What’s Going On: Lots of things getting in the way of blogging recently. All good, but this time of year can get very busy as we plan for the holiday festivities and try to complete outstanding projects before winter break.
I’m fortunate that my company closes from Christmas to the New Year so that should give me some time to get things caught up and, hopefully, back on a better blogging schedule.
What I’m Eating: Wurst-n-Weinet at the Fishers Test Kitchen has a HUGE soft pretzel on the menu on Thursday nights. It’s worth checking out if you’re in the area, but get there early, they sell out every week!
Where I’ve Been: I visited the Voice of America museum in Cincinnati a few weeks ago. What an amazing place! The history is very interesting and the museum tour was a lot of fun! They also have a very nice Amateur Radio station setup that I enjoyed checking out too.
And Finally… Henry Kissinger, who died this week at 100, outlived the obituary writer of his obituary writer…
What’s Going On: Continuing from last week, when I spent a week in Zurich for work, it was now time to work my way back home with some side trips along the way.
I left Zurich HB (one of the coolest train stations I’ve ever been in), and in just over 4-hours, I stepped off the train in Paris.
I immediately discovered a restriction on Ubers for several blocks around the station & took a short stroll to find a cafe for a coffee. It was starting to drizzle, so I picked up the pace.
No English was spoken here, and the minimum purchase was about twice the price of my cup of coffee, so I had another (ha). After getting hopped up on caffeine, I found a local hotel, ordered an Uber, and waited under their awning.
What I’m Eating: After settling in at my hotel, I decided to walk around before it started raining again. I was next to a canal that ran through this part of the city and found a little brewery on the other side, where I ordered a pint and a snack (fries, of course!).
I failed to realize until I was almost finished with my fries that the yellow mustard bottle was actually mayo, which I love on fries.
I used my Tom Bihn Side Hustle a lot during my travels. It’s the perfect sized bag to carry just the essentials, which in my case is:
iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil
Sharpie S-Gel pens (Black/Blue/Red)
Airpod Pro Gen 2
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Assorted charging cables
I’ve carried this setup for several months prior to my trip when I head over to Sunking Brewery to blog, and plan for the upcoming week. It helps me to get out of the house when I need to tap into my creative side. It’s also the perfect setup for plane & train travel since it’s compact. It slides into my Tom Bihn Synik 30 for secure storage and transportation when not in use.
I looked around the area on Google Maps and found a Meister Berliner Kebap that serves a delicious Doner Kebab. I had been wanting to try one of these for a long time, and when I found one in Paris, my dinner plans were set! On the way back to the hotel, I stopped by a wine store and settled in for the night with a huge pita stuffed with all kinds of good stuff. The hotel was decorated with lots of world flags as the Rugby World Cup was happening in France while I was there.
The next morning, I packed up and headed to another station to catch my next train, this time to London. I can honestly say Paris just didn’t do it for me. The rainy weather didn’t help, but the place just felt dirty and depressing. There were homeless camps everywhere, and the traffic was awful. I was around the outskirts of the touristy area, and it was number to bumper.
Looking at Google Maps, it would have taken me over 2 hours to get anywhere near the Eiffel Tower, and it was only a couple of miles away. If the weather was better and I had another day in Paris, I would have walked, but this was just an overnight, and I was ready to move on.
Once I got to the station, it was time to wait. There was a (unusual?) delay because of a broken down train, so I was in a queue for about an hour while they got things back on track (pun intended), and I was off to London! More to come on that piece of the trip next week.
What’s Going On: It’s been busy around the IndyScan household these past 2 weeks. I’m continuing to study & take practice exams for the Amateur Rario license upgrade. It’s all starting to click, and I need to get a better handle on the electronic theory to pass the 35-question exam successfully.
What I’m Eating: A number of new laws passed last July 1, and one that probably slipped under the radar for a lot of people allows children in Bar areas of restaurants. I, for one, think this is a HUGE mistake & have already witnessed it firsthand. On this particular occasion, the guy was trying to make a point to the wait staff as he loudly explained that he could now bring his child into the 21 and over area.
