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 […]

Sticking with what I know: Bought my 4th pair of Vasque boots

| March 24, 2021

The more I think about it, the “lamer” it appears to be talking about shoes … but truth be told, the Sperry Topsider reviews and shoe insole posts still are in the top ten when it comes to blog numbers. I’m posting a photo of my newly arrived clearance priced Vasque hiking boots and previous […]

Polished up our simple folding IKEA dish drying rack

| March 17, 2021

At one time, I thought I was better at time management, but clearly after spending over an hour disassembling, de-rusting and polishing a folding IKEA stainless steel rack, I am not. In retrospect, buying a new one would have been a better way to use my time … but I found out they don’t carry […]

Weekend mailbox project update and Annalyn’s first haircut

| March 14, 2021

Our old mailbox has lasted 26 years and considering it is cemented into a stone post that mostly matches what is in the neighborhood, replacing it with something else is not a option. A few people have repaired theirs, but it has been an expensive process requiring significant masonry work. Last year about this time, […]

Workshop brainstorming for better chip and dust containment

| February 16, 2021

It is time for a little more research on better dust and chip control in my basement workshop. Brenda can deal with the noise and giving me a place to escape, but she is not fond of the dust that makes its way upstairs – those with basement woodworking workshops know what I mean. I’ve […]

Tech Friday: New 1500mAh batteries for my Lumix GX8

| February 5, 2021

When I pulled out my Lumix GX8 DSLR camera over Christmas, I noticed that the “cheap” batteries that I had purchased as backups to the primary Panasonic branded 1200mAh battery were no longer holding charges. They were still chargeable, but their life was short. So I added a new spare battery to my shopping list […]

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 […]

Tech Friday: Look what arrived this week – the Wyze Cam 3

| January 22, 2021

It was back in November when everyone was Black Friday shopping for gifts or ording Cyber Monday items … that is when the inexpensive security camera company Wyze, sent me an email about their new camera and motion detection subscription. At the time I was struggling with way too many notifications after the company lost […]

First time in my life, I’ve lost a fuel cap. OEM or aftermarket?

| November 5, 2020

I’m officially “slipping” upstairs. For the first time in my life I forgot to put the fuel cap back on and lost it (don’t want to admit it to Brenda). I could try and blame it on distraction since I was also filling up the diesel jugs for the John Deere and Kubota mower, but […]

A semi-portable thickness planer for my woodworking shop

| September 27, 2020

When bragging that my latest sewing cart project had zero cost in it, I held off until the end of the post to mention that I was spending money and would post about that on Sunday. Well here it is: I bought my first planer; it’s a semi-portable DeWalt DW735, with the “X” option (extra […]

The Fitbit Versa lasted 11 months – The watchband 13 months

| July 29, 2020

I can’t say that I’m surprised, but after my Fitbit Versa failed after 11 months (and was replaced under warranty “without” a new watchband), now after 13 months, the original watchband faiedl. Admittedly I’m not Mr. Gentle when wearing watches, but considering the Fitbit is designed as an athletic watch, I expected more. Besides the […]

Power Tools: A new Ridgid 18-volt Cordless Caulk Gun

| July 25, 2020

It looks like Ridgid has a great new tool (I have a few other ones), but at $79, it seems like a lot of money for the ordinary handyman homeowner to spend for an 18-Volt 10 oz Caulk Gun? Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to at least looking at tools the next time I stop in […]

A new keyless remote and programming for my Honda Odyssey

| July 12, 2020

The Keyless Remote on my 2002 Honda Odyssey stopped working this past year and figured it was just a dead battery. Unfortunately after replacing the battery … twice …and confirming that my other remote still worked, I gave up and ordered one. After searching the Internet for fixes and replacements, I opted for one on […]

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 […]

A new Weber grill, some assembly and Father’s Day grill brush

| June 23, 2020

We replaced our rusting “hand-me-down” rebuilt grill from 2016 (thanks Jeff) this year with a new natural gas Weber Spirit S-315 stainless steel grill set up. So far it is a great grill and perfectly sized for our family. For those looking at it, be sure you know that there is some assembly involved if […]

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 […]

Are rechargeable wearable tech devices like the Fitbit Versa and the Apple Watch doomed to prematurely fail?

| June 3, 2020

It is starting to look like early gadget failure going to become the ‘norm’ now that we’re wearing tech gadgets everyday. My Fitbit Versa watch is not even a year old and has failed. For a while it started to blink and flip through it’s screens, then surged with colorful vertical lines (photo)and a vibrate […]

Out and about, yardwork, flowers and more rain

| May 24, 2020

It has been a slow start to getting our yard in shape. By now we usually have the pool open and flowers planned, but for some reason (probably rain) we are not ready for summer. Thankfully though, Saturday was nice most of the day. I waited as long as possible to add a few brown […]

Amazon delivery woes puts me in a Grumpy Old Man mood

| May 19, 2020

Sometimes ordering repair “parts” from Amazon is more critical than than others, like last week. On May 14th I ordered a electric fuel pump for our Kubota ZD326s zero-turn mower thinking it would arrive “as promised” by end of day Saturday. Then on Sunday I noticed that the “package was still on its way, but […]

