Friday, July 20, 2018

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

My variation on this recipe was to start by buying strips of pork shoulder instead of the typical large roast.  More surface area for the rub and easier to brown, fit in the Crock Pot and shred.  Then we added whichever BBQ sauce to our bun from the 4-pack I picked up from Walmart.  Best of all, lots of leftovers and more sauces to choose from.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Blockbuster Fitness Equipment

My son, owner of Absolute Fitness Ohio personal training in Kettering, Ohio, has embarked on second business endeavor and is buying, refurbing and selling used commercial exercise equipment.  He is one hard-working man.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Filtering Spam Calls

Only for us Android phone users...

The "Caller ID & spam" option has been around awhile, and it's nice that suspected spam callers are clearly identified before you flick them off, but the recently introduced "Filter spam calls" option takes that a step further and directs the call to voicemail without a whisper.  So long and good riddance.

In Dante's Inferno, the Eighth Circle of Hell is resided by the fraudulent.  Sounds like a good place for spammers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Canadian Bacon

Canadian bacon must have originated in Canada, right?  Not so, and many have never heard the term, as it's of U.S. origin.  North of the border it's known as Back Bacon.  And now you know."Canadian_bacon"

Monday, July 16, 2018

Google Domains

I moved my domain registrar from GoDaddy to Google over a week ago, saving a few bucks a year in the process.  The move wasn't entirely seamless and in trying to put the pieces back together, I added something that broke this blog, and it took me a week to figure out what I had done wrong and how to fix it. I do like the cleaner, simpler interface that Google provides, and GoDaddy's constant upselling was really annoying.  Back in blogging action again!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Mac and Cheese

Can anyone ever have too many Mac and Cheese recipes?  Of course not.

The combination of Gruyere and extra-sharp Cheddar cheeses kicked this version up a notch and browning the buttered bread crumbs counts both tasty and a nice presentation.  We didn't have tomatoes available, but will try that next time.  Remember to generously spray the baking dish beforehand with non-stick cooking spray for a greatly easier cleanup.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Rose Music Center

Could there be a more appropriate band to watch on the Fourth of July than America?  Then follow that up with Boz Scaggs and it totalled an awesome concert.  It was our first time to the Rose Music Center in Huber Heights and we were impressed with the facility, easy parking and variety of refreshments.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Midnight or 12:00 AM

Are 12:00 AM and midnight the same or different time of day?  You probably say yes.  I would.

If I ask you to meet me Friday at midnight, when will you show up?  If you answered yes above, then you should arrive at that very first second of the day on Friday.  More likely you'll arrive the last second of the day on Friday, just as Saturday begins.  I would.

While 12:00 AM and midnight are actually the same moment in a day, the context of the question affects the answer by 24 hours. 

As Arsenio Hall used to say in his TV show -- "Things That Make You Say Hmmmm".

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Android Messages For Web

Text messages that come to my phone do not make a sound, a choice I made long ago to reduce interruptions, with its obvious downside.  Now that Google has a web version of Messages I'm less likely to have long delays getting texts since I'm in front of my computer so much.  A few other good tips for us Android folk at the link.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Kettering Fire Stations

Located on Hempstead Station Drive, this is the second of three new fire stations recently built, with a fourth in the works for the county's west side on Dorothy Lane.  Each are stylistically similar, but carry their own unique features.  Very nicely done.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Add another never-heard-of-before vegetable to our list of delicious sides.  Milder than your familiar sweet potato, the glaze adds a bit of sweetness to this Japanese variety's starchiness.  We went with the steam-first option and then charred them on the grill.  Ate the leftovers for days.

Contactless Payments

Paying with your mobile phone, just by holding it to the credit card machine, is old hat by now, but do that by tapping your credit card is likely to startle your server.  At least that's been my experience with several servers at Panera Bread. They start to correct me when I put my card on the machine, only to find the transaction is done.  Look for the symbol below on one of your cards and give it a try.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Fifth-Third Cardless ATM

No card, no problem.

