Tech Friday: CCleaner marked a PUA by Microsoft Defender

| August 7, 2020

It is always concerning to use and recommended a software product for years and to hear negative news on the software from a reputable antivirus. Last month, Microsoft Defender marked the “crap cleaner” known as CCleaner as PUA (Potentially Unwanted Software) likely due to the “PC cleaning software’s bundling unwanted add-on and annoyance software. The […]

Not recommended: Triangular shade sail for driveway shade

| August 4, 2020

The summer sun makes it too hot to work with the 10 x 12 foot south-facing garage door on the back of the detached outbuilding which is something I’ve struggled with for years. I’ve rigged up tarps, drop clothes and the like in order to cut the harsh sun, but let some light and breeze […]

Tech Friday: How to “shift-click” select multiple emails in Gmail

| July 31, 2020

It has been a while since reviewing the stats of My Desultory Blog, but realized that one Tech Friday post in particular was getting quite a few looks. It is obvious that I’m not the only Apple Macintosh Magic Mouse user to have scrolling issue when using the popular Google Calendar and stopping the infuriating […]

Keep your guard up. for SPAM and SCAM text messages/calls

| July 17, 2020

If you’ve had your cellphone number for any length of time (or were assigned someone else’s number), you do get text spam and scam phone calls. Some unscrupulous callers have refined their trickery to the point it can be difficult to know who and when to take a call seriously. Previous MyDesultoryBlog posts broached the […]

Update on Fitbit replacement and JAMA step count guidelines

| July 14, 2020

After my much enjoyed Fitbit Versa smartwatch died in less than a year (it was replaced under warranty – thank you), I have been a bit more careful when wearing the new one. I no longer wear it in the pool or even shower and find myself forgetting to put it back on as often. […]

TechFriday: Dropbox paid cloud storage is tough to justify

| June 26, 2020

Besides Google’s less intuitive cloud storage, Dropbox was the first cloud service that I gravitated to “back in the day.”  I’ve posted about them before on TechFriday (2015 comparison) and they are still one of the best cloud storage services for the way I work on computers and devices. Unfortunately over the last few years […]

Tech Friday: Apple Mac, Preview PDFs and Quartz Filter tweaks

| June 5, 2020

Size matters when emailing or just saving PDFs. It is easy to create them for paper-free archiving, but sooner or later most of them are larger than they need to be. Years ago in the printing world, almost every project was archived on CPPnet’s connected servers for our customers, usually in the Adobe PDF format. […]

Do not fall for text messaging scams targeting senior citizens

| May 27, 2020

Acknowledge scammers and you become a “live mark.” There’s no way around it, living with smarphones and computers makes life easier and more difficult at the same time. Scammers are busy targeting all of us and seem particularly interested in taking advantage of senior citizens and those often least experience with technology. A perfect example […]

Woodworking: Table Saw Clutter – a place for push sticks

| May 23, 2020

The workshop runs smother when there is “a place for everything and everything is in its place”  … to quote the printer and publisher Benjamin Franklin. On the other hand, perhaps the British are not fond of a “revolutionary” like Ben and prefer to credit Samuel Smiles, Mrs Isabella Beeton or John Hacket, Bishop of […]

Ordered a new wire cored flag halyard this week

| May 5, 2020

After our flag halyard failed again this year, I did a little more digging as to why the “cheap” rope deteriorated so fast. My first assumption was that the sun damaged the fibers since it has a worn, powder feel to it? Then after looking for better grade polyester (weather resistant) halyards, decided that this […]

New smaller and lighter SubCompact Ridgid 18V cordless tools

| April 28, 2020

My wife and kids think I should be working for Ridgid Tools as I have been extremely happy with their cordless tools of late. I have updated my old NiCad driver and drills with newer Lithium based brushless tools and they are so much better. A big thank you continues to go out to Katelyn […]

A simple breathing exercise can help with stress and anxiety

| April 7, 2020

Likely I’m not the only one needing to de-stress or at least fall back on a few techniques to “Keep Calm and Relax.” Here’s a Navy Seal technique to beat stress. With a little practice, you can learn “box breathing” or four-square breathing as a way to reduce anxiety. Here’s how it works: Breathe in […]

Campaign for Americans to “do their part” to fight COVID19

| March 17, 2020

Since all Americans are in this fight together, it is appropriate we take the precautions necessary to slow the spread and "flatten the curve" of the Coronavirus so that our hospitals and medical professional can help those who are in need of their care. Appropriately each state has stepped up with their own actions – […]

Protecting privacy with a web browser – a BRAVE new world

| March 6, 2020

My buddy Jeff Pitts, who has recently moved from IT to  a job focused exclusively on cybersecurity for a worldwide company, tends to error on the side of caution when it comes to privacy practices. He has moved entirely to the Mac (we used to have a  fun debate when he was a 100% PC […]

