Cooking Measurements (print it)

Full Size Link

Print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, it is pretty handy.  A Costco 8×10 will cost you $1.79



A few ways to check email problems

Diagnosing email problems requires you to test possible causes in an iterative fashion. For any given email, there are a complex number of factors at play in sending it and having it successfully delivered.

If you do not know how to copy and paste from web pages, documents and emails, you need to get someone to help you with your problems.  If you do not know how to use the Snipping tool or take a screenshot (if you are not using windows, search for snipping tool on the mac, or your tablet etc), learn how to do it so that you can send an exact copy of any messages etc you receive.

The short story (TSS) is, whoever is having problems sending email, send a plain text msg with no signature to the recipient.  You should get an undeliverable email back.  Another thing to do is to send to a deliberately bad email address (example so you can compare the undeliverable reports.  If something in your email looks like a forgery, or contains links to bad websites, or contains programs, bat files, .js files as attachments, it is possible that you can get rejected at the server level. Sometimes the error indicated is just a “suggestion” of where to look for your problems.  Try different variations, different senders, different organizations and email address etc and compare your results to see what the problem is.  You might want to run some of the Tools mentioned below. 

I do a quick scan of my spam folders daily and delete / empty them.  It makes tracking this sort of thing easier.  I use 3 different emails for different purposes. A smart thing to do with your email and passwords

Make sure you share your undeliverable “bounce back” emails with whoever is helping you.  Use Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, A wordpress blog, forward to a friend ….

Financial institutions, hospitals and many other organizations can have very restrictive email policies. It is not uncommon for them to reject emails with attachments or links, or pictures, or zip files etc. There are a lot of vendors serving the email market, and subtle incompatibilities between systems can arise.
S&*( Happens
If you can’t figure out the problem, start here:

1) Document your email account

How to do you access your email?

Do you use a page you access with a web browser or a program like outlook?
Do you use a service like gmail for business or outlook 365?


Email Address :
Email Application : Chrome Browser
Log into: with my user name and password

other examples: Outlook 2007, Apple Mail, I log into Squirrel Mail on my web host, …

2) Both the recipient and sender should make sure they have added all pertinent sender email addresses and domains,  in their safe senders list. This varies by email provider and application  Search for it:

For example
We searched for “office 365 add domain to safe sender”
and found this:

3) Document who you are having problems sending email to:

4) How to create a test email

Subject: Test X (where x is the number of the test in the sequence, add 1 for each email sent)

(repeat from , to)


A note about this test:
    First test after changing safe senders
    Removed email signature
    Sent Text email
    My time is Thu, October 17, 2017 3:06 EDT
    Sent from my phone, tablet, desktop running Windows

The person who is having trouble sending email should be doing these tests.

Take a minute to send your test mail.
You notify your recipient tester that it is on the way (send a txt, leave a phone message)

You may have to wait up to an hour for it to wind its way through the systems.

It is helpful to send a plain text email, with no signature or links in the subject or body.  Again, search the help for you email provider / application.  Example “ send a text email”.  If you can send a plain text email successfully, start by removing and links, pictures, codes etc from the email with a problem.  The problem could also be a link or a picture ( a type of link) in your email signature.

It is important to try and describe accurately what error codes, messages etc are associated with a test email.
The recipient and sender should always check their spam folder.
If the sender gets a message, a returned email, undeliverable etc, they notify the recipient by text or phone.
If the recipient gets a message, they notify the sender.

7) The sender should get an undeliverable message or something indicating error back.

Here is an example of an undeliverable message : Goto to example

If you can’t figure out the problem from the undeliverable report, you can copy and paste all this information into sections of a document to send it to you support person.

Sometimes the error indicated is just a “suggestion” of where to look for your problems.  Try different variations, different senders, different organizations and email address etc and compare your results to see what the problem is.

Sometimes it is useful to both copy and paste the message and to do a screenshot or snippet of what you think is the most pertinent part is.  Look for an easy to read message stating what the error is.

If you do not get an undeliverable message back,  try some of the variations mentioned above.  Have someone else in a different organization, with a different email provider try and send a test text message and see what happens.  And, make sure you have internet access etc before you call in the calvary for help. Computer Problems?

If you do not get any errors, but, do not receive the expected email both sender and recipient forward a email containing the pertinent information above to your tech support teams asking them to please resolve the error.  If you do not have tech support, ask a knowledgeable friend for help.

Is there tech support for your email provider?
Document it so that both email support teams can talk to each other. Please provide contact information and whatever authentication codes etc you need to contact.


