Double Your Pleasure

Can you believe this blog is 12 years old? In celebration of its birthday, I’m giving away a couple of books. Scroll down to the end if you just want the free stuff.

Personal Stuff
I had full knee replacement surgery in January. That’s less fun than it sounds. When the medical folks or former patients talk about knee replacements, they talk about the few days after surgery and they talk about week 7 and beyond. For the few days after surgery, everything is great because of the drugs. Week 7 is a nice turning point and roughly the time when people feel that it was worth it. The part in between those two sucks.

Physical therapy started the day after I was released from the hospital. Back in the good old days, you would lay around for six weeks to heal, then start physical therapy. Then someone realized that the scar tissue was fully formed in six weeks. So now they start it as soon as possible to get maximum range of motion before the scar tissue sets up. My last measurements were -1 and 122. Zero extension means your leg is straight. Normal people are negative, I think. On the flexion side, between 120 and 125 is normal for healthy knees. My good knee is only 122, so I was happy to get that.

I learned something about myself: I value efficiency and independence. OK, I probably didn’t “learn” that, but those facts were driven home as every task either took forever or had to be done by someone else. It was pure hell, I tell ya. I set up my work computer at home, but it was so slow I only tried to keep my inbox empty and fix emergencies. I went back to the office after four weeks. Week 5 sucked. When I told the doctor that I may have gone back a week too soon, he said “not necessarily”. He said that the first week back is terrible no matter how long you wait.

The recovery has gone as well as can be expected. I can walk three miles pain-free. I drove to St. Louis and after four hours in the car, I got out and walked around like a normal person. I used to have to limp around for 10 minutes until the joint got warmed up. It’s the little things. Speaking of little things, I rejoice in walking up and down stairs. My knee stays in line with the rest of my leg. A couple of weeks ago I tried to walk 18 holes. I’m not quite ready for that yet. My goal is walk 9 in a couple of weeks and go from there.

Daily Dose of Server Frustrations
After a nice run of no crashes, there have been several in the last month. They happen about 5AM my time, so the site is usually only down for a couple of hours before I notice it. Many of you probably didn’t notice it all. It is, without question, the most frustrating part of my existence. I actually considered turning everything into static web pages. Then I backed off the ledge.

I could go back to a web host. But they don’t really help. When something goes wrong, they just shut down the site so I don’t steal resources from other sites they’re hosting. Then I have to turn off all of my plugins to try to convince them to turn me back on. No, I won’t be going back to that. With Digital Ocean, I pay $120 per year and I can power cycle my server any ol’ time I want. But I’m not a server admin – not even close. So when my CPU spikes or my RAM spikes, I really have no idea what to do about it.

I’d like to find some blogging software that’s not WordPress and try that. I like Ghost, but it doesn’t support comments and that’s the best part of this site.

Free Stuff
Mike Alexander and I wrote some books recently.

Excel Power Programming Spreadsheets Bookshelf

Excel 2016 Formulas Spreadsheets Bookshelf

Rewrote, actually. And you can have one of them if the cost of shipping it to you is reasonable and if you complete this survey about your Excel spending habits:

I’ll pick two survey respondents (one for each book) at random to receive a book. All the normal rules apply: if it’s illegal or causes me any heartache, it’s forbidden. You can take the survey even if you don’t want a book. At the end of the survey you can provide your name and email to be entered. If you skip that step, your survey results will still be included.

And the Winner Is

The winner of the Access 2016 Bible is:


who commented

Does it help my chances at all if I casually mention that Daily Dose of Excel is my browser’s home page?

No, it doesn’t help your chances. But it did help that the RAND() function next to your name returned the lowest value between 0 and 1. So good work!

ChipG wins the most clever comment prize for this comment:

The prize for most clever comment is nothing. But I’m sending him a consolation prize anyway. Let’s see… What do I have handy… I guess all I have is another copy of Access 2016 Bible. That shouldn’t set a bad precedent for future contests.

Thanks to everyone who commented and retweeted. When you do go buy the book, I promise I’ll spend my share wisely.

Access 2016 Bible

Access 2016 Bible

They’re here.

Who wants one? Leave a comment on this post and I will select one lucky recipient at random. Leave your comment by midnight CST this Friday. And for you international types, I reserve the right to not spend a lot of money shipping this book, so you might be out even if you’re picked.

For the rest of you, you’ll have to pony up the dough for the “#2 in Books > Computers & Technology > Software > Databases” by clicking here:

Access 2016 Bible

Let’s get that to #1.

Formulas for Sale

101 Ready to Use Excel Formulas

It’s for sale. If you pre-ordered, it’s probably on the way. If you didn’t, well, you know what to do.

I got my copy last night. My wife, who is not an Excel geek by any stretch of the imagination, is excited to read it. At 240 pages, it’s not the usual phone book sized tech book, and it seems more accessible to her. What she doesn’t realize is that it’s packed with awesome formulas and she’s actually going to learn something. That’ll show her.

After being on sale for a few hours it’s the 643,122nd ranked book in the world. Let’s see if we can get that up to 643,121.

Pre-Order 101 Ready-To-Use Excel Formulas

The venerable Mike Alexander and I wrote a book last Spring and now you can pre-order it at Amazon (ships next month). 101 Ready-To-Use Excel Formulas

This book is not a list of worksheet functions and a description of their arguments. It contains fully formed formulas that solve real world problems. For example, there’s a whole chapter on financial formulas like creating an amortization schedule and calculating depreciation. I know financial stuff isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, that’s why we included 101 formulas. Mike wanted to write a book called One Ready-to-Use Excel Formula, but I said “Wait, what if we increased that number so there’s something for everyone?” I’m always looking out for you, dear reader.

You definitely want to buy one for yourself. But you should also buy one for that person in the office that needs it. You know that person who adds up the numbers in a spreadsheet on a calculator and then types the sum into Excel? Leave a copy of this book anonymously on his desk. Your boss might even reimburse you for it.