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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Conrad Hilton Dublin

The Conrad Hilton Dublin is centrally located. It's a 20 minute walk to the Temple Bar area.

I arrived on a Saturday and enjoyed s fantastic buffet breakfast.

Monday, June 22, 2015

It's Good to be Gronk, a new book by New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski

Patriots Gronkowski Opens Up In New Book ‘It’s Good To Be Gronk’
BOSTON (CBS) — We already had a pretty good idea that Rob Gronkowski has a good life, but he’s opening up a bit in a new book.
The Patriots tight end has penned a new memoir with agent Jason Rosenhaus, fittingly titled It’s Good To Be Gronk (not to be confused with A Gronking To Remember). In the new book, Gronkowski shares some stories from his college days at Arizona, a few of his exchanges with Bill Belichick, and an interesting tidbit about his finances.

The MMQB posted a few excerpts from the book on Monday, with one revealing that Gronkowski hasn’t yet touched any of the cash he’s earned in his five seasons with the Patriots. That sweet party bus and all of his other cool toys have been paid for with the money he’s earned from his numerous sponsorships, leaving plenty in Gronk’s piggy bank for the future.

New England Patriots record-breaking tight-end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski offers fans a front row seat to a football superstar’s life on and off the field.

“One of the best tight ends the game has ever seen. Off the field, he’s unabashedly the cruise director of the NFL.” —New York Post

Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski holds nine league-wide records and three Patriots franchise records. His accomplishments include thirty-eight receiving touchdowns in his first three seasons (thirteen more than any other tight end in the NFL) and the 2011 record for most touchdowns made by a tight end, with seventeen receiving and eighteen overall. With a Super Bowl victory under his belt and a nationwide reputation for a personality that’s “comedy gold” (CBS Sports), he has continued to win the hearts of fans through his fun-loving attitude.

From hamming it up at Super Bowl Media Day, to spicing up interviews with “Gronk-esque” dance moves, to cuddling with kittens in the pages of ESPN The Magazine, to christening a used party bus his ride of choice, Gronk’s good humor and playful persona make it seem like other players are “living in black and white, and Gronk is in color” (CBS Sports). But it’s not all fun and games. After multiple surgeries on his forearms, ankle, and back, Gronk tore his ACL and MCL, prematurely ending his 2013 season (but not before scoring four touchdowns and 592 receiving yards). His many injuries and subsequent recoveries made his key play in Super Bowl XLIX—which led to victory and the title of “Comeback Player of the Year”—all the sweeter. Gronk takes fans from the field to the locker room to the VIP room to the talk show green room to his parents’ kitchen table—a full tour of the world according to Gronk.

It's Good to Be Gronk Affiliate Link

Lord Hobo Brewing Company opens huge brewery in Woburn

Great write-up on our Lord Hobo Brewing Co in today's Boston Herald, Lord Hobo opens huge brewery in Woburn.

Photo courtesy Boston Herald by: Nancy Lane

Here comes the Boom Sauce.

Lord Hobo Brewing Co. opened Saturday in Woburn — a big, bold, ambitious project from hop-loving local publican Dan Lanigan.

Boom Sauce is one of four beers he’ll pour in the days and weeks ahead at the Lord Hobo brewery tap room and at his popular Cambridge beer bar, also called Lord Hobo. Distribution in Greater Boston — and plenty of other new brews — will soon follow.

The $3 million, 47,000-square-foot facility is likely the largest craft brewery opening in New England history.
Hours are:

Mon - Thu:
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Keep up with brewery news on our Lord Hobo Brewing Company Facebook Page.


Earlier: Lord Hobo Brewing Company Opens.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Boston Globe Hides Online Multimedia from Print Readers

My Dad

Here's my dad, Aaron Garfield, when he worked at General Electric Aircraft Engine Group in Lynn, Massachusetts as a technical writer and editor.

Aaron Garfield with Pen and Paper
Image: Aaron Garfield at GE

He worked at General Electric for ever. As long as I can remember, until he retired. He worked with engineers and photographers on jet engine manuals. It's funny, as I write this, I don't ever remember seeing one of the manuals that he worked on. He never took work home.