I was greeted this week at my local Fifth-Third ATM with this unfamiliar screen, which turned out to be a new, and much improved, way to authenticating yourself to its services.  You bring up the Fifth-Third mobile app, scan that blocky image (called a QR code) and you're set to transact.  Best of all, those vile, card-skimming criminals can't get your card's account information.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Lost In Space

This remake of the Robinson family's outer space journey is highly dramatic and emotional, leaving us with leaky eyes nearly every episode.  Unexpected plot twists, excellent special effects and "Danger, Will Robinson" around every corner made this a binge-watching pleasure.  Ten episodes go past too fast.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Carpool Karaoke With Paul McCartney

Carpool Karaoke, where late-night host James Corden drives around and sings with some of the greatest musical talent on the planet, hits a homerun with this nearly twenty-four minute trip down memory lane (including the real Penny Lane) with Sir Paul McCartney.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Sauces are so under-used these days in home cooking and finding this perfect complement to pork is not only tasty but beautiful.  The hoisin sauce, brown sugar, ketchup and soy sauce all contribute to the uber-flavorful glaze and the scallions and sesame seeds make the presentation really pop.  A half-hour or less and you're serving a gourmet meal.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Best Wastebasket

Easy-to-grip handles on our office wastebasket makes pitching the trash much easier and it's the only one in the house like it.  We bought this at IKEA years ago and it doesn't appear they still sell this model.  Sometimes it's the little things that make a chore less so.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


I've been a big WinDirStat fan for years, but WizTree has won me over with its blazing performance, taking a fraction of the time to display every file on a disk drive in the same three-panel format. The graphical display is the best way to find those huge files you once needed but now just take up space.  WizTree is free (I love free), but you can show some love by clicking on the Donate button at the top-right.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Amazon Baby Registry

A recent baby shower invitation listed Amazon as one of the places the expecting parents were registered at, and the first time we've seen that.  My wife was totally pleased with the shopping experience, from the easy layout of items to select from to the shipping options to the gift receipt.  Amazon simply nailed it and puts the other sites to shame.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Half-Hidden Owl

We bought this sand-weighted, plastic owl a few years back to scare birds off our patio railing, which worked, but in plain view the birds figured out it wasn't a threat.  I recently moved it to the elevated herb garden after seeing a bird nip off a piece of basil and fly away with it.  But unexpectedly, we now don't see many birds anywhere in our yard, which I can only attribute to the owl being partially hidden, making it appear more dangerous.  Time will tell if the birds figure this out, but so far (ten days), so good.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Grilled Asparagus with Pecorino and Pine Nuts

Until we started watching The Kitchen show, we had never zested a lemon and now it's our favorite part of the fruit. The Pecorino-Romano cheese, made from sheep's milk, is sharp and quite tangy.  The pine nuts, harvested from pine cones, are toasted to bring out even more of their nutty goodness.  All that ends up on top of grilled, char-marked asparagus.  Almost a meal in itself.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


While faxes are so totally yesterday, I had the need to receive a few faxes, but without a machine, what to do?  Well, first a Google search (my library on steroids), which resulted in finding FaxBurner.  They have a free (I love free) service where they give you a disposable fax number that lasts for only 24 hours and a limit of 25 pages inbound per month on your account, more than enough for my one-time needs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lincoln Park 9-11 Statue

My wife and I run past this statue at the corner of Ackerman Blvd and Lincoln Park Blvd in Kettering all the time on our four mile runs.  But until this last Sunday we've only seen the side shown in the picture on the left below, unaware that its true meaning was carved into its opposite side, the picture on the right.  Sometimes it pays to turn around.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Webcam with Tripod Ready Base

I bought this double-duty web cam to further pursue my illusion of being good at recording myself, which has proven to be the single most stressful thing I've ever attempted.  What attracted me to this device is that is has a tripod-ready base for super-steady needs and a clip mount suitable for the top of a laptop's screen.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Bolander Avenue

