Friday, April 21, 2006

A USNA Companymate killed himself

I got some bad news this morning. One of my companymates and a member of my class at the Naval Academy killed himself.

We lived a couple of doors apart-- never really got along too well. He always seemed angry at me when I was around. At 18 I didn't understand that maybe that was more a sign of a deeper suffering.

I talked with one of my roommates from the Academy this morning for the first time since graduation (20 years ago in May!). It was good to hear from him, and get emails back and forth to another classmate.

It really made me think about those four years at Annapolis. There were some amazing people there. I always felt a little inadequate in comparison. I talked with a friend of mine this morning who pointed out the insanity of this. It's important to appreciate the gifts we are given.

No one understands what our classmate did. I hope his family is... I can't imagine that his family is okay.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

SQL Server: Error 9002, Log file is full

I got this error when I had backed up a database but neglected to truncate its log file and shrink the database. Normally you don't notice this because the default in SQL Server is to allow unlimited growth of data files. Here's the error message:

Name: Database log file is full. Back up the transaction log for the database to free up some log space.
Description: Error: 9002, Severity: 17, State: 6
The log file for database 'FOO' is full. Back up the transaction log for the database to free up some log space.

Here's the code to fix it:

use master

with truncate_only

* The second parameter is the percentage
* of free space you want to leave for
* further growth.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Bikram Yoga: You better breathe!

This is my third week doing Bikram Yoga at Bikram's Yoga College of India in Philadelphia ( I'm going three times a week now.

On Friday I went with Sonia for our weekly yoga date. For some reason I lost control of my breathing about a quarter of the way through class. I just started panting. Considering that this is a 90 minute class, that's pretty serious. I had a solid core of pain right in the center of my body for the last hour of class. I didn't really catch my breath until about an hour after class. It wasn't pretty.

When I went into class this morning I promised myself to concentrate on my breathing, even if it meant I'd do less on the poses. I really watched it, controlled it, modified the pose if necessary to be able to control my breathing. When I finished class, I felt great. Oddly enough, I got even deeper into the poses than last time. I guess it *is* all about breathing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Becoming accustomed to the presence of peace

On Monday I was having a tough day. I couldn't put my finger on what the trouble was. I was talking with a friend when we hit on the fact that I had not prayed or meditated in three days.

It's always bugged me when I've heard people say that they skipped a day's prayer or meditation and had a bad day. It smacks of magic to me: that a prayer to the "cosmic concierge" affords me a good day, and if I don't pray, I am punished with a bad day.

But I think I'm beginning to understand it: when I pray and meditate on a regular basis, I accustom myself to the presence of peace.

This is important: people are not always right or easy to deal with. Sometimes people will come with aggression where none is necessary. Sometimes they will act out of despair. If I am not accustomed to the presence of peace, I have nowhere to go in that situation but towards more aggression. But if I let myself experience peace on a regular basis, I can meet aggression with peace. Aggression plus aggression escalates. Aggression met with peace: that's something we can work with.

One of my set prayers is the Prayer of St. Francis. It gives a formula for what is basically unfamiliar to me by nature: peace in my daily relations. The prayer asks that when there is hatred I may bring love, that where there is wrong I may bring the spirit of forgiveness. As a male, I have been taught that my basic tools in most cases are aggression and comic deflection. Learning something new here for me is essential. If someone near me makes an obvious error, becoming aggressive to that person hurts everyone. Forgiveness of an error is a path towards peace.

It seems easier to think about this in terms of people I already love: my wife, my coworkers. But it gets tougher with people I have not learned to love yet-- for example, when President Bush makes what I believe to be an error, if I aggressively condemn him, I actually cause less peace in the world. If I can somehow find the spirit of forgiveness for one of his errors, I channel more peace.

This is a difficult concept for me. Neither do I think I am supposed to blindly follow my president down a hate-based path of aggression towards all. I think I'll have to think about this aspect of my spirituality some more.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Bikram Yoga: Week one

As I mentioned last week, I found a couple of Yoga places here in Center City, Philadelphia (Yoga Classes in Philadelphia). I had done one Bikram Yoga class in New Orleans before we evacuated, and I had been happy with it. The schedule was right. And I'm a little bit of a masochist (really-- I have the T-shirt and everything.)

So I signed up for Bikram Yoga at Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia. I've done four classes in the last week, including a date with Sònia last Friday. She's gotten into it too.

Bikram is hard. I've decided that Bikram is the fisting of Yoga. On Wednesday I did a class after getting only four hours of sleep. My balance was all messed up. I was trying to do this head to knee pose where the goal is to touch your forehead to your toes-- I thought, yeah, right. But I really pushed it, and I actually felt my hair touch my toes! Right then, it was like someone turned on a big switch-- for a moment, I was completely awake. I had complete consciousness. I heard the theme music to "Bonanza". It was cool.

Then I went out of the pose and it was gone. Guess I'll have to go back next week.