Friday, August 31, 2018

Baby Spinach and Watermelon Salad with Feta and Pistachios

This might be the most eclectic combination of ingredients I've ever seen in a salad.  Nothing unusual about spinach, olive oil, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard, but throw in the odd combination of honey, oregano, feta cheese, pistachios and watermelon and you have an every-direction flavor explosion, and one that really works well together.  Another recipe to enjoy now while fresh spinach and watermelon are in season.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Two Teams

Love conquers all, and as this picture of our car keys demonstrates, that includes rooting for different AFC North football teams.  My wife brought her passion for the Steelers from Pittsburgh and I never wavered from being the Browns fan I grew up as in Dayton, even after those Bengals arrived in the NFL when I was 15 year old.  Next test of our love is September 9th, when our teams play each other.

Big shout to my local Greive Hardware store for stocking these keys.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Area Code 326

I remember back in 1996 when the Dayton region was split out from the 513 area code and became 937.  The 513 area code had lasted from its beginning in 1947, so just under 50 years.  937 is now running out of numbers and an overlay area code, 326, will be added in 2020, so 937 will have lasted about 24 years, about half the time as 513.  An overlay eliminates the need to change existing numbers, so only new numbers will be assigned 326, which is a relief.  513 is expected to run out of numbers in 2024, per the report at the second link below, and get an overlay of 283.  Expect a 12-digit phone number in your future, when all area codes are exhausted.  Ouch.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


The picture below is a MusGo salad.  Growing up we often had MusGo dinners of one type or another.  MusGo was my mother's term for leftover, in other words, everything in the fridge "Must Go".  This salad featured half a yellow and half a red bell pepper, four hard boiled eggs from last week, the last few pieces of, at least, ten-day-old sliced turkey, a tomato, bacon bits and fresh lettuce (cause old lettuce is a no-no).  Probably a couple of others that I forgot.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Wright State Days

This 2 and 1/2 page article describes some of my accomplishments in college, none of which had anything to do with keg stands, parties or mischief.  I just did some crazy and unique things with mainframe technology at a young age, mostly because I would embarc on a project I either knew nothing or little about without fear.  There's a lot of technical terms in there, but I don't think it's important to know that to get the point of each story.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Out-Of-Office Permanently

This is a rare Saturday post, but it's a one-in-a-lifetime day, that being my first day of retirement.  I posted the following as my "permanently out of the office" message before I left yesterday. 


I've run away and joined a circus...

Just kidding.

After working since I was 11 years old in one job or another, I've retired.  

I've traded in my alarm clock for adventures, my calendar for a second cup of coffee and morning commutes for morning exercises.  While this work journey ends with the declaration of retirement, the next journey begins, one that offers the most precious thing in life other than love, that being time.  Time to read, write, golf, explore, create, mentor, listen, give, appreciate and deeply inhale the fragrance of the roses.

I really have loved working, mainly because of the people I've come to know and what we've accomplished together.  Information Technology was a great career choice and one that ended up being just as much a creative outlet as a technical challenge. And one that I don't have to stop because I'm retired.  That wasn't true in 1974 when I entered Wright State University, in the era of mainframes, but personal computers, the Internet, web sites, mobile devices and open source
software hadn't been invented yet.  I can dabble to my heart's content.

Don't bother replying, I'll never get it.  This out-of-office message is permanent.

Signing off ...



Friday, August 24, 2018

Potato Bake With French Onion Soup

How good is this?  When you pack your lunch the night before just so you can make sure you get the last of the leftovers, that's how good.  Pour a combination of whipping cream and a French Onion Soup mix over sliced potatoes, then top with grated cheddar cheese ten minutes before it's done baking.  Another masterpiece from my wife!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Gilligan's Island

You know the characters, right?  Thurston Howell III and his wife, Lovey.  The Professor, aka Roy Hinkley, Ginger Grant and Mary Ann Summers.  Maybe you watched enough to know the Skipper's name was Jonas Grumby.  But what was Gilligan's last name.  Trick question, Gilligan was his last name, and who better to know his real, or intended, first name then the producer, Sherwood Schwartz, who called him Willy.  Yep, Willy Gilligan.  Just rolls off your tongue.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wrap The Strap

This is my wife's genius extra precaution while grocery shopping because you can't keep your eye on your purse 100% of the time and carrying it is a pain in the you-know-what.  She removes the strap from one side of her purse, wraps it through the cart and reattaches it.  If someone tries a quick snatch-and-grab, they end up dragging the cart with them and creating a scene.  Obviously not a complete safety solution, but stopping stupid thieves doesn't always take one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Bend The Pin

Face it, not everything in a house is perfectly level, and the most annoying out-of-whack thing is a door that won't stay put, swaying open or closed.  The simple solution is to remove one of the hinge pins, place it between a couple pieces of wood and give it a firm whack, bending the pin just a little bit.  That will give the hinge just the extra friction it needs to stay put.