He loved working with people. He loved working with words. He would always correct me at home, when ever I said, "Yeah, but..." He'd jump in and say, "NO BUT!" I guess he took that part of work home.

Here he is in the office with his clean desk. It was the same way at home. Everything had to be in order. Every tool on the workbench had it's place. If you removed a tool to use it, you had to put it back exactly where you found it, so you'd know where it would be the next time you needed it.

I'm like that now. ;-)

Dad at Work. GE.
Image: Dad at work. Clean desk.

Dad in Office
Image: Dad, Mad Men style.

My dad was great for taking trips. A big one was to the World's Fair, but many other where day trips throughout New England.

NY World's Fair 1964 024
Image: With Dad at NY World's Fair 1964 024

We'd travel to see all types of interesting places and have a picnic by the side of the road at a rest stop. In later years I found out one of the reasons for all those trips. My mom loved the beach, but my dad did not. So when it was time to do something on the weekend, my dad would say, "Let's go on a road trip!" We didn't go to the beach much.

My dad also had hobbies. One was magic. He bought tricks at a local magic store and joined the Society of American Magicians. Then he'd do shows at birthday parties. One time he did a show for my school. He called me up to make a glass of milk disappear, and I drank it. ;-)

He started doing shows at hospitals, but it became too stressful for him so he stopped doing that.

Aaron Garfield Doing Magic Tricks
Image: Aaron Garfield doing Magic For Children

His other passion was gardening. We spent a lot of time in the yard together, taking care of the plants and vegetable garden. I loved working in the yard with my dad. He showed me how to cut the lawn with our electric mower, making sure that I did not cut the cord by running it over.

Dad working in the yard
Image: Dad in the garden

In later years, my mom and dad spent winters in Florida. One time my wife Carol asked if my dad could swim, so he went into the pool and showed her that he could swim. As far back as I can remember, he never swam. My mom told me that he got chest pains when exerting himself, so never swam. That was a big deal.

He had two heart attacks, and ended up dying from pancreatic cancer.

I know that he would have enjoyed seeing me write a book, teach classes, speak at conferences, get involved advising and investing in start ups, and write about tech, beer, wine, cars and travel.

Thanks Dad. Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Lord Hobo Brewing Company Opens

Facebook Adds Authorship

Mike Alton explains and shows you how to implement Facebook Authorship:
Facebook has released a new "authorship" feature that's powered by the Author meta tag. If this sounds remarkably similar to Google's Authorship which was shuttered last year, that's because it is.

With a simple meta tag, writers and publishers can now indicate the author profile or publishing page for any given piece of content. The result is a linked name attached to any shares of that content on Facebook that allows viewers to see the author and potentially follow them.

Image: Facebook Authorship provides a link to Blog author's Facebook page

In my test, it works better on a shared blog post without an image.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Become a News Publisher on Apple News

Become a News Publisher on Apple News
To distribute content on News, you need to complete a sign-up and approval process. Use the iCloud-based News Publisher tool to register as a publisher, add your feeds, and get your channel approved.

News Publisher:

I signed up my blog.

You can have channels, but I just signed up using my main RSS 2.0 feed using the name Off On A Tangent and the image Steve Garfield.

It'll be interested to see if I get approved and how my feed looks on Apple News.

Update: Looking into Blogger Topic RSS 2.0 feeds.

Friday, June 12, 2015 Breaks Affiliate Code for Some Image Ads, Requires Fix

Just got this email from about their Associates Ad Unit Migration:

As part of our continuing effort to improve the Associates program’s products and services, we are making some changes to our technology platform. This platform change will require you to replace some older product links, banners, and widgets you currently have hosted on your website as they will no longer be supported after July 31, 2015. Text links are not impacted by this deprecation.

