*** SHOW NOTES ***
Recorded in the beautiful home office Chateau’ Relaxo, FL.
I got in my last full week of travel before Christmas downtime hits.
Flew into Baltimore on a Sunday and spent the night in White Marsh, MD and woke up Monday to snow on the ground and the rental. By lunchtime, I was in New Jersey and the snow was gone. The great thing about New Jersey is the abundance of diners, and lunch was at Harrison House. This is the type of diner you picture in your mind. The staff’s average tenure is 15+ years, the countertops are covered in worn Formica and the booths are upholstered in rich Naugahyde.
Of course, the menu offered French fries, seven varieties, some of which are.
- CAJUN FRIES Bacon, Provolone, Cheddar Cheese Whiz & Cajun Spices
- BAY FRIES Old Bay Seasoning & Cheddar Cheese Whiz
- DISCO FRIES Cheddar Cheese Whiz & Brown Gravy
- BROWN GRAVY FRIES
- CHEDDAR CHEESE FRIES
There was Veal, Salmon, Cajun Chicken, Roast Turkey, and Swordfish. Naturally, I went with Fried Mac-N-Cheese and Chili platter. My plate arrived, 5 delicately fried balls of goodness that guarded a perfectly seasoned bowl of chili. The accompanying sour cream was in their own pre-packaged containers, just like it should be served in a diner.
Dinner in Providence Rhode Island was at the Luxe Burger Bar. They offer a tasty menu of burgers, but you will get the best taste sensation if you choose to build your own. I went with Herford beef cooked medium, then slathered with creamy goat cheese and topped with roasted peppers. Simple, but tasty, and served in under seven minutes. If you want to unhinge your jaw as you attack your burger then order it Fatty Style. Fatty style is where they take a grilled cheese sandwich and make it your bun.
Left there and hit up the Union Station Brewery. This place is great, we sat at the bar, and our bartender knew his beer. We sampled almost as much beer as we purchased, and as a plus, they had several bottles of Buffalo Trace.
Then in Warick Rhode Island our diner tour continued at Coast Line Diner where lunch was Portuguese soup, fries and these massive chicken breast tinders. All this for change back on a $10.00 bill.
My final night’s dinner was at Jack’s Abby in Framingham, MA. Here I concentrated on flights of beer and made it through 2 before I had to punch out. Jack’s Abby was started in 2011 by three brothers, Jack, Eric & Sam, and this trio knows how to brew beer. The best beer of my week was their Super Mole Barrel-Aged Framinghammer. This was a porter infused with chocolate and peppers and then aged in bourbon barrels. This bordered on almost being a bourbon. It got 4.25 stars on Untappd.
A few local beers, mostly through flights consumed this week.
- Amarillo Thrill – Magnify Brewing
- Rake Breaker – Jersey Girl Brewing
- Wrench – Industrial Arts Brewing
- Co-Pilot Snow Eagle – Springdale Beer Co.
- Red Tape – Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers
- Dapplebock – Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers
- Single Dry-Hopped Excess (Denali) – Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers
- Hoponius On Holiday – Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers
- Framinghammer – Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers
- Super Mole Barrel-Aged Framinghammer – Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers
- Cranston Thug Life – Union Station Brewery (Rhode Island)
- RhodeTrip – Newport Craft Brewing Co.
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Barrel-Aged Framinghammer – Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers
First: A Good Mobile Phone. While on the road, you need to be able to keep in touch. Whether it’s to call the hotel to get directions or to call home and find out how the kids or Grandkids are doing, a mobile phone is essential. My recommendation is to get a smartphone, because these devices are capable of so much including maps, taking photos, or emailing home.
Portable Computer: It’s hard to beat a Netbook. These portable little workhorses can do everything their bigger brothers can do. However, Netbooks are easily packable, get great battery life, and offer a huge amount of utility for their size and price. I would recommend the Asus 1005PE which has a 10? screen and a whopping 13-14 hours of battery life and Windows 7. Alternatively, you can utilize an Apple iPad.
