2021 Week 37 – 9/11 and the World Today

It’s tough to believe it’s been 20 years since Terrorists changed America forever. On September 11, 2001, I was driving to work listening to the news on 1070 WIBC when the first plane hit the North Tower and remember thinking it was such an awful accident. When the second plane hit the South Tower, it was clear something else was going on. That day was full of bad news after bad news with the Pentagon attack and Flight 93 crashing in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and I’ll never forget it.

We’ve had other historical events in the past, such as Pearl Harbour, where 2403 military and civilians were killed in 1941. That attack triggered the United States’ entry into World War II the next day. American involvement in the war lasted four years from 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, to 1945, when Japan and Germany were defeated.

The 9/11 attacks, which killed 2,996 Americans, were in peacetime and a first for the United States. This led to the 20-year conflict in the middle east, which we just “ended”. I say “ended” because even though we cut the head off the snake by killing Osama bin Laden, we didn’t end the war. The evil that is the Taliban survived and took over an ENTIRE COUNTRY in a matter of weeks. I can’t help but think we’ll be back; it’s only a matter of time…

After 9/11, the United States came together in unity. There was a feeling of patriotism, as we had a common enemy*. Many freedoms we had before the attacks were restricted in the same of security (remember flying prior to 9/11?) and, even though we didn’t like it, we accepted it and moved on with our lives. Unfortunately, as the years passed, we slowly drifted back to the complacency we had pre-disaster. Then COVID-19 attacked us…

Fast forward today, where we had another opportunity to rally as a nation with the COVID-19 epidemic, but we failed miserably to come together as a nation again. Instead of joining forces to fight another common enemy that was killing with impunity, we raised our defenses and ignored common sense that would have eradicated the virus.

As of today, we’ve had 677,737 American deaths attributed to COVID-19, with more dying every day. New variants are not helping the situation, but the real issue is people refusing to get vaccinated only to get sick, spread the virus, and in some cases, die from it.

While I’m not a fan of government overreach, I feel like we did this to ourselves by playing doctor and pretending to know more than the science. Now we’re seeing the US Government force our hand and start rolling out vaccine mandates. Unfortunately, I think the anti-vaxers will dig their heels in, and we’re going to see more civil unrest, not unlike we saw last year in the United States.

I really hope I’m wrong…

*I’m going to keep my personal thoughts about 9/11 out of this post because now is not the time. This weekend we remember the 2,996 Americans who lost their lives and those who died from health complications from that day.

2021 Week 36 – 4-Day Weekend!

waving flag of united states of america

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend. I took an extra day off work to make it more like a vacation. The weather was amazing, and it was nice to get out and be active without melting in the 90+ degree heat. I just realized this post should be for Week-36, so I must have missed a post somewhere along the way… I also updated the theme to something a little fresher than what we’ve been using for several years.

I visited a new-to-me Disc Golf course north of Tipton, Indiana, over the weekend. The Heartland Disc Golf Course is located on the grounds of the Heartland Church in Sharpsville, Indiana, and was built in May 2020. Although they only have 9 baskets, they have long and short tee pads that allow you to play a round of 18-holes. There was just one other group there when I visited, and after they left, I had the place to myself for the better part of an hour.

I’m hoping to expand the recipe section of the website and have been looking at WordPress plugins to make things more professional looking, like other sites with recipes.. I’ve started using the “WP Recipe Maker” plugin and edited our recipe for Buffalo Chicken Dip to reflect the new format. It’s going to take a little time to get all of our existing recipes into the new format but going forward, it should be easier to add new ones that we find along the way.

I was hoping to get to the Farmer and the Flea outdoor market this weekend, but the rain on Saturday kept us inside. However, I’m planning on visiting next weekend and will share any unique finds I discover.

And finally, if you’re a fan of Rick and Morty, you might be interested in the First teaser trailer for Rick and Morty live-action starring Christopher Lloyd, Jaeden Martel.

