Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Issues

There are too many different issues out there for which I have an opinion on one side of the political spectrum or the other to label my self as a Democrat/Republican, Liberal/Conservative. I'm more of a Moderate/Centrist, but I still don't like the labels. So instead of picking one or another, I'll tell you how I feel about a number of these topics. I'll try to make it as black and white as possible, and I'll try to note the fuzzy areas as necessary.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The True Meaning of Black

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Black Friday, as many of you know, is the day following Thanksgiving in America on which every major retailer in the country puts on fantastic sales with the hopes of selling more of their wares. Enough, they bet on, to turn a profit and get their books out of the red and into the black. Thus, Black Friday is named, but that's not all there is to the story.

Friday, November 2, 2012

What Women Want

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This will be brief. There's been lots of talk recently about abortion rights lately, especially as it pertains to rape victims. My contribution to this discussion isn't anything new, but I still need to make my case. Unfortunately, much of the talk (admittedly, only what I've personally been exposed to through various media) has been dominated by men who cannot truly understand the real-life, non-hypothetical experience of carrying a child conceived through forced, unwanted intercourse. I am a man and can at least appreciate that I don't and can't understand.

That being said, I, in my own ignorance, can't see myself keeping that child. Perhaps you would agree with me on this, perhaps not. Either way, man or woman, would you rather make that decision yourself, or would you rather pick someone else - whom you likely do not know personally - who will tell you what you can and cannot do with your body/fetus/embryo/egg?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Who are you voting for?

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Okay, you don't have to tell me who you're voting for, but before you cast your vote, maybe you might want to consider the following: There are two U.S. presidential candidates in 2012, Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat incumbent Barack Obama. Some consider this to be a choice of the lesser of two evils; both sides/parties come with their own baggage. Since we are talking about America, here, you must select one or the other to be your next president... or do you?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Oh, Here’s Your Problem!

I may offend some people with this posting, but I’m getting to the point where I almost don’t care anymore.
This quote and picture (ripped without permission from NPR) are from a somewhat older article I just recently stumbled across, so forgive the age/minor lack of relevance. (Give me a break, it’s been a while since I posted anything anyway!)
The story is about, among other things, a less-fortunate woman who has brought her sons to a protest at her Governor’s office. When I got to this point in the article, it struck me quite quickly what the issue is:
“She is unemployed and says Walker's cuts to Medicaid caused two of her sons, ages 10 and 8, to be dropped from the program.”
Now, that quote, in and of itself may seem pretty innocuous, and you may feel bad for the woman’s plight. That is, until you look at the picture along side it…

Poor iPhone - Rantomness
Are those… SMARTPHONES the kids are playing with? And… that’s not obvious? I have no cable/satellite television, I have no smartphone – iPhone, Android, or otherwise – my PC cost me ~$100, both my ‘big’ TVs are hand-me-downs and were free (one has no working sound, the other has problems with the screen, but they work!) as was my most-recently acquired iPod (I’ve only ever owned 2 iPods, this one included). In living like this, I’ve made sacrifices so that I can afford to provide food and healthcare to my family. This woman, and many others like her, have sacrificed the security and comfort of being able to afford these necessities in order to have the latest and greatest toys. That was their choice. Why should my taxpayer money go to people like this when I have responsibly decided for myself that I cannot afford these luxuries?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On Growing Up

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I am an adult, and a reasonably happy one at that; I feel I have a lot going for me. Though certain aspects of the world around have a tendency to piss me off, I'm not depressed, and I generally have a positive opinion about my own life.

That being said, I do not want my kids to grow up.

Some parents wish for this because they don't want to lose the cuteness and innocence of a baby or a very young child, and I completely understand that perspective. I mostly didn't care about any babies before I became a father and now I'm smitten with my own and can appreciate the offspring of others.

However, this is not why I want my kids to stay young. I want that for them because I've never seen any adult get so happy and/or excited about the simplest things. You might ask then, why not just wish for them to keep that perspective as they age, but if as an adult they still had the same amazing sense of wonder, someone would probably think there is something wrong with them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How much is that "FREE" turkey?‏

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For this Thanksgiving, the Safeway chain of grocery stores has been advertising free turkeys with a purchase of $100 or $150 or more. As you can see from this in-store signage, if you spend between $100 and $150 in one trip, you may pick up a free turkey up to 16 pounds. There's one obscure stipulation however, as I unfortunately discovered after leaving the checkout.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Ageless Philosophical Debate

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Namely, what is a ‘baby item’? Well, maybe not so ageless, and I doubt you've really considered this. I mean, it is such a simple question to answer, isn't it? 

