BMW 528i Rear Window Seal and Variable Timing Solenoid

| December 5, 2018

My son Taylor has been putting off replacing the rear window seal on his 2008 BMW 528i for too long but before the snow starts again decided to come over after work to put it in. It was surprising that this task was easier than expected, considering just how much I dislike fiddling around with […]

Tech Friday: My Brydge BT keyboard has a faulty USB socket

| November 16, 2018

The Brydge keyboard attached to my aging iPad Air2, which I love, has been slowly causing me a few irritation when it come to getting a connection while charging. The tightly sealed aluminum clad keyboard was much better than my original Kensington (left) and tested Zagg (right), both which were great. Still the Brydge is […]

Fighting back my desire to participate in the Apple upgrade cycle

| October 31, 2018

It is a favorite time of year for those who enjoy seeing the new product coming online from Apple. iPhones in September,new iPads and Apple Air notebooks this week and even a new Apple Mac Mini (used an older Mini for my desktop next to a Windows machine for years). This year it seems even […]

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 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 […]

Oil leak panic for the Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| July 29, 2018

Whew … I was worried on Friday while driving the old 1982 Mercedes Benz for a reasonably close business call as I noticed oil leaking everywhere. My first concern was for an engine seal or gasket since there was so much oil dripping under the car. As a babied the car home, I feared 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 […]

An Encore dodger repair with Tear Mender and Sunbrella patches

| June 2, 2018

Although it rained constantly over the Memorial Day weekend and practically the entire time I was in Florida working on the kitchen update, I did squeeze in a couple of minor hurricane prep items aboard Encore. The canvas (spray dodger and bimini) is starting to show signs of wear, but a little tear maintenance will […]

To salvage or not to salvage? An epoxy LED light repair.

| February 18, 2018

Too many times in life I find myself fiddling to repairs something that really just needs to be thrown away. Case in point (see interesting idiom explanation below) … I brought home an LED fixture that replaced a higher wattage halogen bulb that works well in Encore‘s cabin, but for some reason the pin/plugs must have […]

Thrifty souls unite – a snap fix for a broken zipper

| January 2, 2018

Ok … so this nautical fix has not been endorsed by my wife, in fact, she will not be seen with me from wearing these pants in public ever again … although like most women,  I’m not sure she is fond of cargo pants anyway? My Eddie Bauer flannel lined winter cargo pants are a […]

Keeping knobs on cabinet doors/drawers. Out comes the epoxy!

| December 31, 2017

Let’s end 2017 with a kitchen cabinets knob repair. One of the changes to our new kitchen were the crystal looking knobs … Brenda felt they were too small. So we added larger ones, but the adhesive they used is not as solid as it should be, so out comes the epoxy and clamped in […]

After repairing my old Marlin 1894, it is time for upgrades

| November 21, 2017

One of my first rifles is still one of my favorites, so after repairing my Marlin 1894 last month I thought it might be time to upgrade a couple small parts. This .357 chambered lever action rifle is now 40 or so years old and after a fair number of rounds, suffered the bent extractor […]

Finally repaired my out of production Marlin lever action rifle

| October 31, 2017

Although I don’t think the Marlin company makes my .357 magnum Model 1894 lever action rifle anymore, I was finally able to scrounge the parts to repair it. I’ve had this beautiful short barreled saddle rifle since high school as it matched the caliber of my short barreled revolver. I have enjoyed it through most […]

iRobot Verro has been the longest lasting automatic pool robot

| September 23, 2017

About the only replacement parts I’ve had to purchase for our iRobot Verro pool sweeper/ cleaner were the filter bags that go inside the housing. It has been the best of the pool cleaners we have had. Originally we started our pool ownership with a hopping Kreepy Krauly gizmo for our first pool back in […]

Sperry Topsider update: Trying to repair worn heels with epoxy

| September 5, 2017

  It has been a while since talking about Sperry Boat Shoes, but it is obvious by the popularity of the old posts that I’m not the only one who loves wearing them. Usually the question is how to keep them from smelling or make them a bit more comfortable (with insoles). In this post, […]

