The Canary (cardinal) security cam alerts are driving me crazy

| April 6, 2020

Thought I would add a late day animated GIF to the blog … partially because these Canary alerts have become a normal annoyance by sending text message alerts and partially this cardinal is cute. Hopefully he will grow tired of “looking at himself” and find a female cardinal who he can impress!

Tech Friday: Word processor WordStar in 1980 for the Apple II

| April 3, 2020

Above is a graphic sent by a friend, who knows of my long time Apple addiction … and it had me pondering the Steve Jobs vs Steve Wozniak struggle when trying to grow Apple Computer back in the early days (watch the Danny Boyle movie called Steve Jobs). One of the founders was an advocated […]

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 […]

Protecting privacy with a web browser – a BRAVE new world

| March 6, 2020

My buddy Jeff Pitts, who has recently moved from IT to  a job focused exclusively on cybersecurity for a worldwide company, tends to error on the side of caution when it comes to privacy practices. He has moved entirely to the Mac (we used to have a  fun debate when he was a 100% PC […]

Tech Friday, sort of: If you like geography, world history and maps – you will like this

| February 28, 2020

Right-click and Save-as for a very interesting larger download version of this map A new Brilliant Maps twitter feed is constantly sharing some very interesting mapping  projects and this one was particularly intriguing. As a commenter posted, “obviously a map like this is going to disputed, but PisseGuri82 has gone to great lengths to explain […]

TechFriday: VPN yay or VPN nay? Free or paid? Which service?

| February 21, 2020

If you’ve been on the Internet for any length of time (post from 2007), you have likely used, or been marketed VPN services, as a way to secure your Wi-Fi connection (especially public hotspots) away from the office or home network. I’ve pitched them as a security precaution to my customers and use them when […]

While waiting for our 2nd granddaughter, here’s #1 for #TBT

| February 20, 2020

Brenda and I are praying that all is well, but I suspect BO#2 is just a little too comfortable. Our Taylor came 2 weeks late, so a little bit after his due date does not surprise us. BabyOostra #2’s due date was yesterday and Katelyn “thinks” she is holding out for the weekend, but something […]

High CalendarAgent CPU use on Apple MacOS Catalina 10.15.3

| February 12, 2020

Here’s a tech tidbit for those noticing a high CalendarAgent CPU demand on your Apple Macintosh computer. For me, the process cranked up the CPU to 60-70% trigging high fan speeds and this process continued without finishing. I noticed slightly sluggish behavior AFTER a recent MacOS software update, although might have happened prior to that? […]

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 […]

Winter weather, driving and fun babysitting Annalyn

| February 8, 2020

It was a positive week for me with the highlight spending Wednesday evening with Katelyn and Drew and Thursday babysitting Annalyn in Perrysburg and spending the day with my granddaughter Annalyn. She is growing up so fast, but makes me truly feel loved. My big concern is whether I will have enough “love” leftover for […]

A 1989 family glacier photo and thoughts on climate change #TBT

| February 6, 2020

It has been a shockingly mild winter, at least in Cincinnati this year. Generally I don’t put the snow blower on the John Deere 330 tractor until it is needed, yet this year I prepared early … and may have frightened the snow away? Having a winter without much snow is not totally unheard of, […]

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 […]

Music Monday: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights – iMac OS update

| January 13, 2020

While Freddy Fender was not on my music palate back in the 1970s, it is hard not to recognize his timeless music … so for today’s Music Monday AND semi-painful iMac macOS postponed update to Apple’s  Catalina here’s the 1975 song, Wasted Days And Wasted Nights. For those who maintain computers and struggle to know […]

Are a few big tech companies getting a bit pricey?

| January 11, 2020

Forgive me for being a bit redundant in worrying (again) about the hot tech stocks like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Tesla (TSLA) and Netflix (NFLX) among others as the Dow Jones Industrial Average flirts with 29,000 in mid-January 2020 (even a broken clock is right twice a day! ― Marie von […]

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?

