2023 Week 13 – Oui Oui!

We had some wild weather come through Indiana Friday night, and as of today, there are at least ten confirmed tornados south of Indianapolis and several deaths. McCormick’s Creek took a hit, and several campers were injured. We didn’t have much going on until after 10 pm, and then the wind picked up and was really blowing things around. We ended up losing power for a few minutes (again). Other than a few branches in the yard, the north side of Indianapolis faired pretty well.


I ended up in Greenwood Friday morning for a work function, and I remembered tagging a French Bakery in Google Maps when I read about it several months ago. I wasn’t sure if I was close because it felt like I had driven halfway to Bloomington to get to this event. Lo and behold, I was less than 5 miles from Le Croissant French Bakery (no website), located at 916 E Main St, Greenwood, IN 46143.

They had a great selection, and it was pretty hard to choose what to get. I ended up with a Ham and Cheese Croissant and a Cheese Danish (made with Croissant dough). I warmed up the Ham and Cheese Croissant with a nice glass of Chardonnay for dinner and the Cheese Danish for breakfast the following day.

Both pastries were quite large, and the toppings/fillings were generous. I could imagine someone with a light appetite only eating half of these. 30-seconds in the microwave brought them both back up to room temp (I had placed them in the fridge when I got home), and I’m just going to say this place is legit. I’m already planning on a return trip in the near future.

Le Croissant French Bakery is open Tue-Sat 8 am-4 pm, and closed on Sunday and Monday.


I’ve had some weird issues with the website and have been making some changes behind the scenes. You might find it offline occasionally as I attempt to rebuild it. Rest assured; we’re not going anywhere 🙂


And finally… Fishers tore down their Town Hall earlier this year because it was sinking, and the repair costs were prohibitive. A new building is currently under construction & will house an art center and other new things. The city just released a timeline of their progress.

2023 Week 12 – Birthday Weekend!

I’m not one to make a fuss about turning a year older, but I know people who are! This year my birthday fell on a Friday & after a super busy first quarter, I decided it was time to take a day off and enjoy a long weekend with family and friends.

We hit up our favorite BBQ place Thursday night to start the long weekend. Traxx BBQ is located n McCordsville. I did a little write-up about it earlier this year. This particular Thursday night the place was packed! I’ve never seen the parking lot so full, but the good thing about BBQ is that it’s already cooked, so you usually get your food quickly after you order. I ordered the Brisket and Smoked Sausage with Baked Beans and Mac-n-Cheese as my sides. My better half ordered pulled pork with Hush Puppies and Potato Salad. Scarlet Lane Brewery is located in the same facility, and it’s 21+, so we found a seat in there. It had less people noise, but the music made up for it. A little loud, but at least it was stuff I enjoyed.


Friday morning started with a tour of the Indiana War Memorial & Museum, something I have meant to do for a while now. The rainy weather was a good excuse to do something inside, and this museum did NOT disappoint!

You’ll need a solid hour to see everything; this free attraction is fantastic. They take donations at the end of the self-guided tour, and I encourage you to donate to keep this place operating. Every war, from. Civil to the Middle East, is covered, and all service branches are represented. The names of fallen Indiana soldiers are framed throughout the facility, and the sheer number is eye-opening.

We worked our way over to Mass Avenue and settled into a booth at Garden Table for lunch. Garden Table is a fun and hip place to have a lunch date or meeting. The menu is eclectic, and the atmosphere is very welcoming. I’ve been there three times in the past two months, and each time was just about perfect, from food to service. After lunch, we made a quick visit to The AMP at 16 Tech, The Garage (just window shopping), and Best Chocolate (can’t visit here without buying Truffles). As you can see, we were making our way around Indy to check out the new venues we hadn’t been to for a while.

Garden Table

I asked a co-worker, who knows her coffee, what a good shop would be for an afternoon treat, and she answered Bovaconti without hesitation. Bova (that’s what the cool kids call it) is in a former jewelry store in Fountain Square. It’s on the smaller side and had a good crowd when we visited mid-afternoon. I had a basic cold brew, but my date ordered the Spanish Latte, and it was one of the best coffee drinks either of us had ever tasted. A Spanish Latte consists of espresso, sweet condensed milk, cinnamon, and steamed milk. The condensed milk and cinnamon are a great combination!


Saturday morning arrived rather quickly and we headed down to Cincinnati for a surprise birthday party in Covington for my Brother-in-Law. Before heading out, we decided to add another stop to Bova before traveling down I-74. I ordered an Iced Spanish Latte with Oat milk this time, and my co-pilot had the same with regular milk. Along with the coffee, we purchased a couple of maple nut pastries which they warmed up for us. The combination of iced coffee and the warm pastry was one of the best things I’ve had for breakfast in a LONG time!

