Friday, March 23, 2018

Beef Marsala Stew

Meat and potatoes, real comfort food, done up right.  Marsala wine, cipollini onions, button mushrooms and thyme are the secret ingredients.  And there's just something real nice about doing all the cleanup, except the crock pot, hours ahead of dinner, especially when a meal like this makes you want to couch potato for awhile.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


My wife had this cute techno-geek idea to decorate the wall behind my home office desk and I ordered these three black, 6 inch high, 1/8th inch thick wooden characters, in a Times New Roman Bold font.  They are so light I was able to scissor and stick little pieces of Command brand adhesive strips to their backs and mount them near-flush to the wall.  Less than $28 total for this unique, and totally me,  adornment.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Adding Preview File Types For Text Files

The Windows Preview Pane will display ".txt" files, but many others files are really text but have other extensions.  For the slightly brave at heart, there's a fix for that, but it takes some changes to the Windows registry.

Open the registry editor (regedit.exe) and navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.ext, where ".ext" is the extension you want to add, such as ".bat" in the example below.  Add two new string values of type REG_SZ named "Content Type" and "PerceivedType".  Note that one of these has a space in the middle and the other does not.  Set the value of Content Type to "text/plain" and PerceivedType to "text'.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Windows Explorer Preview Pane

In Windows Explorer, the shortcut ALT+P brings up the preview pane, as shown below on the right.  For any file type that Windows has a preview function defined, you get a preview.  Since I have Microsoft Office on my work laptop, it knows about Word, Excel and Powerpoint files, and others, like Text files, will also display.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Three-Way Light Bulbs

Add converting lamps from 1-way to 3-way as a skill I didn't know I had.  But really, it's simple, with the hardest part removing the existing socket from the screw post.  Only costs a couple bucks for the new socket.

Look closely at the sockets in the picture below.  The socket on the left is a 1-way switch, the one on the right the 3-way.  The 3-way has a silver tab on the black tab at the bottom, and that's the extra connection that's needed.  The 3-way bulb will have a matching connections.  Those two connections allow for the three levels of light.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Cheesy Vegetable Manicotti

No meat?  No problem.  And this is a great make-ahead dish.

The yellow squash and zucchini are cut up into small pieces, the onion and garlic are cooked until softened and it's all combined with ricotta, parmesan and an egg to stuff the shells.  Surround all that loveliness with tomato sauce, more parmesan and a heaping helping of mozzarella on top.

Drooling yet?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Chrome Task Manager

Every once in a while my web browsing slows down, usually accompanied by the Macbook Air's fan coming on, a sure sign its twin-core i5 processor is being asked to do too much.  To find the tabs causing the most demand (because I always have lots of tabs open), I use Chrome's Task Manager, found in "More Tools".  In the particular case below, the Weather Channel and WDTN News were clearly the big users, so I closed them out to relieve the CPU stress and return the other tabs to their normally snappy behavior.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


I play only only game on my smartphone, the Klondike Solitaire version from Softick.  I like its smooth animation as you drag cards and piles around and the clean look, better than others I've tried.  There are a ton of options, including a left-handed mode which flips the game 180 degrees.  I tried that once and found it very discomforting, as my brain is "programmed" the other way.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Voice Notes With Google Keep

Sorry, Android only.

The Google Assistant can be used to add notes to Google Keep.  Just say "Take a note" and the Assistant will ask, "Sure, what's the note?"  Whatever you say will be converted to text and added to Keep.  On my Google Pixel 2, all I have to do is unlock the phone with my fingerprint and squeeze the sides on the bottom half to bring up the assistance, enabling single-hand operation.  This is my favorite new technology buddy.

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Taste Of Wine

This was a great venue for last weekend's bridal shower and the owner, Urmila, did an awesome job of setting up the store and helping in every possible way.  Located in downtown Miamisburg, Ohio, it's also a great place to stop in for a glass of wine.  I'm looking forward to the outside patio as soon as we can drive winter back north where it belongs.