Welcome To Josh's Blog O' Thoughts: Latest Posts

NCAA Bracket Spreadsheet for 2011 Posted

Sunday, March 13, 2011. 8:59 pm. Posted by Josh.

I have updated my original bracket spreadsheet post to include sheets pre-filled with the 2011 field of teams. To download the 2011 bracket or the blank template spreadsheet, go to http://josh.breittechnologies.com/blog/2009_03_13_NCAA_Basketball_Tournament_Bracket_Spreadsheet_File.

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Posted in: Blog News , Downloads , Sports
This article has been viewed 2300 times.
Comments: 3

NCAA Bracket Spreadsheet v2.1 Released - Bug Fix!

Sunday, March 21, 2010. 12:55 pm. Posted by Josh.

Earlier this month, I released version 2.0 of my NCAA basketball tournament bracket spreadsheet. The v2.0 update contained the functionality to grant bonus points for correctly choosing an upset win.

Unfortunately, it has been called to my attention that there is a bug related to the bonus point calculations in the Excel version of the file. I created the sheet in OpenOffice and then exported to Excel format. Apparently one of the formulas I was using worked a little differently in OpenOffice than in Excel. I have since corrected the file and updated it to v2.1. Please go to the original post to download the update. Please DO NOT use the v2.0 file which was available from Mar 12, 2010 - Mar 20, 2010.

How To Fix The Problem If You Are Already Using the v2.0 File For Your 2010 Pool

If you downloaded the v2.0 EXCEL file (OpenOffice file is fine) between Mar 12 and Mar 20, 2010, are currently using that file to run your pool, and are using the bonus points feature, you will probably want to run the following fix to correct the problem.

Instructions for fix:
1. Download this file: Fix_Excel_Bonus_Points.xls
2. Open the Fix_Excel_Bonus_Points.xls file
3. Go to Tools->Macros->Security and set macro security to Low.
4. Open your master bracket file.
5. Go to Tools->Macros->Macros
6. In the Macros In box near the bottom of the screen, make sure All Open Workbooks is selected.
7. Select the macro Fix_Excel_Bonus_Points.xls!Fix_Excel_Bonus_Calc
8. Click Run
9. Wait for message box saying Done
10. Save master bracket file
11. Close both files.
12. Your master bracket file should now be updated with corrected formulas for bonus point calculation.


Next year, download and use the fixed v2.1 file.


I apologize for the error. Hope you still can find the file useful.

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Posted in: Blog News , Downloads , Sports
This article has been viewed 1306 times.
Comments: 1

NCAA Bracket Spreadsheet for 2010 Posted

Sunday, March 14, 2010. 10:04 pm. Posted by Josh.

I have updated my original bracket spreadsheet post to include sheets pre-filled with the 2010 field of teams. To download the 2010 bracket or the blank template spreadsheet, go to http://josh.breittechnologies.com/blog/2009_03_13_NCAA_Basketball_Tournament_Bracket_Spreadsheet_File

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Posted in: Blog News , Downloads , Sports
This article has been viewed 1348 times.
Comments: 4

NCAA Tournament Bracket Spreadsheet Updates

Friday, March 12, 2010. 8:49 am. Posted by Josh.

Last year my NCAA basketball tournament spreadsheet was quite a hit. To make it even more popular, I have added the ability to score bonus points for upsets. Bonus points can be awarded based on the difference in seeds between the winning and losing team. If an "underdog" team wins, you can give whatever amount of bonus points you want depending on how much of an underdog they were (a 16 beating a 1 deserves more bonus points than a 9 beating an 8).

See the instructions in the original post and in the spreadsheet file for more details.

http://josh.breittechnologies.com/blog/2009_03_13_NCAA_Basketball_Tournament_Bracket_Spreadsheet_File

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Posted in: Blog News , Downloads , Sports
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Comments: 1

2010 Winter Olympics - NBC TV Schedule Spreadsheet

Wednesday, February 17, 2010. 8:05 am. Posted by Josh.

I know I'm a few days late in posting this, but attached is the TV schedule for the 2010 Winter Olympics. This schedule only includes the main NBC network (not any of their cable networks). Times are in Central Standard Time.

Also, please note that due to the weather, some events have been moved around. This schedule is based on the original events schedule so there may be some differences in the skiing events.

Hope you find this useful.

2010_NBC_Olympics_Coverage.ods - 17KB OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet
2010_NBC_Olympics_Coverage.xls - 26KB MS Excel Spreadsheet

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Posted in: Downloads , Sports
This article has been viewed 1046 times.
Comments: 0

Lawn Update - Trimec 899 Is a Cold Hearted Killer (For Weeds)

Sunday, November 8, 2009. 9:45 pm. Posted by Josh.

Well we just got the grass cut for the last time for the season. I have to say, the lawn is looking pretty darn good at this point. Especially considering it's only 2 years old.

This summer was fairly mild and wet (coolest July on record). Definitely do droughts this year. In fact, for most of the summer, I could barely keep up with the mowing.

