What’s Going On: Continuing from last week, when I spent a week in Zurich for work, it was now time to work my way back home with some side trips along the way.
I left Zurich HB (one of the coolest train stations I’ve ever been in), and in just over 4-hours, I stepped off the train in Paris.
I immediately discovered a restriction on Ubers for several blocks around the station & took a short stroll to find a cafe for a coffee. It was starting to drizzle, so I picked up the pace.
No English was spoken here, and the minimum purchase was about twice the price of my cup of coffee, so I had another (ha). After getting hopped up on caffeine, I found a local hotel, ordered an Uber, and waited under their awning.
What I’m Eating: After settling in at my hotel, I decided to walk around before it started raining again. I was next to a canal that ran through this part of the city and found a little brewery on the other side, where I ordered a pint and a snack (fries, of course!).
I failed to realize until I was almost finished with my fries that the yellow mustard bottle was actually mayo, which I love on fries.
I used my Tom Bihn Side Hustle a lot during my travels. It’s the perfect sized bag to carry just the essentials, which in my case is:
iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil
Sharpie S-Gel pens (Black/Blue/Red)
Airpod Pro Gen 2
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Assorted charging cables
I’ve carried this setup for several months prior to my trip when I head over to Sunking Brewery to blog, and plan for the upcoming week. It helps me to get out of the house when I need to tap into my creative side. It’s also the perfect setup for plane & train travel since it’s compact. It slides into my Tom Bihn Synik 30 for secure storage and transportation when not in use.
I looked around the area on Google Maps and found a Meister Berliner Kebap that serves a delicious Doner Kebab. I had been wanting to try one of these for a long time, and when I found one in Paris, my dinner plans were set! On the way back to the hotel, I stopped by a wine store and settled in for the night with a huge pita stuffed with all kinds of good stuff. The hotel was decorated with lots of world flags as the Rugby World Cup was happening in France while I was there.
The next morning, I packed up and headed to another station to catch my next train, this time to London. I can honestly say Paris just didn’t do it for me. The rainy weather didn’t help, but the place just felt dirty and depressing. There were homeless camps everywhere, and the traffic was awful. I was around the outskirts of the touristy area, and it was number to bumper.
Looking at Google Maps, it would have taken me over 2 hours to get anywhere near the Eiffel Tower, and it was only a couple of miles away. If the weather was better and I had another day in Paris, I would have walked, but this was just an overnight, and I was ready to move on.
Once I got to the station, it was time to wait. There was a (unusual?) delay because of a broken down train, so I was in a queue for about an hour while they got things back on track (pun intended), and I was off to London! More to come on that piece of the trip next week.
What’s Going On: We’re getting ready for this year’s Leadership Exchange in Zurich, Switzerland. We had delegates start arriving on Saturday and planned a cruise on Lake Zurich while waiting for the final attendees to arrive (and to help people stay awake).
We officially started things on Sunday with a Labor Market Overview and a deep dive into the Swiss Dual Education System. It might not sound interesting, but it really WAS! Kids in Switzerland have an alternate path from college and often pick and start their careers as young as 15.
What I’m Buying: Chocolate, LOTS of chocolate. My (checked) bag was 43.7 pounds when I left Indy, and after visiting the Lindt Factory, it feels a LOT heavier than the 50-pound bag of salt I used to bring home from Costco. I might need to purchase a bag to put all my dirty clothes in to lighten up the main bag (I actually did have to visit a sporting goods store in London to offload some dirty laundry into and lighten up my checked bag)…
What I’m Eating: Before all the delegates arrived, a few of us went to an Italian restaurant that was a favorite of the pre-trip team (they made 2 visits to Zurich before the main event). Restaurant Hirschberg Is a place you’re unlikely to find on your own. It’s tucked along a busy side street we took countless times to get to our various destinations throughout the week. It’s run by a husband and wife team, and one of their friends is the evening server. The wife is in the front of the house, and the husband is in the back, making whatever has been concocted with their guests. Our starter aperitif was a glass of Prosecco with a splash of Amaretto mixed in. Something I have never had and something I will be recreating once I get home.
