Thursday, July 19, 2012

My First Triathlon?

Not sure why I felt this post-worthy...

A friend and co-worker of mine is doing her first triathlon this weekend. I think she saw some of my posts about my first (in a million years) being in October, so she called me out. I told her I would sign up for one on July 28th, but I waited to long and the entrance fee was close to a million dollars.

What follows is our (edited) conversation.

Erica: I'm going to need a triathlon pep talk before saturday.
Me: is it the 21st? I'm sure I can do that.
Erica: yeah, I'm nervous as hell. I want to be able to finish the race and not humiliate myself
Me: wait...I've got something.
Me: and you're not even close to where she was during the ironman

Side note, I taped and watched the 2011 Hawaii Ironman recently. I cried almost the entire show. I do that.

Erica: I can't imagine doing a 14 hour race. that's crazy you're crazy.
Me: yeah, i know. the point is, you can manage < 2 hours doing a swim/bike/run no problem.
Erica: 2 hours is my goal.
Me: things to prepare for: 1. as soon as you get in the water, you'll think to yourself, "WTF am I doing?" Just keep swimming just keep swimming.
Erica: thanks Dory
Me: You'll be out of the water in 20 minutes or so.
You'll get out of the water and your legs will be wobbly, sea legs. You'll think to yourself, "WTF am I doing?"
but you'll jog, or walk up to your bike, put on your shoes and get on anyway.
About 5 minutes into the bike you'll be thinking, "so that's why they have aero bars, so they can rest their arms after the swim."
followed quickly by, "WTF am I doing?"
But you'll keep going...enjoying the breeze and freedom the bike provides.
About 30 minutes into the bike, you'll wonder, again, why you're doing this. as you're passed by someone twice your age (you'll know, as everyone has their age painted on the back of their least they used to do that).
Erica: they still do
Me: and you'll be embarrassed and want to quit
then you'll think...wait, if this old effer can do it, why can't I?!!
and you'll keep pedaling hear the roar of the crowd...or not, but you realize you're about a mile out of the bike/run transition.
you drop into a lower (easier) gear and spin so that your legs won't be so full of lactic acid after doing squats (pedaling) for an hour.
you'll cruise into transition, park your bike and sit down to put your shoes on.
after your shoes are tied, or slipped on (like I do, I hate socks, and tying shoes)
you'll start to jog out of the transition area
and your heart will explode...
and you'll think to yourself, "WTF am I doing?"
you'll then decide to give it a minute or two and slow down your pace so you can slow down your heartrate
but your legs are screaming at you...saying "WTF are YOU doing!??"
and "I effing hate you!"
"stop moving!!"
but you'll keep moving forward
Erica: omg, you're not helping. :p
Me: about every 4 minutes on the run this will happen. "WTF am I doing?"
The pain from the bike will leave you after about 10 minutes...
then it's just a matter of willing yourself, Green Hornet style, to keep going.
If you have to walk, walk. Do it for a minute or 2 minutes. It's OK.
Stop for water.
Then you'll think...well this is a convenient place to stop...
but you won't.
Best part about most runs is they are out-and-back...makes it harder to quit as you have to get back somewhere, you might as well finish.
Actually, every minute or so you'll be thinking to yourself, "WTF am I doing?" which is quickly followed by, "Hey, I'm on the run already, awesome!"
Drink water at the stations.
Pour water on your head.
It will help, physically.
But I doubt the physical will be the hard part...the hard part is ALWAYS the mental. If you're goal is to finish, just finish. Take your sweet ass time out there. Enjoy the scenery, hot bodies scantily clad.
Erica: LOL
Me: And realize that everyone is going through EXACTLY the same thing as you...because they are.
Erica: yeah, but they all get to enjoy the beer at the end

And then it devolved from there, shocking, I know.

For whatever reason, I found it an intriguing chat session. You're the (un?)lucky recipient.

I'll post Erica's results here when she finishes. Wish her luck!

For the record, I'll be doing my first triathlon in over 11 years this October.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kscope 2012 Recap

The Venue

The event took place this year in hotter-than-Hades San Antonio, Texas. Fortunately for all of us, the hotel and conference were in a single (Texas-sized) building; the JW Marriott San Anonio.

Just 20 minutes from downtown San Antonio and the airport, the JW Marriott Resort is situated in Texas Hill Country in Cibolo Canyons, where crystal clear streams and towering oak and cedar trees meet the majesty of the hills. The elements of authentic roots, hacienda style, beautiful views and healing waters serve as the inspiration in bringing this magnificent resort to life. The Hill Country resort features 265,000-square-feet of meeting and event space, the 36 hole TPC San Antonio and the sophisticated Lantana Spa.

Let's not forget the Lazy River, where many of my compatriots...lost themselves.

The River Bluff Water Experience offers six acres of heated pools, fountains, waterfalls, rivers, and an abundance of poolside lounges to soak in the sun.

Pretty awesome.

One other thing about the venue, I don't recall a single complaint or tweet about wi-fi. I've not been to a conference where someone doesn't complain about that. Well done Marriott, well done.

The People
If you known me for any length of time, you probably know this is my absolutely favorite part. To me, people are bright shiny objects. This sums it up nicely as well, a friend said this:

Tough to argue with that.

Day -1 I met Jeff Smith and Dan McGhan at the airport. Well, we didn't plan on meeting at the airport, but we happened to be there at the same time. Anyway, Jeff gave us a ride to the Marriott.