However, during this growing season, the yard did develop a lot of white clover and various broadleaf weeds. Therefore, my fall mission was to eradicate the weeds.

I did some research online to figure out which weed killer to buy. I didn't want to mess around and only get partial kills only to have the weeds come back next year. I wanted to hit them hard. In addition to looking for something that was strong enough for my liking, I wanted to find something in a concentrate. I have quite a good amount of area to cover and concentrates usually give you more bang for your buck.

If you look at the local big box stores, you will notice that most of the weed killers they sell are not concentrates; they are ready to use. If you look carefully though, you might be able to find one or two options in concentrates.

The other thing you will notice is that most of the weed killers they sell (Weed-B-Gone, etc) have Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2-4D) as the primary active ingredient. I've always heard that 2-4D was a good weed killer, but online research showed that while 2-4D is a good broadleaf weed herbicide, it is actual quite ineffectual against clover.

According to the Iowa State Extension Office the best weed killer for clover is 2-2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy propionic acid (MCPP). And while MCPP is good at killing clover, it's not great at broadleaf weeds. Therefore, the most effective herbicide for me would be a mix of these two.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any MCPP at the big box stores, and the 2-4D that they had was not very concentrated which did not give me a good feeling about its effectiveness.

In the end I went to a local farm supply store and found Trimec 899. Not only does it contain 2-4D, MCPP, and Dicamba (good at killing creeping charlie), it was the most concentrated stuff I could find. In fact, the label said that 1 gallon would cover 3 acres. I bought two.

I applied with a hose-end sprayer. I did not feel like shelling out the money for a pull-behind sprayer for my lawn tractor. It took about 2 hours to cover the whole yard. That was about a month ago. There is basically NO clover left in the yard anymore. And the broadleaf weeds are almost all gone too. The ones that remain are all shriveled and appear to be on the way out.

I'm very pleased with the effectiveness of the product and am happy that I have over a gallon left over for the future. If you have common weed problems like these, I'd highly recommend getting yourself some Trimec 899 for a fall application.

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Posted in: Lawn Care , Reviews
This article has been viewed 4233 times.
Comments: 1

Someone's Been a Bad Blogger!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009. 11:58 am. Posted by Josh.

That someone is me. This is possibly the longest I've gone without posting a new article since I started blogging a few years ago. I'm going to blame it on the fact that I started a new job back in May and have been focusing pretty heavily on that learning curve.

I hope to get back into blogging to provide you with more of my ever so "useful" bits of information.

Thanks for hanging in there.

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Posted in: Blog News
This article has been viewed 924 times.
Comments: 2

Lawn Update - One Year

Wednesday, May 20, 2009. 2:30 pm. Posted by Josh.

If you followed my blog last year, you know that I started a new lawn from seed last Spring. There were definitely some issues. We had a bit of a monsoon last Spring and it washed out a bunch of my seed. Then the weeds (mostly foxtail) crept in during the summer. It got pretty depressing and I had considered spraying the whole thing with Round Up and starting over last fall. Instead, I aerated, over-seeded, and fertilized. I think the results of everything are finally turning out to be pretty good.

This Spring, I aerated again and put down a fertilizer with pre-emergent to help keep the foxtail away. So far, it seems to have worked. I have a few dandelions and a pretty good crop of clover in a few places, but really no foxtail.

So here's the one year pics taken a week or so ago. This was taken just after mowing when it was quite tall, so there are some clippings in the pics that hadn't been raked up yet.

Front Yard:
KBG seeded yard at 1 year

Back Yard:
KBG seeded yard at 1 year

Side Yard:
KBG seeded yard at 1 year

Detail:
KBG seeded yard at 1 year




Compare that to what I started with:



And this is what it looked like during the summer last year. The coarseness is from all the foxtail:






Read more about my lawn in the lawn care category:
http://josh.breittechnologies.com/category/Lawn_Care

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Posted in: Lawn Care
This article has been viewed 1032 times.
Comments: 0

Blog Sets Record For Readership

Wednesday, April 1, 2009. 8:53 am. Posted by Josh.

During the month of March 2009, my blog set a new personal readership record. Due to a few high-volume blog articles (NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket Spreadsheet File and Tax Reporting For Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP)), my blog saw over 2000 unique visitors last month. The previous record was just under 1000 unique visitors, so this was quite a feat.

Obviously, both of those articles are about seasonal topics, so I would imagine the readership would recede again once their time of year is over.

But just wanted to say thanks for reading (and commenting)!

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Posted in: Blog News
This article has been viewed 1036 times.
Comments: 0

2009 NCAA Basketball Tournament Brackets

Sunday, March 15, 2009. 9:27 pm. Posted by Josh.

I have posted updates to my NCAA bracket spreadsheet files with the 2009 field of teams already filled in. See the post regarding my bracket files here:

http://josh.breittechnologies.com/blog/2009_03_13_NCAA_Basketball_Tournament_Bracket_Spreadsheet_File

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Posted in: Downloads , Sports
This article has been viewed 1044 times.
Comments: 5

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