The address listed on my grandfather Leo's WWI draft registration card is 643 Bolander, which is located a few blocks northwest of the University of Dayton's basketball arena.  I should say it was there years ago, for now that home, long gone, would have stood on what is now either an on-ramp to US-35 or a piece of I-75, as shown at this link to Google Maps.,-84.2037942,3a,75y,304.87h,86.55t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJ-gk7A36LicTBWF5JUGH6Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Friday, June 8, 2018

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo Casserole

The orzo soaks up all the chicken stock, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic, butter and dill, and steams that goodness into the chicken, which itself has been seasoned with coriander, salt and pepper.  Ten minutes of work followed by plenty of time to enjoy the first glass of wine before serving this delicious treat.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cookies and Cream

Last Sunday's visit to the Second Street Market in downtown Dayton resulted in the surprise purchase of a half-gallon of this Cookies and Cream milk, which is it like the best chocolate milk ever and them some.  So much cream in this you need to give several good shakes before pouring.  Best served as dessert!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Open Broadcaster Software

Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS for short, is a free (I love free) application for MacOS, Linux and Windows for live streaming to sites like YouTube, Twitch and Facebook, or to simply make a video recording.  Input sources include audio and video from web cams and other devices, an open application window, a web URL and a color source, which makes a nice background.  That just scratches the surface of what OBS can do.

My current plan is to make some recordings from my Life Experiences blog ( as lasting memories for my family.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Indefinitely is a word a lawyer would love.  You have to admire a word that means nothing, but sounds so cool.  As a time-descriptive adverb, it's two meanings, unlimited and unspecified, are polar opposites.  Could be forever, or could mean this afternoon or next month.  Who knows. An infinite number of possibilities.  But which meaning do you infer when that word is used?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Harrison Township - 1938

Looking at old (in this case circa 1938) plat books like the section below from Harrison Township, reveal why certain areas and streets are named the way they are.  In the center, "E. L. Shawen" had a plat that became the "Shawen Acres" children's home.  To the right of the Stillwater River, just below center, is the plat of "E. De Weese", known to this day as "Deweese Parkway".  The large "Knecht Plat" at the bottom is the namesake of "Knecht Drive", the street three blocks south of where I grew up.  I find these connections to the past both interesting and comforting.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Meaty Grilled Pizza

Best pizza I've ever had.  The kind where you take the first bite and can't chew fast enough so you can take the next bite.  It's a meat lover's dream, but the smoked mozzarella cheese put it over the top.  Baked in the outdoor gas grill on a preheated, elevated baking stone, the pizza got nice and crispy, and stayed hot a very long time.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Aero-Flex String Trimmer

I hate (a strong word I reserve for the most deserving) regular string trimmers, the kind you have to wind easily-breakable plastic string around a hub and never feeds out when "bumped".  I know it works for the pros, I've seen it, but this once a week home amateur needed salvation and it has been delivered with this Aero-Flex head that uses the pre-formed and easily installed lines that you see below (with the cover removed).

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

PDF Preview

The most recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader includes a PDF thumbnail previewer, but it has to be enabled on the Preferences ... General screen, as pointed to below.  Those previews, particularly when viewing large or extra large icons, are a handy way of quickly spotting the document you're looking for.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

AutoCorrect in Outlook

Outlook's AutoCorrect features not only fixes common misspelling, typos and keyboard accidents, but also changes certain combinations of keystrokes into faces and arrows.  Best of all you can add your own special combos to spice up our emails, perhaps adding some greek like π or Ω.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Folder Colorizer 2

If you're like me, you have way too many folders on your desktop and you resort to finding the one you want by scanning them one by one.  Folder Colorizer 2 is a free (I love free) tool for Windows that allow you to change the color of a folder to make it stand out.  You can use one of their preselected colors or choose one from the sixteen million available in the Color Editor.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

It's rare that the recipe on the back of the package makes a 5-star addition to your evening meal, but Trader Joes shaved Brussels Sprouts is that rare exception.  Already shaved, it's like getting a 20-minute head start on this super simple combination of oil, bacon, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Octane 2.0

