2023 Week 16 – Lookout, Costco!
Ahhh, Indiana. It was 80 degrees the other day & we had a Freeze warning last night. Hopefully, the freeze didn’t kill any of your freshly planted flowers. We haven’t planted yet, so that’s a good thing! I didn’t get around to drafting this week’s post over the weekend, so I’m knocking it out Monday evening. It’s amazing how the weekend can get away from you!
The nicer weather the past two weeks has allowed me to take walks during lunchtime, and one of my destinations recently has been City Market. While it’s nothing like it was pre-Covid, several shops are hanging on, and they are getting a fair amount of lunch business. Cafe Olivia has gotten a lot of love in my office, and after getting a few sandwiches from there, I can see why! I tried a Cuban sandwich a few weeks ago, and although it wasn’t pressed on a Plancha in the traditional way, it had all the flavors and really hit the spot. On the last visit, the Cuban was unavailable, so I asked the lady behind the counter what their best seller was, and she said the Pastrami Reuben was a popular choice.
I’m not a huge sauerkraut fan and asked for a light amount. As you can see from the picture, there still was a considerable amount, but it was really GOOD kraut. Mixed with Thousand Island, it was a perfect complement to the Pastrami and dark Rye bread. Cafe Olivia has a rotating display of “Dirty” Chips next to the checkout. These are some seriously good chips, with the skin on and lots of seasoning. It’s disappointing that the Indianapolis City Market took such a hit during the Pandemic, but I’m glad to see several shops that weathered the storm. My favorite Crepe Shop didn’t make it, though. City Market still has a lot of really good places to eat, from Sandwiches to Pizza to Mexican and Middle Eastern. If you work downtown, it’s a nice walk to the market and still worth visiting!
After watching the construction and receiving about a dozen flyers, we finally ventured to Hamilton Town Center to check out BJ’s Wholesale Club. If you purchase a $55 membership, you get a $40 credit applied to your account, so for a net of $15, it was a good way to get us in the door. If you haven’t been to a BJs Wholesale Club, it’s like a Sam’s Club or Costco but with less “stuff” in the middle (clothing, etc.). It’s more focused on food, and the crowds are a fraction of what they are at Costco. I’ve visited twice, and both times were very nice, with little in the way of crowds or lines at the registers. One of the unique things about BJ’s is they take coupons, and they have digital coupons in their app. I saved a considerable amount from my last purchase by clipping digital coupons. You’re also not restricted on the type of card you use for payment (Costco). As far as alcohol sales go, this BJ’s location is only selling beer and wine at this time.
Similar to Sam’s & Costco, BJ’s sells discounted fuel too. I’m in the Hamilton Town Center area pretty regularly, so topping off the tank will be something I plan on doing. I need to compare the prices with Kroger and the Fual Point Discounts I get to see if it’s worth a special trip up there or not. I just checked, and my Costco membership expires at the end of July; I think BJ’s might be replacing it.
And finally… Robertson, Phillips, and the History of the Screwdriver. Did you know Canada has its own type of screw (and driver) that’s all but unheard of in the US? The History Guy had a video discussing the differences in another fascinating history lesson.
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 13 – Oui Oui!
We had some wild weather come through Indiana Friday night, and as of today, there are at least ten confirmed tornados south of Indianapolis and several deaths. McCormick’s Creek took a hit, and several campers were injured. We didn’t have much going on until after 10 pm, and then the wind picked up and was really blowing things around. We ended up losing power for a few minutes (again). Other than a few branches in the yard, the north side of Indianapolis faired pretty well.
I ended up in Greenwood Friday morning for a work function, and I remembered tagging a French Bakery in Google Maps when I read about it several months ago. I wasn’t sure if I was close because it felt like I had driven halfway to Bloomington to get to this event. Lo and behold, I was less than 5 miles from Le Croissant French Bakery (no website), located at 916 E Main St, Greenwood, IN 46143.
They had a great selection, and it was pretty hard to choose what to get. I ended up with a Ham and Cheese Croissant and a Cheese Danish (made with Croissant dough). I warmed up the Ham and Cheese Croissant with a nice glass of Chardonnay for dinner and the Cheese Danish for breakfast the following day.
Both pastries were quite large, and the toppings/fillings were generous. I could imagine someone with a light appetite only eating half of these. 30-seconds in the microwave brought them both back up to room temp (I had placed them in the fridge when I got home), and I’m just going to say this place is legit. I’m already planning on a return trip in the near future.
Le Croissant French Bakery is open Tue-Sat 8 am-4 pm, and closed on Sunday and Monday.
I’ve had some weird issues with the website and have been making some changes behind the scenes. You might find it offline occasionally as I attempt to rebuild it. Rest assured; we’re not going anywhere 🙂
And finally… Fishers tore down their Town Hall earlier this year because it was sinking, and the repair costs were prohibitive. A new building is currently under construction & will house an art center and other new things. The city just released a timeline of their progress.
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.
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.