Ordering from Amazon is getting most frustrating

| May 17, 2020

The Kubota ZD326s zero-turn mower has had stalling and starting problems this spring.  I’ve finally diagnosed the problem as the electric fuel pump. This small pump is used to deliver fuel from the twin tanks to 26HP diesel 3-cylinder’s injection pump. Along with the pump, there are two fuel filters, one before and one after […]

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 […]

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 […]

The flag halyard fails again and Old Glory comes flopping down

| February 29, 2020

We have had a problem with our Amazon purchased halyard on our flag pole instead of the rapid flag degrading as usual – as can be seen on our WyzeCam security mp4 video (below). This is the second flag halyard we have had fail in the last couple of years; next time I’m going to […]

A little disappointed in my new New Sperry Topsiders

| February 26, 2020

Old verse New Sperry Topsiders for 2020 Although I’ve needed a new pair of Sperry Topsiders for quite some time now, I was disappointed in that the shoe was not made the same as a previous version. I’ve had over a dozen boat shoes in my lifetime, but only the Sperry brand in recent years. […]

Replaced my iPad Air with iPad 7th Gen and Brydge Keyboard

| February 9, 2020

It has been a struggle to make a decision on updating my favorite tech gadget, but after the first generation Brydge Keyboard finally would not charge, I had to do something. I thought about going all out and moving to the iPad Pro series, but realized that all the functions that I appreciate are already […]

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 […]

TechFriday: When shopping online isn’t quite right #humor

| November 15, 2019

  While looking to purchase a can of the highly regarded CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor, the shipping can sometimes become an eye opener. Perhaps Amazon Prime shipping is a good thing? (let’s hope this is an Ace Hardware – Google Shopping glitch?)

Temporarily fixed our TV remote by substituting a CR2016 3 volt battery and a washer for a CR2032 3 volt battery

| November 12, 2019

Oh the crazy things we do in order to watch Monday Night Football. The remote I use in the Home Theater has been failing and finally would no longer work. Unlike years ago when you could walk up to a TV and change the channels, our new set-up require a remote control to change nearly […]

Few grocery stores match Trader Joe’s quality and service

| October 16, 2019

Although I am not a huge shopper … be it groceries or other retail stores … the grocery chain Trader Joe’s stands way above the rest when it comes to quality and service in my opinion. Brenda and I had a direct comparison today as we first stopped at a Trader Joe’s to pick up […]

Problems with refrigerator water filters from Crystala

| October 3, 2019

Late in the spring of 2019,  I ordered three new refrigerator filters from an Amazon seller for Crystala replacement filters. I’ve opted for third party filters before and really didn’t think much about it … but as more vendors use Amazon Marketplace, consumers need to be more careful since their support isn’t what we might […]

An inexpensive JonCutter arborist chainsaw and Amazon woes

| September 7, 2019

After giving away my “newer” Poulan chainsaw to the hard worker we hired to stain our fence this summer … so he could clear our neighbors fence line and stain his fence too … I replaced it with a low cost Arborist climbing and limb cutting saw without paying attention to the month-plus delivery timeframe […]

Our new home Internet Mesh network is up and running

| August 14, 2019

Our current NetGear Nighthawk R7000 router has been exceptionally stable considering the issues I’ve had with cheaper routers and networked devices in the past. I’m pretty happy with it, but in order to get solid coverage, had to add a WiFi Range Extender to cover the detached garage and poolhouse (and yet still have weak […]

Is a little consistency in Amazon delivery too much to ask?

| August 10, 2019

I’m becoming increasingly grouchy over paying for Amazon Prime (now $119/yr) and dealing with various shipping problems that have been popping up. This past year, I have have several shipping issues with Amazon reporting one thing and then delivering another. Usually a delay, in for the most part very impressive delivery speeds, isn’t a life-changer, […]

Tech Friday: Limiting how much data Amazon Echoes collect

| June 28, 2019

Unfortunately I’ve bought into – or was “gifted” into 🙂 – BUT really enjoy the Amazon Echo smart speaker virtual assistant devices. I know Alexa is “always listening” (as is my cellphone, iPad, computers, etc) and that they are doing “who knows what”with my data, but probably not always what I want. Obviously, they dissect […]

Simple SunrisePro kitchen knife sharpener mini review

| May 11, 2019

Although I regularly sharpen our "home" kitchen knives in my workshop and maintain the edge with a "steel" (love to try ceramic rod) … but that was not possible last week in Florida. I noticed when cleaning up the condo and starting the master bathroom update after the winter lease ended, that the new kitchen […]

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 […]

Such a DEAL – SiriusXM and Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen

| February 17, 2019

Like clockwork, it was time to either renew or cancel SiriusXM (again). I refuse to pay the month to month rate with them or the very few newspaper/magazine subscriptions I still use that does the same thing. Thankfully I marked my calendar with a notification as to the last day to cancel service … otherwise the […]

Advice: Compare price vs shipping times when ordering online

| January 20, 2019

A quick piece of advice for those who are in the habit of shopping online … especially if you are used to using Amazon and their Prime shipping. I’ve habitually price products since Amazon isn’t always competitively price with other online vendors, BUT my advice is to remember just how dependable and reliable shipping from […]

