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back in November of 2022

Cinematic Mode

The iPhone 14 Pro Max camera is a powerful tool that can record videos in Cinematic mode. This mode allows you to add a beautiful transition between focused and unfocused areas for a cinematic look. The results are stunning and will leave your viewers amazed.

A cinematic mode creates a beautifully blurred background and foreground while keeping the subject of your video sharp. As the video is being recorded, iPhone automatically identifies the subject and keeps it in focus during the recording; if another subject is identified, iPhone switches the focus. In addition to manually adjusting the focus while you record, you can also do so in the Photos app later. All iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models support cinematic mode.

This is a great feature if you're taking "Photos of the Day" of your child. You take a short video and then take a snap of a photo. Now I don't have to worry about missing that perfect shot. A short 30-second video in the morning gives me plenty of opportunities to find the perfect smile.

My Workflow

This is my standard morning workflow:

  • Take a quick video in the morning. I usually move the camera around to get better lighting.
  • At lunchtime, I AirDrop the video to my iMac.
  • I then open the video in Quicktime Player, and when I find the perfect shot, I pause the video and copy the frame to the clipboard. The contents of the clipboard then get saved to a file on the desktop (This is because of my Keyboard Maestro action that I added back in 2020.)
  • Then I create a Collage using Photoscape X

Cinematici Phone14 Pro

Four Things that I Learned

The Cinematic mode does a great job with facial recognition. I don't need to focus on the source it does it automatically.

The image dimensions of a screenshot of a Cinematic video are 3840 x 2160. Typical Portrait photos are 4032 x 3024.

A 4K Cinematic videos that are 15 seconds long is 43.1 MB. At 24 frames per second, I have nearly 360 chances to get the right picture.

In the iPhone Camera Settings the only option you have is to change the recording type. You can select from 1080p at 30 fps, 4K at 24 fps, and 4K at 30 fps. I would recommend using the 4K at 24 fps. I don't think there's much value in increasing the fps to 30 - unless you're shooting a lot of action videos.


November Release Memes

Various QA Memes announcing the release in the month of December.

Be sure to check out all the QA Memes in the QA Library.

/ Christmas Bell Release Day

/ Release Day Gold

/ Happy Release Day Gift


Having Fun with Robocallers

A couple of short calls talking about having Medicare "Only on the Weekend."

This is a short post since most of the time was spend creating the video using Filmora Wondershare 11.


Trans-Siberian Orchestra

On Saturday night, there was an excellent performance by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Worcester's DCI Center. We had a great time enjoying this show's music and visual effects.

D C U Center

Having never seen previous shows online, I did not know what to expect from this show. Having not perused previous shows online, I came to the show with an open mind. I was impressed by the performers' engagement with the audience, and the variety of fire special effects they used.

Trans- Siberian Orchestra2022

Things I Learned

The parking facility across the street is called SP+ Parking. You have to pay $20 to park there. This is a great location. However, it is a real hassle to get out. You have to pay before you get back to your car - which means long lines in the elevator lobby for the parking machine and the elevator as you have to pay before you leave.

After waiting in line for about 10 minutes, someone from the garage came out and told people they didn't have to wait in line to pay for parking. He also said that people could pay on the way out. Which only makes getting out of the garage slower because people are paying at the gate.

On this particular night, there was only one elevator working in the building. This meant that people who were not able to walk the stairs had a long wait even if they could walk down the hall.

We saw the show from section 231 - which for most sporting events would be the center of the arena. For the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, it was just about stage level. We were worried that we wouldn't get to see much of the show since the seats seemed to be almost backstage. But the seats were great! The band used the whole area, which made our seats a great location.

Some people had a hard time walking up and down the stairs. Just a fair warning for anyone getting tickets for the upper balcony sections - the stairs are steep and there's no rail to help you up.

We upgraded to the VIP experience so that we could get into the stadium early and have a snack before the show. It cost $50 for the VIP experience and it didn't seem worth the cost. We did get in early but the appetizers were a bit small and we had to pay for our drinks. I would definitely not recommend doing the VIP experience.

