Is This REALLY The “New Normal”?

When I wrote my last post at the end of March I had no idea we would still be dealing with Covid-19 4-months later, let alone witness the the civil unrest that’s occurred in the same timespan. The divisiveness of the country is something I’ve never seen before.

I’ll admit I didn’t take the Pandemic seriously at first and thought we would all be back to work in a few weeks. It took me some time to recognize the severity of the situation and, as stated in the last post, there have been some big changes in how we live

A lot of new business projects that were in the planning stages have been put on hold and some recently completed ones are struggling to make it. We have a large complex down the street called Fishers District that was at about 75% occupancy when all of this started. All the new restaurants had to close at a time they could least afford it. Most have opened back up but the mandated reduced capacity in place can’t be helping them much.

The rioting in Downtown Indianapolis is made the situation even worse. The office workers are not returning. Some major employers aren’t bringing people back until January at the earliest. The businesses who relied the downtown workers are suffering. The businesses looted and damaged in the rioting are suffering. In a lot of cases the same business affected by both.

Fast forward 3-months from March and the infection levels appeared to be trending the right direction. Right about the time people just couldn’t take it anymore and started throwing caution to the wind. Guess what? According to the health authorities the infection rate started climbing again.

Now, one thing I wish the health authorities would do it discuss the percentage of infected tests vs the count. If you test more people you’re going to identify more positive cases. So I’m still a little suspicious of the numbers when they keep giving total infection numbers that are higher and higher. Is it the same percentage of infections based on the number of tests?

It’s currently back to school time and the plans of each district are radically different. The feedback from the parents is all over the place too. Some want to get their kids out of the house at all costs (no fear of the virus), some are concerned about their safety. Both have compelling arguments for why they feel the way they do. I’m just not sure how the schools are going to be able to manage it. Our local High School has almost 4000 students!

Now, almost 4-months later, we’ve settled into the new way of life. I don’t see it “returning to normal” any time soon. I fact the predictions are now saying it’s going to get worse before it gets better. What a weird time to be alive…

Stay safe & do what you can to stay healthy.

Random Observation of the Week

As I travel to work/grocery (following the rules currently in place) it’s weird to see so many billboards that are no longer relevant. Lot’s of events that have been cancelled and movie/casino ads that are no longer happening either. It’s like we’re frozen in time.

There are some companies that have been able to rapidly update their TV/Radio spots but I’m sure that wasn’t budgeted for. I also noticed the number of car ads during the 6pm news has dropped considerably.

The long term impact of this Pandemic is really hard to wrap you head around. When you think about the various industries and how each one will have a different challenge to face. One things for sure, the Grocery industry seems to be thriving.

I think the landscape is going to look very different in the next 6-12 months as a lot of restaurants go out of business. Especially ones that were recently opened and had not started to turn a profit. Some have switched to a carry-out only model that will probably help pay for a skeleton crew and rent. Other have just closed their doors. Hopefully not for good!

Stay safe everyone & do your part to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Stay Safe Out There – Help is Available!

Hi Everyone, I hope you’re all taking precautionary measures & staying safe. It’s going to be a rough couple of weeks but I’m positive we can overcome this and become stronger as a nation.

If you’re a small business owner or an employee of one impacted by the Pandemic I urge you to look into programs being put together by your local and regional Chambers of Commerce (even if you’re not a member). They can help you in these trying times by connecting you to resources providing assistance.

The Government is, at this time, close to approving a HUGE financial assistance program aimed at those that need it the most. It’s been a struggle to get it passed because of infighting and partisan politics. When passed the influx of cash into the economy will hopefully provide relief, however brief, and start the process of healing and recovery.

As of midnight tonight Indiana will be on a lockdown, similar to a lot of other states in the nation. I hope this helps combat the spread of Covid-19. I’m also very glad it’s a “hunker down” request so we still have the ability to go to work (for those who have essential jobs) and get groceries, etc. Everyone seems pretty calm right now, as opposed to 2 weeks ago, so I think this is a good sign.

We’ll see how things turn out in a day or two. I certainly don’t think we’ll be back to work as a Nation by Easter but if we are I’m not go to complain!

92 County Geocaching Adventure

Just got back from a 2-day adventure with my son in Southern Indiana collecting Geocaches in 2o new counties. The goal is to visit all 92 Indiana Counties and log a Geocache in each one. After this trip we only have 16 counties left to complete the challenge. We were hoping to complete the challenge this year but we’re not going to make it.

Only 16 more counties to go after this trip!

It took quite a lot of planning for this 2-day trip. With so much ground to cover we needed to be as efficient as we could be but still have some fun. After a lot of research I identified 20 Geocaches that had multiple “Favorite Points” as voted on by other Cachers. This usually means a Geocache is something special and not just a 35mm film container (or pill bottle) in a bush. I was hoping that by choosing favorited caches we would have more fun and my 15-year old son would stay interested in our goal.

The Plan…

Of course when the day came we had rainy (but WARM) weather. We ended up with Rain on day-1 and a cold front in the afternoon of day-2. Considering this was between Christmas and New Years I was really happy with the overall 50-degree conditions.

Below is a gallery of the photos taken during the trip. We had a great time and are already planning to get the remaining counties in the next few weeks (if the weather cooperates!).

Evansville Sunset
Fire Tower!
West Baden Christmas Tree

WordPress 5.0 is Here!

It’s really kind of hard to believe my last blog post was in June!  I guess now that the weather is getting colder I’m finding time for my “indoor” hobbies such as reading and writing.  

In the span of an hour I read that a new (major) version of WordPress was available and received a notice form my hosting provider that my contract was up for renewal.  This is as good a time as any to update the site and add some more content!

The new WordPress editor is really interesting.  It’s based on your contend being a series of blocks.  These blocks can be scaled, moved, and colored individually.  This gives a tremendous amount of creative freedom to play around with layouts.  This is something that was all but impossible just a year ago on this platform (without some heavy CSS editing).

I’m learning the design has a lot to do with your theme.  The current theme I’m using for the site is called “Twenty Sixteen” and it’s missing a lot of features that will allow me to take advantage of the new editing functions.  So that means it’s time to start looking for a new theme and a new site design!

It feels good be back on the Blog.  Time to start researching some options to make the site even better in 2019!

Sunset as seen from the 14th floor of the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis 2018-12-08