This is not my Surprised Face

The election is over, and it wasn’t a surprise to me. But nobody asked me what I thought, which is the point. The media and pollsters and so many smart people thought they already knew and thus fell into a trap of their own making. When ~93% of the DC area votes for Hillary when compared with the ~50% of the rest of the nation, it signals a fundamental disconnect in our government. In theory there should be some Republican staffers that live there. Maybe a conservative lobbyist? But no, the lobbyists, government workers and the media that reports on them have created themselves a nice little bubble of group-think.

The internet and technology that allows us to communicate has only made us more isolated now then we have been in the past. Internet allows us to find people who like the same cheese we do and dressing in the same costumes on the weekends. This leaves difficult conversations about politics  to be had online. And when People are not face to face, they are mean. Just like when driving. This creates an environment for predators with and a new online Asperger’s of sorts where other people’s feelings are deliberately targeted. Decent folks avoid the conversation online and so the monsters grow and coddle each other. There is no point in creating a dialog with a monster, best to let them fester in their own muck.

Broadcast media is trying to keep up by the online world by making news a ratings game. For this the format has suffered. Nightly news switches subjects and content around like it was made for a Pokemon addicted 8 year old with ADHD. The anchor is surrounded by scrolling bars of information just in case the he or she can’t keep your attention in the hope you watch for one more minute, because that is roughly how much longer this topic will last. Critical thinking is performed by a panel of experts instead of the viewer. Video pours into your head at a faster rate than the written word so you take less time to analyze the content. The reporters go broad instead of deep in their investigations, if they investigate at all. CNN, NY Times and others are slowly losing business because they don’t understand the people any more and they only get further and further away from the people.

If we look at the top TV shows of 2015 (Assuming Nielsen is getting it right), we can see that the TV shows offer a very different set of content than their news based counterparts. For illustrative purposes, highlighted is what is considered by many as a conservative show sin red. The rest don’t really take a side, or there are arguments either way.

These are the shows that people are really watching and this is people watching them live on TV, which takes a certain amount of dedication.


If we contrast that with the rating of those shows people talked about on Twitter, we see they aren’t the same.


Streaming shows link up better with Twitter, but we still aren’t getting the same numbers as live TV.

What does this tell you? There are a lot of people watching conservative TV shows and not really talking about it in social media(twitter at the very least).


Pop culture conversations online are heavily moderated by young, liberal voices, who don’t speak for the majority of pop culture consumers. NCIS makes that gap painfully clear by being a runaway ratings hit while drawing scarcely any attention.

I purposely read things I don’t agree with or that are outside of my comfort zone. Can I justify my stance after I am done? Then I might be doing it right.

Here are some other articles.

This one is really good, by a very handsome guy about why he voted for Trump which is largely unreported in standard channels, just in case you missed it.

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Tomorrow, I am going to vote Trump.

My fellow Americans,

Tomorrow, I am going to vote for Donald Trump. I am not a “racist”, “stupid”, “ignorant” or “uneducated”. If you believe Trump Supporters are any of those things, then I want you to put a fact with the name. Nathan Church. Headshots available upon request.

I believe the things that Hillary has done are worse than the things Trump has said. I have listed the things I believe she has had a hand in at the end of this post in case you were wondering. I am not posting it to change your mind, I am posting it because people keep asking why I think she is less trust worthy than Trump. Well that is why.

I understand what flawed looks like. This isn’t about that. I have dug myself out of more holes of my own digging than I care to mention. I am a flawed person. I have made terrible mistakes in my life. I understand the responsibility of having a security clearance, and the fact that China has a copy of my application for it. My wife is an immigrant, and I know the struggle she went through to get it. None of that compels me to vote for her.

I believe in the second amendment. I believe in Freedom of Speech, Religion, and Assembly. I believe that gay people should make a religion that worships gayness and practice at that Church. I believe the State doesn’t get a say in the Church and likewise the Church doesn’t get a say in the State. That doesn’t mean don’t vote your conscience, it just means let’s agree to practice different things in different places. I believe that if you want to become a chick and you were a dude, go ahead, just don’t expect me to watch your TV show. I believe babies are people, and therefore have rights. I am willing to fight and die for other people’s rights, like the aforementioned gay churches, people who like the Cubs, people who think the Clintons are great and anyone who eats black olives.