Google upgraded their JavaScript engine tester, designed to test the second most important factor in your web browser experience (after Internet bandwidth of course).  My six-year-old Macbook Air laptop comes in with the decent score below, and much better than my Acer Chromebook 14's score of 7,512 and my iPad Air 2's score of 9,557.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

1977 Dayton River Corridor Classic

My first half-marathon was the inaugural Dayton River Corridor Classic, held the afternoon of Saturday, October 29, 1977.  My pace was about 8:08 per mile over those 13.1 miles and not being used to that kind of distance, I was sore for several days after.  The soreness fades, but being part of Dayton's running history lasts forever.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Double The Mice

I recently added a second mouse, the wired USB one pictured on the right above, to my traditional wireless Bluetooth mouse to the left of the keyboard.  I tried a pair of wireless mice, but couldn't get both to work at the same time.  The goal here was to be more efficient when needing to use repeated left-handed shortcuts (e.g. ALT-TAB), but I've found that occasionally switching back and forth helps relieve wrist fatigue.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Rock Garden

Transformed an area where nothing would grow well into a decorative rock garden.  Replaced 700 pounds of dirt, sod and roots with at least 1,000 pounds of Imperial River Rock, flat stones and paver sand laying on top of a couple sheets of landscape fabric to prevent weeds.

We can still "rock" it in our 60's!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Everything Bagel Hot Dog

Another fusion of breakfast and dinner, combining this man's favorite, a jumbo hot dog, with cream cheese and the five ingredients that top my favorite bagel, that being sesame and poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, dried garlic flakes, and coarse sea salt.  Summer will see this being devoured several more times.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Elevated Herb Garden

Last weekend's project was building this (almost) 3 foot by 4 foot elevated herb garden, and planting
sweet basil, cilantro, rosemary, Italian oregano and flat Italian parsley.  It was so heavy we had to move it from the garage to the back yard, taking three short rest breaks and barely getting through the extra-wide gate, before installing the 2'x4's that make the floor. Add the garden soil and I'm estimating about 500 pounds.

Here's hoping those fat rabbits can't jump this high.  Next step will be calling Elmer Fudd.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

First Successful Flight of the Wright Flyer

My home office wall decorations are now complete with the addition of this classic Wright Brothers picture showing Orville piloting, laying on his stomach, while his brother Wilbur looks on.  The brothers took turns flying, so it just happens that Orville was piloting when they made history.  It's amazing how far flying has progressed since 1903.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Phone Identification

My solution to wanting a good samaritan to be able to return my phone in case I misplace it is to place a business card info-side down under my Pixel 2's protective phone case.  Given my company's logo on the back of the card, I guess this might also be a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor...

Monday, May 14, 2018

Printing Password Protected PDFs

What to do if you get a PDF that's disallowed itself from being printed?  Simply upload it to your Google Drive and print it from there.  Really, it's that easy.  Seriously, why would anyone bother to try to prevent printing, or make themselves believe that's even technically possible to do that in software?  Silly rabbits...

Friday, May 11, 2018

Quick Sizzlin Chicken Fajitas

Cinco de Mayo called for hot and spicy Mexican food and the chili powder and jalapeños in this recipe delivered.  Do you ever over-stuff that first tortilla, not wanting to skip or short change yourself of a delicious ingredient?  This is that recipe.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fried Chicken and Waffle Sand

Oh yes, they did!

As I was scanning down the menu at The Troll Pub in downtown Dayton last week, my eyes stopped at this fried chicken and waffle sandwich.  Say no more.  While I've never had such a combination, my brain just knew it would be delicious and it was correct.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Nikon Camera Updates

I never really thought of my DSLR camera as a computer, but while trying to use it as a webcam (no luck so far) I found its firmware and GPS files to be really out of date.  All it took to rectify that was downloading new files, putting them on the camera's SD card and finding the update selections in the menus.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

KitchenAid Food Processor

Our newest kitchen machine is a 9-cup KitchenAid food processor and my favorite feature (so far) is ExactSlice, allowing six different thickness to be cut with the slide of its lever in front.  As the GIF below demonstrates, it takes a stick of hard pepperoni down to even slices in a few seconds.