Friday, July 30, 2021

Chicken Quesadillas - Panini Style

The non-stick plates in our waffle/panini maker made for a quick-and-easy cleanup, but alongside the usual ingredients of chicken, avocado, shredded cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, and salsa was char-grilled corn.  The husks were removed and the corn cooked on the gas grill for about sixteen minutes, turning every four, until they reached our desired level of color and cut off the cob.  In the background of the picture below is a glass of Cabernet, leftover from the night before.  Leftover wine is not a common occurrence in our house!

Thursday, July 29, 2021


A trip to Costco usually involves seeing something different, as their selections vary all the time, but seeing a Batmobile, Batcycle, and cutouts of Batman and Robin was definitely one of the most unique.  As a kid, Batman was a staple of my viewing schedule, as corny as it was.

Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed!  

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Mother Nature

It's not often that I'm sitting in the backyard and see a sky so busy and beautiful as the one shown below.  Multiple layers of clouds, some lighter, some darker, all swirling around, and changing shapes every few seconds.  In retrospect, I should have taken a video so you could see this spectacular work of nature in action.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Bug Bite Thing

This is a nifty tool that pulls bug bite venum out from under your skin, providing immediate itch relief.  Pulling the plunger creates suction and feels like your skin is being pinched, but the brief discomfort is worth it.  Depending on the bite's location, you might need a good friend to help out ;-).

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Ice Cream Cake

Dairy Queen offers custom ice cream cakes, including uploading a photo of your birthday girl to make a one-of-a-kind creation.  I'm not much of a flour cake type of guy but lay a slice of ice cream in front of me and I'll make it disappear in a flash. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Great Stuff

The source of our recent mouse discovery was likely a gap in the basement wall around an outside spigot's water pipe.  The outside gap was small, but inside the hole was 2-3 inches in diameter.  We found a great solution by happenstance while strolling through Home Depot.  Great Stuff is an insulating foam sealant and we just sprayed it into the gap, resulting in the gray plug shown below.   

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Best Buddies

These two just love to go at it, even though they are an order of magnitude different in size.  Emmet is a brown Shih Tzu puppy weighing in at about six pounds while Maggie, a Catahoula Leopard Hound, is closer to sixty pounds.  They will jump, dive, leap, roll and run full tilt in circles around our backyard until they are totally worn out.  The white Shih Tzu, Edie, briefly seen ignoring the game, is over ten years old and just not up for expending this type of energy.  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Irwin Quick Grip Clamp

Not saying we've had a lot of rain this month, but the raised herb garden's soil got so heavy it literally snapped a couple of screws holding the lowest board in half, leaving it hanging down a few inches and holding on for dear life.  It was not possible for me to lift the board back in place, so I needed some leverage.  Happens, last week I bought the clamp shown below for a basement staircase project, and instead of opting for a clamp just large enough for my immediate need, I decided to spend another $12 and buy an extra-long version, which turned out to be perfect.  I was able, with one hand on the pistol grip, to exert enough force to slowly pull the board back in place in order to shoot in some beefier screws.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Jorrge's Restaurante Cantina

Jorrge's might be the most authentic, and fun, Mexican restaurant in Kettering.  I recently had their delicious Carne Asada house special shown below after starting with chips and salsa and a pitcher of margaritas.  Jorrge spends a lot of time getting to know his guests, a nice change from places where nobody knows your name (yep, a Cheers pun).

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Too Hot To Handle

Sometimes you just need a gentle reminder that you've left a burning hot pan on the stove and our simple solution is to use oven mitts to cover a long handle or place it near a particularly hot spot like the helper handle shown below.  The choice of a red mitt is both symbolic and hard to miss.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Hair Strainer Bathtub Stopper

The stopper in the first-floor bathroom was broken, and combined with the need to avoid cleaning out the occasional hairball (trust me, it's not mine), led us to find this combo solution at Home Depot.  It comes with two threads (3/8 in. and 5/16 in.) to match different-sized drain shoes.  You take care of any built-up hair by repeatedly pressing up and down on the top, which rips the hair into pieces that easily flow down the pipe without causing a clog.  Pretty cool.

Monday, July 12, 2021

1970 Chaminade, 1973 Julienne and 1974 C-J Yearbooks

Issuu is home to many publications of all types, with yearbooks being one of those take-me-back specials.  These links will take you to the 1970 Chaminade, 1973 Julienne, and 1974 C-J yearbooks, with the image below taken of the 1973 Julienne junior class, most of which you will also see in the 1974 yearbook, where we were all part of the first graduating class of C-J.  Many of these girls I went to grade school with (Our Lady of Mercy) and I still know many of their names from just looking at their photos, even these forty-six years later.

Thursday, July 8, 2021


Photopea is a free (I love free) online alternative to Adobe Photoshop.  It's nice to have a tool to open the occasional PSD file or perform some not-so-simple edits to image files.  It's an amazing tool and how they stuff all these features into a browser-based tool is remarkable.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

A Hole

An enterprising rodent, presumably a mouse, didn't let a Ziploc bag stand in their way of a high-gluten meal, eating right through the plastic and the paper to satisfy their hunger.  Fortunately, the culprit was not present when this was found in the basement.  Time to set some traps and buy another bag of flour, and store it in something more sturdy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Water Softener

Our old water softener was at the end of its life and since that Enting equipment lasted over 40 years (it was here when Elaine bought the house), what other choice would we go with than a current Enting model?  I believe the refrigerator standing to its right is now the oldest piece of equipment in the house and the only one we haven't replaced since we've been married.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Fairmont High School

My daughter's seemingly simple question, "why is Fairmont High School named Fairmont", turned into a history hunt going back to the early 1900s.  While I can't find a definitive reference to verify what I believe to be true, it seems very likely the following is the source.

The first Fairmont High School was a small four-room building that opened in the fall of 1906 and was located on Dorothy Lane just west of Far Hills Avenue.  That area was named the "Fairmont Plat" (highlighted in the image below) back in those days, so it makes sense that's where the high school's name originated.  Today, Fairmont Avenue is located in that same area. 

Fairmont seems to be a name that references a good view from a high point and looking west from Fairmont Plat you would see down the steep hill to the valley that now stretches from Community Golf Course to the Great Miami River.

Fairmont High School is currently in its fourth location as population growth through the 1900s resulted in larger facilities being built.  More details can be found at this link.

The entire map of Van Buren township, now the cities of Kettering and Moraine, and a peek into the names of its past, can be found at this link.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Honey-Rosemary Pork Medallions With Apple-Fennel Salad

While the pork medallions with honey and rosemary most likely immediately ignite your salivary glands just by looking at them, the salad with apples and fennel probably won't, but it will after you give it a try.  Prepare the salad first to give it time to pull its flavors together.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Cord Cutter

It's official, we've joined the ranks of people that watch TV without those outdated, overly-large, poorly-made cable boxes.  We still have Spectrum for Internet service, but get all the channels we normally watch through YouTube TV and combined with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and ESPN+, give us all we want.  The best features of the new setup are sorting the YouTube TV channels in the order we want them and since we're using an Amazon Fire TV Cube, we only need its remote control, which is about 20% of the size of the Spectrum monster.  Oh, it's cheaper, by about $40 per month.