New Car

Well new to us, it’s a 2012 Ford Focus hatchback three years old and thirty six thousand miles. A few minor dings and scratches on it, but hey it’s used.
The car did have a lien on it which I was able to check on the NYS DMV website. We decided to go ahead with the purchase after settling on a price the seller and I could agree on. Mark (the seller) and I went down to the bank together with a check and paid off the lien. He signed the title over along with a bill of sale the balance of the agreed upon payment went to Mark after everything was done.

About thirty six hours later I checked NYS DMV and the lien was removed. The only thing left now is to get it registered this week and then make arrangements to have some dings in the paint cleaned up.

After paying the taxes and transferring the plates from the old car to this one for $65 it’s on the road. We’ll get a clear title from NYS DMV in about a month. I haven’t seen any of the transmission issues that people complain about. I’m hoping it stays that way.

The old car is up on Craigslist looking for a buyer.

Republic Wireless on vacation

Kirsten and I just spent a couple weeks on vacation in Hawaii and San Francisco. During this time we used our Moto X and Moto E phones from Republic. I upgraded my calling plan to include 3G data while we were away as usually I have no data and just use WiFi. The cost for the plan with 3G data is $25 or about $31 with taxes added on.

Things actually went pretty well other than the constant reminders about us using 50% to 90% of our 3G roaming data while in Hawaii. We stayed on Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of America. Below decks on the ship we had little or no service not wanting to pay the cruise lines seventy five cents a minute for WiFi.

The notices for being over are a little odd, see this one below that came the day after a notice saying the same number had used all of it’s roaming data.

Hi Jonathan,

Just letting you know that you’ve used 50% of your roaming data for this bill cycle. We want you to be aware so you can hop on a WiFi network whenever you can.

Phone Number: 518xxxxxxx
50% of Roaming Data Used
Bill Cycle Renews On: Apr 21, 2015
What does this mean?
Each monthly bill cycle, you get 25MB of roaming data to use. Once you’ve used all of your roaming data for that bill cycle, you won’t be able to use any roaming data until your bill cycle renews.

You can keep track of all your data usage, including which apps are using the most data, by going to the Republic App. Don’t forget, you can still use as much WiFi as you want!

Visit our Data Usage Policy to learn more about cell data usage and tips on how to reduce your cellular footprint. You can also review section 19 (b) of our Terms of Service. Please note that DEFY XT users are exempt from this policy.

If you have any questions, please visit Republic Help, where you can submit a Help request.


Republic Wireless

Whenever we were in a port we did have good cellular service and jumped on open WiFi hot spots when we could get them. Kirsten got a lot of good pictures with the Moto X see the picture of Waimea Canyon below.


Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon

I downgraded my phone plan once we got back to the talk text and WiFi data for $10 a month or about $14 with taxes added on. Below is the message about the down grade from Republic Wireless and I completed both the upgrade and the down grade from the phone APP.
“Hi Jonathan,

Great news! We’ve completed changing the service plan for phone number (518) xxx-xxx from Wi-Fi + Cell + 3G Service Plan to Wi-Fi + Cell Talk + Text Service Plan.

Please turn your phone off, and then back on again to activate your new plan.

If any of the above is incorrect or you didn’t request to change your plan, please let us know by contacting Republic Help.


Republic Wireless

P.S. Let us know how we’re doing by dropping us a tweet at
A quick reboot of the phone and I was back where I started. Battery life on both phones is about twenty four hours before needing a recharge and this is one thing I wish I could improve. During the trip I carried a couple of external batteries to connect the phones to and we used these a fair amount especially during plane flights.

Republic Wireless Seven days

I have taken the plunge and I’m thirty day trialing Republic Wireless. My biggest worry is the Sprint network as locally Sprint’s network is garbage. The phone will only work on the Republic network, you can’t take it to a different service, but you can disable the service if needed. You may also change the level of service twice in each billing period. You also can’t bring your own phone.

I selected the Moto E for the phone and I’m using the $10 ($13.14 with taxes) a month plan with no data just calls and text. All data is done across WiFi when I am close enough to an access point. Total cost for the $99 phone was roughly $120 with taxes added in.

I opened the phone and removed the rear cover so I could install a 32 GB mini SD card that I picked up at Walmart for $22, I think 8 GB would have been plenty for my use as I haven’t used a full GB on the SD card yet. Taking the cover off was a real pain in the neck. Turned it on set it up to use my local WiFi with WPA2 encryption, no problems. Made a test call to my Verizon IPhone and to the Verizon home phone, everything worked. Seemed to work fine with a slight delay from when I spoke till when I heard the message. I don’t think this will be noticeable in a phone conversation where you aren’t in the same room as the person making the call.

I tried to call a Vonage number and this consistently failed, I think this was the fault of the Vonage number I was calling but I don’t have a second number to test that with to prove it out.

Day one:

I installed Audible, Amazon Music, Podcast Addict, ROKU remote and Sygic GPS Free. Each App has been set to use the mini SD card for storage. The Moto E only has 4 GB on board memory and I’ve already run out of space when trying to install an app.

Day two:

I didn’t care for Podcast Addict so I uninstalled it and I’m trying Player FM – Podcast and Sync now. Nothing terrible for PA but it just felt clunky to me.

