Category: Reading


2021 Week 34 – Keto Update

white handbag

I start my 3rd-week with the “Low Carb” diet this week, and I can honestly say it’s going very well. I’m getting a little tired of the limited food choices, but I found a few cookbooks over the weekend that should help mix things up a little.

My original goal was to do this for 2 weeks, but I’ve been so pleased with the results I’m going to keep up with it for a while. I’ll admit I’ve had a few cheat meals, but just being conscious of what I’m eating vs. just eating to bet full has been truly eye-opening. Also, the energy I’ve gained by drastically reducing carbs (and sugars) makes this all worth it.

Dining out has been a little tricky, but it’s doable. I’ve found most restaurants have a low-carb option on their menu, although it’s not always called that. Asking for things without bread or adding a green vegetable over fries or other starches helps keep the carbs down. Now on to our regular programming…

I decided to refresh the look of the site over the weekend & turned on a new theme called “Kvarken”. It’s an older theme and might not be supported in upcoming releases of WordPress but it was time for a refresh. I still haven’t found the “perfect” theme for the site, but as time goes on, I keep getting closer. Unfortunately, there are so many themes to choose from, and many of them are not backward compatible with what I’ve been using, so I’m a little limited in my options.

I downloaded the Grammarly app over the weekend, and I’m in the process of testing it out both personally and at work. Grammarly is a real-time spelling and grammar checker with a huge list of features available (when you pay for a subscription to access them). However, the free version is also very useful and might be what I fall back to after my 90-day subscription ends.

Finally this week… The NY Times had an interesting article about the “issues” created when switching from plastic bags to cotton “totes”.

Goodbye Pocket, Hello Instapaper!

apps-pocket-iconAlways looking for interesting online content (and a place to capture it) I’ve been using the Pocket application since 2012.  I even upgraded to the Premium version for around $5 a month which gives you some nice auto-tagging, searching, and archive functions.

I was actually preparing to return to the free version of Pocket because I wasn’t using the advanced features as much as I thought I would.  I save the articles I want to keep long-term in Evernote so the archiving features were not a benefit.  I’m still trying to adopt the whole tagging concept too so that was another feature that was wasted on me (I’m a Folder organizer, always have been)…

instapaper-logoThen Instapaper decided to eliminate the cost of their Premium services… (Whoah, game changer right?)…

Well I had to at least try it out.  I’ve seen the Instapaper icon as a “save for later” option all over the Internet for a while now.

I’ll have to admit I’m pretty impressed with how Instapaper works.  It does a MUCH better job saving articles in their original format than Pocket did and it beats Evernote hands down with inline videos and graphics.

Other features include “Speed Reading” where each word flashes on the screen at a speed you select.  It’s a little awkward at first and causes me to read out loud, for some reason, but it does what it’s supposed to.

Another option I just discovered allows you to tilt your phone to auto-scroll the article you’re reading.  The more you tilt the faster the scrolling rate.  It takes a little bit to get used to but works great when you’re sitting in your favorite chair relaxing.

If you’re a fan of offline archiving/reading of online content you should really check out Instapaper.  You can even import your Pocket library into Instapaper and not miss a beat.  It’s a really solid product and you can’t beat the price!

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below…

What We’re Reading in August

Circle_4-704x528Found an interesting website earlier this month called Historic
Indianapolis
.  I think I ended up there after a post on the Facebook Group Indianapolis Long Ago, which I’m a member (lurking more than contributing).  Lot’s of fun facts about the great city of Indianapolis at both locations.  I’ve really got the bug to get out of the suburbs and give “city life” a try in Downtown Indianapolis.  Not sure I’d make it there more than a few years without wanting to get back to the Urban Sprawl but it would be a fun experiment.

Really nice travel article in the NY Times called From Montreal to Minnesota, by Inland Sea by Porter Fox.  He spent 6 days on a cargo ship crossing the Great Lakes and checking out the sights along the way.  Evidently this is a totally legit trip and cargo ships offer this in limited quantities.  Probably going to be booked for a while after this article gets circulated.

