Looking Back at 2018

Looking Back at 2018

2018 is almost over, and it's been an incredibly busy year for me. I've done more speaking and community activities this year than ever before, and had something big going on almost every month! In this, my final post of 2018, I thought I'd take a look back at some of the highlights. January I started off the year with my first-ever trip to SQL Saturday Nashville. While the weather didn't cooperate on Friday (an ice storm shut the venue down, leading to the cancellation of pre-conference sessions) things were back to normal by Saturday and it was an excellent event…
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I Did Not Do Well In College

I Did Not Do Well In College

I was going through some papers the other day and came across my undergraduate transcript, something I haven't laid eyes on in probably a decade. Reading through it was a humbling trip down memory lane. In the 12 years since I've graduated, I clearly remember (more like mis-remember) doing better in some courses than I actually did. Also, I have no excuse for my sub-par performance in some classes. But I have no regrets, as this is absolutely a part of what brought me to where I am today. Want to see what I mean? Read below and I'll take…
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Farewell etaoin shrdlu

Farewell etaoin shrdlu

While browsing Reddit last night, I came across Farewell etaoin shrdlu, a 30 minute documentary showing the last day the New York Times used hot metal typesetting to print their paper, which was July 2, 1978. I've long been fascinated by Linotype machines, which cast molded lead "slugs" for a line of type. They're extremely mechanical and really fun to watch. There are many videos to be found on YouTube detailing how they work. This particular documentary doesn't go into great detail, but gives the basics. It also shows the entire process - how text goes from the Linotype machine…
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Collecting Other People’s Christmas Cards

I think one of the reasons I like computers is that they're so much easier to deal with than people. They're predictable, emotions never get in the way, and there's always a logical explanation for everything if you dig deep enough. All that being said, I am grateful for my hobbies that don't involve sitting in front of a computer all day. Thinking through the things I enjoy in my spare time, three central themes that seem to keep popping up are art, architecture, and railroads. Here's two examples of that: Turner Family Christmas Cards The University of Illinois will…
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Bacon Blog Day 7: If Kale Can Be A Thing, What About Red Wine Bacon?

by @WidowPage I've made red wine bacon before and it's become one of my favorites.  It's not something you would eat for breakfast, but it goes so well into many recipes.  Here's my list: Grilled Peach and Bacon Salad Spaghetti with Beef and Bacon Chicken Bacon Flatbread Mushroom Bacon Casserole It's also great in stews and coq au vin and it's amazing in beef bourguignon. One other thing: Until you get a chance to try bacon that isn't mass-produced, you don't realize how much flavor real bacon has.  Producers like Oscar Meyer inject their bacon with water because they sell it…
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