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back in August of 2022

Putting an end to desk clutter

In order to work smarter, you don't need to change your entire life. Sometimes, all it takes is making a few small tweaks to how you approach certain tasks. For example, did you know that by changing the way you organize your desk, you can improve your productivity?

Aug Desk Cartoonizer

Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Start by clearing off your desk completely. This may seem like an impossible task at first, but it's important to start with a clean slate. Once everything is cleared away, take a moment to assess what items are essential and what can be stored elsewhere.
  • Next, group similar items together on your desk surface. This will help keep things organized and easy to find when you need them. Pens and paperclips should go in one spot; stapler and tape dispenser in another spot; etc..
  • Use storage containers or baskets to hold smaller items like paper clips or rubber bands so they're not taking up valuable space on your desktop..
  • Finally,, invest in some good quality office supplies . A comfortable chair, well-lit workspace, and good quality pens and paper will make any task more enjoyable - meaning you'll be less likely to procrastinate!

 

Santa Cruz Film Festival

The first Canta Cruz Film Festival was in May 2002. I just happened to be living near the area at the time, and decided to visit a couple of films.

One of the films that I really enjoyed was Home Room which was put on by Paul Ryan. Here's official program text:

This first feature by director Paul F. Ryan explores the lives of two young women in the wake of a Columbine-style high school shooting. Enka Christensen (Traffic) plays Deanna, the only survivor of a shooting that's left 9 others dead. In the hospital, she is visited by the darkly troubled outsider Alicia who's also under investigation by Detective Martin Van Zandt, in a superb performance by Victor Garber (Legally Blonde, Godspell), as a possible accessory to the massacre. As Deanna and Alicia form an unlikely alliance and the truth of the shootings emerges, the film examines the redemptive power of friendship and the nature of justice.

The film won the Audience Award at the Santa Cruz Film Festival.

Program Guide

All the films entered in the 2002 Santa Cruz Film Festival can be found in the festival's Program Guide.

Note: It was not possible to scan the inside guide. As a result, I ended up taking multiple photographs in order to achieve the highest quality.

It appears you don't have a PDF plugin for this browser. No biggie... you can click here to download the PDF file.

 

Apple Support Call

Apple Support is one of the most reliable support services available. However, there are some scammers who are pretending to be from Apple Support. They create fake websites and try to scam people by asking for their personal information or money.

If you ever receive a call, email, or message from someone claiming to be from Apple Support and asking for your personal information, do not provide it. Instead, go directly to the official Apple website or contact Apple Support yourself to verify the legitimacy of the communication.

Apple takes security very seriously and will never ask for your personal information in order to provide support. If you think you may have been scammed by a fake website, report it immediately to apple@apple.com

Apple Call

A fake Apple site caught my attention, so I decided to give them a call.

This is how the conversation went :

He ends the call by saying, "Lovely Lisa." I have no idea what that means.

 

Centris 660av

I am looking to revive my old Centris 660av computer. It's been a long time since I booted it up and played around with it.

I was able to find some specs on the ports on the back of the computer.

Centris660av

I need the specs because I am trying to figure out how to set up a monitor. (I'll probably need an adapter for my Apple Studio Display)

According to the original specs, the computer works with all Apple monitors as well as NTSC, PAL, VGA, and SuperVGA displays.

The computer uses a DB-15 VGA port.

At one time Griffin Technology sold a Mac PnP video adapter for $20 that, " The Mac PnP universal video adapter is compatible with LCs, Centris, Quadra, Performa, PowerMacs, G3, and Powerbook models. It is compatible with any PC VGA monitor including Plug and Play and the new Plug and Display monitors and multimedia monitors. The Mac PnP is the simplest, most universal adapter solution for connecting PC monitors to a Mac."

I probably purchased this adapter - and I may have it with my collection - someplace.

I'll keep you updated on the progress.

 

twittervideodownload.com

Twitter is a powerful social media platform with millions of users. It's also great for sharing videos. You can share a video by tweeting the link to it, but you can also download the video and save it to your computer or phone.

twittervideodownload.com is the place to download your Twitter Videos. Simply put in the URL and click the download icon.

There is no need to register or pay anything to use the site. This is a great resource for saving Twitter videos when you want to share them with others.

