Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cemetery Gates

I'm all about doing covers of bands that have inspired you at one point or another, but leave Pantera alone already. Pantera is one of those bands that transcend most other bands in the genre, and if you can't do an original cover, just leave it alone. Your cover will never be better than the original. I wasn't fond of Avenged Sevenfold's cover of Walk, and today as I was driving into work, I heard a cover of Cemetery Gates by a band called Evile. They tried to duplicate the song exactly, and failed miserably. The little ornamental notes that are present in the original were omitted (understandably - I mean not many guitarists are up to par with the talent of Dimebag), and the ending wails of the singer were pitchy and were full of effects. What a shame. If you're going to do a cover, at least make it your own. You could tell that the effects were put on the voice at the end because the singer just couldn't cut it. On the TV show American Idol, they say that there are some artists that you just shouldn't attempt, like Alicia Keys and Whitney Houston. Pantera is their equal in the metal world. If you can't do it right, or make it your own, then LEAVE IT ALONE!

Monday, December 21, 2009

SQL Aggregate Functions

Recently I came across a problem where I needed to get a sum of a quantity from one table, yet also retrieve all the rows from a different table. I spent a little time on this, and here's what I came up with after wrestling with it for awhile:

select i.*, isnull(d.SumQty, 0) as WhQty
FROM Item i
left outer join
(select det.ItemKey, SUM(det.WarehouseQty) as SumQty
From ItemWarehouseDetail det GROUP BY det.ItemKey) d
ON d.ItemKey = i.ItemKey

What I am doing is retrieving all the rows from the Item table. I have another table, ItemWarehouseDetail that has multiple records that contain different quantities for each item. I need to return the sum of these quantities based on the ItemKey in addition to all the Item fields. This will probably come in useful in the future, so I'm posting here so I will be able to refer back to it. I hope that this helps someone!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

List 5 Things That You Enjoy Doing

This question was posed to me while reading "The 7 Healing Chakras". It is one of the first exercises of the book, and I really had a hard time with it. So much so, that I even had to ask my husband, "What do I enjoy doing?" As I was sitting there with a blank piece of paper, I realized that I hardly knew myself, or at the very most, not nearly as much as I would like. I've always felt that I knew myself very well, so this was a surprise. We all know that I love to cook and bake, but this happens every day, so I hardly think that it counts toward this particular exercise.

When I started to get the pencil moving on the paper, I found that I was listing things that needed to be done according to me. "Clean out closet" or "Mow the lawn" After a few of these, I decided to start over. These aren't things I enjoy doing, but things that need to eventually get done - not fun! Naturally, answers to these kinds of questions come easy to me, so I was feeling a bit flabbergasted. I had to dig deeper than I normally do in order to come up with a satisfactory answer as far as I was concerned.

Things have changed in my life where I actually have time now to do the things I want to do, and this is proving to be much more of an adjustment than I thought it would be. My husband even commented that I am more stressed out now than I was when I had a shit ton of other stuff going on in my life. I refuse to accept the notion that I need to be stressed out in order to be happy, though it may seem that way on the surface. I think that I concentrate way too much on pleasing others, when I don't pay enough attention to my needs.

I still don't have many things on my list of what I "enjoy doing", but I've taken the first step. For the record, here is what I've got so far:

Batting Cages

I've got to admit that even this small change - recognizing that I need to figure myself out - has me in much better spirits, and I'm ready to be stress free! These three things have been weighing on my mind quite a bit, and I'm anxious to make them come to fruition. It seems that this stress I've been carrying around with me is starting to slowly melt away, and it feels really, really good. Next week, for my birthday, I'm treating myself to the spa. Here's to healing!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Paper Got Accepted!!!

Ok.  First for a little background.

Back when I was still in school, I submitted a paper  to www.smc-it.org.  The paper was a short synopsis of what I did for my thesis.

The Third IEEE International Conference On Space Mission Challenges For Information Technology (SMC-IT 2009) is mostly organized by NASA Jet Propulsion Labratories.   The IEEE is "The world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology".  In addition to giving a ~25 minute presentation at the conference (July 19 - 23, 2009), the paper I will submit will be published in the proceedings!  I'm so so surprised, happy, and slightly mortified. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In Closing...

