Category Archives: Stuff I Like

Best Food Scale without Auto-Off or with Long Auto-Off

My kitchen scale died. I use it every morning to measure out my coffee beans and the weight of water I pour over the ground coffee, so this was a small crisis. I purchased the highest-ranked scale on Amazon for a mere $10, and although it was a nice scale, it automatically turned off after a mere 2 minutes of non-use. For people who constantly monitor their morning coffee’s pour-over operation, that might not be a problem. But I pour in three stages and do other things for breakfast preparation while each stage drips through. 2 minutes is far too short an interval for my needs. The scale kept turning off before I got back to add more water. So I returned it.

I spent hours searching a zillion Amazon-answered questions trying to figure out if a scale did or did not have an auto-off feature. At the end of this effort, I had six scales to choose from that were affordable and had a long or able-to-be-disabled auto-off feature.  Hopefully this list will save you some time the next time your scale dies.

Best Overall Functionality Plus AC Adapter

Jennings CJ4000 4000g x 0.5g
  • Auto-off can be disabled
  • Comes with AC adapter, so you don’t have to mess with batteries (not helpful if you don’t have a convenient outlet)
  • FastCompany found it to consistently read 0.5g too high.


Best Looking—9 Cool Colors

Escali Primo
  • I really liked the dark red color, but it comes in 9 very comes in 9 very cool colors
  • 5000 g (11 lb) capacity
  • 4-minute auto-off
  • 10-year warranty


Longest Warranty

Although all of the American Weigh scales have auto-off, there is a button under the scale that can completely disable the feature.

  • An AC adapter can be purchased separately
  • Uses one 9V battery
  • 10-year warranty
  • 9.5 × 7.5 × 2.62 in. footprint
  • 13-lb capacity

  • 2 AAA batteries
  • 10-year warranty
  • 5.31 × 4.75 × 1.19 in. footprint


Added Functionality—A Timer

  • Auto-off in 4 minutes
  • 6.6 lb (3000 g) capacity
  • Two AAA batteries
  • 1-year warranty


Most Affordable

  • Glass top
  • 5-year warranty
  • 10 × 6 × 0.8 in. footprint
  • Has a lock button that allows screen to stay on for 5 minutes without movement; else will go into sleep mode after 30 seconds and will shut off in 3 minutes


You’ve bookmarked a zillion Web sites, but how often do you REALLY go back to see what is new? Maybe you have a dozen sites that you semi-regularly check for new content. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could just tell those sites to send you their new content automatically so you don’t have to remember to do anything? And wouldn’t it be great if all of the new content from all of your favorite sites could arrive in a beautiful daily online magazine? Oh, and FREE would be nice, too.

Feedly does all of this.

Referred to as a “news aggregator,” Feedly does much more than grab the headlines of your favorite newspapers. You can customize Feedly to gather content about ALL the things that interest you. Most blogs and sites that provide consumable information are coded so that Feedly recognizes their “feeds.” For instance, I keep abreast of new technology by reading posts from Lifehacker and several technical writing blogs; I read daily homesteading posts from Backwoods Home Magazine and Mother Earth News. I track sites that address the various medical problems I live with. I get daily recipes from several foodie blogs that I enjoy. Feedly streams content from YouTube channels that I follow. Wired Magazine always posts terrific daily content even if you don’t subscribe to the magazine. And of course, my day wouldn’t be complete without reading a dozen or so LOL Cats.

Whatever interests you, you can find content for Feedly to bring to you. Feedly has a desktop program for your computer and Android and IOS apps for your mobile. Feedly itself operates from the “cloud,” so you can read your stuff wherever you are.

But it is the reading experience itself that makes Feedly so enjoyable. Most sites provide big, beautiful banner graphics that Feedly will display along with the story, making it easy to visually scan the day’s collection to decide which stories you want to read in more detail.

feedly2I let Feedly bring the world to me every day. I never worry about forgetting to check a Web site or missing an important news story. I would not want to be without this tool. Of all the apps that I have on my devices, Feedly is my daily go-to app. Give it a try.

Get it here:

sites for Sixties

I’m 61, and although I have a fairly eclectic taste in Web content, I’ve noticed over the years that I really enjoy reading content that particularly targets seniors. No, I’m not interested in AARP, senior dating services, or ads for discount wheel chairs. I’m interested in learning how other seniors are enjoying their lives, what they’re doing, and how they are aging well. After all, we are the Boomer generation and we are a tidal wave beginning to crest. We will impact the way EVERYONE lives as we impose on the market our need for autonomy, our lack of conformity, and our quest for independence.