The Cincinnati area has a lot of interesting things to do and see. We stayed across the river in Covington, KY but had lunch with family at The Miamiville Trailyard in Loveland, Ohio. This place reminded me of Four Day Ray in Fishers, except this place was right on the Little Miami Scenic (Rail) Trail.

Back to Cincy and Over the Rhine to do some shopping. There are no public restrooms easily available, so we stopped in at Krueger’s Tavern and enjoyed a glass of while (and used the facilities). I really miss having lunch at Krueger’s when they were in Indy. The Malt Vinegar Aioli paired with their shoestring fries was delicious!

There are murals everywhere around Cincy, and some of them are quite good!

We found a place to stay just 2 blocks from the evening event called Pickle Factory Boutique Hotel. It’s basically an Air B&B with several units on the top two floors. We were emailed the access information the morning of our stay and everything went smoothly.

The rental was spacious with a living area/kitchen and a bedroom. I’d stay here again in a heartbeat. It’s reasonably priced and close to downtown.


Cincinnati is like another world. There aren’t many straight streets anywhere because of the Ohio river and the hills make for some fun driving in and around town. Getting there from Indy couldn’t be easier as I-74 has to be one of the least congested of the Federal Highway System. Rarely do you run into heavy traffic or police running RADAR, it’s always a relaxing drive that goes by pretty fast. As a German settlement, there are hints of the heritage everywhere and the food scene is just as good, or better, than Indy. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, consider Cincinnati for a change of scenery, I don’t think you’ll regret it!


And finally… New tracking technology developed by StarChase fires a GPS tag that attaches to a car and allows officers to track suspects after the pursuit has been called off.  This could have a big impact on vehicle persuites and possibly save some lives in the process

2023 Week 11 – Have a Seat

WEIRD mix of weather this week with a low temp of 19 Saturday morning. We had 2 dustings of snow, and the temps are expected to be in the 60s mid-week. I did a thing Saturday night and bet against Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Championship. I turned $2 into $42. Fairleigh Dickenson, who I have never heard of, made it a great game and ended up winning 63-58.


I’m still battling some lower back pain and narrowed down one of the contributors to my home office chair. I thought it was adequate, but after healing up and sitting it last weekend for a couple of hours, my lower back pain flared up again. After some research, I decided to move to a “Gaming” style chair.

This is an interesting sub-category with various makes and models that appear similar but are priced entirely differently. Color makes a big difference within the same lineup, with some colors being 50 percent less than others in the same line. Take the AKRacing AK-SX-WT Gaming Chair for example. I purchased the black with white trim version for $283. If I wanted all black, it was going to cost $489. SAME chair, just a different color. As I revisited Amazon to get these prices, they have already changed in a week since I ordered. My black and white is now $384, and the purple-trimmed model is now selling for $287. If you’re interested in this chair & can wait, you might save some serious money.

AKRacing AK-SX-WT Gaming Chair

Overall the chair was delivered quickly, and it only took about 20 minutes to assemble. The hardware appears stainless, and the fit/finish is very nice. It sits like a leather automobile seat and has a large, adjustable lumbar and neck pillow. You can even pull a lever and recline the chair to a flat position (not sure WHY you would want to do this, but you CAN), and the armrests are adjustable up/down, left/right, and forward/back. Overall I’m giving this chair a 9/10. It’s supportive and comfortable and has helped elevate my back pain when sitting in the home office for extended periods of time.


And finally… My son wanted a globe when he was younger, and I was surprised at how expensive it could be. I saw one for a reasonable price at an antique store, only to find out it was old enough not to have the correct names for some countries. Lesson learned. The following video shows what it takes to make some of the most expensive globes in the world.

2023 Week 8/9 – Sorry I’m Late

I’m finally getting into a groove with the new job and the ability to work from home some days. I typically get up early on the weekends because they are my days to do what I want, and I want to make the most of it. In January, I started an early Sunday morning routine of going to the grocery store at 8 am, washing the car, and topping off the gas tank. It’s usually a really quiet time of the day, and the store is normally well-stocked. I also try and publish Blog posts on Sunday since it’s the day I’m always online prepping for my upcoming week. Unfortunately, the last post was stuck in the queue and I didn’t have time to post one last weekend, so this one is a double.

