Where: Ruth's Dinner, 4160 Emigration Road, Salt Lake City, Utah
I had a work trip up to Salt Lake City this week. I was flying in around 11am Sunday, so I searched the internet for a pretty good brunch place. The consensus is Ruth's Dinner which is about 20 minutes east of the airport at the foot of the mountains. Well, I guess the internet was right because upon arrival there was a 1 hour wait. The Diner used to be an old train car, and there really is not a waiting area inside, but there is a large outside snow covered Patio.
As my friend Dan and I were standing around a couple walked out with 2 huge Bloody Mary's. I was in shock, I didn't even know this place served alcohol. The couple told me it was a great Bloody Mary and pretty spicy, but I was still skeptical. I went inside and saw that they used V8 Vegetable Juice to make the drink, which didn't help. Some of the best Bloody's are made without ZingZang, but when I get outside of the South, I get nervous around V8 because usually the drinks are bland. I bit the bullet and ordered one.
It was a great drink. The next time I will request it be a little spicier, but it has a small nice kick to it. Here is a partial recipe that I found online:
- V-8 vegetable juice
- Smirnoff, Absolut Peppar or Kettle One vodka
- Celery salt
- Onion salt
- Lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Cholula hot sauce
- Tabasco pepper sauce
- Tabasco Green pepper sauce
- Lemon wedge for garnish
- Lime wedge for garnish
- Celery stalk for garnish
- Stuffed olives for garnish
I thought there was too much garnish, but otherwise it is a solid and got spicier the lower I went. The food became an afterthought, but when it arrived it was pretty solid. The Mile High Biscuits come with this honey flavored hot sause. The King of Hearts Omelet is made with artichoke and garlic and was filling and unique. If I was staying through the weekend, I would definitely go back.
I don’t have the rosiest look on humanity and going to Target/Wal-Mart/Whole Foods/CVS isn’t helping. Last October I made it a personal goal to only going shopping twice a month. The big problem is Fruits and Vegetables, which tend not to stay that fresh. The Extra Life Disk has fixed that problem. I am going twice a month to Whole Foods and once to Sam's Club. That is 3 stops with an average time with travel and shop time of around 30 minutes.
Part 1: Delivery to your Door
I decided to use an online service to get everything I could just shipped to me. In my research I decided to compared and contrasted Alice.com, Amazon.com, and Sam’s Club.
My 3 factors were:
- Automated Delivery
- Low Price
- Free Shipping
Alice was basically built for nuts like me, it is an online store that allows you to setup automated delivery but does not have free shipping or that great of a selection. I found that Amazon and Sam’s Club were cheaper.
Sam’s Club has a great selection and free shipping most of the time, but no way to automate the process.
Amazon overall had the best prices, free shipping with Amazon Prime, and a great automated delivery service.
Amazon Prime costs $79 a year and gives you free Two Day shipping on most items plus a video subscription service that rivals Netflix. Once you sign up for that, simple go to the Amazon Subscribe and Save Store and setup your orders. It is extremely easy to adjust the order times.
I now get the following items automatically delivered to me:
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
- Laundry and Dish Detergent
- Fabric Softener
- Aspirin (bayer only)
Part 2: Personal Shopper: The Click and Pull
There are certain things you can’t get shipped to you, those that are too heavy or require refrigeration. However we can still minimize time in the store by using Sam’s Clubs Click and Pull.
I go online to Sam’s Club the day before and open list that I created of items of frequently buy. I then choose what I want to purchase. The next day I go to Sam’s Club, walk straight to the Customer Service Department. All of my non-perishables are already in a cart and someone immediately goes and grabs anything that needs refrigeration.
At the busiest time of the day, you will be in there for 10 Minutes tops.
The best part of this service is that it keeps you on your budget. You are not going to walk around Sam’s Club and be tempted to buy all sort of stupid things. You spend less money and less time.
I usually get asked by friends where to go when visiting New Orleans. The easiest thing to do was to break New Orleans into sections and list my favorite places in each area. These are my favorites, I am sure most locals will have their own opinions, and they will let you know.
