Thursday Tidbits: Getting a broken key out of a lock

| January 20, 2022

Give this heated candle or wax stick a try if you ever break a key off in a lock.

It was time, but just hate having to toss my favorite cup

| January 12, 2022

Truly a “desultory” post today … as I reflect on the demise of my favorite insulated plastic 16 oz cup. The screw-on lid has long ago disappeared, but I have continued to use this plastic cup to keep my ice cubes and Diet Mountain Dew cold (my favorite soft drink for 40 years).  I bought […]

Tech Friday: Keen 1963 portable phone insight Mansfield, OH

| January 7, 2022

Here’s a look back to a Mansfield News Journal article and something a little different for a New Year’s Nostradamus-y Tech Friday post … also in using the word “keen” it reflects the Christmas present/hiking shoes I bought (well Katelyn actually ordered) for Brenda … along with a bed-desk for her “preferred” office. 😉

LSSU’s 2022 list of Banished Words is an excellent one

| January 4, 2022

It is difficult to NOT post the Lake Superior State University Banished Words list for 2022 since it has been a regular January blog inclusion for years. This year includes a few political overused terms/phrases such as “circle back” and “supply chain” … and a few long running over used ones: “At the end of […]

Goofy New Year’s resolution? Improve my hand cut dovetails

| January 1, 2022

Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2022 will finally be the year that we can return to normal life after 2 years of struggling with COVID19 and the precautions and restrictions. One of my woodworking skill improvements for 2022 (maybe I’ll make it a New Year’s resolution?) is to improve my competence, speed and accuracy in […]

Simple TableSaw or Bandsaw miter jig idea for #Woodworking

| December 28, 2021

As usual, I was late in coming across a simple workshop miter guide for my table saw, although more recently something I needed for my small bandsaw. While working on a Christmas project for my granddaughter, I needed to cut a bunch of small pieces where I didn’t lose so much wood to the table […]

Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021 – Elon Musk

| December 26, 2021

Before the year 2021 disappears, it is worth highlighting Time magazine’s pick for Person of the Year  – although I generally just roll my eyes. This time in picking Elon Musk, it is hard to disagree. The pick of Musk, the richest man on Earth, is a good one as he is not only an […]

Finally added the notch to the table saw outfeed table

| December 22, 2021

It has taken me a long time to cut into the outfeed table that I added to my Delta table saw in 2019, but I’ve finally added “the notch.” The spacing between the often used Shopsmith band saw and my lumber rack has always been tight … so tight that I’ve found myself angling it […]

Happy Winter Solstice; it is the shortest day of the year.

| December 21, 2021

The planetary astronomer and science guru, Dr. James O’Donoghue, that I follow on Twitter posted a great video illustration that explains today, December 21st … or more appropriately a couple of days that occur as the seasons change. Today is the winter solstice and it marks the shortest day in the northern hemisphere. On December […]

Even at my age, curiosity makes me do unusual things

| December 18, 2021

Our Omaha Steak special New Year’s spiral cut ham arrived this week and after finding room in our freezer for 10 pounds of ham, I moved the foam cooler out to the garage. After giving some thought to how nice and cold the contents were, I decided to see if the dry ice was keeping […]

Small storage containers in my workshop hold memories

| December 12, 2021

After years of collecting a variety of tools and “tool” parts (bits, blades, etc), I’ve noticed that the mish-mash of storage containers have become even more interesting as the actual items being stored and saved (click photos for larger).  Here are a few photos with a variety of storage items in a Where’s Waldo (or […]

A couple days of photos leftover from the weekend: Part 1

| December 8, 2021

Since part one of a couple of blog photo posts will be pubic and not include family, I’ll archive it first. I finished (hopefully) the NINE trailer loads of leaves I mulched and raked in the front yard this year. Oh for the pre-Global Warming and now Climate Change days of burning leaves rather than […]

Sagging elbow skin: When did I get this Grandpa Skin?

