2024 May Update

What’s Going On:
WHERE did May go? I’m sitting here today doing my weekly Review, and it finally hit me that it’s JUNE (and halfway through June at that)!


What I’m Buying:
My Everyday Carry (EDC) is pretty standard: wallet, watch, keys, phone, knife, and light. Sometimes, I pocket some pepper spray, depending on the situation. The individual items rotate (like a dive watch vs. an Apple watch or a money clip vs. a wallet), but they’re always consistent and in their respective pockets.

My blade of choice this last year has been the 945 Mini Osborne (in Green Aluminum). It’s a great knife and has held up well for daily carry. But it’s a little on the heavy side when wearing lightweight clothing.

Mini Osborne

While walking back to the car from the Broad Ripple Art Fair, we stopped at Rusted Moon Outfitters to look around (and to see if they still had their 20% off sale going on). I missed the sale but still walked out with a new (and much lighter) Benchmade. The Mini Bugout (CF-Elite) is a perfect summer pocket carry since it only weighs 1.5oz. The weight saving comes from the Carbon fiber-reinforced scales. Add to that a Cerakote blade & you’re looking at a nice low-profile and versatile slicer.

Mini Bugout

The Mini Bugout needed to be broken in a bit to get that trademark Benchmade open/close action, but it didn’t take long, and it’s been in my pocket every day since.


What I’m Eating:
Babish Culinary Universe has been posting some interesting “Ranking Every…” videos lately, and one caught my eye: Ranking 46 Kinds of Ramen. If you’ve visited an Asian Speciality store, you have undoubtedly seen the mind-numbing combinations and variety of Ramen. We’re not talking about the standard Top Ramen found at the local Stop-and-Shop for $0.50 a pack.

Spoiler Alert, his favorite turned out to be Buldak Quattro Cheese Ramen Hot Chicken Flavor. I turned to Amazon to help me find it.

Spotted when I visited Thailand in Febuary, 2024

This stuff is GOOD! It’s like Kraft Mac & Cheese powder meets ramen noodles, but it also has another pouch of flavor that brings the heat. I must warn you, this stuff is HOT! I used half the hot packet on my first bowl and regretted it immediately. I backed off quite a bit the next time I fixed it, and it was a delicious bowl of instant spicy cheesy ramen!

I thought the packaging looked familiar, and I went back and looked through my Thailand Trip photos from earlier this year. Sure enough, I had sent the picture above to my son while I was there.

If you’re into Instant Ramen, I recommend checking out the Buldak Quattro Cheese Ramen Hot Chicken Flavor. If you do, let me know what you think!

If you’re looking for a good quality lunch, I recommend you check out Slapfish in the Fishers District. I’ve gone there for lunch the past couple of Fridays (working from home) and had some really good fish and chips! Lunch out for under $20? I’ll take it.

Lastly, the old O’Charley’s in Fishers has been turned into a Sports Bar called Walk-Ons. We visited a few weeks ago to try out the Shrimp PoBoys. They were pretty tasty. We were looking for a substitute for B’s Po Boy, who used to be in Fountain Square Pre-COVID. These were very close with the bread (from New Orleans) being the missing ingredient (although the hoagie roll at Walk-ons is decent). For a basic Po Boy, they scratch that itch. In fact, I went back the following week and got another one for lunch! The sleeper item on the menu at Walk-Ons is the HUSH PUPPIES! Get them as an app or a side & thank me later.


Where I’ve Been:
The first weekend in May found me in Marion, IN, attending a small regional Amateur Radio swap meet. I didn’t have very high expectations, but it turned out to be a nice show with a few radio guys I’ve talked to on the air and was able to meet for the first time. I also got a good deal on some antennas to use with my receiving equipment (scanners and stuff).

Of course, in May, you go out to the track! I was out there for some work events & didn’t go to the race. It ended up raining & delaying everything anyway, so that would have been an awful time at IMS this year. I ended up watching it on TV like everyone else when they lifted the blackout. Indy Car will be on Fox next year & I’m hearing people say the Indy 500 will be televised live. I’ll believe it when I watch it.

At the end of May I went camping with a good friend of mine down at Hardin Ridge. We had a good time catching up and playing around with some Amateur Radio equipment once the sun went down.

Lastly, I checked out the Fishers Farmers Market a few Saturdays ago. The markets keep getting better! I walked away with a package of pepperoni Rolls from one of the Amish vendors. They were really good!


