Powerbook in SFO
June 6, 2020

visualistchallenge.com/

Every once in a while it helps to play games to keep from being stressed out. A simple game of match play is a good way to stay focus and keep the mind sharp.

The visualchallenge.com has a simple match game - 16 cards. To test your skills. The website can track your progress and you can see if you can beat your previous game. It's a lot of fun and a good way to break down some downtime.

If your really good you can try the "expert mode" with 60 cards. I would recommend starting slow.

Visual Challenge
http://visualistchallenge.com/

June 5, 2020

Installing legacy Font Suitcase files

Do you have any old CDs/DVDs of old fonts? Wonder if it's still possible to use them? Are they in the legacy Font Suitcase format.

Good News! You can still use them in the latest version of macOS (macOS version 10.15.5). When you double click on the file it won't be discovered by any application in the system.

Font Suitcase Catalina

How to import Fonts in legacy Font Suitcase into your computer

  1. Open the Font Book application
  2. Go to File > Open
  3. Find the file that you want to import
  4. Select it and click Choose

That's it!

I have found that my Fontographer fonts work well in any application. I was able to use them in Affinity Designer, Swift Publisher and OmniGraffle.

June 4, 2020

Alexander Hamilton Statue

Alexander Hamilton was a politician, military commander, banker and one of the founding fathers of the United States. He was the first Secretary of the Treasury. During the five years in office he help built the foundation that is still being used today.

Many Bostonians felt a statue was needed so that people would always remember his contribution to the country.

The statue was put up four years before the Equestrian Statue was put up at the Boston Public Gardens.

Alexander Hamilton Mobile
Alexander Hamilton Statue

Six Things I Learned

  1. Placed on the pedestal on Commonwealth Ave on August 25, 1865. There was no formal inauguration ceremony. The statue was put up 61 years, 1 month, 13 days after he died.
  2. Created by William Rimmer based on the bust of Alexander Hamilton by Giuseppe Ceracchi which is located in the Boston Athenaeum. The bust was done in 1791.
  3. Made with Quincy granite. (Some media report at the time had Carlisle granite or Concord, NH granite.)
  4. There are three portraits on the base showing Hamilton, John Jay and George Washington.
  5. The statue was paid for by Tomas Lee, a wealthy merchant. It is maintained by the Public Park commission.
  6. At one time there was a small fence around the base, then there were some bushes. Today the base has simple stones.

Works Cited

"MEN ON THE MALL." Boston Globe (1960-1988), Oct 04 1970, p. 5. ProQuest. Web. 4 June 2020 .

June 3, 2020

Lobster Claw

The Lobster Claw in Orleans, Massachusetts is one of our favorite summer tradition. For many New Englanders the summer Cape Cod trip isn't complete until we visit the Lobster Claw.

Some Memories

I can remember enjoying steamers with the family when I was a kid. I remember getting a bakes stuff lobster and enjoying dipping the lobster in the butter.

On some really busy summer nights, we had to wait upstairs at the bar and enjoy some appetizers before we could go back downstairs and have a meal.

Then there was this summer night when we ate during a really bad rainstorm, and the back doors swung open. It was scary. But we still got our food and it was still yummy.

I remember when they didn't have a gift shop - ya we been going there for a long time.

The seafood seems to just taste better here.

Lobster Claw Orleans MA
Lobster Claw Orleans MA

Five Things I Learned About the Lobster Claw

  1. Opened in 1962 by Don and Marylou Berig
  2. They still own the place, and chances are you'll get a visit by Don asking you how your meal is. Wow-what a great restaurant! After 58 years he still wants to know how things are going.
  3. The summer of 1999 might have been the best summer they had. Cape Cod traffic was at its peak and Don Berig told the Cape Cod Times that his sales were up 15 to 20 percent over the previous year. (I couldn't find any other reference to higher year over year sales.)
  4. In 2016, the Lobster Claw opened on April 1st with a short staff because of Visa delays. According to the Boston Herald, in 2016 the restaurant employed 40 people. About 13 of them come from Jamaica as part of their summer help. The owners worked really hard to keep the restaurant open while other places had to close until the Visa delays were settled. They were working 14 hour days!
  5. In 2019, the Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman, stopped in as he was enjoying a weekend on Cape Cod.
  6. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the business to focus on take-out orders. They are using DoorDash to deliver the food to customers - no word if they will deliver to Nauset Beach.