Website Description

Twitter doesn't allow users to download a video or GIF file from the Twitter platform so we come up with a solution so that you can download any file you wish For Example: mp3, mp4, gif, photo from twitter CDN without any restriction.

Users may download their tweet videos and GIFs depending on the source video quality, which includes high definition (HD), ultra-high definition (UHD), and standard definition (SD). All of these videos may be downloaded in mp4 format using our HD Twitter video downloader.

Twitter Video Download
https://twittervideodownload.com/

 

Mission Control

Mission Control is an essential application for anyone using an Apple computer. It provides a centralized location from which you can manage all of your open windows and applications.

To open Mission Control, press the F3 key on your keyboard, or click on the Mission Control icon in the Dock. From there, you can use the tabs at the top of the window to switch between running applications, windows within those applications, and spaces (multiple desktops). You can also use Mission Control to quickly move windows between spaces.

Mission Control2022

If you have multiple displays connected to your computer, each display will show up as its own space in Mission Control. This makes it easy to move windows back and forth between displays without having to drag them across your desktop.

Mission Control is a great tool for focusing on one task at a time. You can, for example, have separate work and home spaces. This way you can keep your work life and personal life separate. You can also use Mission Control to focus on specific tasks. For example, if you need to study for an upcoming test, you can create a space specifically for studying and then close all other applications except the ones that you need for studying.

 

Not Necessarily the News Introduction

Not Necessarily the News introduction and a few commercials are featured on this week's Throw Back Thursday.

Remember Not Necessarily the News?

Not Necessarily the News is a hilarious and informative HBO series that takes a look at current events in an unconventional way. The show features sketches, man-on-the-street interviews, and expert commentary to provide a unique perspective on the news of the day. Whether you're looking for a laugh or want to stay informed, Not Necessarily the News is definitely worth watching!

This Week's Lineup

  • Intro
  • Not Necessarily the News Introduction (From 1988)
  • Circuit City
  • Netscape - Try the New Netscape homepage
  • 1-800-Collect - Save a Buck or Two
  • 2003 Ford Focus - Dude, Slow down train tracks

 

Mental Training for Decluttering Your House

Decluttering your house mentally is an important step to creating a clutter-free house. Making decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of is easier when your mind is focused and clear.

Here are some tips that can help you mentally train yourself to declutter your home.:

  • Make a list of the reasons you want to declutter your house. This will help keep you motivated when the task seems daunting. Some reasons might be that you want more space, less stress, or a neater appearance.
  • Visualize yourself living in a clutter-free home. Imagine how much easier it will be to find things when they are organized and how good it will feel not to worry about tripping over piles of stuff every time you walk through your door!
  • Create a plan for how you will tackle the project step by step. Breaking down the task into smaller goals makes it seem more manageable and helps prevent overwhelming. For example, start by sorting through one room at a time or tackling one type of item (like clothes) each day until everything has been sorted through.

    It's also helpful to set deadlines so that you have something tangible to work towards. For instance, decide that you'll completely declutter your house within six weeks. This gives you enough time but also creates a sense of urgency so that you're more likely to stay motivated.

  • Finally, reward yourself after completing small milestones along the way! This could be anything from taking a break to buying yourself something nice once all the clutter has been cleared out .

Mental Preparation for Peak Performance

Here is a quick video I put together about staying mentally focused while decluttering.

 

An Overview of Apple Products

I found the "An Overview of Apple Products" brochure in my Apple collection. The brochure is dated July 1993.

The brochure was probably a handout at Apple distributors - such as CompUSA and Computer City.

This is an interesting snapshot in time, you can read up on a lot of "classic" Macintosh computers.

Here's the big selling point:

Why do so many people choose Apple computers

Apple is a sales leader in personal computing.

More than ever before, people are choosing Apple* Macintosh* and In the first half of calendar 1992, Apple PowerBook computers. Computer sold more personal computers worldwide than any other vendor.' More than Compaq. More than Dell. And more than IBM.

To understand the success of our sales is to understand our computers: Macintosh and PowerBook computers are complete, powerful, integrated systems that are exceptionally easy to use. They don't require any technical expertise to get up and running. The graphics-based user interface is incredibly intuitive. And all you need to know in order to expand the capabilities of your Macintosh computer is how to use a plug. These are just some of the factors contributing to our success. And the reasons why we've sold more than 10 million computers to date.

