It’s really kind of hard to believe my last blog post was in June! I guess now that the weather is getting colder I’m finding time for my “indoor” hobbies such as reading and writing.
In the span of an hour I read that a new (major) version of WordPress was available and received a notice form my hosting provider that my contract was up for renewal. This is as good a time as any to update the site and add some more content!
The new WordPress editor is really interesting. It’s based on your contend being a series of blocks. These blocks can be scaled, moved, and colored individually. This gives a tremendous amount of creative freedom to play around with layouts. This is something that was all but impossible just a year ago on this platform (without some heavy CSS editing).
I’m learning the design has a lot to do with your theme. The current theme I’m using for the site is called “Twenty Sixteen” and it’s missing a lot of features that will allow me to take advantage of the new editing functions. So that means it’s time to start looking for a new theme and a new site design!
It feels good be back on the Blog. Time to start researching some options to make the site even better in 2019!
I decided to activate Google Analytics on the blog and see what kind of data it can collect on the site traffic. When IndyScan.com was a scanner resource page I used to pour over the logs to see where people were visiting from and what they were looking at on the site. It was a tedious task that’s now simplified and automated using 3rd party tools like Google Analytics.
I’m already seeing that the majority of the visitors to IndyScan are using mobile devices, I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise these days but I rarely access the site via my phone. I’m going to spend a little more time making sure the site is as mobile friendly as it can be.
I really want to figure out once and for all why the Marsala Sauce post is so popular! It continues to be the top viewed page week over week. I’ve really appreciated the ease of setup and the way Google Analytics presents the data. This is WAY better than how things worked 15+ years ago.
I’ve added some of the stats for those of you that might be interested.
A LOT of things have changed since then, especially when I look at the technology posts. Back then I was using the Palm Treo and transitioning to the Blackberry. When the iPhone was first adopted at my company I was one of the last holdouts to turn their Blackberry in. I still miss that keyboard sometimes…
10-years ago the world was a different place. We were still pretty sore from the 9/11 attacks and a 512 GB SSD drive was about to be released to the general public. Tech has changed SO MUCH that it’s really hard to believe where we are now (self driving cars!?!).
I have a few draft posts I’m working on including an update on the cord cutting project. I added some new things to round out the setup and make it even better.
Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been 4-months since I last published a post on IndyScan.com. A lot’s been happening and I’ve obviously not been documenting it here!
My activity on Facebook has increased and I’m giving Instagram another try so the details are out there for those of you who know where to look! I’m currently testing a plugin that will increase the activity on the blog by posting my favorite Instagram pictures here (just tested it right before this post!). One of these days I’ll have things streamlined where I can share things with everyone everywhere with a single submission (getting really close to that now).
One of the new activities I’m taking part of this year is kayaking. I grew up canoeing and have always loved the water. This year was the year to get back out there. In May I took advantage of the Rusted Moon Outfitters annual sale (20% off!) and picked up a new Dagger Axis 12-foot kayak. I used the savings to offset the cost of a really nice carbon/fiberglass paddle and kayak specific life vest.
Having gone on several lake and river paddles I can honestly say this is one hell of a boat. Very comfortable positioning and ride as well as highly maneuverable. The retractable Skeg (basically a fixed rudder) makes tracking on open water dead straight and when retracted the boat turns on a dime.
I went on a 2-day overnight (camping) trip with some of the guys from work and I had plenty of room for all my equipment, even though I totally over packed!
Since kayaking has become my preferred form of exercise I decided to add one more piece of gear to the mix. The Garmin Fenix 3 HR GPS/Smartwatch. Previously I tried out an Apple Watch and was less than impressed. After reading the reviews I really wanted to give the Garmin a try.
Well this thing is a completely different animal. It’s rugged as all get out and does many things very well. You get all the notifications of a Smartwatch but you also get a ton of tracking info for outdoor activities and it’s completely configurable to match your needs. From running to hiking to water sports and cycling. This watch does it all and I could not be happier with the purchase. It’s great to have an electronic dashboard on your wrist with all of your exercise stats as well as full navigation of where you’ve been and how to get back. It even has weather alerts (web and barometer based) so you don’t get caught off guard when mother nature decides to storm on your outing.
The image above shows a solo kayak run from Lafayette Trace (near Bongies in Perkinsville) to White River Canoe Company just south of Noblesville. 15+ miles in just under 5 hours. It was the first time I got to put the Garmin to use and it performed flawlessly. All of my distance, speed, and heart rate stats were compiled throughout the trip. I can use the info to gauge my fitness level as well as track improvements or areas that need worked on.
So it’s obvious my new extra curricular activities have shifted focus away from blogging but at least I’m getting exercise! Look for more posts in the future along with a few trip reports from upcoming kayaking adventures I plan to have before the snow starts flying.
It’s been a while since I published anything of substance on the blog so I thought it would be a good time to post a brief update.
I started journaling using DayOne a few years ago but didn’t do it consistently. I came up with a new system over the winter holidays that allows me to use If Then Then That to capture my activities and automatically add them to a DayOne entry. This allows me to capture Foursquare checkins, Facebook Posts, Twitter posts, etc and expand on them in the journal. I’m happy to say I haven’t missed a day yet in 2015 & it’s now part of my daily routine. Its fun to look back on past events and see how things have changed (or haven’t).
Now the trick is to try to make updating the blog a habit (through the use of automation and a little technology of course). The mobile blogging tools have gotten better and easier to use so there’s really no excuse not to be posting more things. So its time to see if I can get this site active again.
That’s just about covers it for now. Look for more updates in the near future and some changes around the site to spruce it up a bit. I’ve got some work to do!