Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Personal Trainers

They are so dedicated squatting idly by to make sure I do 10 miles today.

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Morning cuddles

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Feline Assistance

This reminds me of something my mom said about raising a large family and how she tried to get things done with one kid hanging on her leg, another breast feeding while someone else is hanging off her neck.

Elgy is on my lap, arms wrapped around my leg and Havi is inside my laptop bag while I'm sitting in the kitchen working. Now if only I can train them to do some database setup, it would be a great help.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet November

It was sure nice to have a streak of days off to rest during the Thanksgiving holiday. The best part of my time off was making a table runner for my mom-in-law, Maggie, who's birthday was coming up and sharing the end of the month with family.

Grandma, Aunt Jan, and Cleo drove in from California and we were also joined by our friend Shannon. He brought with him a beautiful tropical bouquet and great-cousin Caroline sent her love with a pie and a gorgeous centerpiece for the dinner table.

John put together this delicious citrus salad (he won't let me forget the time and care he spent in kitchen slicing and separating the orange and grapefruit slices, LOL!! It was hard work indeed.)

We both admit the amount of effort put forth into making the salad and table runner was not even close to what Grandma, Maggie, and Aunt Jan prepared for dinner. The apple pie, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, cranberry sauces, pumpkin pie, gravy, and of course the turkey was truly a fabulous feast!

One-and-a-half plate, a slice of pumpkin pie and a cup of tea later, I felt like rolling over on the carpet just like Yazzie to take a nap! I don't know where Bindy Sue and Cleo went...they must have already retired to bed.
Post-Thanksgiving Dinner
This was indeed a sweet November and I am thankful not only for the delicious dinner but for the family and friends I was surrounded by who made the meal and Thanksgiving so meaningful. Whatever tradition you have to celebrate the holiday, I hope you also had a wonderful weekend.

Photos from the Picasa album "Thanksgiving".

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not so brown after all

Since I can't seem to grow anything green that's not mold, I gave up on gardening and indoor house plants...including cacti. Somehow this yam is thriving so my thumbs are not so brown after all...well one of them.
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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How to hide #N/A errors in Excel 2007

I work in Excel quite a bit, analyzing data and writing formulas. At times, the formula results in an error displayed as #N/A instead of a value. When I'm working with columns and rows filled with data, these annoying errors can make me go cross-eyed. I created a simple example to show you what I mean (click on any image to display a larger view).

How can I hide these errors from displaying? Many of the help articles and forums out there will suggest using Conditional Formatting and then some =ISERROR() code which hides errors in a single cell or, personally, I've find confusing to follow.

I need to know how to hide these errors quickly without needing to break out a formula since I haven't got all day. I've found an easier way; at least it works for me and will show you how to hide these #N/A errors in 10 steps or less -- the user-friendly way! (Note: you don't want to delete the #N/A errors so when the error is resolved, the value will display. I'll touch on this again after step 6.)

Here is how to hide #N/A errors in Excel 2007 in 10 steps or less:
1) Select the column(s) containing the errors
2) Select Conditional Formatting from the Home ribbon
3) Select New Rule... from the submenu

4) Select a Rule Type: Format only cells that contain  (Here is where other articles will tell you to choose "Use a formula to determine which cells to format" which would be fine and dandy for more complicated selection criteria but, dude, we have a simple error here.)
5) Edit the rule description by selecting Errors from the drop down list of values under Format only cells with: and click Format... (Note the other options like Blanks, Specific Text, etc. for future reference)

6) In the Font tab, select White for the background color under the Color drop down menu (assuming your cell or worksheet background is white; otherwise select a matching color) and click OK until you are back to your spreadsheet.

Notice the #N/A errors are still there but the text color formatted to match the background. When you click out of the column the errors seem to disappear (remember that if the error is resolved and returns a value, the conditional formatting rule will not apply so the text will display--this is why you don't want to delete the #N/A errors just to keep them from showing on the spreadsheet)! Viola--I explained how to do this in 6 steps.

But what about the annoying green flags at the corners of the cells containing the errors? Follow me and I'll show you how to hide those too.

7) Click the MS Office icon at the top left of the Excel window.
8) Select Excel Options

9) Select Formulas from the options list on the left.
10) Under Error Checking, select White from the paint bucket icon where it says, Indicate errors using this color and click OK.

Your spreadsheet should now show ... or should I say hide the #N/A and green flag errors. Pretty simple I think, or at least more intuitive than having to remember a formula.

