WordPress 2.1

WordPress 2.1 has been released. It’s an upgrade frenzy… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Rocky Balboa…

I went to see Rocky Balboa last night. It was totally awesome. I loved everything about the film. Sylvester Stallone has done a great job and really put himself back on the map.

In a way I hope it’s the last film he makes, because it is a fitting end to his career. I know he’s no Robert DeNiro, but the guy deserves some credit for the Rocky series and some of the mindless action films he’s done. It would be a shame if he follows this up with more of the straight-to-video rubbish he’s done over the last few years.

He’s managed to get himself into great shape for the film. It’s obvious he’s no spring chicken, but any 60 year old with abs has got my respect!

If you like the Rocky films, get your ass to the cinema. It’s great!

Cheers

Tim…

The Sound of Laughter…

I’ve just finished reading “The Sounds of Laughter – The Autobiography of Peter Kay”. It was a Christmas present, and quite a welcome one too. After my recent daliances with vampires and witches, it made a pleasant change to read something a bit lighter.

Peter Kay is a comedian from Bolton, in the north of England. I’ve seen him interviewed on TV a number of times and he seems to be a really nice guy.

I think this is the first time I’ve read an autobiography, so I don’t know how it compares to others, but I found it really cool. Rather than tell a complete life history from birth to present, he tells a selection of funny anecdotes that describe his life and attitudes, and those of his family. It’s not so much a factual account, as a feel of the way things were.

It’s not a big book, and it’s pretty easy to dip in an out of as each chapter is reasonably self contained. I think he’s got a really good perspective on things and I found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions. He’s renowned for talking about normal life in a funny way, and he did this again and again. I think I was able to relate to almost everything he said.

Cool!

Cheers

Tim…

Smokin’ Aces…

More like “Steamin’ Turd!”

I guess by now you realize I went to see Smokin’ Aces at the weekend and I didn’t rate it. 🙂

The trailer looked pretty cool. Loads of hitmen all going after the same guy. Sounds kind-of upbeat and exciting. Actually, it was a loosely linked bunch of scenes that rarely caught my attention. There were a couple of very good comedy moments, but on the whole this was a shockingly bad film. I was at the cinema with 4 other people, and the general opinion was that we should have gone to see Rocky Balboa or Apocalypto. Never mind… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Database Change Notification…

I’ve recently been playing around with Database Change Notification, which is basically an asynchronous triggering mechanism. I’m not really sure why I would use it in an application, but it’s always nice to know about this stuff, just in case. I suppose it’s not drastically dissimilar to the the use of a handler module in Fine Grained Auditing…

I really need 11g to be released, then I can look at some cool new features… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

A new version of WordPress again…

Version 2.0.6 of WordPress was released about 13 days ago, and already we have 2.0.7. Fortunately, I’ve got this whole upgrade thing down for a fine art now. I even remembered to update my theme this time… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Justin Currie (Del Amitri)…

I went to see Justin Currie do a gig at a local comedy club last night. He used to be, or still is depending on your view point, the lead singer of a band called Del Amitri. I’m not a fan of him or the band, but I went with a couple of friends, one of which is.

The support act was a guy and a guitar. I can can’t remember his name, but I remember that he was a complete freak. By the end of the performance we decided that he had probably been signed out of a local institution for the night!

Anyway, the main band came on and they were pretty cool. Kind of middle of the road rock/pop. Nothing too heavy and challenging, but not wishy-washy either. It turned out I know three songs by Del Amitri, those being “Nothing Ever Happens”, “Last To Know” and “Don’t Come Home Too Soon”. The latter was used as the Scottish World Cup song a few years ago. When somebody requested it, the fans murmured anxiously and Justin gave a dirty look to the guy and said, “C*nt!”. Now I don’t think that song is so bad, but I get the feeling it is not well regarded by the band or the fans. Needless to say he didn’t sing it. I can only assume that Scotland did exceptionally badly in the competition the year that was their official tune. Pity.

In all it was a pretty good gig. I’m still not a fan, but it was worth going to see. I do have a few observations about the gig-going public though:

  • Don’t sit next to me and smoke a pipe! You don’t look cool! You look like an idiot 30 something trying to look cool and failing. Roll on the smoking ban in public places that starts in July. That’s one civil liberties violation I don’t mind.
  • If you are the girlfriend/wife of said pipe smoker, do your other half a favor and explain to them that the guy sitting next to him, the one giving him dirty looks all night, is getting close to shoving that repugnant device down his throat and kicking the sh*t out of him!
  • When your a 40 something woman, it really doesn’t look cool when you act like a teenage girl experiencing Beetle Mania!
  • Male fans, it’s really not cool to try and out-sing the band. If I wanted to hear a bunch of beer-swilling idiots sing out of tune, I would have gone to a football match.

I drove home to the sound of Amy Winehouse (Back to Black). Imagine someone raiding the back catalog of Phil Spectre and Nina Simone, then jumbling the whole lot up. That’s what Amy Winehouse reminds be of. I grew up listening to Mowtown, and I’m quite partial to a bit of Nina Simone, so the combination works quite well for me.

Just a quick name and shame…

Lee Burrows – Give me back my Evanescence CD! You’ve had it since I went to Oracle Open World in October, and I still haven’t got it back!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Lee has now returned my CD. 🙂

General Life Update…

Last week was my first full week back to my normal routine since the knee operation. Everything held up pretty well, all things considered. I don’t have any knee problems when swimming or Yoga, but I’ll have to go carefully for a few weeks at Karate and keep up my rehab exercises. I found the rehab exercises and gym stuff a little boring at first, but I’m starting to get into it. Fingers crossed, I’m through the worst of it now. Here’s a picture of me messing about before Yoga on Saturday, which shows I’m not exactly struggling with the knee anymore… 🙂

On Saturday night I went so see my friends Jodie and Mel singing backing vocals in a Meat Loaf tribute band called Maet Loaf. There were a couple of technical difficulties with the venue, but the whole band still managed to put on a great performance. I guess a sign of true professionalism is being able to pull it out of the bag when everything around you is not all it should be. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

PS. I got a speeding ticket. The first one in 20 years of driving. Gutted!

I love it when a plan comes together…

Yesterday I was trying to optimize a data transfer that took the best part of two hours to complete…

After a quick inspection I noticed a couple of things:

  • After the data was transfered from a remote database, it was updated 5 times to alter some of the values. A couple of quick DECODEs in the transfer query and these five updates were removed.
  • The transformation of some of the data was done by a really inefficient function. It was doing date arithmetic by selecting from dual, rather than just using a procedural assignment like, “variable := SYSDATE + 1”.

After rectifying both these issues the transfer time was reduced from nearly 2 hours to just 3 minutes.

I love it when a plan comes together… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

PS. If only all optimizations were so easy…