Douche Bag Central at Night, however there are some great places. Try to get out before 10 pm.
La Fitte’s Blacksmith Shop / Bar - Oldest Bar in the United States. Lit by candles, except the Jukebox, just like the 1800s.
Old Absinthe House (Bar) - Get a Sazarec, you can attribute 75% of your next day hang over to it.
Sylvain (Food) My favorite place to eat in the quarter. They take reservations, and I would make one, because they fill up fast.
Coops (Food) Hole in wall bar atmosphere: Crab Claws are amazing as well as the fried chicken and Jambalaya. They used to have a Cat that lived in the Bar, but I think it died. It had no tail.
Molly’s on the Market (Bar) – Next to Coops, best Bloody Mary in New Orleans, the secret is a splash of Guinness.
Bar Tonique (Bar) - If you’re a mixologist go here. Take a Cab there and back, don’t walk. Also, if you refer to yourself as a mixologist, your a moron.
Stanley - My favorite breakfast place in the Quarter.
Crescent City Cigar Shop - Great place to hang out and smoke a cigar.
Central Business District (This is Poydras, Canal, and the Super Dome Area)
Capdeville (Food)– This is my Cheers, Try the Mac and Cheese and the Rebel Yell.
Dragos (Food) – Charbroiled Oysters, get a dozen as the main meal and don’t share.
Emeril’s Delmonico (Food) – My Favorite overall Nola Restaurant.
Couchon (Food) - High Class Barbecue. James Beard Finalist Chef.
Frenchmen Street / Marigny / Bywater
If you want Jazz, live here.
Blue Nile (Music) - Jazz Club
The Spotted Cat (Music) - Jazz Club
dba – (Music) Music Club. Try to sit in the fish bowl in the front. Great people watching.
Bacchanal - (Wine Bar) If you like wine, go here.
The Joint - (Food) - Best BBQ in Nola.
Suko Thai - (Food) - My Favorite Thai place in Nola.
Liuzzuas by the Track - (Food) – Best Gumbo in New Orleans. Near the track.
Mandina’s – (Food) Get the Turtle Soup.
New Orleans Fair Grounds (Horses) - You need a collared shirt.
From the CBD to Audubon Park, take the Street Car, it’s worth it. Upper and Lower Garden District
Jacques-Imos – (Food)
St. Joes Bar (Bar) – Best Mojito in Nola.
Franky and Johnnys - Great Seafood.
Dos Jefes - This is a Cigar Bar, but the Cigars are an afterthought. You can usually find great music at night and my friend Ernie swears a Porno was filmed here in the 1980s.
Commander’s Palace ( Food) - Classy Restaurant. A wonder dining experience. 25cent Martinis during lunch.
Traceys - It is the old Parasols, even though Parasol is still around. Its a New Orleans thing. This is my hangout, best Roast Beef Po-Boy in the World.
The Bulldog - Best Beer selection in New Orleans. Like most Nola bars extremely Dog Friendly.
The Rum House - Caribbean styled food, the Tacos are Amazing.
Scheduled Events (Check to make sure)
Cajun Fais Do Do – Tipitinas Cajun Dancing and Music. Older Crowd.
Helen Gillet – Bacchanal – Jazz and Wine at a chill place.
Rebirth Brass Band - Maple Leaf Bar (Lower Garden District) (Lower Garden District)
Walter Wolfman - dba -
Kermitt Ruffins at Vaughans Lounge - Take a cab, it will change your life.
Dirty Coast - Great New Orleans T Shirt shop. Get a shirt here, not Bourbon Street.
Chalmette Battlefield - Last major battle of the war of 1812, which was fought after the War was over. Take the Creole Queen from Jackson Brewery. Make sure you buy the buffet with your ticket. The food is crap but they have a keg of Abita Purple Haze. You get a great trip down the Mississippi and about an hour or two to view the battlefield.
The National World War II Museum - I used to work here, its world class. Watch the video in the Forbes Theatre, its worth it. It will probably take you the whole day, have lunch at The American Sector.
St. Charles Street Car - For $1.25 each way you will get a great view on New Orleans.
