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
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?”
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!
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
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’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)
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
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.
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: *Warning* This will be a LONG post covering a week-long trip with lots of links, photos, and me rambling on for a while.
It was nice to return to a 3-day weekend after a week on the road last week (more on that later). Besides getting the tent out to dry off, I haven’t unpacked much since all my camping gear is in stackable tubs. I still need to move it back into storage & get it out of the garage…
Where I’ve Been: Last Saturday, I returned from a 1500+ mile loop that took me through KY, TN, NC, VA, WV, and OH. I left on Monday morning and traveled to Asheville, NC. South of Lexington was a new Buc-ee’s that I wanted to stop and check out. Everyone in a 100-mile radius must have had the same idea as this place was PACKED. Every pump had a vehicle parked in front of it, and the inside was wall-to-wall people. There were even lines to the men’s restroom, which you never see. I heard one person say they had been waiting for over an hour for their food, so I saw myself out and headed down the road.
I arrived in Asheville in the early evening, and even though I was driving all day, the weather was beautiful, and the traffic was light. I chose a place near the Grove Arcade called Carmel’s Kitchen & Bar to have dinner. The Pimento Cheese sounded great, so I ordered it along with a bowl of Shrimp and Grits (with a cream sauce vs. a brown gravy which was different and not as good as the traditional) and a cold glass of Chardonnay.
Tuesday morning, I spent some time in downtown Asheville taking photos. I stopped at City Bakery for some coffee and a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit and left full and happy! They know how to make a proper biscuit in the South!
I was waiting around for East Fork Pottery to open at 11 am so I could pick up some coffee mugs I’ve had my eye on for over a year. I had every intention of stopping at Buxton Hall Barbecue for lunch to try their legendary fried chicken sandwich, but I was too full, so I hit the road and drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Mt Mitchell State Park, the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi.
The Blue Ridge Parkway has got to be one of my favorite drives ever; this was my first time driving it. I was only on it for less than 100 miles, but I’m very interested in driving the entire 469 miles and visiting sites along the way. I stopped in a town called Little Switzerland, NC, for a snack, but just about everything was closed on Tuesday.
I made my way to Spacious Skies Campgrounds – Bear Den near Spruce Pine, NC. This is a private campground right off the parkway, and being early in the season was very quiet. I felt like I had the entire place to myself!
I packed up camp Wednesday morning and went to start the car… Click, Click, Click, dead battery. I knew I was about due for a replacement and almost did it before I left, but luckily I was at a place where I could walk up to the front office and ask for a jump. Once underway, I made a beeline to the closest Advance Auto and picked up the AGM battery I had my eye on weeks earlier. This thing should outlast the car, and it ought to be for $250. The employee offered to swap the batteries out, and I was on my way 10 minutes later, only delaying me for an hour from my originally planned departure time.
Today’s destination was the Red River Gorge Bridge and a Bed-and-Breakfast in a small town called Clifton Forge, VA. I had no idea what to expect at the Gorge, but the pictures I saw looked incredible. As my GPS told me I was getting closer, I kept looking for the bridge. I didn’t see it until I was practically ON it!
That crossing was pretty unimpressive, but I noticed on the map that I could go down under the bridge, so after stopping at the visitor center (and picking up a sticker), I did that!
After playing around down by the water, it was time to load up and head to the evening’s accommodations. The Red Lantern Inn was a great little Bed & Breakfast that was in the middle of downtown Clifton Forge, VA. Not much in the town except a few restaurants, bars, and a HUGE train yard. I unloaded my gear and went down the street to Jack Mason’s Tavern and Brewery for dinner. I ordered a Mushroom Swiss Burger and the House Cut Chips, dusted in Old Bay. The beverage for dinner was a local ale the waitress recommended when I said I wanted something light. It all hit the spot, and I was ready to settle down for the night.
The Red Lantern Inn was clean and spacious, and I had the whole place to myself. The owner was off-premises attending to other things, and we exchanged a few text messages to get the code to enter the building and the WiFi password. I never met her, but I would not hesitate to stay here again. It was clean and VERY quiet. Just what I needed after all the driving I had been doing.
Thursday’s activity was what prompted the trip in the first place. The Green Bank Observatory houses the world’s largest 100-meter (330 ft) fully steerable single-dish radio telescope. Located near the middle of the National Radio Quiet Zone, the telescope is the newest and most significant of many at the facility, topping out at over 400 feet in height and housing a dish of over 100,000 square feet. I purchased a tour ticket online and arrived about 30 minutes before the tour to use the facilities and check out the museum and gift shop.
We took a bus to the telescope and got up close and personal. Unfortunately, the only camera you can use is film because anything electronic is forbidden within a 1-mile radius. We were even asked to put our car key fobs in a Faraday Cage to block spurious emissions. Our tour guide was from Ireland, and she had been working there for several years. Her husband was a scientist working at the facility who had passed away, so she started doing tours and stayed in Green Bank.
After geeking out at the Observatory, I needed to find some lunch. I saw on Google Maps a Ski Resort called Snowshoe about an hour away and learned it is pretty active in the summer months with Mountain Biking, so I headed west to check it out.
I had already been to the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi, but it felt like I was going even higher as I made my way to the top of Snowshoe Mountain. The road just kept going up and up, with switchback after switchback, until I finally reached the top. And what a surprise it was to see a village with a hotel, grocery store, and what looked like 4-story apartment buildings (pretty sure they were hotels).
I walked around for a while, checking things out and dodging many mountain bikes riding around the area. I can only imagine what this place is like in the winter, with skiers everywhere. I grabbed lunch at the Junction Ale House—nothing special here, just a little pub with staff that acted like they wanted to be elsewhere. I definitely do not see myself returning here, even if I visited in the winter to ski.
