An old wooden ladder and memories good and bad

Posted By on January 14, 2018

OldBoatLadderToLoft180106As my son Taylor said, “ladders will be our family’s downfall.” So true …

The old wooden ladder I inherited from the late Harry McKee when we bought our first sailboat Brenich in the early 1980s is still in active service. It is no longer chained to the old boat cradle we kept in Huron, Ohio (where we stored it), but now is used regularly to access the loft in our poolhouse / detached garage. I found myself chuckling at the “vintage shag carpet” still duct taped to the ladder — I used it to protect the side of the boat!

As for “ladders being our family’s downfall,” this past week while putting away Christmas decorations, I climbed up to the loft as I’ve done hundreds of times in order to put away the wreaths and such and on the way down felt a rung crack ending up on the floor. Thankfully I was at the bottom so the fall was not anything like the one that injured Brenda or her Dad. The biggest take-away is “not to step in the middle of the rung” (I know that) AND take note that the bathroom scale does not lie! (Yes, I’ve gained a few pounds this past year … ugh!)

Here’s a great shot of the ladder (before cutting it shorter) and a “young” Brenda and Rich with Brenich in 1983.


Encore has a new dock space in February if she is ready?

Posted By on January 13, 2018

Google Maps view of the space D-8 that will be Encore’s new dock

After hauling Encore last year for some much needed out-of-water bottom work, I’m hoping to relaunch and have her back in the water in February for the improving weather this upcoming spring. But with such few trips and infrequent sailing, I’m torn between keeping her EncoreOnTheHard170714and testing the market with a FSBO sign? 

Having owned and worked on her for the last several years planning for our "great escape" and thinking Brenda and I would be able to fly down to Florida and sail regularly before we fully retire, I’m starting to have my doubts? "Realistically," we are still a few years from retirement and health insurance when not working (Medicare) … and are currently both enjoying our very comfortable home, granddaughter and family who are now all in Ohio.  What to do, what to do???

So for now, I’ll buy a little more time, try to enjoy life and escape now and then to the boat when possible – it’s really not all that bad!

Tech Friday: Handbrake video compression testing

Posted By on January 12, 2018

Testing and tweaking the Handbrake software I use for video encoding and am hoping to improve the .MP4 compression settings for MyDesultoryBlog and others. The test video is an 18 sec knife sharpening iPhone clip and the new setting should average about 25-30 MB per minute at full 30 frame/sec at a reasonable 1280 x720 full screen size video.

Once again disgusted with my cable and Internet provider

Posted By on January 12, 2018

cincibellbilingLast spring I was so disgusted with the Time Warner to Spectrum change for cable and Internet along with their price increase that I switched to Cincinnati Bell Fioptics. The painful rewiring and equipment switch worked to my favor and lower the bill with the help of a representative that handled everything as if he knew exactly what I wanted and needed. I could not have been happier.

Fast forward 9 months and whatever goodwill Cincinnati Bell Fioptics had going for themselves from the customer service perspective they lost with a series of increases to our bill. December to January the "loss of a rebate" as it was explained, along with a "bundle increase" caused my bill to go up 12.5%. Then unknown to me, the next bill was also going to see another 6% increase meaning an 18% jump in 2 months. This was one of my biggest gripes with TWC and Spectrum!  After complaining to a foreign sounding  representative, "Markus" was able to magically waive part of the upcoming increase until the end 2018 (so he says, we’ll see?)  So with no change of service on my part, after 9 months of service with the new provider, my monthly cable and internet has gone up 13% from my sign up period and likely would have gone up 18% if I would not have made a fuss. Am I suppose to be happy?

I’m sure I’m not the only one frustrated with how these semi-utility companies operate. It is a lousy way to run a business.

Show your appreciation for law enforcement #BlueLivesMatter

Posted By on January 11, 2018

While eating out on January 9th, I stealthfully pick up the check for a local police officer just as I’ve seen others do in the past. I find a gesture like this is a polite way to let street officers know we have their backs and appreciate them for the tough and often thankless job they are expected to do.


The conversation at our table turned to the challenges law enforcement officers face in dealing with not only the criminals, but the “political correct” and in my opinion overly soft approach they are expected to use when dealing with uncooperative hoodlums. It is hard enough for officers in the US to do the job when having to overthink when to use physical force … but it would be so much worse to be expected to function as law enforcement in the UK (video snippet below) where criminals know the police don’t even carry the tools (let alone have much political backing) when the use of force becomes necessary. I’m thankful most communities around me back our police give them what they need to keep themselves and the public safe in most encounters.

Backpacking filtration hack for emergency water too

Posted By on 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 hope never to need, but that would be nice to have if public services are unavailable for any length of time. After doing research on a water purification set-up, besides including water purification tablets, I opted for the Sawyer Mini Filter to Smartwater bottle hack  – because Brenda still buys plastic water bottles, against my protest and grumbling).


Would you tow an 18-wheeler with a Tesla?

Posted By on January 9, 2018

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.