More people prefer Macintosh over Windows.

Macintosh has been rated not only as a computer that's easy to use but also as the one people prefer to use, according to Evans Research. Information systems managers rate Macintosh as better than Microsoft Windows by a margin of 5 to 1, according to International Data Corporation. But the most convincing proof of our success over Windows lies in the millions of satisfied customers who put Macintosh computers to use every day- in their businesses, their schools, and their homes.

Check out the PDF Document

Read the document below or download it to your computer.

It appears you don't have a PDF plugin for this browser. No biggie... you can click here to download the PDF file.

 

Financial Enhancement Services

Last week I got a call from Financial Enhancement Services. They called about my student loans.

Which is great because I don't have any student loans. Yet somehow I made a request for a student loan.

Here's how that call went:

 

Pictory.ai

Over the next few week, I'll be exploring some of the features of Pictory.ai.

About Pictory

Pictory is the essential tool for ambitious, growing businesses. Create powerful videos with Pictory. Convert Blogs, Articles, Press Releases, and Case Studies to Short Summary Videos. Online software. Free Sign up. Easy To Use.

First Sample Video

For starters, here's a sample video that I created using the "How Poor Boys Become Successful Men" from the quotes section. I only used the first 30 tips.

 

Pie Chart Maker

Making a pie chart is really easy with Pie Chart Maker. You do not have to deal with traditional complex applications anymore. Simply enter the data and your pie chart will be ready. You can configure the other options according to your need.

The best part about this tool is that it produces beautiful and visually satisfying charts in just a few clicks! Check out the samples below.

Website Description

With Pie chart maker, you can make beautiful and visually satisfying pie charts with just few clicks. It is really easy to use. You do not have to deal with traditional complex applications anymore. Simply enter the data and your pie chart will be ready. You can configure the other options according to your need.

Pie Chart Maker
https://piechartmaker.co/

Sample Charts

Daily Tasks Focus
Daily Tasks Focus

Massachusetts Vacation Spots
Massachusetts Vacation Spots

 

Airport Express Setup

During my recent move, I discovered a few Airport Express stations that I forgot that I had. While setting up my home office, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could still use them to set up my Epson Stylus CX7800 printer.

My Printer

The Epson Stylus CX7800 printer is a scanner/printer that I got many years ago. It doesn't have any wireless capabilities that are pretty much standard in today's printers. The printer was released on July 27, 2005, and has not been officially discontinued by Epson.

The newer version of this printer is the Epson Stylus Photo RX595 All-in-One Printer. It still doesn't contain any built-in wireless functionality.

Setting up the Airport Express

Airportmacos Monterey
AirPort Express is not found!

I tried using the latest Airport Utility on my iMac running macOS 12.5 (Monterey). The computer was not able to detect the Airport Express. I tried connecting the ethernet cable from the Airport Express to the iMac and setting it up that way, but the AirPort Utility didn't recognize the device.

In the above screenshot, you can see that another AirPort Express device was found. This was set up using my Powerbook computer:

Airport Powserbook2004

The only way that I was able to set up the Airport Express was to use my Powerbook G4. It's currently running Mac OS 10.5.8 (macOS Leopard). When I plugged the Airport Express in a nearby wall outlet - the AirPort Utility was able to detect it.

Note: The location of the Airport Express isn't an issue as the two computers are sitting next to each other.

I learned that the iMac/Monterey is no longer able to setup an AirPort Express device. However, when it is set up, I can connect to it to print or to send music.

Airport Express Fail

After playing around with all the various network settings, I wasn't able to get my Epson Stylus CX7800 printer to work with the Airport Express. It turns out that the AirPort Express won't work with the default Epson drivers. I would have to download alternative drivers and that's just to print. Who knows what quality and limitations I'll have. In addition, the scanning feature of the printer would not work using AirPort express.

iFelix.com has an Unofficial List of Compatible Printers that work with the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express. My key take-way is that I can't use the scanner part of the printer - which kind of defeats having a printer/scanner.

