Monday, September 24, 2018


Netflix is so worth its price, and the crown jewels are their original series.  One of the best is Ozark, which features a family trying to avoid the mob's revenge by laundering drug money, relocating from Chicago to the beautiful middle of nowhere, buying cash-based businesses and trying to stay a step ahead of the feds, the mob and the locals.  Two seasons, totaling twenty episodes, await your binging pleasure.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Baked Bacon

Best and easy are the perfect adjectives for this bacon recipe my wife tried the last time she made us BBBLAT's, which is short for Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato, just my meat-lover's style.  Just place the strips of bacon on an aluminum-foil wrapped baking sheet, place it in a cold oven, set it for 425 degrees and step away.  She baked it for 22 minutes, longer than the 14 minutes suggested in the recipe, but that's going to vary depending on your oven and your desired level of doneness.  This bacon came out evenly and perfectly done, nicely flat and pliable, little shrinkage, and perfect to fold over to the size of the toasted bread.

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Pexels is my favorite free (I love free) site to get images of all sorts of things, occasionally for this blog (but most are my own) or other purposes.  Free includes using it for any purpose, commercial or not, and attributing the work to the author is appreciated, but not required.  I've also established my own account there so I can contribute my own pictures, which I hope to start in the near future.

This stunning picture is the work of Bennie Lukas Bester.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pink Noise

I've known about the "white noise" that open offices (i.e. cubicles) use to muffle conversations to keep them from being overly annoying, but a couple months ago I heard the term "pink noise" for the first time.  Technically, white noise has a flat power spectrum while pink noise's is logarithmic, bringing back bad memories of high school algebra.  But noise doesn't stop at white and pink, there is also blue, purple, grey, green, black, purple and brownian, as described at this Wikipedia page.  Makes me want to take a long walk in a quiet forest.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Miami-Erie Canal in Downtown Dayton

From the image below, you can see that the Miami-Erie Canal flowed southwest, but there was also a branch called the Basin Extension that ran west for several blocks before turning south along what is now Patterson Boulevard.  It's along this south stretch that the northernmost block of the Canal Parkway, just west of where Fifth-Third Field is located.  It includes a tribute to the waterway that connected the western parts of Ohio, from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.  That included the construction of Grand Lake St. Marys, Indian Lake, Lake Loramie and others to provide water during dry periods.

Monday, September 17, 2018


We've visited the Troll Pub at the Wheelhouse, located a bit southeast of Dayton's Oregon District, a few times, but why the "Wheelhouse", other than this pub is part of the Wheelhouse Lofts building, which just begs the same question.  I can't find a definitive answer, but after a fair amount of research, this area was once of the site of the western terminus of the Dayton, Xenia & Belpre Railroad.  It included a roundhouse (first link) which served to turn engines around, as they only operated in the forward direction back then.  The mechanism that turned the engine around was called a wheelhouse, also known as the more descriptive term, turntable (second link).  That area, just north of Fourth Street and west of Bainbridge Street (third link), shows no clue of its prior existence.,-84.1823741,313m/data=!3m1!1e3

Friday, September 14, 2018

Mexican-Style Grilled Corn

I have loved slathering boiled corn with butter since I was a kid (some would argue I still am), but this grilled corn my wife made recently is a great routine-breaker.  Only takes 5-6 minutes on the outdoor gas grill to cook and nicely char the corn, then it's coated with a combo of chipotle mayo, sour cream, queso fresco, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper.  I suggest taking this concept and making it your own with your flavor favorites.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dunn's River Falls

Only took me seven years to rip this 14-minute DVD and upload it to my YouTube channel.  Our 2011 Caribbean cruise included a stop in Jamaica and a bus ride to Dunn's River Falls.  From the beach our group climbed the 600 foot waterfall, with its 180 foot vertical, which took about 40 minutes to complete.  Looks a bit daunting at first, but people of all ages, with smiles and giggles, completed it without a problem.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Young's Jersey Dairy

Turkey BLT and a chocolate malt for lunch last week at Young's Jersey Dairy, located just north of Yellow Springs, Ohio.  I took my kids their many times when they young (pun intended) and they loved the ice cream, but the real treat was feeding the goats.  Smart business, getting customers to buy handfuls of food for the goats and then feeding them.  And totally worth their smiles.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Waking Up