The BlueMax blue poly pipe continues to haunt #home #repairs

| August 2, 2017

  Once again we’re dealing with BlueMax pipe (polybutylene plumbing), this time thankfully it is not on our nickel or is due to a flooded basement. I notice water bubbling from the water meter pit in our yard yesterday and after Butler County came out to look at the meter, he knew right away it […]

Update on BMW X5 35d problems: Battery and tires

| March 1, 2017

Neither of the problems I’m having has anything to do with BMW X5 35d diesel brand since the battery and run-flat tires are both aftermarket items. The AGM replacement battery I installed last year is still hanging in there so long as the weather remains warm (cold cranking amps are sufficient), but it will not hold a […]

Scavenger from one furnace to keep another furnace going

| December 20, 2016

A chill is in the air, but likely that has more to do with our 21 year old 80,000 BTU furnace acting up. We have three furnaces so I’m hoping it is the "pressure switch" once again; it does seem to be the weak links on modern high-efficiency furnaces (or could be all furnaces for […]

A second temporary BMW 528i upper radiator hose repair

| November 8, 2016

Besides being distracted on Tuesday watching the general election news, a call from my son Taylor brought me back to reality. I scrapped my afternoon plans and drove down to Clermont County where he works to "try a second time" to make a temporary repair (the first one was Sunday night). There is a ridiculously […]

What do you do when you mix up too much epoxy?

| October 28, 2016

Repair a shoe of course!  I’ve was frustrated with my carelessness when welding last year after burning a hole in my Keen shoes, but still wear them (albeit with a little more air conditioning than I would like). So after mixing a little more epoxy than needed for a repair, I dabbed a little bit […]

More repairs and parts. The John Deere 330 diesel this time.

| October 17, 2016

Actually this repair is long, LONG overdue. A decade or so ago when I was heavy into running biodiesel, a sticky batch of fuel ended up in our John Deere. I really never hesitated to run about anything in this little Yanmar diesel engine, but the biodiesel was a mistake. The solvent nature of the […]

Tim Ellison, a Christian entrepreneur that Walks the Talk

| September 24, 2016

We are humbled to call Tim Ellison of Mr. Godwrench our friend. A few years ago when he started his automotive repair business I knew his unabashed and outspoken Christian "modus vivendi" was attractive to me, so I quickly promoted his automotive services and did as much business with him as I could. Due to […]

My eyes are open for an Approved Packard Service sign

| August 17, 2016

A friend of mine, an automotive journalist, snapped this photo on his way across the country on Route 66 last week and I couldn’t help but crop and copy it for my blog – (above – thanks Wayne, not that you know I’m using your photo).  Although my garage shop is not quite ready for […]

Cars are breaking down at record rates

| July 25, 2016

Despite advances in automotive technology, roadside service calls to AAA were higher than ever last year. The causes were often new tech and new design. Drilling down a bit, AAA points to tires and keys above all else. The organization stated that cars less than five years old were responsible for a disproportionate number of […]

BMW X5 35d update: Shedding some weight plus a new item

| May 28, 2016

It is amazing just how many exhaust parts find their way onto modern cars. They do a good job of making diesel exhaust clean, but the expensive and complex process is going to kill the internal combustion engine, in my opinion. I’m amazed at just how much "junk" I had to remove (above) in repairing […]

Still tinkering with the BMW X5 35d after limp mode ordeal

| May 12, 2016

Replaced the defective Throttle Actuator on the BMW X5 35d last night … unfortunately it did not solve the Limp Mode problem. Now to look further into the disconnected sensors after the ECU came back from Andrew Rodriguez and FixMyVW.com.    old | new

A battery hack has revived the analog Triplett meter

| April 27, 2016

A leftover weekend project was to see if I could get my dad’s old Triplett 630PL meter back to working shape. As a boy, I remember "carefully" using "his" meter when I was in junior high school and attempting to build Heathkit projects … like my shortwave radio. Thankfully I never has to depend o […]

