A-Z Challenge blog postings
A-Z Challenge Postings
|Earliest: April 1, 2016||Latest: May 6, 2018||Total: 79|
|April 7, 2018|
GigaGlitters.com is a cool way to add some glitter to text. Simply put in some text and select the style that you want and then share the GIF file. You can use various GIF tools to combine the text.
Description from their site
GigaGlitters.com is super easy and fun tool to create glitter texts. It is FREE! With GigaGlitters you can instantly create glitter texts! Start right now, just enter the text you want to glitter. Place your glitter text anywhere you like: MySpace, Friendster, Bebo, Facebook, HI5 and many others.
- Text can only be 15 characters long.
- There are 176 different glitter colors/styles to select from. You get a preview of all the styles.
- There are 101 different fonts to pick from. The only problem is that you don't get a nice popup to show the different font styles, you pick it based on the name.
- If your unsure, or in a rush, select the 'random' button and a style/font will be selected with your text. Keep clicking randomly until you find the perfect match!
- Once you find the perfect match, you can drag and drop the style to your desktop, or use the various code text provided.
|April 6, 2018|
File Juicer is a cool program that extracts images from Powerpoint and PDF documents.
Description from the site:
With File Juicer you can
- Extract images from a PowerPoint slide show or presentation.
- Extract images and text from PDF files.
- Recover images and video from erased flash cards
- Recover text from damaged files
- Extract the images and HTML files in Safari's cache.
- Extract attachments from email archives.
I find this useful when I want to extract images from an old Powerpoint slide and use it in other presentations. I have a lot of old PDF documents that have images in them.
Eight Things I learned while Testing File Juicer
- Not all PDF documents will have images. Some graphics are encoded into the PDF document that File Juicer can't identify it as an image object.
- When File Juicer extracts data from a document it saves similar types in folders. (example JPG, Gif, TIFF)
- A index.html file is generated as a quick reference guide to all the images in that folder.
- In the File Juicer Preference section you can set up what type of objects should be extracted
- Can't extract Stuff-it archives
- This helped me identify some old files. I was able to determine some old files were PageMaker documents.
- You can extra Browser Cache from the File menu. This might be useful to do before deleting out the cache.
- You can also extract images from Messages (iChat). Very helpful if you want to keep a copy of photos people send you.
- When using the Message extraction, the extracted object will maintain the original file Modification Date, which makes it easy to sort images by date.
Good Application. But...
It was fun playing around with File Juicer but right now I can't seem to justify paying $17 for it.
I found the ability to extract Browser Cache and Images from Messages is way cool. The extracting messages are nice, was wondering how I could get a copy of images.
File Juicer will be placed on the short list of applications to buy - maybe this summer.
|April 5, 2018|
The John Endicott statue is located on Forsyth Way between the Fens gardens and the Museum of Fine Art.
Six Interesting things about the Statue
- Unveiled on June 15, 1937
- Funded by George Augustus Peabody, a descendant of John Endicott
- John Endicott Statue is Eight-feet tall and the backside is 10 feet wide and 17 feet wide. The entire statue is made in granite.
- The original granite block weighed 12 tons, and after the statue was created it weighed 10 tons.
- Ralph Wed Gray was the Architect
- Carl Paul Jennewein was the sculptor - who's other worked include the Two Panels inside the White House and 50+ separate sculptures in the Justice Department Building
- John Endecott is regarded as one of the Fathers of New England. He was the longest serving Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- Born on March 15, 1588, in Devon, England. He came to the New World (Salem Massachusetts) in 1628 to help bring some order to the New World
- There isn't much known about John Endicott life in England.
- John Endecott and John Winthrop, were the first two governors of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Between xx and xx they alternated governorship responsibilities.
- In 1636, John Endecott lead a group of colonial volunteers against the Pequots on Block Island - Part of Rhode Island. This military action started the Pequot War. The resulting war killed 700 Pequots - virtually extinguished the tribe.
- He gave the final orders to have Mary Dyer executed because she didn't listen to the court. The court had asked her multiple times to stay away from Boston.
- Died March 15, 1665 (Age 77) and is buried in tomb 189 in Boston's historic Granary Burying Grounds.
- For many years people thought he was buried at the nearby Kings Burying Grounds. It wasn't until xxx that the records were set.
Quotes on the Statue
Strong valiant John wilt thou march on, and take up the station first, Christ cal'd hath thee his soldier be, and faile not of thy trust. Edward Johnson 1654
Bequest of George Augustus Peabody, Esquire of Danvers, Massachusetts.
On a separate plaque:
"Ralph Weld Gray, architect/Carl Paul Jennewein, sculptor/1936."
