Wednesday, September 25 2019
Late this afternoon, about an hour before I was to head home, I had a little epiphany about the data import I was working on. Different values were present in different columns that had had to be teased out of base table and put in a table whose relationship to that base table was one-to-many. I implemented this as a list of column names having such data and then looping through that list for each base entity, building a lookup table of all the types of such data on the very first base entity. This was all very straightforward imperative code, and it worked flawlessly the first time I tested it. But it had me thinking: had I wanted to implement this in a more declarative or object-oriented fashion, building it would've taken longer, had more bugs, and been less easy to maintain. This had me thinking: is there something unusual about my mind that makes it easiest for me to work using an old-fashioned imperative programming style? The thing I'd implemented was not trivial (initially I'd thought it would take me a day, but it only took about a half hour), and yet I hadn't even had to debug it. It was hard to imagine it being implemented better using any other technique. And I know I'm a pretty good programmer, since I am routinely able to solve problems that other developers find impossible.
Back home in Hurley, I took Ramona on a short walk, ending up at the stone wall, where I did some more work. But I didn't work long. I didn't want to be there when Crazy Dave and his three crazy dogs came through. I have a feeling Dave is a creature of habit and doesn't like to encounter people in the woods. He certainly doesn't enjoy having to call off his dogs (as he had to do when he was surprised to see me pop up from behind the wall yesterday). He's been taking evening walks in the forest for all of the 17 years we've been here, and I can probably find a better time to work on my wall than then.
After working at the bookstore and dining at the Garden Café, Gretchen came home and started a paper fire in the woodstove because she felt cold. The fire got so hot that the black enamel on the stovepipe started to offgas, making the house smell like how a hangover feels. This happens every so often and so didn't constitute an emergency. But it made the air bad enough that I didn't want to be in the house. I went out to the parking area with my reflector telescope and tried looking at an object I thought might be Jupiter, but the damn thing was almost impossible to point, and the object I was trying to see was probably a star anyway (perhaps Altair).
When I went back in the house, the enamel smell was so bad that I didn't think I could comfortably sleep in there, so I went down to the greenhouse and slept there instead. If it weren't for my marriage, I'd probably sleep down there a lot more often. Without the cats, dogs, motors, and smoke detectors, one can reliably have a good night's sleep down there. The dogs and cats do know about the greenhouse, and most of them also know how to use its pet door. So it can really only be a dog and cat free space when nobody is using it consistently.
The east end of the stone wall this evening, with a bit of Ramona. Click to enlarge.
The view of the stone wall from the south this evening.
Click to enlarge.
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