You can call me ART

Euphorbia milliiEuphorbia millii saving rain drops for another day

The first computer I bought back in 1979 came with VisiCalc. I was like a
6-year-old kid in a candy store. I had been creating spreadsheets all my life using accounting ruled paper from the office supply stores. To be able to do it on a computer and use my typing skills was like eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Throughout the years, I bought every new spreadsheet program that hit
the market, but my favorites were Lotus 1-2-3, SuperCalc, Quattro Pro, Framework, Lotus Symphony, and Microsoft Excel, and out of those Excel has been running my life since around 1993. My current Excel workbook has 30 spreadsheets in it, down from a high of 53 a year ago. I re-organize my life (“life” being defined as “spreadsheets which run my life”) every December.

Here are a few of my most used spreadsheets:

  1. Calendar—This is the spreadsheet that runs my daily life. Anything that
    I need/want to accomplish each day goes in this spreadsheet. This also
    is where I remind myself that I need to brush my teeth; eat breakfast, lunch, and supper…. You can call me ART.
  2. Abbey Road by The BeatlesRock Music—This is where I list all the digital files in my rock music collection, the time of each file, and when I last listened to each file. Currently there are 4,261 files totaling 1,594 hours, 26 minutes, and 29 seconds. If I listen to this collection for an average of 10 hours a day, which I do, it takes me 159 days, 26 hours, and 39 seconds to listen to everything. You can call me ART.
  3. 2019 Honda InsightCars—This is where I track maintenance and daily mileage on our two cars. You can call me ART.
  4. Blog Visits—Yes, I track which blogs I visit each day. My goal is to visit at least 20 blogs each and every day. With 1,677 links to blogs, it can take me 84 days to visit all of them. You can call me ART.
  5. Movies—Here I track movies and TV programs that I have watched.
    It lists the name of the movie or program, when it came out, where I watched it, and when I watched it. Currently watching “Jericho” on Netflix, Season 1, Episode 15. You can all me ART.
  6. Weather—I started tracking the weather when I was 11 and living with my wise old grandmother in Kingsville, Texas, deep in the south of the state. Kingsville’s weather included hail storms, thunderstorms, tropical depressions, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and even snow once a decade. I was at the TV every day for the 6:00 and 10:00 weather to note the temperature, weather, and barometric pressure. You can call me ART.
  7. Olivia—I track Little Queen Olivia’s weight and vet visits. Her last visit to the vet on 12/6 showed her at 8.6 pounds. She was two years old on November 21, so she’s just a little queen. You can call me ART.
  8. Desert Island—My list of music that will have with me if ever there is a chance that I could be lost on a desert island. Currently there are 1,507 songs on it. Albums not allowed. Only individual songs. You can call me ART.
  9. Bad List—This is a list of people and companies that don’t get Christmas cards. Currently has 102 people/companies on the list. I’m a very easy-going Southern boy, so I give people and companies three strikes before calling them out. This list started with my high school girlfriend’s Baptist minister father. I asked her to marry me and her dad said no. Apple has been on the list since 1983, Uber since 2017. You can call me ART.
  10. Explore—A list of places to go, things to do, but only within driving distance since I quit flying around 2003 because of the airlines’ response to the Detroit Shoe Bomber. When flying required me to get up 10 hours before flight time, get to the airport 6 hours early, stand in line for hours waiting for the privilege to be searched and have someone “touch my junk,” and, perhaps, even get to undress for several people, I just decided that I could drive anywhere I wanted to go in the time required to get on an airplane. You can call me ART.

Why ART? It’s an acronym for Anal Retentive Tracking.

19 thoughts on “You can call me ART

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Apple got 30 strikes in 30 days in 1983. All 30 strikes were related to the same incident. Nothing they have done since then has encouraged me give ’em another try.
      iPad burns your skin if you set it on your lap to work. It’s a laptop! Apple response: “Don’t put it on your lap.”
      iPhone drops calls if you hold it a certain way, usually with the right hand I believe it was. Apple response: “Don’t hold it that way.”


  1. SueW

    My address book is on a spreadsheet and from this I print out labels for Christmas cards to those I send cards.
    Previously, my planning was also done this way as was keeping track of pupil progress, a sheet for each class I taught, not the official school tracker, just for my own use.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jolynnpowers

    I am amazed… I just learned how to use a spreadsheet 4 years ago at 47… I still am working at getting the hang of them. Maybe I need you to be my tutor. 🙂
    I use them mainly to track project progress, expences and addresses. A calendar does the rest of the work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Back when I was in project management 25 years ago, I used a combination of Access and Excel to track project progress and such. Access is better at project tracking and forecasting, but everything can be done in Excel if one is willing to learn how to compile formulas. I haven’t used Access since 2003 because I know how to do those formulas in Excel.


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      My first was an Apple but I didn’t like it and could not afford to buy 10 of them for my business, so I switched to DOS. That first DOS computer did NOT have a hard drive but it did have two floppy drives, so that was convenient. I was so happy when my business income was such that I could buy computers with hard drives. They all had 20 MB hard drives. Heck, my little flash drive for the car has 64 GB! We’ve come a long way!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cat9984

    Please help me with Excel – My laptop came with the newest version. I used to be able to create a running total using a simple sigma function and highlighting the columns I wanted to use. That method does not appear to be working. I just want (column B – Column E to equal Column F) and F2=B3). Every time I bring up Help, it gives me several options but won’t let me open any of them. I am ready to do everything by hand. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          Column B – Column E = Column F and F2=B3

          Looks like you have two columns with formulas, Column B and Column F, so can I rewrite that like this:

          b1 – e1 = f1
          (b2 = f1) – e2 = f2
          (b3 = f2) – e3 = f3
          (b4 = f3) – e4 = f4

          If those are correct, then you can highlight with your mouse
          the formula in Column B. Don’t let your finger off the mouse because now you want to highlight
          all the row cells below that down to as far as you want to go.
          Once you have them all highlighted, you can let go of the mouse.
          Hopefully they are still highlighted. If they are simply hold the Control key down
          and hit the D key. That’s pnemonic for “Copy down” and will copy the formula
          into all the cells below the first one.

          So the same thing with Column F.

          I don’t know where Cheeseland, but I’m up all hours of the day. If the above doesn’t work, I’m open for talking with you over the phone. Let me know.



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