A difficult week and it is not over yet …

Posted By on July 30, 2015


The above is a pretty innocuous photo: pine trees, a tree trimming pole and a ladder on the ground. It was the beginning to a difficult week as my wife Brenda started to trim a couple larger white pines (as she often does with magnolias and other smaller trees and bushes around our home). She enjoys yard work on her days off and particularly likes to get out early in the morning before it gets too hot … Tuesday was no exception for her.

BentLadderIMG_5626I was fortunately still at home after changing my work/travel schedule due to my father being taken to the hospital in the morning due to shortness of breath (that’s another story). After getting the details and texting my brother, I went outside to update Brenda. There she was laying on the ground under the trees. She had placed the ladder up one of the pines and was proceeding to lop off a higher branch … the ladder slide and down she fell. My chest hurts even repeating this story.

BentLadderIMG_5627I ran over listening to her moaning in pain and unable to move more than her arm or her head … although never losing consciousness. She could semi-talk with me as I looked and moved her gentle around even wondering if I should move her? Eventually she convinced me to help (I had to cradle carry her) into the house and laid her painfully down on the bed thinking at the moment that I was going to need to get her to at least an urgent care. While icing her and I wondered how I was going to even get her in the car (she was in terrible pain whenever she moved), so I (we) decided it was time to call the rescue squad (a first for everything … and hopefully last!)


Video: World record semi truck jump

Posted By on July 28, 2015

More video and info – Washington Post Link

Counties in Ohio continue to stealthily raise Sales Taxes

Posted By on July 27, 2015

Small business owners who regularly collect sales tax on their goods and services might not be quite as enamored with the “economic rebound” being boasted about in Ohio. While I do support Gov John Kasich and realized he does not have direct impact on counties needing to find more tax revenue, the tax shifting in our state has not gone unnoticed by small business.


It may be a small gripe, but over the years the sales taxes levied each county continues to climb (previous administrations too). There was a time, not that long ago, that consumers paid sale taxes that averaged between 5-6% in most of Ohio … now in many counties it is over 7%  (that’s a 25-30% increase in sales taxes in the years I’ve been in business). It’s no wonder customers shop online instead of purchasing locally– avoiding sales tax on big ticket items is often less expensive than shipping. Don’t counties know that they need small business and that a high sales tax make them less competitive? Someone in Ohio needs to get on the stick.

Follow up: Finished painting and reassembly of the lawn trailer

Posted By on July 26, 2015

How old is this utility lawn and garden trailer? If you haven't been reading along, it's 40 years old. Of course close inspection would indicated that their was rust, but all in all, my father-in-law's old trailer came back to life nicely … and the green is much more in keeping with our old John Deere 330 from the 1980s.


Dad Howard would be pleased–reviving his old lawn trailer

Posted By on July 26, 2015


PaintingDadHLawnTrailer_15025One of the projects coming together this past weekend was the disassembly, wire-brushing the rust (a lot), and painting of my late father-in-law’s old red Jackson lawn trailer. As mentioned previously, it was about 40 years old, well used, and had quite a bit of rust. Nevertheless, it was well made with quality steel – better than the newer ones at the big box stores (although I haven’t really compared them).

Since we have a John Deere, which is about the same age as this trailer, I decided to change the color. The white components are now black (above) and the red wagon box is now green. I think the new looking lawn trailer should last another 30 years … at least!

Speaking of “old” … I’ll include an updated photo of Tootsie … our 17 year Australian Cattle Dog (below).


Black Miracle Paint does not clean up like printing ink

Posted By on July 25, 2015

PaintFingers_IMG_5598After spending a lifetime working on cars and 30 years dealing with printing press wash-up chemicals and hand scrubs, one would think I would know a little bit about cleaning my hands?


Well I do know a “little bit” but still haven’t figured out how to clean dried paint off my hands (in particular Miracle Paint). It is obviously not ink. So much for cleaning with normal hand scrubs, printing chemicals or even my variety of paint solvents.


