Inflation hits a new FOUR-Decade High, with food and energy increases hurting those who can least afford it

| June 11, 2022

CPI up 8.6% driven by a 35% jump in energy prices and 12% increase in groceries This is what a “sea of red” looks like for investors and stock market traders … and I can only imagine the “red” those living on a fixed income or families struggling to make ends meet must be seeing? […]

Big news: Twitter accepted buyout offer from Elon Musk

| April 26, 2022

The financial markets have been following the Federal Reserves messaging regarding tightening their easy money policies and has been selling off the last few days. The more aggressive, but late stance to slow inflation is one needed piece of the puzzle … although also heights concerns over slow growth or even a recession. That news […]

Tech Friday: iOS and App updates … and Internet/Cable/TV

| April 8, 2022

After updating my iOS devices to 15.4 last week, I noticed a few annoying changes (normal when an operating system changes), and a few improvements. I suspected that older devices such as my iPhone 7 and older iPad would start to show signs of reduced battery life and sluggishness, yet how long nowadays do we […]

Mesmerizing Migration Map triggered family memories #TBT

| March 17, 2022

From the start of my small publishing business in the late 1980s, Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co, I have been fortunate to have worked with the Audubon Society as both a customer and board member over the decades. My kids remember hiking and taking trips tied to birds and their migration stops and even made […]

Taylor now gets to fly drones as part of his planning job

| March 3, 2022

Admit it, you’re a bit envious of those who get to fly drones as a part of their job? Taking Taylor out for his birthday in 2021 As someone who has enjoy everything aviation their entire life, I’m a bit jealous my son is now a licensed commercial drone pilot … just a I am […]

Paper magazines/newspaper delivery woes and shrinkflation

| February 17, 2022

Well, two doses of disappointing news in one week. First, the Bengals lose in Super Bowl 56, and then my Barron’s magazine gets smaller with even smaller type (requires a second pair of readers!). They call it “shrinkflation” in an attempt to save a few dollars and probably force subscribers into a 100% digital subscription. […]

A storm is coming and few running our country seem to care

| January 8, 2022

It feels like we are obliviously sailing on the Titanic and ignoring a financial storm on the horizon. We know that there is a debt iceberg ahead and yet have convinced ourselves that the United States is unsinkable … and so … continue our TRILLION dollar money printing and our unsustainable spending ways. Congress spends […]

The stock market begins the trading year 2022 with a roar

| January 3, 2022

Even with all the negativity around Covid19 and the rapidly spreading, but somewhat more tolerated, Omicron variant … investors chose to shrug off what looks to slow down the economic re-openings around the world. The saying I keep hearing is that “I’m done with it.” My view for the strong stock market start on the […]

Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021 – Elon Musk

| December 26, 2021

Before the year 2021 disappears, it is worth highlighting Time magazine’s pick for Person of the Year  – although I generally just roll my eyes. This time in picking Elon Musk, it is hard to disagree. The pick of Musk, the richest man on Earth, is a good one as he is not only an […]

The “fuel surcharge model” for TV cable content delivery?

| December 11, 2021

It is a sneaky way to increase what I thought was a customer to Cincinnati Bell “contracted-each-year” cable TV and Internet monthly bill? Nope, according to @CincyBell … after being mislead by customer service that the below increases were “government related fees” and “out of their control” … the increases are negotiated contracts with content […]

Music Monday: “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” – CCR

| November 29, 2021

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How much control are you willing to give to the government?

| November 24, 2021

America has split down the middle on a lot of things that many of us took for granted just a few years ago. Our individual liberty is being eroded away with the help of progressives using propaganda and the heavy hand of the “we know better” bureaucrats to seize more power every day. The mainstream […]

Tech Friday: Interesting electric heater and Bitcoin mining setup?

| November 19, 2021

How about mining Bitcoin and heating your house (room) with the excess energy/heat? For small room portable heating and cryptocurrency mining this looks interesting (although personally I’d rather install solar panels and sell electric power to the grid), check out the Heatbit website.

