Using Perplexity.AI and the news of the day: Trump Convicted

| May 31, 2024

It is Tech Friday, but because I’ve already prepared and posted, I still wanted to highlight the newsworthy headline story regarding the politically motivated trial against former president and the likely Republican candidate for president, Donald J. Trump. So opted to test the relatively “new to me” AI client (Perplexity.AI) by asking: Can you summarize […]

Retirement: Workers Don’t Expect to Work Full-Time Past 62

| May 19, 2024

It is time to face the inevitable that working later in life is not a reality for most people. As I commented on a Barron’s article last week, you “better have a Plan B or even a Plan C” in case there is a health concern that prevent working later in life. From personal experience, […]

Inflation is easing but still a big issue for most Americans

| May 15, 2024

U.S. inflation eased slightly in April, with a key measure of price pressures slowing to its lowest level since spring 2021. The consumer-price index, a gauge for goods and service costs across the U.S. economy, rose 3.4% in April from a year ago, the Labor Department said Wednesday. So-called core prices that exclude volatile food […]

Check out the “Devil Comet” in the hour after sunset

| April 24, 2024

How far in advance should you book air travel? #tidbit

| April 16, 2024

Last week when reading and posting about Berkshire Hathaway investments and Warren Buffett from Kiplinger, I also snipped a “Best Time to Book a Flight” sidebar.

The financial markets have been precarious this past week as tensions between Israel and Iran ratched up

| April 13, 2024

Iran has threatened to retaliate for an attack in Damascus, Syria, that Tehran said was an Israeli airstrike on a diplomatic building. The strike killed several top Iranian military officials, including a senior member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force. According to the WSJ on Friday, “the U.S. rushed warships into position […]

Tech Friday: Some AI voice testing with NPR Editor Uri Berliner’s “Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust” article

| April 12, 2024

Who isn’t … or more appropriately wasn’t … fond of listening to the interesting and smooth-toned audio that was  part of National Public Radio (NPR) in the previous century. I spent an exorbitant amount of time in my car back then and listened to static-riddled politically conservative radio talk shows on AM radio and liberally […]

Yes, Virgina, there is inflation (but how about a soft-landing?)

| April 6, 2024

The subject line is my questionable twist on the Francis Church response to Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897, Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus (see below). All of us “seeing” inflation month after month really don’t question its existence, but we do wonder how long inflation will continue a higher than the desired two percent […]

Tech Friday: WSJ review of sports streaming options

| March 22, 2024

Although at this point I’m still sticking with cable for my Internet and television entertainment, the difficulty in watching certain sporting events is increasing. I’m not happy about Amazon locking up Thursday Night Football and did not like having to plan ahead for the NFL playoff game in January, but for the most part … […]

Should TikTok be banned, divested or remain Chinese owned?

| March 20, 2024

I’m of the opinion that there are three basic issues we Americans need to address when discussing what should be done with TikTok — be it a ban, divested ownership or continue under Chinese ownership and control.  The Chinese Communist Party (government) uses the social media platform to collect data on U.S. citizens/user and feeds […]

Tech Friday: The wokesters at Google have stepped in it again

| March 8, 2024

Google exec Prabhakar Raghavan explained, Gemini “may not always be reliable,” so “we recommend relying on Google Search, where separate systems surface fresh, high-quality information on these kinds of topics from sources across the web.” Google is scrambling to tamp down a political uproar after its recently launched Gemini artificial intelligence app depicted the pope, […]

Orca attacking Great While Shark – Good Morning America #video

| March 6, 2024

After recently visiting Sea World in Orlando with our family … and posting on Orcas and Sharks for years here on MyDesultoryBlog.com … this ABC Good Morning America YouTube video of an Orca attacking a Great White Shark was amazing:

We have an extra day this Leap Year … Let’s not waste it!

| February 29, 2024

If you are a regular reader, then the answer is “yes” … I’ve been a bit distracted from posting regularly on MDB for the past couple of weeks. I promise to get better in March.  Part of my distraction has been enjoying down time with Brenda in Florida and with my daughter and her family […]

