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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Random Bit of VBA - Better InStr() Function

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Put this together with the help of Clint. I don't know why, but I feel like posting it, so here it is.

This post has been moved to a new location.

Private Sub test() 
' This is just an example sub to demonstrate how the new function is used. 
Dim vResult As Variant 
Dim iLoop As Integer 
    ' VResult is a Variant treated as an array. 
    vResult = AllInStr("123456789TESTING123456789", "78") 
    If UBound(vResult) = -1 Then
        ' The string was not found. Same as classic InStr() returning 0. 
        MsgBox "Nothing found." 
        ' Because we have multiple values returned, loop through them. 
        For iLoop = LBound(Result) To UBound(Result) 
            ' You don't have to MsgBox this. Again, this is just an example. 
            MsgBox Result(iLoop) 
        Next iLoop 
    End If 

    vResult = AllInStr("33.333.3333.333.33", "33")

    If UBound(vResult) = -1 Then          
        MsgBox "Nothing found." 
        For iLoop = LBound(Result) To UBound(Result) 
            MsgBox Result(iLoop) 
        Next iLoop 
    End If 

    vResult = AllInStr("ABC", "123")

    If UBound(vResult) = -1 Then      
        MsgBox "Nothing found." 
        For iLoop = LBound(Result) To UBound(Result) 
            MsgBox Result(iLoop) 
        Next iLoop 
    End If

End Sub  

Function AllInStr(SourceString As String, SearchString As String) As Variant 
' This is the actual function, returning an array-like Variant. 
' SourceString is the string to search through. 
' SearchString is the string being sought. 
Dim iPosition As Integer ' Search position within the source string. 
Dim iSourceLength As Integer ' The length of the source string. 
Dim iSearchLength As Integer ' The length of the string being sought. 
Dim sResult As String ' A string representation of the results, to be split before being passed back. 

    iSourceLength = Len(SourceString) 
    iSearchLength = Len(SearchString) 

    ' Simple loop through the length of SearchString to read each iterative substring within. 
    For iPosition = 0 To iSourceLength - iSearchLength 
        ' If we found the search in our substring... 
        If Left$(Right$(SourceString, Len(SourceString) - iPosition), iSearchLength) = SearchString Then 
            ' ... save the position in the string.
            ' Each item separated by a semicolon (;) 
            sResult = sResult & iPosition & ";" 
        End If 
    Next iPosition 

    ' If we found at least one result, then remove the trailing semicolon (;). 
    If Len(sResult) > 1 Then 
        sResult = Left(sResult, Len(sResult) - 1) 
    End If

    ' Split the string into its individual parts and return the result. 
    AllInStr = Split(sResult, ";") 
End Function

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lack of Support

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This is basically my life at work when needing assistance for our assistance departments. This scenario applies day in and day out for myself and multiple others in my department. The names have been changed to protect the (not-so) innocent.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You Got What It Takes?

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Yuri Ggagarin - Rantomness50 years ago today, we (the human race, anyway) sent the first man into space. That man, Yuri Gagarin, was a Russian/Soviet cosmonaut who was chosen out of a select few to become this poster-boy of human accomplishment. But before him, there were other, non-human, not necessarily willing participants in the space race.

Friday, April 1, 2011

You must get the position before you can go to school, to get the position. Huh?

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I work for a large health insurance company. In our particular building there are many different departments that do different things. The company offers tuition reimbursement. I don't know the full details of how it works, but basically they will pay for a percentage of your tuition if you pass the class, course, program, etc. You must stay with the company for a given amount of time if they pay for it, etc. Nothing out of the norm. A great thing, Yes?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Gravity of the Situation

If you don’t understand, you soon will. There are powerful forces at work in your life, keeping you down. Ever find yourself struggling to get up in the morning? Have you ever fallen and had difficulty getting back up?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yo! Whaz up dawg? Pimp car 4 s@lez, like ma ad?!

1 comment:

Recently I’ve been saving up to buy a new car. My main goal is to buy from a private owner because I'm trying to avoid car payments and don't need anything new and fancy. So I’ve been taking a glance on used car ads on Craigslist.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Excuse Me, While I Piss On Your City

1 comment:
In a recent posting, I noted that some in Pima County wanted to separate from Arizona and become the 51st state. Apparently, some in Maricopa County also want this to happen, and they don’t care who they run over to make that point.
Piss-AZ - Rantomness

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Teen mom? No problem! Get algebra and day care..Sign up for classes today!

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This is my first guest post here on this blog. Testing things out so please forgive anything that looks a bit odd.

I wanted to talk about day care services available in high schools. I was at lunch with a friend and somehow we randomly got on this subject. Now, I will say I am not a teen mom nor do I know any, so I don't have any official authority to speak on this subject and as such this is just opinion.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oh No! Not My iPad2!

1 comment:
Apparently, there are concerns about a possible delay in shipments of the next generation of iPads. As well there should be.