Eight Interesting things I learned about John Endicott
Finding the Statue
The statue is located on Forsyth Way near the Museum of Fine Arts. If you take the Green Line and get off at the Northeastern University stop.
|April 4, 2018|
DiVi the most photographed tree in Aruba
One of the most famous photos from Aruba is that of the Divi-Divi tree by the ocean:
The famous tree is located at the very north end of Eagle Beach (where Eagle Beach ends) across the street from Amsterdam Manor.
What is a DiVi Tree?
A Divi tree is scientifically known as the Caesalpinia coriaria. This is a leguminous tree or large shrub native to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.
Other Common names include Cascalote, Guaracabuya, Guatapana, Nacascol, and Watapana.
Five Things I learned about the Tree
- Caesalpinia Coriaria is a shrub or a small tree with a rounded, spreading crown
- The tree can grow up to 30-feet in height.
- Flowers on the trees attract lots of bees.
- India likes the pods from the DiVi-DiVi as they are powerful quick-acting tanning materials.
- Local say "follow the bend of the divi-divi trees and they'll lead you to town"
Get Your Own DiVi-DiVi Tree
US Customs laws prevent bringing back any trees back to the United States. However, you can buy seeds online and grow your own. Just remember the tree likes warm weather - all year round.
You can buy Divi-Divi seeds from seedvendor.com, they have 20 seeds for $10.
|April 3, 2018|
Classifieds and eBay
One creative way to get more value out of an Evernote subscription is to save information from external sources. This is helpful with the IFTTT (If this than that ) service.
You can sync up with Craigslist and eBay and have a new note created when new product get listed.
You can use any source to be notified, such as email or SMS. What makes Evernote unique is that getting notified won't distract your day-to-day operations. In addition, you can save the notification for future reference - for example, if you collect Disney Haunted Mansion memorabilia you may want to know what the current value of some of your items.
It's easy to get started, I recommend doing this on the computer since it will be much easier to perform these actions.
To get this working on Craigslist, you need to get the URL:
- Goto Craigslist.com and search Craigslist for an item. (See below for creative ideas)
- Doesn't matter if there's any results
- Copy the URL
- Goto ifttt.com in another tab
- Click on My Applets then the Services Tab
- Search for Classifieds, and select Classifieds
- Use the "Get a notification whenever a new Craigslist post matches your search." Applet
- Paste in the URL and follow the steps.
Repeat these above steps for any other items.
Ebay is a bit easier to setup
- Goto ifttt.com
- Click on My Applets then the Services Tab
- Search for eBay, and select eBay
- Use the "Automatically get a notification when there's a new item that matches your eBay search."
- Enter in a Search term, and a Max Price (Optional) and follow the steps
Repeat the above steps for any other items.
Set it and Forget it
Take a few minutes now and create a bunch of actions. If you get too many notifications, simply modify the action to use a strict search query.
Some ideas that make this a useful tip.
- Lightning cable - Someone updated their iPhone might be ?giving away? quality Apple lightning cable. They cost about $25 each. Worth getting!
- Disney Yard Sale - Be alert when someone is looking to unload their collection (Disney, American Girl etc)
- Outside Bin - Someone moving might be looking to declutter some outside
- Rakes, Shovels - Someone moving might not have the need for these.
- Epson. stylus cx7800 - Any USB printer. (If your looking for parts)
- Haunted Mansion rare - Get an alert whenever a rare haunted mansion collectable is listed. (Or any other product)
- USB thumb custom - Discover some cool custom USB thumb drive
- Twas the night before christmas popup book - Any classic book you had as a kid that you may want to give to your child
- Boston September 1968 - Is their a 50th anniversary / birthday coming up? Be notified about magazine or news papers for display.
Having the search item in your Evernote Inbox keeps you informed of the availability, and if not interested, you can move the note to a notebook for future reference. (So if you are looking to sell that Disney item, you know how much to sell it for.)
|April 2, 2018|
When working with the product team, it's helpful to share how a particular site looks in different browsers. Getting a screenshot can help confirm or raise display issues that may be unique to a certain browser configuration.
That's when Browserstack Screenshot comes in handy for QA.
Browserstack's Screenshot website is a useful tool to create screenshots of websites on different platforms. You simply enter the URL and in minutes see what the site looks like in 30 different possible settings.
There are plenty of browser configuration to choose from - 11000+ browser combinations. However, you can only select 25 browser combinations at a time. (Seriously why would you need more than 25?)
When you first arrive at the site, your automatically selected the most popular browser configuration available. So, in most cases, you simply put in a URL and then go.
After the images have been completed, You can download the collection and attach it to a Jira Issue. The filenames have the OS, Browser Version, example: macelc_firefox_45.0.jpg
This is useful for non-login testing, basically to make sure the general site loads.
You can't configure if you want an only the visible part of the page or the full page. In my test, the page size was 1024?×?9819.
The Local Testing functionality works really well, you simply run a small program that you download from their site. Then browse around like normal.
|April 1, 2018|
A-Z Challenge - 2018
It's April, and that means that it's time for this years A-Z Challenge.
