What We’re Reading in August

Circle_4-704x528Found an interesting website earlier this month called Historic
Indianapolis
.  I think I ended up there after a post on the Facebook Group Indianapolis Long Ago, which I’m a member (lurking more than contributing).  Lot’s of fun facts about the great city of Indianapolis at both locations.  I’ve really got the bug to get out of the suburbs and give “city life” a try in Downtown Indianapolis.  Not sure I’d make it there more than a few years without wanting to get back to the Urban Sprawl but it would be a fun experiment.

Really nice travel article in the NY Times called From Montreal to Minnesota, by Inland Sea by Porter Fox.  He spent 6 days on a cargo ship crossing the Great Lakes and checking out the sights along the way.  Evidently this is a totally legit trip and cargo ships offer this in limited quantities.  Probably going to be booked for a while after this article gets circulated.

Keeping on the maritime theme this morning the NY Times wrote about the only floating Zip Code in the US.  It’s a mail boat that meets up with cargo ships, like the ones in the previously mentioned article, and delivers mail, packages and supplies.  Sounds like a great summer job for someone a lot younger than me.

hostess-deep-fried-twinkiesFinally, in the food department, Hostess is rolling out Deep Fried Twinkies in a Walmart frozen food aisle near you.  Preliminary reviews have actually been positive piquing my interest just enough to maybe try in the near future.

Have a great week out there & like it or not Fall will be here Thursday, September 22.  Get those outdoor activities planned!

4-Months of Dead Air?

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been 4-months since I last published a post on IndyScan.com.  A lot’s been happening and I’ve obviously not been documenting it here!

My activity on Facebook has increased and I’m giving Instagram another try so the details are out there for those of you who know where to look!  I’m currently testing a plugin that will increase the activity on the blog by posting my favorite Instagram pictures here (just tested it right before this post!).  One of these days I’ll have things streamlined where I can share things with everyone everywhere with a single submission (getting really close to that now).

One of the new activities I’m taking part of this year is kayaking.  I grew up canoeing and have always loved the water.  This year was the year to get back out there.  In May I took advantage of the Rusted Moon Outfitters annual sale (20% off!) and picked up a new Dagger Axis 12-foot kayak.  I used the savings to offset the cost of a really nice carbon/fiberglass paddle and kayak specific life vest.

Dagger-Axis-120-Molten-Top

Dagger-Axis-120-Molten-Side

Having gone on several lake and river paddles I can honestly say this is one hell of a boat.  Very comfortable positioning and ride as well as highly maneuverable.  The retractable Skeg (basically a fixed rudder) makes tracking on open water dead straight and when retracted the boat turns on a dime.

I went on a 2-day overnight (camping) trip with some of the guys from work and I had plenty of room for all my equipment, even though I totally over packed!

Since kayaking has become my preferred form of exercise I decided to add one more piece of gear to the mix.  The Garmin Fenix 3 HR GPS/Smartwatch.  Previously I tried out an Apple Watch and was less than impressed.  After reading the reviews I really wanted to give the Garmin a try.

Garmin-Fenix-F3-HRWell this thing is a completely different animal.  It’s rugged as all get out and does many things very well.  You get all the notifications of a Smartwatch but you also get a ton of tracking info for outdoor activities and it’s completely configurable to match your needs.  From running to hiking to water sports and cycling.  This watch does it all and I could not be happier with the purchase.  It’s great to have an electronic dashboard on your wrist with all of your exercise stats as well as full navigation of where you’ve been and how to get back.  It even has weather alerts (web and barometer based) so you don’t get caught off guard when mother nature decides to storm on your outing.

Screenshot 2016-08-14 13.36.41

The image above shows a solo kayak run from Lafayette Trace (near Bongies in Perkinsville) to White River Canoe Company just south of Noblesville.  15+ miles in just under 5 hours.  It was the first time I got to put the Garmin to use and it performed flawlessly.  All of my distance, speed, and heart rate stats were compiled throughout the trip.  I can use the info to gauge my fitness level as well as track improvements or areas that need worked on.

So it’s obvious my new extra curricular activities have shifted focus away from blogging but at least I’m getting exercise!  Look for more posts in the future along with a few trip reports from upcoming kayaking adventures I plan to have before the snow starts flying.

Until next time…

The TSA’s Response to Its Master Key Scandal Is Priceless

us-tsa-master-lock-keys-leak-online-have-already-been-3d-printed-491580-2“Scandal” might be too strong a word. But you’d think the TSA would have been ashamed when hackers released 3D-printer files for its master keys, which can open any any TSA-recommended luggage lock. Does the TSA feel ashamed? Not even close. – Source: Gizmodo

SO, Mr. Traveler, that fancy TSA Approved lock you picked up at the luggage store is just giving you a false sense of security.  It didn’t help that the Washing Post ran an article with a clear picture of every type of key.  All it took was someone with the right 3D Printer software to mock-up a sample & release the templates to the world.

Another thing to add to the list of why flying sucks…

“Word Lens” Lets You Translate Signs in Real-Time!

With “Word Lens” (link to iOS app)  you can literally point your phone at a sign and get it translated to english in REAL-TIME!  I was skeptical at first but after seeing the app was free for a limited time I had to check it out. If you’re planning on traveling overseas (Europe/Russia) in the near future you need to get this app.  Very cool use of technology and an indispensable tool for those not familiar with the native language of the country they’re visiting.

Currently the following add-on languages are available (and they’re free to):

  • English ⇆ Russian
  • English ⇆ Portuguese
  • English ⇆ German
  • English ⇆ Italian
  • English ⇆ French
  • English ⇆ Spanish

I just read that Google has bought the company called Quest Visual (not surprising).  It’ll be interesting to see what they do with it going forward (it’s already been ported to Google Glass).

Hoagy, Grinder, Sub; What do YOU Call It?

The Atlantic had an interesting article that focused on a Harvard study about how people speak.  Specifically what they called various items and said various phrases.  The english language is quite diverse, and when you add in the various dialects from around the United States it can be incredibly complicated for people to learn.

Interesting stuff!