I always love digging this out every November. Enjoy!
It’s about that time again where we set our clocks back to observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). The official date is Sunday, Nov. 7th at 2:00 am so you have a week to go! It doesn’t seem that long ago when Indiana didn’t participate in DST. In fact, we had our own “Timezone” called Indiana in the settings on computers. The last time I checked it was still there in Windows 10, even though it’s not used anymore.
I’ve been trying to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and get some steps in by walking around the neighborhood. This is a perfect time to catch up on the numerous Podcasts I have downloaded to my phone. One of my all-time favorites is from 99% Invisible. This podcast explores all kinds of interesting topics such as the Sears catalog that had mail-order houses available, and why Margarine was PINK at one time.
99% Invisible is a sound-rich, narrative podcast hosted by Roman Mars about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.From 99percentinvisible.org
After the impressive iPad Pro upgrade, I decided to upgrade my several-generation-old Apple watch to the new Series 7 model. The larger display is what really sold me. I use my Apple Watch daily and I’m looking forward to checking the new model out. If there’s anything worth reporting I’ll do a mini-review in a few weeks.
And finally, I stumbled upon some motivational videos on Youtube last week and the following one featuring Joe Rogan was very interesting. Enjoy!
I have a confession to make. I’m lazy when it comes to writing. I let the computer recommend corrections and highlight spelling mistakes. I thought I had it all figured out, and then I tried Grammarly.
Years ago, I played with Grammarly when it first came out and didn’t see the need to keep it as it didn’t appear to be any better than the built-in tools I was already using. However, I kept seeing Grammarly pop up online, and several people I know are happily using it, so I decided to give it another try.
First off, the amount of integration this tool provides is impressive. From browser extensions on the desktop to additional keyboards on mobile devices, Grammarly has you covered just about everywhere. I’ve been using it for the past month or so while drafting Blog entries, and it’s caught WAY more grammatical errors than the built-in editor, especially missing commas that I’m guilty of having. Some of the more technical emails I’ve needed to write at work have greatly benefitted from Grammarly too.
There are a few different options with Grammarly. Free, Premium, and Business. The Premium version I’m currently using is $12 a month (less expensive if you opt for the annual plan). It’s a little steep, I’ll admit, but it’s become so integrated into my workflow I’m willing to pay the price. Of course, it’s not a perfect solution and will, on occasion, make a recommendation I don’t quite agree with, but those are few and far between. Another thing to know is an Internet connection is required for Grammarly to function.
All in all, if you love to write, or you need some help polishing up your communications, Grammarly is an excellent tool for the job!
In other news, I just started listening to a new podcast called “How We Survive” from NPR Marketplace. The first season is all about the lithium used in batteries that will be powering everything in the future and how we need to mine more to meet the demand.
The climate crisis is here. Time is slipping away to stop the worst effects of global warming, and the world is looking for solutions. On “How We Survive,” Molly Wood explores the technology that could provide some of those solutions, the business of acclimatizing to an increasingly inhospitable planet, and the way people have to change if we’re going to make it in an altered world. Our first season dives deep into the economics, the tech and the human stories behind the race for lithium. It’s the “white gold” that will help electrify our cars, homes and power grids, and unlike the gold rush of the 1800s, this time, our survival might depend on it.Molly Wood – Host of the “How We Survive” Podcast.
That’s it for this week. I have a few ideas for upcoming blogs and have several drafts in the works. See you next time!
The last 4 posts were a recap of my week-long trip to OH, PA & NY to visit the Allegheny National Forest. With the daily rain, and summer temps, the mosquitos were out and looking for blood but I brought a solution to that…
After seeing ads and reviews over the past year I decided to pickup a Termacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller prior to the trip. This device comes in many different models and is powered by battery or Butane/Propane canister. I chose the latter as I use that fuel for cooking while camping.
The Thermacell uses heat from a tiny gas powered flame to heat a small pad containing a repellant solution. They claim a 15′ “zone of protection” and I think that’s pretty accurate. I noticed an immediate improvement as soon as I fired up the repeller and set it on the table next to where I was hanging out. It was especially useful under the tarp where I was spending a lot of time during the rain showers. It’s not going to work as well of there’s a lot of wind, but the bugs are usually not a problem when it’s windy.
The pads last for approximately 4-hours and cost around $2 each (cheaper in bulk). There is a very slight sweet smell but it’s not off-putting and a lot better than some of the other scented candles that don’t work very well. This being the backpacking model it’s quite small and portable. If you have a larger space to cover they make bigger units for that.
If you’re looking for something to help keep the bugs at bay while enjoying the outdoors check out the Thermacell line of products and see if they’ll work for you.
Finally stopped in to check out Indy Tacos (2196 E 54th St, Indianapolis) this last week. I’ve driven by several times & keep seeing it brought up on the Indianapolis Reddit page & decided now was the time. They have a nice selection of items and the prices are very reasonable for the quality. I opted for 1 Chorizo and 2 El Pastor tacos. I thought I might as well try out their chips and salsa while I waited.
No sooner did I grab a seat and take my coat off the food came out. I was not expecting that! You’ll need to be the judge yourself but I thought the tacos were perfect and the chips/salsa was some of the best I’ve had in a long time. The salsa was nice and cold and the chips were super fresh. They also provided some green and red squeeze bottle salsas. I’ll warn you, the red is HOT! If you’re in the area and want a quick bite it’s worth a little detour off Keystone to try this place out! Their Instagram page is here.