There are a lot of sites that are now offering various tools for free. One sight that I found is

This site has a lot of great tools for social media posters and bloggers. They have seven main categories: Text Tools, Image Tools, CSS Tools, Coding Tools, Color Tools, Social Media Tools, and Miscellaneous tools.

One tool I like is the "Tweet to Image Converter." You can easily convert a tweet to an image to post in slack or any social media. You can change the image size and background type.

Website Description is an online tool factory where you can get all tools you needed in one place. While serving different type of tools in different categories, it aims to perform this with a clean and beautiful user interface. Every tool is designed to solve a problem with minimum number of steps to save time of the users and decrease the complexity of the operation. has started to operate in 2020 and it will continue to grow with time by adding new tools each day.

100 L5

Sample Tweet to Image Converter

Only Boston Tweet


Quick BBEdit Notes Tip

If you use BBEdit Notebook, you may have a lot of open files. Having files open isn't bad as it doesn't up us any memory. However, I use the open file indicator to focus on notes that I am actually using.

To quickly close out of all your notes, just use this simple shortcut:

Control - Command - W

Close Notes Notebook B B Edit

When you apply this simple command, all the notes are closed, even ones that are in Collections that you probably haven't looked at in a while.


fcpeffects Mega Package

If your videographer and looking for a great Black Friday deal, check out FCPeffect's Mega package deal. You get 1900+ presets for only $57 - the best deal ever offered on this collection.

F C P Effects Black Friday

Key things in this package

  • 200+ Titles, Graphics & Overlays ($420 Value)
  • 1000+ Different Transitions ($350 Value)
  • 700+ Video Effects & Color Grading Tools ($830 Value)

Some Personal Thoughts

This is a great collection to have available when you need it. You never know when a certain lower-third title will be the perfect fit for the project that you're working on.

There are plenty of Effects that are very useful to have. Some of my favorite include: HDR Plug in, White Balance Plug in, Better Ken Burns, and so much more.

The Transitions are really valuable to have at your disposal. If you want to "swipe right" there are 123 items to pick from. Giving you more power to create an awesome video.

Screen Splitter is a great screen splitting tool.

You get lifetime access, so you don't need to install everything now. You can install the package and remove items - then at a later point you can install them again. You don't need to take space and memory for effects that you are not likely going to use.

This package is a no brainer to get and I highly recommend it.

One More Thing...

FCPEFFECTS was located on Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida. On September 29, 2022, Sanibel Island was hit hard by Hurricane Ian. Residents will not be allowed back until September.

FCPEFFECTS will donate 25% of all sales directly to this island's residents who are now jobless and homeless.


HDR Video

HDR offers a larger range of colors, as well as a higher dynamic range for luminance (from 100 to 1000 cd/m2). This results in video quality that more closely matches real life, with richer colors, brighter highlights, and darker shadows.

HDR Video

Advantage of HDR Video Recording

There is an overall brighter picture when you use this method, especially if you are shooting outside.

The best HDR video viewing experience is on a Dolby Vision display, found in any iPhone 12+ and most TVs.

If you want to get the most out of your iPhone 14 Pro Max, then you should shoot 4K with HDR.

Disadvantage of HDR Recording

When creating a new Project make sure to use the Wide Gamut HDR = Rec. 2020 PQ or Wide Gamut HDR = Rec. 2020 HLG color space. If your using an existing project you can use the HDR Tool in Final Cut Pro to adjust the colors so that the imported video appears brighter than non-HDR videos if you use the HDR Tool in Final Cut Pro.

It is not recommended to use HDR when you are trying to capture motion, such as when you are photographing sports, as it increases the chance of a blurry photo because it takes three shots to do so.

There is a possibility that HDR video may cause more halos in certain clips compared to others.

It is recommended that you view HDR video on a display that has Dolby Vision. If you view HDR video on a screen that has SDR, then the footage will appear washed out.

Using HDR requires more disk space, so if you're recording a long session - such as a school play or soccer game - you should expect to see a very large video file. Make sure to plan your use of HDR before you begin recording.


QA Poems

Keeping the content light this week, here's some original QA Poem/Songs:

Fired Up!

