Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Stop Slide Scrolling

I use Google Slides to format a newsletter and as I let the left mouse button go after selecting a block of text, it suddenly jumps to the previous or next slide, causing me to try over, sometimes several times.  Turns out the culprit is my Apple Magic Mouse, which I now know is a non-scroll-indexed device.  Fortunately, an equally frustrated but more talented programmer solved this behavior, writing the Chrome extension at the link below.  I installed it and now my slides stay put. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Sandal Fix

The index toes on both my feet stick up, presumably I broke them at some point in my life, but the result is any kind of sandal with straps across the toes will quickly (like walking 100 feet) result in painful abrasion.  One solution would be flip-flops with a toe thong (that Y-shaped strap), but I can't stand anything between my toes, so before I went looking for another solution, I took a pair of scissors and made a couple of U-shaped cutouts as shown below.  I've been told it's a bit (or a lot) tacky-looking, but it totally works. 

Monday, August 29, 2022

That Didn't Take Long

Last Monday's post showed a house destroyed by whoever was cutting down the tree in its front yard.  As you can tell by the picture below taken a week later, it didn't take long to demolish it.  I wish the half-mile-long, one-extra-lane widening of County Line Road, which took over a year to complete, would have had this much urgency.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Sriracha Chicken Mac

The Sriracha Chicken Mac at The Fifth Street Brewpub was a tasty delight.  The "Mac" was the star of the show, made with cavatappi (helical, tube-shaped macaroni) and in-house beer cheese drizzled with honey sriracha.  Bring some heat on top of delicious mac-and-cheese.  Just WOW!

Thursday, August 25, 2022


I never knew that raisins (and grapes) are poisonous to dogs.  They can cause vomiting, increased urination (initially), excessive drinking, and other symptoms you can find at the link below.  Seeking immediate medical care is crucial.  Fortunately for this girl below, all's well that ends well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Wall Street Journal

Free online access to The Wall Street Journal is available through the Washington-Centerville Public Library website.  After logging in, hover over "Research +" and click "Business Research".  Scroll down until you find "Wall Street Journal Online -" and click that link.  From there you set up an account and log in to  

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Consumer Reports

One of the most useful things that you can access for free via the Washington-Centerville Public Library (and presumably other libraries as well) is Consumer Reports.  After logging in, hover over "Research +" and click "Consumer Research".  Scroll down until you find "Consumer Reports" and click the link.  All there is to it.

Monday, August 22, 2022


As I rolled up to a red light at the intersection of Marshall Road and Wilmington Pike in Kettering, I saw the scene below and thought WTH?  What scenario must have played out that resulted in a partially cut-down tree, a log sticking out the roof, another hole next to it that I suppose left a log in the living room, and other branches left laying on the roof to the right?  It looks like something went horribly wrong and whoever was cutting the tree down just stopped and ran away.  

Friday, August 19, 2022

Sweet P's

Not only was the Sweet P's Cookies and Cream ice pop shown below as delicious as it looks, but they also served it using foil-backed muffin liners to catch stray pieces and keep your hands from getting sticky.  They cut a small slice in the bottom and pushed the popsicle stick down through it.  We had this at the Art on the Commons event in Kettering, but Sweet P's is also at the Second Street Farmers Market in downtown Dayton and in the summer at the Oakwood Farmers Market. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022


Moving our hose from one arborvitae to the next was tedious enough when there were only seven, but now that we're up to thirteen, we needed a soaker hose.  Our first purchase didn't work well but the second one, a Sprinkler+ is a winner.  It's a combination sprinkler hose and a soaker hose.  If you lay it down holes up, it's a sprinkler; holes down it's a soaker.  

The arborvitaes, near a pair of large silver maple trees that consume a lot of water before going dormant in the winter, will need lots of watering in the fall.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Everleaf Emerald Towers Basil

This year's basil crop was amazing.  The plant on the left below was humongous and the one on the right grew back after it was cut to the stems a few weeks before.  What's really great is that this variety, the Everleaf Emerald Towers, according to the link below, holds off flower production up to 12 weeks longer than other types of basil.  We haven't seen a flower yet. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Replace In Ten Years

Standard guidance is to replace smoke alarms every ten years.  Now I'm not the kind that throws out milk on its expiration date, but when I found one of the three smoke detectors in our house was 22 years old, I figured that spending under $10 to replace it was a really good idea.  

Monday, August 15, 2022

Burned Grass

This patch of tan-colored grass in our backyard had us stumped as to its origin.  We had moved all the patio furniture to the grass, so perhaps a glass top on one of the tables magnified the sun rays?  No, it wasn't quite the right shape.  Did we spill something?  The grass didn't smell and we couldn't remember dropping anything.  Took us another couple of days to figure out that is where I parked the pressure washer to cool off after cleaning the patio so I could safely disconnect the water hose without burning myself.

