Golden Tee Holes In One

Golden Tee has become a favorite parlor game of mine. It’s quite a bit of fun to hang out and play (virtual) golf with good people. In my few years of playing the game regularly I’ve gotten much better. I’ve also managed to hit a few holes In one. Check out the links to each golden tee holes in one:

The Goods

June 18, 2019:
Number 1

February 25, 2020:
Number 2

March 13 2020: This is by far my favorite and most unexpected.
Number 3

March 16 2020: This happened during a solo round just days before Covid-19 Lockdown began. This was also just 3 days after the previous ace.
Number 4

Get Yours

Get out of the house and go play you a round of Golden Tee. Find a location with the game here.

Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker

This book by Dr. Matthew Walker covers most aspects of sleep over four sections. The first, this thing called sleep, covers the details of what sleep is and the evolutionary origins of sleep and the different stages of sleep. It also details how different animals sleep and the amounts of time dedicated to each stage plus the cycles of sleep within different animals. Section two, why you should sleep, goes into additional details of why we sleep and the various benefits of sleep on our physical, mental, emotional and philological health. The third section is how and why we dream. The topic of this section is self explanatory. The final section, from sleeping pills to society transformed, discusses sleep and the issues surrounding sleep in modern Western society.

It turns out all animals sleep or rest in one form or another. It comes as non-trivial and not something you would think about. The extended lack of sleep for any animal can be fatal. This suggests that sleep is an essential part of the functioning of animals and should not be neglected. It also indicates sleep is one of the foundational elements of animals evolutionary history and sets us apart from other living beings on earth.

When it comes to mammals, those that live in the sea sleep with one half of their brain at a time. This allows them to stay conscious while resting so they can stay alert and keep swimming. They still rest for 8 hours a day though, 4 hours with one part of their brain and 4 hour with the other.

There are 4 different stages of sleep but they can be grouped into two general categories. One is non-REM sleep the other is REM sleep (very creative names, I know). There are many differences between NREM and REM sleep and each stage performs different functions. NREM sleep is when the brain waves move slower. It also brings the feeling of restfulness to you in the morning. REM sleep is the stage of sleep when you dream. It is also closer to wakefulness in terms of when it occurs. NREM and REM sleep are responsible for different nerve activities within the brain. Combined these stages are responsible mental health and memory function.

One interesting difference mentioned between NREM and REM sleep is the limbic system is disabled during REM sleep causing people not to act out their dreams. However, the limbic system is not disabled during NREM sleep. This means that sleepwalking occurs during NREM sleep. It is also the reason why sleepwalkers do not remember their activities during the time they are sleep walking.

Over the course of one’s lifetime the need for each stage of sleep and indeed the amount of time spent in each stage of sleep changes. Babies and small children get more deep NREM sleep and less REM sleep. This makes sense because younger children are growing physically much more during the early years of life. As people get older the balance of sleep cycles shifts towards more REM sleep.

Dr. Walker presents evidence of mental issues later in life due to lack of sleep. He makes the link to Alzheimer’s disease being caused in part by lack of sleep throughout life. One anecdotal example of this is Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan who both often bragged about only sleeping 4 hours a night. Ultimately they both suffered from Alzheimer’s which may have been avoided had they taken sleep more seriously.

Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker is fascinating and full of interesting information as to why sleep is important and should not be considered as part of a healthy lifestyle. I initially heard Dr. Walker and the discussion of these topics on The Joe Rogan Experience which you can find on YouTube, Spotify or most other podcast outlets. This book is also featured on Bill Gates’ blog Gates Notes.

Visit Dr. Walker’s website here. Also, you can read a much more abbreviated article of the difference between NREM and REM sleep here.

why we sleep
Why We Sleep

Oracle DUAL Table

My expertise with databases was learned with Microsoft SQL Server. Over the years I learned how to use other DBMS, but Oracle is the only other enterprise level system I have attempted to learn. Although most mainstream database systems follow ANSI standards, there are several nuances to each one which make can make learning the next one challenging. In my experience, going from MS SQL to Oracle proved to be a steep learning curve. Properly assigning values to variables and using the Oracle DUAL Table was part of that learning curve.

Variables in Oracle vs. SQL Server

One area that is completely different is working with and assigning variables when writing SQL “programs” (TSQL in MS SQL and PL/SQL in Oracle). Using TSQL you can declare a variable using any name you like prefixed with an “@” and followed by a datatype. In PL/SQL you do not prefix variable names with any special characters. In this example I show how to declare and assign a string variable with a value.

Also in Oracle you cannot assign a string directly to a variable like you can in MS SQL. You must “select” the value from the DUAL table which is an automatically generated table in Oracle. More details on the DUAL table can be found here.

In SQL Server
DECLARE @Something VARCHAR(500)
SET @Something = ‘Some Random String’
SELECT @Something = ‘Some Random String’

In Oracle
SpacePath varchar(500)
SELECT ‘Some Random String’ INTO SpacePath FROM dual;

Side Note

I recently revisited old unpublished blog posts and this was one of them. This was initially outlined in September 2017 using Oracle 12c. In January 2021 the details were elaborated and published.

Tricky SQL Test: Part 3

This is Part 3 of the three part series detailing the ‘tricky SQL test’ I took to get a potential job.  Read Part 1 of the series here and Part 2 here.

The Test

Given a table events with the following structure:

create table events (
  event_type integer not null,
  value integer not null,
  time timestamp not null,
  unique (event_type, time)

insert into events (event_type, value, time) values (2, 5, '2015-05-09 12:42:00');
insert into events (event_type, value, time) values (4, -42, '2015-05-09 13:19:57');
insert into events (event_type, value, time) values (2, 2, '2015-05-09 14:48:30');
insert into events (event_type, value, time) values (2, 7, '2015-05-09 12:54:39');
insert into events (event_type, value, time) values (3, 16, '2015-05-09 13:19:57');
insert into events (event_type, value, time) values (3, 20, '2015-05-09 15:01:09');

Write an SQL query that, for each event_type that has been registered more than once, returns the difference between the latest (i.e. the most recent in terms of time) and the second latest value.  the table should be orderred by event_type (in ascending order).

For example, given the following data:

event_type  | value     | time
2           | 5         | 2015-05-09 12:42:00
4           | -42       | 2015-05-09 13:19:57
2           | 2         | 2015-05-09 14:48:30
2           | 7         | 2015-05-09 12:54:39
3           | 16        | 2015-05-09 13:19:57
3           | 20        | 2015-05-09 15:01:09

Your query should return the follow rowset:

 event_type | value     
2           | -5
3           | 4

For the event_type 2, the latest value is 2 and the second latest value is 7, so the difference between them is -5.

The names of the columns in the rowset don’t matter, but their order does.

Welcome Again

Welcome again! The Travisty blog has officially relaunched. I started this blog back in 2017 and wrote a few posts within the first year but then lost interest and moved on to other things. I also shut the server hosting these sites. But, I recently started this server back up to host another site. After some tinkering I realized I could host multiple sites using the same IP address. Since this site was already configured it took minimal effort to get it back online. So we’re back for 2021, BAM! This year is already shaping up to be icing on the cake known as 2020.

So far I am already working on a number of posts and topics. In addition to the topics I set out to write about originally I will also publish “book reports” in which I will document the books I am reading. I may also look to do some updates to the site, though I do quite like the 2017 look and feel that I left off with. Feels so retro. So that’s that. Perhaps we’ll keep this going a bit longer this time around. Welcome and enjoy!