The menu is handwritten and seems more like a suggestion than a set of courses. You can choose to make any of the selections an appetizer or a main dish. We ordered a little bit of everything for the table and enjoyed every bite. One interesting thing they do is use these small square pottery dishes with a roughed-up section in the middle. This allows you to rub a garlic clove in it and infuse your oil to dip your bread into. These are so popular with guests they have them available to purchase by their guests ( I bought several).
This meal was one of the top 5 meals I’ve ever eaten. It was spread out over 3+ hours, but didn’t feel like It at all. If I ever return to Zurich, it is the first place I will be going.
Where I’ve Been: We spent a morning at the FIFA Museum and an afternoon at the Lindt Chocolate Factory.
I saw this very odd building while traveling through town & was surprised to learn what it was.
The Swissmill Tower (or the “Kornhaus Zurich”) is the tallest operating grain elevator in the world. Standing at 118 meters (387 ft), it is the second-tallest building in the Swiss city of Zürich. This huge building is in the heart of the city & sits on the Limmat River that feeds into Lake Zurich.
What Else: I’m working my way back to Indy via Paris and London (taking a train to both locations) & will post updates once I get back stateside.
And Finally… Turning a Lego C-3PO into 18K C-3PGOLD
What’s Going On: It’s been busy around the IndyScan household these past 2 weeks. I’m continuing to study & take practice exams for the Amateur Rario license upgrade. It’s all starting to click, and I need to get a better handle on the electronic theory to pass the 35-question exam successfully.
What I’m Eating: A number of new laws passed last July 1, and one that probably slipped under the radar for a lot of people allows children in Bar areas of restaurants. I, for one, think this is a HUGE mistake & have already witnessed it firsthand. On this particular occasion, the guy was trying to make a point to the wait staff as he loudly explained that he could now bring his child into the 21 and over area.
I choose to sit in the bar area of restaurants to get away from the noise little kids make. They’re kids; that’s what they do. Up until now, I could sit elsewhere, but now it looks like the area of solitude might be coming to an end at some establishments.
The linked article above also states, “Previously the law allowed minors ages 18 to 20 to sit in the bar area specifically for “dining purposes only.” The amendment removes the age limit.” I did NOT know that was allowed previously! For now, it’s up to the individual restaurant to choose to allow it.
I had pretty much forgotten about Yats for some reason when it popped into my head last weekend. I stopped into the Fishers location and got a half-and-half Chilli Cheese Etoufe and White Bean Chicken Chili with extra bread (of course). It hit the spot!
Speaking of blasts from the past… After the Annual Corporate Challenge at the IMS, I was starving, and Hoagies & Hops happened to be on my way home. I was WAY overdue for a cheesesteak, and it was exactly as I remembered it. I recommend the potato salad if you’re looking to add a side to your sandwich.
What I’m Watching: I watched the Greyhound (2020) movie on AppleTV+ last weekend, and it gets two thumbs up. It was 90 minutes of nonstop action. Tom Hanks stars in a WWII movie about protecting ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean while being hunted by German U-Boats.
Hijack on AppleTV+ is all about an airline that gets taken over by terrorists and a “negotiator” on the plane that tries to resolve the situation. I’m only 5 episodes in & waiting anxiously for the next episode to drop on Wednesday.
What Else: Last weekend I was Interviewed by Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism regarding Police Radio Encryption. Police and Fire agencies throughout the United States are choosing to encrypt their radio traffic, causing increased levels of distrust among the very people they are sworn to protect. In Indiana, a law was passed in 2022 that prohibits the transmission of SSN numbers over unencrypted radio frequencies. That law went into effect on July 1, 2023.
Hamilton County announced they would encrypt their radio traffic “sometime after July 1”. The funny thing is I have been in the hobby a LONG time, and the last time I heard an SSN number read over the air was back when your SSN was your Drivers License number.
In 2004, President Bush signed a law barring states from putting Social Security numbers on new or renewed driver’s licenses, identification cards, or vehicle registrations. The law took effect in December 2005. Indiana has since stopped that practice in favor of an Operator License Number (OLN).
As of today, Hamilton County has not increased the use of encryption on its radio system (they already have encryption enabled for tactical and car-to-car channels where a lot of radio traffic occurs), but full encryption is most likely coming.