Alternative Tool

There is a Launcher for Airport Utility for those that are running macOS 10.15 "Catalina." The utility allows you to run AirPort Utility v5.6.1.

This utility will not work if you are running macOS 12.5.

Basically if you have updated the macOS since COVID-19 you will not be able to use the Launcher for Airport Utility. You will need to use an older system to configure your AirPort Express.

My Recommendation

If you really want to get your AirPort Express working, take it to a friend's house that has an older Mac and manually set it up there.

Download the AirPort Express Setup Guide and follow the instructions on manually setting up your AirPort.

 

October 1, 1983 Commercials

This week I found a VHS tape from October 1983. This has some great classic commercials that you'll enjoy. I only went through 30-minutes of the tape and I am sure there will be more commercials for next week.

Check out that Delta clip - did they really serve champaign to a pregnant lady?

Directory Time Stamp

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:20 Megabucks - Who called this meeting?
  • 0:50 Texaco - Super Starpower for more car power - Featuring Bob Hope
  • 1:21 NEC - NEC and Me - Check out those computers!
  • 1:51 Delta - Delta is ready when you are.
  • 2:22 Scotch - The World Watches Scotch Videocassettes
  • 3:23 Renault Encore - Only $5755
  • 3:53 Burger King - featuring Emmanuel Lewis
  • 4:23 Cain's Crew - Radio 85WHDH
  • 4:53 Shawmut Banks - Can't Use their ATMs in Worcester or Cape Cod

 

Product Manuals

It's time to recycle printed manuals for products that you don't have anymore. Most product manuals are available online, but there may be times when you need a hard copy. If you've got a bunch of old product manuals lying around, it's time to recycle them!

Most municipalities offer free recycling services for paper products. All you have to do is gather up your old manuals and take them to the nearest recycling center. They'll be recycled into new paper products and help reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.

So next time you're cleaning out your office or garage, make sure to recycle those old product manuals!

Old Manuals

Things I Learned

I kept a bin of all the product manuals - every time we get one I would just place it in the bin. The only problem was the only time I open the bin was to add a new manual. I never really opened it to get a manual.

Most time when I need documentation on something, I just look online.

I might find the manual - or I would find a website/video on the feature that I am trying to find. Chances are that the website/video will explain the functionality better than a document would.

I can't believe how many manuals I had - many products that I don't have anymore.

I ended up tossing all the manuals that I had saved. There wasn't any point in keeping them. I wouldn't likely go to the paper manuals any time soon.

Take Action

If you keep manuals in a drawer or bin, spend a few minutes going through them. You may be surprised at what you still have.

There are a lot of good websites to find printed manuals. I would recommend visiting the manufacturer's website to get the most updated version. It's a good idea to keep a folder on your computer - just in case you want to have them available.

Most manufacturers will remove manuals once the product is officially discontinued. You'll still be able to find manuals on sites such as https://www.pdf-manuals.com. Don't forget to search YouTube as someone might have uploaded a video of the problem you're trying to solve.

 

San Jose Downtown Center Plaza

Back in the early 2000s I lived in San Jose, California. San Jose was somewhat a happening place. The city worked hard to promote the various areas of the city.

I just happened to find a brochure for the Downtown Plaza. I don't remember going to any of the places listed on the map.

Area Description

DOWNTOWN CENTER PLAZA, formerly known as the Transit Mall district, has a new name and new look. Strolling through this district you'll find granite walkways and bubbling water fountains, flowering planters and colorful banners. The many outdoor cafes and one of kind businesses, located only in Center Plaza, make this historic district the place to browse, shop and dine. Choose from a diverse assortment of shops, galleries, restaurants, pubs, coffee bars and personal and business services to accommodate your needs. These businesses, many of which are family-owned, are committed to pleasing you by offering the best in products, selection and personalized service.

When you're looking for something different the casual, unpretentious atmosphere of Downtown Center Plaza is perfect day or night, for work and play. Bring the whole family, a colleague or a special friend to Downtown Center Plaza and experience neighborhood charm in an urban setting.

PDF Document

Download the San Jose Downtown Center Plaza PDF. I am sure many of the places listed in this PDF are long gone.

It appears you don't have a PDF plugin for this browser. No biggie... you can click here to download the PDF file.