Outlook 365
Email Address :
account : My Organization

Contact email
Contact Phone
Contact chat

Email is finicky.
When you send an email it goes through a lot of steps, any of which can fail.
The most effective way to test is to test iteratively and make small changes.
But it, can be a simple process, if you follow these steps.


You can run tests to check your email accounts for various problems.  These are free systems and may produce erroneous or miss problems; however, in many cases they can be useful.  Document the results of your tests for whoever is helping you with your email problem.

If you send a lot of marketing or notification emails (bulk email), the first thing you  want to check to see if your address has been blacklisted.  In any case, it does not hurt to check your email address to see if its blacklisted.  The sites that check this come and go frequently, so you might have to search for something like “is my email address blocked”.  Here is an example page that show a way to get started on checking. .There are a lot of lists. It is helpful to know what list the recipient (and senders) email service provider use. These lists are also quite dynamic and occasionally these sites report sites that are not on their current lists or omit sites that are on their actual or live lists.  Also see below.  It checks you email for known flags etc. Here is another useful article on checking the known blacklists.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 became law on January 1, 2004. According to the FTC, if you violate the law, you could be fined $11,000 for each offense—that’s $11,000 for each email address on your list. ISPs around the country have already successfully sued spammers for millions of dollars under this law. If you send commercial email (generally sales or promotional content), you should familiarize yourself with the requirements of CAN-SPAM.

A few key points of the law include:

Never use deceptive headers, From names, reply-to addresses, or subject lines.
Always provide an unsubscribe link.
The unsubscribe link must work for at least 30 days after sending.
You must include your physical mailing address.

A simple email address checker:

Enter the address and check


Document your result:

A more sophisticated checker with lots of options.


Enter the domain name to check, When it completes, check your report.

In this case, I can hit the Find Problems or do a Blacklist check or SMTP check


After hitting Find Problems


The above is an example using my a domain I own called
In this case, the The Certificate has a name mismatch is erroneous. I do not have an https address for this site.

See the show all test button, click it

With some of the test like this, you can get an option to email yourself a report, or save a pdf of the report.  At the very least you can copy and paste this.  Or you can save the page.  Lookup how to save a page for you browser.  Usually it saves and html file and associate folder with information with the page that you can send to your support people.  From the location it saved the page, check for the name it saved it as,


File ..Downloads\ Domain Health.html
Folder …Downloads\ Domain Health_files

Test you email for some spam checks and other red flags 

Follow the instructions.

In addition, learn how to do this:

See if you can do something like “View Message Source”  or “View Full Header ” for your  emails.  Someone will probably ask you to do this.

If you have no one to help you, I am available for $35 dollars an hour.


Here is a description of some of the behind the scenes details involved in Authenticating Senders

Email authentication greatly simplifies and automates the process of identifying senders. By quickly verifying a claimed domain name, it is possible to triage the incoming flood of mail. Forgeries and known spamming domains can be rejected at the connection level, without wasting any time on data transfer, or even testing a long list of possible recipient names from the spammer’s dictionary. Reputable senders can be given a pass for an entire session, allowing them to bypass the IP blacklists and statistical filters that always lose some valid messages. The remaining flow can be treated the same as we now treat all email – rigorous filtering, return challenges to the sender, etc. Successful authentication, coupled with a domain-rating system, will reward reputable senders and encourage others to clean up their outgoing mail.

There are a number of methods to authenticate a sender’s domain name ( SPF [2], SenderID [3], CSV [4] , DomainKeys [5], and others). All are very effective in stopping the kind of forgery now prevalent. None exclude the use of other methods, although there is a lot of overlap in basic function, and some incompatibilities. There are small vulnerabilities in each method, and it may be that a combination of two will be required to cover all the cracks. The most widely used will likely be the ones that require the least effort on the part of senders who are reluctant to assume any responsibility for operating public mail servers.

CSV, SPF, and SenderID authenticate just a domain name. DomainKeys uses a Digital Signature to authenticate domain names and the entire content of a message. CSV and SPF can reject a forgery before any data transfer. SenderID must see at least the headers, and DomainKeys must transfer the entire message. CSV is the quickest. DomainKeys is the most thorough. CSV checks only the HELO name at the start of each SMTP session. SPF checks the return address on each message “envelope”. SenderID checks the From address in the headers of each message. Domainkeys can detect any alteration in the headers or body of a message.

CSV, SPF, and SenderID work by checking the IP address of the actual sender {4} against a list of addresses authorized by the alleged sender. If the sender says “HELO this is sending to you from address”, the receiver can query AOL’s records in the Domain Name System ( DNS ), and see if that is indeed an address authorized to send mail on behalf of AOL. So far, it looks like DNS is secure {5}.