And Finally… Creating “light pictures” from Paper. This is VERY cool!
What’s Going On: *Warning* This will be a LONG post covering a week-long trip with lots of links, photos, and me rambling on for a while.
It was nice to return to a 3-day weekend after a week on the road last week (more on that later). Besides getting the tent out to dry off, I haven’t unpacked much since all my camping gear is in stackable tubs. I still need to move it back into storage & get it out of the garage…
Where I’ve Been: Last Saturday, I returned from a 1500+ mile loop that took me through KY, TN, NC, VA, WV, and OH. I left on Monday morning and traveled to Asheville, NC. South of Lexington was a new Buc-ee’s that I wanted to stop and check out. Everyone in a 100-mile radius must have had the same idea as this place was PACKED. Every pump had a vehicle parked in front of it, and the inside was wall-to-wall people. There were even lines to the men’s restroom, which you never see. I heard one person say they had been waiting for over an hour for their food, so I saw myself out and headed down the road.
I arrived in Asheville in the early evening, and even though I was driving all day, the weather was beautiful, and the traffic was light. I chose a place near the Grove Arcade called Carmel’s Kitchen & Bar to have dinner. The Pimento Cheese sounded great, so I ordered it along with a bowl of Shrimp and Grits (with a cream sauce vs. a brown gravy which was different and not as good as the traditional) and a cold glass of Chardonnay.
Tuesday morning, I spent some time in downtown Asheville taking photos. I stopped at City Bakery for some coffee and a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit and left full and happy! They know how to make a proper biscuit in the South!
I was waiting around for East Fork Pottery to open at 11 am so I could pick up some coffee mugs I’ve had my eye on for over a year. I had every intention of stopping at Buxton Hall Barbecue for lunch to try their legendary fried chicken sandwich, but I was too full, so I hit the road and drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Mt Mitchell State Park, the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi.
The Blue Ridge Parkway has got to be one of my favorite drives ever; this was my first time driving it. I was only on it for less than 100 miles, but I’m very interested in driving the entire 469 miles and visiting sites along the way. I stopped in a town called Little Switzerland, NC, for a snack, but just about everything was closed on Tuesday.
I made my way to Spacious Skies Campgrounds – Bear Den near Spruce Pine, NC. This is a private campground right off the parkway, and being early in the season was very quiet. I felt like I had the entire place to myself!
I packed up camp Wednesday morning and went to start the car… Click, Click, Click, dead battery. I knew I was about due for a replacement and almost did it before I left, but luckily I was at a place where I could walk up to the front office and ask for a jump. Once underway, I made a beeline to the closest Advance Auto and picked up the AGM battery I had my eye on weeks earlier. This thing should outlast the car, and it ought to be for $250. The employee offered to swap the batteries out, and I was on my way 10 minutes later, only delaying me for an hour from my originally planned departure time.
Today’s destination was the Red River Gorge Bridge and a Bed-and-Breakfast in a small town called Clifton Forge, VA. I had no idea what to expect at the Gorge, but the pictures I saw looked incredible. As my GPS told me I was getting closer, I kept looking for the bridge. I didn’t see it until I was practically ON it!
That crossing was pretty unimpressive, but I noticed on the map that I could go down under the bridge, so after stopping at the visitor center (and picking up a sticker), I did that!
After playing around down by the water, it was time to load up and head to the evening’s accommodations. The Red Lantern Inn was a great little Bed & Breakfast that was in the middle of downtown Clifton Forge, VA. Not much in the town except a few restaurants, bars, and a HUGE train yard. I unloaded my gear and went down the street to Jack Mason’s Tavern and Brewery for dinner. I ordered a Mushroom Swiss Burger and the House Cut Chips, dusted in Old Bay. The beverage for dinner was a local ale the waitress recommended when I said I wanted something light. It all hit the spot, and I was ready to settle down for the night.
The Red Lantern Inn was clean and spacious, and I had the whole place to myself. The owner was off-premises attending to other things, and we exchanged a few text messages to get the code to enter the building and the WiFi password. I never met her, but I would not hesitate to stay here again. It was clean and VERY quiet. Just what I needed after all the driving I had been doing.
