Sunday, May 31, 2009

Interesting artist named Hikaru Utada

has an album out. Her voice doesn't match her look but she sounds very current pop. Check out samples at

There are a few different styles in there, and some good piano work (wonder if it's her?) throughout.

Finished reading Taking of Pelham One Two Three

Now I’m gonna watch the original movie (I TiVo’d it the other day) before I go see the new one. If the reviews of the new one aren’t good, of course, I’ll pass.

Using my Sony eReader, I found it easy to keep track of all the players while reading the book (and there are QUITE A FEW, but not as many as in the Red Mars series) using the notes function. I mention this because I’ve read a couple of folks saying they’re unsure of what the notes could be used for. Here’s an example screen shot on the right.

I can highlight names and phrases throughout the book, and the on-screen keyboard makes it easy to add my own thoughts to remind myself who the players are while reading. It's easy to tap the screen and switch between the notes and the reading. The notes stay with the book and get uploaded to the PC’s Sony software when I sync. Good stuff!

This picture also gives you a good indication of the "glare" that people have mentioned. It's more of an unfocused fuzzy soft reflection than a glare. You should see the glare/ reflection from my HTC Fuze cellphone as well as the HP Pavilion Entertainment PC in the den -- talk about having a mirror available all the time!!

UPDATE: Oh, look, I'm famous: I'm published on one of my favorite blogs!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The people they put on the "news" these days

There are actually Hispanic people on TV complaining about Obama and his pick of Judge Sotomayor, saying that "he's just doing it because he's ignored the Hispanic community until now." Of course, these are the same idiots that would be complaining if he DIDN'T pick a Hispanic person. I really can't tell you how stupid these people look -- just shut the hell up already.....

This is just another reason that I don't watch the evening news as a general rule (my housemate was watching it and, as I was passing through to the basement to start my workout, the Sotomayor story was on). I like to get my news from the Sunday "pundits" like McLaughlin Group and George Stephanopoulos' show. I know that a lot of people don't like these shows because they are full of the participants' personal views. HOWEVER, I think it's the easiest and fastest way (in less than a couple of hours) to get the most important issues from the week, and many of the different viewpoints that can impact those issues. Highly recommended for the busy person!

Candidate Sotomayor says she was influenced by Perry Mason

She doesn't say that her verdicts were based on the TV show, but she says that she was inspired to become an attorney because of the show.

I've always liked this series. Something very home spun about it, like Andy Griffith's different series. Hopefully that will carry over into her deliberations on The Big Bench. That she has already been approved a couple of times bipartisanly speaks volumes for her character and attitude. Maybe this will help the gay causes as well (you do know Raymond Burr was gay and had a partner/boyfriend for many many years, right??)

More at Anderson Cooper 360:

Interesting article on the Hyundai Genesis Coupe

I've seen this car on the Leverage TV show. It's quite nice! Now Gearlog talks about how much technology is stuffed in this car. Plus they talk about how well it competes with the Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger. They also wonder why this level of technology costs so much in the "luxury" sports cars.

Interesting as it is, I think I'll keep my TT for now.....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Finally finished reading "Red Mars" (1,770 pages long in my Sony eReader)

Went ahead and downloaded the sequels "Green Mars" (almost 2,000 pages) and "Blue Mars" (about 3,500 pages). I'm putting these aside for now though since they'll take me practically forever and right now I'm all Mars'ed-out. I've just started reading "Taking of Pelham 123" in honor of the upcoming movie. I had never read the book, but I've seen the original movie, so I hope the new one is just as exciting (but not as cheesy as the 1970's movies went). For those that don't know, the movie is about the hijacking of a subway train in NYC. Lots of twists and turns, and pretty exciting once it gets started.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The future is here, and it's starting in Japan

The Aoyama Gakuin University is giving students iPhones for free. The catch: The device will be used to monitor students via GPS so that professors can take role electronically (Prof: Were you in class? Student: Yes! Prof: No, you were in the kirin garden, your GPS says so!). Profs can also send tests, send out videos, and even accept homework from students.

Guess the "dog ate my paper" stories will now be the "dog swallowed my iPhone and was running amok while I was sitting in class so don't use the GPS to take my attendance.....oh and I couldn't print out my homework because it's on the iPhone in my dog's belly" stories.