“After lunch, I made my way down the mountain to camp. I had two “First Come; First Served” sites in mind, Dry Run & Tea Creek campgrounds, Dry run was nice but pretty full. I drove down the road a little more and found Tea Creek to be just perfect. There were 12 sites, and only 2 were occupied. I nabbed a site near the entrance and set up camp.
An older gentleman came over, and we chatted about camping, cars, and the generator the other site was using (he was not a fan). The bugs died down at dusk, and I enjoyed a night of tuning through the shortwave bands tuning in signals from all over the world (the low noise floor in the Radio Quiet Zone helped a lot here.
I set out for Hillbilly Hotdogs (see below) and Wayne National Forrest in Southern Ohio on Friday morning. After lunch, I found my reserved campsite and had a problem. It was at the end of a cul-de-sac and about 10 feet down the side of the hill. The tent pad was about 10×10, and a drop-off on the backside. NOT a good site for the tent I use and not a good location if it rained like the forecast called for. I talked to the Camp Host and was informed there were no available sites, so I went to Ironton, OH, and used some Holiday Inn points to get a room for the night.
We were back on the road for our final day of travel on Saturday. I have been wanting to visit Serpent Mound again for years, I remember my Grandmother taking me here as a kid, and I wanted to see it again. Built a long time ago, Serpent Mound is a burial ground of ancient Americans that’s in the shape of a snake. The United States Department of Interior designated the mound as a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
It’s hard to see in the pictures, but the mound is over 1000 feet long and of great historical significance to the area. The visitors center has a nice display explaining the effigy’s who/what/why and, of course, stickers for my collection.
After the mound, I visited family and had lunch to celebrate Father’s Day a day early; it was the best BBQ I had eaten all week! I was left with a 2-hour drive back to Indy and was ready to get off the road! This is the 3rd year in a row where I’ve picked an interesting place to see and made a week-long trip out of it. It was nice to get away from the office and get out into nature before the high temperatures make it uncomfortable this summer. I’m already thinking about next year’s trip, and driving the entire Blue Ridge Parkway is on the shortlist.
What I’m Buying: Stickers, lots of stickers. When I visit a significant location, I like to purchase a sticker to commemorate the occasion. right now, they’re being put on the cooler that goes with me on every trip, but I’m running out of room, so I need to figure out something else to sticker up.
ICE! You have to have ice to keep things cool when you’re off the grid. It’s nice to see that ice is still only a couple of dollars a bag, even in the middle of nowhere. The local liquor store gives away bags with any purchase, so I always have a bag or two in the freezer to get me started. I’ve been told you can get ice from fast food restaurants really cheaply, but I never think about getting it there (and I rarely eat fast food anymore).
What I’m Eating: I had a few BBQ meals while traveling. Nothing that noteworthy and, honestly, a little disappointing with dry brisket and a side of mac and cheese where the sauce was broken and oily. I was expecting more and would rather eat the local BBQ at Traxx in McCordsville!
When camping, I normally dine on dehydrated meals from various manufacturers. Mountain House, Backpacker’s Pantry, and Pakit Gourmet are in constant rotation, and I always get a solid, filling meal with just a cup or two of boiling water.
On this trip, I fixed my ever-favorite Chili Mac with Beef and tried a new meal of Chicken and Rice both from Mountain House. Both were very filling, and the Chicken and Rice could have passed for homemade; it was that good!
Since I was in the area, I had to check out Hillbilly Hotdogs in LeSage, WV. This place was one of the first places visited by the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show and features “The Homewrecker” hot dog that weighs 1 pound and is covered with just about every topping they have. I saw one come out of the kitchen, and it was ridiculous!
I ordered a Hillbilly Dog (Deep-fried Weenie, Chili Sauce, Mustard, and Onions) and a West Virginia Dog (Chili Sauce, Mustard, Onions, and Cole Slaw), along with an order of Deep Fried Pickles w/ Ranch. Everything was hot and fresh, and I would stop here again if I ever found myself in the area. It was pretty crowded for a Friday afternoon and a popular stop for the bikers traveling along the river route.
What I’m Watching: I downloaded several movies on my iPad Pro to watch while camping, and I never even played them. I ended up spending my evenings reading, tuning in to distant stations on the shortwave radio, and relaxing to the sounds of nature.
What I’m Reading: I’m still reading “Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 “and hope to finish it this weekend. Several more books are in the queue, including one about Switchboard Operators during World War One.
What Else: The Fishers Health Department has released its “Inspection report of retail food establishments” which gives a letter grade for local restaurants (I believe they need to post their grade for people to see at some point). This is a HUGE step in transparency for the public. The letter grade system is used in a lot of major cities and does a great job of not only calling out places not meeting the standards but also warning the patrons of the issues. I was surprised at some of the C-grades from places I often frequent, and I will no longer be dining there until they get their act together. Kudos to the Fishwers Health Dept for leading the way with this program. Hopefully, other cities (looking at you, Indy) will follow!
And Finally… I’ve been watching Mark Rober videos lately. In this video, Mark sets up a series of Olympic-style challenges for his backyard squirrels to compete in. From a balance beam to a diving board, these squirrels prove to be surprisingly adept athletes. Mark uses his engineering skills to create various contraptions and obstacles for the squirrels to navigate, such as a tiny zipline and a miniature pole vault. He also peppers the video with funny commentary and hilarious slow-motion replays of the squirrels in action. But beyond the laughs, this video is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of these furry creatures. So next time you see a squirrel in your backyard, give them a little respect – who knows what kind of Olympic potential they might have!
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.
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