Here are four enjoyable Web sites that will appeal to seniors: Next Avenue is a digital platform launched by PBS that offers original and aggregated journalism aimed at baby boomers. Next Avenue is PBS’ first venture to begin on the Internet rather than on broadcast television. Senior Planet is the first tech-themed resource for people 60-plus who are living and aging with attitude. This Chair Rocks is a blog authored by Ashton Applewhite to explore ageism: discrimination that sidelines and silences older people. Sixty & Me is a community dedicated to helping women over 60 create independent, healthy and financially secure lives. Sixty and Me empowers and motivates women to find their own voice and value in a transitional time of life that offers so much new opportunity.

Now although you can try to remember to visit these sites every once in awhile, a far better way is to have their fresh content automatically delivered to you. That way you don’t have to remember anything. You can use Facebook and Google+ to push the content to you, but I have a far better way that I’ll be talking about next — Feedly.

Coloring can be very stress-reducing. What better place to reduce stress than while waiting in a doctor/dentist office or other place requiring interminably long sitting times. But dragging around a coloring book and crayons or pencils would be a pain. I’ve found a fairly good Android app that you might want to try.

I was curious about how an app would handle color selection and application so I gave a couple of the more popular coloring apps a try. I chose apps designed for adults, not children. The ones I like most were developed by App Labs Games and are FREE. There are several to choose from on Google Play at


…differentiated only by the capital letter in the app’s icon.
D=Secret Garden
M=Mystery Gallery
P=Prominent Paintings
C=Calming Dream Patterns
O=Lost Oceans
E=Enchanted Forest

To apply a color, first select one from the 36 available colors and then touch the drawing where you want the color applied. You won’t get any pleasurable tactile feedback like you experience when pressing down with a crayon or colored pencil; you can’t shade or blend colors. All you can do is apply one color to an area enclosed in a black outline.

I thought I’d find this too infantile, but I surprised myself. Yes, applying color is mechanical (touch, touch, touch, change color, touch, touch, etc.), but the joy of this app comes from selecting a color and then quickly seeing if you like how it looks. If you don’t, there is an Undo button. It doesn’t take long to color a picture, even a fairly complex one. Almost instantaneous gratification, but the result is uniquely your artistic creation. Here’s one I did last night from the Lost Oceans coloring book:


2 Hoppin’ Great Beers for Penny Pinchers

cheap_beersI’ve already told you about my love affair with two brews made by Stone Brewery—Arrogant Bastard beer and Go to IPA beer (see The ONLY problem with those beers (seriously, the only one) is that they’re danged expensive. Oh, and that they are very hard to find. Okay, that’s two problems. A 6-pack will set you back more than $10! While I am never reluctant to pay good money for quality stuff, I’m Scottish, and we are known for being c̶h̶e̶a̶p̶ frugal. I have great news—here are two more hoppy beers for the budget-conscious. Both beers will appeal to those of us who enjoy the delightful bitterness of over-hopped beer, but these two stand out for me because they have a lot of tasty body once you get past the hops.

Sierra Nevada steam distills wet hops into hop oil for its Hop Hunter brew and adds the oil to traditional whole-cone hops. I love that hopefully I’ll be able to get this beer without having to special order it. Sierra Nevada beers are much easier to find than Stone Brewery beers.

New Belgium’s Slow Ride is an India Pale Ale session beer. I had to look that up. Wikipedia defines a session beer as one “that has a relatively low alcohol content and is therefore suitable for drinking over an extended period.” That’s fine with me. I only drink one bottle of beer a day with dinner, so I’m not likely to binge-drink the grog.

Serra Nevada and New Belgium usually sell their 6-packs in the $8–$9 range. While not cheap, that is still less than Stone beers. I think that Hop Hunter has just become my new go-to beer.

Go to IPA — Quick!

I love good beer. Years ago I started brewing my own because good beer wasn’t available (before the popularity of microbrews). My beer took 2nd place in the Colorado State Fair one year. About 8 years ago, I discovered Stone Brewery beer. I fell in love with their Arrogant Bastard beer and it has been my favorite ever since.

Until now. A couple weeks ago I bought a variety case of Stone brews and met Go To IPA. Oh lordy, what a beer. Outrageously hoppy, very bitter. I’m still brewing my own, but there is no way I could brew anything close to this. Stone Brewery has magic. If you like a bold, hoppy beer, try this one.