Category Archives: Tech

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

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.

Original iPad 1 Battery Replacement

I have to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed after purchasing the original iPad about five years ago. I bought it with the intent of leaving it on the coffee table and using it as shared internet/app device for the family. But Apple did not design it with multiple user profiles, which was a major disincentive to loading my personal and work email accounts and calendars on it. Apparently Apple’s vision was for the iPad was as a single user device. Eventually the iPad was essentially taken over by my young son as a toy.

Later I found a use for it as a portable chessboard of sorts, being able to move the pieces to analyze games and variations much faster on an iPad app rather than a physical chessboard. That was around the same time my son got frustrated with not being able to install the latest and greatest apps on iOS 5 (at the time of this writing, iOS 9 is the latest). So the iPad was pretty much mine again.

Meanwhile, the battery couldn’t hold a charge anymore and needed replacement, and while the iPad was too old to justify paying Apple $99 to replace it, the iPad still had enough value to me to make a cheaper DIY battery replacement worthwhile. Continue reading


A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from my hosting provider telling me I had infected files on my site. It looked like spam, so I ignored it. Then a few days later, I got another similar looking email, but this time they said that due to my infected files, they shut down access to my site until the infected files were removed. I went to my site, and sure enough, it was shut down.

I looked at the list of 40 infected files they sent me. It looked like they were older versions of PHP files which were likely mis-tagged as infected. So I deleted them and asked my hosting provider to recheck my site. But they found more infected files elsewhere on the site. A couple of them were in a new folder that I did not create. I Googled the name of the folder and a link showed up to my site, with “adult” words. Continue reading