Friday, June 30, 2017


My wife makes the tastiest ribs using the simplest set of ingredients and a well-seasoned cookie sheet reserved for this purpose. Paired with sweet potato fries, steamed broccoli and a nice Pinot Noir, chowing down out my house can be pretty special.

  • Baby-back ribs
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Meat tenderizer
  • BBQ sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with garlic powder, salt, pepper and meat tenderizer
  3. Place ribs meat-side down on cookie sheet
  4. Bake 3-4 hours, until meat separates from bone (do not turn over)
  5. Remove from oven and brush your favorite BBQ sauce on both sides of the ribs
  6. Increase oven to 350 degrees
  7. Put back in oven, meat side up, and bake until BBQ sauce is nicely browned

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Water Tower

I can clearly see this water tower from miles away from the corner of Far Hills (SR-48) and Loop Road as I head home from work, but then it disappears as I get closer.  After months of trying to figure out where it was, I deduced that a water tower would be placed at a very high point (taking advantage of gravity), as would a radio tower (taking advantage of line of sight), and that led me to David Road, where across the street from the clearly visible radio towers I found, barely, the water tower.

The picture below was taken from Eagledale Circle where it's very visible, but move even a little distance away and the tower disappears from sight, as if by magic.  Kettering might be suburb, but we have a lot of tall trees.,-84.160851,130a,35y,15.19h,64.77t/data=!3m1!1e3

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Alta is one of my favorite ski slopes (sorry, no snowboarders allowed) located in Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon southeast of Salt Lake City.   I always liked the name but thought it was a shortened version of "altitude", which it certainly has with its peak of 10,550 feet above sea level. But the name, with help of Google Translate, means "high".  So simple...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SiriusXM on Amazon Echo

Add SiriusXM to the list of music sources on my keeps-getting-even-better Amazon Echo.  I had to upgrade my SiriusXM account to "All-Access", which saved me one penny per month, added a few more channels and the Echo. Now I can simply say “Alexa, play The Bridge on SiriusXM” or “Alexa, play channel 7 on SiriusXM”.  Seriously cool.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Dangling Mouse

To save space, this mouse pad was screwed to the wall just below the monitor and the mouse is dangling in mid-air, with its cord secured with a tie-wrap above. Since this application doesn't need a keyboard, this was an innovative way to save rack space in a tight server room.

Big shout out to Tim B for truly thinking outside the box!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Parmesan Crisps

Simple shouldn't taste this awesome.  Just scoop a 1/4 to a 1/3 cup of quality grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a mound on a parchment-covered cookie sheet, tap it down to form a circle about 1/4 inch high and bake it for a few minutes.  Add this is a hamburger or crumble it on a salad and get ready to take your taste buds on a new journey.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

East David Automotive

Finding a trustworthy, reliable and reasonable auto mechanic is a holy grail and we take our cars to East David Automotive in Kettering, even for the simple oil change.  It helps that they are only a mile away from home, an easy walk when necessary.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Automatically Silence Your Phone

Sorry, this one is exclusive to Android phones.

This IFTTT (IF This, Then That) applet will automatically silence your cell phone when your Google Calendar event has the hashtag "#silent" in its title, description or location.  So the next time you send out a date night invitation for a movie, add this hashtag and you won't be that annoying person whose phone goes off in the theatre.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Honey DropList

Sometimes a purchase isn't needed right now and you have time to wait for a better deal, but don't have the patience to check back every day for a price drop.  The Honey extention for Google Chrome, along with its must-have, automatic coupon code applier, will do all that checking for you. Just add a product to your Honey DropList and email notifications will alert you if price goes down.

