The Wiener Project, DIY Fail

First off if you are offended by this post you need to lighten up, it’s a hot dog hat.  Yes I said that … a hot dog hat.  One of my friends Amy wanted one of these and I wanted to  surprise her… so off to Amazon and Prime and a few days later in comes the hat.


The hat fit me ok but the wiener was a limp flat wiener and no one likes a limp flat wiener.  Devil  So I thought about sending it back for another but was impatient and didn’t want to wait.

I’m a Maker a DIY type of guy… I can fix this wiener and make the hat proud.



So here is the wiener on the workbench where you can see it needs a little help.  I’m wondering what can be used in place of the little blue pill?  Daddy’s helper?



So I look around on the shelves and come across a can of “Great Stuff” expanding foam.  One of the warnings you can see on the top of the can in this picture is “Wear Gloves”.

I didn’t read this or the warning repeated on the side of the can.  TIP:  Wear gloves this Stuff is super sticky.  When you get it on your hands you have to use a pot & pan scrubber to get it off.

This Stuff expands to 2-3 times it original volume.  NOTE: It takes time to do this, be patient, less is more.  Do like the instructions say Plan before use”

I cut a small hole in the bottom of the hat, stuck in the nozzle and put in some foam expecting it to expand rapidly.  When it didn’t I put in more foam and kept doing that over and over until the wiener felt firm.

It wasn’t long after I filled the wiener full of expanding foam that it started to ooze out of the hole I had cut in the bottom and started to stick the to the plaid part of the hat.  I panicked and grabbed a shop towel, in my bare hands, and started to clean up the excess.

I had sticky Stuff on my shirt, my hands, my cellphone and in my hair.  It was everywhere.  NOTE:  Let any excess foam be… it is much easier to clean up after it has hardened.  After I finished cleaning the hat the realization set in I can’t give away a sticky wiener hat.   Frustrated I tossed the hat on the bench and left it.

Next morning after I got over my failure it was back to the workshop to find the hat firmly stuck to the workbench table.  This is going to be a problem when  working on future projects.  So I pry the wiener from the workbench and find the hat looking like this.

So the wiener is hard and firm but the hat is a wreck.  My workbench is a mess, my shirt is in the garbage and I’m scarping sticky foam remnants off my new Samsung S5 and having my wife get Stuff out of my hair.   Overall a classic DIY Fail.

The folks who make “Great Stuff” make “Great Stuff Pro” that fills up twice as much as the classic “Great Stuff”.  Imagine the havoc you can reek with that Stuff!  image

After another quick Amazon and Prime order a replacement wiener came in and here is Amy wearing the hat.  Left the tag on for the Minnie Pearl look.  Look at how nice that wiener is.  Look at the smile on Amy’s face.  MORAL:  Rush in DIY usually results in a fail,  read the damn instructions on anything new.  Less is more.  Amazon Prime rules.

Makers Faire Grand Rapids 2014 Photo Album

Went to the First (I  hope) annual mini Makers Faire at the Grand Rapids Science Museum.  Have to admit this is an excellent venue to hold a Makers Faire.  Quite a crowd there and the museum had  a little problem handling all the folks.  I think they were caught off guard by how many geeks there are out there.   Made me smile.

Met some very interesting folks there and here is my photo album of the visit.   Click on the photo to zoom into it.  There are 2 pages of photos.  Enjoy!

[shashin type=”albumphotos” id=”2″ size=”medium” crop=”n” columns=”2″ caption=”y” order=”date” position=”center”]

SQL Server and New Install SSMS on Hosted servers

I use SQL Server for a number of database projects.  We host some of our projects on BlueHost which is an excellent provider.  SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is our basic utility for access as a DBA to those databases.  After installing SSMS and connecting to BlueHost you might get this error when connecting to the server.  The server prinipal xxxx is noit able to access the datebase yyyy under the current security content.

Screenshot 2014-08-25 at 11.57.24 AM


My project is the BMPAdmin and it just so happens that the first database in this BlueHost SQL Server instance is the once named (arabworld) which I do not have access to.  I run into this everytime I do a new install of SSMS.

Solution is simple and I put here so I don’t have to go looking for it everytime it happens. 😉

The trick is to open the Object Explorer Deatils panel which is done by press (F7) or clicking on the menu bar (View) like shown below.