Sygic worked good getting us home the other night no lag in telling us when to turn or rerouting us when I intentionally missed a turn. It seems we had plenty of memory in the phone to run this app. I bought the paid version of Sygic for about $24 on sale a lot cheaper than the first GPS I bought that was some thing over $500.

I have about twenty nine GB left on the SD card after downloading some songs from Amazon and Google Play. About 230 mb left of on board storage.

Day three:

Battery life I am down to about 27% after twenty four hours with Bluetooth on and using it in the car with a Chrysler Uconnect system. I made several calls and texted throughout this time. My IPhone 5c is at about roughly the same battery life over the same period of time.

Day four:

Bluetooth off and a lite day of use on. I also added Dropbox and Google Voice apps.

2014-12-29 01.42.25

Best Battery life so far below. About even with my IPhone 4 but not nearly as good as the 5c that I currently have for work.

2015-01-05 11.57.24

I couldn’t use any flashlight apps as there is no flash on the Moto X’s camera, I do use a flashlight app on the 5c and it is one of the better uses so far for the phone.

Storage space.

2015-01-17 21.27.53 2015-01-17 21.09.03

Applesauce 2014

Raymond Hilmeyer brought down a few bags of apples from the neighbors orchard. I think this is the best apple sauce I have ever made. No sugar added just apples cooked on the stove until they are soft. Then run through the Kitchenaid with the attachments for making sauce.


2014-10-26 10.14.32 2014-10-26 09.56.45 2014-10-26 09.56.44 2014-10-26 09.56.42Wash the apples, slice them up into chunks that will fit in the mixer.

Put all the apples in a pan on the stove add a little water (less than 1/2 a cup) and heat them for about twenty minutes or until they are starting to get mushy.

Run the apples through the mixer or a Foley food mill.

Add cinnamon or red hots whatever you like, I just eat it plain.

Grape Juice

Simple recipe.

1 cup grapes washed and stems removed.

1 cup sugar or honey two tablespoons

Fill quart jars with boiling water.

Process in a water bath canner for twenty to twenty five minutes. Cool and let rest for at least three weeks.


The ones on the left have honey and on the right is sugar.

The sugar seemed more dissolved when they first came out but then settled to the bottom of the jars. I remember doing this when I was a kid with Mom and Aunt Hazel’s grapes what came out was the best juice ever.

This gal on YouTube nailed it.

Cabinet Work

The last month of weekends have been spent working on a kitchen cabinet/pantry. Wayne from down in Randall built the cabinet and I put a whitewash pickling finish on it out in the garage.

This past week I spent working nights and a couple of days down sick with a cold so it was nice to finally get something done.

Today I got some help and we finally carried it into the house. Below are some pics of the cabinet with the doors on and some of the demolition of the old closet that this replaces.

DemolitionCabinetI need to put the handles on the doors and drawers and trim in the walls around the cabinets, but this is progress.


I’ve been hearing something odd outside the last few nights. Sort of sounded like a fox and dog cross, odd and hard to describe. I think maybe we found out what it was tonight.


Kirsten saw this while out walking tonight. Looks like a car hit it. I’ve never seen a bobcat before other than stuffed in the NY Museum.

Cabin Fan

Testing the new fan in the window, temporary installation. The plan is to put this up in the vents in the peak. I also have a twelve volt temperature sensor that can be set to turn the fan on and off at whatever temp it is set to. On first turning the fan on voltage dropped from 13 down to 12.7 volts. I ran the fan for about a half hour and the battery didn’t drop anymore. At least not on the Harbor Freight charge controller, I wonder how accurate that thing is.

The noise is a bit much but not terrible I think once I get it mounted where I want it things will quiet down a bit.


photo 3  I

This is a Heng 12 volt fan from Amazon.

Heng Fan
Heng fan

Okeler DC 12V LCD Display Digital Temperature Controller Sensor Thermostat Fahrenheit




12.7 volts is a fully charged battery 12.42 is 80% of charge.

Communism, family vacations, and other things.

Mr Ed, The Muppets, and Alf all communist talking animals. Dad used to go on with his rants about how these TV shows were tearing the fabric of our country apart.
The Dukes of Hazard and other shows also contributed to this downfall, with their disrespect of authority. I thought maybe the TV sitting out on the front porch unplugged tore more at my familys fabric more than any fuzzy snow laced show we saw on the TV over the rabbit ears. Another thing how did the Rockford Files contribute to the building up of America?
Family meetings where dad talked and we listened, mom would get up and leave. Then the next day we would move again to another house, we moved faster than anyone I ever met. This was about the same time the TV had bouts with being banished to the porch.
I mentioned this week at work that when I was a kid we went on vacation once when I was a kid. We all packed up in the car and headed for Florida or maybe Kentucky, depending on if you asked mom or dad. We made it as far as Gettysburg Pennsylvania when the money ran out and a loan was taken from Vito aka Beneficial Finance. We had a great time in and around Gettysburg visiting the battlefield and wax museum as well as other places.

I had dinner with my brother Chris on Saturday and we talked about some of the things that went on when we were children, it was a good time.