Happy New Year & 2018 Blogging Challenge!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and started 2018 off in a positive way.  Things have been busy around IndyScan HQ and the Blog has suffered a bit by lack of activity.  This post is sort of a catch up post summarizing some of the events in 2017 and, hopefully, setting the stage for 2018 entries.

I’m going to challenge myself to post a minimum of 1 entry a week detailing the things going on around me and the new things I’m discovering and/or enjoying.  I’m going to harness the power of ToDoist to keep me from slipping.  It’s one of my favorite task managers and when combined with Evernote helps keep my life organized and commitments met.

I had a lot of fun posting images on Instagram this year and viewed some amazing photography.  Most of it was from cell phones that have evolved to a point where they could replace the SLR for all but the serious photographers.  I still love my SLR but you just can’t beat the convenience of a good cell phone camera.

I really enjoyed the new road bike I purchased in early 2017.  It took me a while to get back into the groove and I still have a way to go to get back to the distances I used to ride when I was younger.  I have a few trips planned for 2018 that should prove to be challenging as well as rewarding.  One of my favorite rides of 2017 was the Monon Trail from Westfield to Indy and back.  It was a little longer of a ride than I was expecting but it was a great accomplishment that sets a base for my 2018 riding goals.

I found the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to be an awesome resource for identifying places to ride around the US.  I’ve already found some rides I want to do in Ohio as well as a great looking 2-day loop in Iowa.  Stay tuned for trip reports and photos from the trail.  It has to be above freezing though before I even think about the bikes…

We’re trying our hand at making wine this year too.  We purchased a kit at Great Fermentations as a joint Christmas gift and have been brewing up 6-gallons of Pinot Grigio (30-bottles) the past month.  Hoping to start the bottling process by the end of January and, after a little more aging, start sampling in April or May.

2017 was a great year full of its share of challenges but overall we had a lot of fun and tried some new things.  I’m already expecting 2018 to top last year and I hope to share some experiences with all of you on the blog.

Until next time…

 

10-Years of Blogging

I was cleaning up the Blog today & realized this version of IndyScan.com came online just over 10-years ago.

A LOT of things have changed since then, especially when I look at the technology posts.  Back then I was using the Palm Treo and transitioning to the Blackberry.  When the iPhone was first adopted at my company I was one of the last holdouts to turn their Blackberry in.  I still miss that keyboard sometimes…

10-years ago the world was a different place.  We were still pretty sore from the 9/11 attacks and a 512 GB SSD drive was about to be released to the general public.   Tech has changed SO MUCH that it’s really hard to believe where we are now (self driving cars!?!).

I have a few draft posts I’m working on including an update on the cord cutting project.  I added some new things to round out the setup and make it even better.

More to come soon!

 

It’s HOT Outside So It’s Time for a Blog Update!

This is one of the first weekends this summer I’ve spent the majority of my time inside.  Between the cycling, kayaking and fishing it’s been a wonderfully busy summer and it passed by quickly.  So here we are during the first weekend of FALL and the temps are in the 90’s.  I thought I’d share some updates about what’s been going on.

I found a box of Pearl Sugar in the pantry the other day & decided to break out the waffle iron for another round of Liege Waffles.  I wrote about these back in 2011 and they are worth the effort.  My only caution is they will gum up your waffle iron with caramelized sugar.  Cleanup is best done after things have cooled down so the hardened sugar can be chipped off.

After spending a lot of time riding the Monon trail these past few months I decided to mount my little GoPro Session to the handle bars and start recording some of the ridiculous stuff  seem to  encounter every ride.  I’ll post some video after my next ride.

On the Podcast front I’ve discovered several new ones this summer.  The ones I found to be the most entertaining are:

Twenty Thousand Hertz – Dallas Taylor does an amazing job bringing you “the stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds”.  My favorite episode so far is the story behind the NBC chimes.

Week in the Knees – Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, the guy who lived on MacDonalds for a month, is back with a weekly recap of the news you might not have head about.

Countdown – Detailed stories about 10 of the most incredible space missions during the race to the moon 50-years ago.  Lots of NASA audio recordings and interviews make it a very well produced podcast from Time Magazine.

After driving near this place for years I finally stopped in the little town of Brookville Indiana and checked out the amazing Brookville Reservoir.  We spent several weekends this summer kayaking and fishing this place and absolutely love it.

Brookville has a great tail water below the dam that’s stocked with rainbow and brown trout.  When the conditions are right it’s an awesome place to fly fish.  The reservoir itself has a lot of bass and other native Indiana species.  We’ve had success fishing from the bank and from the kayaks.  Since it’s only a 90-minute drive from home it’s an easy place to go for a day trip.

I’m looking forward to more beautiful weather this fall.  I need a few more weekends on the water and bike before packing everything up for the winter!

