Real ID is still happening, but you have a 1-year reprieve

| September 25, 2020

Since I posted last year about the new Real ID regulations for domestic flying and travel, I figured it was appropriate to update the one-year reprieve. Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL […]

BMW X5 35d diesel fill-up for $1.39/gal with Kroger fuel points

| September 12, 2020

With a few miles of driving this week (nothing like my years of back and forth to NE Ohio) … I kept an eye out for anomalies in diesel fuel price. prices. It just so happened that Sidney and Wapakoneta prices were a bit lower than either Toledo or home in Cincinnati, so I planned […]

Obit: A generation of small boat cruising sailors loved Larry

| September 4, 2020

Larry and Lin Pardey have been a couple of my sailing idols since I was in high school. Their life adventure, magazine articles and books have been a mainstay in keeping the cruising lifestyle close to my heart and in my dreams. I’ve posted a few times before regarding their philosophy and many skills, but […]

A memory from 2010! What happened to my children? #TBT

| August 27, 2020

Love this photo, although Katelyn and Taylor do look the same to me … well, add 10 years. I saw this photo from our Bermuda cruise in 2010 and thought, “I’m so glad we took as many trips as we did each year as a family!” The early years of traveling may have been on […]

Archive: Stay around home 2020 mini-vacation family photos

| August 11, 2020

With our family in town last week, it was a busy time. We enjoyed several outings, good food and plenty of pool time. Annalyn has really grown to enjoy swimming and playing in the yard. She loves the swing (Bompa needs to work on a bigger one) and riding the bike with training wheels to […]

Archive: Remembering good times with my friend Jeff #TBT

| August 6, 2020

My friend Jeff has been part of my life since college and knows WAY too much about me … both good (which he conveniently forgets) and bad (which he’s remembers all too well). We’ve always have great times together, be it in Founders Hall dorm at ONU back in college or the many years after […]

Looking back 15 years on the blog and wondering what’s ahead?

| August 1, 2020

My goodness, where have the years gone!?! I know that I’m not the only one who asks that question, but when it stares me in the face from 6700 blog post ago … it is a big reminder. I’ve noted in this post that 15 years ago Taylor and I headed up to see my […]

Social networking with like-minded friends about cars and remembering camping with my family when growing up #TBT

| July 23, 2020

Having the comradery of social media friends who enjoy similar interests doesn’t necessarily replace face to face friendships, but at least during the Coronavirus pandemic it is a way to stay connected. There are a few of us like-minded car guys who sort of have an appreciation for the mundane cars and share stories, photos and […]

Archive: Flying down and driving back from hurricane prep

| June 28, 2020

Flew on the airlines for the first time since COVID19 to Florida via Baltimore (photo BWI terminal above) last week and thankfully the flights and negotiating the airport was uneventful. Besides a computer glitch which backed up lines on check in, everything else went smoothly. It is yet to be seen if the rise in […]

Forgot to archive my 2020 Father’s Day conversation #TBT

| June 25, 2020

Our family went in different directions for Father’s Day this year, but I enjoyed the text messages, ‘last year memory photo’ and FaceTime singing by Annalyn. She sang a great Happy Father’s Day song to the tune of "Happy Birthday to you" … that was very appreciated and enjoyable. Ellerie tried to talk and she […]

Photos to keep us up-to-date with our growing granddaughters

| April 19, 2020

Although it has only been a couple months since Ellerie was born (8 weeks now), the Coronavirus stay-at-home orders has definitely made it challenging for grandparents … especially when they would really like to be with their grandchildren. Brenda and I only ‘now’ realize just how fortunate we were to have been able to travel several […]

Annalyn and Ellerie photos are keeping a smile on my face

| April 8, 2020

Grandparents who receive regular photos, video, FaceTime and Alexa Echo messages from their grandchildren (and children) are fortunate to live in today’s technology rich world. Just a couple decades ago, families who moved apart for careers or whatever reason were lucky to get a few snapshots in the US mail or maybe talk on the […]

Was life really simpler when backpacking? #TBT

| April 2, 2020

With “stay at home” orders issued for 3/4 of the U.S. population, my good friend Jeff Pitts has been obeying the directive and working from home. It is also giving him time to do those “I’ll get to it someday” chores like cleaning out a spare room and finally throwing stuff away. One of the […]

