Friday, July 31, 2020

My Big Fat Greek Burgers

This recipe is a permanent addition to our burger rotation.  Make two thin turkey patties, top one with a combination of onion, spinach, feta cheese, dill and black pepper, then place the other patty on top and press the halves together.  Place the cooked burger on your favorite bun (we like brioche) and top with cucumber slices, romaine lettuce and a sauce made with yogurt, oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill, and salt and pepper, which gives it the greek flair.  A bit more work than just slapping a hamburger on the grill, but more than worth the effort.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Long Ice Cube Sticks

Sometimes you just have to go for the glam.  These long ice cube sticks don't do anything regular cubes do, but they're a nice conversion starter before the booze kicks in.  You can make them with water, of course, but making them with orange juice or your favorite mixer will prevent your drink from getting diluted.  Long live summer!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Dayton NFL Field

The NFL funded this field, located at East Helena Street and Brennan Drive, just northeast of Kettering Field.  It would have been located at Triangle Park, site of the first NFL game, but a group found an “abnormality” and decided it might be an Indian burial ground. 

Triangle Park is located at the north point of the intersection of the Great Miami River and the Stillwater River, a location very prone to flooding, particularly before the construction of Englewood and Taylorsville dams in the years following the 1913 flood.  You couldn't pick a worse place for a burial ground, and I sincerely doubt they were dumb enough to do so.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Bose Portable Home Speaker

Here's the latest addition to our smart speaker collection, a Bose Portable Home Speaker.  We wanted a wireless speaker with enough power to fill the backyard with music and this fits both needs.  Even better, it comes with your choice of either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.  It's not cheap, coming in at $300, but the sound quality and features are worth the price.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Classic Chicken Salad

The key to this deliciously chunky chicken salad is using packaged Costco rotisserie chicken.  The rest of the recipe is pretty standard fare, but we highly recommend adding the optional dill and take it easy on the seasoned salt, starting with half the suggested amount and adding more to your taste.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Anywhere On Earth

"Anywhere on Earth" (aka "AoE") is a phrase given to the last place a given date can exist on earth and is located on the direct opposite side of the earth from Greenwich, England, the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), now called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).  The closest lands that are just east of this International Date Line are Howland Island and Baker Island.  So if you need to turn in that assignment by the end of the day, you can literally make the deadline by submitting it from one of these uninhabited islands.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Crossbar Critters

It seems like every time I visit the Montgomery County "dump" there is a new 1"x4" board installed in the gate.  They even dangle stuffed animals to the crossbar in an attempt to make it more visible and they move all around as the gate is raised and lowered to attract attention. 

But sometimes you just can't fix stupid.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Casserole Donation

St. Vincent de Paul aids the homeless and impoverished in the Greater Dayton area by providing emergency shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing, food, clothing and household items, and guidance to leading a self-sustaining life.  We learned about this through our local church and recently contributed to their casserole donation program.  More details are at the link below, including eight suggested recipes, with the one my wife cooked up detailed here.

Sausage Potato Casserole


2-3 lbs mild Italian sausage (browned, drained, and chopped)
2 lb bag frozen hash browns (partially thawed)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 soup can of milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup butter and 1 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes


Grease casserole pan. Mix all ingredients except topping. Pour into prepared pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Cover tightly with foil and freeze the casserole. Deliver the casserole frozen and covered with foil.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Stackable Tomato Cage - Part 4

For the time being, I opted for adding the mesh screen to the top cage and running the tomato stake through it, which gives it a bit more wind resistance.  We'll see how the rest of the growing season goes, but for now, this plant is 100% protected from squirrels and the cage is large enough to allow the plant to thrive.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Stackable Tomato Cage - Part 3

A second, identical cage was built and placed on top the first.  The top is still open at this point as it was still undecided if a third cube would be needed, possibly a half-height version placed in the middle.  Another option here would be to attach the two cages using a pair of metal hinges on one side, allowing the top cage to be rotated down to access the plant, but that would require the tomato stake to be shortened.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Stackable Tomato Cage - Part 2

Four completed frames are assembled into a cube using a total of sixteen, 2 1/2-inch wood screws while being held in place by an Irwin quick-grip clamp.  This cage weighs about fourteen pounds, very easy to lift and place around a staked tomato plant.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Stackable Tomato Cage - Part 1

I couldn't find anything to protect my tomato plants from the squirrels, so after much thinking, I landed on the idea to build stackable cages that would be easy to lift off as needed.  It will take several posts to show how this was done, and I have to say that this took many, many hours to build.

Start by building four identical wooden frames from inexpensive 2-inch by 2-inch, 8-foot-long lumber.  Each of the 16 boards used below was cut to a length of 23 inches, then assembled using a corner clamp (see my post on July 6, 2020) and two 1 3/4-inch wood screws per corner.  The pair on the right is shown with the screen mesh installed, clipped from larger pieces, then stapled to the frame.

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Real "Dill" Chicken Sandwich

Marinade chicken breasts in dill, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper and refrigerate for an hour.  While that's happening, make the spread with the same ingredients as the marinade plus lemon zest, sour cream, mayonnaise and pepperoncini peppers.  Grill the chicken six minutes on each side, and assemble on ciabatta bread, which we suggest toasting for even more flavor.  If you're kinda bored with chicken, this is a great way to perk up those taste buds.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Swing Jaw Corner Clamp

My cage-building project (more on that on near-future posts) is going to much easier with this right-angle clamp, holding the frame securely while a pair of wood screws will be used to complete the deal.  This model also called "swing jaw", which means the two pieces of wood do not need to be the same thickness.  There are other models that include features I didn't need, but look around before buying to see what works best for you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Just east of Raleigh, NC we ran into I-87, odd since I-87 also runs from New York to Montreal and there are several hundreds of miles between them.  This I-87 is the baby, and currently the shortest designated primary Interstate Highway at 12.9 miles, with hopes of growing up someday.

But it's not alone in its duplicity, as there are also two I-76's, I-84's, I-86's, and I-88's.  It's not that we've totally run out of numbers, as there are only 70 being used, but if you used I-3 for an east coast highway, it would mess up the west-to-east coast, south-to-north, ascending numbering scheme.