Check out the Lobster Claw

The next time your driving through Orleans, Massachusetts be sure to check out the Lobster Claw. I recommend trying a bowl of New England Clam Chowder with some Steamed Little Necks.

Enjoy the afternoon, and go have a beer and a Cup of Clam Chowder. Enjoy the Cape Cod charm

If you're celebrating something special you'll want to try the New England Clambake - 1 1/4 lbs Boiled Lobster, Steamed Clams, Corn, French Fries, and Coleslaw. You can forget about going to Sundae School after eating this.

June 2, 2020

2020 Boston Marathon Canceled

Last Thursday the organizers of the Boston Marathon made the tough call and canceled the 2020 Marathon. In March, the marathon was rescheduled from April 20th to September 14, 2020. (147 days delay)

This is the first time in the 124-year history that the marathon was canceled. The yearly event ran during the great depression, World Wars, snow and rainstorms.

Essential this means that any large events that are being held in the summer of 2020 are not going to happen.

Boston politicians were worried about the pandemic spread with the large gathering of spectators. They wanted to avoid a "second wave" much like what happened in the 1919 pandemic.

Spring Police Protests

Over the past five days there has been protesting all over the country - including in major cities around New England. Local media have been showing the large crowds gathering in front of the Massachusetts State House.

When I look at the footage, I wonder what the impact will be of the mass gathering. Will, there be a spike in COVID-19 cases or is such a gathering not going to be an issue since a majority of people are wearing masks.

If there is no spike reported in the next seven days, it could be a positive sign of a return to normal. Maybe it's simple enough to have masks on to help reduce the spread.

Boston Offices Are Open

Companies that have office space in Boston were allowed to open up this past Monday.

Wouldn't you know it.. traffic reports returned to the local media stations - radio and tv.

However, a lot of companies are encouraging workers to continue to work from home. There are two main reasons:

  1. Children- Anyone with children are having to help with the distance learning. In addition, daycare is still closed forcing parents to take care of their infants while working from home.

  2. Public Transportation - The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is still running on a reduce schedule. When possible, many buses are limiting the number of riders to help maintain social distance.

It will be interesting to see what Phase 2 will bring and how the mass gatherings impact the regular numbers.

June 1, 2020

Enable Reader Mode in Chrome

There's a little known feature in the desktop version of Chrome - the ability to see only the text on webpages. This has been available in Safari for years. Google finally has decided to bring it into Chrome.

The feature is "neat" because you can basically eliminate ads from articles, which can be a distraction some times. In some cases, you can bypass the paywall and see the article that is blocked using the conventional way.

Enable the Feature

To enable the feature you need to open Chrome and go to this URL:

chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode

This is what you should see:

Chrome Enable Reader Mode

Use the pull-down menu on the right of the "Enable Reader Mode"

Then click on the blue "Relaunch" button and Chrome Browser will restart.

Toggle Reader Mode

Now when you visit some websites, you'll see a new icon to the right of the URL, now click on it and you'll have the same reader mode as you get in Safari.

Boston Reader Mode

May 31, 2020

2020 Garden

This past weekend we put the finishing touches to our home garden. We have had gardens in the past, but this year we double down on the garden skills since we figured this summer we'll be home more often than not.