Action Required
We ask that you replace or update the impacted ad units prior to July 31, 2015. The links require the following update that can be facilitated through your CMS (content management system). You may make these replacements at whatever scale you are comfortable with.
- Find and replace with
- Find and replace with

Keep in mind that starting August 1, 2015, any remaining legacy product links (text + image, image-only), banners, and widgets will be served with non-clickable public service announcements that will not send traffic to Amazon, impacting your referring traffic and potential earnings, if not addressed. On September 1, 2015, these legacy ad units will no longer render, thereby creating a broken link on your website.

Getting Started
To assist with this migration, we have created a dashboard on Associates Central that identifies those product links, banner ads, and widgets that are impacted by this technology change. Be sure to visit Associates Central, for instructions on how to get started.

Please review our FAQs for more information on this migration. Should you have any questions or need assistance, visit the Customer Service page for contact information,

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this deprecation may cause.

The Amazon Associates Team
To paraphrase, go into your blog and find and replace every Amazon ad that uses the deprecated code in each blog post, or you'll have a lot of broken links after September 1, 2005. Unfortunately, my CMS, Blogger, can't easily accomplish this. If you've got Wordpress, you can do a global search and replace.

Amazon Affiliates Central will help, providing this link to show every blog post that contains, what will become, broken ad code.

It shows me 230 broken links:

If you click the above link and get an error, it might mean you are not signed in or have no broken ad units.

Go to your associates central dashboard and look at the right sidebar


Try clicking it again, or refreshing the page

It errors out some times.

In practice, I went into the first example and found that text links do not need to be changed, but image links do.

So I changed the code and ended up with a blank image.

Oh man. What a mess.

New Ad
This new ad below, created with the new affiliate code, will still work after September 1, 2015.

New Ad: James Taylor

Sweet Baby James!

Good luck.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

SPONSORED: AT&T LGG4 – Photography Tips, Review and Sweepstakes

Disclosure: I received an LG G4 from AT&T, and was paid by AT&T for this review.

Photography tips for taking photos on your phone

When taking any type of photo, keep these tips in mind, and you'll end up with great shots.

1. Get more light.

If you are about to take a photo and you think it's too dark. It's too dark. Turn on the lights if you are inside. If it's daytime, stand by a window or go outside.

Are you a food photographer? Your photos will look a lot better if you bring your plate by a window. In a restaurant? Carry your plate over to a window, the photo will be improved by adding natural daylight.

Many times the bar will have hanging pendulum lights that are perfect for shining a light on a plate of food too.

Here are some recent examples of food photos taken with available light:

Image: Pastrami Sandwich from Teresa's in Danvers, MA

Image: Spaghetti and Chicken Parm from Theresa's in Danvers, MA

Have those around you use the lights on their phones to light up your subject.

Here I took a snapshot of a horse and a teddy bear. Looks fine.

Image: Before. With Room Light Only.

Then I shined a little extra light on the subjects, and it brought out some of the detail.

Image: After. With a little additional light provided by a smartphone light. Looks better.

Is it actually too dark?

Do you have no way of adding light? Use manual mode on your camera to add light that way. Increase the exposure by using a slower shutter speed and adjust the ISO setting to let more light in.

It was the middle of the night and way too dark to take this photo:

Image: Chimney at night.

So I used manual mode and set the shutter speed to 4 seconds and the ISO setting to 2,700. Here's what I got:

Image: Chimney at night. Manual Mode.

2. Get closer.

It's nice to get a wide shot to set the scene.

Get closer too.

Get really close. Find the details of a larger scene in the small things. If you think you are close enough, take one more step closer.

If there are interesting people around, ask if you can take their photo. It's a challenge to get close to someone you don't know.

3. Get a different angle.

Most people go to the same spot, hold up their camera, take a photo and leave. Think, Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Vacation at the Grand Canyon.

Take a moment to take in your surroundings. Is there a different place you can take your photo from, where no one else is? Is there a fence or a window that you can shoot through?

4. Get low.

Lie down on the ground and shoot along the ground.

Shoot up towards a subject. If you are shooting pets or children, get on their level and take a photo from there.

5. Get high.

Is there a staircase, or hill nearby?

Get a different angle on your subject by shooting down. Get up on a sturdy chair. ;-)

LG G4 details and review

I used the LG G4 for a few days and loved it. It's very light in weight and the screen is a pleasure to use. If you are an iPhone user, all your standard apps are here, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and work just like the iPhone versions. The speaker is on the back of the LG G4, opposite from the screen. That doesn't matter if you are using headphones. When you are not, the sound is fine. You can cup your hand around the back to make it louder. The back of the LG G4 is curved, so if you place the LG G4 on the table and start typing, the phone wobbles. It's better to type on it when holding in your hand.

Let's look at some of the most interesting features of the LG G4:

Does it even need a case?
The G4 is available with a genuine leather body. Black or brown. That's unique. When my demo phone came in from AT&T, I opened the box and said, "Whoa!" The integrated leather body is very nice.

Image: G4 with black leather

Image: G4 with black leather. Close Up.

Does it have a replaceable battery?

The leather cover easily pops off to allow you to replace the battery.

Image: Cover off to allow access to battery

Image: Battery - Li-ion BATTERY Typ 3,000 mAh

Is the battery going to die?
Depends on how much you use it. The LG G4 has "Battery management with fast charging capability and Super Power Saver mode." The G4 has a removable 3,000 mAh battery. You can also replace it with a spare. (Backup batteries sold separately)

Is it a phone with a camera, or a camera with a phone?
For me it's a camera first, then a phone.

Features of the LG G4 camera include an f/1.8 low-light lens, Manual Mode, Optical Image Stabilization, Laser Autofocus, and high-res image sensors.

LG G4 Camera and Video Specs:
16 MP rear-facing camera with dual LED flash, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS+) 2.0, Laser Auto Focus, 8x digital zoom, and f/1.8 lens
Camera Features: Burst Shot; Gesture Shot; Cheese Shutter; Panorama; Dual Camera/Video; HDR (High Dynamic Range); Timer Shot; Light Trail
Video Record: UHD (3840 x 2160) @30fps; 1080p (1920 x 1080) @30fps; 720p (1280 x 720) @30fps; Slow motion (1280 x 720p) @120fps; QVGA (320 x 240) @120fps
Video Playback: UHD (3840 x 2160) @30fps; 1080p (1920 x 1080) @30fps; 864 x 480 @30fps
8 MP front-facing camera with f/1.8 lens and 8x digital zoom

My first shots with the LG G4, in automatic mode, with HDR turned to AUTO mode, were crystal clear. (see above)

Shortcut key: If you press the volume down key twice, the camera app opens. If you want, you can also turn on Quick Shot to take a photo instantly when the app opens with the key.

Can you take a better selfie?
Short answer: Yes.

Here are the details:
LG has elevated the art of the selfie with the new G4. With an 8 MP front-facing camera good enough to be a rear-facing camera and a soft selfie light that brightens around the border of the photo preview window, it perfectly captures your most important subject: you.

If you enable Gesture shot, the LG G4 will take a Selfie photo of you when you make a fist. Repeat the gesture and the LG G4 will take 4 Selfies.

Gesture Shutter How To:
To start the photo timer, simply open your hand then make a fist. Want to capture photos in a sequence? Open and close your fist twice for four selfies in a row. Gesture View can even switch between image capture and picture review automatically when you bring the phone down then back up.

Yes. Selfies are now built into cameras. ;-)

Image: Making a gesture

Power to the selfie!

With Dual mode, you can take a selfie and a regular photo at the same time, and they get mashed up into one photo.

How is the screen resolution?
It's great!

Crazy specs talk starts here: With a 5.5" IPS Quantum display, the G4 has QUAD HD RESOLUTION at 2560 x 1440.

For reference:
- UHD TV is 3840 x 2160
- 1080p is 1,920 x 1,080
- 720p is 1,280 x 720
I watched House of Cards on Netflix and it's a great experience.

Can the LG G4 shoot Ultra High Definition 4K video?



When in video camera mode, you can choose between on-screen settings shown on the display as: Slo-mo, HD, FHD, and UHD. The default setting is FHD or Full HD, 1080p. For this test video I chose UHD.

When in video mode, you can choose between on-screen settings shown the display as: Slo-mo, HD, FHD, and UHD. The default setting is FHD or Full HD, 1080p.

