Things I Learned in September

October 2, 2012 Leave a comment


  1. Wine is stored on its side to keep the cork moist so it doesn’t shrink and let in oxygen which ruins the flavor.
  2. Rails gems: versionistdoorkeeper
    1. MooTools : periodical function
  4. Signed up for Hosted Chef
    1. Rails gem:
  5. Started using AWS Free Usage Tier with Hosted Chef
    1. Ant Tasks: include and import
    2. ember.js
  6. Created my first Chef Cookbook
  7. PL/SQL – Turn a list of numbers into a table:
    create type number_tab as table of number; 
    SELECT column_value AS my_id FROM TABLE(number_tab(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6));
    1. Oracle Error
      • Error: A Partition Maintenance Operation (PMOP) has been performed on the materialized view, and no materialized view supports fast refresh after container table PMOPs.
      • Solution:  dbms_mview.refresh(‘my_mview’, ‘C‘);
  8. Learned the differences between coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and latte. Also learned how they do Latte Art, which is now on my list to conquer.
  9. Ruby: Details on exit, exit!, at_exit
  10. Learned a lot about RSpec internals (matchers, use of method_missing, mocks/stubs), the features shared_examples_for, it _behaves_like, expect{}.to change, and explicit vs implicit subject().
  11. SQL*Loader Conventional vs Direct Path Loading.
  12. YouTube query string parameter to start video at a certain time.: Ex. t=7s and t=2m7s
  13. PL/SQL can pass parameters by reference or value.
  14. How to use RSpec with Rails Views (render, rendered, contain, assign) and Controllers (mock_model, stub_model).
  15. How to setup Autotest with RSpec using Bundler and Autotest with Cucumber.
  16. How to integrate Twitter’s Bootstrap project with Rails using bootstrap-sass.
  17. Learned about Rosetta Stones new TOTALe program and tried out the demo.
  18. Vapiano gives out gummy candy instead of mints as you walk out.
  19. vim file +100 – Jump directly to line 100
    1. vim -O file1 file2 – Opens files side by side
  20. Check load average on Unix: cat /proc/loadavg
  21. Test::Unit : ruby some_test.rb -n test_specific_method
  22. Incorporated HAML into an existing Rails application using haml-rails gem.
  23. Learned how to assemble several different items from Ikea. I have a brand new standing desk!
    1. Since PHP/PDO can’t return custom Oracle types. Use XMLTYPE to convert the type to a string so you can test against it:
      SELECT XMLTYPE(get_custom_type()) as xml_string from dual;
  26. Goats have square pupils.  Nutmeg is poisonous. My Proof
    1. Show *nix port usage (I’ve learned this probably 10x but still have to look it up each time): netstat -lpnt
  28. Learned that suhosin.session.cryptkey is determined by docroot and can be different on each vhost (unless specifically set). This caused session replication between servers to fail since data was being encrypted with two different keys.
  29. Google: do a barrel roll
  30. Learned there are a number of people speculating on the Iraqi Dinar as an investment opportunity.  I’m not one of them.

