HowTo: Improving a plastic latch on the 2010 BMW X5 35d

| December 13, 2018

The design of the storage lid and latch on my2010 BMW X5 35d SUV leave a lot to be desired and now that I have new NON-run flat tires, I’m actually using the space under the rear deck for the temporary tire … so it was time to fix the deck lid latch. The plastic […]

The converting fluorescent tubes to LED process slowly continues

| December 9, 2018

One fluorescent fixture at a time … that’s how I’ve been updating the old tubes in two and four light panels to LEDs. Unfortunately I’m ending up with a mish-mash of inexpensive and unfortunately questionable quality LED strips assembled into plastic tubes. Advice: stick to name brand and big box store lights – ie. Phillips, […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: The Amazon Echo will soon have Whisper Mode

| October 5, 2018

The Amazon Echo has been a fun gadget to use and have in our home since Katelyn and Drew gave it to us for Christmas. After having our granddaughter Annalyn with us for a few days last week, I realized we don’t always have the volume set appropriately especially when she is sleeping. Hm … […]

Running a meeting based on Robert’s Rules of Order – condensed

| September 5, 2018

Although reading the full Robert’s Rules of Order is helpful, following this short quick reference version will get you through most meetings. For Fair and Orderly Meetings Robert’s Rules is a time-tested standard, providing common rules of parliamentary procedure for deliberation and debate in order to place the whole membership on the same footing and […]

Any recommendations for video interviewing?

| August 19, 2018

In preparation for an upcoming work related project, I need to record a video for a client’s website and include both their voice and that of someone asking questions. I was hoping to keep it as professional as possible and will be using my Lumix GX8 DSLR.f I am using my external Rode shotgun microphone […]

Set the Amazon Echo Follow-up Mode to ON in your Alexa app

| March 13, 2018

A new Amazon Alexa Echo voice command improvement now makes it easier to string together a series of commands without repeating "Alexa" over and over again. The back-to-back commands will need to right after each other AND you must turn on (off by default) the Follow-Up Mode under settings in the Alexa app. After switching […]

What do you do with the extra Epoxy after it has been mixed?

| December 5, 2017

When mixing a small batch of epoxy for a repair, I’m always looking for a secondary project that needs some adhesion. I’ve finally decided that my go-to project is to apply additional "wear bars" to the heels of my favorite Sperry Topsiders. I’ve done this before and besides the slightly annoying "clicking" sound, the epoxy […]

Tech Friday: Apple iPhone iOS 11 Flashlight brightness levels

| December 1, 2017

Most Apple iPhone users (as well as Android users) have been using a smartphone as a flashlight for years with only a few innovations. The simple swipe up and click on has been relatively straight forward until the addition of brightness levels. With iOS11, the text description has been eliminated (???) but the brightness level […]

Tech Friday: Making power adapters last longer

| October 20, 2017

Here’s a short tip for making power adapter wires last longer when traveling or packing them in a computer bag: When winding the cord, don’t wrap the first loop too tight. The usual fail points when cords are coiled over and over are where the wires enter the power block or the plug, so allow […]

How to tie a cleat hitch video by APS Advisor #sailing

| August 28, 2017

Good visual video advice on How to tie a cleat hitch from APS – three different options and reasons for each. Half Wrap Cleat Hitch Full Wrap Cleat Hitch Multi Wrap Cleat Hitch

Tidbit Tip on keeping drains flowing without harsh chemicals

| July 28, 2017

Roto-Rooter’s Paul Abrams has a pipe-clearing trick that’s simple, cost-effective and environmentally friendly (unlike most drain cleaners, which use harsh chemicals). Here’s how it’s done: Remove the stopper on your drain Pour ½ cup baking soda down the drain Pour 1 cup white vinegar down the drain Wait 10 minutes (boil some water while you’re […]

Changing a daylight driving H8 bulb in the BMW X5 35D

| July 8, 2017

You’ll need a small hand with a good grip to change the daytime running light bulbs in the sardine like corners of a BMW X5 35D, and assume other models. That doesn’t mean you can wiggle around and tweak a tool or two to fix and assist, but smaller hands would make the process a […]

