Late last Friday afternoon I was working on a database quality issue that had been challenging me all day. Essentially I was looking for any distraction that would give the left side of my brain a break. These two gents came up to me with a somewhat coy look on their faces and after the usual courtesies along the lines of “Do you have a minute for a SQL question? The best way to understand WHY the SQL engine returned 10 is to look at the query plan: When reading graphical execution plans we always read from RHT to LEFT. ” proposed the following question: Come on guys, I was hoping for a ping pong or foosball invite… Regardless, I couldn’t help myself and proceeded to give it some thought. The first step the SQL engine does is a table scan on our temp table. there’s only 10 rows in it, there are no indexes, and SQL probably wouldn’t use an index anyway since the data set is so small. The above diagram hhts the pop up box when hovering the cursor over the line that connects the table scan with the stream aggregate (in our case, the only aggregate function is COUNT). Franlkin Gifford (1854-1936), a long-time resident of Woods Hole, filled his retirement making paintings of local scenes that he remembered or reconstructed. Twenty or so of Gifford’s paintings now hang on the walls of the Woods Hole Public Library. Some of the paintings depict battles or famous historical events, but many (like the paint of eeling shown here) show scenes village life in Woods Hole in the 1800s and capture a sense of what that life was like.