Category: Observations


2022 Week 19 – Mid-Term Letdown

photo of person dropping a vote

The Mid-Term elections were last Tuesday & I’ll have to admit, I was pretty disappointed in the turnout I observed. I’m fortunate that my polling place is at a small church next to my neighborhood and is about as convenient as it gets. I stopped by at 8:30 and said hello to the one and only candidate rep outside (representing Greg Garrison for Prossicutor) and proceeded inside to 8 poll workers, and that’s it. No one else was there voting. That’s a little sad, considering the primaries significantly impact who gets to run in the November election and, in many cases, decide the November results.


Scotts Cheap Flights had an excellent article about the 23 of the Best Long Weekend Trips in the US. Several are an easy drive from Indy. In fact, Nashville has been on my radar ever since I drove through in October 2020. I’ve been craving that smoked mushroom smash burger from burger Hugh-Baby’s. I think a return trip is in order this fall.


A few months ago, I picked up a new Mac and decided to go with the Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch with the M1 Pro chip. With 16GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, this entry-level MacBook Pro is the fastest one I’ve ever used. It’s amazing how much better it is than a unit from 2 years ago. The Mac uses Apple’s new proprietary chip, and the performance is nothing short of amazing. Couple that with a liquid retina XDR display, HD webcam, and all-day battery life; this is one hell of a package for $2k. I would not hesitate to recommend this as an upgrade or an entry into the Apple ecosystem.


That’s it for this week. However, some exciting things are happening behind the scenes at the IndyScan HQ. Details are to be released soon, so stay tuned!

2022 Week 12 – Where There’s Smoke…

silhouette of people in musee d orsay clock

There was a HUGE warehouse fire at the Wal Marl Distribution center in Avon last Wednesday afternoon. All 1000 employees made it out safely, but the debris field stretched for miles as hazardous particulate in the smoke dropped from the sky miles to the north.

Warehouse fire in Avon as seen from Downtown Indy – 2022-03-16 @ 14:03 (IndyScan)

Amazingly enough, there was ANOTHER warehouse fire in the area the next day, but this fire started from welding sparks falling into foam insulation during construction.


Hot on the heels of the latest Daylight Saving Time (DST) change, the Senate passed legislation to end it. It still needs to be passed by the House, so we’ll see if it will happen. It’s not the first time the U.S. has tried ending it. At the end of 1973, Nixon signed a law that would end DST.

The experiment was supposed to last for two years, but it only lasted eight months, and Congress reverted to standard time in the fall of 1974.

https://time.com/6157915/daylight-saving-time-history/

I was running errands the other day & saw that the Saraga International Grocery store in Castleton (and old abandoned Target) had had a facelift. A nearby billboard is saying they are opening this Spring. It’s no Jungle Jim’s (in Cincy), but it’s better than anything else in the city. I hope the nearby ethnic stores aren’t impacted too much when this place opens.

And finally… The Wall Street Journal has an interesting video on Youtube called “What America’s Supply-Chain Backlog Looks Like Up Close.” The Video was posted in October of last year, but it’s pretty interesting and shows what’s been going on at the shipping ports in the U.S.

2022 Week 11 – We Were Robbed

It’s been nice being out of the house this week after isolating for a week with Covid. There are weekends when I don’t leave the house but an entire week was tough. On the plus side I was super productive working remotely and actually enjoyed working from the house this time as opposed to when I did in 2021 because everything was closed.


Microsoft FINALLY released their award-winning Flight Simulator last week on their Cloud Gaming platform and it’s even better than I expected.

I’m a huge Flight Sim fan and used to play for hours when I was younger. The latest version takes its imagery from Bing Maps and can replicate real-time weather conditions in your current location. So it’s about as real as you can get while staying firmly planted on the couch. The Bing maps are a little out of date but it’s pretty easy to visually navigate around town and fly to various landmarks in the area.


And finally… I was robbed last night. Robbed of an hour due to Daylight Saving Time (DST). I had JUST gotten used to the sun rising at 7 am and now we’re back to 8 am for a while. I miss the days when Indiana didn’t change times twice a year. We even had a special Time Zone on computers called “Indiana (East)”. It’s still there last time I checked even though it’s not used anymore.


