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I’ve only used delivery services like GrubHub and Uber Eats a few times and was disappointed each time due to lukewarm food, ridiculous fees, and price markups. They are nothing like the excellent, albeit limited, service you get from ClusterTruck. I’m super fortunate to be able to order from ClusterTruck from home and the office downtown. Out of 50+ orders, I’ve only had one issue: they delivered my food to the wrong location. However, they re-did the order and credited my account as soon as I reached out. That’s great customer service!
Amazon Prime members can now get 12 months of GrubHub+ for free! GrubHub+ is usually $10 a month and gets you $0 delivery fees applicable on orders with a $12+ subtotal (before tax, tip, and fees). After signing up, I looked at the restaurants on the GrubHub app and found quite a few I didn’t recognize in the area. After a little Google Maps searching, I discovered all the “new” places were Ghost Kitchens inside existing restaurants. Evidently, this is quite common & Chuckie Cheese is even in on the action with their Pasqually’s Pizza listing. It’s worth doing a little research if you’re unsure of the pace you’re ordering from.
If you’re a subscriber to Apple News+ and a foodie, you might have noticed Cooks Illustrated (CI) is now available to read on the service. CI is one of those magazines I subscribed to for years. It always seemed pretty skinny with no ads, but it’s actually fat with content. It features articles from the Americas Test Kitchen and Cooks Country staff (shows you can find on PBS’s “Create” sub-channel), product reviews, and some fantastic seasonal recipes. So if you’re looking for an unpretentious cooking magazine, this is the one to check out! Apple news replaced the Texture App, and I was a little unsure about that at first, but it’d turned out to be a better platform with a LOT more content, all for $10 a month. I can’t tell you the last time I read a physical magazine (except for Consumers Reports which I get as a yearly subscription from my father).
And finally… You can’t escape it. The Chicken Sandwich is one of the top-selling items at America’s fast food restaurants. And with good reason, they’re delicious! CNBC had an interesting piece about How Chicken Became an American Obsession.
July 1, 2022, was the first day of Constitutional Carry in Indiana. This means if you’re 18 or older and a person not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm, you may legally carry a gun throughout the State. Previously you had to obtain a License to Carry a Handgun (LCH) through an application process. Yes, you had to jump through a few hoops like getting fingerprinted and visiting your local Police Dept to submit paperwork, but overall it was not a big deal.
In my opinion, the LCH process prevented lazy, law-abiding people from carrying firearms outside the home because it was too much work to go through the licensing process. But, unfortunately, bad guys will carry anyway because they don’t care about the law, so this had no impact on them. Law enforcement agencies are not happy about the new law either (rightfully so).
So we now have three types of people carrying firearms:
- 1. The bad guys, who have always carried illegally despite the law
- 2. People who were licensed correctly (and probably go to the range on occasion)
- 3. Individuals who can now carry as of July 1 but probably shouldn’t because they have no idea what they are doing or how their firearm works (let alone the legal repercussions should they ever discharge their weapon).
The third person scares me as much or more than the second. Time will tell if this Constitutional Carry law increases violence in Indiana. Some states have had similar laws for years with reportedly no ill effect. I hope my fellow Hoosiers can follow the same path and behave themselves.
We’re halfway through the year, and I’m still enjoying the weekly post format of the Blog I started in 2021. I hope you have been too. I usually collect ideas throughout the week and spend some time on Sat/Sun looking back on the week to create a post that’s usually out each Sunday evening (or earlier). It’s a great way to share things I find online throughout the week and gives me a reason to do some creative writing every week.
I touched on this back in 2015 at the end of my GoPro Review. One or Two spaces after a period when writing (typing)? Slate said to stop doing it back in 2011; The Atlantic was still discussing it in 2018, so will there ever be a consensus on this? Two spaces were the norm when typewriters were in regular use, which was a long ago. I guess it’s just a habit that’s hard to break. While writing this, I just noticed that double-tapping the space key on any of my Apple products will insert a period AND only ONE space after the period. I’m not sure when that changed, but If it’s the same on Windows, maybe it will be easier to change! Grammarly asks me every time I draft a blog post if I want to use one space or two. I chose one for this one 🙂
And finally… You might have noticed it’s a little warm out, with it being Summer and all. I’m not one for hot drinks unless it’s cold out, and the beverage’s heat will warm me up. However, I’m a cold drink fan, especially in the morning, and when it comes to morning caffeine, if I have any, it’s usually in the form of Cold Brew.
