Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Excel Links

I'm not an Excel expert, but sometimes I pretend to be one.  And in those times, I usually do what every other "Excel expert" does: Google

But some sites are good for the advice repeatedly and I'd like to list those as part of my Tech Tuesday series.

1. Chandoo.org
3. Ozgrid.com
4. Peltiertech.com

And if you don't find what you're looking for at those sites, always Google ... and if you don't find it then ... well, you may not be able to even do it at all.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yard of the Month

This muse was from six years ago, when we lived in a home that had a quarter of an acre back yard.

This morning I mowed our yard ... it is a HUGE yard and takes me over two hours to finish. I'm not big into yard work. I do the minimum and spend the rest of my time combing the hair on my chest and back.

This week, our neighbors down the street received the "Yard of the Month" prize. Their reward: A sign posted on the front lawn that says, "Yard of the Month" I don't know if they receive prize money for this or not. The main reason they do the YOTM stuff is to encourage people to keep their yards nice.

What kind of people pursue these accolades? Perhaps it is the lady of the house that pushes the man to work so hard. Mrs. Gibson down the street must have shoved poor Hal into a corner and threatened him.

"You listen and you listen well chump! I want that prize! You better pull through this month or else!"

Hal would melt to the floor sucking his thumb.

Every morning when I go out for my jog, I see Hal out there slaving away. A couple of weeks ago, he was up at 5:30 in the morning planting red tulips! I waved to the poor fella. He took one look at me and vomited all over the flowers (I had my shirt off). Tough luck. I was about 50 paces from Hal's house when I heard Mrs. Gibson.

"What in the Sam-hell are you doin' boy?! Get the hose and start cleaning this up! I want these tulips planted YESTERDAY!"

The car door slams and Mrs. Gibson peels out of the driveway and passes me going 45mph in a 35 zone. Poor Hal.

Then last week while I was mowing, I saw ol Hal out there mowing and trimming his yard too. It was a hot and humid day. I stopped several times to drink water. One time I saw that Hal had stop to rest too. The poor chap ... Mrs. Gibson came storming out the front door hollering at Hal. This time she had a whip. She snapped that thing over Hal's head and he jumped five feet in the air. In a split second, he had thrown down his lemonade, put his hat on and started the lawn mower. Mrs. Gibson was screaming at the top of her lungs, while Hal was criss-crossing across his velvet yard looking behind him every other second. It was a sad sight.

I hope for Hal's sake he wins the Yard of the Month next time.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

april nature

we had quite a nice walk today
found a very cool turtle (three-toed box turtle)
enjoyed some beautiful and fragrant flowers (lantana & night-blooming jessamine)
tasted a handful of wild dewberries

Friday, April 26, 2013

Writing Initiative

Somewhere along the way, I lost the time to write.  Life gets busy.  I used to keep a journal religiously, but now it gets updated every so often.  I still intend to keep a regular personal journal, but I also feel the need to write more outside of my journal.

Today I was inspired by zen habits to write more - why you should write daily

Thinking about this a bit more, I feel motivated to write about some topics I have opinions on as well as to let out the inner muse in me.  I think it will also help me in my work and personal life as I think things through.

So, I'm going to try this and see how it works ... I have very low expectations, but we'll see.

Mondays will be Musings (see past musings here)

Tuesdays will be Tech - I'll write about some aspect of technology that is cool; opine about something I've read at wired or tech dirt or wherever; maybe even talk about something I'm doing at work.

Wednesdays will be Whatever I want to talk about.

Thursday will be Thankful For day.

Friday will be Fantasy; where I fantasize about what I would change in the world if I were supreme dictator. Sometimes it might be a true self-inquiry about what it is I would or could change in my life.

I'm not sure I'll write so much on Saturdays or Sundays.

Of course I'll continue to blog about other stuff (minimalism, diet and exercise, what I'm reading, book reports, etc).  And I'll continue my photography series.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

trees removed in last 4 years on boylston street

 i was curious to see what the bombing scene looked like before the bombing.

google maps shows a nice quiet boylston streen with lots of young-looking trees.

boston.com (the big picture) shows a similar view with no trees.

according to this article, those trees died a few year ago (supposedly between 2009 when the google image was taken and 2010 when the article was posted).

the last picture below shows at least some trees are still alive - you can see the branches.

Friday, April 5, 2013

New Report on Brisk Walking ... just as good (even better) than running

I was a big runner up to about 4 years ago.  The goal was to run a marathon, but a persistent stress fracture forced me to reconsider the amout of running I did.  I later found out that my back is so whacked that it was causing mis-alignment of my hips and therefore the cause of my constant right foot/ankle/knee pain.

Over the last two years, I've turned to hour-long (4 mile) walks and I've found that I really enjoy them and the pain is non-existent.

This year, my wife and I have started a habit of getting up at 4:45am 3 times a week to go on a 4 mile walk with the dog.  We love our time walking.  This is an activity that we both can do well into our retirement.

Half Sigma / Lion of the Blogosphere is always good at pointing every time a person dies at a marathon race.  And, yes, taken in isolation, most people think a death at a marathon race is very rare.  But think about this: when was the last time you remember someone dying in football, baseball or basketball?  Cycling?  The only example I can recall is Len Bias.  Whereas, if you google 'marathon deaths', you get quite a few articles and examples.

Anyway - the whole point of the post was to point out another study that bolsters the opinion that walking is better than running.  And by "better" I mean it is good for you and sustainable.  You get all the benefits of running without the stress on your body and heart.

Link: Brisk Walking Equals Running for Heart Health: Study