Two hatches repaired and reinstalled on Encore

| March 12, 2016

In January a couple hatches were removed from Encore, our older Westerly Corsair II sailboat, in order to be sent to Select Plastics for repair. The project wasn't painless as both the time it took and cost (shipping too) were pretty expensive. Unfortunately, repairing them on my own was not successful and noting the number […]

The bench top drill press holds bits and drills straight

| February 21, 2016

The new Jacobs Chuck for the bench top drill press arrived this weekend and although I didn't have any pressing projects, decided to dril a few holes anyway. The quality wasn't bad for $20 and although its not a smooth ball bearing chuck, it made a perfect replacement for my dad's small Delta drill press. […]

Hatch repair is high on the priority list for Encore

| January 22, 2016

Noticing the weather back home this past week, it was not a bad few days to head down to Florida for a couple more boat repairs. High on the list was to remove and send my Lewmar Superhatches (predecessor to the Ocean series) off to Select Plastics in hopes THEY can prevent them from dripping; […]

Chimney repairs complete and it looks great too

| January 9, 2016

Thankfully the weather held and the construction was able to continue on the chimney repairs. They completed the final soldering of seams on the stainless steel custom top this morning and were quick to show up and collect the check too. Although this was an expensive surprise after replacing the roof, I’m glad to have […]

The Chimney repairs continue while I play with the RPi

| January 4, 2016

This post is more to test a “borrowed” wireless keypad that is set up on the Raspberry Pi — I’m not fond of the Logitech K400r. The photo to the left is part of the ongoing roof project and continuing chimney repair. In order test the Raspberry Pi’s image serving ability, I uploaded it from […]

Tinkering with Blogsy and chimney chase home repairs

| December 21, 2015

Another excuse to try to get Blogsy, the blog posting app on my iPad, to include photos without posting them to Flickr or Google (the two options besides “normal WordPress media” built into Blogsy). Unfortunately the suggestion from the programmer was to use a separate sFTP client — very cumbersome and not the way to […]

Working on the chimney chase with stone veneer

| December 15, 2015

One of the issues we found when replacing our roof last month was a wobbly chimney chase for the fireplace in the house. The original fireplace has a stainless steel chimney that extends from the first floor through the second floor, the trusses and then the “chimney chase” on the roof. The builder must not […]

Another mirror bites the dust, this time on my Honda Pilot

| November 27, 2015

There is something about mirrors, garage doors and Brenda that do not get along. This time it was pulling into the garage, not backing out – I’m suspecting her weak left arm??? Unfortunately the flexing or snapping was so hard that it also broke the driver’s window. Wow! Thankfully, Rich at Kiss Autoglass was able […]

Fixing a skylight leak leads to replacing the roof on our home

| November 16, 2015

Several of the homes in our neighborhood had some hail damage this summer … ours included. We had damage to the sky light area of our mud room and water has been seeping in when the wind is just right. Unfortunately our insurance would not pay the entire roof OR the entire repairs that we […]

Black Miracle Paint does not clean up like printing ink

| July 25, 2015

After spending a lifetime working on cars and 30 years dealing with printing press wash-up chemicals and hand scrubs, one would think I would know a little bit about cleaning my hands? Well I do know a “little bit” but still haven’t figured out how to clean dried paint off my hands (in particular Miracle […]

A new Moen cartridge again and some paint peeling

| July 12, 2015

After a week or so away, it was time for a weekend of long overdue household chores. The grass was long (and a bit wet), the pool a bit green and the kitchen sink continued to drip … despite my ignoring it for weeks. The last one should have been relatively easy except I initially […]

How to: Simple gas struts replaced on a lifting rear door

| June 9, 2015

After my son returned from living in “dusty” Williston, North Dakota for a couple of years, the Chevy Trailblazer he was using came back a bit dusty. We noticed after visiting him last year that one of the big differences from Ohio were the lack of paved roads. Thankfully, we did give some thought to […]

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.