Tuesday, December 31, 2019

How To Tie a Tie

My one New Year's resolution will be to learn to properly tie a bowtie and this Animated Knots website might just be the trick, stepping through each twist, turn and fold a little at a time.  It's not limited to bowties, so if your teenager wants to learn to tie a necktie without their parent's help, be a friend and send them this.


Friday, December 27, 2019

Swiss Steak

I remember having Swiss Steak often as a kid, but (sorry Mom), it was not anywhere near as delicious as this recipe delivers.  Nothing fancy or difficult, just brown the meat and add it to a slurry of onions, garlic, celery, tomato paste, tomatoes, paprika, oregano, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth.  This makes a great winter Sunday dish, filling the house with mouth-watering aromas.


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Google Lens

I took the picture below to remind myself what to buy to try to make this most delicious margarita at home, figuring I'd have to type this into a list.  But all that's necessary to bypass that is to press the Google Lens icon at the bottom of the photo which will find all the text in your photo.  Just press on the text you want, adjust the beginning and ending markers, then touch "Copy text". 

The Google Lens icon looks like this:  


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Santa's House

We don't lack for Christmas creativity in our neighborhood, but I'm not sure what these folks were thinking.  But I'm pretty sure that Santa thought he was lost when he poked his head out and it was sunny and sixty degrees.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Samuel L. Jackson Celebrity Voice

I snagged this introductory price, 99 cents, and added the Samuel L. Jackson skill to Alexa.  It's rated Mature, and that's for a good eff'ing reason.  Fortunately you choose whether you like the explicit language or not.

My favorite is "Alexa, tell Sam good morning".  Puts a chuckle in my day.


Monday, December 23, 2019

Spice Collection

This just might be the best White Elephant gift ever!  Well, maybe #2 (pun intended) after the time I gave a stuffed white elephant, earning my nickname of Mr. Literal.  Five large containers of spice blends for any grilling occasion.  I think I'll start with some baked chicken with the one on the right.


Friday, December 20, 2019

White Chicken Chili

Shut the front door!  This one is an absolute stunner.

Chicken is combined with Great Northern beans, corn, chicken broth, chicken soup, green chile peppers and taco seasoning, then goes low-and-slow in a crock pot for 8-10 hours.  Take the chicken out, shred it and return it to the pot, then add sour cream and pepper Jack cheese and wait a few minutes until it's melted.  Top with some tortilla strips for a crunchy extra.

All credit goes to my wife.  Thanks for warming our bellies with a new winter favorite!


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Boca Clips

Besides being absolutely adorable, these clips are sure to keep your towel from flying off your beach lounger.  With more than a dozen options, you're sure to find a lovely pair.  Can we say "last minute stocking stuffer"?


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Visited States Map

This handy website lets you select those states you've visited and builds a colorful map with the white states representing those you still need to visit.  I've managed to complete everything east of the Mississippi River, and other than Oklahoma and New Mexico, the remainder is in the northwest.  Only eleven to go!


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Costco Checks

Back in the day most of us paid our utility bills, our groceries and the department store shopping trip with personal checks, so Costco's check ordering service, run by Harland Clarke, would have been a bigger cost saver than in today's online bill pay and credit card happy world.  But we still use them and when we recently needed more checks, we took Clark Howard's advice and looked into this less expensive alternative.  Not only did we save a lot of money, the checks came in the handy "CheckFolio" seen below.  You don't have to be a Costco member to order through this web site, but it saves you a little bit more if you are.


Monday, December 16, 2019

Google Assistant Note-Taking Apps

Really Google?  It took this long?

At last Google has integrated a number of note-taking apps to its Google Assistant, most important to me being Google's own Keep app.  Now instead of opening Keep, starting a note and typing in the details, I can do it all hands free with one command and whatever I need to remember to do, like this:
  1. Hey Google, take a note
  2. "Whatever I say next goes into the note"
ADT (About D... Time)


Friday, December 13, 2019

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin

We recently splurged for a Sous Vide (French-to-English translation: "Under Vacuum") low temperature circulator and prepared this pork tenderloin per the instructions at the link below.  The 140 degree setting used for this cut of meat delivered a medium, juicy doneness.  The seasonings really get infused into the meat, much more than any other method we've used.  After several hours the pork was removed and finished in a hot skillet to add some roasty curb appeal.


Thursday, December 12, 2019


With the abundance of streaming options available, sometimes the hardest part is finding something to watch and not over-paying for rentals.  JustWatch makes both a snap with its ingenious interface.  You can select one or more of your streaming services and get a list of options.  You can also click on a title, like the Avengers Endgame movie shown below, and see if it's available for free (stream), and where and how much it costs to rent or buy.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Amazon Echo 3

I preordered my first Amazon Echo on January 9th, 2015 and waited nearly three months to get it.  Almost five years later I've upgraded to the Echo version 3, which is not only a nicer overall design, but the sound quality is phenomenal, particularly the base.


Monday, December 9, 2019

Hafod Hardware

Hafod Hardware is located in the Welsh town of Rhayader and its owner, Thomas Lewis Jones, created this Christmas video (found at his web site below), which features his 2-year-old son Arthur, at a cost of about $132.  It certainly will be the most heartwarming two minutes of your day.  I'll be comparing this to all those high-priced commercials on TV from now through the Super Bowl, but if they can beat this, I'll be shocked.


Friday, December 6, 2019

Culp's Cafe

This delicious bad boy is a Croque Madame, topping ham, swiss, Dijon mustard and b├ęchamel sauce,
on sourdough, with a sunny-side-up egg.  It's served at Culp's Cafe at Carillon Park.  Culp's is a throwback to the soda fountains of my youth (i.e. a long time ago), and they serve floats, sodas, phosphates and my favorite, milkshakes.  You can look over the mouthwatering menu at this link.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Running Profits - November 2019 Update

I'm sad to report that this solitary penny is all I found last month on my six-month ice-cream-cone quest.  I guess not a lot of people are outside losing their spare change, or the leaves are hiding them, or maybe since I run the same routes all the time that I've run the well dry.  My five-month total stands at $2.83 as I head into December, the final month of the quest.  I was really hoping for a two-dipper, but I may end up a little short.  Sigh.