Tuesday, November 29, 2022

FireTV Clicking Sounds

For every keypress navigating the Amazon FireTV menus, it made a clicking sound.  It always was kind of annoying, but not quite enough to ask myself if there was anything that could be done to stop it.  But when my stepson asked, I jumped on it and found the article at the link below and the setting on the Display & Sounds menu shown below.  Now I bounce around in silent bliss...




Monday, November 28, 2022

Football Trifecta

One of the benefits of having a streaming service like YouTube TV is that it turns your tablets and smartphones into additional screens to watch football, handy when recently the Ohio State (iPad), Duke (big screen), and Valparaiso (smartphone) games were all on at the same time.  The smartphone is being held up by a Thumbs-up Cell Phone Stand, available at the link below, which also makes a great stocking stuffer.




Friday, November 25, 2022

Pantry Pull Vegetable Soup

In Chef Elaine's opinion (which is undoubtedly correct) there is nothing better than hot homemade soup when the outside temps take their yearly dive.  Her vegetable soup starts with sauteeing diced onions and minced garlic in olive oil then adding unsalted chicken stock.  Stock is heartier than broth and using the unsalted variety allows her to control the overall saltiness.  We both prefer to cook without salt and add it at the very end, usually a couple of cranks at the dining room table.  

She adds about half a head of sliced cabbage, diced San Marzano tomatoes, and Italian seasoning.  Then the creativity begins.  Or better said, what do we have hanging around in the fridge or cabinets?  For this version, she added some frozen corn she had shucked over the summer, leftover meatballs, and for the first, but not last time, some frozen homemade pesto.  The pesto gave this soup a wonderfully spicy kick.  

After the soup simmers away for about an hour and twenty minutes, she adds fresh spinach and cooks for another ten minutes.  



Thursday, November 24, 2022

Cincinnati Reds

Did you know that the Cincinnati Reds are one of forty-six defunct teams and have the distinction of having the two lowest officially recognized season-scoring totals?  That in their last season they totaled a  minuscule ten points?

Points?

Yes, not runs, points.

We're talking about the 1933-1934 Cincinnati Reds NFL football team.




Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Ronna And Quetta

It gives the very technical geek weenies (like me) great pleasure to hear the announcement of the next number prefixes.  I started out at Wright State University in the era of kilobytes, which became megabytes, then gigabytes, and now terabytes are common.  The prefixes peta, exa, zetta, and yotta take us all the way up to 10 to the 24th power (septillion), but the new prefixes, ronna and quetta (pronounced with a "kw" sound), take us up the 10 to the 30th power.  Ronto and quecto take us down to 30 zeroes after the decimal point.  The last prefixes added were back in 1991, so it was about time.

The Earth's mass is around 6 ronnagrams and the electron's mass is about 1 rontogram.

How did we live so long without these?




Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Bought A Monkey

An older family friend recently told us that he had just bought a monkey.  Having an animal in my retirement years is a big ain't-gonna-happen and a monkey is way down the list in any case.  But he was referring to his most recent motorcycle purchase, the Honda Monkey shown below.  It's called that as people described riders as looking like a monkey on the small minibike.  Add one more thing I'm not doing in retirement.




Monday, November 21, 2022

Markup For Signatures

Markup is a handy iOS (iPad/iPhone) tool that allows you to add shapes, text, and signatures.  The signature feature is convenient if you only have your iPad handy and someone needs your John Hancock asap.  After writing your signature with a fingernail or a soft-tipped pen, send it via a new email from the Share menu below, as the markup is not written back to the original email attachment.





Friday, November 18, 2022

Pitmaster

We stumbled upon Smokin' Dave's BBQ in Estes Park, Colorado, located at the Estes Park 18-Hole Golf Course.  The beast below is the Pitmaster, which combines Carolina pulled pork, Texas beef brisket, and cheddar jalapeno sausage on a hoagie roll.  It's only open from April through October, so if your plans call for a winter Colorado vacation, look up one of their other nearby locations at the link below.




Thursday, November 17, 2022

Planting Tulips

Tulip bulbs require fairly deep holes and Gardener Elaine wanted 50 bulbs, which, of course, requires 50 holes.  That job was made easier with my electric drill and the 18" inch Roto Auger shown below.  Apply some downward pressure and the auger/drill do the rest.  A few upward/downward strokes after the initial hole is dug will help clear out a lot of the remaining dirt.  If the auger gets stuck, reverse the drill and let it spin out by itself.  I learned the hard way that pulling doesn't work.




Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Butterfly Bungalow

The cute little cabin shown below was ours for a couple of days last week as we explored the trails at Hocking Hills State Park.  We were smart to pack a couple of gallons of distilled water and a few bags of ice cubes as the well water leaves a lot to be desired.  No Wi-Fi and occasional cellular service made us realize just how much we like the conveniences of home.

The best experience of the trip was having dinner at the Kindred Spirits restaurant located at Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls.  My Sea Scallops in Brown Butter Sauce, Rainbow Carrots, and Wild Rice were truly a five-star experience.





Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Hocking Hills Lodge

The newly opened Hocking Hills Park Lodge is beautiful and comes with stunning vistas from its back porches.  There are 81 guest rooms, a restaurant, a bar, an outdoor pool, and free high-speed wireless Internet.  All the hiking trails and points of interest (e.g. Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls) are a short drive away.  

Cellular service is spotty at best, so enabling Wi-Fi calling (https://dailyposts.paulishing.com/2022/08/wi-fi-calling.html) would be a good idea.




Monday, November 14, 2022

Over-Under No More

Chef Elaine and I used to play a grocery checkout game called Over-Under.   After we put the groceries on the belt and before the cashier started, one of us would call out how much they thought the final bill would be.  The other would then guess that the final tally would either be more (over) or less (under).  The winner would take pride in their knowledge of grocery prices.  

We no longer play the game.  After too many rounds when "over" was the answer, it just served as a depressing reminder of how the cost of groceries has escalated.  



Friday, November 11, 2022

Griddled Brussels Sprouts

Chef Elaine trimmed and halved a bag of Brussels sprouts.  Her Sous Chef (aka me) put them in a large plastic bag, added olive oil, and perhaps too generous a portion of ground cayenne pepper.  The first batch on the griddle served to gauge how long to the perfect char, which at 375 degrees took eight minutes.  Those were kept those warm in the oven while the Sous Chef grilled some steaks outside and the second batch of Brussels sprouts was griddled.  Add a bottle of great red wine and last Sunday night was a savory success.


 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Dry Ice

Dry ice was a fairly common thing back in my childhood, but not so much now.  Some Kansas City steaks were delivered packaged in dry ice and Chef Elaine had some old-time childhood fun putting it in the sink and using the sprayer to launch the fog show seen below as the dry ice instantly freezes the water vapor.




Wednesday, November 9, 2022

USB-C

Now that the European Union has passed a law to limit small electronic devices to using only USB-C for charging, it will be interesting to watch over the coming years how that rule plays out.  The EU insists that this will save consumers money by not having to buy as many different cables, more likely having the cable they need, and reduce the number of tons of old cables headed to landfills.  Naysayers contend this will prevent innovation and we're stuck with the limitations of USB-C forever.  




Tuesday, November 8, 2022

$1.28

Every Fall after they drain the pond at the Fraze Pavillion I seek out coins that people have thrown in.  Last Saturday's take was the $1.28 shown below.  Add another $0.25 on Sunday and a penny on Monday and this year's take is up to $1.54.  Perhaps there are a few more coins to find because although I've scoured the pond several times they can hide pretty well.  



Friday, November 4, 2022

Chef Elaine's Chili

Chef Elaine's chili starts with browning two pounds of ground chuck in a frying pan, adding a chopped onion until it softens.  That gets drained, transferred to a large pot, and brought to a low boil while stirring in a large can of diced tomatoes, a medium can each of Brooks' hot and mild beans, two packets of Brooks' Chili seasoning, 6 ounces of water, and garlic salt and Franks' hot sauce to taste.  Cover and turn the heat down to a simmer for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally.  Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

This is one of those recipes that tastes even better the day after as the flavors further incorporate together.



Thursday, November 3, 2022

Yellow Springs Brewery

Biking and beer go together like peas and carrots and there may not be a better place for both than Yellow Springs.  The Little Miami Scenic Trail runs from Xenia to Bellefontaine and is in the backyard of Yellow Springs Brewery.  After your desired amount of exercise, you can sit outside and enjoy a cold draft (beer, not the wind) and relax. 




Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Eichelberger Pavilion

Shown below is the most recent event space addition at Carillon Park, the Eichelberger Pavilion.  It's a two-story grand ballroom, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the picturesque Carillon Park grounds.  It can host up to 700 guests with its fairy tale, "Beauty and the Beast" style.




Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Gem City

One, of several, explanations for Dayton, Ohio being nicknamed "The Gem City" goes back to 1845 when the following appeared in the Cincinnati Chronicle.

“The most indifferent observer will not fail to notice Dayton. The wide streets, kept in excellent order, the noble blocks of stores, filled with choice, and of course, cheap goods, and more than all, the exceeding beauty and neatness of the dwellings, you at once mark with a 'white stone,' in a small bend of the Great Miami River, with canals on the east and south, it may be fairly said that Dayton is the gem of all our interior towns; it possesses wealth, refinement, enterprise and a beautiful country.”




Monday, October 31, 2022

Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drug Company

Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and regular on the TV show Shark Tank, has a potential way to save you money on prescriptions.  Cost Plus charges their negotiated drug cost plus 15%, and small labor and shipping fees.  I checked out our medicine cabinet and there were two that are cheaper, one by a little and the other by a decent difference.  They don't have a large number of drugs available, but doesn't it just feel good to pay less?




Friday, October 28, 2022

Butter Balls

Tucked up in a corner of the dairy section are the Butter Balls shown below.  It might be a good way to help with portion control (I love butter) knowing that each ball takes 50 calories out of your daily budget.  It would also be a fancy way to serve butter at your next party, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  Just look at those cute dimples.




Thursday, October 27, 2022

Jumilla

The Jumilla (who-ME-ah) region of Spain might not be near the top of the most-recognized names in wine, but it's one to look for the next time you're in a well-stocked wine shop.  While there are some that cost big bucks, there's quite a nice selection in that coveted under-$20-a-bottle, which you can see at the link below.  I suggest popping one open at the first sight of snow and letting that warm wine glow combat the blues.




Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Spider Plant

One of Chef Elaine's other skills is getting plants to grow, both indoors and out.  The spider plant below sits on the north side of the house and loves the indirect sun it affords.  The bunches at the bottom are the plant's way of reproduction, which work nicely outdoors but require the Chef to clip and re-pot to thrive.  




Monday, October 24, 2022

Google Home Router

I just discovered that the Google Home app has some very useful features for my tri-mesh Google Wifi routers.  It automatically runs a speed test every other day and logs those results.  My Spectrum internet connection runs at 335 Mbps, plus or minus a few Mbps.  The image below shows what may be its best feature, being able to individually or as a group, test the speed of all the components between the device and the internet and tell you what the maximum you can achieve is.  The choke point between my FireTV Cube and the Internet is the wireless network speed.  In other devices, like an under-powered Raspberry Pi, the device was the slow spot.

I don't know about other routers, but if you dig around you might be to find similar tests in your setup.



Friday, October 21, 2022

Cherry Marinated Flank Steak

Some of Chef Elaine's recipes date back years and it very much surprised me that I had not blogged on this Cherry Marinated Flank Steak as many times as she's made it.  It is believed to be one of Ann Heller's recipes, the long-time Dayton-area food editor and restaurant critic, who passed away earlier this year. This one deserves the full overnight marinade treatment, happily absorbing the cherries, Dijon mustard, vinegar, and spices.  The rest of the details are included in the second picture below.




Thursday, October 20, 2022

Design Differences

The phrase "must have been designed by an engineer" likely applies to the elevator control panel shown on the left below.  When first encountered it looked like there were three options for floor #1 and you had to study it awhile to figure out what was what.   Conversely, on the right, different functions are located separately and the emergency functions are highlighted in red.  I found that the book at the link below is a really good introduction to design principles.

https://www.amazon.com/Design-Everyday-Things-Revised-Expanded/dp/0465050654


 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Frenchy's Clearwater Beach Cam

The beach cam at the link below is brought to you by Frenchy's on Clearwater Beach, Florida.  As our days get shorter and we're adding extra layers of clothing, just seeing blue skies, sand and swimsuits can raise the spirits.  It's clear that Hurricane Ian didn't have the kind of impact at this beach as it did 100 miles south and we're looking forward (fingers crossed) to another week in April at the beach.






Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Packard Museum

We had the opportunity to walk through the Packard Museum at 420 S Ludlow St. in Dayton last week as we were looking at wedding reception venues.  They have the largest collection of Packards in the world and if you're into classic cars, this should be your next stop.  The coolest car (IMHO) was the 1948 Henney Landau 3-way Hearse that was used in the movie "The Godfather", but each one was something special.




Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Battle Of Alamance

I learned about the Battle of Alamance from watching the series Outlander on Netflix, not grade school history class.  Five years before the Declaration of Independence was signed, the British put down a group that called themselves The Regulators who were protesting government corruption and excessive fees.  This historic site is conveniently located just south of I-40 in North Carolina between Greensboro and Raleigh, right on our way when we visit our grandson.








Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Iron Horse Park

The combination of leaving the house so the housekeeper could do her monthly cleaning and an absolutely gorgeous fall day led us to the shelter house shown below at Iron Horse Park in Washington Township.  We had the place to ourselves and had our little picnic with sandwiches from Dayton Street Eats.  In the distance, Chef Elaine is at the kid's playground, staring at the variety of equipment available.  Quite the upgrade from the wooden teetertotters and rusty swingsets we grew up with. 




Monday, October 10, 2022

K&G Bike Center

In this age of high prices and poor service, we were pleasantly shocked when we needed a flat bike tire mended.  We walked the ailing bike into K&G Bike Center on Marshall Road and within ten minutes they had replaced the tube for a measly $8.99 plus the government's share (i.e. tax).  I had considered repairing it myself but I'm sure glad I didn't.  




Friday, October 7, 2022

Ginger Garlic Steak

Chef Elaine was looking for a new marinade for her flank/hanger/skirt steaks and this one looked, and is, deliciously different.  It's made with a combination of avocado oil, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, fresh ginger, minced garlic, and toasted sesame oil that you whisk together in the morning and let sit in the fridge until an hour before you start dinner prep.  We didn't try the noodle salad that's included in the link below.  Twenty ingredients for a salad seemed like at least a dozen too many.






Thursday, October 6, 2022

Inside Out

What is so special about the box below?  First, it's the second time we're headed to the Post Office to mail some Halloween gifts to our grandson.  Why a second trip?  That's because the Post Office rejected this box the first time.  Why was it rejected?  Because of their rule that bans boxes from "advertising any of the things the USPS forbids from being mailed" and it's a Woodford Reserve (bourbon) box.  The solution?  Turn the box inside out.  A little scissoring and packing tape were all it took.  That's some good inside-the-box thinking.



Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Solar Calendar

I blogged about this statue back in 2018 (https://dailyposts.paulishing.com/2018/06/lincoln-park-9-11-statue.html) about the 9/11 inscribed on its back side, but until recently did not realize that the front side, shown below, is a type of solar calendar.  Every September 11th at noon, assuming it's sunny, the shadow cast by the stylus near the top lines up in the center of the red vertical bar.  This picture was taken a couple weeks after September 11th and an hour or so after noon, so its shadow is bent to the left of the bar.  




Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Mound Cold War Discovery Center

We took a free (I love free), church-organized trip to the Mound Cold War Discovery Center in Miamisburg last week, a visit that was on my to-do list for a long time.  After World War II the various locations in and around Dayton were consolidated at "The Mound", which produced polonium-210 from bismuth-209, the triggers for atomic bombs and Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) to power deep space exploration.  Fascinating history and a testament to the importance of the Dayton area. Their location and open hours can be found at the link below.  




Monday, October 3, 2022

Roundabout

Where once stood a four-way intersection at Alex-Bell and Mad River Roads in Washington Township we now have the brand-new, one-lane shiny roundabout seen below.  If you're unfamiliar with roundabouts, try this one outside of rush hour.  The rules are easy enough.  You must yield to traffic on your left and cars in the roundabout have the right-of-way.  A little more information on this intersection is at the link below.