In the lobby we met Patrick Barel and Galo Balda, who we had been planning (via Facebook) on going to The Riverwalk and The Alamo that day. Unfortunately for Patrick, he's of the Dutch persuasion and I had recently seen Austin Powers in Goldmember. Now, I really have no context for the "hatred" of the Dutch, but it's funny, so I went with it. I'm sure others would be proud.

Where do you get a chance to publicly torture Don Seiler? Kscope. I'm sure this battle will escalate.

You can see all the pictures I took at Kscope here.

The Party
Armadillo racing? Check.
Sitting on a Texas Longhorn. Check.
Barbeque. Check.
Bull Riding (mechanical). Check.
Rodeo. Check!

Last year it was on the Queen Mary with Busta Move artist Young MC. This year, a full blown rodeo at the Knibbe Ranch. I'll spare you the picture of my war-wound from being thrown by the bull. In my defense, it was night. I may or may not have imbibed an adult beverage or two.


A friend and co-worker was even spotted chasing after a small bovine for a chance to win a pass to Kscope 2013. You should see the video. Fun. Speaking of videos, there are videos of Lisa Dobson riding the bull, Jeff Smith, Tim Gorman and Kellyn Pot'Vin out there. If you're nice, maybe I'll share.

My favorite moment though is definitely this one:

That's Danny Bryant awesomesauce.

The Staff

The YCC staff, minus Kathleen McCasland. From left to right: Aimee, Brianne, Larissa, Lori, Bo (err, Lauren), Melissa, Heather and Crystal (the new Executive Director).

It's difficult to say enough about this team. They're excellent at what they do and have a lot of fun doing it.

Let's not forget the ODTUG Board.
  • Monty Latiolais (pronounced like Frito-lay) - President
  • Barbara Morris - Vice President
  • Jerry Ireland - Treasurer
  • Bambi Price - Secretary
  • John King - Director
  • Cameron Lackpour - Director
  • Mike Riley - Director (and former President)
  • Tim Tow - Director
  • Martin D'Souza - Director
  • Edward Roske - Not Sure (site's been updated, and I'm lazy right now. I just know that he's everywhere and part time comedian.)
The Board members are all volunteers. They give up a significant amount of their own time to help put this event together. They are one of the bravest groups too...they got on stage for the General Session in singlets, you know those things wrestlers wear? I know way too much about some of them. Consider yourself lucky I am not including a picture.

I think that's part of what makes them great though, their ability to put themselves out there like that.

So maybe now you're starting to think, "Man, that would be a great conference to geek out at." You're in luck because early bird registration is open and next year's event is in New Orleans.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fun with OBIEE SQL

I posted a couple of tweets yesterday about this crazy query I had to work with. I won't Storify you to death, so I'll sum it up quickly. 1269 lines (formatted, of course). 13 WITH clauses. 8 base tables.

The error that was occurring was an Oracle one: ORA-00937, "not a single-group function."

That's interesting because OBIEE, the BI Server, generates/builds the SQL based on the logical model you've created. It's doing it wrong, in this instance. I'm willing to wager that it's a bug, in one way or another.

Now, if the logical model doesn't support this particular combination of columns, grain, or whatever, it will tell me so immediately. It will usually tell me while working in the RPD, so I won't even get this far (presentation layer).

Anyway, I found the offending piece of SQL, right at the bottom in the SELECT statement. There were 2 analytic functions, MIN and SUM and no GROUP BY. So I took the non-analytic columns, created a GROUP BY and added them in. It worked.

That didn't solve my problem though. Sure, I could run it in SQL Developer, but that doesn't do the end-user much good.

I tried to trace those 2 columns back up through the SQL...and then my eyes bled. With help from the user, I identified the column (measure) that was breaking the report. Now, could I trace this back through the SQL and figure out where? Not likely, but I tried.

I needed a visual representation, so I tried out FreeMind, a mind mapping software. This is what I came up with:

Nodes in Yellow share the same base tables. Ditto for the other color coded nodes. I couldn't figure out a way to get them to connect or share those child nodes.

Ultimately a fun little exercise (in futility?). Anyone else tried to do something like this?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

OOW 2012 Twitter List

I've been urged to provide a Twitter list for OOW 2012 attendees. You can see last year's list here.

Check out the Storify story of how it unfolded on Twitter (love Storify).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

OBIEE: Where'd my SQL go?

With the introduction of 11g, you can now deploy your opaque views to the database as, well, database views. It will simply wrap up your SQL statement inside a CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW... and run that statement using the connection pool you specified. Of course this means your connection pool has to have privileges to create objects, which may not be the case if you are using "read only" connections.

Anyway, if your development environment is refreshed from production on a regular basis, objects and all, you'll need to redeploy those views. Naturally, you saved that ad-hoc like SQL in subversion or some other source control tool...oops, you didn't?

All is not lost.

First, it's relatively easy, if you have a magnifying glass, to pick out the deployed views, they look like this:

Now, just go into the table properties, General tab and go to the dropdown box:

Select the Select selection (hah!). If you're a bit uptight about putting it in the correct location (like I am), you may have to navigate to the appropriate database version. For me, Oracle 10g R2:

VoilĂ !

Another option that you could use would be to Copy (Ctrl+C) the object in question and then paste (Ctrl+V) into notepad or some similar tool. Should be fairly easy to spot the SQL.