New Year’s Eve Friday Filler Photo: Make 2022 better than 2021

| December 31, 2021

As we wind down 2021 and close the book on a stressful COVID19 filled year … here’s hoping next year will bring an end to the pandemic. If that is not going to be the case, then let’s hope the Omicron Variant isn’t as deadly as the Delta Variant … and that we will keep […]

Guide to reducing Ethereum Gas Fees somewhat simplified

| December 30, 2021

There’s more to buying, trading and SENDING Ethereum cryptocurrency and blockchain dapps than just reading this short paragraph, but if you want make $ETH transactions (applies to other cryptocurrencies as well) … the best way to reduce fees (gas fees) is to make the transactions when the traffic is not at its highest. In other […]

We are thinking about retirement … in a few years!

| December 15, 2021

As Christmas cards arrive and the 15th of December hits, it is time to start winding down my business year and thinking about 2022 (BTW, we mailed our cards this week). One thing I have noticed this year is that more cards are from people who are now retired or are retiring. Hm … does […]

Brakes for both the Acura RDX and BMW X5 35d last weekend

| December 14, 2021

Looking at the rear brake wear on Brenda’s 2010 Acura RDX is not a sign that I’ve been taking good care of her car, but she did mention her brakes were squealing a bit last month. By the time I got around to ordering brakes and discs for both the dual-piston fronts and rears, it […]

Advice: Consider replacing the wax ring seal on your toilet

| December 5, 2021

It might be a good idea to replace, or at least check, the wax ring seal on your toilet … as the line goes, “ask me how I know.” It seems ours was fine for 25 years, but at some point decided to drip when flushed. Slowly but surely the drip turned into a wet […]

Tech Friday: Is there too much of YOU on the Internet?

| December 3, 2021

As years of your personal information accumulates on servers across the Internet, do you ever wonder just how much of your data has evolved from a generic interpreted sketch, to a colorful painting with specific details … to now a high resolution gigabyte sized photo of you and your life? Well it is past due […]

A practical lesson for students who insist that socialism works

| November 27, 2021

Phrases to avoid. Most of us can work on these.

| November 21, 2021

Saw a longer list  of phrases on CNBC’s "Make It" website last week but pick out a few  that I hear (or say) quite often. The easiest to correct are probably the ones that we stop saying … but can it be done? “Needless to say …” What to say instead: Nothing “Needless to say” […]

Purchased a fair-priced 2-year subscription to NordVPN

| November 17, 2021

When it comes to privacy and security, especially when traveling or connecting in hotels and coffee shops, every cybersecurity expert recommends using a VPN … and especially when connecting overseas or to  unknown WiFi routers. I’ve used several different free VPNs over the years starting with my own private connection back in the 2000s, but […]

The Ridgid cordless tool LSA left me a little disappointed

| November 6, 2021

The Ridgid brand of cordless tools have been my choice for the home workshop for a few years now and until this past week I have had a positive experience. Earlier this year Ridgid even replaced a couple failing batteries under the LSA (Lifetime Service Agreement) … BUT now this brand of choice is a […]

Advice: My current thoughts on hardware crypto wallets

| November 5, 2021

Although I’m not an all-in cryptocurrency buyer, trader or investor (pick your poison), I do own and am accumulating small amounts of different crypto. After a fair amount of  reading this past year, my conclusion is to use a reputable cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase Pro, Coinbase (disclosure: I own $COIN stock), Uphold or Interactive Brokers […]

For many people, working 40 hours a week would be a dream

| November 3, 2021

There was a Q & A “workfriend” letter in the New York Times a couple months ago suggesting that a “40 hours a week is not sustainable.”  A 27 year old made the comment and it triggered my GOM (Grumpy Old Man) response … especially after reading: I have hobbies. I have creative pursuits and therapy […]

A response test, but also an online advertising warning

| October 28, 2021

I noticed that Thursday’s post disappeared from the blog so in a quick attempt to repost the graphic, here we go again. One of the “very small” perks of using the Brave browser on the web is that it offers the option to accept fairly non-invasive advertising and links on the default home page and […]

Are you interested in Cryptocurrency? Where will you keep it?

| October 23, 2021

It is probably inevitable that we will all be using cryptocurrency someday. The early adopters are already immersed and getting comfortable investing and trading it … perhaps too comfortable??? Risks of Leaving Cryptocurrency in Exchange A brief look at the history of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies reveals why it is dangerous to leave your crypto funds […]

Investors are concerned as the Fed tapers and inflation rises

| October 16, 2021

A friend contemplating rolling over his 401K to an IRA asked me a bond investing question the other day as he would like to balance his portfolio of stocks by adding some bonds after the rollover. Since he has never owned a bond (outside of a managed fund), the question was, “what’s the impact of […]

