Saturday, February 28, 2004

Michelle at Mikao's World is running a survey on blogging for her thesis
Help her out if you like by emailing her for the survey
Full details on her site


Have you heard of Food Intolerance?
Actually an intolerance to chemicals in food.
Here is some info that my wife found.
Fed Up With Food Additives is the name of the website.


Donald Sensing writes on the Passion
Donald Sensing writes on Maureen Dowd's review of the Passion
Donald Sensing posts a brilliant graph of the probablity of a male winning an argument

I like Donald Sensing - he's a funny bloke! He also makes a lot of sense and writes with logic, clarity and a thought provoking style. Have a read.


Excellent start to the day - played with the baby, then with the 2 yr old - then helped the 7 year old build her Real Robot Cybot
The wife's sister is coming to get the 5 yr old to take her shopping.
Work time...


More Passion reviews - real viewers

Blog Critics
Rick McGinnis News Paper review
Rick McGinnis personal review

An interesting comment about Braveheart and Patriot - two of Mel Gibson's previous movies
Captain's Quarters


Friday, February 27, 2004

Continuing with the Mr Productivity theme
Have caught up on all my emails - having between 130 and 180 to deal with a day can be overwhelming sometimes - even if almost exactly 50% of them are spam - I'm using Matador to bust the spam - easy to configure and right most of the time - easy to retrain if it gets it wrong - its been good so far and has a free trial period. I may buy it - after I check out some others to compare.
Have done heaps on the web development - almost finished - thanks Rohan
done the cashflow modeling and referred to client - got next task to complete which is a scenario analysis - inputs and outputs and comparisons - piece of cake!
Almost cleared my desk ready to start the scientific modeling but first I will make do some fiddly stuff and get it out eh way so I can start straight into it tomorrow.

Make a PDF registration form for web site
Make some more changes to web pages for the site that has to go live Monday
Set up an ftp server for myself
Judge week 6 blogger idol entries

I might even get to bed by 2am! That will make it an 18 hr day - with only a 2 hr break between 4:45 and 6:45 for dinner and play with kids. - Next week looks to be about the same!

Oh and Doug has asked me to write a series of Excel Pivot table tips - anybody else out there want that? If so do you have specific questions or just a basic tutorial on how to set up and use pivot tables? Let me know via comment or email.


Judith posted a list of search queries that found her site
Here are a whole bunch more that found our sites!

episiotomy pics
"baby skink" picture
paris hilton video xxx
"cadence ambulance"
cartoon pics of volcanoes
woman stomach vacuum pose pics
spy videos for new mercedes
emma page jewellery host download customer offer
spy peak secret norway
nappy training for hubby
weaselhead ring road+map
tereyaki house


Day's off to a good start - finished client 1 on to client 2 - might even get the web development done that I didn't do last night - and then - on to client 3!
Check out the snow they had in Tennesee!


Hey - check out my wife's new site - JAM Creativity
This is specially for her imcredible artistic talent - so it doesnt get lost amongst the more newsy posts on her main blog


Thursday, February 26, 2004

Wow - what a day so far!
I woke up with a start at around 10am to find the house empty. I popped a Tramol and got straight into work. Then spent until 5:30 working on 1 clients reporting system. We changed the reporting around a bit to make it work better and there are a few teething issues - so it was toll call after toll call and fiddling with data - until finally it was all ok! That put me half a day behind - not counting the list from last night that wasn't completed!