More college loan debt forgiveness by POTUS Biden

| February 28, 2024

Court ‘Didn’t Stop Me’ – “ The President ignores the law again as he forgives more student debt. The total is now $138 billion and counting.” WSJOpinion February 23, 2024 article link He’s not really cancelling anything because he’s transferring the debt from the borrowers it benefited to the taxpayers who will finance it with […]

Tech Friday: Apple’s pricey Vision Pro VR Headset has arrived

| February 2, 2024

As a long time Apple device buyer and user, I do tend to follow the company’s new gadgets. The Apple Vision Pro VR headset looks interesting, but limited as to what reason most of us would currently spend thousands of dollar to buy ($3500). After reading about it for months and glancing at the pre-release […]

So you want to own Bitcoin without a Crypto wallet hassle?

| January 12, 2024

Well then there’s an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) for that … finally. But now the decision, which one do you add to your investment portfolio? Check out this article on CNBC and chart of ETFs and fees.  The bitcoin exchange-traded funds launching Thursday after the SEC’s long-awaited approval come at a wide variety of price […]

Ogling the 2024 IRS Federal Income Tax Tables (2023’s too)

| December 29, 2023

The IRS has set the new tax brackets to adjust for inflation beginning in January 2024. The update is to shift higher by 5.4%, but for 2023 taxes that most of us will be filing before April 15 and saw even more “bracket creep” due to the previously year’s inflation.   Here are the changes […]

Two stories from social media that interested me this week

| November 25, 2023

This first story is from my son-in-law Drew, and highlights just how communication for doctors has changed throughout the years. The “pager” is synonymous with doctors as hospitals and medical offices have used them for years to communicate quickly. Sure they pretty much all have cellphones and smartwatches these days (they do also still use […]

October has made investors nervous for nearly 100 years

| October 28, 2023

What is there about October that upsets people and financial markets? For nearly a century investors get nervous this time of year. Unfortunately watching the market as closely as I do, one would think I would have sold stocks at the first sign of trouble in October. Nope, I expected better from a few of […]

The US financial markets finally take (start?) their October slide

| October 19, 2023

Those who are elected (or strong-armed their way to power) are failing miserably at keeping peace in our world as we teeter on the edge of yet another war. No matter how advance we think we are, human beings are unable to get along with each other.  Stock Market Indices market close 10/18/2023 Stock market […]

Some history … and can Israel eliminate Hamas in the Gaza Strip without another full blown war in the Middle East?

| October 14, 2023

Like most … but depressingly not all Americans … I’ve been heavy hearted and angry this week after Hamas terrorist slaughtered innocent Israeli civilians (including 27 Americans) and took an estimated 150 hostages back to Gaza. I’m not sure how those who side with Hamas and their backers (Iran) can explain away such horrific murder, but […]

Israel’s 9/11: Hamas terrorist viciously attacked innocent civilians

| October 10, 2023

Hatred runs deep in the middle-east as many in the Arab world have never accepted the State of Israel … which is probably an understatement. I haven’t posted on the “war” (as declared on Saturday by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) at this point since so much is unknown, but television news coverage is 24/7. […]

Hurricane Idalia slams ashore in the Big Bend area of Florida

| August 30, 2023

The good news is that Hurricane Idalia waited until morning to come ashore and did it in a less populated area of Florida, know as the Florida’s Nature Coast. The bad news is that it is low and ill prepared compared when it comes to construction (more manufactured homes and less hardened hurricane capable buildings). […]

Florida homeowners hit hard by insurance premiums

| August 8, 2023

Archiving an article from last week’s Barron Magazine which highlighted what I’ve been noticing with homeowner insurance rates on our condo in Florida. When I called the agent about the increase last year, she commented that I should be thankful for the increase as it was on the lower side compared to most. Yikes .. […]

Reading – “Saved: A War Reporter’s Mission to Make It Home” by Benjamin Hall

| June 27, 2023

This past weekend I started a new book that I’ve been looking forward to reading since “Saved: A War Reporter’s Mission to Make It Home” was released in March 2023. Benjamin Hall’s book is one I should have purchased in the spring, but since I had a pile of reading to get through, I opted […]