I think the government is the problem. I believe you know what is good for you better than anyone in the government, or even me. I believe your family, friends and community are better suited to help you in your time of need that any Government organization.

Politicians are saying that I hate you, and I don’t. I just wanted you to know. On Wednesday when the dust clears, I still love you, my fellow Americans.

Nathan Church

Clinton Scandals via (Wash Post)
1. Monica Lewinsky: Led to only the second president in American history to be impeached.
2. Benghazi: Four Americans killed, an entire system of weak diplomatic security uncloaked, and the credibility of a president and his secretary of state damaged.
3. Asia fundraising scandal: More than four dozen convicted in a scandal that made the Lincoln bedroom, White House donor coffees and Buddhist monks infamous.
4. Hillary’s private emails: Hundreds of national secrets already leaked through private email and the specter of a criminal probe looming large.
5. Whitewater: A large S&L failed and several people went to prison.
6. Travelgate: The firing of the career travel office was the very first crony capitalism scandal of the Clinton era.
7. Humagate: An aide’s sweetheart job arrangement.
8. Pardongate: The first time donations were ever connected as possible motives for presidential pardons.
9. Foundation favors: Revealing evidence that the Clinton Foundation was a pay-to-play back door to the State Department, and an open checkbook for foreigners to curry favor.
10. Mysterious files: The disappearance and re-discovery of Hillary’s Rose Law Firm records.
11. Filegate: The Clinton use of FBI files to dig for dirt on their enemies.
12. Hubble trouble: The resignation and imprisonment of Hillary law partner Web Hubbell.
13. The Waco tragedy: One of the most lethal exercises of police power in American history.
14. The Clinton’s Swedish slush fund: $26 million collected overseas with little accountability and lots of questions about whether contributors got a pass on Iran sanctions.
15. Troopergate: From the good old days, did Arkansas state troopers facilitate Bill Clinton’s philandering?
16. Gennifer Flowers: The tale that catapulted a supermarket tabloid into the big time.
17. Bill’s Golden Tongue: His and her speech fees shocked the American public.
18. Boeing Bucks: Boeing contributed big-time to Bill; Hillary helped the company obtain a profitable Russian contract.
19. Larry Lawrence: How did a fat cat donor get buried in Arlington National Cemetery without war experience?
20. The cattle futures: Hillary as commodity trader extraorinaire.
21. Chinagate: Nuclear secrets go to China on her husband’s watch.
This list doesn’t include which I am not happy about but also leave to a different level of dirtiness.
Debate Prep: Getting the questions before the debate happened.
HRC defends rapist by attacking 12-year-old victim.
In bed with media, including media soliciting her approval aka Glenn Thrush
500K emails found on Weiner’s computer.

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Man Crate Coffee Fiend Review

This year for my birthday I was given a “man crateIMG_1899., which is part of a new and interesting genre of gifts for men. My brother and his family got me the Man Create Coffee Fiend, which implies he thinks I have a caffeine problem. If you have spent more than 5 minutes on Facebook lately I am sure you seen their ads. I think they limit their ads to people who have at least one man on their friends list. As someone who pays for advertising on Facebook for his own business, I can appreciate this. (Insert Shameless Free Plug Here).  I have been using it for a month since my birthday including once or twice in the field. A fellow soldier said the coffee in the field was the best coffee he had ever drank. We had also been awake for 24 hours, so your mileage may vary.

Opening the box revealed another box, except this one was wooden. There was a crow bar and a note saying something about if you have trouble. I don’t know what it said, because I am a man. Being a man means that when presented with a crate and a note, I opened the crate first while my wife read the note. Opening the box was a fun touch to the gift, and I did feel in my man element while doing it. I am not sure the rules, but I used a mallet. I could have done it with a rock or my steal toed boots, but I am a man and I have tools. I was disappointed the box was held together with hot glue and would have liked to see some nails in it too. It provided enough of a challenge that the feeble need not attempt, and that a man relishes unless he is late.