| November 30, 2021

Who really spends time looking at themselves in the mirror … at least the men that I know? BUT … I noticed my elbows when getting dressed last weekend … there is some disturbing sagging “grandpa skin” … “when did this happen?” On the other hand, I’m not alone and I suppose this is to […]

Filler Tuesday? An annoying animated gif from Twitter

| November 23, 2021

Sort of planned to save this embedded Massimo tweet for a “Filler Friday” post or something … but needed something to plug a daily hole this week while getting ready for Thanksgiving. 😉 This has been called 'the most annoying gif on the Internet' [https://t.co/F0nU9wWnGf] but it has some interesting references, because it's a kind […]

Music Monday: An Ohio State Football win and the Sloopy Girl

| November 22, 2021

Katelyn, Drew, Megan and Taylor (and a few more Oostras!) enjoyed last Saturday afternoon in Columbus watching Ohio State demolish the “then” #7-ranked Michigan State Spartans. It was shocking to see how dominate the Buckeyes were as they scored practically every time they took possession of the football, but then again it was at the […]

Phrases to avoid. Most of us can work on these.

| November 21, 2021

Saw a longer list  of phrases on CNBC’s "Make It" website last week but pick out a few  that I hear (or say) quite often. The easiest to correct are probably the ones that we stop saying … but can it be done? “Needless to say …” What to say instead: Nothing “Needless to say” […]

Friday Filler: Tickling the ivories (a TikTok video snippet)

| November 12, 2021

A few times before, I’ve highlighted unlikely … or maybe just surprising piano playing talent on My Desultory Blog … and this Friday Filler video is no different. The first was Jacob Toliver in an Ohio hardware store and that post still makes me smile.

Making Monkey Fist ornaments and a fire on the back porch

| November 9, 2021

After learning to tie a Monkey Fist knot this past year, I decided to make a couple Christmas ornaments for my granddaughters. I was planning to attach them to their presents in December, but Brenda suggested they should have them before Christmas so that they could hang them on their tree. Yikes, now I need […]

Production oriented 1950s old-school drywall skills #video

| October 27, 2021

When it comes to tradesmen building houses, it is hard to beat an old-school drywall installer. Check out this vintage YouTube video:

Investors are concerned as the Fed tapers and inflation rises

| October 16, 2021

A friend contemplating rolling over his 401K to an IRA asked me a bond investing question the other day as he would like to balance his portfolio of stocks by adding some bonds after the rollover. Since he has never owned a bond (outside of a managed fund), the question was, “what’s the impact of […]

Tidbits: A favorite kitchen product – Glad Press’n Seal

| October 13, 2021

When it comes to  tools in the workshop, there are a few of them that I keep at arm’s length or in a small toolbox. The same goes for kitchen utensils and products. One of my favorites, if not thee favorite, is GLAD Press’n Seal® wrap (mentioned year’s ago when I still had a Keurig). […]

Logging in and adjusting to new My Desultory Blog security

| October 5, 2021

I received an email from a regular blog reader questioning the new Sign-In feature that I implemented last month; it hinders anonymous viewing on My Desultory Blog for some posts. Yes it is a restrictive change, but it is not all that cumbersome once you are “Sign-In.” The WordPress security is minimal and the only […]

Tech Friday filler: Mobile Internet traffic worldwide

| September 24, 2021

Saved an interesting graphic posted on social media this past week. It is interesting to look at and contemplate how we use our smartphones and tablets … it also works as a Tech Friday filler.

