Stay current with RSS

For a definition of RSS

RSS is a great way to have web content centralized so that when you have catch-up time you don’t have to visit numerous websites. There are many feed readers available and I have chosen to use the extension available for my browser.

To find an RSS feed reader that works for you, Google “RSS feed reader.”

I use the Chrome browser and the RSS Feed Reader plug in.

How to Follow an RSS Feed

Time needed: 5 minutes.

The steps below provide instruction on how to find and follow RSS feed(s) using a Chrome browser and the RSS Feed Reader plug in. This instructions assumes you have already installed both .

  1. Find the content to which you want to subscribe

    If, while visiting a website, you decide you’d like to stay up-to-date with new content, copy the URL. Or, if you don’t know an exact URL

  2. Click the RSS icon found in your Chrome browser

    This opens the RSS Feed Reader window.

  3. Click the + sign in the right corner of the RSS Feed Reader window.

    This step opens the Feed Reader website.

  4. Enter website URL or a search word/term to which you want to subscribe

    In the Search field enter either the URL of a website, or a specific RSS url, or you can enter a search term, or browse curated categories.

  5. Click the Follow button

    Click the Follow button for one or more sites you’d like to follow. The site will take a moment to gather what it needs and, if successful, the button will change to “Following.”

Understanding Invoices

QuickBooks™ Online Invoices update your Income accounts by virtue of the configuration of the Products/Services you select.   To change which Income account is updated you have to go to the Product configuration.  Within the configuration you can select whether to apply the change to historical Invoices as well

Another important concept to understand is that Invoices update Accounts Receivable when created.  Your checking/cash account is updated only when you “Receive Payment” against the Invoice.

Invoice and product explained

How to Review & Edit Transactions Are Posted to the Correct Accounts

Quickbooks Logo
Online Version

Scenario: You want to review all accounts to confirm the transactions are posted to the correct account.

  1. Click Reports.
  2. In the For my Accountant section select Transaction Detail by Account.  The report is generated displaying all transactions by Account.
  3. At the top of the report, confirm the Report Period is correct.  If it isn’t, fix it, then click the Run Report button again.
  4. If you need to move a transaction from one account to another, click the transaction date.  The transaction detail screen opens.
  5. In the Account column, select the correct account.
  6. Click the Save button.  The report is refreshed and re-displayed with the transaction grouped under the new account you selected.

How to Create a Deposit

Scenario: You have a stack of checks to deposit. These instructions assume the following:

  • no Sales Receipts exist, and
  • no unpaid Invoices exist.
Online Version
  1. Click the + in the upper-right corner.
  2. Click Bank Deposit.
  3. Click the Add funds to this deposit heading to expand a grid beneath it for each amount to be included in the deposit.
  4. Select the appropriate value in each column.
  5. Repeat step 4 for each item you have to deposit.
  6. When done, click the Save and Close button.
Bank Deposit

Be sure to select the correct Account so the income is posted properly!

Dynamics – How to Log In

Dynamics is a web-based application, so you log into it from a web browser like Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.  You do not need to install anything.

To Log Into Dynamics

  1. Open your browser.
  2. In the address bar, enter the URL of your Dynamics site.
  3. Enter your user name and password.

Bookmark the location and save it for quick access next time!

Controlling Dynamics Offspring

Dynamics_200If you have a requirement to limit the number of child records possible in a 1:N relationship, the Dynamics Rollup field is a handy way to achieve the restriction.

This solution has three parts:

  1. Two entities with 1:N relationship to each other.
  2. Rollup whole number field on parent entity configured to use the COUNT function which counts the child records.
  3. On create workflow on child entity with a condition to evaluate the value of the rollup field and stop record creation if it exceeds the allowed record count.


To Implement

(1) Create the rollup field on the parent entity.

Data Type = whole number

Field Type = rollup












Click the Edit button to configure the rollup.

You can also add a filter to limit the function to only count child records which meet a specific criteria; like, have a certain eye color.

(2) Create a workflow on the child entity. Configure it to run “on create” and as the very first step evaluate the value of the rollup field.  If it exceeds the number of records allowed, “Stop” the workflow as CANCELLED and configure an error message to display to the user.

note TIP: Add a step to call a forced calculation of the rollup at the end of the workflow.  This ensures it has the correct value at all times.  A plug-in to force a calculation can be found in Dynamics 365 Workflow Tools.

Where to start to seek the truth about U.S. Policy

The 2016 United States election has driven home the need for unbiased, reliable, and truthful sources of information.  We simply can’t sit back and be fed info nuggets from the media giants who are bought and paid for by politicians.  We must be responsible for investing the time and effort to find our own truth so that we can make informed decisions reflecting our personal ideologies and morality.  Not all of us have the luxury of time, so here are some places to start.

This post is a collection of Internet sites which have been suggested as meeting the “smell” test according to me.  It’s as comprehensive as the information I have at the time.  I would like to grow this list, so please submit your suggestion for additions.

