An of branded Smart Home plug fail … so what’ inside?

| April 11, 2019

A Smartthings- like plug that I used with the Amazon Echo virtual assistant failed this past week, so I took it to the workbench in order to diagnose. I suspected that I was not really going to be able to fix it, but was curious as to what what inside anyway (sort of hoping, but […]

West System epoxy repair to one of our many porch columns

| March 30, 2019

While working on the “bird away boxes” last weekend, the spring weather warmed improved enough at least for a day in order to start a fiberglass column repair (needed for curing). The wind blew enough a few weeks ago to toss items around enough that a crack and a chunk of plastic was broken out […]

Is Amazon is getting lax in their vendor quality control?

| March 23, 2019

Although I’m fond of shopping online for convenience, selection and to compare prices … I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with accuracy in fulfillment of merchandise being shipped by “prime” but from an third party vendor. In a recent order, I not only received the wrong product, but also an obvious opened and returned product (the correct […]

Wasting time fixing a cheap quartz clock to put back on Encore

| March 19, 2019

Nothing like getting bogged down in wasting a weekend trying to repair a quartz clock that should just be replaced! I had the best of intentions on Saturday morning as I was up early and had my weekend project list ready to start. Initially I started to organize my workbench after ordering new bearings and […]

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 […]

Creative bindery guy sets his machine up to fold paper airplanes

| February 27, 2019

Since printing presses (and bindery equipment) is in my DNA, I can’t help but have a soft spot for this guy tweaking his equipment to spit out paper airplanes. Personally I would rather … and remember many-a-late nights … calculating $$$ as our sheet-fed offset presses mesmerizingly crank out piles of paper. 🙂    

Where do you do your best thinking? In the shower? #humor

| February 26, 2019

Wintertime offers longer days for reading and thinking and some of my better thoughts happen during my morning shower … although other thoughts aren’t quite so inspirational or deep …like, “Why can’t the sliver of soap be as invigorating as that larger new bar? Do soap manufacturers purposely make the inside of a bar of […]

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 […]

Condo1718 Master Bathroom update project for 2019

| February 19, 2019

After working on both the condo guest bathroom and kitchen last year in Delray Beach, Florida, I’m hoping to work on the master bathroom when we vacation this year. Our renters have emailed just how pleased they are with the new updates and suspect they will rent again in 2020? At one time I planned […]

Obituary: John Harold Haynes, founder of Haynes Publishing

| February 13, 2019

For those of us who grew up working on cars pre-Internet, the Haynes Manuals were one of the “go-to” sources on how to fix automobiles … or at least a particular brand and model of car. Last week  John Haynes, the founder of the publishing company, passed away at 80 years old. Although I also […]

It has been interesting reviewing my Ancestry.com DNA results

| February 12, 2019

Having worked on my family tree with Ancestry.com back in 2010 and then ignored returning 9 years later, it has been interesting to look into it again now that DNA testing has grown in popularity. My results came back a few days ago and they were “as expected” (although the map a bit deceiving). From […]

Enjoyed a few days of Florida sunshine aboard Encore last week

| February 10, 2019

I enjoyed the warm sunshine and working on a few project on Encore this past week. It was a delayed trip due to a flight cancelation, but thankful my schedule is pretty flexible. It would have been nice to stay longer and to have had Brenda with me, but "ya got to do what you […]

Government cannot give anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else

| February 6, 2019

We often act as if we are so enlightened in the 21st century when it comes to political philosophy and an understanding as to what motivates human beings. Politicians, and in turn their dreamy-eyed followers, are once again attempting to solve income equality with big government and expensive social programs that propose to "tax the […]

Joking with my son who is pondering his career options

| February 4, 2019

While chatting with my son Taylor over the weekend about the terrible news regarding the killing of a law enforcement officer in the county where he works (depressing), we discussed his career options again. His job is currently to his liking, but the challenge and opportunity for advancement and salary improvement is dependent on seniority […]

Patriots are Super Bowl champions for the 6th time

| February 3, 2019

Not much doubt about it … the New England Patriots are the the best team in the NFL and their team leader and QB Tom Brady is the best to have ever played the game (oh, how I hate admitting that).  Nevertheless, they win when they have to and did it in defensive style for […]

The colorful Coquina Clams emerging from a sandy beach

| February 3, 2019

After watching a short YouTube video of the Coquina Clam emerging from the “swash zone” on a beach after a wave retreated, I thought a short animated gif would make a great winter filler post for the blog. The coquina clam (Donax variabilis) is a common inhabitant of Florida’s sandy beaches. Known for their highly variable […]