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 […]

TRILLIONs more in spending? IRS tracking at the $600 level? Where are the sensible leaders in our Federal government?

| October 9, 2021

If you think about it, the IRS will probably need far more than another $80 BILLION tax dollars to hire enough agents to track and follow up on every American who has a bank account or transaction over $600? A major component of President Joe Biden’s plan to raise revenue to pay for his trillions […]

Book: “Arriving Today” by Christopher Mims (a WSJ+ selection)

| October 8, 2021

Although my interest in productivity in running a business has waned a bit now that I’m no longer aggressively working or growing a small business, I still have curiosity when it comes to the direction things are going. I’ve read Christopher Mims “tech writing” for a few years now as he contributes regularly to the […]

Lunch with Jeff, the economy, inflation and more nukes in China

| October 1, 2021

What once was a weekly or at least bi-monthly lunch with my friend Jeff, has shifted to once every 3 months or so since COVID19. It’s not all due to the pandemic as changes in work habits and eating out habits has contributed to neglecting getting together. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to spend an hour […]

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 […]

Local banking issues, blockchain technology and the interesting book: Crypto Asset Investing in the Age of Autonomy

| August 15, 2021

For decades now I’ve had a fairly positive relationship with both business (CPP) and personal banking … and particularly with local banks. I grumbled the 1990s when multiple bank mergers forced out the manager I worked with in NE Ohio. He knew me by name and often pulled me aside to see if there was anything […]

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 […]

What’s new these days: Renting outdoor gear from Eddie Bauer?

| August 1, 2021

Perhaps I’ve been asleep at the wheel, but when looking to buy another pair of Eddie Bauer shorts (liked the lightweight ones I ordered last month – below), I noticed that they are promoting a “Rent Your Adventure” outdoor camping gear program. It caught me off-guard  to see them renting outdoor gear as well as […]

The legendary Thomas Sowell and his economics, politics and social theory highlighted by Jason Riley for PragerU

| July 27, 2021

As a longtime subscriber to the Wall Street Journal (and for the last decade or so Barron’s), I’ve learned to appreciate certain journalists, economists and opinion piece writers like Jason Riley at the Manhattan Institute. When he told the inspiring story of Thomas Sowell for PragerU, I quickly viewed the video and applauded – well […]

Selling my May Fly lures inventory came back to haunt me #TBT

| May 6, 2021

Whoops … an interesting Throwback Thursday #TBT flashback and mistake on my part … I received an order for MayFly Lures that I posted back in 2018 and sold a few and then sold my entire inventory in one lump in 2019. Unfortunately I forgot to remove the original blog post and so received a […]

Political corporate activism in Georgia, boycotts and investing

| April 6, 2021

Democrats have been gaining ground over the past few years with their “hate Trump” blitzing supported by the leftists, big tech and mainstream media (one in the same from what I’ve seen), and continue to put heavy pressure politicians and corporations. Just as with the tactics used by BLM, Antifa and “woke” groups using racism, […]

After 6 days, the Ever Given is moving and the Suez Canal is open

| March 30, 2021

The news that has captured much of the of the world’s interest this week was the very large Ever Given container ship lodged sideways in the Suez Canal by 40+ mph winds (and perhaps some mechanical issues?). The “Empire State Building” size ship snarled traffic for 6 days surprising most people as to just how […]

Business change, server updates, an idiom & a friend’s new toy

| March 27, 2021

This past week was an on and off work week. I’ve been struggling to update software and the latest Linux flavor on an old server while telling myself “I’m getting too old for this.” Right or wrong attitude, I think keeping up with fast-paced technology change is a young person’s game. On the plus side, […]

Do you build or buy a new house this year or put it off?

| March 18, 2021

Real estate has been on a tear in many markets as the coronavirus has people moving from cities to the suburbs and their own piece of land. In my opinion it is not just COVID19 related, but that fact that cities aren’t as secure or as tax friendly to live in, especially on the east […]

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 […]

Bubblicious, but I am not talking about bubble gum popping

| January 26, 2021

All I can think about are the stock market “bubbles” from the past. I’d love to believe the upward trend we’ve seen this past years is genuine and built on an appropriate foundation, but suspect as most know, it is being built on “hope” and “stimulus dollars.” Now that is not to say that certain […]

These days, I have been upscaling my coffee and my toothpaste

| January 23, 2021

Once upon a time, I was … or at least tried … to be frugal in most things. I’ve always shied away from buying higher priced brand names, when there were less expensive option. Coffee is a prime example … since I was perfectly happy with the Chock full o’Nuts brand of canned coffee since […]

Question: Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio yet?

| January 20, 2021

While talking with a customer on the phone today and talking about when I’ll be traveling to NE Ohio again, they asked me when they could get the Covid-19 vaccine? See Covid-19 Vaccination Program – LINK. So I figured it would be appropriate to include a screenshot from an Ohio-based health care provider in our […]

