15 August 2008

God (and His servants, the writers of the Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting/MRP system) has been particularly gracious to me today.

El Presidente here and the accounting department have been struggling with our MRP system's Sales Forecasting module, because it would import the previous year's sales history properly, but there was no way to copy that data into the next year's forecast as a default value. It was then put to me to figure out a way to do so. I found the following tables to be relevant to the MRP Sales Forecasting module:


That's a good start, and I noted that ...230 contained the forecast data, while ...630 contained line item sales history, albeit not summarized per each configured date period in the forecast. I was getting ready to wade into an enormously complex SQL script drawing from several of these tables that would compute the sales history for each period and write it over to the ...230 table, but then I looked at the ...230 table again and saw that it had a field QTYTORDR. Oh sweet heavens, do my eyes deceive me...no, it was indeed the sales history quantity for each period, summed up and ready to go!

One quick SQL statement later:
WHERE PLANNAME_I = '[plan name to be updated]'
...and problem solved. I celebrated with my third cup of coffee.

08 August 2008

Drudge has a link to a story regarding Hillary's continued shenanigans that he titled on his page "WHAT'S SHE UP TO?". Every time I've seen it I immediately think of Stephen Fry in "A Bit of Fry and Laurie", during the Peter and John sketches, particularly his dealings with the off-screen Marjorie, wondering "WHAT IS SHE AFTER?" for example.

It makes me think of Obama and his advisors...wouldn't it be great if his inner camp used "Marjorie" as a code word for Senator Clinton? Something sort of like this:

B: Dammit Michelle.
M: Barry?
B: Dammit four times round the car park and back in for another dammit.
M: Do I get the feeling that something's on your mind, Barry?
B: Come on, Michelle, you know what the hell I'm talking about.
M: At a guess I'd say that this had something to do with the DNC Enterprises takeover bid?
B: You know it's funny, Michelle. Four years. Four hard years I've put into building up this campaign. And now I'm supposed to stand by and let a bunch of wet-arsed college kids take it all away from me.
M: I know, Barry.
B: If only Hillary hadn't left us the way she did...
M: Hillary? Hell Barry, you can't go blaming yourself for that. You and Hillary had...
B: Had what, Michelle? A post-primary truce that was nothing more than a bad joke, and not even a very good one?
M: You made some mistakes, Barry, that's all. You and Hillary had different ideas about where the party was headed. End of story.
B: But dammit, Hillary was good, Michelle.
M: As an opponent, or as a vice president?
B: Is there a difference, Michelle?
M: I hope so, Barry.
B: And now, while we're up to our arses in a major takeover scrap, she's sunning herself in the South of France.
M: South of Wales actually, Barry.
B: Well, wherever the blue-rinsed hell she is. Oh what a damned fool I've been.
M: Barry, listen to me, this is no time for you to start feeling sorry for yourself.
B: But dammit every which way but one, Michelle...
M: Barry. Do something for me. Take a look out of this window.
B: What is this, Michelle? Some sort of game?
M: No game, Barry. Look out there and tell me what you see.
B: I see a parking lot.
M: Well that's funny, Barry. Because the last time you looked out of that window, you saw an idea. Don't you remember?
B: Yes. I remember.
M: I thought so.
B: I remember thinking that that would be the best place for the parking lot.
M: Dammit Barry, I'm talking about the big idea. The dream that you and I shared. The dream of an administration that would put South Chicago on the goddamned map once and for all.
B: Yeah, well maybe...
M: Maybe? Maybe? I don't believe I'm hearing this. What the hell's happened to the old Barry?
B: Michelle I...
M: Don't Michelle I me! We've got that close. And you're going to lie down and just walk away?
B: Michelle, don't harassle me. I'm tired.
M: Tired be damned!
B: A man's got to know when he's licked, Michelle. And I know the feeling. I've been licked before.
M: The Lord's Saints preserve us.
B: Did I ever tell you about the time Hillary licked me? Licked me good and proper? Well I've got the same feeling now, Michelle, and it's sore. Maybe it's time to move on.
M: Barry. I'm going to tell you what I see out of this window.
B: Is this another of your games, Michelle?
M: Same game, Barry. Different rules. (Looking out) I see Tom and Sally and Debbie...
B: I thought Sally was off with the flu...
M: Exactly, Barry! Exactly! But she's come in today because she believes in you! God knows why! She believes in what you're trying to do here in Washington. And you're going to just turn your back on those kids? You're going to walk away from...dammit, I make no apology, a vision?
B: Dammit Michelle, maybe you're right.
M: You're damn right maybe I'm right.
B: Damn, double damn, and an extra pint of damn for the weekend.
M: Daaaaamn!
B: Right, Michelle.
M: Damn?
B: Get a fax over to Rezko. Extraordinary General Meeting, 3.00p.m. today. Call Howard Dean, and see if we can pull Pelosi in from...where the hell is Pelosi?
M: Havana.
B: And get Reid in here. We've got an agenda to work up.
M: Welcome back to the fight, Barry. Sorry if I was a little rough on you back there.
B: Hell, Michelle, I deserved it. I was acting like a damned amateur.
M: And if Hillary calls...?
B: If Hillary calls...(Pause) Tell her I'm busy.