Here's what the garden looks like today:

Garden Desktop
Garden Mobile

Five Key Things We Did This Year

  1. Fence Area: We cornered off a 9-foot by 12-foot area in the yard with a chicken wire fence, We used the standard Blue Hawk fence post to secure the chicken wire and define the garden area. There are tent stakes at the bottom of the chicken wire to make sure that the fence stays down.
  2. Raise Beds: There are two 6-feet by 5-ft raised beds in the area. This is where all the vegetables will be growing. We used two standard 8x8x12 and 8x8x10 boards, both boards were cut in half.
  3. Landscape Fabric: On the ground we put down a garden fabric to cover the entire area. This is to prevent weeds in the ground from taking over space. We cleared out a lot of vine in this area.
  4. We used Sta-Green Flower & Vegetable Garden Soil from Lowes. We put in 6 bags for each raised bed. We purchased a total of 12 bags. The bags weigh 55-60 pounds depending on the density of the soil. (Total weight is 660 lbs to 720 lbs!)
  5. We grew some of the seeds that we purchased at Burpee. We used the Jiffy Seed Starter GreenHouse to grow some of the plants. We started a couple of weeks early and not all the seeds were growing when we planted them in the ground. The Greenhouse has a cover that isn't secure. We put a rock on it as we kept the tray outside on the deck.
May 30, 2020

Random Car Generator

Recently I have been getting a surge of "Dealer Processing" phone calls, trying to sell me, extended car warranties. No Matter What I do or say they keep calling back. Now, thanks to the Random Car Generator, I can play around with them more with a different car every time they call.

Website Description

You have stumbled upon the random car generator. This free online tool allows you to generate as many (or as few) random cars as you desire. Doing so is as easy as pie. Simply choose the number of cars you'd like to be randomly generated, click on the button and they will automatically appear for you. While there are many reasons you may want to use this tool, here are some of the more common ways people use it.

Random Car Generator
https://randomlistgenerator.com/cars

May 29, 2020

Griffin iMic

One of the downsides of a new iMac is that it doesn’t come with an audio import. You can no longer connect audio devices as imports - such as microphones or cables connected to a radio.

A long time ago I purchased a Griffin iMic to record audio with my G3 Macintosh . So I thought I take it out and see if it still works for the 2019 iMac computer.

i Mic Desktop
i Mic Mobile

Product Description

iMic is not a microphone, but rather an Input/Output device using a 3.5mm jack, that lets you connect standard audio products such as microphones, headphones, home stereo equipment, VCRs, musical instruments and virtually any other line-level or mic-level audio device. It’s basically a “sound card on a cable” that allows you to record and play digital audio using your USB-equipped computer. Some computers (like the Macintosh iBook, G4 Cube, Titanium PowerBook, and numerous PC laptops) rely on USB for complete audio support; others have limited or no audio hardware. For these computers, iMic can be used for audio input and output.

May 28, 2020

Edward Cohen Plaque

In the Executive Wing of the Statehouse there is a plaque remembering Edward Cohen's contribution to the labor movement in Massachusetts.

In the 222 years of the Massachusetts Statehouse, there has only been one reported fatality - Edward Cohen. He was a labor leader who was shot in the head as the assassin mistaken him for the Massachusetts Governor.

In 1907, Edward Cohen was the president of the American Federation of Labor and he worked hard to protect children's labor rights.

According to local reports:

On the afternoon in December 5th, he was waiting in the Executive Office waiting to meet Governor Curtis Guild Jr. John Steele came bursting in the room and started shooting around. Bullets flew all over the room hitting the walls and furniture. Two bullets ended up hitting Edward Cohen and Dennis D. Driscoll - another labor leader in the room.

Arthur M. Huddell, president of the International Union of Operating Engineers attacked John Steel and held him until police arrived.

A couple of days later, Edward Cohen was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dennis Driscol recovered from his injuries - it took about two months. His first visit after recovering was the State House. A few years later he became the Deputy Institution Commissioner. A public testimonial fund was set up and $10,000 was raised.

John Steele was committed to Bridgewater State Hospital. He was 38-years old at the time of the shooting. There isn't anything else about his life after that.

