Spectacular 12 car crash in lap 191 of #Daytona500

Posted By on February 17, 2019

Impressive safety advancements in car safety as a crash near the end of the Daytona 500 wiped out 12 cars. All drivers were fine and red flagged race has Toyota cars leading strong Ford and Chevrolet Cup cars waiting for a restart with 9 laps to go.

A long slow ending … but great 2nd Daytona win for Denny Hamlin. (more…)

Such a DEAL – SiriusXM and Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen

Posted By on February 17, 2019

Like clockwork, it was time to either renew or cancel SiriusXM (again). I refuse to pay the month to month rate with them or the very few newspaper/magazine subscriptions I still use that does the same thing. SiriusXMlogoThankfully I marked my calendar with a notification as to the last day to cancel service … otherwise the subscription contract automatically renews at the higher rate (something I know from experience)and then as expected they extended a better offer so as not to lose a customer. It would be nice if Amazon Prime and Netflix will do the same, or for that matter, Internet/Cable TV providers!

RedeemYourEchoDotNow

Now, I do use the service in my car and more than ever on the iPhone with my Aftershokz headphonesand most recently on the Amazon Echo devices … to stream the FoxBusiness channel (as well as occasional music channels).  As expected, SiriusXM offered an extension of their current promo, but this time it came with an unexpected surprise … a free Amazon Echo 3rd Gen device ($49.99), plus shipping and handling as indicated by the promo disclosure. To make this even a bigger surprise, after plugging in the promotional code to my Prime account, the shipping was $0.00. Such a deal … if you need another Echo device (Hm, maybe I’ll take it to Florida)? 

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We had a great time babysitting Annalyn on Valentine’s Day

Posted By on February 16, 2019

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Another wonder day spent with the ones I love, and a little one who definitely returns the love; now that’s the way to enjoy a Valentine’s Day!

Brenda and I headed to Katelyn and Drew’s in Perrysburg this past week and spent Valentine’s Day with Annalyn. I of course played the entire day, while Brenda, with Annalyn’s help, worked on making a special dinner to serve on Annalyn’s new kid-sized table when mommy and daddy got home from work (photo above- one of our our Christmas gift to her).  We all had a great time, although I was tired out!
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Tech Friday: Had some new iPhone envy so downloaded Focos

Posted By on February 15, 2019

IMG_3268IMG_3267
Same photo with min aperture option and maximum. Note Bokek effect.

On a recent trip, I happened to break my favorite pair of polarized sunglasses, so am using them as one last prop before tossing them in the trash … they have been epoxied and “jerry-rigged” (correct use of the term) together one too many times.

Download-Focos-app-on-your-iPhone-8-Plus-or-7-Plus-iPhone-XThe advanced camera available on the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max has my iPhone 7 plus feeling a little old in the tooth. One of the neat A12 chip plus new software features is the ability to modify the blur of a background (selective focus in traditional photography) after the shot — Apple calls this Depth Control.

So instead of coughing up over $1000 for a new iPhone, I opted to download a new app: Focos. The app enables a few more DSLR feature for a bokeh effect.

The Focos app has a free version and a paid version ($11.99) that gives older iPhones with duel cameras to edit photos taken in the “portrait mode” to be aperture adjusted.

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Currently I’ve only downloaded the free version and edited a couple previously portrait photos, but  will have to see a bit more from it before I purchase the paid version.

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Happy Amazon Alexa Echo iHome iAV2B Valentine’s Day

Posted By on February 14, 2019

iHomeClock_ValentinesDay190214_aniIt may be a quirky Valentine’s Day gift, but Brenda tossed our alarm clock of 36+ years into the trash a couple months ago saying, “I don’t trust it anymore.” I was relatively happy to see it go since the “honk, honk, honk” of the alarm was the most annoying alarm ever.

Besides, I’ve been using my phone for years now and we both agreed that we much prefer waking up gently to music over the “honk,” but depending on how she sets hers, it occasionally is muted or the volume is set too low.

So … since we’ve already opened our house to Amazon’s virtual assistant platform with a few Echo Dots and one bigger Echo … I reluctantly decided to go the next step and use Alexa as our alarm clock. I shopped and found a new  iHome iAV2B Alarm Clock for $35 on Ebay and we will see if it passes for a Valentine’s Day gift? (FYI … I know better … it won’t) 

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Obituary: John Harold Haynes, founder of Haynes Publishing

Posted By on February 13, 2019

JohnHaynes_MGBFor those of us who grew up working on cars pre-Internet, the Haynes Manuals were one of the “go-to” sources on how to fix automobiles … or at least a particular brand and model of car. Last week  John Haynes, the founder of the publishing company, passed away at 80 years old.

Although I also have a few Bentley manuals and still have my original Chilton’s generic repair manual, the Haynes manuals were the ones that I remembered and relied on the most. I still have (and use) the one John is holding in this photo for my MGB … and a couple for my Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel too.

The online offerings and many free videos have mostly replaced the softback manuals that usually end up grease smudged and dogeared, but I still have a weak spot in my heart for those printed on paper … of course I also grew up working for newspapers and started a printing company!
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25th March 1938 to 8th February 2019

 

John Haynes, the entrepreneur and creator of the Haynes Manual, founder of the Haynes Publishing Group PLC and the Haynes International Motor Museum passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on the evening of Friday 8th February, aged 80, after a short illness. John was a kind, generous, loving and devoted husband, brother, father and grandfather, who will be missed enormously.

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It has been interesting reviewing my Ancestry.com DNA results

Posted By on February 12, 2019

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Having worked on my family tree with Ancestry.com back in 2010 and then ignored returning 9 years later, it has been interesting to look into it again now that DNA testing has grown in popularity. My results came back a few days ago GermanWales87percentand they were “as expected” (although the map a bit deceiving). From our family history, and the previous researched immigration documentation (ship logs), I was pretty sure most of my DNA would show Welsh and Germanic ancestry; it did and totaled 87%.

The centimorgans numbers worked out well too (unlike a recent WSJ horror story) and matched my DNA closest to my daughter Katelyn (Taylor’s results aren’t back yet) and my brother Ron. I knew both recently did their DNA tests, but seeing so many other matches from my uncle Sonny (my dad’s brother) and several cousins was interesting too. The other 2nd, 3rd and 4th DNA matches were much lower in the centimorgans amount but was still interesting to see a few names I knew, and many that I did not.

Predicted Relationship Chart from Ancestry.com

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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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