2023 Week 10 – IND #1 Again!
After dealing with a back issue for the past 2 weeks, I *think* I’m finally on the mend. At least I could get out of bed easier this morning. I’m sitting way too much during the day, and I think I need a new desk chair at home. Do you have any suggestions for a good one to purchase? Daylight Saving Time has been screwing with me all day, too & as I write this, It’s later than I feel it should be!
Congratulations to the Indianapolis International Airport for winning the “Best Airport in America” for an amazing 11th time! That’s a very remarkable achievement, but not surprising if you travel much. It’s the easiest airport to navigate that I’ve ever been to, and the main concourse is beautifully designed.
Speaking of air travel, the Hustle had an article last week about the long-forgotten Floppy Disk that, believe it or not, is STILL being used in some applications like Aircraft! A man in California makes $1000 a day selling these things for $1 each to people who still need them.
By now, you’ve probably heard about ChatGPT and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies flooding the Internet. If you haven’t seen firsthand how amazing and concerning they are, here’s an example.
In ChatGPT, I gave it the following command:
Write a 500-word blog post about the Indianapolis International Airport
And this is what I received:
The Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is a world-class airport located in the heart of the Midwest. With its state-of-the-art facilities, excellent customer service, and convenient location, it’s no wonder that IND has consistently been ranked as one of the best airports in the United States.
Opened in 2008, the new terminal at IND is a stunning example of modern airport design. The terminal’s sweeping curves and glass walls make it a striking addition to the Indianapolis skyline, while its spacious, light-filled interior provides travelers with a sense of calm and tranquility.
One of the standout features of IND is its commitment to sustainability. The airport was one of the first in the country to achieve LEED certification, and it continues to prioritize environmental sustainability in all of its operations. From its extensive recycling program to its use of energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, IND is setting the standard for sustainable airport design and operation.
But it’s not just the design and sustainability of the airport that make it a great place to travel through. IND is also known for its exceptional customer service. The airport has a friendly and knowledgeable staff that is always willing to go above and beyond to assist travelers with whatever they may need. Whether it’s helping with luggage, providing directions, or simply offering a friendly smile and a warm greeting, the staff at IND make travelers feel welcome and appreciated.
Another feature that sets IND apart from other airports is its convenient location. The airport is located just seven miles from downtown Indianapolis, making it easy to get to and from the city. There are a variety of transportation options available to travelers, including taxis, ride-sharing services, and rental cars. Additionally, the airport is served by several public transportation options, including the IndyGo bus system and the airport shuttle.
One of the most impressive aspects of IND is its art program. The airport has a robust collection of public art that is on display throughout the terminal. From the stunning glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly in the Civic Plaza to the whimsical “Baggage Claim” mural by Jorge Pardo, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The art program at IND adds an element of beauty and culture to the airport experience, making it a more enjoyable and enriching place to spend time.
Finally, IND is home to a variety of amenities that make travel more comfortable and convenient. There are numerous dining options available, including local favorites like Shapiro’s Deli and Harry & Izzy’s. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities, with a range of stores offering everything from souvenirs to high-end fashion. And for travelers who need to stay connected, there is free Wi-Fi throughout the airport.
In conclusion, the Indianapolis International Airport is a world-class airport that offers travelers a range of amenities, exceptional customer service, and a commitment to sustainability and art. Whether you’re flying for business or pleasure, IND provides a comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable airport experience that is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and ready for your next adventure.-ChatGP Output
Pretty amazing eh? I don’t know if I could have written this any better & I can see times when this technology can be very useful and times when it can be used for no good (like writing papers for school). It’s going to be interesting to follow this technology and see what happens next.
And finally… If you’re a Mac user, you probably have heard of Gary Rosenzweig from MacMost.com. He has over 300,000 followers on YouTube and has videos just about every day (and over 61,000,000 views). He’s created a free utility app called ClipTools. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and it’s amazing. It replaces a couple of tools I was already using and consolidates them into one app. I especially like the date insert and clipboard manager. It’s worth checking out!
2022-Week 53 – Year in Review
Where do we begin? 2022 was a wild year, full of food, tech, travel, and fun. The site stats continue to improve, with an average traffic rate of just over 5000 page views per month. Thanks for returning to read my weekly ramblings! With that, let’s go back and revisit some of the highlights from 2022.
