Instagram will accept any photo size up to 2048 x 2048 pixels.  This makes things pretty simple for those using a camera phone. However there's a catch if you are uploading photos that have been edited on a computer.

Photos on Instagram are resized to 612 x 612 pixels by the Instagram server. The resizing algorithm Instagram uses is not very good. It tends to create pixelation, which leads to jagged edges.  Test show that if you do resize your photos it is best to make them a size that Instagram won't need to resize.

The photos below pretty much tell the story. I also tested images at 1224 x 1224 and 1936 x 1936. Both were better than the 640 x 640 image, but still not as good as the 612 x 612 image. The images were viewed on a tablet, computer, and iPhone.

Instagram resizing


Soup and a Sandwich - Version 2

Roasted Carrot and Squash Soup with Prosciutto and Gouda Paninis.

Nothing makes for a better lunch than soup and a sandwich. However, you don't have to limit this menu to lunchtime. We had this for dinner tonight. Flavorful, warm, and filling. The perfect food for a cold winter evening.

You will need about 1 1/2 hours to prepare the meal, but the actual hands-on cooking time is less than 30 minutes. The soup could be made ahead of time to save even more time when you are ready to dish it up.

The soup recipe is original. It is an amalgam of several different recipes I've read and advice from a chef. The panini recipe is from Wolfgang Puck.

This was the first time I've made a grilled sandwich with mayo. It worked great. You don't have to run out and buy fancy cheeses and $15 per pound Prosciutto to make these sandwiches. Nor do you have to buy special bread. You can use regular sliced bread or Italian bread and whatever cheese and meat you have in your fridge. After all, the panini recipe listed here is nothing more than a fancy grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich. That being said, I purchased a couple of loaves of rustic, artisan sourdough bread and bought Prosciutto, Gouda cheese, and fresh Mozzarella. I think it was worth the extra cost and effort.

Hope you enjoy the recipes and pictures.

Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup

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Getting old comes with some very unwelcome changes to the body and the way one interacts with life. Luckily, it also has some benefits. One of those benefits is Medicare. I am very grateful to those who created Medicare and to those who strengthened it over the years since. I've got good reasons to be thankful.

A recent illness forced me to go to an urgent care clinic one evening. The doctor there took one look at me and told the staff to call an ambulance. I was admitted to the ICU for what turned out to be a five-day stay. That little vacation is going to cost me around $2000. That's only for my share. I haven't seen a final bill yet, but I'll bet it will be a heck of a lot more than I could ever pay off. Three days in ICU with six or seven bags of saline solution and three different IV antibiotics pumped into my veins tends to run up quite a bill. Great care, as you might expect from an intensive care unit, comes at great cost. The total is probably going to be about the same as the cost of a new car.

How would someone without insurance pay for an emergency like this? We may find out sooner than we'd like if the GOP takes the Senate in the next election. If that happens and what little healthcare reform we've managed to achieve gets rolled back, we will have once again exposed the ugly underbelly of our society.

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I needed a vacation from blogging. The vacation is over. Time to dive back into life while I can.