A map of showing the 4037 cities with populations over 100K

| September 23, 2021

This map was posted on Brilliant Maps back in 2015, but graphically seeing the 4037 cities around the world with over 100,000 people in them was interesting for those of us who enjoy studying maps. LINK to larger black and white and LINK to color overlay map It may not be the most up-to-date map, […]

Visual Imagery: Lightening, Lightning and Lighting

| September 18, 2021

A lot of people, including me, stumble repeatedly on seemingly the simplest things. Often this comes when trying to remember something or with the spelling of words we write and read all the time … yet we still seem to forget them again and again. I’m not sure if “Lightening, Lightning and Lighting” are issues […]

Archive: The Practical Sailor “Foundational Four” solvent list

| September 13, 2021

Who wants to even look at their home or boat shelf of solvents. I’ve bought different ones for different tasks and the cans just sit there since I never know which ones to use for which purpose. Is it possible to just stick with four? The Foundational Four Mineral Spirits. Good for thinning varnish and […]

Audiobook: Bill O’Reilly and "Killing the SS" on the Libby app

| September 5, 2021

Last week I downloaded a new library app called Libby that is an Overdrive component for audiobooks for borrowing digitally from the library. I put it to use immediately after checking out the Bill O’Reilly book “Killing the SS.” So far it is very interesting considering I’m only in chapter 2, but love the storytelling […]

What are you going to invest in if inflation continues to rise?

| September 3, 2021

A friend asked me the other day, “what are you going to do if inflation becomes a bigger problem than it is already?” Good question … the canned answer (safe answer) is to be diversified. The reality is far more challenging. There was a day when the first reply was to own hard assets like […]

What does ZIP in the USPS “zipcode” stand for? #TBT

| August 19, 2021

What Does ZIP in zip code stand for … for Throwback Thursday #TBT? ZIP is an acronym using the first letters from Zoning Improvement Plan. … and who doesn’t grin at 1963 marketing: Zip Code: With the Swingin’ Six. 😊

Primer: An retirement savings decision making cheat sheet

| August 14, 2021

The older I get, the less investment risk I’m comfortable taking. Perhaps it is not the age thing, but having experienced stock market gyrations and what happens to our investments? For those of us in small business or in the gig economy, and increasingly for those who move from company to company, we are our […]

Old bananas, a place for everything and everything in its place

| August 11, 2021

Generally we (really just me) eat up the bananas before they go too soft or brown, but when they do, I make banana bread. Slowly but surely I’ve been tweaking my recipe (below) … usually adjusting the amount of bananas (and how soft) and the 1/2 – 3/4 cup of sugar part. This past week, […]

Clear skies, cool evenings and stargazing this month (Aug 2021)

| August 4, 2021

TIDBIT: Although Jupiter and Saturn can look “relatively close” from our perspective, they are actually 456 million miles apart. Saturn is nearly twice as far away as Jupiter. We have had  a few unusually cool evenings for early August (50-60F degrees) and the clear skies have me looking up. For stargazers and amateur sky watchers, […]

What’s new these days: Renting outdoor gear from Eddie Bauer?

| August 1, 2021

Perhaps I’ve been asleep at the wheel, but when looking to buy another pair of Eddie Bauer shorts (liked the lightweight ones I ordered last month – below), I noticed that they are promoting a “Rent Your Adventure” outdoor camping gear program. It caught me off-guard  to see them renting outdoor gear as well as […]

A project idea (below) and wasting time salvaging junk

| July 31, 2021

To salvage or toss: It is a quandary those of us who try to fix, salvage and repair things. My theory is that those of us who take thing apart as kids to see how they work, tend to be the ones doing it when they are older and collecting boxes of junk? I often […]

Tech Friday: Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know (WIRED)

| July 23, 2021

Occasionally I still get calls from people asking me about shortcut key combinations. Most of the shortcuts are second nature to people who grew up using computers, but then again … what you don’t use, you forget. How about a refresher from Wired? Tip: Learn as many keyboard shortcuts as your brain can store. You […]

Abhimanyu Mishra, the youngest Chess grandmaster in history

| July 6, 2021

It was probably the intimidating photo of 9 year old Abhimanyu Mishra that caught my attention, but as someone who once enjoyed the “recreational game” of Chess as a boy, it is also impressive to see what this young New Jersey boy has accomplished. At the GM Mix in Hungary last week, a 12-year old […]

Do you pop the end tabs in before unrolling aluminum foil?