I choose to sit in the bar area of restaurants to get away from the noise little kids make. They’re kids; that’s what they do. Up until now, I could sit elsewhere, but now it looks like the area of solitude might be coming to an end at some establishments.
The linked article above also states, “Previously the law allowed minors ages 18 to 20 to sit in the bar area specifically for “dining purposes only.” The amendment removes the age limit.” I did NOT know that was allowed previously! For now, it’s up to the individual restaurant to choose to allow it.
I had pretty much forgotten about Yats for some reason when it popped into my head last weekend. I stopped into the Fishers location and got a half-and-half Chilli Cheese Etoufe and White Bean Chicken Chili with extra bread (of course). It hit the spot!
Speaking of blasts from the past… After the Annual Corporate Challenge at the IMS, I was starving, and Hoagies & Hops happened to be on my way home. I was WAY overdue for a cheesesteak, and it was exactly as I remembered it. I recommend the potato salad if you’re looking to add a side to your sandwich.
What I’m Watching: I watched the Greyhound (2020) movie on AppleTV+ last weekend, and it gets two thumbs up. It was 90 minutes of nonstop action. Tom Hanks stars in a WWII movie about protecting ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean while being hunted by German U-Boats.
Hijack on AppleTV+ is all about an airline that gets taken over by terrorists and a “negotiator” on the plane that tries to resolve the situation. I’m only 5 episodes in & waiting anxiously for the next episode to drop on Wednesday.
What Else: Last weekend I was Interviewed by Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism regarding Police Radio Encryption. Police and Fire agencies throughout the United States are choosing to encrypt their radio traffic, causing increased levels of distrust among the very people they are sworn to protect. In Indiana, a law was passed in 2022 that prohibits the transmission of SSN numbers over unencrypted radio frequencies. That law went into effect on July 1, 2023.
Hamilton County announced they would encrypt their radio traffic “sometime after July 1”. The funny thing is I have been in the hobby a LONG time, and the last time I heard an SSN number read over the air was back when your SSN was your Drivers License number.
In 2004, President Bush signed a law barring states from putting Social Security numbers on new or renewed driver’s licenses, identification cards, or vehicle registrations. The law took effect in December 2005. Indiana has since stopped that practice in favor of an Operator License Number (OLN).
As of today, Hamilton County has not increased the use of encryption on its radio system (they already have encryption enabled for tactical and car-to-car channels where a lot of radio traffic occurs), but full encryption is most likely coming.
And Finally… Creating “light pictures” from Paper. This is VERY cool!
What’s Going On: It’s going to be a busy week as people return from vacations and deadlines start to loom. Last week was a 3-day week, and with so many people out of the office, it was a good time to get caught up on some low-priority tasks and prep for some big meetings coming up next week.
I’m still using a combination of Todiost for work tasks, Apple Reminders for personal tasks, and Evernote for capturing everything else. It’s worked very well this last year at my new job, and if it ain’t broke… The Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology, first released in 2001, is still the key to my productivity.
What I’m Eating: I received my order from Enso Supergreens late last week. I will agree with the review I read leading me to this AG-1 alternative. Supergreens is a VERY fine powder that mixes very well with liquid. I’ve been using Oat Milk and a Milk Frother I picked up from Amazon, but any shaker-style bottle will work.
Once mixed, Supergreens has a creamy, minty & slightly sweet taste. It reminds me of a melted Shamrock Shake from McDonalds. It’s also a lot less grainy than the AG-1 samples I previously tried. This is something I can see myself drinking daily and actually enjoying it. Eventually, Supergreens could replace the daily multivitamin and probiotic I’ve been taking for the past year. I’ll report back in a few months and let you know if I’m still drinking it.
Room Service on Wheels, a delivery-only service in Fishers, has expanded its location and opened up a brewery called King Jugg Brewing Company with a lot of outdoor seating. I visited this week and found they didn’t have any of their beers available yet (next week, I was told), but I stuck around for lunch.
I had anticipated getting their chopped salad, which looked very good on the menu, but I pivoted last minute and went for the Tenderloin.
