TechFriday: My three favorite cases for the iPhone 5 and 5s

Posted By on August 22, 2014

After almost two year of using several different wraps and “powered cases” for my iPhones, I whittled my picks down to three … or 4 if you consider “no-case” as an option. In fact, using the iPhone without a case makes it very small and lightweight; slipping the tiny iPhone 5 and 5s in a pocket is hard to beat for convenience. The build on this little full-featured smartphone is a thing of beauty … commuter_series_features_lgbut that solid block of aluminum and glass is definitely a problem if when you drop it. So it is my conclusion that some kind of case is necessary.

Here are my three case choices:

  1. The Otterbox Commuter series case with the two layers of protection and large lip around the screen; is is near perfect for the occasional and likely bump or drop. I’m also fond of the little plugs to keep dust and debris out of the opening. If it were not for needing a longer battery life, this would be my everyday case and costs about $20 at Amazon. (more…)

Quick police response: I thought you said no one was available?

Posted By on August 21, 2014


VJ Day and what has happened to the dollar since 1946

Posted By on August 20, 2014


There were a few articles on VJ day this past weekend marking the anniversary of Victory over Japan and focused on the relief we felt ending World War II. While glancing at the front pages, it made me realize how the dollar has lost value or if you’re dollar biased, how much goods and services have inflated.

Click image for large and to read the numbers.

For example, an issue of the Wall Street Journal sold for 7 cents in 1946 compared to the $2 per issue we see today – that’s a more than 2800% increase! I was thinking that college tuitions were inflated? Well I guess they are too … for example a full year at the University of Michigan would have cost $1125 in state ($1260 out of state) compared to $27,440 today ($40K out of state). Yikes … that non-resident number is an over 3000% increase!


Jacob Tolliver pounds the piano in an Ohio hardware store

Posted By on August 19, 2014

Don’t you wonder what it must have been like to be picking up a few hardware items in Portsmouth Ohio and hear this coming from a young man and an unfinished piano? Impressive.

Try this for a Honda Odyssey has a power sliding door problem

Posted By on August 19, 2014

Last week my brother asked me to take a look at my dad’s 2001 Honda Odyssey because the power sliding rear doors had both failed. hondaodysseyThe dealer quoted $200 EACH to fix the door and since both had failed we figured it might not hurt to rule out a fuse or relay. I stopped and took a quick look and all was fine in the well marked under the hood fuse box.

I stop for lunch on my way to north east Ohio with this quirky issue on my mind and decided to see if there might be an issue listed on the Internet. Hmm, maybe, so I scribbled down a few notes and transcribe into an email for my brother to try (he would be the next to see my dad)?

  1. With the ignition in the on position, disable the power door switch on dashboard (not sure it needs to be on though?)
  2. Remove fuse that powers the instrument cluster and the one for the power sliding door in order to reset the door and the clock. Fuse box is under the hood in front of the passenger.
  3. Wait 30 seconds while you manually open and close both sliding doors before putting the fuses back in.
  4. Enable the power door switch on the left dashboard.
  5. Try opening the sliding doors.

My brother wrote back: ron_txtbubble

Archived: Author Elmore Leonard has a few writing tips

Posted By on August 17, 2014

Author and writer Elmore Leonard is known for his crime fiction, but elmoreleonardhe started out writing westerns. Leonard has written nearly two dozen novels and most of them are bestsellers (Glitz, Get Shorty, Maximum Bob  and Rum Punch).  Ten of his advice tips when it comes to being both a popular and respectable writer are:

  1. Never open a book with weather.
  2. Avoid prologues.
  3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
  4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
  5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
  6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
  7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
  10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

Technology that helps to avoid hitting a moose in an Elio

Posted By on August 16, 2014

elioad_july2014While we wait for our Elio, it is interesting to watch the social networking buzz and behind the scenes engineering testing that goes into developing a new vehicle … like thinking about “hitting a moose.”

Let’s face it, hitting a moose is not good for any vehicle (or the moose). So, over the years, car makers in cold-weather climates such as Sweden and Finland developed a test that entailed steering hard to the left, then steering hard back to the right to simulate avoiding a large mass – or moose – on the road. In the US we call the European “Moose Test” the Consumer Reports Avoidance Maneuver (CR Maneuver or CRAM). (more…)

What are the chances for an Apple surprise announcement?

Posted By on August 15, 2014

one-more-thingHave you been wondering when the notoriously secretive Apple, known for innovative and culture shaping products, will have the next “one more thing?” We all suspect that TV is ripe for Apple-izing and that trendy wearables are ready for the iWatch, but besides those known in-the-works items, what else is up their sleeves? Will the Apple of “creating something we don’t even know we want yet” return?


Video: Cooking thawed vs frozen steaks

Posted By on August 14, 2014

The things I’m learning later in life. Huh, might have to give this a try?

Highways can only handle so much rain … be careful

Posted By on August 13, 2014


Unbelievable rainfall causing flooding this morning in Long Island NY (photo above – Southern State Parkway near Exit 37 – Belmont Ave) this morning a day after watching the same thing happen in southeastern Michigan yesterday (photos below).

i94inDetroit140812 i75Michigan140812

It is shocking to see these kinds of “highway” photos, but one can only imagine how many basements have been flooded. When I see these photos, I’m reminded that we need to think twice about buying used cars which may not have disclosed flood damage.

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.