Thursday, June 28, 2018

Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Add another never-heard-of-before vegetable to our list of delicious sides.  Milder than your familiar sweet potato, the glaze adds a bit of sweetness to this Japanese variety's starchiness.  We went with the steam-first option and then charred them on the grill.  Ate the leftovers for days.

Contactless Payments

Paying with your mobile phone, just by holding it to the credit card machine, is old hat by now, but do that by tapping your credit card is likely to startle your server.  At least that's been my experience with several servers at Panera Bread. They start to correct me when I put my card on the machine, only to find the transaction is done.  Look for the symbol below on one of your cards and give it a try.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Fifth-Third Cardless ATM

No card, no problem.

I was greeted this week at my local Fifth-Third ATM with this unfamiliar screen, which turned out to be a new, and much improved, way to authenticating yourself to its services.  You bring up the Fifth-Third mobile app, scan that blocky image (called a QR code) and you're set to transact.  Best of all, those vile, card-skimming criminals can't get your card's account information.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Lost In Space

This remake of the Robinson family's outer space journey is highly dramatic and emotional, leaving us with leaky eyes nearly every episode.  Unexpected plot twists, excellent special effects and "Danger, Will Robinson" around every corner made this a binge-watching pleasure.  Ten episodes go past too fast.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Carpool Karaoke With Paul McCartney

Carpool Karaoke, where late-night host James Corden drives around and sings with some of the greatest musical talent on the planet, hits a homerun with this nearly twenty-four minute trip down memory lane (including the real Penny Lane) with Sir Paul McCartney.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Sauces are so under-used these days in home cooking and finding this perfect complement to pork is not only tasty but beautiful.  The hoisin sauce, brown sugar, ketchup and soy sauce all contribute to the uber-flavorful glaze and the scallions and sesame seeds make the presentation really pop.  A half-hour or less and you're serving a gourmet meal.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Best Wastebasket

Easy-to-grip handles on our office wastebasket makes pitching the trash much easier and it's the only one in the house like it.  We bought this at IKEA years ago and it doesn't appear they still sell this model.  Sometimes it's the little things that make a chore less so.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


I've been a big WinDirStat fan for years, but WizTree has won me over with its blazing performance, taking a fraction of the time to display every file on a disk drive in the same three-panel format. The graphical display is the best way to find those huge files you once needed but now just take up space.  WizTree is free (I love free), but you can show some love by clicking on the Donate button at the top-right.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Amazon Baby Registry

A recent baby shower invitation listed Amazon as one of the places the expecting parents were registered at, and the first time we've seen that.  My wife was totally pleased with the shopping experience, from the easy layout of items to select from to the shipping options to the gift receipt.  Amazon simply nailed it and puts the other sites to shame.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Half-Hidden Owl

We bought this sand-weighted, plastic owl a few years back to scare birds off our patio railing, which worked, but in plain view the birds figured out it wasn't a threat.  I recently moved it to the elevated herb garden after seeing a bird nip off a piece of basil and fly away with it.  But unexpectedly, we now don't see many birds anywhere in our yard, which I can only attribute to the owl being partially hidden, making it appear more dangerous.  Time will tell if the birds figure this out, but so far (ten days), so good.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Grilled Asparagus with Pecorino and Pine Nuts

Until we started watching The Kitchen show, we had never zested a lemon and now it's our favorite part of the fruit. The Pecorino-Romano cheese, made from sheep's milk, is sharp and quite tangy.  The pine nuts, harvested from pine cones, are toasted to bring out even more of their nutty goodness.  All that ends up on top of grilled, char-marked asparagus.  Almost a meal in itself.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


While faxes are so totally yesterday, I had the need to receive a few faxes, but without a machine, what to do?  Well, first a Google search (my library on steroids), which resulted in finding FaxBurner.  They have a free (I love free) service where they give you a disposable fax number that lasts for only 24 hours and a limit of 25 pages inbound per month on your account, more than enough for my one-time needs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lincoln Park 9-11 Statue

My wife and I run past this statue at the corner of Ackerman Blvd and Lincoln Park Blvd in Kettering all the time on our four mile runs.  But until this last Sunday we've only seen the side shown in the picture on the left below, unaware that its true meaning was carved into its opposite side, the picture on the right.  Sometimes it pays to turn around.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Webcam with Tripod Ready Base

I bought this double-duty web cam to further pursue my illusion of being good at recording myself, which has proven to be the single most stressful thing I've ever attempted.  What attracted me to this device is that is has a tripod-ready base for super-steady needs and a clip mount suitable for the top of a laptop's screen.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Bolander Avenue

The address listed on my grandfather Leo's WWI draft registration card is 643 Bolander, which is located a few blocks northwest of the University of Dayton's basketball arena.  I should say it was there years ago, for now that home, long gone, would have stood on what is now either an on-ramp to US-35 or a piece of I-75, as shown at this link to Google Maps.,-84.2037942,3a,75y,304.87h,86.55t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJ-gk7A36LicTBWF5JUGH6Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Friday, June 8, 2018

Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo Casserole

The orzo soaks up all the chicken stock, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic, butter and dill, and steams that goodness into the chicken, which itself has been seasoned with coriander, salt and pepper.  Ten minutes of work followed by plenty of time to enjoy the first glass of wine before serving this delicious treat.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cookies and Cream

Last Sunday's visit to the Second Street Market in downtown Dayton resulted in the surprise purchase of a half-gallon of this Cookies and Cream milk, which is it like the best chocolate milk ever and them some.  So much cream in this you need to give several good shakes before pouring.  Best served as dessert!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Open Broadcaster Software

Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS for short, is a free (I love free) application for MacOS, Linux and Windows for live streaming to sites like YouTube, Twitch and Facebook, or to simply make a video recording.  Input sources include audio and video from web cams and other devices, an open application window, a web URL and a color source, which makes a nice background.  That just scratches the surface of what OBS can do.

My current plan is to make some recordings from my Life Experiences blog ( as lasting memories for my family.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Indefinitely is a word a lawyer would love.  You have to admire a word that means nothing, but sounds so cool.  As a time-descriptive adverb, it's two meanings, unlimited and unspecified, are polar opposites.  Could be forever, or could mean this afternoon or next month.  Who knows. An infinite number of possibilities.  But which meaning do you infer when that word is used?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Harrison Township - 1938

Looking at old (in this case circa 1938) plat books like the section below from Harrison Township, reveal why certain areas and streets are named the way they are.  In the center, "E. L. Shawen" had a plat that became the "Shawen Acres" children's home.  To the right of the Stillwater River, just below center, is the plat of "E. De Weese", known to this day as "Deweese Parkway".  The large "Knecht Plat" at the bottom is the namesake of "Knecht Drive", the street three blocks south of where I grew up.  I find these connections to the past both interesting and comforting.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Meaty Grilled Pizza

Best pizza I've ever had.  The kind where you take the first bite and can't chew fast enough so you can take the next bite.  It's a meat lover's dream, but the smoked mozzarella cheese put it over the top.  Baked in the outdoor gas grill on a preheated, elevated baking stone, the pizza got nice and crispy, and stayed hot a very long time.