Monday, February 1 2010
In the forest in the winter, what can seem like dry wood will often prove to be something else once brought into the house and thawed. In general I've learned never to put cold wood into the woodstove because what might seem like solid dry wood is actually rotten wood pulp held together in a matrix of ice. Today I brought three pieces of wood into the house that had all frozen together in a triangular stacked array. I couldn't break them apart; they were glued together as if by Super Glue. What makes this story interesting was that I kept these conjoined sticks next to the stove all day long yet the ice bonding them together never completely thawed. I even chipped away at the the outer rotten wood as it thawed, exposing more and more of the interior of the bond, but the ice never released. In the end I was able to break the weld through brute force, but this was after the logs had been sitting next to a hot stove for eight or nine hours. Wood is a good insulator and ice is not as eager to melt as many would imagine.
I spent most of the day working on an elaborate addition to my homebrewed database editing and visualization suite. This new tool would allow me to save and organize scripts to easily create/destroy/recreate entire multi-table entities in a database. Integral to this system was a script written to take note of new autoincrement IDs so as to use them as foreign keys in other tables getting inserted rows with the addition of an entity. There would also be a system to completely destroy any entity created this way, as well as to revive any entity destroyed. This kind of tool comes in handy when you find yourself working with extremely complicated database applications where you need a whole bunch of test cases to try out and remember so they can be tried out again. Going through a site's registration process multiple times is no fun, and neither is taking twenty steps in Drupal to get to some point in the process where something is breaking.
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