The new 2019 iPad Air or the 11 inch iPad Pro?

Posted By on March 22, 2019

iPadAirORiPadPro

This is project for work as I wanted to demonstrate to a customer what I was referring to when I encouraged them to add a simple “read a script” podcast channel or simple YouTube video component to their marketing. It is a way to capture audiences who have moved away from reading articles and blogs … and instead gravitate to podcasts and YouTube. Just ignore this if it does not pertain to you … or send me a message if it is something you want to consider.

Tech Friday: Planning on an iPad Pro upgrade in 2019, but …

Posted By on March 22, 2019

iPadProiPadAir1903

iPadiPadMini1903There is isn’t anything wrong with my current 2014 Apple iPad, it is just getting older as far as technology goes, and is a little sluggish (or so it seems). It is still the single most used tech device that I have … and the reason I’ll likely replace it with another when the time is right.

I enjoyed using my wife’s Samsung Chromebook Pro and while it is an excellent laptop replacement for those needing only cloud-based apps and near zero updating headaches, it is not the laptop or tablet replacement for me. My Lenovo laptop is a fine back up and travel computer, but like all Microsoft Windows OS devices, it requires continual scanning, backups, updates and fidgeting. Compared to previous computers, it is far quicker to boot, has a reasonably good screen, is lightweight and with the touchscreen and fully folding keyboard is also “kind of” a big tablet … but definitely not an iPad when it comes to relaxed reading or battery life.

On the other end, my iPhone 7 plus has been a great phone and now after 2 years of ownership has a new battery. The great LTE Virgin Mobile plan (had to negotiate or leave) and excellent camera, that has me leaving my Lumix GX8 DSLR at home most of the time, can almost replace an iPad … but typing and text entry still can’t match the Brydgekeyboard I use with the iPad. So … I still need the iPadbesides reading or watching a video on an iPad is way better than even a large phone.

BrydgeKeyboardiPadPro2018

The final kicker is that my current Bryddgetech keyboard has a faulty USB socket … and charging it has become difficult. Currently I can spend a few minutes twisting andBrydgeKeyboardChargingIssue propping up the cord in order to make a connection … but it is just a matter of time.

So … the current plan WAS to wait until the 2019 Brydge keyboards are available (May 2019) and then start looking at new the new iPad Pro (photo above) … that was until Apple announce a couple more iPads. The new devices are the iPad mini and iPad Air … updated version with faster processors, better 10.5” display and Apple Gen1 Pencil support (and the optional Apple smart keyboard protector). The advantage of the newer iPad Air is that it is the same familiar iPad I am used to … 3.5mm audio jack, lightning charging plug and “Home” button/fingerprint reader on the display … AND it would save me a few hundred dollars. Hm … a true “first world problem” if there ever was one.

Good times and memories with a great friend for #TBT

Posted By on March 21, 2019

My friend Jeff Pitts has been my closest friend ever since our college years at Ohio Northern University (also the only guest blogger so far). Besides college, he was on my bachelor party trip, years and years of hiking and camping … including a great trip Jeff-on-Boatto the Canadian Rockies with my son Taylor, who has become the real backpacker. There is likely little we do not know or talk to each other about … and tease each other about. Although we took different paths, we’ve both followed interests in computers, technology and communication, although he has excelled using IT it to his career advantage (now in cyber security), where I tinker with computers and use technology as a business tool. Thankfully we’ve both share what we learn with each other and assist where we can, whether it helping with jobs,  climbing a career ladder or getting a foot in the door to sell my business services (thanks Jeff). 

As both of us inch towards 60 (me first, I’m afraid), the physical aspect of aging is no longer the joke that it once was. He reminded me of this when he asked, “do you remember when you would Photoshop hair loss?”  Yup … unfortunately I do and it is no longer as humorous as “I thought” it once was! (ok, so with this linked photo I’m still immature) 

Without being cruel or posting openly a “then” and “now” #TBT photo of either of us … I thought it better to include a couple Throwback Thursday photos.  The black and white (above) was from December of 1979 (Christmas college break – fishing trip visit on the St. Johns River)ARRLLogoand then the others from almost a decade later attending an Orlando Hamfest, an amateur radio and computer convention (semi-sore subject since it took me until 2013 to catch up to Jeff when it comes to amateur radio licensing). Nevertheless, we had a great time in Florida as we always did and DO no matter where we are – the photos below were from a road trip from his home in Winter Park to Cape Canaveral in his uncomfortable and seemingly unsafe Suzuki Samurai. I can still remember my teeth chattering and the ride being so unbelievably rough; I’m amazed that a decade later that I would have even considered a Toyota Rav-4 (although vastly better than the Samurai). The RAV4 ended up being Brenda’s most reliable and incredibly functional vehicle … and went on to help someone else after 265,000 miles. We sure have had some good times and made some great memories.

