Excel and Kitchen Remodeling

Excel and Kitchen Remodeling

“Excel and kitchen remodeling?”, you ask? What can they have in common? Sad to say, not much. In fact they seem to be mutually exclusive. Sure, at first I was able to throw together some budgets and even a cool little to-scale grid drawing worksheet. But now? Who has time? It’s all I can do to drag my weary ass to work after a weekend of schlepping stuff and picking out faucets (and counters, paint, floors, lights, so many bloody choices). Not to mention the massive time-consumption of cooking in the living room and washing up in the basement half-bath.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel though, and by it I glimpse a future where more than three people can eat at our table without claustrophobia and where we will open the dishwasher and fridge at the same time, just because we can.

Equally important, I envisage a time when I can once again blog and regale you with tales of ever-more quirky and complex bits of VBA. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.

In the meantime you can always revisit my classic self-referencing picture post.

I notice that my first paragraph has a decidedly British tilt. In case you didn’t know “washing up” refers to dishes, not bodies. I still remember my mom’s look of surprise when on a trip to Europe a friend announced he was going to wash up and headed to the kitchen sink, and her look of relief when he started scrubbing a pot.

Speaking of which, I’ve got to go so I can pick out a new dishpan. Pardon me, I mean a new “washing-up bowl”.

washing up bowl

Just kidding.

My Stack Overflow Habit

My Stack Overflow Habit

This is my Stack Overflow profile. There’s lots of numbers: my score, my views, my gold, silver and bronze badges.

My SO profile

The one I’d like to draw your attention to is “1 consecutive.”

Until recently that number was somewhere around 780. Yes, I’d logged into Stack Overflow every single day for well over two years. I’ve offered hundreds of answers and earned quite a few points from people voting for them. Mind you, I’d answer questions even without a scoring system, but it does increase my attraction to the site.

All this time on SO answering, commenting and checking my standings makes me a bit twitchy. So recently I challenged myself to break the streak and go a day without logging in. A day sounded like a long time and I wasn’t sure I could do it.

But I made it through that day, and then a couple more. And although I’ve looked at it briefly over the last two weeks, I’ve pretty much stayed away. Surprisingly, I’ve enjoyed it.

I’ve rediscovered an activity known as “reading novels,” and another excellent pastime which I call “sitting in the back yard drinking a beer.” It also turns out I have a “child” and a “wife.” How great is that?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Stack Overflow. It’s an awesome resource that pops up daily with great answers to my never-ending stream of technical questions. I’m also very proud of my SO contribution to the advancement of Excel and VBA knowledge.

And I live in hope of passing Dick in the all-time Excel_VBA top answerer list.

SO Excel VBA top answerers

But for right now I’m going to do a little thing I like to call “taking a nap.”

Escape Accidental File Moves

Escape Accidental File Moves

Every so often I’m merrily dragging folders or files around when I realize I’m making a painful blunder. For whatever reason, in mid-drag I just want out. Sure, I could try to retrace my steps back to the source, but maybe it’s no longer in sight. Of course, I could do a Ctrl-Z after the fact and hope that Undo does. But really I just want to escape the accidental file move right now:

Esc key

So one day I did just that. I hit the Escape key and trouble was averted.

I know the real solution is to never drag and always cut/copy and paste with Ctrl shortcuts or menus. But since that’s not going to happen, at least I’ve got an escape plan.

This works in Outlook, the VBA IDE and other places as well.

New Job!

New Job!

I recently said goodbye to my wonderful co-workers at Portland Public Schools and am now serving as a Report and System Developer for Kaiser Permanente. I’m excited to be part of Kaiser and impressed by its history and organization. Given the state of US health care, it will be an interesting place to work.

I’ll be doing less Excel and more SQL. And with luck my 18-mile round trip commute will give me the calves of a steroid-free Lance Armstrong. Or at least of my 7th-grade Spanish teacher, who had really big calves.

I’ve got a backlog of ideas for posts here, and just need the time and energy for them. A post often takes me upwards of 20 hours, sometimes a lot longer as I figure stuff out.

Whatever your endeavors in 2014, I wish you good luck.