Archives for General

Database Schema Abuse

Categories: General and Rants and Rambling.

I recently received shipping notice for an in-warranty replacement of a UPS for my house. Check out the tracking number:

Order summary:

Line Quantity Product Description Carrier Tracking # Shipped Date
4 1 BR1300LCD APC BACK-UPS RS 1300VA LCD 120V FedEx 7.69766E+14 5/7/2008

Yes, Freud, sometimes digits really are just digits.

Don’t try this at home

Categories: General.

It never ceases to amaze me.

At least twice a year, we have fatalities in the Texas hill-country due to people thinking they can drive across a bridge that has a little water running over it.

In their heads, I picture “hey – I can see the bridge – my car’s pretty heavy – and it’ll be a real pain in the ass to drive around to the next crossing”.

And they ALWAYS end up swept downstream. Most of them get swept out of the gene pool. Scary, sad, and mind-boggling given that it happens so frequently that it’s hard to imagine they didn’t have an opportunity to learn vicariously from someone else’s really bad oops.

So yesterday, I was driving back from my parent’s house at Canyon Lake and stopped by Gruene – a small town at the edge of New Braunfels. The Gruene crossing of the Guadalupe was underwater. It had been since Thursday. There were signs way back up the road noting that the bridge was out, and barricades right in front of the bridge on both sides.

And I saw this:


(For higher resolution, goto )

Now this time, the people involved were really lucky. They were saved by fluke of the way the riverbank works on that side of the bridge – they were swept off into a really shallow area full of cypress roots and had lots of structure to stop the car and let them get safely out. Nobody was hurt.

Look at this though. The water is welling up more than a foot on the upstream side of the bridge. Would you try to go across this in a car? If you thought so, change your mind now. It’s not worth it.