This should open up a panel that has the following look to it.


You may have to scroll over to see the column labeled (Collation) that is the culprit. Right click on the heading of that column and you should see

Collation setting


The property (Collation) that is checked needs to be unchecked.  The restart you SSMS program and your database list should work.







Ice Bucket Challenge–Nate De Winkle

Nate gets chilly

Another Geek bites the ice… and another one gone… and another one gone…  ALS be gone there are too many Geeks willing to sacrifice for the cause.  

Access 2007 / 2010 Option Explicit is Important

If you are coding VBA for Access application the Option Explicit is important.  Option Explicit statement must appear in a script before any procedures.

When you use the Option Explicit statement, you must explicitly declare all variables using the Dim, Private, Public, or ReDim statements. If you attempt to use an undeclared variable name, an error occurs.

For some strange reason Access 2007 / 2010 doesn’t add this Option Explicit to every module you access so you need to add it manually.  You can set it to be default for all modules.

Go to the VBA window then Tools>> Options>> Editor Tab and check (Require Variable Declaration)


Ice Bucket Challenge, Multiple Buckets

What do techies do when they are bored?  They challenge each other to the Ice Bucket Challenge to benefit ALS.  So techie Dan challenges techie Jim and he decides to go big,  Jim wore his gangster suit and tie and sat in a chair while his little daughters poured ice water into his lap followed by 6 full coolers of Ice Water.   I missed the opening where he said this for ALS and where his passed the challenge along to Ty.  Ty was a techie, now he is a writer for the NFL.  I donated my money so I didn’t get challenged, how can you beat 6 buckets? Worth every dime!

Jim McEvoy does the Ice Bucket Challenge

Determine SQL Server version with a query

I’m working on converting the Adventure Works 2008 database from SQL Server into Teradata so there is a database to experiment with.  Sometimes there is an issue were the SQL Server MDF files for Adventure Works didn’t match the version of the SQL Server instance.   How do you quickly tell all the details of the version, compatibility and other goodies from your server?

Here is a SQL Server query to uncover this information.

This will return a result that looks like this



The Internal Version Number is important, here is a short list of the Major SQL Versions

  • SQL Server Version Compatibility Level Internal Database Version Build
  • SQL Server 2012 RTM 110 706 11.0.2100.60
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 100 665 10.50.xxxx   <—- This matches
  • SQL Server 2008 100 661 10.00.xxxx
  • SQL Server 2005  SP2 90 612 9.00.xxxx
  • SQL Server 2005 90 611 9.00.xxxx
  • SQL Server 2000 80 539

WordPress LiveWriter and Code Formatting

I use Microsoft’s Live Writer to build most of my posts to GeekMustHave.  It is a great tool for free.  There are some tips on using it better and across the cloud.  I often will include code snippets that I would like to be color formatted to be easy to read and digest.  I also want the viewer to be able to copy the code for reference, sometimes I’m that viewer. Embarrassed smile    I would like to recommend the Live Writer plugin from Steve Dunn


I use it formatted like what you see to the left. 

ActiPro engine is wonderful  as it does a much better job at formatting and supports more types of code.

The slightly blue background helps to offset the code from the post.

The ( language is used when formatting VBA code because the Visual Basic language template has a few issue, but the alternative works great.

Leave the line numbers off to avoid them being copied by the viewer when they are copying the code

Avoid word wrap it make the result look jagged.

Access 2007 /2010 Display Report & Print to PDF

I usually have reports in my Access applications that the user wants to see the display and quickly option to print it to a PDF file.  I typically print all my reports electronically to save time, trees I’m not so much worried about. Angry smile

I do this by adding a Button using the Wizard and filling it out link I am going to print the report.  The I go to the VBA code behind the button and change it out.  If you are using macros this may be possible I just prefer VBA code.

Here is an example of the print report code

My next Firearm purchase

Bug-a-Salt in action.  Pesky flies annoy you?  Fly swatter not working?  Want a non-toxic to environment solution?  Well here you go.   Amazon has them for $50… what $50 too much go to the dollar store and get a flyswatter for $50.  Still the video of bugs getting zapped in slow-mo is very cool.