Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Know Where I Spent the Night

So I did my weekly paperwork. My weekly expense/pay record is an Excel spreadsheet. Actually it used to be an Excel spreadsheet, but I couldn't find my MS Office installation CDs after I bought my new computer, so now I use Open Office. I'm too cheap to buy whatever the latest release is. I have to keep track of where I am each night and how much I spent on things like fuel and extension cords and Febreeze. The "where" is always in the form of a four letter airport identifier. Concise, unambiguous and easy for the boss to match with the logbook if he needs to check up on us.

If I've been staying in the same place for a few days I'll update the spreadsheet just by selecting the cell where I last typed an identifier and copying the information down into the subsequent cells using what I think is called the drag handle. This works fine to make a column of seven CYZF entries or four times CYXE. But when I'm working out of some little airport that has numbers in the identifier, Excel tries to get clever. If I'm in Killarney, Manitoba and have logged CJS5 into my spreadsheet, when I drag it down it autoincrements, and one finds that on subsequent nights I have stayed at CJS6, CJS7 and CJS8. I often don't notice until the increment reaches 10 and the five digit code gets my attention. I would be annoyed at the software for trying to outsmart me, if it weren't so funny. I laugh every time and just change it back.

I also manage to annoy my coworker by accidentally implying that (a) she doesn't communicate with me, (b) she was somehow responsible for my losing my battery clip and (c) that I left an apple core in the cockpit. Fortunately I found the battery, properly disposed of the apple core and I think she's forgiven me for the miscommunication. And I got the printer to behave, but I still hate it. Hates it, nasty printer.

7 comments:

Marc Cote said...

An alternative when there is a number in the airport code and the normal trick does not work would be to click in the cell with the code you want, then hold down the left mouse button and drag downward the number of cells you want. This should leave you with multiple highlighted cells with only the top one having text. Then hit CTRL-D to fill downward. This will not increment the number.

david said...

... or hold down CTRL as you drag.

Julien said...

Don't anthropomorphize printers. They hate it.

Marc Cote said...

Julien, did the printers tell you that? ;-)

Julien said...

Marc: yes, but don't tell them I told you :-)

Larry said...

My solution to lugging printers is to sign up for an internet fax account - $14/month for myfax.com - then simply fax stuff over the internet that I need printed to myself at whatever FBO, hotel I might be at. Saves the weight, space, and bad karma.

zb said...

I do have kind of a close relationship towards my number of old HP LaserJet IIIp printers. (The number is too embarassing to put here). And the relationship pays! I got them for free maybe 10 years ago and not throwing them away was one of the best deals ever.

However, I do not anthropomorphize them. If I would, I might have too much fear taking them apart and fixing them. They usually break at the innermost circuit board where the scanner motor sits (and tell you about it by putting "ERROR 52" into the display). This type of repair really would feel like doing surgery at the open heart.

I happen to really like them, as machines, though. They are similar to what I think DC9s are like: Once you know them, you can fix them and they are around for many, many years.