Darn Japan and their darn earthquakes and darn tsunamis and darn meltdowns! I want my new technology, and I can't wait on their insubstantial natural disasters. Who do the Japanese think they are, withholding devices for my personal entertainment while they prance around in their crises with gaiety?

Really, people? You're going to complain because you didn't get what you wanted as soon as you wanted it because people have died? What the hell is wrong with you?

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Efficiency People!

If you are going out to run an errand – say buying some groceries, please think of others and be efficient in that process. You’ll save time and possible stress for yourself, as well as for everyone else.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chrome Apps: The Wave of the Future?

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Since Google recently spat out some upgrades to their Chrome browser, a new feature (called 'Apps') has been available. Do these apps represent the next generation of user applications for computers? Well, yes and no.

Google Chrome Logo - Rantomness

Friday, March 11, 2011

Unnatural Selection

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Since the dawn of man, humans have sought to control nature and to make it bend to our will. Thanks to all the innovations and technology developed by the human race, that has happened – at least in some aspects.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Friendly Reminder

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I happened upon this interesting news article (the image contains the entire passage) while perusing a newspaper from Brisbane, the “Courier-Mail”, circa 1933. According to the Pope of the time, the people of Germany used to be a “civilisation of a great people” and that “Christ was a Jew”.

PopeJewReminder-Courier-Mail-Brisbane, Qld. AU. Mon Aug 28 1933 - Rantomness

I guess that’s all; nothing really funny to say about it. I just thought this was interesting and I wanted to share.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh, So You Recorded a Macro?

This statement is quite insulting and condescending to me than someone telling me this. That is especially true when the person saying it knows little about the amount of coding involved with the ‘macro’ in question. I program as a hobby, with a little experience in this and that. I do not claim to be an expert at any one thing, but I can do quite a bit more than your everyday computer user.

This post has been moved to a new location.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Arizona Citizens (IRL and On the Internet)

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I saw a news story recently on one of the local Tucson news stations regarding the possibility of the secession of Pima County from the state of Arizona. That whole big deal aside, I looked up the info on the stations website and eventually browsed my way to the comments section of this story. Holy cow are there some dumb people out there…
 Arizona Secede? - Rantomness

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More Health Cost Issues


In a previous posting, I noted problems and causes of the high cost of health insurance. One reason being that people too frequently use the ER as their primary source of care whenever they get sick. Recently, through more of my own experiences, I've discovered a new problem with the emergency room issue.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's in a Name?

1 comment:
For those of you who don't know me personally, my last name is Holden. What this means is there are ample opportunities to make some pun off of my name. I actually give some credit to kids in my past for coming up with some pretty witty snaps. (see bottom of post)

It also means that coming up with a suitable name for my son was tricky. I'll let you use your imagination for a moment, before I list some of the extentions of my last name I can recall.

Now don't get me wrong, I like my last name. And my whole name for that matter. I wouldn't change it, and I don't go by any nicknames. I just wanted to point out the immature humor of it all.

Bad first names (assume Holden after each):
Peter; Richard (Dick); Bill/William (Willy)

Bad associated last names (when added to Holden):
Johnson; Bohn; Peters; Dixon

And of course innumerable puns about everything. "Look! I'm Holden my phone! lol"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Free Advertising

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Jack Furrier's Western Tire Center Sign - Rantomness
Most of my blog posts are complaints, but here's the opposite for ya...
Jack Furrier's Western Tire Center is one of the best places in town to take your car. (At least the one on the southwest corner of Golflinks and Kolb in Tucson, AZ)

The people are nice; they get to know you and care.
They don't overcharge and actually have saved me money over other shops multiple times.
They are quick.
They don't try to get you to replace everything at every visit; they are honest.

Every time I visit, it reinforces the sentiment.

Thanks to Jason and the rest of the team at Jack Furrier's for a consistently awesome job!

What A Douche

Recently, my wife made some random post on Facebook which was relatively insignificant. Some people posted responses as usual. One of those people was a grade-A douchebag we both used to work with. As a matter of fact, we both used to be his boss. With my limited texting space, I can't go into all the details in one post, so I'll try to keep it succinct...

He hates me. Why? After he was promoted, he came to work high all the time - moreso when we had clients, but my boss wouldn't let me fire him. Did I have it out for him? Yes - he did a horrible job at times and never took responsibility.

Then the a-hole comes and hijacks my wife's post to insult me, and when she and other semi-random people jumped in to defend as well, he insulted them all and made comments involving my baby son.

At any rate, here's my own douche response that I didn't post (I have him blocked, so he wouldn't have seen it anyway.):

Maybe your baby nephew would be alive today if your pothead family wasn't perma-stoned.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Does It Really Matter How Fast You Go?

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When is comes to internet service, is there really a difference for the general user at all? If you do big games or downloads, then maybe you'll want to fork up the dough. However, so many people use the internet for the bare minimum: email, Facebook, maybe banking and a few other things. Sure any modem whose speed is measured/advertised as a 'baud rate' (google it...) may not be sufficient for the amount of data packed into a contemporary web page, but most don't need the fastest option.

