Tuesday, October 31, 2023

TV Wall Mount

We decided to add a television to one of the spare bedrooms for our guests to enjoy, however, it took up most of the room on the dresser leaving little space for phones, keys, etc.  The solution was to wall mount the TV using the bracket shown below, a real deal for about $20 at Amazon.  While the bracket can handle a lot of different sizes on the back of a TV, our installation was made simple by having a standard size, eliminating the need to add any of the included adapters.  The only guesswork was finding a wooden stud to attach the bracket and that was made easy with a deep scan stud finder bought at our local Greive hardware store.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Grow Light

We enjoyed having fresh herbs this summer so much that we bought the grow light below and Chef Elaine planted basil and rosemary plants in mini pots.  We choose the 12-hour-on, 12-hour-off lighting setting, but you can also choose 4-hour-on or 8-hour-on, depending on your need.  There are many other details, most of which I don't understand, at the link below.


Friday, October 27, 2023

Strudel With Fried Apples

Chef Elaine will admit she's not much of a baker, but this apple strudel she made for my birthday begs to differ.  The addition of bacon drippings in the fried apples made it more decadent, but the star is the use of puff pastry, carefully cut into ribbons on the third of each side and wrapped around the filling, making it extra fancy.  Absolutely serve this hot so the scoop of vanilla ice cream will melt into creamy goodness.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Slap Koozie

Also called a Slap Wrap, I picked this up as a vendor freebie a few weeks ago.  There are springs inside the foam cover that wrap the koozie around any size can or bottle, making it one-size-fits-all.  No more carrying a variety of koozies in my golf bag to match whatever beverage I decide to have on any given day.  You can pick up a three-pack for $11 at the Amazon link below.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Pick Wisely

I saw the advice below on some Instagram post a while back and thought it was blog-worthy.  Most of this revolves around favoring short-term desires over long-term consequences, but it's an interesting view that both are actually hard.  While I'm far from being physically fit, at least to my standards, all those tens of thousands of miles I've run since I was seventeen years old, have left me comparably, at sixty-eight, in a good spot.  My choice of hard in that instance has paid off.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Wallace Wade Stadium

I took the picture below about thirty minutes after the Duke football team defeated Lafayette back on September 9th.  This unique view is from a balcony atop the Yoh Football Center, home to the football team's locker room, huge weight room, training and treatment areas, and the coach's offices.  As odd as it sounded to us they began mowing the field right after the game, and the riding mower can be seen below at the right of the near end zone.  Pictures and more details on the Yoh Center's impressive weight room can be found at the link below.



Monday, October 23, 2023

Drop Stop

We're hoping that the Drop Stops we installed in our Infiniti eliminate those times when keys, phones, or glasses fall between the seat and center console.  The first picture below (with the Drop Stop installed) can be contrasted with the one below it to see that it completely blocks the opening.  It takes some amount of effort to push the Drop Stop into place, but the seal is tight and does not cause any issue sliding the seat back and forth.   I can see why Shark Tank's Lori Greiner decided to invest in this product.



Friday, October 20, 2023

Pickled Jalapeños

We had a bunch of jalapeños so I decided to pickle them, which is super-easy.   I brought vinegar, water, white sugar, salt, and garlic to a boil, as shown in the saucepan below, then let them cool for 15 minutes.  Placed the jalapeños in a mason jar, covered them to the top with the pickling liquid, and into the fridge they went.  The details can be found at the link below.

Thursday, October 19, 2023


For my sixty-eighth birthday, we reached into the back of the downstairs refrigerator. We pulled out a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck, our favorite French champagne, patiently waiting for several years for the right moment to pleasure.  The champagne stopper you see perched on top of the bottle shown below is an absolute necessity for bubbly lovers, allowing a bottle to remain fresh for several days after it's opened.  

If you're looking for something more moderately priced, our go-to is Freixenet, a Spanish cava (which is not allowed to be called champagne, but it is).  And to sound like a know-it-all, it's pronounced "fresh-i-net").



Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Trunk Lock

Again I found a feature on our Infiniti G37x that escaped my attention for over six years.  Buried at the back of the glove compartment, shown below, is a switch that will prevent the truck lid from opening.  The reason it's located here is that you can lock the glove compartment using the mechanical key that's located in the key fob.  This is handy when valet parking the car when there are valuables in the trunk.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023


Our neighborhood is getting another Interner provider by year-end, Altafiber, as shown below.  Formerly named Cincinnati Bell, they currently offer monthly rates of 400 Mbps for $39.99, 600 Mbps for $49.99, and 1 Gbps for $59.99, all faster and cheaper than our current Spectrum service.  While we've been satisfied with Spectrum, the idea of paying twice as much for Internet service than we have to will lead us to switch.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Killing Kennedy

Our latest long car trip audiobook was Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly.  As he plainly states up front, he wrote using the facts, not the conspiracy theories so many believe.  He covers JFK throughout his life including commanding PT-109 in World War II, marriage to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, rise to the presidency, and the showdown with Cuba, through his final hours of life in Dallas.  The book also covers Lee Harvey Oswald in detail, his life in Russia, his turbulent marriage, and his decision to kill the president.  He talks about those who had reasons to kill him, including the mob, FBI, Russia, and Castro, but offers no opinion if they had any involvement.  

