Category: Daily Carry
Back in October of 2021, I reviewed the new iPad Pro. I’ve had just about every iPad version throughout the years but never went the Pro route. I didn’t know what I was missing. I’m happy to report it’s still used daily, and it’s been the best iPad I’ve ever owned. The Apple keyboard case I purchased with it is super portable and makes it like a mini laptop (although I always forget it has a trackpad on it). In fact, I find myself using it just about exclusively on weekends and after work. I’ve written countless blog posts for this site using just the iPad tethered to my iPhone as a Hot Spot. The battery life is amazing, so I’m never looking for an outlet, even after hours of watching videos or reading. I hardly use the Apple Pencil at all, so that purchase is something I could have skipped. I should have learned my lesson from the previous iPad with the first generation Apple Pencil that never got used.
A coworker of mine forwarded an article from Indy Today, and I had to subscribe after checking out their webpage. It’s written by locals for locals and contains all kinds of news and information about upcoming events in the area, as well as foodie news. Check it out!
Since 1881 people have been making a ton of royalty money off of Listerine. The Hustle had a very interesting article detailing the over 100-year-old contract that still pays people, and organizations, today.
And finally… This video from over a year ago shows the Royal Marines using an actual JET SUIT to move from an inflatable Zodiac to a Ship. It looked a little dodgy (to use a British term), but he made it. I think the Civilian version of this is still a ways off…
Some of you might remember back in the early 2000’s IndyScan.com used to be a resource page for Radio Scanner enthusiasts. We started small with the Central Indiana area and eventually grew to cover the entire state. We even had a monthly newsletter and conducted regular surveys to get feedback from our visitors. That was a lot of work and before kids. The site went dormant for several years before I brought it back, creating the Blog you’re reading today.
Working from home during Covid-19 and the civil unrest in Downtown Indianapolis last year rekindled my interest in Amateur radio and police scanning.
A LOT has changed in the years since I was active. Then, there were independent radio systems for every agency, and it took a lot of effort to understand how it all worked. Now the State of Indiana has a massive statewide digital system (Called SAFE-T) that’s very impressive and well documented. In addition, Marion, Hamilton, and Madison Counties have combined their own police/fire radio system into a shared digital system that can interface with the State system.
These days all the system details all published online at a site called Radio Reference. When I got out of the hobby years ago, I remember taking my entire database of information and sending it to the guys at Radio Reference, hoping they could use it to help others in the hobby.
That old database of frequencies is all but useless now with the implementation of the digital wide-area networks. New systems mean new requirements for listening. In order for me to get back into the hobby, I needed to purchase a Digital Scanner. After some research, I decided on the Uniden SDS100 handheld digital scanner. They also make the SDS200 desk/mobile unit, which I purchased shortly after the SDS100 (I was hooked again).
Since I have my Amateur Radio License, I can legally travel with a scanner. So I’ve taken the SDS100 on many road (and camping) trips and enjoyed the optional GPS unit that auto-tunes the local systems as you travel. Of course, you must program all of this, but that’s part of the fun! The SDS200 stays in the home office, where it can be remotely accessed using the ProScan software I have online and connected to the Web. When you connect to the SDS200, you’ll listen to the same thing I am in real-time.
It’s been great to once again follow along with the local police and fire departments and the state agencies as they do their job protecting the public. A lot has changed in the past 20 years, and the new technology is nothing short of amazing. I’m glad I got back into the hobby!
These are excellent playlists with a nice mix of Central Indiana artists. Check them out, and let me know what you think!
And finally… Last week I mentioned the Tom Bihn Synic 30 backpack. Well, it was delivered last week, and I’m in the process of giving it a proper shakedown. Initial thoughts are good, very good, and I can honestly say it’s exceeded my expectations thus far. I’ll report back with a more detailed review in a few weeks. Stay tuned!
It’s time for the 2022 Devour IndySummerfest to begin on August 22 and run until September 4, 2022. Over 100 participating restaurants will have three-course, value-priced menus available. While not a huge savings from the standard menu prices, it’s a chance to save a few bucks and maybe check out a new place. Be sure to make reservations if you can because this event attracts a lot of attention.
