A-Z Challenge blog postings

A-Z Challenge Postings

Earliest: April 1, 2016Latest: May 10, 2020Total: 131
April 9, 2020

Historic John Endecott's Painting and Chair

The Massachusetts Statehouse is a historical building and contains a lot of priceless artifacts that make it a fun place to visit.

One of the unique displays is the John Endecott Painting and Chair. It's located next to the Senate Chamber entrance in an area called the State House gallery of governors.

Eddicott Chair Painting

Five Fun Facts

The painting has been in the State House for more than 100 years. It was painted by an unknown artist around 1665 - just before John Endecott died.

The painting was hung behind the sitting governor desk for many years. It was moved in the early 1950s when rumors spread about John Endicott involvement with the Salem Witch Trials.

The Oak chair is covered with leather and belongs to the former Governor. He was Massachusett's first governor serving from 1629. (Yes, the chair is at least 391 years old)

On the back of the chair, which you can't easily see, is a silver plate.

This chair is one of the earliest known upholstered chairs made in New England.

Related Blog Posts

Blog Post about the John Endicott Resident Plaque - Posted on January 18, 2018

Blog Post about the Endicott Statue - Posted on April 5, 2018

April 8, 2020

Gillette Stadium

Gillette Stadium is home of the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution. Every Summer it hosts many top performers concerts.

The stadium is located on Route 1 in Foxboro, Massachusetts - 29-miles from downtown Boston.

Gillette Stadium 2012

Six Things I Learned About Gillette Stadium

  • The stadium first opened on May 11, 2002 at a cost of $325 million. It replaced Foxboro Stadium which stood next door from 1971 to 2001.
  • The stadium holds 65,878 football fans and 20,000 soccer fans. The largest attendance record for a concert was set by Luke Bryan in 2014 when 60,000 fans attended his concern.
  • The Jumbotron in the stadium is the largest HDTV video screen in the NFL.
  • Gillette likes to promote that they have twice as many parking spaces in Gillette?s parking lot as there are parking meters in Boston. Currently there are 6,955 parking meters in Boston, which means that there are 13,000 parking spaces around Gillette Stadium.
  • The lighthouse in the North End Zone is a signature staple of the stadium. It rises 10 stores about the field. It is somewhat hidden from the outside by the height of the 16-story stadium.
  • The grass surface was natural grass until 2006 when it was replaced with FieldTurf.
  • The New England Patriots have sold out every game since December 26, 1993.
April 7, 2020

Focus on Productivity

The CoronaVirus has caused a lot of people to work from home to be safe and flatten the curve. They are now working with their families. The whole, "Working from Home" is a bit more complicated now.

It's hard to stay focus while there are so many distractions. In addition, you can't just escape to the local coffee shop to "getaway."

Bryann Andrea has the right idea:

Productivity Corona Virus

Tips and Tricks

Here are four ways to help focus on your productivity.

April 6, 2020

Excellent MEME Images

It's been a while since I added some new QA Meme images into the QA Graphic Library.

Here are various MEME graphics that I have been using in the past couple of months.

What About QA
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/WhatAboutQA.jpg

Skip QA Bugs
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/SkipQABugs.jpg

Kermit Code Freeze
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/KermitCodeFreeze.jpg

Dont Forget QA Note
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/DontForgetQANote.jpg

Visit the QA Graphic Library to see all.

April 3, 2020

Unlock your Mac using the Apple Watch

Did you know that you can unlock your Macintosh computer with your Apple Watch?

This is a very cool feature of the Apple Watch because when you wake up the computer, it will check your watch for authentication and pretty much "instant on" your computer

Unlock Apple Watch Graphic

How to Enable

Simple steps to enable the Apple Watch:

  • Go to System Preference under the Apple Menu.
  • Select the Security & Privacy option (Its the Home icon with a Safe dial on the front.)
  • Go to the General Tab
  • Check the box, "Use you Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac"

Three Things I Learned

This is great, now you don't have to remember your password - especially useful after a long vacation.

Your Apple watch has to be connected to your account that you're using on your Mac. Note: Look at the System Preferences default screen to make sure you're using the right account that is sync to your Apple Watch.

Using the Watch is a secure way to unlock your computer because it will only work if you unlock your Watch - so if you leave your watch next to the computer it won't unlock your computer. You would have to put it on, enter in the password for the watch and then it will be enabled for your computer until you take it off your wrist.

April 2, 2020

Boston's Haffenreffer Walk

Every paved path in the Boston Public Garden has a name. One of the most traveled paths is the Haffenreffer Walk.

Boston Gardens Haffenreffer Walk

Haffenreffer Walk is a straight route from the Boston Commons to the Commonwealth Mall. It cuts the Boston Public Gardens in half.

There are three main things to see on Haffenreffer Walk:

  • George Washington - equestrian statue [Installed in 1869].
  • Foot Bridge [Created in 1867] - once the world?s shortest suspension bridge.
  • ?Seasonal flowers - The flowers are constantly changing to reflect the changing season. In the spring you'll see pretty tulips and in the summer you'll see palm trees.

Fun Facts about Haffenreffer Walk

Named after Theodore Carl Haffenreffer ( l880 - 1956) who was a member of the Board of Park Commissioners from 1930 - 1956. He served when major changes were being made that have been the foundation of what you see in the Garden today.