(Source: The Mainichi Daily News, Japan)

And here's another Google Doodle today

What's this, like the 3rd or 4th day in a row of Doodles? I like 'em so no problem! Today's is for the birthday of Mary Cassatt from Pennsylvania, an American painter and print maker of the mid-late 1800's into the early 1900's. Her art's nice, very laid back and reminds me of Norman Rockwell sometimes, but not my style (which is more like Kandinsky).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Created an Excel macro that 'freezes' information on all worksheets of a workbook

Our 25-worksheet monthly report workbook has gobs of calculations throughout. Information is even pulled from another workbook to complete the calculations. Problem has occurred when sending the final monthly report workbook to the customer - I would have to manually open each worksheet, highlight it, copy it, and use Edit / Paste / Special to paste only the Values. Too time-consuming, so I worked up the following macro:

Sub EditPasteValues()

' I'll want to return to the current worksheet
' when this is done, so I'll save its info for
' future reference:

Dim CurrentSheet As Excel.Worksheet
Set CurrentSheet = ActiveSheet

Dim Sheet As Excel.Worksheet
Dim CurrentWindow As Window

' Here, I'll cycle through each of the worksheets,
' performing the select all cells, copy all cells,
' Edit / Paste Special / Values so that any formulas
' are wiped out and only the final values remain

For Each Sheet In Excel.Worksheets
If TypeName(Sheet) = "Worksheet" Then
Set CurrentWindow = ActiveWindow
Application.Goto Reference:="R1C1"
Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlPasteValues, Operation:=xlNone, SkipBlanks _
:=False, Transpose:=False
Application.CutCopyMode = False
End If
Next Sheet

' Here I'm returning to the original worksheet
' that I saved above


End Sub

Have you seen google's homepage today? -

There are entries (some from Kindergartners!!) from the recent contest for the best doodle. The winner is a sixth grader from Texas. I'm trying to think back to what I was doing in the sixth grade: homework, playing outside, running around with my bestest friend in the whole world.

Back when I was 13 or so, there was no computer or Internet or cable TV or DVDs, or VHS even. We went to a theater to see movies, and they cost probably $2 to get in. And TV was just three mostly clear channels (NBC, CBS, ABC), and one channel that was pretty bad but still watchable (WDCA in Wash. DC) and we liked it. We sometimes had to adjust the rabbit ears, though (oh the horror of it all!!) and without a remote control, we had to get up off the couch to change channels or adjust the volume or turn the TV on and off (yikes!). Oh, and for the smartasses, yes we did have color (smirk). This was particularly troublesome when we had to answer the phone which was totally wired to the wall; we had to answer, tell the caller to hold on, walk over to the TV and turn it down, come back to the phone, and talk (or in our parent's case, they'd yell to me or my brother to turn down the TV without having to leave the phone, sorta like their very own living remote controls).

Ah, the memories. . . . In 10 years time, when these kindergartners are teens, I wonder how the world will be different for them? I'm looking forward to finding out, that's for sure!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The NYT says today that by paying off my credit card bills every month I'm considered a deadbeat -

The NYT fronts a look at how banks will now be looking at ways they can make more money from some of their best customers. Well, "best customers" might be how you commonly think of the people who pay their bills in full and on time every month, but they're actually called "deadbeats" in the industry because they don't generate much revenue for the companies. These customers have not only failed to give much revenue to the poor credit card companies, but they dared to demand things like cash-back rewards and frequent-flier miles. That may soon be a thing of the past. Now that Congress wants to impose limits on how much the companies can charge riskier borrowers, they're looking at how they can increase revenue from those with good credit. Banks are likely to bring back annual fees, cut back reward programs, and charge interest immediately upon a purchase. Or at least that's what banks want people to believe as they furiously lobby lawmakers, who are discussing a wide variety of rules that could soon be imposed on card companies. "Those that manage their credit well will in some degree subsidize those that have credit problems," said the head of the American Bankers Association.

(Source: Slate Magazine)

Reading a Book Called "Red Mars" by Kim Stanley Robinson -

Interesting reading re Gov't power as @PeterSantilli tweet implies. This one is 1,770 pages on my Sony eReader. There are two followup books, "Green Mars" and "Blue Mars" that I'll probably get and read. This first one has taken up about 2 weeks of my reading time so far (I'm on page 1,246). Don't know how long the other two are.....

The Bullpen at DC's National's Park Is Now Open - Gotta check it out!

Society for Competitive Intelligence in Wash DC

has an interesting blog:

They have an upcoming event re using media analysis for scenario projections.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Twitter has lost most of my feeds

so I'm gonna blog my tweets (sounds groovy, don't it?!!) from now on!

This first one is a test to see if Twitterfeed does what I think it will.

I was using Twitter as a sort of history timeline diary, but I should've stuck with Blogger. Sorry Google, that I strayed!