Food in 2022
- Week 5 – Cast Iron Pan Pizza
- Week 6 – Fitzgerald’s Lunch House
- Week 8 – Triton Brewing Company
- Week 13 – Pig Candy BBQ in Cincinnati, OH
- Week 16 – Schnitzelbank in Jasper, IN
- Week 17 – Schwartz Family Restaurant in Eckerty, IN
- Week 24 – Biebs & Ash in Goshen, IN
- Week 25 – Blue Ash Chili in Cincinnati, OH
- Week 26 – The AMP, Turchetti’s Delicatessen, and Wild Ginger
Tech in 2022
- Week 5 – Bose QC45 Headphones
- Week 27 – iPhone 13 Pro
- Week 28 – KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Week 30 – Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum
- Week 32 – MX Keys keyboard
- Week 46 – LG Ultra-Wide Monitor
Travel in 2022
- Week 14 – Gazelle T4 Hub Tent
- Week 16 – Southern Indiana Roadtrip
- Week 25 – Jungle Jim’s – Cincinnati
- Week 40 – Leadership Exchange in Nashville, TN
Fun in 2022
- Week 2 – Don’t Look Up movie
- Week 9 – Logitech MX Master 3
- Week 11 – Microsoft Flight Simulator on X-Box
- Week 34 – Indiana Sports Corp Corporate Challenge
- Week 44 – Camping at Hardin Ridge
What’s in store for 2023?
While I can’t predict what 2023 has in store, I’m already planning several trips to new places around the US and maybe even an international trip, or two, later in the year. We’ll continue the weekly post schedule, as that seems to be doable on all but the craziest weeks. I have a lot of post ideas saved up, and I look forward to sharing what I’ve found and continuing with my thoughts and observations. Happy New Year, and we’ll see you again next week!
2022 Week 50 – Nazis in the USA?
About the only thing good about Winter is it gives me more time to read. I happened to catch a Joe Rogan clip on YouTube about Operation Paperclip (OP) with author Annie Jacobsen who wrote a book under the same name. As a history buff, I’m really enjoying the book and the details of OP are quite incredible.
Operation Paperclip was a secret United States intelligence program in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were taken from the former Nazi Germany to the U.S. for government employment after the end of World War II in Europe, between 1945 and 1959.Wikipedia
Here we go again… Real ID Deadline for Domestic Fliers is Extended. Again. In 2005, in response to the September 11 attacks, the US Government decided travelers needed to have more identification than an easily forged driver’s license. May, 2023 was the latest deadline but it’s been pushed out 2 more years because we’re still not ready to implement it. This is embarrassing, to say the least. It’s been 17 years!
And finally… What does your pet do when you leave the house? This pet owner strapped a GoPro to his Lab and left him alone for the first time.
2022 Week 46 & 47 – It’s HUGE!
It looks like I missed another post last week. Work has been crazy, and my schedule has been off since last weekend due to a cold (or whatever it is going around). This should get us caught up before the Thanksgiving Holiday.
After seeing a review on YouTube, I had the itch to buy some new computer hardware. So, I was pleasantly surprised when the Ultra-Wide screen monitor was on sale at Amazon (I picked this up for $999, and it’s worth every penny). This 49-inch 5120×1440 5k monitor is a thing of beauty.
It’s like having two 27-inch 4k monitors side by side with no seam in the middle. So far, it’s playing nicely with my personal MacBook Pro M1 and my work HP Z-Book. This thing is a game changer when it comes to productivity. I really wish I had this when we were all working from home for months. The only thing that’s been a challenge is video calls. I have to use an external camera & my AirPod Pros (vs. everything that’s built into the MacBook Pro). Small price to pay for this much screen real estate.
I’ve been watching the Welcome to Wrexham series on FX, and It’s been an interesting lesson on how European Football operates (so many levels). The show stars Ryan Renolds (from Deadpool Fame) and Rob McElhenney (from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). It’s more of a reality-type show than Ted Lasso was, and it’s pretty entertaining. Wrexham plays Farnborough at 10:00 am on November 26
Ever wanted to learn more about Indianapolis? Well, the Indianapolis Encyclopedia is a great place to start! This website was mentioned in a meeting at work a few weeks ago, and it has some great articles and seems to grow as more people contribute. This piece on Geist Reservoir is an excellent place to start.
Eric Hilton, one of the founding members of one of my all-time favorite bands, Thievery Corporation, just released an EP called Present, Past, and Future. It’s great to listen to in the background while working or cooking. You can check it out wherever you get your music from.
And finally… Do you know all about I-69, the interstate that will never be finished? Check out this video for all the details.
2022 Week 45 – Lights Out
70-degrees in November? I’ll take it! We had some BIG wind gusts that came through Indiana yesterday, and about half the houses in my neighborhood ended up without power for a little over 5-hours. Luckily I work off laptops and iPads, so I had enough power to get through most of the day using my iPhone as a hotspot. As the sun started to go down, I even broke out the Jackery 500 Portable Station to run a few of my USB Camping lights.
In September, the Washing Post ran an article titled “Customs officials have copied Americans’ phone data at massive scale.” In it, they detail the breadth of the program and how it’s raised some concerns on Capital Hill. As someone who plans on taking a couple of International trips in the next 12 months, this is a little scary, to say the least.
