Monday, October 11, 2010

Food, Study, and a New Job


I was out at the green-grocers (Produce Junction) the other day with my son, and we picked up a couple of cauliflowers. A few days later I gathered a little flour, some butter, some whole-seed mustard, and set some water to boil. I cut off the bottom stalks and broke the flowers into florets and, once the water was boiling, I dropped them in for about 7 minutes. Meantime I melted the butter in another pot, put in three teaspoons of flour, and stirred rapidly on a fairly high heat. From this point I had to alternate the ingredients of this sauce - first some water to thin it out and then some grated or shredded cheese to thicken it up again .... and repeat, and repeat ... until there's a full pot of sauce.

After the cauliflower has cooked for about seven minutes it'll be cooked but still pretty hard. Drain the water and put the cauliflower into a dish for baking. Add the mustard (2 or 3 teaspoons will be enough to have black specks through the sauce) and then pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Bake uncovered at 350F for a good 40 minutes.

I'm slowly getting into the PL/SQL studies, with the intent of shelling out the $125 for an exam in a few months time. Hopefully it won't be a case of studies getting overtaken by work events, as has happened to me before. Oracle's version of SQL is somewhat different to Microsoft's, so it'll definitely be a matter of concentration. However, it looks like I may be using it in the near future, which will make life easier all around. One neat thing that Oracle has done for many years, and which Microsoft only started relatively recently, is to make full copies of their flagship database available to developers for almost or actually nothing.

You have been able to download - or get on CD - the latest version of Oracle since, I believe, version 8 (maybe even before then). Microsoft has offered a "mini" version of SQL Server since 2005, but also a Developer version - essentially the Enterprise Edition - for just $50, which is an absolute steal! You just have no excuse not to learn how to develop for one of these two systems other than that you don't have the time or interest!

Oh yes - and before I forget. The email restore I mentioned the other day was to recover a backup from 2005 - I didn't know I had it, and it brings back emails from 1998-2005. Some of these I already had, but many not. I now have about 250,000 emails on my hard drive, managed by my email client, RIT Lab's The Bat!. Take that, you overbearing Exchange Administrators, trying to keep me locked in to 5,000 messages!

For those who are configuring computers and looking at what to use for security, I use Alwil's Avast! for anti-virus and Check Point Software's ZoneAlarm for a firewall. Yes, I know ZoneAlarm can come with an anti-virus package, but Avast! was there first, and ZoneAlarm came to my machines second! I happen to like the way Avast! works, and also the fact that the three programs all work together well. Now if I could get something that would take an Outlook appointment announcement and set it up in my Google calendar I'd be very happy!

[The Bad News and The Good News]
The AG has decided that she doesn't really relish freezing her pretty little buns off again at Rhinebeck, so we're not going. So there won't be a picture gallery of images from Rhinebeck this year unless some ShutterFreak sends me a heap to comment on and put up for you all to see.

On the other hand, we're going to the PA Renaissance Faire this Saturday, and a yarn store in DC on Sunday, so I should have pictures for you RSN (real soon now)!

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