Labor Massachusetts

Six Things I Learned

  1. Representative Steven M. Walsh sponsored a bill for the plaque. The bill was sign into law on the last day of Governor Jane Swift term.
  2. Created by Meredith Bergmann
  3. Installed on October 4. 2009 near the speaker of the house office.
  4. There are three newspapers on the plaque, these are the headlines:
    • 1911 - "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts An Act Related to Employee Injuries"
    • 1913 - "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts An Act to regulate Labor of Minors"
    • 2006 - "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts An Act Increasing the Minimum Wage"
  5. The sign that the girl is holding says: "We Want Bread and Roses too" - a reference to the slogan that was used during the textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912.
  6. Bottom of the Plaque reads, "Dedicated to the Massachusetts AFL CIO in Voice of Working Families." This is hard to read while looking at the plaque.
May 27, 2020

Wingaersheek Beach

Last summer we ventured out looking for a good ocean beach. We heard a lot of good things about Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester, Mass. We decided to pack up the car and check it out.

The beach is .6-mile long but has limited parking. It features beautiful views of the Annisquam River. There are plenty of large rocks along the shoreline to explore sea life. It's New England water, so it will be cold.

Wingaersheek Beach Desktop
Wingaersheek Beach Mobile

Things We Learned about Wingaersheek Beach

  1. Highly recommend arriving early for the best parking spaces. (Best to arrive before 9 am!)
  2. Pay attention to the tides time before you go so you don’t pick a spot and have to move later. (Use the Annisquam Lobster Cove Tide Information on the Massachusetts Marine Transe Tide Chart)
  3. There is a snack shop just off the beach. We brought sandwiches in via cooler. The snack shop was a long walk from the beach and we only visited it late in the day to get ice cream.
  4. Just off the distance is the Annisquam Lighthouse. It opened in 1801 and is one of the oldest lighthouses on the Gloucester peninsula.
  5. It cost $35 to park at Wingaersheek Beach on the weekends. (2020 Parking Rates)
  6. The roads near the beach are very narrow. The nearest gas station is 6.6 miles away! Make sure you have plenty of gas!
  7. Don't forget to bring games to play while on the beach.

Directions to the Beach

Easy Directions to the Beach

Take Rte. 128 to Exit 14. At the bottom of the ramp, take a right onto Rte. 133. About a mile on the left you will see a small traffic island with a sign saying Wingaersheek Beach. Take this left. This is Concord St. Follow until you reach another traffic island on the corner of Concord and Atlantic St. Take a right. Follow this along to the beach.

May 26, 2020

House of Worship

One of the big surprises in Massachusetts phase one reopening is that house of worship can now open. There are some important rules that they must follow - at least in phase one.

This is a surprise as many churches expected to stay close through much of the summer.

SBS Church
SBS Church

Key Rules

  • Limited capacity of occupancy in the building - at least 45% of max capacity.
  • Social Distancing must be maintained while in Church. Everyone must be 6-feet from each other.
  • Face Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Reservations are required - so if someone is tested after service others can be informed.
  • No singing during services.
  • Church must be cleaned after every service.

Complexity For Churches

Many churches are excited to get parishioners back. However all the rules and restrictions are likely to defer people from attending services.

Most parishioners are older and in the key group of people that need to be careful about attending public events. They are likely going to stay home and continue to watch services via Livestream.

Churches take a risk because if a parishioner is later found to have the virus then the church will have a deep cleaning and that could cost thousands of dollars.

May 25, 2020

Fixed some Classic Posts

I spent some time today reviewing some old blog posts. Some of these were old and needed some refreshing updates.

I fixed up:

Here are my notes on these posts:

  • Fixed a lot of the spelling and misc sentences that just didn't make sense. Maybe it made sense when I was putting it together, but definitely not now.
  • Updated the images so that the post looks good on Desktop and Mobile
  • DIdn't add any additional content - I would like to update the pictures, as when they were taken I wasn't thinking of posting it.
  • Corrected data from comments that people left in the post
  • Updated some basic phrases
May 24, 2020

Saint Bridget School Variety Show

In these crazy times it’s nice to see that there are some schools doing things to keep the student body connected.

At Framingham’s Saint Bridget School, the students and faculty recently participated in a variety show. This event had a great turn out and featured some talented acts.

This event, among others, is helping bring together students in these challenging times.

S B S Variety Show
Watch Now

Check out the variety show

Check out the Variety Show on YouTube.com.

