September 24, 2018

Jira Sprint Board Keyboard Shortcut

Atlassian Jira is popular with Software Development teams. It's used to track issues and tasks so that everyone knows what's going on.

Sprint boards are an important part of team planning. In an agile environment, sprint boards help make sure everyone is on the same page. There are three important views of a sprint board:

  • Backlog - Issues that are planned for the next few sprints
  • Active Sprints - Follow along as the developers make progress during the sprint.
  • Reports - Detail information on how the project

Board Shortcuts

To help navigate between the different boards, Atlassian created keyboard shortcuts. These would be good to memorize since it makes it quick to switch between the different board views:

1 - Backlog
2 - Active Sprint / Kanban Board
3 - Reports

When your view a Board, simply type '1' to go to the Backlog, '2' to the Active Sprint and '3' to see the Reports. This makes it handy when your doing sprint planning and need to switch between the backlog and the active sprint board.

Here's a handy chart reminder:

Jira Keyboard Shorcut

September 23, 2018

iPhone Xs Plus Video

This weekend I upgraded my phone from the iPhone 6s Plus to the new iPhone Xs. The main reason I upgraded was to take advantage of the better camera.

I took a video holding the two iPhones so that you can see the difference between the iPhone 6s Plus and the iPhone Xs. I used Filmora to put together a side-by-side comparison.

Image Size is the Same

Here's the image specs, of the iPhones that I have used in the past:

iPhone 5 3264 x 2448
iPhone 6s Plus 4032 x 3024
iPhone Xs Max 4032 x 3024
Olympus XZ-2 iHS 3968 x 2976

Yes, the iPhone Xs has the exact same dimensions as the 6s Plus. The quality of the videos and photos is much better.

Looking for a new Case

My next assignment is a new phone case, but I don't want a "defender" type of case. The Tech 21 Evo Mesh Case didn't really hold up well.

iPhone Xs New Blog Category

During the month of October, I'll highlight many of the features of the phone and some tips and tricks. This officially means that I'll be retiring the iPhone 6s Plus blog category.

September 22, 2018

ShortPixel

ShortPixel is a great service for anyone looking for an easy way to compress images. Why compress images? If you maintain a blog or host websites, a good image compression tool can make the site load faster. In addition, smaller image sizes mean less disk space.

If your uploading images to Slack, a better-compressed image may help slack show an inline preview on those larger animated GIFs.

To use the site, simply create a free account and then drag and drop images to the compression optimize box on their website. Developers will be happy to know that there are API tools for PHP and a command line tool.

Website Description

ShortPixel algorithms were perfected while optimizing over a hundred and a half million real-life images. ShortPixel not only offers the best compression for JPEG, PNG, GIF and PDF files but it also saves you a lot of time. After the simple installation, ShortPixel makes sure that all the images on your site are immediately optimized after upload.

While ShortPixel promotes the use of the WordPress Plugin and API, you don't need it to use their compression technology.

Short Pixel
https://shortpixel.com/online-image-compression

Sample Compression

Framingham Train Long
This animated gif was originally 3.6 MB, and now it's 1.6 mb.

Incredible
I compressed an old PDF file from 6MB to 795K. Check out the PDF to see if there's any serious quality lost: http://www.cryan.com/pdf/IncredibleUniverse.pdf

September 21, 2018

Wondershare Filmora

When Macintosh Users first start out doing videos on a Mac chances are they use iMovie. Two Key reasons:

  1. Already installed on the computer
  2. Made by Apple - so it should be easy to use.

After a while, as more video gets made, users start to see the limits of the application.

  1. Limited number of Transitions
  2. Text functionality is very limited

Soon you start seeing the same iMovie effects all over YouTube. Wouldn't it be great if you had a more powerful application to edit videos.

Final Cut is great and powerful, but it has a high price point and a steep learning curve.

Filmora to the Rescue

Wondershare Filmora is definitely the next step up from iMovie. Its a nice application that makes it super easy to create awesome videos.