Showing an old Mercedes Benz W123 conversion a little love

| March 4, 2020

One has to admire the ingenuity some go through in taking their love of the classic W123 Mercedes Benz diesel with a love of cheap travel or as the RV and Van camper crowd call it: boondocking. I’ve had daydreams of converting my small utility trailer to a self-contained privative camping trailer, but find it […]

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 […]

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, […]

The Chinese Coronavirus. What you might want to know.

| January 29, 2020

Read an outstanding article in the WSJ this past week as the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to spread and take lives. It is currently a China-based virus that likely stems from bats that mutate and spread through other mammals. Efforts are being made in China to prevent spreading within their country, but with travel and […]

Music Monday: Green Day and the a US National Park road trip

| January 20, 2020

More than a few of us have contemplated just what it would take to see as many U.S. National Parks in our lifetime (and Canadian National Parks for me). Likely, very few of us will accomplish the lofty ambition, but then as I recently mentioned to my daughter who enjoys tying visits and hikes in […]

Automotive history photo and story that got attention last year

| January 2, 2020

Every once in a while, a story about cars and history (my memories) catches eyeballs. One such story in Hemmings Motor News last year did that for me in part because my dad had a 1972 Ford Pinto and because the Mt. St. Helens eruption in May of 1980 was a big deal news story. […]

How long should AGM deep cycle storage batteries last?

| December 18, 2019

Although my boating life isn’t quite this bad (thanks for the photo Fatty Goodlander), it is frustrating to be dealing with what I thought was an already “fixed” problems aboard Encore. Besides not using the boat often enough, the re-fixing of problems a second time is frustrating, time consuming and costly. Back in 2013 (has […]

Windshield chips become ugly cracks when it is cold

| December 14, 2019

Don’t you just hate this! Earlier this week I was driving home through construction and traffic as I headed south from Columbus to Cincinnati on I-71 (road construction is not done yet!) and I heard a rock hit the windshield. It sounded pretty nasty, but after looking around carefully from the inside, all was fine […]

TSA air travel rules continue to frustrate pocketknife people

| December 11, 2019

Pocketknives have been part of my life since I was a 5 year old … yes, you heard that right, FIVE YEARS OLD. My grandfather gave me my first 1-inch semi-toy pocketknife when my family was still living on Spencer Street in Toledo – which means I was likely still only 4 (it was a […]

Vacation Part 3: A few left over photos and video from the beach

| October 27, 2019

There were a few extra photos and some video of Brenda swimming on my iPhone from our Delray Beach, Florida vacation last week, so I’ll archive them and make a Vacation Part 3 post (Part 1 and Part 2). Nothing spectacular … but viewing the video and listening to the water and wave below is […]

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 […]

Notes on a few more master bathroom and upholstery updates

| September 25, 2019

Following up on my weekend post and a few of the projects that I’m trying to complete (or get started) during my few days in Florida is the “somewhat new to me” upholstery project. It has bogged down my to-do list schedule, but I was able to get the master bathroom corner mirrors and glass […]

Enjoying a nice drive, good weather and undeserved friendship

| September 22, 2019

Made my favorite “good weather” drive this past week on I-40 through Tennessee and North Carolina (photo above) and visited my undeserved friends Mark and Dar Jones who recently moved to a new townhouse outside of Savannah, Georgia. What a comfortable place for both of them … offering “walk-ability” for Dar with her limited eyesight […]

Do you have a REAL ID yet? If you fly, you have until Oct 2020.

| September 15, 2019

The Wall Street Journal Middle Seat writer reminds us that in about a year, just before the 2020 election, there will likely be a few more airport delays and angry passengers attempt to use their “old” driver’s licenses as an ID in order to pass through the TSA screening line. UGH! One can only imagine […]

One week late, but finally archiving our Put In Bay family weekend

| June 29, 2019

A week ago Brenda and I headed up to our “old stomping grounds” (idiom) to celebrate Taylor’s 30th and my 60th birthday at Put In Bay, Ohio.  Katelyn planned a family gathering for us since her partner owns a house and a few rentals on the island and graciously let us stay in the place […]

