Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Villa Pillo

This is our choice for the holiday's red wine, a 2014 Villa Pillo Borgoforte Toscana, which garnered a 91 point rating from Wine Spectator and came in at #25 on their list of the top 100 wines of 2016.  Best of all, it's currently on sale for $11.99 per bottle (then add shipping) at the link below.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

(RT)2 FT

One of many gifts from our Mead Corporation CIO, John Langenbahn, was this Swiss Army knife that I still keep in my Jeep, and dates back somewhere to the mid-to-late 1980's.  Our department name, Corporate Information Resources, was a testament to his futurist-thinking on how important information would be and that we were a valuable resource to the success of the company, not just a purveyor of hardware and software technologies.

The logo, (RT)2 Ft, means "Right Things Right The First Time" and was created by the team to express how we wanted to approach our jobs, day in and day out.  Being the techie group we were, we just had to make a mathematical formula out of it, and it was useful for branding purposes.

The Mead Corporation is long gone, merged with Westvaco Corporation in 2002 to form MeadWestvaco, then again in 2015 with their RockTenn merger to form today's WestRock Company.  But the Mead name is still alive, owned by ACCO Brands, delivering high-quality school and office supplies.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas Socks

It's a bit strange, at 63 years old, to get excited when the free (I love free) yearly Maker's Mark Ambassadors Club Christmas gift arrives in the mail, and as usual they've provided a thoughtful and useful gift, with 2018's addition being these festive socks.  Thin yet warm, they will provide comfort and joy this winter as we binge on our current Netflix series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Friday, December 7, 2018

"Windows" Scam

Amazing that these scammers were able to pack five obvious errors into just three sentences. 

  • The phone call is from the Netherlands (country code +31)
  • The call is from "Windows Microsoft" (backwards syntax for English speakers)
  • "Oh services" instead of "All services" or "Your services" (beyond a simple spelling mistake) 
  • "Services are suspended" (easy to check if that's true or not)
  • Callback number looks the same, but the exchange is different (313 versus 303)

Not to mention that I have Android, iOS, macOS and ChromeOS devices, but not Windows.  Sigh.

Slyder's Tavern

Tucked away in south Dayton's Belmont neighborhood, Slyder's is home to the best burger around.  The monster below was the larger 10 ounce version, and lessoned learned, I'll be getting the regular 7 ouncer next time.  Add one of their on-tap craft beers, in this case a Bell's Winter White Ale, and dinner was perfection.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Round Pizza, Square Box

Courtesy of my friend Keith's brilliant daughter Lydia comes this out-of-the-box, in-the box thinking on how to arrange half a large, leftover pizza in a square, just-large-enough, take-home box.  By separating and turning two pieces 180 degrees, it makes the half-moon-shaped leftover pie almost square.  My jaw dropped when he demonstrated how easy it was.

This women has a very bright future ahead of her.  And Dad was beaming with pride.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


GIPHY is a free (I love free) Mac utility that captures whatever portion of your screen you want and turns it into an animated GIF.  To demonstrate, I downloaded a free (repeat the love) video from Pixabay of crashing waves and ran the video while GIPHY recorded a selected portion of it.  Then using some of the available options to reduce the size of the resulting GIF, I saved it and uploaded the result to include it below.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Windshield Damage

On a drive home a few days ago, I spotted the sign on a dump truck, shown below, that stated "Not responsible for broken windshields", and wondered if that was indeed a legal fact or just the wish of the trucking company to avoid having to pay for damages they cause.  A little research, at the link below, revealed the following:
  • When another vehicle kicks up debris off the road, the driver isn’t at fault – for example, if the truck in front of you drives over a rock and it hits your windshield, they’re not responsible for the damage. 
  • When another vehicle drops debris (gravel, trash, tools etc.) it’s transporting the other driver is at fault – for example, if a contractor drops a ladder off their truck they’re responsible for any damage to your car.
As a practical matter, I would bet that if your windshield is damaged by an object that could have come from either the truck or the road, you would have to prove it came from the truck, so some third-party proof (e.g. video, witness) would be necessary.  So staying back is good advice, even if their "warning" that they are "not responsible" is wishing thinking.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Fireplace Draft Fix

With no way to close off the holes at the bottom of the fireplace door, in order to keep out a steady flow of winter air, I pondered several ways before figuring out that a magnet would naturally stick to the metal frame, avoiding the use of glue or tape, and getting a good seal.  I bought a package of flexible magnetic sheets from Staples, the kind you would use to print custom refrigerator magnets, cut one sheet horizontally into three pieces to the needed height and put them in place with the white side facing away and the black side facing towards the living room, as shown below.  Problem solved at a minimal cost.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Getting a head start on Thanksgiving dinner, which always seems to involve cooking at least ten recipes, can bring a moment of sanity and some time to spend with your guests on the big day, and  turkey gravy can be made days ahead. My wife roasted turkey wings with onion, carrots, celery and vegetable oil in a large roasting pan for an hour, then simmer that with water, thyme, and garlic for another three hours.  Final step involves continuously whisking butter, turkey fat, flour and the turkey stock in a saucepan and adding salt, pepper and cayenne pepper as desired.  That's the condensed version, and the full recipe is at this link.