Thursday’s activity was what prompted the trip in the first place. The Green Bank Observatory houses the world’s largest 100-meter (330 ft) fully steerable single-dish radio telescope. Located near the middle of the National Radio Quiet Zone, the telescope is the newest and most significant of many at the facility, topping out at over 400 feet in height and housing a dish of over 100,000 square feet. I purchased a tour ticket online and arrived about 30 minutes before the tour to use the facilities and check out the museum and gift shop.
We took a bus to the telescope and got up close and personal. Unfortunately, the only camera you can use is film because anything electronic is forbidden within a 1-mile radius. We were even asked to put our car key fobs in a Faraday Cage to block spurious emissions. Our tour guide was from Ireland, and she had been working there for several years. Her husband was a scientist working at the facility who had passed away, so she started doing tours and stayed in Green Bank.
After geeking out at the Observatory, I needed to find some lunch. I saw on Google Maps a Ski Resort called Snowshoe about an hour away and learned it is pretty active in the summer months with Mountain Biking, so I headed west to check it out.
I had already been to the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi, but it felt like I was going even higher as I made my way to the top of Snowshoe Mountain. The road just kept going up and up, with switchback after switchback, until I finally reached the top. And what a surprise it was to see a village with a hotel, grocery store, and what looked like 4-story apartment buildings (pretty sure they were hotels).
I walked around for a while, checking things out and dodging many mountain bikes riding around the area. I can only imagine what this place is like in the winter, with skiers everywhere. I grabbed lunch at the Junction Ale House—nothing special here, just a little pub with staff that acted like they wanted to be elsewhere. I definitely do not see myself returning here, even if I visited in the winter to ski.
“After lunch, I made my way down the mountain to camp. I had two “First Come; First Served” sites in mind, Dry Run & Tea Creek campgrounds, Dry run was nice but pretty full. I drove down the road a little more and found Tea Creek to be just perfect. There were 12 sites, and only 2 were occupied. I nabbed a site near the entrance and set up camp.
An older gentleman came over, and we chatted about camping, cars, and the generator the other site was using (he was not a fan). The bugs died down at dusk, and I enjoyed a night of tuning through the shortwave bands tuning in signals from all over the world (the low noise floor in the Radio Quiet Zone helped a lot here.
I set out for Hillbilly Hotdogs (see below) and Wayne National Forrest in Southern Ohio on Friday morning. After lunch, I found my reserved campsite and had a problem. It was at the end of a cul-de-sac and about 10 feet down the side of the hill. The tent pad was about 10×10, and a drop-off on the backside. NOT a good site for the tent I use and not a good location if it rained like the forecast called for. I talked to the Camp Host and was informed there were no available sites, so I went to Ironton, OH, and used some Holiday Inn points to get a room for the night.
We were back on the road for our final day of travel on Saturday. I have been wanting to visit Serpent Mound again for years, I remember my Grandmother taking me here as a kid, and I wanted to see it again. Built a long time ago, Serpent Mound is a burial ground of ancient Americans that’s in the shape of a snake. The United States Department of Interior designated the mound as a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
It’s hard to see in the pictures, but the mound is over 1000 feet long and of great historical significance to the area. The visitors center has a nice display explaining the effigy’s who/what/why and, of course, stickers for my collection.
After the mound, I visited family and had lunch to celebrate Father’s Day a day early; it was the best BBQ I had eaten all week! I was left with a 2-hour drive back to Indy and was ready to get off the road! This is the 3rd year in a row where I’ve picked an interesting place to see and made a week-long trip out of it. It was nice to get away from the office and get out into nature before the high temperatures make it uncomfortable this summer. I’m already thinking about next year’s trip, and driving the entire Blue Ridge Parkway is on the shortlist.
What I’m Buying: Stickers, lots of stickers. When I visit a significant location, I like to purchase a sticker to commemorate the occasion. right now, they’re being put on the cooler that goes with me on every trip, but I’m running out of room, so I need to figure out something else to sticker up.