United Cab Company - There is no uber in New Orleans and I have found United to be the most reliable and friendliest. However, I have never been offered to smoke pot in a United Cab. which is quite common in some of the other ones.
New Orleans Murder Map - New Orleans is a wonderful place but it is also very dangerous. I have had multiple friends mugged, robbed, and pistol whipped in the French Quarter. Don't go to an ATM at night, these are usually staked out, travel in packs, take Cabs and be careful.
I will be speaking at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Legal Tech Seminar in Alexandria, LA tomorrow between 1:40 – 2:40 on How to make Effective Legal Technology Decisions to Manage your Practice.
For the past couple of months I have been using the music subscription service Spotify as my primary source for listening to music. With its ability to wireless sync with my iPhone and its offline playlists, I seriously considered it might replace iTunes completely, which I have never been a fan of. However Apple recently came out with a service called Match which has me using iTunes again. Match allows more functionality on your iPhone, replaces the arduous chore of manually syncing to ITunes, and keeps all your music backed up in the cloud at a low cost.
Once you turn on Match on your iPhone you get the functionality that you have been waiting for. My new iPhone 4S holds 16GB of data so it is impossible for me to put all my music onto it. However with iMatch, my iPhone lists my entire music library. If I click on a song that I don’t have on my iPhone, Match will download it.
When my device starts to fill up, I can delete a song, an album, or all songs my a particular artist.
|If I want to delete a song from my iPhone, I just swipe across it and the Delete button shows up. I can delete a Song, an entire Album, or an entire Artist.|
I can also create Playlist from my iPhone and add or delete songs from them. These playlist will get synced back to iTunes and my other iPods/iPads. So, I now have access to my entire music library on my phone and can create and edit playlists on the fly.
Two years ago I was getting ready to run New Orleans Crescent City Classic. I was syncing my iPhone which took a large amount of time and when I got to the race, I found out that my entire music library was wiped out. I djay using iPhones and iPods and almost every time one of the devices is missing music. Manually syncing your iPhone with iTunes is unreliable and time consuming. When you turn on Match, you will never syncing your phone to get music again. Instead Match will leave the music that you have on your phone and when you want to get new music, you will click on the cloud button to download it.
When you create a playlist in ITunes, it will almost instantly show up on your iPhone. If you want the songs on it, just click the cloud icon to download them. You have a 10 device limit you can use with Match, which includes macs and pcs. Match frees you from syncing your phone.
When you turn on Match, it scans your entire music library. If it identifies songs that Apple has in its store, it does NOT upload them. Apple only uploads songs that it cannot identify. This is pretty brilliant because instead of 100,000 people uploading Party Rock Anthem, Match is smart enough to recognize that it already has it, and therefore you don’t need to upload it. This is not limited to songs you purchased from iTunes so if you bought Party Rock Anthem on a CD and ripped it, Apple could still recognize it and prevent you from having to upload it. Unlike most services, there is no data limit. You are not buying a locker that holds 10gb of digital music. You are buying the ability to upload 25,000 songs. If you purchased a song from iTunes, it does not count against your 25,000 song limit. I used about 7,000 songs, however I have purchased a lot of music from ITunes. If you were to purchase a new laptop with a large hard drive, you could download and install ITunes, and it would download your entire music library. You don’t need to worry about backing up your music anymore.
Match costs $25 a year which makes it quite affordable. It has a couple of little glitches but in general is a great service that I would recommend to other apple users. The only big downside to Match is that it does not allow you to stream anything. So if you click on a song on your iPhone, it will download it and not stream it. I have a dell laptop with a solid state hard drive that I use as my main pc which does not have a lot of space. Every song I click on will download, it will not stream so I still have to do some management to free up space.
Obviously Turning on ITunes Match will start the service on your iPhone. Show All Music allows you to see all music in your library no matter if it is on your iPhone or in iCloud. If it is just in iCloud and you click on the song, it will download to your iPhone. If you turn off Show All Music, you will only see music on your phone and nothing else.
It took me one night to get match setup which is a lot shorter then the experiences I heard with Amazon’s Cloud Locker. Match only needs to upload songs that it does not have have.
