2023 Week 14 – #83: Go on, take the last bite
One of the nice things about switching jobs is that fresh new email address that only your coworkers know. That usually only lasts a month or so, and in my case, it was even shorter as we put all of your contact info on the company website. Although we have “anti-scraping” turned on via Cloudflare, it didn’t take long for the email marketers to find me.
I’m pretty heavy-handed with the mark as junk and block functions in Outlook, and I have no problem banishing email marketing messages to keep my inbox clean. A new (to me, at least) tactic I’ve started seeing is the triple email marketing campaign. If your company uses this, let me assure you it’s not working and is even more annoying than usual.
The solicitation starts with an email from “Gabby” attempting to set up an introduction, then a follow-up email from “Gabby” the next day at roughly the same time you read the first one (the email address is slightly different so it gets past the block you set the day before). Within 5 minutes of deleting/blocking the follow-up email, you get an email from “Aira,” referencing the “email conversation” you’ve been having with “Gabby.” So in a span of 24 hours, I’ve received three emails from the same company.
I understand how they do it (spy pixels or tracker pixels). Still, it’s annoying enough that even if I were interested in your offerings, I’d probably not reply because of the aggressive marketing. (End of Rant)
Covid changed a lot in our world. It changed how people interacted with each other, and it also had an impact on modern etiquette. The Cut published a list of 194 Modern Etiquette Rules for Life After Covid. Some are silly, and others are thought-provoking. As the title implies, these are rules, and rules are meant to be bent and sometimes broken. There’s also a sub-section all about The New Rules of Tipping!
Some of my favorites:
2 – You may callously cancel almost any plans up until 2 p.m.
20 – Don’t describe TikToks. It’s more boring than describing dreams.
47 – Listening is not the time for you to silently rehearse what you want to say next.
76 – If your host is doing the dishes, it means you’re supposed to leave.
104 – If you’re in the office, you’re wearing shoes.194 Modern Etiquette Rules for Life After Covid
And finally… The Cell Phone will be 50 years old in April. Smithsonian Magazine has an excellent article, and CBS Sunday Morning interviewed Marty Cooper, the man who made the first call on a portable Cell Phone.
2023 Week 2 – 4% and Climbing
We’re 4% into the year, according to @year_progress on Twitter, and it’s really hard to believe how warm this winter has been. We had a cold snap around the holidays, but it should not be in the 40s in mid-January. We checked out a new restaurant this week and dug into the history of mid-century telecommunications.
Benyue (Formerly Lucky Lou) has opened in the former Houlihans at the Castleton Square mall. If you’ve visited Saraga’s original location on the west side, you might have noticed Lucky Lou next door. It’s an extremely popular Duim Sum restaurant and one of the only places to get Dim Sum in Indy.
I stopped by on a Sunday, and the place had a nice lunch crowd. The restaurant itself is quite large, and there is plenty of seating. I was immediately offered several types of hot tea ($1.50), and I chose Jasmine. It was quickly served in a pot that held a lot more than I was going to drink.
Not knowing the portions (quite generous, by the way), I ordered General Tso Chicken, BBQ Pork Steamed Buns, and Shrimp Shumai. Every dish was served hot and tasted fresh. General Tso had a lot of dried chillis, and they added a nice spicy heat to the dish. The steamed buns were light and airy with a delicious BBQ pork filling. Finally, the Shrimp Shumai were perfectly cooked and full of ground shrimp.
If you’re looking for a new place to try, I’d recommend checking out Benyue. Their menu is quite extensive, and you’re sure to find something you like.
You have most likely seen an AT&T Long Lines tower and might have even wondered what it was. In the 1950’s AT&T used these giant ratio towers with specialized “Horns” to relay telephone (and television) signals across the United States via microwave. Garrett Fuller has a great article detailing the use of the long-forgotten (and now abandoned) AT&T Long Lines system. I found the following video interesting as well.
2022 Week 49 -The End is Near
It’s December & the year is coming to a close. I’m fortunate to work for a company that closes over the Christmas holiday, and I’m looking forward to 3 weeks of time off before I hit the ground running in 2023. I’m already counting the days until we get back to warmer weather so I can get back out and do more camping. I noticed today when looking at the calendar & there are 53 weeks in 2022 (because Jan 1, 2022, was on a Saturday), so we’ll have to do our year-end recap that week.