DomainKeys also uses DNS to retrieve secure information from the alleged sender, but instead of a list of authorized addresses, the sender provides a public key for his domain. This key can be used to verify the signature on the message, independent of any IP address. Freedom from IP addressing means the message can go by any route, including through a forwarder.

The use of forwarders is common for small domains which prefer not to manage their own mail server, and for individual recipients, who prefer to keep their personal address when they change jobs or ISPs. SPF and SenderID can also work with forwarders, but the extra steps add complexity and some vulnerability to the system (see below). CSV limits its focus to one-hop authentications, and assumes a signature method will be used for end-to-end authentication.

Use of the DNS database to register authentication information for a domain is relatively new. The new information is added to existing DNS records, and queries for this information are handled the same way as any other DNS query. Publishing authentication records in DNS is voluntary, and many domains probably won’t bother. However, any legitimate domain, even those that don’t intend to operate public mail servers, will most likely want to block others from using their name to forge emails. A simple code in their DNS record will tell the world, “Block all mail claiming to be from our domain. We have no public mail servers.”

An Example Undeliverable Message Source

When you see … it means a whole lot of random characters that are of no interest to humans, this is just a sample of what you might see. Lots of things have been deleted, and these vary by both sender and recipient mail system

Received: from from ( by with HTTPS

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups: (
Your message couldn’t be delivered. The Domain Name System (DNS) reported that the recipient’s domain does not exist.

Contact the recipient by some other means (by phone, for example) and ask them to tell their email admin that it appears that their domain isn’t properly registered at their domain registrar. Give them the error details shown below. It’s likely that the recipient’s email admin is the only one who can fix this problem.

For more information and tips to fix this issue see this article:

Diagnostic information for administrators:

Generating server:
Remote Server returned ‘550 5.4.310 DNS domain does not exist [Message=InfoDomainNonexistent] [] []’
Original message headers:

DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;;
s=selector1; h=From:Date:Subject:Message-ID:Content-Type:MIME-Version;
Received: from
( by
( with Microsoft SMTP Server (version=TLS1_2,
cipher=TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384_P384) id; Tue, 17
Oct 2017 21:08:01 +0000
Received: from ( by ( with Microsoft SMTP
Server (version=TLS1_2, cipher=TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P256) id via Frontend Transport; Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:08:01 +0000
Received: from ([]) by ([]) with mapi id
15.20.0077.022; Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:08:01 +0000
From: Gary ? Johnson
To: “”
Subject: This is the subject line
Thread-Topic: This is the subject line
Thread-Index: AQHTR4wCXhbZPgww706li0imsCfhvw==
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:08:01 +0000
Accept-Language: en-US
Content-Language: en-US
authentication-results:; dkim=none (message not
signed) header.d=none;; dmarc=none action=none;
x-incomingtopheadermarker: OriginalChecksum: …
x-ms-exchange-messagesentrepresentingtype: 1
x-tmn: [5tZAHpL1A+VBmZ1x15R7VQEN4LHcVqOQ1pBIFXvOmbu5IcPjW77yWM1ZXzfh4hOY]
x-ms-publictraffictype: Email
x-microsoft-exchange-diagnostics: 1; ……=
x-incomingheadercount: 44
x-eopattributedmessage: 0
x-ms-office365-filtering-correlation-id: 276019eb-9aba-45c7-f4ae-08d515a32668
x-microsoft-antispam: UriScan:; ….
x-ms-traffictypediagnostic: BY2NAM01HT152:
x-exchange-antispam-report-test: UriScan:;
x-forefront-prvs: 04631F8F77
x-forefront-antispam-report: SFV:NSPM;SFS:(7070007)
spamdiagnosticoutput: 1:99
spamdiagnosticmetadata: NSPM
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-MS-Exchange-CrossTenant-originalarrivaltime: 17 Oct 2017 21:08:01.0589
X-MS-Exchange-CrossTenant-fromentityheader: Internet
X-MS-Exchange-CrossTenant-id: 84df9e7f-e9f6-40af-b435-aaaaaaaaaaaa
X-MS-Exchange-Transport-CrossTenantHeadersStamped: BY2NAM01HT152

Copy from the Original


A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is
assigned to helping the other monks in copying
the old canons and laws of the church, by hand.
He notices, however, that all of the monks are
copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.
So, the new monk goes to the Old Abbot to question
this, pointing out that if someone made even a small
error in the first copy, it would never be picked up!
In fact, that error would be continued in all of
the subsequent copies.
The head monk, says, “We have been copying
from the copies for centuries, but you make a
good point, my son.”

He goes down into the dark caves
underneath the monastery where the original
manuscripts are held as archives,
in a locked vault that hasn’t
been opened for hundreds of years.
Hours go by and nobody sees the Old Abbot.
So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him.
He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing.
“We missed the
! We missed the

We missed the bloody
His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.

