Monthly Archive: July 2013

LazyWeb: Give me a new show.

Dear LazyWeb,

I keep the television on as background fodder while I’m … well, pretty much while I’m doing anything. I don’t tend to use music while working, because that makes it too obvious when 4 minutes have passed. Using TV shows works out well, because it gives me built-in “time to take a break” notifications, which I find handy. (Not that I always heed them, but it’s a good thought.)

Between Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, I have a goodly number of (free / already paid for) sources available to me. I like SF/F (I just caught up with Falling Skies, have gone through Warehouse 13, Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, Charmed), crime shows (Crossing Jordan, The Glades, Law & Order, Sherlock), medical shows / soaps (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice). Unfortunately, they need to be shows that I can primarily listen to to know what’s going on (as opposed to Alias, where it’s common for several minutes of action to pass in relative silence). Also, (and my

Thoughts? I’m in need of a new show.

Love, meri

This morning’s annoyance.

I have this Excel spreadsheet. Believe it or not, that is not, in and of itself, the annoyance.

I have data in columns A & B, and column C consists of this formula:

=if(countblank($a2:$b2)=0,concatenate($b2, ", §", $a2), "")

This works perfectly, with one small exception: the formatting in cell $b2 (partial italics) is lost in the concatenation. Since I have a few hundred rows to deal with, hand-formatting (again, since I originally hand-formatted $b2 to begin with) is really annoying.

Yes, I know that Excel isn’t a word processor, and that formatting is for word processors. But, damnit, this should work.

It’s not OCD, it’s CDO, damnit.

As many of you know, I lived in Kuwait for a year. This was pre-Desert-Storm-1 Kuwait, so it wasn’t very a very Westernized place, and the only place I was allowed outside by myself was to wait at the bus stop for my daily ride to school. Since the arrival time of the bus was highly variable, I was sometimes out there for a half hour or so, waiting. It was during this period of my life that I started a habit that would last me a lifetime: reading while waiting for <insert type of transit here>.

The school I went to (the American School of Kuwait) was a firm believer in burying a child in homework. As I was in the 4th grade at the time, a lot of this homework seemed to revolve around learning words and how to spell them. Therefore, I always had a dictionary with me. And, since I had a lot of free time while waiting for the aforementioned bus, I started reading it. I ended up finishing the whole thing sometime short of the end of the school year. (My father (being an eternal smart ass) told me to write a book report. I told him he’d get one when I finished the previous one he assigned me: the 1984 World Almanac.)

This random memory just popped into mind because I was looking at my music collection. (I was working on following Huey’s advice to either listen to really happy music or really depressing music to get out of my funk. Then I got sidetracked.) It’s roughly 56,000 files, or 170 days of music. And looking at the collection, I clicked on the “Name” column, resulting in my entire music collection, in alphabetic order. And I now have an intense urge to listen to the entire collection, in that order. Assuming I listen to music for 8 hours a day (which I don’t, but let’s assume), that’s 510 days’ of listening. At the more realistic 2 hours a day, that’s 2,040 days, or a bit over 5 and a half years of music. And that’s assuming I don’t accumulate any more music (also unlikely).

I’d better get started.

Monday Morning Blues

(Cue Breathe earworm. For the three people out there who know the song.)

I’ve been feeling kind of melancholy for the past few days. I’m not entirely sure why. Things are actually going pretty well for me right now. I’m busy, my health is as good as it’s been in the past couple of years, I have no great stressors in my life. And yet, I’m feeling down.

What are the best ways you know of to fight general feelings of sadness and / or discontentedness? (Please don’t tell me to go take a walk. It’s DC in the summer. For me, that way lies death.)

Mac OS X Special Character Quick Reference

I was chatting with someone today, and mentioned that the heat index was 106°. My correspondent immediately asked me how I managed to make the degree symbol. As I’m on a Mac, it’s dead simple: option-shift-8. This was something of a revelation to my friend (also a Mac user), and the next question was, “What other cool symbols can I type!?”

Instead of doing the right thing (telling my friend to open a TextEdit document and try the damned keyboard combinations), I made a cheat sheet. (Only about halfway through making it did it occur to me to Google for one. And by then, I was already invested in the damned thing.)

So, if any of you might find it handy, here it is: OS X Special Character Quick Reference

Enjoy. Or don’t. 🙂

Ask Lazyweb: Laser Printer Manila Folders

At one point, long long ago, I had these awesome file folders. They came in two parts, with an adhesive strip. They were 11 pt cardstock (standard manila folders). The gimmick was that you could feed one half through your laser printer, coming up with custom folders (I used them to create a form on the inside of the folders), and then adhere this newly-created sheet to the back half of the folder, and you’d have a nifty unique manila folder.

I cannot for the life of me remember who made them, nor has my Google/Amazon-fu turned up anything useful.

Does anyone remember these? Did I hallucinate the whole thing? Anyone with better Google-fu want to give it a shot?

(Still not king.)

Cease! Desist!

Ok, ok. I know I sometimes complain about being bored. This is not even close to one of those times.

I’m asking the Universe: Please, nothing else that needs to take up my time before, say, August 6th. And even then, you only get a week, because after that, I’m on vacation for a week. Ok? Ok.

Calling large ladies…

I’m looking for ideas on where to shop for plus-sized clothing without breaking the bank (that latter bit there being very important).  I tend to the very basic: Loose tops and bottoms, tanks, overshirts, shorts, cargo pants, etc. But I would like the option of flowy / dressy tunic-style tops, as well. Preferably ones that don’t help me look like a walking circus tent. 🙂

(And yes, I know the right answer is to lose weight and inches. I’m trying to work on that. However, in the meantime, I can’t exactly walk around naked. Nobody wants that.)

Here is my list of usual places to look. What can you add to them?

  • Avenue
  • Catherine’s
  • Dress Barn
  • Lane Bryant
  • Woman Within



Some days, my body can just go to hell.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years coming to terms with what my body can and can’t do now, and it’s pretty much required redefining myself. It’s been hard, but I mostly have a handle on it.

Except right this moment, I’m incredibly pissed off at my body, because there’s something that I very much want to do tomorrow, and I’m not sure if there’s any way I can pull it off.

(And no, it isn’t something you can help with. I’m just incredibly angry and frustrated, and needed to vent it somehow.)

For the crafty people. (One day sale.)

Joann is having a 1-day sale that consists of 4 items:

They’re also offering a coupon for 10% off your total purchase (regular- and sale-priced items, some exclusions apply) through Saturday. And finally, 4¢ flat-rate shipping, today only.