The Sapp Family

A Frisco Texas Family

So today was mostly driving and we went through four states.   Here is a photo of how Cheri spent part of the trip.

image

So Cheri and I went up to Tulsa last weekend (May 5th and 6th) to get away just a bit.  We had a great time, but what really led us there was the Bixby BBQ & Blues Festival.  A couple of the rocket guys, Ray and Keith, are in a Competitive BBQ team called Boys Can Smoke and they were going to be there with all their gear.  Including a 1963 Fire Engine that they mounted smokers in the hose bed. It was a great festival with 103 teams competing.

Boy Can Smoke did great…   Well…  I’ll just let this photo let you know how they did.

I have added a gallery of photos called Boys Can Smoke. Just click on the link and it will take you right there.

So I found myself in need of finding all the tables in a database that had a column with a certain name.  While that was somewhat easy to do I also wanted to know how many rows the tables had, and only see them in the list if they had 1 or more rows.  So by using the sysindexes and sysobjects table, a where statement with a sub-query,  grouping and finally a having statement with a row count greater than 0 (Zero), I finally got what I needed.  I figured I would toss it up here in case it can help anyone else.

 

Declare @Database_Name VarChar(150) 
Declare @Column_Name VarChar(50)
Set @Database_Name  = 'DatabaseName'
Set @Column_Name = 'ccustno'
select distinct convert(varchar(30),object_name(a.id)) [Table Name], a.rows
    from sysindexes a
            inner join sysobjects b on a.id = b.id
            inner join INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES c on c.[TABLE_NAME]=convert(varchar(30),object_name(a.id))
    where convert(varchar(30),object_name(a.id)) in
            (SELECT TABLE_NAME
                FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
                WHERE COLUMN_NAME =@Column_Name)
    Group by convert(varchar(30),object_name(a.id)), a.rows
    Having a.rows > 0

 

So Lance and Julie asked if we could shoot some maternity photos for them.  We jumped at the chance to be able to do this…   You can see the photos here in a gallery page just simply titled Lance and Julie.

So, if you read my previous blog post about our Vette (You can read it here) you know I am going to be doing some major work on the car.  Since it’s going to be a long term project I decided that I was going to put it on a blog all by it’s self.  So I have created Vette.Sapp-Family.Com and I will be putting all of  the details, the photos, of the restoration on that site.

If there is a major milestone on the Vette I may post about it here too, but most of the time it will just be on that site.   So, check it out and you can see what I am planning.

Do you have that one piece of  code that you use every once in a while that you just can’t seem to remember when you need it.  Well, this is one for me.  Most geeks who use SQL Server know what Distinct(*) is used for.  If you have a table that has 20 rows in it but one of the columns has some data it in that is repeated in it, the Distinct will show you just one line for each value.

So, lets say that you have the following values in a table

Phil
Karen
Cheri
Bill
Phil
Phil
Gaylon
Phil
Bill
Phil
Bill

If you did a Select Distinct(*) on that table then you would get back the following.

Phil
Karen
Cheri
Bill
Gaylon

As you can see, you get back a record set with only the single values and the duplicate values are not shown. What I can’t seem to remember is how to do the opposite of a Distinct(). What do you do when you want to know what values ARE duplicated. On the system I am working on right now I need to know which invoices have more than one shipping date and tracking number. I always have to go out and google on how to do that.

(Hummm… I just noticed that my spell checker says Google should be capitalized, even though I am using it as a verb and not a noun… 🙂 Ok, I’m back from that little rabbit chase now… )

So, I decided that I was just going to post it here so I know where it’s at next time I need it.

Select Name
from Table_Above
group by Name
having COUNT(Name) > 1

If you ran this script on the same table as above, you would get the following results.

Phil
Bill

This script uses the Group By and the Having functions of T-SQL which counts the number of values and then returns the values of the row if it shows up more than one time. It’s a simple little script but I never can seem to remember it when I need it.

We had a great service at church today.  While I was there I took a few photos of some of the members serving the church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see this photo and 40 more at

http://sapp-family.com/photo-galleries/hope-fellowship-serving

So on Saturday we were looking for something to do and we decided to go to the Autorama.  Both my dad and I are into cars so I knew it was going to be a good day.  Even Cheri and my mom went along.

    What was really great about going was when my wife saw this motor, she told me that I could do what ever I wanted with the motor on the Vette as long as it was shiny and had lots of chrome.

All I could get out was “DEAL!”

When I told my dad what she said, he told me that he had a 454 Big Block that he would give me for it.

 

So now I am looking for a chrome blower for a 454.  🙂

For more of the pictures I took at Autorama you can see them here;

http://sapp-family.com/photo-galleries/autorama-2012/

So for Christmas this year my wonderful wife bought me a BeeLine GPS to add to my rocket collection.   It’s a sweet little unit that is 3″ X 1.25″ and weighs about 2 ounces and will fit into a 38mm diameter tube.  According to Greg, the designer, we can just pack it in bubble wrap and shove it into a nose cone to get it to fit.   Fortunately it has mounting holes so it can also be mounted on a sled for some more stable mounting.

  I received the BeeLine GPS Package Deal with G-Switch launch detection.  It included the BeeLine GPS, the battery, a 70cm antenna with an SMA connector, the USB Interface\Charger, and a USB cable.

I also received one connector with four wires coming out of it.  This is for the Digital Telemetry inputs and can help drive the unit. However, this unit can be used without it.

The BeeLine GPS is a small unit with the GPS antenna on top of it, and the battery shrink wrapped on the back of it.  There is also one additional battery that is mounted to the back of the board. I have not discovered what this battery is used for.  I have a feeling that it is for keeping the configuration settings when the main battery is not plugged in.

