Category: Blogging


2021 Week 42 – Grammarly App Review

I have a confession to make. I’m lazy when it comes to writing. I let the computer recommend corrections and highlight spelling mistakes. I thought I had it all figured out, and then I tried Grammarly.

Years ago, I played with Grammarly when it first came out and didn’t see the need to keep it as it didn’t appear to be any better than the built-in tools I was already using. However, I kept seeing Grammarly pop up online, and several people I know are happily using it, so I decided to give it another try.

First off, the amount of integration this tool provides is impressive. From browser extensions on the desktop to additional keyboards on mobile devices, Grammarly has you covered just about everywhere. I’ve been using it for the past month or so while drafting Blog entries, and it’s caught WAY more grammatical errors than the built-in editor, especially missing commas that I’m guilty of having. Some of the more technical emails I’ve needed to write at work have greatly benefitted from Grammarly too.

There are a few different options with Grammarly. Free, Premium, and Business. The Premium version I’m currently using is $12 a month. It’s a little steep, I’ll admit, but it’s become so integrated into my workflow I’m willing to pay the price. Of course, it’s not a perfect solution and will, on occasion, make a recommendation I don’t quite agree with, but those are few and far between.


In other news, I just started listening to a new podcast called “How We Survive” from NPR Marketplace. The first season is all about the lithium used in batteries that will be powering everything in the future and how we need to mine more to meet the demand.

The climate crisis is here. Time is slipping away to stop the worst effects of global warming, and the world is looking for solutions. On “How We Survive,” Molly Wood explores the technology that could provide some of those solutions, the business of acclimatizing to an increasingly inhospitable planet, and the way people have to change if we’re going to make it in an altered world. Our first season season dives deep into the economics, the tech and the human stories behind the race for lithium. It’s the “white gold” that will help electrify our cars, homes and power grids, and unlike the gold rush of the 1800s, this time, our survival might depend on it.

Molly Wood – Host of the “How We Survive” Podcast.

That’s it for this week. I have a few ideas for upcoming blogs and have several drafts in the works. See you next time!

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 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.

2021 Week 9 – Indy Tacos

wall clock on street

Finally stopped in to check out Indy Tacos (2196 E 54th St, Indianapolis) this last week. I’ve driven by several times & keep seeing it brought up on the Indianapolis Reddit page & decided now was the time. They have a nice selection of items and the prices are very reasonable for the quality. I opted for 1 Chorizo and 2 El Pastor tacos. I thought I might as well try out their chips and salsa while I waited.

No sooner did I grab a seat and take my coat off the food came out. I was not expecting that! You’ll need to be the judge yourself but I thought the tacos were perfect and the chips/salsa was some of the best I’ve had in a long time. The salsa was nice and cold and the chips were super fresh. They also provided some green and red squeeze bottle salsas. I’ll warn you, the red is HOT! If you’re in the area and want a quick bite it’s worth a little detour off Keystone to try this place out! Their Instagram page is here.

If you’re looking for a new local podcast you should check out the series from the Indy Chamber CEO Michael Huber. The Michael Loves Indy podcast has interviews from area influencers, such as Aaron Renn, former Mayor Greg Ballard and Michael Kaufmann. 10 episodes are currently available.

And finally, I’ve been a Mac user for quite a while now & thought I’d seen it all. The following video has some tips and tricks I never knew existed. Enjoy!

2021 Week 7 – Test Kitchen Troubles

interior of modern kitchen with furniture in daytime

Another Cold week and more chances for snow, oh boy! It’s been a while since Indy has been above the freezing mark and I think we have another week before we have a chance of making it there.

Issues at the Bon Appetite Test Kitchen as detailed on the /reply-all/ Podcast episode #172 (part 1 of 2). I used to LOVE watching the Bon Appetite test kitchen on YouTube as well as reading the monthly magazine. But a lot of things have come out this past year about racism and unfair treatment of minority employees. It was so bad they’ve all but disbanded the original cast and tried to reboot the show with an all new cast. It’s not the same & it’s a shame things happened the way it did. The podcast is an interesting report of how things transpired for the past 10 years up until things started coming to light in 2020.

Ammo prices are crazy right now! If you like to shoot you probably already know about this. There was a time not so long ago that a single round of 9mm would average about $0.15 when you purchased in bulk. These days that same round is closer to $0.90. That has a lot of people shooting less and no doubt putting pressure on the area firing ranges. I know I sure can’t justify throwing a dollar down range with every shot. I think Chris Rock was onto something years ago.

Well the Super Bowl was a little disappointing this year. Not only the outcome but the actual game. The oddsmakers had it listed as a 3-point spread so everyone was anticipating a shootout to the very end. Reports released this week indicated it was was one of the least viewed games in 14 years. Maybe next year will be better, don’t think it can get any worse!

Prior to the Super Bowl DraftKings presented their Big Game Snackdown on their YouTube channel. This was a competitive eating competition featuring the top people in the sport such as Joey Chestnut. They had 8 minutes to eat a variety of foods one might find at a Super Bowl party. It was a LOT of food and several of the contestants didn’t make it to the end.

For the food portion of this weeks entry I’d like to give some props to the A 2 Z Cafe on 96th St in Indianapolis. This place is right down the street from the office and I’ve only been twice. Once for breakfast pre-Covid and once this week for lunch. It’s a small family run business with a lot of character and a great menu featuring all the diner classics along with several Hawaiian classics.

Shoyu Chicken and Coconut rice with Pasta Salad

And finally, there was a time when the Boston Dynamic robots were wobbly and not so sure on their feet. Now we have this. Technology has come a LONG way!

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