But ask BABIES ‘R’ US what they think, and you might find yourself very confused.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lamest Excuse to Pay Someone For Nothing I’ve Ever Heard

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From a PBS NewsHour story regarding the recent scandals regarding college sports athletes receiving disallowed benefits (monetary and otherwise).

This is just one bit of the transcript of the story. I’ve bolded the part that angers me. I don’t know why it angers me to the extent that it does, but it does.

TAYLOR BRANCH, Author, "The Shame of College Sports": “The essential problem is that we pretend that these adults are not entitled to a portion of the value that they earn. And we pretend that the problem with all of these scandals is that dirty athletes are getting money under the table.

The problem is that we're not honest about it. Nowhere else in America do we forbid adults from seeking a portion of the highly valued services that they provide. And nowhere else would we think of saying, don't pay these people until I'm satisfied that it won't mess something up.”

“Nowhere else,” Mr. Branch says? How about any internship program? How about medical residencies? How about grad students working on major research projects?

If the college players (especially those on athletic scholarships) do not like to play for free, then stop playing. Nobody is forcing them. In fact, there are probably a great number of high school graduates who would gladly take their place. Really, many young kids actually pay (or their parents do, anyway) to be able to play in a league.


</end rant>

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Random Bit of VBA: Time in MS Access

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How do I display a time over 24 hours in MS Access?

I’ve run into this problem a lot over the years, and I always end up having to Google up the answer. In doing so, I’ve seen numerous messages boards with the same question, yet frequently no answer, which leads to more digging and time wasted.

Well, here’s a solution that works…

This post has been moved to a new location.

For those wondering, this is how it works:

Access stores date/time values in a format that can be broken down into a separate date and time amount, separated by the decimal point. Anything on the left-hand portion (the whole number part) relates to whole days or a date, while everything on the right-hand portion (the decimal part) relates to a partial day or a time.
1 day = 24 hours, stored as 1.0.
One half day = 12 hours, stored as 0.5.
The Int() function returns the integer or whole number part of a number (i.e. strips the decimal portion). Using this, we can also extract the decimal portion. The second step here is not necessary, as the Format() function (see below) will handle the decimal portion the same way, regardless.
1.5 days 36 hours, stored as 1.5.
The whole number portion is derived using Int(1.5) = 1 (equal to 1 day/24 hours).
The decimal portion is derived using 1.5 – Int(1.5) = 1.5 – 1 = 0.5 (equal to one half day/12 hours).
Once we have identified each portion, it’s simply a matter of converting the whole number (days) to hours, and adding that to the partial day hours. This is done using Access’ internal Format() function as well as some simple math.
The whole number portion (1) is a single day, equal to 24 hours.
To convert this, we simply multiply our number by 24 (1 * 24 = 24).
We can split the decimal portion into hours and minutes with the Format() function as follows.
Format(1.5,"hh:nn") = 12:00, Format(1.5,"hh") = 12, Format(1.5,"nn") = 00.
For the record, Format(1.5,"hh:nn") will result in the same number as Format(0.5,"hh:nn") and Format(132.5,"hh:nn"). The value of the hours returned is always under 24, therefore it is not necessary to split the decimal portion out.
As we can extract the numbers in this way, so can we also add them back together, giving us our total hours. Here’s our original function, with the example of 1.5 (one and one half days/36 hours).
(Int([TimeValue])*24)+Format([TimeValue],"hh") & ":" & Format([TimeValue],"nn")
(Int(1.5)*24)+Format(1.5,"hh") & ":" & Format(1.5,"nn")
(1*24)+12 & ":" & 00
24+12 & ":" & 00
36 & ":" & 00
The same process repeated for 65 hours, 16 minutes, 48 seconds (simply add one more Format() function to the end for seconds):
(Int([TimeValue])*24)+Format([TimeValue],"hh") & ":" & Format([TimeValue],"nn") & ":" & Format([TimeValue],"ss")
(Int(2.72)*24)+Format(2.72,"hh") & ":" & Format(2.72,"nn") & ":" & Format(2.72,"ss")
(2*24)+17 & ":" & 16 & ":" & 48
48+17 & ":" & 16 & ":" & 48
65 & ":" & 16 & ":" & 48