Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Through the Keyhole - April 2022


IT Services - Business Consulting - Digital Marketing

APRIL 2022
Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter
"This city produces more than 15% of its national income being its capital city and political center.  Having a population close to 2 million, it is also known as the 'Paris of the North' or the 'Phoenix City'. The city was razed to the ground by WWII and rebuilt under communism.  Today, they are Nationalists with a strong stance against immigration of foreigners...until now."

Can you guess the location?

Hi. I'm April.
Not sure if you remember this little firecracker from the TV show "Two and a half Men". She played the role of Kandi on the show and often stole scenes with her sizzling appearance and ditzy demeanor.  My mother hated this show as it was full of innuendos.  In its heyday, the show was brilliant when Charlie Sheen was on his game... Have a look.
Two and a half Men scene ~3 minutes
I never thought that we would come so far in 2 short years.  Here we are in a workplace that looks completely different for most and largely different for some. In any case, the world is a different place.

Gone are the days of "snow days", occasional work from home, home schoolers being mocked, teachers and flight attendants being nice, long commutes, in person doctor visits, door to door salesmen, going to the movies, riding public transportation, enjoying air travel, and medical privacy.  That was quick.

We have all had to make changes to the way we do things in order to survive and thrive in this world.  If all of this would have happened 10 years ago, there is no way people could have done well without the technology that is available.  I guess we are all thankful that we have been able to pivot.

Now that it has been 2 years since 15 days to slow the spread, it is April of 2022.  Let's see what's going on...

This month we celebrate Passover and Easter which each have great significance to the Jewish and Christian faiths respectively.

One of my favorite memories from Easter as a child is the blessing of Easter baskets on Holy Saturday with my grandparents.  They used to live above my family's original funeral home on Division Street in Chicago and would take us two blocks or so away for the blessing.  My grandmother would make these intricate Easter Eggs with wax and dye.  Her basket had to be 'just so'.  

The following day we would play a game with our colored eggs... More like survival of the fittest egg.  We would smash them against each other's eggs and the one that didn't break would 'win'.  Such fond memories...

Contents of a traditional Polish Easter Basket (I know I post this every year).

Maslo (Butter)
 - This dairy product is often shaped into a lamb (Baranek Wielkanocny) or a cross. This reminds us of the good will of Christ that we should have towards all things.

Babka (Easter Bread) - A round or long loaf topped with a cross or a fish, symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life.

Chrzan (Horseradish) - Symbolic of the Passion of Christ still in our minds.

Jajka (Eggs) and Pisanki (decorated with symbols of Easter, of life, of prosperity) - Indicates new life and Christ's Resurrection from the tomb.

Kielbasa (Sausage) - A sausage product, symbolic of God's favor and generosity.

Szynka (Ham) - Symbolic of great joy and abundance. Some prefer lamb or veal. The lamb also reminds Christians that the Risen Christ is the "Lamb of God."

Slonina (Smoked Bacon) - A symbol of the overabundance of God's mercy and generosity.

Sol (Salt) - A necessary element in our physical life. Symbolic of prosperity and justice and to remind us that people are the flavor of the earth.

Ser (Cheese) - Symbolic of the moderation Christians should have at all times.

Candle - Represents Christ as the Light of the World.

Colorful Ribbons and Sprigs of Greenery - are attached to the basket as signs of joy and new life in the season of spring and in celebration of the Resurrection.

Linen Cover - drawn over the top of the basket which is ready for the priest's visit to the home or the trip to church where it is joined with the baskets of others to await the blessing. The food is then set aside and enjoyed on Easter Sunday.
My grandmother's eggs were not this perfect but they were like these...
Easter Egg Smashing... ~3 minutes.

Goodbye IE, Hello Edge...

Internet Explorer ends June 2022...

Internet Explorer is set to retire this year in June 2022. There were some ups and downs with this browser during it’s 27 year run, but it was slated to be replaced by Microsoft Edge several years ago. When Microsoft Edge was first released by Microsoft in 2017. It’s first iteration was a rough release and would not be something TURNkey would have recommended. Since then, is has gone through many updates and most notably changed to Chromium-based (runs off the same engine as Google Chrome) in 2020. This update made it on the same level as Google Chrome and has even surpassed it in some categories with updates and features being added all the time.
When compared to Chrome; Microsoft Edge wins in speed, security, and integration with Microsoft 365. Edge also has the option to use profiles so you can have a separate profile for business and personal use. Logging into Edge using your Microsoft 365 credentials will give you the best work experience where you can use the built-in search features to find information from your Office 365 environment. While you may not have had a lot of experience using the newer Edge, we encourage you to give it a try!
Here are links showing some of the features as well as comparisons.

