hollieg.com tech solution needed

Tech solution needed:

Corey asked me to post this dilemma i told him about a few weeks ago, which he has been thinking about but can’t up with a solution to.  Hopefully his savvy blog followers will have suggestions for a program. 

Here’s the email: 

I need to find an easier method/ program for doing my work.
As i’m developing a conference, the agenda, done in word, is constantly changing.  I move sessions all around, change the times, etc. here are examples of inefficiencies that take up tons of time
—  If I change the start time by 10 minutes, i have to go back and change all the time slots for the whole program to reflect it.   i  would love to plug in “Private equity 101, 45 minutes” and have all the times automatically change if I drag it to a new position on the agenda.
— If i swap an hour long session and a 45 minute presentation, i have to change all the subsequent start times
— I have 3+ different versions, because for example the version i send to sales can’t show potential speaker names.  I would love to have one single copy and then elect if I want to include speaker names/ session details/ just titles, etc. Right now if i make one change to my master which includes all the speakers i have sent invites out to, i need to make all changes manually in multiple word docs.
there HAS to be a program out there, right?


Any ideas? Obviously it would be possible to code something up with Word macros, but this should be a self maintaining for a non-technical user.

watch hotness


The Tag Heuer Professional Golf Watch.

The deal was that Tag was paying Tiger all these millions to be their shill and he wasn’t wearing a watch while playing, which was when most of his camera time occurred.

So they worked with him to develop a special “golf watch”. It has a rubber band, and an integrated clasp in the face so it is more comfortable, weighs less than 55 grams. And the crown is at 9 o’clock as to be more comfortable with your wrist cocked back during the golf swing.

I checked with my normal watch dealer and they hadn’t even heard of it. This one on Ebay is from Dubai and bidding is at a reasonable $1450.

I want one. I had a very clear picture of what I wanted for my “second watch” and this fits that bill perfectly.

Update: Tourneau in New York has them for $1295. I just tried it on. Very tempting. I hate the whole limited edition thing. Too much pressure!



I love the Flickr blog. Just the right amount of content. Just the right blend of marketing and “hey, this is cool” legitimacy. They had a post featuring some trucks, which inspired me to post this very special one from my own library, taken in India this February.

Is it a truck, a bus, or a hotel? Yes, it is all of those things. Check out the triple decker sleeping cells — a’la one of those Japanese capsule hotels.


coke zero and diarrhea

My previous post in praise of diet coke elicited this comment:

Diet Coke is fine, but steer clear of the Coke Zero. 6 ounces of it and it’s like I injected olestra straight into my body.

I haven’t explored this with scientific rigor, but I too had serious distress stemming from my first 20 oz of Coke Zero.

This post is also serving as my test of Technorati tags:

UPDATE: The passing of time had made me curious about whether this was an anomolous incident or not. Plus my interest was piqued by the trivia that is Diet Coke (regular) is actually New Coke diet, and Coke Zero is classic Coke diet.

So anyway, in a relatively controlled experient, a coworker and I who both had feedback in this first incident tried again. We ate the same exact lunch as several other coworkers to ensure that it would not be related to food. I ate the exact same stuff I normally eat and we both downed a 20oz Coke Zero.

My coworker experience almost immediate trouble. I thought I might have been in the clear, but the next morning I dealt with almost an exact reaction as the last time way back in June. Ruined my whole morning — I almost had to call in Coke-Zero!

Why haven’t more people noticed this? Why isn’t this a bigger deal?


thank god for diet coke

I was just reading this article in the Washington Post about a morbidly obese guy and was stopped short by this little statistic:


Since Keitz was 18 (he is 39 now) and 250 pounds, he has gained 375 pounds, or 1,312,500 calories. That’s 62,500 calories per year, or 171 per day.

Just 171 calories a day?

That’s roughly equivalent to going to McDonald’s and ordering a double cheeseburger (460 calories) instead of a cheeseburger (310). Or a quarter pounder (420) instead of a hamburger (260). Or large fries (520) instead of medium fries (350). Or a large Coke (32 ounces, 310 calories) instead of a small Coke (16 ounces, 150 calories).

Before you know it, you are supersized.