Wired magazine had a great review of The Best Laptop Backpacks for Work (and Life), and it sent me down the rabbit hole of Tom Bihn bags. I used to carry a backpack with my work gear in it for years after using a messenger bag for as long as I can remember. I’ve since switched back to the messenger bag but find it a little limiting and uncomfortable to carry for long periods.
After a little YouTube research I placed an order for a Tom Bihn Synic 30 with a Grey shell and yellow liner. It was NOT a cheap bag, but if it lives up to the hype, it might be the last bag I’ll ever need. I’ll report back in a few weeks after I get it in hand and have time to put it through its paces.
Last weekend was the 2022 Indiana Sports Corp Corporate Challenge. As a consultant, I could never participate with my clients, and my company never participated (engineering nerds). With over 4000 people in attendance, it was a HUGE event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). The map they gave us before the event made it look like it was just going to take up a small part of the IMS infield, but it actually took up at least 50%. The best way to describe the event is a giant Field Day for adults. It would be great if they held it on a Friday and had some events go into the night, but they typically do it on Saturday mornings. Events include:
- 5K Run
- 10K Run
- Basketball Shootout
- Cornhole Tournament
- Cycling Time Trial
- Football Toss
- Frisbee Toss
- Home Run Derby
- Team Obstacle Relay
- Total Body Fitness
- and lots more…
As you can see, they have something for just about everyone, and it’s a nice way to compete against friends at participating companies. I ran into several people I knew from around the Indianapolis area and had a lot of fun competing for points with my coworkers.
MacMost posted a video a while ago showing several ways to Search for Photos on your Mac. Some good stuff in this video that you’re sure to learn something new.
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.
Having long-ago fully adopted the Apple ecosystem in my daily work and personal life it was only fitting that I started getting the itch to try the Apple Watch again. I’ve gone down this road before but after reading numerous reviews about the new and improved Series 3 I thought I should give it another try.
My first go around in early 2016 was less than impressive. Being a 1st generation device I expected some hiccups but there were more than I could tolerate. Another issue was the inability to see the screen clearly. The vision issue was totally on me and has since been corrected with a different type of contact lenses.
The 2018 version of the experiment is already leaps and bounds ahead of where it was 2-years ago. The Series 3 Apple Watch is so much faster than before. A lot of the processing is taking place on the watch vs the phone as in the earlier models. Battery life is more than double of what is was before too. I’m getting almost 2-days worth of use between charges which is twice as much as I was getting with the first generation unit.
Apple offers the Series 3 watch in 2 sizes (38mm & 42mm) and 2 configurations (GPS and GPS+LTE). The LTE version acts like a stand alone phone, costs an additional $50, and requires a cellular plan. I opted for the GPS only version since I didn’t see the need for the cellular option.
I’ve completely changed my mind about the usefulness of the device and find it extremely useful for day-to-day tasks. From answering quick text messages to checking calendar appointments to controlling the AppleTV this thing is extremely capable.
If you’ve thought about purchasing an Apple Watch it’s really worth looking into the latest version. I really wish I hadn’t waited so long!
Trying to get back into the blogging habit after a long hiatus. Too many distractions with the amazing summer weather we’ve been having this year! I’m working on a recap of what we’ve been up to & should have it up here in a week or so.
BUT, for now I’ll publish a draft I had sitting in the queue and hopefully it’ll come in handy for some of you.
I don’t know about you but in my world manufacturers and restaurants have this silly habit of using smaller and smaller fonts everywhere. Case in point, try looking at the IMEI number on the back of your iPhone. It’s TINY!
BUT, I have a solution to share with you that I’ve used for a while now. It’s call the Triple-Click-Magnifyer and it’s amazing!
1. Touch the “Settings” icon on your iPhone’s home screen.
2. Touch the “General” button followed by the “Accessibility” button.
3. Touch “Triple-click Home” (or “Accessibility Shortcut”) located at the very bottom of the Accessibility screen.
4. Tap any of the accessibility options to assign that option to the Triple-click Home function. A check appears next to the option to indicate you selected it. If you select more than one option, the iPhone will ask you which one you want to activate when you use the Triple-click Home feature.
I only use the Magnifier option at this time and it works amazingly well. It’s not the same as firing up the camera and zooming in. It allows for much closer focus and an almost unbelievable amount of zoom.
Now all you need to do is unlock your phone and quickly press the home button 3-times. That’s it!