Aging, health, diet, a new decade and a New Year’s resolution

| January 1, 2020

We’re not getting any younger … and in my case, I’m a bit more conscious of age creeping into my decision-making process. Things I did years ago like heavy lifting, working under a car then jumping up and back down after retrieving a required tool … or even the enjoyable laying down on the floor […]

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 […]

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” … but not like this! #video

| December 21, 2019

I love these motion-sensing Wyze Cams …   Now what if someone happened to be coming to the front door? Yikes … although more than likely it would just be funny.

New Windshield … but the Facebook advertising is too timely

| December 15, 2019

I’ve often questioned just how much data is being collected by Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc … but considering I’m a relatively light user of FB … getting push timely advertising is a bit creepy. I called my insurance company last week for a windshield repair/replacement for our 2010 BMW X5 35d and handled the entire […]

Tech Friday: Growing pains with “person detection” AI at Wyze

| November 29, 2019

With the advent of decent quality inexpensive home security products and cameras, it has never be easier to keep an eye on “motion” that happens around a business or home. The key for most of us is to find the least expensive quality “small” product … in our case the Wyze cams have beat out […]

Tesla unveiled the highly anticipated Cybertruck #video

| November 23, 2019

Tesla’s version of a “pickup truck” is being offered as a “green” alternative to America’s appetite for a consumer truck. Ford continues to dominate with it’s F-150 with Chevy and Dodge nipping at their heels. For some reason, we Americans want a pickup truck even though few use their dressed up beasts to haul anything. […]

Tech Friday: How is your Cyber Awareness?

| November 22, 2019

So … you’ve survived pretty much unscathed after a couple decades of identity theft, credit card fraud and everything moving online … but at some point, you realize that you’ve been lucky. Most of us are pretty lax when it comes to locking down our data, securing our digital access points and devices. So perhaps […]

A little Computer Mouse history … and then some #TBT

| November 21, 2019

Hello World! It is frightening to think that I’ve been using computers for FORTY years and have used and have seen the slow evolution in input devices clustered around a device called the Computer Mouse. So for ThrowBack Thursday #TBT this week, the above is a photo of the original “mouse” in 1964 by Douglas […]

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?)

Are you a Luddite or are you prepared for automation and AI?

| November 8, 2019

We often use the term “Luddite” whenever we refer to people resisting new technology or mechanization. Recently a Wall Street Journal article detailed a timeline of changes as much of the world is faced with yet another wave of robotic automation and artificial intelligence (AI) changing career and taking over many of the jobs we […]

Do improvements in technology change views on abortion?

| October 29, 2019

It has been 26 years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided on Roe v. Wade. In 1973, our nine justices decided that pregnant women should have the right to legally choose an abortion (would it be different today?). Our national debate has continued non-stop for decades, but the call is getting louder to re-address the issue […]

Learning about automotive manufacturing and Digital Buck

| October 22, 2019

One thing about waiting for a start-up car company to build a car is that I’m learning a lot more about the automotive manufacturing process. Nowadays, many of the parts are manufactured by suppliers to the automotive industry and then assembled. The same will be true for the unique Elio Motors three wheel tandem seating […]

Simple mount in BMW X5 35d for Amazon Echo Auto

| October 12, 2019

It isn’t easy to see this little magnetic bracket I made to hold my new Amazon Echo Auto low on the dash of the BMW X5 35d. I opted to make a little aluminum bracket that straddles the pushbutton switch blanks to the right of a few other buttons. It is fastened with automotive trim […]

Tech Friday: Apple iOS 13.1.2 was a challenging update

| October 11, 2019

My conclusion is that some of my most recent Apple iPhone and iPad iOS update problems stem from having older mobile devices and having loads older apps? That said, the upgrade to the mobile operating system known as iOS 13.1.2 (current) did not go smoothly for me. My iPhone 7plus is a few years old […]

Evaluating the Fitbit Versa – three month in and a little #TBT

| October 10, 2019

Previously I mentioned that Katelyn and Drew brought me kicking and screaming (not really) into the Fitbit “wrist device” wearing age and world. I had given up wearing a watch decades ago when I started carrying a pager. Eventually I adopted the Nextel belt holstered cellphone, then pocket folding Samsung i500 PDA phone. The new […]

