One of my clients is in Florida. Needless to say, he told me he can't wait
for the month of September to be over. I'm in Chicago, but I have a similar
feeling. September sure was a bizarre month. And trying to quit smoking this
month only made it that much more whacky. So as much as I hate to see winter
get closer, good riddance to September and here's hoping that October proves
more enjoyable and much safer for our friends along the Atlantic.
I think my dogs are about to stage a revolt. I'm waiting for them to hook
each other up and take themselves for a walk in the park. I've been so busy
lately that they've been forced to entertain themselves, because they've
been missing out on their extra playtime. They haven't even gotten their
morning coffee rides with Greg, because he flew his plane down to New Mexico
this week for some much needed R&R. He's finally taken some time off to go
visit his brother, Mitch.
The name Mitch Chapman may be familiar to any Unix
geeks out there. Mitch has his name on a few books in that arena. He's
also a well known authority on the Python development language. Yup, it runs
in the family! And Mitch is not only also a computer geek and developer
like Greg, but he's a pilot with his own plane, too. So now the "boys" get
to live out childhood fantasies of flying around together (for the first
time) in their respective toys. Wanna lay odds that there will be a flight
article from Greg next month?
speaking of dogs, I have a wonderful update for those of you who read my article:
I'm Home! That sweet, little dog, Honey, who shared her unconditional
love with soldiers in Iraq, and who was subsequently rescued from a brutal
life to come live here in the states, is thriving and has become the fun-loving
queen of all she surveys!
As you can imagine, she had a little adjusting to
take to her new lifestyle and freedom. And there were those moments of
concern where her soldier hoped she would adjust okay. She needed to learn
to trust people, as well as realize that she didn't need to defend her food
any longer. And there were also those lessons about dog-equette, "No, the
cat is NOT a toy, nor is she lunch!"
But with some love, kindness and training,
her soldier says she's become a fantastic pal. He's thrilled with her
adjustment and very happy to have her around. He also says that she's the
fastest dog he's ever seen! On their walks around their farmland, she is
a riot to watch as she happily bounds through the tall grass like a deer...with
a doggy smile that says it all, "I love this country!"
(By the way, there are a lot of dogs still needing help, as well as lots
of soldiers and military dogs who could use items that would make their
time there easier, like shampoo or goggles to keep the
sand out of their eyes. If you'd like to help, see
this support info page: http://www.militarymascots.org/support.html. A
great project for schools, scouts and companies. And if you're opposed
to helping military actions, here's a great alternative:
http://www.canineassistants.org/. Sponsor a litter of pups who will one day become the eyes, ears or hands for someone with a disability. Read more in this article I wrote,
As you an see by the table of contents this month, we've put together another
issue loaded with some great stuff. We also have a couple of Guest authors
this month. Lisa Green, a Word developer and active member of our Word VBA
group, did a great job soliciting and compiling a load of way cool VBE tips
for you. If you ever dip into the VB Editor, don't miss her article: Help!
I’m Stuck in the VBE!!
Microsoft Office expert and MVP, Susan Ramlet, honors TechTrax by giving us
a fantastic compilation of information related to dealing with all those
confusing Office updates, patches and service releases. She's put together
a terrific FAQ about Updating
Microsoft Office that will surely be bookmarked
by anyone using Office! Oh, and by the way, that adorable, terrorized model
on our cover this month is Susan's son, Andrew.
You can learn more about Susan, as well as a few of my other talented consulting
colleagues in a series I'm starting this month: Consulting—Beyond
the Bunny Slippers. Lots of people ask me about my life as a consultant, so I felt it
was time to put some of the myths about this lifestyle to rest by letting you
in on what life is really like as a consultant. So I've wrangled some
other consultants and, together, we'll pass along some of the realities of working
in your slippers. You can judge for yourself whether this is something you think
you can handle should you have consulting aspirations in your blood.
Matt Billock is back. And he not only is continuing with some more
gaming development, but he, too, is starting a new series this month. You
asked for it—so we're thrilled that Matt has accepted the challenge and will
be teaching us some C++
the subject of programming, I've got to tell you about an impressive web
site I recently discovered, Disabled Online (www.disabledonline.com).
Not only is this site well organized and nice looking, as well as a very
promising resource site for all our friends with special needs, but this
site is the brain child of a very talented young man from the Chicagoland
Jay was diagnosed at a young age with
Muscular Dystrophy. But through the use of Dragon voice activation software
and Macromedia Dreamweaver, he designed and programmed the entire site...and
did a great job with it. A local newscast on ABC had a feature story
about Jay that caught my ear because I happened to currently have a client
who is a doctor with a disability that requires him to use Dragon to assist
him with his computer work. I'll be developing some automated documents to
further assist him with his work. We've been running some tests, because I'm
not too familiar with Dragon. So the newscast caught my attention. When I checked
out the site, I was impressed and I emailed Jay to pass along my congrats
on his site; and I promised him that I'd share the wealth here by letting
you know about this site. Check it out! (By the way, if you're a skilled
Dragon user, please drop me a note if
you might have a little time to help out my doctor friend. He has a few questions
and could use a little knowledgeable help.)
And finally, speaking of providing support (Geez, do I have this segue thing
down, or what?<g>)...if you've ever had to provide any type of technical
support, don't miss Candi's article this month from The
Bat Cave. HA...do you
think the girl has had a few rough calls lately? You be the judge. I'm sure
you'll be able to relate.