Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Song Of Ice And Data

If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you can explore more about the lands of Westeros and Essos and the show's characters at this interactive web site.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

RFID Protected Wallet

This recent purchase could not have turned out better.  I like the RFID protection against thieves trying to steal information from the new contact-less credit cards, but the real winners are its super-slim size and ease of getting to cash and cards.

Monday, August 29, 2016

National Park Tours

Explore five incredible National Parks among the many videos, exhibits and virtual tours in this collaboration between Google and the National Park Service.  This makes me want to go snorkeling at Dry Tortugas next time I'm in Key West, one of my favorite long weekend vacations.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Homemade Mozzarella

My daughter taught me how to make homemade mozzarella cheese a couple years ago and I recently made a double batch.  Nothing better than this moz with fresh summer tomatoes, basil from the herb garden and some insanely delicious balsamic vinegar.  I put the recipe on a public Google document at this link.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Learn how the four major cellular providers perform in your area with the help of OpenSignal's web site.  They also have smartphone apps to see how you're performing in real-time.  It will even point you in the direction of the closest cell tower, handy if you're on the edge of coverage and looking for a little better signal.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Brought to you by Netflix, is a minimalistic, no-advertisement, download-only test of your Internet connection speed.  Smartphones apps are available in the Google Play and Apple App stores. 44 Mbps at work and 28 Mbps on my Verizon HTC One M8's cellular connection.  My need for speed is real!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Career in Information Technology

At the end of March of this year, five of the top ten global public companies ranked by market capitalization are big Information Technology companies, including the top four.  I think this computer thing is catching on.

Monday, August 22, 2016


I'm always on the lookup for a cool T-shirt that says something about me.  This one appealed to both the programmer and the philosopher in me.  And it's tagless!  I despise tags with a passion.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Toast The Outsides

If you're like me, I always toasted the insides of hamburger buns on the grill, making nice grill marks on those white interiors.  But recently I started toasting the outsides instead and I find it improves their taste and makes the burger easier to handle as the insides of the buns stay soft.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

AWS IoT Button

Another impulse buy.  Amazon has hundreds of Dash Buttons for ordering products like Tide, Bounty, Charmin, and even Slim Jim's with a push of a button, but just released a programmable Dash Button for tech geeks to get started with the "Internet of Things (IoT)" using Amazon Web Services (AWS). No clue what I'll do with it yet, but was just too cool to pass up.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Google Duo

Are you in a mixed technology relationship like I am (wife:iPhone, me:Android) and missing out on video calling?  Google aims to fix that with its new, dead simple, person-to-person, cross-platform Duo app. I really like that it integrates into my contacts so I don't have yet another set to maintain.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Google Speech Recognition API

Google provides a speech-to-text API (Application Programming Interface), currently in beta, which you can test out at the link below.

The API supports 80 languages, including things like,whatever that might be.

The cost, after the first 60 minutes free (I love free), is 2.4 cents per minute of speech.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Convert PDF and Photos to Text

The text below was scanned into a PDF, which I put on my Google Drive. But I wanted to make some changes for a future post, so I needed to make it a text document. So simple. I just right-clicked the PDF, selected Open with ... Google Docs and presto chango, Google worked its magic and I had a text document. Results vary, but I had maybe 3 or 4 changes to correct conversions it got wrong, way better than typing the two pages from scratch.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Hasselback Chicken

Easy, fast and delicious.  What else can a man ask for?

The Hasselback chicken recipe at the following link is just a good starting point. This time I didn't have spinach, so I used some fresh-picked basil from the herb garden.  I also didn't have Pepper Jack cheese, so I used some Habanero and Parmesan instead.  Ten minutes of prep and twenty minutes in the oven.

The first picture is before the cheese on top and the baking, showing the basil inserted into the slices in the chicken, then sprinkled with the bread crumbs and Cajun seasoning, and each sitting in its own aluminum foil "boat".  The second picture is the finished product, to which I added some time under the broiler for a crispier finish.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

RadBeacon Dot

Measuring in with a 1 1/8" diameter, this beacon broadcasts a Low-Energy Bluetooth signal that smartphones can detect for a few dozen meters.  This is the kind of technology that requires imagination to put to use.  So perhaps you would put one in every hospital room and your medical app could keep track of where all your doctors and nurses are located.  Any use where knowing your location is useful, particularly indoors where GPS is useless, could be a winner.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Our plumeria, after about 4-5 years, is really taking off during this extra-hot summer. This plant started out as a stick (literally) in a small pot of soil. Really looked pathetic. Could not have imagined it would grow into this beauty. I'm hoping that it flowers as the days get cooler, as their fragrance is awesome.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hey Siri

This link contains a nice reference to the hundreds of things that you can ask Siri, such as "When is the sunset in Dayton Ohio?", "How many calories in a bagel?" and "What type of Pok√©mon is Pikachu?".  Towards the bottom there are some questions that elicit funny responses such as "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?".

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pesto Chicken

Last Sunday's dinner was the highlight of the week, one of those dishes where you just want to wolf it down but force yourself to slow down to extend the delight.  It was the first time my wife made this, but we both will guarantee it's not the last.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

LibreOffice 5.2

A shiny new release of LibreOffice Office Suite is now available.  The usual set of improved features and better compatibility with Microsoft Office document formats.  LibreOffice is Open Source and 100% free (I love free).  Installed this morning on my Mac.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Firefox 48

My use of Firefox has dwindled as I became frustrated at the browser freezing up at times.  But I'm taking a new look, thanks to today's launch of Firefox 48, which will slowly introduce multi-processor support (i.e. one tab's misbehavior is isolated), a feature long available in my primary browser, Google Chrome.  Also very important, and also under the covers, is the introduction of some components written in the new Rust programming language, promising great performance without the security issues of C++.  Oh, and some new User Interface (UI) eye candy, which I could care less about.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


I've been researching my family tree for another blog I'm writing and I've traced the details of my direct Moorman heritage back this far, thanks to the fantastic Thieman Genealogy web site.  Mary Thieman married M. August Moorman (my great-great-great-grandfather) in the early 1800's and had Franz in 1819. M. August, Mary and Franz immigrated to the United States, landing in Ohio, northwest of Dayton, and most of us have stayed around southwest Ohio ever since.  I've often heard that there are a lot of Moorman's in Mercer County, and now I see the connection.

Franz H. Moorman (great-great-grandfather)
Born: Sep. 15, 1819, Oldenburg, Germany
Died: Jul. 19, 1888, Mercer County, Ohio

Henry John Moorman (great-grandfather)
Born: Sep. 24, 1856, Saint Henry, Mercer County, Ohio
Died Aug. 7, 1938, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio

Leo Albinus Moorman (grandfather)
Born: Mar. 1, 1893, Coldwater, Mercer County, Ohio
Died: Jan. 27, 1961, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio

Earl Joseph Moorman (father)
Born: Sep. 19, 1926, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio
Died: Jul. 25, 1989, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio

Monday, August 1, 2016


Our kitchen cabinets installed last year have COMPACT BLUMOTION hinges which slowly and silently pull the door closed after being partially shut. Check these folks out if you have any remodeling projects that involve any type of drawer. They have a lot of very slick, innovative products.