Welcome to 2023! I hope everyone had a nice New Year’s weekend and returned to the office with a new spark, ready to tackle what 2023 has to offer. I was off work for 2 solid weeks and was ready to hit the ground running when we all came back into the office last Tuesday.
It’s official! Saraga International Grocery in Castleton is FINALLY open! The grand opening and ribbon cutting were on December 23, but we were in the middle of an artic freeze, so I’m sure the turnout was pretty light. I had an invite but decided to stay home and stay warm instead. I stopped by after Christmas for a brief walkthru, knowing I would be returning later in the week for some more serious shopping.
If you’re looking for that hard-to-find ingredient or like to try foods from other countries, this is a place you must check out. It’s no Jungle Jim’s, but it will fill the need for a lot of items I would normally drive to Cincinnati for.
I’m a slow riser in the AM & after getting a short news brief from NPR via the Alexa alarm, I like to scan the headlines before getting out of bed. There are some really good newsletters out there, and because of these, I can’t tell you the last time I sat down and watched the local news. Some of my favorites are:
Now, I don’t read all of these each morning, but I always have at least one in my inbox queued up for something to read when I have some downtime, like standing in line or waiting for my food at a restaurant. Do you have a favorite daily newsletter to share? Leave us a link in the comments!
And finally… When was the last time you watched a truck being built? It’s amazing the amount of automation in use these days, and the following video shows how they assemble the new Ford F-150 Lightning.
Where do we begin? 2022 was a wild year, full of food, tech, travel, and fun. The site stats continue to improve, with an average traffic rate of just over 5000 page views per month. Thanks for returning to read my weekly ramblings! With that, let’s go back and revisit some of the highlights from 2022.
Food in 2022
- Week 5 – Cast Iron Pan Pizza
- Week 6 – Fitzgerald’s Lunch House
- Week 8 – Triton Brewing Company
- Week 13 – Pig Candy BBQ in Cincinnati, OH
- Week 16 – Schnitzelbank in Jasper, IN
- Week 17 – Schwartz Family Restaurant in Eckerty, IN
- Week 24 – Biebs & Ash in Goshen, IN
- Week 25 – Blue Ash Chili in Cincinnati, OH
- Week 26 – The AMP, Turchetti’s Delicatessen, and Wild Ginger
Tech in 2022
- Week 5 – Bose QC45 Headphones
- Week 27 – iPhone 13 Pro
- Week 28 – KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Week 30 – Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum
- Week 32 – MX Keys keyboard
- Week 46 – LG Ultra-Wide Monitor
Travel in 2022
- Week 14 – Gazelle T4 Hub Tent
- Week 16 – Southern Indiana Roadtrip
- Week 25 – Jungle Jim’s – Cincinnati
- Week 40 – Leadership Exchange in Nashville, TN
Fun in 2022
- Week 2 – Don’t Look Up movie
- Week 9 – Logitech MX Master 3
- Week 11 – Microsoft Flight Simulator on X-Box
- Week 34 – Indiana Sports Corp Corporate Challenge
- Week 44 – Camping at Hardin Ridge
What’s in store for 2023?
While I can’t predict what 2023 has in store, I’m already planning several trips to new places around the US and maybe even an international trip, or two, later in the year. We’ll continue the weekly post schedule, as that seems to be doable on all but the craziest weeks. I have a lot of post ideas saved up, and I look forward to sharing what I’ve found and continuing with my thoughts and observations. Happy New Year, and we’ll see you again next week!
WOW, what a game. I just finished watching the World Cup finale between Argentina and France, and it was one of the best games of the event. I had a $1 bet on Team USA to go all the way, and that would have paid $175 (kind of like playing the lottery). All in all, it was a good World cup with the typical upsets. Unfortunately, we lost an American reported under suspicious circumstances.
I was planning on recommending an inexpensive last-minute gift or stocking stuffer, as I highly recommend the Leatherman Micra, which usually costs $20-30. I’ve carried one for the past 15+ years and use it regularly. I say planning to recommend it because when I went to post a link to it on Amazon, it’s now retailing for $66! This is crazy, and I can only imagine it’s due to the holiday demand.
Leatherman has it listed on their site for a more respectable $35, but it may not make it to you by Christmas. If you’re out and about, I’ve seen the Micra in Big Box and local hardware stores closer to the $25 retail price.
I love maps. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they do way more than tell you where you are. In fact, there are maps that explain all kinds of facts like this… “How many countries other than the United States do not use the metric system?” Two!
100 Amazing Maps of the World is an interesting site with a lot of great maps. I particularly like the map showing all of the rivers that flow into the Mississippi river.