I had some issues with Album art displaying on my phone. This kind of resolved itself over a couple of days.
Match is really separate from iCloud which confused me. I thought when I started using iCloud match was include, but it is really a separate service.
Match works on your Apple TV, so it does not need to see a computer to play music.
I listened to the Audio version of this book.
Michael Lewis is the author of the Liar’s Poker, The Blindside, Money Ball, and The Big Short. In his newest book, Boomerang, he writes about the financial collapse of Iceland, Ireland, and Greece, and the debate in Germany on why the citizens of that country should literally pay for the mistakes of others. At the end of the book he comes back to America to look at the insolvency of various cities and municipalities and tries to answer the question on what is it about the American Character that allows this to happen.
It’s a great book.
Most of the book comes from articles Michael wrote for Vanity Fair. You can read most of them here: http://www.vanityfair.com/contributors/michael-lewis
I have been using the Standup Desk for 3 months now. I added a Dual Monitor Stand and screwed the base into the the 2 laptop stands supporting the desk. The first month was hard, I am pretty used to standing up all day. It no longer effects my workouts at night. However, by the time it hits 5pm, I go home. In a regular desk, I would always work later. At 5pm my legs start to hurt. Therefore with the standing desk you can only put it about a 9 hour day standing up.
I like it better then sitting and am more productive. I will not go back to a sitting desk.
Previous Post: The Commando 450 Stand Up Desk
Do I need and Invite?
No if you want to fork over $4.99 you can join right now. Spotify has been available in Europe, it just became available in the US.
How much does it cost?
Premium is $9.99, Unlimited is $4.99. I got the Premium because it allows offline syncing to the iPhone and PC and has better bit rates.
What sort of Music is available on Spotify?
Almost everything I could want. They have Trombone Shorty but no Kermit Ruffins. I just downloaded the new Foo Fighters, Mumford and Sons and Muse.
Does Spotify Suck as much as ITunes?
No, it uses less memory and plays songs faster. It did crash a couple of times when I first starting using it, but I was importing a large amount of data into ITunes and on my Iphone. I also made sure to exclude it from Virus Scanning.
Will Spotify Replace Pandora?
I don’t think so. I will still use Pandora to find new music.
Can Spotify play Music that has DRM?
No, You will need to un-drm it. You can either burn to a CD and reimport or use ITunes Plus to un-drm it. In the Itunes Store, it is under Quick Links. It cost $0.30 a song to un-drm it and gives you a better bit quality. This would only come up if you had bought music that is not is Spotify’s catalogue.
Will Spotify Wirelessly Sync music that you have that it does not have?
Yes, it will, unless the music has DRM. If it does see the question above. This has got to be one of the best features. No more wired Sync and no need to open up Itunes to Sync
Will Spotify work in iPhone Apps like Nike Plus, Alarm Clock, ect?
No, Spotify does not use the internal Iphone Music, therefore you can not use spotify tracks with apps Hopefully Spotify becomes really popular and this changes.
Will Spotify work with an FM modulator for your car, or a dock to a stereo system?
Are the Beatles on Spotify?
No, but the Beatles are the most money grubbing, corporate, greedy, establishment, fascist band in the entire world. Imagine a world that when ever you mention the Beatles in conversation, you would have to pay them Royalties. It is easy if you try.
How does Spotify make any money?
No clue, it does seem to good to be true.
Can I completely Replace Itunes?
Almost. I wont use Itunes anymore to listen to music on my computer, instead I will use Spotify. I will still need to sync some songs, like my DJay Playlists and Running Playlists to use with Apps on my Iphone.
Can I stream it to my Apple TV or Roku?
Not yet, but I jail broke my apple tv and there seems to be some convoluted way of getting it to work. I am hoping that Roku adds something official.
Most of the running armbands for the iphone require you to remove the device from one case and enter it into another. After doing this daily for months, something breaks. After going through about 4 arm bands, I finally found a unique solution from a company called Marware. Their Sports Shell is actually 2 products; an arm band and a case with a kickstand that allows it to stand up on flat surfaces.
