2023 Week 15 -Time for the Fly Swatter
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.Vice.com
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.
2023 Week 11 – Have a Seat
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.
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.
2022 Week 30 – The Little Robot That Could
Looks like we’re finally getting a break from the heat this upcoming week. That should be good news for the expected protesters that will be downtown as Indiana lawmakers return for a special session starting tomorrow. The focus is on Abortion and what, if any, change Indiana will be making to their existing law. VPOTUS is coming to Indy tomorrow as well so it could get interesting. I’ll be sure to have the scanner with me in case something happens.
I was happy to see Amazon had a Roomba i7+ listed at 50% off during Prime Day(s). I’ve had one of the original Rumba Vacuums for years and it works pretty well but it randomly wanderers around the house bumping off walls and furniture as it does its job. The only way to contain it is to close doors or put up battery-powered “walls” that projected a beam of light.
The new Roomba Vacuums are a huge upgrade. Not only can you control it with your phone over WiFi, it maps out your house and allows you to label each room. It can handle up to 10 floorplans (each level of your house is considered a floorplan). The advantage of this is I can tell the Roomba to clean the Living Room and it will go directly there, start cleaning, and return to its charging base when it’s done. Oh, and it cleans in straight lines, not random patterns!
The Plus version I purchased has a self-cleaning base that sucks the dirt and hair out of the Roomba into a bag that only had to be changed every 30-ish days (depending on how much it picks up). That was one of the downfalls of the original model, you had to empty the bin each time and clean the rollers every 2nd or 3rd use.
I’ve been VERY impressed with the cleaning ability of the i7+ and the self-cleaning function is a game changer. There are newer (and more expensive) models, such as the j7+, but the i7+ works perfectly for me and I’m really happy I was able to pick it up at such a discount.
And finally… Kevin Hunter The Homework Guy had a great video about the environmental impact of electric vehicles. Kevin is an ex-car salesman and has a ton of great tips to help you purchase your next vehicle. If you’re in the market for a new car you should watch a few of his videos and get up to speed on the current sales “tactics” being used.
2022 Week 15 – Looking for Lunch in Lawrence
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been doing some work in the Lawrence, Indiana, area a couple of days a week. It’s not a place that I frequented very often before January, but I decided to explore the food scene when I started spending time here. Specifically, Lunch in Lawrence.
Pendleton Pike and 56th St are long strips of chains with nothing unique standing out on the surface. But, dig a little deeper, and you can find some hidden gems owned by locals serving some quality food.
Fitzgerald’s Catering & Lunch House – Ft. Ben
First written about in Week 6 2022, Fitzgerald’s is located in an unassuming (former barracks building?) off Otis Ave. It’s an assembly-line-style lunch counter run by a hard-working group. They feature scratch-made items, even down to the pickles served on their Cuban sandwich. They can get quite busy, and seating can be limited, as people like to linger and talk. The restaurant is clean, and the service is prompt and friendly. Fortunately, they offer online ordering that’s always been ready when I got there to pick it up. They announce the daily specials on Facebook and have a good variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads. The Cobb Salad, Cuban, and Roast Beast sandwiches are my favorite things to order.
Porter Books & Bread – Ft. Ben
This place looks easier to find on Google Maps than it really is. You place your order in the basement of a multi-story, multi-tenant building and climb the spiral staircase to the seating area above. The walls are exposed brick with bookshelves and some great music playing in the background. Their house-made Ficoccia is used for several of the sandwiches and comes with the salad. I think the Octavius Salad is one of the best in the area, and the Vonnegut Sandwich will not leave you hungry if you manage to finish a whole one.
The Grill – McCordsville
While technically not in Lawrence, it’s close enough for me to drive to for lunch, so it’s on the list. The Grill has an over-21 side and a family dining side. Both times I visited, I sat in the bar. I’ve only ordered one thing both times, and the Fried Chicken salad hits the spot with a nice-sized salad with a large portion of pounded out sliced fried chicken breast on the top. The service is very friendly, and you can tell this is a family-run place with the father of the group running the show.
Tritan Brewing Co. and Bistro – Ft. Ben
The Bistro at Tritan is only open Fri/Sat/Sun for lunch, so I’ve only been able to have lunch there once on a Friday. I first wrote about it in Week 8 of 2022. It was a toss-up between the fish and chips or the tenderloin. My server asked how hungry I was and when I said quite a bit, she didn’t even hesitate to recommend the tenderloin. I really enjoyed this sandwich and would order it again if I’m in the area when the Bistro is open.
Notable mention to Jacomo Pizza that I’ve had for lunch a few times but never took any pictures. It’s pizza, and we know what that looks like. It’s quick if you get a slice or two of the daily special and scratches the itch if you want pizza and/or a fast lunch.
While there are not many local restaurants in Lawrence, there are enough to have some variety when in the area a few days a week. I still need to check out the Garrison at Ft. Ben and the Caplingers location on Pendleton Pike. It’s also been a long time since I visited Mama’s Korean, so I may have to fix that soon.
Following up on my initial review of Grammarly in October 2021, I’m still finding it a HUGE resource to make sure the communications (and blog posts) I have are concise and properly formatted. I’ve learned I have a big issue with missing commas, and Grammarly has made me more conscious of that and helped my grammar along the way. It’s still not a cheap utility, but if you make a living communicating with people, it’s worth checking out.
And finally, The Urbanist posted a video of a strange skyscraper in New York City with no windows. These kinds of buildings are not that unusual, in fact, we have a similar AT&T building in Downtown Indianapolis, but this one is very unique looking.
2022 Week 9 – New Mouse in the House
Another ‘Fake Spring” in Indiana with temps in the 60’s followed by below-freezing nights in the same week. The first couple months of the year are my least favorite time of year, and spring can’t get here fast enough…
At the recommendation of a co-worker, I picked up a new mouse last week. The Logitech MX Master 3 is unlike any mouse I’ve used before. First off, it’s a big boy size-wise, but, weighing in at 4.9 oz (140 grams), it’s surprisingly light for its stature. It also has a LOT of buttons and wheels. Something it’s going to take a while to get used to, especially since you can customize EVERY control and wheel depending on the application you have in focus. The fit in hand is comfortable, and the USB-C rechargeability makes this an excellent replacement for the Apple Magic Mouse I’ve been using for more years than I can remember.
Priced at $100 the Logitech MX Master 3 is not cheap but the improved ergonomics and extreme customizability are worth it in my opinion. After using it for about 2 weeks I can’t imagine going back to a “normal” mouse again.
And finally… 60 Minutes (Australia Edition) aired a piece earlier this month about the Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappearance. A aerospace engineer claims he has determined, with great confidence, where the flight went down. He did this by analyzing disruptions in Ham Radio communications, of all things, during the flight. Let us know what you think after watching in the comments below.