Monthly Archives: September 2012

Outrageous! Mini Cooper Tale

Photo By: Collin Allen

Daughter Gets A New Car

Last week my youngest daughter bought her first car.

She bought a 2009 Toyota Corolla with about 35K miles on it from CarMax.  She also got the extended warranty 100,000 miles on the odometer Or 75 months from purchase at Carmax for about $1000 (for the extended warranty).

My wife Karen and I discovered Carmax when we first moved to Las Vegas In 2003 and have probably purchased about 6 cars from there since.

We don't even bother going to other dealers, we went to a few here before finding Carmax and it was not a good experience.

The Mini Cooper Tale

Mini Coper Tail light and logo

Photo By: Ben Martin

We just heard a car purchase horror story from the lady who owns the UPS store.

She purchased a used Mini Cooper from the local BMW dealer a few months ago.  She paid about $15000 for the car and they offered her an extended warranty for $4500! Which she turned down.

Outrageous price for the warranty I thought and also a red flag.

Like, is there something about this make/model/year of car that causes it to breakdown and be expensive to repair?

It had 50K miles on it and she had some issues with it having  an oil leak.

She thought they had fixed it but when she drove up to Utah the Engine blew.

Photo By: Steve Snodgrass

In Utah she got an estimate for the engine repair for $7500!

She wasn't happy and she has been calling the local BMW dealership  to see what they can or will do and now all they do is hang up on her.


So if you are going to buy a used car save yourself from grief and If you have a Carmax near you go there, it is a much different  “no pressure” buying experience and make sure you get an extended warranty, even if it's still under factory warranty.

In my experience they have more that paid for themselves.   Like the time the transmission on my GMC Sierra had the be replaced.  It only cost me the $50 deductible.

We just heard a car purchase horror story from the lady who owns the UPS store.

She purchased a used Mini Cooper from the local BMW dealer a few months ago.  She paid about $15000 for the car and they offered her an extended warranty for $4500! Which she turned down.

Do you have any used car tales? Leave your comments below and have a great week!

Thanks Again,



How To create TATEMS Spreadsheets from Scratch

In this post I am going to go over how to create a custom spreadsheet that links to your TATEMS data.

I have created and posted a number of these custom spreadsheets that you can download for free at

Hopefully not too technical

This might be a little technical for some, but if you take the time to learn it, I think you'll like the results.

Here is a video that shows you this process using Excel 2003:

The written instructions

Below explains how to do it using Excel 2010

In Excel click on Data->From Access


Data->From Access


Then you will want to navigate to the:


file in

C:Program FilesTATEMS 2005

Or it will be in the :

C:Program Files (x86)TATEMS 2005



Select-Datasource-tatems2005be.mdb in the TATEMS 2005 folder

Then choose tblEquipment and click Ok


Select the tblEquipment table

Then on the Import Data popup choose properties


Choose properties on the Import Data popup window

The Query

Then click on the Definition Tab and paste this SQL statement into the “Command Text” box”


SELECT tblEquipment.*,tlkpEquipmentType.sEquipmentType FROM tblEquipment,tlkpEquipmentType WHERE tblEquipment.lEquipmentTypeID = tlkpEquipmentType.lEquipmentTypeID


Then change the “Command Type” from table to SQL then click OK



Connection Properties->Definition Command Text And Command Type


Then click OK and then click on again on the Import Data screen:


Click OK on this screen


This will show you all the columns for each piece of equipment and the equipment type. You can delete the columns you don't need and rename the others.


Raw Live data after import

Get any data you want

You can use this technique to grab whatever data you need from the database by using different SQL statements.

You can also use the wizard in Excel to create your queries.

In Excel click on

Data->From Other Data Sources-> From Microsoft Query

then choose:

Microsoft Access Database*

from the list of data sources.

then click ok.

Excel Data From Other Data Sources - Microsoft Query Choose Data Source ScreenShot

Choose MS Access Database* then click OK

Then in the “Select Database” window, you will need to navigate to the:


file in:

C:Program FilesTATEMS 2005

Or it will be in the :

C:Program Files (x86)TATEMS 2005


or on your network.

You can use the Drive at the dropdown at the bottom or the network button if needed .

And also check the box that says Read Only

Excel 2010 Data Other Data Sources Select Database Choose tatems2005be.mdb database-Screenshot

navigate to the TATEMS database file called tatems2005be.mdb click on it then click the Read Only check box

Joining Two Tables Together

Then you will be presented with the Query Wizard window and you can choose the columns inside the tables that store the info you are looking for. You usually want to expand the table called tblEquipment and choose the fields you need. In the srceen shot below I have selected: sEquipNum, sEquipDesc from tblEquipment and sLocation from another table called tlkpLocation.  So, if you need info like Location which is stored in another table called:


then navigate to the:

tlkpLocation table

and choose:



Select the fields from the tables you want to display and click next

The wizard will automatically join the 2 tables together so that the Location in this case will be linked to the proper piece of equipment. After you have chosen the columns to display then click next and on the following screen you can create your own criteria for the report.

Filter Data

On the next screen you will be able to filter the data if you want to.  If not just click next.  In the screen shot below I have selected the sLocation field then I chose equals from the first dropdown in the left column and once I selected that then the right hand column populates with the data I want to filter for. I will choose King City from the list in the screen shot below. You can also filter on multiple fields.  Once you have selected a field to filter by and created the filter you can move to another field and filter by that field.


Microsoft Query Wizard Filter Data Screen

Sort Order

Then click next and you can create your own sort order. You can sort by multiple fields, in order of importance. In the screen shot below I will just sort by the sEquipYear field as seen in the screen shot below.


Microsoft Query Wizard – Sort Order Screen Shot

Then click next and you can then choose to either return the data Microsoft Excel to view it or you can view the data and the query in the Microsoft Query window. If you are familiar with SQL then you can manipulate the query to suite your needs. I'll choose the View data or edit query in Microsoft Query as selected in the screen shot below.


Microsoft Query Wizard – Finish

Microsoft Query

You can now see the data you have selected and once in the Microsoft Query Window you can customize your query even further.



For example you can set the names on the column headers to a more user friendly name by clicking on the column you want to rename and then click on Records->Edit Column.  I have slected the sEquipNum column to edit in the screen shots below and will change it from sEquipNum to Equipment #.


Microsoft Query Edit Column



Edit Column change sEquipNum to Equipment # then click OK


Column heading in Microsoft Query after changing sEquipNum to Equipment #


Once you have the query the way you want it you click on the little “exit door” icon at the top to return your data to Excel.


Exit and return data to Excel

After you click the “return data to Excel” icon you will see the Import Data dialog popup and on that screen you just click OK


Import Data dialog after clicking Exit return data to excel.

I hope this gives you a basic idea how to create your own reports in Excel with your TATEMS data.

All The Best!