| June 27, 2021

Who doesn’t occasionally need a little advice from the helpful tips, tricks and tidbits floating around the Internet? Here’s one that should be familiar to most of us, but surprisingly catches us off guard once in a while when a roll of aluminum foil pops out of the box and ends up unrolled and dinged […]

Replaced a failed sump pump check valve after heavy rains

| June 26, 2021

Last weekend we had thunderstorms and tornado warning that dumped buckets of rain in our area. Thankfully no damage or serious flooding, but I did check on the sump and backyard pumps … I even added my spare pump to the pit in order to keep the water that builds up in the retention area […]

Tool tip: The Alligator Forceps purchase pays off immediately!

| June 19, 2021

Having just posted on the tool tip from Adam Savage yesterday, the Alligator Forceps paid immediate dividends. It was the exact tool I needed to replace the degraded gasoline tubing of my aging TroyBilt 4-cycle string trimmer. For context, photo from 2007 below …

Small item Alligator Forceps tool tip thanks to Adam Savage

| June 17, 2021

After repairing our iRobot pool sweeper last week and figuring out how to hold a “behind the riveted new screen” tiny nut in place (after I dropped it!) … I happened to see Adam Savage’s model building recommended tool (mention him an his testedcom before) and “just had to have it.” In the photos above, […]

The odds are at least 50-50 … right? #learning #statistics

| June 16, 2021

So why do I always end up trying to open the wrong end of a trash bag? With human intelligence and adaptive learning being what it is, one would think knowing which end of the trash bag to open when pulling one out of the box or roll would favor me getting it correct? I’m […]

WW2 Aviation History: Why are F4U-1 Corsairs so taped up?

| June 12, 2021

Well talking to Taylor at his birthday dinner, I mentioned someone posted a photo of a WW2 Vought F4U Corsair and asked about the “stripes” … or duct tape … on the cowl in front of the pilot. The answer from a HistoryNet.com researcher below is a great aviation tidbit for those with a curious […]

Woodworking: Love this simple table saw push-stick design

| May 27, 2021

When I come across an item that interest me in woodworking, I either try to write them down, take a photo or save the plans. In this case the idem is a simple shop helper … a table saw push stick, of which I have many … BUT, I really like the simple curves and […]

Flowers, some Kubota service and waking up the Packard Hawk

| May 11, 2021

This content is restricted.

Looking at New York City from the Empire State Building #pano

| May 4, 2021

How many building top water tanks can you count? (you could spend hours zoomed in on this photo … and if that is not enough, there is a naked man somewhere in this “Where is Wally or Waldo-like” photo).  LINK: “World’s Largest Photo of New York City“

How do you dice and onion? Let’s check with Lifehacker.

| April 18, 2021

Is there a better way to “dice” and onion? The Lifehacker “Hack or Wack” crew gave the UK tipster’s method a try … and I’ll probably do the same even though they concluded it was “wack.” Still, there might be a couple modifications that could keep the onion flat on the cutting board and still […]

Tech Friday: A powerful Copy and Paste app for the Macintosh

| April 16, 2021

If you use a computer for any length of time (my “go-to” is an aging 2012 Apple iMac), you’ll find yourself cut, copy and pasting things on a regular basis. Security experts do not recommend using the cut/copy feature for secure items like user names and passwords, but that doesn’t prevent the habit of using […]

My new visual for the "blow your own horn [trumpet]" idiom

| April 15, 2021

John Rowe, an automotive friend on Twitter, often shares a “ Today’s Useless Tweet” that I find entertaining. It fit with the idioms tag on MyDesultoryBlog and thought his  “blow your own horn [trumpet]” (see below embedded tweet) would be fitting as a filler for today. Today’s Useless Tweet : 1972. 5th grade. Parents bought […]

An etymology share: ‘What Time Is ‘Noon?"

| March 31, 2021

When was ‘noon’ a time that was later in the day … like 3PM? Let’s check with merriam-webster.com: There’s something aesthetically pleasing about the word noon. Its palindromic spelling feels appropriate for the middle of the day, when the sun is directly overhead and the hands on the clock are pointed upward in a straight […]