Microsoft Edge for Business - Features for Work: Microsoft Edge Browser - Microsoft
Edge vs. Chrome - Microsoft Edge vs. Google Chrome: Performance, design, security, and more | Digital Trends

Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was Tony Svanacini who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!
ANSWER: Taipei, Taiwan
"This is the second richest city in Asia per capita and is home to many production facilities for the field of technology.  The city offers free wifi to everyone living and visiting there.  And what's more, you don't need a visa from the US to travel there.  You must watch out for Big Brother, however, as he looms large."

Taipei, Taiwan

Residents of Taipei enjoy high quality of life in a city that is growing more globally connected each year. As one of the world's leading cities in producing and researching electronics, Taipei is a city made on modern wealth. Many industry leaders in the tech world are based in Taipei and have given rise to its industrial prowess in the field of technology development.

Until the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Taipei boasted the world's tallest building from 2004 to 2010. The building known as Taipei 101 is currently ranked the world's 5th tallest building and is the tallest in Taiwan overall. At 1,667 feet (508 meters), Taipei 101 dominates the city skyline. It features a unique design modeled after both bamboo and traditional pagoda styles.

Taipei has a humid, subtropical climate. The summers can be hot and humid and are often impacted by typhoons. The best times to visit are in the spring and fall. From March to May, visitors can expect mild, sunshiny weather and a city in full bloom. The many gardens of Taipei make spring an ideal time to visit. In September through November, the weather is cooler and less humid.

Transportation once you land in Taipei is no problem. With a 10 line MRT subway, a high-speed train line to cities on the western coast and the Taoyuan International Airport being only 20 kilometers from central Taipei, it is easy to get around. If you're flying from the US or Europe, flights to Taiwan are easy to come by and are often direct. From 1949 to 2008, travel directly between Taiwan and mainland China was not allowed. Nowadays, there are daily flights from major Chinese cities to Taipei available for anyone wanting to visit.

Street food is becoming more in vogue in North America and Europe with food trucks and pop-ups becoming the highlights of local food scenes. In Taipei, the authentic side to street food can be found around every corner. The most popular night market for street food is the Shilin Market in north Taipei. This busy culinary area offers hundred of food stalls at cheap prices that cater to the large crowds that flock to it each evening. Try out the classic Stinky Tofu or other Taiwanese dishes from local vendors while soaking up the street food market atmosphere. 

The city offers free public access WiFi to everyone living and visiting there. All you have to do is sign up for a free account and you are ready to go. This is a life saver if you want to avoid buying a local phone or SIM card to help keep you connected. The WiFi system is in place all around the city with 1,000s of locations serving as WiFi hotspots.

For United States citizens, there is no visa requirement to visit Taiwan in general. While you'll need a visa if you plan to go on to the mainland, Taipei only requires a valid passport for the length of your stay. Visitors can stay within Taiwan for a full 90 days before moving on. This allows plenty of time for exploring Taipei and seeing the other sights Taiwan has to offer.

However, there is some talk of Chinese aggression lately, so tread lightly...

 ~14 min.
Reasons to live in Taipei ~ 8 min.
 ~8 min.
Paint Color Changing?
White in the summer and Black in the Winter?
Operation Looking Glass?

Deja Vu Trailer - 2 minutes

Russell Brand is interesting...
Speaks his mind ~ 15 minutes
Joe Rogan keeps up the heat...
Interesting truth. ~ 2 minutes
Six quick stories...

Once all villagers decided to pray for rain.
  On the day of prayer all the people gathered,
  but only one boy came with an umbrella.
That's FAITH.
When you throw babies in the air,
they laugh because they know you will catch them.
That's TRUST.
Every night we go to bed
  without any assurance of being alive the next morning,
  but still we set the alarms to wake up.
That's HOPE
We plan big things for tomorrow
in spite of zero knowledge of the future.

We see the world suffering,
but still we get married and have children.
That's LOVE.
On an old man's shirt was written a sentence
'I am not 80 years old;
  I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.'

It's almost Baseball Season...
at 41 seconds you see Sammy Sosa hit a VERY LONG HOME RUN.

More Stuff...

Best Ever Fettuccine Alfredo

10 ounces fettuccine pasta (freshly made is best)

1⁄2 cup butter

5 -6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1 egg yolk

2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons dried parsley


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add fettucine pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente and
drain.  Just until pasta floats if using freshly made pasta.

Melt butter in a large skillet and add chopped garlic.

Cook on low for about 5 minutes, stirring often, making sure not to burn
the garlic 

Pour about 1/4 cup of the heavy cream into a small bow.

Add the egg yolk and beat together and put aside.

Pour the remaining cream into the frying pan.

Increase the heat to medium-high.

As the cream starts to boil, mix rapidly using a whisk.
 All rights reserved.