Friday, October 13, 2023

Balsamic Reduction

Horseradish is my usual go-to for topping a steak, but for something different, I prepared a balsamic reduction, simmering balsamic vinegar, shallots, garlic, honey, rosemary, and a bay leaf per the instructions at the link below.  The recipe calls for thyme, but we didn't have any, and our potted rosemary plant had plenty of fresh shoots and it substituted well.  It was great on steak, but would probably work as a salad dressing.  Tasty stuff.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Long Island Iced Tea

There's a lot of work that goes into a Long Island Iced Tea and most times we have them at Geez or Doubleday's, but once in a while, I pull out all the ingredients at home as shown below.  I didn't follow the exact directions at the link below, using Grand Marnier instead of Triple Sec and margarita mix instead of lemon juice.  The rum, vodka, gin, and tequila brands have a top-shelf taste at very reasonable prices.  I like a nice topper of regular Pepsi.  I would only be kidding myself if I used diet thinking that would make this healthy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Young's Jersey Dairy

Chef Elaine and I made a trip up north of Yellow Springs, Ohio to visit the newly remodeled Young's Jersey Dairy, shown below.  Yes it's bright and shiny and the ice cream is still to die for, but I miss the old setup with dozens of servers ready to scoop your favorite flavor.  Don't worry, you can still feed the goats, conquer a corn maze, and pick pumpkins.  Can't wait until we get a chance to take our grandkids there!



Tuesday, October 10, 2023


Since I was sixteen years old I've traveled on Frederick Pike, which starts at Dixie Drive and meanders north to the Montgomery County line where it becomes Kessler-Frederick Road.  In addition to these two, there is also a Frederick-Garland and a Ginghamsburg-Frederick.  I figured that Frederick was an important dude from times past, but that's only part of the truth.  The answer is that Frederick, named for pioneer settler Frederick Yount, is an unincorporated community in Miami County located where all those roads converge.  Kessler, Garland, and Ginghamsburg are also on the list of unincorporated communities in the county. 

Monday, October 9, 2023

Ex-Tomato Cages

Our pair of tomato cages are no more.  As we get older we're reducing our number of physical chores, and this year I decided that growing tomatoes had to go, so I busted them up and took them to the dump.  It didn't hurt that this year was terrible for growing tomatoes (but was awesome for basil) and we have a farmer's market truck a few blocks away.  All that's left is to prepare that little plot of dirt to plant grass seed and decide what goes away in 2024.


Friday, October 6, 2023

Roasted Broccoli with Crispy Salami, Parmesan and Balsamic

Chef Elaine and I love roasted vegetables and this recipe takes that to another level.  The salami and Parmesan add crispiness and a little extra fat, and the balsamic reduction adds a little sweetness and tanginess.  Oddly, the recipe at the link below does not include directions for the reduction, so just put a 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer it until it's reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. 

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Mimosa Mason Jar

You can just make out the 1500 milliliter mark on the mason jar below.  It was full to that line with mimosas until four of us drank it dry.  We had this at the Carolina Brewing brewpub in Chapel Hill, NC while sitting outside enjoying a beautiful sunny day.  These mimosas are made using a full bottle of champagne and an equal amount of orange juice.  The cost?  $10.00.  That's a deal!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Crowded Costco

Going to Costco on a Saturday is not recommended.

One of the joys of being retired is shopping when most other people are doing something else, but recently we had to make a run to Costco on a Saturday and the picture below shows why that's not a good thing.  Wall-to-wall people and carts, all adrift in their own little shopping worlds.  

We love Costco, but weekday Costco is the only way to go.  Make it a rainy weekday and it's bliss.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Halloween Gone Wild

Some people...

The house below is on Milford Drive in Kettering and is just one of the (IMHO) over-the-top displays of Halloween fright beginning to pop up.  If I were a small child and saw the skeleton human riding on a skeleton horse, shown on the left in the picture below, I would immediately get my Halloween candy from houses across the street or perhaps another neighborhood.  

Monday, October 2, 2023

Fire Hydrant Testing

I never paid much attention to our street's fire hydrants other than their yellow paint job and how that's worn off over time. But a recent letter from the City of Kettering alerted us to the hydrants being tested, the potential for brownish water, and how to tell if ours had been tested yet. The picture on the left below is of the pre-tested hydrant with its top painted orange after the previous test. The picture on the right, now painted green on top, was taken after the most recent test was completed. Pretty clever way to tell homeowners and testers of the status.