Thursday, March 25, 2010


Here are some useful links that I've been coming across in my recent travels. These ones are mainly for DBAs.

Friday, March 12, 2010

SQL & Saturday

I was going to have a rant today on why I think the political setup in this country doesn't work (which it obviously doesn't, given the inability of Congress to pass legislation to fix the health care situation). But I'm not going to bother, as it wouldn't do any good whatsoever. The political establishment in this country has taken a very nicely designed system and, because the two sides are able to put nearly-equal numbers of representatives into each house, the whole system has ground to a halt.

The system is designed to stop one side with a large majority from taking over the system entirely, giving the other side no further hope. With the two sides so polarised, as they are now, and with the "middle" either apathetic or equally split, we have a system where nothing gets done at all.

So I'm going back to repairing my bed - which fell apart again because the screws won't hold into wood that's dried out over 35 years of use - and trying to work out some sort of furniture for a kitchen that is more like a closet than anything else. Americans, they say, are spending less and less time in the kitchen. I'm not surprised! The kitchens these days are too small to swing a kitten in, let alone a dwarf cat!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Digs - and a New Symbiote.

We moved two weeks ago. Yep, just upped and moved. About 10 miles down the road. New place has a smaller kitchen ([bad], and only one (larger) bathroom ([mixed]), but the same space overall. It's about 35% cheaper and has free gas ([good]) for heat and cooking. Now to get back to cooking with gas - I haven't done that since I lived at home with my parents, and that's a very very long time ago.

New apartment does have a floor problem, so cannot set up some furniture: have to wait for floor repair so floor is level. Why do people build houses here in the USA in such a way that, after 30 years, they're in the same dilapidated condition that you'd expect to find in Britain or Germany after about 250 years? I've lived in houses in England that are 150 years old and they're in far better condition than apartments here after 30 years!

DD rang the other night and then later next day. Very stressed: had got into much-wanted photography class in school, but had no camera. Possible end-of-world scenario imminent! Problem fixed by immediate dispatch of cameras & lenses: film and filters to follow. Many sighs of heartfelt relief.

As for me, I'm still looking for a new job (SQL Developer) and waiting on some people to come back with interview requests. One company that said that they wanted me to do some work for them, but since agreeing on the work we've heard nothing. Internal politics are just something crazy that you have to live with.

Oh yes! The symbiote. I came down with a cold. Yesterday. At about 7 pm! I know pewcisely because that's when I realised that I needed to mop my runny nose [grin]. About every 2-3 years I get this problem, and then I have a semi-permanent symbiote until it dies (obviously sometime in the last few days!) . Last night I felt terrible when I got home, and went to bed. Today hasn't been any better at all, so it's been bed rest all day today, and now I'm writing this while listening to last Tuesday's lecture. Another starts live at 8 this evening and I'm coughing and snuffling and getting a red nose from blowing and mopping it all the time.

Oh yes - I never said. I'm taking a course from Insider Training in Coeur d'Alene. Hopefully I'll be taking the MS exam in a month or so's time, to get certification as a DBA for SQL Server 2008 (an MCTS cert.). After that I suppose it'll be time to start trying to take the exams for Oracle PL/SQL programmer. I keep on helping people out with PL/SQL so I might as well get some recognition [grin]! After that I'll have to start looping at the second step for SQL Server - an MCITP certification.

Right now, however, it's first things first: getting on with learning enough to get the MCTS cert. It's when you start doing learning like this again that you realise just how tough learning without very much hands-on experience really is. Practical experience is easy to get when you're doing it at work, but if you're not in work, or if you can't get the experience at work 'cos you're not doing quite that work, then it gets difficult.

So I'm getting told all about partitioning tables so that one can place parts of a table where they can be best stored. That part was find, but the explanation of how lost me. So I looked it up - MS KB was weird, but this article by Mike Chapple on About.Com made it so simple!

Anyhow, I have two possibles waiting out there for me to work at tomorrow. Have fun, everyone.