The passing of Toby Keith makes for a sad Music Monday

| February 12, 2024

The passing of a great American patriot and country music singer/songwriter Toby Keith Covel last week from stomach cancer at age 62 was depressing. Surprisingly I have not posted about Toby Keith in the past on the blog or for Music Monday, but really should have considering his impressive career and devotion our military and […]

“The Perfect Margarita” – A Toast to Jimmy Buffett #WSJ

| December 23, 2023

Although I’ve never paid attention to those who perfect the skills of bartending, I’ve always enjoyed listening to Jimmy Buffett Caribbean escapism music … and sipping on a good Margarita. Beth DeCarbo posted a recipe and thought I might want to give it a try “next summer.” 😉    Jimmy Buffett – “Margaritaville”     […]

Thoughtful conservatives are divided and struggling to understand each other ahead of the 2024 election

| November 28, 2023

Perhaps there are a few Republicans in your circles struggling with selecting a GOP Presidential Candidate for 2024? Sometimes, if I listen really carefully, I can hear in my head the fragments of a dialogue between two voices capturing the ambivalence thoughtful conservatives feel about their current political choices. Yes, I’m hearing voices so you […]

Israel’s 9/11: Hamas terrorist viciously attacked innocent civilians

| October 10, 2023

Hatred runs deep in the middle-east as many in the Arab world have never accepted the State of Israel … which is probably an understatement. I haven’t posted on the “war” (as declared on Saturday by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) at this point since so much is unknown, but television news coverage is 24/7. […]

Tech Friday: Apple’s yawn-worthy 2023 Wonderlust event

| September 15, 2023

Perhaps it is just me paying attention to the rumors and knowing the announcements that were planned at Apple’s annual September “new iPhones” announcement event … but the iPhone15s (and Apple Watch 9) upgrades left very little to get excited about? I’m not saying that I won’t be upgrading my aging iPhone 7plus this year, […]

Rowdy Bar-b-que sauce and home mortgage applications chart

| July 26, 2023

Katelyn and Drew brought us back some Rowdy barbecue sauce when they took a trip to Tennessee in the spring. I didn’t get a chance to use it until last week — chicken wings in the toaster oven (better than Buffalo sauce?) Anyway, a belated thanks; it is delicious.  A chart/graph in the WSJ last […]

An ebook is great … but it is not the same thing as reading an ink on paper book shelved at home in ones personal library

| May 20, 2023

An opinion article by Faith Bottum in the Wall Street Journal about ink on paper books, ebook readers and bookshelves spoke to me last week … so I tweeted about it in agreement; I love having books in the home. Perhaps being in printing and publishing established my love for ink on paper, but for […]

Airtravel in the US: The skies aren’t getting much friendlier

| May 13, 2023

Which airline do you fly most often? We had a bad experience last summer on AirCanada and probably won’t ever flight with them again … on the other hand, we fly Southwest all the time and thankfully didn’t fly during their “meltdown (click charts for larger).” Even after the December 2022 flightmare by Southwest Airlines, […]

With ridiculously old IT, where is the IRS spending most of their new $80 BILLION dollar taxpayer funded windfall?

| April 18, 2023

Yup … ENFORCEMENT. … hundreds of IRS applications have been around for at least 25 years and dozens that have been in existence for more than 50. There were also pieces of software running 15 updates behind the current version. Fifteen! That’s like using a new iPhone with the iOS from the original iPhone …  […]

Just another study on life expectancy and drinking alcohol

| April 15, 2023

For years now I have thought there was something to the Mediterranean diet and in drinking red wine with a meal. I’ve tried to put at least the “red wine” part of this into my regular diet and continue to read articles and studies that promote the positives of antioxidants for the heart — grape […]

Federal Reserve hikes: “despite a .. recession later this year”

| April 12, 2023

Guess when this Fed news came out?  High inflation and tight labor markets led Federal Reserve officials to signal they could raise interest rates at their next meeting despite a higher likelihood the economy would enter a recession later this year. Fed officials considered skipping a rate increase at their meeting last month but concluded […]

The Chinese Militarization of the South China Sea

| March 16, 2023

The South China Sea has become a hotly contested region in recent years, with multiple countries claiming various parts of the sea as their own. China, in particular, has been actively asserting its dominance over the region by building military structures and increasing its naval presence in the area. The WSJ published a detailed article […]

Reading list and current Max Hastings Vietnam history book

| February 11, 2023

The WSJ reading list caught my eye this week … most likely due to "The Ship Beneath The Ice" book talking more about the story of Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 expedition to the Antarctic. I’ll be watching for it as a library ebook, but probably after I finished my current history read, "Vietnam:  An Epic Tragedy […]