IMG_1902 In the kit you get the box, the crowbar, a scoop thing, a coffee grinder, a french CFST coffee press mug and some coffee beans. (I am going to call it a french CFST press because the “Commandement des Forces Spéciales Terre” is bad ass and makes the word French better.) The crate was pretty cool and after scraping off the glue I kept it for use in my garage after putting some nails in it. The crow bar is a real decent small crowbar and has a nail puller hole as well. I put it into a bag of field expedient tools I carry. It isn’t going to pry open a door, but for the weight it can do some damage.

The grinder is my favorite part of the box. The bearings are smooth and the grind adjustment was easy. It is compact and folds up nicely. It holds enough coffee for a mug of coffee, so for my JetBoil I ran two cycles. Be careful, the lid can loosen up while grinding, so you have to look every few seconds to make sure you aren’t about to rip it off and have coffee beans fly everywhere. (Worth noting is that when this happens, out of my two dogs, Jack ate the beans and Lucy didn’t. He also had to spend the day outside.) Grinding coffee is not an easy chore but this cut through the coffee in about 2 minutes of smooth grinding.

The scoop is some sort of a alligator clip scoop combo. It looks useful, but I haven’t found out what for. The scoop size is better for ground beans, which I don’t use. The alligator clip would work well to hold close a bag, but most foil bags do that too. It lives in a drawer now.

IMG_1912The mug is interesting. If you have used a french CFST press before, you know that grounds and coffee squirt past the mesh filter element. The design of this press is a cylinder instead of a single column in the middle. The big benefit of this design is that there is no chance for coffee that is properly ground to get into the mug, because the grounds can’t squirt in from the sides. This is pretty significant, especially if cowboy coffee isn’t your thing. The coffee and grounds still squirt through, just not into the coffee you drink.

Downside of this design is that the squirtiness (yup new word) goes into the area between the cylinder and the wall. This means that if you depress too rapidly, like us men do, you can also get the coffee to overflow on the top. This is a pretty common issue I have. I found that if I am more careful, don’t fill it all the way and swirl the coffee it helps with this issue. This also means if the top of the mug doesn’t seal well, there is a small gap where coffee can seep out on to your shirt. This has only happened once, and is likely because of user error on my part but it can happen. Once I figured these things out and adjusted my plan, they have not been an issue. The neoprene sleeve and the rubber bottom come off, which is helpful in, cleaning, diagnosing issues and explaining how a French CFST Press works.

ManCrate_NestedThe grinder / press combo intrigues me. I spend a good amount of time out in the field, and coffee is the one creature comfort I like to have. Current configuration on my rucksack is a Jetboil Flash in multicam and those Starbucks powered coffee things. I purchased the JetBoil French CFST Press kit for it, but don’t really use it. Grinding my beans is a new angle. The first thing I tried was nesting the grinder in the mug. No dice.  Then I tried taking off the handle. No Dice. Finally I found that if I took off the bottom I could place it inside. There are two downsides to this configuration.  The first is that you have to IMG_1919grind the coffee while holding the grinder over the cup in order to not lose it. Grinding coffee isn’t a quick process, but if you can hold and turn for 2 minutes you are good. The other downside is that the big benefit of the coffee cup design, keeping the bits of the ground out of the coffee, is negated by the bits falling into the inside from the grinder without a cap. Neither of these are the end of the world but irritating.

Oh yeah there was some coffee in there, but it was less than impressive. I didn’t mind drinking it, but I wouldn’t buy it. At least it wasn’t hipster coffee. I prefer Black Rifle Coffee Company, because I am a man and a soldier and not a hipster.

I am a fan of the man crate and it was a fun experience.  I would recommend it as a gift for the rugged man in your life. They even have a “Diabolical Duct Tape Wrapping” which sounds awesome and makes you feel better about buying another man a gift. If you are shopping for yourself and love coffee, then I wouldn’t buy the crate unless you are the kind of guy that gives yourself a card on your birthday. I really like the box and the crowbar a lot, plus the experience of opening it. But none of this is worth the ridicule of getting caught buying it for yourself. If you are a woman, and you have made it this far congratulations. You should buy this for your man. If you are between women(or men for that matter), the grinder is worth the weight and the mug is not. If I have to carry it on my back where space and weight are at a premium, I don’t take the mug because I can’t drink other stuff or eat out of it. I take the grinder and use a GSI cup that fits over my nalgene.  At my desk/civilian job, I use the mug everyday. It works great and I don’t have a bit of coffee wedged in my teeth in my meetings. It is called a “commuter mug”, so odds are GSI didn’t expect me to do that.