Clearing everything out of the Farmhouse prior to selling

Posted By on July 24, 2015

OldStuff_DadH_150722Brenda and her sister Chris spent last weekend together at the family Farmhouse in western New York. They sorted through what was left from their mom and dad’s lifetime of “stuff” separating into garage sale, trash pick-up, donations and items they might still want. The later “group” grew far too large, in my opinion.  Some things were easy to sell while others were memories. I know for Brenda it was tough to finally give up on her father’s original model C Ritter dental chair. For the right person, it was a “man-cave” item (video below); for others who were interested, it may have been a prize collectable (they are listed on eBay for a pretty penny). BUT … they are heavy and full of oil … yes, she wanted me to bring it back to Cincinnati. No thank you. 
We still ended up with a variety of old stuff. The instrument lubricants in old bottles, plaster molds, a “Fort Knox” grinding “gold” (???) dust box – family joke. Dad Howard did much of his own lab work particularly in the early years (a skill not practiced by most new dentists). The good news is that the farmhouse is ready to hand over to a new owner … and they are a couple who will appreciate a restored home build well over 100 years ago (180 years if my mother-in-law remembers correctly).


Streaming our home TV signal with Sling for 10 years #TBT

Posted By on July 23, 2015

Wow … 10 years ago I bought my first “original” Slingbox. I thought this gadget was the coolest thing and even upgraded it in 2012 (has it been that long?) I used it regularly on the road with the laptop or Palm Treo (photo below) and “sling-ed” SlingmediaBeta070328-1024x767our home TV video (or just audio) signal over the Internet and “new” fast 3G network.
Times have changed and now I see a lot of millennials “cutting cable” entirely; my son is one of them and streams all his content to his TV with Sling TV. I’m starting to see the merit in his decision after a long 45 minute phone call hassling with Time Warner Cable …  I’m ready to join him.

If it were not for Brenda being hooked on certain programs or me addicted to the cable news channels (CNBC, FoxBusiness and FoxNews), I think we could manage with an over-the-air-antenna and a NetFlix subscription like we had in 2009. Unless I get some resolution regarding being billed for components we do not have AND a more reasonable “package deal,” I’m tempted to cut the service for at least 6 months! (FYI … then and only then are we eligible for new customer packages. It is so nice they appreciate their long time customers by tagging another $40-$50 on the monthly bill – #sarcasm).

Apple sold ONLY 47.5 Million iPhones in the 3rd quarter

Posted By on July 22, 2015

Chuckling at the “miss” from Applefalling short of their guidance, but they continue to build their bankroll of cash … now above $200 Billion! Profit margins are so far above most tech equipment makers and they are still cranking out the iPhones (47.5 Million in the 3rd quarter).


Unfortunately for shareholders use to $AAPL blowing away the numbers, afterhours traders sold shares after the disappointment. I watched the chart take a nose dive and drop 10% to $120 … but also suspect buyers will soon be back purchasing Apple shares. Frankly, even at $120-130/share they are probably one of the better medium to long term investments.

CNBC with Susan Bennett, voice of Apple’s Siri (MP3) July 21, 2015

Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones, a 35 percent gain, in the period that ended in June, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Analysts had anticipated 48.8 million shipments. The company forecast revenue of $49 billion to $51 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in September, short of the average estimate for $51.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


My 2002 Honda Odyssey gains a shelf and workbench

Posted By on July 21, 2015

The weekend project is coming together in the back of the “new to me” low-mile 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan I bought for $3700 from my dad. I wanted a shelf/workbench that can serve a couple of purposes. It doubles the storage use of the area behind the rear seat and enables me to fold all the rear seats down and still haul 4 x 8 foot sheets without removing the seats.

The initial excuse was that I wanted to practice my TIG welding, but the project grew and became a little more creative (still thinking about adding a couple drawers). The width of the bench top is 49-1/2″ with a little edge lip in the banding to protect the sides of the 1/2″ plywood shelf. It disassembles by sliding the shelf/bench top out and lifting the lightweight aluminum self supporting square tubed frame … and doubles as a workbench outside the vehicle. It is my “handyman” vehicle where I can keep tools in the rear well under the shelf and use the top as a workbench under the rear hatch … staying dry and shaded when away from home. I’m sort of thinkig about the occasional projects … maybe when visiting family or perhaps just keep the vehicle in Florida as a work on the boat or condo vehicle?


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.