The young monk asks the old Abbot, “What’s wrong, father?”
With a choking voice, the old Abbot replies,
“The word was …

Making a Video while walking using a Smartphone


I am trying this rig.  I cut holes on the side of my smartphone case, looped some fishing line through it so I could attach a camera strap.

example of Gary using the rig

Landscape mode, no zoom

Wear Sneakers / comfortable shoes

You must teach your mind to coordinate body movements (Kinesthetic Memory).
Learn to walk without moving your upper body up and down, side to side, or with any changes in forward speed at all.
Pick a line and walk towards it, make that line level and smooth, walk slow
Heel to toe, roll on foot
Walking heel to toe in a smooth, flowing motion helps to keep your body stable.
Take small steps
Stop with the weight on one foot.
Distribute weight from heel to toe.
Walk with wide open feet (side to side bouncing).

Walk smoothly, like Groucho Marx  in a partial squat, with his knees bent and flexed. Use your leg muscles to absorb all shock.

Do not walking sideways.

Keep both arms in.
Hold both elbows near your chest. This helps create a solid platform for your camcorder, and helps prevent the accidental tilting of the camera that can occur with your arms extended away from your body.
Keep your elbow at a 90 degree angle to help with controlling the rig.

Use a Winsock
Start 2 seconds before shot

Before you pan (pivot horizontally), pre-select your start and finish compositions and plant your feet facing exactly midway between them. Twist only your upper body to frame the opening of the shot and then swivel smoothly to the end position.

When panning and/or tilting, plan a beginning and an ending before you shoot

More high tech gadgets out or coming:

Creating a Watchable Video

With smart phones and a few guidelines

TSS (The Short Story)

  • Framing – in Landscape mode
    If Interview – Rule of thirds.
    If Presentation (Like the news) Subject in middle, eyes on top rule of thirds horizontal line
    Use some space around the subject top, right, bottom, left and back and front.
  • Stability – not handheld
  • Lighting – subject faces the light, shoot near a window
    [ Subject   <- Camera (between light and subject, but not blocking light)  <- Light]
    Do not shoot into the light
  • Audio – get close
  • Set / Sound – quiet
  • Make a test video


Be yourself. Your knowledge and enthusiasm make the video interesting.
Be aware of your sound quality. Speak loudly and clearly.  Enunciate every word and use variety in your pitch and inflections.
Use clear, concise sentences.
Use videos to enhance, rather than repeat, material about your topic that is already in a brochure or web pages.
Practice a couple of times.
Put some pizazz in your presentation — this is no time to be shy — you’re a pro gangdammit.
Show Some Enthusiasm!  Channel your inner movie star!

Camera Operators

Get to know your equipment!   Press all the buttons. My Nexus 5x  video camera screen has 3 icons on the right and a menu on the left.  Far right is the setting for  flash, on or off.  Next to that is the setting for lighting, auto and 4 other types of lighting, Cloudy, Sunny, Fluorescent and Tungsten, and next to that the selector for what type of grid (see rule of thirds below). After you start up either your photo or video camera, tap the screen, this sets your focus and exposure level for the shot (autofocus). Depending on your version of Android, you may get a slide control that lets you manually change the exposure level.

Where is the microphone for the rear camera?
On my Nexus 5x its is the tiny hole in between the USB port and the Aux ports at the bottom of the device. I get better audio when I take my phone out of its case.


Your smartphone camera is an amazing device.  A child can make a make a pretty good video.  With a little practice, so can you.  I am an android smartphone user.  These tips are mostly not iPhone or Android specific. This link talks about using exposure lock and not using digital zoom, other than that, it has the same tips as in this article.

Sunny Lenarduzzi has some short, to the point videos

How to Make Videos with your Phone

How to Get Comfortable on Camera

MAKE SOME VIDEOS.  Use these tips and find out what works for you!

More Tips and Tricks

Chose a good location. Determine if the background is appropriate to your topic.
An office background is fine; however,  make sure there is no movement or distracting items.  You want the focus on the subject. You do not want something in the background drawing the viewer’s attention.

Record in a quiet place and use the best quality microphone available.
If you’re not using a mic, get as close to the subject as possible.
If you shoot outside, or inside in a public area, a microphone is critical.
Close all windows and doors. Turn off any fans, heaters or other noises in the room.

Try and have a nice natural light shine on your subject.
The subjects should face the light (the window, etc.)!

Shoot a test video.