TechFriday: Larger screened iPhones flipping to landscape

| June 30, 2017

Switching from an iPhone 5s to an iPhone 7 Plus has a few surprising pluses and minuses that need to be address by new users. One such negative adjustment has a fix that on the surface may not be found by everyone. The annoyance: The larger iPhones (currently 6 Plus & 7 Plus) go into […]

How it works: An in tank fuel pump YouTube video

| June 25, 2017

Well done … don’t forget to use your “brother’s sock.” 🙂

Very handy and inexpensive shield from a soda – pop bottle

| June 24, 2017

After pelting my eyes with metal chips while grinding as a teenager, I’m overly careful when using tools nowadays. The nighttime of agony and picking out metal chips from my eyes was enough to teach me a lesson … and I’m so thankful to still have my eyesight. Be warned if you are reading this […]

A creative solution to washing hair with sparse facilities

| April 12, 2017

Although this seems a tad bit goofy … as a backpacker, cruising sailor, vagabond traveler … there are occasions where water is limited or a proper bathroom facility is non-existent that this could come in handy.

Simple hack for cleaning the gutters

| March 19, 2017

Although using a leaf blower may be more fun in cleaning the gutters, it can make a mess of everything below. I generally use rubber gloves, but in the end always slice them up and end up with a bare hand anyway. Here’s a great idea: Cut an anti-freeze or similar shaped plastic gallon jug […]

Hammock time on a sailboat from Sailing Britaly

| March 17, 2017

How-to: Early spring cleaning chores and practice run

| February 18, 2017

We have high ceilings in a couple areas of our house and one of the challenging chores is dusting or "de-webbing" the corners and edges some 20 feet up. Oh you would think it would be easy with a ladder, but you would be wrong. First, I don’t have an indoor ladder capable of reaching […]

Testing your car battery with only a simple voltage meter

| February 10, 2017

Great how-to YouTube video from ChrisFix on testing your car battery with a simple voltage meter.

TechFriday: Jumpy cursor? Uncheck Enhance pointer precision

| February 3, 2017

The cursor on my new Lenovo Yoga 710 Windows 10 notebook has been driving me crazy. It jumps around the screen when I’m typing and often ends up add or deleting text in previous paragraphs. In an attempt to diagnosis the problem, I’ve fiddled with the trackpad thinking that my palms or thumbs must be […]

Changing a cabin air filter in an older Honda Odyssey minivan

| October 22, 2016

My daughter took her "leased" Juke into the Nissan dealership in Minnesota for a $25 oil change and while it was in the service bay, the service department recommended she do a few additional maintenance items totaling $1200 … "but we can do it all today for a flat $1000" (don’t you just love it […]

Renewable low cost hot water idea for a sailboat

| October 9, 2016

Archiving another project idea for living on the hook (someday) yet still having hot water for dishes, cleaning and SHOWERS (a freshwater shower is a luxury for most sailboats).

Saving the Sailrite “How to make a Dodger” video playlist

| October 1, 2016

Sailrite has years of on and off water How-To YouTube Videos

Another use for a carabiner – holding the air fill nozzle

| September 10, 2016

Sometimes American ingenuity and out-of-the-box MacGyver thinking comes together in the craziest ways. My dad gave me an incredibly useful 10 gallon Portable Air Tank that is easier to use than a slow poke portable air compressor. I use to use it extensively when having to fill the leaking tires on the John Deere prior […]

31 Drywall Repair Tips & How To’s

| September 2, 2016

Drywall is relatively simple to install and easy to repair. It’s also easy to repair badly, which can leave a lumpy mess that declares “shoddy” to anyone who enters the room. Full List: 31 Drywall Repair Tips & How To’s

How To: Cleaning silicone sealant from a car window

| August 1, 2016

What a pain! Silicone all over the side of my Honda Odyssey. Have you have ever had to remove silicone sealant from a surface? It is not fun. Thankfully the majority of what was purposely or accidentally (hmm?) drizzled or wiped all over my minivan this past year in Florida was on the side windows. […]

