Sunday, November 19, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017


Subway's have long been a favored sandwich and I like mine packed with nearly everything. This beauty is a six inch Spicy Italian on wheat bread, not toasted thank you, with pepperjack cheese, all the veggies except lettuce, and a couple squirts of vinegar.  Why no lettuce?  Makes a little more room to stuff more of the better veggies and I think it disturbs the overall presentation.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Amazon Echo Messaging

Don't want to take your eyes off your favorite NFL game but need to text your sisters about that last touchdown or interception?  Just one more thing the Amazon Echo can do for you. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

macOS High Sierra

I've had my MacBook Air laptop for over five years and it still runs like a champ, mainly due to an operating system that doesn't get viruses or bloated, and the performance of its solid-state disk.  Add to that the yearly, free (I love free) macOS upgrades and I have all the current features without any upgrade pains.  High Sierra is the latest, with the new Apple File System, H.265 video, improved GPU support,Virtual Reality, a new Photos app features and much more.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Google Home Mini

The home office now has a Google Home Mini, provided free (I love free) which the purchase of my Google Pixel 2 phone.  This is our fourth voice-controlled, intelligent, personal assistant, smart speaker, joining the Amazon Echo (dining room), Echo Dot (basement) and Google Home (master bedroom). Add our two smartphones, two iPads and Siri on my MacBook Air, and we can get music, weather, timers and answers from at least nine sources.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Both the Amazon Echo and Google Home can place outbound phone calls to U.S. and Canada for free (I love free), so my first thought is they would make really great speakerphones for conference calls.  But the problem is neither can enter the access codes or any other prompt responses, they can just dial the initial phone number.  But all it takes is a DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency) generator, like these apps, to mimic the tones a phone produces.  It takes a little getting used to, as the smart speakers need a brief pause to recognize and pass on the tones, so press the "keys" a little longer than usual, and it should work for you too.

Google Android >>

Apple iOS >>

Friday, November 10, 2017

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

We love grilled or roasted brussel sprouts and this dish from the Collision Bend Brewery in Cleveland's "The Flats" district, containing Vietnamese caramel sauce, queso fresco cheese and shishito peppers, is among the best we've ever had.  Paired with a fish taco and outside seating on a sunny day, it was a meal to remember.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

iPad 9.7

Forget buying a refurbished iPad to save a few bucks.  When my wife's second generation iPad was getting to be slower than dirt, we bought a brand new iPad for about half of what the previous one cost. While the specs aren't the best you can get, it's more than enough for most people.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Jedi Master

Is this Photoshopped or a paparazzi catching me honing my lightsaber skills?

Tell you I will not.  Figure it out yourself you must.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Affordable Appliance Service

The bearings in this little clothes dryer part wore out after a couple years resulting in god-awful squeaky shrieks. The repairman not only replaced the part, he vacuumed out the dryer and outside vent, and shortened the vent hose to a better length. They may not make parts like they used to, but this was simply great, old-fashioned service.  Highly recommend!

Monday, November 6, 2017

5 Ghz Wireless

Last week our Internet provider, Spectrum, upgraded our service to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for free (I love free), but for our wireless devices to take advantage of that required reconfiguring them from using their original 2.4 gigahertz (Ghz) setting to the faster 5.0 Ghz.  All systems have a bottleneck, that portion that limits the performance of all the others, and that used to be the Internet connection, but now is the home WiFi network.  The first screenshot below shows my MacBook Air on 5 Ghz, the one below that on 2.4 Ghz, showing the improvement from about 25 Mbps to almost 60 Mbps.  The biggest benefit will come from changing the Roku and other streaming players to 5 Ghz, helping avoid the pauses and low quality that comes from not enough throughput.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fresh Green Beans

You won't find a can of green beans in our kitchen, it's fresh or nothing at all.  The pressure cooker is often used to prepare them, but recently we've started using this stove-top method which adds an extra kick and a slightly charred outside.  The only tricky part is not peaking early and releasing the steam, so a clear lid is a big help.

