sql, personal comments edit

9:24a

I’m glad I don’t have to do anything tonight, because after last night’s Mamma Mia! outing and the Jet Lag outing the night before, to be honest, I’m beat and would just like to stay home and read my book.

The class continues to go well, and I think we’re back on easy street after yesterday’s lesson. I still feel pretty good about all this, so I’m kind of pumped to start working with the practice tests and see how I do. I hope the practice tests are accurate representations of the real thing.

I’ve informed my instructor that if I’m not here tomorrow it’s because I won the Powerball jackpot. I’ve got my ticket and now it’s time for them to draw my numbers. Can’t win if you don’t play, right?

10:00a

I’ve figured out how to get the web server log from the web server I’m hosted on, but it seems they only record errors (i.e., file not found) in their log, not successes. So I can see that some folks still try to hit images and things that don’t reside on my site, but I can’t see what my traffic level is.

Which just fucking figures.

So. I guess I have the option of putting stupid page counters on my pages or… Or I don’t know what else.

1:27p

Breaktime.

I’m feeling pretty confident the further we go into this stuff. It’s really feeling like a bit of review, which I hope is a good sign come test-time. Not having taken any of the Microsoft tests yet, I’m still a little wary that there will be a multiple choice question with a wrong answer, a right answer, and a Microsoft answer. I feel good that I could probably pick the right answer, but no promises that it’ll be the Microsoft answer.

Jenn got a shirt at Mamma Mia! last night that, unfortunately, is not the right size (they only had one size, so we figured we’d give it a go), but luckily my mom is going to see the show tonight and is going to pick up a different shirt (if they have a better size) so Jenn does not go shirtless.

Not that I complain when Jenn goes shirtless, but… well, you get the point. Heh.

It’s looking like I’m going to have to go with something like eXTeMe Tracking to get site stats. Blarg.

2:03p

Aw, shucks. We’re getting out early. Well, I guess that’s it for me!

sql, personal comments edit

I forgot to post yesterday’s class log, but there wasn’t much, so I’ll just throw it up here and call it good.

9:40a

I went to see Jet Lag last night as my first assignment as a movie reviewer for YouBored.com. All in all, I thought it was pretty good, but you’ll have to wait for the formal review to show up on YouBored. If it never shows, well, I’ll post ‘er here so the effort’s not lost. One thing I will say: Juliette Binoche… MMMMMMM…..

Something I need to bring out in the open, here, since it’s bothering me…

How come fat and/or old men have to breathe very, very loudly out of their mouths while they’re taking a leak? I mean, these guys could be doing a 500 pound clean-and-jerk for all the huffing and puffing they’re doing. Does pissing really require that much noise? Get that shit under control. I was just in the bathroom with this guy who walks about three feet an hour, probably a good hundred pounds overweight, and this guy sounds like he’s running a marathon while he’s doing his business. I couldn’t pee fast enough and get out of there.

11:41a

Class is heavy, sort of like the last class, but I’m not feeling as swamped because we’re getting the time to do the labs. Plus, since a lot of this is feeling familiar (which I think is a Good Thing), it’s a lot easier than the last class.

I got my self testing software yesterday so I can start to take practice tests and quiz myself in getting ready for the actual tests. I think after this class is over, I’ll spend next week prepping myself for the test (in the evenings) and get that scheduled. I’d like to get these things behind me so my nerves aren’t piqued.

1:17p

Two-person class + No questions = Short days, which is just fine with me.

I’ve continued working on and off with the revised CSS layout of the site and I think it’s pretty much done, but I’m too much of a chicken to put it up. Because that means going through and doing these major changes, and if it doesn’t fix everything then it’s going to be a big pain in the ass. Of course, if I don’t put the stupid thing up, I’m never going to figure out what I’ve left out, so maybe I should just do it.

I think I’ll back up the site first, though. At least the templates.

personal comments edit

Friday night, the Fourth of July, Jenn and I went down to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes baseball game and took part in the fireworks show after the game.

Now, when I say “took part in,” what I mean is, “we actually hand-lit the professional fireworks show.”

My boss, Greg, is a licensed pyro and was hired to do the show down there. He needed some help, so a couple of the guys in my department and I stepped up. Hey, it’s fireworks - up close and personal.

Jenn and I got down there about 3:00p, just after Greg. Greg brought Mike, a guy who used to be in my department but defected to go to the Security department (bastard). We sat around for a little while to wait for the rest of the guys to show up. Eventually, Eddie, Justin, and Brad arrived and we started setting up.

We dug out a trench (thank goodness the thing was already dug from last year; all we had to do was clear it out a bit), set up the boxes of fireworks, and then… waited.

A lot.

At some point around the 6:00p timeframe, Justin’s wife showed up with food - oh, yeah. Eddie also made a burger run, so there was no shortage of chow.

Around 9:00p or thereabouts, Justin, Brad, Mike, and I all got into our fire gear (fireman coats and helmets with face shields). Around 10:00p, the baseball game ended and Greg fired up the first “fusee” (basically a road flare that you use to light the fireworks with)… and we waited while the baseball people got their crap together.

Shortly after, Greg lit a second fusee (they took too long and the first got put out), handed it to Brad (my fireworks lighting partner) and we lit the first box.

It’s like a damn war zone when you’re lighting these things. You have to stay on your knees, crouched down (so your head doesn’t get blown off by one of the mortars), carrying this road flare that’s dripping molten plastic, and paying attention to Greg, who tells you when to light the next box. You’ve got earplugs that help out, but you can feel the impact of each mortar as it fires off. Burned (and burning) particles come raining down on your head and back (that’s why you’ve got helmets and coats) and your lighting partner has to brush them off of you so you don’t get burned.