How to Make a Whipping in 60 Seconds

| July 26, 2016

Did you know that burned or melted ends could cause more problems? It may be a fast way for marine stores to cut new line when you purchase it. But if that hardened end catches on the outer core, it can chafe and break down delicate rope fibers. Follow these five easy steps to make […]

Ceramic Front Discs Brakes installed on the BMW X5 35d

| June 21, 2016

It was past time for brake maintenance as the wear sensor on the BMW X5 35d has been warning me to replace the front brakes for weeks. After a bit of research, I opted for the Power Stop (17-1294) Evolution-Plus Ceramic brakes and am hoping to reduce the dirty brake dust. I’m hoping for continued […]

VIDEO: How to Make a Soft Shackle >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

| June 1, 2016

Soft shackles made from Dyneema are lighter and stronger than stainless steel, they are also kinder to your boat and your hands. Yachting Monthly demonstra Source: VIDEO: How to Make a Soft Shackle >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Using gunpowder is a creative way to burn art onto wood

| May 18, 2016

Posting this for my good friend Mark who checks my blog once in a while and enjoys working with gunpowder (reloading) … but he also is a creative woodworker. He may not give this a try, but I’m sure he’ll like it … or at least I do. (LINK)

Losing Mozilla Firefox add-on data for FireFTP after upgrade

| December 28, 2015

After making the Microsoft update from Windows 7 to Windows 10, there were a few items lost in the mostly automatic update (BTW, it is as painless an upgrade Microsoft has ever done). One of the add-ons for the Mozilla’s Firefox browser that I find hard to live without is FireFTP (simple FTP client). Much […]

A favorite YouTube channel: Tips from a Shipwright

| July 18, 2015

By far, my favorite woodworking and sailing YouTube channel is Tips from a Shipwright. It is sponsored by Jamestown Distributors in Rhode Island a great source for boat paints, finishes and epoxy materials. I will go there before looking elsewhere because of their sponsorship. The filmmaker Halsey Fulton of Fish Hawk Films brings the impressive […]

How to: Simple gas struts replaced on a lifting rear door

| June 9, 2015

After my son returned from living in “dusty” Williston, North Dakota for a couple of years, the Chevy Trailblazer he was using came back a bit dusty. We noticed after visiting him last year that one of the big differences from Ohio were the lack of paved roads. Thankfully, we did give some thought to […]

Video: The heel lock or lace lock when tying athletic shoes

| May 13, 2015

Hmm … I learned something new today. Q: Have you wondered about those extra lacing holes were for that seem out of place on athletic shoes? A: They are used to prevent blisters on your feet when running by keeping your shoe tightly on your foot. (Illumiseen)

TechFriday: Reject and block annoying phone calls

| April 3, 2015

Ok … so you’ve done your part and registered your phone numbers with the National Do Not Call List and you’ve done your best to keep phone numbers from undesirables … BUT you’re still getting annoying calls (and text messages!) Below is the new (1) iPhone (Settings>Phone>Blocking) method to block phone numbers from your smartphone […]

How to Use Blogsy

| March 1, 2015

Welcome to Blogsy! Let's get started. Set up your blog by going to the Settings Menu → Service Settings. Then choose your blog platform and fill in your information. Tap on the Post Info. button to get to all post information. Tap on the Plus button to start a new post or open a local […]

TechFriday: Magic Mouse Mac users and Google Calendar

| February 13, 2015

Judging from the suggestions complaints to Google from users making an accidental “mouse swipe” through their online Calendar app, it looks like I’m not the only one frustrated. The problem of scrolling to the wrong month has existed for years and is most noticeable when using the Apple OS and their Magic Mouse. The sensitivity […]

How to idea–Cleaning hard water stains from porcelain

| January 31, 2015

The inexpensive miracle cleaner and kitchen staple known as vinegar has hundreds if not thousands of uses … but few of those uses are as helpful as cleaning and dissolving hard water calcium build up. I use a vinegar mix regularly for window washing, as a way to keep the shower and shower head free […]

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.