Keeping on the maritime theme this morning the NY Times wrote about the only floating Zip Code in the US.  It’s a mail boat that meets up with cargo ships, like the ones in the previously mentioned article, and delivers mail, packages and supplies.  Sounds like a great summer job for someone a lot younger than me.

hostess-deep-fried-twinkiesFinally, in the food department, Hostess is rolling out Deep Fried Twinkies in a Walmart frozen food aisle near you.  Preliminary reviews have actually been positive piquing my interest just enough to maybe try in the near future.

Have a great week out there & like it or not Fall will be here Thursday, September 22.  Get those outdoor activities planned!

What We’re Reading/Watching/Buying in December

It’s been a busy month and Christmas is less than a week away (so is a much-needed week off work for yours truly).  As I get older the years just keep speeding up & I don’t know of any way to slow them down!  It’s just the opposite feeling from when I was a kid where the years dripped slower than that bear bottle full of honey.

The Great Cord Cutting Project of 2015 is going better than I could have ever expected & there’s no going back.  I’m spending some of that old evening TV time trying to keep up on the articles I’m always collecting via Pocket.  Some items recently clipped include:

pcq8qzR9iThe Kindle is getting a workout too with several books being read in parallel.  Just depends on what I’m in the mood for.  Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and Andy Weir’s The Martian are both fighting for my attention.
I’ve also taken the opportunity to really dig into what’s available on the streaming services I subscribe to, particularly Netflix and Amazon:

  • The Man in the High Castle (Amazon) is an alternate history story that has the Germans and Japanese wining WWII and taking control of the USA.  It’s a pretty dramatic series that’s full of twists and turns.
  • Narcos (Netflix) depicts the story of Pablo Escobar and the DEA agents assigned with bringing him to justice.  I’m not going to lie, you have to pay attention to this show.  Mainly because it’s 90% Spanish with subtitles.  And a Gringo like me needs them.  No Sprecken la Espanola

belkin-be-F5L171tt-1I’ve been helping keep USPS, FedEx and UPS in business with lots of holiday purchases for friends and family.  Along with those items I picked up a new Keyboard/Case for myself and my iPad Air 2.  The Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro is a great replacement to the Logitech keyboard cover I was using with the last iPad.  It’s a little pricy $150 but It’s currently on sale now for $130.  I’m working on a review but let’s just say that after a few days using it I’m a fan.

25475-inset13After a glowing review from a co-worker I also ordered the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Electric Sandwich Maker.  Seriously, I did!  I’ve see this gadget before but didn’t think it would be any good, especially costing under $30.  Well I’m told this thing really works so I had to see for myself.  When I happen to eat breakfast the egg and cheese (with various meats) is my regular go to.  Delivery is scheduled for Monday so we’ll see how it goes Tuesday morning when I fire that baby up and make my first sausage, egg and cheese muffin.

No matter your religious preference (or not) I hope everyone is gearing up for a fun holiday season with friends and family.  If you get any good tech gadgets or kitchen toys let me know!  I’m always looking for ways to give Amazon more money.

What We’re Reading This Week (Nov. 22, 2015)

reading20It’s about an hour before kickoff of the Colts vs. Atlanta game and time for another installment of what we’re reading this week.

  • Yesterday TV Chef Mario Batali came to town for a book signing at the recently opened Market District in Carmel. Liz Biro at the Indy Star had the chance to speak with him and ask a series of great questions from her readers.
  • A NY Times journalist made the trip to Cuba to try and snag a box of hand-rolled smokes from the source and wrote an interesting piece on what it’s like to visit.  Cuba is on my bucket list & I want to make it there before it gets commercialized.
  • The anti-encryption debate heats up in the days after the Paris attacks.  It doesn’t help that ISIS claims to be using Apple’s iMessage for communication.  Wired has a piece on the state of Operational Security (OPSEC) and what the recently released guide being used by ISIS could mean for all of our privacy going forward.
  • And finally this week Medium has a Long Form article about a depressed photographer and his 40,000km trip around the world that took an amazing 4 years to complete…  On a bicycle!  Great images in this one.

That’s it for now.  Fingers crossed that Matt Hasselbeck can pull off a win this week!

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