This is a GPS unit which after it gets a lock will start transmitting and APRS packet on the 70cm Ham Radio band.  Since this is a Ham band Big Red Bee will only sell this unit to someone with a Ham radio license.  I happen to have a General license (KE5KOG) so it was not an issue for me.

An APRS packet is a standard used by Ham radio operators and means Automatic Packet Reporting System and basically just means that it gets the GPS location from the satellites and then transmits its location to anyone listening on the same frequency.  For us, that means we just need a radio listening on that frequency, a unit that can decode the APRS packet,  and then either a GPS unit that you can enter that location into, or a computer that will show you a map of where the device is located.   After that you just walk to the rocket and pick it up.  Hopefully no more wandering around in the fields looking for our rockets.

  Here is a photo of the unit with the antenna attached and the battery plugged in.  The first time the unit is plugged in it can take up to 20 minutes for it to get a good GPS lock.  After that it is much faster, but you can’t really tell unless you have a radio since there is nothing on the unit telling you that it’s operating.  I was a bit surprised that there was not even an LED on the board that telling me that the power is applied.  You better be sure your battery is charged and ready to go becuase the only way to tell is by having the unit plugged in and connected to your computer.

Since I got the package deal it included the combo unit USB interface and battery charger.  If you get the BeeLine GPS  you really need this part of the deal.  It’s the only way you can talk to the unit for the settings, and it’s also a charger for the battery.

It took a bit of reading and talking to Greg on the phone to figure out how to use the unit.  Here on the right you will see how the USB  charger is used.  You plug the battery into it and then connect the USB cable to it.

Then a small LED will light up telling you that the battery is being charged.

 

 

 

  The other use for the interface is to connect the GPS Flight to the computer so you can configure it.

To get it to work you first bring up the software on the computer, plug in the USB cable into the computer and interface, then plug in the battery to the unit.  Then within 5 or 6 seconds, plug the interface into the connector and then click on read in the program. This keeps the unit and software communicating for the rest of the time.  If you miss this 5 or 6 second window then you have to power down the unit and try it again.

(Tip: the LED on the interface will blink on for a fraction of a second and then off when connecting it to the unit. I was kind of worried that it had stopped working, but I learned that this was normal.)

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t wait to put this unit into full operation.  I have set my next goal in Rocketry to build and fly a rocket to 20,000′.  I will be using this unit to track with and additionally have a Rocket Hunter tracker on it.  The Rocket Hunter is just a radio transmitter that sends a tone on the 219 frequency.

 

 

(You can click on the photos to see a larger version of the images.)

 

So on our last trip to a rocket launch we made a couple extra stops on the way home.  We were not really planning it but we were driving through Dublin and I noticed the big Dr. Pepper on the side of a building and recalled what the City of Dublin was known for.  It was home to one of the oldest bottling plants for Dr. Pepper.

It was also the only place that was bottling Dr. Pepper using real Cain Sugar!  That makes all the difference in the world.  I can’t stand Dr. Pepper how it’s normally done but I really enjoy the Dr. Pepper made with real sugar.

 

It’s ran though some REALLY HOT WATER, and cleaned very very well.  Once they are cleaned, dried, and then cooled then they would come out this end of the machine and then be moved over to the actual bottling machine.

 

 

It’s ran though some REALLY HOT WATER, and cleaned very very well.  Once they are cleaned, dried, and then cooled then they would come out this end of the machine and then be moved over to the actual bottling machine.

I wish that we had been there on a day when they actually were doing some bottling.  Our tour guide, Clay, told us how it works but I bet it would have been a great thing to see.

 

 

One the bottle is clean it heads over to this machine.  This starts by filling the bottle with the carbonated water and the syrup.  Then going over to the machine that puts on the bottle cap. Clay said that if there were any flaws in the bottle that this is where they really find out about it.

When the cap is put on there is quite a bit of pressure applied.  If there is something wrong with the bottle it pops at this point and glass and soda gets sprayed all over.  He said that it can cause people to jump like they were shot.

This is the machine that puts on the bottle caps.  They come down the little channel from the hopper on top of the machine, and then onto the bottle.

 

 

Here Clay is showing us a bottle of Dr. Pepper just after the cap is put onto the bottle.  The syrup and carbonated water are separated and it has to be mixed.  He said that before they added the last machine in the step that when the bottle came off the end of the line, they would hold the bottle by the top and then spin their arm around three times.  After that it would be mixed and would never separate again.

We asked Clay if he was planning on staying with the bottling plant forever like some employees.  He said that this was a second job to help ends meet. His real job is being a youth pastor at his local church.  I hope that he is doing well with the changes that have occurred at the plant recently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They added the mixer (on the right) a few years back (like 40 years ago) and it mixes the two parts without anyone having to do it manually.  It spins the bottle around three times and they actually did it based on the length of someones arm.

 

 

 

What I really enjoyed hearing about was the issue of being able to tell when a bottle was capped and bottled.  They say that about a year is the most time that you should keep a bottle of Dr. Pepper.  After that it may not be as good.  Since they reuse bottles they can’t print anything on the bottle.  They could not print on the top of the cap either.

What they ended up doing was putting a magic marker in a PVC tube on a spring loaded metal rod.  When the bottle moves away from the capping machine it passes by the pen which marks the side of the bottle cap with the color of the pen.

Every thirty days they change the color of the pen.  That way, if you come across a bottle with a blue mark on the side of the cap, you will know that it was bottled in October.  Since you should only keep a bottle of Dr. Pepper for one year. You should drink the Dr. Pepper and hope you can find more.

 

Here are a few more photos that I took during the tour.  I have a few more that I can share, and I may post them at a later time.