Tidbits: A favorite kitchen product – Glad Press’n Seal

| October 13, 2021

When it comes to  tools in the workshop, there are a few of them that I keep at arm’s length or in a small toolbox. The same goes for kitchen utensils and products. One of my favorites, if not thee favorite, is GLAD Press’n Seal® wrap (mentioned year’s ago when I still had a Keurig). […]

From not being diversified to owning too many tickers?

| October 12, 2021

For most investors, the normal criticism is that they are not diversified enough … or at least they often own too much of one sector or one stock (happened in the old days when companies often matched or did a partial match in company stock). I’ve tried to keep “diversity” in mind over my lifetime […]

My eye doctor appointment has been checked off for the year

| September 29, 2021

Although my eyes are still a little dilated, I’m glad to have my 2021 vision appointment out of the way. Thankfully my prescription didn’t change, although the presbyopia is definitely not on the improve (suspect everyone will have aging eyes someday)? I’ve pondered the entire vision insurance gimmick (my opinion) before going back and forth […]

Archive: The Practical Sailor “Foundational Four” solvent list

| September 13, 2021

Who wants to even look at their home or boat shelf of solvents. I’ve bought different ones for different tasks and the cans just sit there since I never know which ones to use for which purpose. Is it possible to just stick with four? The Foundational Four Mineral Spirits. Good for thinning varnish and […]

Disposing and recycling takes a little more effort these days

| September 8, 2021

Since I have a couple items to pack up to take to a recycling and solid waste facility and was searching for options in our area (replaced an old AC compressor with refrigerant), it occurred to me that one way to reduce the items we generate is to not buy environmentally hazardous products in the […]

What are you going to invest in if inflation continues to rise?

| September 3, 2021

A friend asked me the other day, “what are you going to do if inflation becomes a bigger problem than it is already?” Good question … the canned answer (safe answer) is to be diversified. The reality is far more challenging. There was a day when the first reply was to own hard assets like […]

Some thoughts on investing as technology races forward

| August 20, 2021

Most aging entrepreneurs and investors can “in hindsight” spot their mistakes and missed opportunities, but with age and experience, also comes wisdom. The pace of change is rapidly accelerating and decisions seem to be made much faster and happen quicker nowadays’; I suspect even millennials are learning this faster? As a more cautious trader and […]

Primer: An retirement savings decision making cheat sheet

| August 14, 2021

The older I get, the less investment risk I’m comfortable taking. Perhaps it is not the age thing, but having experienced stock market gyrations and what happens to our investments? For those of us in small business or in the gig economy, and increasingly for those who move from company to company, we are our […]

Tech Friday: Google Drive help with Delay Start app for Mac OS

| August 6, 2021

For those setting up their Mac to automatically start-up applications  after rebooting the computer, using the “open automatically on log in” settings in very helpful. I have found that the programs I want running most are cloud-based data storage services, but it can also be helpful for apps you may just want running all the […]

Satisfied with price/service after 6 months with Mint Mobile

| August 4, 2021

After a conversation with a friend regarding the several smartphones his family has with AT&T, I mentioned that our service with Mint Mobile has been flawless … as was our Sprint-based Virgin Mobile and even Boost Mobile. Besides excellent coverage nearly everywhere we’ve been (don’t know about 5G service yet (July 2021 map below), but […]

Still glad we bought a Bosch Dishwasher 11 years ago #TBT

| July 8, 2021

After seeing the latest Wirecutter recommendation the other day, I was glad to know we were ahead of the curve back when we replaced our old dishwasher with a Bosch model in 2010.

Do you pop the end tabs in before unrolling aluminum foil?

| June 27, 2021

Who doesn’t occasionally need a little advice from the helpful tips, tricks and tidbits floating around the Internet? Here’s one that should be familiar to most of us, but surprisingly catches us off guard once in a while when a roll of aluminum foil pops out of the box and ends up unrolled and dinged […]

Replaced a failed sump pump check valve after heavy rains

| June 26, 2021

Last weekend we had thunderstorms and tornado warning that dumped buckets of rain in our area. Thankfully no damage or serious flooding, but I did check on the sump and backyard pumps … I even added my spare pump to the pit in order to keep the water that builds up in the retention area […]

Tech Friday: Check the password scheme you are using

| May 21, 2021

It is easy to get complacent in securing your online and computer lives, so use last weeks Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and the Statista image of “The Most Popular Passwords Around the World” as a reminder. Longer nonsensical combinations of characters help, but two-factor authentication when available is better. Oh, and stop using the same password […]

Thoughts on better sun protection with a better slim brim hat

| May 19, 2021

Like a lot of middle-aged Americans from the baby boomer generation (FYI, I”m at the tail end), I’ve spent way too many years unprotected in the sun. Although I haven’t gone out of my way to get that “healthy tan” (cough, cough) as we used to say in the old days, I’ve still ended up […]

Tech Friday: What is the best smartphone for 2021?

