A moon rising iPhone 7-plus photo worthy of archiving

Posted By on June 3, 2020

Every once in a while when seeing what cellphone cameras can do, I wonder why I even bother to ever grab my camera bag and relatively expensive DSLR camera anymore? Last night the weather in Cincinnati was clear and humidity low. The moon was large and rising in the sky in the southeast and looks so crystal clear that I thought it worth a photo. Of course those faraway astronomy photos never look good in a photo even with the best of cameras. Nevertheless, the sun had just set and lighting conditions just about optimum for the tiny sensor in my aging iPhone7plus a couple of generations behind. I sent the photo to myself thinking I was overdue to update my Facebook account with an “I’m still alive” post. After sharing the photo from my phone, I looked again today and realized it was a beautiful photo and worth archiving on the blog while I ate my lunch.

From the blues in the sky, to the greens of the pines and brightly lit Waxing Gibbious Moon, it was a great photo ... and from an older iPhone no less!


Are rechargeable wearable tech devices like the Fitbit Versa and the Apple Watch doomed to prematurely fail?

Posted By on June 3, 2020

It is starting to look like early gadget failure going to become the ‘norm’ now that we’re wearing tech gadgets everyday. My Fitbit Versa watch is not even a year old and has failed. For a while it started to blink and flip through it’s screens, then surged with colorful vertical lines (photo)and a vibrate notification with each button push. FitbitDied200601Then finally after about 30 minutes of tech support, some charging and an restart … it went completely dead. The same thing happened to Katelyn’s Fitbit Versa in under a year of wearing it.

On the other ‘wrist’ …jokingApple is not doing much better. The first Apple Watch that I gave Brenda “bloated” after being put on its charger and it popped the screen right off the face. It was past the warranty, so unlike Katelyn’s Fitbit, there wasn’t any option besides having it fixed (which costs more than an new watch) or replacing it with newer model. Still, it is disappointing that our family alone has had one Apple Watch fail within a few years of wearing it and two Fitbit Versa watches. Wearable tech is not off to a good start with us (and I suspect there is an early Pebble for Drew in there somewhere too?)

Now the frustrating decision for me is to either accept the warranty and have Fitbit replace the Versa 1 (they don’t even have a black model to match my old one) or to accept their 50% off offer for the Versa2. Frankly, 50% off of the list price isn’t all that great of a deal considering what kind of sale prices are offered by retailers sometimes … yet if there is an inherent problem with the Versa1 or the batteries, do I really want another watch that likely will fail in under a year?

Before making the decision, I’ve asked Fitbit to see if they can scrounge up a black Versa as a warranty replacement; so far the answer is no: “only Peach / Rose Gold Aluminum or Gray / Silver Aluminum” although black can still be found at retailers. 


A nation of unrest … filled with a bunch of immoral idiots

Posted By on June 2, 2020

Well so much for the pre-posting yesterday’s Music Monday “So Quiet In Here” … before the Minneapolis George Floyd killing subsequent protests … and ensuing riots and crime spree. I suppose we all knew, that with all the divisive politics, we’ve been living either next to or in inside of a powder keg (especially if you’re part of a large city).   

The “bunch of immoral idiots” subject line was not chosen flippantly (moral: relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior). Minneapolis-riotSadly it is an accurate description of the America we are seeing displayed. The peaceful protests … including words and signs … quickly gave way to destructive behavior. No doubt outside American-hating groups took advantage of those who were angry, but there is still “no excuse” for what we’re seeing in so many U.S. cities night after night. “Behavior” that ALL should know is unacceptable is way too tolerated by those participating (rioting, throwing bricks, fire bombs, looting, burning, spray painting and destroying other peoples property). Why do so many people behave like this?  

A few thoughts:
Long gone are the days where most Americans were taught right from wrong by nearly institution. Consequences for deviate behavior is tolerated and accepted. Parents, role models, families, churches, schools, lack of corrective behavior (discipline) targetlootingand “tough on crime” policing no longer dominate society as it once did. Politicians from both sides and the media seem to go out of their way to trigger distrust and hate towards those who differ from their ideology. Wouldn’t it be be better to spend more time trying to unify people … and yes that includes the president. Social media which one would think would “shame” people for misbehaving, instead celebrates their barbarism. Some of these rioters boldly steal and threaten property owners guarding their businesses and life’s work. There was a time when even criminals drew the line at tempting law enforcement into arresting them … but for some reason, this “immoral idiots” show no fear?  It is sickening to me to see selfies as if to say “look at me, rioting with my fellow hoodlums” knowing the police have been told to stand-down. We’re pretty screwed up all the way around.

Of course, very few of us will agree on the answers, even if we can agree that the riots have distracted us from the racism and policing event that triggered it. Instead we hunker down either excusing it as “understandable anger”  or thinking that stronger deterrents would prevent the widespread destruction. Both thoughts sound pretty naïve after watching neighborhoods burned and livelihoods destroyed. I do know that permissiveness is not working and isn’t a solution, but I’m not sure that deterrents would work either – love to give them a try though. (deterrents worked for me when dad took my driving privileges away when I came home 10 minutes late on a Saturday night – I can hear him saying it now, “nothing good happens after midnight”).