Once you start using it, you'll never open up iMovie again.

Two Things That I Like:

Title Inspector

The really cool feature of Filmora is the Title Inspector. You have a lot more flexibility in your titles than you do in iMovie, check out this side by side comparison.

iMovieFilmorea_sm.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

Filmora Title Inspector is on the top, while iMovie Text editor is on the bottom.

In Filmora, you have a lot more options to how the text is displayed in the video. There are 23 text style presets, in addition, there are 29 animation options. Giving the producer a lot more control over how the text appears in the video.

Oh, and if you like a particular style you can save it as a favorite to use in a different project - can't do that in iMovie.

Title Design/Style Options

In Filmora there are a lot of title options, lots of good ways to add lower third text to your video clip to introduce the scene. In fact there are 42 different designs to select from. In iMovie, you have only 53 titles in the entire library (including lower thirds and Standard titles)

Transitions

Why settle for the boring Cross Dissolve when you transition between video clips? Filmora offers a lot more. iMovie only has 24 transitions while Filmora offers 37 just in the "Warp" category. Check out this screenshot of just a sample of the transitions in Filmora:

Filmora Transitions

Overall

I have been using iMovie for years, loved it's simplified the interface and how easy it is to create videos. However, every time I make a video I get frustrated with the limitations.

Filmora does have some issues:

  • I have found that it crashes more often than iMovie. Usually because of the length of the video.
  • Exporting to YouTube doesn't always work from within the product, I have been saving the movie and then upload it to YouTube via Chrome.
  • Takes a while to understand the text editor
  • You have to pay to subscribe to download additional effects from the library. The nice thing is that its a flat rate, so your not paying per effect.

Despite these limitations, Filmora is a great product and I certainly recommend trying it out. They have a great team of support reps that show you some cool tips and tricks.

Download the Trial and see why 50,000,000 users love Filmora.

September 20, 2018

200 Clarendon Artwork

On the afternoon on September 22nd, 2015 a strange art appeared on the side of .200 Clarendon (formerly the Hancock Tower), a few days later, Boston Properties, the property owner, revealed on Twitter that it's a piece by French street artist JR

200 Clariton Art Work_sm

Six Things About the Art Work

  • This was s translucent painting on glass of the 200 Clarendon Tower spanning from the 44th to the 50th floors.
  • The art was 150 feet wide and 86 feet tall
  • It took 3 days to successfully put up the artwork with the help of Pedro Alonzo, a Cambridge-based independent curator.
  • The painting is based off a picture that JR took on his worldwide travels.
  • According to the Press Release at the time, the reason for the art: "JR prefers for the artwork to emerge quietly, for the city to respond to the imagery."
  • The painting was temporary and came down on April 20, 2016 - two days after the 120th running of the Boston Marathon.

Hand Distance
View of the Artwork from the Southwest Corridor Park
October 19, 2015

Four things about the artist named JR

September 19, 2018

Brenton Point Sea Wall

If you visit the Newport Mansions or downtown Newport, Rhode Island, chances are you may have visited Brenton Point, a picturesque view of Narragansett Bay.

Brenton Point Sea Wall2

Brenton Point Sea Wall

The seawall between the Ocean Beach and the rocky beach was put up in 1935 as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This was all part of the New Deal put in place by President Franklin D. Roosevelt that helps bring prosperity around the country.

The wall was put up to protect the erosion that was occurring around Brenton Point State Park.

If you go down the stairs near the only jetty at Brenton Point, you should see the marker of the Works Progress Administration.

Works In Progress Marker2

About the Works Progress Administration

The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads.

Other Work in this area include:

  • The Cliff Walk Sidewalk
  • Vernon Park Improvements and Slide
  • Cardines Field

You can find all the other historic work requested by the Works in Progress Administration on the Living New Deal website.

September 18, 2018

Cask Taphouse and Grill

Back in August, we visited the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA. After a long day at the museum, we were hungry and looked for a gluten-free place. There were several in the area but thought it would be best to try The Cask Taphouse and Grill which was near our hotel.