My mom’s Jenny Lind bed will be Annalyn’s BIG bed someday

| February 1, 2019

Ugh … still waiting for my results! One of my gifts for Christmas 2018 was an Ancestry.com DNA kit, so I quickly sent my sample in for genotyping … and from noting the delay, so did about a million others! I’m anxious to compare my results with Katelyn and Taylor (and my brother), but at […]

It is cold and windy. Another layer of warm clothes please.

| January 30, 2019

An ani-gif of our Canary driveway cam early Wednesday Morning – 1/30/2019 The … dare I say a hated and banished phrase … “polar vortex” has swooped down from the north and frozen everything. It is brutally cold, but then it is winter. Schools, of course, are closed and even mail delivery in Cincinnati has been suspended. […]

Time mellows the moment – The Great Christmas Tree Disaster

| January 30, 2019

In an old spinnaker (sail) from our Thistle, I finally hauled out our larger than usual Christmas tree this past week. It was then that I realized I had neglected to archive the “Great Christmas Tree Disaster of 2018” story from December. Hm, how could I have forgotten … likely for the same embarrassing reason […]

Miter Saw workbench project and things we take for granted

| January 27, 2019

After finally removing my built-in radial arm saw from my workbench, I was able to rework the area attached to my workbench in order to fit my “somewhat new” 12” Hitachi Miter Saw. With this new sliding miter saw, I no longer have a need for bulky power tool duplication, and as a workshop accumulates […]

Let’s go swimming … come on in, the water is fine. #sharks

| January 23, 2019

A filler post, but not a good photo for those nervous about swimming in the ocean. The photos last week from a couple of freedivers in Hawaii swimming with a massive Great White Shark known as #DeepBlue really has me wondering just how wise it is to be that adventurous. There is a fine line […]

Random thoughts – Stretching the last of deodorant on a cold day

| January 22, 2019

Am I the only one who contemplates the minutest things … or am I normal? This COLD morning I thought, “Hm, this is the last of my deodorant and it’s really cold … perhaps I can get away with a single swipe and make it last another day?”   The Raspberry Pi Cam view of […]

Shrimp are small, yet regulations and tax incentives can be big

| January 13, 2019

With incentives, South Dakota and Minnesota compete for tiny trū Shrimp and its promise of indoor shrimp farms. A company named trū Shrimp Co. had planned to break ground this spring in Luverne, Minn., on a $330 million to $360 million indoor shrimp farm. It aims to produce 8 million pounds of shrimp a year […]

The wet, heavy snow might be too much for the John Deere?

| January 12, 2019

The Raspberry Pi Cam photo automatically captured the backyard snow during a break in the falling snowflakes. The storm was well forecasted, so decided it was time to put the snowblower on the old John Deere 330 diesel tractor. I hope the wet snow will “blow” as my preliminary shoveling has me thinking it might […]

Work, play, responsibility and aging: Finding the sweet spot

| January 5, 2019

This “finding the sweet spot” post was started as I was closing my books on 2018 and winding down the year. The New Year’s Day mark was still a couple days away and while contemplating what 2019 would surprise me with, I wrote down a few goals (and resolution ideas).  A few of the thoughts […]

LSSU’s banished words and phrases from 2018

| January 2, 2019

Each year since 1976 Lake Superior State University posts its list of “banished words.” Usually, we’ve all heard (or used!) the overused words and phrases — this year is no exception. I thankfully have only repeated a few, but have certainly heard most of them overused. The 2019 list, along with reasons for banishment by […]

Cheap and easy tight-spaces snoots for the central vac

| December 29, 2018

A little central vacuum cleaner modification with a short snipped segment of polyethylene tubing did the trick for cleaning out some lint build-up in the laundry room. Brenda was having a difficult time with the normal sweeper tip, so just like the home-made snoot for under the refrigerator, I duct taped a plastic tube to […]

Christmas Morning 2018 Time-lapse

| December 25, 2018

Every tech-loving guy needs a subject for a new gizmo … my son-in-law Drew is no exception. He set up his new GoPro-like camera (gift from Katelyn) to time-lapse our Christmas morning. His effort was a little bit too fast for me to watch … so I stretched out the MP4 clip to last almost […]

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 […]

Archive: Asclepias Syriaca (Common Milkweed) flowering date shift in response to climate change | Scientific Reports

| December 13, 2018

While this article (PDF version) may not necessarily garner front page news, it is something I wanted to read and archive because it was researched and published by my nephew Aaron Howard. Well done. The consequences of altered flowering dates due to climate change can be severe, especially for plants that rely on coordinated flower […]

