September 04, 2007

Everybody Wants Their Cut!

I don't know if it's just me or if this happens to someone else, but I've stopped giving when my name is attached. Why you ask? It's because once you give everybody will come and want a piece of the pie.

Wifey and I gave some money to one of the local organizations about three years ago. We had just moved into our house (after making a nice bundle on the townhouse) and had just welcomed a new baby. We felt blessed and wanted to give back. So when the county's police whatever called we did...

...and it hasn't stopped. We gave once, but have been turned off to giving ever since. It is because they won't stopped calling asking for money. No, it's not just the police fraternity, it's the cops for kids, the veterans, the cancer society, the March of Dimes, etc. You name it and they called. It's like this, you give once and they put you on the "giver" list and then sell your name to any other "good cause" organization. Here are some of my observations about these organizations:

  • Since the above named are not-for-profit organizations they don't have to adhere to the law like telemarketers, they can pretty much call anytime they want, Sundays and Holidays included.
  • They are sly bastards. If you ever really listen to them, they will tell you that any pledge will do, but sincerely suggest a "usual" amount people donate.
  • They will not take "no" for an answer. Ever ever. Even when you tell them that you can't give because you wouldn't be able to feed your own children. Trust me I've tried.

Churches have become just as bad. Ever notice the number printed on the gift envelopes one gets at the beginning of the year? What do you think those are for? It's your "membership" number so they can track how much you give. Why would they need to know that much detail?

Here's a solution. If you feel like giving do it anonymously. Give to your chosen organization by sending them a cashier's check or money order. That's what we do.


September 08, 2006

IE Middleclick to Open New Window

Windows automation at it's best. Yes, I am all about that. I crunch numbers all day and do a lot of the same tasks over and over again. Anything that will let me make my life easier, I'm game.

Here's one I can't live without. I use Firefox (Portable or otherwise) for about 90% of my web surfing habit. The other ten percent I have to use Internet Explorer for because the site most likely won't work. My employer's Intranet won't work without it. In FF I can open links in new tabs simply by clicking on them with the middle mouse button (or scroll wheel) . If you do the same in IE, nothing happens. Here's a little Autohotkey script that will let you open links in IE in a new window.

Copy from here:

MouseClick, left, , , 1, ,

End here.

Paste the above three lines of code into Notepad and save the file with an .ahk extension.
In order to run the above you will need to have Autohotkey installed. It is small, free of charge and can be downloaded from here:

Download Autohotkey

P.S. Once Autohotkey is installed you can also convert the .ahk script into it's own exe which won't require Autohotkey to be installed on the same machine anymore.

Printing Powerpoint Handouts with Dark Background

You learn something new at work every day. It is not often that I can say this, but the other day I did.


I am putting together a 40-plus-page presentation for my boss to present to the bigshots (CEO, CFO, Prez,...). As a seasoned Powerpoint user, I know that the best presentations are done on a dark (preferrably blue) background with a large light colored (mostly white, yellow, orange) font. This type of combo works great as the strain on the eyes is minimal. However, a problem arises when trying to print the presentation to be used as a handout. Why you ask? Because PP (at least the version we use - which is 2000) will not print white/yellow (or any light color) when printed in true black/white option. All you will get is blank pieces of paper. Printing the background is out of the question also, as this will waste lots and lots of ink.

I asked a lot of people in the office and nobody had a good, short or easy solution. Google didn' t help either.

Anyhow, here's the solution:

  1. First make sure you're in the 'Normal' view. On your toolbar click View>Normal.
  2. Next, look at your presentation in B&W. On the toolbar click View>Black and White.Your presentation should now be in B&W.
  3. On your first slide, hit CTRL+A (or click Edit>Select All from the toolbar) You should now have the infamous squares displayed on your screen.
  4. Right-click on one of the selected objects. You will be presented with several choices including Black and White (right above Custom Animation). Highlight Black and White and several color options will show up. Black is the option that should be checked. If it isn't selected, make it the selection (usually Automatic is selected).

Not much will happen on the screen, but behind the scenes your slide will print in true black and white format, even with light text. No more blank pages.

Apply the above to all the slides that need it. Changing Black to any other color will show you what the printout will look like. Good luck.

July 18, 2006

First post...what to write?

The hardest part about starting a blog is the first post. What should one write about? Should one talk about themselves, one's life and desires? Or should one talk about the goals of the blog, what it will mean to people? Honestly, I don't know if anybody really gives a s**t about that. When I read other people's blogs I get more info out of the title and subtitle than anything else.

Therefore, I am not gonna write a summary about what I'm about, I'll just tell you that I have a lot of time on my hands to surf the web and somewhere in the process I got fed up with the redundencies of using a computer. So I set out to find things/ideas/concepts/software/add-ons etc. to make my surfing more enjoyable. As my online life became more refined and redundancies were eliminated the process also spread over into my real life. A while ago I discovered a (new to me at least) subculture dealing with the things that make life (online or real) easier; it is called lifehacking.

There is plenty of websites out there dealing with lifehacks, but this blog shall be a summation of what really works and what doesn't (at least for me!). So sit back and relax, it's gonna be an enjoyable ride!!!