The kickstand part clips into the arm band and allows you to run with ease. I am not comfortable enough with myself to clip my phone to my belt, but I find it extremely useful to clip the phone to the inside of my pocket or to display on my desk. While it cost around $50 on the manufactures website, you can get if for $20.00 from Amazon.com.
Running in the Rain
Two football seasons ago, I drove in from New Orleans and hit the lakes at 5:30am. Around 3 miles into my run with 3.4 to go I got hit by a torrential down pour that I knew was coming. I had not run the lakes in 4 months and I knew I would be to exhausted on Sunday. After my run, I spend the 6 hours at the Varsity with my iphone in a bowl of rice. It did not make it. Now, I check the weather and look outside before I run. If I see there is a chance of rain, I will switch to the armband I use in the pool.
The amphibix waterproof armband will prevent a drop of water from hitting your phone. I also have the underwater headphones but I only use those when I swim. I do have to remove the Malware case to use it, but it is better then ruining a good phone. The armband is bulky but I stop noticing it after the first mile.
I am lucky enough to be spending the 4th at the beach in Ft. Morgan, AL. Heading east on 1-10 can be problematic, especially around Mobile where people cannot seem to go faster than 25 miles through 1-10 tunnel. Since I do a fair amount of consulting work in Mobile, I have learned to avoid this bottle neck.
When traffic starts to bunch up before the tunnel, move to the third lane. The two left lanes are going to combine into one, which causes further congestion. Get off at Canal / Water Street (Downtown Mobile) and take a right onto the US 90 which is the older tunnel.
Once you are through the tunnel, make sure 1-10 is clear before getting back on it. If there is still a lot a traffic after the tunnel, stay on Battleship Parkway over the entire bay.
This past week there was a lot of news about how sitting down all day is not good for you. Most of it was generated by the Mashable infograph: Just How Dangerous Is Sitting All Day? It is posted at the bottom of this article.
Well, I was pretty sold and spend the next day researching Standing Desks. In the end I decided to build my own instead of buying. On a trip to Office Depot, I noticed this laptop stand.
Height-Adjustable Mobile Laptop Cart, 33 1/16"H x 23 5/8"W x 15 3/4"D, Black/Silver
At the cost of $39.99 I decided to purchase two of them and elevate my desk. The advantages of the laptop stand are:
- Adjustable Height
- Has Wheels
I disconnected one side of my glass desk, put the stands together and elevated my desk. I also got a boom stand for my snowball mike so I can easily skype.
Monday Night I had my desk built. Tuesday through Thursday were rough. I run about 15-20 miles a week, plus biking and swimming. It was still extremely hard to stand up all day. Wednesday I went to sleep at 7pm. By the following Monday I hit a groove and was able to stand up all day without and noticeable pain in my legs.
Besides the health advantages, I find that I am much more focused. It is much harder to get distracted when you are standing up. I also prefer to stand when on the phone and find I much more attentive when talking to people. After Wednesday, I stopped using my other sit-down desk.
In honor of Seinfeld, I have decided to name my standup desk, the Commando 450.
On Friday, Mayor Holden closed the Levee to civilian traffic at 7am. I decided to take one last ride and exactly at 7am, the police nicely asked everyone to leave.
The picture is the right next to the Vet School on Nicholson Dr.
This was the same area at the beginning of March. It is now under water.
These are the Tiger Dams. As you can see they only add about a foot extra.
One of the worst feelings in the world is to walk out of a 12-15 hour day of work and see that you have 20 voicemails on your phone. Quite demoralizing, but years ago I found a product called phonetag which transcribed all of my voicemails for me and sent them to me as an email. It worked extremely well and it allowed my assistant to check my messages and put out fires while I was working with clients.
I have discovered a similar service called Yap which basically does the same thing, but is free. When I get a Voice Mail, it is transcribed and sent to me as an email with an audio attachment of the vm in case the transcription had problems.
There is also an app on the iphone which shows all your messages as well. I like this because I can see how many people have left voice messages without having to go through all my email. After using this product I can say the transcription is about as good as phonetag’s and again the service is free. Hard to beat that. For now it works on the iPhone and the Droid.
