Friday, September 28, 2018

Roasted Pork With Apples And Potatoes

Sheet pan recipes are the bomb, making cleanup so much easier.  My wife used fresh rosemary from our elevated herb garden, which combined with the thyme (rhyme intentional) and the drizzle was perfect for the pork tenderloin.  Potatoes, green beans and apples rounded out a "I can't believe this is a Tuesday night dinner!" moment.  Lucky me.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

macOS Mojave

I paid about $1,000 for my MacBook Air in 2012 and zero since.  This works out, so far, to $167 per year, not bad for a high-end laptop. The most recent macOS version, named Mojave, continues Apple's practice of free (I love free) operating system upgrades.  The only constraint I have is the 4GB of memory combined with my desire to have too many browser tabs open at the same time, but I expect to get a couple more years out this laptop before I upgrade, most certainly to another Mac.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Amazon Echo Auto

Back in early 2015 I jumped at the chance to get the first Amazon Echo at their prime-member-only introductory, $99, half-off price, patiently waiting three months for it to arrive.  I'm hoping to repeat that early adaptor success, signing up for the invite-only Echo Auto, again for half-price ($25), hoping to add voice control to my 2004 Jeep to play music, navigate traffic and who knows yet what else.  This seems the same kind of no-brainer as that first Echo, which happily lives in the dining room.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Torch Lighter

After repeated attempts to refill my old butane cigar lighter, I finally decided it must be broken and replaced it with this triple-flame $12 beauty from Amazon.  The feature I really appreciate is the window that shows the level of the butane, so I know it's being filled properly.  Just noticed it has a punch cutter tool in the base, which I'll try on my next cigar, which would eliminate having to carry a separate cutter.

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.