Wednesday, February 28, 2007

There and Back Again: Dynamic Linking from Word to Excel

Field codes: Link field - Word - Microsoft Office Online

Dear Absolutely Everyone,

This information is for you! Have you even wanted to construct a Word document with a link to information in an Excel document that would dynamically update every time you updated the Excel document. "Yes," you say, "of course." Well, the answer to this is "Paste Special."

I never realized that Paste Special created a field.

Copy the cell or range from Excel. 'Paste special' into Word. If you choose the link option from the dialog box, it will automatically update whenever you update and save the Excel file. "This," you are saying, "is good stuff." I knew you'd like it.

Of course, a lot of you already knew this, but you are just saying, "Why didn't she ask."

The code for the pasted field is viewable, by the way, if (in Word) you go to Tools/Options/View tab and check Field codes.

When you do, you'll see code like this.
{LINK Excel.Sheet.8 "C:\\Documents and Settings\\bubba\\My Documents\\test.xls" "Sheet1!R1C3" \a \t}

Let's not discuss all this code, but if you are working with something like this, you may want an example to look at.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ash to Ash Wednesday

Dear Anne GG,

I am remembering, this week, that powerful article you wrote, entitled Ash Wednesday. May I post a link to that? (She said "Yes.") I am remembering because it was, last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday.

Growing up Baptist, and even more than that, growing up in the “fundamentalist” tradition, Ash Wednesday lacked symbolic meaning to me. Lent lacked meaning. It fell into the black hole, no, under the skirts of the great whore of the Apocalypse, that we were taught to avoid at all costs. So, it wasn’t until a few years ago and a number of life shapeshifts from then, when I began participating in services at an Episcopal church that I engaged with the idea of Ash Wednesday.

Why indeed should we, every year, forty days (plus Sundays*), before the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs next after the vernal equinox, take on the sign of mourning?

“Ash to ash, dust to dust”, they say, and with two flicks of a thumb the mark of death attaches itself to our foreheads. And we are on our knees saying, “Yes.”

We have taken on a sign of mourning. We are engaging symbolically with our mortality and the mortality that God in Jesus took upon himself.

Now, as my obsession with requiems might signal, I am not one to miss the fact that one day I will die. I fret about it, I embrace it. I am not one who is confused that perhaps I am the one person in the universe who will achieve immortality. So Ash Wednesday fits my personality. I get it. It is time to mourn. It is time to fast, for the Savior of the universe is about to die, and not only that, my own sin, which I engage in actively and deliberately, implicates me in the Lord’s demise.

God knows how we are formed,
Remembering that we are dust.
All flesh is as grass,
Flourishing like a dandelion in the field;
And when the wind picks up and blows over,
It is gone.
And even the dirt that gave birth to it,
Remembers it no more.

You betcha I mourn.
And I’ll fast and pray, hoping for light and life in forty days.

May your month be full of meaning,


*Note: Something I learned from my priest and friend, SuZanne, is that you don’t mourn on Sunday. That day the symbol of resurrection takes precedence over the symbol of mourning.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Adventures of Zorro: Part II


I may have had thoughts of fixing the leaky faucet at the back of our home, but now that I realize it is like a mini stream for the wildlife in time of drought, I'll have to think twice.

Take it easy little buddy.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Requiem for the Doomed

Dear Wilfred Owen,

How is it that we, as a people or as individuals, globally, or singly when standing on a hill under the sun, find it difficult to give up warring? Why is the other cheek so rarely, no matter our religious affiliation, no matter how replete our wealth, no matter the level of our education and experience, no matter how inane the complaint, our response? No, it seems our cheeks must be defended at all costs.

So, we strap our powers upon our thighs and strut. And oh, the strutting does at times seem almost right, upon the rubble in the squares of New York, with bull horn and an eye on the, (how did you say it?) “the arrogance which needs [our] harm.” And with careful preparation, we, for the fight if not for the peace, and with careful preparation, we, for the beginning, if not for the end, so with careful preparation, we, for the death if not for the life, we spy the enemy by satellite and begin to “beat it down before its sins grow worse.”

So we the people, arbiters of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, unite as Eves, and say,
“Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum.”

And when he began “his spilling mess-tins” from our own hands, were we surprised?

So now we vote to still the carnage, long after the Pandora of this engagement has outted her box and begun it’s filling with the men and women of the 278th from next door and down the road in Davis County and Tulsa and California and Windsor Castle and Baghdad and Bagdad and Bagdad and Bagdad.

It is never too late to hear the poet. It is never too late to stop whistling while the scythe shaves. But, dear God, it is also never too early.

