Category Archives: Paul

When Your Night Goes Left

All of a sudden it’s about 23:15 and you’ve got a couple of different folks bugging you for stuff…

…and you have no time at all to explain the long and bizarre story behind my attitude toward this poor, innocent blender.

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Filed under Paul, Photography

Another Year Forward

Another year in the rearview mirror.

Mourn the passing of the one gone, or celebrate the arrival of the one to come?

How about we do both? We’ll gather what family we can, build a funeral pyre (well, light off the gas grill – same thing), and sacrifice some meat to the gods of BBQ?

As one does for the first BBQ of the season.

Here’s to another 365.25!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Paul

Old Dog, New Computer Tricks

Okay, maybe I’m not the absolute last person on the planet to figure out how to print multiple tabs/pages in an Excel workbook/file, but I’m sure I’m on the short list.

That “discovery” was due to the sudden, lightning-like insight that what I was doing, what I had been doing was stupid. It might have been what I had been doing for ten or fifteen years in Excel, and probably doing before that in Lotus 123, and before that in SuperCalc, and before that in VisiCalc, but – and here’s the insight – why in hell isn’t there a fast and easy way to do this? Just because it would have been incredibly difficult to execute thirty years ago, or even ten, doesn’t mean that it’s not trivial today.

Once that thought lodges in your cerebral cortex, the next one thudding in there immediately thereafter should be (and was), “What are the odds that it’s not that the program won’t do it, it’s just that I don’t know how to?” Of course, from that point, a 30-second Google search tells you how to do it and, yes, it is exactly that simple and trivial once you know which button to push.

The point is not that I’m an idiot or an old phart stuck in his ways (both of which are more or less true, but they’re not the point), but that all of us get into our routines and go through one action after another (pro hint – I’m not just talking about computer programs here) because it’s what we did yesterday and the day before, not because it’s what we should be doing today.

On the other hand, there can be new tricks discovered completely by accident, not because you figure there has to be a better way, but because you stumble on a well-hidden preference or setup trick when everyone is bitching about the trick doesn’t exist.

If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad, you know that with the old iOS you just rested your thumb or finger on the magical fingerprint-reading Home button and the iPhone or iPad would unlock itself and be ready to use. With the latest iOS, you rest your thumb, get a teeny tiny little message that tells you that the device is now unlocked, so press on that Home button to start it back up.

Why is this now a two-step procedure with a “pay attention” in the middle of it?

Do you want it to not be?

Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> Home Button –> Rest Finger To Open –> Set to “on”

There, it’s back to acting like it did before it was made “better.”

You’re welcome!

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Filed under Computers, Paul

Torture

You turn on your computer at the office to find this wonderful, random, beautiful desktop photo:

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Now they’re just torturing us.

“Look at what’s out there – and you’re HERE for twelve hours today!”

You can almost hear the evil “mew-har-ha-HA!!” laugh off in the distance.

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Some Other Days In Audit Season

It’s Oreos and cookies ‘n cream ice cream.

And Bronski Beat turned WAY UP LOUD!! (“Smalltown Boy”)

But there’s hope on the horizon! It’s called “May,” as in, “the month following April.”

Wouldn’t it be neat to get back to some pictures from NYC?

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Some Days In Audit Season

When you run an accounting department (or worse, two), during audit & tax return season there are days when you need ice cream at the end of the day, regardless of your weight loss goals or A1C results.

Some days you need cookies.

Some days, you need both ice cream and cookies.

Tonight it’s Klondike bars and Chewy Chips Ahoy.

How did your day go?

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Filed under Health, Paul

Paradox

We all have things that we would like to be doing differently, ways in which we would like to be “better.”

Assuming we’re talking about something plausible and within shouting distance of reality, we have some vision or ideal image of ourselves that would be better, stronger, faster, smarter, more relaxed, richer…

The paradox is that we generally like who we are – we are who we are because we’re comfortable with it. We are what we are because we are. (“Wow! Farm house, man!”)┬áBut it’s true. If we truly don’t like some aspect of ourselves badly enough, we’ll do what is possible to change it.

Within reason. (If you’re 5’6″ and your dream in life is to play center in the NBA…)

But that vision of ourselves in our heads won’t be us. It might be a better version of our “right now” selves, but it won’t be the same. It can’t be.

There’s the rub, there’s where the trepidation hides, there’s where the outright fear comes from. What if we make the changes and then we don’t like being that person? No matter how much we wish or hope, none of those changes come for free. Are we willing to pay the price? Will that also change us into someone different enough so that we don’t like them?

What if those we love don’t love us any more when we become that new and improved version of ourselves? What if we don’t love those we love now after we’ve gone and deliberately changed ourselves?

That’s some scary shit, right there.

Lose ten pounds? Twenty? Great! How many hours are you going to spend at the gym, or running, or on a bike, or whatever? How much are you willing to change your diet, while everyone else in your home keeps eating the same as they always have?

Quit drinking or smoking? Do you stop hanging out with your friends who drink or smoke?

Need to get more done and work harder, maybe go back to school and get that degree at night? What do you give up to get those hours? Time with family? Time with friends? Time just chilling?

Finally, when you see some of that happening and there’s part of your brain that says, “All right! About time!” why is there also part of your brain that says, “Shit, what if this is the wrong move after all?”

Which one wins? Or is this a no-win situation?

James Tiberius Kirk didn’t believe in the no-win situation. Do you?

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul