Informal Disaster

bold lies
of life intersected
a pretty impression, worn out and connected

tall tales
they crumble when eaten
their taste an astringent, unlikely to sweeten

bald truth
your yearning’s not normal
a city disaster no more, just informal

lame duck
adrift in the crosshairs
continues to swim, anywhere, unawares

L.M. 4:25 p.m., January 20th, 2015.

Where Are You, My Peaceful Mind

Where are you, my peaceful mind?
you call on me, from time to time
you make me question what is mine
through fields of corn, and city grime

where are you, my active mind?
you dart, you dash, you intertwine
my habits, as I’m so inclined
but choices, hardly worth my time

where are you, my precious mind?
to what decree are you assigned?
to what degree are you aligned?
and are these questions really mine?

L.M. 1:03 p.m., January 20th, 2015.

Ms. Compy Fix-it – Dates Converting to Numbers

Hello again!
Today I encountered a really annoying problem in Excel. In switching between open files, suddenly some of my dates were converted to numbers. September 3rd, 2014, became 41885, and all my columns expanded. I knew I’d hit something by accident, but no amount of Undo would fix it, and even changing the column’s Number Format to Date didn’t make them appear as dates!

Turns out, I had accidentally hit Ctrl + ` instead of Ctrl + Tab to shift between open Excel files. This turns on Show Formulas! So simple, yet it took me a good few minutes to figure it out. So if you’ve searched for this issue and found this post, Ms. Compy Fix-it is here to tell you you’re not alone!

So, if you find your columns unexpectedly expanding, and weird things happening to your data, check to make sure you haven’t accidentally turned on Show Formulas!


In the country, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by quiet.

Sure, you hear crickets, cicadas, tree frogs, but you also notice a general hum so deep it’s almost dizzying.

It doesn’t turn off.

You tilt your head to triangulate its origin, to no use. It feels as if your ears are being pulled backwards, stretched, straining, listening from the back of your head. You hear it even where you don’t.

After a while, you start thinking again. 

But not in the regular way, not linear.

Like your ears were stretched in new directions listening, your mind is stretching, hearing its subconscious mumbling. Seemingly random, encompassing almost embarrassing extremes, you are sure it is only showboating; there is no way your stream of consciousness is that obtuse!

It is, and it’s beautiful.

Here, these sparks are your originals, your treasure chest of creative thought. These tingles of innovation, of personal discovery, of reassuring empathy. In between the crickets and cicadas and tree frogs, more than any other thing, they are who you are.

Ms. Compy Fix-It vs. Excel 2007’s Horizontal Axis Issues

Hi everybody! (“Hi, Dr. Nick!”)

Ms. Compy Fix-It here, with another workaround for all you folks wrestling with Excel 2007’s quirks.  This one is to do with Excel ignoring your pretty horizontal axis and deciding to do its own thing……

So let’s start off with my chart:


This looks okay to me.  But say I’d done some resizing within my Whole Chart Area and things have moved around a bit.


Whoops, that looks ugly!  The horizontal axis label’s on top of the legend and we can’t have that.  So, I’m going to resize the Inner Chart Area to move it up, right?  Well watch what happens.

 excel Example Pic - Post 2 - 2.1
Wait, since when did my data become negative?

I initially thought it had to do with the way I resized it.  I even drew a chart to figure out whether it was the Inner Chart Area or the Outer Chart Area resizing that made it a problem.  Turns out the problem is partially about resizing and partially about this:
excel Example Pic - Post 2 - 3

Ugh!  So then I zoomed in to 100% and it fixed my chart……… but guess what?  My other charts started messing up their horizontal axis-crossing data!

So…… turns out I don’t know a fool-proof method for getting rid of this quirk.  However, I do know that sometimes altering the Inner Chart Area and/or the Outer Chart Area can fix it, and other times the Zoom can fix it.

If you know why this is and can help us all out, please leave a comment!