Wow, 171 calories a day for twenty years and you’ll have to use your own shoulder fat as a pillow.

Since I drink approx 30 ounces of diet coke per day, and have for six years, that means if diet coke hadn’t been invented I’d be 337 pounds instead of 155 — I’m 5’8”.

I actually did gain and lose about 30 pounds about six years ago largely due to my consumption of regular soda -> going to London for four months where the soda was always warm, forcing me into water or beer -> and upon returning home immediately switching to diet drinks only. I take a near-zero liquid calorie approach pretty seriously, I only drink juice in the tiniest of glasses, and treat calories like currency, spending them wisely.


obscure cmd conflict errors

As one who grew up computer-wise in DOS, I still break out the cmd prompt now and then.

One that I use that I never see mentioned is COPY CON filename.ext 

The point is that it lets you create a file and put some text in right there, without having to open Notepad or whatever. It is useful if you want to create a file with an obscure file type. Note, you type what you want then hit F6 to save. (Logical right, F6, duh)

Anyway, this is my submission for obscure error of the week:

C:\>copy con test.txt
the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. (hit F6)

The I/O operation has been aborted because of either a thread exit or an app
lication request.
        0 file(s) copied.

At this point the Vonage Click-to-Call window pops up suspiciously. Click-to-Call is a little tool from Vonage that adds a button to Outlook that you can just click and it will dial the number and ring your phone when the number has been successfully dialed. I don’t use it much, but hey, it’s something I groaned about with my Cisco VOIP solution at work about, so I should do something about it at home.

Anyway, boring story short, Vonage’s app caused a twenty-five year old command line app to fail.

One more useful command for the day:

dir /s > directorylist.txt

This will output the contents of a whole tree of files to a text file. I actually do this as a hack around Copernic Desktop Search’s inability to index file names for file types it doesn’t know about.  


dave gets hot sauce in the eye

Meet Dave (right)


Somehow it became a punchline to say … “or Dave gets hot sauce in the eye” at work.

Friday night, money is being offered to make a phrase reality. To everyone’s surprise, the offer is accepted.


Painful to look at isn’t it? That’s genuine Tabasco brand hot sauce.




Ow. What was he thinking?


A quick call to poison control confirmed that a rinse in the sink was all that was needed, but he should be prepared to go to the emergency room. Fortunately that wasn’t needed and many minutes of washing eventually meant that Dave could see out of the damaged eye, however uncomfortable that must have been.


photo shooting is hard work

ConorpolariodI have completed my second round of photo assisting for Emily Wilson Photography aka the girlfriend.

My duties included:

  • The lugging of heavy crates full of equipment, moving furniture around 
  • Folding and unfolding of stands, plugging in lights, etc. Fortunately this shoot didn’t require one of those reflective dishes that fold onto themselves in a way that makes amateur photo assistants look really silly.
  • Standing in for the talent to test lighting. I was going to show these to you, but I had old school white tennis shorts on, with my leg up on a chair (I had no guitar!, wtf) and I look ridiculous.

Emily used a medium format film camera for this shoot. I found the process really interesting. The key to making it work is the camera has interchangeable backs, so that you can put a Polaroid back on, then switch back to the 120 film when everything looks right. I always wondered how that worked. Now I know, and now you know.

There were parallel shots taken on a digital Canon 20D, but since the cameras and lenses were different, you couldn’t do apples to apples. Apparently there are digital backs for the ‘big’ cameras, but price is still prohibitive.

The picture here is a scanned Polaroid of the shoot. That is Conor from Bright Eyes.


hand knit f1 seat cushion

Montreal 047

Check out this hand knit Formula One seat cushion with Rothmans and Elf logos. Circa 1989? Not sure.

The guys in front of us at the Montreal Grand Prix have been going to that race for 23 straight years.


indie rock weekend


Went to see Iron & Wine on Friday night. VIP. @ Webster Hall, which is an interesting venue, cause from what I gather, they put all the shows on early (fine by me) and then turn the place into a straight on discoteque afterwards. My favorite part was hanging out post-show and watching them lower the trapeze into place (that’s for the gogo dancers of course).

I prefer the newest EP Woman King to the slower, older stuff.