Monday, August 31, 2020

National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass

I'm now the proud owner of a National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass which provides entrance or access to myself and accompanying passengers in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle at Federal operated recreation sites across the country.  If you're 62 years old or better and love the outdoors, this is a real bargain for $90 for the rest of your life.  My first visit, in the planning stage, will be Fort Sumter in Charleston, SC.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Frankie Bones

Located at the northern end of Hilton Head Island, Frankie Bones is the perfect combination of delicious American-Italian food, yummy drinks, and great service.  The decor inside takes you back to the 1960s and feels like you're dining with the Rat Pack.  When you go to the same restaurant twice in one week, you know you have a winner.  Can't wait to go back!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Chocolate Pudding Shots

Let's get the party started!  

These chocolate pudding shots are super easy to make.  Fold together all the ingredients below, spoon into plastic cups, close them with lids and freeze them in a gallon-size bag. 

1 small box of chocolate pudding mix
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream liquor
1/2 cup vodka 
1 container of extra creamy Cool Whip
About 3 dozen small plastic cups with lids

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Fancy QR Codes

I noticed this sign at a local restaurant and thought this couldn't be a QR (Quick Response) code as it didn't look much like the blocky, and frankly pretty ugly, version I've grown accustomed to seeing.  But when I scanned it with Google Lens on my Pixel 2 it worked just fine, taking me to the web site with the menu.  It took a bit of digging, but I found that there are a variety of ways and shapes that can be used to create these better-looking versions.  One website you can try this out is at the link below.

This technique is about a decade old and this is the first I've heard of it, and I've spent a fair amount of time investigating QR codes.  Sigh...

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Cutting Board Meets Stovetop

We bought this extra-large wood cutting board to extend the limited counter space in our kitchen when we're not needing the gas stovetop, such as when we're throwing a party and guests are bringing already-prepared sides to share.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Checkout Helper

I bought four 5/16" x 2" carriage bolts at Lowes last week and instead of waiting at the cashier stand while they searched through their book to find the right part, I just took a picture of it and showed it to them.  They entered the item number and that was that, saving time for both of us.  Sometimes is a matter of remembering the simple things.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Pizza On The Grill

Who said pizza had to be round?  Or all the burners on a grill have to be lit?

The first step is making a nice and crispy crust.  Roll out the dough and grill it on the direct heat side, paying close attention to get nice grill marks without burning it (too much).  Remove the crust and let it cool for a few minutes, then spread it with a small can of tomato paste (or your favorite sauce) and sprinkle on garlic and onion powders and Italian seasoning.  Add a layer of freshly grated provolone cheese and top with pepperoni, bacon, and pepperoncini peppers.  Return the pizza to the grill and cook for 20 minutes on the indirect heat side.

The best thing about homemade pizza is you are in creative control, just as we were when we made up this concoction of flavors.

Thursday, August 20, 2020


This isn't the cheapest squeegee you can buy, but the extra few bucks will get you the best performance of any we've tried.  This is the 12-inch model but they also come in 10-inch and 14-inch options.  It takes the job of cleaning our shower glass doors down to six swipes, saving at least half the time it previously took to accomplish this chore. 

A big SHOUT-OUT to Grace for this home improvement!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Hugh Sale

We spotted this sign on Wilmington Pike recently and just had to loop back to take a picture.  We don't know if the misspelling is intentional to attract attention, an accident the spell-checker didn't catch or maybe they really are selling people named "Hugh" or the person having the sale is "Hugh".  

We didn't go check to see if the sale was "Huge", we were content with having a chuckle.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Chain Link Gate

Now that our patio gate has been made shiny again, it's a bit appalling to see how bad it looked before.  The frame, poles, and chain link were covered with Rustoleum Chain Link Fence Paint, which is the consistency of water (i.e. very messy), and the latch, hinges, and tension bars were replaced with new hardware.  The paint only came in a gallon size, of which I have 95% of it left.  If you're in the mood to do some touch-up yourself, I will happily share the leftover paint and save you some bucks.