Note to self.  Leave the pressure washer on the patio.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Rack Of Lamb

Chef Elaine prepared this beautifully medium-rare rack of lamb using the Ina Garten recipe at the link below.  The lamb is coated with a mixture of salt, rosemary, garlic, mustard, and balsamic vinegar, let stand for an hour, and then oven-roasted to 125 degrees, about 25 minutes.  It was served with a medley of roasted onions, green peppers, zucchini, and a few small potatoes.  

Thursday, August 11, 2022

No U-Turn

We've been a bit startled by the number of cars that ignore the No U-Turn sign on southbound Shroyer Road just south of Stroop Road in Kettering.  It's justly marked that way because there are two lanes of traffic on northbound Shroyer and left and right turn lanes exiting the Kroger parking lot, and that's a lot of cars to account for safely.  But we think we have figured out why it's happening so frequently.  The drive-through exit of the Chick-fil-A encourages a quick exit to southbound Shroyer to avoid snaking through half the parking lot to find a properly-aimed exit and that leads to more illegal U-turns.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Doody Calls

Pretty cute name for a dirty business, cleaning up animal waste products.  I kinda get it for commercial property owners, parks, and other public spaces where, unfortunately, owners are often negligent, but I hope people are not so lazy that they can't clean up their own property.  I have no idea what this might cost, but I'm sure it's high enough to make it a profitable business.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Cable Staples

Some number of years ago one of the cable companies ran the orange cable you see below down the telephone pole and into the ground to a neighbor's house.  But they just left the cable dangling which was none too pretty next to the arborvitae, lilies, and viburnum in that corner of the backyard.  Since I had learned about cable staples while wiring the garage for the new lights and had a bunch left over, I finally had a solution.  I moved the cable to the backside of the pole and tapped a pair of cable staples with a hammer.  Out of sight forever!

Monday, August 8, 2022

Garage Door Lights

We now have our long-awaited garage lights installed.  They're motion-sensing and will be left on all the time, just waiting to illuminate the driveway at night as needed.  It took a couple hours of drilling and running electric wiring, almost all at or above head level, so our arms and hands are somewhat sore today.  But worth it.

Huge shoutout to my brother-in-law Albert for making this project a reality!

Friday, August 5, 2022

Oklahoma Onion Burger

The Oklahoma Onion Burger might just be the most delicious hamburger I've ever had.  I took four 3-ounce balls of ground chuck, seasoned them on the flattop pictured below, and smothered them with piles of onion slices Chef Elaine made using the mandolin.  Using a large spatula, I smashed the balls and onions into a patty, cooked them for four minutes, flipped them, added American cheese, and laid the hamburger buns on top crust sides up.  Four more minutes and the perfect burger was done.  Instructions, and a bit of a history lesson, can be found at the YouTube link below.

Big shout to my daughter for this delicious tip!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Hilton Head Iced Tea

The muddy-looking Hilton Head Iced Tea shown below is a nice alternative to the usual Long Island version.  It combines 2.5 ounces of five different liquors with beer, orange juice, and cola for a refreshing summertime cocktail.  I suppose it was invented by somebody on Hilton Head Island, but darn if I can find anything to confirm that.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Pressure Wash Demo

Earlier this year I wrote about buying a Rotating Surface Cleaner and I finally had the chance to use it and I needed to show you the amazing results.  It cut two-thirds off the time and more than that on the effort to clean the patio.  For the first time ever, I even pressure-washed the sidewalk from the driveway to the patio.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Wi-Fi Calling

Even if you have an unlimited minutes plan, turning on Wi-Fi Calling on your iPhone may be a good idea.  I find many times that I can get on a Wi-Fi network in places that have poor or zero cellular service, and with Wi-Fi Calling turned on, I can get and receive phone calls.  I even walked down the street talking to my wife, transitioning from our home Wi-Fi to Verizon without dropping the call. 

Note the Emergency Address verbiage below and read it closely.  Unlike cellular service, which knows where you are, Wi-Fi doesn't, so in an emergency make sure to tell whoever you contacted your exact location.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Restore Old Photos

Baseten has created a cool service, accessible at the link below, that can sharpen up old photographs like the one below of my great-grandmother.  Just upload a photo then click "Restore photo" to display the improved version.  Use a right-click and "Save Image As" to save it to your computer.

It uses an open-sourced technique called GFP-GAN that is way beyond me, but search on GFP-GAN if you're interested in the details.