If you found this tip helpful let me know in the comments section.
It’s been a little over month since the AirPod First Impressions post (and a month since I’ve updated the Blog, wow!) and the AirPods have earned a place in my Every Day Carry kit.
I was a little concerned about the battery life at first but it’s turned out to be a non-issue. I’m only charging the case about once a week and rarely have the actual AirPods in my ears for more than an hour at any one time.
For some reason the AirPods seem to feel ever so lightly larger in my ears than the wired EarBuds but without ay kind of precision measuring tools I can’t confirm that’s the case. Once thing I did start to notice is the seams where the halves come together had an ever so small sharp edge to them that I could start to feel after about 30-minutes of use. I was able to smooth the ridge out with a very fine sponge backed emery board and now it’s not an issue at all.
As far as sound goes they sound better than the EarPods with just a little more bass that’s noticeable with most types of music. Microphone pickup is very sensitive and I was told during one of my tests the other party could hear me breathing. Sound quality on both ends is more than acceptable and is similar to what you would find when using the phone.
I have an iPhone 7 Plus and occasionally find it hard to line the phone up with my ear to get good sound. That’s where the AirPods become my favorite method for making and receiving calls.
Evidently the AirPods are sill in short supply and as of this writing Apple is still showing a 6-week lead time on shipping. I have yet to see another person wearing a pair of AirPods which I find surprising.
If you want to spend the $150 on a set of truly wireless headphones and you’re willing to wait a few weeks I still think these are a good purchase.
After purchasing Christmas presents for everyone on my list this year I decided to get myself a gift. After 3-weeks of waiting the package finally arrived… Apple AirPods!
I love listening to music (mostly Spotify) whenever I can and after seeing the AirPods announcement last fall I was curious about how they performed. Thanks to a lot of media outlets getting advanced units the reviews were out there before the AirPods were even available for order. For the most part they were very positive.
I’ve tried the inexpensive Bluetooth earbuds connected with a cord that is supposed to go behind your head and I’m not a fan. The cord gets caught up in your clothing and makes the entire process rather uncomfortable and annoying. Now, with the AirPods, you can actually go completely wireless and it addresses all the issues I was frustrated with.
The AirPods sound better than the EarPods that come with the iPhones. They are just slightly larger and, in my case, fit very comfortably in my ears. The bass is noticeably improved and the overall sound is very nice. Battery life and bluetooth range is very impressive too.
These are not going to replace my Bose noise canceling over-the-ear headphones that I use when I want to tune the world out but they will be part of my daily carry for those times where I need a little music to make the day go a little better.
It’s to early to say if they were worth the $159 asking price but so far I haven’t regretted the purchase!
Wow, that title is long! I’ve used the Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Bluetooth Keyboard Case (Qode for short) since last December and it’s been put into service on a daily basis.
I get pulled into a lot of meetings at work and client sites and I always grab my iPad to take notes in Evernote. Having a fully functional keyboard makes that task so much easier. I can type pretty well with the on-screen iPad keyboard but the physical alternative is so much better.
The Qode offers good protection of the iPad, front and back. One of the things I really like about the keyboard is it’s a separate piece so you can easily detach it and use the iPad on its own. You can also attach the Apple Smart Cover as an alternative while leaving the back of the iPad covered and protected.
As with any portable device there are usually some compromises. The only one I can think of with the Qode is the keys are a little on the small side, but nothing drastic. Switching back and forth between the MacBook Pro and the Qode is pretty effortless.
The Qode offers multiple backlight levels as well as two angles of viewing for the iPad screen. Battery life is rated at 1-year with normal use and I can honestly say that claim is conservative. 9-months of regular use and I’m sitting at around 50% battery capacity.
When activated (by propping the iPad into one of two magnetic slots) the Qode instantly connects to the iPad. It has a lot of shortcut keys you can program as well as dedicated keys for cut/copy/paste/volume etc. You can even pair it up with a second device (phone?) and toggle back and fourth with dedicated buttons.
All in the Qode ads about 1-pound of additional weight to the iPad. not bad when you consider you are getting a nicely padded rear shell and a fully functional backlit and aluminum clad keyboard on the front.
This has been an awesome addition to my daily carry and you can pick one up yourself for around $100 on Amazon.