Must have Worth the money and the weight Worth the money, not the weight
(If you decide to buy these things based on my review, please use the affiliate links above so I get a kickback. It doesn’t cost anything extra to you. I wasn’t given anything free by Man Crates for this review, nor do they have an affiliate program. My brother’s family bought it for me. If you are interested in my brother, I don’t have a link for that.  These are the only links that are affiliate links, so I don’t get kickbacks from Black Rifle or the French Special Forces. I talk more about the affiliate thing here.)

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My Friend, Paul Disbury

I learned that my good friend, Paul Disbury had passed away today. Paul was a big part of my life and the beginnings my career. Paul moved away some years ago, and we didn’t speak very often because of distance and busy lives. I looked him up and found out that he passed.

Paul Disbury and I met at Keane in Arizona. We were both on the same team answering phones for Microsoft Windows 95 in 1998. He ended up the CIO for the University of Portland. Hank put it best when he said, “CIO at a university ain’t too bad for a guy who didn’t know how to turn on his pc the first time I met him”. It is true too. We all worked on getting certified as MCSEs and clawing our way out of Tucson. Paul was one of the first out, moving to Houston. He later got me a job working third shift at Pennzoil as an NT administrator following him on the second shift.  I slept on the floor when I got here and as I scraped and clawed my way up.

Paul and I played kick ball in the parking garage and studied the latest in computers at work. Paul knew I wanted to be a SQL DBA so he would call when there was SQL DBA work and he would save it or I would come in early.  When something cool was happening at work he would stay late to teach and explain what he had been doing.

Paul was gifted and passionate with the things he did, like golf and martial arts, but willing to take the time to teach and share what he knew. We did martial arts and went to Numbers. Lot of trips to Numbers. Paul and I would regularly practice sparring and sharing our knowledge of the martial arts (his considerably larger than mine).

Paul was alive outdoors. We camped and hiked and fished. His eyes lit up when we were away from the hussle and bussle of Houston. He was passionate about everything he did. His fishing started off with stink bait in his car, but it evolved into shark fishing from a kayak.

Paul convinced me to get my first gym membership to Bally’s and was driven by fitness. He is the kind of guy that would decide that it was a fabulous idea to chug a bottle of prune juice and get you to join him (With 8oz of olive oil to boot). I still attest that I got hair on my back when he convinced me to try Yohimbe Bark. He could drive you to work out until you couldn’t move two days later. Remembering Paul and Joel trying to walk across a parking lot after leg day makes me laugh to this day.

Paul led through his actions. He was smart, funny and loyal. He loved the second shift because he got more time with his son. He didn’t want to be on the day shift he wanted to hang out with his boy as much as he could. He was a great friend and he will be missed.

Brother, you were a guardian angel for me when I was in particularly dark times, and I am sorry I could not be there when you needed me.  Godspeed my friend.


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What is Old is New Again

I have been not too thrilled with FaceBook. Maybe I will get into that in another post but not for today. I went back to my roots, and here we are. Not sure what we are doing here, but when I figure it out I will let you know. If you are full of any good ideas please comment, post or otherwise share them with me.

I dug up a lot of old stuff, so I will be trying to get that up as well. I am migrating all of my old posts over to this format as well as the many faces of over the years.

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Thor A1 PDW


My friend Dan posted this and I thought this looked really cool. But after I started looking further….

Everything I know about machine guns tells me this is bad.

1. If I am reading his design properly it is an, air cooled open bolt PDW. The bolt doesn’t travel in the direction of the recoil but instead downward on a circular path in a quarter circle. I believe this would exacerbate the muzzle flip depending on the center of gravity.

2.Open bolt weapons are not accurate weapons, so a semi auto version would be silly. This is because the bolt moving forward creates a momentum you don’t compensate for when firing. This is compensated for on crew served weapons via a bipod or tripod and multiple rounds but here (especially in pistol mode) in is not.