Questionable digital magazine subscription tactics online

| January 7, 2023

The saying that “if something sounds to good to be true, it probably is” came to mind as I re-subscribed to a WSJ.com and Barronsonline.com for a FIVE-year subscription? Part of me wants to believe magazine resellers are legitimately selling the digital versions for less than going directly to Dow Jones, but the other part […]

Audiobook: “Lethal Tides” by Catherine Musemeche

| October 1, 2022

Another interesting story tied to scientific development during World War 2 has crossed my email inbox from WSJ+.  This one is about the virtually unknown Mary Sears, “the first oceanographer of the Navy.” Her groundbreaking oceanographic research led the U.S. to victory in the Pacific theater during World War II, according to the summary. I’m […]

The relatively new way to stow bags in airline overhead bins

| September 25, 2022

Finding enough overhead bin space for carry-on luggage is a problem for a lot of travelers who dislike checking bags, waiting at the carousel … or even worse, dealing with lost luggage. More and more airlines have or are updating their overhead bins to accommodate more carry-on luggage, but travelers have been slow to catch […]

Book: “Team America: The Age of Generals”–Robert L. O’Connell

| September 8, 2022

The WSJ book reviews are a great place to find new and interesting military history books and biographies. The recent download for me is a book by Robert L. Connell highlighting several bigger than life U.S. military generals. “Team America: The Age of Generals,” looks at often written about World War A-list leaders: Gens. Douglas […]

Reading: Long-range winter weather predictions since 1792

| August 21, 2022

While I generally do not plug things on My Desultory Blog, I do enjoy reading the paper edition of a couple of publications. Barron’s Magazine is my go-to weekend reading, but their shrinking size and poor delivery has me giving up on renewing again. If they would promise Saturday delivery again, perhaps with the WSJ, […]

Paper magazines/newspaper delivery woes and shrinkflation

| February 17, 2022

Well, two doses of disappointing news in one week. First, the Bengals lose in Super Bowl 56, and then my Barron’s magazine gets smaller with even smaller type (requires a second pair of readers!). They call it “shrinkflation” in an attempt to save a few dollars and probably force subscribers into a 100% digital subscription. […]

Books: Downloaded “Unknown Valor” by Martha MacCallum

| January 21, 2022

The hefty book (1139 pages) that I tried to finish by the end of 2021 is finally done (halfway into January 2022) … so now in that same World War II Pacific vein, I’m starting Martha MacCallum’s “Unknown Valor” this week. I remember hearing about it last year, but never added it to my to-read […]

Book: “Arriving Today” by Christopher Mims (a WSJ+ selection)

| October 8, 2021

Although my interest in productivity in running a business has waned a bit now that I’m no longer aggressively working or growing a small business, I still have curiosity when it comes to the direction things are going. I’ve read Christopher Mims “tech writing” for a few years now as he contributes regularly to the […]

The legendary Thomas Sowell and his economics, politics and social theory highlighted by Jason Riley for PragerU

| July 27, 2021

As a longtime subscriber to the Wall Street Journal (and for the last decade or so Barron’s), I’ve learned to appreciate certain journalists, economists and opinion piece writers like Jason Riley at the Manhattan Institute. When he told the inspiring story of Thomas Sowell for PragerU, I quickly viewed the video and applauded – well […]

Book: Operation Pedestal – The Fleet That Battled to Malta, 1942

| July 14, 2021

Progress has been slow in my latest nightly book reading, in part due to being wiped-out by full days with our granddaughters last week and more recently watching a few episodes each night of an old 1965-1971 sitcom called Hogan’s Heroes (mention once before). So for a update on reading Operation Pedestal by Max Hastings, “I […]

Books: “Beyond”by Stephen Walker about Yuri Gagarin

| July 7, 2021

One of the segments from the Wall Street Journal that I especially enjoy are the book reviews … or the “bookshelf.” I’m always intrigued by the history selections and the review on Stephen Walker’s book “Beyond” was no exception. It so happened that it is also a WSJ+ “free book club read” for the month […]

Tech Friday: Pondering the new Mac Mini vs iMac setup again

| June 4, 2021

The Joanna Sterns review in the WSJ about the new Apple iMac highlighted a few plus and minus points last month … and started me thinking about a desktop computer replacement. It is difficult to imagine spending $2000 again to replace my aging late 2012 iMac 27” model, especially since I run a dual monitor […]

Audio book from WSJ+: “All Against All” by Paul Jankowski

| May 22, 2021

Audiobooks and eBooks are some of the perks that come with being a long time Wall Street Journal subscriber. This WSJ+ membership includes early pre-production copies and likely word-of-mouth publicity marketing associated with giving away free “controlled” copies of books. I say controlled because readers do not really own the books, but are granted the […]

