Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Octogenarian v. OpenOffice 3.1

OK, so.....most of you know by now that I am a true computer geek. My Dad's a geek, my brother's a geek, and I'm a geek. With regard to the family corporations, Buddy (dad), Attrition (brother), and myself (Scat) are the ones that keep the technical wheels on the proverbial cart.

Enter the octogenarian genius geophysicist, Papa. I mean genius in every sense of the word. However, I am leaning more towards savant. Extremely gifted in a single area, but in all others, well, I can only scrunch my eyes shut and shake my head. I love him very much. He knows more about finding and drilling for oil than I know about everything else at all. Just DO NOT trust him with a spreadsheet. Well, any software come to think of it. Today it was a spreadsheet.

Not just any spreadsheet, either. One that has formulas and links to other pages of the spreadsheet already embedded in it so that the information that's calculated dovetails with our mapping and programming. Took Buddy God knows how long to get everything configured so that everything comes out right in the end. We're using it with one of our proprietary software programs. Which means....."cutting" is bad.

So...Buddy gives Papa the job of data entry. Without locking the editing of formulas. This is bad. Oh, and he does this right when I lay Squib down for a nap.

Squib DOES NOT nap with the door closed. He falls asleep and then I close the door. There's a procedure for EVERYTHING!!!!!!

Papa's office door is two feet from Squib's door.

Let the games begin.

Apparently, Papa begins entering data. Something becomes unclear to him and in order to preserve his data he cuts it out and pastes it elsewhere. Randomly. So, of course, all the formulas and other references get cut out and travel with the now very erroneous data which does paste just a split second before the hieroglyphics appear (if you've ever goofed up a spreadsheet you know the hiero's of which I speak--mostly ###REF and the like).

This is where a tad more explaining is due. Papa is on estrogen. It's part of his treatment for prostate cancer. I don't guess I need to explain what estrogen can do to a person. He gets hot flashes, you name it.

So, here comes an estrogen-powered octogenarian like a hot flash on wheels whose lost God knows how much data--the average survey can be upward of several hundreds of Gb--screeching forth from his office like a banshee...I don't even remember what he said. I saw the horror on Buddy's face and saw the absolute consternation on Papa's face and the yelling was loud enough to be heard clearly over my iPod which was blasting in my ears (I can better cope with the general mayhem that way).

Much discussion and explanation and demonstration was had over the "undo" feature and the "clear" v. "cut" features (It started with "they are NOT the same" and ended with a discussion of whether or not "oh that's just stupid" is a legitimate point or a pointless observation. Buddy got a new copy of the blank spreadsheet for Octo to start all over again, emphasized DATA ENTRY, and we settled down to our work. Again.

Then the screaming. Again. "Cut" v. "Clear" AGAIN. And again with the undo feature. Glad it wasn't me trying to explain it. I'd have duct-taped a certain person's screamer and made an "Undo and Clear ONLY" sign. Instead, with each error we waved him off and silenced him and Buddy carefully explained the problem.....again.

I can't believe it ever ended, but it did. After an hour, he gave up sort of. We were all exhausted. It probably sounded like a nut farm around here with all the shouts of "No cutting! No cutting!" was God's gift to me personally that Squib fell asleep and stayed that way. One basket case per day is enough.

I'm not even going to go into the missing lump of Play-doh,

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