Dies irae, dies illa,
Solvet Saeclum in Favilla,. . .
Lacrimosa dies illa,
Qua resurget ex favilla,
Judicandus homo reus:
Huic ergo parce Deus.

Wilford, The world should thank you for your dying words. Oh that we would hear them now.


Note: Wilfred Owen wrote the poetry, (mostly unpublished before his death on the battlefield, just a week before the armistice that ended WWI) Anthem for the Doomed, that shaped Benjamin Britten's pacifist musical statement entitled War Requiem.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Woman at Harvard? What Would Goethe Say?

Dear Dr. Faust,

"Nor past nor future now the soul employ,
The present only constitutes our joy." That's what he'd say!

Or, well, I'd say that, anyway, on the occasion of your appointment to the presidency of Harvard. And according to the news article I read,

"Some Harvard professors, particularly women, greeted the decision with euphoria. 'Harvard’s waited a long time — since 1636,' said Patricia Albjerg Graham, an emeritus professor of the history of education at Harvard, recalling that when she was a postdoctoral fellow in 1972, she was not allowed to enter the main door of the faculty club or eat in the main dining room."

So, Harvard has been waiting since long before Goethe and his Faust (1808) for women, and for one particular woman, to tempt fate and take the helm. Holy cow, this is like walking on the moon. One small step for a human, one giant leap for humankind.

It's not that we feminists should go overboard, making distinctions. That, I suppose is what got us into the mess of oppression in the first place. What we are looking for is fine folk of all types, folk with special talents to offer. And from what "they" are saying you are a "special folk." I read that,

"Faculty members and officials familiar with the search said Dr. Faust’s leadership style — her collaborative approach and considerable people skills — would be vital for soothing a campus ripped apart by the battles over Dr. Summers, whom many accused of having an abrasive, confrontational style. 'She combines outstanding scholarship with an uncanny ability to administer both well and with a heart,' said Judith Rodin, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

"In the end, some Harvard professors said, Dr. Faust’s management style might have been more important to the nine members of the presidential search committee than any desire to name a woman. 'My own sense is that it’s a new template for leadership, and that probably is not unrelated to gender, but it ought not get eclipsed by it,' said Richard P. Chait, a professor of higher education at Harvard. Dr. Chait, who studies university management, noted that in several recent changes of leadership of major American corporations, tough, even bullying leaders were replaced by more mild-mannered consensus builders."

Now, I'm not one who believes there is no difference between men and women. And I think that it has taken some time in the progress of gender relations in the West for women to rise to leadership who did not tend toward what might be termed "the masculine" in their leadership style. And thank goodness for those leaders. But now, are we ready for women to bring to the table what women have to offer, to lead in a way that women are especially skilled? And then, without distinction, but fully appreciating what you and other women have to offer, we can better appreciate all things, and we can better find our kindred selves in others, men and women. As Goethe would say,

"[Words] must flow out from the heart.
And, when the soul is touched with passion's flame,
We look around and ask - Who burns the same?"

So this week, news of Dr. Faust’s selection was greeted warmly by Harvard students and particularly because you are a woman who represents well the passions that enflame many of us who are women and many who are men. "It’s about time," said Elisa Olivieri, a junior. "Talent is no longer ‘single, male, childless.’ It’s an excellent acknowledgement that the face of talent has changed.”



Thursday, February 08, 2007

What are the Keys to Good Parenting? A Survey

Did you ever notice that most books on parenting are written from the parents' perspective? Maybe we've got this thing backwards. How about the Keys to Good Parenting written from the perspective of the child, albeit an adult child. Help me here. Thinking back, what were the best things that your parents did in the process of raising you? What did they do right?

One word descriptions or many paragraphs would be gratefully received.

Requiem Introitus--Mozart

Dear Mozart,

I know this is nuts, but I've taken a particular interest in Requiem Masses. Your's is one of my favorites. I've been thinking of creating a Requiem mix with my favorite sections collected from the many I have listened to. For instance, have you heard Rutter's Agnus Dei. Spectacular. And of course Verdi's Libera Me.

At any rate, as part of my current instructional technology course, I produced this odd interpretation. I just wrote to apologize. I really respect the piece.


Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Lord, grant them eternal rest,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Te decet hymnus, Deus in Sion;
et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem.

You shall have praise in Zion, O God,
and homage shall be paid to you in Jerusalem.

Exaudi, exaudi orationem meam;
ad te omnis caro veniet.

Hear my prayer.
All flesh shall come before you.

Dona eis requiem aeternam, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Lord, grant them eternal rest,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.