Premium Rapeseed Cooking Oil for Taylor from Duchess Farms

Posted By on June 19, 2019


My son Taylor has a friend who runs a farm in the UK that he visited with back in 2015. Besides the bachelor pad in a barn with collectable British and Italian sports cars, he also grows and processes rapeseed oil for cooks and unique restaurants.  The Duchess Oil brand is not available in the United States yet, so Oscar boxed up a few bottles of oil for Taylor. What a unique and great friend. If you are reading this from the UK, shop the DuchessFarms online store or find a store.


The yardwork theme continues with a sump pump to pool bypass

Posted By on June 18, 2019

SumpPoolDiggingA190616With steady rains (and downpour storms) over the past week, the ground was soft enough for even this 60 year old guy to trench. I’ve been wanting to work on the “sump pump to pool” bypass ever since testing it with a temporary pipe to 2” roll up hose a few years ago. The water is so unbelievably clear and clean and our sump pump runs like clockwork almost all year around that is a crime not to use it.

My plan is … and has been … to trench a PVC bypass pipe underground about 40 feet to the edge of the landscaping and lawn … then temporarily add a section of 2” firehose that I can disconnect for most of the year. During the dry months of July and August, when evaporation requires adding water to the pool, using what leeches under the foundation and basement only makes sense. Besides trying to figure out how to get the water to properly flow using gravity (not much pitch), I need to rework the messy and leaking sump pump to downspout drain anyway (photo below). Hopefully I’ll remember to winterize this pipe when closing the pool each season and maybe even consider adding an actual under ground line to one of the skimmers or corner of the pool when we finally splurge for pool refinishing … or attempt to do it myself???


Music Monday: Felt like a Kenny Chesney and George Strait song

Posted By on June 17, 2019

FencePostSet190615This past weekend was rainy and stormy, but I was still able to squeeze in a few yard chores – even got the front lawn mowed before the BIG storms hit. We even had tornado sirens wailing on Saturday night as tornados hit in Indiana before making an appearance (so says radar) just south of our house. It feels more like early spring than summer … cooler temperatures too!



But back to the manual labor (hence the “working man” song) and weekend project accomplishments. Since the pool is open and the fence gate and post broken, it was time to get the QuikCrete mixed, new post set and gates repaired (although I had to protect the new concrete from the rain with a box). So far so, good … but there is A LOT of fence painting/staining to do! I feel like I should be on the clock doing …

  ShiftworkKenny Chesney and George Strait | 2007

Lost track of the weekend – Happy Father’s Day

Posted By on June 16, 2019

It is a bit of thoughtless of me not to have included a Happy Father’s Day post that when planning this weekend’s blog posts – I guess I lost track that this is Father’s Day weekend. In part, because both Brenda and my dads are no longer with us … and in part the fact that I’m connecting with my kids on different weekends this month. Nevertheless, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads working hard to be the best fathers that they can to their children — and that would be Annalyn’s father Drew too! (I sure love Annalyn’s video message, see below, with the help of Katelyn.) 😉 

Although I have way too many subscribed podcasts in my list, here’s a great one on being a “First Class Father.”


Call me paranoid, but it feels impossible to secure computers

Posted By on June 16, 2019

My good friend Jeff Pitts, a network and IT expert, and most recently IT cybersecurity expert, constantly update me with the latest threats to computer servers. He manages the computers and networks for a Cincinnati-based international linux-servercompany that is constantly under bombardment from hackers. Most of the attacks are directly from China and according to experts who track, they work directly for the Chinese communist government. Last year his company was under a full audit and an extensive investigation by the FBI and Homeland Security. Jeff received enough education that he has been invited by other business groups and companies to speak on the subject. He continues to receive regular briefings and updates from our government and often relays some of the information to me that might be helpful in hardening and securing the servers I manage (although it just makes me paranoid).


I’d like to say that having the information makes me more informed, but instead it really it makes me realize just how vulnerable small companies and individuals are to cyber threats, especially on the scale of state supported cyber spying and hacking. On a lighter note, most of my business is not “heavily” targeted since there are no trade secrets or intellectual property … or even enough dollar value for blackmail. I would still like to believe most vulnerable areas are up to date and that I’ve taking a few basic precaution where fiscally possible.

There are a few helpful “simple” places to go to at least check your server security – see Qualys SSL Labs (the report on above), and as always, update your computer (servers) regularly, use strong passwords and secure practices.

If you are feeling smug about “your” Internet security … or just want to see the kind of Manhattan-like Project that China and other state players are working on, read this June 4, 2019 WSJ article (YIKES!!!):

The Day When Computers Can Break All Encryption Is Coming

OG-CT634_201906_NS_20190605112431Quantum computers will be able to overpower current encryption within a decade. That has security experts scrambling to come up with new ways to protect our data before it is too late

National-security experts and politicians have a message for America: A significant portion of the sensitive data we have today is going to be cracked by foreign powers in the not-too-distant future, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

But we might be able to stop them from decoding the data we produce down the road, if we act quickly enough.

The danger comes from an ultrapowerful and still-experimental technology called quantum computing—which leverages the quantum properties of atoms to quickly compute problems that no conventional computer could crack. China has already launched the equivalent of a Manhattan Project in order to achieve this end, say experts, and companies like Google, Microsoft and IBM are all pushing ahead with their own efforts to create quantum computers.

Quantum computers, which are still in the very early stage, could revolutionize any number of real-world tasks, from researching new materials to picking the best route for delivery drivers. But right now, what many experts worry about is the problem of security.

“Whoever gets to true quantum computing first will be able to negate all the encryption that we’ve ever done to date,” Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, has said.

READ full article

From “One Giant Leap” boldness, to “Interstellar” brain cramps

Posted By on June 15, 2019


Brenda and I watched the movie Interstellar (2014) once before, but we watched it again this past week, and as often happens, we picked up on a few more interesting facts that made our brains hurt … well at least mine: General relativity, The Science of Interstellar, Black Holes and Time Warps.

Thankfully I could for the most part ignore the brain cramping and appreciate the parts of the filmHelloMyNameIsRich that made more sense to me like human emotion of love (HA!), computing and binary code. The last couple of items were areas of study that I semi-grew up with and can relate to its development. In particular, it reminds me of our space race which required computing power we did not have … and the pressure to build, advance and use it in the 1960s to get to the moon.   

BinaryCodeIt still boggles the mind as to the amount of courage, dedication and teamwork it took to actually put someone in space, orbit and return them to the earth … land then in a few short years actually land man on the moon. It’s been 50 years! We’ll mark the anniversary  next month one-giant-leap-9781501106293_lgas re remember July 20, 1969.

The book, “One Giant Leap – The Impossible Mission that Flew Us To The Moon,” by Charles Fishman is an amazing review and account of a few of the details that few of us think about nowadays when casually reflecting on the challenge facing NASA. Tidbits like the women “wiring” the 0 or 1 binary switches of early computers to what the “moon smells like.” Great book … and an excellent NPR FreshAir interviewmp3 (worth a listen).

  ‘One Giant Leap’ Explores The Herculean Effort Behind The 1969
      Moon Landing | 6/12/2019

Bonfire leftovers and starting a new pile for another fire

Posted By on June 14, 2019


After the weekend bonfire for Taylor’s birthday party without burning down the woods or catching any trees on fire … I told myself, “I’m never going to let the pile get that big again.”  From now on the fires need to be of a “reasonably” safe size. Now, what that size is … I’m not really sure?

So, after cutting up a fallen tree and relocated a few trimmings that didn’t make it to Saturday’s fire (because it was too big), I’m ready to start a new pile.


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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