Political corporate activism in Georgia, boycotts and investing

| April 6, 2021

Democrats have been gaining ground over the past few years with their “hate Trump” blitzing supported by the leftists, big tech and mainstream media (one in the same from what I’ve seen), and continue to put heavy pressure politicians and corporations. Just as with the tactics used by BLM, Antifa and “woke” groups using racism, […]

Do you build or buy a new house this year or put it off?

| March 18, 2021

Real estate has been on a tear in many markets as the coronavirus has people moving from cities to the suburbs and their own piece of land. In my opinion it is not just COVID19 related, but that fact that cities aren’t as secure or as tax friendly to live in, especially on the east […]

Think twice before going into business with today’s tech giants

| July 24, 2020

As a start up, doing business with big company in order to boost sales and visibility can be a great way to grow a business. Unfortunately it can also be cut-throat and the smaller companies can and are taken advantage of. It is not new, but but in the fast-paced and highly competitive technology world, […]

The COVID19 worldwide slowdown is devastating oil companies

| April 22, 2020

The Coronavirus is doing what environmentalists and anti-fossil fuel advocates have only dreamed of doing … killing the petroleum industry. There is so little demand for crude oil that “Producers must pay buyers $37.63 a barrel” to refine their product. There is no place to store it as companies who explore and drill are dead […]

Watching stocks tank day after day requires a strong stomach

| March 10, 2020

The “old school” razor sharpening animated GIF below has NOTHING to do with my emotional state after stomaching Monday’s stock market crash and “oil war” between Russia and Saudi Arabia … so don’t read anything into my poor attempt at humor. After watching the DOW drop over 2158 points and seeing the index close just […]

Are US presidents “rock-stars” based on political ideology?

| February 25, 2020

It is shocking to see the “rock-star welcome” (or thumbs down reception in socialist leaning countries) that “recent” American presidents get when they are overseas. I said “recent American presidents” in respect for the popularity President Obama had when traveling in the leaning countries of Europe; he was seen as tilting the U.S. to the […]

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: A lesson from Warren Zevon, the “Excitable Boy”

| January 6, 2020

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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 […]

Music Monday: A WSJ article and Gordon Lightfoot memories

| September 2, 2019

All too often lately I’m reminded that the memories I have as a boy growing up are seen as being from “the olden days.” An article in this past month’s WSJ highlighted the beloved Gordon Lightfoot, a Canadian folk singer and songwriter who’s work spans many decades. His music was enjoyed and listened to by […]

Will the average American middle class family rent forever?

| August 11, 2019

As the cost of education, health care, cars, etc. goes up, it should be no surprise our financing habits change in order to pay for priorities like higher education … or luxuries like newer and more reliable cars. Paying for semi-essentials is significantly more expensive than in the past and we now extend paying for […]

Congratulations – 130 yrs for the Wall Street Journal newspaper

| July 8, 2019

As a newspaper oriented guy from years ago, I have a soft spot for ink on paper and digital journalism (started as local newspaper photog when in high school and worked for Knight Ridder in the 1980s). Even my eventual career path followed from what I learned working for newspaper companies. But as a subscriber, […]

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 […]

The six degrees of separation theory strikes again

| March 3, 2019

But before the “six degrees of separation” reference (see below), how do you stack up to the WSJ survey of “workers benefiting from a strong U.S. labor market?” One thing that seems to remain consistent over the years is that an education benefits you when it comes to jobs and compensation in the long haul, […]

Pres Trump meets Kim Jong Un in Hanoi for second summit

| February 27, 2019

As far as news goes, one would think that the biggest news of the day would be a second summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump. It was only two short years ago that “little Rocket Man” was firing missiles over Japan and testing his nuclear weapons … and […]

Joking with my son who is pondering his career options

| February 4, 2019

While chatting with my son Taylor over the weekend about the terrible news regarding the killing of a law enforcement officer in the county where he works (depressing), we discussed his career options again. His job is currently to his liking, but the challenge and opportunity for advancement and salary improvement is dependent on seniority […]

How prepared are we for the next economic downturn?

| November 13, 2018

After Monday’s selloff (see below), what lies ahead for the U.S. economy? That thought has some of seriously thinking the next economic downturn could come sooner rather than as expected … later. The sell off … "again" … has me wondering if we are prepared for the next recession? Is the U.S., or the world, […]

Wages and prices rise as the economy improves. #inflation

| November 2, 2018

As the positive economy in the U.S. continues to grow America out of the "great recession" and rebound off the slow growth Obama years, we are seeing signs of inflation, hopefully just the right amount. Wages are rising and businesses sense they have pricing power and can raise prices (their cost are up too). Consumers […]