Tech Friday: Loving the new Amazon Echo Auto in my car

| October 4, 2019

Last week, Amazon authorized my invitation and gave me a promo code for the Echo Auto Alexa device for the car (it was a long wait, but they did discount to $24.99 for invitation holders). For the passed several months I’ve been using an Echo Input (no speaker) in my BMW X5 35d in an […]

Tech Friday: Girl brain vs boy brain and video games

| September 27, 2019

An interesting article this past week’s Wall Street Journal detailed the "distraction" and "attraction" boys seem to have with video games in comparison to girls. Vice versa, girls are far more attracted to social networking (big surprise) on their devices, but are better at juggling their time.  I suspect this is just a new twist […]

Tech Friday: Lenovo, Eye Care and Snipping Tool backgrounds

| September 20, 2019

Today’s Tech Friday tip is something that has changed in recent weeks likely due to an update that is suppose to make reading on devices easier on the eyes. Based on lighting conditions, automatic settings will filter out blue light — a lot more when the room is dark. The problem is that this can […]

Tech Friday: Insect repellents and my AfterShokz headset

| September 13, 2019

Just a heads-up for others using AfterShokz bone conduction headphones while doing outdoorsy kinds of things where bug spray is used – DON’T. I love my Aftershokz Bluetooth headphones, most likely because it enables me to hear things around me while still enabling me to clearly hear talk and music. For me, being deaf in […]

Politics and Google – Dr Robert Epstein and Mark Levin #video

| September 12, 2019

No matter your political ideology, everyone who values integrity in our elections and in political campaigns, should be concerned with how information is disseminated and prioritized. Nowadays we depend no a very few sources that we hope are unbiasedly sifting through and helping us search information and news. For the past decade or so we […]

Tech Friday: The overused Hamburger Menu for desktop apps

| September 6, 2019

Perhaps it is just me, but I’m growing tired of the software development trend to make every piece of software resemble a smartphone app. I spend a significant amount of time using a desktop computer with plenty of display real estate, yet apps and webpages are all trying to make their mobile apps, notebook computer […]

Tech Friday: Screen Time and Classical Conditioning

| August 30, 2019

When my granddaughter was here for a week earlier this month, I purposely turn off the phone after noticing that she hears the smallest beep or phone vibration in my pocket then stops what we are doing expecting me to check it. Yikes, are we are teaching 2 year old toddlers that our devices are […]

Tech Friday: Advice on passwords and security breaches

| August 23, 2019

Some excellent and “do-able” ways to maintain reasonable password security in this Lifehacker article: One of the best things about having a solid password is that you don’t have to change it. If it’s strong, unique, and hasn’t been compromised by an attacker, you gain no security benefits by modifying it according to some arbitrary timetable. […]

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: Overcoming Paywalls with the help of Pocket

| August 9, 2019

Currently, I pay for a few subscriptions. Some pricey (Wall Street Journal, Barrons, etc) because I avidly read them. Others, like monthly magazines, I continue to pay for and rarely get around to reading, especially online only subscriptions. Several others, I occasionally receive a link or click on one from those annoying “reader apps” that […]

Tech Friday: How safe is data with cloud storage services?

| August 2, 2019

Even if you don’t regularly using cloud storage services (likely your smartphone is), most of us are at some point backing up data from our computers or using services online that store our data on major cloud storage companies.  I’ve personally had a growing concern over the race for quantum computing which eventually will make […]

Tech Friday: Quantum computing and cryptography

| July 26, 2019

The race for quantum computing superiority has been on my mind and in my discussions lately. State actors like China, North Korea and Russia are all running projects sponsored by their governments to be the first to harness such computing power that will make today’s encryption nearly worthless. Here in the US, our biggest tech […]

Tech Friday: Photo manipulation is disturbing and creepy #faceapp

| July 19, 2019

Disturbing and “creepy” (as Katelyn messaged) … although I don’t mind looking a bit younger. 😉   Photoshop in the old days was fun to play around with, but nowadays, video and photo manipulation is beginning to frighten me. Taylor sent me this age-changing photo from our weekend at Put-In-Bay using FaceApp. Although there is […]

