Music Monday: Jackson and Buffett – It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

Posted By on January 27, 2020


Last week I was exchanging jabs back and forth with my best friend Jeff (in photo on right) and realized it has been nearly 40 years since I took this photo. He was sitting in the kitchen of our Ada, Ohio apartment playing chess with one of my roommates, Jerry Moody (on left). The photo was one that I stubbled on a couple weeks ago when clearing space for some folders in my file cabinet.

We were having a mid-day conversation about network and online security (he is a cyber security analyst)  … but we ended up in a personal conversation before suggesting we save them for later and get back to the “security” problem. Eventually I told him it was “ok” to discuss non-work memories … because as Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett concluded, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere and sent him this linkbesides I needed a Music Monday song (video below)!

  Alan Jackson and Jimmy BuffettIt’s Five O’Clock Somewhere | 2003


The new SECURE Act requires rethinking retirement planning

Posted By on January 26, 2020

graphic credit – Enza Financial

There was an excellent podcast on Charles Schwab‘s WashingtonWise Investor (link) last week with Mike Townsend and Dan Stein that summarized the 2020 changes for those planning their retirement – hopefully everybody. Most of the new changes made by Congress last year in the SECURE Act are based on AmericansRMDs living and working longer than in the past, hence one of the big changes has to do with RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) from tax differed accounts used by Americans in saving for retirement (IRAs, 401Ks, etc). Oh, if you are wondering about the Washington DC acronym SECURE, it is: Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement.

The big change from my perspective is when we are required to take money out (and begin to pay taxes on) retirement savings that has been put aside pre-tax. Prior to the SECURE Act in 2020, that age as been 70½. Under the new law, you do not have to take distributions until the year you turn 72. The new rule gives more time for your retirement savings to grow before you need to begin drawing it down. That dollar amount come from an IRS published table based on life expectancy and the amount saved. Under the current rules, your first few RMDs are less than 4% of the account value, but they escalate as you get older, getting closer to 7% of the account value by age 85 and close to 9% by age 90.This is important because distributions from traditional retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income, so as the size of your distributions increase, your tax burden may as well.

Probably the other big change is how "inherited" IRAs are handled. Under current law, non-spouse designated beneficiaries can take distributions over their life expectancy, but for many retirement account owners who pass away in 2020 and beyond, beneficiaries will have ‘only’ 10 years to empty the account.


Watching the Boeing 777X first flight today

Posted By on January 25, 2020

EDIT – A Boeing 777X airliner lifts off for its first flight at Paine Field on January 25, 2020 in Everett, Washington. Getty images – Stephen Brashear

The new Boeing 777X enters the next phase of its rigorous test program. Based on the most successful twin-aisle airplane ever, the Boeing 777, and with advanced technologies from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the 777X will be the largest and most fuel efficient twin-engine jet in the world, with an exceptional passenger experience.



Old jack stands: A friend shared this as an automotive PSA

Posted By on January 24, 2020


Just your average PSA guys. Just because you use jack stands, doesn’t mean you’re safe. Always throw something else under the car if you’re going to be under it.

My father and I just had a trusty old jack stand fail. Folded right over unexpectedly, luckily he was just rotating tires at the time, so no one was under the car. 2019 Subaru Forester with 6k miles resting on its rotor at front tow hook point. Luckily no damage at all, and thank whatever deity is out there that no one was underneath.

I’ll clarify- these are super old 1.5 ton stands that my father has used for 20 years. Not my first choice, I use HF 3 and 6 ton.

Keeping woodworking bench dogs handy but out of the way

Posted By on January 23, 2020


It has taken years, but I’ve finally decided to move my woodworking bench dogs from the tool tray (see below).

A bench dog is an accessory used on a woodworking workbench to allow clamping of wooden items while being worked or planed.

Ever since building my work table and vices with bench dogs back in the 1980s, I’ve stored the homemade oak and maple “pegs” (dogs) on end in a can or cut off pipe. Unfortunately they stick up too high out of the tool tray or if I put them on their side, they get buried. I thought about eliminated the storage tray, but it is a tradition place to put a few tools off the table’s surface while working on a project and “would” still be nice to have if I used it properly (it is forever a catchall).

The problem with the bench dogs stick up above the table’s surface is that they are in the way when working on projects that extended over the edge of the table. It happen again last weekend when taking apart a few antique Christmas displays inherited from Brenda’s parents, so I had it with moving them. Finally, BrassRosewoodTrySquareI took 20 minutes and a few pieces of scrap oak, I added a spot to the side of the table where they are handy, yet below the surface. Now the work table’s surface is flat and clear from any vertical items sticking out of the tool tray … something that should have been done decades ago!

I also left enough room for a small square, but dislike the aluminum adjustable bevel square, so might try to find a simple small antique Brass and Rosewood Try Squarestay tuned (I sort of wish Brenda’s furniture-maker grandfather would have passed one down).

Sesame Street has Big Bird … but Africa has the real thing

Posted By on January 22, 2020

Just how big is an African Crowned Eagle’s talons? BIG!!!

A wider-view photo below …


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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