Then I had a play in the pool with the kids, played follow the leader , then pumping up bike tyres and riding around the patio. I took Jadeen's training wheels off and she was straight into riding without them! Then I had a lie down with my new baby until dinner. She was gurgling and smiling, kind of, and holding my finger - even managed to grab my glasses! She is gorgeous.
Judith cooked a fantastic roast chicken and yummy vegetables - she is so talented and fits it in around 3 kids and a baby as well.
After dinner it was chase the kids to bed - I think I had a snooze on Erin's bed - fell asleep reading to her. Then I watched the Kumars at No 42 on ABC with Jude for 1/2 an hour. They are soooo funny - although Anthony doesn't think so.
Then back to the grindstone :(

Well since then I have been Mr Productivity!. I was feeling so overwhelmed at the massive workload that hit my inbox today while I was focused on the client I was working on that I even turned MSN and Outlook off so as not to get distracted.
But tonight so far, I have done most of the cashflow modeling job - rest has to wait for daylight hours, wrote 4 emails - two long ones to a client, set up web testing for the church web site, added trackbacks to this site, and now I am blogging for a bit. I shall read my daily reads, post commentary and then get back to work on the next job - web development - finetuning graphics and text. Fiddly stuff that is annoying but necessary.

Welcome to my world!


Well I got 2 out of 7 things done for the night...
Maybe I will just post an Excel tip of the day for ya and then I can say I did three things on my list of seven. Round that up to 50% and you can say I nearly completed my to do list or is that stretching it a bit far?

Anyway Excel tip follows.

Excel Tip of The Day

Validation Links or how to use nice little selection dropdowns in your spreadsheet

Did you ever wonder how to put a nice little dropdown box for selections in your spreadsheet?
Well I will show you here.

First you need to set up you sheet to handle this. I generally use a utility sheet for background stuff that doesn't need to be seen or made pretty. I usually name the sheet "lists".
On that sheet I will make lists in individual columns (without a header). Lets use the example of Months. So in the sheet lists, column A rows 1 to 12 I would type January through December. In this case the list is limited to these twelve items. I will also use an example of a potentially longer list. Eg Years. So in column C rows 1-15 I might enter 2004 to 2018.
I will treat these slightly differently.

The next step is to name the ranges. (This is not actually necessary but makes it a lot easier to work with)
First let's name the months. Select Lists!A1:A12. Now from the menu select Insert, Name Define. In the name section type "month" (without the quotes) and then click Add or hit Enter. Note that the actual range was already entered as the selection, and was absolute "lists!$A$1:$A$12" There is a lot of room to play with this - but that is for a more advanced topic another day.
Now lets name the years range. This time select the entire column C. (Do this by clicking on a cell in column C then CTRL+SPACE, or by clicking on the C at the top of the column.) Now from the menu select Insert, Name Define. In the name section type "year" (without the quotes) and then click Add or hit Enter. This names the range as the entire column, so if at some point we want to add years 2019 onward we can with no other changes necessary for the dropdown to still work.

Now go to the sheet where you want the drop down. This might be as a selection for a report month, a data entry field or similar. Select the required cell(s). From the menu select Data, Validation. In the settings Tab, click the dropdown on the allow field and choose "List". In the source field type "=month" (without the quotes). Click OK.

Its done! Click on the cell and you can see the drop down button. Click on that (or ALT+Down-Arrow) to view the options from the list, in this case January through December.

Repeat for the year cell with "=year" in the source field. Note how you can scroll down in the dropdown box past the end of the entered data. If this is not desired then use the same method of naming the range as for the months.

The are plenty of options you can play with in the Data Validation dialog box. Clicking the help (F1) while in there will also help you learn more, but the simple instructions above will give you an incredible amount of flexibility.

Use this to:
Turn laborious data entry into simple selection from dropdowns.
Ensure uniformity of data entry of common items which will improve formula driven functions such as SUMIF, VLOOKUP, SUMPRODUCT etc.
Improve your use of Sort, Subtotals and Filters.

Any questions or comments welcome.


Blogger Con: BloggerCon in a Nutshell
Seems there is going to be a big bloggers conference

Dave Winer has requested input from bloggers for what they would like to see changed in tems of blog tools. Thanks to Darren for the link

Here are my comments.

I would like to see two specific things.
First a subscription process similar to rss but web based whereby you were able to identify what posts you had and hadn’t read on a blogger's page when returning to that page.

