Our 2014 drainage repair projects are finally finished

Posted By on September 21, 2014

NewSidewalkDrain140919It has been a beautiful weekend to work on a few yard projects as the weather was warm, but not hot. A new drain has been on the list for a while, but the trigger stimulated the repair was when I hit the old plastic components with the lawn mower, shattering the grate and the housing. Instead of installing new underground parts, I used a cutting blade on my 4-1/2” grinder to modify the fitting to accept the new grate – a few bucks later and it looks better than the original ever did.

The other yard work besides mowing was to finish raking out the drainage work that I previously talked about for seed and straw. I’m probably going to be readdressing this area again with a load of topsoil as the clay dirt mix isn’t optimum for growing grass AND will most likely settle a bit over the excavated area. All in all, I’m glad to finally have this mess behind me before winter arrives.

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Acro Sport II airplane crashes in Liberty Twp neighborhood

Posted By on September 20, 2014

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A aerobatic bi plane, an Acro Sport II, crashed in a friend’s neighborhood a few mile to my north towards Monroe, OH but still in Liberty Township (thanks Tim). There were two people on board and there was an immediate fire on impact.  Damage can be seen to a house and yard (click for slightly larger photos).

A quick check with my EAA friends to see if any local chapters had members flying this plane, but nothing from them yet. I looked up the FAA tail number (N94SM) and found its “registration pending” out of Hamilton with an additional owner listed as an LLC based out of Fairfield (but street address of principle for the LLC the same). No names have been officially released –  10:30 AM.

Down the Drain – The downspout and sump drain project

Posted By on September 20, 2014

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Way back in May I hired a company to fix our downspout and sump pump drains that more than likely have been invaded by roots (also possible to have been crushed?) The company I hired, with a substantial deposit … I’m nicknaming them “Down the Drain”made excuse after excuse as the summer months passed by and eventually sent me a text that “due to medical reasons he would not be able to finish until the first of next year.” I finally asked for my deposit back … and as expected all that was heard were crickets chirping. I would post the owner and company’s name, but will be most likely be going the dreaded small claim route; I don’t expect to ever see a dime back since I’ve been there, done that before.

Below are a few photos (taken 9/18/2014) showing the incomplete mess that was left prior to a new “more dependable” company finishing up.

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Whoops! The first iPhone6 in Perth, Australia

Posted By on September 19, 2014

Apple’s much anticipated iPhone6 went on sale today as folks in line finally get a chance to own a blemish and scratch free smartphone their own … and here’s what happened to Jack, the first to walk out of the Apple store in Perth, Australia with one.

TechFriday: Date set for Ting welcoming the iPhone 5s and 5c

Posted By on September 19, 2014

Ting.com sent out an email blast update letting interested potential customers know that the new “older” iPhone 5s and 5c will be supported on September 29, 2014. I’m still weighing leaving Sprint, but they aren’t doing much to keep their long time customers in their Framily.They change their plans, promos, CEOs and marketing slogans way too often if you ask me … I’m a customer and don’t have any idea what I’m signed up for anymore … Framily, Family Share Pack, Unlimited Guarantee, New Unlimited or My Way Plan? All I know is that I think I’m paying too much and with BYOD pay as you go plans, I can almost cut my bill in half.

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A long evening with Apple iDevices and iOS8 software updates

Posted By on September 18, 2014

sprint_iphone5s_ios8_update140917Most of Wednesday evening was spent backing up and cleaning up … and then downloading and installing Apple’s iOS8 release on a couple iPhones and an iPad (if full iCloud functionality is desired, then prepare for Mac OSX Yosemite install). Once finished, then the app update fun began and so as a reminder to those who have not updated, be sure you are in a patient mood, have plenty of free storage space and stay connected to a fast Internet connection.

Apple iOS 8.0 is 1.1 GB for my iPhone 5s and nearly that for an iPhone 5 and iPad 2. It’s a slow process, not only to download that much data, but to unpack and install on each device, which takes place automatically.  The iPad 2 was the slowest, although all went well. The final step after going through the set-up screens is to start the app updates … and depending on the number of apps …  can take a LONG time. For example, download for Apple’s productivity apps like Pages, Numbers, Keynote and iMovie, not to mention a couple of Microsoft apps is hefty; all totaled my MANY app updates will take a couple of gigabytes of space!

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Learning about Dinghy-Tow–an option to towing or davits

Posted By on September 17, 2014

A small Canadian company called Davron Marine Products has an innovative stainless steel, block and line option for half lifting and half towing an inflatable dinghy for boating. Their Dinghy-Tow system looks simple and do-able.