Next time I'll show you how to reference an array, match data and return a value from the same row to display on a new sheet using named ranges, a couple formulas, =INDEX and =MATCH. Trust me, it's easier than it sounds and will save you a lot of time if you are comparing data or cutting and pasting data that matches.

Dubble Bubble

I've noticed that more and more grocery stores have stopped carrying bubble gum. I don't mean the minty chewing gum...but BUBBLE gum. They're so much fun to chew!

Lately I've been finding clusters of these around the house, just waiting for me to unwrap them. :-) I think somebody loves me.
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Brighter side of fall season

Besides ushering a slew of holidays, the fall season also brings daylight earlier in the morning...

...so I can meet John for coffee before starting my day.
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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Wild Buffalo Wings at Balboa Pizza Company

Hear me shudder like Homer Simpson...ooh this is going to be spicy and GOOD!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spooky at Kabuki

I found it hard to get in the mood for Halloween this year and was unsure whether to pass out candy or melt into the darkness of the holiday. So John and I made our way to Town Square in Las Vegas for dinner and little did we know we'd find ourselves surrounded by swarms of goblins, robins, and fairies! Crowds of families and trick-or-treaters lined the streets along the shops, filled with glee. While they waited patiently for candy, we treated ourselves to sushi at Kabuki Restaurant.

Miso soup warmed our tummy and endamame stirred our appetites. Then came the Lotus on Fire sushi roll...
...and the Kabuki Sushi Roll was just perfect for the evening while we watched all the kids in costumes walk by the glass window.
Finally it was time to pry ourselves away, towards home where it was our turn to pass out the treats--we didn't want to let down our neighborhood trick-or-treaters. John put out the decorations and I got the cats dressed in their Halloween costumes. It was good to have so many visitors stop by this year because this tells me, the Halloween spirit is still very much alive. Happy Halloween ... or as Elgy and Havi would say, Havi Hell-of-a-Halloween!!
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Teeny Weeny Polka-Dot Toenail-ees

My attempt to get in the Halloween spirit. The all black nail polish was too hideous of a match for my toes so I added polka-dots and flowers.
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How to use your cell phone as a modem

Did you know you can use your cell phone as a modem for your laptop to access the Internet anywhere you have a cellular signal? If you are like me, you carry your notebook almost everywhere with you and it would be convenient to be able to connect to the Internet wherever you are--using your phone and the Bluetooth connection between your phone and laptop. I use this handy feature to tap into the data plan I have for my Blackberry and thought I'd share with you. 

Before I continue, the instructions below assume the following prerequisites have been met:
  • you have a RIM Blackberry Curve 8900 or Blackberry Curve 8520 with a data plan (my wireless service provider is T-Mobile and an unlimited data plan is probably best unless you don't surf much or would rather risk paying over-usage charges)
  • an established connection to your laptop via Bluetooth (for which the instructions below are applicable) or USB (although using a cable might limit your mobility). 
  • Windows XP with administrative rights
Now, shall we get started?

Setting up the modem
1. Click the Start menu, select Control Panel, then double click Bluetooth Devices. Select your handset from the list, then click Properties. Click the Services tab and ensure that Dial-up networking (DUN) is checked (if not, check the box). Click OK until you are back at the Control Panel.
2. From the Control Panel window, double click Phone and Modem Options. Click the Modems tab. Click to select Standard Modem over Bluethooth link (COM5), then click Properties. Click the Advanced tab. Type at+cgdcont=1,"IP","wap.voicestream.com" in the Extra initialization commands field. Click OK until you are back at the Control Panel.

Setting up the connection
3. In the Control Panel window, double click Network Connections. Under Network Tasks, click Create a new connection. When the New Connection Wizard window appears, click Next
  • Click to select Connect to the Internet, then click Next
  • Click to select Set up my connection manually, then click Next
  • Click to select Connect using a dial-up modem, then click Next
  • Click to select Standard Modem over Bluetooth link (ensure no other modems are checked) then click Next
  • In the ISP Name field, type T-Mobile Data, then click Next
  • In the Phone number field, type *99#, then click Next. Leave the Username and Password fields blank. I unchecked the available options including Make this the default Internet connection, click Next, then Finish
  • If you plan to use this connection often, you can check Add a shortcut to this connection to my desktop.