I normally do a 1-2 hour Weekly Review on Sunday, but lately, it’s taken longer to get things in good shape for the week. My previous job only involved a few weekly meetings, but the new one has me in several a day, all of which I walk out of with action items. No regrets, though, I love the new job and do not miss the old one at all.


I recently purchased some new toys, one of which is an Elgato Stream Deck MK.2. The Stream Deck is a 15-button controller that’s fully customizable. Each button has its own mini full-color LED display.

Elgato Stream Deck

You can create pages of icons for various apps and there are a lot of plugins to perform various functions. I’ve been doing some video editing lately and I have a page of commands to help with those tasks. Stream Decks are very popular with content creators because you can perform complex actions with the touch of a button. Besides that, it’s a fun addition to the MacBook Pro I use in my office at home.


While not a comprehensive list the Indy Today newsletter had some fun making a list of Indy restaurants from A-Z. They had to stretch a little for some of the letters (BBQ for the letter Q) but it’s a good read.

If you’re looking for a light morning read the Indy Today newsletter is great. it always has timely information and details about events happening in the city. It’s worth checking out!


If you’re into computers and electronics, you might have heard that Micro Center is FINALLY opening a store in Indianapolis. It’s going into the old Gander Mountain location in Castleton (just east of Ale Emporium). The nearest MicroCenter location currently is on the north side of Cincinnati.

This will help replace the void created when Fry’s electronics closed (when it was good). You can find almost anything computer-related at Micro Center, and their prices are very competitive. This place is going to be PACKED.


And finally… The History Guy had an interesting video about a “Broken Arrow” incident in 1964 at Bunker Hill AFB (not called Grissom ARB).

2023 Week 6 – The Big Game

It’s finally here! After all the hype, today is Super Bowl Sunday! The Chiefs & Eagles kick off at 6:30 pm in what will, hopefully, be a close-fought game decided in the final seconds of regular time. Or it’ll be a blowout, and the only entertainment will be the commercials that cost an estimated $7 million for 30 seconds.


I don’t know what’s happening, but I’m finding a lot of new foods these days. Maybe the boredom of eating the same things over the winter has me unconsciously searching for new things. Sporked had a Cheese Puff Taste Test in October 2022, and I just happened to find one of the top-ranked contenders at Menards last weekend.

Herr’s Jalapeño Popper Cheese Curls tied for first place with Fresh Finds Cheese Puffs in the competition, and as I cruised through the food section, I spotted the bag in all its 17oz glory Of course, 17 ounces of cheese puffs is a BIG bag. We’re still snacking on it two weeks later.

10/10 would recommend trying!

The Herr’s Jalapeño Popper Cheese Curls are mildly spicy and delicious. Be sure to have a few extra napkins handy, as these will get cheese dust on your fingers just by looking at them.


I mentioned previously I’m not much of a breakfast person. We’re called “Intermittent Fasters” by those in the know. Who knew that skipping breakfast would be a trendy thing?

Over the winter, after a riveting episode of Below Deck, we turned on an older episode of Shark Tank that featured a segment on overnight oats from a company called Mush.

New packaging, same great product!

I’ve purchased a few containers, and so far, the Apple Cinnamon is my favorite, with blueberry being a close second. The texture is slightly chewy, and the non-dairy milk is refreshing and light. This is something I could see myself eating pretty regularly and breaking my fast well before noon on some days.

My local Kroger only carries a limited selection of flavors. Luckily Whole Foods downtown has all the flavors, including Peach and strawberry. I’m looking forward to picking some of those up when I get my next lunch salad.


And finally… If you still have Netflix, you should check out a 4-part series called “Cunk on Earth,” where Philomena Cunk puts the worlds leading experts on edge with her hilarious questions about historical events. You have to pay attention because the humor can sometimes be subtle, but it’s very funny nonetheless.

2023 Week 5 – Peek-a-Boo!

Pretty quiet week if you don’t count the Chinese “weather” balloon that made its way across the continental U.S. It’s reported that the balloon had some remote control abilities and happened to float over some sensitive military installations. After clearing the eastern seaboard, a U.S. fighter jet shot down the balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach.

*PoP*

In food news, we made a few discoveries this week. While picking up a salad at Whole Foods, a young lady was at a display stand sampling Soy Sauce, and Chili Crisp made in Cincinnati. After tasting a little of the soy sauce on a veggie sushi roll, I bought a bottle (it’s delicious!).

https://www.cinsoyfoods.com

CinSoy Foods makes several foods, including Tofu, Soy Sauce, Soy Salt, and Make at Home Miso Kits. I’m looking forward to trying their Soy Sauce in a few upcoming recipes.

