Friday, February 28, 2020

Auggie's Mini Donuts

At the north end of St. George Street in St. Augustine, Florida, you will find Auggie's Mini Donuts, where they make your order, using this cute mini-fryer, in front of your eyes.  They bag them and add your desired coating, mine being cinnamon and sugar.  There might be nothing better than a fresh, warm donut in February.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Activate FOX NOW

In order to watch Last Man Standing and other shows on Fox while spending a month in Florida, I had to add the FOX NOW app to the Fire TV Cube.  The usual process begins with going to a web site and entering an activation code like you see on the left below, which is annoying at best.  But the FOX NOW app also displayed a QR code that contained the web site link and code, so all I had to do was scan it with my Google Pixel 2 and I was on my way in a jiffy.  Directions for scanning QR codes for iOS and Android phones are at the link below.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Retirement Home Layout

This is one of the best house designs, tailored for single-floor living, that we've ever seen.  Master bedroom with back porch access, his and her walk-in closets, dual sinks in the master bath, a kitchen with a pantry and island, and a two-car garage.  Two bedrooms upstairs for guests.  But given its St. Augustine Beach locations, this runs just shy of a half-million simoleons.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Crosswalk Flag Program

There are a dozen crosswalks along A1A Beach Blvd in St. Augustine Beach that have red flags available on both sides to assist pedestrians in safety crossing this busy, and oft-times distracting, thoroughfare.  Just grab one out of a box on one side, carry it visibly as you cross and leave it in the box on the other side.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Florida Softshell Turtles

Not that ordinary turtles are going to bring home beauty awards, but the Florida softshell turtles are some of the ugliest and spookiest creatures on planet earth.  When this guy below popped its flat head out of the water looking for a handout, its bugged-out eyes would rapidly flutter causing the water to ripple, adding to its surreal appearance.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Extra-Crunchy Sheet-Pan Mac and Cheese

This recipe combines elbow macaroni with the creamy goodness of sharp Cheddar, Monterey Jack, cream cheese, and half-and-half tricked up with hot sauce and dijon mustard, then topped with panko and melted butter.  The sheet pan makes for easy cleanup, better portion control, and slices can be frozen for future helpings.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Netflix Autoplay

Scrolling through Netflix just got a lot less annoying now that autoplay can be turned off, particularly for previews.  The option is per profile, so if you don't like them but someone else does, you each can have your own way.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Pascua Florida

Every state has a story behind their name and Florida was named because of the time of year that Juan Ponce de León landed upon its eastern coast, in early April 1513.  He named it La Florida in honor of Pascua Florida ("Flowery Easter"), the traditional Spanish Easter festival that occurred at that time of year, and because the local vegetation was in full bloom.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Husband Daycare

Can you sign me up for this?

This sign outside Ann O'Malley's in Saint Augustine, Florida had me in stitches.  What a great way to advertise your restaurant/bar!  Just drop off your hubby, do a few hours of shopping down Saint George Street and pick him up for a minimal charge.  Everybody's happy!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Grammarly Chrome Extension

I've always been pretty good at spelling so built-in spell checkers don't catch a lot more that I do, but grammar is a bit more of the challenge, and that's where I find this Google Chrome extension very useful.  The free version does everything I need it to do, but there are paid enhancements for the more professional user.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Shredded Potato Waffles

The waffle maker turned store-bought shredded potatoes into a crispy side dish without much fuss and muss, just used a little melted butter.  You can mix in other ingredients, for example, eggs, cheese and garlic, to turn it into a complete breakfast.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Beach Chair Mailbox

Located on a side street in St. Augustine Beach, Florida, this mailbox "post" fits the local, laid-back beach vibe perfectly, from the sky-blue paint to the mermaid stenciled on the chair back.   I can hardly imagine how silly this would look in Ohio.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Sie Liebt Dich

One of the nice things about SiriusXM radio channels, and driving 900 miles to Florida, is that you end up hearing songs by your favorite artists that you've never before and this version of "She Loves You" by the Beatles, in German and available on YouTube at the link below, was one of the most surprising.  They only recorded a few songs in German and searching on "Beatles German Songs" will find the rest.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Mac Preview Signatures

Another nice feature of the Mac Preview app is being able to create signatures on the fly using a trackpad or camera, and then adding and sizing them to a document.  For the trackpad, you use your finger or a soft-tipped stylus, and for the camera you sign a blank, white piece of paper and place it level with a blue line in the camera window.  You also use reuse signatures you've previously created by simply clicking on it, as shown below.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Mac Speech Bubbles

The Mac's Preview app has one feature I truly love ... "Speech Bubbles".  When I'm editing articles like the snippet below, I can point right to the spot where I'm suggesting a change.  I use that in conjunction with the "Strike Through Text" feature to make it as clear as possible my intention.  Both features are found under Tools ... Annotate.  More info at this Apple support link.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Chicken Paws

Shopping in Florida can be surprising and running across chicken paws in Walmart’s meat section was a WTF moment.  I have never given a thought to where all the feet (or the heads for that matter) go after all the good parts are taken.  Frankly, they look like they belong in a B movie horror flick.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Amazon Echo Condo Setup

Warning ... serious geek speak ahead!

Yesterday I went through how I managed to connect the Amazon Fire TV Cube to the condo's WiFi and Internet, but that was nothing compared to the magic that had to happen to connect the Amazon Echo 3, which has nothing close to a keyboard or a mouse.  The trick was to turn off the Echo, change my Macbook Air's MAC (Media Access Control) address to the MAC address of the Echo (first sudo command below), login to the WiFi network, change the Macbook Air's MAC address back (second sudo command) and turn on the Echo back on.  Now that the WiFi network had authenticated the Echo's MAC, even though temporarily spoofed by the MacBook Air, it let the Echo connect to the Internet.   

I also had to hardware reset the Echo by holding its Action button for about 20-30 seconds.  Not sure why that was needed, but setting it up on the new WiFi network continually failed until I did.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Fire TV Cube Condo Setup

Our Florida condo's WiFi network requires a two-step login, first connecting to the WiFi's SSID and second entering a user and password information on a web browser screen.  That's easy enough for a smartphone, tablet or computer that has some version of a mouse and keyboard, but the Amazon Fire TV Cube has neither.  I thought I was stuck until I noticed a "Use Cursor Mode" option (circled in red below) that brought up a mouse pointer that could be moved around, little by little, using the up-down-left-right remote controls to navigate into the input fields and then pressed the circular Select button to select the input field and bring up an on-screen keyboard.

I wish I could include a link here for more details, but there is absolutely nothing to be found on the Internet regarding this option.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Saint Augustine Beach

Saint Augustine Beach, Florida reminds us more of the dune-type shorelines of North Carolina that is does the wide, flat sand found an hour south at Daytona Beach.  It's a laid-back community, located on Anastasia Island, with condos, a few hotels and a lot of delicious seafood. It's just a few miles southeast of the city of Saint Augustine, with all the history of the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States has to offer.

Monday, February 3, 2020


We had a great meal with friends at Venti in Cumming, Georgia and that started a discussion of why the restaurant was named that.  I figured, incorrectly, that it meant “large”, as a venti coffee is the largest of the three sizes (tall, grande, venti) at Starbucks  A quick smartphone search showed how wrong I was.  Venti is Italian for “twenty”, and as this restaurant is on State Route 20, that now made sense, and a Starbucks venti, being 20 ounces, revealed the simple explanation for that name.  For more information on the naming of Starbucks “tall” and “grande”, see the explanations at the following link.  "Tall" actually makes sense now.

Big shout out to Barbara and Harry for the restaurant selection and adding an answer at some future trivia challenge!