One thing is for sure in our current situation, a harsher penalty for committing crimes, along with a heavier hand from law enforcement would reduce the property damage and better protect the good citizens. Unfortunately it’s not a fix. Until society decides we want our children to be instilled with right and wrong from day one, these kinds of “immoral idiots” will continue to be a U.S. problem. And don’t even get me started on domestic terror groups …

Music Monday: Van Morrison–So Quiet In Here

Posted By on June 1, 2020

VanMorrison2015The older I get, the more I gravitate to the music of Sir George Ivan “Van” Morrison. I’ve posted his songs a few times before on Music Monday before and often think about the comment that surgeons listen to “Into the Mystic” while in the operating room – kind of interesting, eh?

But perhaps its the gentle-mood his music that I enjoy as it relaxes my mind. I might even have something to do with the long stretches of repetitive soothing tones and his unusual voice that quiets the sole?

On that note, a song that comes to mind is “So Quiet In Here” from his 1991 Enlightenment album and it plays on for over 6 minutes.

  So Quiet In Here – Van Morrison | 1991


"So Quiet In Here"

Foghorns blowing in the night
Salt sea air in the morning breeze
Driving cars all along the coastline
This must be what it’s all about
Oh this must be what it’s all about
This must be what paradise is like
So quiet in here, so peaceful in here
So quiet in here, so peaceful in here


Payment processing: Testing Square’s link tool with a Monocle

Posted By on May 31, 2020

Having used Paypal‘s simple sales link solution to sell a product or raise money for an organization in the past (EAA284 and CinciTDI) .. I’m always looking for a better way (cheaper way) to handle transactions. Back in the early days of having a retail presence with my printing company, we were handcuffed to credit card processors and their terminal leases, monthly fees, per transaction AND PERCENT OF SALE fees. It was always a struggle to stay on top of this. At the time, American Express always dinged the merchant the most, yet some of my best regular customers would pay for their sales literature with their “business issued” Amex card –– bigger sale, bigger percentage ding for me.

Once Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co. gave up the walk-in business, there wasn’t a need for the terminal … and about that time it was getting easier to use mobile phones and devices to begin handling transaction. Ebay‘s Paypal (before spinning off) became the easiest way to handle a delivery and on-site sale. I used it a “little bit” in business, but a lot for organizations. Eventually Square came around and became my go to point-of-sale “terminal” tool –  the swipe dongle works well with the iPad (or iPhone).

  Hogan’s Heroes March – Jerry Fielding (mp3)

Paypal continued to offer their service too, but at that time the percentage take was a little higher and the convenience of using Square for business and Paypal for organizations kept things clean and simple.  I’m not sure what it is as of this writing which is the better deal.

Square has recently been marketing their simple web-link tool for sales and donations, so before using it for real, I’ll test it here by offering a knock-off monocle to one random lucky person who donate something to my test (yes, the Col KlinkCol Klink looking “thing” from Hogan’s Heroes) . So if you are feeling lucky and can spare a buck to test this linkand always wanted a monocle … here’s your chance (link above vs embed test code below). 

Donate to MDB knowing only one random person will win the coveted Monocle



Face masks, eating out again and PPE in the age of COVID19

Posted By on May 30, 2020

RichCEatingAtFazolis200524It has been a couple weeks of more states and localities re-opening. Brenda and I stopped at Fazoli’s to pick up something last weekend, but instead decided to try something new .. at least since restaurants shut down. FazolisLogo.We donned our face masks and ordered our meal sitting every other table. All was good. Then again this past Friday my buddy Jeff and I resumed our once a month (or sometimes more) eating out and staying in touch at one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants. We were surprised to see the shared basket of chips and salsa, but again the spacing was spread out. They took our name in advance, but didn’t seem to bother when we walked in. All in all, it was starting to feel a little more normal. Nice!

ResistOrMoronSpeaking of masks, Brenda wears them everyday in the Kroger Pharmacy and recently they were offered a pretty ‘wimpy” replacement for the normal paper/disposable masks (not the N95). She tried the new “cloth” mask on, but prefers the paper which took a few weeks to get comfortable wearing – I think she is ok with it now. I’m still struggling with the “masking up,” and agreed the new wimpy cloth is easier to breathe through, but I’m not sure offers much in the way of filtration or protection? Of course it is all likely a false sense of protection anyway – but probably a little be better than this crochet one (photo left).

Tech Friday: i-Device Wallpapers .. the Bompa edition

Posted By on May 29, 2020

Although my computer monitor(s) still have relatively generic “paper airplanewallpapers, I regularly update both my iPhone and iPad. Annalyn_iPhoneWallpaper200521Long gone are the days of sailboat pictures and Palm Pre wallpapers … and here to stay are the grandchildren wallpapers for the foreseeable future (who knows, I may have to get MacBook Air like Taylor just did if a 3rd grandchild comes along?)


And … now is as good a time as any to post a photo from Memorial Day 2020.


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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