Make Outlook work like Gmail

Here’s how to do it all (at least for Outlook 2003), all documented for you here in one place:
The first thing you need to do is make messages you send get put in the Inbox. An additional thing you need to do is make them get marked as read (otherwise you’ll always have tons of un-read messages from yourself in your inbox).

Outlook Gmail Rules and Filters: This is what my "Rules and Alerts" look after after adding a "CC send messages to inbox" rule and a "Mark messages from self as read" rule.

Outlook Gmail Rules and Filters: This is what my “Rules and Alerts” look after after adding a “CC send messages to inbox” rule and a “Mark messages from self as read” rule. Select Rules and Alerts from the Tools menu.
Click the New Rule button to open the Rules Wizard. (In previous versions of Outlook you’d go straight to the Rules Wizard from the Tools menu.)

Near the bottom click Check messages after sending. Click Next.

Click Next again without checking any condition.

Click Yes to confirm that this rule applies to all messages.

Check the box CC message to *select your email address*.

Click Next and Next again. Name the rule and click Finish.

Then, to get Outlook to BCC, instead of CC so don’t look like a gimp:

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 2009-04-25 15:32.

Just press alt-F11 to bring up VBA, then Project1(VbaProject.OTM)– and copy the following code to your built-in ThisOutlookSession:

Private Sub Application_ItemSend(ByVal Item As Object, _
Cancel As Boolean)
Dim objRecip As Recipient
Dim strMsg As String
Dim res As Integer
Dim strBcc As String
On Error Resume Next

‘ #### USER OPTIONS ####
strBcc = “youremailaddress@blah.dom”

Set objRecip = Item.Recipients.Add(strBcc)
objRecip.Type = olBCC
If Not objRecip.Resolve Then
strMsg = “Could not resolve the Bcc recipient. ” & _
“Do you want still to send the message?”
res = MsgBox(strMsg, vbYesNo + vbDefaultButton1, _
“Could Not Resolve Bcc Recipient”)
If res = vbNo Then
Cancel = True
End If
End If

Set objRecip = Nothing
End Sub

The next thing you need to do is make your e-mails show up in something that somewhat resembles GMails conversations. I set “Group By…” to “Conversation (ascending) and “Sort…” to Conversation (index).

Outlook Gmail Customized View Options: This is what my customized view options look like after grouping by conversation and sorting by conversation index.

Outlook Gmail Customized View Options: This is what my customized view options look like after grouping by conversation and sorting by conversation index.
Now your inbox should look a lot nicer now and finally, click on the column “Newest on top” to have them sorted by date properly and your Inbox should look as shown in the image.
Thanks to David Grant, the anon poster in comments and PC Magazine for all the pieces to make this work.

Japanese Cinema

I have been watched many of Japanese Cinema (日本映画 Nihon eiga) lately.  Besides a lot of great anime, I have seen:

  1. Seven Samurai (1954)
  2. Throne of Blood (1957)
  3. Ran (1985)
  4. Rashômon (1950)
  5. Harakiri (1962) 
For the live films, I prefer to hear the original Japanese and read the subtitles.  For anime though, I prefer dubbed.  or some reason the voices don’t seem to match the character for me, no doubt lost in translation.  If you have not seen a foreign film, I’d encourage you to do so.  Don’t be put off by reading the text, it gets easier as you go along.  Any one have some favorite films they care to share?

You Did What?