I'm on my way to work
I'm getting ready for the day
I'm thinking about my quality assurance
How I'm going to make sure that everything is perfect
I need to make sure that everything is just right
That there's no room for error
So I will be working extra hard today
To make sure that everything is just right

QA Is Important Song

Quality assurance is so important
It keeps the product high quality
It's what makes the customer happy
So we always make sure that we're perfect
We always make sure that we meet their needs
We always make sure that they're satisfied
Quality assurance is so important
It keeps the product high quality
It's what makes the customer happy
So we always make sure that we're perfect
We always make sure that we meet their needs
We always make sure that they're satisfied


Matt Lauer

This is a modified clip from Monday, August 17, 1998, from Reggie & Kelly. In this clip, Matt Lauer talks about meeting Annette Roque and how they are dating. They would get married a few months later.

Matt Lauer married television producer Nancy Alspaugh from 1982 to 1989. Later, he married Dutch model-Annette Roque, whom he met on a blind date in July 1997. On October 3, 1998, Lauer proposed to Roque after five months of dating.


Mixing Babies and Business

Mixing Babies And Business

The best time to start a new business is when you have a good idea and are in the right place at the right time. And though being home with a baby may not feel like the best time, in many ways, it can actually be a perfect time.

You have a newborn you don't want to leave, you have an opportunity to work from your own home office, and you have a great idea for a business. All you need are a few pointers on how to make that happen. is a website that brings you lots of great information about a variety of topics. Check out hundreds of blog posts to keep you informed and up to date.

Pace Yourself

Those first weeks home with your newborn should be spent healing, adjusting, and bonding. But there are still a few beginning steps you can work on in that time that won't feel too stressful.

Brainstorm your business idea on paper and pencil or even when you're rocking your infant to sleep. Write down everything you come up with, then begin narrowing each idea down until you have one that you feel is both something you'd enjoy doing and can execute from your own home office with the resources you have on hand.

Write a business plan next. This will take several weeks since it involves some research. Your business plan will be your roadmap or blueprint for how you'll bring your business idea to life. You'll include things like how you plan to market your business, where you'll get the funding, and what your long-and-short-term goals are. You can find online templates that can guide you through how to create one and how to make it look professional if you plan to present it to investors.

Mixing Baby and Business

Not only does your home office have to work for you, like ergonomic chairs and proper lighting, but it also needs to work for your baby. When child-proofing your home office, clear out everything from the room so that it is clean and safe, and get rid of any sharp objects or anything that can fall over. Remove anything fragile or breakable (especially if there are other small children in the home). Ensure there is no open flame in the room (e.g., candles or fireplace). And once your baby starts to crawl, make sure there is enough space for them to move around and play safely in the room.

Baby monitors will be one of your most important pieces of office tech. High-definition video monitoring is now the standard, and many are now app-enabled or have Wi-Fi capabilities. Also popular is a digital video camera system that uses your existing wireless network, allowing you to use your computer or smartphone as the receiver. And some models even have an adjustable sensor that monitors the temperature in your baby's room.

You'll want to dress professionally since you'll probably have people in from time to time, appear in video conference calls, or just because looking professional makes you *feel* like a professional. And then there are times when just a classic t-shirt is what you need. Fortunately, you can look great while still being able to breastfeed or pump with stylish and comfortable maternity clothing and easy-to-use and supportive nursing bras.

Helpful Business Tips

With all the worries that naturally come with being a new mother, it's best if you can reduce the number of business worries you could face. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take that will alleviate some of those for you.

How you structure your business can be important since forming it as an LLC, for instance, reduces your personal liability since it keeps your personal and business assets separate. It's also easy to do it yourself, so you don't have to hire an attorney, and there is less paperwork and a lower tax burden, too.

And take advantage of free and easy-to-use business apps like invoice generators that keep track of payments and receipts for you, PDF conversion tools that allow you to convert all your business and marketing files into PDF form for easy sharing, and Facebook ad maker apps that help you market on the biggest social media site in the world.

From baby-proofing your office and using smart business practices like an LLC business structure and fee apps to practical and stylish clothing and state-of-the-art baby monitors, your dream of combining motherhood with a successful business is well within your reach.