Is the Debt Ceiling debate really our biggest problem?

| May 27, 2023

Once again, politicians are taking our US SPENDING and BORROWING problem right to the wire. Everyone knows that eventually politicians will just raise the debt ceiling and borrow more. The Republicans want spending cuts and the Democrats want a “clean increase” so as to be able to pay promised liabilities (previous spending) and we all […]

What’s next and where do you want to retire? #TBT

| May 18, 2023

Most people spend their lives going to school, focused on work and career, raising their family and after 6 decades or so can plan for the day they shift gears and retire. The question arises, what do you want to do and where do you want to live when you aren’t restricted by school and […]

Airtravel in the US: The skies aren’t getting much friendlier

| May 13, 2023

Which airline do you fly most often? We had a bad experience last summer on AirCanada and probably won’t ever flight with them again … on the other hand, we fly Southwest all the time and thankfully didn’t fly during their “meltdown (click charts for larger).” Even after the December 2022 flightmare by Southwest Airlines, […]

Contemplating the history Fed hikes and recessions

| May 4, 2023

While waiting for the big TWO TRILLION dollar company that is Apple ($AAPL) to report earning after hours on Thursday (story), I’m contemplating the likely outcome of accelerated interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Obviously concluding that “inflation in transitory,” as the Fed Chair commented after the pandemic, was the incorrect assumption … and […]

A bit of news people news: Tucker Carlson is no longer at FoxNews

| April 25, 2023

Although it is not unusual for news organizations to let very popular news opinion personality go … with FoxNews I can recall Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly … most regular viewers were probably shocked to see Tucker Carlson let go on Monday (April 24, 2023). It was interesting to hear Glenn Beck comment on it […]

With ridiculously old IT, where is the IRS spending most of their new $80 BILLION dollar taxpayer funded windfall?

| April 18, 2023

Yup … ENFORCEMENT. … hundreds of IRS applications have been around for at least 25 years and dozens that have been in existence for more than 50. There were also pieces of software running 15 updates behind the current version. Fifteen! That’s like using a new iPhone with the iOS from the original iPhone …  […]

Just another study on life expectancy and drinking alcohol

| April 15, 2023

For years now I have thought there was something to the Mediterranean diet and in drinking red wine with a meal. I’ve tried to put at least the “red wine” part of this into my regular diet and continue to read articles and studies that promote the positives of antioxidants for the heart — grape […]

NPR’s Twitter account gets an appropriate label

| April 13, 2023

There is part of me that can’t help but smile when seeing the new label that Elon Musk’s Twitter put on NPR’s feed. The left-leaning taxpayer-funded media title is partially accurate since tax dollars are used to support public radio and television. At this point with the variety of media news and programming available in […]

Federal Reserve hikes: “despite a .. recession later this year”

| April 12, 2023

Guess when this Fed news came out?  High inflation and tight labor markets led Federal Reserve officials to signal they could raise interest rates at their next meeting despite a higher likelihood the economy would enter a recession later this year. Fed officials considered skipping a rate increase at their meeting last month but concluded […]

Where do you live if you want $100,000 to go furthest?

| April 6, 2023

There is probably a new survey or report out every month or so comparing the cost of living in different areas of the country. I usually gloss over them for one reason or another. Some exclude income taxes, state and local taxes or hefty property taxes. Others ignore lower salaries and some just don’t factor in […]

Books: “Three Days In January: Dwight Eisenhower’s final mission” by Bret Baier

| March 29, 2023

My daily routine, at least when I’m in town, is to DVR the evening news, “Special Report” at 6PM. I generally watch it and skip the commercials while eating … when it is permitted by Brenda. HA! The daily new wrap-up is probably not edifying since it includes a good dose of disfunctional national politics […]

The Chinese Militarization of the South China Sea

| March 16, 2023

The South China Sea has become a hotly contested region in recent years, with multiple countries claiming various parts of the sea as their own. China, in particular, has been actively asserting its dominance over the region by building military structures and increasing its naval presence in the area. The WSJ published a detailed article […]