Tear up for tear drop

Today is the beginning of our journey with a Littleguy teardrop trailer. “The check is in the mail.”  The order has been placed.  It will be birthed (built) the last week in June with a delivery date scheduled first week in July.



Understanding Activities and their unique powers


This post is about technology related to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and contains facts as they relate to the 2016 Online version, but may also apply to earlier versions.  In the previous post on this topic, Dynamics CRM Activities, Activities were introduced. In this post, we review the implications of making an entity an Activity.

Implementing Activities

My first foray into Dynamics began last October with 90% custom entities. I was a babe in the woods with no Dynamics experience or training.  I figured things out as I went along.  All the while I had this nagging concern that I would make a decision that would have downstream implications.  So far, there have been a few gotchas, and the most recent one relates to Activities.  This type of contextual information is where the Microsoft help is so wholly deficient.

Two truths:

  1. A entity can be a type of Activity. This causes the entity to be created with some default functionality related to activities; like start time, stop time, duration, resources involved, etc. as outlined in Dynamics CRM Activities.  See 1 in the screenshot below.
  2. An entity can have related Activities.  See 3 in the screenshot below.

Both of these configuration choices are made during Entity Definition and are permanent. Once you save the entity you cannot change this configuration option.


What does this mean?  Here’s what I’ve discovered:

An entity can be an Activity

When creating an entity, you have a choice to make it an Activity type by checking the Define as an activity entity checkbox.  Checking that box is final.  It cannot be changed, which means more than I realized at first.

First:  The entity is created with a handful of default attributes with special powers. One of them is a Regarding lookup attribute. This lookup is populated with all records from all entities which can have related Activities.  Out of the box, that’s Account, Cases, Contacts, and others.

If you create a record for this entity from a parent, like a Case, the Regarding attribute is automatically populated with the primary key from the Case record.  If, however, you create the entity outside of a parent, the Regarding attribute is not pre-populated.

Like mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Regarding lookup is populated with all records from all entities which can have related Activities. This is problematic if you intended for the Regarding to always be one record type.

For example, I created a File Room Request entity that should only be related to Cases.  When a user is creating a File Room record from a Case, Regarding is pre-populated with the Case’s primary key.  However, if the user creates it from a View or a Dashboard, the Regarding is not pre-populated and the user can select anything.  They could make the mistake of associating it with a contact.  


You can filter the list of entities defined as Activities so they make the right choice, but that requires Javascript.

Second: As an Activity entity, the View ribbon displays a button for each entity defined as an Activity. In this screenshot you can see Task, Email, Phone Call, Fax, Campaign Response, and under Other Activities are the custom entities you’ve created as Activity types.


Third:  Where Activities appear in the user experience is different and you must consider this as it relates to the overall user experience.  Because I checked the Define as an activity entity checkbox when creating the File Room Request entity, I now have File Room Requests launched from the Activities ellipsis on the Case form; whereas, I have other case-related related entities launched from sub-grids.  I could add File Room Request to the a sub-grid as well, but can’t remove it from Activities.  Too many ways for a user to skin the cat creates confusion.

Activity component within Case form

Note:  You can prevent the entity from appearing in the Activities menu shown in the screenshot above by unchecking the Display in Activity Menus checkbox during Entity Definition as shown in the first screenshot.

Fourth:  The icon you select for the 32×32 dimension (you can specify a 16×16 and 32×32 icon for a custom entity) must be designed to appear on a white background; otherwise, it will blend into the background on the form it’s on.  You can see it working correctly in the screenshow above.

This is the same 32×32 image used on the Site Map as the sub-area icon; so consider its design carefully.  Related Site:  Free simple icons that can be downloaded in pre-specified sizes and colors.

I now wish I could figure out how to change all the OOTB icons because I like my white background better. 😉


Fifth: If an entity is defined as an Activity, it appears in the Activities View which is filtered on entity type.  Not such a big deal; but consider the user experience and what appears there vs. doesn’t appear there in the context of all of your solution’s functionality.  If they see Tasks, Phone Calls, Appointments, and records from any other activity defined as an Activity type, they may have stop and think why something doesn’t appear that that “feels” like an activity.  If your user has to stop and think, you’ve failed in your UI design.


An entity can have related Activities

During Entity Definition you can also specify whether the entity you’re creating can have related Activities. You choose this option by checking the Activities checkbox in the Communication & Collaboration section of the Entity Definition dialog as shown in the first screenshot of this post.

The downstream impact is as follows:

First:  The ACTIVITIES section is available for displaying on the entity’s forms.  Each item with a red dot is an example of an entity configured as an Activity type described in the first section.


Second: The Activities icon appears in the related navigation section when clicking the down arrow to the right of the record’s name.


In the second installment I’ll explain all of the unique attributes of an Activity entity.