Friday, December 1, 2023

Hot Dogs in a Puff Pastry Blanket with Everything Spice

I baked the hot dogs shown below just for something a little different.  I love puff pastry and everything spice, so when I ran across the recipe at the link below, I was destined to try it.  Instead of making everything spice per the recipe, I used a jar of it I had in the cupboard and then applied it a bit too liberally.  The result was a salt bomb that only my good friend Grace would appreciate.  

Chef Elaine and I know from experience that the first time you make a new recipe things often don't go as expected, but we learn and move forward.  This was certainly a learning moment for me.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Travel Glasses

Chef Elaine and I like drinking out of real glass, whether it's a Diet Coke or a few fingers of whiskey.  It used to be that most hotels we traveled to had glass glasses in their rooms but in more recent years most now provide plastic (or worse, paper), so we've kept a pair in the trunk of our car.  After months of trying to figure out how to box them up in something protective, I finally came to the realization that buying a pair on Amazon (link below) for $13 would solve that problem as they came packaged (photo below), of course, in a perfectly sized box.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Defog Outside Mirrors

Chalk up another accidental feature found on our Infiniti G37x.  During a recent trip to North Carolina in which it rained almost the entire time (yuk), the windshield was fogging up.  So were the outside mirrors, a condition I had never experienced before. My Chief Navigator (Chef Elaine) took to clearing the windshield and accidentally hit both the front and rear defrost buttons.  That cleared the fog on the windshield and I noticed a few minutes later that the outside mirrors were also cleared.  It turns out our car is equipped with the outside mirror defrost option that we had no clue even existed.  

Maybe I should spend a few hours reading the owner's manual...


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Triangle Park Movie

We recently had the opportunity to watch the new Triangle Park movie at the Neon Theater in downtown Dayton.  It's the story of the first NFL football game between the Dayton Triangles and the Columbus Panhandles that occurred on October 3rd, 1920.  The movie is narrated by Michele Tafoya and features conversations with NFL greats including Eric Dickerson, Troy Aikman, and several former and current NFL players with ties to the Dayton and Ohio area.  The plaque below is located in Triangle Park on the hill overlooking where the football field used to be, now used as a baseball diamond.

Monday, November 27, 2023

FireTV Live Sources

I ran across the Amazon FireTV "Live TV Sources" feature quite by accident, missing my intended key and pressing the button with a TV symbol instead. 

My FireTV Cube came with the five sources seen in the picture below which if you're a fan of "channel surfing" you can scroll through over 600 channels looking for something new (or perhaps something old).  To this list, I added Plex and Tubi then sorted the sources so the two largest, freevee and YouTubeTB, were at the bottom of the list.  I'm not sure how often I might use this feature, but it's nice to have it available.

The best thing I found while exploring this feature is that "Kung Fu", the 1970s series starring David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine is available on Plex and it's one show that I've wanted to watch again.  It's the right time of year to have binge-able content.


Friday, November 24, 2023

Classic Deviled Eggs

The trifecta of food choices to bring to a football party are the deviled eggs shown below.  They're served at room temperature, do not need serving utensils, and since we elected to bring them in a disposable aluminum tray, there's nothing to forget to bring home.  Forget using the piping bag as suggested in the recipe at the link below, I find a spoon works just as well.  Lining the tray with a fancy paper doily was Chef Elaine's idea and certainly added a certain je ne sais quoi.

Thursday, November 23, 2023


At a recent wine tasting, we were served chilled water in the very fancy bottle shown below.  We had to ask where they found these and the surprising answer was that they were wine bottles from a company named Protea (PROH-tee-uh).  Based in South Africa, they make a wide selection of wines at affordable prices and we'll be sure to pick up several, looking for the bottles with the most interesting designs.  All we have to do is drink the wine, peel off the label, wash it well, and fill it with water from our RO system.  We're not the artsy/craftsy type, but it looks like that would be another reuse possibility for those who are.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Stringless Blinds

We recently had some upstairs blinds replaced as the plastic pieces in the old header had disintegrated.  The big surprise with the new blinds (shown below) is this design has no strings.  You just lift up on the bottom rail and the blind goes up.  You pull down on the bottom rail (with slightly more force) and the blind comes down.  The wand works as always, twisting one way or the other to open or close the slats.  

I like it when a product gets safer and better at the same time.  The link to the company that came out, measured, gave us options, and installed the blinds is below.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Texting Addresses

My navigator (Chef Elaine) and her iPhone do a great job of routing us to our destinations, but occasionally in searching for a place while we're rolling along, we end up with the wrong address and things go awry.  Our newest solution is for me to text her the names and addresses, like the four in the screenshot shown below, all at once before we leave, making it easy to find and tap the proper location as they are all together in iMessages under my name.  Seems like a nice process improvement for us oft-traveling retirees.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Stay Right

The two signs shown below, from Kettering, Ohio, apparently serve the same purpose, to make a driver aware of a medium.  There are dozens of both types and no apparent reason why one was chosen over the other, however, one is correct and the other literally wrong.  The one on the right would suggest that the lane is shifting to the right ahead of the medium, which is not the case.  The only reason one would swerve like that is if they were straddling a portion of the lane coming in the opposite direction.  

Why might this matter?  Probably not to the average human driver, but to a self-driving Tesla, it has resulted in moving its car from the left lane to the right lane, presumably because it's taking the sign on the right literally and obeying the direction to move right.  But confounding this explanation is the possibility that the medium is so low and similar in color to the street that the Tesla can't "see" that reliably when it first "sees" the sign.  It's a good reminder not to trust self-driving 100% and always be ready to take control at a moment's notice.

Big shout out to Nick for bringing this self-driving puzzle to my attention.