Consumer Safety

We live in an age of consumer protections. We can be confident that every purchase has been carefully checked for safety and effectiveness. If there is something wrong, the product will be recalled. If there are any associated dangers, they will be completely enumerated on the packaging. So why is it that, in our supposedly enlightened age, babies are being delivered to parents without the following warning label attached?

WARNING: Prolonged exposure to babies is known to cause lower back pain, joint pain, fatigue, clothing stains, lower standards, insomnia, hearing loss, unintelligible babbling, poverty, and weight gain. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of a baby.


Mommy and Daddy have been falling woefully behind in their housekeeping duties. I don’t understand what they find so difficult about these simple tasks, but I have decided to step up and be the change I want to see.

I discovered that when I place dirty objects into my mouth, they come out with a delightful glossy shine. Not only does this work with common household items, but it is also effective on clothing and skin. At first I started small, just spot treating my clothes or Mommy and Daddy, but after seeing the results, I’ve been inspired to take on the whole house.

This ambition has been complicated, as is so often the case, by the parents. It almost seems as if they don’t want me to clean things up around here. They try to keep me away from the objects that need my help, but this has only served to enhance my creativity. I have discovered that, with careful aim, I can clean many items throughout the house. Mommy and Daddy, seeing my example, will often grab a rag and join in the cleaning. The house has never looked so good.

Running Away From Home

Something about having a baby in the house brings back memories of growing up. I suspect my brain is trying to warn me about what lies ahead. This morning an episode came to mind that caused me, yet again, to realize just how weird raising a child will be.

It was a crazy Wednesday evening, as was so often the case. There was some sort of church activity that we needed to attend. Everyone was in the van ready to go, except for my youngest brother, who was dragging his feet. My mother, in her favorite teaching style, decided to give him an object lesson, and drove off without him. Now this was only a ruse. We drove around the block and came right back to the house, certain that he would be suitably chastened for his tardiness.

Instead, we discovered the house abandoned. We searched high and low, but there was no sign of him. He was only a young teen at the time, and didn’t have a driver’s license yet, so we knew he couldn’t have gotten very far, yet he was nowhere to be found.

After about ten minutes the telephone rang. It was someone from our church. My little brother was there, and looking for us. He had set out on his own, determined to follow our supposed course. Unfortunately, he had severely underestimated the length of the trip. Fortunately for him, a family friend saw his trek and offered him a ride. And that is how, by being late, my brother got to the church first.

Convert Excel Column Name to Number

An Explanation:

The other day I downloaded a database table, with a ridiculous number of columns, as a CSV spreadsheet. I wanted to write a program to isolate and clean up a couple of its columns. To do this I needed to know the column numbers. For example, that “About Me” is the 78th column. When I opened up the spreadsheet in LibreOffice I didn’t find the column number. Instead, the columns had names like “AG” and “BN”. I get why it makes sense to use numbers for rows and letters for columns, but I can’t easily tell a program to get the AOth element of an array.

I did a web search to see if someone had a nice converter online that would tell me which number to use for the column names, but my search turned up nothing. I hope to correct that for future searchers of the internet. Enjoy.

P.S. – This converter is also handy if you want to know the position of various letters in the alphabet. Just replace the word “column” with the word “letter”.

Tummy Time

By this point I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised anymore. Mommy and Daddy just don’t understand some basic things about life yet, and I can’t be mad at them for that. These things take time, after all. Still, I find their current behavior puzzling. I can be resting peacefully and all of a sudden one of them will declare “tummy time.”

They’ll place me on my playmat and watch as I flail about. They get really excited whenever I push myself around the mat. I don’t like to ruin their fun, but I can’t help wondering if there is something wrong with their brains. I mean, hello, if I wanted to go somewhere I’d have one of them carry me. I can’t be subjected to the indignity of crawling around using my own limbs. What would the other babies think?