Markets for the most part bounced back on Tuesday

| October 30, 2018

October is indeed a "scary" month for investors who are still hoping the bull market is not over … and perhaps just slowing? Earning for the most part are still good, interest rates aren’t "scary" high and the economy seems to be chugging along. Most who want work are finding jobs and employers are complaining […]

Tech Friday: Yahoo and AOL sift through your emails

| August 31, 2018

Tech news this week highlighted Yahoo and AOL brand email services. There are still plenty of users still using them and unknowingly being spied on (including me since I still use Yahoo for "junk" mail — I started with AOL & Yahoo in the early 1990s kept the simple rdc2@ addresses). The search algorithms and […]

Tech Friday: Facebook stock drop demonstrates investing risk

| July 27, 2018

If you have any vested interest in the stock market, Thursday’s huge drop for social networking’s behemoth Facebook ($FB), demonstrated what go up, can come down … and can come down fast! The "biggest ever one-day loss in market value for a U.S. listed company" happened yesterday and saw investors in $FB (or any pension […]

What’s happening here? Has Trump gone soft? #helsinkisummit

| July 16, 2018

HELSINKI—President Donald Trump on Monday publicly questioned U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election while standing beside Russian leader Vladimir Putin, saying he “didn’t see any reason why” the finding would be true. Mr. Trump said he and the Russian president “spent a great deal of time” discussing the matter […]

Student loan debt default rises in a strong labor market

| December 16, 2017

With all the buzz around Bitcoin and bubbles, the really big financial crisis being somewhat overlooked is Student Loan Debt. The number of Americans struggling to pay back the money they borrowed for their education is mindboggling. The WSJ reported that Nearly 5 Million Americans are in Default on their Student Loans … and there […]

It might be time to update to Apple iOS11 on your iDevice?

| September 20, 2017

If Joanna Stern (WSJ) moves too fast, check out this longer list of iOS11 features by David Pogue at Yahoo.com.

What about buying the new $1000 iPhone – is it worth it?

| September 13, 2017

And the number one reason to upgrade to the latest Apple iPhone (8, 8plus or X) … the talking Poophead emoji. (see WSJ video) Now personally I don’t have a need for this new latest and greatest iPhone, but know many of my fellow Apple gadget addicted friends will definitely find a way to scrape […]

Big day for Apple shareholders and the DJIA

| August 2, 2017

The Dow broke above the 22,000 threshold for the first time on Wednesday rising for the seventh straight day.  The boost over the "nice round number" happened after Apple posted stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings and iPhone sales met expectations. $AAPL stock rose 5.5% and made its largest single day percentage rise since February. (Story WSJ.com)

Remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price

| May 29, 2017

While looking back at previous year blog posts Memorial Day prior to making a 2017 update in order to see how I may or may not have recognized this sacred day, I realized just how many there were and it made me think about just “how many” have paid that ultimate price. Be sure to try and set […]

The Quants Run Wall Street Now – @WSJ

| May 21, 2017

LINK to WSJ article

Tips on making Gmail easier to use by Joanna Stern, WSJ.com

| May 18, 2017

Great tips from tech writer Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal on dealing with a few Gmail nits most of us using Google’s free services have. See her article at WSJ.com. 1. Priorities, Priorities You may not know it, but Google’s email bots have not one but two ways of automatically organizing your messages: […]

Economy and robust 1st quarter 2017 for stock market

| April 1, 2017

The “Trump Rally” as many have dubbed it, provided investors with solid quarterly gains as a brighter economic outlook offset the lackluster Washington DC agenda which has become bogged down in politics.  Investors still believe job growth, better corporate financial returns and tax cuts will over shadow the Fed “applying the brakes” in the form of higher […]

Tired of the financial markets making new record highs?

| February 21, 2017

Once again the US Financial market rose to new record highs on Tuesday as the Trump rally continues to encourage investment and hope for earning, regulation reductions and tax relief. Likely those three biggies will either get done and satisfy investors or disappoint with a delay and trigger a sell-off. Who knows if congress can […]

Debt, Bankruptcy and Loan Forgiveness — a personal rant

| December 15, 2016

Forgiving debt and bankruptcy options aren’t new, but those of us who strive to “play by the rules” often feel like suckers when it comes to bureaucrats playing fast and free with tax dollars … or with OPM. While it is understandable that our society wants to be compassionate and lend a helping hand to […]

U.S. Stocks Post Biggest One-Day Rally Since Election

| December 7, 2016

U.S. stocks charged to fresh highs, with major indexes logging their biggest one-day rally since the election. See WSJ story.

One last uncomforting look at our presidential choices

| November 6, 2016

As someone who politically grew up at a time when Ronald Reagan instilled optimism in America and in Americans, I am disgusted and embarrassed to to watch and vote for the “least worst” person running for president. On this coming Tuesday, or for many mailing in absentee or early voting, we’ll be doing just that […]

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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