Village News, 3/18/21

Dear Neighbor / Friend,

Plastic Lawn & Leaf Bags – Effective 1 April, Republic will no longer pick up leaves or yard debris bagged in plastic including the bio-gradable, eco-friendly bags. I have asked why they are enforcing the ban before county, but have yet to get a coherent response.

COVID-19 – County reports a significant uptick in the vaccine supply. A mass vaccination site capable of 1000 vaccinations each day is slated to open at the end of March at 5001 Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria. Fairfax County is expanding group 1B to now include essential workers in:

  • Food and agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Grocery store workers

If you meet the criteria (detailed here), register with the Fairfax County Health Department here. That same registration form in Spanish is here. County continues to vaccinate other eligible groups including those over 65, those 16-64 with a high risk medical condition, and frontline workers.

Virginia Department of Health reported that a few health districts are transitioning to Phase 1C; Fairfax County expects to follow suit no earlier than mid-April.

Two variants of the virus (the “South Africa” variant and the United Kingdom variant) have been confirmed in Virginia. The occurrence of variants is not an unusual development say health experts, but the same experts encourage us to get vaccinated, wear masks, wash hands and keep your distance from others.  

Featured Advertiser – Printing Ideas, (9925 Main Street, Fairfax) has prepared our community directory for about 20 years now. I think you’ll agree that their product is top shelf and they do many other printing products such as postcards, posters, banners, business cards and letters just to name a few. Email (web@printingideas.com) or call them for a quote.

 

D2D Tech Notes – Our Webmaster, village neighbor and owner/operator of D2D Computer Services, Bob Havey often submits articles to help our computer use and skills. Here’s Bob:

I was recently asked how to get copies of the images that show up on the screen before you log in to Windows 10 (a.k.a. “Lock Screen Spotlight Images) so they can be used for something else, like a Zoom virtual background? And, the second question was how to use a video as a Zoom virtual background? I investigated the first question, and in the process, I stumbled onto the answer to the second.

How to make the Lock Screen Spotlight images useful for other things? Yes, the screen and the images have names. Hardly anyone knows them, but they are used in the two articles I found that explains where the images are located and how to make them useful. The articles are at the following links:

I don’t like taking credit for work that other folks have done, and the articles provide “picture books” of the procedure, so I won’t reproduce them here, but for those who are fairly computer savvy, try this:

  • Create a folder in Pictures with a clever name like Spotlight (or something else that you can remember).
  • In File Explorer, navigate to %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Assets.
  • Copy everything in that folder to the folder you created. Don’t be picky at this point, grab everything.
  • In an administrative command prompt run the following command: ren *.* *.jpg.
  • This command changes the file extensions to JPG  (image files).  The can now be read by Windows Photos or another graphics program, and the pictures that you are interested in will have thumbnails.
  • Set the folder view to Large Icons or Extra Large Icons. Delete any images (icons, uninteresting images) that you don’t want. You can rename the images that you keep so you know what you are looking for, but this is really not necessary.

The images are now available for your use. But, be careful. A personal Zoom session or using the file as desktop wallpaper are likely to be “fair use’, but business use could get you into copyright problems.  If there are any IP lawyers out there, perhaps one of them could explain.

How to install a custom virtual background in a Zoom session? Most people who have used Zoom more than a few times have found the setting for changing virtual backgrounds in Zoom.  For those of you who have not made this discovery, try this:

  • In the Zoom app, hover your mouse near the bottom of the Zoom window until the menu bar appears.
  • Click the up arrow (^) next to the Video icon.
  • Click the plus sign (+) at the right side of the screen.
  • Click Add Image or add Video.
  • You have the choice here to load a video instead of an image.
  • Select the image or video that you want to use.
  • This can be one of your own favorite photos, a video of your cat, a stock photo, or one of the spotlight images that you captured in the previous procedure.
  • If you don’t have your own, Creative Commons (https://creativecommons.org/) has royalty free images and videos that you can use, but check the license.
  • Back on the Zoom settings screen select an image or video from the array that is presented.
  • Click the red X at the top right corner of the Settings window.

Note that a lot of laptop cameras won’t display a virtual background without the picture breaking up.  You can get a camera that will work for about $30 on Amazon.  I am sure that you can also get a similar camera locally.

I purposely left the explanation of a lot of steps in these 2 procedures out in the interest of brevity.  I will try to put picture books for those steps on my website:  https://www.dtwod.com. I can be reached at havey@dtwod.com or 703/569-8195.

2021 Teen Job and Opportunity Fair - Saturday, 20 March from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Students can register by clicking here – 2021 Fairfax County Teen Job Fair (brazenconnect.com). Free online booth space will be provided to businesses and organizations to advertise their available positions. Interested businesses can register here.

Contractor Recommendation - John Warren (Barnack) recommends Smith Roofing out of Woodbridge (703/590-8829). John had a leak in his kitchen ceiling and called Mr. Smith.  It turned out that John’s problem was just couple of problem nails. Smith Roofing fixed the problem immediately at a very reasonable price. John said that the representative could have easily sold him a new roof and wanted to cite Smith Roofing with high marks for integrity and craftsmanship.

Last Call for Cub Scout Pack 1545 Popcorn – this Rolling Valley Elementary School Pack is now selling the last of its popcorn at discounted prices. Since the Pack has already paid for the popcorn, all proceeds from the sales will stay with the Pack. That money helps to support our Cub Scouts with programs throughout the year. Here is the popcorn we have on hand, and the prices:

          25 bags caramel corn $7 each  
          9 jars popping corn $10 each
          10 bags salted caramel corn $12 each
          8 bags blazing hot popcorn $10 each
          7 bags white cheddar cheese $10 each

To purchase, please contact the Cubmaster, Jim Womack at yorkshireboy@mac.com or by cell phone at 254/423-3478. The scouts can deliver   in the local area.

Calendar (Refer to the calendar in your community directory or see details in archived editions of the enews at our website www.westspringfieldvillage.org):

  • 27 March from 10 AM to 1:00 PM, Drive Through Food Collection for ECHO at St. Mark’s Church (5800 Backlick Road)
  • 31 March – Last day for yard debris collection in plastic bags
  • 8 May from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Document Shredding at the Rolling Valley Park & Ride, 9220 Old Keene Mill Road in Burke.
  • 13 May – Village meeting (Agenda – set dues for FY22 and more)

Stay healthy and dry!

John Cooley, CAWSV

 

 

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