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DIY: How To Build Removable Cafe Lighting Posts that Attach to a Deck

In Fix It, General, How To by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

There is nothing better than relaxing outside on a deck at night…unless it’s pitch black and you can’t see the person you are talking to. This is one of the main reasons I decided to figure out a way to hang strings of LED cafe lights around our back deck. The problem was, I didn’t have any way to attach the lights. No walls or trees or posts to make my desire for nighttime ambiance to come true. So I decided to figure out how to do it myself. But I had specific requirements.

HTD DIY Deck Lighting Post - lit deck

The final result of my DIY deck lighting post creation!

For starters, I didn’t want whatever my final design was to be something permanent. I wanted to be able to take it down during the winter rainy season to protect the lights. Also, I wanted a way to easily eliminate a bunch of posts sticking into the air when we didn’t have the lights mounted. That was my primary requirement.

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Hey Busy Parents! The Tovala Steam Oven & Meals Is Your Automated, Personal Chef (Review)

In Consumer Electronics, Family, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Parenting, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

As a parent of three girls, one of the biggest daily dilemmas my wife and I often face is answering the question “what’s for dinner?” I have to be honest here though, it’s truly my wife who handles the meals – the planning, the shopping, the preparation, and the cooking. Occasionally, on the weekend, I will spend a couple of hours cooking something, but the key word here is “occasionally.” It’s my wife who ensures we all have healthy, balanced meals. And there has been more than one occasion where she simply runs out of ideas or time. So when Tovala (affiliate link) approached me about their connected and automated steam oven AND a healthy meal plan, my ears perked up (and I started salivating). Technology PLUS yummy food? Wow! (*Disclosure below.)

HTD Tovala Steam Oven & Meals Review - meals and oven

I really don’t have many gadgets in the kitchen. A connected speaker or two, a TV, and that’s about it. But now, the Tovala steam oven holds some key real estate on the counter (and it has actually replaced our old toaster oven completely). The Tovala steam oven not only makes toaster ovens look completely outdated, it changes the way you cook.

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How To Fix Track Changes in Microsoft Word 16 for Mac Reverting to “Author” [VIDEO]

In Apple, Application, Fix It, General, How To, Microsoft, Software, Video by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I must admit, I was a bit stumped by a Microsoft Word for Mac (version 16/Office 365) issue that my stepmom was having. She was under a deadline trying to edit a series of documents sent to her to review. She was NOT the author of the documents, so her comments and edits had to be marked as being from her. The problem was, she was making the edits, and then when she saved the document and reopened it, her name (as the “reviewer”) was simply being shown as “Author” and not as her name. This meant that when another reviewer opened the document, they wouldn’t know my stepmom’s edits from someone else’s. This was not a good thing.

HTD How to Fix Track Changes in Word for Mac reverting to "Author" - the issue

As with most support issues I encounter or am asked, I often turn to Google to see if others had encountered the same or similar issue. But herein lies a problem. Word for Mac and Windows have both evolved over time. And with each new version, there are subtle and not so subtle changes to the features and functionality. And there are platform differences. For example, on Mac, there is no Trust Center. And on top of that, what works on Windows often doesn’t on the Mac versions. So, in filtering and reviewing possible solutions, there are a lot of different types of “solutions” that may have worked in previous versions (or on different platforms) that don’t work in the current versions of Microsoft Word. It was a bit maddening.

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Next Generation Neighborhood Watch – Share Security Videos via Ring Neighbors

In Application, Family, General, Safety, Security, Sponsored, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

About eight years ago, we had a rash of car break-ins in our neighborhood. Our community is pretty tight and friendly, and we often chat, neighbor to neighbor, as we take out the trash, work in the garden, get the mail, or walk the dog. We also had started a very informal, community email list to share important neighborhood information. The break-ins quickly circulated on this list. And, I checked one of my “new-fangled” security cameras to see if I had caught anyone. In fact, I did. (*Disclosure below.)