Fake You

People are doing some amazing things with AI. The team over at FakeYou have come up with a system that will convert a text to any voice you want. You can select all sorts of categories such as Cartoons, Announcers, Movies, Real People, Television and more.

As of today, there are 2,646 voices to choose from.

This is a cool tool to use as a Intro voice over on YouTube.

Website Description

Text to Speech

Use FakeYou deep fake tech to say stuff with your favorite characters

Fake You


Universal Control

With Apple Universal Control, it is now possible to control two computers from a single keyboard and mouse, thus making computer control easier.

Using this feature is similar to using multiple monitors at the same time. To get to the other computer, simply move the mouse to the edge of the screen, and your mouse will appear on the other computer.

In a way, it's like magic. It's incredibly useful and very cool.

macOS Monterrey Display
macOS Monterey Display System Preference panel showing the Universal Control access

How it helps me

This is an awesome way to switch between a personal computer and a work computer. My work has strict restrictions on what software I am allowed to install on the company-provided laptop. However, with Universal Control, I am able to switch between computers quickly and use the applications that I wish.

The VPN allows me to view websites outside my firewall on my work computer while I can view them on my personal computer. This allows me to view sites from different locations and from different users.

I have a work computer that is one macOS version behind my personal computer, despite the fact that my personal computer always has the latest macOS version.

It allows me to have the most up-to-date version of Snagit on my personal computer, as well as to copy screenshots over to my work computer so that I can show issues that I have discovered over there.

Full details are available on Apple Support page.

Five things I Learned

It is still necessary for you to have a keyboard for both computers in order to log in to them.

This is a very useful feature when you have a cat who likes to walk around the desk and sit anywhere on the desk at will without being asked. The Universal Control saves space on the desktop. (You can hide the other keyboard and mouse.)

When it comes to keyboard shortcuts in applications like Keyboard Maestro, it is important to know that wherever the mouse is, the keyboard controls that application as well.

There are many things you can accomplish when using two computers with just one keyboard and mouse. You will be able to get more things done without having to switch between keyboards and mice.

When I switch between computers, it's sometimes difficult to make the switch between them. I have to bounce the mouse several times to let the computer know that I want to move to the other computer.


Gluten Free School Lunch

Here's a sample of what my daughter brings for lunch at school:

Gluten Free Lunch

This is a typical lunch that my daughter would get. Some hot dish with some vegetables on the side.

We pack the vegetables in the COCOBELA Bento Box,900 Ml Lunch Box Containers. They work out great but the locking sides are falling off and they don't hold the container as tight as they use to. We got the container at the end of the school year back in May.


Magnetic Smartphone Stand

As I was looking for a better way to connect my iPhone 14 Pro Max to a tripod, I thought there might be a better mounting solution than the standard grip mount. I figured that using a magnetic mount might make it easier for me to detach the phone and use it for other purposes while I was filming.

In searching for the right mount on Amazon, I came across the PROfezzion Magnetic Smartphone Stand as a suitable option. At $16.99, I thought this would be worth a shot. The bottom has a standard #20 tripod mount on it, so I decided to give it a try.

Magnetic Smartphone Stand

Four Things I Learned

The tripod stand works perfectly when attached to a standard tripod mount. I used it with my igadgitz desktop tripod stand and my tripod magic arm, both of which worked perfectly with this tripod stand.

The stand is not really portable. When I packed it for a shoot, the stand was quite bulky. There's no way to collapse it flat enough to fit in my camera bag.-

In addition to the tripod mount, there are two detachable bases with a removal tool, I am not sure I would ever use this feature as it might damage the tabletop. The mount is standard sticky and I wouldn't want to risk damaging my desk by applying adhesive.

There is a minor problem with this mount type as I have to open the measure app just to make sure the phone is level before shooting, but that's not a problem specific to the PROfezzion Magnetic Smartphone Stand, but it would be nice if there were some built-in levels available.


This is a great stand to have, just takes some time to get used to it. I think I'll investigate some other stands that might have some ability to charge the device while mounted to the adapter..


