Monday, March 30, 2020

Wrong Way Signs

I was thinking about crashes that happen when people enter the highway via an exit ramp and end up going head-on towards oncoming traffic.  Part of the problem is limited signage, so how about painting a series of signs on exit ramps asphalt, say 15-20 feet apart, something like this first image that repeatedly tells you're going the wrong way?

Now if you're properly leaving the highway, you see these signs, pointing the correct way but with the letters upside down and not spelling anything identifiable, not (I hope) causing any confusion.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Gin And Jam

I asked the bartender at Figlio, one of our favorite restaurants, what was the purple cocktail she just made, and she replied a “Gin and Jam”.  Intrigued, I tried making one at home, combining a couple ounces of Bombay Sapphire Gin and two tablespoons of my favorite blackberry/black raspberry jam, shaken vigorously in an ice-filled cocktail shaker, then poured in a glass over ice.  Much to my surprise it had only a little sweetness and the gin’s floral flavors came through beautifully. Adjust the amount of jam and time shaking to achieve the sweetness you desire.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Light Map

Although calling light "pollution" is a real stretch (IMHO), this website has a fascinating view of the entire planet, showing the relative intensity of light by using different colors, with pinks and purples showing the brightest spots.  There are some surprises, like how bright Alberta, Canada is, which I believe to be caused by their oil industry.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Remote Control Labels

Communication is such a tricky thing.  Our biggest issue with remote controls wasn't really that we had too many or how to use them.  The issue was figuring out which remote control belonged to which device.  That was easily fixed using our handy label maker, as shown in the picture below, and calm was restored.  Now if just the device manufacturers would take notice...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Extension Cord Storage

Tangled extension cords are, at best, annoying, but a free (I love free) solution is to stuff them inside the leftover cardboard core of a roll of paper towels.  Fold the cord lengthwise, back and forth, as many times as it takes and then slide it into the core.  Easy peasy.

Monday, March 23, 2020


As my wife demonstrates below, the BetterBrella folds up in two steps, appearing at first to be a conventional umbrella but then reversing course and folding upwards.  Any water remaining on the top of the umbrella is now trapped inside the umbrella instead of leaking on the floor (or you) and the umbrella stores in half of its typical length.

Big shout-out to my sister-in-law Marilou for the cool gift!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Jack’s Grill

This bad-boy tilapia sandwich came from Jack’s Grill inside Dorothy Land Market at their location at Whipp and Far Hills.  Other seafood options can be found at the link below, but there are many other selections available.  While waiting for this, I wandered over to their wine-tasting area and enjoyed a glass of red.  Quite the nice Lenten Friday lunch.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Smart TVs and Apple Airplay

As a followup to my earlier blog on options for using Facetime on a big screen, some newer (2018+) smart TVs, like the 32" Samsung I have in my home office (shown below), support Apple's Airplay.  When you go to mirror your screen from an iPhone or iPad, if you see something like what I saw, "Samsung 5 Series", tap it and you're ready to go. 

iOS Screen Mirroring

Facetime is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but it works best one-to-one given the usual smaller screen sizes.  But connect it to a large monitor or TV and that makes it a more immersive and multi-person experience.  You use iOS's screen mirroring capability, either wirelessly through an Apple TV (like I did) or wired with a Digital AV adapter (see the link below).  Detailed directions can be found at, which includes a few other options which I wouldn't recommend, but can't hurt to try.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Phonetic Pangrams

Say this sentence out loud...

“With tenure, Suzie’d have all the more leisure for yachting, but her publications are no good.”

You probably noticed that this sentence gave your mouth a bit of a workout.  That's because it's a phonetic pangram, a sentence that includes all 40 sounds (called phonemes to get technical about it) in the English language, packed into just 16 words.  Your mouth had to make every sound you know in a short period of time, rapidly adjusting along the way.  A few other phonetic pangrams can be found at this link.