A new area code is coming to Southwestern Ohio: 283

| March 4, 2023

With area code 513 phone numbers in shortened supply in our Southwest Ohio area, “the Public Service Commission of Ohio has approved an all-services area code overlay for the 513 area code, which serves southwest Ohio including the communities of Cincinnati, Cleves, Forest Park, Hamilton, Lebanon, Maineville, Mason, Miamitown, Middletown, Norwood, Oxford, Trenton and West […]

Student loan forgiveness, the Supreme Court and an old post

| March 1, 2023

With student loan forgiveness in the news again as the U.S. Supreme Court looks at the Constitutionality of  President Biden’s authority with a stroke of  his pen to be able to forgive student loans. Common sense would question the question of this extraordinary power, but past presidents have paused payments due to emergencies … so […]

Erythritol linked to blood clotting, stroke, heart attack

| February 27, 2023

From a CNNHealth story: A sugar replacement called erythritol — used to add bulk or sweeten stevia, monk-fruit, and keto reduced-sugar products — has been linked to blood clotting, stroke, heart attack and death, according to a new study. “The degree of risk was not modest,” said lead author Dr. Stanley Hazen, director of the […]

A favorite podcast: Stocks Are in the ‘Death Zone.’

| February 25, 2023

Jack Hough is a favorite Barron’s Magazine writer and #streetwise podcast host wrote “another” interesting investing article and interview this week: U.S. stocks have entered the “death zone,” a top Wall Street strategist wrote this past week. I detected a bearish undertone. The phrase is used by mountaineers to describe heights where humans can’t live […]

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins 75th Daytona 500

| February 19, 2023

Congratulations to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. winning the Daytona 500 in extended lap fashion. Interestingly the experts were for the most part wrong as this was a “single car team” racing against the multi-car race teams … although it again came down to surviving the 200 lap race, avoiding the mayhem  and having just enough fuel […]

Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LVII

| February 12, 2023

Super Bowl LVII between AFC Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles came down to the final minutes of the 4th quarter.  The Eagles flew to a first half lead sending NFL’s 2023 MVP Patrick Mahomes into the locker room limping (again).  After a long 30 minute halftime, Mahomes and his team was able to […]

Will American soon be without their gas stoves?

| January 11, 2023

According to a NYPost article, millions of Americans may soon be entering “not stove season.” The Biden administration is considering a nationwide ban on gas stoves — citing the harmful pollutants released by the appliances, according to a report. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is mulling the action after recent studies showed emissions from the […]

Questionable digital magazine subscription tactics online

| January 7, 2023

The saying that “if something sounds to good to be true, it probably is” came to mind as I re-subscribed to a WSJ.com and Barronsonline.com for a FIVE-year subscription? Part of me wants to believe magazine resellers are legitimately selling the digital versions for less than going directly to Dow Jones, but the other part […]

For investors and the inflation sensitive, 2022 was a bad year

| December 31, 2022

If you were filling your tank, paying to keep the lights on or buying groceries (or shopping for nearly everything) … 2022 has been a struggle. If you were saving for college or retirement, it was also very painful. Will 2023 be a continuation or a painful recession … or is there a chance inflation […]

Lava flowing from Mauna Loa volcano a concern for residents

| November 29, 2022

Lava and smoky ash is sputtering from the world’s largest active volcano on the Hawaii’s Big Island. Mauna Loa isn’t immediately endangering towns, but eruption poses danger to over 200,000 people and the U.S. Geological Survey is warning people that it can be "very dynamic and that and advancing lava flows can change rapidly." (AP […]

Archive: Promedica CEO Retirement and Succession Plan

| November 13, 2022

A little family hospital business … and related news to archive … as Randy Oostra (my daughter’s father-in-law) announced his retirement last month. It was something we knew was coming (mentioned to me in September), but was no doubt one of those decisions that a successful career driven person does not take lightly. I can […]