Thanks to my brother-in-law Albert for this tip!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Word Clouds

This web site builds Word Clouds from a list of word, a website URL, Office documents or PDF files.  You can select from a variety of shapes, fonts, colors, spacing and themes to make it your work of art.  The Word Cloud below was created from my bio.

Big shout out to my friend Diana T for passing along this gem.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Grilled Zucchini Salad With Mustardy Vinaigrette

Piling on the parsley, basil and chives turns this sliced and grilled zucchini into a meal by itself.  The vinaigrette, kicked up with Dijon and shallots, adds a sharp tang.  This time of year is perfect for zucchini, so don't put this recipe off for long.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hugging In The Corner

In what I believe to be one of the most brilliant parenting ideas ever, my wife told me that when her boys, like all boys do, got into fights with each other and got mad, she would send them to a corner of the room, together, and them make them hug each other.  Pretty hard to remain angry in the midst of a good hug, and soon their tempers would subside, laughter filled the air and happy order was restored.  That's taking the traditional "time-out" to another level!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Garage Door Annoyance

There were times when the openers in our cars would not open or close the garage door.  After discussing it with a guy from Highfield Door Sales, he said that certain LED bulbs emit interference that might be the cause, and he was right.  Replacing an older LED, just the one that faces the driveway, with a newer one that complies with "Part 15 of the FCC rules", has resolved this annoyance.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mattress Foundation

The new Nectar bed needed a base, and box springs are a useless expense with a foam mattress, so I opted for this assemble-yourself foundation.  Each end of each piece has a number that gets matched up with the same number on another piece and then bolted together.  When that's understood, it's a piece of cake to assemble. It gets completed with an all-sides, zippered cloth cover that makes it look like a traditional box spring.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Nectar Mattress

Upgraded an upstairs bedroom with this king-size Nectar memory foam mattress.  It comes all rolled up in a cylinder and after you remove its packaging it expands over the first 24 hours into the picture below.  My first trial, after work last Thursday, resulted in over an hour's nap.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Beef Stroganoff

Indulge yourself and buy some high-quality egg noodles for his ultimate comfort food, which incorporates butter, sour cream and cream cheese to add warmth to your bones, and mushrooms, garlic, onion, mustard and spices to please your taste buds.  Then rent a movie.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Brown Sugar Spiced Salmon

Some sugar, some spice, and the salmon is nice. 

Not all recipes need a dozen-plus ingredients and a half-hour to prepare.  Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and cleanup is just as easy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Income Distribution

As I approached retirement and began the planning process, I put together the following charts which depict how the distribution of our income is expected to change.  With no money going into social security or 401(k) accounts, combined with a lower tax bracket, the improvement in the percentage ending up in our wallet is pretty nice.  Your results will likely be very different, but planning ahead and knowing where you are, and where you will be, takes a lot of stress out of your golden years.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Android Pie

It's a real pleasure to have a Google Pixel 2 phone and the morning that a new Android version is released, my phone begins installing it.  No more waiting for months and drooling for the latest features.  I guess drooling is the proper term as Android versions are named after desserts, in this case "Pie" for Android "P".

Monday, August 6, 2018

Excel Paste Multiple Lines Into A Single Cell

Copying multiple lines into Excel, starting at a selected cell, results in one cell being used per line.  But pasting it into a single cell can be done by double-clicking the cell first.  Or you can also press F2 or enter the data in the Formula bar to get the same treatment.  Why it took me this long to find this I'll never know, but I've wasted my share of time.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Italian Sausage and Pepper Burgers

Bored with burgers?  Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day?  Bam, this recipe is for you.

A combo of hot and sweet Italian sausage is topped with sauteed onions and peppers (careful not to over-saute) and double provolone, and served on ciabatta rolls with a mayo and pesto spread.  I'm thinking next time adding a few pieces of bacon to make it really decadent and proceed directly to a food coma state.

Thursday, August 2, 2018


Another free (I love free) utility to add to your techie toolkit. 

I ran across a file that had ".fax" as its extension, which was bogus, and wanted to know what it really was.  Looking at the file in NotePad, it was just gibberish, and offered no clue to its real identify.  Then I found TrIDNET, downloaded it and gave it the file to analyze. Poof, it was really a TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), an older graphics image format.  I renamed the file with a ".tiff" extension and voila, it displayed just fine.