And finally… What do you get when you take an 862HP Subaru Wagon, strap Travis Pastrana in the driver’s seat, and turn him loose on the streets of Florida? You get Gymkhana 2022. Pay special attention for a guest appearance by Cleetus McFarland.
About the only thing good about Winter is it gives me more time to read. I happened to catch a Joe Rogan clip on YouTube about Operation Paperclip (OP) with author Annie Jacobsen who wrote a book under the same name. As a history buff, I’m really enjoying the book and the details of OP are quite incredible.
Operation Paperclip was a secret United States intelligence program in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were taken from the former Nazi Germany to the U.S. for government employment after the end of World War II in Europe, between 1945 and 1959.Wikipedia
Here we go again… Real ID Deadline for Domestic Fliers is Extended. Again. In 2005, in response to the September 11 attacks, the US Government decided travelers needed to have more identification than an easily forged driver’s license. May, 2023 was the latest deadline but it’s been pushed out 2 more years because we’re still not ready to implement it. This is embarrassing, to say the least. It’s been 17 years!
And finally… What does your pet do when you leave the house? This pet owner strapped a GoPro to his Lab and left him alone for the first time.
It’s December & the year is coming to a close. I’m fortunate to work for a company that closes over the Christmas holiday, and I’m looking forward to 3 weeks of time off before I hit the ground running in 2023. I’m already counting the days until we get back to warmer weather so I can get back out and do more camping. I noticed today when looking at the calendar & there are 53 weeks in 2022 (because Jan 1, 2022, was on a Saturday), so we’ll have to do our year-end recap that week.
If you’ve left the house in the past 3 years you’ve no doubt seen and used a QR Code, most likely in a restaurant, to access a digital menu. QR Codes have been around for years, but it took a pandemic to make them mainstream (like video calls). But How do QR Codes Work? Review Geek has the details. Pro Tip, if you want to generate a QR Code to make it easier for guests to join your wireless network, check this site out.
And finally… Is real Parmigiano Reggiano actually worth the high price? Ethan Chlebowski breaks it down so you can make up your mind (TLDR, It IS!).
The holidays have officially started, with Thanksgiving being last Thursday. As is the annual tradition at IndyScan.com, we like to share the Ode to Thanksgiving from a 2004 post by Mr. John C. Dvorak, who claims Thanksgiving is an artificial holiday created by none other than President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. I was visiting family over the holiday, and one of the first-year college students had heard the same thing & helped me tell the tale. So what do you think? Do you believe what you were taught in school, or does the Lincoln story make more sense? Leave your comments below.
A friend at work turned me onto a new recipe site run by an Egyptian lady that’s all about Mediterranean Cooking. The Mediterranean Dish has a LOT of great recipes and some new twists on old classics, like Easy Homemade Chicken Shawarma using a sheet pan.
I ended up coming down with ANOTHER head cold over the weekend. First time I remember being sick twice in such a short period of time. After picking up some additional medicine, I noticed something concerning…
I always buy Mucinex Sinus-Max for head colds. It works well for me. I went to take the Yellow pill I had been taking for the past few days and realized what I bought was the “NightShift” version, where the Yellow pill is for NIGHTTIME. The pill looks the same, with the three chevron marks and everything. What a poor design decision by Reckitt (the makers of Mucinex).
And finally… You have to tip your hat to the FBI, who conducted a sting operation called Special Operation Ironside that featured an “Anom” burner phone, targeted to criminals who snatched them up and fell right into the trap.
It looks like I missed another post last week. Work has been crazy, and my schedule has been off since last weekend due to a cold (or whatever it is going around). This should get us caught up before the Thanksgiving Holiday.
After seeing a review on YouTube, I had the itch to buy some new computer hardware. So, I was pleasantly surprised when the Ultra-Wide screen monitor was on sale at Amazon (I picked this up for $999, and it’s worth every penny). This 49-inch 5120×1440 5k monitor is a thing of beauty.
It’s like having two 27-inch 4k monitors side by side with no seam in the middle. So far, it’s playing nicely with my personal MacBook Pro M1 and my work HP Z-Book. This thing is a game changer when it comes to productivity. I really wish I had this when we were all working from home for months. The only thing that’s been a challenge is video calls. I have to use an external camera & my AirPod Pros (vs. everything that’s built into the MacBook Pro). Small price to pay for this much screen real estate.