What I’m Reading:
Jenny Lawson is back with another introspective into her life called Broken (in the best way possible). It’s been a great read so far. I got about 25% through it in the first sitting. It can be a little dark as she walks you through her mental and physical disorders, but she has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments that make the book a must-read. Her previous books have been just as enjoyable to read as well. If you’re looking for a light-hearted look at life from someone with a very active imagination, Jenny might be an author you’d like to read!


What Else:
That’s about it for May. It went WAY too fast & June is already half over. The weather is finally catching up to us, with 90+ degree days in the forecast for the next couple of weeks. A group of us are going over to Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the Olympic Swim Trials. We were able to get suite tickets, so that should be enjoyable. We also arranged a behind-the-scenes tour to see how they pulled this event off. I should have some pictures in the next blog post.


And Finally…
The maddening mess of airport codes.

2024 April Update

What’s Going On:
On Saturday, 09 April 2016, my son and I released a “Travel Bug” named “Nigel Wants to Race” into the wild. Little did we know it would still be active eight years later. The Travel Bug’s goal was to visit 100 caches in 100 cities in honor of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016.

I just received an update after a long absence. Nigel is back on the move again & so far has traveled 41,295.4 miles and has been logged 751 times.


What I’m Watching:

Fallout – Amazon Prime – Based on the amazing gaming franchise, the TV adaptation has been well-received by fans (and nominated for multiple awards). I thought they did a really good job bringing the aspects of the game to the live action screen and it makes me want to play the game again. It’s already been picked up for a second season and I’m looking forward to it.

Ripley – Netflix – This was a big surprise. Set in Europe and 100% black and white, it was a very captivating show with some nice twists. The sub-titles got a little tiresome, but they were worth it in the end.


What I’m Buying:
Coffee, lots of coffee. We picked up a new coffee maker that does Drip, Nespresso & and Keurig, so it’s very flexible. I used to poo-poo Keurig coffee because, evidently, I wasn’t drinking the right stuff. Enter Peet’s Big Bang, Medium Roast Pods. These are delicious and brew a properly strong cup. And I now understand the convenience of the K-Cup pods.

As for Nespresso, I can now enjoy a decent shot of espresso on demand. It’s not the same as a proper coffee shop espresso pull, but it works for homebrew (and again, the convenience).


And Finally…
The Interstate’s Forgotten Code. I thought I understood the Interstate Numbering system, but I learned a few things from this video. It’s worth a watch.

2023 Week 39 – Say (Swiss) Cheese!

What’s Going On:
We’re getting ready for this year’s Leadership Exchange in Zurich, Switzerland. We had delegates start arriving on Saturday and planned a cruise on Lake Zurich while waiting for the final attendees to arrive (and to help people stay awake).

We officially started things on Sunday with a Labor Market Overview and a deep dive into the Swiss Dual Education System. It might not sound interesting, but it really WAS! Kids in Switzerland have an alternate path from college and often pick and start their careers as young as 15.


What I’m Buying:
Chocolate, LOTS of chocolate. My (checked) bag was 43.7 pounds when I left Indy, and after visiting the Lindt Factory, it feels a LOT heavier than the 50-pound bag of salt I used to bring home from Costco. I might need to purchase a bag to put all my dirty clothes in to lighten up the main bag (I actually did have to visit a sporting goods store in London to offload some dirty laundry into and lighten up my checked bag)…


What I’m Eating:
Before all the delegates arrived, a few of us went to an Italian restaurant that was a favorite of the pre-trip team (they made 2 visits to Zurich before the main event). Restaurant Hirschberg Is a place you’re unlikely to find on your own. It’s tucked along a busy side street we took countless times to get to our various destinations throughout the week. It’s run by a husband and wife team, and one of their friends is the evening server. The wife is in the front of the house, and the husband is in the back, making whatever has been concocted with their guests. Our starter aperitif was a glass of Prosecco with a splash of Amaretto mixed in. Something I have never had and something I will be recreating once I get home.

The menu is handwritten and seems more like a suggestion than a set of courses. You can choose to make any of the selections an appetizer or a main dish. We ordered a little bit of everything for the table and enjoyed every bite. One interesting thing they do is use these small square pottery dishes with a roughed-up section in the middle. This allows you to rub a garlic clove in it and infuse your oil to dip your bread into. These are so popular with guests they have them available to purchase by their guests ( I bought several).

This meal was one of the top 5 meals I’ve ever eaten. It was spread out over 3+ hours, but didn’t feel like It at all. If I ever return to Zurich, it is the first place I will be going.