Security LED floodlights from the hardware store discount bin

| December 11, 2018

Who doesn’t fall for the “treasures” found in the hardware store discount bins? I’m always looking for a “good buy” when I’m walking through the hardware store … and such was the case in seeing this outdoor LED floodlight. The twin incandescent floodlights that were on the back of the pool house garage for security […]

Archive: Making templates and planning for future projects

| December 1, 2018

During the last trip to the condo, we enjoyed the fruits of our 2018 labor – our recent kitchen and bath updates. As is the norm for us, we discussed future projects, like updating the master bathroom too, since it looks stodgy compared to the guest bathroom.  So IF we don’t find a buyer for […]

As grandparents, what would we do without smartphones?

| November 30, 2018

Just when I thought my granddaughter Annalyn could not get any cuter, she decides to put stickers on Katelyn‘s nose and then her own. The giggling and grins were just too much not to take screenshots of and archive. We are sure anxious to see Annalyn for Christmas … and it doesn’t look like we […]

Sidetracked again, this time added a drawing table drawer

| November 18, 2018

I had the best of intentions when heading down to the workshop in order to work on another small project for Annalyn, but once again I wandered off course — such is my nature. This time my productivity was halted by seeing the replaced "drawer box" from our kitchen update in 2017 under my workshop […]

A lesson in effort, persistence and perseverance #video

| November 6, 2018

“IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN” Don’t give up too easily; persistence pays off in the end. The proverb has been traced back to ‘Teacher’s Manual’ by American educator Thomas H. Palmer and ‘The Children of the New Forest’ by English novelist Frederick Maryat (1792-1848). Originally a maxim used to encourage American […]

A couple last minute condo update improvements

| October 28, 2018

After Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn headed for home after our vacation together, there were a couple improvements that still needed to be done on the condo. Katelyn helped with deciding on the under cabinet kitchen LED switch location and after using the remodeled guest bathroom in the condo suggested we could use a couple more […]

Two years seems too fast to be replacing burners in the grill?

| October 22, 2018

In 2016 my friend Jeff gave me his old grill as I finally gave up on our well loved and well used old aluminum shell grill. His was a 4 burner Charbroil propane model that I was able to cleaned up, converted to natural gas and add some new internal parts. It has worked great […]

The 4-cycle Troy-Bilt String trimmer is great, but …

| October 14, 2018

Eleven years ago I replaced my noisy 1980’s 2-cycle John Deere brand "heavy" string trimmer with a much quieter 4-cycle Troy Bilt trimmer (Pony TB465SS). Both were, and are, used heavily as I’ve always had acres of yard to tend. At first glance it was obvious that the John Deere "back in the day" was […]

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 […]

What kind of rodent and varmint traps do you prefer?

| October 7, 2018

Each year about this time, rodents and varmints are looking at our garage and house as a place to call home when the weather cools. So I’m usually trying to stay ahead of them by sealing up and keeping the garage doors closed more often (challenging when the weather is so nice). The bigger varmints […]

Beautiful artwork by someone with TIG talent

| October 2, 2018

FYI … not my work, as I’m nowhere close to having skills like this (although it may inspire me to practice!)

Final touches and cleaning after condo kitchen remodeling

| September 25, 2018

It has been a slow condo1718 updating and remodeling process with spending only a week here and there in Florida … but after driving down to Delray Beach one more time last week, I was able to install the new "delayed" 250 lbs of shower doors (saved photo for damage), finalize the vanity, and sink […]

The Perfect Wave to make a mental escape

| September 19, 2018

Just escaping for a moment in my mind and eyes … Beautiful Ocean The Perfect Wave #Surfing #Surf #Travel #TuesdayThoughts #Australia pic.twitter.com/W0mhqB44p6 — Tom Hall ☘ (@TomHall) September 18, 2018

The lawn is cut just in time for remnants of Gordon

| September 8, 2018

Since we are just north of Cincinnati and smack dab in the middle of the heaviest projected leftovers of Gordon, I made sure to finish up the lawn cutting chores before the expected "very heavy rain" this weekend. Hopefully it will just be rain unlike Hurricane Ike a few years back when we lost trees, […]

Building a couple of toddler vanity/toothbrushing stools

| September 4, 2018

Since it was a hot 3-day holiday weekend (nearly 90 each day) and was both a work weekend and work holiday on Monday for Brenda, I opted to spend a little time in the basement workshop. Besides being cooler during the heat of the day, we want to have a little vanity/toothbrushing stool finished for […]

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the “furthest” of them all?

| August 30, 2018

Of course perception is everything, but here’s a pretty good indicator regarding the media and their reporting/stories bias. About the political L and R split you expected?

