Jacob J. Walker's Blog

Scholarly Thoughts, Research, and Journalism for Informal Peer Review

Archive for November, 2013

Quote of the Day: “Early to bed, Early to rise, Work like hell— And advertise!”

without comments

Early to bed, Early to rise, Work like hell— And advertise!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

November 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others

Quote of the Day: “Speaking comes by nature, silence by understanding”

with one comment

Speaking comes by nature, silence by understanding

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

November 22nd, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others

Quote of the Day: “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

with 6 comments

Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

November 21st, 2013 at 11:59 am

Last Night’s Twin Rivers Board Meeting

with 2 comments

Today has been fairly busy, so I haven’t had a chance to post about last night’s board meeting.  The big news, was that the board voted 5 to 1 to ask Cortez to resign, although this was only a symbolic motion, because a board cannot remove a fellow board member unless they are convicted of a crime, and that has not yet occurred.

The other news, that wasn’t on the news, was that Marla Miller and Craig Murray presented about rebuilding Twin Rivers Adult School.  Here was my public comment about their presentation:

Board members and Dr. Martinez, thank you for the time to speak this evening,

I think that what is being talked about is a step in the right direction.   I want to encourage you to take more steps, as Twin Rivers can become a model for other districts, if sufficient investment is made.

The first part of investment is money, and the presentation didn’t give any specifics on this.  As a matter of transparency that you have talked about I think the amount of funding you plan to give the adult school should be shared.

But, money is not the only part of an investment.  The next part of investment needs to be in people.  The adult school has excellent teachers, but most have either been laid off or are only being given a bare number of hours.  To rebuild an adult program of excellence, there needs to be an investment in our excellent instructors, and thus they need to have contract positions.

Further, money and talent can be wasted without having the right systems of support being in place.  This means that the adult school must be given sufficient priority within the district, where decisions can be made in a timely fashion, and in an authoritative manner.  While I, and I think all in the Adult School, recognize that the children must be the first priority, we also recognize that we can be an integral part of this system such that our parents and other adults have an opportunity to help their families to succeed.  The first hundred days has brought us to the beginnings of a plan to rebuild the adult school, we now need the next hundred days to be able to do the right things so that the school will truly grow.

Written by Jacob Walker

November 20th, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Posted in Twin Rivers USD

Quote of the Day: “The secret in education lies in respecting the student.”

without comments

The secret in education lies in respecting the student.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

November 20th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others

Quote of the Day: “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

without comments

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

November 19th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others

Petition asking for Cortez Quinn to Resign

without comments

As I have been posting about recently, Cortez Quinn has come afoul of the law.  And while some may find the soap opera slightly entertaining, it isn’t what the Twin Rivers district needs.  I believe that Cortez should make the honorable decision and resign, so that his personal issues do not entangle further with the needs of our district.  I am asking others to ask him to do the same, as the children of an already embattled district will continue to pay the price for issues that they shouldn’t, until the scandals of the district are resolved.  Cortez resigning is the right way to resolve one of them now.

Update: While a little late, I should mention that the Sacramento Bee also asked Cortez to resign.

Written by Jacob Walker

November 19th, 2013 at 9:59 am

Posted in Twin Rivers USD

Creating a Link to USPS Zip+4 Lookup in Excel

without comments

I am working on mailing a large number of organizations (which I will talk more about soon in another post), and the list I have in Excel of their mailing addresses often doesn’t include the Zip+4, which I originally thought was needed the business rate for First Class Mail. (Since my original posting, I read the “fine print” more and it seems that a standard ZIP code is sufficient for the rate, as long as I can put the appropriate bar code on the envelope.)

While I would ultimately like to make a full web scraper to automatically download the Zip+4, unfortunately Excel has limitations about how User Defined Functions (UDFs) and QueryTable can work with each other (specifically, I want to create a temporary sheet to download a URL into, to then get a particular cell, and UDFs just can’t do that.)

So as a temporary workaround until I can program something either in Python or write some VBA code that isn’t a UDF, I have created a formula that creates a link to the USPS Zip+4 Lookup webpage.  For those who are interested, here is the formula:

=HYPERLINK(“https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupResultsAction!input.action?resultMode=0&companyName=&address1=”&SUBSTITUTE([@ADDR],” “,”+”)&”&address2=&city=”&SUBSTITUTE([@CITY],” “,”+”)&”&state=”&[@STABBR]&”&urbanCode=&postalCode=&zip=”,”USPS Lookup”)

I should note that this seems to handle having address1 and address2 combined in the same field of ADDR.  You could modify the formula a little if you have separate fields in your spreadsheet for address1 and address2.

Update: It looks like if you do this too many times you get the following message:

To learn about integrating the free Postal Service® Address and Tracking API’s into your application, please visit www.usps.com/webtools.

I will investigate this more, and see how the API might work with Excel.

Written by Jacob Walker

November 19th, 2013 at 5:39 am

Quote of the Day: “There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.”

with one comment

There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

November 18th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others

Quote of the Day: “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

without comments

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

November 17th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others