 

CVS Back Pain Scam

There's a new phone scam making the rounds, and this one is targeting people with back pain. A caller will pretend they are from CVS and that there is a new medicine that medicare is going to pay for.

It's all a scam. CVS is never going to call you on behalf of Medicare.

Listen in to the CVS scam call that I got last week:

 

Factors to Consider When Creating a Mobile SEO Strategy

A hand grasping a mobile device

Mobile SEO refers to the practice of combining search engine optimization with responsive design in such a way that the site's text and visuals can be viewed in an optimal manner on handheld devices. This type of SEO can produce a fantastic consumer experience if you can execute it properly. Sites that adhere to mobile-first SEO strategies look great on any device, regardless of the size of the display they are viewed on. However, mobile SEO can be quite complicated if you have never done it. Therefore, if you are looking for a way to make your website look better and run more smoothly on mobile devices, here are some factors to consider when creating a mobile SEO strategy.

Why Is Mobile SEO So Important?

The number of active handheld devices in the country has increased dramatically over the years, and this trend is expected to continue. This is not surprising. The smartphone has become an essential part of people's daily lives and the primary channel through which businesses can promote and, more importantly, build relationships with the public. This is without even mentioning how big social media is. It means that the focus of SEO will increasingly shift from the desktop to the smartphone. In fact, Google's mobile-first index is already laying the groundwork for this to occur.

A person holding a phone with the Google search bar displayed.
To create a mobile SEO strategy, you need to understand how different desktop and handheld users are.

Because of this social landscape, many businesses have modified their strategies to meet the needs of this new customer. However, most companies attempt to do so without understanding the fundamental differences between handheld and desktop users. We're not just referring to the fact that the screen sizes differ. Customers also approach the two distinct forms psychologically. For example, when it comes to PPC, the same rules don't apply between the two groups. Smartphone users are much more impatient; they are not confined to their homes and can leave whenever they want. Only if you understand the differences will you be able to plan your approach to mobile SEO accordingly.

Your Website Needs To Load Quickly

The loading speed of your website is a critical aspect of the mobile experience. Even more so than on desktop. When people look for information on the move, they want it quickly. If your website does not load quickly, they will leave. Therefore, the best thing you can do to retain leads on your mobile site is to enhance its load speed. If you don't know how fast your website is loading, you can find many useful tools on Google that offer you some insight. You may use these tools to determine where your site performs well and where it needs to improve. In mobile SEO, loading speed is essential. However, if you want to keep the load speed of your website quick, some of the things that you can do are:

A woman on her phone while walking outside, showing one of the factors to consider when creating a mobile SEO strategy
Mobile users will not wait long for your page to load before leaving.

It's possible to hire a digital marketing firm to handle your mobile site's page speed optimization if you don't know much about coding or don't have the time. This is great because it will allow you to focus on running your business instead of worrying about the technical aspects of it.

It Needs To Have a Responsive Design

A mobile-friendly website requires responsive design. When you employ responsive design, you guarantee that your website adjusts to whatever device a user is on. When we are talking about mobile devices, we are not just talking about smartphones. You will need to ensure that the viewers get the optimal mobile experience, whether it's a smartphone or tablet. Integrating responsive design makes it easier for your audience to navigate your site.

If you don't do this, you could find yourself in a situation where your website looks great on some devices while it is crammed and illegible on others. Forcing your viewers to constantly zoom in and out to see your website's content will increase your bounce rate. If you don't want this to happen, you need to make sure that you have a responsive design for a wide range of screen sizes, not just the regular 5.5-7.1 inch smartphone displays.

Create Material With a Focus on Mobile Readability

As we've already mentioned, visitors should not have to pinch-zoom, squint, or do anything else to read the material on your mobile web page. If they have to do it, most of them will leave. There is nothing worse for your mobile SEO than having visitors leave because of such a simple and easily correctable error. However, many small businesses make this mistake when developing a website. Therefore, examine your website's content using a handheld device to see how it reads.

A woman lying in bed, reading on her phone
It is critical to ensure that your content is readable when creating-a mobile SEO strategy; otherwise, your visitors will not want to read it.