Second I agree with numerous comments about tighter integration into workday. Print to web seems like a fantastic idea. I would like to "Print to Spool" being a holding place for later editing and publishing. This could be attached to applications, personal devices, phone, camera, digital video cam, pda, etc. Thus as we take ourselves through the day we can make commentary - wirelessly connect though gprs or G3 phones to a temp web space - then upon returning to a pc login to web and edit before publishing .
I know we can do this now - but it’s not easy and seamless - it requires a certain level of technical ability of managing all the different mediums and then an hour or more of editing before it’s ready to publish.
I like the idea of preformatted "spool" that takes content and it is ready to post. If the user wishes no further editing needs to be done.


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Had a great day.
Went to a clients and picked up a bunch of work.
Had a haircut and met the real nice lady who owned the salon.
Went shopping - got my new glasses frames and prices for a bunch of the stuff that was damaged in the flood we had the other night with all the rain. We need that for the insurance claim.
We bought some glow sticks for the kids. The neighbour came over to ask if I could assist with showing them how to scan. I went and downloaded antivirus updates etc and showed the scanning. Then they came over for dinner and the kids used the glow sticks - they love them and they were on sale for $1 each at Crazy Clarks. We played hide and seek in the dark!

Now it is work time.

To Do List for Tonight

Catalog all the damaged stuff for the insurance claim
Work on website database for church with Rohan the developer
Build excel data analysis too for web database extracts
Add border to template for JAM creativity for picture posting
Cashflow modeling for a client
Do finance reporting work for church
Write excel tips for this blog

That's enough for one night!


I have a date!

Email from my daughter this morning

to tim fom miranda i likuoo wood uoy lik to play wiv me at one o kolok in the rfdnoo


My PC is my best friend - almost - after my wife, and after my 4 kids and after my laptop, PDA and motorbike!

Heres an article about kids who like their PC's form The Register

I want one of these! (I'm not coveting, just planning my next major tech upgrade due Feb 2005.)


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

More Passion Study guides thanks to Google
See my previous posts here and here

Outreach study material
Campus Crusade For Christ campus oriented material
Youth Specialities - for youth pastors
Worship Store a pastors guide
The Passion Outreach Project lots of material


More fallout from MyDoom
Portknocking back doors explained by The Register

Coding is such fun - especially at 3:49am in the middle of a thunderstorm.
We had a inflood of excess rain water earlier - resulting in several hundred dollars worth of damage. We have gone from extreme heat to thunder and lightning and torrential rain.

I guess that this is the tropics!


Monday, February 23, 2004

Make yourself in lego
Thanks Kristyk for the link
Heres me


Blogger Idol Week 6


This weeks topic is Movies

Movies for me are mainly about children's movies at the moment, and mostly a bit here and a bit there. I will write a screenplay of the menage I view regularly.

The coyote stares over the canyon wall at the roadrunner with a dreamy look on his face - a light bulb flashes "IDEA". He orders an Acme Shrek who tells donkey that he cant stay in the house. He then sits down to a meal alone and plucks wax out of his ear to make a candle. He lights the lantern and walks up and down the fence line looking to see where Ginger had escaped from this time. When he gets back inside Mrs Tweedy tells him that chickens are "NOT Airganised. Meanwhile the aliens have made all the parents put on funny headsets that control their minds. The robot dog has a cool phone inside it but Jimmy Neutron is wallowing in self pity in the dungeon alone. Suddenly Bruce appears in front of them and says how about a party and takes Marlin and Dory to a fish anonymous meeting. During the meeting the rugrats roll down the hill in the reptar wagon miraculously missing all the trees.

I think that's enough - my brain has gone numb. All I can hear are cartoon voices, cartoon voices CARTOON VOICES! They are telling me to .... escape?


Sunday, February 22, 2004

Reviews from last weeks entries


My top five (or there abouts) are:

Our Hangout Great storywriting
Moodstruck Kid's say the damn'dest things...
Frac Science fiction - well written frac
Just A Girl Note awesome resource for images on this post - hence the reason for including her
Matt Harmless hairless cats!
Tanya's Harp Fantasy - I'm there


Web development crawls along.
Brisbane's hottest day ever on record - 41.7 degrees Celsius at 2PM
Train tracks buckling, people dying from heat etc.
Our aircon is just coping - its been running non stop at about 30 cents an hour!