3.Reloading involves moving this weapon away from your body because the magazine is around your hand. Storing circular mags on your vest would suck too.

4. 1000rpm is a pipe dream on this design, but if true that makes it uncontrollable for a large portion of the military PDW candidates, women. Milspec PDWs are largely made for folks in the rear or driving vehicles in case they are attacked. These are women and folks with minimal machine gun training. 1000rpm is a lot to control for anyone. The M240 cycles between 700-900rpm and it is belt fed. It is manned by a three man team when not mounted to a vehicle.

I realize he has a guided .50 cal rifle….. (reads a bit) It can guide all standard .50 cal rounds using magnets. But .50 cal rounds are lead so they aren’t magnetic. Wait. This guy is an artist. None of this is real.

Pascal, you got me. I got trolled.

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Lay’s new flavors


Last night, while waiting for a coworker to pick up allergy meds, I found myself wandering CVS. After a few minutes the end cap got my attention. Evidently there are three new flavors of Lay’s potato chips. All three flavors an anomaly in the potato chip kingdom yet familiar in other cuisines. Staring back at me were “Chicken and Waffles”, “Sriracha” and “Cheesy Garlic Bread”. I am curious chap, so I spent $4.50 to try each. I had just eaten dinner, so I waited until today at lunch to try them.


Amazingly enough all three taste exactly like you think they would. Chicken and Waffles has the combination of syrup, waffle and chicken that you would expect from Gladys Knight and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles (or I expect it does because I didn’t get to go when I was in Atlanta). Sriracha tastes just like the sauce you love in your Pho. Cheesy Garlic Bread just lacks the marinara you dip your bread into. Pretty amazing since a quick look at the ingredients seems to lack those things you would expect in each. You know like Syrup.


The problem with the chips is they are all out of the context that makes their flavors good. The beauty of garlic bread is the warm toasted bread with the caramelized cheese covering a soft core of bread. This is obviously lacking in a chip. With the Chicken and Waffles you miss the crispness of the chicken mixed with the waffle itself. And when you eat chicken and waffles, you don’t take a little bite of chicken and a little bite of waffles and add them together. Sriracha is the most like a chip flavor, but it lacks a companion. I wouldn’t eat Ketchup or Tabassco flavored chips, well maybe Chipotle Tabassco.


I am impressed with Lay’s for their engineering. It tastes like the picture on the package. But if you take Mexican food and you blend it until it is an even paste and then eat it, you will find that while it tastes like your favorite Mexican dish you don’t like it as much as your favorite dish.


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Natey Potatey Au Gratin

These are my Potatoes Au Gratin, and I tried to type in what I did while I cooked them. What I mean by that is that if you have watched me cook you realize it is a process, so while the potatoes I make for Chirstmas will taste okay…  I hope I got it all in the recipe I am giving you. I also match the foods I am cooking to the whole meal so I will add other things. For instance, I added some of the honey baked ham fat to the milk mixture but that stuff doesn’t really matter much. I will come back and modify it if I find missing bits.

This is my first attempt to document my cooking process. I work different than other cooks. I do some research and figure out how I think it will go. I read what ingredients other users use and figure out what I think will do. In this case, this is part of my ongoing quest to copy my aunt. My aunt Kathy makes the best potatoes au gratin, as I get older myself and my family doesn’t always get to make it home to see her, I have worked and worked at ways to find something close to hers. Aunt Kathy also calls me Natey Potatey. These are my offerring to her legend.  

1 lb bacon(save grease)
2 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper to taste (I do .25 tsp each, if not fresh pepper use more)
6 medium potatoes. Peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar
1 onion small
.25 cups bread crumps

Prep Notes:
I like to cut the potatoes .25 to .125 inch thick. This is the Christmas season so I am drinking scotch while cooking. What does this mean? Because of this I use a mandoline, so I can dial in the cuts. If your group likes potatoes cut them .25 thick. Otherwise let the bacon do its job. The key is to make sure the potatoes are evenly sliced so you can make sure they cook evenly.

