Friday, July 29, 2022


I finally got around to trying the Napolitos at Jorrge's in Kettering, delaying because I wasn't sure that eating cactus was a real thing.  It's delicious!  It's combined with steak, eggs, and cheese and served with rice, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream, and you can choose between flour or corn tortillas.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Planting Grass

The empty lot shown below used to be an old fire station and outlet buildings behind Town and Country Shopping Center in Kettering, Ohio.  All that demolished, we were pleasantly surprised to see they had planted grass seed on the dirt portions, so instead of a muddy eyesore, it looks halfway decent.  I don't know if they were required to do this or not, but I'm glad they did.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Patriotic Fence

This tri-color fence, at the corner of Ackerman and Hollendale in Kettering, Ohio must have been painted for the recent Fourth of July holiday, there is no other explanation since we pass this intersection at least once a day and we're not that brain-dead (but we've been out-of-town a lot recently).  It adds a nice splash of color in addition to its patriotic symbolism.

Friday, July 22, 2022


The award for the best surprise restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida goes to Grease and best waitress to Kayla.  Their burgers are delicious, and perfectly cooked, and the soft buns melt in your mouth.  We split a 4-pack of sliders, but next trip I'm saving up my appetite for the biggy size.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Gas Tax

I noticed while renewing my Jeep's Ohio license plates that there is an extra charge per year, $100 for hybrids and $200 for EVs.  Now I understand that the state needs to replace gas tax money, currently 38.5 cents per gallon, to fund roads, but I had to wonder how the flat rate compares to the per gallon rate given the number of miles we drive each of our cars and their fuel economies.

I drive my Jeep about 3,000 miles per year and it gets around 15 MPG, so according to the table below, I pay about $77 per year in gas taxes.  If I replace the Jeep with an EV, I'll pay $200, about 2.6 times more.

Our Infinity G37x gets driven about 11,000 miles per year and gets about 20 MPG, so we pay almost $212 per year, so switching to an EV would save us $12 a year.

You can see how it would impact you by using the table below.  If you fall into a green-shaded square, switching to an EV will save you tax money. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Hide the Meter

A few years ago we had the power feed into the house upgraded and I suppose the electrical code required them to put the meter in a particular place and that specific place (back patio) has been an eyesore ever since.  Our first attempt to at least partially cover it up, yet allow easy access to the meter and the cable box was to attach a trellis to it using 32" gear ties wrapped around the PVC pipe and trellis legs.  We next used plastic wire ties to attach some fake leaves to it, a temporary idea until something better comes along.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Gutter Cleaner

There is a stretch of gutter, about 6 feet in length, that's above our hot tub and always a difficult spot to clear during our twice-a-year (spring: whirlybirds; fall: leaves) up-and-down-the-ladder exercise.  I built the tool below from four, 20-inch-long two-by-fours and connected them with hinges.  The length of each section is shorter than the distance between the gutter hangers so each can be lowered into the gutter.  All it takes is a push to clear an 80-inch path past the hot tub.  Only took me 14 years living here to figure this one out.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Bypass Cap

Our new Bosch refrigerator came with a water filter but since we feed it way better water from our Enting Reverse Osmosis (RO) system, there is no reason to keep it.  As you can see below, we've installed a bypass cap in place of the provided filter, one less thing to worry about.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Bob's Atomic Burgers

Before heading to the Denver airport and back home, we needed lunch and Chef Elaine thought the quirky Bob's Atomic Burgers was worth a shot and she nailed it.  You first take a sleeve for either a hamburger or hot dog, check the options you would like on top, and hand it in.  In return, you get a laminated strip with a name that they will call out when your order is ready.  Ours was "Missy Elliott", which we now know is a rapper, and my burger, which was very good, was returned in the sleeve I filled out. 

Thursday, July 14, 2022

How America Works - Paper

Last November I blogged on the then-new "How America Works", a series on Fox Business that explores jobs in our critical industries.  I was pleased to see a recent episode featuring the industry I spent most of my working career in, the paper business.  The show is set in an International Paper plant in Columbus, Mississippi that produces pulp, and a P&G plant in northern Utah that converts pulp and shows all the major steps to convert trees to pulp and pulp into a consumer product.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022


That's our two-year-old grandson hiding behind the white sheer drape, waiting for us to say "Where's Griffin?", after which he reveals himself then we shout "Peekaboo, I see you!".  This game can go on for quite a long time, at least until he finds something else to fixate on.  It's no wonder that young people raise kids because I don't have that kind of energy anymore. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Bessemer Blast Furnace

This days-of-old Bessemer Blast Furnace is displayed at Station Square in Pittsburgh.  This process was the first in a series of lower-cost, higher-quality methods that launched the steel industry.  Currently, two-thirds of steel in the world is made in basic oxygen furnaces and the remainder is in electric arc furnaces.  A brief history of steelmaking can be found at the link below.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Titleist T200 Irons

I last bought new golf clubs sometime in the early 1990s, so there was some sticker shock involved in getting this set of Titleist T200 irons.  The main reason I bought this specific set was I would get both a 2-iron and 3-iron, not a common option in today's world of hybrid fairway clubs, which most golfers prefer, but I'm the oddball that likes hitting long irons.  I'm still trying to figure out what club to hit for specific distances, as the technology of today is much better than it was yesteryear. 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Flagstaff House

Flagstaff House, located on a mountain overlooking Boulder, Colorado, is an over-the-top fine dining restaurant.  We chose the four-course option, selected one from several options for each course, and by the time we ate those and all the other little plates they brought out, we were stuffed.  While this is a bit of a budget-buster, treating yourself once in a while is worth it.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Splash And Bubbles

Kids always love water, but when it's a muggy 90 degrees at The Square in West Palm Beach, Florida, this splash pad is both fun and relief.  Look closely below and you will notice bubbles flying, coming from a just-out-of-camera-range machine perfectly upwind of the gushing water.  Pure kid bliss!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

My Elevation

There are a number of mobile apps available that will display your elevation, so my choice of this app for my Pixel 2 was kind of arbitrary.   The screenshot shown below was taken from our seats at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, almost 1,200 feet higher than the mile-high city of Denver to the northeast.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Bosch Refrigerator

After numerous problems with our 5-year-old GE Cafe refrigerator, we finally decided we couldn't live with it anymore and replaced it with the Bosch 800 series model shown below.  The best feature is that it has a large ice bucket in the freezer that's easy to scoop cubes out.  Linked with its mobile app, it will notify you if any of the doors are left open for more than a few minutes, in case your outside the range of its almost-not-noticeable alarm chime.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Rocky Mountain National Park

After getting up early, taking a non-stop to Denver, and absorbing the two-time zone shift, we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a little hiking and a scenic drive.  It was the first use of our $80 Senior Lifetime National Park Pass, but also required a Timed Entry Ticket, which always you to enter during a specific 2-hour window, keeping the park from being overly crowded and spacing out the arrivals to avoid ridiculously long lines.