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I’ve been pondering adding davits that would work with our Cape Horn self-steering gear for Encore since 2012. What ever is added needs to be able to conveniently keep our roll-up Zodiac (or perhaps a new inflatable) available for use. The Dinghy-Tow system is ingenious in that it raise the stern of the inflatable out of the water while trailing the bow all with very little drag or risk of losing the dinghy. I’ve heard several stories where a sudden squall flips a dinghy being towed or swamping it.

According to David Foster, the components that are fastened to the stern would “need to be 15-18” above the waterline and would fit around our current Cape Horn steering gear.” I’m unsure how much space there is to the “port” of the centerline, but his “absolute minimum would be 20” between the 2”x2” stern brackets. It looks like it might work.

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Mishmash of goings-on and photos from the last few days

Posted By on September 16, 2014

We had a quick but great week with Taylor and his friends. He was home for a scheduled weeks vacation from Williston, kara_dadmarkNorth Dakota primarily and for his long time friend Kara and Simon’s wedding. We had a great time Saturday as the weather was perfect for the outdoor wedding and for the many guest here from the UK (Simon is British). Her parents, Jody and Mark Kannel were wonderful hosts and both Brenda and I enjoyed being part of the celebration. They had the wedding ceremony and reception at the Pinecroft in Cincinnati (Powel Crosley Estate). It was a nice venue for an outdoor wedding. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Simon Jefferis.

Besides the wedding, Taylor had a full … and I mean full … week of activities. He will definitely need to get back to work on Wednesday so he can rest up.

First he was off with his buddy Mike Agler to Red River Gorge in Kentucky for a little hiking and camping … and reconnecting (I think they miss hanging out together). I don’t think the weather was perfect, but the rain didn’t seem to dampen their time together. So glad Mike was in town (travels for work) to see Taylor.

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CNBC talks boom growth with North Dakota Sen Heidi Heidcamp

Posted By on September 15, 2014

Since visiting my son Taylor a couple times in northwestern (Williston) North Dakota, I pay closer attention to what is happening in his area and the boom growth as well as the politics around moving energy. Unless someone sees the train tanker cars lined up or drive on the roads which are rentwilliston140915packed with truck caravans with their own eyes, it is not fair to weigh in “against” pipeline project on the ground that the pipeline is dangerous to the environment.  It is hard to imagine that the pipeline would do more damage than the 1000s of trucks or miles of tanker cars? I suspect the real fight is against fossil fuels in general, not the the pipeline itself.

Monday morning on CNBC, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D) represented her state well considering her party is for the most party responsible for the Keystone Pipeline hold up. Not only are there considerable jobs in areas that would benefit America at a time when jobs are a big issue, the oil from North America insulate us from being held hostage by OPEC. Heitkamp  would be a far better Republican than Democrat IF you were only to hear her 100212BakkenFormationon Squawkbox, but unfortunately her “D” keeps Harry Reid in control of what is even discussed in the Senate … in this case pressuring President Obama to approve the pipeline. Below are embeds from CNBC and remarks from Senator Heitkamp  talking about pluses and minus when it comes to boom growth in North Dakota. My question (which wasn’t asked or answered) has to do with most of the oil tax revenue staying in other parts of the state rather then helping Bakken (western less populated) part of North Dakota with the challenges of living in a boomtown (graphic above) as well as many of their infrastructure needs. (video below)

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Continuing Bull Market, Deflation fear or is Inflation coming?

Posted By on September 14, 2014

There was a spirited debate this past week concerning the Federal Reserves’ exit strategies and what will happen when the Fed balance sheet is deleveraged. crudeoilinfomineThe equity bulls continue to believe the U.S. will see economic grow as interest rates remain low and continued tame inflation numbers (some like Wilbur Ross are more concerned about deflation). Most guests I heard on CNBC last week concluded that the U.S. is best positioned to attract capital as stability elsewhere in the world and that will continue to drive investment capital to the U.S. goldkitcosept2014

The low yields on bonds and fix income investments along with collapsing commodities (oil, gold, etc) are making the U.S. stock markets one of the only attractive investments, especially since companies continue to report strong earnings.

The opposite side was represent well by comments from Peter Schiff, who has held bearish views on the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar (he’s been wrong so far). In a September 10, 2014 europac.net posting, he points to the disappointing August payroll numbers as a “wake up call warning. (the 142,000 jobs created was almost 40% below the consensus estimate)” Below are a few more of his concerns …

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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.