Monday, August 17, 2020


A car breakdown, particularly like the sudden and total loss of power I experienced recently, is never pleasant, but I have to give kudos to the AAA app for making the tow truck request simple and keeping me informed on when they would arrive.  Forget your AAA card when getting a discount, that's in the app also.  Need a TripTik Travel Plan, yep, that too.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Oven Shirred Eggs

Shirred is a fancy name for baked, and shirred eggs are done in a flat-bottomed dish at high heat in the oven.  Our friend Grace made us these Kilburnie Kitchen Oven Shirred Eggs, using the recipe at the link below, which layers eggs, heavy cream, grated Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Cheddar cheeses, and minced chervil (aka French parsley) on your choice of bread to make a super simple and simply delicious breakfast treat. And, of course, everything is better with bacon.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Refurbishing Mister Sun

Mister Sun was getting ragged, its black paint peeling and showing patches of rust.  My wife did some sanding, then painted the whole ornament with a copper-colored, hammered spray paint from Rustoleum.  That gives it a look like hammered metal when it's dried, and adds some extra texture and pizazz.  Chalk one more project complete from a most productive spring and summer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ice Maker Auger

My wife figured out in less than a minute that the broken pieces of plastic in her water glass came from a broken auger in the ice maker.  That's a very dangerous situation, and we urge everyone with an ice-dispenser-in-the-door refrigerator to check theirs regularly.  

A replacement ice bucket/auger runs $142 at Amazon, but a replacement auger itself was about $50.  I found a video at the link below that walked me through all the steps to disassemble the unit, then reassemble with the new auger.  I would have never figured out on my own.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Spectrum At The Greene

Needing to replace a continually-rebooting cable box and figuring I might need an appointment, I went to the Spectrum website and was surprised to find a store at The Greene that is closer than the one I've always used at the Dayton Mall, reducing my commute from 7 to 3 miles.  This store is only two months old and since so few people know about it, I didn't have to wait at all to get a new cable box.  It's located next to the Nordstrom Rack in the northwest corner of The Greene, not the easiest location to find.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Park-N-Go License Plate Reader

Park-N-Go outside the Dayton airport has upgraded its payment system, which now scans your license plate as you enter and then again as you exit.  You just insert your payment card and you're off.  They still provide a printed ticket when you enter in case the new system encounters problems with its license scanners, but our first use last week was flawless.  Nice to see my license plate is used for something other than annoying, out-of-state pay-by-mail tolls.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Dry-Rubbed Baked Chicken Wings

This recipe is pretty quick to assemble unless you have to make a trip to the grocery store to buy one or more of the 14 spices that make up the rub.  Just combine the spices, toss the wings to thoroughly cover then bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.  Lining the baking sheet with foil makes cleanup a snap.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Alligator Sighting

Thanks to an awesome telephone lens, our friend Grace was able to get this picture of their neighborhood alligator from a very safe distance.  While humans are not recognized as prey, it's best not to take a chance with any animal that weighs several hundred pounds and can run, even if for only a short distance, at over 30 miles per hour.  As this pond is on a golf course, it's best to leave an errant tee shot alone and call it a lost ball.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Osprey Having Dinner

Our friend caught this osprey, utilizing a telephoto lens, munching down on dinner while perched on a pine tree branch.  This is probably a piece of fish, given the information provided at this Wikipedia link, but could be another bird or other prey.  This was taken on Hilton Head Island, which is home to over 200 species of birds.

A big shout out to Grace for this awesome photo!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hilton Head Country Club

This gorgeous par 3, the 14th hole at Hilton Head Country Club, measures 160 yards from the blue tees, made visually difficult by having to carry most of the way over the marsh and its grasses (and Lord knows what kind of creatures).  The course, designed by Rees Jones, is a beautiful challenge featuring sweeping doglegs and water on most of its holes.  It's a decent bargain with green fees in the $60-$80 range, depending on time of year and time of day.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Rain Chains

With the appropriately sandy soil, these rain chains are a decorative way to enjoy a rainstorm.  Water is free to pour down at the end of the gutter, runs down the chain, gets refocused every 6-8 inches by the next cup, which directs the water back towards the middle and down to the next cup.  An example (not the same one) is included at the link below.