A crazy week post midterm election and for the stock market

| November 12, 2022

Well … the hopeful political “red wave” did not happen (at least from a conservative perspective). If we are to be generous, it could be viewed as a “small ripple” … but the results of the election as of this post are not fully counted even yet. Does that seem odd in our evolved and […]

Lunar eclipse, Beaver Moon but NO Blood Red Wave election

| November 9, 2022

Skywatching and politics have little in common, unless one is stretching for a to put the two together in a morning after a November midterm election blog post. In the early Tuesday morning  hours, before the election polls opened, the Blood “Red” Moon was being photographed and viewed by skywatchers — often referred to at […]

Inflation and the 2023 tax year Federal tax bracket

| October 23, 2022

The Federal tax brackets are adjusted each year by the IRS based on inflation numbers in an attempt to stop “bracket creep.” This prices have soared as in September 2022 consumer prices were up 8.2% compared to 2021. It is likely most Americans have not seen that kind of wage increase which means their buying […]

Brace for Impact, Floridians. Hurricane Ian is here – 9/28/2022

| September 28, 2022

From way up high, Hurricane Ian is a much more attractive (ani-gif above) … but suspect those Ian left under water and in its storm ravaged path in western Cuba … AND has nearly everyone in Florida chewing their nails while they brace for impact. (residents need a “Miracle on the Hudson” moment) Governor DeSantis […]

Hurricane Fiona batters Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic

| September 19, 2022

Power is out in Puerto Rico with two-feet of rainfall after Hurricane Fiona came ashore. The Dominican Republic was saturated as well with flash flooding and mudslides as the category 2 hurricane slowly moved off the norther shore. As it moves over open water, it is forecast to strengthen as it passes Turks and Caicos […]

Stock market pain was felt on Wall Street – 9/13/2022

| September 13, 2022

If you believe the number 13 makes for an unlucky day, you’ll probably point to that as an omen … but the deep, nearly 1300 points, drop in the Dow came as investors and economists were expecting an easing pace of inflation … not continued high inflation.  The CPI report indicated a 8.3% rate compared […]

Marking history and longevity: Queen Elizabeth II dies peacefully

| September 8, 2022

The Queen of England passed away today after becoming Queen at the age of 25 in 1952. Most living under her reign have never known another ruling monarch. So now after a historic 70-year reign, her son, the former Prince of Wales, Charles III becomes Britain’s new King. According to the UK’s DailyMail: The Queen’s […]

A day of negative news and some positive: The stock market was down big, but the plus, Taylor closed on a condo

| August 26, 2022

It was an ugly day on Wall Street as investors reacted to comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell who indicated “that the Federal Reserve must continue to raise rates” and “hold them at a higher level until they are confident inflation is under control.” Some economists highlighted in Barron’s Magazine last week, have suggested that […]

Motorheads are slowly showing interest in EVs #automotive

| August 20, 2022

My social participation in automotive groups and forums that were common for me decades ago (CinciTDI, TDIClub, etc) have shifted to social media friends on Facebook groups (not so much anymore) and Twitter (daily). Those contacts include a bunch of automotive journalist as well as people just interested in cars and trucks. The conversations has […]

Look what else is pouring across our open borders …

| August 11, 2022

As the Biden Admin ignores illegals pouring across our southern borders, cartels are taking advantage of distracted border patrol and ICE “processing” agents to flood the United States with drugs … including some that look like candy.

What’s this political football call the “Inflation Reduction Act?”

| August 7, 2022

While discussing the “will it” or “won’t it” Inflation Reduction Act being pushed by Democratic leadership in Washington DC as a way to replace the failed 2021 Build Back Better spending plan by President Biden last week, I figured digging into the details might prove better than spewing left or right talking points. The bill […]

U.S. Supreme Court ruling changes abortion in America

| June 26, 2022

Friday’s Supreme Court decision has us all pondering where our country is heading? We’ve had 65 million legal abortions since 1973 and now after 50 years of “abortion being a protected right” since the Rowe v. Wade ruling, we breaking new ground. As some have said, “science and sonograms have enlightened most people on the issue […]

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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