Bringing my older Poulan chainsaw back to life

Posted By on August 25, 2019

Five years ago (2014), I was in the middle of cutting wood and my older lighter weight Poulan chainsaw wasn’t running right. I used some small fuel lines in a attempt to hurriedly fix it suspecting it was the ethanol in the fuel … Poulan2150Chainsaw190822but my quick fix was to no avail. Instead, I ordered a “similar” reconditioned model for a fair price and continued on. It ran fine, but Poulan had modified a few of the controls on it’s slightly smaller consumer line saw for what I assumed were “safety reasons” and I never enjoyed using it as much as the original 2150.

Fast forward to last week – I cleared the woods and fence line with the newer recon replacement 2014 saw so the guy I hired to do the fence staining could continue (we have a LOT of fence). The lone worker, Roger, worked long hours and did a great job;  he worked more hours than he estimated, yet didn’t complain. My neighbor was impressed with his work too, and asked Roger if he could stain his fence and also clear his fence line. After they haggled price, Roger asked me if he could borrow my chainsaw to clear the neighbor’s fence line. Hm?

Now, for starters I am not one to loan out tools … especially the tools that require a little more care and sharp blades like a chainsaw (and unless you are a tool guy, you probably don’t understand this kind of selfishness). PoulanChainsawApartAnyway … I decided to just give him my newer saw (with the better Oregon bar and chain – should have put the stock one back on) as a thank you for doing a great job on my fence. I could see the appreciation in his eyes as he said, “oh, I can accept it.” That even made me feel better about giving him the saw … so I helped him get started with the clearing process and warned him about the poison ivy. I also gave him some bar oil and 2-cycle fuel, then picked up and prepaid for my neighbor’s stain and then repaired the saw when it got jammed (he is a great worker, but not a great businessman). It was obvious Roger was new to using a chainsaw and sorely lacking of tools … I’m not sure he even knows about sharpening?

Back to my “old” Poulan 2150 chainsaw story

Now that I was no longer in a hurry, I took the old 2150 apart, cleaned the gum out of the carburetor, reset the amazonchainsawtuneupjets, bought a new “tune-up” kit with filters and sparkplug and new 16” Oregon bar & chain for $23.

I’m happy to have my old favorite small saw back in operation again, even after telling my wife I was going to buy a quality commercial Stihl chainsaw next time … although for heavy cutting it is hard to beat my old and very heavy McCulloch 610 with a square-cut lumberjack chain – just watch the kickback.


So love driving the “Old Girl”- my 1982 MB 300d Turbodiesel

Posted By on August 24, 2019


On Friday, with August temperatures abating a bit, I decided drive the “old girl,” as my best friend Jeff refers to my 1982 Mercedes Benz 300d Turbodiesel. It is not rare that I drive our “EMP car” since it was my daily driving for a couple years, but now I do it far less frequently in the heat and humidity of summer. RichC_MB300DTurbodiesel180729I still regularly run local errands when the mood strikes, but yesterday was a much more pleasant and destressing kind of drive. In fact, I had forgotten just how much more relaxed I feel cruising with the windows down for an hour behind the “big” steering wheel … just leisurely motoring along (these W123 diesels of old are not speedsters, even turbocharged ones). Still, there is something about the airflow in in old cars that is much different than almost every new car; windows down can be enjoyed, not just tolerated as with newer vehicles. Anyway, it was good to take her out on the highway and country roads and it has me looking forward to doing more as the weather cools this autumn. What a great car … probably the only decent car to come out of the 1980s?

Photo from 2014: Weekly trips to Bob Evans with my late-father in Sidney, Ohio
(he loved all old cars)

Tech Friday: Advice on passwords and security breaches

Posted By on August 23, 2019

Some excellent and “do-able” ways to maintain reasonable password security in this Lifehacker article:

One of the best things about having a solid password is that you don’t have to change it. If it’s strong, unique, and hasn’t been compromised by an attacker, you gain no security benefits by modifying it according to some arbitrary timetable. Just let it be.

What you should be tracking is whether any of your passwords have been compromised on one of the many data breaches you’ve probably experienced recently—or ever. Obviously, when that happens, changing your affected password should be a top priority. But a lot of people don’t do this. According to the latest research from Google:

“…we implement a cloud service that mediates access to over 4 billion credentials found in breaches and a Chrome extension serving as an initial client. Based on anonymous telemetry from nearly 670,000 users and 21 million logins, we find that 1.5%% of logins on the web involve breached credentials. By alerting users to this breach status, 26%% of our warnings result in users migrating to a new password, at least as strong as the original.”


The 2006 Honda Pilot served us well for 14 years #TBT

Posted By on August 22, 2019


This is not the Throwback Thursday #TBT photo I would recommend using when listing a car for sale, but the 2006 Honda Pilot we said goodbye to this week did have a few minor battle scars (1, 2, 3) and occasionally a little something that needed to be cleaned off (salt above and sometimes LoveBugs). Still, it buffed up nice when I wanted to bring the gloss back to the “Sage Brush Pearl” paint – never knew the color name until deciding to scan and archive the window sticker.

All in all, it has been one of the most dependable and functional vehicles I have owned and with AWD for my winter commuting to NE Ohio, lifetime 19.8 mpg , seating for 8 and great small trailer pulling ability it was a Super Utilitarian Vehicle … SUV.


Our 2006 Honda Pilot replacement – A 2010 Acura RDX

Posted By on August 21, 2019

We have always shuffled our “fleet” (as my son-in-law calls it) and strive to keep the loss through depreciation on vehicles to a tolerable level … while still driving reliable vehicles. Thankfully our current and recent vehicles have served us well and regularly hit the quarter million mile mark before we retire them. In my opinion, that is an impressive number of miles without major mechanical work, especially compared to the cars that we learned to drive on or owned when we were first married.


This month we replaced our 2006 Honda Pilot with a well maintained 2010 Acura RDX (photo of me tinkering on Drew’s car in 2017). Since we bought it from family and know the history, purchasing a car with 124K was an easy decision … and actually one that Brenda made since it will be her daily driver (usually car buying is “my call”). She loves the fact that it is a smaller SUV with sporty handling and performance — the exact blend most car buyers seem to be looking for nowadays; hopefully, the RDX will remain as reliable for her as it was for Drew and give her several years of dependable driving.

As for the Honda Pilot, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Oh, it has a torn front leather driver’s seat,  a little rust on the wheel wells and 250,000+ miles, but it is currently running perfectly. The new owner will be one of the painters we had working on the house and should serve him well as reliable transportation and a great work vehicle (still keep the 2002 Honda Odyssey around just  because of that!)

Archive: Photo wrap-up of our 2019 summer week with Annalyn

Posted By on August 20, 2019

RichAnnalynBrendaCinci1908Last 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 allAnnalynBike180817 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…)

Toxicodendron radicans, or better known as Poison Ivy

Posted By 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:

  1. Cover all skin areas when you are working around poison ivy if you can’t avoid it
  2. Wash immediately with Dawn Dishwashing Soap (or other oil and grease-cutting soaps)
  3. 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)
  4. If severe, or on your face, or any internal area, see a doctor and ask about oral corticosteroid, such as prednisone.

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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