I was told the Tenderloin is marinated in buttermilk, and each one is hand-breaded to order. It arrived piping hot, fully dressed with LTMOP and a side of house-made chips. A little piece was hanging out the side of the bun, and I gave it a quick sample. DELICIOUS! Nice, lightly seasoned breading and a tender pork cutlet. This was an enjoyable sandwich; I will say it’s the best Tenderloin in town. I look forward to returning soon and ordering it again, along with one of the new house beers,
I immediately sent a picture to my friend Rick, the “Tenderloin Connisour,” and told him he needed to check this place out for his All Tenderloins, all the Time review website. I’m curious to hear his feedback & read his review.
What I’m Watching: I just finished The Bear on Hulu last night. Pretty intense show that people “in the industry” seem to enjoy. If you like drama and food, you should check The Bear out.
LOTS of YouTube videos have been streamed this week, concentrating on Amateur Radio equipment and licensing. I’m determined to get my license upgraded soon.
What I’m Reading: 2023-2027 General Class Study Guide by Gordon West – Study guide for the General Class Amateur Radio Exam. The FCC updates their questions every 4-years to keep with changing times so you have to make sure you have the right study guide. July 1, 2023 was the start of the new 4-year calendar so my timing for getting back into the hobby was perfect. After taking several on-line proactive exams I realized I didn’t know as much as I thought I did and needed to bone up on the tech before attempting to take the test. This is going to be a project I hope to complete this summer.
And Finally… Following up to last weeks Nuclear Sub tour we give you Mike Rowe on a Nuclear Supercarrier!
What’s Going On: Finishing the preparations for an upcoming road trip to West Virginia. It’s a combination of camping and a few hotels. The goal is to visit the world’s largest radio telescope in Green Bank, WV. Details to come!
What I’m Buying: I love over-engineered items, and Yeti products are just that. Some would say overpriced, and I’m not going to argue with them, but the gear is rock solid. I have several tumblers, wine mugs, and even their folding camp chair (it’s amazing). I had a bunch of Amazon credits from my Amazon Credit Card, and after talking to the owner of a 36 oz Rambler with the “Chug Cap,” I decided to pick one up. Yeti designed this one right. It’s roughly the same circumference as a Nalgene, so it fits perfectly in the cup holder extender I have in the Subaru. I did an Ice Test, and it kept ice for several days (almost 3), so it’s sure to help your drinks stay cold on all but the longest road trips.
What I’m Eating: Nothing too exciting this week. Several meetings ran into the lunch hour, so I ordered a few sandwiches at work. Jimmy John’s has their Summer Wraps back on the menu, and the Chicken Caesar is my favorite.
Potbelly has a “Clubby” on the menu as a limited-time offer, and it was a nice change from the Wreck I normally order.
What I’m Watching: Top Chef World All Stars just ended, it was the 20th season for the franchise, and host Padma L announced she would be departing the show. She has hosted all but the first season. It will be interesting to see who takes her place in season 21
What I’m Reading: After finishing, and really enjoying “Falling” by T.J. Newman, I moved to her next book, “Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421.” It started off fast and pulled me into the story immediately. I’ll probably have this one finished by the end of my trip next week.
And Finally… The History Guy’s latest video should be very interesting to travelers. “ORD Stands for Orchard: A History of Airport Codes” gives you some insight into the 3-letter airport codes that sometimes make no sense.
I had a pretty good week last week. I was only in the office for two days as I took advantage of two work-from-home days and attended a conference at the NCAA Hall of Fame. The HoF facility is very nice and full of sports history. I left the conference full of ideas related to my job and look forward to flushing them out to see if they can be implemented in my organization.
I don’t know what it is, but when I work from home on a Friday, Saturday always feels like Sunday for the first few hours of the morning. I know one thing when I work from home, I get SO much done! It’s probably because I rarely have meetings that day, and there are few interruptions.
I usually enter the weekend with a clear inbox and satisfaction that I made progress on my active projects (of which I typically have 25-40 at any time). In true Getting Things Done (GTD) style, I identify a “Project” as anything that takes more than one step to complete. The largest list I keep is my “Waiting For” list!