If you want to ensure that your mobile website is easy to read, try to keep paragraphs short. This allows your readers to read your content in small doses. It also allows them to take their gaze away from the device and check their surroundings without losing track of what they are reading. You should also use a 14px font because it is easy to read on a small screen. In addition to that, make sure your text and background have a lot of contrast to make it easier for mobile viewers to see your material outside.

Conclusion

Utilizing every one of the strategies, tools, and configurations we have discussed up until this point should be a part of your effort to optimize your mobile website for search engines. However, it is crucial to remember that Google continues to emphasize the information above all other factors. Therefore, don't just ignore the quality of the content you produce. If you can create engaging content while also incorporating everything else we've discussed today, your mobile SEO will benefit greatly. With that said, hopefully, now you know what factors to consider when creating a mobile SEO strategy and how best to implement them in the future.

Meta Description: If you want to improve your rank on Google, here are some of the factors to consider when creating a mobile SEO strategy.

 

Business Card Generator

Are you looking for a creative and unique way to create your business cards?

If so, then you should check out Business Card Generator. This website allows you to create custom business cards that reflect your unique personality and style. You can choose from a variety of templates or design your own card from scratch. You can also add text, images, and logos to make your card stand out from the competition. Best of all, Business Card Generator is free to use!

Website Description

Business Card Maker allows you to easily create business cards in seconds, for free, using high quality professional designs, in your web browser without having to install any extra software.

Just type in your contact details on the business card, add a logo or picture, and get a printable PDF that you can print at home or at your local printer, or a high quality picture that you can share on Facebook, or anywhere else online.

Business Card Generator
https://www.bizcardmaker.com/#/?theme=theme-picture--space-full

 

Combine Similar Images

There are times when I want to combine two similar screenshots. Usually, it's because I want to combine multiple popovers over text.

It happened this week. I had a screenshot of tooltips that had data and they didn't match up. I wanted to create a screenshot with the two pieces of data.

It's been a while since I did it, and I can't believe that I didn't blog about it in the past. So here's how I combined two images that had just a slight change.

Combine Image Difference

So the key to get this done is to use the Focus Merge in Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo's Focus Merge feature is a great way to combine similar images into one composite. This can be especially useful for landscapes or photos with a lot of detail. By selecting the images you want to merge and then using the Focus Merge tool, Affinity Photo will automatically align and blend the images together for you.

Focus Merge

To create a new Focus Merge, go under the File menu and select "New Focus Merge."

Add a similar image that you want to merge together.

Then use the "New Focus Merge" tool to add and remove sections from each image. This takes some practice, basically, you select the layer and remove anything that you want.

It makes takes some time to understand this tool. It is the fastest way that I have found to combine similar images and touch them up.

The above image only took me 3-mins to clean up. It really is a useful tool for combining similar images.

 

California Commercials

These are just some of the commercials that I found on a VHS tape in my collection. It was interesting to take a step back in time of the early internet.

These are 12 commercials that I feel that are worth sharing.

Feature Commercials

  • Introduction
  • Be there tomorrow. Stop Smoking Today.
  • Do You Smell Smoke?
  • Flex Your Power
  • California Earthquake Authority
  • California Lottery - Who's Next?
  • SuperLOTTO Plus Mega Number
  • Best Buy - Now Open
  • Good Guys
  • eTrade - The Lottery
  • fool.com - Financial Advice you can actually understand.
  • Microsoft - We salute the Imagination that drives the Developer.
  • Sprint PCS - The clear alternative to cellular

 

Zip Disk Riser

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about using floppy disk as a monitor riser. This week's post is about using Iomega zip disks as a riser.

I ended up buying a lot of zip disks back in the late 1990s. I was obsessed with using them as a backup. Nowadays, I don't think I can read the data as my zip drive doesn't seem to be working.

I thought having them as a monitor riser would add a little tech appeal to my desk.

Zip Disk Monitor Riser

Things I Learned

Two Zip Disk Case equals an inch in height. This means that to raise it 3 inches, I needed 18 disk cases. This is because I have set up three stacks to balance the monitor.

As for Floppies it takes 10 Disks to raise it one inch. I also have set up three stacks. So for ever inch of height, I need 30 disks.