Tech Friday: The challenges of policing speech on social media

| July 12, 2019

There are challenges from users and governments facing several of the companies who make money advertising to the millions of eyeballs and the marketing of users personal data. We all want “free services,” but most people dislike the collection and selling of their personal data or having to sift through advertising … especially when it […]

Twitter is a dead bird at the moment …

| July 11, 2019

I tend to use Twitter $TWTR as my daily newsfeed and choice of social media comment platform, but on Thursday afternoon this week, it is not working. For me, it is no big deal, but for reporters and politicians, it is the way they communicate nowadays. It will be interesting to hear what caused the […]

Children are online A LOT, so how do we protect them?

| July 10, 2019

Oh for the good ol’ days when we read cereal boxes in the morning and just wanted the trinket inside or collected box tops while learning “delayed gratification.”   Kids online: ”81% of the world’s children and 92% of US children now have an online presence before they turn 2. In the US, 95% of […]

Technology, communication, parenting and The Lord’s Prayer

| July 7, 2019

As a grandparent, I so enjoyed how technology has been able to keep our family connected. Perhaps it is not unlike remembering my mother talking with her parents daily on the “wired” telephone after we moved “so far away” for back in the day when families often remained in the same neighborhoods and cities where […]

Tech Friday: My Fitbit encourages exercise, including swimming

| July 5, 2019

So far the Fitbit Versa “watch” that I received for my birthday has been great … and I’m using it far more than expected. It has already encouraged me to be a little more active as I work hard to hit the 10,000 step goal each day. Thank you Katelyn and Drew! This past weekend […]

Amazon delivery may be taking a page from Santa Claus?

| July 3, 2019

Our front door security camera picks up the strangest visitors #deer.

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 […]

Finally joining the smartwatch and Fitbit wearer club

| June 26, 2019

The plan was to post an update on the terrific 30th (Taylor) 60th (Rich) birthday weekend celebration with the whole family planned by Katelyn on Put-In-Bay last weekend … but I’ve been too busy to get my photos and thoughts together. So this will just be a smallish update highlighting the Fitbit Versa that Katelyn, […]

Call me paranoid, but it feels impossible to secure computers

| June 16, 2019

My good friend Jeff Pitts, a network and IT expert, and most recently IT cybersecurity expert, constantly update me with the latest threats to computer servers. He manages the computers and networks for a Cincinnati-based international company that is constantly under bombardment from hackers. Most of the attacks are directly from China and according to […]

Tech Friday: There is a problem with live GPS rerouting

| June 7, 2019

A pitfall in real-time GPS mapping services is that, although they “can” highlight road construction and closures, they are not always accurate or give appropriate advice for detours or “route arounds.” This was apparent on a 16 hour drive back from Florida (see comment) and more recently for a road closing leading to our development […]

Tech Friday: Your photo apps are making a lot of “facetile” images

| May 31, 2019

If you are using Apple’s Photos app, you’ve probably noticed the software attempts to identify faces of people (not just Apple either). This can be helpful for “you” to sift through photos, but also seems a bit nosy when the app also builds a pile of “facetile” photos on its own. Most people likely will […]

How do you hold your iPhone for video conference calls?

| May 28, 2019

Just a little bit of wasted time this weekend after realizing I need a better way to hold my iPhone when using it for video conferencing and FaceTime calls. In the past I’ve used a little rubberized tape on the edge of ceramic plate that sits under my iMac … … but it was never […]

Server updates, out-of-date WordPress plug-ins and a test video

| May 23, 2019

It is time to work on a few long in the tooth server updates and one of them isn’t compatible with my “old” WordPress video plug-in – it is no longer supported. There are several options that I’m testing both for my site as well as customer installs so am testing one of them with […]

Tech Friday: ZombieLoad Flaw in Intel Chips $INTC

| May 17, 2019

Intel chips are presenting a huge problem for nearly every computer user with chips since 2011. These Intel chips have vulnerabilities that if exploited can be used to steal sensitive information directly from the processor. According to published articles from security experts, "the bugs are reminiscent of Meltdown and Spectre, which exploited a weakness in […]

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.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!