A Brisk Breeze And A Brief Rain

Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 13:59 | Category : Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi
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Jackson, MS Clarion-Ledger columnist Sid Salter wrote this morning what many in Mississippi are feeling these days.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the venerable New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Louisiana residents feel “shortchanged” in the federal government’s provision of hurricane relief and feel that Mississippi enjoys more political “clout” in Washington than does their state.

First, let’s address the “clout” issue. Does Mississippi have more Capitol Hill political clout than does Louisiana?

Answer: Yes. Cochran, Lott, Barbour, Wicker, Pickering, Taylor and Thompson trump their congressional delegation big time.

Who is responsible for that “clout” deficit down on the bayou?

Answer: Louisiana voters, take a good look in the mirror and

January Afternoon In Mississippi

Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 17:40 | Category : Gardening
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After a pretty cold December, January has been somewhere between mild and warm, with temperatures most afternoons in the 60s. In addition to being pretty nice for the people, it’s been good for plants too. I took a few pictures in the front yard this afternoon… click on the picture for a larger pic…

Stock (Matthiola), an old-fashioned flower that’s fallen out of favor for some reason.

Pansies in pots. Why a flower this tough is called a pansy, I’ve never understood.

Violas have been blooming for two months. Snapdragons have made it through temperatures in the mid-20s F without a problem. Blooms should come soon!

The bottle tree is always blooming…

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Old Roses In The Cemetery

Sunday, 22 January 2006, 7:49 | Category : Gardening
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Saturday morning I met Felder Rushing, Dr. Dirt, and about a dozen old rose people and fellow travelers like me, and planted about 40 old roses at Greenwood Cemetery in downtown Jackson. It’s an old cemetery, dating back to the very beginning of Jackson in the early 1800s. We planted roses between headstones and in the corners of fenced plots, to protect the roses from mowers and string trimmers, and also to make it easier for the groundskeepers to work around them. After planting the roses, I wandered and took cuttings from some of the existing roses; I ended up without about 15 cuttings. We don’t know what varieties were planted. Felder and Dirt were allowed to wander around the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas (I think it was ARE, it may have been another Texas old rose nursery) and get a truckfull. They decided to not pay attention to varieties, just to get what looked good. A gray, overcast, cool (50s F) day, but no rain, a great day to plant roses in an old cemetery.

A few pictures from the cemetery (click on the picture to see the original):

An arched entryway into a family subplot.

The arches from a distance.

“Stone tears fall just as silently”

I liked the way this set of headstones was framed by the camellia, the cedar, and the boxwoods.

This picture, facing northwest, and the next, facing southeast, shows how this cemetery stands between the rich and the poor, or the weak and the powerful, in Jackson.

Many of the headstones had “Woodmen Of The World” engraved on them. This one did not, that I could find, but the message seems obvious.

The grave of Eudora Welty.

In the end, nature will be served.

Of Interest To Oracle and Java Developers

Thursday, 19 January 2006, 9:37 | Category : Geek Stuff
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Robert Vollman touches on one of the age-old debates in Oracle database development – where should the business logic reside? Oracle developers, and especially Oracle DBAs, tend to want as much of an application as possible living within the database. Java developers tend to want the logic in the application code. Apart from the strict technical considerations (code efficiency and capability), I can think of three issues that might affect the decision.

  • Portability, or to use an old term from the 90s, platform-independence: assuming you are wedded to Oracle as your database platform, then capturing the business logic in stored procedures (either PL/SQL or Java) minimizes the functionality of the front-end application, making a front-end rewrite of the application a less threatening possibility.

  • Reuse. It’s not uncommon to have a mix of client-server, web-client, and reporting-tool applications all hitting the same database. If your logic is maintained in the application layer, then parts of the application logic have to be reproduced in potentially all three front-ends. Sharing stored procedures can greatly reduce this duplication of logic.

  • Maintenance: who will be maintaining your application, and how available are the skillsets? If the front-end is written by a consultant team, for a database supported by your in-house staff, then it makes sense to stack as much of the business logic as possible in the domain known and supported by your in-house staff – the database itself. You don’t want to have to start writing new contracts every time something needs to be tweaked. If it the application is completely written and supported in-house, the equation can change.

So I suppose there’s no correct answer. As a DBA, I tend to lean towards using the capabilities of the database to the utmost, which means capturing the business rules in stored procedures. It’s not as much fun for the Java guys, or the C# guys, but making them happy isn’t in my job description.

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Things I’ve Noticed

Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 12:48 | Category : Life
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Nobody who believes in reincarnation was ever a pauper or a peasant in a past life, they were all princes or warriors. Pretty cool how there were so many princes and warriors in eons past.

Attendance at the really good college football games of years past, such as when one team pulled a major upset, tends to exceed the capacity of the stadium where the game was held. This differential tends to increase as the years go by.

I get a fairly consistent, though small, number of hits from The Moderate Voice. My personal theory is that this is due to the link to KudzuFiles on TMV being right below the link to Kevin Drum’s site, and some people who read Kevin’s site being bad clickers. At least they don’t leave cat poop on my porch.

Dogs can tell when it’s cold and rainy outside without ever leaving their beds.

The time it takes to set a tent up is in inverse proportion to the amount of remaining daylight.

The arrival of a new telescope always coincides with the arrival of a storm front. In fact, the amount of precipitation and the length of time it takes for the front to move through are directly linked to the size and cost of the telescope. Amateur astronomers could make a decent living by coordinating new scope purchases with drought conditions.

Ole Miss and Coach Orgeron. I don’t have anything to say about either, but my hits go up when I have them in a post.

Some people actually thought that Trent Lott wasn’t going to run again. I suspect most of these same people are surprised when the sun shows up in the east every morning.