Quality Assurance Management Tasks

The quality assurance manager has a lot of responsibilities that he or she needs to carry out on a regular basis if they want to maintain the quality of the products and services that they provide to their customers. Here are some of the most important ones:

Q A Manager2022

QA Manager Responsibilities

1. Establish quality standards and procedures. This is the foundation of your quality assurance system and it needs to be well-defined and documented. Without this, it will be difficult to measure and improve the quality of your outputs.

2. Train employees on Quality Assurance procedures. All employees need to be aware of the importance of following established procedures in order to achieve consistent results. Make sure they understand what is expected of them and give them feedback regularly so they can see how their performance is impacting overall product quality..

3. Conduct audits regularly.. Audits help you identify areas where improvements are needed so that you can make necessary changes. They also provide valuable insights into how well your employees are following established procedures. Schedule audits on a regular basis ( at least once per quarter)

4 Monitor customer feedback closely. Pay attention to both positive and negative feedback from customers as it can help you identify potential problems early on. Use this information to make necessary adjustments to your processes or products.


August 1998 Commercials

Here's an assortment of commercials from a VHS tape that I had. I don't know the reason for recording it that day. I think it had something to do with President Clinton's deposition.

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:08 Today Show Intro - Monday, August 17 1998
  • 1:16 TV Land
  • 1:47 Carrows Restaurants
  • 2:17 Linda Evens Fitness
  • 2:32 Gain Laundry Detergent
  • 3:02 Maxwell House Coffee


Ashland Massachusetts

If you only think of New England when you come to the USA, you need to rethink. Visit Ashland, a small town in Massachusetts and explore its scenic beauty. The town has been attracting tourists for its natural splendor. People are becoming more conscious of nature's importance and its impact on our lives these days. The world is changing rapidly, and we need to be aware of our actions. Tourism helps people know about a place so that they can visit it, experience it, and appreciate its beauty. Curious about this beautiful town?

Historic Ashland

Here are the top 5 things to do in Ashland Massachusetts:

The beautiful Prospect Hill cemetery

One of the most famous cemeteries in the USA is Prospect Hill, located in Ashland, Massachusetts. The cemetery has over 6,500 graves. Many of the graves belong to Civil War soldiers. It is one of the largest cemeteries in Massachusetts and a great place to visit. It is open to the public as a park, and you can wander through the paths, reading the headstones, for a few hours. You can also visit the nearby "Clapp Park" where there are a few old cannons and enjoy the tranquility of the cemetery.

Ashland's Carnegie Library

Ashland's Carnegie Library was built by architect William Sprague in 1902, as a gift from the industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1908. The library was built as a gift from Carnegie in 1908. There are many beautiful architectural elements in this elegant building. You can learn more about the history of the library in the museum, which is located inside the building. It is painted in pink and decorated with elaborate ceiling and wall designs. There are a few items related to the history of the town in the library, as well as a small gift shop with knick-knacks and souvenirs.

Drive along River Road and see the landscape

As part of your Ashland visit, you may want to explore the River Road. There are a few places you can stop along the path to enjoy the picturesque view of the landscape. The route is along the North River. You can take a drive along the route and take in the breathtaking landscape. A canoe can also be hired for a ride on the river, so you can take a stroll along the path and enjoy the scenery. You can experience the landscape in all seasons, but it is especially beautiful in the spring and fall, when the river flows with fresh water. The landscape during the winter is beautiful too, but the river is flowing very slowly. To get a different view of the landscape, you can visit the town during this time.

Walk on the trails of the Bear Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

There are around 100 species of birds at Bear Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Ashland. It is home to birds such as the wood thrush, bluebird, woodpecker, and warbler. The sanctuary has trails where you can walk and see these beautiful creatures. You can also take a guided tour at the sanctuary. The tour is led by knowledgeable and trained professionals. A gift shop at the entrance offers food for the birds as well as other activities like hiking, birdwatching, and nature walks.

Visit the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center

Near the Ashland Town Hall is the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center. You can visit the center to know more about this place. The visitors center has a good collection of books and souvenirs related to the town and its history. Aside from these souvenirs, you can also buy audiovisual presentations and interactive displays to learn more about the history of this place and its inhabitants. The visitor center also offers guided tours of the town conducted by trained guides who are knowledgeable about the town.


