The Great Transformers Battle Simulator!

This completes my trilogy of Transformers nostalgia.  Using the numbers assigned to each toy on the back of the packaging they were sold in, I have created a simulator in excel which gives the results of a battle between any two robots.  It took me a while to finally get this right, balancing each robot's abilities with the randomness needed to keep things interesting.  The best transformers should generally win, but even the little guys can get lucky every once in a while, and this simulator captures that possibility.

This is the culmination of my spirited youth and my technical skill set of adulthood.  Put in the best light,  it is a celebration of youthful dreams put to a practical application.  You will need Excel '97 or later, and macros need to be enabled for it to work.

Transformers Battle Simulator
Genesis Songs

Genesis has always been my favorite band, going back to my teenage years.  I played the band's songs over and over and made it a point to memorize who played on what song, who wrote each tune, who produced each album, and on and on.  In a way, my relationship with the band moved from fan to quasi-hobbyist.  So I created a list of songs with all the information I wanted to remember.  Sadly, as evidenced below, this pattern would repeat itself over and over with other bands . . .

Genesis Song List
The Origins of the Disney Theme Park

Did you ever wonder about the story of how Disneyland started?  You know, the version that isn't true?  Well here it is.

Disneyland Origin Story
Rush Songs

. . . and the obsession continued with Rush, my second favorite band.  The nice thing about Rush is that they are still releasing new material.  And when they do, I add it to the list . . .

Rush Song List
Hey, Wanna Buy A Car?

Buying a car is a big deal.  Ever wonder if that $25k you are forking over is for the vehicle that best meets your needs?  Wonder no more!  I've created a spreadsheet for that too.  You've got to gather the data to populate it and give it life, but it's worth the effort.

Car Comparison
Midnight Oil Songs

. . . and in third place is Midnight Oil.  Since most people who are reading this will be Americans like me, you will probably respond, "isn't that the one-hit wonder band who did Beds Are Burning?"  To which I would reply, "why yes, they are the one-hit wonder band who released 11 studio albums and 2 EPs, among other releases, and whose lead singer is now a member of the Australian Parliament."  That's a little bit bigger than being a "one-hit" wonder band.  Besides, you're forgetting "Forgotten Years" . . .

Midnight Oil Song List
Mossman's M.U.S.C.L.E. Match Game

Hey, remember those little pink plastic wrestling figures known as M.U.S.C.L.E.?  Yeah, I didn't think so.  We'll they're real and in a fit of nostalgia, I created a wrestling game based on them.  You don't actually need to have the figures to play, but it does make it more fun.  Game complete with rules and board!

Game Rules

Game Board
Aquabats Songs

. . . and finally there are the Aquabats.  You probably haven't heard the Aquabats before, which is a problem in and of itself.  I'm a big fan.  But in this case I needed the song list just to keep track of all the members.  Seriously, go by "Charge!!!".  I fear that now that they have finally landed a solid rock album, their careers may be over.  It doesn't have to be this way!

Aquabat Song List
Excel Learning File

I'm a whiz in Excel.  I love Excel.  If you knew all the things I've done in Excel, you would be shocked.  And it's not all about spreadsheets either.  I designed some of this webpage in Excel!  So let me help you learn Excel.  I've attached a training tool below.  It's print ready and comes with exercises.  It was meant as a tool to be taught in class, but I still think it's helpful to post.  Let me know if you have any questions.  It's based on Pre-2007 Excel versions, but a lot of the functionality is still the same.

Jedi Excel Tricks
The Story of My Engagement

Lest you think I'm a complete geek, I offer you this tale of romance and near-misses.  This is the story of how I proposed to my beautiful wife, Geneva.  It makes for a great story, even if I didn't think so as events transpired . . .

Engagement Story
Transformers Specs and Ranks

Growing up in the '80s, I played with Transformers.  On the back of the box each toy was sold in, was a set of specs measuring things like skill and firepower.  One aspect of those specs was rank.  I always wondered who reported to who, and what the general pecking order was.  Flash forward 20 years.  I was able to gather the data on all G1 toys in the U.S. and put it in an excel file.  You know what I did next?  Yep.  I made an org chart for the Autobots and the Deceptions.  Seriously.  It's in the file below, including all the specs.  Enjoy!

Transformers Data
Jeffrey Lawrence Moss
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Odds N' Ends
Transformers G1 Stat Cruncher

Not content just to leave my Transformers geekdom alone, I created a file that allows one to answer the pressing questions of our day:

Who has the better overall stats, the Aerialbots or the Stunticons?
How many Decepticons are better than Megatron? (hint: more than one)
Which of the really large transformers was an embarrassment to his size?

Yep, all the pressing questions of our day, packaged neatly in the file below -- with a bow.  You need excel to use the file, preferably 2007 or later, but earlier might work too.  It's better to enable the macros, but you can use most of the file with macros off.

Transformers G1 Stat Cruncher
Know if a phone plan is right for you!

Phone plans are complicated, and that's true if you are comparing plans from within a company or between vendors.  You need help and I'm here to give you the assistance you need.  Click on the link below to compare the costs of the plans you are thinking about to see which is cheapest and which one is ripping you off.  You can thank me later.

Phone Comparison Tool
Is Solar Power Right for You?

Use the link below to find out.  I created a file to help calculate the cost/benefit of solar, complete with helpful links to research your decision.  Act now while incentives such as the Federal Solar Credit and Net Metering are still available.

Solar Power Benefit Model
Finally!  A Way to Track Your Cribbage Stats!

Ever play cribbage and get angry because you know your opponent got luckier than you?  And then the opponent denies she got lucky and calls you a sore loser?  But you know that if you only had stats for your game, you could prove that in the skill areas you outperformed your opponent while she won in the luck factor?  Yes, of course you have.  This link is the answer.  Click on it to download an Excel tool to track your games and your stats, and then let the facts speak for themselves!  You need to have a full version of Excel, and Macros on to get this to work properly.  Enjoy.

Cribbage Stat Tracker
Compare the Costs of Fueling Different Cars

Remember the days when MPG was all you needed to know if one car was more expensive to fuel than another?  Those days are gone now that we have hybrid plug-ins and EVs.  But don't worry, the link below will make sense of these complicated times.

Fuel Costs Comparison