TechFriday: VPN yay or VPN nay? Free or paid? Which service?

| February 21, 2020

If you’ve been on the Internet for any length of time (post from 2007), you have likely used, or been marketed VPN services, as a way to secure your Wi-Fi connection (especially public hotspots) away from the office or home network. I’ve pitched them as a security precaution to my customers and use them when […]

We’re anxiously waiting for BO#2 (Baby Oostra Number 2)

| February 19, 2020

Although I have not sought Katelyn’s approval to include her rounded “personal coffee table” or her pregnancy photo (cough, cough – one in the same) to MyDesultoryBlog, but I’m boldly going out on a limb by posting it. The longer I post daily, the more I find myself wanting to archive family milestones … as […]

Music Monday: Be Prepared but be sure to enjoy your life now

| February 17, 2020

Although this may have been included this Music Monday song on MyDesultoryBlog before, seeing it in a recent commercial has me pondering living life in a balanced way. I’ve always been a planner and an advocate of the  Boy Scouts “Be Prepared” motto… but sometimes that can get in the way. The older I get, […]

High CalendarAgent CPU use on Apple MacOS Catalina 10.15.3

| February 12, 2020

Here’s a tech tidbit for those noticing a high CalendarAgent CPU demand on your Apple Macintosh computer. For me, the process cranked up the CPU to 60-70% trigging high fan speeds and this process continued without finishing. I noticed slightly sluggish behavior AFTER a recent MacOS software update, although might have happened prior to that? […]

A 1989 family glacier photo and thoughts on climate change #TBT

| February 6, 2020

It has been a shockingly mild winter, at least in Cincinnati this year. Generally I don’t put the snow blower on the John Deere 330 tractor until it is needed, yet this year I prepared early … and may have frightened the snow away? Having a winter without much snow is not totally unheard of, […]

What is going to stop the US stock market and $AAPL stock?

| January 18, 2020

While working on post highlighting the DJIA crossing 29,000, I realized that the stock market has blown through that milestone and is rocketing towards 30,000 and that I’ll have to start over (probably a “worry-wart” post is coming). One of the big contributors to this Dow Jones Industrial Average is Apple ($AAPL). It just continues […]

Aging, health, diet, a new decade and a New Year’s resolution

| January 1, 2020

We’re not getting any younger … and in my case, I’m a bit more conscious of age creeping into my decision-making process. Things I did years ago like heavy lifting, working under a car then jumping up and back down after retrieving a required tool … or even the enjoyable laying down on the floor […]

Tech Friday: How is your Cyber Awareness?

| November 22, 2019

So … you’ve survived pretty much unscathed after a couple decades of identity theft, credit card fraud and everything moving online … but at some point, you realize that you’ve been lucky. Most of us are pretty lax when it comes to locking down our data, securing our digital access points and devices. So perhaps […]

Temporarily fixed our TV remote by substituting a CR2016 3 volt battery and a washer for a CR2032 3 volt battery

| November 12, 2019

Oh the crazy things we do in order to watch Monday Night Football. The remote I use in the Home Theater has been failing and finally would no longer work. Unlike years ago when you could walk up to a TV and change the channels, our new set-up require a remote control to change nearly […]

Let’s all put into practice Ellen’s "Be Kind To Everyone" advice

| October 9, 2019

An Ellen DeGeneres video clip (shared on EllenTube) has been circulating this week after she attended a Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers NFL football game last weekend. With inflamed politics and our divided country it was both good to see and good to hear celebrities getting along. We all need to take her advice […]

Tech Friday: Lenovo, Eye Care and Snipping Tool backgrounds

| September 20, 2019

Today’s Tech Friday tip is something that has changed in recent weeks likely due to an update that is suppose to make reading on devices easier on the eyes. Based on lighting conditions, automatic settings will filter out blue light — a lot more when the room is dark. The problem is that this can […]

Tech Friday: Insect repellents and my AfterShokz headset

| September 13, 2019

Just a heads-up for others using AfterShokz bone conduction headphones while doing outdoorsy kinds of things where bug spray is used – DON’T. I love my Aftershokz Bluetooth headphones, most likely because it enables me to hear things around me while still enabling me to clearly hear talk and music. For me, being deaf in […]

What life lessons did your grandparents pass down to you?

| September 8, 2019

Hopefully grandparents are as appreciated ad much today as they were in generations past? I think most are, but as a new grandfather, it is hard to live up to the legacy left by grandparents of previous generations. I’m thankful for the 10-years I had with my grandparents on this year’s National Grandparents Day (September […]