Making your connection
There are several ways to establish connection to T-Mobile Data.
  1. Use the shortcut on your desktop by double clicking on the icon, then click Dial.
  2. From the Network Connections window, right click on the T-Mobile Data icon under Dial-up, and select Connect from the popup submenu.
  3. Click Start, Connect to, T-Mobile Data, then Dial.
(Hint: To hide the Username and Password fields, click Properties, Options tab, and uncheck Prompt for name and password, certificate, etc. Other settings are available on the tabs found in this area.)
That's it! Now you can connect and browse the Internet on your laptop using T-Mobile Data on-the-go.

Other useful articles can be found through the links below:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Crochet a Turkey

If I didn't have too much on my plate right now, I'd love to crochet this turkey.

Then again, this is wishful thinking because I can barely knit and finish a scarf, LOL!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Just wondering how you handle those times where you have someone piping about "problems" and meanwhile, are oblivious to the notion that perhaps they might be part of the problem. Then, instead of being part of the solution, they harp on you to "do something". I feel like saying, I am but what are you doing (to help resolve the issue)?! or I'm trying to do but I can't do it without your cooperation. How can I fix a problem I have no control over? Argh...frustrating.

Then I give in and tell myself, I'm doing what I can and will be better off -- at least in a better position than they. Accurate or not, it's the only sense of satisfaction I can find right now.

I hope after their problem doesn't get fixed, whether they harp at me or someone else, they might look at themselves and think, maybe the problem is me and then, how redirect my venting energy to help...but that's probably hoping too much, LOL.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I have a question for you. How would you pronounce the word, "bass"?

Would you pronounce it bas ... like the fish?

I was corrected today after I uttered the word several times ... and had a good laugh after looking at the course description: MUSA 101 - Bass I and MUSA 101 - Bass II.

But hey--look! If I had kept going to MUSA 103 - Bassoon I and MUSA 104 - Bassoon II, I would have been closer. ;-)

Well I don't feel too bad because how many times do you think the word, "sake", as in for the sake of all students has been mispronounced in a Japanese restaurant?

Change and Changing

I had an experience that this quote is appropriate for...
"If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself."
--Norman Vincent Peale
...and for me, rings true. I'm focused on the words "become different yourself". In other words, if I have no control to change the things around me, sometimes change has to happen within myself. Whether that be my internal dialogue (perspective, thinking) or externalities (physical environment).

And then I found this quote...
"It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not."
--James Gordon
...and I agree. I'm trying not to dwell on the words "others are not". I have to remember that even though I am open to change, others may not be and accept that that is who they are.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Helmet Hair

Daly Costanza

Havi Hell of a Halloween

Cat in Halloween CostumeWhen I walked in to the kitchen with Elgy to surprise John, he nearly choked on his food from stifling his laughter. Misery loves company and I figured I wasn't going to be the only one miserable from this flu.
Cats in Halloween Costume
I still haven't decided on a costume for this Halloween but it looks like the girls are ready with their costume.
Cats in Halloween CostumeWhat are you going to be for Halloween this year? (I have to admit ... Havi looks happier in her Cowboy Cat costume than the Devil Diva, don't you agree?)

Cats in Halloween Costume

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


When she sleeps, does she dream in colors ... or black and white?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

2009 Mount Charleston Hill Climb

2009 Mount Charleston Hill Climb Collage
Almost 300 riders signed up for the annual Mount Charleston Hill Climb in Las Vegas, NV on September 19, 2009. With the start of the bike race at 3,312 ft. elevation, the climb to 8,669 ft. to the top is a race of attrition.

At the peak, where the finish line draws the end of the line for the racers, family and friends gather to congratulate the podium finishers and cheer on the remaining riders.

My hats are off to our dear friends who placed 4th in the pros, and 1st in Cat 3 when we left before the results were posted. I have tremendous respect for all of the finishers for their persistence in riding 17.5 miles, changing over 5,000 ft. in elevation with no rest whatsoever. Except for a short downgrade of 50 feet, everything was UPHILL and that's why they call it the Mount Charleston Hill Climb.

Photos from the Flickr album set, "2009 Mount Charleston Hill Climb"
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Five weeks to go

Today: Easy - Trainer
10.81 miles
52 minutes
-distracted with work on my mind, didn't drink water during workout
*next time no laptop or going through mail, drink more water

Yesterday: Moderate Cardio - Trainer
14+ miles
15-16avg mph
55 minutes
-bike fit a bit uncomfortable but did good with drinking water

Tomorrow: Moderate - Road?
Goal: 10-15 miles

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