A Geographic Snapshots of my Daily Visitors

As of Monday (Jul 9), WordPress.com, which hosts my website, showed a full display from where people accessed my site, and not just the top 10 countries. Thought I give you a look cause it’s quite eye opening, and flattering. From what I can tell, the visitor stats are pretty typical of a day on my site. At 122 countries from 15,269 page views, I really do have visitors from pretty much ALL over the world!

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Free Advanced Year Long Excel Running Log

Jan 2 2015 update

Everything below from the original post still applies. The link immediately below is for a MS Excel 2010 version so you don’t have to put up with “compatibility issues” of the old log. I hope you’ll like it. The MS Excel 97-2003 version is far below if you’re still using that version of Excel.

Blank Run Log Excel 2010 version


This is a much updated version of the year long Excel spreadsheet running log I had posted two years ago. You may want to refer to that post for some instructions. Thank you to all of you who had downloaded it, used it, suggested improvements and recommended it to others. If you liked that log, I think you’ll love this one! This new log has some great features I think you’ll love like a spot for your training plan next to what you did. While the focus is on running, there is room for other exercises and things you might want to track, like sleep, injuries, supplements, heart rate averages and maximums, etc. There is a race predictor using Jack Daniels’ running formula, with a short, simplified, but effective and practical explanation on how to use it. There is a calculator to determine any of time, distance or pace you need to run if you know 2 of the 3 variables. There is also a routes table to help calculate routes you take that are not your normal ones, but piece together bits of various routes you have ran. There is no new “summary” feature where what you input is number crunched, but that was because I didn’t perceive the need for any. Otherwise, most cells you shouldn’t touch are still locked up, but you have the ability to manipulate some partially for your use, like if you write a long comment one day and want to show it all rather than have some of it hidden away. As you use this spreadsheet, change the view size if the info is too small for your comfort. It can be at least twice as large. Don’t strain your eyes over using this or feel like you have to put on glasses to use it. You’ll use it less frequently for every little annoyance like this. The best way to see all this is to jump in so here goes! There are a lot of features to this log so don’t be intimidated by all the description. You need very little instruction to start and the rest should be pretty intuitive once you get going. Please click here to download the Advanced Excel Running Log by Minh Tan, 2011 version 2 (2.1 MB) The file is MS Excel 2003 version for greater compatibility for people. If you use a version later than this, please do a Save As and choose the latest version so you won’t get the “compatibility” pop-up each time you close the file. Continue reading

Suggestions for Improving the iPad


Apple just came out with the iPad yesterday, with the release date being March 27, and I’m already thinking of improvements. I’m not here to bash it, not knowing much of it aside from reading articles on it and the awesome video above. I’m just the type who likes to think about the future.

The iPad seems like a great product, but I expected a few pieces of common technology with it that are not exactly futuristic, though are few are cutting edge. Mostly, I’m talking about some multi-media features and a few casing features.



For starters, I thought Apple could have included a camera, even if just a photo camera and not a video camera. I mean, the cell phones have them, for crying out loud. Would it have been too much to ask for one on the iPad to make it completely multi-media? Imagine, being able to “webcam” with someone on a tablet. How futuristic would that be?


Fold out stand and handle

The docking station allows you to perch your laptop in easy ways to view hands free, but what if it had a portable handle that folded out and in? It could swing from about 2/3 of the way up so as to fold out back to make a stand, or flip all the way up to make a handle. I recommended the 2/3 distance up so folding up, it would be higher than the top (1/2 way means it’d hit the top). If you have it around the home, which I imagine you just might, having the carrying case all the time takes away the magic of that pad feel.


LCD Projector

Hey, now there’s an idea! Have a projector built in like some projector cell phones are going to have as early as April, when the iPad is due out. Put the projector on the horizontal top side, with the mic on the vertical bottom (horizontal right but you’d use it vertically) and the webcam vertical top (cause your face is long so you’d probably prefer to see your face in its natural frame). Why have your friends look at your pictures and videos on-line a few people at a time, on that relatively small screen? Really show them to the world with that projector! Or do your PowerPoint presentation right from your machine without having to rely on audio/video set up.


Remote Control / Light Pen / Laser Pointer

Now you’re talking! Have a light pen / remote control / laser pointer embedded in the length of that handle, or snapped in somewhere in the back of the iPad. In that “stick”, you’d have the remote for like 3-4 generic buttons that have various functions in different programs the way the PC mouse has 3 buttons.  That way, you can be a little away from your iPad while showing friends stuff they need to be closer to see since you’d have already seen it, like flipping your presentation slides you could be showing, with or without your projector.  Or if you’re lying down and want to flip a page as you read on-screen at bed time. Reaching out can be annoying, as ridiculous as it sounds. But if it weren’t, why are remotes all the rage? Remote operations could also be great if you had that projector going.

Of course, the remote control gadget can have a plain tip like a pen on a mouse tablet, as the remote signal could come out of a little slot in the direction of the “stick”, not necessarily the front of it. Sure, fingers are good with the iPad, but if you touch up photos and such, or make digital writing notes, scribble Etch-a-sketch ideas, and so on, a pen would be better.

On the opposite end of the “stick”, have a laser pointer there. I mean, if you’re going to be able to project a presentation from your machine, how nice would a laser pointer be. Learn to twirl it like a drum stick and you’re half a magician. Twirl it to remotely activate the next slide, twirl it to point to things with your laser pointer as you speak, and do it again for each slide, turning on audio as you need to, etc. Having a laser pointer on you most of the time is not a bad idea, either. Ever been in a big space and wanted to point something out to someone, exactly?

And yes, all this would be possible. I’ve seen laser pointers and camera remotes a third the length of a short pencil each. Your AAA battery would fit in the other third, if you can’t design one using a smaller battery that is too wide and flat like the ones in your watch.


Price control

I do realize adding some of the features I’m suggesting will make the iPad unaffordable to many people. However, it shouldn’t be exorbitant. Besides, what’s wrong with having a deluxe model?


Improvement during lag time?

I don’t know what Apple’s production schedule is like, but with the product not being available till April, essentially, I can’t help but wonder whether they may redesign a few things between now and then. In the tech world, two months is a long time, and I wouldn’t put it beyond the bright people at Apple to be thinking some of the same things I am and putting it into the final model.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.3