ICE! You have to have ice to keep things cool when you’re off the grid. It’s nice to see that ice is still only a couple of dollars a bag, even in the middle of nowhere. The local liquor store gives away bags with any purchase, so I always have a bag or two in the freezer to get me started. I’ve been told you can get ice from fast food restaurants really cheaply, but I never think about getting it there (and I rarely eat fast food anymore).
What I’m Eating: I had a few BBQ meals while traveling. Nothing that noteworthy and, honestly, a little disappointing with dry brisket and a side of mac and cheese where the sauce was broken and oily. I was expecting more and would rather eat the local BBQ at Traxx in McCordsville!
When camping, I normally dine on dehydrated meals from various manufacturers. Mountain House, Backpacker’s Pantry, and Pakit Gourmet are in constant rotation, and I always get a solid, filling meal with just a cup or two of boiling water.
On this trip, I fixed my ever-favorite Chili Mac with Beef and tried a new meal of Chicken and Rice both from Mountain House. Both were very filling, and the Chicken and Rice could have passed for homemade; it was that good!
Since I was in the area, I had to check out Hillbilly Hotdogs in LeSage, WV. This place was one of the first places visited by the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show and features “The Homewrecker” hot dog that weighs 1 pound and is covered with just about every topping they have. I saw one come out of the kitchen, and it was ridiculous!
I ordered a Hillbilly Dog (Deep-fried Weenie, Chili Sauce, Mustard, and Onions) and a West Virginia Dog (Chili Sauce, Mustard, Onions, and Cole Slaw), along with an order of Deep Fried Pickles w/ Ranch. Everything was hot and fresh, and I would stop here again if I ever found myself in the area. It was pretty crowded for a Friday afternoon and a popular stop for the bikers traveling along the river route.
What I’m Watching: I downloaded several movies on my iPad Pro to watch while camping, and I never even played them. I ended up spending my evenings reading, tuning in to distant stations on the shortwave radio, and relaxing to the sounds of nature.
What I’m Reading: I’m still reading “Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 “and hope to finish it this weekend. Several more books are in the queue, including one about Switchboard Operators during World War One.
What Else: The Fishers Health Department has released its “Inspection report of retail food establishments” which gives a letter grade for local restaurants (I believe they need to post their grade for people to see at some point). This is a HUGE step in transparency for the public. The letter grade system is used in a lot of major cities and does a great job of not only calling out places not meeting the standards but also warning the patrons of the issues. I was surprised at some of the C-grades from places I often frequent, and I will no longer be dining there until they get their act together. Kudos to the Fishwers Health Dept for leading the way with this program. Hopefully, other cities (looking at you, Indy) will follow!
And Finally… I’ve been watching Mark Rober videos lately. In this video, Mark sets up a series of Olympic-style challenges for his backyard squirrels to compete in. From a balance beam to a diving board, these squirrels prove to be surprisingly adept athletes. Mark uses his engineering skills to create various contraptions and obstacles for the squirrels to navigate, such as a tiny zipline and a miniature pole vault. He also peppers the video with funny commentary and hilarious slow-motion replays of the squirrels in action. But beyond the laughs, this video is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of these furry creatures. So next time you see a squirrel in your backyard, give them a little respect – who knows what kind of Olympic potential they might have!
I Spent most of last week on PTO in the Texas Hill Country and loved every minute of it. I flew down to San Antonio, picked up my better half, who was down there for work, and drove north to Comfort, TX, about 45 minutes northwest of the city.
When I booked the Trip, Enterprise had some very affordable options, including several premium models for just a little more than a full-sized car. I ended up with an Audi Q3 SUV for the trip and really enjoyed driving around the Texas roads. You’ll first notice the speed limits if you’ve never driven in Texas. On a 2-lane curvy road, the posted speed limit is often 10-20 MPH higher than in Indiana (70MPH +), and on the highway, it can be as high as 85 MPH. The little Audi was a champ and got surprisingly good gas mileage as we traveled between locations at speeds that sometimes felt too fast!
2023 Audi Q3
Our B&B (Hotel Giles) was an old hotel built in the late 1800s and was very nice, with covered porches and a gazebo in the back. Our host was very gracious and had a wonderful breakfast ready for us at 9 am sharp every morning. The town also had an amazing little wood-fired pizza shop in an old gas station down the street with delicious pizza and homemade gelato that was some of the best we had ever had.