If you’re craving Lasagna but don’t have the time or energy to make a big batch, I highly recommend the Giovanni Rana brand. It’s located in the refrigerated section at Kroger. The Meat Lasagna I picked up looked and tasted homemade. The package is vacuum sealed and has about a 3-week shelf life in the refrigerator before consuming or freezing it. I can’t see this lasting more than three days in my fridge. Giovanni Rana also has a line of fresh pasta and sauces.

And last but not least, RXBar added a new variation to its line of Protein Bars. The A.M. RXBar mixes in Oats to give the product a little more flavor and soften up the texture of the traditional RXBar. After sampling the Honey, Cinnamon, and Peanut Butter flavor, I immediately ordered a 12-pack from Amazon (for around $20). These have been my go-to light breakfast on mornings when I need something to hold me over until lunch.


And finally… The Economics Of Unused Gift Cards. The Hustle posted a video on YouTube about how companies make money on Gift Cards. I was surprised to learn Indiana is one of the states that allows maintenance fees to be collected after a period of time that will eventually render gift cards worthless.

2023 Week 4 – Championship Weekend

Tonight we’ll find out who’s going to Super Bowl LVII. The 49ers and Eagles start the action at 3 pm with the Bengals and Chiefs playing the second game at 6:30 pm. I’m predicting the Bengals and Eagles are headed to the big dance on February 12, 2023. I have a $5 Draft Kings bet on each matchup today, so just a LITTLE skin in the game to make it interesting.


I took a little trip to McCordsville yesterday to revisit Trax BBQ. I had been craving smoked meat for a few weeks and decided it was time. I ordered a 2-meat platter with pulled pork and brisket. BOTH were very tender and flavorful. For sides, I picked Mac-and-Cheese and Hush Puppies. The mac was nice and cheesy and went well with the pork and beef. The hush puppies looked great but had an off taste that I’m attributing to the oil needing changed in the fryer. I mentioned it to the counter staff on my way out, so hopefully, they were able to do something about it. I decided to try their potato salad and beans on the next visit. Oh, the house-made pickles were delicious, as were the variety of sauces ranging from sweet to vinegar to mustard to hot. You’re sure to find one that hits the spot.

Pulled Pork and Brisket at Trax BBQ in McCordsville

The meal with a fountain soda and tip came out to around $24 which is not bad for the quality of the food (not counting the hush puppies). Trax BBQ is right next to the railroad tracks in McCordsville and shares the space with Scarlet Lane Brewing. Scarlet Lane has some interesting brews. I was initially planning on having BBQ and a Beer but nothing jumped out at me so I opted for the first Diet Coke I’ve had in about 6 months (it was good).


And finally… The boys over at Jolly set the scene for the 2023 Girl Scout Cookie season. These two Brits have a very interesting show on YouTube. They traveled to the United States last year and had quite an adventure learning all about American Cuisine.

2023 Week 3 – Sorry, Have a Salad and Warm Up

Sorry about those warm weather comments last week. I feel responsible for the snow we have now and, and the snow we’re supposed to get this week. Mea culpa.


Are people still into the Zodiac Sign thing? I hadn’t heard anyone mention Signs for a long time, then I ran across an article on Eat This, Not That. Your Favorite Fast Food Chain According To Your Zodiac Sign tries to match you, your sign, and the fast food chain you’re destined to become in another life. Mine was shockingly accurate, so maybe there’s something to all this!


I’ve been a fan of a good salad for as long as I remember. As a kid, one of my favorite things to do when we went out for dinner was hit the salad bar (*Cough*Ponderosa*Cough*). So Many Choices! When I’m working downtown I have 3 favorite salads I rotate through.

Cluster Truck has cured my hunger too many times to count, especially during Covid, when getting lunch delivered was difficult at times. The Cluster Truck Cobb Salad has been my favorite for a long time. I’ve also watched as the delivery of this Salad has risen from $19 to almost $24 today (with a tip). It’s a little on the pricey side but when I need a big salad and only have 15 minutes to eat, it hits the spot. This salad has chopped egg, bacon, diced chicken breast, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and blue cheese. It’s normally served with a side of balsamic vinaigrette, but I substitute that for their ranch.

Source: Cluster Truck Website

A newer fascination of mine is Sweet Green. Having recently been disappointed by a “salads only” shop near my office, I didn’t have high hopes for this one. Several of my co-workers had visited and all were singing the praises of Sweet Green. I finally launched the app and was immediately captivated by their Buffalo Chicken Bowl. Consisting of: blackened chicken, chopped pickles*, tomatoes, cilantro, blue cheese, za’atar breadcrumbs, shredded kale, chopped romaine, sweetgreen hot sauce, caesar dressing, this salad packs a punch. The Caesar dressing along with the hot sauce are the real standouts here.
*These are a new addition and I have not tried the salad with pickles yet, but I’m looking forward to it!

