sold the boat

There she goes. I bought her in 1994 for $2K and just sold her for the same. However in the intervening 18 years, I purchased 1 outboard, the poling platform, 3 trolling motors, 2 trailers, 3 sonar units, 2 props, lights, bearings, water pumps, springs, a rebuilt transom, an axle, batteries, and couple of major repairs. Probably over $8,000 for a lot of good times.

camera tech

The convenience and internet facility of cell phone photography has caused a definite decline in the quality of family images I’ve shot and collected over the last few years.   This recent picture was typical of my disappointment:

Taken with a Pantech android phone, I’ve observed that iPhone photos are capable of quite a bit better quality.

I realized my ‘good’ camera has just been collecting dust for months.   I thought I might pickup an Eye-Fi SD card for my camera, which would permit me to email and post better photos via my smartphone.  Alas, my high-end Lumix TZ1 point and shoot from 2006 is too old and not compatible with the eyefi technology!

I’m reading up on camera’s with built-in wifi now available, but it appears the integrated technology is still buggy and causing consumer complaints.   Maybe this all will mature a little and I can look for santa to bring me a solution this winter.    (Recall, I had a pretty good cellphone camera for a little while in 2010, but I discarded it for my first smartphone).

U.S. health care crisis and reform

Our health care crisis is twofold.  Primarily, the rampant cost of both critical and excessive services is totally out of control due to the largely unregulated third-party payer system that has evolved. All the players (hospitals, labs, insurance companies, doctors)  are trying to maximize profits, and free market principles don’t lead to efficiencies or economies when the consumer is not paying the bills.  You cannot argue with this; just compare U.S. health care pricing with any other industrialized nation.   It is flat out ridiculous.

Secondly, access to those third-party payer privileges is not available to a large segment of  Americans, and the majority of us are subject to financial ruin in the event of a health care crisis.  The Affordable Care act really only addresses this second issue, by making access to (our overpriced) care more equitable.  There is a minority who will be penalized or disadvantaged by the specifics of this act, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t sound public policy based upon the presumption that health care is a legitimate human right.

But IMO, the more critical of these problems is the out of control costs and that can only be addressed by dismantling the current powerful health care insurance industry.  Obama was not able to do this.  Just my 2 cents.

Bob R.

breaded pork tenderloin sandwich

Always been a fan, hard to find in Florida.

High Tide Harry’s‎ ,4645 S. Semoran Blvd Orlando, Florida 32822
Po’ boy version, OK, nothing special
Soup To Nuts Diner‎,381 East Burleigh Boulevard, Tavares, FL 32778
The real deal.  good eats
Burger Inn  1819 North Harbor City Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32935
lame, frozen pre-fab


The Mulligan’s Pub‎ 11375 Big Bend Road,Riverview, FL 33579(813) 672-7347  (south of Tampa)
Lazy Flamingo 3 Inc‎, 16501 Stringfellow Road, Bokeelia, FL 33922(239) 283-5959 (Punta Gorda)
Rooster’s Restaurant‎,7370 West Atlantic Boulevard, Margate, FL 33063  (Ft. Lauderdale)
Conway Cafe‎ 4542 Hoffner Avenue, Orlando, FL 32812
Gold Rush BBQ Inc‎ 661 Tamiami Trl S, Venice, FL 34285

Mail order:

The real thing, 2006, somewhere in SE Iowa:

yet another new cellphone

The  bargain-priced off-contract Palm Pixi Plus I picked up last summer went terminal with major malfunctions of the touchscreen.    I got a new 2-year verizon contract android phone, the Pantech Breakout.   Its the low end of Android devices, and I liked it because its the smallest smart phone they offered.  I just don’t want to have to carry a brick in my pocket.  All phones w/tactile keyboard were thick and heavy.


  • Android apps (its OS 2.3)
  • GPS run tracking program is accurate and usable
  • excellent voice recognition and voice prompted search
  • 4G with front camera for face calls
  • google navigation good enough to drop verizon navigator
  • much better camera than the pixi
  • much faster than the pixi, capable multitasker
  • speakerphone mic works when connected to car audio


  • no free wifi hotspot
  • Android OS instead of WebOS
  • no tactile keyboard, I make errors every single time using touchscreen keyboard
  • larger than I would like.
  • no capacitive touchstone charging available
  • no flash on camera (and no flashlight)
  • shorter battery life, but I’m managing it well, see below
  • marque time display does not show when phone is locked (this is a clear UI design fail)
  • Pixi had a silence rocker switch, and a keyboard key for the @ sign.   Nice UI touches.

The best android tip I’ve come across so far is the battery saver application Juice Defender.  Try it, it really works.  Otherwise, my ‘droid experience has been pretty good.  It has a built in task manager that displays and kills applications, so I don’t have to engage with the ad supported app Task Killer.  I haven’t figured out shortcuts for highlight, copy and paste yet.   Haven’t tested or used any bluetooth functions yet.   My biggest complaint is the phone came jam packed with junky apps that I can’t remove, and I’ve run out of internal storage already and have to put additional apps on the micro-SD card storage.

Did I mention the size?  Its the smallest I could get, but I’ll bet money that the current trend towards large-screen phones is going to reverse, and we’ll see some more compact devices in the next year or so.



I’ve figured out how to get a comfortable shave without showering first.  Just soap up your beard and let it sit for a minute or two before scraping.  I can hardly believe it took me 40 years of shaving to figure this one out.