…To be continued

Triple Click iPhone Home Button Trick

Trying to get back into the blogging habit after a long hiatus.  Too many distractions with the amazing summer weather we’ve been having this year!  I’m working on a recap of what we’ve been up to & should have it up here in a week or so.

BUT, for now I’ll publish a draft I had sitting in the queue and hopefully it’ll come in handy for some of you.

I don’t know about you but in my world manufacturers and restaurants have this silly habit of using smaller and smaller fonts everywhere.  Case in point, try looking at the IMEI number on the back of your iPhone.  It’s TINY!

BUT, I have a solution to share with you that I’ve used for a while now.  It’s call the Triple-Click-Magnifyer and it’s amazing!

1. Touch the “Settings” icon on your iPhone’s home screen.

2. Touch the “General” button followed by the “Accessibility” button.

3. Touch “Triple-click Home” (or “Accessibility Shortcut”) located at the very bottom of the Accessibility screen.

4. Tap any of the accessibility options to assign that option to the Triple-click Home function. A check appears next to the option to indicate you selected it. If you select more than one option, the iPhone will ask you which one you want to activate when you use the Triple-click Home feature.

I only use the Magnifier option at this time and it works amazingly well.  It’s not the same as firing up the camera and zooming in.  It allows for much closer focus and an almost unbelievable amount of zoom.

Now all you need to do is unlock your phone and quickly press the home button 3-times.  That’s it!

If you found this tip helpful let me know in the comments section.

My Week With The Apple Watch

Thought it might be a good idea to take some time out on this Friday night*** and post a much-needed update to the Blog.  Amazing how life gets in the way and posts end up being weeks apart…  You should see the number of drafts I have queued up so it’s not like I’m not thinking about blogging!

I stopped in the Apple store a few weeks ago just to look around and all the new toys and get a hands on demo of the Apple Watch.  The employee assisting us was very helpful and he did such a good job I ended up making an impulse buy of an Apple Watch Sport (and a night stand dock).

I’ll admit it, I fell for the hype and it was totally an impulse buy (happens more than I like to admit).  I justified the purchase to myself as an updated FitBit that did a lot more than just track my steps.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!

If youu_10138874 haven’t checked out the Apple Watch it’s worth it just to see the design, fit, finish, and how it looks on your wrist.  It’s a beautifully designed piece of electronics (as most Apple products are).  The watch/band combinations are numerous and I’m a little surprised they didn’t package the watch by itself with the bands being an add-on accessory.
There are 3 watch models (in several colors) and 2 watch sizes all with the SAME internal components.  The prices are all over the map when you pair the watch with the various bands.  I opted for the $399 “Sport” model in brushed gold with a dark blue band (my shopping companion quickly identified it as the Notre Dame model).

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After arriving home I had to charge the watch for about an hour before I could fire it up.  Initial setup takes about 20 minutes while the companion apps are loaded from your phone.  It took another 24-36 hours before things are totally synced and you are able to get all the alerts you would normally get on your phone (way longer than I expected).

The idea of having a mini phone display on your wrist, instantly accessible, is a good one in theory.  My biggest problem was holding my arm at the viewing angle for an extended period along with the issue of being able to focus on the small screen.

I’ll admit I’m getting older and my arms are sometimes not long enough to properly focus on things like books and menus without a little help from Foster Grant.

Tl_10138874_002his was an immediate problem that I didn’t really notice during the in-store demo.  I’m not going to whip out my reading glasses every time I want to look at my wrist candy (Strike 1).

Another issue I ran into is the information actually presented on the watch screen.  I get hundreds of emails a day and more times than not the message was unable able to be displayed on the screen because of the format.  Not to mention viewing attachments is out of the question (Strike 2).

Battery life during the first day, like with any new toy, was not impressive because I was fidgeting with my new toy all day long.  It improved in the days following as I used the watch less and less.  Apple advertises a full day of usage between charges and I was getting that (Ball 1).

The final issue was the fact you have to make a specific flip of your wrist to get the display to wake up.  Raising your arm works 50% of the time.  Other times you have to rotate your wrist in a weird way to get the watch to activate.  Hard to describe but anyone who has one of these devices knows exactly what I’m talking about (Strike 3).

seiko-divers-pepsi-bezel-blue-dial-automatic-stainless-steel-men_s-watch-skx009Apple offers a 10-day return policy on the watch and I ended up taking advantage of it 7 days into the experiment.  Returning it was totally painless and when I mentioned the viewing issues to the employee processing the return she indicated it’s not an uncommon complaint (and reason for return).

So my Apple Watch experiment is over (for now) and I can honestly say I don’t miss it.  I continue to enjoy my Seiko Automatic Dive Watch for its simplicity (no batteries) and I look forward to the next version of the Apple Watch that’s rumored to be announced sometime this year.

Do you have an Apple Watch?  What’s your experience been like?  Hit me up in the comment section below.

***While listening to The Very Best Of The Violent Femmes on Spotify