Happy New Year Personal

Happy New Year 2023

Wishing you a Happy New Year! Delaware Park had a fireworks show tonight. One of the nice things about living close to the track and casino, I can watch the fireworks from the porch.

Home Remodeling

Remodeled Kitchen

After 16 years of living in Wilmington, Delaware, we finally had our kitchen remodeled! We planned to start the process in 2023, however, the dishwasher kept leaking each time it was used. We had it serviced several times and it worked well for awhile. But soon it would leak somewhere else. So we bumped up the remodel to 2022 and started the design process.

We contacted our plumber who remodeled out bathroom asking if he would be interested in remodeling our kitchen. He replied that he was not running large remodel work right now, bur referred us to another contractor who he worked with before

We met Steve and he said we can get on his schedule in October or November. He put us in contact with a cabinet company with an architect. Once we had the plans drawn up, it was just a matter or meeting with each store to order the appliances, floors, lights, and other materials. Steve scheduled us to start on November 28 and said he would be done by December 29. Below are the pictures before the remodel.

Fortunately for us, the painter Steve hired is the same painter we have used before. So we had the living room and dining room painted to match the new kitchen. Steve completed everything on time by December 23. We are waiting for the custom rain etched pattern picture window to replace the original window when the house was built. Below are the pictures of the completed work.

We are planning to hire the painter in 2023 to repaint the basement. Since I work from home full time, I spoke with Steve to bring him back as well to remodel our sunroom and convert it into my new office. It will need insulation, a heat pump, paint, and some ethernet lines installed for my desk mounted switches and Wi-Fi access.

Apple TV iPhone Photography Personal Work

Company Business Trip

I work in the IT department for a great company. I like working for them even on the rough days. Rough days can be brutal. However, this is not a post about the rough days. I was able to attend a Face to Face meeting at Omni Amelia Island Resort in sunny Florida. Fantastic! I get to leave the cold dreary winter in Wilmington, Delaware and fly to sunny and warm Jacksonville, Florida. I wore a light winter jacket for my trip and brought a sweatshirt, but I didn’t think I was going to wear that. Well I was wrong.

The night temperature dropped to the low 30’s and only one day did it reach 70 degrees for lunch. My margarita on Monday night did not melt while sitting outside near the beach. I had to move close to the fire pit. The constant wind shift kept me from staying too warm. On Tuesday I needed a light jacket for a walk during lunch around the grounds. I will admit, the weather was still better at Amelia Island than Wilmington.

Like many, I gained some weight for COVID and I’ve been trying to lose the weight. Any weight I lost was put back on during that week in Florida. The food and service was amazing. Lots of unique snacks prepared by a professional chef and staff. There are so many things to do at the resort. I want to go back with my family for a week of relaxation.

The flight down and back went off with almost no problems. I slept on the flight down and watched See on Apple TV Season 2, episode 1 coming back to Philadelphia. And landing in Philadelphia is where my problems started. Why do I have to wait almost an hour for my checked bag to be dropped off at baggage claim? I’ve never had this problem at any other airport. Are all my return flights in the middle of a shift change?

Backpacking Camping Personal

Stepping down as Scoutmaster

On Thursday, December 9, 2022, Troop 660 presented me with this beautiful wooden plaque and compass as a farewell gift. As many of you know, I’ve been involved with Boy Scouts as a youth, and with my son, Quinton. I’ve been an adult leader for the last 12 1/2 years and I’ve been fortunate to work with the scouts from two Packs and one Troop. Now it is time to step down for new leadership.

The primary goal of Scouting is help youth development positive character traits, learn to become a good citizen, and to keep themselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally strait. It was a pleasure to watch the scouts learn life skills such as leadership, cooking (some meals were challenging to make and eat), public speaking, and the importance of community service. I’ve watched the scouts learn skills and teach others those skills in our troop and to other scouts at multi-troop camping events.

I’ve enjoyed watching the Cub Scouts attend their cross-over ceremony to join a Boy Scout troop. I’ve had the pleasure attending and participating in several Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremonies over the years. With hard work and dedication, every scout has the opportunity to become an Eagle Scout. I see that in the scouts of Troop 660.

Let’s not forget about camping! Over the years we hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail, camped almost every month (sometimes in extreme weather), enjoyed week long summer camping trips, zip-line adventures at Lums Pond, hiked part of the Maroon Bells in Colorado, went white water rafting on the Arkansas River, and toured major national parks in Arizona and Nevada. We camped in snowy weather in Gettysburg and hiked through the snow cover fields and trails. We rode ATVs in the woods and learned rifle and shotgun safety. We have been on too many adventures over the years to mention in a post.

I am leaving the troop in the good hands of Bruce Williams, who will become the next Scoutmaster. Bruce has some great and exciting ideas for the troop. Bruce is a great role model for the scouts and I feel they will learn a lot from him. There are a lot of great ideas from the PLC (Patrol Leader Council) and what the scouts want to plan for the upcoming year. I think there will be some High Adventure camping, so I am looking forward to those posts. I wish Bruce, Sean, Frank, Jill, Katies, and the rest of Troop 660 Adult Leadership all the best in the years to come.