If you’ve left the house in the past 3 years you’ve no doubt seen and used a QR Code, most likely in a restaurant, to access a digital menu. QR Codes have been around for years, but it took a pandemic to make them mainstream (like video calls). But How do QR Codes Work? Review Geek has the details. Pro Tip, if you want to generate a QR Code to make it easier for guests to join your wireless network, check this site out.
And finally… Is real Parmigiano Reggiano actually worth the high price? Ethan Chlebowski breaks it down so you can make up your mind (TLDR, It IS!).
2022 Week 48 – Gobble Gobble, Sniff Sniff
The holidays have officially started, with Thanksgiving being last Thursday. As is the annual tradition at IndyScan.com, we like to share the Ode to Thanksgiving from a 2004 post by Mr. John C. Dvorak, who claims Thanksgiving is an artificial holiday created by none other than President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. I was visiting family over the holiday, and one of the first-year college students had heard the same thing & helped me tell the tale. So what do you think? Do you believe what you were taught in school, or does the Lincoln story make more sense? Leave your comments below.
A friend at work turned me onto a new recipe site run by an Egyptian lady that’s all about Mediterranean Cooking. The Mediterranean Dish has a LOT of great recipes and some new twists on old classics, like Easy Homemade Chicken Shawarma using a sheet pan.
I ended up coming down with ANOTHER head cold over the weekend. First time I remember being sick twice in such a short period of time. After picking up some additional medicine, I noticed something concerning…
I always buy Mucinex Sinus-Max for head colds. It works well for me. I went to take the Yellow pill I had been taking for the past few days and realized what I bought was the “NightShift” version, where the Yellow pill is for NIGHTTIME. The pill looks the same, with the three chevron marks and everything. What a poor design decision by Reckitt (the makers of Mucinex).
And finally… You have to tip your hat to the FBI, who conducted a sting operation called Special Operation Ironside that featured an “Anom” burner phone, targeted to criminals who snatched them up and fell right into the trap.
2022 Week 7 – Plug-In, Charge Up
I’ve been using my iPad Pro a lot lately to create these blog posts. It’s such a convenient tool to get online, and I really enjoy how it connects to my iPhone almost immediately for seamless connectivity. It’s almost like having a cellular modem built-in, without the extra expense. Paired with the Magic Keyboard this compact package can easily replace a laptop for most day-to-day tasks. Highly recommended if you spend a lot of time online and/or travel a lot.
I traveled to the small town of McCordsville last week to visit the Scarlet Lane Brewery and try the food at the Trax BBQ restaurant attached to it. Scarlet Lane is heavily focused on the Haloween theme and there are props and signs everywhere. I sampled a few of their Ales and was able to find a brew that was decent to sip on. I order it by number and don’t remember the name, I think it was a Hazy IPA. I then proceeded to grab some food. I had every intention of sampling the BBQ at Trax but their Burger of the Month caught my eye.
The Mushroom Swiss Smashburger was featured in February and included Double Blackened Patties, Swiss Cheese, Mushroom Demi-glace, Bacon, LTOP on a buttered brioche bun. Add a side of Garlic Parm Tater Tots and you have yourself a meal!
Trax has a lot of sauces to choose from. They have a sauce bar off to the side with little paper cups so you can find your favorite. I sampled about 6 of them, by dipping a tot in each one, and I think it was a tie between the vinegar-based and the mustard-based options. The two “hot” sauces lived up to their name and each had a nice bite that could easily build to an uncomfortable burn.
I hope to return in the next few weeks to actually try the BBQ and get some more of those sauces. Scarlet Lane has other locations in Broad Ripple, Indy, and Beech Grove, each with different food options. I particularly want to try the Gastropub in Indy.
And finally, Ars Technica had a report on the newly released US EV Infrastructure plan – Four fast chargers every 50 miles. The new plan begins to address the “Range Anxiety” concerns people have about Electric Vehicles (myself included). I like to do big road trips and get “off the grid”. The places I’ve been visiting have no charging facilities available and I’d be unable to visit with an EV. As the technology (and range) improves this could be a thing of the past but we’re years away from a solution. But as more and more automakers shift focus to EVs, the internal combustion engine, in my opinion, has a big target on its back.