Early in the morning, someone came into our driveway and checked our car doors. I was one of the first people to actually have security cameras at my house. And using the night-vision feature of the cameras, I caught the guy in the act. I contacted our local sheriff and gave them a downloaded copy of the video for their records. And I also uploaded the video to YouTube and sent the link out to our neighborhood mailing list. This was the only way I could think of to share this critical content with my friends and neighbors.

HTD Car Break-in

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Review: Kanex GoPower Watch Stand with Wireless Charging Base Charges 3 Apple Devices At Once

In Apple, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Review, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

We all know that waking up in the morning with fully charged devices is critical to a successful day. There is nothing worse than picking up your iPhone or Apple Watch, only to see that you only have a fraction of the battery capacity charged. Part of my nighttime ritual is to charge up my devices so that I’m ready to go in the morning, fully charged. But often that involves remembering to plug everything in every night. The nice thing about the Kanex GoPower Watch Stand with Wireless Charging Baseis that you can juice up three devices through the same charger, your Apple Watch, your iPhone 8 or X, and your Apple AirPods. The GoPower handles all three at once, minimizing the number of cables or charging docks on your nightstand. (*Disclosure below.)

HTD Kanex GoPower Watch Stand with Wireless Charging Base Review - in box

If you have an iPhone that supports wireless charging, that would be the iPhone 8/8Plus and the iPhone X, I would highly recommend making the transition to wireless charging if you haven’t already. With a compatible wireless charger, you simply place your iPhone on the charger and it magically starts charging. I must admit, I now have a few wireless chargers around my home and at work. It eliminates the need to have cables spread throughout the house. And many wireless chargers work with many of the newer smartphones on the market, not just iPhones.

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Staying Cool with 12 Hot Features of the 2018 Mazda CX-9 (Review)

In Auto, General, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

For this past 4th of July week, since the 4th fell mid-week, my family and I thought we would road trip down to Los Angeles for some college touring and some general fun while visiting friends and relatives. As luck would have it, I was able to secure a loan of the 2018 Mazda CX-9 (the Grand Touring trim specifically) to pamper us safely on our voyage down and in and around greater Los Angeles. Towards the end of the trip, a heat wave hit LA which was fairly crippling when we were outside and not in the Mazda CX-9. Luckily our college tours always ended in the air-conditioned comfort of the CX-9. Don’t believe me about the heat? Take a look at what the CX-9 showed as the outside temp! (*Disclosure below.)

HTD 2018 Mazda CX-9 Review - Hot temperature

So, with that theme of cool and hot, I thought I would share my thoughts on some of the cool and hot features that my family and I uncovered in the 2018 Mazda CX-9 during our trip.

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15 Amazing Features We Discovered in the 2018 Chevy Tahoe on our Trip to Lake Tahoe

In Auto, General, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

For years, my family and I have been making an annual summertime trip up to Lake Tahoe. And ever since I have been doing car reviews (from a family perspective), I have always thought it would be appropriate to get a Chevy Tahoe for the trip. You know, a “Tahoe for Tahoe” type of thing. Well, this year, my wishes came true as we got to experience the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Premier with the RST Performance Edition package for our week-long trip. And I must say, we truly enjoyed spending time being pampered in this full-sized SUV. (*Disclosure below.)

2018 Chevy Tahoe - by Lake Tahoe

Now I feel that I have to set the record straight first. This is not a Road & Track or Car & Driver type of vehicle review. Those guys are subject-matter experts, and I couldn’t even come close to writing as comprehensive or “in the weeds” type of review as they do. I approach car reviews a bit differently, more from the perspective of a dad who is taking his family on a road trip. Luckily, I had over a week to form some opinions. To truly know a car, you need a much longer time (or must be a true car geek). So, what I have compiled here are some of the features or highlights that stood out to me based on the short time I actually had behind the wheel of the Chevy Tahoe.

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