A cigar box for sewing clips and NE Ohio drugstore memories

| January 2, 2021

Adam Savage, from Mythbusters claim-to-fame, has been regularly posting a few of his shop ideas online. A few months ago he triggered me into improving my portable Sailrite Sewing machine set-up (well my wife’s sewing machine that I use .. cough, cough). Anyway, a few weeks after he built his table for his impressive Sailrite […]

Promotional Products from an exciting Dot-Com start-up #TBT

| December 17, 2020

For Throwback Thursday #TBT this week I’ll include a couple photos from 1998 or 1999. These Soma.com photos are items from my friend Jeff sent to me when cleaning out his apartment. He (and my wife Brenda) were hired to build out the first Dot-Com era online Pharmacy … or at least the fulfillment facility. […]

Funny, but not funny … perhaps it is the frustration we all feel?

| December 16, 2020

Are you tired of this COVID19 lockdown yet? It is hard to believe the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic AND those politicians dictating shutdowns in their mini-kingdoms have not had more pushback than they have? Way too many small businesses, and especially people working in the travel and food service industry, will not be having much of […]

My son Taylor has been busy professionally and personally

| October 10, 2020

As a dad who has always kept up and archived the “goings-on” with Taylor and Katelyn on MyDesultoryBlog, I realized that grandchildren steal the limelight most of the time … that is just the way it is. But … that doesn’t mean life doesn’t keep moving along for adult children in the work-a-day world either. […]

What to do with my antique letterpress type galley trays #TBT

| October 1, 2020

While clearing out a little more garage clutter this past weekend in order to gain some space as the weather changes (things are getting too crowded), I finally ripped apart an old type galley cabinets that I hauled from my building in Cuyahoga Falls years ago. Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co. wasn’t really an old […]

Think twice before going into business with today’s tech giants

| July 24, 2020

As a start up, doing business with big company in order to boost sales and visibility can be a great way to grow a business. Unfortunately it can also be cut-throat and the smaller companies can and are taken advantage of. It is not new, but but in the fast-paced and highly competitive technology world, […]

To shut down or not to shut down, that is the question – Hamlet

| July 18, 2020

As politicians and most of us in the United States (and probably world) debate how to live under the shadow of the Coronavirus pandemic, researchers, doctors and academics are flooding the Internet with studies and opinions both for and against opening up the country. Some have our best interest at heart … and likely some […]

Tech Friday: Amazon’s AI notifications needs improvement

| July 3, 2020

As often as I gripe about ordering from Amazon or more to the point, complain about their delivery and updating, one would think I would opt for another online ecommerce portal? Unfortunately there aren’t better options or more dependable deliveries. This past week a small order came a day early, yet the app notification that […]

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 […]

A long winded reader answer with a bit of my Internet history

| June 20, 2020

A couple weeks ago I shared an old automotive link from MyDesultoryBlog.com on Twitter and one of my automotive buddies sent me a private message asking about the name of my blog (now nearly 7000 posts). The conversation had me contemplate the early decisions and thoughts .. or lack of thought .. when all of […]

Currently my favorite podcast: Streetwise by Jack Hough

| June 17, 2020

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Amazon delivery issues, but their chat-bot seems efficient

| June 16, 2020

Like a lot of people during COVID19, we have gravitated even more to Amazon and online ordering for our “stuff.” We have not ordered groceries online yet, but are definitely doing more online shopping than ever before. I mentioned having issues with Amazon a few times before (1, 2, 3) during stay-at-home orders and find […]

The Fiat 500X and selling hot dogs from a VW bus in NYC

| June 7, 2020

Just an automotive kind of filler today after sharing Erwin Wurm’s “chubby” Volkswagen Hot Dog “microbus” from NYC last week on Tom Appel’s Twitter feed. The discussion started when I commented that the Fiat 500X Sport reminded me of the “plump when you cook it” Ballpark franks commercials in the 1990s.  Eventually I shared the […]

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

| May 31, 2020

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A new webserver is up and running, but still needs tweaking

| May 12, 2020

After mentioning problems last week, the new webserver is up and running with a fresh install of Linux Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver,” MySQL database and PHP 7.2 … well I actually decided to upgrade that to PHP 7.4 for a little better speed (who knows?) I’ve abandoned MongoDB for the time being for the Quickdex.net […]