Monday, June 19, 2017


My recent 5-iron purchase from eBay shipped from Lorida, Florida, which I assumed was some kind of typo, until I looked it up and sure enough, there is such a place.  Lorida is located on the north shore of Lake Istokpoga about 80 miles south of Walt Disney World.  The city was named Istokpoga until 1934 when the U.S. postal authorities made them change their name to avoid confusion.  I guess all the other good names were taken or they were in a real hurry.,_Florida

Friday, June 16, 2017

Elsa's Wings

My standard order for these delicious Elsa's wings is "a dozen broasted wings, all drums, with hot sauce on the side".  Paired with a couple of their famous Bad Juan Margaritas, it helps to have one of their four locations just four blocks away from home.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Persil ProClean

We have one of those new-fangled "High-Efficiency" washing machines which had the annoying habit of leaving clothes with a white residue from time to time. Thanks to a change to Persil ProClean, that's no longer happening, leaving the clothes clean and the wife happy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pinseeker 5-Iron

I recently bought this left-handed Pinseeker 5-iron off eBay for $20 and shipping.  I bought my right-handed Pinseeker iron set well over 20 years ago and really like their look and feel.  The ambidextrous side of me wants to learn to play left-handed and figured what's good for the right is good for the left. But first, a trip to the golf store is needed to replace the original, and now very slick, grip with something colorful that my brain's right side will like.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Amazon Echo Food Network Skill

If you're a Food Network junkie (I'm not naming names) and an Amazon Echo owner, the Food Network skill is a must.  Of particular usefulness is the "Give me the recipes on TV right now" when you're drooling over a dish that you just have to try.  A bit of setup is required in your Alexa app, enabling the skill, setting your timezone and linking your email account if you want recipes sent to you.

Some other requests you can make are listed below, and check out the link for more information.

Mary, Elaine said you'll love this!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Figleaf Brewing Company

What to do on a hot sunny afternoon following a productive weekend of yard work?  Don a durag, drop the top on the convertible and take a drive down the highway to explore a new craft brewery. Figleaf Brewing Company is located in an industrial strip in Middletown, Ohio a short ways south on Dixie Highway just west of I-75's exit 32.  I started with a Dark Side of the Sun Black Lager and finished with the Basmati Cream Ale, one at each end of the taste spectrum.  Nummies.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Basil's On Market

My wife and I waited for a super nice day so we could sit outside for our first dinner at Basil's On Market, located in downtown Dayton at the northeast corner of Monument and Patterson.  I can attest to the delicious Lobster Shells & Cheese with Grilled Shrimp and the only cocktail I've ever had made with blackberry preserves.  The fountain, at the intersection of the Great Miami River and the Mad River, makes a scenic backdrop with its periodic sprays.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wood Box

Last weekend saw the completion of a 3' wide, 2' deep and 25" high wood box that will contain sticks and smaller pieces of wood needed to get a roaring fire started in our fire pit come cool autumn evenings.  How's that for thinking in advance?  Used 82 feet of 1"x4" treated pine, 114 1 1/4" exterior screws, 24 wooden dowels and some wood glue.  Now the real work begins, moving and restacking the wood pile to make room.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Amazon Echo Named Timers

We use the Echo to set timers a lot and often have more than one set at a time, which can be confusing to know which is which. That's a fading memory now that Amazon has introduced Named Timers, so now we can say "set a burger timer for two minutes" and "set a steamer timer for three minutes" and Alexa will tell us which has just expired (from her new home in the jungle we call the dining room).

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Mudlick Tap House

While walking around after dinner last Friday, my wife and I passed the new Mudlick Tap House on Second Street between Jefferson and St. Clair. One of the owners saw us looking in and offered to give us a tour of the almost completed restaurant/bar, which will hopefully open in the next few weeks. We even got to ride up their old-time elevator to the second floor, which has a nice southern view of the city.

Another great addition to downtown Dayton!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Free Google Photo Storage

By default, your Google Photos app is probably defaulting to uploading your photos at full size, which counts against your limited Google Drive storage.  But change that to "High quality" and all your photos qualify for free (I love free) unlimited storage.

Hell yeah! No brainer!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Cilantro Scallops

This combination of cilantro, garlic, lime, soy and  red chile flakes spice up one of my favorite seafoods. The 30-minute marinade time is short enough to make this a mid-week alternative and long enough to enjoy a glass of white wine in anticipation.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


In this day and age of ransomware holding your data hostage (those jagoffs will not be getting past the pearly gates), it pays to have current backups of files you keep on your local machines. FreeFileSync, as its name clearly states, is a free (I love free) utility that will synchronize your files and folders between two locations and works on Windows, Mac and Linux. I suggest buying an external drive that you only plug in for backups, run this utility, disconnect the drive and store it on a dark shelf until next time.