A workbench repair and a cool oil filter wrench idea

| August 31, 2019

Last week I brought my old Poulan chainsaw back to life for a few dollars after giving away my newer one, but I ended up damaging my workbench while adjusting the carburetor jets. The saw was still in several pieces (without filter, the bar, chain or guard on) while making tune-up adjustments and I accidentally […]

Tech Friday: Screen Time and Classical Conditioning

| August 30, 2019

When my granddaughter was here for a week earlier this month, I purposely turn off the phone after noticing that she hears the smallest beep or phone vibration in my pocket then stops what we are doing expecting me to check it. Yikes, are we are teaching 2 year old toddlers that our devices are […]

Bringing my older Poulan chainsaw back to life

| 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 … but my quick fix was to no avail. Instead, I ordered […]

Tech Friday: Advice on passwords and security breaches

| 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. […]

Toxicodendron radicans, or better known as Poison Ivy

| 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 […]

Ceiling fans: Direction, energy consumption, old vs new?

| 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 […]

Tech Friday: Overcoming Paywalls with the help of Pocket

| August 9, 2019

Currently, I pay for a few subscriptions. Some pricey (Wall Street Journal, Barrons, etc) because I avidly read them. Others, like monthly magazines, I continue to pay for and rarely get around to reading, especially online only subscriptions. Several others, I occasionally receive a link or click on one from those annoying “reader apps” that […]

Our culture has accepted two huge lies … a Rick Warren #quote

| August 4, 2019

Rick Warren has one of the more fitting quotes for our current cultural divide: “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are […]

Tech Friday: Limiting how much data Amazon Echoes collect

| June 28, 2019

Unfortunately I’ve bought into – or was “gifted” into 🙂 – BUT really enjoy the Amazon Echo smart speaker virtual assistant devices. I know Alexa is “always listening” (as is my cellphone, iPad, computers, etc) and that they are doing “who knows what”with my data, but probably not always what I want. Obviously, they dissect […]

Lost track of the weekend – Happy Father’s Day

| 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 […]

Habitual glucosamine use and risk of CVD – UK Biobank study

| June 4, 2019

One of the long running medical debates in my family is my  use of a fairly expensive supplement called glucosamine. Ever since I injured my knee 15+ years ago and received what seemed like a miracle steroid injection – suffered for weeks — I’ve been more serious about taking better care of my joints. Aging […]

Are you planning to move after you retire? If so, where?

| May 15, 2019

More than likely Florida is at least considered due to better winter weather, a low cost of living and no personal income tax. There are a few other growing destinations, but very few in high tax states or in the cold north. It may come as no surprise that Florida snagged the top spot once […]

Simple SunrisePro kitchen knife sharpener mini review

| May 11, 2019

Although I regularly sharpen our "home" kitchen knives in my workshop and maintain the edge with a "steel" (love to try ceramic rod) … but that was not possible last week in Florida. I noticed when cleaning up the condo and starting the master bathroom update after the winter lease ended, that the new kitchen […]

Is there a best time to become a first time home buyer?

| May 7, 2019

In a discussion with my son Taylor last week, the subject of homeownership came up. He is single and currently rents, but like many millennials, hasn’t been in a big hurry to "put down roots" as have previous generations. On the other hand, being that his career is in "planning" and "economic development," regularly talks […]

A question from a novice investor planning for retirement

| March 17, 2019

Years ago I thought I could outsmart the market … and in the 1990s when the tide was lifting all boats, I could … but that was before algorithms and computerized trading. I’ve since learned not to continue that dangerous “day-trading game,” at least for the most part. Still, new investors see a “system” working […]

Tech Friday: An update on the Samsung Chromebook Pro

| March 8, 2019

Chromebooks are not my preferred devices, but they are excellent for those with more limited computing needs. For the most part, they are relatively inexpensive, easy to update, very reliable and frustration free. They boot/start quicker than most devices and data, apps and setting are easily backed up on Google’s cloud … so as long […]

A dab of epoxy and a neodymium magnet can be like magic

| March 6, 2019

Back on what would have been my dad’s birthday, I posted a photo of my new Ridgid work light hanging on his old toolbox. The toolbox was one of those items of my dad’s that both my brother and I wanted when we were going through our parents belongings – I ended up with it. […]

When all is well, life is good, even if it is not always as planned

| March 2, 2019

There are still exciting adventures ahead … but as someone who always has a plan, and  dreams ambitiously, I’m detecting my life plans are changing … again. Dreams are good for the soul IMHO, so as long as ones asperations can be modified when life changes. A reality check needs to trigger flexibility in the […]

With reciprocity, I will let my Florida CCW license expire

| February 21, 2019

With nearly all states offering concealed carry permit reciprocity with Ohio, I’m no longer going to renew my Florida CCW license. It seems like just a waste of money and  bureaucratic duplication. Florida always did work well with an Ohio CCW, but there were a combination of states that I drove through between Ohio and […]