View it to determine if there is wind or any other noise. Do a soundcheck! Check for reflections and shadows, glare, etc.  If your test video is too dark, try using a lamp off to the to side, and shining down on subject

The Rule of Thirds and The Golden Ratio

What are those Grid Lines on your camera’s viewfinder?  When shooting a single speaker, it is fine to frame your subject in the center, with the eyes along the top line of the rule of thirds grid.  For other landscape scenes, take a look at the next 3 links.
Rule of third examples
The golden ratio examples

File Formats

If multiple people are making videos, make sure they all shoot in landscape!
The video format standard to use, or save as, or convert to is Container mp4,  Video Codec H.264. Youtube will convert a lot of formats when you upload to a decent streaming format.

Video Stability

Use a tripod or some kind of fixed stand.

SmartPhone Tripod Adapter $1.62
Amazon and Best Buy are pricey, try Walmart and Ebay.

Homemade Tripods

A couple of really easy do- it-yourself tripods can be found here: My favorite:


Does the camera have to move? Let me google smartphone dolly for you.

Example Mic

Older microphones use the TRS plug standard. It has 2 rings. Mikes that plugin to your phone use the 3 ring TRRS standard. On android, you need to use Open Camera to select the microphone as the audio input.  Let me google “microphone for iPhone” for you

Example Winsock for Shooting Outdoors

One of the real pains in shooting outdoors is wind noise.  A winsock aka dead cat (let me google that for you ) really cuts down and this problem.

Homemade Winsocks

spongewinsock Trim it with scissors, and color it black , it does the trick

Example Video with Tips on Making Types of Promotional Videos I have included this link as an example of how to present in a video.  Notice the gentlemen’s style. Relaxed, yet enthusiastic.

More on Lighting LED Lights.
A nice LED light for $25 LED that you can mount on a tripod.  nice tip on white balance.

Video Editing

You need an opening credits and closing credits,  Sprinkle in some slides.
I use NCH Videopad.  Learn how to trim clips, add transitions and add music.  Overlay text to make important points.

Use Some Public Domain Music

Video Hosting

Use Youtube or another suitable streaming video platform to host your video.
Container mp4,  Video Codec H.264.

Learn about your Smartphone’s Video Assistant Capabilities.

I use an Android Nexus 5x with Google Project Fi.  I go to I click on assitant, and I can create animations, collages and a number of other cool things. The capabilities on my phone are even more amazing.  I can create a movie using up to 50 pictures.

Making a video can get out of control, hopefully, this this will help put things in perspective:

The Millennial Marriage Proposal :

Taking it to the next step, the Upgrade
In Boston, you can rent really nice equipment to make videos. More gear.

My Youtube Account  SCEH Youtube page

Other Resources

Boston Film and Video Production

Android users may find it a little more difficult to get more detailed information about their devices. There are many more manufacturers for Android devices. Luckily, you do not need much more than what’s here to make a good video.

There is way, way, way more to photography and video than these tips.   Take for instance this very short tip on Depth Of Field:

The first rule for understanding aperture and depth of field is very simple: the larger the aperture, the shallower your depth of field will be, meaning a smaller portion of your image will be in focus. The smaller the aperture, the deeper your depth of field will be, resulting in more of your image being in focus. Now here’s the tricky part: aperture size is denoted by a number, and the smaller the number, the larger the aperture. Setting your aperture setting to f2.8 will yield shallower depth of field than setting it to f11. Another way to think of it is that a smaller number means less depth of field.

A more comprehensive tutorial on the subject has, not all kinds of light are equal, Overexposure, underexposure, iso shutter speed, etc.

Finchie needs to speak.

From the Daily Mirror

So after the past few weeks of shite that’s been floating around on Facebook iv tried to stay out of it.

But I can’t, not anymore. Finchie needs to speak.


What’s the craic lads! I don’t think we have officially met. Finchie here from Ireland, we are that non aggravating, laid back post English island to the west of the bulls***.

So how’s yourself? Been busy I hope. I see from the shallow media outlets and “copy paste” fear posting on social media that ye have been up to your neck in it the past few months. Good for you!

Sorry to be bothering ye boys while ye are busy planning the world’s biggest burning man festival in the name of Alan, (or what ever he’s called) but something has come to our attention to past few days that we need to have a quick “chat” about it.

What’s this I hear about ye adding us to a list of countries called “The Global Coalition” in some mad 80’s themed propaganda video? Ah lads come on will ya, shtep down from 3 legged horse now for a second and rewind the cassette cuz I think ye got it wrong.

First of all, lads were only here for the craic! We have been through too much sh**e hawking over the past couple of thousand years to be goin all “rouge and sh**” and joining in fights we clearly don’t want to be part of

“It’s like when a fisht fight breaks out in primary school between Vince and Iano Kelly. Most of us just watch, shout a bit and kick a bin to make noise or whatever, but we don’t bother getting involved (well Vince is English so any sly opportunity for a shneaky kick to the shins and were all over it) we couldn’t be a***d with the hole thing, we’re simply too laid back.