Try GTD if you…
Feel overwhelmed by the amount of things you need to keep track of
Worry about forgetting small details
Wear lots of hats in your job and life
Starts lots of projects but have trouble finishing them
Have never GTD’d before (everyone should GTD at least once in their lives)
I’ve preached the gospel about the GTD organizational methodology for 20+ years. It’s what’s helped me succeed in business (and personal life) and sleep well at night, knowing that I didn’t let anything slip through the cracks that day. So if you feel you’re always forgetting things, a quick read of the GTD book might help!
Enough about work, on to my favorite pastime, food! I FINALLY made a takeout order from Futuro Pizza last week. When they first opened (during the Pandemic times), you had to order your pie a day or two in advance & not knowing my schedule (if I’d be working downtown or not), they fell off my radar.
Futuro was born of necessity. During the beginning of the covid19 shutdown, in an effort to find a way to feed our family, we began making and cooking pizza for our family and friends. Word spread like wildfire and before we knew it, we were cooking 50 pizzas a day. So, we decided to make a go of opening a brick and mortar restaurant.
The owners have years of experience in the service industry & are making it a point to treat their employees fairly. I’ve seen several social media posts about how they care for their employees. I feel guilty that it’s taken me this long to try them!
Our first order was a Detroit Style Futuro Classic (they also have Chicago Tavern style) pizza with Pepperoni, Sausage & Mushrooms, and an order of four breadsticks (the garlic butter sauce is delicious!). Unfortunately, we dove in before snapping any pictures but remembered afterward.
Two people can get two meals out of this pizza. The pictures above show what was left after we were done the first night (I enjoyed the leftovers for dinner the following evening). This is a SOLID pizza. I shied away from “Detroit Style” for years because I thought it was the same as Sicillian (all dough and little sauce/toppings). I learned I was wrong after an order from Jett’s Pizza introduced me to Detroit Style. Now it’s one of my favorites, and Futuro does it justice. The worst part about ordering pizza from Futuro is I have to smell it all the way home to Fishers! Our total order was $33 for pizza, breadsticks, and tip. I think the quality and portion size you get is a bargain, and I look forward to ordering it again soon!
When was the last time you used the AM radio in your car? Me? Maybe twice in the previous year, when I wanted to listen to a Reds game while camping and when I tuned into emergency road information while traveling. The Early Chirp newsletter (worth checking out) had a short piece titled Inside The Fight To Keep AM Radio In Electric Vehicles. According to Safety Experts, AM Radio Waves are still useful in the case of a national emergency. Still, automakers have been slowly removing the AM band from their latest automobiles.
And finally… If you’ve ever driven to Chicago, you have undoubtedly seen the Oasis rest stops on the toll roads. What makes them unique is the placement upon a bridge-like structure over the highway. But, once a popular place to stop, these days they are disappearing. The It’s History channel on YouTube explains why.
The weather is warming up, and it’s lawn care season yet again! Fortunately, I have a firefighter in my neighborhood with a lawn-mowing business. I’ve been using him for several years, and he does a great job keeping the yard looking tidy, and his prices are very reasonable. Unfortunately, I’ve been a little lax on the weed and feed and decided to hire a local company to treat the lawn. After a bit of Google searching and review reading, I found one in Fishers that claims to be heavy on communication. The initial consultation and application proved them right. I’ll do a more in-depth review later this year once I get a few applications on the lawn.
I just realized the other day I hadn’t had as much food content lately, but I’ve still been eating lots of new things and trying new places, so I will include a lunch/dinner segment in the blog more regularly. I headed to The Garage for lunch last week to check out a Cuban place we spotted on our Birthday tour of Indy a few weeks ago. I’ve been hesitant to visit the Garage for lunch because of the parking prices ($6+ when I went to an after-work event a few months ago), but I just learned that Lot 4 on the West side of The Garage offers parking for $2 from 9-5 and between 11 am and 3 pm, the first hour is FREE.
