2023 Week 19 – Giddy Up
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!
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!
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:
And Colorado less than a year ago:
2023 Week 17 – Buckle Up!
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.https://futuroindy.com
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.
Sticking with the Automotive theme, a Bloomberg article titled “Extreme Acceleration Is the New Traffic Safety Frontier” outlines the dangers of the huge horsepower increases in current vehicles. Electric Vehicles (EVs) can be especially dangerous with sub-4-second 0-60 acceleration times, and don’t get me started on the Clowns driving the overpowered Dodge Chargers.
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.
2023 Week 14 – #83: Go on, take the last bite
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.194 Modern Etiquette Rules for Life After Covid
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.
2023 Week 10 – IND #1 Again!
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.-ChatGP Output
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!
2023 Week 7 – Lock-n-Load
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.