You can purchase Cold Brew Coffee just about anywhere and pay a small fortune, or you can buy something that helps you make it at home for a fraction of the price. My initial foray into Cold Brew was years ago with the Toddy Cold Brew System ($40). It did a good job and produced at least a 7-days worth of cold brew concentrate. The only issue was that it’s bulky, and you have to replace the fiber filters every couple of uses.
Then we converted to the KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker ($85). This little thing is built like a tank with glass, stainless steel, and a non-drip spout that makes dispensing your concentrate simple and mess-free. It doesn’t make as much concentrate as the Toddy (they now have a larger model that does), but the filter basket is made from a stainless mesh and is dishwasher safe, so there’s nothing to replace. After several years it’s going strong and allows me to keep a batch of cold brew concentrate in the fridge ready to go!
There were several large protests in downtown Indianapolis last weekend and even more this past week. All were regarding the Roe vs. Wade reversal, and all were peaceful, which s a lot better than the mess we had downtown a while back. I’ve grown up in a conservative household and have always considered myself a conservative, but as I get older, I start seeing myself siding with some liberal issues. I think I’m a Centrist, and I’m OK with that. As an example, I’m Pro 2nd Amendment as well as Pro-Choice when it comes to women’s reproductive rights. I’m not a fan of Big Government, but I also understand the need for subsidies, where needed, for the greater good. I’m a proud American, and I appreciate the freedom we have to exercise our right to protest and use our vote to produce change peacefully. I’ve left a long career with a very conservative (politically and financially) privately owned company and moved to a more liberal, not-for-profit organization. Within the first month, I opened my eyes to some things I would have never noticed before. It will be a wild ride, and I’m looking forward to growing my understanding of the “other side.”
I had to get a new phone when I left my last employer, so I upgraded from an iPhone 12 Pro to a 13 Pro. I haven’t had to pay for a cell phone for 20+ years & was a little surprised at the cost of a non-enterprise line and phone! I decided to purchase the iPhone 13 Pro outright to give me flexibility should I want to upgrade at a future time and trade this unit in for credit. You get a surprisingly decent amount of money for used Apple products when you trade them back into Apple.
The 13 Pro has slightly better battery life, a better camera, and screen than the 12, but that’s about it. I had been upgrading my work phone every two years and was on the “Even Cycle” of phones (8/10/12) vs. the “Odd Cycle” (9/11/13). The Even cycle of iPhones always seems to have the most significant technological leaps, with a rumor that the iPhone 14 will switch from Lightning to USB-C for its power connector. Of course, Apple could remove the connector altogether and be a true wireless phone.
Luckily I get a decent stipend from the new job to cover the cost of my cell phone, but it’s nothing like having it provided for free as an employee perk. I find myself being much more careful with this $1200 device than I was when it was standard issue equipment as part of the job. I’ve also never been one to use a screen protector, but after finding what looks like a small scratch on the screen of my new phone, I ordered some tempered glass screen protectors from Amazon. We’ll see if they make a difference or not.
And finally… CNBC had an interesting YouTube video about Amazon. It’s a combination of several pieces, so there is some redundancy, but it does a good job explaining what happens when you return an item to the shopping behemoth.
I checked out a couple of new lunch spots while working in Downtown Indy these past few weeks. The AMP at 16 Tech was our spot for lunch while conducting a site tour in the area for an upcoming Board Meeting (we typically rotate these around the city). The AMP is a food hall with stalls made from converted shipping containers. It’s unique to the city, and the various shops add a lot of variety to the location. I ordered a cheesesteak from Mambo’s, and while not the same as Hoagies and Hops, it was a nice sandwich that hit the spot. When looking at Mombo’s website, I found out they have a location in City Market, so I’m going to have to check that location out too.
