Thursday, February 21, 2019

Shingles Vaccination

Shingles is a painful rash, caused by the same virus as chickenpox, and not something you really want to experience.  While more common in adults 50+ as their immune system begins to weaken, younger people can also be affected.

There's a new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, that has been on the market for about one year and the CDC is recommending it for people 50 years and older, even for those who have been previously vaccinated with another product.  For my age group (50-69), it offers 97% protection, way better than the previous vaccine, but does require two injections, with the second coming not less than two months, and not more than six months, from the first shot.

Compared to my memories of shots in my pre-teen years that induced tears at the very thought, today's are barely more than a small prick and no excuse to avoid what's good for you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Washing Machine Lint

Our newest washing machine is one of the worst we've ever had, too much performance given away towards the march to "high-efficiency", as if water and electricity cost too much or we don't have enough of either.  At least in Dayton that not even close to being a problem.  One of the issues is the production of lint which gets spewed into the laundry tub, looks nasty and eventually clogs up the drain.  We've had to resort to installing the lint traps below, about $2 per, to capture the gunk.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


The top Android app for 2018, according to Google, is Drops, which teaches languages using lessons that are rapid-paced, visual and limited to 5 minutes per session.  Drops offers a free (I love free) tier for casual learners; 5 minutes of learning per day, with more than 1,700 words in 99 topics.  More dedicated language learners can subscribe for premium features to achieve faster progress with unlimited learning time.  Available for both Android and iOS devices.

It's fun, mildly addictive and now a daily habit of mine.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Coffee Lid Tips

Sometimes you do things for years before realizing that you should pass them on.  Here are a couple of tips about the alignment of a coffee lid that you might find useful.
  • If the seam of the cup is directly in line with the drinking hole, there can be just enough gap to cause a little coffee to drip out, usually right on your dress shirt or blouse as you're heading into work.  Just make sure the seam is anywhere on the other half of the cup, away from the hole.
  • If you're fetching coffee for yourself and one or more other folks, an easy way to remember which cup belongs to whom is to align the seam at different places.  I put mine 90 degrees to the left of the hole, as shown below, and then I'll put the seam for my wife's coffee 90 degrees on the right side.  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Peppers Stuffed with Herbed Ground Turkey and Rice

Tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley and dill elevate the diet-friendly ground turkey to a level that's at least on par with its hamburger cousin.  Give yourself at least two hours start to finish and your patience will be rewarded.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Coastal Tan

Needing a base tan before setting sail on our Caribbean cruise, we visited the Coastal Tan shop in the Fairmont Plaza Shopping Center in Kettering and found good deals including one for new customers to check out each of the four different tanning levels for just $4.  On Wednesday's, for $5, anyone can tan in any level bed, and they offer a nice selection of monthly and per minute packages.  Add clean and friendly and it can't be beat.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Password Checkup

Password Checkup is a Google Chrome browser extension that lets you know if you enter a username and password that has been compromised in a data breach that it knows about.  Reset that password, then also reset it everywhere else where you've used that same combination, focusing first on web sites you care the most about, such as banks, social media and online shopping.  I don't have a lot of password rules, but one of them is never using the same password across the sites I really care about.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Wall Shelves

Installing shelves on walls has not been the most pleasant experience in the past, usually leading to them slowly bending forward as their weight and gravity overcome the strength of their poorly designed attachment. But our newest wall shelves, shown below, are not going anywhere thanks to real steel brackets attached with molly bolts to the plaster wall.  The brackets were installed first, being very careful to keep them level and aligned, then the wood planks slid into place.

Monday, February 11, 2019

National Park Fonts

Jeremy Shellhorn and his students have created a digital typeface by creating rubbings from signs in our National Parks and it's available for free (I love free) in four weights, Regular, Outline, Heavy and Thin, available at the link below.  Might just be the font I use for Christmas card envelopes later this year...

Friday, February 8, 2019

Chicken and Fennel in Rosemary-Wine Broth

A successful weight-conscious dinner needs lots of flavor, and this Weight Watchers recipe we recently tried delivers.  Sauteed fennel and onion each add their strong vegetable goodness, with the rosemary also punching up the flavor.  Of course, everything's better with garlic.  You can replace the red wine with some vinegar and water, but we keep one of those little wine boxes in the fridge for these occasions.