"Three on the Tree" (for car enthusiast or those of a certain age)

| February 2, 2021

Earlier in the years, this image of a “Three on the Tree” manual column shifter-pattern was tweeted by a automotive friend and it triggered memories for me. Younger people nowadays might not even remember manual shifting on the column with a clutch .. or for that matter ever shifting a “Four on the Floor” … […]

A bit disappointed in the 2021 LSSU’s Banished Words List

| January 14, 2021

One of my favorite January traditions is looking at the Lake Superior State University’s Banished Words listing that get posted on December 31. I can’t believe LSSU has been doing it since 1976 and it is fun to look at their archives! For the year ending 2020 (or 2021’s list), LSSU selected COVID-19 as the #1 […]

Understanding the Pfizer and Moderna COVID19 vaccines

| December 27, 2020

There was an interesting article in Prevention Magazine that explains what the COVID19 or generically the Coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna do … AND what their ingredients are. It also details the differences between the two from the standpoint of how cold storage temperatures need to be. Check out the article for the ingredients […]

Tech Friday: Using Grammarly for Chrome (Brave in my case)

| December 11, 2020

Not that it would ever be noticed in my “rarely proofread” blog, but for the past year I’ve been using a plugin app called Grammarly (it unfortunately doesn’t work with Open Live Writer, the aging software I use for blogging ever since Microsoft abandoned LiveWriter). So far it has been helpful in checking my emails […]

Missing sailing but appreciating a Cape Horn installation video

| December 6, 2020

Sometime the best part of keeping a daily blog is that provides a place to archive tidbits for future reference. The Sailing Uma “gear review” tagged YouTube clip on their channel has a fantastic installation video for the Cape Horn Wind Vane self-steering gear that I might need when taking apart ours for repair. Currently […]

Ideas: medal holding chop saw fence and tapering rod stock

| November 22, 2020

Just adding a couple of idea photos for a future metalworking project, or adaptable to woodworking as well. First, clamp a couple of scrap pieces of wood in a metal cutting chopsaw or miter saw to cut small sizes and keep in place (might rig something on my handheld bandsaw for better control and thinner […]

Kitchen stool screw-on felt slides – a must have and long overdue

| November 17, 2020

This should have been one of the first things I did when assembling our six metal stools back when we remodeled our kitchen in 2017. I bought slides for the condo stools after remodeling since there were only two and on tile, but cheaped out with stick felts at home. They were never worth the […]

What to do with a piece of cheap tarp and a Sailrite Ultrafeed?

| November 15, 2020

On one of my sailing groups, a Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 user complained that the speed controller pedal was hard to regulate. I’ve found that to be true as well. Another person made the comment that they used a piece of flexible tubing/hose that gives the pedal a little more tactile feel … so I tried […]

Tech Friday: A Lifewire tip for Apple’s Bluetooth Magic Mouse

| November 13, 2020

Recently I have been having problems with the Magic Mouse on my aging Apple iMac. The Bluetooth mouse once steadily held it’s connection until the AA batteries were getting weaker. I’ve cleaned the contacts with electrical cleaner and a Scotch-Brite pad but continue to have issue. A quick check on the Internet indicated that I’m […]

Tidbits: Just a simple Band-Aid bandaging tip for a finger joint

| October 18, 2020

About half the time I need to cover a cut with a Band-Aid, it is on a finger. Often right where the joint flexes and then even the better stretchy bandages bunch, unstick and come off. Here’s a tip for covering the finger when dealing with a joint … and it works for the tip […]

Workshop dust control for a basement woodworking shop

| October 13, 2020

Thrifty or maybe frugal is the word choice that I use, but occasionally “cheapskate” might be a better fit? I’ve used a 3-speed Jet Tools Air Filtration System to clean the air in my basement woodworking workshop  to reduce the amount of dust. It works reasonable well but suspect a lot of dust still makes […]

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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