The town of Ashland, Massachusetts offers a lot to visitors. You can spend a few hours here and explore nearby places. The town has interesting places to visit, and you can explore them on your own. You can also book a guided tour to learn more about the town's history. The top five things to do in Ashland Massachusetts are to explore its natural beauty and to experience a unique kind of adventure.



If you run a podcast, you may want to have another voice read a letter or quote. That's when Speechify Voice Over Generator can help.

Simply paste your text in the text box and then generate the speech. If it sounds great, simply download the MP3.

Quick and easy and using Speechify will help make your broadcast stand out.

Website Description

Using Speechify Voice Over Generator is a breeze. It takes only a few minutes and you'll be turning any text into natural-sounding Voice Over audio.

Type in the text you'd like to hear spoken''Select a voice & listening speed''Press "Generate"


Sample Audio

Check out the speech from the above text:


Affinity Suite Collection Refresh

Affinity updated its graphic platform this week with Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and Affinity Publisher. These applications have some cool features and are worth checking out if you haven't already.

In order to check out some of the changes, I downloaded each desktop application and installed them.-

One of the nice features of Affinity Photo and Designer is the ability to export using Webp. This means that I do not have to open another application to convert the image type I am exporting.-

It's important to note a few other changes that have been made to the "New" functionality. The dialog box is a bit more complex than it was in the past, which I am sure is intentional so that designers can focus on other things.-

Affinity Designer2 Preview

Still Testing

I am still testing all the changes made to Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo. Next week I'll post my review of the changes and if its worth upgrading.


Corner Store in Holliston

In Holliston, there is a delicious takeout restaurant known as the Corner Market where you can get many varieties of food. You can get Pizza & Calzone, Panini & Sandwiches, Tacos & Burritos, Salads & Wings, etc.

We recently found out that they offer gluten-free pizza, so we decided to visit them and find out what they are like.

Corner Market
Customize Gluten-Free Pizza - My daughter's latest topping obsession

Three Things We Learned

In Toast TakeOut, they have a gluten-free crust option that can be selected when ordering through their website. Although the gluten-free crust is not listed on their website, you can select it when ordering via Toast TakeOut. It might be a good idea to go into the restaurant and ask if it's possible for it to be gluten-free if you are ordering a speciality pizza.

I ordered this pizza for my daughter and she thought it was really good. She liked how it was almost well done and how crispy the crust was.

This restaurant appears to be busier during the lunch hour than during dinner time, which is probably a good thing as we are likely only going to visit in the early evening. The place is nice to visit as they do have various snack items available for you to try.

We will Be Back!

As the Corner Market is more than 5 miles from our house, I don't think we will go out of our way to go there to enjoy the pizza. While the pizza is delicious - I don't think we will go out of our way to enjoy it.

We are fortunate enough to have my daughter take tumbling classes at the nearby Shen's Gymnastics Academy. Therefore, every now and then, we can pick up dinner for her on our way home from class.-


iPhone 14 Pro Max Tripod Mount

In 2019, I blogged about the Glif Tripod Adapter and how its my favorite adapter. Turns its still an awesome tripod adapter to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Glifi Phone14

Three things I Learned about the Tripod Mount

My Glif tripod adapter was purchased in 2019 for $29.99 and has been an excellent purchase. The product has stood the test of multiple dings at the bottom of my camera bag, as well as varying New England weather conditions.

Studio Neat has the Glif Tripod Adapter on Backorder. Not sure when they will have it back in stock - or how long it has been back ordered. There's none available on eBay or Amazon.

The bad thing about this mount is that it blocks the ability to use the Magsafe. So I can't charge the phone while connected to the Glif Tripod Adapter. Technically, I could still use the cable to charge the phone.


Applescript for Chrome

The following is a quick AppleScript that I created to add the URL of the current page to the clipboard. This has the advantage of creating a simple, easy-to-read URL in markdown format, which I can then copy and paste into Slack or an email.

Apple Script URL

If you would like to copy/paste the raw code, here it is.

tell application "Google Chrome"
	set broswerurl to get URL of active tab of first window
	set browsertitle to get title of active tab of first window
	set the clipboard to "[" & browsertitle & "](" & broswerurl & ")"
end tell


2000s Commercial

Here are some classic commercials from the early 2000s.