My other “new” lunch spot was Turchetti’s Delicatessen in Fountain Square. I’m calling it “new” because I visited pre-covid when it was a carry-out spot with very limited seating. During this visit, I sat in the new Bistro area that had seats for about 2-dozen and a decent-sized bar. They bill themselves as a Soccer Bar, so I’ll need to re-visit when the Soccer season starts back up, and check it out for myself.
My new job allows me to work from home on Monday and Friday so I’ve been trying to spend some of my lunch money locally (as well as eating at home). One of those local spots has been Wild Ginger on 116th St. It’s a nice family-run sushi shop with fresh food and great service. I’m finding myself there at least once a week lately.
That’s it for this week. I’ll be curious to see what’s happening in Downtown Indianapolis in the upcoming days after the SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe vs Wade. There have been several (peaceful) protests this weekend & the politicians return in early July for a 30-day Special Session. I can imagine there will be a lot of things going on around the State House during that time!
Took a quick overnight trip to Cincinnatti last weekend to attend my nephew’s graduation party. On the way down I decided to take a small detour and check out Blue Ash Chili. I had recently seen it featured on Diner Drive-ins & Dives and realized there was another chili place in Cincy that I hadn’t tried yet!
Although Blue Ash was good (VERY similar to Skyline), Camp Washington will remain my favorite Cincy Style Chili. I appreciate the fact that Blue Ash has a rather large menu and the Club Sandwiches coming out of the kitchen looked amazing. While prepping for this post I found the Cincy Chili Map and realized I have a LOT more places to check out! I didn’t realize (but should have) that there were so many independent Chili spots in the city.
A trip to Cincy also requires a stop at the Infamous Jungle Jim’s. I have to really be careful when I shop in that store because you can end up buying way too much. It helps to have a list of the “must get” items and leave some room in the care to try new things. It helps that I drive right by the Eastgate location so it’s super convenient to pop in on the way home.
On this trip, I focused on chocolates (great gifts) and Ramen (JJs has a great selection). I was pleased to see Smoking Goose was prominent in the deli area and even found some Cane Sugar Dr Pepper for a co-worker who’s a DP Super Fan.
Something I forgot to share from the week prior was the Strawberry Festival in Downtown Indianapolis. The lines were insane but the shortcake treat was delicious. I was fortunate that someone in our office placed a big group order and handed them out to the people that were in the office that day. The only thing better than a fresh strawberry shortcake with ice cream is a FREE fresh strawberry shortcake with ice cream!
That’s it for this week. It’s going to be another week of temps in the 90s but next week is looking like it might shape up to be a good one. I checked out two new (to me) lunch spots recently, more info on that next week. Thanks for reading!
I love a good burger. Be it a freshly ground half-pound Brisket Burger I make in the summertime or a good ole’ smash burger available just about everywhere. Smashburger’s are all the rage these days, and I’ve had a lot. Of course, having One Trick Pony in the Fishers Test Kitchen down the street from my house doesn’t hurt either.
Typically made with 3-4 oz patties, Smashburger’s are thin, with crispy, lacy edges, unlike the typical backyard burger, as the following video explains.
I took a road trip a few weeks ago to the little town of Goshen, Indiana, for a lunch date & tried a new place called Biebs & Ash Smashburger. We started the meal with Deviled Eggs that were topped with bacon, everything bagel crunchies & green onion. These were delicious & I would not hesitate to order again.
I ordered the Peanut Butter Smash for my burger, which had a double patty, pepper jack, crunchy peanut butter, blackberry-poblano jam, bacon, and pickled jalapeños on a potato bun, served with fries. I upgraded the fries to their “Hella Parm Fries” topped with garlic aioli and a mound of freshly grated parm. This was, by far, one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. The mix of ingredients worked very well together, and I could not stop eating it.
My lunch date ordered the Biebs Smash with double patty, American, pickles, onions, burger sauce on a potato bun, and upgraded her fries to the Maryland Style with old bay seasoning, malt vinegar aioli, and green onion.
It had been a long time since I visited Goshen, and it seems to be doing well. The downtown Main Street was alive with activity, and they had very few vacant storefronts, which is rare these days in small towns around the country.
And finally… HOW HARD is it to put a sticker in the correct place?
Next week we recap a quick trip to Cincinnati, try a new restaurant, and revisit one of our favorite stores.