Despite that, I'm sure a good portion of internet consumers out there opt for the more expensive option, and I'd also bet they wouldn't tell the difference between that and one of the lower tiered options. Why? Because companies like Cox and Qwest advertise it so heavily!

It's a shame that so much money is wasted on non-appreciated services.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What Happened to my Red Light Ticket?

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While I've been away from the internet, stuff happened. There's no time to rehash most old news, but I felt there was something worthwhile to post about: My alleged breaking of Tucson's traffic laws.

Back almost a year ago, I 'ran a red light' and was caught on camera doing so. Not only that, but I was also 'moving at an unspecified speed greater than 65 mph' while making a right turn. For all the juicy details, please see my previous postings...

In response to this alleged infraction of the law, I had prepared myself fully for an eventual date with a judge. I had my defense planned out. I had gathered documentation, images, and the city-supplied video in preparation. I was ready to take down the system.

Then, the fateful day came...

My case was dismissed without prejudice without ever stepping foot in a court room or speaking with any officials on the matter. Now where's the fun in that?! At least I didn't have to pay anything, but I really wanted to make my case. Maybe next time.

Why Is Nobody Making Money Off This?

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Well, truthfully, somebody may be making money, but I just don't know who they are. What am I talking about? "Stupid" people. (See: Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks)

With so many sites devoted to the exposing of people and their idiocies from their behavior to literacy (or lack thereof) to their dress (See: People of Walmart), there is obviously a big market for this kind of content. I feel like you could really make some money off of these people if you had the right business plan.

Now, I won't be sharing any such business plan with you. For one thing, I don't have one. For another, if I did, why would I share my success secret? ;-) All I'm saying is, there's a lot of stupid out there and a lot of people who want to see it.

Side note: I once saw an overweight woman wearing a "Together we can beat diabetes" shirt while chowing down on a McD's breakfast combo. I guess an Egg McMuffin and hashbrowns work well together in the fight to cure the disease.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'll Take a Handout Please!

1 comment:
Just so everyone knows, it bothers me that people can have nicer things in their life than me, while getting some kind of government assistance, while I'm too well off to get any money myself.

I'm happy with my hand-me-down 29" TV, but it still irks me that someone who supposedly can't afford to feed their children (therefore gets some form of welfare money plus free healthcare for the child) keeps bragging about their new 72" 3D plasma HDTV.

Am I wrong for being... 'jealous' of their misfortune?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Taking English to New Highths!

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English is HARD - Rantomness
Sorry to you, guy whom I will not name out of pity...

This piece of paper was on the mat at my front door when I got home from work today. I briefly read it, glanced at my tree, and decided to throw it away. But before it got to the recycle bin, I thought I should take a pivture to share with you. The obvious error is underlined in red, but in case you can't see the image, it's the word "Highth" (capitalized mid-sentence). Next to that is the word 'standard', but it looks like it's spelled 'standerd'?

This doesn't seem like the brightest guy to me already, but to top that off, I just recently trimmed the tree myself and don't need it trimmed. Now it may not look super professional, but I'm happy with it. Despite the lack of 'standerdization' in 'Highth', he still should have realized I didn't need his services. You see, I trimmed so recently that the yard is still covered with the cut branches and limbs!

(If he's just that desperate for work, then I guess I feel bad for mocking. I guess.)

I Don't Like This AND That

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Nutrition Labels Suck at Grammar - Rantomness
Look at this picture; it's the bottom of a nutrition label. Most labels like this, when lacking in certain vitamins and nutrients, will list what a product is 'not a significant source of'.
In this case, there are quite a few things missing, not that it's necessarily a bad thing (no fat is good, right?). However, what gets me is the 'AND' at the end of the list. Can someone please enlighten me as to how this is proper grammar? Well, I suppose the grammar is sound, but the symantics are all wrong!
If I told you that I do not like "blue, black, and red", would you believe I actually like all three (when separated)? If I had some personal grievances with that specific assortment of colors, I would have spoken correctly, but wouldn't it be more correct of me to say 'or' if I in fact liked not a one of the list?
This nutrition label, and I believe all others, seems to indicate that it is a significant source of one or some (but not all) of the items listed, and that's just dumb.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trying to mobile blog...

1 comment:
So, I've had little (read as: no) time to blog recently, but there's been a heck of a lot to blog about. That being the case, I've decided to try blogging from my internet-less cell phone. (Thanks Verizon for the decent phone with no forced internet...) That being the case, I'm limited in my ability to make things fancy-like, so bear with me, alright?
Depending on how this goes, you may start to see a lot more from me - or you may see this and just this. I've got a 1,000 character limit to what I send, and while I can post pictures (supposedly, according to the Blogger help), I have no idea what the final format will look like.
Yeah, I could pay up and get the internet on my phone, or I could by a new laptop, thus making the process easier and more visually appealing, but those who know me well enough know I'm a bit of a cheap bastard, so that's not likely to happen.
For those of you reading this now, thanks for still paying attention!
(Side note: Do you see a whale in the pic?)