Video: Sample LG G4 UHD 3840 x 2160 @30fps Video. Hosted on YouTube.

Note: To view in 2160p 4K, you need to choose that setting on the YouTube video

Image: Choosing 2160p 4K setting on YouTube

Here's another 4K video.


In this example, auto focus was turned on. You can turn on manual focus to keep the camera from refocusing on everything that moves.

Could this phone save your life?
Yes, it could. If you use AT&T Drive mode.
Everyone knows texting and driving is dangerous, yet when a text message comes in, it's difficult not to respond. AT&T DriveMode is a free* app that silences incoming text message alerts so you can stay focused while driving.

Image: AT&T Drive mode "No te#xt is worth a life"

The LG G4 with AT&T Drive mode enabled uses GPS to detect when you are driving over 20 MPH. The AT&T Drive mode app then automatically replies to people who text you with a pre-written text message. I edited the standard copy to look like this:

Image: AT&T Drive mode Auto Reply

Note: AT&T Drive mode is available for both Android and iOS.

Additional Photos taken with the LG G4

Image: Fire engine in the middle if the night taken through a screen window. Auto Mode: Exposure 1/10.

Image: Fire engine in the middle if the night. Manual Mode: Exposure 1/10. ISA 2200.

Image: Jamaica Pond. B&W by Google Auto Awesome.

Check out this album of photos taken at an Antique Car Show.

Tweets from last night.

I had the LG G4 out at a restaurant and the server was really impressed with the resolution of the screen. Then she asked me how much the phone cost, so I looked it up for her.

The battery life is very good too.

The LG G4 4K Seconds Sweepstakes
The LGG4 4K Seconds Sweepstakes started on May 29th, and runs through June 20th. In order to celebrate the awesome 4K capture capability and 2TB of storage, AT&T is giving away one LGG4 every 4K seconds (66 minutes) for 23 days, totaling to an impressive 500 phones.

For a chance to win, participants need to:

1. Register at
2. Upload a picture they took from their phone. This can be done from a mobile device, tablet or computer. Images need to be .jpg or .png and less than 1 MB.

There is also a contest component to this program. All submitted photos (deemed eligible by the Official Rules) will also be housed on a gallery on the sweepstakes website. These will be open to public voting in order to determine a public appeal score. The photos will also be judged by a panel of judges.

The photo with the highest combination score from the judges and public appeal will be deemed the Grand Prize Winner and will receive a 55” Class Smart Curved 4K OLED 3D TV with webOS 2.0 and a 3D-Blu-Ray Disc Home Theatre System with Smart TV and Wireless Speakers. The second and third highest ranked photos will be deemed the First and Second Prize Winner. These winners will receive a 65” Class IPS 4K UHD Smart LED TV with webOS 2.0 and 3D-Capable Blu-ray Disc Home Theatre System with Smart TV and Wireless Speakers. The winners will be announced upon completion of the Judging Period, which ends July 9th.

Learn more at this AT&T Consumer Blog post and Mobile Minute video.

The LG G4 was easy to set up and fun to use. It has some very well thought out features that make using the phone a pleasure.

LOCK - Do you have a lock on your smartphone? The LG G4 has a Smart Lock feature knows when you are home and doesn't require locking every time. That's cool. You can also set up other trusted places where the LG G4 won't require a password every time.

APPS - I enjoyed using apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on the LG G4. it's 5.5" screen made it easy to use those apps.

CAMERA - The camera is solid. Automatic mode works great the majority of the time, and when needed, manual mode gives you lots of flexibility.

Bottom line: The LG G4 is Easy to set up, Fun to use, and Solid for both creating and consuming photos and video.

Steve Garfield approaches life with alacrity; a brisk and cheerful readiness. He enjoys learning, teaching and helping fun people and companies grow. Steve is a Social Media Traveler. Companies, brands, and destinations send Steve and his wife on trips where they publicly share their experiences via social media. Recent examples include the opening festivities for the Hermitage Club and traveling with GMC to the Super Bowl.