Scary shit, man, but fun like nothing else.

I mean, it’s dangerous stuff, but we were all being totally safe and careful, and I think what made the whole thing fun was knowing that we were able to blow stuff up in a fun, yet reasonably controlled, environment. It’s that rush you get when you’re blowing things up with M-80s when you’re a kid… but way bigger, and way better.

So, that was my Independence Day. Good times.

Saturday and Sunday I didn’t really do anything of note. Jenn and I did our usual household chores, shopping, etc. Rented a couple of movies (Tears Of The Sun and Save the Last Dance), bought xXx in Superbit format. Got me a nose/ear hair trimmer. That’s it.

This morning Jenn’s cell phone rang at 4:46a and I never did get back to sleep. I’d kill her, but I’m too tired. And now I’m in training, getting ready for class to start.

sql, personal comments edit

8:53a

The instructor made a Starbucks run before class and got me a VentiTM Mocha Frappuccino®. I’m feeling pretty good and ready to learn. Amazing, the power of Starbucks.

9:20a

We’re on break.

Things are starting to come together. We’re doing a review of some of the database server stuff, and I actually do recognize the stuff we’re talking about, so I think that’s a good thing. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a test of any nature, so the idea of taking these Microsoft certification tests sort of freaks me out, almost like I’ve forgotten how to study or learn.

I think the real problem I have with testing, especially when it comes to computer-related stuff, is that there really isn’t a time when I’ll be programming or doing something and I won’t have access to help documentation or books. You don’t have to memorize things. You use the facilities that are available. But in tests, you don’t get the books… so you have to do the memorization. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do that. I hope I do well.

This is the last SQL Server class I’ve got scheduled, so I’m going to try to get the self-test software, study up a bit, and schedule the test. I only get reimbursed the $125 for the test if I pass… I’d best pass.

Thank God they’re multiple choice tests.

Okay, back to class.

12:29p

I did my standard Fred Meyer deli lunch, having a “jalapeño cheese stick” and two “pizza sticks” because they were out of burritos. I also looked around in the photo/electronics section (as is my wont) and didn’t see anything I needed.

During lunch I continued reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the UK edition, which I started this weekend. Compared to the Tom Clancy book I finished, this is a walk in the park. I’m glad to finally get into a book that I can enjoy and read quickly - I have a better time with it and don’t feel like there’s a whole lot of work for very little payoff. I’m already like 200 pages into it, and I haven’t even really dedicated a lot of time to it.

2:17p

I’ve not written a lot about the class because, frankly, it’s not the most interesting material, and for those non-technical folks out there, it’s even worse. Basically, what I’m finding out here is that there’s a lot for me to learn, especially in light of the fact I need to take some tests on this stuff and actually pass without using the manuals that I am accustomed to using.

I was able to get my hands on the self test software that goes along with the courses, so I’m hoping that I can take some time and study that maybe next week while I’m in Bellevue sitting bored. I also need to do some of the labs from the class I took a couple of weeks ago (that I didn’t get the chance to do labs in).

I wish I had a CD burner on my laptop. I’ve been downloading this self test software and whatnot to my USB drive (thank goodness I’ve got that!) but they’re pretty large files and I need to offload some of that to CD - if anything, for archival purposes. I may have to go in to work sometime this week, maybe during lunch, and burn off this stuff to CD. Gotta do it at least by next week, since I’ll be in Bellevue.

I should hook myself up with wwwstat so I can see how many people are checking out my site. I’m starting to gather that I have a lot of you lurkers out there who read me but don’t leave comments (shame on you!).

3:06p

That’s it! I just finished the lab, so I’m outta here. If I get home in time, maybe I’ll work on some of the labs I missed out on…

… or maybe I’ll just read Harry Potter. :)

movies comments edit

I went to Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, & Blonde yesterday.

Eh.

If you’ve seen the first one, then you’ll find that this is such a total re-hash of the original’s jokes that you wonder if they didn’t just take the first movie’s script and massage it a little. And the thing about that is the first one felt sort of fresh and fun; it’s not fresh anymore because it’s a sequel.

Not to mention in the first one I could suspend my disbelief enough to say, “Yeah, okay, maybe she’s a big dork, but she somehow was able to make her way through law school. I’ll buy it.” I’m sure it could never have happened in real life, but it was acceptable in the movie. In this latest adventure, they take the valley girl into Washington DC where she proceeds to throw out every bit of protocol that 200 years of government has worked to establish and somehow, magically, it all seems to work out for her. Representatives who would normally have considered the financial impacts of certain bills and voted the way that would make the economy (and their own pocketbooks) work somehow decide that it’s time to “do the right thing.” Sorry, folks. Welcome to the land of the pork-barrel project. Doing the “right thing” is a gray area, and rarely is it what you and I would consider “right.”

Anyway, all of that pretty much shot my suspended disbelief in the head. I sat there, checking my watch, wondering when they were going to get anywhere or maybe do something funny or original… and it never happened. So, if you’ve seen the first one, cherish it, and maybe consider renting this one on a night you feel like getting drunk.

If you haven’t seen the first one, rent that and call it a day.

Can I say anything positive about it?

Hmmm.

Well, I always like Reese Witherspoon, and her Elle Woods character is reasonably entertaining to watch. She’s fun and quirky, and watching the stuff she and her dog get into is funny.

I just think that next time (and, at this rate, let’s hope there is no next time) they need to start with only the idea of Elle Woods, from scratch, and write from there. Unless you’re Mike Myers, rehashing the same thing is probably not going to work for you.