2024 February Update

What’s Going On:
I just got back from a 10-day visit to Thailand! It was a LOT of flying (24 hours each way) but worth every minute of the journey once I arrived. I have a 2-part blog post I’m working on this month and should have the first part out in the next week or so.

March is somewhat of a quiet month, but as the temps warm and spring gets closer every day, it’s time to start planning some outdoor activities. I reserved a campsite for an overnight trip later this month to try my hand at a Ham Radio Parks on the Air activation. This combines my love of the outdoors with my newly refreshed passion for Ham Radio.


What I’m Buying:
Woot! is an overstock site connected with Amazon, and it occasionally has some really good deals. Earlier in February, I bought a refurbished Dyson V10 Animal for less than half the cost of a new unit. It’s an older model but better than the V6 I purchased years ago. It arrived in generic packaging, but there was no indication the unit had even been turned on, let alone used at any time. I was immediately impressed with the increased performance of the V10 and am very happy with the purchase. The V6 still has some life, so it will be used for smaller house tasks, including cleaning the cars.


What I’m Eating:
Lots of Thai food while on my trip. I flew Turkish Airlines, and their in-flight meals were very tasty. I was pretty impressed with the quality and quantity of the food served while we cruised at 35,000 feet. It was funny to see the standard USA chains on my layover in Istanbul. Burger King & McDonalds were prominently placed through the airport and had a lot of customers.

I went almost two weeks without eating American or processed foods and could feel a difference in just a few days. For some reason, I always assumed Smoothies all had dairy (something I avoid) and quickly learned that was not true. I enjoyed several fruit smoothies while abroad and also enjoyed their incredibly low price. We’ll see how well my blender holds up after my next smoothie supply run to Costco. I might be in the market for a Vitamix in the future…


Where I’ve Been:
I saved about $1000 on my airfare (and a 2-hour flight leg at each end) by flying out of Detroit. It’s only a 3.5-hour drive from my house and was worth it. I used some of the savings to upgrade my seats for the 4 flight legs. More on that in a future post…

I only had one stop in Istanbul, Turkey, before I went to Bangkok, Thailand. Once in Bangkok, I met my brother, and we took a short flight up to Chiang Mai, where we stayed for most of the visit.

Toward the end of my trip, we returned to Bangkok for a few days before I hopped on an early morning flight to return to the US.

I returned to Detroit via Istanbul again and landed around 7:30 pm. Customs was a snap, and I was returning to Indy by 9 pm. I arrived home after midnight and was still pretty awake, even though I had been up for approximately 36 hours. Once settled, I slept like a rock and enjoyed the extra day of PTO on my return. Adjusting back to Indiana time was more complicated than I thought, considering I didn’t have any issues adjusting to the 12-hour time change in Thailand.


What I’m Watching:
I downloaded a lot of content to my iPad Pro for the travel legs and consumed quite a bit. YouTube always has something to watch, and I wanted to watch a few movies on Netflix. Being able to download content to your device is a great feature that I wish more streaming services would provide. The in-flight entertainment was available, but I only used it once to watch a soccer match live at 38,000 feet.


What I’m Reading:
I also read a lot while held captive in the air. I have a bad habit of pinning articles to “read later,” and I had a lot to choose from. I also worked on a few books using the Amazon Kindle. The Art of Invisibility by Kevin Mitnick kept me entertained for a few hours before I switched over to a copy of Essential Thailand by Fodor’s Travel Guides.


And Finally…
This was quite a mystery. How does a 200-foot broadcast radio tower disappear without a trace? Check the comments on the article for details (and the answer to the mystery!).

2023 Week 20 – The Asian Invasion

I ended up out at the track twice last week for work events. Tuesday was wet, and there were no cars on the track, so I ducked out after the event. Thursday was beautiful; the cars were out, turning laps and dialing things in. I always end up at the track every year for a vendor event or an event tied to work. Kind of a nice way to spend an afternoon!


Cheeky Bastards, a newish British restaurant on Fall Creek in Geist, is now open for dinner. I’ve yet to make it over there, but I’m hoping to check out their Fish and Chips (or Bangers and Mash) for lunch very soon.


The Hustle had a great long-form piece titled “The $40m bet that made South Korea a food and cultural power” that explained how Korean food has taken off, similar to what Thai food did in the U.S. from 2022-2018 with help from the mother country.

Gastrodiplomacy, a term first coined by The Economist in 2002, happens when governments try to increase the value and knowledge of their nation through food.

https://media.hubspot.com/south-korea-mightve-picked-up-your-dinner-tab-2

I used to work with a guy that left his job to go work for the State Department doing something very similar. Bringing countries together with food and culture. Interesting stuff!


Following up from Week 17, where we referenced the disappearance of AM radios in new automobiles, The IBJ reports on a “Bipartisan bill aims to require AM radio in new cars.” The comments don’t disappoint, either…


It’s usually nice to see news coverage of your hometown, and then there are times it’s not… “Fishers Council approves $50 parking fee for nonresidents for Geist Waterfront Park.” The backlash on this decision is all over social media and has been brought up in several of the conversations I’ve been a part of this last week. I understand the need for crowd control, but this is just a bad look for an otherwise great project. I, for one, look forward to trying out the new kayak launch. It has to be better than the alternative we have at the Geist Park upstream.


And finally… The Deal Guy discusses “NEW Amazon Prime Benefits You SHOULD Know in 2023!”