

| July 7, 2011

Am I the only one questioning how some Terms of Service agreements are chipping away at user’s privacy, or just plain legally taking their posted information? Take for example Google+ project … they aren’t exactly protecting the users while freely offering this new social networking service. Will it be enough to prevent me from using […]

And you think commercial airlines have tight seating …

| July 6, 2011

Calling this airplane an ‘ultralight‘ might be an understatement. At 200 pounds Hugues Duval’s airplane, with twin props and two electric motors, is small – but it is also record breaking fast (for 100% electric). At the Paris Airshow, Duval’s airplane has broken the record for an all electric aircraft by 15 miles per hour […]

Google to rebrand Picasa and Blogger

| July 6, 2011

Looks like the Picasa and Blogger names are being retired by Google in the next “six weeks” according to Mashable.  “The move is part of a larger effort to unify its brand for the public launch of Google+, the search giant’s social initiative.” Blogger and Picasa aren’t going away, of course — they’re two of […]

Jury issues not guilty verdict in Casey Anthony case in 11 hours

| July 5, 2011

Just as most Americans were shocked by the verdict in the OJ Simpson case in 1995, most are once shaking their heads in the “much publicized” trial of Casey Anthony. Accused of the killing of her 2 year old daughter Caylee, the jury returned a not guilty verdict for all but charges of lying to […]

What College Graduates shold know about finances and careers

| July 5, 2011

I saw some good advice from TheSimpleDollar.com blog that is worth reading. If you are advising someone who will soon be moving on as a college graduate, some of these points may be worth passing along. On Facebook, Brittaney asked “what should every soon to be college graduate know about finances before entering the real […]

Happy Independence Day – Fourth of July 2011

| July 4, 2011

As we reflect on what it took to lay the foundation of our country and the courage so many have demonstrated over the years, let’s continue to celebrate and defend this great experiment known world over as American democracy. Happy 4th of July. Interestingly fact … On July 4, 1826, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson […]

Obituary: Steven “Steve” W. Weadock

| July 4, 2011

I was sad to hear of the passing of one of my high school teachers, Steve W. Weadock, 10/23/1948-06/21/2011. According to my mom, he had been battling cancer and I knew that his prognosis wasn’t all that promising. Mr. Weadock was an attentive and caring teacher at a time of college preparation and helpful to […]

Diamond Aircraft, Siemens, EADS: Series hybrid Airplane

| July 3, 2011

Siemens, along with Diamond Aircraft and EADS, unveiled the two-seat airplane called the DA36 E-Star, at the 2011 Paris Air Show. The series hybrid propulsion cuts fuel consumption and emissions by 25 percent, compared to today’s most fuel-efficient airplane propulsion systems according to Siemens. E-Star’s propeller is turned by a 70 kW electric motor and […]

Delayed Panamericana VW TDI challenge begins July 2, 2011

| July 2, 2011

The Panamericana Challenge trip/race/challenge delayed their start by 3 days, but as of 4AM Saturday morning started their drive. The heavy snow near their starting point at the tip of South America which postponed their start of the challenge has been cleared for their VW Touareg TDI and in watching progress on the map show […]

Oil shortage, demand problem, speculators or weak dollar?

| July 2, 2011

What’s with the sudden rise in oil price again? We’ve seen our weak economy take a crushing blow from rising oil prices once again. We all know that there has been an oil moratorium on U.S. oil ever since the BP oil spill … or perhaps since President Obama moved to the Whitehouse, but the […]

Stocks see strong gains making for the best week in 2 years

| July 1, 2011

Since I’ve posted on stock market declines enough times already this year, it is time to focus on a little positive news. Recently (like the past week), the wider U.S. stock market has reacted positively to much of the news … some good some bad. Today was no exception as the markets rallied into a […]

Glenn Beck airs his final cable broadcast – starts GBTV.com

| July 1, 2011

The controversial Glenn Beck finished his two and a half years on a successful hour long TV program yesterday to the disappointment of many loyal viewers. Love him or hate him, he has made an impact in about every venue he gets involved in. Radio, cable TV books, Internet, live events and just teaching history […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog