Just in time for the holiday weekend, I somehow picked up a head cold. I started getting the throat tickle Thursday afternoon and had a full-on sore throat by bedtime. I thought it was going to turn into strep, but the throat felt better the next morning, although my sinuses were on fire. Friday night was one of those sleep/wake up/sleep recurring themes, but by Saturday morning, I at least had my appetite and taste mostly back. I credit the Tylenol and Alka Seltzer for helping to control the worst of the systems and helping me get back on my feet by Sunday morning.
We’ve become big fans of BJ’s Wholesale Club since it opened up the road. We love the shopping experience (it’s never been crowded), and the prices are very competitive with the other big box stores. We picked up a raised flower bed for a good price and turned it into an herb garden on the back porch. Finding the herbs proved to be a little bit of a challenge as the pop-up nursery we visit every year at Hamilton Town Center was left with scraps. We ventured over to Allisonville Nursery (now owned by Sullivan Hardware) and found everything we wanted at slightly higher prices than the pop-up) I’ve always wanted to try using a raised bed, so we’ll see how it goes this year.
I made a random stop at Trader Joe’s about a month ago (I never can seem to get that place in a regular rotation) & picked up a few new things, including the Trader Joe’s Organic Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls. These sat in the fridge for a few weeks before I broke them out of the pop-tube and baked them up on a Sunday morning. These things are GOOD! Not too sweet, nice and fluffy, with a great cinnamon swirl running throughout. I’d take these over the hassle of making homemade most of the time. These are worth keeping in the fridge for those cinnamon bun emergencies we all have from time to time.
The Night Agent on NetFlix was a fun watch. It’s about an F.B.I. agent who works late at the White House, taking emergency calls from field operatives. It moved quickly, and the ten 30-minute episodes went by quickly, leading to the exciting season finale. It’ll be interesting to see if they make another season.
The Best BBQ Chips: The United States of Barbecue Chips. This was a fun review to read from America’s Test Kitchen where they mail-ordered chips from all over the country to determine who had the best BBQ Chip.
BodyGuards just released their $79.99 Apex Screen Protector. I kid you not, $80 for a mobile phone screen protector! I’ll keep an eye on these & maybe pick one up when they go on clearance in a year or so…
And finally… I usually put a video in this segment but decided to use a picture this time around. The image below shows all the helicopter traffic in the area after the Indy 500. LOTS of people being shuttled to the regional airports (Westfield, Fishers, Mt. Comfort). The icon with the 3 props (under the Lawerence label) is a DHS hello out of the Chicago area that spent the weekend in Indy circling various areas doing who knows what.
I ended up out at the track twice last week for work events. Tuesday was wet, and there were no cars on the track, so I ducked out after the event. Thursday was beautiful; the cars were out, turning laps and dialing things in. I always end up at the track every year for a vendor event or an event tied to work. Kind of a nice way to spend an afternoon!
Cheeky Bastards, a newish British restaurant on Fall Creek in Geist, is now open for dinner. I’ve yet to make it over there, but I’m hoping to check out their Fish and Chips (or Banders and Mash) for lunch very soon.
I used to work with a guy that left his job to go work for the State Department doing something very similar. Bringing countries together with food and culture. Interesting stuff!
Following up from Week 17, where we referenced the disappearance of AM radios in new automobiles, The IBJ reports on a “Bipartisan bill aims to require AM radio in new cars.” The comments don’t disappoint, either…
It’s usually nice to see news coverage of your hometown, and then there are times it’s not… “Fishers Council approves $50 parking fee for nonresidents for Geist Waterfront Park.” The backlash on this decision is all over social media and has been brought up in several of the conversations I’ve been a part of this last week. I understand the need for crowd control, but this is just a bad look for an otherwise great project. I, for one, look forward to trying out the new kayak launch. It has to be better than the alternative we have at the Geist Park upstream.
And finally… The Deal Guy discusses “NEW Amazon Prime Benefits You SHOULD Know in 2023!”
I Spent most of last week on PTO in the Texas Hill Country and loved every minute of it. I flew down to San Antonio, picked up my better half, who was down there for work, and drove north to Comfort, TX, about 45 minutes northwest of the city.
When I booked the Trip, Enterprise had some very affordable options, including several premium models for just a little more than a full-sized car. I ended up with an Audi Q3 SUV for the trip and really enjoyed driving around the Texas roads. You’ll first notice the speed limits if you’ve never driven in Texas. On a 2-lane curvy road, the posted speed limit is often 10-20 MPH higher than in Indiana (70MPH +), and on the highway, it can be as high as 85 MPH. The little Audi was a champ and got surprisingly good gas mileage as we traveled between locations at speeds that sometimes felt too fast!
Our B&B (Hotel Giles) was an old hotel built in the late 1800s and was very nice, with covered porches and a gazebo in the back. Our host was very gracious and had a wonderful breakfast ready for us at 9 am sharp every morning. The town also had an amazing little wood-fired pizza shop in an old gas station down the street with delicious pizza and homemade gelato that was some of the best we had ever had.
Fredericksburg, TX, is often referred to as the Napa Valley of the South because of the number of wineries in the area (over 100), and it was our destination of choice for several days of the trip. Their Main Street was full of specialty shops, restaurants, breweries, and several wineries.
While this was the first time I’ve gotten out of San Antonio and visited TX Hill Country, it will NOT be the last. So many things to do, and in typical Texas fashion, the people are as nice as can be and openly welcome visitors to their great state.
SlapFish opened a new location in the Fishers District a few months ago, and we finally made our way over there for dinner. We ordered a Shrimp Roll and Fish and Chips. Both meals were very fresh and fairly priced (under $20 each) for the portion size. We don’t have any dedicated seafood restaurants in Fishers, so SlapFish is a welcome addition to which we will be returning soon!
And finally… I’m a pretty observant person, and I see a lot of crazy stuff on my daily travels to and from work in Indianapolis. Expired license plates are seen daily, and their sheer number makes me wonder how people are getting away with it. A quick search turned up a 2019 report from local TV station WRTV titled “Parking a car with expired tags or no license plate is illegal in Indianapolis.” It’s not a local issue, as a TV station out of Oregon reported something similar last May:
I had a pretty good week last week. I was only in the office for two days as I took advantage of two work-from-home days and attended a conference at the NCAA Hall of Fame. The HoF facility is very nice and full of sports history. I left the conference full of ideas related to my job and look forward to flushing them out to see if they can be implemented in my organization.
I don’t know what it is, but when I work from home on a Friday, Saturday always feels like Sunday for the first few hours of the morning. I know one thing when I work from home, I get SO much done! It’s probably because I rarely have meetings that day, and there are few interruptions.
I usually enter the weekend with a clear inbox and satisfaction that I made progress on my active projects (of which I typically have 25-40 at any time). In true Getting Things Done (GTD) style, I identify a “Project” as anything that takes more than one step to complete. The largest list I keep is my “Waiting For” list!
Try GTD if you…
Feel overwhelmed by the amount of things you need to keep track of
Worry about forgetting small details
Wear lots of hats in your job and life
Starts lots of projects but have trouble finishing them
Have never GTD’d before (everyone should GTD at least once in their lives)
I’ve preached the gospel about the GTD organizational methodology for 20+ years. It’s what’s helped me succeed in business (and personal life) and sleep well at night, knowing that I didn’t let anything slip through the cracks that day. So if you feel you’re always forgetting things, a quick read of the GTD book might help!
Enough about work, on to my favorite pastime, food! I FINALLY made a takeout order from Futuro Pizza last week. When they first opened (during the Pandemic times), you had to order your pie a day or two in advance & not knowing my schedule (if I’d be working downtown or not), they fell off my radar.
Futuro was born of necessity. During the beginning of the covid19 shutdown, in an effort to find a way to feed our family, we began making and cooking pizza for our family and friends. Word spread like wildfire and before we knew it, we were cooking 50 pizzas a day. So, we decided to make a go of opening a brick and mortar restaurant.
The owners have years of experience in the service industry & are making it a point to treat their employees fairly. I’ve seen several social media posts about how they care for their employees. I feel guilty that it’s taken me this long to try them!
Our first order was a Detroit Style Futuro Classic (they also have Chicago Tavern style) pizza with Pepperoni, Sausage & Mushrooms, and an order of four breadsticks (the garlic butter sauce is delicious!). Unfortunately, we dove in before snapping any pictures but remembered afterward.