About the Cask Taphouse and Grill

The Cask Taphouse and Grill was founded in 2016 by the Reehl, Hanko and DeMaria families who desired to create a restaurant with a warm and inviting environment where friends can gather to enjoy well-crafted American food and good drinks. The concept is a casual yet energizing space where good food and drink is served.

Gluten Free Options

When we arrived, we asked the hostess if they had a Gluten Free menu, and they gave us the following print out sheet:

Allergy Hand Out

Allergen List

Grilled Portabella, Grilled Pub Steak, Grilled Pork Chop, Any Salad with protein minus croutons, All of our dressings are gluten-free, Scallop App, Shrimp App minus the bread, Grilled wings, All of our wing sauces are gluten-free, French onion soup without the bread.

It was nice that they had a gluten-free list, just a bit strange that it was on a print out that had a kid drawing on the back of it. My daughter was happy to see that her favorite dish - Wings, was on the menu.

We ordered the wings, but with a not so spicy sauce.

The Cast Gluten Free

Overall Good

My daughter liked the wings, but she still thinks the ones at Durgin Park. She ate most of the wings, and I got to try a few. They were good. Certainly a good treat after a long day at the Crayola Experience.

We would go back again. We did find the restaurant to get pretty loud towards the end of our meal and would recommend eating early if you don't like loud environments.

Finding the Grill

The Cask Taphouse Grill is located at 80 Kunkle Dr, Easton, PA 18045. This is just off the Lehigh Valley Thruway exit in Easton.

September 17, 2018

Hide That Bookmark Bar

Last week the Massachusetts State Police department posted a computer photo which contained a map of areas impacted by the recent Gas Explosions in Lawrence/Andover/North Andover. However, they didn't hide some private details:

Mass Police Post

When taking screenshots, you should always hide the Bookmark Bar. There is no need to add any distraction to your bookmarks.

Learn the Basics

  • In Chrome, to hide the Bookmark Bar, simply type in Shift Command B.
  • In Firefox, to hide the Bookmarks Toolbar, Go to View, then Toolbars, then deselect the Bookmarks Toolbar. (There is no keyboard shortcut in Chrome.)

Chrome Bookmark

Keyboard Maestro Tip

If you have Keyboard Maestro, you could always use this shortcut so that the Shift Command B works in any browser.

September 16, 2018

An In-Depth Look at Some Urban and Rural Collisions

Across the nation, there are safety concerns amongst every major road. Whether the concern is derived from the infrastructure, environmental conditions, or even driver behavior; these factors have the ability to impact the lives of everyday commuters across our nation.

To take a closer look at look at some of the auto incidences that take place we look at a state that hasn't seen a deathless day since late 2000. The state of Texas is estimated to have one person killed every 2 hours and 20 minutes with someone injured from an auto incident approximately every two minutes.

Considering the alarming statistic, we look closer as to what particularly is contributing to these types of accidents:

Car Traffic

Leading Contributors in Urban-area Collisions

With higher population comes with a higher risk for collisions. As commuters in highly populated areas flood major roads each day, their chances for an accident comes higher than that of a commuter in a rural area with fewer drivers on the road.

Some of the findings in more populated roads consisted of speeding, distracted driving, failure to yield, and reckless driving. Focusing on the top contributors in these types of areas can allow industry experts seek ways to promote safety by raising awareness.

Remember that driving behaviors that consists of distracted driving doesn't always mean involve texting and driving. Distracted driving can be anything that derives your undivided attention from the responsibilities of the road. These acts can range from eating and driving, letting your mind wander about the stresses that happened earlier in your day, changing the radio, and so on.

Be sure that if you find yourself in a situation where your focus isn't where it should be, take a moment to pull off the road and collect yourself. Your safety and the safety of other drivers must be a top priority for all commuters.