Remembering the Lake Erie Islands with our family #TBT

| June 20, 2019

Although the Throwback Thursday #TBT memory of celebrating my late parent’s 50th wedding anniversary in 2007 leaves me bittersweet, I’m so thankful we had our time together (photo above and below the break is with them on Kelley’s Island in 2007). I’m not sure where the time disappeared … but I honestly thought that both […]

Premium Rapeseed Cooking Oil for Taylor from Duchess Farms

| June 19, 2019

My son Taylor has a friend who runs a farm in the UK that he visited with back in 2015. Besides the bachelor pad in a barn with collectable British and Italian sports cars, he also grows and processes rapeseed oil for cooks and unique restaurants.  The Duchess Oil brand is not available in the […]

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 […]

The diver who recreated the “Jaws” movie poster photo (& others)

| May 29, 2019

It is summer and what is more “summery” than being out in the sun and going to the beach … and thinking about “JAWS.” Yikes! Ever since the iconic “we’re going to need a bigger boat” Jaws movie came out in 1975, most people have been both fascinated and fearful of the Great White Shark. […]

Another year, another project … and another bathroom update

| May 10, 2019

Last year’s Condo1718 update to the kitchen and guest bathroom was a bit more ambitious than this year, but so far it doesn’t seem like it. Mentally I had my timetable worked out and figured the demolition wouldn’t take all that much. Well really it didn’t, but after finding a few things not where I […]

What makes the Mississippi River important and so big?

| May 5, 2019

Every student learns just how big and important the Mississippi River is in our country. From transporting materials from the America’s breadbasket to markets throughout the country and beyond … to draining the snowmelt and rainfall off the land so it can be cultivated (was reminded of this with all the flooding this spring). It […]

Archive: Photos from Katelyn, Drew & Annalyn’s trip to Yosemite

| April 20, 2019

It is great to see our kids squeezing in vacations and enjoying all the natural beauty our country has to offer. This past week, Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn visited “another” US National Park, this time Yosemite National Park in California. It looked like a great time! Click for a larger map and definitely click for […]

A rainy March day in Florida beats a rainy March day in Ohio

| April 2, 2019

After a weekend trip to Encore in Florida, one would think that I would be totally rejuvenated? Unfortunately I’m feel further behind and less rested than when I left? Perhaps it is age or maybe just the long drive, but I’m tired and worn out. On the bright side, it was at least good to […]

A couple inexpensive suitcase packing tips for any kind of travel

| March 9, 2019

We all see them, even if we are not using Pinterest or refuse to go to pages  designed to generate click income … but still, there are some great ideas. Here’s a packing tip that might help next time your putting liquids in your suitcase – put a little plastic wrap or any plastic over […]

Tech Friday: An update on the Samsung Chromebook Pro

| March 8, 2019

Chromebooks are not my preferred devices, but they are excellent for those with more limited computing needs. For the most part, they are relatively inexpensive, easy to update, very reliable and frustration free. They boot/start quicker than most devices and data, apps and setting are easily backed up on Google’s cloud … so as long […]

With reciprocity, I will let my Florida CCW license expire

| February 21, 2019

With nearly all states offering concealed carry permit reciprocity with Ohio, I’m no longer going to renew my Florida CCW license. It seems like just a waste of money and  bureaucratic duplication. Florida always did work well with an Ohio CCW, but there were a combination of states that I drove through between Ohio and […]

The colorful Coquina Clams emerging from a sandy beach

| February 3, 2019

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

To-Do and old photos from history – Machu Picchu from 1911

| January 9, 2019

Photo from history website pulled from Reddit Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru, wasn’t discovered by someone with a camera until 1911. American archeologist Hiram Bingham took the first known photo when he visited in 1911. Bingham arrived in Peru with a small team of explorers to search for the famous “lost” cities […]

Granddaughter pleasure and driving with Waze GPS Navigation

| November 21, 2018

I upgraded to the stock display in my 2010 BMW X5 35d SUV last year to the Avin Android based Nav PLUS and it has worked well as a navigation display … but is way too sluggish so I won’t recommend it … although it might be the older chip and OS. Recently, I noticed […]

Phases of life – early retirement travel and in school already

| November 8, 2018

My brother Ron and his wife are making the most of his early retirement and sent me a few photos from their trip to Hawaii this week. That is one trip I’m glad we took with our kids when we seemed to be able to find more time – as the saying goes, "time flies." […]