May 23, 2020

MLB Simulator

This year has been a tough year for Baseball fans, it looks like it will be another month before the games resume to some level of normalcy.

WhatifSports.com has a cool Baseball Simulator that allows you to get into the game. You can put teams against each other to see who would win the games.

Ever wondered what would happen if the 2004 Red Sox played against the 2019 Washington Nationals? What would the pitching be like? How about if you switched between home-field advantage? You can now find out which one is the better team.

Website Description

SimMatchup Baseball is where those age old debates get answered: The 1927 New York Yankees or the 1975 Big Red Machine -- who wins? Alex Rodriguez versus Sandy Koufax -- does he go yard or whiff in our sim game?

What If Sports
https://www.whatifsports.com/mlb/

May 22, 2020

Snagit 2020

TechSmith release Snagit 2020 officially on October 22, 2019. There has been five updates since then with the latest update on May 12, 2020.

This week I have been playing around with Snagit 2020, and thought it would be interesting to see what changes were not announced from Snagit 2019.

Here are some of the new things I have found

Snagit Library

Right Clicking on images in the Snagit Library has 3 new options:

  • New Share Options - Share Images to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Pages, Keynote, Messages, AirDrop, Add to Photos. Additional options are available if they are configured (DropBox, Box and Slack)
  • Combine in Template - Users can now pick from layout options to showcase multiple images. Only the templates that match the number of images selected are displayed.
  • Create Video from Images - You can now voice over screen shots so you can explain the error.

Output Settings

Snagit has a share feature that makes it easy to share a modified image within the application. In this release, they add a few new locations to easily share to Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook, Pages, Keynote, Box and Slack.

For Slack and Box, you will need to configure your account options in the Preferences panel. Slack integration will require permissions from the App Manager before installing it.

Callout Shape

There is a new Callout Arrow shape. This means you can have a text box with an arrow pointing to a place on the image. It's a simple feature that I can see using a lot. It saves the trouble of having two objects - an arrow and a text box.

You can have the arrow be a separate color than the text box.

Callouts Snagit 2020

Visual Guides

Visual Guide Templates are an exciting feature in this release. Basically they allow you to combine images to tell the story of your bug/feature.

In this release there are 13 different templates. You can download the additional template as part of the TechSmith Assets for Snagit for an annual fee of $49.

One template that I think will be useful is the Meme one. Now it will be easy to create Memes and instantly share in Slack.

Snagit Templates

Better than 2020?

I would recommend getting Snagit 2020, just for the templates and the new callout. I don't use the Shared Library feature much. Most of the time I drag images out of the library to the desktop.

The slack integration is cool, but I'll need to have an administrator enable that. For me, it's just as easy to drag/drop the image to the Slack window.

New Normal Meme
May 21, 2020

Boston Guide Sign

Boston is a confusing city to travel around. It can be hard to know which train to take to go to some popular locations.

For example, which Green Line train should you take to get to Fenway Park? What's the best train to the Theater District?

At the Park Street MBTA station, there is a cheat sheet sign on which train to take to many popular destinations.

Boston Guide
Boston Guide

Not Available in All Stations

I haven't seen similar signs in other MBTA stations. All the stations have maps to the various MBTA stops, but only the Park Street station has a guide to popular destinations.

May 20, 2020

Samuel De Champlain

Samuel De Champlain was a European explorer that traveled back and forth from Europe to the "New World." He is credited for discovering Quebec and New France on July 3, 1608. (New France is the territory that people call New England today.)

In Chatham, Massachusetts there's a monument where Samuel De Champlain made his first landing.

Samuel De Champlain Chatham
Samuel De Champlain Chatham

Fun Facts about the Monument

  1. The monument was installed as part of Chatham 250th Celebration on August 25, 1962.
  2. During the unveiling ceremony about 40 residents did a re-enactment of Samuel De Champlain and the American Indians.
  3. The plaque was installed next to the monument in 2012 - during the celebration of Chatham's 300th anniversary.
  4. On the plaque is a map of Chatham that Samuel De Champlain made in 1608.
  5. The Monument and Plaque is located next to Chatham Harbor Master.
  6. The small parcel land that the monument is on is owned by the Town of Chatham. The fence area is only 435.6 sf.
  7. After landing on the shores, he called the area "Port Fortune." A room at the Old Harbor Inn has that name.