Now keeping that in mind let me let you in on a few tips if you do decide to come over here and pi** in our cornflakes.

Don’t judge us on the actions of the lads across the pond. We don’t like that craic. I get that ye have yer fight an all, but dont drag us into it, we don’t give a left b****ck for Alan and what he tells ye to do.
Sharon’s law, (or whatever it is) won’t work here. I know a Sharon, and she’s a c***. We don’t like her either.

Don’t bomb our sh**. We just finished building it back after breaking free from the very enemy you also have on your hit list. (if you want tho you can destroy leitrim, absolute sh**ehole lads I’m not joking)

We have more than one army. 1 official army (actually went training in north cork recently to prepare for your arrival. And yes north cork is exactly like Damascus, especially fermoy on a Friday night).

We also have a few non official, highly secretive, multi talented armies all with the same name (you get used to it after a while) who hate each other but have one very important thing in common…all mad b****rds. Let that sink in

By the way the unofficial armies are all trained in guerrilla warfare. Meaning your f***ed. Like actually f***ed. Unless you want to buy weapons, then some of them will turn a blind eye to “the cause” and sell ya a few AKs while you visit.

Don’t even think about blowing up Leo Burdocks!!! Consider this your harshest warning!

If any single pub is damaged during your short stay here, we will consider this an act of war!!! And we praise to our God Arthur, we will strike down on you with great vengeance and furious anger on those who attempt to destroy our drinking patterns during a time of crises!.

On a final note, remember these and you should be fine:

1. Offies close at ten

2. Don’t leave the immersion on

3. PM me for Bono’s address

4. Don’t bomb sh** when the toy show is on

5. Start with leitrim

6. If your looking for virgins you won’t find any on Harcourt street

7. Get a Tesco clubcard. Trust me.

8. If you want to blow up a stadium, go to dalymount please.

9. Go to a water protest, they don’t judge you for where your from, just if you pay or not.

10. Finally, if asked for change, eyes down and keep F***ing walking!

So ISIS its good to meet you. Do yourself a favour and us, stay where you are. You don’t want to come here, were not bothered with the issues you have.

But if you do, we will beat the sh** out of all of you using mammies wooden spoon, kilkenny hurlers and the bouncers from the copper faced Jack’s.

Yours unintentionally

Finchie and the rest of Ireland

Planning for my new Audio / Video Setup

This blog is called the random musings.  This post is a great example.  One of things I am planning for is to prevent lock in.  Your cable company, your satellite tv provider, want you to be a customer for life.  If you want an idea of how badly, just try and cancel your service.  After I canceled DirecTV, I wrote this. To customer retention specialist everywhere: Really aggravating process.  I don’t mind using their services; however, I want to make sure it is easy for me to switch, well, in case they start (continue ..) price gouging.   I start with my  AV-receiver as the heart of my system, then the speakers, the TV and then I lay out how various providers connect to them.  And I need an easy to use remote control setup to control it. My last setup seems simple compared to what I am planning for next.  I need internet protocol, irc, rf, bluetooth and who knows what else kind of control.  Alexa and the Google Home product come to mind. I need a centralized data store for all this audio and visual content. I plan on hardwiring the biggest data hogs so that I don’t have to worry about wireless access degradation.

Today, I have a Windows 7 machine that I use as an Home Theater PC (HTPC) and a jukebox.  Mickeysoft has pretty much abandoned Windows Media Center, so our doing OTA recording on this machine looks dicey in the near future.  TV has a line going through it.  Sound is fantastic, bought, it takes up a lot of room.  We got rid of DIRECTV and set up a laptop to stream Netflix and play movies.  I did this so as not to interfere with the  HTPC recording.  Disk, arm contention and all that jazz.   Having a HTPC as part of the system has worked out great.  With it, I was able to say, I really won’t miss Directv that much.  I am worried that all the vendors know this, and they want to sell you proprietary boxes. Well, not worried, but wary.  My prefered method of accessing new services is through a HTPC, so I don’t get locked into proprietary devices.  It also can make accessing by remote a little cleaner.  My baseline for audio over these services is dolby 5.1.  But life gets complicated.  To run Netflix with 5.1, you have to use Windows 10.  This is an example of the kind of thing I plan on working around.  One of the things I can’t work around is the fact that if you try and buy a non 4k tv, it is probably not going to have the bells and whistles that you want.  Not being able to get a few of the things you want is a pretty common occurrence. The big providers have no incentive in doing anything that makes it easy for people to plan make own systems.  I say we draft the Netflix guy for president. He really popularized an easy, inexpensive alternative to what is easily one of the biggest industries in the world.  That is genius.  I rant to easily!