He was born on December 13, 1880, and died on

He served in World War 2.

He lived in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Along with his brother Rudolf Haffenreffer, they took over the Haffenreffer Brewery from their father. The brewery produced a lot of popular brews such as "The Green Monster" and "Haffenwrecker".

Theodore Carl Haffenreffer passed away in 1956, at age 76.

April 1, 2020

Adventure New England

This is the start of a new blog series where I?ll be showcasing places that I have visited around New England.

There are some complications in creating today?s post, so I won?t be able to post the scheduled content and will have to do that next week.

Some places that I?ll feature over the next few months.

  • Honeypot Orchards in Vermont
  • Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg Massachusetts
  • Manchester by the Sea Beach
  • North Conway 5 & 10 Store
  • Wychemere Harbor
  • LL Bean Store in Freeport Maine
  • Provenience Town tower

If there?s any place that you want to see, let me know and I?ll post it.

June 23, 2019

Julie Leach Fake Accounts

If you're on Twitter, watch out for strange communications from "Julie Leach." This is a scam by a group of people pretending to be someone looking to "give away money" to strangers for absolutely no reason.

Who is Julie Leach?

In October 2015, The real Julie Leach won $310 million in the Powerball Lottery. There are many YouTube videos about her winning and her plans after the winnings.

Impostors are Everywhere

Just look at all the fake accounts created on Twitter. (Twitter closes the accounts as soon as they are notified.)

Twitter Julie Leach Accounts

Check out the current fake accounts about Julie Leach on Twitter.

Don't Follow Back

The scam starts by them following you, and then when you follow back you'll get notified that you have won a giveaway.

So why is this bad?

They will require an activation fee of $500 for your documentation and stamped clearance. To pay this activation fee you need to use a Steam Gift Card or an Amazon Gift Card.

Amazon Gift Cards

Amazon Gift Cards are to pay for Amazon. From Amazon's Gift Card site:

No legitimate sale or transaction will require you to pay specifically with gift cards.

May 5, 2019

A-Z Challenge - 2019 - Reflection

This year's A to Z challenge started off promising but fell off because some of the letters were difficult for the various daily topics.

Overall it was a good month. I learned a lot about various things that I wouldn?t have had I not done the challenge.

Five Things I learned

  • As much as I wanted to get the content out early, it wasn't always possible. There were too many distractions.
  • Some content that I had planned was scrapped because it wasn?t interesting enough.
  • The content was pretty bad since I didn?t get as many comments as last year.
  • I did enjoy trying to find quality content for the letters. The topic of jQuery made things pretty difficult. I think next year I?ll stick to known topics.
  • Towards the end it wasn?t as fun and this year. I actually was excited when the challenge was over.

Four Favorite Posts in April

These are my favorite post from this year A to Z challenge.

April 25, 2019

Vendome Hotel Fire Monument

This year marks the 47th anniversary of the Vendome Hotel fire. The hotel was located on Commonwealth Ave Mall, near Dartmouth Street.

On June 17th, 1972 the building caught on fire. Nine firefighters were killed while trying to put out the fire. To this day it is still the worst fire in Boston's history.

Hotel Vendome

Eleven things I learned about the Hotel Fire

Hotel Vendome was completed in 1871 - named after a similar hotel in Paris. In 1882, it was the first hotel in America to have electric lights - Thomas Edison stayed at the hotel to personally see it.

The hotel suffered during the depression. On December 28, 1969, a fire broke out in the hotel - when the top three floors were badly damaged. The owners couldn't recover from the fire and sold the hotel a couple of years later.

The new owner was upgrading the hotel to the apartment and a two-floor shopping area.

At the time of the fire, the building was still under construction. There were 100 people in the cafe and some construction workers upstairs. An electrician was the one that reported the blaze by pulling a local firebox around 2:35 pm

By 3:06 the fire went to four alarms.

At 5:20 pm, the southeast corner of the building collapsed trapping and crushing nine firefighters. (The southeast corner faces Dartmouth street.)

The collapsed occurred during a shift change when a large number of firemen were out of the building. There were 25 firemen in the building when it collapsed occurred.

The fallen were Thomas W. Beckwith, Joseph J. Boucher Jr., Joseph P. Saniuk, John E. Hanbury Jr., Thomas J. Carroll, Paul J. Murphy, Richard B. Magee, John E. Jameson and Charles E. Dolan.

It took 50 firemen nine hours to recover all the bodies from the fire.

One other woman died in the fire.

The actual cause of the fire has never been determining. In addition, Fire Marshal also wasn't able to determine where the fire started. It is believed that it was an accident and not intentionally set.

You can learn a lot more detail about the fire on the Boston Fire History website.

Monument

The monument was dedicated on June 17, 1987 - the 25th anniversary of the fire.

It is located diagonally across the street of the former Hotel Vendome.

There is a timeline on the monument, as you read through it your facing towards the former hotel.

The memorial was designed by Ted Clausen and architected by Peter White.

Other Tragic Fires

November 15, 1942 - Six Firemen died at the 110-year-old Lyceum Hall in East Boston.

October 1, 1964 - Four Firemen died at a toy factory on Trumbull Street in the South End.