Contributors in Rural-area Collisions

Although there is a high focus on collisions that take place in areas where the population is substantially higher, it is important to consider other types of accidents as it pertains to the safety of all commuters. Some of the most contributing factors found in rural areas was disregarding warning signs at construction locations, distraction, driving without headlights, and speed control.

Although we can see some small discrepancies within two separate types of commuter areas some of the same negative behaviors are still taking place. Noting these fatal driving behaviors, many seek to find ways in which safety can be enhanced on our roadways. Other experts in auto accidents seek ways to visually demonstrate these numbers such as this Texas car accident resource.

Driving, no matter your location, requires a specific responsibility. Abiding by state laws and providing your full attention and mindful ability to ensure that your focus is on the road is a great way to strive for safety. Whether you're traveling or unfamiliar with the state law, educate yourself on what laws you should be made aware of. Avoid any distraction in your vehicle and always drive with safety as the top priority.

September 15, 2018

Letter Board Generator

The folks over at Letterfolk created a cool generator that allows you to create letter board graphic. This is a creative way to display a message in social media or in Slack. There are all sorts of settings, such as font size, board size, and colors.

If your serious about Letter board, Letterfolk is the place to go. They have all sorts of designs and options that sure to meet anyone needs.

Virtual Letterboard
https://www.letterfolk.com/pages/virtual-letter-board

Sample Designs

Letter Board Generator

Note: Like all post on the cryan.com, this is not a paid endorsement. I found the Virtual Letter Board to be a very useful graphics generator tool and thought it should be featured as this week's internet tool.

September 14, 2018

TechSmith’s Snagit Editor

TechSmith’s Snagit Editor is a great editor to touch up screenshot images. It’s popular because it has a lot of the tools you need without a steep learning curve on how to use them.

Here’s a couple of feature highlights that make the Editor very cool to use:

Image Effects

One of the cool Snagit Editor effects is the Edges effect. You can quickly transform any image to look like it was torn out of a book:

Apple Twitter

Simple Steps to add a Torn Effect

  • Take a screenshot, or drag drop an image into Snagit
  • Click on the 'Effects' icon, located to the right above the Library bar
  • Click on Edges
  • Check out the quick effects for some examples.
  • You can change the settings by clicking on the icon to the right of effect. Torn, Shark and Wave are the three types of edges that are available. In addition, you can change the size of the edge.

I like adding a drop shadow or a thin border to give the image a pop.

This is cool when you have a screenshot of a social media post, or an email screenshot and just want to dress it up a bit better. This is much easier than using Photoshop or Affinity Photo to touch up the image.

Grab Text

Did you know that you can grab the text in the screenshot? This is useful when you may want to include the text version of what you captured, for example, if a spec was in a PDF and you can’t simply copy the text.

Now Scrapbook Shot
This shows how Snagit was able to grab the text from a screenshot

Simple Steps to Get the Text

  • Take a screenshot, or drag drop an image into Snagit
  • Under the 'Edit' menu select Grab Text, or simply remember the shortcut: Shift-Command-O
  • Copy the text wherever you want!

This is useful if you want to include an ALT text in a blog posting, or if you want a description in Slack posts.

September 13, 2018

William Ellery Channing Statue

At the corner of Bolyston and Arlington Street in Boston is a statue that has overlooked Arlington Street for the past 115 years, it's a statue of William Ellery Channing.

William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780 - October 2, 1842) was a popular Unitarian preacher in the early nineteenth century.

Description of the Monument

A portrait of William Ellery Channing, standing holding the Bible in his proper left hand and clutching the folds of his ecclesiastical robes to his chest with his proper right hand. The sculpture rests atop a granite base that is installed in a marble niche beneath a marble canopy. The monument is approached by two granite steps.

