Archive for the Uncategorized Category

For You Nerds

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16, 2012 by bigfatfurrytexan

In my job I do some accounting type work.  I have very little background in accounting, but have deeeeeep roots in Excel and data management.  So the job was a decent match for my skills and I took it.

Since taking this job, my laptop issued to me has acted horribly.  In the last 15 months I have had a total of 3.  The current one will just shut off at random intervals, and I have figured that there are some clocking issues going on.  An example:  a spreadsheet that my quad core processor takes 20 minutes to calculate takes only about 5 minutes on a dual core that I have at home.  And it is when I have demand on the processor that it “randomly” shuts off (leaving me in the lurch when I need uptime the most).

As a last ditch effort with the vendor, I have asked for a complete replacement of a preloaded laptop.  This machine arrived on Monday, but I have been unable to finish configuring it for my work.  Until today.

Yesterday I spent about 3 hours struggling with a budget spreadsheet.  The issue, without getting into too much boring detail, was that I was trying to layer in a change order to increase the budget to 618k.  The top line on the budget workbook (under 1mb in size) kept calculating a number around 654k.  I knew this wasn’t right because of my own manual calculations, and presumed that I had an error elsewhere (which I spent that 3 hours trying to debug).

Finally, at about 6pm last night I gave up and went home.  This is very unusual for me, as I am generally outstanding with Microsoft Excel, and the calculations that go into this budgeting workbook.  Spent the night simmering, trying to work through in my head what had happened, where the error was.  The thought of scrapping and starting from the beginning….that just wasn’t going to happen.

When I return to work this morning, my laptop (which i left in my office out of disgust last night) had restarted.  This forced me to reopen the workbook that I was fighting with the night before. 

Magically, when I looked at the top line, it reflect 618k.  It balanced, with only a -1 cent difference due to rounding issues (typical with such large sums of cash). 

How did this happen?  Should I believe in magic?

The best I can figure is that the sheet was not recalculating.  I haven’t yet checked to see if it is a known issue with Excel.  But this isn’t the first such issue.  I have another budget workbook (for a separate budget detail) that has had to be recoded entirely because it just started making wild cell references when calculating the “sumif” formulas on the front page (sending references into other workbooks that are wholly unrelated).

Is this at all interesting?  Absolutely not.  At least, not unless you are me, and had the last 24 hours that I have had.  🙂


Its Not In My Job Description

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2012 by bigfatfurrytexan

So, I am sure everyone has heard of this story:

Jeff Ellis told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Thursday evening that he didn’t approve of the decision to fire Lopez.


“Clearly, he should not have been terminated for what had occurred,” Ellis said. “I know that he has tried to do the right thing.”


Three other lifeguards quit in protest and two others were dismissed after saying they would have acted as Lopez did.


“They told us we would be liabilities and we had to be let go,” lifeguard Travis Madrid told CNN.


We have a young man who saw another human who was in dire need, mortal need, and he went to render aid (as is his job duty).  Why was he fired?  For attending to someone outside of the area he was assigned to.  Actually, Jeff Ellis has said it was an insurance risk to conduct operations outside of the insured area.  And, that is fair enough.  But do you really  put a human life at risk to avoid insurance risk?

And, do you really fire a kid for working in an area outside his own to save a human life?  Are there not extenuating circumstances?

This is what drives me nuts about being an employer.  When someone tells me “Its not my job”, I literally lose it.  I point out that anything that seems logical is “their job”.  Your job, for any employer, is to advance that employers interests and ability to generate revenue.  Even something as simple as picking up a piece of trash from the gutter in front of your place of business.  It makes your place of business more attractive, and makes it more profitable.

Jeff Ellis Management, on the other hand, is reinforcing a horrible habit.  They are telling their employees that open thought is not allowed.  That you put your nose in the Employee Handbook, shut up, and toe the line.  This, my friends, is not the kind of employees I want.  I don’t want docile sheep who are unable to think for themselves.  A triple PhD in mathematics does you no good if you are unable to chew gum without biting off your own tongue.

Readers, break this cycle of distant, cold treatment of one another.  Restore the American principle of smart business, not cattle herding management.  Encourage your friends, family, coworkers, and employees to do that extra “value add” task, even if it isn’t in their job description. 

