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being a computer genius

Peace, Love & Document Control

By being a computer genius, e-mails, employment, skills One Comment


I keep losing my work ID badge, so I finally decided to slip it into the lanyard with my Nerd Herd ID from Halloween and start wearing it around my neck. I don’t mind wearing my Nerd Herd badge all day because I’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that I am, in fact, a huge nerd.

For example, last week at work, someone said to me, “I heard you’re really good at designing forms.”

I’m not really sure how I feel about this. Is that my claim to fame? I’m good at designing forms?

It is true that I designed a form that replaced six other sheets of paper that now accompanies every order that is processed in our company, but I was just trying to save trees.

I’ve always striven to be infamous for my overwhelmingly short-lived obsessions with random hobbies, rock star bangs and impeccable taste in music, purses and cheap champagne. At work, maybe my proposal management, writing, or mad computer skills. But certainly not my ability create forms.

Someone once said to me (right after I created the end-all-be-all of my company’s forms), “You should work for the IRS!” Oh, yes! Can I? I would fit right in there! 😐

Perhaps, though, it’s all the other things I’m good at that have culminated in my evolution as a form-creating genius. Examples:

  • Nosiness about what everyone else is doing = ability to create meaningful check boxes for more than five departments
  • Excellent writing skills = enthusiasm about paring down hundreds of words into clear, concise phrases
  • Graphic design tendencies = ability to fit more information than you’d ever think possible onto one sheet of paper
  • Appreciation for ISO 9001:2008 = dedication to continuously improving, updating, revising, and controlling the form in our document control system
  • Certain enjoyment about telling people what to do = the utmost in patience when I explain how to use the form to everyone who needs to use it
  • Diplomatic negotiation skills = willingness to incorporate all reasonable suggestions into future revisions of the form
  • Rockstar bangs = I’m cool even though I’ve pretty much just admitted that designing a form has been the apex of my professional career thus far
  • My sarcastic sense of humor = my witty e-mails to the entire company that say stuff like:

To: Everyone
From: Lisa
Date: Any Given Friday
Time: 4:59 pm

Subject: [Name of Form] Form Revision G

Hi everyone! Revision G of the [Name of Form] Form is now in effect. Please destroy all copies of Revision F. All orders turned in starting now must be accompanied by Revision G. I sent out several reminders this week, so please don’t call me in tears about your form, and have a great weekend!

Peace, love and document control,

Now that I think about it, this might be why people at work don’t call me to hang out on the weekends. Maybe.

Google Smart

By being a computer genius, employment, ruling at life 2 Comments


People think I’m really smart, but it’s only because I’m smart enough to Google everything I don’t know. I Google things and skim over the information so quickly that most people don’t even realize what I’m doing. I play it off like I’m just looking it up to give them an example or show them some graphic related to whatever they asked me, but really, I’m just Googling the answer and pretending I knew all along.

The best example of this is at work, when people ask me questions about FAR and DFARS clauses in their contracts. Most of my coworkers think I’m some all-knowing FAR interpreter, but the truth is that I rarely know the answers to what they’re asking.

“Tell me the clause number,” I’ll say, and I’ll be typing it into a Google search before they’re even done reciting it. Then I read it out loud, process the information, and repeat it in simpler terms.

“Does that make sense?” I’ll ask. “If not, I can try to explain it again…” (That usually means I need to read it again because I don’ really get it either.)

As much as I enjoy acting like I know everything about everything, I’m not that much smarter than everyone else. I’m just a speedy typer, fast reader and fairly resourceful person with a really good memory. Some people are book smart; some people are street smart. I’m just Google smart (and dumb enough to admit it).

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: curious
And I’m singin’ along to: Responsibility – MxPx

HTML Tutorial for Sidebar Badges

By being a computer genius, blogs, skills, you might learn something 7 Comments

Back in the day (2003), I bought a huge book on HTML code and read about 29 pages of it to improve my blogging skills. I’ve recently been helping out several of my fellow bloggers via e-mail answering some simple HTML questions. I noticed on Twitter today that lots of bloggers were inquiring about badges after Linley’s success installing a very cute one (that I can’t wait to put on my revised blog roll very soon!).

At first, I wasn’t going to create this tutorial because I thought I wouldn’t have time, but it kept popping into my head all day that I should really just take a few minutes and type it up. Plus, after I responded to a few different e-mails with the same info, I figured it would be more efficient to explain it this way, right? Duh.

Turns out, I had to learn even more HTML to get these codes to come out as text for you all to see, so that was super exciting.

Anyway, here it goes.