This is going to be a short catch-up post this week. Lots of new things going on with the new job, and the first week flew by. It’s been fun to immerse myself in a new type of work and the new terminology, acronyms, and challenges.
From an organizational standpoint, I decided, once again, to separate my personal and professional life. I had ended up merging the two recently with the adoption of Apple Reminders, but with all the new inputs and things to track with the new job, I decided to dust off ToDoist and give it another go, but only for work items. So I’m keeping my personal task list in Apple Reminders for the time being. It’s nice not to see personal items at work and vice-versa & it’s bringing some clarity I have not had for a while.
For the time being, project management will continue to occur in Evernote. It’s my tried-and-true capture tool with the ability to track projects at a granular level. I was happy to see that ToDoist has some basic project management capabilities in the form of Boards similar to Trello. I can see this being useful for future, more in-depth projects. It’s matured quite a bit since I stopped using it a couple of years ago.
That’s it for this week. I’ve had a few road trips and checked out some new restaurants this month, so those will be the subject of future blog posts as I get caught up and back into a rhythm. Stay Tuned!
So I retired from the IT world last week. It’s been a while in the making but after 25+ years, 18 as a consultant, it was time to hang up the keyboard. Will I miss it? Maybe. Am I glad I made the decision? Absolutely! Now I’m not old enough to actually retire. I have a few more years ahead of me before I do that, but I have an opportunity to try something else and help make a difference in people’s lives while I can.
The departure from my last employer was positive and I enjoyed my time there. I learned a lot and will value the relationships I made, and the projects I worked on over the years. They have great leadership, supportive management, and smart, dedicated employees. I have nothing but great things to say.
COVID played a big part in this decision as my role at my primary client was changing to provide more than just IT consulting services. I became wrapped up in a lot of Operations type tasks and really got into it (whatever it takes to get the job done is my motto). I liked it so much that I decided I wanted to move into Operations full time, and they had an opening available.
What exactly is Operations? Well, it’s a little bit of everything, and most of it is behind the scenes. Operations are the heart of any organization and assist with employee retention, policies and procedures, vendor management, and so on. In a way, it’s like consulting because you never know what you’re going to be challenged with next. I’m sure my technical background will come in handy as we look to use technology to streamline processes and improve efficiencies throughout the organization.
If you’ve been thinking about a career change, Forbes had a great article called How To Reinvent Your Career At Any Age. It has some great tips to get you started. It helped me realize you’re never too old to make a big change!
I’m planning to continue posting weekly updates on the blog. I can’t walk away from tech completely so I’m sure I’ll still be reviewing interesting products along the way. There is always food and travel to blog about too so I see this site continuing to be active for the foreseeable future.
We’re in the second half of May and the City of Indianapolis is abuzz with activity leading up to the ”Big Race” on May 29. The Indianapolis 500 is about the only Indy Car race I watch. I’m more of an F1 fan so the Monaco race on the morning of the 29th will be my focus that day.
I subscribe to the Hoosier History Live newsletter (and podcast) and recently they had an issue focusing on the creation of the Geist & Morse Reservoirs. Both articles were interesting reading and a nice history lesson about the two local landmarks.
Another short post as I have a busy week ahead of me. Big announcement coming in the next post. I’m looking forward to that one!
I was expecting to have a post this week full of trip highlights but alas, life gets in the way and trips get postponed. This week I have some links to articles I came across the past week. Hopefully, we’ll be back to the normal blog schedule next weekend.
If you live in Indianapolis & have a Library Card you’re in luck! You have access to a lot of online newspapers you would normally have to pay to access (including the Indianapolis Star). Several libraries offer similar amenities so it’s worth checking out what your local library offers. If you didn’t know you can download e-books and stream movies all for free. It’s a really good perk for a FREE service!
Did you like Wordle before I was purchased by the New Your Times? If you’re a foodie like me you’re going to love Phoodle! In case you don’t know, you get 5 chances to guess a 5-letter food-related word. It’s harder than you think, and you can only play one game a day so it’s safe for those of you with addictive tendencies.
And finally, while there isn’t a voice-over on this video it’s very relaxing to watch how this antique candy drop roller is restored back to usable condition. Enjoy!