A pair of large healthy howling coyotes are hanging around

Posted By on November 13, 2019

For years in our increasingly populated (with people) Liberty Township, Ohio community has had a fair amount of wildlife roaming our neighborhoods. I’ve commented several times before and have never really been concerned when the critters are of the fox and smaller variety. Raccoons are still my least favorite, but those pesky chipmunks have recently been outsmarting me (payback for me squirting insulation foam down their holes). On the other hand, trapping a skunk was not one of my finer moments either … and the feral cat was a classic!

Recently a couple of coyotes have been making our backyard a regular hangout … probably because Tootsie is no longer around to keep them away. Bigger outdoor dogs aside, smaller pet owners need to remember that their furballs might be looked at as “dinner” … and if coyotes aren’t alone, even bigger dogs could suffer in a scrape. 

Temporarily fixed our TV remote by substituting a CR2016 3 volt battery and a washer for a CR2032 3 volt battery

Posted By on November 12, 2019

Oh the crazy things we do in order to watch Monday Night Football.

HarmonyRemoteBatteryJerryRigged191112The remote I use in the Home Theater has been failing and finally would no longer work. Unlike years ago when you could walk up to a TV and change the channels, our new set-up require a remote control to change nearly everything. In other words, with a dead battery in the remote and no CR2032 3V lithium replacement, the projection TV and associated gear will not work. Yikes, what is an old time Jerry Rigger to do???


Well, I opted to use the last of my smaller CR2016 3V batteries and added washer to give it the appropriate thickness. It works and hopefully will hold me until the next batch of a zillion batteries I ordered on Amazon today arrives (if one is needed, order dozens)! 😊 


Music Monday: Ballad of the Green Berets for Veterans Day

Posted By on November 11, 2019


Although Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day (Poppy Day – I still remember wearing them) marking the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th month on the 11th day, we in the US observe and honor all who have served in the United States Armed Forces. What is more fitting that marking this Veterans Day with one of the very few songs that portrayed the military during the Vietnam War in a positive light.

I can still remember hearing the sober Ballad of the Green Berets from 1966 playing on my mom’s radio in the kitchen on the lake as she almost always had it on in the early years (I wonder when/why she stopped?) At that age I really wasn’t giving much thought to the Vietnam War since as a kid in 1966 I was a bit insulated … Barry_Sadler1966although a few years later things grew a bit more serious as the war escalated and draft inched closer to reality. Still in those early years I was a bit more enamored with the idea of being a soldier and “playing Army.” My mom even cut down my dad’s old uniforms and stitched them up for me to wear .. both to “play Army” with my brother and friends and as a Trick or Treat Halloween costume.

But back to the Music Monday song written by Robin Moore and Staff Sgt. Berry Sadler(photo in 1966).

  Ballad of the Green Berets | 1966

On a side note with a tie into the Vietnam War and Veterans Day, an old friend of mine, Tim Klie, has a new book being released today -  No Flags Did Wave. He was a Marine in Vietnam and would occasionally share his stories and early manuscripts. NoFlagsDidWaveTim was a very organized (cough, cough – Marine .. yes Mark, I’m thinking about you too!) paper salesman who took care of CPP’s paper needs when I was in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He also owned a Christmas tree farm (and excuse and tax write-off) for his hunting and “get away” land in south eastern Ohio. Brenda and I visited a couple times and enjoyed seeing his property and “all the hard work” he did in trimming the trees (more work that you might think). Tim was also responsible for me buying a couple of Ruger rifles – both the Mini14 and Mini30 (the Marine version being the M14 … replaced by the M16 in 1964, a lot of Marines in Vietnam continued to use the M14 – see video below). And by the way Tim … thank you for your service … buying and promoting your book is the least I can do!



Baby Reveal: GrandDAUGHTER #2 is three months away! [video]

Posted By on November 10, 2019

We had so much fun at Katelyn and Drew‘s on Saturday for the “gender reveal” of an addition to our family – A BABY GIRL and sister for Annalyn. They hosted a brunch in their newly remodeled kitchen and great room (first time for brothers and sister-in-laws to see it). Katelyn has become quite the adventurous hostess in trying a few new foods, thanks to the Internet. From the minimal leftovers, the food was a hit (thanks #1 daughter)!

For his part, Drew dusted off his quadrotor/drone again … and rigged up a switch so Annalyn could release the new baby’s revealed gender — pink confetti  — while at the same time Drew opened the hood on his new Tesla Model 3 and released balloons (video below break – thanks Taylor). I haven’t even looked at my photos, but have enjoyed the ones Drew, Katelyn and brother Tyler (Jodi) emailed to me as well (some below).

Brenda and I so thankful to have Barb and Randy Oostra and their family to celebrate special occasions together. No doubt we would have enjoyed Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn closer to us, I am thankful they are no longer 11 hours away in Wayzata, MN and have landed in Toledo where they have family … and ones so willing to help them — particularly Barb with Annalyn (and soon a new baby girl)!