Jeff_and_SamariJeff_bumming_by_the_pool

Official MLB Opening Day this year is March 28, 2019

Posted By on March 20, 2019

Are you looking forward to Major League Baseball for 2019?

At this point, even the Cincinnati Reds look like they have a shot … although first pitch for opening day is scheduled for 4:10PM against the Pittsburgh Pirates and who knows where we’ll go from here?

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the season and hope to enjoy a few games at Great American Ballpark and on the home theater. By the way, did you know that officially the MLB starts before opening day on March 20th? The Mariners and Athletics begin a two-game set in Japan today … even though the “national holiday” for fans isn’t until March 28th, 2019, the official opening day.

Who will you be babysitting on opening day? Smile

Wasting time fixing a cheap quartz clock to put back on Encore

Posted By on March 19, 2019

QuartzClockRepair190317Nothing like getting bogged down in wasting a weekend trying to repair a quartz clock that should just be replaced!

I had the best of intentions on Saturday morning as I was up early and had my weekend project list ready to start. Initially I started to organize my workbench after ordering new bearings and seals for the Volvo diesel water pump and for a “keep away the birds” project that I’ll share later … but instead caught myself trying to fix a “cheap” quartz clock off Encore for a second time. Initially, I suspected salt air and high humidity corrosion, but after cleaning the battery terminals it still would not tick. So instead of sticking to the project list, I cracked open the case and dumped all the tiny gears all over the bench. At that point I knew I should just throw the old $10 battery clock away … but curiosity got the best of me and I needed to figure out “what makes it tick.” quartzclockin_aniEventually quartzclock_aniI cleaned the corrosion off the contacts and was able to get the mechanism to jiggle the initial gear (left). Of course I could not stop there so with a magnifying glass proceeded to put the tiny gears back together over and over again by trial and error.

Success! I now have a working clock again.

Music Monday: Eric Carmen songs and a memory from Brenda

Posted By on March 18, 2019

Here’s an Eric Carmen song (Make Me Lose Control – 1988) for Music Monday with a personal connection based on where we lived in the 1980s.

Brenda and I were talking about my blog and the fact that I include music with the occasionally a memory that it triggers. Hungry_EyesShe wondered if I included Eric Carmen, a singer/songwriter (and original Raspberries lead) that was a customer at her pharmacy in Shaker Heights, Ohio when we lived in east side suburbs for Cleveland, Ohio (University Heights, Aurora and then Hudson)?

“Nope I did not” … but even if the music wasn’t exactly my taste, it does make for a good excuse to include the above video and the below, Hungry Eyes from the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing. By the way, it was recorded in Beachwood Studios (Beachwood, OH).

  Eric Carmen – Hungry Eyes | 1987
  Raspberries – Go All The Way | 1972

A question from a novice investor planning for retirement

Posted By on March 17, 2019

Years ago I thought I could outsmart the market … and in the 1990s when the tide was lifting all boats, I could … but that was before algorithms and computerized trading. I’ve since learned not to continue that dangerous “day-trading game,” at least for the most part. Ex-dividend-dateStill, new investors see a “system” working for a few trades and often stay with it too long … things change.

An acquaintance, with a healthy retirement portfolio, asked me if I owned any dividend stocks … my answer was “yes, that it is a priority.” He questioned, “is there a best time to buy so as not to miss capturing the dividend?”

Again the answer is “yes” since most dividend stocks pay their dividend on a set schedule (often quarterly). But I sensed he was getting at something else … like, “can I buy, capture the dividend and then sell?” Again, the answer is yes, but it is not as simple as he was thinking.

A company’s’ shares, all financial things being equal, generally decrease in value about an equal amount for the dividend they pay out. For example, if a share of XYZ is selling for $100/share pre-ex-dividend date (you must buy before that day to capture the dividend) and pays out quarterly at 4% ($4/share or $1 each quarter), then the share price should and usually does drop about $1. moneymakingcloud_aniIn other words, you can’t really beat the system by buying shares pre-ex-div and then selling a day later. Also, the shares of high dividend paying stocks will often trade UP days/weeks before the ex-dividend day, depending on markets.

My advice is not to bother trying to play that game, but to own a diversified portfolio of dividend paying stock as you enter retirement. Buy good companies, watch them carefully so you’re not stuck when management short term mistakes and arrogance (happens way too often), and be happy collecting dividends. If you are reinvesting or putting money to work (for the long run), pick moments of stock market nervousness when high-quality companies are “on sale.” I personally avoid reinvestment of dividends on or near the ex-dividend date. Management of most regular dividend-paying companies are wisely planning ahead, knowing that the investors who own their company stock will likely hold it a long time … IF they continue having a stable stock price, pay consistently and regularly increase the dividend.

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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