In response to some interest in my past, I thought I’d share a piece written by an author that I found influential and share a little of my time as a Mormon.  I joined the Mormon church when I was 16.  I fell for a girl and it was really important to her, so I looked into it.  I loved history mysteries and the Book of Mormon purported to be the history of early indigenous of North and South America.  I met the missionaries, took the discussions and joined the LDS church.
My father was great.  He is not religious at all and his father was an outspoken atheist.  I had to have his permission to join and he did so without much thought.  Later when I decided to serve a mission, he was okay with that too, especially when he found out I was going to Australia.  I served two years over in Oz, came back, dated, met a beautiful girl and got married in the Dallas Temple.  We had three girls, all blessed in the church.  Some time in 2006, I had been reading the Book of Mormon to Kassidy and we came to the passage in 1 Nephi 4:18.  In this section, Nephi (“good” guy) cuts off Laban’s (“bad” guy) head.  Kassidy turns to me and asks why?  I try to explain, you know god kills bad people to make a point.  Then she asks, “Is that true?”  Had it been an adult, I would have said yes without thinking, but I just could not answer that.
So I spent the next year and a half trying to come to grips with the belief system I had come to accept as true.  I spent a lot of time fasting, praying, reading the scriptures and church sanctioned commentary.  I thne moved to other resource not sanctioned, one of which was “Farewell to Eden“.  I was part of a newsgroup and had gotten into some long, heated debates with the author.   I had the book delivered to the library (I was not about to spend a dime to support his “heresy”).  I finished it in a night and realized I’d been duped.  I could see the Book of Mormon was a fraud and a really clumsy one.  A little over an hour spent at the local library would be all that is needed.  It took me a while to understand how I could have been misled for so long.  I read a book “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)“.  While it has nothing to do with religion, it is a good book on psychology and how we justify our decisions.
My wife’s side is still Mormon and mine are still, whatever, mostly non-religious.  We tried the Unitarian Universalists for a while, and my wife still goes.   I am an atheist and really have no need for religion, but I think it is important for my kids to learn about christianity as well as all the other worlds myths.  I find the intellectual honesty I have with myself now is worth the trouble I went through to get here.

Me and Gary Fisher

Many years ago, maybe 2000, I went to a car show with my dad and brothers.  I entered a couple of drawings and a month later got a call that I had won a bike.   I have ridden her very little over the years.  Melissa got more use out of her than I did.  After two moves and lots of neglect, I finally took my bike in to get her tuned up.  I had become inspired by my amazing aunt that I have reconnected with and also hearing that love another friend had for her two wheeled companion.
I looked around for her online, but she appears to be too old to list. only goes back to 2002, but the model I have appears to be a 1998 Gitche Gumee.  Notice there are no pics.  A Google search turns up very little as well.  This is the Gitche that gets me around:

The orange really stands out and has not faded in all these years.  There are a few scratches, but these were mostly from my DW shoving the bike in the trunk of the Camry for lack of a bike rack.  The only things I have modified are the seat and tires.  I put a slightly wider, comfier seat as well as fatter, smoother road tires.  I find  I look forward to getting on her now, even in the heat.
I hope to start using her to commute to work.  I work about 13 miles from my home, but there are some pretty treacherous roads between me and my goal.  I am only a bout 3 miles from the TRE, and 2 miles from the TRE station to my job.  That might be an option, but it is $7.50 to ride the train. 🙁
I am not a MAMIL by any means, but I am only getting started, so we’ll see.

Proper Etiquette

About a year ago I had requested an artist do a commission for a new tattoo.  I had seen an Asian style piece they did and liked it.  I told them the general guidelines and over 10 months or so we worked on the design.  Then, on my last requested change, they stopped communicating.  During this process, we had gone a month or two between each change.  I understand that this is not their day job.  A couple of times they said it would be free for taking so long, but I insisted on paying.  Over a couple of months I sent them a message, an email and even wrote a short note on their FB wall.  In all correspondence, I was courteous and asked if they were working on the design or if they wanted to be off the project.

No response.
So, I assume they have quit.  It would have been better to tell me life was busy and they no longer wanted to continue.  Saying you’ll do something and not going through with it is behavior found in many organizations.  Interestingly, I found it most in church situations.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are being asked to take on something you do not want to, don’t mislead the person making the request, tell them “No”.  If you have trouble saying no, I read a blog that had some useful tips.
So be courteous to your fellow humans.  We all get busy and we all have things we want done. Don’t say you’ll do something if you can’t.  Just say “no”.

Kitchen Project

The largest project I have taken on would probably be the kitchen from our house on Odie St.  The house was build in the 1960s and the kitchen had never been updated.  The deep reddish-brown lacquered wood with pounded copper hardware.  The washer and dryer were in the same area and acted as pseudo-counter space.  Tile counter top was falling apart and the plumbing was a mess.  I bought the unfinished cabinets when we moved in with some of the money we made from selling our previous home.  They sat in the front room for about a year but the day came for the project.

With my father and brother helping, we tore out the entire kitchen, cut the old plumbing part of which was moving the washer and dryer to the other side of the wall which happened to be the garage.  The walls were patched and covered wit a coating of Kilz to cover the bug problem.  All cabinets and counter top were installed.  This was all done over 4 days.  Later, my wife and I finished the cabinets and finished all the painting.

