Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Here is a picture of the mountain as a backdrop to the town
The road into Smallwood park
The fish pond in Smallwood park
The ruins of the sawmill that was once the reason for the town's existence:
Monday, November 23, 2009
Furius and Arelius, comrades of Catullus,
whether he penetrates the extremes of India
where the shore is pounded by
the waves of dawn
whether to Hyrcanus or to the soft Arabs
or to Sacus or to the archers of Parthius
whether to where the seven-mouthed Nile
colors the sea’s surface
whether he trudges across the high alps
viewing the monuments of mighty Caesar,
the Gaullic Rhine, the turbulent waters,
the furthest outposts of Briton
or whether he attempts all these simultaneously
bearing whatever heaven wills--
speak these few words to my girl
may she live & grow strong in her adulteries
may she take 300 men into her clasp at once,
not loving one in truth, but repeatedly
herniating them all
nor may she look back at my love
as before, which through her fault
has fallen like a flower at the meadow’s edge
touched by a passing plow.
In this poem Catullus exposes all his moods: the conversational, the mock heroic, the brutal invective, the delicately tender. He begins by addressing two "comrades of Catullus," opening a long rhetorical sentence that turns on the preposition "siva," "whether." Then, referring to himself in third person, he outlines an empire vast enough to get lost in. The locations he cites are not merely poetic, they map the exact delineations of the empire: India, Arabia, Egypt, the Rhine, Brittan. His hurt is as big as the empire itself. There is an ironic juxtaposition here of the personal and the politic, the intimacy of his grief vs the vastness of the Roman occupations. Concluding this sentence, he tells his comrades that he has a few words he wants them to impart to Lesbia, and he warns them they are not pleasant. Thus the invective--an art form, if you wish, for which Catullus has been remembered for 2000 years. Against the anger and brutality of his statement to Lesbia, is the the almost unbearable tenderness of the last lines, cast aside like a flower tacto arato est.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Documentation is a lot like flossing: nobody likes to do it, and far more claim to do it than actually do. Developers want to develop. The last thing they want to do, generally, is to take time out and describe what they are developing and how they are going about it. And yet, like flossing, few things are as important to a healthy database enterprise.
Imagine you have been hired to work as a data administrator for some company. They have a large and complex database, but the former administrator, who was also the developer, left no documentation. In order for you to do your job you need to understand each object in the database is meant to do. You also need to know it is supposed to work, how data is processed. Managers expect you to be able to provide them with the data they need when they need it. Some pieces probably make sense right away, but several pieces remain obscure. You try to ask people about them, but managers are not database designers and, generally, they don’t have a clue. Many of the people who were involved in the creation of the database have moved on, and it is difficult to get a clear sense of the original intentions or purpose of the database. Eventually you may solve the problems, but you will have spent countless hours in investigation, hours that could have been saved by a little documentation.
Documentation is one of the most important and one of the most neglected aspects of any database project. When you look at a database built by someone else, or even one that you may have made some time ago, it is often difficult to see why certain decisions were made, why the tables are the way they are, why certain columns were included or left out. Without documentation, it can take a great deal of research and guesswork to understand the database. You may never understand all of its original logic.
So what does it mean to document a database? There are really two main aspects that need to be documented: the structure of the database itself and the process by which the database was developed.
It is still not perfect by any means, and I don't know how the editors will react to the flossing simile, but at least it flows better than what I had before.
A brief patch of sun this morning, gold, green on the new grass of the back lawn. The mountain is clear and bright with new snow, but the weather report suggests this is a brief respit.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
It could not be said that he had ever aspired to the position of custodian. He had never said as a child to his father, "when I grow up I want to be a janitor." He had never explored the option of a vocational degree in custodial science when he had made his brief foray into the community college system.
It was something he had settled into like the dust he wipes from behind the curtains or vacuums from the heavy hair dryers in the beauty salons. He had started the cleaning business in desperation between jobs. He had hawked his expensive stereo and his TV for an industrial strength vacuum cleaner, two mops, a broom, some rags, and a bucket. He had arranged to rent a buffer when needed and set out to find some jobs. It was meant to be a stop gap to keep him fed and housed until he found some "real work," something where he sat behind a desk and had two trays, one marked IN and the other OUT. But that was 25 years ago. Cleaning jobs came easy. He had always had plenty of customers and the money hadn't been all that bad. . .
He had even come to enjoy it. There was something pleasurable in working the odd hours that others didn't work, the late nights, the early mornings in the predawn or at dawn when the gold light would melt the cold glass of the window into a warm honey. There was something pleasurable in working alone, in seeing places of business when no business was taking place, in noting the traces of the people who had worked in this place or that, but who were not here now, who were a palpable absence.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Here is one of the pictures:
In terms of work, I have finished all the appendixes except one of Visual Studio. I am not sure I should use the Beta. Ultimately Microsoft doesn't allow screen shots from Beta's to be published but I could use them as placeholders. The other thing that concerns me is that the ASP.Net changed a great deal between Beta1 and Beta2. I worry it may change even more before the final version.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Another issue I had was VS was not recognizing xhtml elements. It would underline each and give me a validation warning. It took me about an hour to figure out that if I went under Tools/Options/Text Editor/Html that there was a place to set the html target to xhtml Transitional. After that everything worked fine.
I also tried to do the ASP.Net with IIS. Again I had troubles configuring IIS to work with Windows Authentication. I got it so it would work, sort of. It still didn't work with database connections. I made an Login for the IUSER account and gave it access to a database. It worked in design, but not when running. Finally I got the connections to work by using SQL Authorization and adding the connection strings directly to IIS. It works. but I want to get the windows authorization to pass through.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
The lawn, planted at the end of September is beginning to look like a real lawn. Emerald green in the gold of morning light.
So. I feeling the urge to get down to serious work. So far I have finished two appendixes and have two to go. Then I can get into the more intense process of rewriting. I want to add a section about documentation to each chapter. I also want to create rubrics for each chapter's scenario so both students and instructors know how to evaluate their work. . .
But, first the Seahawk game. I fully expect them to lose to Dallas, but hope, however unreasonable, always champions the improbable. . .