Contacts, call logs, messages and photos from up to 10,000 travelers’ phones are saved to a government database every yearWashington Post
Although I’m not part of the demographic they are looking at, “individuals who are of a significant law enforcement, counterterrorist, or national security concern,” the fact remains this database exists and appears to have little oversight in its use.
And finally… Ken Block is at it again, this time with a fully electric rally car on the streets of Las Vegas. The electric motor sound is not as pleasing as the turbo-charged gas engine, but the impressive abilities of his latest vehicle almost make up for it.
2022-Week 42 & 43 – Catching Up
I didn’t post last weekend because I was out of town for a wedding (and I forgot due to everything going on). So this week is a catch-up post covering a few things from the past 2 weeks.
The trees are looking quite colorful this week, and I was going to try & go camping this weekend, but most of Indiana is under a Red Flag Warning. This means no fires, and I’m sorry, but my idea of camping is building a nice fire to cook on and sit next to into the evening. I also don’t want to get into a situation where someone else starts a fire and get caught up in it. So because of the burn ban, I decided to stay home and catch up on a few things…
Last week Apple released some updated products, one of which is a new AppleTV. The AppleTV is the hub of our entertainment system (and has been for years), but it’s one fault is a really bad remote control. It’s so bad that I use a Harmony Ultimate remote to control the AppleTV. The last version of the AppleTV had a redesigned remote, but I held off because I had a solution in place. Well, the latest iteration, utilizing USB-C charging and a major processor chip, led me to order the upgrade. I should have a delivery waiting for me in Early November & I’m looking forward to trying out the new remote and increased performance of the AppleTV Hub.
If you love watching food travel shows, you’ll love these resources that help you locate a restaurant you’ve seen on TV. This is especially helpful when you travel, and you’re looking for something different
- Food Network – Browse Restaurants by Show
- TV Food Maps – Explore By State
- Explore Parts Unknown – Anthony Bourdain’s Online Travel Guide
- Food & Wine – Best Burger in Every State
And finally… It’s a great time to try a new burger. The Jucy Lucy is a cheese stuffed burger that is amazing. I picked up the burger press and waxed paper sheets shown in the video below (I didn’t try them smoked yet) & they turned out PERFECT! I think this is going to be my go-to burger for the forseable future.
2022-Week 41 – A Classic Has Returned!
I’ve subscribed to the NY Times for longer than I can remember. I really enjoy their tech reporting, as well as the food section. Prior to Covid, the 36 Hours In series was something I religiously read and made notes in my “Next time in” lists I keep for various places I plan on visiting in the future. When global travel stopped, the 36 Hours series stopped as well. Well, I’m happy to report it’s back!
36 Hours in NYC: Things to Do and See – A Classic has returned! What I enjoy about the 36 Hours series is it’s a way to see and do a lot in a particular city during a long weekend. Something that’s easily done several times a year. I’ve used the guide in the past for visits to Chicago, St. Louis, Washington DC, and Cincinnati.
For its return, they focus on where it all started, New York City. The format has been updated, and there’s a LOT of information in such a short article. The old versions are available in the archives and can still be used for some basic trip planning to locations all over the world.
Not only is October the anniversary of IndyScan.com, it’s also the 60th anniversary of the James Bond franchise. Cinema Blend had an article back in December teasing a documentary on Amazon Prime Video that will focus on the music of 007 (called “The Sound of 007“). It was released on Bond Day, October 5, 2022.
Another documentary focuses on Daniel Craig titled “Being James Bond.” It was only available from September 7 through October 7, 2021, on Apple TV+ when they marketed their new partnership with MGM. If I find a link to the actual movie, I’ll link it in a future post.
And finally… A couple discovered over 40,000 Unfinished Ford Super Duty Trucks at the old Kentucky Speedway. I think we still have a lot of catching up to do in the automotive supply chain!
2022-Week 40 – Nashville, TN
Once again, it’s that time of year for my annual Leadership Exchange trip. This year we met in Nashville, Tennesee (on previous trips, we traveled to San Diego, CA, and San Antonio, TX). The delegation comprises mainly of senior executives and a few public officials from around the Indianapolis area and is always thought-provoking and impactful. Last Friday was a travel day to get the pre-arrival team on site and ready to hit the ground Saturday morning. I’ve attended this conference for a few years as a delegate, but with my new role at the new company, I’m part of the staff hosting the event, and I get to see how the sausage is made, so to speak.
Driving to Nashville from Indianapolis was uneventful and about as heavy as expected for a Friday. There are always a few people that do everything they can to pass everyone, and this time two of them were met by a KY State Trooper just over a rise in the road. My trusty Valentine One radar detector, and some general road trip common sense, kept me on the right side of the law as the 5-hour trip ticked by without event.