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper


  • Heat oil and sliced garlic on medium-high in a skillet
  • Once garlic is light and golden, add the green beans, water, salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Stir and cover with a lid and let it steam on high heat about 5-7 minutes or until water has evaporated
  • Uncover when beans are tender

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Husk Nashville

Our final night in Nashville started with an Uber ride to The Patterson House for a cocktail followed by another ride over to Husk Nashville for dinner.  The menu is filled with southern classics and the desserts are to die for.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Our stroll through this Nashville park included a history lesson from the viewpoint of a southern city that was occupied early in the Civil War by the north, but started back before the days of European settlements to recent history.  At one end of the park were these Carillon pillars that chimed out Tennessee-themed songs at the top of each hour.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Starbucks at SR-725 and Lyons Road

Currently under construction, this new Starbucks, which used to be a bank, will save a mile and a half off my morning commute and put a second cup within walking distance. This will be the area's largest, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.  No word yet on an opening date.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Uber Freight

Uber's not just into disrupting the taxi business, they've jumped into the trucking business as well.  Same basic principle applies as drivers select the loads they want based on their preferences, making real-time trade-offs on making money, distance to travel or being home tonight or by their kid's next sporting event.  More driving and fewer hassles sounds like a winner.

Friday, October 27, 2017

German Pasta Salad

When you're looking for something different for a picnic or family gathering, this German version of the venerable pasta salad is my suggestion.  Don't scrimp on the paprika and I suggest bringing a can along so people at the bottom of the bowl don't get left out.

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Pound Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 Large Dill Pickle
  • 1 Ring of Bologna or Sausage
  • 3 Large Tomatoes
  • 3 Sweet Apples (e.g. Gala or Janagold)
  • 1 Cup Natural, Plain Yogurt (not fat free)
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise
  • Lemon Juice (about ½ a lemon)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Place eggs in a small saucepan, add water to cover the eggs, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover for 10 minutes, then rinse and cool.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add salt to taste, add the elbow macaroni and cook per its instructions. Strain in a colander, let cool and transfer to a large serving dish.
  • Cut up pickles, bologna, eggs, tomatoes and apples into size bite pieces and add to pasta.
  • Whisk together the yogurt and the mayonnaise, add lemon juice (a little at a time to prevent it from getting too bitter), flavor with salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Pour over pasta and stir it until well mixed together.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Specify Outlook Font For Plain Text Emails

I get various reports by email but Outlook, by default, uses a proportional font to display them, resulting in "crooked columns".  But since just these reports come in as "plain text", I found I can change Outlook to use a non-proportional font, Courier New in the example below, to straighten up the reports and make them much more readable.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Pixel 2

It's been 3 1/2 years and the time has come to retire the HTC M8 and go for the native Google experience with their new Pixel 2.  Popped the Verizon SIM card out of the M8 and into the Pixel 2, cabled them together and followed the migration instructions.  When that was complete my 160 apps came flying down from the App Store. Besides the great camera, my favorite feature is the fingerprint reader located on the back of the phone, much more convenient than an iPhone's.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Keeneland was my first trip to watch the horses run live and I learned a lot about betting on the ponies.  When I placed a "win" bet, paying only of the horse won, my horse finished second.  Playing a "show" bet, paying for finishing anywhere in the top 3, my horse finished fourth.  But I've never had so much fun losing so little money.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Flyer Red

Warped Wing scores another hit with their recently introduced Flyer Red, another locally themed, (Trotwood, Ermal's) easy to drink red lager, sure to please University of Dayton fans.  Along with their collection of heartier IPA's, Porters, Stouts, etc. and non-alcoholic root and ginger beers, it's the most complete lineup around.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Gnocchi Pesto Pasta Salad

Super simple recipe combining green beans and peas with gnocchi and pesto.  Fresh gnocchi is best, frozen will do, or for the adventurous make your own by combining leftover mashed potatoes with  flour, egg and salt, as shown at the second link.  Careful with the amount of pesto you add to this recipe.  It will change depending on its strength and your taste preference.  Easy to over do.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tennessee Titans