The Channing Picture

Nine things I learned about the William Ellery Channing Statue

Statue was paid for by John Foster, a former attendant at the Arlington Street Church. He left $30,000 in his Will for the purposes of a new statue for his mentor William Channing. ($30,000 in 1903 is equivalent in purchasing power to $835,636.36 in 2017)

John Foster, was a notable Boston Merchant who died on April 9, 1897. He was part of a successful wholesale grocery store - Foster & Taylor. His Will also contributed funds to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Town of Hudson, NH, Warner, NH, Perkins Institution for the Blind, MIT and many others.

Mr. Foster directed that the William Channing statue be placed in the Garden across from the church because Channing was once pastor of the Federal Street Church, the predecessor of the Arlington Street Church.

The statue was designed by Vincent C. Griffith and created by Herbert Adams. The design was approved by Boston Art Commission.

The foundation for the statue was put in place on September 11, 1902.

Statue was dedicated on June 1st, 1903 ( 60 years and 8 months after William Channing passing ) The day was chosen because it was the 100th anniversary of the ordination an installation of Channing into the Christian ministry.

There were about a thousand people in attendance when the statue was unveiled, including William Ellery Channing Eustis the niece of William Channing.

The William Ellery Channing statue is the first statue in Boston of a clergyman. The next clergyman statue was placed only seven year later - the Phillips Brook Statue down the street at the Trinity Church.

If you walk up to the statue and look at the foot of the statue on both sides, you can see the signature of the developer - Herbert Adams

Two Inscriptions that are next to the statue

He breathed into theology a humane spirit and proclaimed a new divinity of man.

He preached with spiritual power and led a great dance toward Christian ideals.

Back Side of the Statue

Many people may not know, but on the backside of the statue, the part you can see in the Public Gardens, is the following quote:

I see the marks of God in the heavens and the earth, but how much more in a liberal intellect, in magnanimity, in unconquerable rectitude, in a philanthropy which forgives every wrong, and which never despairs of the cause of Christ and human virtue. I do and I must reverence human nature... I thank God that my own lot is bound up with that of the human race.

Fun Facts

To get an idea of how long the statue has been there, when it was dedicated in 1903, the Boston Red Sox were on their way to a championship season by winning their first World Series over at the Huntington Grounds. Just days after the statue was dedicated, June 1903, the State of Massachusetts had begun to issue the first driver's licenses and registration plates.

September 12, 2018

The Amish Village

The Amish Village is a great place where you can learn all about the Amish lifestyle in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Here you can take a small bus tour, a tour of an old Amish house and a small village where you can explore an old school house and plenty of opportunities to take pictures with props. There are several small shops where you can buy souvenirs.


Nine Things We Learned About the Tour

It's worth doing both the bus tour and the house tour. There are some information overlap, but you do learn a lot about the Amish lifestyle.

When you walk in the Amish Village there is a small store where you purchase tickets. There are 2 other shops on the grounds, so there are more things that are available.

There are plenty of opportunities to ask questions on the tour, so it's good to think of some before you go.

The bus tour stops at a farm stand where you can buy produce and merchandise. A good way to support the Amish.

You'll see plenty of horse buggies on the bus tour. Be aware that the Amish don't like you to take pictures of them. (Wonder Why? Ask your tour guide!)

You are allowed to explore the village without paying for a tour.

There are bathrooms in the Amish Village, next to the schoolhouse. Just typical bathrooms nothing different/special about them.

We did both the Bus Tour and the House Tour. We arrived at 10 am and left the property at 12:44 pm. We did take our time exploring the Village, especially the schoolhouse and general store.

There are small gumball type machines available to feed the farm animals, bring quarters if you want to feed them. If you forget, you can always get change at the general store.

Finding the Amish Village

The Amish Village is located in Ronks, PA - 199 Hartman Bridge Road, Ronks PA. About a couple of miles from the Tanger Outlets in Lancaster.

Lancaster County Traffic
Bus passing a horse and buggy during the tour.

September 11, 2018

Fire & Grain

This past August we stayed at the Hershey Lodge for a few days while we enjoyed the park. During our stay, we ate several meals at the Fire and Grain restaurant.