Years back I faced the challenge of gently waking up a pre-teen boy for school, a feat his mother said was just not possible.  Took me only a few days of trial-and-error to discover what worked on him; simply ask him a question.  Something like "Anything special going on at school today?" or "When's your next math test?".  As soon as his brain got engaged thinking of the answer, his body followed along and he got up, dressed and came down for breakfast before heading to school.  That simple.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Spaghetti Squash with Herbs & Ricotta

If you're wanting to cut back on carbs but need to trick your mouth into believing you haven't, baked spaghetti squash could be your answer.  Garlic, parsley and basil provide ample flavor and the ricotta cheese adds both texture and taste.  I was a bit too anxious to try my wife's cooking, leading to some skillet showing.  Worth it.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

E Pluribus Unum

My oldest memory of the phrase "E Pluribus Unum" was when the great and glorious Wizard of Oz awarded the Scarecrow a diploma from the "Universita Committeeatum E Pluribus Unum".  Only later, as money became as precious as TV time, did I see it on most of our currency, but until recently didn't know what it meant.  While a few variations exist, it all comes down to "Out of Many, One", reflecting how the states (many) became the United States of America (one).  It was considered a de facto motto of the United States until 1956 when the United States Congress adopted the official motto, "In God We Trust".

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

SoundAsleep Air Mattress

You can't give a better recommendation than buying another one.  The first is in Tiffin now, where it provides queen-sized comfort in a spare bedroom and the new one awaits an overflow, out-of-town guest in our basement.  The best part in the integrated inflate/deflate pump, which takes just a few minutes to complete its job.  Just plug in and flip the switch.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Unexpectedly Long Runs

The picture below was taken just after I finished the 2006 Dayton River Corridor Classic half-marathon, and captures the same look that I had at the end of each of the three stories I wrote about in my Life Experiences blog at the link below.  Unlike the half-marathon, some runs just end up being longer than expected.  Not that I care to repeat any of these runs, but they are fond memories of my younger days.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Baby Spinach and Watermelon Salad with Feta and Pistachios

This might be the most eclectic combination of ingredients I've ever seen in a salad.  Nothing unusual about spinach, olive oil, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard, but throw in the odd combination of honey, oregano, feta cheese, pistachios and watermelon and you have an every-direction flavor explosion, and one that really works well together.  Another recipe to enjoy now while fresh spinach and watermelon are in season.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Two Teams

Love conquers all, and as this picture of our car keys demonstrates, that includes rooting for different AFC North football teams.  My wife brought her passion for the Steelers from Pittsburgh and I never wavered from being the Browns fan I grew up as in Dayton, even after those Bengals arrived in the NFL when I was 15 year old.  Next test of our love is September 9th, when our teams play each other.

Big shout to my local Greive Hardware store for stocking these keys.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Area Code 326

I remember back in 1996 when the Dayton region was split out from the 513 area code and became 937.  The 513 area code had lasted from its beginning in 1947, so just under 50 years.  937 is now running out of numbers and an overlay area code, 326, will be added in 2020, so 937 will have lasted about 24 years, about half the time as 513.  An overlay eliminates the need to change existing numbers, so only new numbers will be assigned 326, which is a relief.  513 is expected to run out of numbers in 2024, per the report at the second link below, and get an overlay of 283.  Expect a 12-digit phone number in your future, when all area codes are exhausted.  Ouch.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


The picture below is a MusGo salad.  Growing up we often had MusGo dinners of one type or another.  MusGo was my mother's term for leftover, in other words, everything in the fridge "Must Go".  This salad featured half a yellow and half a red bell pepper, four hard boiled eggs from last week, the last few pieces of, at least, ten-day-old sliced turkey, a tomato, bacon bits and fresh lettuce (cause old lettuce is a no-no).  Probably a couple of others that I forgot.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Wright State Days

This 2 and 1/2 page article describes some of my accomplishments in college, none of which had anything to do with keg stands, parties or mischief.  I just did some crazy and unique things with mainframe technology at a young age, mostly because I would embarc on a project I either knew nothing or little about without fear.  There's a lot of technical terms in there, but I don't think it's important to know that to get the point of each story.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Out-Of-Office Permanently

This is a rare Saturday post, but it's a one-in-a-lifetime day, that being my first day of retirement.  I posted the following as my "permanently out of the office" message before I left yesterday. 


