Monday, February 28, 2022

Fraze Restrooms

At an intermission break at a concert last summer at the Fraze Pavillion in Kettering, I joined the line for a needed pit stop, overhearing a lady that came up behind me lamenting to her husband about how long the line was and getting frustrated about the expected wait.  Since we were 160 feet from just getting in the restroom doors (shown below), I figured this must be her first trip to the Fraze and she didn't know what a great job they did building the facilities.  I told her that if it took us five minutes to finish getting through the line, I would be shocked and that I expected more like 3 minutes, which was about right.  

While Fraze does this better than anyone, they need help getting through the beer lines, which can be insufferable.  

Friday, February 25, 2022

Sticky White Rice

When I worked in downtown Dayton, I had three lunches, costing three dollars or less each, that I bought hundreds of times.  
  • A pizza square (i.e. thick) at Flying Pizza
  • Two fat-free Chicago dogs with everything from a food cart on Courthouse Square
  • Two egg rolls and a container of sticky rice (plus two packets of mustard and soy sauces) from the Arcade
I loved that sticky rice and during a recent trip to Meijer, I spotted the rice in the picture below in the frozen food case and thought it was worth a try.  Placed the self-venting bag, still frozen, in the microwave and nuked it for five minutes.  Carefully opened the steaming bag and placed the rice in a serving bowl.  This is the real deal and is as good as my former lunch favorite.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Dayton Playhouse

I recently visited Wegerzyn Metropark in the Deweese neighborhood of Dayton and discovered The Dayton Playhouse, a community theatre that holds about 182 in its auditorium.  There are still two productions left in their 2021-2022 season, "August: Osage County" from March 4 through 13, 2022, and "Hello, Dolly!" from April 29 through May 15, 2022.  Tickets are about $20.  We'll be seeing Dolly if our schedule allows.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

B&G's Cigar Lounge

I crossed off B&G's Cigar Lounge in West Carrollton from my want-to-do-someday list, visiting on an (obviously) chilly day this February.  There are not a lot of places you can smoke indoors anymore, particularly cigars, so I was intrigued by how this was set up.   I was greeted by the friendly staff, helped navigate the humidor, then plopped down on a comfy chair and spent a leisurely hour puffing and watching music videos from the 1990s.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Severe Weather in Ohio

None of us are old enough to remember the earliest of this fascinating collection (link below) of tidal waves, tornados, floods, snowstorms, hurricanes, wind storms, heat and cold waves, and blizzards that occurred in Ohio's history.  I remember the bitter cold, back-to-back winters of 1976-77 and 1977-78, and walking the six blocks to my girlfriend's house with the temperature around minus-20 degrees and thinking that this type of cold could kill you.  The things we do for ...

Monday, February 21, 2022

Sports Drink

It's not often that I'll "like" an Instagram post from an unknown account, but when I do it's because it has made me chuckle and want my followers (all 73 of them) to laugh also.  And so I share it here...

Friday, February 18, 2022

J.A. Henckels

We had been looking to replace our non-stick frying pans for some time but had not found a set that had the right sizes and the right price.  We walked into Costco one day and just inside the door was a 3-piece set with the right sizes for only $60, so even though we had never heard of the J.A. Henckels brand, we figured we would get them and hope for the best.  We have been thrilled with the quality and ease of cleanup.  Wish I could point you to someplace you could get it for the great price we did, but haven't located one yet.  Costco appears to still have them for $79.99.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The Best Of 2021

Over on my Life Experiences blog, I've written up my top ten experiences for 2021, my 11th annual trip down memory lane for the best things that happened in the just-completed year.  There were a total of 49 events that made the larger list that I whittled down to the best of the best.  In case you don't want the 3-page read, available at the link below, here are the bullet points starting with #10 and working down to 2021's winner.  Another fun year!

  • Dinner at the Sage Room in Hilton Head, SC
  • Afternoon in Nashville, TN
  • Earl's Biker Bar in Sebastian, FL
  • Brunch at the Blue Hen Cafe in St. Augustine, FL
  • Fish Tacos at Nokomo's Sunset Hut in Nokomis, FL
  • Kayaking in Vero Beach, FL
  • Cytomegalovirus Negative
  • Jorrge's Restaurante Cantina in Kettering, OH
  • YouTube TV
  • Basement Remodel

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Barrel End Table

This table is a nice upgrade for our basement TV room (aka the man cave), although the trip from China took about six months to make it here.  It weighs in at a sturdy twenty pounds and comes with some assembly required.  The positive part of the assembly is it uses eighteen identical screws and it's totally obvious how it goes together.  The negative part is getting those screws to line up through the cross-pieces and into their holes takes patience and some strength.

