Showing posts from August 9, 2020

Chapter 1 of Cooked by Michael Pollan

 I read the first chapter of Cooked by Michael Pollan. I've been a fan of his work for at least a decade, having read In Defense of Food, Food Rules and Omnivore's Dilemma. I purchased but have yet to read How to Change Your Mind, and he has an Audible audiobook I'm interested in, call Caffeine. The first chapter of Cooked, however, focuses on barbecue. But not just any barbecue - eastern North Carolina barbecue. Living in central North Carolina, we get lumped in with Eastern NC BBQ, which I'm happy with. The sauces in the eastern side of the state are vinegar based. The sauces on the western side of the state are tomato based, and are sweeter. Pollan visits a barbecue joint near Greenville, NC to see how the cookery operates and tastes the food, which is simply dressed but excellent in taste. Similar to a few barbecue joints here, the menu offered few items, but were of good quality. I thought about making a visit there, but it's over an hour away. I guess if I hea

Continuation of Taran Wanderer

Taran is certainly getting mature in the book, being able to discern things that his friends aren't able to, and tricking kings and leaders into a more fair and kind approach to dealing with enemies. The poor protagonist got beaten and his horse stolen by a band of marauders. He tracked them down and argued with the leader of the area to get it back, and during his travels, recognized his friend who had been turned into a frog. His main quest to find out who his parentage was is turning into about five side quests, in which a few offer his their ability to be his parents if he stay with him. It'll be interesting to see if he doesn't find out his true heritage, but finds that many offer him a lineage due to his wisdom and kindess, by the end of the book. I'm only about halfway in, but hope to get it read by the end of the weekend, unless I start reading another book!  

SQL Practice Test #16

  Terrible! These questions are case studies and ridiculously complex. Add to that, the fact that the MeasureUp website is just a terrible experience makes this all a kick in the teeth. I understand that I might not be passing every time, but this seems to tell me I'm better off getting a test dump. Continually failing this, especially after having several years of experience and getting good enough to consistently pass the other version really grates. All I can do is my best, but right now all I want to do is go to bed and calm down with a book. Guess I'll go finish up Taran Wanderer and hopefully end the day in a better mood.

Back to PIVOT but from a different angle

 I read up on SSRS matrixes and experimented with my query only to find that I needed to created calculated fields off of dynamic fields that don't exist at runtime. So disappointed, but undeterred. I looked at what I could do for advanced uses of sp_executesql and after quite some time researching, I finally settled on creating a table valued function that houses my PIVOT operator query. Hopefully that will get me where I need to be with dynamic columns that change year to year. Between my meetings and deployments and research, I snuck in a quick bike ride, then a slow walk, as an old injury with my toe left me with a slowly growing damaged toenail that, while it's mostly grown out and new nailbed has appeared, the damaged bit finally fell off, so I wanted to see what kind of pain I would get from going for a walk. The answer seems to be "slight" and "I should probably be careful for a few days and not run until Friday." Guess I'll just tape up my toe c

Lunch walk and freezing bean soup

 I decided to go for a walk at lunch so I don't burn out with 5k runs before doing the actual 5k race in a few weeks. I do still have a blister on my toe and want to protect it as much as I can. I walked 2.6 miles, as 2 miles just seemed too short, and the full 3.11 miles I was concerned would be too much. I made myself slow down for this walk - I've conditioned myself to start running and going as fast as possible when I head out of my place in workout gear with my fitness watch going. I even made myself stop in the middle to listen to nature as there weren't any people on one section of the trail, and the traffic couldn't be heard even though it was less than a quarter mile away. It was difficult to just stop and appreciate! I made myself do things like look up, and see what the tree tops look like from below, and watch robins fly and squirrels scamper. Took a while to slow down and notice all the colors and wildlife, and watch water flow lazily downstream. It was a v

Well, I learned more and will need to pivot from my PIVOT, and had a great but difficult run

 I was so pleased to learn and use PIVOT and dynamic SQL for my report last week, but when I put it all together, I found out that it wouldn't work in my RDL. I struggled to figure out why, and after some searching on Google, it seems that when you use dynamic SQL and exec sp_executesql, SSRS can't figure out what the columns are, and gives up. I learned how to use SET FMTONLY OFF but that didn't help, sadly. Apparently, I'll need to figure out a different way to build my PIVOT or use the matrix tablix in SSRS, something I've not done a lot with. A quick usage of it showed me either I don't know how to use it (likely!) or that the query I'm using isn't set up the way I need it to be (also likely!) I decided to wait for another day for learning more about matrixes in SSRS as it was already 5pm. Guess it's a good time for another SQL test. As I set it up, I heard THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP. Ahh. My downstairs neighbors must be celebrating the end of their

Continued exercise and put a slight pause on baking

I'm continuing exercising every day in August. Today, I walked a 5k in 48:52 which is both great and irritating. Great in the fact that I'm clearly fitter than I was before, but it's a little irritating that I did my best with the past 5Ks and I'm barely slower having just power-walked 3.1 miles. The official 5Ks that I've run have been: 2016 North Hills 5K: 51:06 2017 North Hills 5K: 45:12 2018 North Hills 5K: 48:15 2019 North Hills 5K: 48:44 2019 Hope Through Education 5K: 44:07 The 2020 North Hills 5K will be done a bit differently - You're allowed to follow the race course any time between 8/21 - 9/14 and submit your time through email, or run any 5k course with time submitted. I'll attempt the course but it'll be a little more difficult since they won't be blocking traffic for the runners. It's a quiet neighborhood, but I'd still need to be a little careful crossing a few of the streets. I'll likely bike it and possibly walk it in ho