If you’re looking for a new local podcast you should check out the series from the Indy Chamber CEO Michael Huber. The Michael Loves Indy podcast has interviews from area influencers, such as Aaron Renn, former Mayor Greg Ballard and Michael Kaufmann. 10 episodes are currently available.
And finally, I’ve been a Mac user for quite a while now & thought I’d seen it all. The following video has some tips and tricks I never knew existed. Enjoy!
Spring is almost here and with that comes a lot more outdoor activities (FINALLY). The poor weather in February lead to a lot of indoor time. I used that time consume various types of media. It’s kind of weird but ever since I “cut the cord” I find myself watching more TV & Movies than I think I did before. I’m really into binge watching newly discovered TV Series.
My favorites for the month were:
- Suburbicon – A dark crime/mystery/Drama/Thriller starring Matt Damon and directed by George Clooney
Favorite TV Show:
- Black Mirror Season 4 – Netflix
Hopefully, by now, most of you know what a Podcast is. Believe it or not I was part of the Man Fights Back podcast a while back. We ended up recording 44 episodes before putting things on pause for a while. Hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can start recording again.
Publishing a podcast is a lot of work. Coming up with material, time to record, time to edit, time to produce and, most importantly, building your audience. Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak at the No Agenda Show podcast have figured all of this out and find time to publish 2 episodes a week totaling 5+ hours of content. They give the show away and only ask for donations to keep the show going. As of January 15, 2012 they’ve recorded 374 shows, along with a few special episodes.
Donations of $50 or more get their name or organization mentioned in the show. The top two donations for each episode get Executive Producer and Associate Executive Producer credits. It’s all turned out to be a pretty cool concept. Individuals who accumulate $1000 (or more) worth of donations (or donate it all at once) get a special “Knighthood” designation and customized ‘hit them in the mouth’ ring complete with old-fashioned envelope sealing wax that you can make an impression in with the ring.
The No Agenda Show is hard to describe but it covers a lot of current events and things you don’t hear about in the mainstream media. The discussions are lively and often times very humorous especially with all of the musical jingles and memes. The show notes are a treasure trove of links and media clips that allow you to dig deeper into the topics you find interesting. I’ve gotten a lot of ideas for the IndyScan.com blog posts from this podcast.
I’ve been planning on donating to the show for a while now but thought it might be kind of neat to pool together some donations from IndyScan.com readers and submit them on the behalf of IndyScan.com and its followers. The goal is to add a little more money to what I was going to donate ($100) and get some press for the blog.
Starting today I’m going to place a special donation button on the IndyScan.com site and will take contributions (via PayPal) until February 29, 2011. Every penny contributed will be added to my donation and submitted to the no Agenda Show for inclusion in one of the early March shows.
I hope you have a chance to check out the No Agenda Show and find it something you want to listen to and make a donations towards.
You can also donate from this blog entry:
On Aug 31, 2011 a British man named Alwyn Collinson started a 6 year project that uses Twitter to send out messages from World War II. These messages are reports of the war as they happen on the same day and time over 70 years ago. The messages are brief and often have links to related historical images.
@RealTimeWWII has grown in popularity over the months and as of the time of this writing has 160,000 users following the action.
As you can imagine there’s a lot of information to be relayed and the timing of the messages are what makes this so unique. Mr. Collinson uses an online scheduling tool called SocialOomph to keep the entire project moving.
I first learned about this project from an article in the New York Times. They have a great writeup that also talks about other similar projects.
If you’re a WWII fan you should check this out. An RSS feed is also available but requires a Facebook account to access.
This is the third and final installment of my favorite Blogs and RSS reeds on the Internet. This is a small sample of the other sites I follow. Everything from comedy to crackpots to cigars. I hope you find something new in the list.
FAIL Blog – If you like seeing people paying the price for stupid actions this is the site for you. There’s usually some pretty good signage mistakes too.
The Oatmeal – I’m really not into modern-day cartoons and comics (Dilbert is lost on me & The Far Side no longer exists) but this guy hits my funny bone just about every time. Fair warning, these are usually not kid friendly or safe for work.
David Allen Company – In my opinion Getting Things Done (GTD) is the best life management system ever created. I started with the book, attended the seminar, and intently read every newsletter from the David Allen Company. This guy is a former hippie (for lack of a better term) turned entrepreneur and productivity demigod. If you are looking for an alternative to all of the other systems, give this one a try. It’s been truly life changing for me.
The Art of Manliness – From shaving to shoe shining to being a better man, this site has it all. Sometimes it’s a little “old fashioned” but the articles are well written and have a lot of good content. This concept would make a great magazine.
Cool Tools – Not as active as it once was but you can still learn about such things as the Bombproof laptop case and Dependable soldering irons.
No Agenda – This podcast stars former MTV VJ Adam Curry & and tech columnist John C. Dvorak. It covers mainstream and not so mainstream media. Always good for a laugh and exposure to a new conspiracy theory.
Daily dose of imagery – As a photo hobbyist I always enjoy seeing other peoples work. More often than not I get inspiration from these images.
Every Day Carry – I always called it “Being Prepared” but there’s a cult following to the Boy Scout motto. This site posts user submitted images of their EDC items. From watches to knives to guns, it’s all there. I’ve found a few neat tools on this site that I’ve added to my daily carry.
Cigar Aficionado – The website is a treasure trove of information to the cigar enthusiast. Just about all of their back issue articles are online and the review database is a great resource.
So there you go, some of the more non-traditional items that pique my interest. If you have read all three posts you can probably put together a more accurate picture if me and my lifestyle. There’s a few things you probably don’t know about too. Stick around and check the blog for future posts.