Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Running Profits

One of the benefits of running lots of miles is you come across coins from time to time lying on the ground.  This month I decided to start collecting them in a little shot glass to see how much I collected.  As seen below, the total was 26 cents, consisting of one dime, two nickels and six pennies.  That works out at just under one penny per run and a little over 2/10ths of a penny per mile.  At this rate I hope to have enough to buy a small Dairy Queen ice cream cone by next summer.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Google My Maps

It's pretty neat to see a list of addresses mapped out with pins on a Google Map, but to me the best feature is checking addresses to make sure they're proper.  The instructions at the link below will get into the details, but after uploading a CSV file any addresses it can't map are highlighted in red in a data table.  Nice for validating large mailing lists such as wedding invitations or newsletters.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Grace Bay Sunset

Every sunset at The Ocean Club Resort on Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos islands was as different as they were spectacular, and picking a favorite to share (below) wasn't easy.  They varied from serene, cloudless skies to swirling brush strokes of reds, oranges, yellows and blues, and all were stare-worthy.  This resort, which faces west-northwest, is perfectly positioned in June, where the sun is directly perpendicular to the shore line.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Our island vacation included the Taste of TCI Food Tour, exploring the island and visiting several local foodie destinations, finishing up at the weekly Thursday Fish Fry at Bight Park.  At one of the stops we had a demonstration of how they separate the meat of the conch from the shell.  This expert whacked a certain spot on the conch with this rock hammer, opening a small slot.  Then he inserted a knife to get the conch to let go and voila, fresh conch.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Catamaran Ride - Part 2

During our Turks and Caicos catamaran ride, we had stopped for a bit and noticed a pair of porpoises lazily cruising through the water, fins and snouts occasionally breaking the water.  The fun really started when our boat took off and one of the porpoises decided the race was on and began chasing us, leaping out of the water every few seconds.  Capturing the perfect moment almost eluded me as I snapped pictures as fast as I could, trying to time a leap just right.  The picture below was the lone success, captured right before the porpoise decided the fun was over.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken

Easily a middle-of-the-week dinner, this recipe delivers a nice twist with its baked cherry tomatoes bursting with flavor.  I offer a couple changes to the directions, first, don't bother reducing the balsamic vinegar, it's touchy and makes you stand there stirring the entire time.  Second, when finished baking, put it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, and monitor that closely, to get a nice brown crust on the cheese.  This link contains a video showing just how easy this is to make.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Catamaran Ride - Part 1

Our trip to Turks and Caicos included an awesome four-hour catamaran ride.  Towards the end of the trip we had the option to jump off the boat from a platform and/or take the built-in slide route.  I loved both, particularly the jump, somewhere in the 10-12 foot range, bringing out the kid in me and memories of growing up at the neighborhood pool.  I think the picture really shows how much fun I had.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Kettering - No Solicitors

Kettering citizens can pick one (or more) of these 3"x4" "No Solicitors" window clings (as supplies last) at the reception desk at the Kettering Government Center, 3600 Shroyer Road.  With this sign, or another that meets the requirements detailed in section 642.10(f), and placed on or near your main entrance, it's a misdemeanor crime for anyone to solicit you.  Without this, it's perfectly legal for others to bang on your door, annoying or not.

Friday, July 12, 2019


My wife whips together bunches of basil with garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil (our best one) and pine nuts to make the pesto that's been featured in several of these "Foodie Friday" recipes.  She then freezes it in ice cube trays to make a handy size, then puts three cubes (about ten ounces) in individual bags for up to a year in the freezer.  With this year's bumper crop of basil coming from our raised herb garden, we'll have plenty for (don't say it!) those cold winter months ahead.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Android Notification Log

I get tons of notifications on my Pixel 2 and every once in a while I flick one out of existence by accident or after I look at it I wish I could find it again.  Fortunately, there's a widget for that, specifically the Settings widget.  As the directions at the link explain, you press and hold on an open area of the home screen, select Widget, scroll down to Settings and press and hold that icon.  After it's dropped on the home screen, the Settings shortcut menu appears.  Tap Notification log and you're done.  Like the picture below, you now have a nice shortcut to find all your past notifications.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Kikkerland Rainbow Coasters

We first used these colorful coasters on our recent trip to Turks and Caicos and just had to buy a set.  They solve one of the most annoying problems coasters have, that being lifting off the table with the glass.  The soft, rubbery-like material will stay put on smooth surfaces like our patio table while doing its primary job of keeping water drops off the table.  Eight coasters in eight different colors, for ten dollars.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Fusilli with Arugula Pesto and Crispy Pancetta

When it's time to give in to your carb-craving desire, make it count with this delicious recipe like this one.  The pesto is made with a two-thirds arugula, one-third basil combination that's blanched to give it a deep green color.  My wife used cubed pancetta instead of slices and, of course, this is the time to use a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil.  This is as tasty as it is beautiful!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Wet Umbrella Wrapper

Our trip to the Apple store at The Greene this week was a rainy affair, and we were greeted by this sweet wet umbrella wrapper just inside the entrance door.  Put your umbrella in the slot at the top, it slides into a light plastic wrapper, and then pull forward.  Your umbrella won't get the floor wet, which can be quite a slippery danger.  The slot on the left is for a short umbrella, the one on the right for full-sized.  Is that smart or what?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Diet Ginger Ale Plus

On these hot summer days it's nice to quench the thirst with a cool beverage, but I'm not a fan of zero-calorie diet drinks, certainly not a big sugar-bomb soda and water only gets me so far.  My in-between solution is to mix a little bit of either Daily's mix or Monin flavored syrup with diet ginger ale, giving me a 50-60 calorie refresher.  My favorites, so far, are peach, blackberry and strawberry flavors, but there's lots left to try.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


In all these years as a techie kinda guy, I never knew that the BASIC computer language was actually an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.  This article discusses the language's beginnings and the historical marker along New Hampshire Route 120, near Dartmouth College, commemorating the language's two inventors.

Monday, July 1, 2019


Added some home security with this wide-angle, motion-sensing, smartphone-alerting EZVIZ camera.  I also installed a micro-SD card so it can make recordings for later playback.  I also pan to add one to monitor the water heater, furnace and washing machine.  One thing I learned is to make sure the batteries in the smoke alarms are fresh, because that low-battery chirp will fire off an alert every single time.