Things I Learned in August

September 2, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. PL/SQL – EXIT leaves a LOOP, RETURN immediately leaves a subprogram
    1. Unix: lsof
  2. Libero – Volleyball
    1. The World – Residential Cruise
  3. Native PL/SQL Compilation
    1. alter session set plsql_code_type=’NATIVE’;
  4. CSS adjacent child selector can be used to target specific child: columnLayout > div + div + div. Nice way to remove right margin/padding from the last column
  5. CSS “position: absolute” respects all four corners: top, left, bottom, right
    1. WordPress Functions: make_clickable, get_page_link, wp_list_pages
  7. Oracle query using INTERSECT
    1. First time exchanging money and having Euros and British Pounds. Thanks Amex.
    2. Thunderbolt Interface
  8. CSS vendor specific prefix for IE: -ms-
    1. Interesting tidbit on memory allocation for stringstream.str().c_str()
  9. When Oracle 11.2 Client and 11.2 Server have different timezone configuration it raises ORA-01805
  10. NetWrix Account Lock Examiner
    1. wholesale unit of
    2. Twig Merge: []|merge(array) and {}|merge(hash)
    3. HTML5 required attribute cannot be used on HIDDEN elements
  11. Travertine
  12. If This Then That –
    1. Belkin WeMo
    2. Pushover
    3. NZB
  13. Oracle NVL2
  14. List javascript properties (Mootools): for (a in $(‘element_id’) { console.log (a); }
  15. Open files in tabs: vim file1 file2 -p
    1. Ruby load vs require
  16. Learned about different language concat operators.
    1. Heard about Perl 6 for the first time.
  17. ~4 hours of motorcycle classrom training on my way to being licensed.
  18. ~5 hours of motorcycle driving time
  19. Passed the DMV driving and written exams for my motorcycle license.
  20. Screen’s aclchg command
    1. First flight on Icelandair on my way to England
  21. First time in Iceland and England (London).
  22. Visited Bath, England – Saw Roman Baths
  23. Learned quite a few words that have different meaning between America and UK. (Ex. pants = underwear, trousers = long pants, bin = trash can, boot = car trunk)
  24. Learned a bit about Marlborough College
  25. Saw Platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter) at London’s King Cross station
    1. Took The Original Tour bus all around London and saw some great sights.
  26. Took train from London to Durham, England
    1. Visited Durham University and Durham Cathedral
  27. Saw and stepped in the North Sea
  28. First time to Edinburgh, Scotland, visited Edinburgh Castle
  29. National Museum of Scotland and National Portrait Gallery
  30. Saw Holyrood House and Scottish Parlament buildings.
    1. Flew out of Glasgow International Airport
  31. MooTools Class.refactor

Things I Learned in July

August 4, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. How It’s Made Baseballs
  2. Chrome for iPhone
  3. Andy Griffith Died
  4. Derecho
  5. Searching for tabs:  grep -rl -P ‘\t’ –exclude-dir=.svn *
  7. Dynamo Magician Impossible
  8. Tour of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD
    1. The goat is their mascot
    2. plebe is a latin term for common person or “low order”.
    3. plebes cannot walk on curved sidewalks
    4. Bancroft Hall is the largest college dormitory in the world and houses all ~4500 midshipmen.  Has 8 wings and 5 miles of corridor.
    5. All 4500 students eat their meals family style at the same time in < 30 minutes.
  9. chrome://flags/
  10. A tilde (“~”) represents Nil / Empty in YAML (Ruby and PHP Symfony)
  11. curl -b/–cookie and -d/–data
    1. Moved to previous directory: cd –
  13. Include javascript files directly:
    1. CSS Selectors: h1 + p (adjacent sibling) and h1 ~ p (general sibling)
  15. Learned how to create a Custom WordPress Template and Custom Static pages for Home and Blog pages.
  18. Oracle: Pipelined functions require SQL types to be able to pipe collections of data to the consumer. Oracle will generate these SYS_PLSQL_* types on you behalf.
  19. MooTools: Cookie.write(‘XHPROF_PROFILE’); and Cookie.dispose(‘XHPROF_PROFILE’);
  20. Created first Symfony Console class and a Composer script class.
  22. Learned to make Bananas Fosters
    1. Vasodilation and Vasoconstriction
  23. Oracle 11g SecureFiles
  24. git stash pop
  25. Hops are what make beer taste bitter.
    1. NTFS = New Technology File System…. probably should have known that by now.
  27. Disable specific Oracle patches: alter session set “_fix_control“=’11814428:off’;
  28. Dotted Notes and Rests
    1. Olympic Symbol – 5 rings for the inhabited continents and 6 colors for all the nations flags in 1931.
  29. Learned about jacketed rounds and non-jacketed.  Flat nose and round nose bullets.
  30. Oracle: select * from v$version;
    1. Four Commonwealths in the US: Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts.
    1. Logic Lab