  • Pacific Bell DSL
  • Kodak - "Take Pictures Further"
  • Chrysler/Dodge - It's Better. We'll Prove it.
  • Staples
  • 1-800-Collect
  • McDonalds Monopoly
  • iPrint
  • Fritos Chilis & Scoops!
  • Real California Cheese
  • United States Census 2000
  • MSN - The Everyday Web
  • NBC Snap Tax Center


Retrospective School Play

The following are my thoughts on filming a local drama group this past weekend. I recorded the playback in April and was invited back in November. I was better prepared for this filming after recording the first session. -

Camera Studio2022

What worked Well

Multiple Cameras - Originally, I had five cameras capturing the play. I wanted five cameras so that I could better capture the action on stage. I used one as the main camera, and the others to capture scenes that I might have missed.-

Why multiple cameras? well to paraphrase a famous sports quote - 'You don't want to let anything sneak through the crack, you don't want to forget anything, you don't want to miss anything, and you want to be perfect on that day. You don't get many chances to get that one shot."

Recording Audio via the system audio - I had an audio cable bag with all kinds of cable connectors. I captured the audio from actors who wore microphones. I can add the audio to the final clip using Final Cut Pro. The sound of the auditorium won't distract the show from the key parts of the show.-

Plenty of space on the cards - In this year's show I made sure that I had plenty of space on the cameras' SD cards. The main camera has a 256GB card, but at the last show, I had to run to the store between shows to buy more cards. Ideally, 256GB should be the minimum size card to use for a two-hour show.-

Plugged in the Video Camera - The video camera was plugged in so I didn't have to worry about its battery life. I had a spare battery, but I didn't need it. The other cameras I had didn't work when plugged in. In order to be safe, I changed the spare batteries for those cameras during intermission.-

GoPro Hero 9 Worked better this time - The camera didn't work at the last show because of overheating, so I bought a new battery and connected it to the power brick. I used a black one so it wouldn't be obvious. I also had a 256 GB memory card that holds 7 hours of 4K videos.

Here are some things I would do differently


Learn more about the Canon A40 manual controls. I think I would have gotten better colors had I set the white balance on the Canon A40. I noticed other cameras were doing a better job with color correction. I plan to learn more about how to use the manual controls in order to get a better picture.-

Camera Levels - I was having trouble seeing if my camera shot was leveled. I don't know if there is a glow-in-the-dark level. There must be a better way to ensure my shots are level.-

Keep the iPhone separate - I took shots using my iPhone using a tripod magic arm. Overall, this worked well. However, every time I adjusted the tripod, there was some minor shake on the iPhone. This could be easily avoided if the iPhone was mounted on its own tripod. There are some drawbacks to the magic arm, but it is a great device.-

Watch more of the Show. During the dress rehearsal, I learned a lot about video challenges. I should have watched a couple of practices using a program so I would have known where to focus the camera. In order to prepare the right camera and angles, I should talk to the stage manager in advance.-

Bring the right lens. I had a DSLR and I brought a 70-300 lens, which I thought would be perfect, but it was too much. I should have packed an extra lens just in case. Based on the location, the 70mm lens is the better lens to use. My thought was that it doesn't hurt to bring a couple extra items. In case you need an extra bag, you can always have it in your car.-

Final Thoughts

Planing a shot is easier when you have to deal with the post-production work as well. You'll be better prepared for the challenges you may face later, such as dealing with color correction.-

It's a lot easier when you are the Producer and Director of your own project. Planning and post-production work will result in an amazing video for the drama group.


Before and After

This weekend I was looking for a way to combine two images for a before/after look. I was trying to show the difference the yard looked after some work was done. I couldn't do it on my phone - and I didn't want to download an app for something I would occasionally do.

I found the tool from freecollagemaker to be very handy. Upload your pictures and then you can add text and effects.

Website Description

Use this before-and-after photo template to create a before-and-after collage. You can edit the text if you want to use if for another purpose.

