Year: 2016

Are You Compensated Like the Top 1% of Engineers?

Neither am I…

Each year I see reports on the highest paying entry level jobs and engineering disciplines are always near the top of the list.  Early in my career I watched my salary grow significantly;  however, now as an 18+ year veteran in the engineering field I’ve noticed that in the past 5 or 6 years my increases have tended to stagnate at or even below the cost of living.  For several years now I have considered market fluctuations and political environments as potential causes for this apparent leveling off of my compensation.  Over time this led me to … Read the rest

Do Olympians Have Olympic Sized Libidos?

Olympic_Condoms_Sex
More than 11,00 athletes from 206 nations are competing in the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio (and 5 nearby cities) between 8/3 & 8/16.  The Olympic committee only provided 450,000 condoms for the 11,000+ athletes. This equates to roughly 41 condoms per athlete over the 18 day event. These poor athletes will only be able to have safe sex 2.3 times per day, unless they resort to sleeping with other Olympic athletes. Even so, they would still only be able to have protected sex 4.6 times per day, while supplies last.

I would have thought that Olympic athletes would … Read the rest

BatchGeo Map Location Marker Tag Information Extraction

BatchGeo Map with Many Location Tags
I recently stumbled across a map embedded on a website that contained the contact information of several consultants across the United States and I wanted this extract this information into a tabular form.
I reviewed the site’s HTML and discovered that the embedded map was produced using BatchGeo.   BatchGeo allows anyone to quickly and easily upload an Excel list of locations to create a Google map with each location tagged.  Each location tag may contain additional information such as name, address, phone number, email address, URL,  etc.
An example map produced by BatchGeo can be seen below.
Map

Microsoft Outlook Rule to Archive Meeting Request Responses

I’ve been scheduling (and rescheduling) a lot of meetings in Microsoft Outlook lately and I’ve grown tired of continually moving everyone’s responses to the meeting request (Accepted, Rejected, Tentative) from my inbox.  I’ve also found that if I’m too diligent with removing those response, I miss something important someone added to the body of the their response. Instead of continuing to sort through these responses manually, I chose to set up a Microsoft Outlook rule to do the heavy lifting for me. The rule sorts through all my incoming messages as they arrive and looks for tell tale signatures of … Read the rest

Why I Dropped the Verizon Smartphone Total Mobile Protection Plan

I recently received a update to my Verizon Smartphone Total Mobile Protection Plan that made me re-evaluate whether it is worth it. The plan has become more expensive (from $10 to $11 / month) and the deductible was raised (from $99 to $149).

Verizon Smartphone Total Mobile Protection Plan Update Letter

Asurion Verizon Smartphone Total Mobile Protection Plan Letter FrontAsurion Verizon Smartphone Total Mobile Protection Plan Letter Back

Almost two years ago, I opted into the Verizon Smartphone Total Mobile Protection Plan when I upgraded from a flip phone to a smart phone.  In my haste the $10 / mo fee for the protection plan compared to the relatively large sticker price seemed worth it and I … Read the rest

Remove a Picture’s Background in PowerPoint

At some point you may want to remove a picture’s background in order to isolate or accent the subject, remove distracting details, or have some fun and place yourself in fun or amusing locations.  For example, below is a picture taken during one of my many speeches at the White House in DC.
Mike Strejcek Removed Picture Background Replaced with White House Podium
The following steps are used to remove the background from an image.
  1. Select an image you’d like to remove the background from.
  2. Insert the image into a PowerPoint chart.
  3. Click on the image and the Picture Tools menu will appear in PowerPoint (image below).
  4. PowerPoint Picture Tools - remove a picture's background
  5. Under Picture Tools
Read the rest

Create a Microsoft Windows Keyboard Shortcut to Any File or Application

Microsoft Windows Keyboard Shortcut Properties

A Microsoft Windows keyboard shortcut is extremely useful if you’d like to quickly open applications,  open files, or run scripts you use frequently.

The following steps are used to set up a Microsoft Windows keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Right click on the file (or application) and left click “copy”
  2. Right click in a directory and left click “Past Shortcut”
  3. Right click on the shortcut you just created and left click “Properties”
  4. Select the “Shortcut” tab by left clicking on it.
  5. Select the “Shortcut Key” field by left clicking in the text box
  6. While in the “Shortcut Key” field type the shortcut key
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Liars Dice Bidding Probability Calculation

Liars Dice is a game for two or more players.  During a hand, each player rolls a set of die (typically starting the game with 5 die per player) under a cup to shield their hand from the other players.  Each player then progressively makes ever increasing bids as to the number of die of a certain face value that are contained in everyone’s collective hands.  The bid is based on what each player can see in their hand and the number of concealed die in the other players hand.  The hand starts with one player bidding on the number … Read the rest

Baltimore, You’re More Likely to be Murdered Than Raped

Crime-Scene

The FBI routinely compiles crime statistics from the 260 largest cities in the United States (with a population of 100,000 or more).  By calculating the number of occurrences per capita (per 100,000 people) from those statistics one can compare and rank the probability of occurrence of the various crimes within each of  those cities. Baltimore’s crime statistics and ranking are listed below as derived from the 2015 FBI crime statistics. Generally, the highest ranking crime has been listed first; however, rape has been listed just under murder.  In reviewing Baltimore’s per capita statistics, it was noted that one is … Read the rest

Fedora Linux System Requirements and Download Location of Various Versions

DesktopServers

There are many articles that offer great uses for an old PC. Recommendations include utilizing the old PC as a home server, adding additional Network Attached Storage (NAS), experimenting with other free operating systems (i.e Linux), donating extra computer cycles to science through distributed computing projects (i.e BOINC or SETI@Home), and of course for use as a secondary computer. These articles inevitably mention different Linux distributions (i.e. Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint, Arch, Lubuntu, Slackware, etc) as a viable alternative to the Windows OS. If you blindly go this route you might spend several … Read the rest

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