The Asus 1005PE is no longer available, and according to Moore’s Law it’s aged by 8.5 years. The iPad has come a long way in ten years. The iPad will be available in late March worldwide for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model. The Wi-Fi + 3G models of iPad will be available in April in the US and selected countries for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model.
For refernce, New Apple iPad (10.2-Inch, Wi-Fi, 128GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model) is under $450.00
Digital Camera: While on vacation, you need to be able to capture the moment. A new Samsung camera has a unique feature – a screen that faces forward that allows you to take a photo of yourself and see it as it will be taken. it’s called the Samsung TL220 DualView Camera.
You can still purchasethe Samsung 12MP Dig Camera 4.6X Opt 3 for $120.00. However, few of us amateur photographers are bothered with carrying a camera as well as our smartphone. Most smartphone cameras are far superior to most digital cameras.
GPS Unit: The Garmin 1370T provides some amazing features including a 4.3″ screen, ecoRoute, lifetime traffic alerts and Lane Assist that provides guidance on which lane to be in for upcoming exits. And the 1730T has an important feature – it includes European maps out of the box. This device goes for $243 on Amazon.
The Garmin 1370T is out of production. No wonder, is there anyone left that still carries a seperate GPS device? But, ten years ago GPS units were the rage. I bought one from Harmen Karden due do their superior high fidelity sound quality. A few years late I discovered that there was no way to update the maps, In 2019 there is no shortage of apps that can give me directions in addition to local gas stations, rest stops and restrooms.
GadgetTrak: GadgetTrak allows you to get your gear back in the event it’s stolen. With GadgetTrak, you install a package that sits on your computer. In the event of theft, you activate the software and can see where your PC or Macintosh is at any point in time. GadgetTrak is also available for cell phones such as BlackBerry, Android, and iPhone (coming soon).
Is this ever a technology history lesson? Available for BlackBerry, Android, and iPhone (coming soon). iPhone coming soon……. In the event of theft, you activate the software and can see where your PC or Macintosh. Activate the software, damn… no wonder GadgetTrak is defunct. In my opinion GadgetTrak lacked the person that could see around corners. If they employed that person they would’ve seen something along the lines of Tile. For as little as $20.00 you can find most anything using your cellphone or a network of other Tile users.
They went on to offer: Getting online is always a major problem when traveling. Sure Wi-Fi is available in many places, but often you have to pay to use it. Boingo is a subscription service that is a low monthly price (starting at $9.95/month) that gives you access to 125,000+ hotspots. You can purchase plans for both your laptop and mobile phone.
In 2010 internet challenges were a reality, fast forward 10 years and almost every place offers some sort of free internet, including the Atlanta airport. The Internet is not quite the commodity we thought it was 10 years ago.
There’s also been some changes in the gear that I carry over the last 10 or 15 years.
1. IBM Think Pad
2. Swiss Army Bag
3. Accessory Bag. (network & USB cables, phone charger, laptop charger & CF Cards)
5. Kodak Gray Scale
6. Digital Camera & Tripod
7. Travel Wallet
8. Zip Lock Bag ( holds extra collar stays, paper clips & rubber bands)
9. Snuff (for medicinal purposes)
10. USB Drive for Virtual PC with Windows 2000
11. USB Drive with MP3’s and Videos
12. iLo MP3 Player
13. Altoids (a must have)
14. Moleskin Book
15. Software HASP Key
18. Wireless Presentation Mouse
19. Highlighter & USB pens
Here’s some internet prospective, in 2010 Instagram was launched… it’s format… an easy way to share pictures.
My first Instagram Swfrick post was the seatback pocket on a Delta flight, and it involved either Atlanta or Ft. Lauderdale. At the time there was no Geolocation or Tags, and the filters were limited. In 2020 and 2200 Instagram posts later I can now share where the picture was taken, who is in it, create a story that includes the weather, a hashtag, some music, asks a question and has you weigh in on a poll. It’s now been monetized in the fact that we see targeted ads each time we log in.
It’s amazing the changes that take place in such a short time. Now if only I can get my George Jetson flying car.
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