The last post of the decade: Do you remember yard Jarts?

| December 31, 2019

While getting the Christmas decorations for Evergreen Farm Estates down from the poolhouse-garage loft earlier this month (Brenda and neighbor Pam have always decorated our neighborhood) …  I spotted the yard game of Jarts. (you probably need to be a baby boomer to remember them?) What were they thinking??? Just as with the “design of […]

Ending the Music Monday decade with “I Go Crazy” by Paul Davis

| December 30, 2019

Here’s a #7 hit in 1977 (which has me thinking of American Top 40 and Casey Kasem) way back in the year I graduated high school. The song was “I Go Crazy” song by Paul Davis, who “looks like one of the Allman Brothers” as the late Ricky Nelson comments at the beginning of the […]

For 2020, how about less focus on self and more on others?

| December 29, 2019

While looking forward to this week, I was reminded by a tweet,  that my thought process has been too centered on self in anticipation of celebrating our family Christmas on New Year’s Day. I focused on finishing my Christmas woodworking project gifts (more later) and wrapping of presents. I’ve also been looking forward to picking […]

What do you do when you don’t feel like cleaning? Tinker instead.

| December 28, 2019

Instead of cleaning the workshop as I was planning, I  ended up sidetracked. Nothing new about that. Since each time I pull the plywood box full of “short cuts and scraps” out from next to the miter saw, it is as if I’m dragging a 100 pound box with sandpaper on the bottom across the […]

A Fuelly.com update on my 2010 BMW X5 35d #diesel

| December 27, 2019

Since I’m often asked what kind of fuel economy I’m getting on my slightly “tweaked” 2010 BMW X5 35d diesel SUV, here’s the yearly update from my log on Fuelly.com. Nothing to write home about, but then there have been far more local trips than the interstate driving a few years ago … besides, my […]

Archive: Found a short Sonex airplane project video for #TBT

| December 26, 2019

While sifting through a few old .MP4 files, I found one of my first iPhone 5 test video clips from 2012 and it had a bit of footage of my Sonex airplane project (posted a few photos back then) that I was working on a year before selling it. It was shortly before I sold […]

When you must get a package delivered before Christmas

| December 25, 2019

UPS for the win! (wait for it)  Fedex and USPS better step up their game! “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Merry Christmas Eve: Twas the night before Christmas

| December 24, 2019

For some reason, the full text of this post and photo of our 2019 family Christmas tree went missing … or maybe it didn’t post to the blog? Oh well, at least here’s the archived photo of our tree:

Shocking – how could this hang here for over 24 years?

| December 24, 2019

While putting the snowblower on the John Deere this past weekend, I notice the instruction/warranty booklet for our garage door opener hanging on the unlatch rope. I’ve unlatch dozens of times, repaired the door, the opener and sensors more times that I can count … yet have never removed the booklet. It just hangs and […]

Music Monday: We don’t see family often enough as time passes in “the wink of an eye” – Jackson Browne and The Pretender

| December 23, 2019

Pre-posting this Music Monday post a bit early since Brenda’s sister and her family will be visiting on their way to Cleveland from Atlanta. We always look forward to seeing Ann and Gary with their two girls Jessica and Sarah; it give us a chance to catch up on their life (Brenda grills the girls […]

Interesting report on the TDAmeritrade–Schwab combo

| December 22, 2019

If you’ve been investing for a few years now, you know mergers and acquisitions in the banking and financial services business is nothing new. We’ve personally experienced a few brokerage firms in our day and still remorse losing the early trading platform of  Datek, and to a lessor amount Waterhouse, to TDAmeritrade. Now that Schwab […]

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” … but not like this! #video

| December 21, 2019

I love these motion-sensing Wyze Cams …   Now what if someone happened to be coming to the front door? Yikes … although more than likely it would just be funny.

A positive 2019 for bullish investors, what about 2020?

| December 20, 2019

As the year and decade wind down, it is the time of year investors and financially prudent planners take note of their savings and retirement portfolios. Barron’s surveyed strategists who continue to expect “more gains ahead for U.S. stocks” with the caveat, “barring a jarring election or a derailment in U.S. – China trade.” So […]

The politically motivated impeachment of President Trump

| December 19, 2019

How does a “relatively open minded” politically moderate to conservative American see the impeachment of President Trump? I pay relatively close attention to the news … and politics since it is a big part of our news nowadays … AND with three years of quarrelling and intense dislike for President Donald Trump by his political […]

How long should AGM deep cycle storage batteries last?

| December 18, 2019

Although my boating life isn’t quite this bad (thanks for the photo Fatty Goodlander), it is frustrating to be dealing with what I thought was an already “fixed” problems aboard Encore. Besides not using the boat often enough, the re-fixing of problems a second time is frustrating, time consuming and costly. Back in 2013 (has […]

Merry Christmas 2019 – Wishing you success and courage

| December 17, 2019

As has become tradition, our annual Christmas letter briefly summarizes our year and includes a quote, verse, lyric or statement. Usually, it is something that resonated with Brenda and triggered her to jot it down at some point during the year. This year it happened to be something from Winston Churchill (we watched Darkest Hour […]

A peaceful quiet surprise snowfall and quality steel in tools

| December 16, 2019

December is here … and the snow arrived last night (snow 9 years ago), although it isn’t anything drastic, just peaceful and quiet. Actually the heavy snow surprised me considering Sunday afternoon was relatively pleasant and I was in the home theater watching Sunday Night Football (Bill beat the Steelers). When the game was over, […]