The six vertical cross-pieces attach first to the narrower circular piece in the middle.  That's a piece of cake and the only piece of cake.  The top is turned upside-down on the floor and the cross-pieces are attached.  That takes some effort getting things aligned and working with the cross-pieces constantly in the way.  Attaching the bottom piece is the most difficult alignment chore.  But once completed, it's pretty sharp.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Wordle Apps

I was mistaken in my earlier post about there being apps for Wordle.  Turns out there isn't, but you can add an icon on your itty-bitty devices using the following instructions.  Do not load any apps you might find on the App Store/Google Play.  They are likely up to no good.

iPhone or iPad

  • Open "Safari" and go to
  • Tap the "Share" button, which is the rectangle with the arrow pointing upward
  • On the Share screen, tap "Add to Home Screen"
  • On the next screen, you can rename Wordle if you want. You can also look at the URL to make sure it’s correct.
  • Tap Add and the Wordle icon will appear on your Home Screen.
  • Open the Chrome app and navigate to
  • Open Chrome’s Settings menu by tapping the three vertical dots found in the top-right corner
  • Select “Add To Home Screen”
  • Change the name of the icon if desired and press "Add"
  • Tap the “Add Automatically” button


Wordle is an addictive little game that I find really gets my mind going in the morning.  All you have to do is guess/deduce a five-letter word.  The left image shows the game at the start and the one on the right shows my guesses, from top to bottom, until I got the word on my sixth and last chance.  A green background indicates a correct letter in the right place, yellow means a correct letter but in the wrong place, and dark gray means it isn't present anywhere.  The keyboard at the bottom uses the same colors and serves to avoid using a wrong letter twice.  Each row must contain a valid word, no making up gibberish to see if a letter is present, and a letter can be used more than once, adding an extra mental challenge to the game.  One word per day is all you get for free (I love free), which is good because otherwise, I might waste a few hours a day playing.  

There are apps available for your pint-sized devices and you can play the web version at this link.

Monday, February 14, 2022


AutoSlash is a free (I love free) service for saving money on car rentals.  You just enter the pickup and dropoff details, credit cards (to find their deals), and memberships (e.g. AAA) you have and you'll get emailed the best deals.  There's is an option to enter an existing reservation, as I did, and you'll get notified when it finds better deals, like the one in the screenshot below.  Rental cars are currently crazy expensive, so saving almost $50 was a welcome treat.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Bisquick Biscuits

A staple of my youth, Mom went through boxes of Bisquick to make everything from biscuits to pancakes.  I like that all the basic recipes are printed on the box.  I was in need of biscuits to provide a base for some leftover Shepherd's Pie and this was a lot easier than making yet another trip to the grocery store.  Betty to the rescue!


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Air Bag Warning

It's a bit hard to see, but the warning light at the top of the picture below between the odometer and speedometer says "AIR BAG".  At first, I thought the cold temperatures might be the cause, but then I remembered that my wife had just knocked some ice off the front of the Jeep as we left Cooper's Hawk.  I guess she gave some mighty kicks to trigger that warning.  I'm just happy the airbag didn't deploy!  

Wednesday, February 9, 2022


I changed my primary weather app and website from The Weather Channel to the free (I love free) WeatherBug.  The primary driver was The Weather Channel not being available on YouTube TV, so I couldn't get the weather on my TVs.  But after using WeatherBug for just a little while, I found it easier to use and a cleaner display of information.  Also, The Weather Channel app on the iPad recently began displaying full-screen ads that had to be closed to continue, a real annoyance. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Laundry Room Floor

I recently replaced the taped-down linoleum shown in the top picture with sections of 1/4-inch black rubber matting seen at the bottom.  Besides a nice facelift and softer on the feet, it covers more of that ugly 9-inch-square, white and green floor tiles than before.  

Big shout out to my son for the matting!

Monday, February 7, 2022

Bitters Order

Every store around us that normally carries cherry bitters has been out of them for several months now.  Some of them have a dozen or more other kinds of bitters, just not cherry.  Whatever supply chain issue that's a result of apparently doesn't affect Amazon, so while ordering a single 5-ounce bottle seems like a waste on multiple levels, my Manhattan's will not be without a key flavoring ingredient.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Waffles, Eggs and Sausage

These beauties started with a desire for waffles loaded with butter and maple syrup.  Then topping that with an over-easy fried egg sounded like a nice addition.  Since I was making my wife a sandwich that morning which included sausage patties, well, that sounded like a tasty crown to top the egg topper.  Washing it down with orange juice just seemed appropriate.

Thursday, February 3, 2022


I needed to print Avery 5160 mailing labels with the 650 names and addresses I had stored in a Google Sheet and that turned into a longer project than I expected.  I first tried Avery's Label Merge add-in, only to find I could only print 50 for free.  Then I tried Foxy Lady and they allowed only 100 free.  I then tried OpenOffice on my Mac, only to find their process to create labels was crazy complex.  

I finally ran across Autocrat, an add-in from Cloudlab (first link below) that "merges data from a spreadsheet into a Google doc" and a great YouTube video (second link) by Jen Jonson that demonstrates exactly how to use Autocrat to produce mailing labels.  Best of all, Autocrat is free (I love free) with no label-counting restrictions.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Rolling Up A Hose

For years I've rolled up hoses by laying one end on the ground and twisting the hose so it made a circular shape.  The problem has always been that the hose is all twisted, so unrolling it was just as much work.  Then I noticed that when I roll up the hose on an outside reel box that's not an issue, so I'm now mimicking that method, as shown below.   I can handle a 50-foot hose, but I don't have large enough hands for the longer ones.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Turn The Temperature

One morning recently my wife told Alexa to "turn up the temperature" instead of our normal command "set the temperature to 71 degrees".  I expected some message back about how Alexa didn't understand, but instead, she replied "temperature set to 71."  That night I asked Alexa to "turn down the heat" and she set it to our normal overnight temperature of 69 degrees.  I initially thought that Alexa was remembering our normal daytime and nighttime temperatures, but not the case.  The "turn up" and "turn down" just adjust the temperature by two degrees, up or down.  

More commands can be found at this link.