SPICY and deliciously filling

Finally, when I want a solid salad, and I’m ready for a short walk, I head a few blocks east to Whole Foods Market. Often referred to as “Whole Paycheck”, you can break the bank at the salad bar because you pay by the pound. Unfortunately all the good things on the salad bar are heavy. Mixed greens, cheese, olives, marinated mushrooms, roasted mushrooms, cucumbers, roasted chicken, bell peppers, bacon bits, and ranch dressing? Yep, that’s a big boy and I’m taking it down. My salads at Whole Foods average around $20 but I usually end up not eating dinner or just snacking later in the evening. PLUS it’s a good excuse to get some fresh air and walk away from the office for 30-minutes.

I forgot… They have tortellini salad on the Whole Food salad bar too!

BONUS SALAD: If you’re ever in the Nora area I strongly recommend you go to Big Lug and order a Willie’s Special along with a pint of whatever brewers choice is on special that day. For $20 (before tip) you get a punch-in-the-face salad and a cold beer. The Willie’s Special has mixed greens tossed in ranch, topped with a choice of hot or mild fried Nashville chicken, black bean corn salsa, diced mozzarella, guacamole, & Frito salt. I HIGHLY recommend the MILD Nashville chicken. They make the sauce in-house, so I’m told, and it’s usually hotter than a true mild. I’ve also been told “it depends who makes it”.

Trust me, the MILD is hot enough

OK, Special Mention (can you tell I’m kind of a salad junkie?): Sahms on 116th St in Fishers (same owners as Big Lug) surprised me last Friday with a Cobb that had diced grilled chicken breast (very juicy and well seasoned), capacollo, Roma tomatoes, crisp bacon, hard-boiled eggs, avocados, scallions, crumbled bleu cheese. The Chicken was still warm, normally a problem with salads, but it was not so hot as to wilt anything so it was a nice contrast to the cold salad.

Best Chicken on a Cobb in Indy

So there it is, the 5 salads I’m thinking about when I’m thinking about eating a salad. As you can see, I’m not a micro-green and light vinaigrette kind of guy. When I was dipping my toes in the Keto diet I found that these kinds of salads are more in line with Keto than the Standard American Diet (SAD). That got my attention. But as I said before, this can be my one meal of the day and I’ll be completely happy. As someone who usually skips breakfast (now called Intermittent Fasting) I’m usually not hungry for anything before 10 am and by then I just wait for lunch.


And finally… You need to be nice to our future robot overlords. My suggestion is to purchase some Boston Dynamics stock to show your support.

2023 Week 2 – 4% and Climbing

We’re 4% into the year, according to @year_progress on Twitter, and it’s really hard to believe how warm this winter has been. We had a cold snap around the holidays, but it should not be in the 40s in mid-January. We checked out a new restaurant this week and dug into the history of mid-century telecommunications.


Benyue (Formerly Lucky Lou) has opened in the former Houlihans at the Castleton Square mall. If you’ve visited Saraga’s original location on the west side, you might have noticed Lucky Lou next door. It’s an extremely popular Duim Sum restaurant and one of the only places to get Dim Sum in Indy.

I stopped by on a Sunday, and the place had a nice lunch crowd. The restaurant itself is quite large, and there is plenty of seating. I was immediately offered several types of hot tea ($1.50), and I chose Jasmine. It was quickly served in a pot that held a lot more than I was going to drink.

Not knowing the portions (quite generous, by the way), I ordered General Tso Chicken, BBQ Pork Steamed Buns, and Shrimp Shumai. Every dish was served hot and tasted fresh. General Tso had a lot of dried chillis, and they added a nice spicy heat to the dish. The steamed buns were light and airy with a delicious BBQ pork filling. Finally, the Shrimp Shumai were perfectly cooked and full of ground shrimp.

If you’re looking for a new place to try, I’d recommend checking out Benyue. Their menu is quite extensive, and you’re sure to find something you like.


You have most likely seen an AT&T Long Lines tower and might have even wondered what it was. In the 1950’s AT&T used these giant ratio towers with specialized “Horns” to relay telephone (and television) signals across the United States via microwave. Garrett Fuller has a great article detailing the use of the long-forgotten (and now abandoned) AT&T Long Lines system. I found the following video interesting as well.