I’ve been watching the Welcome to Wrexham series on FX, and It’s been an interesting lesson on how European Football operates (so many levels). The show stars Ryan Renolds (from Deadpool Fame) and Rob McElhenney (from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). It’s more of a reality-type show than Ted Lasso was, and it’s pretty entertaining. Wrexham plays Farnborough at 10:00 am on November 26
Ever wanted to learn more about Indianapolis? Well, the Indianapolis Encyclopedia is a great place to start! This website was mentioned in a meeting at work a few weeks ago, and it has some great articles and seems to grow as more people contribute. This piece on Geist Reservoir is an excellent place to start.
Eric Hilton, one of the founding members of one of my all-time favorite bands, Thievery Corporation, just released an EP called Present, Past, and Future. It’s great to listen to in the background while working or cooking. You can check it out wherever you get your music from.
And finally… Do you know all about I-69, the interstate that will never be finished? Check out this video for all the details.
70-degrees in November? I’ll take it! We had some BIG wind gusts that came through Indiana yesterday, and about half the houses in my neighborhood ended up without power for a little over 5-hours. Luckily I work off laptops and iPads, so I had enough power to get through most of the day using my iPhone as a hotspot. As the sun started to go down, I even broke out the Jackery 500 Portable Station to run a few of my USB Camping lights.
In September, the Washing Post ran an article titled “Customs officials have copied Americans’ phone data at massive scale.” In it, they detail the breadth of the program and how it’s raised some concerns on Capital Hill. As someone who plans on taking a couple of International trips in the next 12 months, this is a little scary, to say the least.
Contacts, call logs, messages and photos from up to 10,000 travelers’ phones are saved to a government database every yearWashington Post
Although I’m not part of the demographic they are looking at, “individuals who are of a significant law enforcement, counterterrorist, or national security concern,” the fact remains this database exists and appears to have little oversight in its use.
And finally… Ken Block is at it again, this time with a fully electric rally car on the streets of Las Vegas. The electric motor sound is not as pleasing as the turbo-charged gas engine, but the impressive abilities of his latest vehicle almost make up for it.
The fall foliage has been amazing this year, and we’ve enjoyed the burst of color in the trees around the house. I took some time off to go camping in my new favorite place, Hardin Ridge (in the Hoosier National Forest). All the loops are closed except for one, and there are minimal amenities, but for only $10 a night, it’s a great deal in a beautiful part of Indiana.
As you can see there was no one around and my campsite was quite large. It dipped down to 40-degrees overnight but I brought the right equipment to keep warm and enjoy the outdoors. I hope to get another stretch of warm weatrher before December so I can make one more trip before putting all the gear away for the winter!
If you were outside on the Northside of Indy last weekend you might have seen and heard a Ford as 5-AT-B Trimotor from 1928 flying around. I didnt get a chance to snap a picture before it left town, but our friends at Shutter and Brushes saw it in Elkhart last Saturday and not only grabbed a few pictures on the tarmac they went inside to take a pic as well! This is a beautifully restored airplane that’s almost 100 years old apears to be traveling around the Midwest selling rides to anyone interested.
And finally… Owl Kitty is back with a new video. This time she joins Tom Cruise in Top Gun!
I didn’t post last weekend because I was out of town for a wedding (and I forgot due to everything going on). So this week is a catch-up post covering a few things from the past 2 weeks.
The trees are looking quite colorful this week, and I was going to try & go camping this weekend, but most of Indiana is under a Red Flag Warning. This means no fires, and I’m sorry, but my idea of camping is building a nice fire to cook on and sit next to into the evening. I also don’t want to get into a situation where someone else starts a fire and get caught up in it. So because of the burn ban, I decided to stay home and catch up on a few things…
Last week Apple released some updated products, one of which is a new AppleTV. The AppleTV is the hub of our entertainment system (and has been for years), but it’s one fault is a really bad remote control. It’s so bad that I use a Harmony Ultimate remote to control the AppleTV. The last version of the AppleTV had a redesigned remote, but I held off because I had a solution in place. Well, the latest iteration, utilizing USB-C charging and a major processor chip, led me to order the upgrade. I should have a delivery waiting for me in Early November & I’m looking forward to trying out the new remote and increased performance of the AppleTV Hub.
If you love watching food travel shows, you’ll love these resources that help you locate a restaurant you’ve seen on TV. This is especially helpful when you travel, and you’re looking for something different
- Food Network – Browse Restaurants by Show
- TV Food Maps – Explore By State
- Explore Parts Unknown – Anthony Bourdain’s Online Travel Guide
- Food & Wine – Best Burger in Every State
And finally… It’s a great time to try a new burger. The Jucy Lucy is a cheese stuffed burger that is amazing. I picked up the burger press and waxed paper sheets shown in the video below (I didn’t try them smoked yet) & they turned out PERFECT! I think this is going to be my go-to burger for the forseable future.