Text on the Plaque

Here's the text of the plaque that was installed in 2012:

Samuel de Champlain was a French explorer, navigator, map maker, journalist, artist, and soldier. In 1605 and again in 1606 he sailed from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod exploring and mapping much of the coast along the way while searching for a site for a permanent French settlement. In his 1605 expedition, he landed along the coast of Cape Cod at Nauset near the present location of the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitors Center. In October of 1606, he returned, this time visiting the shores of Monomoit, now Chatham. He described the harbor as not being deep enough to start a settlement. Although he stayed for only ten days, Champlain explored the land, described it in his journal, and made a map and drawings of what he saw thus leaving us a wealth of information that was so accurate that we can still recognize Mill Pond, Oyster Pond, and Great Hill today. He described the land as hilly and wooded with oak, cedar, and a few pines. Wild grapes were common as were beach plums. The harbor and bay were filled with every variety of fish and oysters. Game birds were also plentiful. The natives were not so much great hunters as good farmers. Primary crops were beans, corn, pumpkins, and squash as well as tobacco.

During his stay, Champlain traded iron hatchets and knives for tobacco and wampum and the explorers were supplied with fish, corn, and beans. Although the interaction between the French and the Wampanoag, in the beginning, was positive, a moment of misunderstanding regarding a hatchet ultimately led to a deadly confrontation which resulted in the loss of life on both sides.

Champlain sailed back to Canada and never returned to Cape Cod. In 1608 he went on to found the City of Quebec and became known as the Father of New France.

May 19, 2020

Massachusetts Path to Reopening

Yesterday Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker formally announced the four-step process to reopen Massachusetts to the new normal. Each step of the process should last for 3-weeks.

This means that Massachusetts will be back to the new normal around mid-July.

Boston Workers Staying Home

Starting on June 1st, Boston Office Workers can return to their offices - but only at 25% capacity. Major companies are asked to encourage workers to work from home. Prior to yesterday's announcement, several companies have made announcements to that effect:

  • Wayfair - September 8, 2020
  • Raytheon - No specific date on when Boston area employees will be encourage to return to the office.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Some offices may open but they plan to continue encouraging employees to work from home "for the foreseeable future."
  • Google - Encouraging employees to work from home until the end of the year
  • Twitter - Says staff can continue to work from home permanently.

Fifty-four companies in Massachusetts agreed to keep their employees home long after the restrictions are lifted. This will help the MBTA from being crowded and

Changes around the Office

There's an old saying, "You can never go home again." Well for the thousands of workers that spent time working from home over the past few weeks, the office isn't going to be the same.

As part of the new normal, there will be a lot of changes around the office. Here are just some of the changes recommended by the CDC:

  • Temperature checks, Elevator Guest restrictions - Have your temperature check every morning as you walk in the building, and wait in longer lines for the elevator.
  • One way hallway - Much like you see in grocery stores, workers will be encouraged to walk down the hallway in one direction. (I don't know how this will be enforced!)
  • Social Distancing Desks - Things may have to be rearranged so people aren't sitting next to each other. Open Office concept isn't good for social distancing.
  • Cleaner Air - Many larger building did some HVAC upgrades in April/May to help circulate cleaner air throughout the building.

Full information on the Safety Standards for Office Spaces is available on the Mass.gov website.

The MBTA Plan

The MBTA plans to resume a modified FY20 full schedule in phase 3, which is about 6-weeks from now. This modified schedule most likely will mean no express trains.

Prior to Phase 3, the MBTA Commuter Rail will on a reduced schedule and then add additional trains in Phase 2. Currently there are only 4 trains that run in the morning,

I would expect that commuters would be waiting until after the July 4th holiday weekend to start taking the train back in - at least those that plan to visit the office.