Friday, July 18, 2008

Political Rant #1: Obama says America is "No Longer a Christian Nation"

So I got an email the other day about Obama's statement about how the US is no longer a Christian Nation. We have indeed lost our nation’s identity. I also agree with Obama’s statement. I don’t believe our founding fathers wanted a theocracy, that is to say, a nation governed by one religion (and more specifically one denomination). I do believe they would have desired for this nation to be a nation of Christians (those who strive to follow Jesus’ teachings). The wording is subtle but the implications are great.

The problem I have with Obama political e-mails these days is they spin fear of Obama for his secular beliefs (I agree he calls himself “Christian” but his beliefs align with secular society rather than traditional Christian viewpoints) but our “safe” alternative is a “Christian” (McCain) who wants to continue an ill-gotten war that will continue to bankrupt our economy. I believe our best way to uphold our honor (what little we have left) is in rebuilding Iraq rather than policing the Arab nations and picking fights for more wars (e.g. Iran).

Indeed, it’s a “choose your poison” situation but I would rather go down fighting than be forced to drink the Kool-aid. That’s why I’m not voting for either. Although a vote not for McCain is a vote for Obama I personally feel any real meaningful change will come when we quit buying into the system and start demanding real leaders. This attitude is why I’m so bold in my e-mails and it will only encourage me more in my civil duties… and I’m not alone.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Your Kindergarten Teacher Lied

Yep, that’s right. Back in the day when you did your finger paintings of blue ducks your teacher told you that you could create ANY color just by using the 3 primary colors and guess what? She lied. You can only create the illusion of the colors as this callous text book puts it: “Our nervous system attempts to interpret that (relative intensities of three bands of colors) very limited data to provide our perception of color. This mechanism which we chauvinistically call primary colors is often inaccurate! But it allows for inexpensive color printing and video presentations using as few as three inks or phosphors.” Oh, it gets better. You may have also been told the primary colors are Red, Yellow, & Blue like below:

And you would be correct if you were living in the 1600s when Isacc Newton came up with it. But no, the dude who invented calculus was wrong. The primary colors are Red, Green and Blue. Remember “RGB”?

But the site goes even further to say really you aren’t making colors nor are they even real. They are simply your limited interpretation of them. I’ve yet to find a website that explains the relationship between photons and objects and the resulting wavelength which we interpret as color.
Why bring up all this? Because what may be a beautiful shade of green in my wife’s eye may be a vomit green in mine and science has got my side. And it’s way past my bed time.

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's Offical, America is no longer American

Today Anheuser-Bush sold out to Belgian brewer InBev taking the last American beer giant down. It's just a matter of time before the smaller ones get picked off. The day Samuel Adams sales out will be the day the antichrist returns.

Did You Know? (DYK): Miller is owned by SABMiller based out of South Africa. Coors is owned by Molson Coors Brewing Company based out of Canada.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Only Thing Missing From FireFox

I guess you know by now I'm a fan of Firefox. The whole open source movement is so great. To think people are actually willing to share the awesome things they spend their time and energy on gives me hope that society isn't lost yet. Anyways, as much as I've loved Firefox I must confess I loved IE7's add a new tab button. I thought surely someone has made this add-in for Firefox and sure enough some had. Thanks Kozakura Inko!

Friday, July 11, 2008

ScribeFire + Images = Frustration

So yea, I spent like an hour trying to format and upload those images correctly. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. The images copied into ScribeFire's text area easy enough but when I clicked to publish it I was prompted for every single image. Next time, I'll be sure to INSERT THE IMAGE FIRST rather than just copy/paste.

Nifty Excel Trick #1: Format Percentages Correctly

I work a lot with Excel and occasionally have to search the web to remember how to do a seemingly simple task. A common problem is when Excel thinks a number you entered as a percent should be multiplied by 100 rather than by .01.

For example, you have several numbers like so:

You want them to be formatted like percents rather than numbers so you hit the thinking that will solve your problem but Excel goofs it up and makes it look like this:

WTF! That's not what you wanted. Why did it do that! If you've got a ton of numbers you aren't excited about having to manually go in and delete all those zeros but wait there is an easier way.
You could insert a column next to the column you want formatted and add a formula (e.g. =A1*.01) like so:

Now it will have it in the right format and you can now hit the % button to make it work:

Copy the formula down by dragging that little black square in your highlighted cell or double click it and "boom goes the dynamite!":

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wachovia better not sell out

Rumors are Wachovia the 4th largest bank and my bank of choice is looking to sell out. If true, then the housing market has hit even this great giant. I really hope this doesn't come true because AmSouth and Regions was a good example that banks shouldn't merge. I left Regions shortly after their merger and I'm so glad I did. It was like they had chimps managing their IT departments and do you want chimps playing with your money? I didn't think so. Maybe they wouldn't have had so many problems if they hired my company? :-)

UPDATE (7/22): It just keeps getting worse for Wachovia. Looks like the rumors might soon become realty. I'm still hoping they can hold on as I really don't want to change banks again.

UPDATE (9/29): Oh well. I'm just glad they didn't go belly up. Hopefully the integration won't be too painful.

ScribeFire is sooooo cool

I just found out about this sweet Firefox add-in called ScribeFire while surfing. I knew something like this was out there but this will make blogging and sharing my thoughts and findings much easier. If you haven't ditched IE yet for FireFox you really should because you don't know what you are missing.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why Blog?

Wow. My first entry on my blog. I've been keeping a personal hand written journal for years but have never gotten around to posting stuff on a blog. The reason being, I could not see the use but now that I've embraced web 2.0 I understand why this means of communication is so great. Over my years of surfing the web I've come to find myself reading other people's blogs more than the main stream websites. Mainly because people post stuff that you won't find on the big websites. Microsoft is a good example. As great of a software company as they are everyone will agree that their understanding of users is pretty pathetic. When I upgraded to Office 2007 I wanted to keep 2003 but despite Microsoft's attempt to make it easy there was/is several bugs that users have had to suffer through. Luckily a guy who worked at Microsoft had a personal blog devoted to helping users make the switch.

As an IT guy, political enthusiast (thanks to Ron Paul), economic theorist (thanks to Adam Smith), and religious/philosophical/theologian fan (thanks to many but mostly to John Piper & Ravi Zacharias) I hope to share my thoughts and findings with the rest of the world.