Why Delray Beach? – “Doors open, doors close” opportunities

Posted By on November 9, 2019

When chatting about our recent vacation to Florida with a long time customer (friend) in Akron, Ohio, he asked why we picked Delray Beach, Florida ToTheBeach_ani250as an area to buy a condo (I detected he is beginning to think about retiring). Although I realized that I really haven’t given much thought to how we ended up with a place in Delray Beach, in our case, it all boiled down to family circumstances. Perhaps my personal philosophy … “doors open, doors close, so be ready” … was at work; it did get me thinking about the many twists and turns in life and what likely influenced our path to where we are today (FYI: The answer on the phone was NOT the verbose narrative below. Instead, think of this as “autobiographical memoir notetaking,”  so only click the “more” tag if you have more time than good sense. You’ve been warned).
Winking smile


Are you a Luddite or are you prepared for automation and AI?

Posted By on November 8, 2019

We often use the term “Luddite” whenever we refer to people resisting new technology or mechanization. Recently a Wall Street Journal article detailed a timeline of changes as much of the world is faced with yet another wave of robotic automation and artificial intelligence (AI) changing career and taking over many of the jobs we humans spend our days doing.

IMG_1057 (1)
A Consolidated Printing and Publishing Company Christmas card from 1995

It is obvious computer technology has already replaced a lot of jobs … including in my business and in my lifetime. It was happening when I started work when the personal computer began doing more of the graphic art work and pre-press printing prep that once took several skilled tradesman to do. From replacing paste-up, galley oriented type and the newer phototypesetting to digitizing the entire flat. Before the computer, there were graphic art rooms, darkrooms, stripping tables and plateburning and large processing areas within a printing company … half it not more of the work happened before a job could be taken to the pressroom.

Our “new” building for Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co in 1987

When I first started Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co, a little bit be could be done on the computer in the form of early on “desktop publishing,” but really it was still pretty rudimentary. printingpress2colorOur shop had graphic artists (Angie, Bob and Sue) and still pasted up the copy and prepped artboards for the darkroom and the “process camera.” Generally one of the prepress workers (Rich, Tony, Craig, John) would shoot, process the large negative film and strip it onto a “flat” in order to burn offset printing plates before anything could be mounted to the offset press. It was an expensive and time consuming process … requiring several skilled artists and experienced tradespeople. Eventually computers became more graphics oriented and powerful and software like Adobe Pagemaker and RIPs could output full sheets of material for plating. As the years ticked by, to stay competitive, bigger investments were required and new skills replaced much of what the traditional printing tradesman could do. A single computer digital graphic artist could creates files and send data “direct to press.” workinghandsNow even they are being eliminated since consumers can do much of the work with templates right on a webpage and send the file to “printers” instead of printing presses – at least for many of the items most commercial printers built their businesses on.

Nowadays, nearly everything is digital and online .. very little really require paper. In other words, technology has phased out not only the skilled positions that full departments in printing companies were build around, but the need for ink to be put on paper at all (I imagine those learning to set lead type galleys and run letterpress equipment felt the same way about offset printing?) 

This same trend is happening in every industry .. some are just impacted later in the cycle due to technology .. but with advanced robotics and “thinking” (AI) systems .. decision can be made faster and better than by humans. We are faced once again with the loss of 800px-Ludditeentire career paths and jobs as technology is added in order to do the job better, faster and cheaper than humans.

This has happened over and over for centuries. From the silk-twisting mills and Gutenberg printing presses of the 14-1500s, to the steam powered sawmills and railroads starting in the mid-1700s. Then there was the Luddite movement in 1811 where “lace and hosiery” trade workers in Britain followed the lead of an apprentice named Ned Ludham who used a hammer to destroy innovative machines that threatened their employment.

In the end, innovation and automation can be slowed but not stopped. Over the next decade or two, automation will continue to replace manufacturing jobs just as it has been doing for years. What is a bit new is that AI will so be replacing highly skilled, college educated, white collar jobs too. Decisions will be better made by algorithms and tireless computer bots the can process data and make decision far better than humans. We’re already seeing this is medical radiology when AI scan images for cancer or whatever doctors might need to know. We need to be thinking ahead as a country and as individuals.

What is it in our own fields that we can do to embrace and use this advancement  to better compete and how can our education system prepare the next generation for the need we will have – as one technology disappears, another takes its place and at least at this point requires stilled technicians, programmers and operators.

So are you a Luddite or ready to accept change and prepare for a new job or career? 

We need to get back to doing our sailing thing #TBT

Posted By on November 7, 2019

Although we have recently returned from a nice two week vacation (Part One, Two and Three) and finishing up projects at the condo, I was reminded when looking at a post from 5 years ago for Throwback Thursday #TBT, just how relaxed we were and how much we enjoyed our time together sailing Encore (it was the same for Tulla and Brenich). Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate our current path?

Short video from 2014 …

What a wonderful life.

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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