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.