February 08, 2003
Best Cookie Sheets

Cook's Illustrated's EQUIPMENT CORNER: Cookie Sheets

We ran 11 cookie sheets of varying colors, gauges, and materials
through a battery of tests. Each of the top performers, with the
exception of the Mirro, had a shiny, silver baking surface without a
nonstick coating. The rest of the pack, including the second-place Mirro,
were nonstick, with dark-colored baking surfaces ranging from light
matte gray to black. As a group, the darker nonstick pans produced
darker brown--often too dark--baked goods. The $10 Mirro differed
because its baking surface was by far the lightest in color of all the
nonsticks, and its bottom surface was even lighter. Our top performer,
the Kaiser, was also the cheapest at $7.

Posted by kjohnson at 03:26 PM
Boston 2003 Wine Expo Picks

Martin & Weyrich Winery Moscato Allegro

Montinore Estate Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir

Adelsheim Vineyard Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir

More to explore...
Unique & Personalized Cycling Tours in France - Duvine

Valentine's Day Fondue wine: Black Opal Chardonnay by Wolf Blass

Posted by kjohnson at 03:12 PM
Best Multivitamins

Nutrition Action Health Letter did a segment on choosing the best multivitamin. Regulations change annually for types and quantities of vitamins needed. The most recent study and reported in the January/February 1003 issue noted the following multivitamins as their top choices (only includes a few from each category):
Premenopausal women (W)
Postmenopausal women (W+)
Men (M)

M, W+ CVS Daily Multiple 50 Plus - 20mcg K, 0 iron
M, W+ Eckerd Therapeutic M - 28mcg K, 9mg iron
M, W+ Eckerd Vitamin A Day 50+ - 20mcg K, 0 iron
M, W+ Eckerd Vitab - 80mcg K, 9mg iron
M, W+ Healthy Ideas Therapeutic M - 28mcg K, 9mg iron
M, W+ Kroger Thera Plus 28mcg K, 9mg iron

W Rite Aid Whole Source 80mcg K, 18mg iron
W Sav-on One Choice 80mcg K, 18mg iron
W Natrol My Favorite Multiple Complete Care 40mcg K, 18mg iron
W Kroger Complete Extra - 80mcg K, 18mg iron

Posted by kjohnson at 03:00 PM
February 06, 2003
Excel: removing duplicate records

Okay I know this isn't some amazing programming technique - but a great reference for me for years to come regarding removing duplicate records in an Excel worksheet.

CMQ: Tips and Techniques

Posted by kjohnson at 10:41 AM
One of the Columbia Astronauts...

I just received this and had to post...

Dear friends,
I had the privilege of attending a Steve Green concert on the night of
Feb.1, just 12 hours after the loss of Columbia and her crew of seven.
What a surprise to learn that Steve Green (a Christian artist) was a
close friend of Rick Husband's, the astronaut who was selected to be
captain for this mission. Their friendship began a number of years ago
when Rick and his wife stood in line to meet Steve after a concert in
Houston. As Rick told Steve how much he enjoyed his music, Rick's wife
whispered to Steve that Rick was an astronaut. Steve said he (Steve)
made a big deal about that and soon the people were lined up to ask
Rick for an autograph instead of Steve! Thus, their friendship began.

Steve was in attendance for Rick's first shuttle launch several years
ago and was also in attendance for this launch. He sang both times at
pre-launch receptions. He said the reception for the Columbia launch
was very Christ-honoring, and that there were many unbelievers in
attendance. Steve described Rick as a quiet, unassuming man who was,
however, very vocal about his faith. He said Rick did not miss an
opportunity to give glory to God and mentioned that when Mission
Control said it was a beautiful day for a launch, Rick responded with,
"The Lord has given us a perfect day!" A suit technician shared the
following story with Steve. He said that after the astronauts suit up
they walk down a hallway and then open a door to "face the press!"
Rick stopped the crew before they opened the door and said he wanted to
pray for them. Later the technicians talked about this and one said
that in all his years he had never heard of a captain praying for and
with his crew.

The spouses of the crew each get to pick a song for them to wake up to
one of the mornings they're in space. Rick's wife selected "God of
Wonders" by Steve Green. Steve played a tape for us of Rick
communicating with Mission Control after the song was played. The
conversation went something like this: Mission Control - "Good
morning. That song was for Rick. It was 'God of Wonders' by Steve
Green." Rick - "Good morning. Thank you. We can really appreciate
the lyrics of that song up here. We look out the window and see that
God truly is a God of wonders!" (Unfortunately, we probably won't hear
that one on the news.) Steve also shared part of an e-mail he received
from Rick, transmitted from outer space! Did you know that was
possible? I didn't! Anyway, Rick wrote about how overwhelming it was
to see God's vast creation from space. He said he had never cried
while exercising before, but peddling on the bike and looking out the
window at God's incredible creation brought tears to his eyes.

Steve also shared that he had been in Texas for a concert about a week
before coming here. While there, Steve and his "crew" spent the day
with Rick's wife, Evelyn, and their two children and also Mike
Anderson's family. Mike was also aboard Columbia. During the concert
that evening, Steve had the two women stand and he asked the audience
to pray with him for these women while their husbands were in space.
It was encouraging to hear Steve say that there were at least three
astronauts (including Rick and Mike) aboard the Columbia who were
believers in Jesus.

It was a moving concert and a welcome surprise to learn all these
things. What a blessing to know that at least three of these
astronauts loved Jesus! Steve did not name the third person or mention
if there was a family left behind. But two of the families, at least,
will be relying on God to carry them through this and will have
opportunity to share God's love with families/friends of the other
astronauts. Steve mentioned that before President Bush talked to the
families, they had formed a circle and were praying.

Steve was even able to share with us pictures of Rick at different
stages of his life, his career and family. He and Rick's wife had put
this together to be set to one of Steve's songs. They had done it
awhile back for some special event. Steve had it with him and shared
it with us. He also gave us all a challenge from Rick's life. He said
that astronauts lead extremely busy lives, and he (Steve) had been
impressed with Rick's commitment to discipling his two children. Steve
asked us to think about if our lives were to end tomorrow and there
would be no more opportunity for us to disciple our kids. Would we be
happy with what we had done, or would we have regrets?

I'm guessing, from the pictures Steve showed, that Rick's son was
around 5 years old and his daughter 10. I may be off, but that gives
you an idea. They certainly are not close to adulthood. Rick made 34
devotionals, by video, before he left on the Columbia. There were 17
for his daughter and 17 for his son, one for each day he was to be
gone. So each day his daughter and son had their own "devotion with
Dad" by video. What treasures they will be to his children! Thank
you, God, for leading Rick to do that!

Well, I think I've given you every bit of information Steve gave us.
It was certainly an encouragement and comfort to hear these things. I
wanted to pass it on to bless others and to help you know how to pray
for these families in the days ahead. God IS at work in His world! To
Him belongs all glory!

Posted by kjohnson at 10:39 AM