I've run away and joined a circus...

Just kidding.

After working since I was 11 years old in one job or another, I've retired.  

I've traded in my alarm clock for adventures, my calendar for a second cup of coffee and morning commutes for morning exercises.  While this work journey ends with the declaration of retirement, the next journey begins, one that offers the most precious thing in life other than love, that being time.  Time to read, write, golf, explore, create, mentor, listen, give, appreciate and deeply inhale the fragrance of the roses.

I really have loved working, mainly because of the people I've come to know and what we've accomplished together.  Information Technology was a great career choice and one that ended up being just as much a creative outlet as a technical challenge. And one that I don't have to stop because I'm retired.  That wasn't true in 1974 when I entered Wright State University, in the era of mainframes, but personal computers, the Internet, web sites, mobile devices and open source
software hadn't been invented yet.  I can dabble to my heart's content.

Don't bother replying, I'll never get it.  This out-of-office message is permanent.

Signing off ...



Friday, August 24, 2018

Potato Bake With French Onion Soup

How good is this?  When you pack your lunch the night before just so you can make sure you get the last of the leftovers, that's how good.  Pour a combination of whipping cream and a French Onion Soup mix over sliced potatoes, then top with grated cheddar cheese ten minutes before it's done baking.  Another masterpiece from my wife!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Gilligan's Island

You know the characters, right?  Thurston Howell III and his wife, Lovey.  The Professor, aka Roy Hinkley, Ginger Grant and Mary Ann Summers.  Maybe you watched enough to know the Skipper's name was Jonas Grumby.  But what was Gilligan's last name.  Trick question, Gilligan was his last name, and who better to know his real, or intended, first name then the producer, Sherwood Schwartz, who called him Willy.  Yep, Willy Gilligan.  Just rolls off your tongue.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wrap The Strap

This is my wife's genius extra precaution while grocery shopping because you can't keep your eye on your purse 100% of the time and carrying it is a pain in the you-know-what.  She removes the strap from one side of her purse, wraps it through the cart and reattaches it.  If someone tries a quick snatch-and-grab, they end up dragging the cart with them and creating a scene.  Obviously not a complete safety solution, but stopping stupid thieves doesn't always take one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Bend The Pin

Face it, not everything in a house is perfectly level, and the most annoying out-of-whack thing is a door that won't stay put, swaying open or closed.  The simple solution is to remove one of the hinge pins, place it between a couple pieces of wood and give it a firm whack, bending the pin just a little bit.  That will give the hinge just the extra friction it needs to stay put.

Thanks to my brother-in-law Albert for this tip!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Word Clouds

This web site builds Word Clouds from a list of word, a website URL, Office documents or PDF files.  You can select from a variety of shapes, fonts, colors, spacing and themes to make it your work of art.  The Word Cloud below was created from my bio.

Big shout out to my friend Diana T for passing along this gem.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Grilled Zucchini Salad With Mustardy Vinaigrette

Piling on the parsley, basil and chives turns this sliced and grilled zucchini into a meal by itself.  The vinaigrette, kicked up with Dijon and shallots, adds a sharp tang.  This time of year is perfect for zucchini, so don't put this recipe off for long.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hugging In The Corner

In what I believe to be one of the most brilliant parenting ideas ever, my wife told me that when her boys, like all boys do, got into fights with each other and got mad, she would send them to a corner of the room, together, and them make them hug each other.  Pretty hard to remain angry in the midst of a good hug, and soon their tempers would subside, laughter filled the air and happy order was restored.  That's taking the traditional "time-out" to another level!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Garage Door Annoyance

There were times when the openers in our cars would not open or close the garage door.  After discussing it with a guy from Highfield Door Sales, he said that certain LED bulbs emit interference that might be the cause, and he was right.  Replacing an older LED, just the one that faces the driveway, with a newer one that complies with "Part 15 of the FCC rules", has resolved this annoyance.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mattress Foundation