This was the result.  The red was chosen to be a dramatic accent to neutral cabinets.  What you don’t really see are the details added.  All the places on the wall were covered with a textured paintable wallpaper.  The cabinet finish has an antiquing in all the crevices and there is molding on top and bottom.  The layout was designed with space and efficiency in mind.  I really missed that.

So, what do you do with the dirty dishes during the project?

And what do you do with the old, very large and heavy cast iron sink that was replaced?

Here is the entire project.

Bathroom Project

Here’s an oldie but goodie.  This is one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog in the first place.  We moved into this house in 2003.  When I went over to check it out, I noticed the toilet would fill the take every minute or so.  This means there is a leak and that you are wasting money.  So I decided to go to Home Depot and get a new refill valve and get that fixed.  While doing that, I notice bot the tank and the bowl had cracks.  Might as well change the whole thing.  Since it was old, that meant sawing off the bolts holding it to the floor and when I got done, I realized I had to replace the toilet flange.  Uh oh.
Seeing that the project was getting bigger, I took a closer look at the whole project.  The shower head came up to my chest, the tub did not drain, the sink valves were rusted shut and there was no plug in the room.  I took a hammer to it and decided a fresh start was in order.
Keep in mind that I was working and going to school  full time and my wife and I had just had our second child.  I got to work on the bathroom about an hour a week on average.  So my 10 minute project took me almost a year and a half to complete.  I learned how to do tile floors and walls, set a toilet, sink and tub and rewire.  I got the tub for about $500 (huge whirlpool type) and the tile was about $1800 or so.  I spent more on this tiny little 5’X6′ room than I did on our kitchen remodel.  That is a whole other story.

Multiple email addresses for one Gmail Account at Sean Deasy

Multiple email addresses for one Gmail Account at Sean Deasy

This is a cool feature I did not know about. You can set up virtual sub-accounts for your gmail just by adding +(whatever). For example, wants to add an email newsletter, or sign up on a site say Melinda’s Fabulous Newsletter. John just adds and voilà, the email is sent to his regular gmail and is easy to tag.

It pays to call

I got my AT&T phone bill today and looking it over, I was charge $30 for at tech to come out and check our line.  This is not the first time they have come out or the first time they have tried to charge me.  So I made a quick call (about 10 min) to customer service and asked if they would remove it.  They did and I get to keep my $30.

It is a good idea to always check your bills.  Electricity, Natural Gas, Phone, these are all bills that need to be looked over carefully.  If you see a charge you don’t recognize, it costs you nothing but some time to make a call to find out what it is.  It might be an error or can be removed as a “courtesy”. 

For credit, debit and banking accounts, it is important to keep on top in case there is an error or worse someone got a hold of your info.  This happened recently to my wife’s debit card.  Thankfully it happened at a time the account was low so they could not get much.  Our bank called and emailed us about the possible fraud so we got it shut down and most charged back quickly.  We are still not sure how her card was compromised, but it appears to have been a prank.  The charges were book clubs and and were shipped to our home address.  My favorite site to keep my finances in order is  Very quickly and with few exceptions, you can have all of your accounts in one place.  I used to use MSMoney, which cost about $20-30 a year.  Mint is free.

So, keep a close eye on your finances and bills to save yourself some money.

My Poison

“What’s you poison?”  Outside of the movies, I’ve never actually heard this used.  :^)  However, my favorite would have to be Canadian Club.

A little history.  I am a former Mormon (Ex-Mo or apostate for those in the know).  I joined at 16, so that coupled with a mother who had a drinking problem, I was never very interested in alcohol.  Flash forward many years.  I left the church and it’s prohibitions and decided my mothers problems were not my problems.  So after some experimenting, I decided that Canadian Club was my favorite.  It is really smooth with a hint of sweetness that does not give me that reflux feeling some of the stronger whiskies do. 

I still try other whisky brands to see if there might be something I like or that compares.  My brother introduced me to Red Stag.  While it is ok, it if more for sipping occasionally.  I don’t care much for Crown Royal and I have tried many of their offerings like the regular, Black and Cask No.16.  Still, none compare.