How-To: A workshop tidbit for accurately drilling shelf pins

Posted By on September 21, 2019


PinTemplate190921While talking with my good friend Mark Jones about accurately drilling pin holes to mount a few glass shelves in a tight space, he gave me a great idea to use a piece of peg board to align all the holes accurately. Thanks Mark, a great tip!

But in my case, I didn’t have a scrap piece of peg board (or was too lazy to buy one) and also wondered if the 1/4" holes would align the 5mm pins … so I instead drilled a template board with a stop to accurately align each of the holes precisely on the four points for each of the levels these little shelve pins would fit.

One of the better investments, back when building airplanes, was a "tight fit right angle drill" which really helps when a normal or EVEN small drill with a chuck will not fix (photo above).

Note to self:
Next time remember to also pack the charger for the Ridgid tools! DUH!

Tech Friday: Lenovo, Eye Care and Snipping Tool backgrounds

Posted By on September 20, 2019

Today’s Tech Friday tip is something that has changed in recent weeks likely due to an update that is suppose to make reading on devices easier on the eyes. Based on lighting conditions, automatic settings will filter out blue light — a lot more when the room is dark.


The problem is that this can impact other software such as the screen snipping tools that have become universal in daily computer productivity. In my case, the temporary fix was to turn off the "Eye Care" feature or just move the slider back and forth in Lenovo Vantage (on my Lenovo 710). Hopefully this post will show up in a search if you are having and provide a quick but temporary fix until the problem is addressed.


Keeping a “Sharpie” eye on Tropical Storm Jerry

Posted By on September 19, 2019

So sorry President Trump (Sharpiegate) … I just can help myself when looking at weather forecast maps. #humor

How does marriage impact the taxes you pay?

Posted By on September 18, 2019

Does Your State Have a Marriage Tax Penalty?

It isn’t always easy to decipher the tax impact of marriage on taxes, but the Tax Foundation summarized the tax code “marriage penalty” and offers an overview map. YMMV.

Under a progressive, graduated-rate income tax system, tax rates increase as a taxpayer’s marginal income increases. A marriage penalty exists when a state’s income brackets for married taxpayers filing jointly are less than double the bracket widths that apply to single filers. In other words, married couples who file jointly under this scenario face a higher effective tax rate than they would if they filed as two single individuals with the same amount of combined income.

This nonneutral tax treatment is particularly harmful to owners of pass-through businesses, who pay taxes on their business income under the individual income tax system. Under a marriage penalty, married business owners are subject to higher effective tax rates on their business income than they would be otherwise.

A 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia: The 2nd car I ever drove.

Posted By on September 17, 2019

VW1974KarminnGhia_frt_AZAfter receiving for my learner’s permit (at age 16 in Ohio the 1970s), my family took a long summer vacation out west. One of the stops was to visit a long-time work friend of my dad’s who lived just outside of San Francisco in Los Altos. One of the cars he had was a bright orange 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible with a manual 3-speed. He was a bit more California-free spirited or “looser” with the rules than my parents … so he tossed me the keys telling me to take it out for a spin. What a special moment as it became the second car I drove behind my mom‘s 1967 Ford Custom 500.  Thankfully I brought it back in one piece (but I did stay in the neighborhood).
Winking smile

VW1974KarminnGhia_side_AZThis particular car is identical, but in Scottsdale, AZ

Archive: Thankful to have my family within driving distance

Posted By on September 16, 2019


A quick post to the blog archive with a few photos from this past weekend. Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn came down to go to the Cincinnati Zoo with Taylor and Megan on Saturday. They had a great time.


Of course Brenda and I enjoyed having Annalyn around for a couple days too! She is growing up so fast and is just so much fun to have around. I’m amazed at how much routine she picks up on; she knows where everything is, helps me in the kitchen, the workshop and loves reading with me and sitting out on the backporch having a snack.


Shocking to have such a great zoo in our own backyard.

Do you have a REAL ID yet? If you fly, you have until Oct 2020.

Posted By on September 15, 2019

The Wall Street Journal Middle Seat writer reminds us that in about a year, just before the 2020 election, there will likely be a few more airport delays and angry passengers attempt to use their “old” driver’s licenses as an ID in order to pass through the TSA screening line. UGH! One can only imagine the frustration of getting to the airport only to be turn away because the ID that you’ve been using for years is no longer valid due to the new REAL ID regulationsor standing in line behind angry travelers in that situation.

Check out Scott McCartney’s WSJ MiddleSeat column or follow @MiddleSeat on Twitter.

I discovered another difference between my wife’s travel preferences and mine this weekend: Her driver’s license is compliant with REAL ID regulations, and mine is not. tsaidlookActually, a TSA screener at Raleigh-Durham International Airport discovered it for me.

This week’s Middle Seat (by coincidence) looks at the looming hassle ahead for travelers because of REAL ID. If you use your license as your ID, and most of us do, then you may have an unexpected trip to the DMV within the next year. That’s even more fun than a TSA patdown.

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, your license has to have a REAL ID star on it, or you have to use your passport at TSA, if you have a current passport. Or you’ll probably miss your flight. TSA says after numerous extensions, it’s not kidding this time—REAL ID is going to happen next year.

We’ll see. The prospect of millions of angry travelers right before an election probably isn’t good politics. In a few states, you still can’t even get a driver’s license that complies with REAL ID requirements. But telling everyone they have to comply by a certain date and then saying "just kidding" isn’t good policy, either.

REAL ID may turn out to be a real mess.

Safe travels,

Scott McCartney

Find me on Twitter @MiddleSeat, or email

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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