Things I Learned in June

June 30, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. Learned about several features of that I didn’t know before.
  2. Bilderberg – We even drove by the Westfield’s Marriott to see it.  All fenced in, surrounded by police and a group of protestors. Pretty crazy.
  3. T-CLOCS
  4. git branch –merged, git branch –no-merged
  5. git commit –allow-empty
    1. git branch –contains SHA
    2. git config remotes.mygroup ‘remote1 remote2’; git fetch mygroup
    3. git config –global help.autocorrect 1
  6. Tables under a Materialized View can be altered like any other table. I had to widen a column and just ran alter table T modify C VARCHAR2(150);
    2. Diphthong
  7. Oracle 11.2 LISTAGG Function
    1. Data URI Scheme  (Example: <img src=”data:image/png;base64,iVBOR…==” alt=”Red Dot” />)
  8. rbenv – alternative to RVM
    1. etckeeper
  9. Learned difference between Discrete and Discreet
    1. Learned Google Maps supports multiple destinations.
    2. Natural sign in piano music and sharps/flats not continuing after a measure.
  10. Tried on motorcycle gloves. You want mesh ones for summer riding and leather for winter.
  11. Mount Weather and The Greenbrier Hotel
  12. sftp -b to specify a batchfile.  sftp does not support a password argument, use ssh keys.
    1. Unix Expect – YouTube
  13. FTPS != SFTP
    1. lftp exists on unix and supports FTPS, ftp does not support FTP over SSL.
    2. ORA_ROWSCN – Psuedo Column to return System Change Notification for a record.
  14. Learned about “accidentals” and “lead sheets” when reading music.
  15. Duck Hunt Zapper
    1. ack-grep –ignore-dir=release -i chopper
  16. IronMan = Marathon Run, 112 Mile Bike, 2.4 Mile Swim
  17. Forearm Forklift
  18. Discover card is now accepted in London!
  19. Unix free
  20. ATT International Calling Plans/Options
  22. Javascript functions, CSS styles, HTML IDs all with the same name can conflict in some browsers.
    1. Mootools Request.HTML has an append parameter.
  23. Learned how to patch fences on a farm. Cows get pink eye from grass irritation. Ashes are a good way to stop grass growth under fences.
    1. Learn how to make Carmel Popcorn.
    1. WordPress 3.4 Released – Cool new Live Preview mode.
  25. curl -w/–write-out “%{http_code} %{content_type}\n” to display response information.
  26. PHP Session will recreate on every page load if session.cookie_secure = 1 and you access the site via http.
  27. Thor‘s chariot is pulled by two goats (Norse mythology).
  28. – Peer/Code Review Software
  29. WordPress Function: wpautop
  30. Learned the follow from my friend John
    2. Jacobite Train – Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter is in Scotland
    3. Unlock iPhone and buy a SIM card for international travel