Friday, September 30, 2022

Cheesy Creamed Corn

Before our local fruit stand shut down for the season, Chef Elaine made a half-recipe of this delicious cheesy creamed corn.  The cheesy comes from the pecorino (sheep in Italian) and the creamy from the mascarpone and half-n-half.  The topping is yummy fried prosciutto.  The only change she wants to make come next July (when the fruit stand reappears) is cutting the half-n-half in half to make it a bit thicker.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cps-cheesy-creamed-corn-11702144


 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Peyton and Eli

Brothers and retired NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning offer an entertaining alternative to the normal play-by-play football announcers.  Available only for the Monday night game over on ESPN2, they banter back and forth, make predictions, interview guests, and critique plays.  You really have to pay attention to the game since they don't talk about the things the regular announcers talk about.  

The NFL puts out a weekly collection of their best moments and you can view week 3's at the link below.




Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Victory Bell

When Valparaiso wins a home football game, a tradition is the ringing of the Victory Bell.  The players gather immediately after the game and each takes a turn pulling the rope and clanging the bell.  The GIF below is from last Saturday's 28-21 win over San Diego.




Monday, September 26, 2022

Speed Bump

The little bridge seen below is next to the green at the 13th on the Pipestone Golf Course in Miamisburg, Ohio, and is just wide enough to allow one person over at a time.  The speed bump in the middle of the bridge doesn't make any sense at all.  Just one of those curious things that may or may not ever have a reasonable purpose.




Friday, September 23, 2022

Oktoberfest Cheat Sheet

We're big fans of a one-cookie-sheet meal and when we saw this recipe on a recent episode of The Kitchen, we just had to try it.  Chef Elaine made the potato planks using her mandolin to get the perfect width.  The cabbage and potatoes get treated with different coatings on the cookie sheet and the sausage is added.  The only change she'll make the next time is more cabbage, as it cooks way down and you end up with a lot less than you think.






Thursday, September 22, 2022

Pitcher

One of the changes at the Walnut Grove Country Club pool during the "pandemic" was to give large pitchers of ice water instead of serving individual cups.  We're happy that they have continued this as the world has returned to "normal".  We regularly go through an entire pitcher in a couple of hours and not having to constantly ask for more water is great.  



Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Dark Blue

Another jogging sight to see.  This house on Kenosha Road in Kettering is painted in the darkest blue imaginable.  I might have done this when I was ten, but what made grown adults think this was delightful to look at is beyond me.  This was done fairly recently as the Google Street View link below shows the before picture.  They did a very nice job on the house and yard, aside from my opinion on the color.




Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Hole

While my wife and I were jogging last week along Shroyer Road in Kettering, we just had to laugh when we saw the pieces of plywood covering up some utility work had "Hole" written on top.  I think the five cones on the plywood would be enough warning, but just in case some extra-stupid people came along, "Hole" would help them decide not to jump on the plywood.




Monday, September 19, 2022

Lamborghini

My son has owned fast cars since he was sixteen years old and I helped him buy his first Camaro.  His latest purchase is the Lamborghini seen below.  Yours truly got the opportunity to drive it around the neighborhood and experience a little of the 520 HP this machine processes.  Using the paddle shifters took a little getting used to, but since his Ferrari also has them, it wasn't my first experience.  The custom license plate, "NOKIDZS", was transferred from the Corvette he traded in.  In addition to his two exotic Italian sports cars, he has a Hummer H2 and a military Hummer.  

Boys and their toys!



Friday, September 16, 2022

Sesame Corn and Basil Saute

We're using all the fresh corn we possibly can before our local fruit stand calls it a season.  Chef Elaine used this Sesame Corn and Basil Saute recipe consisting of fresh corn, toasted sesame seeds, unsalted butter, garlic, fresh basil, salt, and pepper to create a "Yes, I will have another serving!" masterpiece.  This will be on the top of the repeat list when next summer rolls around. 






Thursday, September 15, 2022

Arborvitae Growth

The top picture below was taken in May 2022 just after we had them planted.  The bottom picture was taken this week and shows the arborvitae have grown quite impressively thanks to Elaine watering them almost daily.  At this rate, it won't take but a few years before they grow together and form a beautiful green sight barrier.



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Highland Clans

We're big fans of Outlander, a series (currently on Netflix) based on Diana Gabaldon's books that feature nurse Claire Randell who travels 200 years into the past to Inverness, Scotland, and meets the handsome Jamie Fraser.  The first two seasons lead up to the Battle of Culloden and made us very curious as to the history of Scotland.  We purchased the four-disc audiobook shown below to listen to while on our way to North Carolina.