On my last visit, I checked out Palavana Cubano, “Indy’s newest go-to spot for Cuban-inspired cuisine, specializing in the classic Cubano Sandwich,” according to the Garage Vendor Page. Being my first time visiting this location, I opted for the traditional Cubano Sandwich (they have several varieties) and a mix of regular and sweet potato fries (which are slowly starting to grow on me).
As you can see, this is not a small sandwich. It felt like it had a full pound of roasted pork, and I could have easily shared this (or only eaten half), but it was so good I joined the clean plate club with this one. The sauce on the side was a cumin-based red sauce that went well on the fries. Now that The Garage Food Hall is complete, it houses some excellent lunch/dinner options. I’m planning a return visit to try another new place in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Last Friday, the first day of the 2023 NRA Convention in Indianapolis, at least 35 school districts in Indiana received a robotic-sounding voice calling in a bomb threat.
“Out of an abundance of caution, troopers throughout the state have been in communication with their local schools to offer assistance and resources,” the statement continued. “School corporations are working with their local law enforcement to make the best decision about their operations today.”
Indiana State Police
The convention’s timing and threats may be coincidental, but the timing is suspicious. According to Vice magazine, this isn’t an isolated incident, A Computer-Generated Swatting Service Is Causing Havoc Across America, and people can pay as little as $75 to have a school shut down. Of course, schools have to take this seriously, but the amount of resources and time wasted is incredible.
Swatting is when someone calls in a bogus threat in an attempt to direct law enforcement resources to a particular home, school, or other location. Often, swatting calls result in heavily armed police raiding an innocent victim’s home. At least one case has resulted in police killing the unsuspecting occupant.
The Vice article listed above is a really good read and gets into the problem’s details and provides a couple of recordings used in the past. It’s going to be interesting to see how these incidents will be handled as time goes on.
And finally… Speaking of criminals, where do you keep your valuables? If you have a Safe, is it easy for a burglar to locate it? The following video has some great ideas for hiding and protecting your stuff from getting stolen.
One of the nice things about switching jobs is that fresh new email address that only your coworkers know. That usually only lasts a month or so, and in my case, it was even shorter as we put all of your contact info on the company website. Although we have “anti-scraping” turned on via Cloudflare, it didn’t take long for the email marketers to find me.
I’m pretty heavy-handed with the mark as junk and block functions in Outlook, and I have no problem banishing email marketing messages to keep my inbox clean. A new (to me, at least) tactic I’ve started seeing is the triple email marketing campaign. If your company uses this, let me assure you it’s not working and is even more annoying than usual.
The solicitation starts with an email from “Gabby” attempting to set up an introduction, then a follow-up email from “Gabby” the next day at roughly the same time you read the first one (the email address is slightly different so it gets past the block you set the day before). Within 5 minutes of deleting/blocking the follow-up email, you get an email from “Aira,” referencing the “email conversation” you’ve been having with “Gabby.” So in a span of 24 hours, I’ve received three emails from the same company.
I understand how they do it (spy pixels or tracker pixels). Still, it’s annoying enough that even if I were interested in your offerings, I’d probably not reply because of the aggressive marketing. (End of Rant)
Covid changed a lot in our world. It changed how people interacted with each other, and it also had an impact on modern etiquette. The Cut published a list of 194 Modern Etiquette Rules for Life After Covid. Some are silly, and others are thought-provoking. As the title implies, these are rules, and rules are meant to be bent and sometimes broken. There’s also a sub-section all about The New Rules of Tipping!
Some of my favorites:
2 – You may callously cancel almost any plans up until 2 p.m.
20 – Don’t describe TikToks. It’s more boring than describing dreams.
47 – Listening is not the time for you to silently rehearse what you want to say next.
76 – If your host is doing the dishes, it means you’re supposed to leave.
104 – If you’re in the office, you’re wearing shoes.
And finally… The Cell Phone will be 50 years old in April. Smithsonian Magazine has an excellent article, and CBS Sunday Morning interviewed Marty Cooper, the man who made the first call on a portable Cell Phone.
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.
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