Zeitgeist 2011: How the world searched

I forgot I had this video queued up for the blog.  Even though it would have been more timely to publish in January when I found it, it’s a nice wrap up of the year in searching the web.  It’s basically an advertisement for Google but while watching it I was reminded of just how many memorable events there were in 2011.

Zeitgeist 2011: How the World Searched

Zeitgeist 2011: How the World Searched

My Philosophy on Reviews

I’ve been posting a lot of reviews on IndyScan.com and I realized I had never taken the time to explain why I’m doing it.  First of all, I only review things I like.  I don’t waste my time complaining about things I don’t like (there are lots those too)

If you see a review on IndyScan.com it’s going to be about something I like and I want to share it with others.  It might be a product, restaurant, video, etc.  It’s on this site because I want you to know about it.

Now I do have a Rant category and I use it for just that.  I guess you could call it a negative review but hey, it’s my site and I get to choose (ha).

Fishers – The Chatham Tap

Located in the heart of Fishers along 116th St The Chatham Tap opened in 2010.  There’s another location on Mass Ave in downtown Indy.  During its first year my wife and I visited and, although we enjoyed the brew, we did not care much for the grub.  It was very bland, under seasoned and just not that good.

The Friday night before the Indianapolis Super Bowl I was “baching it” and decided to give this place another try.  I’d been craving a burger all afternoon and after checking out the online menu I already had an idea what I was going to get.

The Chatham Tap is a lively place, (and pretty loud tonight) it’s decorated in a soccer theme with plenty of TVs covering all the major sports channels.  I was sitting at the end of the bar & kept watching the staff high-five each other over and over.  Must be required or they really like each other.

I settled in and ordered a pint of Guinness while I double checked the menu.  There it was… The Smoking Black and Bleu burger. A Cajun Seasoned 1/2 lb hand pattied burger, brushed with chipotle Tabasco, topped with melted bleu cheese and two strips of rasher bacon.  Red onions, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes round out the setup.  It’s all served on a perfectly toasted brioche style bun.  This was the kind of burger I’d been thinking about all day.

Homemade chips and the normal list of sides are available but when I saw the “hand breaded onion rings” I had to give them a shot.  Onion rings are usually very hit or miss so this was a gamble.

The bartender tonight (Rudy) was very attentive but not overly chatty, just the way I like my barkeep.  It took about 10 minutes before the food arrived and it looked even better than I imagined.  The burger was covered in melted bleu cheese and all the produce looked fresh with the exception of the tomatoes which I would expect this time of year.  The onion rings were nice and thick and had obviously been freshly made (eat enough onion rings and you can tell these things).

I kicked the tomatoes off to the side and ate the pickles on their own (sandwich slice type, nice and cold).  Once stacked with toppings this burger was pretty big.  A big extra point for the Rudy.  He brought catchup and mustard to the bar along with the silverware.  I like my onion rings with mustard and I always hate to have to ask for it.

I’m just going to get this out of the way now…  This burger was fantastic.  It was cooked exactly how I ordered it (medium) and it was smothered with melted bleu cheese (one of the best cheeses in my opinion).  The onion rings were just as amazing.  The coating had just the right thickness and the onions were nice and sweet.  They reminded me of giant Big Boy onion rings except bigger and, I’ll have to admit, better.  Add a little dab of mustard and I was in onion ring heaven.

Score another point for the Rudy as he was right there when it came time for another beer.  He used that time to ask about the food and he was on his way.  I was pretty impressed with how he was managing his side of the bar tonight.  He’s definitely good at his job and others noticed it as well.

The Chatham Tap has definitely redeemed itself and I usually don’t give places a 2nd chance.  It took me a couple of years to try it again but I’m glad I did.  Good atmosphere, attentive staff and great food make this place a winner.  I’m adding this place to my limited rotation of Fishers restaurants.

If you’ve been there or go there after reading this let me know what you think!

Chatham Tap Restaurant on Urbanspoon





Review – Fitbit Ultra

My day can be pretty active at times and after the end of one of those days it’s always nice to see what you’ve done physically (mentally is an all together different issue).  If you’ve ever used a pedometer to measure your daily activity I’m sure you’ve wished it could do more than count your steps.

Enter the FitBit.  This little piece of technology can do some pretty amazing things. Now in its 2nd generation (FitBit Ultra) the unit has worked out the quirks of the 1st generation unit and added some cool new features.  I’ve been following this product since I first heard about it 4 years ago (before it was completed and on the market)

The FitBit Ultra is a tiny, lightweight (0.4 oz), device that you wear on your body during the day to measure activity and at night to measure the lack of activity (sleep).  It’s so light you can easily forget you have it with you.

The FitBit Ultra measures the following activities:

  • Steps taken
  • Distance traveled
  • Calories burned (based on activity, height, weight)
  • Floors climbed (1 floor for every 10′ in elevation change while walking)
  • Overall progress towards the activity goals you have established online

One of the many cool features of the FitBit is that it will auto-sync with the web-based dashboard when you are in the same room as the receiver (which is plugged into a computer).  I have my receiver plugged into the home theater PC since I’m usually in that room once a day.  The receiver also functions as a charging stand, something you will need to do every 5-7 days.

Once your data is uploaded the website compiles all of the information into an easy to understand dashboard.  This dashboard shows historical data as well as averages and goals you have set up (loose 5 pounds, walk 10,000 steps a day, climb 10 flights of stairs a day, etc.).  The dashboard is also where you can enter in the food you’ve eaten to do some calorie calculations (calories consumed vs. burned).  There is a premium, subscription based, dashboard that has additional features like a trainer, more detailed analysis of your activities and food intake.

One FitBit feature that I specifically wanted to try was the sleep analyzer function.  I’ve always assumed I was getting a good nights sleep but never knew how to tell.  By clipping the FitBit on your shirt sleeve (or using the included wrist band) the device measures how many times you “wake up” during the night.

Last night I woke up (moved) 5 times during my 7-hour slumber and that worked out to an efficiency rating of 99%.  I guess I slept good last night!  I just bought the unit last weekend and I’m still getting used to everything I can do with it.

If you’re into mobile apps (and who isn’t these days?) you can access your dashboard with an iPhone, Blackberry, and Android device.

For $99 the FitBit Ultra is an interesting toy that I’m going to plan on using for the foreseeable future to measure my activity level.  Having something like this is a huge motivator and has already convinced me to take the stairs vs. the elevator today (and in the days to come).

Here’s the promotional video that does a great job explaining how the FitBit can “fit” into your lifestyle.