What’s next for me in scouting? I might continue as a merit badge counselor, maybe see if there is a position as camp master somewhere. I hope to camp with Quinton or my friends from scouts and visit state park outside of Delaware. Maybe camp at a national park too. Maybe I can do some training for the Vermont bike ride Mike mentioned in 2020. I’ve always wanted to check out Texas, North Carolina, Montana, and few other places where I’m off the grid, taking pictures, enjoying the campfire, and not becoming bear food.

What time is it? “It’s Go Time!” Good luck, Troop 660!!

Music Personal

Dark Side of the Moon on Vinyl

I’m on vacation this week. After a hard morning of digging out old shrubbery, I took a trip to the mall. At one of the store I found the Dark Side of the Moon album on 180 gram vinyl. Yes, I purchased it right away. Thought about it while in the checkout line, and choose to make the purchase

I was first introduced to this album back in the early 80’s when my parents purchased a stereo for my brother and I. My uncles purchased to cassettes for me; Night Moves by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I enjoyed both albums. I wore out the cassette of Dark Side of the Moon and replaced it with a CD. I replaced the CD when it broke and the other CD was stolen.

Although I have another CD and the digital media of this album, I finally own a vinyl LP. The album is 180 gram heavyweight vinyl, comes with two posters and two stickers.

Yes, I’m playing the album as I write this and it is great.

Apple Watch Exercise

January 2020 Challenges

I’ve earned the January Challenges for Apple Watch.

I’ve messed up my Achilles tendon several time over the last several months and all I’ve been doing was sitting around, watching TV, making poor food choices and late night snacking. The new clothes I purchased after the weight loss in 2018 and 2019 no longer fit. I had a complete lack of energy with everything, and it was getting me down.

So I’m making a commitment to eating right and exercise. In 12 days I’ve noticed my blood-pressure is lower and I have more energy. Today I went on a 2.25 mile outdoor walk and enjoyed the 68 degree day.

Tonight I have a craving for a late night snack and to watch TV. They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, I think it will take me longer. So I have a couple of goals that I want to make this year:

  • Score a perfect month in February on my Apple Watch for Move, Exercise, and Stand
  • Lose 10 pounds by my next doctor visit
  • Daily bicycle rides on my trainer
  • Walk everyday during lunch
  • In the Spring, weekly bike rides at the C&D Canal

My goal for this summer is to go on the 185 mile bike ride with my Boy Scout Troop on the C&O Canal. The scouts had a great time a few years ago on that trip and I think that would be a fantastic week.

Amazon Prime Apple iPhone Personal

Siri Suggestions to Watch TV

On December 28, 2019, I purchased an iPhone 11 in black with 64GB storage. My old iPhone 6S battery would not last a day on a charge, and I’ve had the battery replaced twice.

Since the purchase, I’ve used Screen Mirroring to AirPlay to the Samsung Series 7 TV at work during lunch to watch Monk on Amazon Prime. Today Siri made the suggestion to continue watching Monk when I was getting ready for lunch. Just pressed the link on the screen and it started playing without having to unlock the phone.

Should I be concerned that Siri knows my routine after a week?

Personal Subaru

Replaced 2 belts on my 2007 Subaru Outback

Today is September 8, 2019 and I still have my 2007 Subaru Outback Limited Sedan. It needs to head into the shop for a catalytic convert / exhaust issue, but the car still runs well. Since my son is a new driver, I want to ensure he won’t have any problems for the next year so I started some maintenance. (OK, my wife was complaining about the car making noise too).

So I opened the hood and checked the oil and a some other things. Everything seem to be OK, so I started the engine and went back to the front. That’s when I noticed the serpentine belts didn’t look right. Time for a quick ride to Autozone to purchase new belts.

We swapped out the belts while listening to the album Southern Rock Masters by Molly Hatchet. The job took about 40 minutes to complete and the cost was less than $27.00 USD.

The Outback still runs great! It is fast, excellent winter driving, I love the leather seats, and it plays all my music from the iPhone using the AUX cable. Only with the car came with Bluetooth.

Again, I forgot to get my GoPro out to shoot a video on something I am doing. My plan is to keep the Subaru around for 3 more years before I think about replacing it.


Happy 50th Moon Landing Anniversary

The first moon landing, Apollo 11, was on July 20 1969. Apollo 11’s crew was Neil Armstrong (Commander), Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (Lunar Module pilot), and Michael Collins (Command Module pilot).

To celebrate, I’m listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and will follow up with some documentaries about the Apollo missions. Maybe I’ll watch some conspiracy theories too.

The First Moon Landing

My Moon Pics

It is a shame I can’t find the pictures I took 15 years ago when my family and I went to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Fantastic place to visit and


That’s Not How It Works

My HVAC at home is leaking from the condenser. Flooding everything.