This NFL team came to Tennessee from Houston in 1997 and were still called the Oilers for two more years before adopting the Titans name. The Titans are from Greek mythology, the twelve children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth) who were eventually defeated by their grandson Zeus to rule Olympus. Nashville, home to this franchise, is known as the "Athens of the South" for its history of higher education institutions and the first American southern city to establish a public school system. Now it all fits together.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Edley's Barbeque

When in Nashville, barbeque is a must and it doesn't get any better than a pork sandwich and pork tacos at Edley's.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bulleit Tour At Stitzel-Weller

Stitzel-Weller didn't survive the downtrend of bourbon consumption that started in 1972, eventually closing its doors and selling off its brands.  When Tom Bulleit wanted consolidate a number of places he rented to bottle and age his namesake bourbon, he bought this site in Louisville, Kentucky.  His bourbon uses more rye than others, imparting a unique, sharp flavor, and his rye whiskey is 95% from that grain.  Fun tour!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Green Lentil Spaghetti

Made from green lentil and organic quinoa flours, this spaghetti alternative packs a major protein punch and it's also gluten-free.  When you can't live without some noodles, this make a good choice.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Grilled Cod And Summer Squash Packets

We're always looking for new recipes for fish and this "less mess" combination was easy, delicious and very lo-carb.  Careful not to confuse the lemon slices with the squash slices, or suffer a pucker moment.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

WAHL Professional Massager

An MVP post-haircut massage at Sports Clips included some neck time with this really nice massager.  After learning it was only $30, I couldn't click "buy" fast enough.  For those who know me, the scalp attachment is pretty much useless.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


The term "O.K." was popularized because of Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States.  Van Buren was from Kinderhook, New York, sometimes referred to as "Old Kinderhook" in speeches and print. O.K. Clubs soon formed to support Van Buren's campaign. "O.K." later came to mean all right.  A likely beginning is that the term originated as an abbreviation of orl korrekt , a jokey misspelling of 'all correct' which was current in the U.S. in the 1830s, although many opinions as to the origin of"O.K." exist.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Aileron was founded by Clay Mathile to raise the quality of life in America by unleashing the potential of private businesses through professional management.  His facility is located north of downtown Dayton, a beautiful setting for individuals or groups to take the time away from their hectic schedules, attend development workshops or host team events.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Vionic Shoes

My wife is very particular when it comes to sandals, so when she raves about a pair, that's something to check out.  She bought this pair of Vionic at our local Roderer Shoe Center and has had happy toes all summer.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Coffee Cake

What a way to start a morning tailgate party!  This is a serving dish full of gooey goodness.  The recipes states that it makes "makes 18-24 servings".  Who are they kidding?  10-12 is probably closer to reality, at least if you're serving me.

Kudo's to Sharon N. for this "just had to eat three pieces" recipe!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

50 Yard Line

Nothing beats the view of a football game than sitting down low (10th row), at the fifty yard line.  Where better than Chicago's iconic Soldier Field, home of "Da Bears"?  Although a disappointing Steelers loss (sorry sweetie), the home crowd rocked with their overtime win.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 is a free (I love free) online drawing tool for making flowcharts, organizational charts, network diagrams, etc., and can save them to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and others. There's even a Chrome web browser extension for offline mode.  This is a nice alternative to Visio for the occasional diagram.

Kudo's to Jon C. for this great find!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Charleston Falls Preserve

Located outside of Tipp City, Ohio, Charleston Falls Preserve offers four miles of trails and a unique thirty-seven foot waterfall, which wasn't doing much last week due to the recent dry weather.  The gravel-covered trails are wide and smoother than most, making this a runner's paradise.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Chicago Lake And River Tour

A 90 degree day is perfect for a tour of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, including the lock that separates them.  The lock resulted from the changing the flow of the river from into the lake to away from the lake, a dredging story of mass proportion.  Since the lake is a few feet higher than the river, the lock prevents all that extra water from leaving the lake.  This video shows the five minute operation from opening the gates just a little to fill the lock, to them being fully retracted and the boats moving through.