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 […]

Waiting to put the new battery in the Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel

| December 20, 2018

Who knew something as simple as ordering an Mann air filter ordered from Amazon would delay getting the Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel back on the road? I order a new battery “online” with free delivery since it was $20 cheaper than picking it up at the auto parts store (crazy!) and figured since I had […]

The “looks like new” temporary second-hand spare tire arrived

| December 12, 2018

The final piece of converting our 2010 BMW X5 35d from run-flat tires to normal tires is now complete … a temporary spare. Unfortunately, I’ve lost much of my "under the rear floor" storage area (below), but have the security knowing that I have a spare tire and the tools to change it. The only […]

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 […]

The 2010 BMW X5 35d has a new set of tires to start winter

| December 6, 2018

The set of run flat tires on the 2010 BMW X5 35d were pushed about a long as I dare … since even my “risk tolerate” son said, “Dad, you really need to get those tires replaced before the snow.” He is right of course since I lecture him about “good tires being cheap insurance.” […]

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 […]

More compliments for Ridgid Gen5X lithium powered tools

| October 3, 2018

If you use your battery powered drills as much as I do and are suffering with something a bit older than a couple of years, it is time to check out the new lithium powered tools. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with both my slightly older Craftsman Drill and Impact driver and […]

Tech Friday: Never shopping again at Jet.com – $WMT owned

| September 14, 2018

In recent years, we’ve grown accustom to DOTcom retail companies delivering on their promises. Thanks to Amazon and their outstanding efficiency and reliable fulfillment and delivery services. Perhaps I’ve forgotten that not all online retailers live up to what we now take for granted? One expects that when a product is listed on a major […]

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 […]

Do you understand what PBM’s in health care are?

| August 25, 2018

Here’s a great explanation of the history and current role of Pharmacy Benefit, Managers (PBMs) as it relates to health care, drug cost and insurance plans. LINK to Marketplace story

Annalyn and potty training – the equipment has changed

| August 5, 2018

My granddaughter Annalyn was excited for an Amazon delivery according to Katelyn and we are excited for her to start her potty training. I was amazed at the newfangled "My Size Potty" as I’m sure it makes using it seem like she is a "big girl" already? I remembered our kids "plastic potty chair" and […]

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 […]

Our granddaughter is growing too fast and a shopping list

| July 17, 2018

It is shocking to see our granddaughter Annalyn growing and maturing so fast. I remember hearing that same thing from my parents about Katelyn and Taylor, but never really gave it much thought besides “it is probably what all grandparents say.” Just watching her dexterity and skill at “blowing bubbles” has me realizing she will […]

Pay attention to the toothpaste tube size vs the box size

| June 27, 2018

Colgate is my usual go-to toothpaste, although generally prefer the old fashion white and am partial to baking soda … but I’m off topic. My gripe is that their recent packaging (at least so I’ve noticed) is terribly misleading. After opening the normal large sized toothpaste box, I noticed it was WAY larger than the […]

A new Hunter outdoor ceiling fan after 20 years from the other

| June 21, 2018

Last weekend I notice one of the ceiling fans was no longer working … we could have used it with temperatures in the 90s – hey, it’s summer weather and to be expected in Cincinnati. Anyway, after taking apart the old Hunter fan, I could tell the inside was “growly” which indicated some corrosion. I […]

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 […]

New 12-inch Hitachi miter saw. An early birthday present to me.

| May 1, 2018

New tools are my jewelry when it comes to presents … and Brenda agreed to buy me a new 12" Hitachi sliding compound miter saw so I could more easily work on a couple of projects (after promising to do them this year). Hm, what have I gotten myself into??? The first project is to […]

Tech Friday: A Sony Blu Ray DVD player and HDMI splitter

| March 30, 2018

Now that our home theater has seats again, we are able to enjoy movie watching … sort of. When Katelyn and Taylor were home last weekend, I realized our old LG Blu-Ray DVD player didn’t work(it was a remote issue without any button overrides on the box). That frustration was followed by an older home […]

Old May Fly Walleye fishing lures that need to be tossed or sold

| March 27, 2018

While cleaning out old Consolidated Printing and Publishing files and boxes stored in our basement, I ran across about 50 May Fly Lures made by a charter fishing company. We printed and packaged these in batches on demand for Darrel Rowh’s side company Misty Blue Tackle and a note on the box indicated these were […]

With Harry’s, I now look forward to shaving in the morning

| March 17, 2018

Just to set the stage when it comes to shaving … I’m a “humble twin” or cheap Schick ST2 razor kind of guy. I usually add a little Barbasol Aloe shaving cream or CVS equivalent and rarely opt for an after-shave lotion. It is a daily chore that I’ve repeated daily for decades, although have […]

Backpacking filtration hack for emergency water too

| January 10, 2018

Bits and pieces are still arriving from my Christmas shopping. Sometimes I forget that not every company/individual doing business online is shipping with the efficiency we become accustom to with Amazon and other big online retail sites. In any case, one of the gifts I assembled was an emergency kit that included survival items we […]

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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