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


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.


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 ( 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


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.