07 August 2008

The World Wide Interweb is a wonderful thing.

For the past year or so I have been somewhat annoyed that my local grocery store charges through the veritable nose for either loin back ribs or St. Louis cut ribs. But I never really liked the untrimmed, but much cheaper spare ribs. Spare ribs run almost half the price by weight.

But a Google search and a quick skimming later, and now I understand how to properly trim spare ribs into St. Louis cut ribs, reserving the skirt and brisket for other things (probably meat to add to beans or other dishes).

This probably means nothing to anyone, but it is rather nice to know I don't really need to pay for the ridiculously overpriced loin back ribs when I feel the need for BBQ.

04 August 2008

So I smoked the apple ribs yesterday, they came out pretty well!

First on Saturday, I prepped the spice mix, using cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Reserved a bit less than 1 tablespoon of it, for use with the glaze. I found a jar that had just a bit of apple sauce left in it, and used that (maybe 1/4 or 1/3 cup) to mix up the spices, with an unmeasured handful of brown sugar for sweetness. I stirred it up into a thick brown spice paste. The allspice and the paste consistency reminded me of jerk seasoning:

Then after removing the membrane, rinsing, and drying the ribs, I rubbed the paste on. I wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap and stuck it back in the fridge.

Here it is on the Weber/Smokenator, using hickory for smoke. Forgot to get apple wood at the store, but I wouldn't probably notice the difference anyway. I also had a tin of beans mixed with some leftover brisket burnt ends, diced up.

After three and a half hours I pulled it off and wrapped it in heavy foil. As you can see they are getting pretty close to done, even at this stage. Simply because I didn't want to keep feeding charcoal to my Weber in the blazing heat, I cheated and set the oven at 250 degrees. Does the job! I also poured on a few ounces of my fermented apple cider to steam it nicely.

After an hour and a half, I started cooking down the can of apple juice concentrate. I added in the remaining reserved spices, and got it cooking pretty good. Here it is about half way through, but I think I overdid it, and turned it essentially into caramel. When it was done it was a dark brown thick caramel sludge, with the apple flavor a bit muted by the caramelisation process. Still, caramel ribs are tasty...

So after it had steamed in foil for almost 2 hours, I pulled the ribs out, and they were, at least by Steven Raichlen's standards, a bit TOO done, and were definitely falling off the bone. I brushed on the thick apple glaze and stuck them back in the oven, really for only about 5-10 minutes or so. I took them out, cut them up, and drizzled the remaining apple glaze on top. Served with the smoked BBQ beans and a glass of the aforementioned cider. Reminded me of the sweet glazed pork ribs you sometimes get at chain restaurants, except the pork isn't bland, it is smoky and flavorful.

To change next time:
  1. Perhaps use a little more apple sauce, or perhaps apple butter, for a thicker coating of the spice marinade.
  2. Lessen the length of time in foil, so the ribs at least stay on the bone.
  3. Boil the glaze for less time, to decrease the caramel flavor and leave more apple flavor in.