Fredericksburg, TX, is often referred to as the Napa Valley of the South because of the number of wineries in the area (over 100), and it was our destination of choice for several days of the trip. Their Main Street was full of specialty shops, restaurants, breweries, and several wineries.
While this was the first time I’ve gotten out of San Antonio and visited TX Hill Country, it will NOT be the last. So many things to do, and in typical Texas fashion, the people are as nice as can be and openly welcome visitors to their great state.
SlapFish opened a new location in the Fishers District a few months ago, and we finally made our way over there for dinner. We ordered a Shrimp Roll and Fish and Chips. Both meals were very fresh and fairly priced (under $20 each) for the portion size. We don’t have any dedicated seafood restaurants in Fishers, so SlapFish is a welcome addition to which we will be returning soon!
Shrimp Roll with SlawFish and Chips with Slaw
And finally… I’m a pretty observant person, and I see a lot of crazy stuff on my daily travels to and from work in Indianapolis. Expired license plates are seen daily, and their sheer number makes me wonder how people are getting away with it. A quick search turned up a 2019 report from local TV station WRTV titled “Parking a car with expired tags or no license plate is illegal in Indianapolis.” It’s not a local issue, as a TV station out of Oregon reported something similar last May:
I had a pretty good week last week. I was only in the office for two days as I took advantage of two work-from-home days and attended a conference at the NCAA Hall of Fame. The HoF facility is very nice and full of sports history. I left the conference full of ideas related to my job and look forward to flushing them out to see if they can be implemented in my organization.
I don’t know what it is, but when I work from home on a Friday, Saturday always feels like Sunday for the first few hours of the morning. I know one thing when I work from home, I get SO much done! It’s probably because I rarely have meetings that day, and there are few interruptions.
I usually enter the weekend with a clear inbox and satisfaction that I made progress on my active projects (of which I typically have 25-40 at any time). In true Getting Things Done (GTD) style, I identify a “Project” as anything that takes more than one step to complete. The largest list I keep is my “Waiting For” list!
Try GTD if you…
Feel overwhelmed by the amount of things you need to keep track of
Worry about forgetting small details
Wear lots of hats in your job and life
Starts lots of projects but have trouble finishing them
Have never GTD’d before (everyone should GTD at least once in their lives)
I’ve preached the gospel about the GTD organizational methodology for 20+ years. It’s what’s helped me succeed in business (and personal life) and sleep well at night, knowing that I didn’t let anything slip through the cracks that day. So if you feel you’re always forgetting things, a quick read of the GTD book might help!
Enough about work, on to my favorite pastime, food! I FINALLY made a takeout order from Futuro Pizza last week. When they first opened (during the Pandemic times), you had to order your pie a day or two in advance & not knowing my schedule (if I’d be working downtown or not), they fell off my radar.
Futuro was born of necessity. During the beginning of the covid19 shutdown, in an effort to find a way to feed our family, we began making and cooking pizza for our family and friends. Word spread like wildfire and before we knew it, we were cooking 50 pizzas a day. So, we decided to make a go of opening a brick and mortar restaurant.
The owners have years of experience in the service industry & are making it a point to treat their employees fairly. I’ve seen several social media posts about how they care for their employees. I feel guilty that it’s taken me this long to try them!
Our first order was a Detroit Style Futuro Classic (they also have Chicago Tavern style) pizza with Pepperoni, Sausage & Mushrooms, and an order of four breadsticks (the garlic butter sauce is delicious!). Unfortunately, we dove in before snapping any pictures but remembered afterward.
Two people can get two meals out of this pizza. The pictures above show what was left after we were done the first night (I enjoyed the leftovers for dinner the following evening). This is a SOLID pizza. I shied away from “Detroit Style” for years because I thought it was the same as Sicillian (all dough and little sauce/toppings). I learned I was wrong after an order from Jett’s Pizza introduced me to Detroit Style. Now it’s one of my favorites, and Futuro does it justice. The worst part about ordering pizza from Futuro is I have to smell it all the way home to Fishers! Our total order was $33 for pizza, breadsticks, and tip. I think the quality and portion size you get is a bargain, and I look forward to ordering it again soon!