That’s it for this week. I have a camping & disc golf trip scheduled in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be nice playing outside again.

2022 Week 7 – Plug-In, Charge Up

I’ve been using my iPad Pro a lot lately to create these blog posts. It’s such a convenient tool to get online, and I really enjoy how it connects to my iPhone almost immediately for seamless connectivity. It’s almost like having a cellular modem built-in, without the extra expense. Paired with the Magic Keyboard this compact package can easily replace a laptop for most day-to-day tasks. Highly recommended if you spend a lot of time online and/or travel a lot.


I traveled to the small town of McCordsville last week to visit the Scarlet Lane Brewery and try the food at the Trax BBQ restaurant attached to it. Scarlet Lane is heavily focused on the Haloween theme and there are props and signs everywhere. I sampled a few of their Ales and was able to find a brew that was decent to sip on. I order it by number and don’t remember the name, I think it was a Hazy IPA. I then proceeded to grab some food. I had every intention of sampling the BBQ at Trax but their Burger of the Month caught my eye.

The Mushroom Swiss Smashburger was featured in February and included Double Blackened Patties, Swiss Cheese, Mushroom Demi-glace, Bacon, LTOP on a buttered brioche bun. Add a side of Garlic Parm Tater Tots and you have yourself a meal!

Burger of the Month at Trax BBQ

Trax has a lot of sauces to choose from. They have a sauce bar off to the side with little paper cups so you can find your favorite. I sampled about 6 of them, by dipping a tot in each one, and I think it was a tie between the vinegar-based and the mustard-based options. The two “hot” sauces lived up to their name and each had a nice bite that could easily build to an uncomfortable burn.

I hope to return in the next few weeks to actually try the BBQ and get some more of those sauces. Scarlet Lane has other locations in Broad Ripple, Indy, and Beech Grove, each with different food options. I particularly want to try the Gastropub in Indy.


And finally, Ars Technica had a report on the newly released US EV Infrastructure plan – Four fast chargers every 50 miles. The new plan begins to address the “Range Anxiety” concerns people have about Electric Vehicles (myself included). I like to do big road trips and get “off the grid”. The places I’ve been visiting have no charging facilities available and I’d be unable to visit with an EV. As the technology (and range) improves this could be a thing of the past but we’re years away from a solution. But as more and more automakers shift focus to EVs, the internal combustion engine, in my opinion, has a big target on its back.

2022 Week 5 – Quiet and Comfortable

low angle photography of flock of flying birds

Our “dusting” of snow this past Friday turned into a few inches and seemed to catch a lot of people off guard. There were several accidents around town including a few interstate shutdowns. I’m happy that it was a short commute to the office and back so I missed all the excitement.


I’ve been seeing a lot more Automated License Plate Readers (ALRPs) pop up around central Indiana. The company responsible is called Flock Safety and they have entered into contracts with a bunch of police agencies in the area. They work by scanning License Plates as well as noting the make/model/color of vehicles that pass by their watching eye. This data can be referenced by local officials to determine who was in an area in the past or look for vehicles in real-time in the event of an active emergency. Some neighborhood Associations have been installing them as well to keep track of individuals entering and leaving the area.


Earlier this year I upgraded the tried true Bose Quiet Comfort 15 (wired) headphones I’ve had for years to the new QC45 (wireless) headphones. The initial impression was nothing short of *WOW*. I had been using the QC15 headphones mostly for travel and times when I needed to really isolate myself from the outside world. Most other times I relied on my AirPod Pros for day-to-day use.

Bose QC45 Headphones

One of my favorite features of the AirPods is the Transparency Mode. This lets the outside world in while you listen to your media. The Bose QC45s have a similar feature called Aware Mode. The build quality of the QC45 is top notch and I’m looking forward to many years of service. If you’re in the market for a pair of wireless over-the-ear headphones they are worth considering.


And finally, if you’re a fan of Pizza Hut Pan Pizza, Americas Test Kitchen shows you an easy way to make it at home in a cast-iron skillet (you have one of those, right?). This recipe looks like a great thing to make on a Sunday night to enjoy leftovers the next day!

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