The new Nectar bed needed a base, and box springs are a useless expense with a foam mattress, so I opted for this assemble-yourself foundation.  Each end of each piece has a number that gets matched up with the same number on another piece and then bolted together.  When that's understood, it's a piece of cake to assemble. It gets completed with an all-sides, zippered cloth cover that makes it look like a traditional box spring.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Nectar Mattress

Upgraded an upstairs bedroom with this king-size Nectar memory foam mattress.  It comes all rolled up in a cylinder and after you remove its packaging it expands over the first 24 hours into the picture below.  My first trial, after work last Thursday, resulted in over an hour's nap.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Beef Stroganoff

Indulge yourself and buy some high-quality egg noodles for his ultimate comfort food, which incorporates butter, sour cream and cream cheese to add warmth to your bones, and mushrooms, garlic, onion, mustard and spices to please your taste buds.  Then rent a movie.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Brown Sugar Spiced Salmon

Some sugar, some spice, and the salmon is nice. 

Not all recipes need a dozen-plus ingredients and a half-hour to prepare.  Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and cleanup is just as easy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Income Distribution

As I approached retirement and began the planning process, I put together the following charts which depict how the distribution of our income is expected to change.  With no money going into social security or 401(k) accounts, combined with a lower tax bracket, the improvement in the percentage ending up in our wallet is pretty nice.  Your results will likely be very different, but planning ahead and knowing where you are, and where you will be, takes a lot of stress out of your golden years.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Android Pie

It's a real pleasure to have a Google Pixel 2 phone and the morning that a new Android version is released, my phone begins installing it.  No more waiting for months and drooling for the latest features.  I guess drooling is the proper term as Android versions are named after desserts, in this case "Pie" for Android "P".

Monday, August 6, 2018

Excel Paste Multiple Lines Into A Single Cell

Copying multiple lines into Excel, starting at a selected cell, results in one cell being used per line.  But pasting it into a single cell can be done by double-clicking the cell first.  Or you can also press F2 or enter the data in the Formula bar to get the same treatment.  Why it took me this long to find this I'll never know, but I've wasted my share of time.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Italian Sausage and Pepper Burgers

Bored with burgers?  Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day?  Bam, this recipe is for you.

A combo of hot and sweet Italian sausage is topped with sauteed onions and peppers (careful not to over-saute) and double provolone, and served on ciabatta rolls with a mayo and pesto spread.  I'm thinking next time adding a few pieces of bacon to make it really decadent and proceed directly to a food coma state.

Thursday, August 2, 2018


Another free (I love free) utility to add to your techie toolkit. 

I ran across a file that had ".fax" as its extension, which was bogus, and wanted to know what it really was.  Looking at the file in NotePad, it was just gibberish, and offered no clue to its real identify.  Then I found TrIDNET, downloaded it and gave it the file to analyze. Poof, it was really a TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), an older graphics image format.  I renamed the file with a ".tiff" extension and voila, it displayed just fine.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Amazon Prime and Whole Foods

Of course you're an Amazon Prime member.  Isn't everybody? 

Amazon recently extended their Prime discounts to all their Whole Foods stores nationwide.  Either download the Whole Foods Market app or link your phone number to your account at the Amazon website and you can enjoy these extra savings at checkout.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Garlicky Shrimp Pasta With Tarragon

Tarragon, shallot and garlic combined with white wine, heavy cream and lemon juice amp up this recipe.  Almost makes you wish for a chilly autumn evening, but just crank up the air conditioning and enjoy it now.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Search This Blog

Do you remember seeing something in my blog, for example a yummy chicken recipe, but can't find it?  Just make a Google search like the one below, which adds the "site:" option for this blog's website, which focuses the results.  You can find a number of other handy search options at this Google support link.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


UberConference has free (I love free) and paid ($15/month) versions, the free version limited to ten participants and requiring a PIN.  Free includes screen and document sharing, call recording and mobile apps, but includes some audio advertisements.  The paid version eliminates those ads and includes some more business-focused features like dial out, international access and a custom all-in number.

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.