Phone call to doctor.
Doc, can you please give me a repeat script for those maggots? I've run out

Reuters Health Information (2004-02-20): UK medics to prescribe maggots as wound cleansers


More on The Passion - see my previous post

My comments must be tempered by the fact that I have not yet seen the movie.

However the more I hear about it the more disturbed I become. This movie seems almost too well hyped.
The marketing appears to have been carefully manufactured, and criticism limited or simply ignored.

Yet I have found numerous instances of well thought out criticisms of the movie, including the fact that the movie makers claims about its historical accuracy and its biblical accuracy are probably incorrect.

The hype from a Christian perspective appears to be along the lines of "this is a great evangelism tool". Why do we need a tool like this? Why can't we evangelise without a movie? Can we only evangelise well when something like this comes along. What happens next year when it is all forgotten again? The Oberammergau Passion Play has been performed 40 times in the last 4 hundred odd years and is well known throughout the world.

The first of my two reasons for being disturbed about this movie is the violence. This film has been rated MA15+here in Australia. That means I cannot take my children to it - even if I choose to - PG (Parental Guidance). Why does the violence have to be so graphic and disturbing? Sure it is fairly hard to recreate the bloody and torturous death of an individual "nicely". But the emotion that the use of cinema violence gernates in someone is hard to ignore, and is a well used cinematographic method. Our society is so well conditioned to violence, that maybe the only way to get at someone is to show more violent violence than normal.
Does the emotion that is generated from this movie lead to long lasting conversion and repentance from sin? Maybe - that is for an individual to answer. I know from personal experience of both myself and friends that emotionally charged events where "altar calls" are made can often lead to insubstantial and non lasting decisions.

I am also disturbed about the weighting of events. This film primarily focuses on the suffering of Jesus, in fact the last 12 hours of his life and subsequent death. Mel Gibson has made this decision consciously and has ignored events leading up to and after this point. He is entitled to do that as a film maker and I have no problem with that. However the death was only part of the bigger picture. In fact without the death the resurrection was not possible, yet to focus on the death without the resurrection, which was the point of the death in the first place is neither biblically nor historically accurate. We must be careful as both movie viewers and evangelists to point out that this movie is only the first part of a bigger picture.
The resurrection is the important part, and the part that lays a claim on someone's soul. Merely viewing Jesus' death - even understanding that it was your sin that put him there without looking at the resurrection, and the claim that lays on your life is like finishing a joke before the punchline - you miss the point!

I personally shall view the movie when I am able, if only to better critique it and make more informed comments. In the meantime, I am open to opinion and comment - especially from those who have seen the film.

Here are some links that I have used as research starting points. Thanks to Darren at the Living Room for the page that started this. I suggest that you read these pages before commenting blindly - there is a wealth of informed commentary and critique here.

The Weekly Standard
Protestant, Catholic and Jewish review
Beliefnet review
Beliefnet - debate
Christian Answers News
Study guide
Most Rev. Stefan Soroka Hype Versus Hope
James Dobson
Billy Graham quoted on World Net Daily I couldn't find the original article from Billy Graham himself

I was interested to see that while James Dobson did address media and topical "problems" with the film such as "will it inspire anti semitism?", he fails to address any of the theological or historical criticisms many of the other film reviewers have raised, in particular non biblical (not mentioned in the bible) additions made to the movie to fill it out, and the artistic license used to portray certain abstract concepts.


Web develoment coming along fine - thanks to Rohan
If you would like to test this alpha site out for me - broken links - doesn't work in your browser etc (especially netscape and mozilla users) please leave comments. Yes I know the login doesnt work yet... and when it does feel free to enrol mickey mouse as many times as you like - its just dummy data and will get dumped before transferred to clients server and going live.


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