When was the last time you used the AM radio in your car? Me? Maybe twice in the previous year, when I wanted to listen to a Reds game while camping and when I tuned into emergency road information while traveling. The Early Chirp newsletter (worth checking out) had a short piece titled Inside The Fight To Keep AM Radio In Electric Vehicles. According to Safety Experts, AM Radio Waves are still useful in the case of a national emergency. Still, automakers have been slowly removing the AM band from their latest automobiles.
And finally… If you’ve ever driven to Chicago, you have undoubtedly seen the Oasis rest stops on the toll roads. What makes them unique is the placement upon a bridge-like structure over the highway. But, once a popular place to stop, these days they are disappearing. The It’s History channel on YouTube explains why.
One of the nice things about switching jobs is that fresh new email address that only your coworkers know. That usually only lasts a month or so, and in my case, it was even shorter as we put all of your contact info on the company website. Although we have “anti-scraping” turned on via Cloudflare, it didn’t take long for the email marketers to find me.
I’m pretty heavy-handed with the mark as junk and block functions in Outlook, and I have no problem banishing email marketing messages to keep my inbox clean. A new (to me, at least) tactic I’ve started seeing is the triple email marketing campaign. If your company uses this, let me assure you it’s not working and is even more annoying than usual.
The solicitation starts with an email from “Gabby” attempting to set up an introduction, then a follow-up email from “Gabby” the next day at roughly the same time you read the first one (the email address is slightly different so it gets past the block you set the day before). Within 5 minutes of deleting/blocking the follow-up email, you get an email from “Aira,” referencing the “email conversation” you’ve been having with “Gabby.” So in a span of 24 hours, I’ve received three emails from the same company.
I understand how they do it (spy pixels or tracker pixels). Still, it’s annoying enough that even if I were interested in your offerings, I’d probably not reply because of the aggressive marketing. (End of Rant)
Covid changed a lot in our world. It changed how people interacted with each other, and it also had an impact on modern etiquette. The Cut published a list of 194 Modern Etiquette Rules for Life After Covid. Some are silly, and others are thought-provoking. As the title implies, these are rules, and rules are meant to be bent and sometimes broken. There’s also a sub-section all about The New Rules of Tipping!
Some of my favorites:
2 – You may callously cancel almost any plans up until 2 p.m.
20 – Don’t describe TikToks. It’s more boring than describing dreams.
47 – Listening is not the time for you to silently rehearse what you want to say next.
76 – If your host is doing the dishes, it means you’re supposed to leave.
104 – If you’re in the office, you’re wearing shoes.
And finally… The Cell Phone will be 50 years old in April. Smithsonian Magazine has an excellent article, and CBS Sunday Morning interviewed Marty Cooper, the man who made the first call on a portable Cell Phone.
After dealing with a back issue for the past 2 weeks, I *think* I’m finally on the mend. At least I could get out of bed easier this morning. I’m sitting way too much during the day, and I think I need a new desk chair at home. Do you have any suggestions for a good one to purchase? Daylight Saving Time has been screwing with me all day, too & as I write this, It’s later than I feel it should be!
Congratulations to the Indianapolis International Airport for winning the “Best Airport in America” for an amazing 11th time! That’s a very remarkable achievement, but not surprising if you travel much. It’s the easiest airport to navigate that I’ve ever been to, and the main concourse is beautifully designed.
Speaking of air travel, the Hustle had an article last week about the long-forgotten Floppy Disk that, believe it or not, is STILL being used in some applications like Aircraft! A man in California makes $1000 a day selling these things for $1 each to people who still need them.
By now, you’ve probably heard about ChatGPT and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies flooding the Internet. If you haven’t seen firsthand how amazing and concerning they are, here’s an example.
In ChatGPT, I gave it the following command:
Write a 500-word blog post about the Indianapolis International Airport
And this is what I received:
The Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is a world-class airport located in the heart of the Midwest. With its state-of-the-art facilities, excellent customer service, and convenient location, it’s no wonder that IND has consistently been ranked as one of the best airports in the United States.