Bare VHS tapes are about 1-inch in height. Since they are bigger, you might be able to get away with 2 stacks.

Cassette Tapes in the cases are about 3/4 inch. I would recommend having 6 stacks. This is because the cassettes are smaller and it would be easier to balance the weight of the display.

Not only is using Zip Disks / Floppies / Cassette Tapes or VHS tapes good recycling but they add a nice decoration to your desk.

The bad thing is that you can't put anything under them - unless you spread them out and have a board on top. That might be something I'll do someplace else on my desk - stay toon for a future blog post!

 

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. Spanning 15 blocks and containing more than 2,600 stars, it's easy to see why this attraction is so popular. The Walk of Fame honors celebrities who have made a significant contribution to the entertainment industry.

If you're planning on visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, be sure to wear comfortable shoes - the walk can be quite long and tiring! Also, make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water; it can get quite hot in LA! Finally, don't forget your camera - there are plenty of photo opportunities along the way!

1997 Map

I visited Hollywood and got a map of the star locations. This doesn't include all the stars just some of the popular ones.

Over the years, there has been a lot more has been added - but this is still a good map to use as a reference. (At least you don't have to spend $10+ for one in Hollywood.)

Download the PDF version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame map.

It appears you don't have a PDF plugin for this browser. No biggie... you can click here to download the PDF file.

 

Breast Cancer Relief Committee Pac

There is a Political nonprofit that has been calling people asking them to contribute to their organization. According to a opensecrets.org report, this is a scam as most of the money raised doesn't go to help any Breast Cance Relief. The calls are misleading and very deceptive.

Listen to this call in action...

 

Mystery Text Messages

Recently I have been getting a lot of strange text messages. I think scammers are starting their transition from phone calls to text messages.

Here's a sample message that I recently received:

Apple Text Scam

Good Response

I thought of a creative way to respond to these mystery text messages- once I confirmed that these are fake messages. Here's my new response:

Federal Communication Disclosure: Text and voice messages sent to this number will be archived. All content will be available to the public at the National Archives of the United States. All text messages may be monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

What do you think? Will this scare people from replying?

 

Open Badge

Badge Builder is an online design tool that allows users to create custom badges. With Badge Builder, you can create a badge in minutes with no design experience required. Just select the type of badge you want to create, add your text and images, and customize the colors and fonts to match your brand. Badge Builder makes it easy to create professional-looking badges that will help promote your business or event.

There are 102 badge designs to select your best badge.

Website Description

Our Badge Design tool is freely available for you to use to create open badge images. Please design, edit and export your badge images and use them to recognize your achievements.

Badge Builder
https://badge.design/

Sample Images

cryanbadge2022

P D F Badge

 

OBS Studio

One of the limitations of Final Cut Pro is that you can't capture Video/Audio from a USB source. So if your using an UDB capture card you can't record it in Final Cut Pro.

Quicktime is an alternative solution, but I have been thinking there has to be a better way. The OBS Project looks to be a good solution. I'll be using this tool to capture video from my VHS player to my iMac.

OBS Studio macOS

Five Things I Like About OBS Studio

Instant Audio - When I launch OBS I can hear the input audio right away. I don't need to turn up the audio every time I launch the application. If you use Quicktime for video recording, you know what I mean.

Easily Record Segments of Video Feed - I can click Start Recording and Stop Recording when ever I want. In Quicktime, when you stop recording the 'main feed' is gone and your 'stuck' with the recording window waiting for me to save. The nice thing about this format is that I can save clips with relevant names. The bad thing is that it takes time away from doing the next clip. OBS Capture makes it easy to focus on the capture part.

Separate Scene Setting - I can setup different input configurations and easily switch between them using the Scene collection.

Quality Video - OBS Capture has Good Quality input. I am not loosing quality by using OBS Studio. I can capture raw video/audio and make final edits in Final Cut Pro.

Enhance with Filters - I can apply filters on Import. There are eleven filters available: Apply LUT, Chroma Key, Color Correction, Color Key, Crop/Pad, Image Mask/Blend, Luma Key, Render Delay, Scaling/Aspect Ratio, Scroll, Sharpen.

Still Lots of Learning

I am just getting started learning how to use OBS Capture. The application looks to be what I am looking for in a USB Video capture.