FedEx shines when delivering packages in the rain #sarcasm

| May 7, 2020

Nine years ago, it would have been polite for our FedEx driver to have at LEAST left a note or to have mentioned he ran off the driveway … although it was understandable with the snow cover (see link). On the other hand, it makes me smile now, especially since I can use it as […]

Experiencing website issues – an update is planned

| May 6, 2020

Today’s post serves as a test … since I’m having a few webserver and database problems. If you are a regular reader, this will also be a notice that this blog will likely be sporadic until it is fixed. Once my business sites are updated, then I’ll address my long-in-the-tooth (see below) Quickdex project site and […]

How do we safely open up America again? #COVID19

| April 21, 2020

As the United States and the world prepare to open society in phases after well over a month of stay-at-home orders due to the Coronavirus, the debate between those who see the health risk as too high and those who fear a full on economic collapse (world wide depression) continues. Several states are seeing protests […]

Tech Friday: When will 5G be coming to Apple’s iPhone?

| March 27, 2020

If Daniel Ives of Wedbush is right, the new 5G capable Apple iPhone release seems "extremely unlikely" for the normal September or October release this year. Most iPhone iOS users have been anticipating or even holding off on an upgrade thinking they might want the new 5G promise data. Personally, I’m relatively satisfied with my […]

Tech Friday: Our forced switch from Virgin to Boost Mobile

| March 13, 2020

Earlier this year in preparation for the Sprint – T-Mobile merger, Sprint ended their business relationship with Virgin Mobile USA; Sprint was the carrier for the Virgin plans which we opted to switch to back in the summer of 2017. Neither Brenda or I have had any problems or complains with our wireless service or […]

Down, Down, Down the stock market goes on #COVID19 fears

| March 11, 2020

Although I suspect all the selling on Wall Street has to do with needed cash or the “sell and re-assess later” attitude, I’ve been puzzled that gold (usual safe haven) and utilities have been hit as well. Personally I thought these areas might balance exposure to industrials, tech and energy. Obviously not as Wednesday’s market […]

My thoughts on the Coronavirus COVID-19 and investing

| March 7, 2020

I’ve purposely put off posting anything to MyDesultoryBlog as the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (#COVID19) began. Partially since it is challenging to separate the unfounded fears and panic from the real threat since the reporting varies based on news sources (Information from China is particularly questionable but western media sources aren’t all […]

The World’s Best-Selling Car makes car enthusiasts smile

| January 21, 2020

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Tech Friday: The subscription models and the 180K threshold

| January 17, 2020

Back in the late 1980s when I was starting in the commercial printing and eventually ‘small time’ publishing business (Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co), I didn’t realize how far ahead of the game we were when focusing on the subscription model. Early on we were able to capitalize on few people in the printing industry […]

Testing Amazon Prime deliveries using Key for Garage #video

| January 15, 2020

A year or so ago, I “was” planning to give the Amazon Key service a try by having shipments delivered to the condo in Florida when we are not there. So I purchase a smart lock and then realized that Amazon didn’t offer Key delivery services in Delray Beach. I sent it back as I […]

That’s just great #sarcasm – Our near perfect VirginMobile wireless phone plan is now BoostMobile

| January 8, 2020

Just when you have the perfect wireless plan (and pricing structure) figured out … someone throws a wrench (spanner) in the works. Thanks Richard Branson. #sarcasm Our Virgin Mobile iPhones (we have iPhone7s and iPhone7plus) … are being transferred to Boost Mobile. Ugh, that doesn’t sound promising?

Low inflation. Will it continue? It depends on who you ask.

| January 5, 2020

An interesting take on “inflation” and how different generations perceive the possibility of it accelerating in the next decade or so … and perhaps the effect it can or will have on our lives. For example, in the graph below, pick your birth year and note the color bars to determine how many years of […]

When you must get a package delivered before Christmas

| December 25, 2019

UPS for the win! (wait for it)  Fedex and USPS better step up their game! “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Interesting report on the TDAmeritrade–Schwab combo

| December 22, 2019

If you’ve been investing for a few years now, you know mergers and acquisitions in the banking and financial services business is nothing new. We’ve personally experienced a few brokerage firms in our day and still remorse losing the early trading platform of  Datek, and to a lessor amount Waterhouse, to TDAmeritrade. Now that Schwab […]

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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