Monday, January 31, 2022

YouTubeTV On Mac

One of the best features of YouTube TV is being able to watch the exact same lineup on your Mac (mine picture below), PC, iPad, smartphone, etc. as you do on your regular television(s).  This is particularly useful for sporting events and their overabundance of commercials.  Turns out you can get a lot of stuff done during all those 2-3 minute breaks without having to move.  

Excuse the messy desk, that's the one thing in my life that's a constant.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Stovetop Oatmeal

To say it's been cold lately is an understatement, but one way to fight back is cooking up a batch of stovetop oatmeal, complete with a pat (or two) of butter and just enough brown sugar goodness for your tastebuds.  Those microwaved, packet imitators can do in a pinch, but take the time and be rewarded with a taste of childhood.

Thursday, January 27, 2022


One of the nice features of YouTubeTV and Netflix is they offer subtitles.  And a hate subtitles, as they are very distracting.  But some of the actors on shows these days need to go back to diction class their slurring is so bad, not to mention the background "music" is crazy loud, so subtitles are sometimes the only way to understand what's going on.  


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Custom Shelves

Now that all my planned home construction projects are complete, I'm cleaning up the workshop area and getting organized.  The custom-made shelf below adds a few more square feet of storage and makes better use of the corner.  A couple of 2'x4' particleboards sliced with a circular saw and sixteen screws to attach the slides and the shelves together is "all" it took.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Wright Flyer

Dayton, Ohio and Kitty Hawk, NC are not the only places with a historical tie to the Wright Brothers with this statue of the Wright Flyer being located on the banks of the Alabama River in Montgomery, AL.  The brothers opened the nation's first civilian flying school, albeit short-lived, in 1910 on the outskirts of Montgomery and the location was later used to repair aircraft during the first World War.  In 1922 the installation became Maxwell Field, which would evolve over the years into Maxwell Air Force Base. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Landscape Calc

If you've never turned your smartphone to landscape while using their calculator app, then you're probably not aware you have a scientific calculator at your fingertips.  Granted the iPhone's app (the bottom picture below) boasts a much more impressive array of buttons like "sinh" (hyperbolic sine, in case you're wondering), I'm happy to have pi and square root on my Google Pixel 2 as the top picture shows.  

Friday, January 21, 2022

Folded Tortilla

Here's an alternative to the usual, sloppy-eating method of folding a tortilla, one that turns it into a pocket.  To start you cut the tortilla starting at the center to the edge closest to you.  You add your favorite ingredients on three of the tortilla quarters and then fold a quarter at a time, as shown in the picture below.  Nothing escapes out of the bottom of this method, leaving all your attention to enjoying the yummy goodness.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Scrub Daddy

Our favorite kitchen sponge is the Scrub Daddy and while the "eyes" and "mouth" might just look cute, they also serve functional purposes.  As shown below, the "mouth" is used to safely scrub knives and can also be used for forks, spoons, and other utensils.  You insert a couple of your fingers in the "eyes" to get a better grip, particularly useful when washing glasses and mugs.  The texture of Scrub Daddy changes with water temperature, getting softer as the water gets warmer.  With the Scrub Mommy, you get a scrubber on one side and a sponge on the other.  After appearing on Shark Tank and striking a deal with Lori Greiner, the brand has sold over $200 million.  The official product video is at this YouTube link.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Medium Boxes

At $1.58 each, these HomeDepot medium-sized boxes were perfect for our clothing donation to St. Vincent de Paul, not too big nor too heavy, and all six fit in the Jeep.   How two people can fill six boxes with clothes they don't need is a mystery and it's scary to imagine how many boxes it would take to pack up what we retained, which is still more than we really need (IHMO).  At least our closets and drawers now have some breathing room.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Prank Pack

Crank up your packaging game with a Prank Pack like the one pictured below (which I recently received) and watch your gift recipient's face as they're reading the details and wondering (like mine) WTF!  Check out the link for other ideas.  My favorite is the 12,000 piece puzzle featuring a small half-moon in the night sky.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Sheet-Pan Gnocchi

Gnocchi, asparagus, bell pepper, red onion, and tomatoes are tossed in pesto and olive oil and baked.  This makes a great lighter carb and colorful veggie combo side dish for a cold winter's evening.  There's a little more to it, so consult the recipe at the link below.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

QR Code Scanner In Control Center

A really quick way to scan a QR code from an iPhone (or iPad) is to use the Code Scanner icon that's available in the Control Center.  A to-the-center swipe from the top right corner brings up Control Center where you can find the icon pointed to by the arrow in the picture below, which you tap.  If it's not there, this link will help you add it.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Christmas Covid Horse Race

If you need a good laugh, look no further than this 2-minute YouTube video, the calling of a horse race where the horses have names like "Omicron Lad", "The Booster", and "Hepa Filters".  You can discover the name of the last place horse yourself, but it's so appropriate.  The late challengers mirror real-life events as the announcer begins to get louder and louder as the race comes down to the wire.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Pie Dough

Homemade pie dough is one of my specialties, a craft I've honed since I began baking as a child.  The recipe itself isn't all that important, but the way I mix the ingredients and add the water is perhaps unique.  After the flour, salt, sugar, butter, and/or Crisco is measured into a mixing bowl, the trick is to try to keep these dry ingredients apart as a little water is repeatedly added.  I rapidly stir the ingredients with a fork in a circular path around the bowl, trying to keep it separated, which is easy at first.  But at a certain point, when just enough water has been added, the dough will just come together, regardless of any effort to keep it apart.  All that's left is rolling it out on a well-floured surface.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Steely Dan

Steely Dan, one of my all-time favorite groups, has recently released new recordings of some old favorites, Northeast Corridor: Steely Dan Live! and a live version of Donald Fagen’s 1982 solo album The Nightfly.  Both are available with our Spotify Premium subscription, which makes easy listening in the car, Alexa speaker, or the web interface on Mac/PC.  I'm jamming to Hey Nineteen as I'm writing this...

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Cheaper Checks

Clark Howard maintains a list of places to order less expensive checks and the prices vary considerably, as shown below.  These are prices for the duplicate checks version, which we prefer for easier record-keeping.  There are a number of other factors to consider, which can be found at this link.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Razor Clip

On two occasions I've blindly reached into my travel toiletry bag and received perfectly-spaced razor blade cuts across the pads of my fingers, a particularly painful and long-to-heal experience.  This simple solution encases the blade end and works with almost any razor (see the list at the link below).  You just squeeze the "duck lips" (as shown on the right below) to open the "jaws", put the razor in place, and release it to close.