This is the third year that I have participated in the challenge. Check out all the past A-Z posts on a special page that I have set up.
What is the A-Z Blogging Challenge
The A-Z Blogging Challenge is to have bloggers post something related to the letter of the day. Most bloggers don't post every day so this can hard to balance life and quality blog posts.
In addition, it can be tricky to come up with topics for certain letters - q, x, y, and z.
Topics This Year
Here is the weekly topic schedule:
|Monday||QA Monday||Practical Tips/Information with Quality Assurance Testing.|
|Tuesday||Evernote||Tips and Tricks with the popular Evernote productivity tool|
|Wednesday||Aruba||We'll be vacationing in Aruba soon, thought it would be good to learn about the country before our trip.|
|Thursday||Boston||Learn some detail information about sites in Boston, Massachusetts.|
|Friday||Macintosh||Various tips and tricks that I have learned related to Macintosh Hardware or Software.|
|Saturday||Internet Tools||Profile of some useful Internet tools to make your job easier.|
|Weekends||Anything Goes||Open topic! I usually find something interesting to post.|
My Personal Challenge
Here's what I am committed to delivering this month:
- Orginal Content - Most of the content is already exclusive to this site. I will continue to seek to have orginal content and also focus on finding challenging topics that people have written about.
- On Time Delivery - All post should be live by 3pm EST.
- Creative Graphics - Come up with some cool graphics that engages people into the topic.
I already have much of the month content mapped out - something different that I haven't done in the past.
Getting Topic Ideas by Letters
Some of the resources where I got topic ideas:
- Boston Public Library - great books on whats going on in Boston.
- Tumblr Search - Easy to search for topics.
- Twitter Posts - people asking questions
- Google Autocomplete - Type in a topic in the search bar and a letter to find interesting ideas.
- Personal Collection - lots of ideas that I gathered over the year.
|March 11, 2018|
Evernote Planner for the 2018 Challenge
Next month is the when the yearly A-Z Blogging Challenge starts. The challenge is to create a unique blog post around the letter of the day.
Here's an Evernote document to help with the planning:
Click on the image to connect to my Evernote Share page to view the planner. Then simply click on the "Save to Evernote" button to save it to your personal notebook. After you save it to your document, you can customize it any way you want!
|August 22, 2017|
A couple of weeks ago we were driving through Dennisport and decided to stop by a favorite restaurant that I would visit with my family - Clancys.
We informed the waitress of my daughter's allergy to gluten. She seemed knowledgeable about what my daughter could eat. For some reason, my daughter was in the mood for a salad with grilled chicken.
I am thinking that she just wanted to try something different. There wasn't really anything on the kid's menu that she would have liked - other than a burger with a gluten free bun.
When the dish was served the person who put it on the table was quick to acknowledge that it was a gluten free dish - that's a sure sign they paid attention to prepping up the meal,
My daughter gave her dish rare thumbs down, probably because there was a lot more lettuce than what she was expecting. I think she should have stayed with the hamburger with beans. (She couldn't have french fries as they don't have a dedicated fryer)
The salad did look very yummy. I am thinking that she was expecting to get a small side salad with grilled chicken on the side.
All of our dishes were prepared very well and very tasty. We had a great time eating on the patio overlooking Swan Pond River. It was nice and quiet and not too hot.
We would certainly be going back, and probably get my daughter a hamburger since it was very tasty. If you're looking for a good mid-cape gluten free restaurant than Clancy's the place to go.
Clancy is located on 8 Upper County Rd, in Dennisport.
Limited Parking is available in front of the building. There is additional parking across the street.
|May 6, 2017|
A to Z Reflections (2017)
This years A-Z Challenge was a lot easier because I planned my post well in advance. Many posts were ready to go live a few days before the scheduled date.
The A-Z Challenge is the tough challenge because I have a different topic every day. Many sites simply stick to a single topic and post something unique every day.
Some sites I visited this year
- Musings of a Middle-Aged Mom - Read some interesting post from Lisa
- With Love - Read about the Christmas/New Years travels to Canada by Mandy
- My Life in Ecuador - Learn a lot about living in Ecuador
Lessons learned this year
- Plan ahead
- Always think of creative topics around the letter of the day
- There are plenty of good books in the library with helpful ideas
- Don't be afraid to go out for a walk. You may discover something interesting. (That's how I found the Kristen Business Branch topic)
- Challenge yourself! Don't go for the easy topics.
- Learn something new with every post.
Stuck figuring out a topic?
One of the things that help was Google's auto-complete functionality. Simply type your topic in the search and the autocomplete will give you some ideas!
For example, if I was looking for a 'q' word for Boston I would type in:
You can see all the A-Z Challenge posts on a special page that I created.
See You Next Year!
I had a lot of fun with the A-Z Challenge this year. I am looking forward to next year. I'll also check around to see if there are any other Blog Challenges.