I’ll need another week or two on the Christmas labels. I reached a major mile stone last week, but after achieving this 90% mark, I find I have 90% left to go. But this project is giving me lots of data for planning next year’s edition.
I had a pleasant solo Thanksgiving again this year. My dinner mostly plopped onto my plate from cans, but I did somehow spend a couple of hours longer in the kitchen than I expected baking green bean casserole and pumpkin muffins. I compensated with an environment made of fall candles, my “community folk” test playlist, and a Thanksgiving kitchen ambience playing on the TV to pretend someone more prepared was around to do the cooking. I ate my meal with good old Doc and Marty and felt stuffed afterward. And had lots of leftovers.
I’ve made one of my interval timers for cooking. I noticed the recipes I make all take the same basic shape, so I’m trying a timer that’s specific enough to guide and push me along while being general enough that I don’t need a new timer for each recipe. I’m hoping it will let me focus enough on each task to find ways to streamline them. Right now the timer is at 1.5 hours, and I’m hoping to get it down to 45 minutes.
Practical SQL by Anthony DeBarros (2018) led me to a better grasp of the language. I’ve used SQL here and there over the years, but I’d never learned it from start to finish, so I had several gaps and confusions. Now, thanks to the book’s explanations and the extra reading it prompted, I understand complicated joins, grouping, and the main math functions.
One interesting effect of the book is the way it focused my attention on SQL’s uses. The book was written primarily for journalists analyzing data for stories. It helped me see that SQL is one of those tools non-programmers can learn to make their work much more effective without diving fully into programming. And since the focus was less on the intricacies of the technology, I found myself noticing the significance of people’s purposes for it, things like spotting suspicious spending increases, trends in library usage, or demographic shifts.
Back to the Future Part III taught me there’s someone out there for everyone, even eccentric scientists, though it might require time travel. I also learned that I spoke too soon in my Part II complaint about character development. Part III wrapped things up nicely.