Category: Review


2022 Week 1 – 2020 Too?

Here we go, another New Year! I’m hoping 2022 is better than the last two years. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of time & plan to make the best of 2022 by getting back outside and doing the things I love to do.

I typically write these Blog posts on the couch each Sunday morning from notes I’ve made throughout the week. A few weeks ago I started visiting the Fishers Test Kitchen and Sunking Tap Room to write. It’s a nice change from sitting around the house & the food/beer that’s available is a big plus. The iPad Pro has been a real rock star when it comes to mobile computing. I love how it instatly connects to my iPhone when I’m away from home.

We lost Betty White this week at the age of 99. She was quite the actress who had an impressive resume. I remember first seeing her in the Mary Tyler Moore show when I was a kid. She stood up to racism in 1954 in a move that could have ended her career. She also had quite the following by several Millennials I know. She will be missed.

The day before Christmas I finally received my new Tidbyt digital display. I backed this project on Kickstarter earlier this year & had been watching its development progress throughout the year. It’s an Internet-connected LED display with unlimited customization from Apps. The initial set of Apps got me up and running and developers are building more all the time. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with!

And finally, if you’ve ever wondered how a Formula One car really works this is the video for you. It goes into some amazing detail and helps explain the inner workings as well as why they cost as much as they do.

2021 Week 50 – Kindle Upgrade

I’ve been an Amazon Kindle user ever since V2 was released in 2009. That version had a keyboard and built-in cellular modem that allowed you to transfer data and download books anywhere, anytime.

Amazon Kindle V2 in 2009

The Kindle e-reader does one thing and, in my opinion, does it very well. It provides a distraction-free reading experience. OK, two things, you can carry a huge number of books with you at any time. This is handy when you want to read a couple of books at the same time, depending on mood and energy. It makes no noise, it has no pop-up messages, and it’s already ready to pick up where you left off in your last reading session.

I eventually upgraded to a newer version and then another. The low $100-125 price and ever-increasing screen resolutions and lighting options made the upgrades worth it. We lost the cellular modem years ago, but with WiFi being so accessible, it’s something you really don’t miss. I typically like to read in the evenings where it helps me unwind. On occasion, I can use my phone to finish a chapter or launch the Audible version of a book where it syncs with the text copy for easy switching between the two.

My last Paperwhite was starting to get a little sluggish, and I realized after 5-years of ownership I was no longer getting updates with some of the newer software features. After doing a little research, I found that I could trade my old unit in for a new one and get a 20% discount as well as a few dollars for the unit I was turning in.

2021 Kindle Paperwhite

The 2021 Kindle Paperwhite (as reviewed by Wired) is the best Kindle e-reader to date. The screen is larger, and the screen resolution looks like you’re reading a paper book. Backlight options include a warmth mode that tints the screen to ease eye fatigue at night. It’s all automatic based on the sunrise/sunset in your area. You don’t really notice the screen color until you turn it off.

Now that it’s getting cold out, and dark early, I’m spending a lot more time reading in the evening, and I’m really enjoying this upgrade.


I wrote about the Grammarly app in Week 42, and I’m happy to say after the 90-day initial trial, I renewed for another year. It’s been beneficial in my personal and professional life. You might have noticed some improvements in the blog posts too. I was missing some necessary punctuation in my writing. Some obvious (bad editing) and some not so obvious. They just released a new Desktop app for the Mac that allows it to work in ANY application. It was previously limited to its own app outside MS Office apps. Now it works right inside my email program and makes editing on the fly much smoother. At $150 a year, it’s not cheap but, if written communication is an important part of your life, it’s worth checking out to see if it can be helpful to you.

And finally… The limited series show “True Story” on Netflix was a surprise hit. Kevin Hart was excellent in his role, and the story moved very quickly through the seven episodes. Each episode is only 30-minutes, so it’s a pretty quick watch & easy to binge on a rainy day.