There are a couple of tricks I had to learn to get started:

Getting Audio to Play While Recording

People use OBS Capture to stream games and things on your computer. The OBS Project team disabled playing audio on capture because of audio feed back. It's easy to enable it once you have your Audio Input and Video capture sources enabled:

Select Edit Menu and then Advance Audio Properties Scroll to the right and under 'Audio Monitoring' use the pull down option list and select 'Monitor and Output'

O B S Audio Properties

Showing Only the Live View

When you first launch OBS Capture, you see two video windows. You can simplify the view by only showing the one view. This is done by clicking on 'Studio Mode' in the Controls section.

Program View O B S

 

TBT: KRON News

When I was living in California in the early 2000s, I watched a lot of KRON News. There was something about it that made the stories enjoyable and I did learn a log.

This series of clips came from a VHS tape recorded in early January 2001.

TBT Feature

This 6-minute video features the following clips:

KRON News Promotion - Lots of changes were going on with KRON 4 as New York City-based Young Broadcasting recently bought the station. At the time they ran various promotions to keep loyal viewers.

KRON Morning Team Promotion - a 15-second promotion of KRON News morning team.

California Power Crisis - 30- second promotion for the Power crisis show that would air later that night. This was a KRON news TV special.

California Power Crisis Show Introduction - A 2-minute introduction that highlights some of the power crisis in 2001.

AOL 6.0 - 30-second commercial for AOL 6.0.

Pacific Bell DSL - A 30-second commercial for Pacific Bell. Kind of a weird way to sell DSL services.

XFL Bay Area - A 30-second commercial for the new XFL league. This air a month before the 2001 inaugural season. This aired during the sports section of KRON news. The Oakland Raiders were a game away from going to the Super Bowl. The San Francisco Demons were the XFL team.

Taco Bell - This 30-second commercial Taco Bell commercial features the Zesty Fiesta Burrito.

Jack in the Box - This 30-second commercial features Brad at the convention hall. For $25,000 he will try your food and tell you if he likes it. Jack doesn't give in.

 

Propane Tanks

If you have a small collection of expired Propane tanks in your yard, it's probably because you don't want to have to pay a fee to dispose of them. As a result, some people have a small collection of tanks behind the shed or next to the grill.

But what can you do with those old propane tanks? You don't want them taking up space in your yard, but you also don't want to pay for disposal. Luckily, there is an easy solution: recycle them!

There are several companies that will recycle your old propane tanks for free. All you need to do is call and schedule a pick-up time. Then, simply leave the tanks at the curb and they will be taken away for recycling. It's that easy!

So if you're looking for an easy way to get rid of those old propane tanks, recycling is the solution for you!

Blue Rhino
You can see someone left an empty tank next to the Blue Rhino cage.

Blue Rhino to the Rescue.

Did you know that you could simply drop off any unused/unneeded tank at a Blue Rhino establishment and they will recycle the tank for you - for free!

I didn't know this until recently and was so happy to find out. I had an old propane tank in my backyard that I no longer needed and was dreading trying to get rid of it. But, Blue Rhino makes it easy! They take the tanks, recycle them, and turn them into new tanks - all for free. So if you have an extra tank or two lying around, be sure to take advantage of this great recycling program from Blue Rhino!

Used the location finder on Blue Rhino website for the nearest drop off point.

Simply place the propane tank next to the cage and walk away - there's no need to go inside the establishment.

 

Boston Celtics Lineup

In my collection, I found an old Boston Celtics program from 1986. I probably got this when I went to a game. In the middle of the program is the lineup for the Boston Celtics vs the New Jersey Nets.

The Boston Celtics won this game 135 to 107.

The Boston Celtics would go on to win the 1986 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets.

Here is the line card of that April 13, 1986 game. (Download the PDF file)

It appears you don't have a PDF plugin for this browser. No biggie... you can click here to download the PDF file.

 

Medicare Scam Calls

I keep getting these Medicare Scam calls. Here's a quick clip of two calls that I got today. These are short because I don't think the people that are calling are paying much attention to the calls being successful.

If you are getting a lot of these calls make sure to report it! You can report Medicare scams to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Medicare Scam Calls Video

 

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