Fry bacon, set aside and chop into bacon bits when you have a free second. Keep 3 tblspoon of the bacon grease, and try to not get the burnt bits. In a medium saucepan, cook onion until clear in bacon fat. Add flour, salt pepper. Stir. Allow time for it to bubble. add milk. stir. heat until boiling, stirring throughout. Allow 1 min of boiling. begin adding 1.5cups of the shredded cheddar slowly. If you have made an alfredo this is the same thing, except we are making cheddar sauce. The trick is to add little bits and let the sauce warm up before you add more cheese. Don’t let it come to a boil while slowly adding to the roux.

Spread potatoes in a baking dish. when the cheese sauce is done add the bacon bits and stir them in. Lower the temp and let it simmer for a bit while stirring. after a few minutes take sauce and spread over the potatoes making sure to cover them all.

Bake uncovered at 375 for 1 hour. then add cheese and bread crumbs to top to make a crust and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes and potatoes are tender.

Protip: I half bake them the night before. So let them go for about 30 minutes, cover and put in fridge.  Next day I will cook them with the green bean casserole at 350 for 35 minutes or slightly longer. Make sure the potatoes are cooked through.


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Creating Modular Extensible Datasets in SQL Server

I have been on a team where we are creating a solution for a corporation that will be deployed to different business units around the world as a standardized solution. In this case the solution is for oil field work and will help each business unit optimize the production of wells based on the injection of water into other wells, a process called waterflooding. The customers for this application will be the engineers who will monitor the metrics in order to make decisions on how to optimize the process by controlling the variables available to that engineer. For instance, they can increase water flow to an adjacent well if they see production drop off from another well or they can even recommend drilling new wells.

                As you can imagine this application is very data intensive. The process of injecting water creates many standard metrics which we are going to measure with our application. Some of these could be water rate, water pressure, or oil out for instance. With a user base that is largely technical and mathematically driven, they want as many different numbers as they can get to make their decision. This can present a problem because the information they want may be outside of the standard dataset we will provide.

                This need for additional data is also driven by each business unit’s differing geography and geology. For instance, in West Texas it is often cheaper to drill a new well if a greater injection rate is needed, where an offshore rig in deep water would find the same solution cost prohibitive. Other the other hand, offshore wells may take more expensive measurements, but performing these same measurements hundreds of times in a West Texas field is too expensive to do. 

                We are tasked with creating a solution that has as many of the basic attributes as possible for our first release so the engineers can make the nest decision, but giving the ability to expand those data sets as needed. We will hand the finished product to each business unit’s IT staff and they will then take over ownership. We will send out patches and upgrades to the solution, which they will then install. Our finished product will consist of a database, ETL, and a user interface, so the extensibility is needed throughout.

                With these goals in mind, I was asked to come up with different solutions for creating an extensible dataset. I have detailed some of these solutions below. My goal was to create a dataset that was both modular, meaning that it was standardized for flexibility, but also extensible, or able to be expaned. Since we are handing the tables over to the business unit IT staff, it is important to maintain logical divisions between the added code. This will make code we have developed less likely to break when extended. It will also facilitate smooth upgrades and patches.


Here are the solutions I provided to my client. Obviously certain choices are preferred over others.

1.       Add columns to the original source tables.

a.       Positives: This is arguably the simplest

b.      Negatives:  Presents problems when upgrading the solution and can affect any tuned performance you have set up.

In the sample, our original columns are in blue and the added columns are in red. So, we have added Latitude and Longitude


2.       Create custom tables and join them via views to the source tables.

a.       This is another simple solution where you create one table preferably in another schema for every table where you wish to have custom values. In our sample, the solution tables are in the dbo schema and the user tables are in the bu schema.

b.      Positives:

                                                               i.      This table is owned and managed by the users

                                                             ii.      Can be put into separate schema for increased security (which is also nice for use on alternate filegroups or alternate backup strategies if needed)

                                                            iii.      View can auto-extend

Note:  (This can be done by using SELECT dbo.col1, dbo.col2, bu.* …)

                                                           iv.      Helps with upgrades

                                                             v.      Does not affect performance of the original tables outside of the view

                                                           vi.      Users create their own ETL to populate these tables.

                   c.       Negatives:

                                                               i.      Must account for multiples in the custom attribute tables, so row counts stay the same.  For instance, if there are two rows for WellID BH1 then there will be more rows in the final view. Two ways you can handle this via a “TOP 1” or by adding a date added column and taking the most recent.

