Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Has Breaked My Brain

I really have. Broken my brain, I mean. There are those who would say (unkindly) that first one has to have something to break. I will just say that whatever it is that sloshes around inside the hollow bony thing mounted atop my neck -- whatever is in there, it's been tinkling a bit like broken glass. If I tilt my head just right, I'd swear there are tiny metal ball bearings rolling around loose, clicking and rumbling.

Two activities are the cause of this most recent brain strain. One is too much concentrated perusal of political writing. The other is too much concentrated effort at deciphering the arcane intricacies of Excel.

On the politickin' stuff: I have never been particularly politically inclined. Most folks don't have the kind of time necessary to do any serious, in-depth study of the field and, truth be told, I have come to doubt there's all that much truth being told anywhere you look, listen or read. But I've been trying really hard to educate myself. I've read on the left. I've read on the right. I've burrowed down the middle and dug underneath. The unescapable conclusion so far?

The inmates really ARE running the place! All over the world!

This worries me. I've taken to muttering a lot. And twitching. The phrase I most often use lately is, "Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot," which is a sanitized version of "WTF?" which is my legitimate reaction to the insanity laid before us in all seriousness.

As for Excel, at least when it makes me crazy, I don't fear for the obliteration of civilization as we know it. Learning to make and use a spreadsheet is a comfortable kind of craziness. One that really does have a worthwhile goal and doesn't harm living creatures in the process. I can even reward myself with chocolate when the occasional light dawns. Yay! Let's hear it for the Light!

I realize I am probably the last person in the world to finally begin learning about spreadsheets. To give you a clue, I finally broke down and got a software program -- uh -- four years ago. Excel 2003. To help me learn to use it, I also got "Excel 2003 For Dummies" and "Teach Yourself Visually Excel 2003."

The problem is, I've never had a particular reason to use a spreadsheet. At least, none I was aware of. Enthusiasts tell me they're the handiest tool since the flathead screwdriver but that doesn't exactly inspire me when I've all too often used table knives or dimes or fingernail files when sans screwdriver.

But this fall, for whatever reason, the beginning of NFL football season and a burning desire to manipulate picks and stats have melded in a program of total immersion in Excel. Boy, what I can do with cells now! And once I've tackled Function Junction, the free world will never be the same.

But I'm going to have to take a break tonight. To heal my brain break. Went to the library this afternoon and came home with some more books. Before I could stop myself, I'd grabbed a couple more damned political books but, thank God, I think the rest are murder mysteries. I'll just tuck in and start one of those. Good for what ails you, murder mysteries are. Trust me.


The Old Guy said...

Glad to see you're into DIY mode on this football prediction thing, Dee. Now, if you were in it for the money, you'd need something a little more complex, like this one. And for that you'd have to part with a Franklin. Some people take this stuff so seriously.

bonnie said...

I flat told the pool lady no more emails making cracks at Democrats and no more emails about politics period! She didn't listen so I told her to take me off her mail list. Ignored her at the pool too. I have to keep my blood pressure in check ya know.

Good luck with excel brave lady. I have no need of it. :-)

Mage And George said...

No Politics here. We are doing this blind. If nothing else, it keeps us sane. And i just have to ask....didn't you do excell on the store?

Football is here for me. I will be avoiding the drunks by hiding deep inside my tunnel. Then again, one fell off the Club level three games ago and landed on his head. No I know you love this sport, but it is devolving. You need to go to a game and see for yourself. Unlike football, Aunt Della's salad is a winner. We had it with dinner last night....only slightly modified to be lower in fat. Thank you!!!!

Dee said...

Heh! I notice there were no customer reviews for that program. (smile)

I know, Bonnie. (sigh) For controlling BP, sometimes I think standing in the middle of the street and screaming continuously for, oh, about 5 minutes, will be therapeutic. You'll either pass out (and thereby relax) or you'll get run over by a truck and won't have to worry any more.

Mage, I've been anxiously awaiting your revision of Aunt Della's delish dish -- did you replace the mayo with yogurt? That seems a great way to go. Recipe, gurlfriend, recipe!