The never ending quest to make my Sperry Topsiders last longer

| August 29, 2018

Those of you who regularly read my blog know that I love wearing boat shoes (and flip-flops) and have gone thru great lengths to make them last and keep them "semi" odor free. From insoles to epoxy mixes for "wear control" … and have been accused of going  a bridge too far.  Short answer, it […]

Liberty Township Ohio is planning for a new closer fire station

| August 23, 2018

Brenda and I had a back and forth text messaging conversation with our son Taylor, who is the Clermont County planner, regarding a new fire station in and around a developed residential area not too far from us. Although this improvement will be great for us, it does get us concerned over the impact to […]

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 […]

What did you call the 3rd rearward facing seat in a station wagon?

| August 16, 2018

I believed we called it the "way-back" … in both our Chevy Caprice Classic wagon and our Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. The Olds looked very similar to the wagon in the photo! (from a collection of photos that Generation Z might not understand)

Distracted driving and a step closer to finishing the condo update

| August 11, 2018

Likely I’m not the best driver when it comes to not glancing at my phone in the car, but I am improving and in recent years am trying not to "read" or "text anything." Unfortunately we still have drivers who are "comfortable" (leg up???) with multi-tasking while driving. Ugh. I spent a few more days […]

Always great to see this view after a long drive back home

| August 10, 2018

It doesn’t matter if driving or flying (CVG), it is great to see the the Cincinnati city view when driving north on I-75/71 down the "cut-in-the-hill" and know that I’m almost home. What a great welcome … it almost has me singing this song – LINK.

Brilliant yet simple idea for reaching loads on your car roof

| August 7, 2018

I just love good ideas. Here is one that I grabbed off of an ad on my iPhone that uses the car door pillar “loop” to hold a machined aluminum hook attached to a step. The simple step is used to reach items strapped to a roof rack or car top carrier. It would be […]

Mike Rowe talks about doctors in his #TheWayIHeardIt podcast

| July 28, 2018

As a fan of Mike Rowe‘s The Way I Heard It podcasts, his praise for medical doctors highlights the debate of earning the "title" of doctor and being addressed as ‘Dr.’ based on "what you want to be called" or receiving honorary degrees. As Mike Rowe comments on Twitter, "according to my producer, this brand […]

A new pair of Sperry flip-flops and kitchen knife sharpening

| July 24, 2018

Having owned a several pairs of different branded sandals and flip-flops over the years (decades), I’ve settled on my boatshoe brand of choice, the Sperry brand, as the flip-flops I prefer. Some of the more inexpensive brands wear out too quick, others, like the ones I really like from Eddie Bauer, are slick when the […]

Fun and frustration rigging up an old Little Tikes swing

| July 22, 2018

I had fun digging out Katelyn and Taylor‘s old Little Tikes swing that is both made in and  was used in Hudson, Ohio when we lived there … but the frustration part was having bought, then lost, a stainless steel nut for the cable clamp used in my set-up to attach the extension to the […]

Stretched out another weekend to work on the condo kitchen

| July 5, 2018

Well finishing the kitchen upgrade at the condo was my goal, but since Brenda was with me, more than the condo kitchen was worked on! The guest bathroom’s minor vanity update grew into a MUCH larger project. One thing lead to another and before I knew it, my wife had me doing more tile than […]

Filled up Jerry Cans and my BMW X5 35d with diesel (25 gal max)

| June 24, 2018

Since I drive a diesel BMW X5 35d as well as an old 1982 Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel, and use diesel fuel in our Kubota and John Deere lawn tractors (not to mention sailboat) … seeing pump prices 20 to 40 cents higher at the pump is starting to cut into my theory of saving money […]

A great idea: Who hasn’t lost a part when working over water?

| June 23, 2018

I think I’ll archive that idea as a reminder since I always have an umbrella in the back of my Van, 300D or BMW X5 35d … one of those cars is generally at the marina with me! This might be the perfect post to archive my Father’s Day gifts from my kids! A new […]

Basic maintenance on the Kubota ZD326s and John Deere 330

| June 7, 2018

Several of the parts for our now 10 year old Kubota ZD326s have arrived so I started the process of cleaning, greasing and replacing the "broken and beat-up parts." I’m still waiting for the air filters to arrive from China, but have the Kubota branded oil filter and Chevron Delo 400 SDE 15W040 diesel oil […]

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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