Streaming and Possible Data Caps and 4K TVs

We love streaming. We are seeing some great movies with the Netflix DVD plan.  I miss maybe 3 or 4 shoes that I don’t get, but it’s more than offset by being able to watch Kimmy, Evil (House of Cards) and a zillion other things.

So I go to look at TVs.  4K TVs are the rage.  We set Netflix Windows 10 app to play at High Quality, up to 3GB per hour in data.

Comcast has capped data usage at 1 terabyte per month in 20 states or so, so I am using that as my monthly budget.  I have seen articles that say they will offer data beyond the cap at an extra $50 a month, but, Comcast is the last company I want to give more money to.  3 GB per hour or 333 hours to use a terabyte of data.  A high estimate of our streaming usage is 5 days a week, 4 hours or 20 a week or 80 hours a month.  80 hours of Netflix at High is 80 x 3 or 240gb or around 1/4 of the cap.  So cap wise, we look okay.

To stream 4k, they say you need a good internet connection.  Our speeds are not bad.  We stream at high quality, Dolby 5.1 and our current TV is 1080i, or half the bandwidth of 1080p.  We when we first start streaming a show, the quality is not so good.  Okay, they use a lot of compression in streaming, and they do a lot of tricks to conserve bandwidth.  I think of it like this, they do not paint all the pixels in the background for the first bit of viewing, until they figure out how to paint them on the screen correctly for this particular show.  On our TV, it only paints half the pixels of HD 1080p, and the quality at the beginning is low.  HDR basically quadruples that.  I have heard mention of HDR streaming is crap.  I goggled “tips for streaming 4K”.  I was not impressed with what I saw.  Pretty much useless drivel.  So it’s June in 2017, streaming 4K does not look like a real possibility.  There is another technology called HDR that has promise to increase video quality, however, in both cases 4K and HDR, the content available with these technologies is low.  I doubt many OTA broadcast stations will offer any 4k soon.  I would be surprised to see even 1080p in the near future.


My bottom line, if you a cord cutter, wait on 4K and HDR.

FYI, I get a little confused when I see YouTube saying look at this 4K (Ultra HD) content, which they scale down and show on my PC at 480i. The videos are nice, but, I know I am watching 480i.  I think they should say, your equipment can’t handle the 4K

Via Slashdot :

The latest televisions have more pixels than ever. But can your eyes detect the difference? The answer is yes — if you sit close enough. Old TVs had 349,920 pixels. High-definition flat screens bumped up the total to 2 million. Ultrahigh-definition sets inflated it to 8 million. And manufacturers are now experimenting with 8K TVs that have an astounding 33 million pixels. More pixels render hair, fur and skin with greater detail, but the benefit depends on viewing the screen from an ideal distance so the sharpness of the images is clear, but the tiny points of illumination aren’t individually distinguishable. According to standards set by the International Telecommunication Union, that ideal distance is 3 times the height of an HDTV screen, 1.5 times the height of a UHDTV screen and .75 times the height of an 8K screen (Editor’s note: the link could be paywalled; here’s a PDF copy of the newspaper). Given those measurements, viewers should sit 6 feet away from a 50-inch HDTV with a 24.5-inch tall screen. But they should sit just 3 feet from a UHDTV of the same size, closer than most Americans prefer.
I like sitting more than 6 feet away!

Component List of new System

AV receiver
Add on Remotes
HTPC / Sling / Hulu / Youtube /
Proprietary boxes
Audio Juke Box

Networking and Connecting you sytems

Room Layout

Audio Specs

dolby 5.1

Video Specs

HTPC Specs

hdmi, optical, rgb, …. display port ??
Data store specs

Notes  maybe $500.  UGH, they have iphone by no android

Not powerful enough, I need a 100 watts

Rated Output Power (North American)
With 8 ohm loads, both channels driven, from 20-20,000 Hz; rated 65
watts per channel minimum RMS power, with no more than 0.7% total
harmonic distortion from 250 milliwatts to rated output.
Surround Mode Output Power ()
(6 ohms, 1 kHz THD 0.9%) 115 W per channel)