Two people can get two meals out of this pizza. The pictures above show what was left after we were done the first night (I enjoyed the leftovers for dinner the following evening). This is a SOLID pizza. I shied away from “Detroit Style” for years because I thought it was the same as Sicillian (all dough and little sauce/toppings). I learned I was wrong after an order from Jett’s Pizza introduced me to Detroit Style. Now it’s one of my favorites, and Futuro does it justice. The worst part about ordering pizza from Futuro is I have to smell it all the way home to Fishers! Our total order was $33 for pizza, breadsticks, and tip. I think the quality and portion size you get is a bargain, and I look forward to ordering it again soon!
When was the last time you used the AM radio in your car? Me? Maybe twice in the previous year, when I wanted to listen to a Reds game while camping and when I tuned into emergency road information while traveling. The Early Chirp newsletter (worth checking out) had a short piece titled Inside The Fight To Keep AM Radio In Electric Vehicles. According to Safety Experts, AM Radio Waves are still useful in the case of a national emergency. Still, automakers have been slowly removing the AM band from their latest automobiles.
And finally… If you’ve ever driven to Chicago, you have undoubtedly seen the Oasis rest stops on the toll roads. What makes them unique is the placement upon a bridge-like structure over the highway. But, once a popular place to stop, these days they are disappearing. The It’s History channel on YouTube explains why.
Ahhh, Indiana. It was 80 degrees the other day & we had a Freeze warning last night. Hopefully, the freeze didn’t kill any of your freshly planted flowers. We haven’t planted yet, so that’s a good thing! I didn’t get around to drafting this week’s post over the weekend, so I’m knocking it out Monday evening. It’s amazing how the weekend can get away from you!
The nicer weather the past two weeks has allowed me to take walks during lunchtime, and one of my destinations recently has been City Market. While it’s nothing like it was pre-Covid, several shops are hanging on, and they are getting a fair amount of lunch business. Cafe Olivia has gotten a lot of love in my office, and after getting a few sandwiches from there, I can see why! I tried a Cuban sandwich a few weeks ago, and although it wasn’t pressed on a Plancha in the traditional way, it had all the flavors and really hit the spot. On the last visit, the Cuban was unavailable, so I asked the lady behind the counter what their best seller was, and she said the Pastrami Reuben was a popular choice.
I’m not a huge sauerkraut fan and asked for a light amount. As you can see from the picture, there still was a considerable amount, but it was really GOOD kraut. Mixed with Thousand Island, it was a perfect complement to the Pastrami and dark Rye bread. Cafe Olivia has a rotating display of “Dirty” Chips next to the checkout. These are some seriously good chips, with the skin on and lots of seasoning. It’s disappointing that the Indianapolis City Market took such a hit during the Pandemic, but I’m glad to see several shops that weathered the storm. My favorite Crepe Shop didn’t make it, though. City Market still has a lot of really good places to eat, from Sandwiches to Pizza to Mexican and Middle Eastern. If you work downtown, it’s a nice walk to the market and still worth visiting!
After watching the construction and receiving about a dozen flyers, we finally ventured to Hamilton Town Center to check out BJ’s Wholesale Club. If you purchase a $55 membership, you get a $40 credit applied to your account, so for a net of $15, it was a good way to get us in the door. If you haven’t been to a BJs Wholesale Club, it’s like a Sam’s Club or Costco but with less “stuff” in the middle (clothing, etc.). It’s more focused on food, and the crowds are a fraction of what they are at Costco. I’ve visited twice, and both times were very nice, with little in the way of crowds or lines at the registers. One of the unique things about BJ’s is they take coupons, and they have digital coupons in their app. I saved a considerable amount from my last purchase by clipping digital coupons. You’re also not restricted on the type of card you use for payment (Costco). As far as alcohol sales go, this BJ’s location is only selling beer and wine at this time.
Similar to Sam’s & Costco, BJ’s sells discounted fuel too. I’m in the Hamilton Town Center area pretty regularly, so topping off the tank will be something I plan on doing. I need to compare the prices with Kroger and the Fual Point Discounts I get to see if it’s worth a special trip up there or not. I just checked, and my Costco membership expires at the end of July; I think BJ’s might be replacing it.
And finally… Robertson, Phillips, and the History of the Screwdriver. Did you know Canada has its own type of screw (and driver) that’s all but unheard of in the US? The History Guy had a video discussing the differences in another fascinating history lesson.
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