An almost daily blog on whatever futuristic, technical tip, general interest or humor I find interesting and want to share.
Friday, October 29, 2021
Thursday, October 28, 2021
While waiting in a typical afternoon's long line at the local dump, I read the list of items that they won't accept and saw the unfamiliar term "TENORM". While my 280-pound load of scrap wood and ceramic tile was probably OK, I had to know, just to be cautious.
TENORM stands for "Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials" and occurs when naturally occurring radioactive materials, which are generally safe, are concentrated and present a real threat. This occurs in a variety of manufacturing processes, often the result of wastes and residuals. Loads more information at this EPA link.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
See The Coin
Can you spot the coin lurking on the street below?
For the last couple years I've taken to looking for discarded change as I'm running or walking. Round shiny things now just seem to leap out at me. The total so far this year is $2.69 with an all-time haul of $8.70. That doesn't count the coins I find outside of my exercise, with parking lots being very generous.
Monday, October 25, 2021
Friday, October 22, 2021
Thursday, October 21, 2021
I've known the word mesmerized for at least five decades but recently found that the word originated from a real person, Frank Mesmer (1734-1815), a German physician. Frank was known of his theory for "animal magnetism", the transference of natural energy between all animated and inanimate objects. Mesmer would treat patients using a variety of techniques, but eventually, his work was debunked, with any help patients received attributed to a "placebo effect". In other words, Frank "mesmerized" them into feeling better.
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Spotted Turtle Trail
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Secure MAC Hard Drive Erase
It was time to get rid of a ten-year-old external hard drive that I used for backups. To make sure all the data was erased, mainly to protect things like passwords and credit card numbers, I explored the options available to me on my Mac Mini. The Disk Utility has several levels that can be used to wipe the data, so I elected to use the most secure, a seven-pass erase that writes random data seven times, just like the ultra-paranoid Pentagon would do. It took over a day to complete, but what the heck, the Mac didn't really have all the much to do anyway. You can explore options at the link below.
Monday, October 18, 2021
I spotted this Smart car during a walk and had a really good chuckle. The decal on the back glass says "I stole the clowns car" and the attached wind-up key completes the look. I really appreciate their sense of self-deprecating humor.
Friday, October 15, 2021
Everything Deviled Eggs
I love deviled eggs and when I ran across this recipe that featured Everything Bagel Seasoning, I had to give it a try. I used the fork method of combining the yokes, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar, but I recommend a small food processor to get a more pleasant consistency. But using the suggested pastry bag to pipe the filling into the egg whites wasn't going to happen. A spoon works fine.
Thursday, October 14, 2021
South Shore Line
We've driven or flown into Chicago on many occasions, but recently decided to take the train instead to avoid their crazy downtown driving. We first drove five hours to Porter, Indiana, about fourteen miles north of Valparaiso, arriving mid-afternoon on a Friday. We bought our tickets (yeah, half-price senior discount) on the South Shore Line and waited until the train shown below arrived. Being an off-peak time, we expected a light crowd and were surprised to find it so packed we couldn't sit together or put our luggage overhead. After a while, we asked one of the young crowd aboard why so many had on Notre Dame-branded clothing and found out they we all traveling to Chicago to watch Notre Dame play football against Wisconsin. Wisconsin? Yep. The game was being played at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday. That explained the crowd, as the South Shore Line begins in South Bend. Fortunately the return train ride on Sunday was more spread out and comfortable.
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Brandeberry Winery, located between Enon and Yellow Spring, Ohio, was founded years ago by the late James Brandeberry, the Dean of Engineering and Computer Science when I attended Wright State University in the middle-to-late 1970s. It's a beautiful country setting with both indoor and outdoor seating and a selection of sweet and dry, red and white wines, with the sweet blackberry wine my favorite. They also have a nice sense of humor, as the sign below can attest to.
It's unlikely you will ever just happen to run across the winery, as it's out on a country road between nowheres, so punch "5118 W. Jackson Road, Enon, Ohio" into your favorite mobile maps app before venturing out.
Monday, October 11, 2021
We see the occasional mushroom growing in our front yard, usually after a rainy stretch of weather, but last week we saw several huge bunches suddenly appear around our silver maple tree. I consulted the link below for suggestions on how to get rid of them and tried the soapy suds idea, but that appeared to have the opposite effect, doubling in size by the next day. But the information at the link said that mushrooms are "feeding on decaying organic matter", which in our case we believe to be the tree roots. We've had on our list to have that tree taken down as our tree guy said it was dying, but this mushroom episode has moved that to-do item to the top of the list.
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Creamy Gnocchi with Swiss Chard and Apples
The creaminess of this dish comes from soft garlic herb Boursin cheese and heavy cream while the Pink Lady apple lends a sweetness that's perfect. Onion and swiss chard round out the major ingredients that turn your gnocchi into a unique side that's sure to please. Leftovers? Not a chance.
Sweet Arrow Reserve
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
I bought a new Amazon Echo Dot for the basement workout area and connected it to a soundbar I no longer needed, an inexpensive solution that delivers great sound. Not to confuse the other two Echo devices in the basement, I choose the newest option, "Ziggy", as its name. And to remember that, I added a little framed cutout of the famous cartoon character with the same name, as shown below.
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Cooper's Hawk Wine Club
Monday, October 4, 2021
Friday, October 1, 2021
Sheet Pan Chicken with Mozzarella, Pesto, and Broccoli
Chef Elaine (again) knocks it out of the park with a delicious and easy sheet pan recipe that featured her handmade pesto layered on filleted and pounded chicken breasts and topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. The surprise star of this show was the broccoli. Just a little oil, salt, and pepper then the 425-degree oven gave it a little char. Best broccoli I've ever had!