Onkyo receiver Highlights

● Equipped with 7 ch amplifier
● Supports playback in Dolby Atmos format which
provides 360-degree placement and movement of
sounds including overhead sound
● Dolby Surround listening mode expands 2 ch, 5.1 ch or
7.1 ch source to available speaker configurations
● Equipped with 4K compatible HDMI IN/OUT jacks
● Supports the HDMI Standby Through function which
allows signal transmission from players to the TV in
standby state
● Supports HDCP2.2, a strict copy-protection for providing
high quality content (HDMI IN1 to IN3/HDMI OUT)
● Supports ARC (Audio Return Channel)
● Supports USB storage playback
● Supports variety of network functions such as Internet
Radio, DLNA, AirPlay etc.
● Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®
● Bi-Amping capability
● A/V Sync Function to correct deviation of audio and
● Multi-zone function which allows you to play a different
source in another room from the main room
● 32 bit DSP (Digital Signal Processor) with excellent
calculation performance
● Music Optimizer™ for compressed digital music files
● Phase Matching Bass System
● Automatic speaker setup available using supplied
calibrated microphone (AccuEQ Room Calibration)
● Supports playback of MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless,
FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, Apple Lossless, DSD, Dolby
TrueHD via network and USB storage device (the
supported formats will differ depending on the use

Cabling comments via BLU

Run conduit with pull strings so you can easily install whatever you
need and remove it later when you decide to replace it.

I am sorry, but I completely disagree.  Even with modern Wifi, I can get
much better throughput using physical wires if for no other reason than
each link can be switched and therefore isn’t “shared”.  With Wifi,
every device is sharing the medium.  I.e., I can get 20-30Gbps aggregate
across my 1Gbps physical network, versus maybe 1.2Gbps across my 1200AC
Wifi.  And let’s not even start with interference from my neighbors!
Indeed.  I’m thinking not just IP, but also possibly HDBaseT.  I’m going
to run separate Cat5e for my PoE security cameras (which only need 100mbps).
Cat6a throughout.

Over the top

OM3 multimode with LC connectors can handle 25, 40, 50 and 100G ethernet at
100m. One pair per room should be fine — but really, the
switch cost will be nasty for all the ports you don’t use.



June 8, 2017 Annie would have been 100

Annie Doherty was a remarkable women. A formidable woman.  A kind, caring and thoughtful woman.  She did not follow fashion, she set it.  In this photo, taken in August of 2016, she is 99 years and 2 months old.  It was taken the day after she fired her last physical therapist.  She called me down, and said “let’s go”.  I thought she just wanted to sit outside.  She had not walked to the park this year.  So she walks from her house down to Doherty Park, a pretty impressive feat for a 99 year old.


IMHO, she did this to prove to us that she did not need “no stinkin physical therapist”.

Annie had wonderful care from lots of people, and some visiting nurses came to the house. That was WONDERFUL. We will always be so very grateful for their care.

From time to time, she had physical therapy. The Annie Grannie was, for the most part of sweet little old lady. However, she did abuse her physical therapists. Her last physical therapist spent time trying to establish a rapport with her. She came 5 times and really tried to make a connection with her. Well, at 99, the Annie Grannie could still bend down and touch her toes. She kept moving every day.  She would do exercises — she just did not like to be told to do exercises.  I was in the room when on that fateful day, when, after quite a bit of conversational stroking, the therapist asks “Can you try and raise your arm over your head for me?  The Annie Grannie’s response — “Just what are you here for, anyway“.

A couple of the last pictures taken of her are below.  She often asked, when is the lord going to take me?  She was ready for her journey.

We celebrate and miss her every day.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “Hold on, wait a minute”.

Watch the superstar do her knee bends on Google Photos

MBTA Bus Tracking

Update Oct, 2017 – MBTA – try the Transit app

I have not tested it yet, but, the MBAT likes it

When I use Nextbus or T tracker, I occasionally do not see feeds for going downtown, from Sullivan Station.  The 93 route has a regular route and once an hour, they alter the route to go through the Navy Yard.  During the day, the bus terminates the downtown run at Devonshire St @ Milk St. During the evening, the Bus ends and start from Haymarket.

I did this page to track stops, routes and look up stops:

it allows you to enter in stop_ids and routes

it logs the results to my server

it is easy to use to track the results for your bus, or your app

The source is on   My Personal Repository – under dir mbta

I am keeping a log of a few of the anomalies here:


The results consistently only show a very limited timeframe, for example if a trip starts in less than 10 minutes, or no results at all yet the bus runs every 20 minutes or so.


Under certain circumstances, the MBTA-realtime API does not show bus predictions greater than 30 minutes.

We’re looking into why there are fewer predictions generated than expected. This combined with the 30-minute limit could cause no predictions to be returned, or predictions on only one of the route variations.


The mbta computer system is big, and sometimes when you ask it something, it is not ready to answer, completely.

What do you do?  If I get no results, try again, pretty soon, the system will answer.

If you’re trying to plan to take a bus, what do you trust, the schedule, or the feed?