I know your union workers will disagree with me on this.  And to that I say, “You stupid sheep, don’t you realize you could be so much MORE than your narrow job description?”



Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2012 by bigfatfurrytexan


Posted in Uncategorized on April 8, 2012 by bigfatfurrytexan

Easter is the day that Jesus was revived by a rabbit who fed him chocolate.


So now we commemorate this event my making and eating chocolate bunnies.  To remember Jesus.  At least, that’s my story.

The One True Religion

Posted in Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 by bigfatfurrytexan

Whats with all the religious tension?  Why does anyone have to be right?  Can’t religion be considered more like fashion?  If someone has a religious belief you don’t like, you can just stuff down your laughter and snicker about it with your friends later.

“Oh my God, did you hear what she believes?  A Scientologist, of all things!!!  That is so 90’s!”

Or just continue arguing.  That has worked so well in the past.

Cause, Effect, Life, Chaos

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2012 by bigfatfurrytexan

I posted the following on a forum recently.  Didn’t get much in the way of discussion, which was really my hope.  However there was some interesting input.  Regardless, I thought it would be nice to add in here:

Been driving a lot lately with weekly trips down to the hill country. This gives me long hours to sit, drive, and think.

On one of these recent drives something occurred to me: life could be simply defined as any system that works consistently and demonstrably against entropy. In other words, life builds order.

Of course, this would mean that planets, solar systems, and galaxies are “alive”….but I believe this could possibly be true.

It would seem that it is likely that “life” exists wherever order exists.  i think that order and life go hand in hand.

However, it has since occurred to me that there is no such thing as chaos.  There is always order, with “chaos” just being an order that is beyond our ability to recognize.  Of course when you have millions upon millions of interactions giving rise to new actions it becomes wholly unpredictable to us and is just called “chaos”.

To take this further then, would that not mean that at a universal level there is nothing but order?  A complete absence of chaos?  Our reality is a cause and effect reality.  All things happen because of something causing them to happen.

Which may have given me a good working definition of intelligence:  any being that works against cause and effect.  This is independant thought, free will.  Violating the universes desire to have its predictable chains of cause and effect.

Anyway…gotta get on with my day.  Enough day dreaming.

Morning Musings In San Antonio

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2012 by bigfatfurrytexan

So this morning I am working in downtown San Antonio.  This is a real pleasure, let me tell you.  The Tejano awards PLUS spring break.  It is crowded full of people who know less about how to get around San Antonio than I do.  Several times I have been asked, “Excuse me sir, how do you get to…..”. 

This has normally gotten a response similar to, “Well, I am not from here either.  Couldn’t tell you”.  Which, to be honest, is a fair response as it would seem anything else would be misleading them.  Regardless, I still get the “Are you for real?” look before they trail off looking for another victim which to assail with questions.

I have been thinking though:  rather than tell them that I don’t know, why not meet their expectations?  I mean, instead of having them give me a “WTF” look I could send them away happily knowing that they have direction and meaning in their day once again.  Who cares that any directions I give (other than to the smoking area) would be wholly made up and fictitious?  Well, I guess the person getting the shoddy directions would care, but that would then be up to someone else to address. 

I guess I should be happy that I can just simply find my way back and forth from the office/apartment to Starbucks each morning.  While it isn’t as convenient as my Mr. Coffee at home, it is still pretty decent coffee.  And the entertainment provided by the grandiose displays of pretentiousness seen there is well worth the muggy, early morning walk. 

While standing by the door (as the line was long enough to stretch up to the door) I had a lady push her way by me.  As she came in she said, “Whew!  I just had to get out of all that cigarette smoke!”. So I looked outside, and noticed that one person was walking by that had a cigarette.  That little bit of smoke, mixed in with the wonderful bouquet that is downtown, early rush hour San Antonio, was more than her delicate biological system could bear.

But it all made sense when I saw the labeling the new Starbucks coffee blend, “Tribute”.  Beneath the brand name was the by line description of, “Bold and deeply textured”.  Talk about pretentious.  To most of us coffee is described as “strong”, “weak”, “good”, “bad”….simple descriptives.  I had no idea that coffee, like wine, could suffer the pretentiousness of people believing to have found a hidden pleasure in the bottom of America’s favorite breakfast drink, and then call it “deeply textured”.