Be sure to checkout the Allergen Information Guide.

Fire and Grain

Six Things We Learned about Eating Gluten Free at the Fire & Grain

  • We found that the staff was knowledgeable about eating Gluten Free. However, not everyone was fully trained in what foods were available.
  • There is a separate Gluten Free menu, ask for it when you check in at the hostess stand.
  • They made gluten free pancakes for my daughter for breakfast. We did walk down the buffet line and got scrabble eggs and fruit.
  • At Dinner, they did have Gluten Free bread for her to enjoy while waiting for her dinner to cook. She really enjoyed the cheeseburger and french fries.
  • The manager would deliver all the specially prepared meals to the table and followed up to make sure everything was satisfactory.
  • All the various meals that we ate at the Fire and Grain we didn't have any issues. We kept coming back because the food was good and it was a convenient place to go in the mornings.

Happy Hour and the Fire & Grain

  • Happy Hour at Fire and Grain is from 4 until 6 every night. There is no happy hour at the water park bar when you arrive after a long drive, stop over at the Fire and Grain to get some refreshing drinks!
  • This is a great time to try some of their appetizers.
  • We highly recommend trying the Reese's Peanut Butter Martini

Directions to the Fire & Grain Restaurant

Fire & Grain is located in the lobby of the Hershey Lodge - 325 University Dr, Hummelstown, PA 17036

September 10, 2018

10 Tips for Effective Testing with Deadlines

Unless you're infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your testing. Setting limits on how much you are willing to test helps control expectations. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

Testing Deadlines

Testing deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work for QA:

  • Use Parkinson's Law - Parkinson's Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on the important tasks.
  • Timebox - Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on specific tests. After the time is up to your finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your focus on the task wisely.
  • 80/20 - The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to project testing to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time. This is an essential tip for when doing regression testing.
  • Project VS Deadline - The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
  • Break it Down - Any project that has deadlines over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren't applied to manageable units. It can also make testing more complex to manage.
  • Hofstadter's Law - Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I've heard about software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
  • Backwards Planning - Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely. Figure out what the most challenges area will be for QA, and what things that will need to get done to have a successful test situation.
  • Prototype - If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. For example, when testing multiple currencies, test known currencies first, before expanding to more complex exchanges.
  • Find the Weak Link - Figure out what could ruin your testing and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your regression testing.
  • No Robot Deadlines - Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren't a robot. Don't schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmatches aren't healthy.

September 9, 2018

KMAN KUSTOM KRAPPER

Back in 2014, while playing golf at the Ocean Edge Golf Resort, I saw the following unusual display at the 17th hole:

Kustom Krappers

Sign Next to the Toilet

My name is John Kelliher, Also known as K-MAN. I’ve recently retired after 40 years as a CFO and CPA. My summer house overlooks the 17th tee box. I’ve been playing golf at Ocean Edge for 29 years. As I thought about the next chapter in my life, a FANTASTIC idea as born. There could be a great future in Kustom toilets. As I conducted research & surveyed many Ocen Edge friends & owners, I confirmed there is a market for Kustom toilets. In my case, I’m very proud of my Irish heritage. I’m also a Boston College alum and I LOVE to play golf. So I Kustomized my own

== *: KRAPPER :** ==

I’ve confirmed that there are many like me who after a Koffee & Kruller from Ferretti's would like to settle into the Konfort of a Kustom Krapper for their morning Konstitutional.

If you would like a free Konsultation to discuss your hobbies, interests, profession and how to incorporate them into your very own KMAN KUSTOM KRAPPER call or email me.

Pricing & References @ KmanKrappers.com

Creative Marketing

John had a creative way to market an unusual service. I don't know how many people contacted John, but it certainly caught people's attention that day. In the picture, you can see the golf club is being used to flush the toilet.

I am glad I had my phone and took a picture of the display because I didn't see it again the following summer.

No Longer in Business

The KmanKrappers.com domain isn't working anymore. Sadly it looks like John Kelliher died on August 5, 2018. I don't know John, but I still remember that Kustom Krapper.