Opened in 2008, the new terminal at IND is a stunning example of modern airport design. The terminal’s sweeping curves and glass walls make it a striking addition to the Indianapolis skyline, while its spacious, light-filled interior provides travelers with a sense of calm and tranquility.
One of the standout features of IND is its commitment to sustainability. The airport was one of the first in the country to achieve LEED certification, and it continues to prioritize environmental sustainability in all of its operations. From its extensive recycling program to its use of energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, IND is setting the standard for sustainable airport design and operation.
But it’s not just the design and sustainability of the airport that make it a great place to travel through. IND is also known for its exceptional customer service. The airport has a friendly and knowledgeable staff that is always willing to go above and beyond to assist travelers with whatever they may need. Whether it’s helping with luggage, providing directions, or simply offering a friendly smile and a warm greeting, the staff at IND make travelers feel welcome and appreciated.
Another feature that sets IND apart from other airports is its convenient location. The airport is located just seven miles from downtown Indianapolis, making it easy to get to and from the city. There are a variety of transportation options available to travelers, including taxis, ride-sharing services, and rental cars. Additionally, the airport is served by several public transportation options, including the IndyGo bus system and the airport shuttle.
One of the most impressive aspects of IND is its art program. The airport has a robust collection of public art that is on display throughout the terminal. From the stunning glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly in the Civic Plaza to the whimsical “Baggage Claim” mural by Jorge Pardo, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The art program at IND adds an element of beauty and culture to the airport experience, making it a more enjoyable and enriching place to spend time.
Finally, IND is home to a variety of amenities that make travel more comfortable and convenient. There are numerous dining options available, including local favorites like Shapiro’s Deli and Harry & Izzy’s. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities, with a range of stores offering everything from souvenirs to high-end fashion. And for travelers who need to stay connected, there is free Wi-Fi throughout the airport.
In conclusion, the Indianapolis International Airport is a world-class airport that offers travelers a range of amenities, exceptional customer service, and a commitment to sustainability and art. Whether you’re flying for business or pleasure, IND provides a comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable airport experience that is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and ready for your next adventure.
Pretty amazing eh? I don’t know if I could have written this any better & I can see times when this technology can be very useful and times when it can be used for no good (like writing papers for school). It’s going to be interesting to follow this technology and see what happens next.
And finally… If you’re a Mac user, you probably have heard of Gary Rosenzweig from MacMost.com. He has over 300,000 followers on YouTube and has videos just about every day (and over 61,000,000 views). He’s created a free utility app called ClipTools. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and it’s amazing. It replaces a couple of tools I was already using and consolidates them into one app. I especially like the date insert and clipboard manager. It’s worth checking out!
Feb 27, 2023 – I just realized this post was still sitting in the Drafts folder!
The last two posts have had a lot of food content in them so I’ll start this one with just one piece of food news. According to Eater, In-N-Out is expanding eastward and opening up an office outside of Nashville, TN to oversee “expansion”. My son & I tried In-N-Out on a trip out west several years ago and while we both enjoyed it, we liked Del Taco better.
Given all thats going on in the world these days, I found it very interesting an Air Force General sent his troops a memo telling them to get prepared to go to war with China in 2025.
“I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025,”
Gen. Mike Minihan in a memo sent to the officers he commands and obtained by NBC News.
Gen. Minihan feels the upcoming 2024 elections are going to be a distraction where China will invate Tawain & provoke a war. I sure hope he’s wrong!
Here’s a link to a fun video about Keystone at the Crossing, the Fashion Mall at Keystone and the Bazaar (YouTube would not let me embed it into the post). The facility was opened prior to the completion of final leg of 465 in October, 1970 between Keystone and Shadeland Avenues. You can (kind of) see the 465 construction in the background of the arial shots. I visited it before it’s demolition in 1986 and only remember the wood paneling and the stairs everywhere (so many stairs)… Evidently the mall even had a Disco called Lucifer’s.
And finally… Speaking of history, it’s been 20 years since Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart during re-entry creating the largest crash site ever on record. The following is a very well produced video shoing what happpened.
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