Music Monday: James Taylor singing holiday songs

| December 16, 2019

While struggling to get into the Christmas spirit and still grumbling about my cracked windshield … and ridiculously high prices on a scarce few Christmas trees this year (I’m late in finding one) … I did turn on some holiday music. Whew … I’m feeling a little better.   James Taylor – Winter Wonderland   […]

New Windshield … but the Facebook advertising is too timely

| December 15, 2019

I’ve often questioned just how much data is being collected by Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc … but considering I’m a relatively light user of FB … getting push timely advertising is a bit creepy. I called my insurance company last week for a windshield repair/replacement for our 2010 BMW X5 35d and handled the entire […]

Windshield chips become ugly cracks when it is cold

| December 14, 2019

Don’t you just hate this! Earlier this week I was driving home through construction and traffic as I headed south from Columbus to Cincinnati on I-71 (road construction is not done yet!) and I heard a rock hit the windshield. It sounded pretty nasty, but after looking around carefully from the inside, all was fine […]

Friday Filler: Count your Blessings #video

| December 13, 2019

When you see something like this, you realize how suddenly life can end. Thankfully, in this situation, all survived … but it is a good reminder to thank God for each day and be sure to tell those in your life how much you love them.   Yet you do not know what tomorrow will […]

Wishing my son-in-law Drew a Happy Birthday #TBT

| December 12, 2019

Although Drew’s birthday isn’t today, I’ll post this on Thursday so as to get double-duty out of a birthday greeting and make it a Throwback Thursday #TBT post (a 2007 photo). Back then, Brenda secretly plotted, along with Drew and a friend (Sam), to kidnap Katelyn for her 21st birthday … and then take her […]

Wonderful news – Emory is here and has a name

| December 12, 2019

My nephew Aaron and long time blog reader/commenter and his wife Lauren had a baby on December 8th and all are healthy (shower in September). Brenda and I are so happy for them, and although he nameless at birth, we were excited in finally hearing his name and couple family “names” too … both last […]

TSA air travel rules continue to frustrate pocketknife people

| December 11, 2019

Pocketknives have been part of my life since I was a 5 year old … yes, you heard that right, FIVE YEARS OLD. My grandfather gave me my first 1-inch semi-toy pocketknife when my family was still living on Spencer Street in Toledo – which means I was likely still only 4 (it was a […]

Finally, a crosscut table saw sled jig for my woodworking shop

| December 10, 2019

After posting a photo of a table saw crosscut sled a couple weeks ago, I finally decided to finish the one I had been planning. In part because I had some extra 1/2” white finished plywood (I didn’t want to use the heavier 3/4”) and in part because I needed to cut a bunch of […]

Music Monday: Just Another Day in Paradise – Bertie Higgins

| December 9, 2019

The perfect Music Monday song for early December is one that moves me mentally to a warm tropical island … Bertie Higgins and Just Another Day in Paradise is that song for today (his website: BertieHiggins.com). Ah … memories of sailing Brenich with Brenda in the 1980s … or just staying warm nowadays! 😉   […]

Can stamps get you in the Christmas spirit? #random

| December 8, 2019

While trying my best to get in the Christmas spirit … how about something from the philately world? Although I’m not a stamp collector, back in the day my company Consolidated Printing and Publishing did some plate work for special cancels and printing for a stamp collecting organization. Besides, my father-in-law had an impressive stamp […]

Remembering the 2403 who died on December 7, 1945

| December 7, 2019

One of the most impactful photos for me on Pearl Harbor Day is one we took while watching the oil still rising to the surface from the USS Arizona while visiting the memorial. It was a solemn visit and moving time for us, decades after the surprise attack by Japan on December 7th 1945. As […]

A Fluidampr Harmonic Balancer for the BMW X5 35d

| December 6, 2019

One of the engine components known to fail prematurely on BMW diesels is the weighty harmonic balancers on the 6 cylinder crank shafts. Perhaps the park is designed with the vibration rubber material that degrades or perhaps it is just the constant hammering of the diesel engine that is hard on the original design? In […]

Archive: Once upon a time, I owned a Bobcat 743 #TBT

| December 5, 2019

While searching for a photo of an accident when a helicopter landed in our backyard, I ran across a photo of one of the “tools” I miss the most: a Bobcat 743 purchased when we built our house back in 1995-96. I did the same thing with a more powerful tractor besides our John Deere […]

Who knew cats and rats could be such good friends?

| December 4, 2019

This is when you know you need a mouse or RatZapper…  

Updates: Mudroom painting, steps treads and a coffee warmer

| December 3, 2019

The more time I spend in the basement workshop, the more I enjoy having my coffee with me and “warm.” Usually I just use an insulated stainless steel coffee container, but lately I’ve gone back to a ceramic cup so it can easily go into the microwave for warming. When sidetracked by projects or working […]

Archiving: Our Corbett Family Thanksgiving photo for 2019

| December 2, 2019

Thanksgiving dinner with the Corbett, Oostra and Ankrom familes (click for high res) It is nice to have a few holiday rituals and for us, it is a Thanksgiving family feast with my brother and his family. Brenda, in particular, has now fully taken over the setting of a nice decorative table with all the […]

Sunday Filler since the long weekend has been busy with family

| December 1, 2019

Likely too busy to post something … but this is mesmerizing (I wish I had this kind of TIG welding skill!)

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.
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