Posted By RichC on August 20, 2019
Last week was a grandparent’s dream as we had our wonderful 2-1/2 year old granddaughter Annalyn for the week. Of course we initially wondered if she would be a little homesick and miss mom and dad, but from the first moment when I drove halfway to make the pickup from Katelyn, I knew it was not going to be a problem. Annalyn was excited and happy to be with us in Cincinnati.
Our week started with just Bompa and Annalyn, but there wasn’t a problem as she is the perfect little helper and loves doing everything with me. From tinkering in the workshop, to setting the table or unstacking the dishwasher; my little shadow was right next to me all the time.
I also had a couple new things for her to do – like pretend camping (Taylor was over after work and set up our tent and his hammock) and riding our kids first bike. I had put the training wheels on it and she was so excited about the “big kids bike.” She is not quite big enough to peddle it, but I added a push handle to the back and that worked great.
We also planned a day at the Newport Aquarium which was perfect for her. She may have been just a bit young for a few of the climbing adventures, but had no problem walking everywhere to see everything. I think the penguins may have been her favorite, but she enjoy everything else too. We even walked across the “shark bridge” just before feeding time (when they were the hungriest!)
Of course the summer at Oma and Bompa’s would not be complete without swimming in the pool, playing on “shark island” or eating snacks on the porch. Oma of course also bought way too many new clothes … including her favorite, shark pajamas (photos below). (more…)
Posted By RichC on August 19, 2019
Since there hasn’t been time to put together a summary post for our week with my little helper Annalyn, I’ll update the latest of many poison ivy encounters Brenda and I have had over the years. Brenda usually tangles with poison “something” yearly and I do my best to just avoid the evil plants until cooler weather (long sleeves and long pants). Unfortunately, I needed to clear the fence line in the woods to keep my fence painter going last week and thought I was handling it with care — I obviously was not being careful enough.
Although we never seem to avoid poison ivy entirely, we have learned how to best mitigate the rash and reduce the itching. Here are our steps in avoiding and “doctoring” a poison ivy irritation:
- Cover all skin areas when you are working around poison ivy if you can’t avoid it
- Wash immediately with Dawn Dishwashing Soap (or other oil and grease-cutting soaps)
- If a small or moderate skin rash/itch appears, use Ivy-Dry for the itch and helping it to dry (we like it better than other – FYI, Brenda is a pharmacist)
- If severe, or on your face, or any internal area, see a doctor and ask about oral corticosteroid, such as prednisone.
Posted By RichC on August 18, 2019
Taylor‘s new 2019 Volkswagen Alltrack – 8/15/2019
After a fantastic week with Annalyn here in Cincinnati, Brenda and I are in recovery mode. I’ll need to spend a little time getting back to my emails and piled up work but I plan on archiving a few photos from the week (in a day or so). So for closing the weekend after Katelyn and Drew left for home, I’ll just include a photo of Taylor’s new Volkswagen Alltrack. Very nice and glad to see that both Taylor and Katelyn are back to driving VWs again. Hm, perhaps I’ll have to take a serious look at the Atlas?
Taylor VW next to Katelyn’s 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan
Posted By RichC on August 16, 2019
Hope you are enjoying the rest of the summer at the beach, perhaps at Cape Cod?
Posted By RichC on August 15, 2019
Has it really been over 15 years since I was commuting back and forth from NE Ohio in my 2003 Volkswagen TDI (and filling up with biodiesel or seeing my car image on other peoples’ blogs?) Yes it has been awhile.
After posting about a friend’s new Volkswagen Atlas (Tim Hunter sent me a new updated photo – right) and “again” admiring Katelyn’s Tiguan when meeting her with Annalyn this past weekend, I couldn’t help, but think about our Volkswagen Jetta TDIs (and Taylor’s GTI). We all loved our VWs … and I enjoyed being part of CinciTDI and the TDIClub.
So when glancing at my old BIODZL vanity license plates hanging above my workbench, I figured why not a Throwback Thursday #TBT post that includes a couple photos of our little efficient diesel cars?
Posted By RichC on August 14, 2019
Our current NetGear Nighthawk R7000 router has been exceptionally stable considering the issues I’ve had with cheaper routers and networked devices in the past. I’m pretty happy with it, but in order to get solid coverage, had to add a WiFi Range Extender to cover the detached garage and poolhouse (and yet still have weak spots). So, since I have ongoing issues in keeping the older and inexpensive router at the Florida Condo up and running, it made sense to upgrade to a Mesh System at home and move the NetGear Nighthawk to the condo before our winter renters arrive.
I looked at the Google Mesh set-up Drew and Katelyn have, but it is a bit overpriced and I tend to resist being part of the data collection business marketing model used by many of the technology giants; the whole “what are they doing with my data” thing concerns me. Of course with our new less expensive MeshForce equipment and MyMesh app … and modem hardware supplied by our ISP, Cincinnati Bell Fioptics, who knows what is being collected or being sent overseas? Besides totally unplugging from wire and wireless devices … or using VPNs, blockers, spoofing, cookie blocks/cleaners and making life ridiculously painful … I’m not sure how much privacy we really have anymore?
Posted By RichC on August 13, 2019
Great energy use tip for those of use who heavily rely on ceiling fans:
The direction a ceiling fan should turn can be confusing. Modern fans have a switch that enables them to blow the air either up or down. During the summer you want the fan to blow air straight down, so your ceiling fan needs to run in a counter clockwise direction as you look up at it so you can feel the breeze. But remember, fans consume energy, so the only way a fan will actually help lower your bill is to set your thermostat a degree or two higher when using ceiling fans. The breeze from the fan makes you feel cooler at a higher temperature. Just be sure to turn fans off after you leave the room since they do not actually lower the room temperature.
Don’t choose a higher speed than necessary to feel comfortable. The higher the fan speed, the more energy it uses. A typical modern ceiling fan uses about 30 Watts on low speed, 55 Watts on medium speed and 95 Watts on high speed.
Do you still have any of these heavy-duty ceiling fans from decades ago? You know the ones; they seem to last forever. Did you know they can use up to 500 Watts on high speed? If you use that fan several hours a day, you should seriously consider replacing it with a modern fan to cut your energy costs up to 80 percent.