#332 - Complaining About Stuff No Reasonable Person Should Complain About

4 minute read

Motto: 7719836421125

Don't bother trying to decipher the motto. It's from Rick and Morty. Someone on the internet may stumble across the post trying to figure out if those numbers mean anything. If they do mean something, I don't know. I just wanted to waste a few seconds of this hypothetical person's time.

And I guess waste your time reading it. I'm a jerk.

I might be repeating myself with this next bit, but I'm not finding first time I wrote about it, if it exists... and let's be honest I repeat myself on here every time I write.

It's sort of a bummer that I have no real terrible habits.

I don't smoke.
I don't drink to excess.
I don't do drugs.
I do exercise.
I do use my brain.

I've heard so many stories about people who "finally quit smoking, quit drinking, and started exercising - and it feels fantastic". Basically I live that life every day. We are playing with different baselines & I feel like it's sometimes difficult to remember to appreciate the fact that I never smoked... or that I have a healthy relationship with food. It's like if you grow up with a mom who's a fantastic cook, but you don't realized or appreciate how fantastic the white chili was your whole life.

It doesn't feel to me like there's some obvious, glaring thing I could do that could make my life just so much better. I feel like I'm already operating near my life's "idyllic groove" and all the 30 Day Challenges, the self-improvement projects, and the analysis of life data are me just playing with the margins. It's hard to improve your score if you're already getting an A.

I guess I'll just continue enjoying my white chili and stop complaining that my life is good.

Speaking of complaining about things being good:

Having a bunch of stuff means you have to maintain a bunch of stuff. This is the plight of the first world, upper-ish-depends-on-how-you-define-it-middle-class American family. 

I have 3 sinks. I have to do sink maintenance 3 times as often as someone with one sink. 

I have two crock pots. Two weed eaters. A seed spreader for some reason. A lawn mower for a lawn I don't even like owning. I can see 3 lamps from where I'm sitting and I can think of where another 5 are without trouble. I have kitchen stuff that I use once every 6 months then think to myself "man I should use this every week" before putting it back in the cabinet and forgetting it exists for many months.

I own too much stuff. You buy things because you think they are going to be useful, or helpful, or make you happy - and some of the stuff genuinely accomplishes that - but 80 to 90% of it falls short... or falls prey to the law of diminishing returns. If I were hard-pressed, I could take 13 photos of myself on different devices simultaneously. That's a real number. I just counted.
This was a pre-existing photo collage that illustrates less than 1/3rd of what I was talking about.
I wish I knew in advance how I'd come to regard a purchase 2 months after having made it. It's not something I've gotten better at - and I'm not saying I have a problem with holding onto money. I'm saying that I don't know why I own literally 5 lunchboxes - and I feel like I didn't learn anything from the experience because my 5th lunchbox is something I'm genuinely happy about every day. It's awesome... and it's the 5th iteration of a thing most people buy one of and call it good. What's the lesson from that? Know exactly what you want before you buy anything?

Actually that's probably the lesson. Damn.

February's 30 Day Challenge:
Updated personal inventory.

This Top 5 solidifies my nerd cred for this Column. I wish I put more time & thought into it, cause I know there are better things to write I"m just not thinking of right now.

Top 5: Things I Wish Microsoft Would Fix about Excel
5. Phantom links between workbooks that no longer exist. If I click "Existing Connections" and see nothing after having just closed your "hey you have existing connections" dialog box, I get annoyed.
4. Array formulas should not be called using the weird Ctrl+Shift+Enter method. I imagine there's some technical reason for this - but why can't I just write "=array(...)" around my formulas so they aren't so prone to people breaking them if I dont' lock them.
3. I don't specifically know what causes this - but I've seen multiple workbooks where there's phantom data causing the file size to explode and the scroll bar to wig out. It's almost always fixable, but again you shouldn't have to be a pro to fix the scrollbar. 
2. Vlookup should be updated to fix its limitations - or it should just autocomplete to an equivalent Index+Match function. Vlookup sucks.
1. Fix your number formatting. Don't treat a number in a contiguous range of pasted data as a number if the rest of the data are alphanumeric strings. If I tell you to switch a range from numbers to strings, apply that formatting change immediately to whole range. You've set up a trap that Excel novices fall into, get frustrated with, and decide they suck at using your program.

"Howdy Deputy"
- a couple of folks have told me this lately -