Enjoyed a great week in Florida with Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn

| October 27, 2018

All good things come to an end … but Brenda and I sure had a great time in Delray Beach FL with Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn. It was our first vacation with Annalyn and we enjoyed being with her … and Katelyn and Drew … for the week. Our weather could not have been better […]

Final touches and cleaning after condo kitchen remodeling

| September 25, 2018

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

The Perfect Wave to make a mental escape

| September 19, 2018

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

Oh happy day – a FaceTime with Annalyn and Katelyn

| September 6, 2018

The greatest thing about being a grandpa, or Bompa, as Annalyn called me on her own for the first time, is that I had a permanent smile the rest of the day. She had a great time showing me a few new things and a really cute book for her 2-day per week Montessori school […]

What are the chances a Hurricane returns?

| August 21, 2018

Every state, city and location along the Gulf and Atlantic coast is vunerable to tropical weather this time of year, especially in late summer. Here are a couple of maps highlighting the number of years between hurricanes (winds 74 and higher above) and major hurricanes (winds 111 and higher below). Neither is that comforting. Every […]

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

| August 10, 2018

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

Tech Friday: The inexpensive Wyze Cam now supports Alexa

| July 20, 2018

I’ve been using the Wyze Cam to keep an eye on our Florida condo for a couple of months now … and besides an issue with a low-cost router overheating, it has been excellent. I’ve been thinking about adding a second one with the adjustable viewing angle, but it is not on the high priority […]

Music Monday: Jet Airliner recorded by the Steve Miller Band

| June 25, 2018

In keeping with the Music Mondays theme, the Steve Miller Band concert was last week at Riverbend in Cincinnati. It is hard to believe the band has been playing over 50 years … and still being enjoyed by fans (this year Peter Frampton joined the tour). I recall listening to the 1970s albums on 8-track […]

Remotes, remodeling and a day leftover for Encore

| April 14, 2018

This past week has been a busy one for me. I was off to Florida for a few days to check on the condo in Delray Beach after our winter renter and to start the demolition of the kitchen. It is a project that is way past due and I’m not sure I know exactly […]

Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn are home, but I doubt rested?

| March 18, 2018

Katelyn, Drew and Annalyn are back from their busy trip to San Diego. It is great to see them taking advantage of their medical conference trips and extend them into a fun family time. Katelyn was a bit nervous flying alone with a 1-year old to meet up with Drew after his conference, but it […]

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 […]

Who really wants to fly ALONE with a 1-year old?

| March 11, 2018

Ah yes … the stress of a mom flying by herself with a one-year-old … it can be stressful. My daughter Katelyn flew to San Diego, California “alone” with Annalyn on Saturday and reported that all her “distraction” preparations paid off … well she didn’t exactly say that … BUT that fact that she was […]

Irrawaddy Dolphins – southeast Asia river dolphins

| March 6, 2018

Irrawaddy dolphins are found in coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia, and in three rivers: the Ayeyarwady (Myanmar), the Mahakam (Indonesian Borneo) and the Mekong. The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins inhabit a 118-mile stretch of the river between Cambodia and Lao PDR and are scarce—between 78 and 91 individuals are estimated to still exist. […]

Archiving a couple Red River Gorge photos from Taylor

| February 27, 2018

  As mentioned before, it is great to see my son Taylor enjoying a couple of my interests or hobbies like hiking and photography when I was younger (actually I still enjoy them). Ignoring the lousy weather (we had a lot of rain and flooding), he ended up hiking with "a friend" (?) at a […]

Try the “Revenue Management” tip when frequent flying

| February 25, 2018

For frequent long distance flyers, give this airline reservation travel tip a try … We have never bought an upper-class seat; if ever we’ve flown anywhere up front, we’ve used miles to upgrade from economy. If you want to do that, call reservations and drop the name “revenue management.” The reason is that revenue management’s […]

The flight of MH17 – National Geographic #video

| February 22, 2018

Previously I’ve detailed a bit about the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and some of what I have learned … here is a National Geographic channel video that summarizes what we know in 44 minutes.

Already missing my morning view

| February 17, 2018

The irritation of “the week that was” has given way to the positive memories like waking up to this kind of sunrise view … even if it was in a marina. I’m thankful to have the out of water maintenance headaches behind me and can now look forward to “escaping” to our little corner of […]

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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