That’s it for thie week. Christmas is less than 2-weeks away! I should probably start shopping or something…

2021 Week 49 – Odds and Ends

brown and black cat

The Big 10 Football Championship was in Indianapolis this week, and we had a flood of visitors from Michigan and Iowa on Saturday. It wasn’t much of a game as Michigan smashed Iowa 42-3 but it’s always nice when the city can host such a big event.


I checked out the Guggman Haus brewery on the near west side Saturday afternoon. I was really impressed with the size and layout of the place. I thought it was just a house but they have a huge multi-room beer hall with a lot of TV’s for watching sports. Their Pilsner was quite tasty and they have a nice variety of German-inspired brews. I’m looking forward to returning to try out the food…


Red Notice on Netflix, staring Dwane Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot was a surprise hit. It’s a great action/adventure movie and worth the watch!


We made it up to Condado Tacos at Hamilton Town Center earlier this week, and it exceeded expectations. They have a huge variety of tacos, and the prices are very reasonable. It’s had lines outside the door since it opened, but we got lucky the night we decided to check it out. I drive by the downtown Indy location all the time but now that I know what it’s all about it might be time to add it to my lunch rotation.


And finally, “Jurassic Park but with a Cat” is the latest Youtube creation by Owl Kitty who’s creators use video editing magic to insert their black cat into famous movie scenes. The Behind the Scenes videos show you how they do it and how much work it takes.

2021 Week 47 – Sausage Party

I took a quick trip down to Cincinnati to visit family, and I had to make a stop at Findlay Market on the way home. Findlay Market is located in the city’s heart in an area known as “Over the Rhine” (OTR). As expected, it was pretty busy on Saturday, especially the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Findlay Market during our 2013 visit

OTR has seen its share of issues over the years, it’s been in the midst of a gentrification effort for as long as I can remember, and the transition has been a slow one. In the same block, you can see homelessness, drug use, high-end boutiques, and cars costing well over $100k cruising the streets. It’s pretty surreal, to be honest.

Findlay Market during our 2013 visit

Findlay Market has a nice mix of outdoor seasonal markets and brick and mortar shops ringing around a large indoor market lined with various shops along its long central corridor. You can shop at the various meat, seafood, and produce stalls, as well as a couple of bakeries and a world-class spice shop.

LK Logo above the service counter

One of my favorite vendors, Kroeger & Sons Meats, has been replaced by the “LK” sausage counter in the indoor market. LK does the old vendor proud by continuing to offer a huge selection of freshly made sausages, smoked meats, and other pork products. This is THE place to shop for some of the best sausages around.

One side of the L-Shaped LK stall at Findlay Market in Cincinnati

LK is Findlay Market’s premiere sausage destination. Founded by two local Cincinnatians, John Knodel and Ryan Lillis, LK offers more than 40 varieties of handcrafted sausage as well as smoked meats, fresh pork products and seasonal offerings. Launched in 2020, LK has taken over the iconic space once inhabited by Kroeger & Sons Meats. LK is focused on celebrating food and community, with top-notch service.

https://www.lkfindlaymarket.com/about
2021 Sausage Madness Bracket

With over 40 types of sausages available, it’s tough to pick the right one. Luckily LK had a bracket challenge earlier this year, listing all their varieties and how they rank against each other. I ended up walking away with a nice mix of flavors and some sweet and spicy mustard too.

Before leaving the market, I stopped at another favorite along the north side of the outdoor shops, Dean’s Mediterranean Imports. Here you can find various spices, oils, and Mediterranean staples such as olives and pita. On this trip, I picked up a couple of new condiments (both LOW CARB!).

If you find yourself in Cincinnati and have some extra time, I encourage you to check out Findlay market and the OTR area. It’s got something for just about everyone, and you’re sure to find some great food to take home and try.

That’s it for this week. Turkey Day is just a few days away, along with an extra day of football. I’m looking forward to a 4-day weekend and hope to get more recipes added to the blog during that time. See you next time.

2021 Week 42 – Grammarly App Review

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!

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