Such a DEAL – SiriusXM and Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen

| February 17, 2019

Like clockwork, it was time to either renew or cancel SiriusXM (again). I refuse to pay the month to month rate with them or the very few newspaper/magazine subscriptions I still use that does the same thing. Thankfully I marked my calendar with a notification as to the last day to cancel service … otherwise the […]

Tech Friday: Had some new iPhone envy so downloaded Focos

| February 15, 2019

Same photo with min aperture option and maximum. Note Bokek effect. On a recent trip, I happened to break my favorite pair of polarized sunglasses, so am using them as one last prop before tossing them in the trash … they have been epoxied and “jerry-rigged” (correct use of the term) together one too many times. […]

A light for my bandsaw and a discontinued Ridgid worklight

| January 24, 2019

Today would have been my dad‘s 90th birthday. Here is something he would have enjoyed… With it being so cold this week, it was a good time to be working in the basement workshop in the evenings. Besides working on getting my Hitachi Miter Saw fitted to my workbench and dust collection for a new bookshelves […]

Advice: Compare price vs shipping times when ordering online

| January 20, 2019

A quick piece of advice for those who are in the habit of shopping online … especially if you are used to using Amazon and their Prime shipping. I’ve habitually price products since Amazon isn’t always competitively price with other online vendors, BUT my advice is to remember just how dependable and reliable shipping from […]

Irresistible! “Hi Bompa … I see you” from my granddaughter

| January 19, 2019

Brenda and I often reminisce with later-in-life retrospection as to our life vs work balance and decisions we made when having careers and a family. We have concluded, in hindsight of course, that it could not have been more perfect for us. Couples of every generation have their own struggles with finding that balance; we […]

Tech Friday: Are Windows registry cleaners hokum?

| December 28, 2018

Those of us who manage our own computers likely do our share of “desktop” cleaning and are regularly warned by our anti-virus software that we need to do more than prevent viruses and hackers from accessing our computers. The current “free” anti-virus companies all push to sell their paid software … and regularly highlight registry […]

Added TimeMachineEditor to iMac after Mojave update & issues

| December 23, 2018

After my recent issues with my overheating iMac, I’ve become a lot more fastidious about what software I keep running and tax the quad core 3.4 GHz i7 chip. Frankly I still don’t think the relatively light computing demands asked of this aging Mac are all that much, but Apple has sardined in a lot […]

Zoeller has become my go-to favorite for replacement pumps

| December 22, 2018

They are not the cheapest, but the cast iron US made Zoeller pumps are now my go-to for pumps when replacing our “way too many” pumps. They are definitely superior to the big box store brands. Although each time I need a new one, I inch up the line as to quality … this time […]

Tech Friday – Finally fixed the slideshow plugin for WordPress

| December 7, 2018

A couple years ago I added Simple Slideshow Manager to MyDesultoryBlog as a way to include a series of photos in a single post. Having "attempted" different approaches that fail in one OS, Browser or device before the above plugin seemed to work … that is, until it didn’t. Having posted to the forums, trying […]

Fees increases ends my Freedompop LTE MiFi endorsement

| November 27, 2018

This may be the end for Freedompop, the low cost wireless "backup" hotspot service I’ve been using for years — at least it probably is for me (started with the Photon back in 2010). For the most part their hotspot service has been a decent value for me while traveling and giving me LTE connectivity […]

Music Monday: Ooh La La, I wish that I knew what I know now

| November 26, 2018

While watching some football last week with Taylor and Megan, who were over for a late Thanksgiving (they had Thanksgiving with her family too), an Amazon Echo commercial triggered both a father-to-son conversation about growing up and Music Monday memory. The song Ooh La La recorded back in 1973 by the English band Faces, was […]

Pocket dust, the bane of micro plugs in our smartphones

| November 14, 2018

It is shocking just how much lint and dust can accumulate in the tiny holes and connectors of our smartphones. If you notice questionable connections and charging difficultly with your iPhone or Android phone your first look should be at the cord, plug and socket of your phone. In my case, the amount of lint […]

What are alloys? (see MetalSupermarkets.com)

| November 1, 2018

Great tips and information are sent regularly by email from a handy Metal Supermarket franchise location. It has saved me a time or two with small projects where a particular piece of metal is needed. Check them out. What are alloys? An alloy is a combination of a metal with at least one other metal […]

Set up the Wyze Cam Pan temporarily but have motion issues

| October 8, 2018

The new low cost Wyze Cam Pan that I bought to put in the Delray Beach Condo arrived this past weekend and so opted to set it up temporarily at home. So far so good with the image and impressive panning control with even motion tracking (less impressive though). The reason I chose the Wyze […]

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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