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Is This Blog Dead?

Short answer: pretty much, but I’ll still keep it around for the archived material, such as my bicycle trip across the USA, and my Kenmore dryer mounting hardware post which seems to be of use to many. Also a couple of posts on using Open Street Maps and using my Garmin for on-bike navigation seem to be of interest to more than me!

I’d say that I don’t have the time to post, but that’s not entirely true. It’s just that, in general, I’d rather not spend the time writing about doing something, when I could be spending more time doing it!

One other update from mid-2019: I disabled all commenting on this site. The spammers are getting more creative, and since I rarely post, the spam battle is not worth fighting.

Two Week Quarantine Update

Time to revive this blog for a bit to share a few notes during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

I played in a chess tournament in Los Angeles the weekend of March 7-8. Participation in this event was down from prior years due to the threat of COVID-19. They had a rule prohibiting hand shaking before and after the games, but otherwise the tournament was uneventful. (Well, aside from me making a huge blunder in my last game in a favorable position against an internationally titled player, but that’s another story.) The plus side was that we had enough elbow room in the top section for social distancing, even before social distancing became a thing. Continue reading

OTA VHF and UHF TV Antennas Again

It’s been so long since I’ve posted here, that this is the first post since I’ve moved – not too far, still in the same city, just six miles down the road. But it does mean that I now have a chance to talk about TV antenna issues. At the old house, reception was not an issue, I had line of sight to the transmitters on Mount Wilson (in the Los Angeles area), and so a cheap tiny antenna on the chimney would get all of the signals. Now I live in an area where nearby hills obstruct the line of sight to Mount Wilson. Continue reading

Porting Landline Numbers to Google Voice

With most of my calls on my mobile phone these days, I don’t use my landline much anymore and wanted to eliminate it. Yet after 20+ years, it is tied to so many records (plus it is the only number which some know or will use) that I don’t want to lose that number. I had the idea of porting it to Google Voice (which would give me the options of forwarding calls to my mobile phone, or sending them to voicemail and getting a notification on my mobile phone), but currently only mobile numbers can be ported in to the service. A workaround described here describes the steps of first porting the landline number to a T-Mobile prepaid account, and then porting it from there to Google Voice. Continue reading

Adding Middle Row USB Ports to 2018 Honda Odyssey

I’m really happy with my new 2018 Honda Odyssey EX, but one disappointment is that it didn’t come with the middle row power outlets which the higher models have. I was inspired by this post and decided to add some on my own.

The first part of the plan was to unbolt the center console. The idea wasn’t to remove it completely, but to be able to lift and/or otherwise maneuver it to get the wiring through. Continue reading

Trailer Hitch for 2018 Honda Odyssey

2018 Honda Odyssey, what? Yeah, I figured it was time to retire the 2000 Toyota Sienna, it still runs fine after 266,000 miles, but it leaks a drop of oil every night, and it would cost more than the van is worth to fix the leak. (And don’t forgot other minor annoyances with a vehicle that old, which didn’t bother me, but drove my wife crazy…)

Anyway, with a new van comes the need for a new trailer hitch, mostly for bike racks, but for the occasional light towing. Since I did the hitch install myself on my Sienna, I figured I’d do the same for the Odyssey, saving a ton over dealer installation. Continue reading

Asus RT-AC88U Router – Quick Review

I had been thinking about picking up the Asus RT-AC88U router, mainly for the mountain cabin, but I also thought of it for home due to its eight (!) ports. The latest selling out of internet privacy was the tipping point for me to bite the bullet on the purchase, since a VPN can be set up on the router. (Now I realize that the ISPs would most likely sell just the list of sites accessed, not the contents sent back and forth to such sites, but still…) Continue reading

Ankle One Month Update

I just had my one month follow-up doctor appointment for the ankle and foot sprain. The swelling has gone down enough to start physical therapy to regain the lost range of motion. I go back to the doctor in an month, I should be at least walking in the boot by then, if I don’t have it off already by then!

In celebration, I set up the bike on the indoor trainer and went for a short ride.