Friday, September 29, 2017


Now we're talking some serious deep dish pizza from the classic Chicago restaurant, Giordano's.  One pie is pepperoni and spinach, the other sausage and onion. Serious chow down.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Text Message From 39,000 Feet

I was surprised when I turned on my iPad's WiFi on a recent United Airlines flight and received some notifications, as I expected the free (I love free) in-flight WiFi to be limited to a small set of selected partner web sites. Then I figured if those notifications came through, I should try sending a text message using the Google Voice app and that worked!  I don't know if that was a fluke or not, but it was handy to keep my wife apprised of my progress.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Printing a web page to a PDF from a web browser is standard fare, but doing that from a script takes a utility like the free (I love free) WKHTMLTOPDF.  Comes with dozens of options to control the output, such as collation, resolution, orientation, headers and footers. If you need image output, WKHTMLTOIMAGE is also available.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Exit Escape Room

The goal is to escape the game room by solving multiple clues. Our team divided into two groups, the first choosing LOST, navigating out of a wrecked airplane, and succeeded. The second group attempted Terracotta Mausoleum, trying to steal the Elixir of Immortality, and ultimately failed to achieve this much more difficult task. Either outcome, the game was a blast.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Paula Dean's House Seasoning

A basic combination of salt, pepper and garlic powder, it lasts up to six months in a air-tight container.  Great on grilled hamburgers and steaks.  Beats grabbing, and putting away, three different spices all the time.  So simple!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Paint Color

I used this a few months back to find the paint for our remodeled bathroom. I started with a cell phone picture of a color we liked, found its Red-Green-Blue (RGB) numbers and then explored similar colors from paint lines carried by Lowes.  We narrowed it down to four options and picked the prettiest one, making the trip to Lowes a simple "strike mission".

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer

Not well known is that Dayton, Ohio sits on top of 1.5 trillion gallons of water, used to provide water for about 400,000 residents in the surrounding communities to drink, businesses such as Cargill and Miller-Coors to make their products, and for the geyser fountain at the junction of the Great Miami and Mad Rivers to spray its jets. Known as the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer (GMBVA), it's comprised of sand and gravel deposits that are completely saturated with water, and is quickly replenished by water that seeps down from the overlying rivers, streams, and lakes.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Infiniti G37x

We took home this 2013 Infiniti G37x a couple weeks ago, a nice blend of performance, luxury and space for five. This will make our frequent road trips very comfortable.

Monday, September 18, 2017

USPS Informed Delivery

I find it strangely compelling to see a daily email digest containing digital images of the upcoming postal mail. This new service is provided by USPS, free (I love free) of charge, and is called Informed Delivery. It's not available everywhere and doesn't mean that what you see in today's email shows up that day, but it's pretty close.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Grilled London Broil

This steak got marinated with a dry rub of chili powder, salt and pepper for a couple hours at room temperature, then cooked first on the direct heat side of a grill and finished on the indirect side, 130 degrees for medium-rare. The tomato and fennel salad also takes a couple hours of rest time, which softens the strong fennel taste to perfection.  Add fingerling potatoes and a bottle of Malbec wine, and Saturday night was pretty special.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Salmon BLT

I think the coming of autumn is causing my brain to focus too much on food. This beauty comes courtesy of the story original Salty Dog Cafe on Hilton Head Island. I'm normally not a big salmon fan, but this was delicious.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Located a few blocks from the Riverwalk in Savannah, Georgia, Zunzi's is an African sandwich shop that's tucked in a little "hole-in-the-wall", just enough space to order and pay.  Several metal tables are available around the corner. complete with a very attentive wait staff.  Pictured are the baked chicken "Conquistador" and the South African sausage and chicken "Godfather". A favorite of the locals, be prepared for a long line during lunch hour.  Worth it.