Showing posts from August 2, 2020

Chronicles of Prydain, Book 4: Taran Wanderer

I've started the fourth book, and the author notes that it's focused on the male lead Taran and doesn't include the female lead who I hoped had a better character arc in this book. I guess she gets no arc and in the next book, has matured... hopefully. Well, I suppose it makes sense to have this book focus on the male lead as the previous three books focused on him and he's the main character. This book sees him attempting to find out where he came from and who his parents were.  I'm only on chapter two, so that's about all I've got. However, I went on a lovely bike ride yesterday around the southwestern side of Raleigh from Pullen Park to Mt Hope Cemetery. The greenway trail wasn't easy to find once you get to South Saunders street, as they put the sign off the road, next to a community. I really was uncomfortable riding in a thin tunnel where the lights had gone out, but there weren't people in there, so I just sped through it. Meandering around th

Finished Castle of Llyr and walked a 5k

 I finished The Castle of Llyr last night before going to sleep. It ended well, but had two issues regarding character. The antagonist, who used to rule the entire land, then who became second fiddle for a while now became number one. Once the protagonists won and she lost her power, she seemingly changed personalities to become more subdued and will follow the protagonists where they want her to go. Maybe the character is playing the long game and will regain her powers in the following two books. The other issue I had was the rescue for the protagonists. It was looking grim for them. They were far from land and the island they were leaving was sinking and creating a whirlpool. The main protagonist was somehow treading the turbulent water while holding onto an unconscious character and was not fairing well with either task. Then, suddenly, he's on shore, and it is learned that he and the others were rescued by a mid-book villain who decided to be helpful instead. That seems unlike

The Castle of Llyr

I'm about 70 pages from the end, and while it's not quite as good as the first two books, I'm still enjoying it. The two issues that make the book not as fun are poor communication between characters (but they are teenagers) and one of the new characters has no common sense, wandering off from the group in unfamiliar settings, making unnecessary errors, so we'll see if he gets better by the end. Right now our heroes are trapped in a cave, deciding how to get out without sacrificing one of them. In my selfish way, I want the guy who has caused all the problems to draw the short straw and stay in the cave while the others escape. After all, they can tell others of his bravery since the rest of the people know him as some clumsy idiot. I suspect they'll figure out how to save the entire group and head back to their main mission of saving the princess. I'll find out in about an hour!  Also, I'm confused as to how EYE and RHYME don't  sound similar, per the c

SQL Practice Test #15

At least I failed with the questions correctly marked incorrect. This test had more questions on temporal tables, another new concept for SQL Server 2016 as well as LEAD/LAG which apparently started in 2012, but I've never come across it. More to learn. I'm hoping by taking a small test nearly every day, I'll learn faster than reading a dry book. However I've been running or walking every day this week and think I'll continue doing something  every day, even if it's a 1 mile walk. Since I've run for three days in a row, I think tomorrow I'll go for a walk. It's been difficult setting up a stretching habit, though it's clear I need one. The Atomic Habits book suggests I need to make it obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying. The last bit is already done - I like it when it's done. I feel good and accomplished. I'm not doing a good job with making it obvious or attractive, though. What if I move my yoga mat to the middle of the living roo

SQL Practice Test #14

Ugh, JSON is confusing me, and even when I stop to look for materials during the test to answer a question, I get it wrong. I'll read through the question list. Wait, I got this one wrong? Not only do I know the right answer because I understand grouping sets, but the other answers make no syntactical sense (WHERE and ORDER instead of GROUP and GROUPING SETS). How is that true? Here's my answer: And here is the answer that Measure Up provided... Heyyyy!!! That's the same! How am I supposed to pass this test if you're marking the correct answer as incorrect? I'd have passed the test today if not for this error!! What a let down. I guess I'll study the JSON questions so I can continue to get this one marked incorrect, but pass the test anyway. Off to the Castle Llyr in Prydain!

SQL Practice Test #13

I'm pleased that I passed this one, and only missed the questions on JSON and rollups/cubes, things I've not dealt with. Today at work, I created a query that included PIVOT and dynamic SQL. I was rather proud of that - not only did I think PIVOT could work for my complex query, I was able to implement it as well. I also got in a run, took out the trash, did the laundry and the dishes, as I wanted to make sure things were as clean as possible in case I lost power due to the oncoming hurricane that'll hit in the middle of the night. If it's not raining (which is unlikely) I'll go for another run tomorrow morning. Tonight, I'll have some wine and continue reading The Castle of Llyr.

Eno River Confluence Area

This afternoon, I traveled to a new conservation area north of the Eno River State Park to do a spot of hiking with a friend of mine of whom I've not seen for six months! It was fun to explore a new trail and with the heat index hovering above 100 degrees, we didn't have to deal with people not minding their distance! All the tree roots and uneven terrain reminded me to do more ankle exercises. Tomorrow morning, if it hasn't started raining by the time I get up, I'll go for a run. Once the tropical storm hits, it'll likely not be running weather until Wednesday.