Things I Learned in May

June 3, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. Google Maps lets you save locations to your own set of Custom Maps.
  2. grep ‐‐color
  3. Learned how to read apt package install status shown by dpkg ‐l.  Descriptions found here: man dpkg-query
  4. BoltBus from Union Station to NYC
    1. Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Macy’s at Herald Square, Bryant Park, Grand Central Terminal
    2. Serendipity3, Dylan’s Candy Shop
  5. NYC Tourist
    1. West Village, Greenwich Village, NYU, SoHo, NoLita, Little Italy, China Town, Brooklyn Bridge, Staton Island Ferry
    2. Elephant and Castle, The Grey Dog, Donut Plant, Katz Deli
  6. Central Park
  7. Replace string with newlines in VIM:  %s/‐‐X‐‐/\r/g
  8. US Postal Service Losing up to $25 Million Per Day.
  10. Finished reading Tony Hsieh‘s Delivering Happiness
  11. RewriteRule .* – [E=SYMFONY_ENV:staging]
    1. Alternative is SetEnv in either .htaccess or vhost file.
    2. Learned quite a bit more about the Symfony2 Framework.
  12. Starting piano lessons. Learned a few things about music theory, key signatures, chords, scales, major/minor, etc.
  13. Phlebotomy
  14. PHP’s getopt doesn’t support spaces for arguments with optional value… odd. -v1 and -v=1 work, but -v 1 does not.
  15. The invention of the modern piano is credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori
  16. Manually firing a javascript event $(‘element’).fireEvent(‘change’) does not include the event object as function parameter.
  17. Finally learned about ASCII Escape Sequences and the Control Sequence Initiator (CSI) of Esc+[  (0x1B, 0x5B)
    1. PostgreSQL Autodoc
  18. pigz – Parallel Implemenation of GZip
  19. Attended Grove City College graduation for a friend of ours.
    1. Spiked Milk Shakes in Cranberry, PA at
  20. Played around with the iPhone SDK:  View Controller, UIButton, UILabel, and NSTimer objects.
    1. Loath vs Loathe
  22. Learned how to Skip tests with Fitnesse/Xebium.
    1. New word: modicum
  23. Oracle  CREATE INDEX … COMPRESS: Compress removes duplicates in the index keys. It results in smaller indexes, which result in faster lookups.
    1. COMPRESS will try to compress all fields in multi-column index whereas COLUMN 1 will compress only the first field.
    2. Indexes should be arranged in order of greatest duplication to least for best performance and space savings.
    3. New word: Pilcrow
  24. w is page up when running git diff
  25. It turns out that no_data_found exceptions are not thrown from functions called from select statement. However, they are thrown from procedures and functions called from something other than a select statement. Ask Tom has the answer.
    1. Unix top – Move through each column, sorting: shift+> and shift+<
    2. Oracle TRUNC function takes a 2nd format argument for dates and numbers.
  26. Reading through Virginia’s Motocycle Operator Manual
  27. Rolling Thunder 25th Anniversary – Learned some passenger riding tips.
  28. Learned what makes a motorcyle a chopper
  29. Selenium RC starts new java process each time it spawns a browser and they sometimes don’t shutdown properly.
  30. Reading the rest of Virginia’s Motocycle Operator Manual
  31. Symfony2 Form CSRF Protection

Things I Learned in April

May 3, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. Learned how Radiocarbon dating works. Only reliable up to ~11,460 years (5,730 x 2).
  2. GRANT CREATE TABLE TO SCHEMA;  Is needed to create tables from inside a procedure using execute immediate.
  3. select * from session_roles; to see what your user has priviledges to
  4. Learned about Windows XP Mode and Virtual Machine with Windows 7.
  5. Oracle tables can have system generated hidden columns.  select * from user_tab_cols where table_name = ‘NAME’ and HIDDEN_COLUMN = ‘YES’;
  6. Windows Key + Pause opens Control Panel -> System and Security -> System window in Windows XP, 7
  7. Apgar Score
    1. Backronym
  8. Maven: A Yiddish word meaning accumulator of knowledge.
  9. via
  10. Learned how to make Egg Custard and Sweet Pastry Crust
  11. Scant – Barely sufficient in amount or quantity; not abundant; almost inadequate
  12. Create a mailable patch file of the most recent commit:  git format-patch -1
  13. and
    1. I had read about these a little while ago but finally installed it and put it to use today.
    2. Learned about the PHP finfo_* functions.
  14. Learned how to make Yat’s Chili Cheese Etouffee
  15. Learned about 3 brain chemicals: Oxytocine (Female), Dopamine, and Vasopressin (Male).
  17. Shot a Glock 17 and learned about a few tactical shotguns.
  18. cd /d %~dp0
    1. Changes to local file directory using Windows .bat file.
  19. Always check result.COUNT when using Oracle’s BULK COLLECT. If you try to access result.FIRST it will raise ORA-06502: PL/SQL: numeric or value error.
    1. Phar API
  21. Attended my first Gun Show and learned about shot gun chokes and automatic knives that are only legal for law enforcement to carry.
    1. Also learned about a Federal Firearms License
  22. Enlisted military personnel always have to salute Officers, regardless of age or years of service.
  23. PHP: interface A extends InterfaceB, InterfaceC
  24. MooTools Form Validators
    1. Doctrine Common Annotation API
  26. Function based virtual columns in Oracle 11g
    1. PHP’s sys_get_temp_dir()
  28. Mississippi State’s 12th Man kickoff return team (started with Texas A&M) is made up of entirely walk ons.
    1. All West Point students are athletes.
  29. Omnitemporal
    1. Diet Coke isn’t sticky because it doesn’t contain real sugar. A friend told me this, I don’t drink diet.
  30. WebKit Remote Debugging Protocol