Note: Where I use CAPITAL LETTERS in this tutorial, that’s the text you should replace with your web addresses.

Creating Your Own Badge

1. Create an image that you’d like to use for your badge. I’d recommend making an image that is larger than your average sidebar — that way people can resize it up or down without it getting pixelated or fuzzy. Then you can change the width in the HTML code when you post it on your blog.

2. Upload it to your favorite place to keep your photos – Flickr, etc.

3. Grab the HTML code for your badge. If you’re in Flickr, you’ll want to choose “Grab the HTML/BBC Code” from the “Share This” drop-down menu. Only copy the tag that starts with “img src=” as shown below in step 4. Outside of Flickr, you find the image’s location by right clicking on the photo wherever you’ve uploaded it and selecting “View Image Info.” See where it says “Location”? Highlight that text and copy it.

4. Add aText/HTML widget to your sidebar, and create the following image source HTML tag for your image. If you need the image to be a certain width in pixels, you can write that into the code. (For example, this code would size the image to 150px wide.)

If you copied HTML from Flickr, you may have additional text in there (like height) — you can delete all that to keep your code simple. Just keep the image source and the width. (If you leave the height, the image may become distorted.)

5. Hit Enter, and type something like, “Copy and paste this text to add this badge to your blog!”

6. Below that, put in the following HTML:

The HTML above will create a 150px wide badge for whoever copies and pastes it. I think that’s a reasonable width for most sidebars — it won’t be too big and confuse whoever is using it if they don’t know HTML. If they do know HTML, they can always resize it.

7. You can can customize the height and width of your text area box in pixels, just like with images. Like this:

Or you can customize the height and width of your text area box by inserting numbers for rows and columns in the tag for text area. You can fiddle with the numbers until you get the size you want. For example, the text area box below is 2 rows by 50 columns. But the HTML in it is for a text area box 2 rows by 20 columns.

That’s it! Go test it out and make sure it works. And then leave me a comment, so I can go check it out!

Adding Someone Else’s Badge to Your Page

1. Copy the HTML provided from their page.

2. Create a new Text/HTML widget (or add to an existing one) on your sidebar.

3. Paste the copied HTML code.

4. To change the width of their badge to fit your sidebar, you can either change the width provided or add one right after the link to their image location (inside the img src tag). For example, if you want their badge to be 150px wide, do this:

Good luck! Let me know if you have questions or if you found this tutorial helpful!

Want to see my badge? (It belongs to my other blog.)

Copy and paste the text below
to grab a badge for your blog!

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: smart
And I’m singin’ along to: Close to You – The Cure

Nerd Herd

By being a computer genius, drama, facebook, fashion statements, holiday fun, partying like a rock star 2 Comments


I totally meant to post some photos from Halloween, but I didn’t. I was too busy hosting a clothing swap party and working and getting ready for the 30 for 30, and I didn’t get around to fixing the red-eye in the photos in a timely manner. J and I went as members of the Nerd Herd. From Chuck. You know…that show about the spies on NBC?

Oh, right. No one watches Chuck, which is why it will probably be canceled and also why no one knew what our costumes were.

Some of my friends used to refer to J and I as the Geek Squad, so at least we could say we were in the Nerd Herd, which is kind of like the Geek Squad, but fake. Either way, I thought they were cool costumes…and inexpensive.




In other news, my mom told me a very disturbing story this afternoon, which really made me want to un-friend my brother’s ex-girlfriend from a long time ago on Facebook. Maybe I should have listened to him when he suggested that I un-friend her in the first place, but I thought he was being spiteful, and I used to enjoy reading her witty status updates. But, apparently, months ago, when they broke up she cut up his childhood teddy bear, Harry, with a pair of scissors. That’s not only psycho, but really mean and completely stupid. You don’t mess with Harry.

My usual stance on un-friending people is this: I don’t really care enough to un-friend you. But, who knows? Maybe this will launch me on an uncontrollable un-friending spree! Although, I doubt it. I’ll probably just wait for her to read this and un-friend me.

All this talk of un-friending makes me want to see the Facebook movie again, but I won’t because it’s more expensive to hit the movies on the weekends. Maybe Tuesday.

Anyway, you should know that I get highly attached to inanimate objects (such as stuffed animals, articles of clothing and CDs), so purposely trying to destroy something of sentimental value that is older than you are makes me think you should grow up and stop being an awful person or else the Nerd Herd is going to come find your ass and take a pack of kitchen matches to all of your childhood Barbie dolls.

Just sayin’.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: nerdy
And I’m singin’ along to: A Pirate Looks At Forty – Jimmy Buffett