Is This REALLY The “New Normal”?

When I wrote my last post at the end of March I had no idea we would still be dealing with Covid-19 4-months later, let alone witness the the civil unrest that’s occurred in the same timespan. The divisiveness of the country is something I’ve never seen before.

I’ll admit I didn’t take the Pandemic seriously at first and thought we would all be back to work in a few weeks. It took me some time to recognize the severity of the situation and, as stated in the last post, there have been some big changes in how we live

A lot of new business projects that were in the planning stages have been put on hold and some recently completed ones are struggling to make it. We have a large complex down the street called Fishers District that was at about 75% occupancy when all of this started. All the new restaurants had to close at a time they could least afford it. Most have opened back up but the mandated reduced capacity in place can’t be helping them much.

The rioting in Downtown Indianapolis is made the situation even worse. The office workers are not returning. Some major employers aren’t bringing people back until January at the earliest. The businesses who relied the downtown workers are suffering. The businesses looted and damaged in the rioting are suffering. In a lot of cases the same business affected by both.

Fast forward 3-months from March and the infection levels appeared to be trending the right direction. Right about the time people just couldn’t take it anymore and started throwing caution to the wind. Guess what? According to the health authorities the infection rate started climbing again.

Now, one thing I wish the health authorities would do it discuss the percentage of infected tests vs the count. If you test more people you’re going to identify more positive cases. So I’m still a little suspicious of the numbers when they keep giving total infection numbers that are higher and higher. Is it the same percentage of infections based on the number of tests?

It’s currently back to school time and the plans of each district are radically different. The feedback from the parents is all over the place too. Some want to get their kids out of the house at all costs (no fear of the virus), some are concerned about their safety. Both have compelling arguments for why they feel the way they do. I’m just not sure how the schools are going to be able to manage it. Our local High School has almost 4000 students!

Now, almost 4-months later, we’ve settled into the new way of life. I don’t see it “returning to normal” any time soon. I fact the predictions are now saying it’s going to get worse before it gets better. What a weird time to be alive…

Stay safe & do what you can to stay healthy.

WordPress 5.0 is Here!

It’s really kind of hard to believe my last blog post was in June!  I guess now that the weather is getting colder I’m finding time for my “indoor” hobbies such as reading and writing.  

In the span of an hour I read that a new (major) version of WordPress was available and received a notice form my hosting provider that my contract was up for renewal.  This is as good a time as any to update the site and add some more content!

The new WordPress editor is really interesting.  It’s based on your contend being a series of blocks.  These blocks can be scaled, moved, and colored individually.  This gives a tremendous amount of creative freedom to play around with layouts.  This is something that was all but impossible just a year ago on this platform (without some heavy CSS editing).

I’m learning the design has a lot to do with your theme.  The current theme I’m using for the site is called “Twenty Sixteen” and it’s missing a lot of features that will allow me to take advantage of the new editing functions.  So that means it’s time to start looking for a new theme and a new site design!

It feels good be back on the Blog.  Time to start researching some options to make the site even better in 2019!

Sunset as seen from the 14th floor of the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis 2018-12-08

Plying Around With Google Analytics

I decided to activate Google Analytics on the blog and see what kind of data it can collect on the site traffic.  When IndyScan.com was a scanner resource page I used to pour over the logs to see where people were visiting from and what they were looking at on the site.  It was a tedious task that’s now simplified and automated using 3rd party tools like Google Analytics.

I’m already seeing that the majority of the visitors to IndyScan are using mobile devices, I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise these days but I rarely access the site via my phone.  I’m going to spend a little more time making sure the site is as mobile friendly as it can be.

I really want to figure out once and for all why the Marsala Sauce post is so popular!  It continues to be the top viewed page week over week.  I’ve really appreciated the ease of setup and the way Google Analytics presents the data.  This is WAY better than how things worked 15+ years ago.

I’ve added some of the stats for those of you that might be interested.

Most Popular Post (Ever)

Just an observation…  I’ve been blogging for a while and I’ve covered a lot of content. I find it interesting that the most viewed post on IndyScan (12,867 views since it was published in 2010) is my recipe for Marsala Sauce!  It doesn’t even show up on the top-5 pages in Google but people still seem to find it with regularity.

Happy New Year & 2018 Blogging Challenge!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and started 2018 off in a positive way.  Things have been busy around IndyScan HQ and the Blog has suffered a bit by lack of activity.  This post is sort of a catch up post summarizing some of the events in 2017 and, hopefully, setting the stage for 2018 entries.

I’m going to challenge myself to post a minimum of 1 entry a week detailing the things going on around me and the new things I’m discovering and/or enjoying.  I’m going to harness the power of ToDoist to keep me from slipping.  It’s one of my favorite task managers and when combined with Evernote helps keep my life organized and commitments met.

I had a lot of fun posting images on Instagram this year and viewed some amazing photography.  Most of it was from cell phones that have evolved to a point where they could replace the SLR for all but the serious photographers.  I still love my SLR but you just can’t beat the convenience of a good cell phone camera.

I really enjoyed the new road bike I purchased in early 2017.  It took me a while to get back into the groove and I still have a way to go to get back to the distances I used to ride when I was younger.  I have a few trips planned for 2018 that should prove to be challenging as well as rewarding.  One of my favorite rides of 2017 was the Monon Trail from Westfield to Indy and back.  It was a little longer of a ride than I was expecting but it was a great accomplishment that sets a base for my 2018 riding goals.

I found the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to be an awesome resource for identifying places to ride around the US.  I’ve already found some rides I want to do in Ohio as well as a great looking 2-day loop in Iowa.  Stay tuned for trip reports and photos from the trail.  It has to be above freezing though before I even think about the bikes…

We’re trying our hand at making wine this year too.  We purchased a kit at Great Fermentations as a joint Christmas gift and have been brewing up 6-gallons of Pinot Grigio (30-bottles) the past month.  Hoping to start the bottling process by the end of January and, after a little more aging, start sampling in April or May.

2017 was a great year full of its share of challenges but overall we had a lot of fun and tried some new things.  I’m already expecting 2018 to top last year and I hope to share some experiences with all of you on the blog.

Until next time…