Where I’ve Been:
We spent a morning at the FIFA Museum and an afternoon at the Lindt Chocolate Factory.

I saw this very odd building while traveling through town & was surprised to learn what it was.

The Swissmill Tower (or the “Kornhaus Zurich”) is the tallest operating grain elevator in the world. Standing at 118 meters (387 ft), it is the second-tallest building in the Swiss city of Zürich. This huge building is in the heart of the city & sits on the Limmat River that feeds into Lake Zurich.


What Else:
I’m working my way back to Indy via Paris and London (taking a train to both locations) & will post updates once I get back stateside.


And Finally…
Turning a Lego C-3PO into 18K C-3PGOLD

2023 Week 38 – International Travel

What’s Going On:
I just flew into Zurich and, boy, are my arms tired! Sorry for the old joke but crossing the Atlantic is no joke! I’m visiting for work and part of the support staff for a Leadership Exchange trip bringing approximately 100 CEOs and elected officials to Zurich Switzerland to learn about the apprenticeship process that’s so popular there.

I had a 4pm departure from Indianapolis, and a short layover in Philadelphia (enough to smash a cheesesteak and beer) before flying overnight to Zurich. The flight was uneventful but I could not get more than a few minutes sleep at a time. The older couple sitting next to me were pleasant and after a long 8 hours we arrived.

Customs was a LONG wait as several big flights arrived around the same time and they were short staffed. Several of the passport stations were manned by people in training (as evident from the signed in the window). As soon as it was my turn the employee in training was replaced buy a guy who was not too happy to be at work that day.

  • Him: “Business or Pleasure”
  • Me: “Work Conference”
  • Him: “How many days in Europe?”
  • Me: “11”
  • Him: *Thunk-Stamp* “Wellcome to Zurich”

Pretty simple process! It’s 9am and the plan is to stay up all day, have a nice meal and crash around 11pm to get acclimated to the time change.


What I’m Watching:
I watched Murder Mystery 2 on the flight over, It wasn’t as good as the first one (sequels rarely are) but it helped pass the time.

I was impressed with the selection available for inflight entertainment, and they even had seat to seat chat so I messaged a couple co-workers that were also on the flight.


What I’m Reading:
Still working on the Grocery book by Michael Ruhlman, and started reading Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. I want to finish that one before the AppleTV series comes out later this year.


What Else:
This is my fourth Leadership Exchange trip and it usually consists of early mornings, late nights, and a lot of good food and group activities. This year we are spending time at the FIFA Museum, and Lindt Chocolate Factory. But first, I need to head down to the dock to hop on a pleasure cruise out on Lake Zurich with 100 tired travelers and coworkers. More to come soon!

2023 Week 32/33 – Pizza Pizza!

What’s Going On:
I missed the weekly post again last weekend, so it’s another double post this time around. We’ve been very fortunate with the weather this summer, but that’s about to come to an end this week, with temps hitting 99 degrees on Wednesday and 102 on Thursday (ouch).


What I’m Eating:
I’m a big fan of J. Kenji López-Alt. To me, he’s like a modern-day Alton Brown. When I read that he successfully made pizzas with flour tortillas, I had my doubts, but given his track record, I decided to give it a try

Extra-Crispy Bar-Style Tortilla Pizza Supreme

I already had the tortillas and cheeses in the fridge, so I needed some pizza sauce and pepperoni to try this. 10 minutes later, I ate one of the best thin-crust pizzas I have ever had. You can’t get much thinner than a flour tortilla, and the way it crisped up was beyond belief. I give this a 10/10 and even made it again the following night. If you like thin and crispy pizza, this recipe is for you!


I ran some errands in the Carmel area last week and decided to swing by Greek Tony’s for lunch. It had been a while since my previous visit, and from the memorials on the wall, some of the original owners had passed away. The children of the original owners (now adults) are running the place, and it has not changed a bit. I ordered my usual, the Hot Italian Sub.

This sandwich is unlike any other sub I’ve ever tasted, and it’s retained that unique flavor for over the 25 years I’ve been ordering. I think it’s the combination of the capicola and creamy Italian dressing layered with melted pizza cheese in a freshly toasted hoagie roll. And it ALWAYS comes with 3 pickle chips. That little detail has always amazed me: just 3 pickles, every time.


