Friday, October 30, 2020


My wife used this old-school glass Pyrex tube to make a perfect 3.5" round loaf of bread for a recent family dinner.  She just oiled a loaf of frozen bread dough, dusted it with poppy seeds, slid it into the tube, let it rise, and baked it until golden brown.  She slid it out of the tube and cut it into perfectly-sized (not over-sized!) slices.  Topped with Irish butter, it was quite the treat.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Awesome Arthur

Back in June, I visited Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar in the North Carolina Outer Banks and decided on one occasion to try one of their specialty drinks, namely an Awesome Arthur.  It was a delicious and potent combination of vodka, gin, rum, tequila mixed with pineapple, orange juice, and grenadine, and topped with Cruzan 151 rum.  Sort of like a Long Island Ice Tea, except with citrusy fruit juices.  I'll have to experiment next summer with the proportions, but this is definitely a make-at-home drink.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Kettering Leaf Collection

One of the nicer benefits of living in Kettering is the residential leaf collection service, which is provided at no additional cost.  The city is divided into 11 areas and trucks go sequentially through those areas, sucking up leaves as shown below, then repeat their path several times until early December.  All we have to do is get our leaves to the curb and since we can see what area they are currently working on (see the link below), we can time our efforts so leaves don't sit for too long before they are picked up.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Waffle-Iron Stuffing

We took a box of Stove-Top stuffing, made it per the directions, then dropped it all on a Pam-sprayed waffle iron.  After several minutes the stuffing developed a crispy outside and perhaps best of all, it was steaming hot.  I don't know if I've ever had hot stuffing.  By the time Thanksgiving dinner is ready, everyone herded to their seats, prayers offered and food passed around, everything (except the gravy, bless the boat) tends to be warm at best.  If we can ever find Bob Evans stuffing in a store, that will be the next step up for this technique.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Letter Opener

By now this letter opener, which was a marketing tool created by the QBA group (i.e. the really smart math types) within the Mead Information Technology department, is about 30 years old and continues to slice open letters as easily as ever.  The area code is a dead giveaway to its age, as 513 covered all southwest Ohio until 1996 when it changed to 937.  This is just one of the best handouts I've ever received as it cost pennies, serves a very useful purpose, and just begs to put front and center on your desk, where it served as a reminder that there is a group to help you out with your business challenges.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Toast Touchless Payment

When the check for dinner at Husk Restaurant in Charleston, SC was put on our table, it included a QR code that allowed us to pay using a smartphone.  We just scanned the code, filled in our credit card details, and were emailed a receipt, part of which is shown below.  While I'm not a fan of touchless just to be touchless, I did appreciate that we didn't have to wait for the server to come back to the table to retrieve a credit card, which can take a while, usually when we're in a hurry to leave.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Middleton Place

One of our stops in Charleston, SC was over at Middleton Place in West Ashley.  Middleton is a former rice plantation and an interesting tour of history.  The building pictured below was one of three built by Henry Middleton in the mid-1700s, the land being part of his wife's, Mary Williams, rather large dowry.  We learned about how rice was germinated, protected, and harvested with the help of flooding the rice mill ponds at different times of the growing cycle.  The gardens, while not at their height-of-season best, are still beautiful to stroll around, and numerous other buildings show what life was like hundreds of years ago.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Spiced-Up Burger

The talented chef I'm proud to call my wife made up this spicy variation on the everyday hamburger and it's now a staple on our menu.  She makes each patty with 4 ounces of ground chuck and 2 ounces of ground chorizo.  She buys 2 pounds of ground chuck and 1 pound of ground chorizo, a total of 48 ounces, which results in 8 patties.  What we don't use that day gets wrapped and frozen, making quick-and-easy meals when desired.  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Utility Pump

Twice a year we drain and fill the hot tub, but this fall our previously-faithful utility pump began leaking oil into the water and made quite the mess to clean up.  Not only have we replaced the pump with an oil-free motor, but we've also upgraded the horsepower from 1/10 to 1/4, which upgrades the throughput from 390 to 2,220 gallons per hour, which should reduce the amount of time it takes to drain the hot tub from well over an hour to 15-20 minutes.  If I had known just that, I would have upgraded a long time ago.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

That Pig Ate My Bacon

Located on the top floor of The Restoration in downtown Charleston, SC is The Watch Rooftop.  My choice for a cocktail after a very long day of traveling was the "That Pig Ate My Bacon" pictured below, consisting of bacon-infused bourbon, apple cordial, maple syrup and lemon bitters, topped with a strip of candied bacon.  Candied bacon!  Where have you been?  Each bite was pure heaven!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Griffon

One of our stops on the Original Pub and Brewery Tour in Charleston, SC was The Griffon where I had a Freehouse Folly's Pride Blonde Ale.  The most striking feature of the place were the walls with dollar bills stapled to them, which we, of course, had to participate in.  While the walls were covered, our server informed us that the owner had taken down around $18,000 dollar bills which helped them pay their employees while they were in COVID lockdown.  Can't imagine what it looked like before that.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Fuel Credit

I was puzzled when we returned our Budget rental car last week and found an "On The Road Expenses" credit of $-0.77 which slightly reduced the final cost.  Scanning the detail of the invoice I found the explanation.  I returned the car with 18.4 gallons of gas in the tank, but the car had only 18.0 gallons when I picked it up, and Budget gave us a 77 cent credit, which works out to $1.78 a gallon.  I never knew that they could measure the amount of fuel in the tank that closely and it's nice to see they treat their customers well who really do return their rental with a full tank of gas.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Lawn Aeration

The latest project knocked off the 2020 list was a long-overdue lawn aeration.  Thought about renting a machine and doing it myself, but as I approach 65 years old this week, I've decided to be smarter and let the younger folk do the heavy lifting.  The timing was perfect as I had just finished mowing the lawn, a bit shorter than usual for the aeration, just as Weed Man pulled up to the house.  Timing is everything.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Summer Harvest Pizza

This was a couple months ago, but I have to talk about it before Fall got too far along.  This Summer Harvest pizza from Figlio restaurant in Kettering featured a spicy red sauce, chorizo sausage, corn, jalapenos and banana peppers, a hot and flavorful combination.  I like the choice of thin crust, roasted to perfection in their wood-fired oven.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Lincoln Highway

During a recent trip to Valparaiso, Indiana, I noticed several signs for a Lincoln Highway and wondered what that might be.  A little research discovered that the Lincoln Highway was part of an early 1900s effort, called the National Auto Trail system, to help drivers navigate cross-country before U.S. Routes and Interstates came to exist.  

The Lincoln Highway consisted of many different roads (which changed from time to time), all marked with the same signage, where you could start at Times Square in New Your City and travel west all the way to Lincoln Park in San Francisco along the route shown below, about 3,300 miles.