2021 Week 34 – Keto Update

white handbag

I start my 3rd-week with the “Low Carb” diet this week, and I can honestly say it’s going very well. I’m getting a little tired of the limited food choices, but I found a few cookbooks over the weekend that should help mix things up a little.

My original goal was to do this for 2 weeks, but I’ve been so pleased with the results I’m going to keep up with it for a while. I’ll admit I’ve had a few cheat meals, but just being conscious of what I’m eating vs. just eating to bet full has been truly eye-opening. Also, the energy I’ve gained by drastically reducing carbs (and sugars) makes this all worth it.

Dining out has been a little tricky, but it’s doable. I’ve found most restaurants have a low-carb option on their menu, although it’s not always called that. Asking for things without bread or adding a green vegetable over fries or other starches helps keep the carbs down. Now on to our regular programming…

I decided to refresh the look of the site over the weekend & turned on a new theme called “Kvarken”. It’s an older theme and might not be supported in upcoming releases of WordPress but it was time for a refresh. I still haven’t found the “perfect” theme for the site, but as time goes on, I keep getting closer. Unfortunately, there are so many themes to choose from, and many of them are not backward compatible with what I’ve been using, so I’m a little limited in my options.

I downloaded the Grammarly app over the weekend, and I’m in the process of testing it out both personally and at work. Grammarly is a real-time spelling and grammar checker with a huge list of features available (when you pay for a subscription to access them). However, the free version is also very useful and might be what I fall back to after my 90-day subscription ends.

Finally this week… The NY Times had an interesting article about the “issues” created when switching from plastic bags to cotton “totes”.

2021 Week 33 – Keto Curious

green vegetable on white ceramic bowl with cutlery

Last weekend I suddenly became curious about the Low-Carb (Keto) lifestyle. After watching an online video about Carbs, I started doing the math and realized I was consuming more carbs than I realized (a LOT more).

The COVID-19 shutdown has allowed me to cook more and, after finally finding an upright freezer available for sale, purchase more food for bulk storage. This was mainly for convenience, variety, and to reduce the waste of leftovers. However, when I checked the freezer and pantry, I realized how many Carbs were in my diet. So I decided to try an experiment… Reduce Carbs from my diet for 2 weeks.

As of today, I’m one week in, and I have to admit, I’m feeling GREAT! I’ve dropped a few pounds, and I have more energy. Of course, I’ve had a few Carbs now and then, but I’m making a conscious effort to try this for 2 weeks and decide how to go from there.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Kato diet, the video below does an excellent job explaining how things work.

You can find endless resources on YouTube as well as your local library. But, these days, you don’t even need to visit the actual library; you can check books out digitally using the Libby app and read on the free Kindle software from Amazon.

That’s it for this week. If you’ve done Keto or are currently living the lifestyle, I welcome your feedback! I’ve never “dieted” in my life, so this is new to me, but I’m really excited to see the results!

2021 Week 32 – Back to School (and WORK)

yellow school bus on route against historic building

Hard to believe it’s August already & even harder to believe school has started in the area. A lot of businesses are continuing their “back to work” initiatives and the increased traffic during the daily commute is noticeable. Downtown Indianapolis is slowly starting to come back to life but it has a long way to go to get anywhere close to where it was pre-covid, if it ever does.

Another thing that can’t be missed is the number of “Help Wanted” and “We’re Hiring” signs in just about every business. Every place I go out to eat you can tell they’re under staffed and over worked. If you can afford it, please tip generously and be patient if things are a little slower than usual.

I have a few new food places I want to check out in the coming weeks. The Amp Food Hall at 16-Tech and the new Brozinni’s location in Speedway. My Son & I visited Barbecue and Bourbon a few weeks back and we were so busy eating the amazing food I forgot to take any pictures. This means I need another visit…

And finally… Earlier this year North Face rejected a custom jacket order from an oil company & got caught “Virtue Signaling” in a very humorous way.