Another year has gone by, and I feel compelled to write my own little synopsis of 2008 along with all the other bloggers in the blog-o-sphere. Horray for redundancy!! I do plan to keep this mostly family-related though, so hopefully mine will be as unique as the next guys'.

The tone of 2008 was set in motion by events that started in October of 2007. In chronological order, I started with turning in my thesis proposal. This was turned in right in the nick of time, and was the beginning of the grueling year ahead for me. Shortly after that, my brother got rear-ended in a car accident, which was the beginning of his even more grueling year. This caused him, my family, my husband and I to really be pushed to our limits both physically and mentally. Nothing much else happened to us during 2008, but let me tell you, these two things were quite enough!

We all ended the year on a better note - Erick had a successful surgery on his back which has enabled him to be free from the pain medication, and the pain of the accident altogether. I not only finished my thesis, but graduated. Life is now good for Erick and I, and our families are thankful that the drama in our lives has ceased for the time being.

Two things that have surfaced recently that do not prove to be good omens for 2009 is the health of my father, and Angel's father. My father is scheduled to have a biopsy of the lung, and Angel's father needs to have a biopsy of the liver if I'm not mistaken. Hopefully these things will get taken care of swiftly and will have no serious repercussions.

Aside from the accident and the thesis, 2008 was a pretty good year. Here's to 2009 being much better, with everyone in good health, happy, and carefree!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Well, since the shenanigans of the cruise/graduation, things have not slowed down for me one bit. I went from working on baby to working on other things, and am keeping busy - and LOVING IT! I must say that I am enjoying myself completely. I love the fact that I don't have to say no to people anymore. I've seen some very old friends recently, that I miss so much, and am seeing more of them this evening! I've noticed though that my old friend, the computer, is getting pushed by the way-side in the after work hours, and I'm starting to miss it a teeny tiny bit. Though I miss it, I think that having a good, healthy separation for awhile is a good thing. I think it will help bring my focus back, so I can return to the interwebs with a vengeance. On the other hand, it's nice to be able to lose myself for a whole day cooking in the kitchen, and not have to work harder at anything else to compensate for the time lost. There are a whole bunch of projects around the house that need to be done too, like painting, and doing a thorough carpet cleaning, so I think I'll be busy for awhile. I'm excited for what the future holds, and that I can talk about thesis in the past tense forever and ever.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crazy Day

Today is one of those days that I'll remember for the rest of my life. It will definitely be hard not to remember it!

I woke up early to take my second thesis format review to the Graduate Studies office, so I could beat anyone that may happen to turn theirs in today. When I called them the last time, they made it a point to tell me three times that they are reviewed in the order that they're received, so I wanted to jump the gun a bit. So, I turn in second format review(sfr) at 8:00AM sharp, and go to work.

Today is also the day that I normally meet with the professors. Last night when I printed up sfr, I also printed my six signature pages on the 100% cotton 20 lb. white paper in the event that I could persuade them to sign. I also had some books of theirs to return, so I wasn't making a wasted trip in the event that they wouldn't sign. Needless to say, they wouldn't/couldn't sign until I get final approval for the "good paper". So, I returned their books and went on my way.

Depending on what kind of day I'm having, I'll either stay up on campus to finish my work day, or I'll go home and finish there. Today was one of those days where I was up in the air, but I had things to do that were on the way home from San Bernardino, so I figured I'd stay up here to finish work, and get to the other things after work. I am SO GLAD that I stayed up here. As I was working, I decided to check my campus mail, and I get an email from the Graduate Studies office saying that I have successfully completed all of the corrections from my first review, and that I'm ready for the "good paper"!!!

Without wasting any time, I sent an email to my thesis committee with the attachment from the grad studies office, and start heading over to the CS department. It turns out that my entire committee was within arms reach(very rare), and I got all three of their signatures on all six copies.

The moral of the story is to BE PREPARED! You never know what life may throw at you, and sometimes it really DOES turn out better than you expected!