Where I’ve Been:
Last week, I stopped by the Mash House at West Fork Whiskey for appetizers and a cocktail. It’s down the road from the Indianapolis Colts Training Camp at Grand Park in Westfield. I didn’t take any pictures of the Pork Rinds with Pimento Cheese and the Hush Puppies with Maple Butter, but given how much we enjoyed the place, there is no doubt we’ll be returning to try more of the menu.


What I’m Watching:


What I’m Reading:


And Finally…
Driving The New Fastest Car Ever Made!

2023 Week 31 – River Cruising

What’s Going On:
As I continue studying to upgrade my Amateur Radio license, I’ve added a couple of “stealth” antennas to the attics in my house. Unfortunately, because of my HOA, I can’t put anything on the outside of the house; I’m limited to using the attic space for the equipment. While not ideal, it’s been working better than expected. I hear stations from Europe and South America regularly in the evening. I look forward to being able to talk to them soon!


What I’m Eating:
Last week, I stopped by the Easy Rider Diner in Fountain Square for lunch. It’s owned and operated by the Hi-Fi concert venue located next door. The food coming out of the kitchen looked really good, as did the Cobb Salad I ordered (there is lettuce under all the toppings), but the $6 upcharge for 4 chicken nuggets was a little steep, in my opinion. The Blue Cheese dressing was definitely out of a bottle, too (and not that good). I’d go back and try something else next time. The salad didn’t do it for me this time.


I also picked up a couple of new items from Trader Joe’s.

The Kalua Pork Spring Rolls smelled VERY good while they were cooking, but unfortunately, the taste was off. In my opinion, there was a very strong black pepper taste. The folks at the What’s Good at Trader Joe’s website seemed to like them better and mentioned a strong liquid smoke flavor (they still gave them 7.5 out of 10)

Unlike the Spring Rolls, the Shrimp Boom Bah had a much better taste and included a nice spicy sauce. The only issue I had was they could have been crispier. An air fryer might have done the trick (I don’t have one).


Where I’ve Been:
Traveled down to New Richmond, Ohio, last weekend to check out the Annual International Cardboard Boat Regatta on the Ohio River. This is my first time checking it out, and it was a lot of fun. The town was having a River Days celebration, and the race was one of the weekend activities. All of the boats were made out of cardboard and paint. Some really creative designs! New Richmond is also the home of the world’s only Cardboard Boat Museum.


What I’m Watching:
Poisoned: The Dirty Truth About Your Food (2023)


What I’m Reading:
Emerging Tick Bite-Associated Meat Allergy Potentially Affects Thousands
Airport car rental: The unique hell might finally be over
AM radio served the country for 100 years. Will electric vehicles silence it?


What Else:

If you’re on Social Media, you might have seen the woman on a flight pointing to something off-camera and proclaiming it was “not real.” @Travispaints painted his interpretation, and it is amazing! Zoom in; it’s a who’s who of fictitious characters.


And Finally…
Just in time for summer grilling… Juicy Grilled Burger – You Suck at Cooking

2023 Week 30 – All Along the Cairo Skywatch Tower

What’s Going On:
I finally booked my flights for an upcoming business trip to Switzerland. Getting there wasn’t the challenge; it was trying to figure out what to do with the couple of days I had after the conference was over (too many options!). Right now, I’m planning on taking a train to Paris for an overnight visit, then off to London for a couple of days before returning home. Now that the travel is secured, I need to figure out lodging and activities (like where to eat!).


Where I’ve Been:
I had lunch with my son last weekend, and while in the Lafayette area, I traveled a little ways north to check out a place that’s been on my list for a while. The Cairo Skywatch Tower (AKA the Delta Lima 3 Green Ground Observation Tower) is a long-lost piece of Korean War history. Before the United States had a national radar system, volunteers across the country would set up observation posts to scan the sky for enemy aircraft.

Part of the Ground Observer Corps, the Cairo Skywatch Tower was one of 750,000 volunteers aged 7 to 86 years old working in shifts at over 16,000 posts throughout the country and Operated as an arm of the United States Air Force Civil Defense Service.


What I’m Reading:
One man’s quest to make pickleball quiet
Funeral directors in 15 states can now offer the eco-friendlier ‘water cremation’
The Ultimate Guide to California’s Best Burritos


And Finally…
This might go on the Paris must-do list…

2023 Week 28/29 – Catching Up

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 I’m Reading:
AT&T and Verizon accused of ignoring toxic lead cabling

A Flight Attendant’s 12 Etiquette Rules for Summer Travel

This Surveillance System Tracks Inmates Down to Their Heart Rate


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!

2023 Week 27 – Gettin’ Stuff Done

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!