Upload Image Online


Snagit 2023

Last week TechSmith introduced the latest paid upgrade to Snagit. This upgrade includes the following features:

  • Picture in Picture with Screen Draw - Users can now add pointers, steps and boxes to their view presentations. This makes it easy to point to certain features while talking about them.
  • Quickly Share Content - Snagit has a new 'Share Link' which makes it easy to share recent snapshots. Now you can touch up a screenshot and instantly share it on Slack, Email or Social Media. The Share Link is using the TechSmith screencast service. Screenshots are saved for 12 months.
  • Better Collaborate - Users that have access to shared content can now leave comments on the video and images - including emojis.
  • Add Effects to Favorite - You can now add your favorite Effects as favorites. This makes it easy to apply common edges, Borders, Capture Info, Shadow, and more.
  • Webpage File Format Support - Users can now save images using the popular web format. (Not new in 2023 came late in the 2022 release)

Tech Smith Snagit2023

Worth the Upgrade?

I don't use much of the video capabilities, so the Picture in Picture and Collaborate functionality doesn't have much use for me. I think if I do some training videos, in the future, it might be a very handy feature to have but in the short run, it doesn't really add much improvement.

I was surprised that TechSmith didn't do any changes/enhancements to any of the annotate tools. For example, it would be nice if there were more arrow style or text effects.

I think it's worth the upgrade so TechSmith can continue to create more awesome features in future releases. If you have version 2022 and use some of the core functionality - I don't think this is a 'must-have' upgrade.

Take a Shot and Try It

Why not download the application and try it out. When you install it the application name is different so you won't lose your previous paid version.


Samba Steak & Sushi Restaurant

In March, we visited Samba Steak & Sushi Restaurant for the first time in a while. This was the first time we actually visited the restaurant with my daughter as she was diagnosed with Celiac a few years ago.

A large part of the reason people come to Samba Steak and Sushi Restaurant is for the excellent sushi selection and the fact that it is cooked right in front of your eyes. The whole point of visiting this restaurant is to be entertained and to enjoy a wonderful meal.

Samba Steakhouse Framingham

Four Things We Learned Eating at Samba Steak & Sushi Restaurant

As a rule, if you are going to eat gluten-free, it is best that everyone around the grill eat gluten-free as well. They can separate the non-gluten-free items, but to be on the safe side, they suggest that everyone eats gluten-free.

We were told that they did not have a gluten-free menu at the time, so we talked to the server about whether they would be able to prepare the dish in a gluten-free fashion.

There is a gluten-free sauce available for the rice at Samba - you will have to ask for it.

The meal was delicious, the service was great, and we all had a good time. It's a little pricey to dine here - as most Hibachi places are - but we will certainly return. It's a great place to celebrate the holidays!


Low Light Photos

One of the reasons I wanted the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the ability to take better nighttime photos. Apple's Introduction video talked about how lowlight photos would be much better.

Watch the event - again

Apple Event

For the past couple of weeks, I have been playing with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and I am impressed with the low-light photo capabilities of the device. It is nice to be able to take good photos at night without having to use a tripod.

If you like to take pictures in low light situations, the iPhone 14 is a great phone to upgrade to.

Photo Challenge

On Halloween night, I took both my iPhone XS and iPhone 14 Pro Max and took a picture at the same location. I wanted to see how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max is.

iPhone XS Max

Framingham-i Phone10

iPhone 14 Pro Max

Framingham-i Phone14


World Quality Day

World Quality Day2022

World Quality Day is Thursday, November 10, 2022

World Quality Day is a day to celebrate the importance of quality in our lives. It is celebrated annually on November 10th. This year, World Quality Day falls on a Thursday, so we can all take the time to appreciate the role that quality plays in making our world a better place.

Quality is something that we often take for granted, but it is essential to our lives. From the food we eat and the water we drink to the clothes we wear and the homes we live in, everything around us depends on quality control. Without it, life would be very different - and much less comfortable!

On World Quality Day, let's pledge to do our part in ensuring that products and services are of high quality. We can start by paying attention to detail and demanding only the best from ourselves and others. By doing so, we can make sure that everyone benefits from improved standards of living - now and into the future.



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