I use a great program called Dropbox to backup all my documents and pictures which are about 50gb. This is fine since the maximum Dropbox account is 100gb. The real problem I have is backing up all of my media (Music and Video files) which total size is about 700gb. As of now, I find it too timely and cost prohibitive to back these up to the cloud.
All this media is kept on a Western Digital 1 Terabyte Hard Drive. It is small enough to easily carry with me. In my house, I also have a Linksys Network Storage System. It has two 1 terabyte hard drives that mirror (copy each other) each other. Therefore if one of the drives fail, I will still have all the data on the other drive.
My initial strategy was to keep all my media on my portable hard drive and copy everything to the Linksys Storage about once a month. The first initial copy was easy, however it was extremely hard to copy the updated files on a schedule. So, hard that I basically just backed everything up once a year.
That all changed when I found SyncToy, a free program from Microsoft that will sync two folders. All you have to do is press a button.
The options are:
- Synchronize: New and updated files are copied both ways. Renames and deletes on either side are repeated on the other.
- Echo: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right.
- Contribute: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames on the left are repeated on the right. No deletions.
Since I only download new files to the left (My Portable Drive) hard drive and not the right (Linksys Storage System), I have it set to echo. If I were adding Items to both drives, I would set it up to Synchronize. There is no way to automatically set this up to sync, so I manually run it about once a week. It took me about 3 days to do the initial sync and about 4-6 hours to run the echo.
I also use the program to backup my virtual pcs. I keep demos of different software packages on virtual pcs. They are usually between 6-10gb in size and it works perfectly as well for that. This also makes it very easy to copy and send virtual pcs to other people in my office.
I have streamlined the system that I use to gather and process information. It meets the following criteria:
- Cross Platform – I want to be able to use a Windows, Mac, iPhone, Droid, iPad and have everything synced. If I read an article on one device, it should be marked read on all of them. If I add a source to one device, it should be added to all.
- Cloud – It has to be backed up online. It also needs to be viewable through a browser but have the option of downloading to go offline.
- Cheap or Free.
- No new Programs to install on my PC.
- Easy to add articles to Twitter and Facebook. (So people think I am smart)
Most blogs and websites have an RSS Feed. You take that feed and plug it into an RSS Reader and it tells you when the site has been updated. So instead of going to 25 different sites a day and hoping there is new content, the RSS Reader will display all this information on one page.
I chose Google Reader as my RSS Platform because it’s the industry standard and most apps syncs to it. It is also free and easy to use.
I found a great article on Life Hacker on how to hook your google reader account to Outlook. Therefore, no new software on my PC.
iPad / iPhone
There is an app called Reeder available for the iPad and iPhone which syncs with google reader. It also allows you to download content to view when you are not connected to the internet. The iPad version is $4.99 and the iPhone is $2.99. As soon as I add something into google reader, it automatically updates the app. It also links to Facebook, Twitter and Instapaper.
After using RSS Readers for a couple of years I have determined that they are best for sites that update once or twice a week. Sources that update hourly tend to drown everyone else out.
For those sites, I use an app on my Ipad called Flipboard. Apple named Flipboard its app of the year, and I have to agree. I don’t have the words to describe it, but its rendering of articles is beautiful and simplistic. Its also free, but it only works on the iPad and nothing else.
Flipboard also makes it very easy to post articles to twitter and facebook, plus lets you look at your google reader account. It also links to Instapaper.
The last piece of the puzzle is the ability to save articles to be viewed at a future time period. There are many times that I am looking at something on my iPhone and want to be able to file it away for future reference. To get this accomplished, I use a program called Instapaper which hooks into Flipboard and Reeder as well as the browsers on my pc and iPhone/iPad. When I see something interesting, I just tag it to Read Later. The service is free.
Besides Dandy Don, the LSU sports website that had no RSS Feed, I process all other information through this method. Before I put this system in place, I was kind of lost in the stream of information. In the end, the web should make your life more efficient, not waste your time in a puddle of mass confusion.