Things I Learned in March

April 5, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. sqlite can support multiple databases attached to a single master, thus simulating schemas
    1. sqlite3 master
    2. attach database schema1 as a; (previously existing sqlite db)
    3. attach database schema2 as b; (previously existing sqlite db)
    4. .databases
    5. select * from a.table1; select * from b.table1;
  2. select DBMS_METADATA.GET_DDL(‘TABLE’, ‘USERS’) from dual;
  3. ADP Inc. has an iPhone App for viewing pay statements.
  5. PHP will print true as 1 and false as ”.  false apparently doesn’t cast to an integer value unless you do (int)false.
  6. Implemented my first set of insertable/updatable Oracle views.
  7. INSTEAD OF triggers can be used on complex views to INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE underlying data.
  8. Introduced to the Ruby looksee gem.
  9. PHP 5.4 Features: Traits, shortened array syntax, built in webserver.
    1. Swift_Plugins_LoggerPlugin
  10. Learned how to use a flash light (and no other light) to find and fix bumps/grooves while dry wallling.
    1. Learned there’s a fruit called Durian
    2. Learned how to shoot a Glock 19 (9 mm) and experience my first shooting range.
  11. Japan’s bullet train is shaped after a hummingbird’s beak to avoid a sonic boom when exiting tunnels at 200 MPH.
    1. Tyndal was executed for his English translation of the Bible
  12. sendmail and SMTP have a 5 minute timeout.  Swift opens a single connection and re-uses it for each message.  If you wait longer than 5 min between messages it’ll error out.
    1. All user crontabs are stored under /var/spool/cron/crontabs
  13. Finally learned how to do a case-insensitive search in vim: /\csearch
  14. grep -c, –count : Suppress normal output; instead print a count of matching lines for each input file.
    1. Government takes up 23% of the current GDP on it’s way to 25%.
    2. Government is the largest it’s been since WWII.
  16. grep -P, –perl-regexp : Interpret PATTERN as a Perl regular expression. (experimental)
  18. Learned how to make a roux with clarified butter that was my starter to make sausage gravy to put on top of homemade buttermilk biscuits.
  19. Just learned about FireFox’s new “Inspect Element” right menu option.
  20. You can view BLOB’s in SQL Developer (table view) and choose to view them as Text or Image.
  21. SQLPlus commands ACCEPT and HIDE
    1. ( echo Subject: My Subject; cat body.txt) | sendmail -F “GLaDOS” -f “”
    2. Ruby’s Kernel Module Conversion methods
    3. RSpec 2.5 Exclusion Filter
  23. vim *Test.php — :bd – close buffer, :wn – write and move to next buffer, :rew – rewind to first file opened
  24. First time at Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC
  25. Learned a couple logical arguments for the existance of hell and why God allows evil to happen.
    1. Learned how to make Red Velvet Cake.
  26. A WHEN clause can be used in a trigger as a pre-condition to execution.
    1. BEFORE INSERT ON table FOR EACH ROW WHEN(new.pkey_id IS NULL) BEGIN SELECT pkey_id_seq.NEXTVAL INTO :new.pkey_id FROM dual; END;
  27. – Replaces MacFuse
  28. Watched the movie: Warrior
  29. Read file using bash:   cat file_paths | while read line; do echo $line; done;
    1. To get capistrano to put something into the background you need to redirect output to /dev/null.  (command; command) > /dev/null &
  30. Ruby’s GEM_PATH env variable can mess things up when using two different applications that use Gem Bundler.
    1. Used Ruby’s FasterCSV library.
  31. grant select_catalog_role to schema;  – In order to use DBMS_METADATA.GET_DDL for a schema object that you do not own.
    1. This only role only works in anonymous blocks, it will throw ORA-31603 if used inside a procedure.