Along the way, I saw a sign. A sign I hadn’t seen in years. A sign for Schlotzsky’s Delli. Remember that place? They closed all of the Indianapolis locations in the early 2000s. My main memory of Schlotzsky’s is the bread they used. Well, I had to stop and see if it was as good as I remembered. This particular location was a drive-thru attached to the side of an IGA grocery store. I ordered the original, and it WAS as good as I remembered, but I forgot one thing, the Original has black olives on it. I love every olive out there except black olives; they just taste strange to me (probably because they’re not salty). Luckily there wasn’t a lot on the sandwich, and I just picked them off and enjoyed the sandwich. In 2018 the IBJ had a blurb saying Schlotzsky’s was planning on returning to Indy, but Covid might have delayed those plans… Fingers crossed, they make it back!
Our daily sessions took place at the Nashville Entranapurial Center one day and the GEODIS Park soccer stadium the next. Fun fact, the architect that designed GEODIS Park is the same one designing Eleven Park in Indianapolis.
I attended 2 of the cultural activities available, the first being a walking tour of the murals all around downtown Nashville and another at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where the Hatch Print Show printing company is located. Both activities were very well led by people very passionate about their respective subjects.
2-weeks out from the trip, they were calling for temps in the 90s, but we had just about perfect weather with temps in the 70s and very low humidity. Nashville is an interesting town with a lot of history. Country music isn’t really my jam, but our trip focused more on business than music, and the networking opportunities were second to none. I always return from this conference with a bunch of new connections and a newfound respect for Indianapolis as we learn that we’re doing a lot of great things in this city. With the leadership I spent several days with, we have many more good things to come.
Wednesday morning got here before we knew it, and it was time to pack up and head back to Indy. I made a quick detour while leaving downtown and stopped at the Nashville Farmers Market. While it was not terribly impressive on a Wednesday, I could see this place being a great place to visit on the weekends when all the stalls and merchants were open.
I mentioned in my initial Tom Bihn Synik 30 review that I’d be traveling with the bag, and it performed flawlessly. It was way heavier than normal since I was carrying 2 laptops, an iPad Pro, and a Surface Pro (we had a lot of presentations to show), along with all the gear to keep things charged and connected. The padded straps were a lifesaver as I drug all my gear all over Nashville for 5 days. 10/10 would recommend if you’re looking for a quality gear bag for everyday use.
And Finally… October 9, 2022, will mark the 15th Year Anniversary of IndyScan.com in its current format we created in 2007. The domain was first registered in 1996 and used for another purpose, making the domain 26 years old this year. I’m going to work on a little retrospective during the month and recap where we were and where we’re going with the Blog in the future. Have a great week!
2022 Week 39 – What the Cluck is Going On?
If you follow the Indianapolis food scene, you have undoubtedly seen the explosion of chicken-focused restaurants popping up all over the place. IndyToday has an interactive map showing most of the places around town that are open or coming soon. But, unfortunately, they missed a few, namely Zaxby’s, Chick-Fil-A, and City Bird (which just opened near my house).
Existing fast food places are revamping their menu to compete as well. For example, Shake Shack partnered with Hot Ones to offer their take on the Spicy Chicken Sando, and Panera is hawking their Chef’s Chicken Sandwich. Burger King is even lacing up the boxing gloves and putting their Ch’King out there for everyone to make fun of (update: It’s already gone). That’s a LOT of Chicken action!
I’ll be the first to admit that I like a nice chicken sandwich, but I’m trying to remember the last time I actually had one! I compared Popeye’s vs. KFC when they were in the headlines & liked both equally well. The Nashville Hot spice that’s so popular these days is just too damn spicy for me. Even when I order it mild, it can be a gamble, depending on who made the sauce that morning (looking at you, Big Lug, and my favorite Willies Special salad). I have a Nashville trip on the calendar & I’m debating if I will make a trip to Prince’s Hot Chicken or just head to my all-time favorite Hugh Baby’s for a Smoked Mushroom and Swiss burger (probably the burger but MAYBE both?).
Another trend, for lack of a better term, is new Fast Food locations not building a dining room! These are pickup only, and it’s kind of like a Ghost Kitchen with a sign and drive-up window. Slate Magazine has an article detailing this new trend. I can honestly say that on the rare times I purchase Fast Food, I eat it in the car anyway, so the lack of a dining room has no impact on me at all.
If you’re going to eat in your car, you’d be wise to pick up a Steering Wheel Desk. These things are game changers, and I have used mine while road tripping to eat in my car, pull out the laptop to do some remote support (last job), or even play a game of solitaire while waiting out a rainstorm while camping. It slips in the pocket behind your passenger seat and is always at the ready.
And finally… According to Toast (the Point of Sale company being used seemingly everywhere), Indiana residents are the best tippers in the country, averaging 21% per order. BUT, is it because we’re too nice and feel the pressure when the cashier flips the iPad around and waits for us to decide between 15%, 20%, and 25%?