September 8, 2018

Backronym

backronym.org is simple site that converts a word into a random phrase. This is useful if you're trying to learn a complex word, or just for fun. Since the phase is random it can give you some ideas on more useful backronym.

Webster's Dictionary: an acronym deliberately formed from a phrase whose initial letters spell out a particular word or words, either to create a memorable name or as a fanciful explanation of a word's origin.

backronym
http://backronym.org/

Sample Generated Backronym

  • YAHOO: that Yarn-spinning Admissive Houttuynia Orchestrated from that Organdie
  • YAHOO: the Yellowish-orange Aerological Harmonics Overpaying one Octosyllable
  • CNN: that Confined Narthecium from that Nuclease
  • MBTA: that Maltese Brazilian Tortricidae in an Argument
  • NRA: that Nonexplorative Reconcilable Alt

September 7, 2018

Letters

Last week Belight Software released a new MacOS app call Letters. This is a cool free application that allows anyone to be creative.

Letters is an application that transforms any letter or text into a professional looking graphic. You can choose from many styles and change the font/color and the 3D rotation. This application is great if you write blogs or want to add some creative text to your Slack Channel

Letters Display
https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/app/letters/id1233167730?mt=12&app=apps

Description from the Developer

Letters offers a multitude of text design templates easily customizable to your liking. Each text style is the result of long hours of professional design work on creating texture materials and photo objects, and carefully selecting proprietary fonts. Simply enter your text and voila! You get amazing graphics as a flattened image or a set of files with a background, a text object and various effects separated into several images.

Four Things I learned About Letters

  • There are 50 Free Designs, and you can buy more designs that are categories in18 other sets where you buy individual designs or all designs in the set.
  • The most expensive set is the Old School Set - which has 16 designs.
  • The default size is 1100px by 512px - which is similar specs for the best size to post on Twitter (1024 x 576). There are presets for A4, US Letter, Facebook Cover, Facebook Image Post, Twitter Header, YouTube Channel Art, YouTube Thumbnail
  • You can open up multiple designs and copy the text designs so that you can have different styles

Sample Designs

Cryan Dot Com Neon

Now What Mutiple Designs

Download Letters

You can get Letters from the Apple Store.

September 6, 2018

Fenway Farms

If you ever been to Fenway Park, no doubt you seen the Fenway park sign on the building:

Fenway Park Sign
Sign on the Building on Jersey Street

Did you know that on the otherside of the famous sign is a vegetable garden?

Fenway Farms View

Five Things I learned about the Fenway Garden

  • The Garden was first put in during the 2015 Red Sox season. Prior to that the area was just an unoccupied roof top that wasn't much value to fans because there's no views of the field.
  • Food grown in the garden are distributed throughout the park - mostly for the EMC Club seats and the Vineyard Vines Club.
  • You can reserve space at the Vineyard Vines Club and request some food from the Garden.
  • The Farm is maintained by the Green City Growers.
  • You can view the farm during the game or during tours of the park. When you do tour the park, they will stop at the farm and tell you all about it.
  • By the end of the season, 6,000 pounds of produce harvested from the farm,, not bad from a place that wasn't usable.

Farm Crops

This is a very active farm, and things get moved as quickly during the season. The exact plants that are grown are up to the farmers and the Chefs:

In the Spring you'll probably see:

arugula, broccoli, broccoli raab, carrots, chard, chives, cilantro, collards, greens mix, head lettuce, kale, lettuce mix, mint, oregano, parsley, pea shoots, radish, rosemary, scallions, snap peas, spinach, strawberries and thyme, violas.

In the Summer:

basil, beans, broccoli, chard, chives, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, flowers, hot peppers, kale, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, scallions, strawberries, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, thyme, tomatoes and zucchini.

Learn More about Green City Growers

You can learn more about Green City Growers and how they are changing empty spaces all over the city to practical farms.