 In the sample, you can see we joined the table with a simple outer join and the view is populated with values for both tables. Be sure to use an outer join so you have the flexibility to keep your interface running when there are no custom attributes provided by the users. This is especially important because there may be two ETL processes(solution and user) updating a single row in the view. It is also important your interface can handle NULLs.


3.       Create one custom value table  and join those via views to the source tables

a.       This solution creates a common attribute table so there are less new tables. It basically creates a virtual or dynamic tables, that you can create via a PIVOT.

b.      Positives:

                                                               i.      Custom value tables are great at keeping all values in one location for copying during upgrades

                                                             ii.      These are helpful because you have them created and added dynamically via the interface. 

                                                            iii.      Users can update the custom valued table using their own ETL.

                                                           iv.      Can be put into separate schema for increased security

                                                             v.      Stored Procedures can be written so they don’t have to change.

c.       Negatives:

                                                               i.      Doesn’t allow for multiples of the same attribute.

                                                             ii.      Requires modification of the views to add new attributes.

                                                            iii.      If you extend to far (too many attributes) you will start to see performance degrade.


In the sample you can see the custom table contains the custom values for all the tables. In this case, you would want a Primary, Clustered Index on the first three columns (Table, RowID, Attribute). The values are then added to the original values using a PIVOT clause. Optionally you could create a view that does the PIVOT before the final view for the end to maintain(see dotted line in sample).



4.       Create an XML column on a lookup table and store the additional information there.

a.       This would involve creating an XML schema and creating XML documents for each row. You could choose to store this in the original table, a custom table for each domain, or one custom table for all domans (similar to the designs of Options 2 And 3 but with XML)

b.      Positives:

                                                               i.      It can be indexed as XML as well.

                                                             ii.      Customer can update these using their own ETL, separate from those provided.

c.       Downside:

                                                               i.       It is difficult to update without an interface to do so.

                                                             ii.      User’s ETL coding is more complex.

                                                            iii.      Views must be manually changed for each new attribute


In the sample you can see that the there is a table that contains custom XML attributes. This option could also be created one table for the whole solution (similar to the last option) or it could be created as an additional column on the original table. I have gone away from that, because I don’t like BLOBs attached on the original tables. In this case I wouldn’t so that I can move them to other filegroups if needed.



Sample Scripts:

I have included some sample SQL scripts for option 3 and 4 in case you wish to see how these might work code wise.

ModularExtensibleDataSets-DynamicTables.sql (2.69 kb)

ModularExtensibleDataSets-XMLColumn.sql (764.00 bytes)


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Who is in charge of the marketing for Viagra?

If you have been watching the World Series at all, you have seen these Viagra commercials where there is a guy out in the middle of nowhere when something happens. Now what I don’t get is what this has to do with Erectile Disfunction and your need to get your junk working when you are driving through a desert. In the Carmaro commercial there is at least a mechanic there, so if that is what he is in to, more power to him. Another one, involves a truck pulling a horse trailer getting stuck in the mud. A little Cleopatraish, but nowadays with the internet, people can get into some weird crap. The one that blows my mind is the boat one. Because when you are sailing out in the middle of the ocean by yourself, you could really use a prolonged appearance from your “first mate”.

On top of this gem of brilliance, the commercials are all tinted blue. If you listen to the end of the commercial whne it is giving the warnings, it reminds you that you may experience abnormal vision. (It also mentions that if Mr. Pesky sticks around for more than 4 hours you might have an issue, unless of course you are on a boat by yourself or have a pair of horses handy.) If you don’t recall, the abnormal vision is that you see everything tinted blue and can’t distinguish between blue and green. Yeah I can’t make this up. In fact it is suspect some actor crashed his airplane because of it.

I am guessing we are to believe that these guys are on Viagra, because … well … everything is blue. They are out in the middle of nowhere cruising around, very much like that nightmare you had in junior high boy when you were asked to write on the chalkboard in front of class. I am curious “What kind of perverts they are marketing to?”, and the more obvious question, “How come there still isn’t an over the counter version?”. 


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