| March 26, 2021

The current opinion by many who review technology (and Consumer Reports) is that the best smartphone for 2021 is the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max … although might be a bit larger than many are comfortable putting in their pockets. Personally I’ve shifted from wanting something small, like my old Samsung SPH-i500 aluminum bodied flipphone […]

Investing: Buying Vertex $VRTX for 2021 and hopefully beyond

| March 25, 2021

For the most part, I’m a conservative investor, although a regular channel trader, and I rarely speculates on risky upstarts, IPOs, zero-profit tech stocks, pharmaceutical long-shots or the latest crazy … cryptocurrency trend. Since most “risk” involves speculation, I see it more akin to gambling than eyes-open informed value or growth investing … both which […]

Weekend mailbox project update and Annalyn’s first haircut

| March 14, 2021

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How to run email lists, sell your product and retain customers

| March 10, 2021

After cleaning out my email in-box and “attempting” to unsubscribe to a bunch of marketing oriented email lists, it became clear that I chose to remain subscribed to the lists that do more than plug their products or repeat sales again and again. A couple “subscribed-to” lists stood out because they were informative and were […]

Tech Friday: S̶t̶r̶i̶k̶e̶t̶h̶r̶u̶ (https://richc.us/strikethru.html)

| March 5, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me about using Strikethru coding for a WordPress blog (or for that matter, almost all webpages) .. and of course it is a simple html code solution and is fairly easy … just add: The html coding started me thinking about a few other potential problems since we […]

Is there a high quality, maintenance-free garage door and opener?

| February 23, 2021

One of the most unappreciated attributes often overlooked when dating and looking for a life partner is that of a handyman, or to be a little more politically correct, a “handyperson.” I do know that having the Mister Fix-it gene, or is it a learned skill (???), has been one of my strong traits, but […]

The retirement dividend income plan was challenged in 2020

| February 17, 2021

For those of us living in a post-pension world, planning for retirement comes down to how much can be saved in 401K and IRAs … and how to make it last once retired. Most people rely on the “multiple buckets approach” to coming up with enough dollars to pay for bills and “hopefully” live comfortably […]

Just how safe are your passwords and online security measures?

| February 12, 2021

My friend Jeff is a cyber security guy and is regularly interrogating me about “best practices” online. I suspect he sees so much that it nearly frightens him away from putting anything online (which is nearly impossible these days). When I first started working with computers in the early 1980s (prior to being online), a […]

Woodworking: The 100% Silicone Wood Glue Spreader Tool

| December 5, 2020

About a year ago I ordered two more bottles of Titebond III wood glue online (had great success using it for a fence repair), and on a whim I added a goofy looking Titebrush glue brush. I honestly expected it to get boogered up with dried glue and that I would soon be back to […]

Thoughts on ‘battery drain’ with the Ridgid 18V USB accessory

| November 29, 2020

Don’t tell anyone, but while shopping for “my” Christmas gift from Brenda (below … and yes, she sent me out to get it). So … I added a Ridgid 18V USB charging attachment for my inconvenience. Ha! After returning home, I tried it out, but for the record, I didn’t open my actual gift. So […]

Tech Friday: Scanning options – jpg, jpeg, jp2, gif, png, heic, tiff

| November 20, 2020

It has been a while since I’ve compared scanning format and compression option when it comes to down and dirty document scanning. For the most part I either scan straight to PDF and live with the document (or shrink it, but that’s another post) … or go straight to the old fashion universal jpeg or […]

Kitchen stool screw-on felt slides – a must have and long overdue

| November 17, 2020

This should have been one of the first things I did when assembling our six metal stools back when we remodeled our kitchen in 2017. I bought slides for the condo stools after remodeling since there were only two and on tile, but cheaped out with stick felts at home. They were never worth the […]

Tech Friday: A Lifewire tip for Apple’s Bluetooth Magic Mouse

| November 13, 2020

Recently I have been having problems with the Magic Mouse on my aging Apple iMac. The Bluetooth mouse once steadily held it’s connection until the AA batteries were getting weaker. I’ve cleaned the contacts with electrical cleaner and a Scotch-Brite pad but continue to have issue. A quick check on the Internet indicated that I’m […]

Most parents and grandparents have room for improvement

| October 11, 2020

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Started the weekend with a Sailrite LSZ-1 sewing cart project

| September 26, 2020

If you have ever used a heavy portable sewing machine, you know what a pain it is to haul it out of storage and set it up to make a simple repair. I don’t know how many times I’ve grumbled when Brenda wants me to set it on my workbench … or worse, haul it […]

It is wearing out, but the Rat Zapper is still repairable

| August 23, 2020

Even though we have a few of those ultrasonic devices plugged into the walls, mice seem to find their way into the detached and attached garage then figure out how to squeeze there way into the house. I’d like to think I’m able to trap them before they find the kitchen, but who knows … […]

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 […]

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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