There’s One Born Every Minute

Yesterday was my birthday. Normally, I would come up with a post that ties Excel and my birthday together in some entertaining way. Apparently, some form of mild dementia has set in because I can’t come up with anything this year. Since I’m a such a big fan of the Simpson’s, I thought I would take a page from that show and have a birthday clip show. When they run out of ideas, they compile pieces of old shows and smush them together under some flaky pretext. Well, I’m not even creative enough to develop a flaky pretext, so I just list them out.

For my first birthday mentioned on this blog, I introduced the birthday formula, which I tried to explain in a post called The Birthday Formula. The formula created a fair bit of confusion, but there’s really nothing to it. It’s just a bunch of Excel functions and mathematical operators that evaluate to my age. I could have just as easily used =35, but the verbosity was the essence of it. If you don’t get it, but you’d like a formula for yourself, leave a comment and I’m sure someone will provide one for you.

The next year, I displayed my abysmal graphics ability by creating a binary birthday cake. Well that ends the clip show. I don’t think I’m supposed to do a clip show when all I have to pull from is two posts, but here we are.

This year, my wife bought me a new Swiss Army watch. I’ve been wearing a SA watch that Microsoft gave me for the last several years. I’ve gone though at least six watch bands because the little doohickey that holds the overflow strap keeps breaking. The last time it broke, I said “enough” and threw it away, metaphorically anyway. I really like the watch, other than the band, for a number of reasons: Big numbers on a white face; it shows the date; the hands and dots near the numbers glow in the dark. That glow in the dark feature is really handy. The old watch also had the MVP logo etched into the back. You know, the back, the part of the watch that faces my wrist, the part of the watch that nobody can see. I never understood that. My new watch has all the same features, sans etching, and I’m quite happy with it. My wife is happy that I’m no longer using rubber bands to keep my watch band together.

Regular readers will no doubt have noticed that the ol’ Daily Dose isn’t quite as daily as it once was. The truth is that I haven’t been working with Excel very much lately. That’s all about to change, however. I have a number of projects lined up that will be testing my Excel abilities, a number of suggestions from you folks just festering in my inbox, and a renewed interest in getting back to blogging about Excel. I can only guarantee that the posts will be interesting to me.

“What have I been doing”, you ask? I’ve been playing quite a bit of golf this year. As of last weekend, I have 19 rounds and my handicap is somewhere around 13. I wanted to get it down below 10 and break 80 this year, but it’s just not happening. Last weekend I played the West, which was a rousing good time.

The weekend before that, I saw Ragtime at the Omaha Community Playhouse. It was simply an outstanding production, particularly considering it’s community theater. The only downside is that every other production will pale in comparison. I got the tickets from my mom. You might say they were a birthday present, but actually they were to make up for a birthday present that didn’t turn out like anyone thought.

The original birthday present was tickets to Movin’ Out at the Orpheum Theatre. I’m a fan of Billy Joel’s music and was very excited to see this musical featuring his songs. My wife an I were in our seats perusing the program, reading the plot summary, and I said something to the effect of “This is going to be a great show”. I should have known that any show that had a plot summary could not possibly be good. I’m no theater expert, but I know what I hate, and it’s this. I’ll try to give you the flavor of the show as succinctly as possible. A piano player backed up by a band plays 35 Billy Joel songs in a row, only stopping for intermission. Meanwhile, dancers mime a story with interpretive dance and ballet. The dancers don’t speak. The dancers don’t sing. If there wasn’t a plot summary in the program, I and everyone else would have been totally lost. Instead we were just mostly lost.

“But I like Billy Joel”, you say. Great. Go buy some of his CD’s or see one of his concerts. One of the main problems with this show is that they tried to mash these songs into a plot. The songs were not written to be mashed in a plot and it’s simply idiotic to try to do so. This play won a Tony award, or so says their advertisement. I don’t know what a Tony award is, but I do know how much value I place on it now. Did I tell you there was a guy playing the piano? He was a very good pianist and a better singer than I’ll ever be. But he didn’t have the range. I never thought Billy Joel had a range that was anything special, but maybe he does. On the song Big Man on Mulberry Street, this guy went down an octave on the highest measures. The lyrics to Innocent Man are, in part, “I am an innocent man” and the “am” was sung by another person. So it went:

Pianist: I
Backup Singer: aaaaaam
Pianist: an innocent man

I can’t sing the song, but then again this guy didn’t pay $80 to see me sing. The audience gave him and the rest of the cast a standing ovation. It may be that it was a great show and I’m just stupid. More likely, in my opinion, is that Omaha is so starved for decent live entertainment that these people will like anything they’re told to.

So now your up-to-date. If you want to find out some interesting facts about your birthday, go to Paul Sadowski’s site. I’ll be back next week with actual Excel related posts.

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5 thoughts on “There’s One Born Every Minute

  1. Happy birthday, and thanks for the “Movin’ Out” synopsis/warning. To fair on the singer, my sister saw BJ himself in concert back when Innocent Man was on the radio, and there was someone to the side who sang the “am” while BJ faked it. It’s a tough note to hit and hold, and could knock you out for the rest of the show, I suppose, if you strained the voice.

    And that standing ovation? I haven’t been to a show ever that didn’t get one. Even crappy shows with mediocre casts. There’s the cognitive dissonance of paying $80 for the show–it must have been good, right? And then there’s the “provincial” attitude that these travelling shows have got to be good, because they came from Broadway, and everyone liked them there enough for them to hit the road. I’ve only seen the road versions, never the NYC version, where maybe every single show doesn’t get a standing ovation.

  2. Happy birthday, Mr. Kusleika.

    And by the way, don’t go changin’ to try to please me. You never let me down before. Oh yeah, and don’t go trying some new fashion. And for the love of god, don’t change the color of your hair.

  3. Happy Birthday. I enjoy the posts that you make. I know that they aren’t everyday, but they are helpful. Have fun while making the posts.!

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