Don’t think. FEEL…

I posted recently about the “more you know, the more you realise you don’t know“. The thing I didn’t mention at the time was that it is also possible to theorize yourself into a corner, hence the title of this post (A Bruce Lee rip-off from Enter the Dragon). Along those lines, I had a minor breakthrough at swimming this lunchtime.

I’ve been trying to elongate my stroke in an attempt to become more efficient, and I’ve been struggling to get used to a new breathing pattern. I’m no champion swimmer, but I figure if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it properly. Anyway, there’s one guy at the pool I always struggle to pass. He swims a little bit quicker than me, but he turns slowly, which allows me to catch up, and ultimately pass him, but it’s a real struggle. Before I got into the pool today I spent a few seconds watching him swim and I noticed his stroke rate was significantly quicker than mine. I decided that I would match his stroke rate and see what happened…

The quicker stroke rate seemed to complement my new breathing pattern, which suddenly felt more natural than the old one had, and I just felt like I was practically sprinting, but I wasn’t getting tired. I managed to keep up the same stroke rate for the whole swim and took about 90 metres out of the guy by the end.

I realise I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the specific work I’d been doing on the stroke and breathing pattern, but if I hadn’t just forgotten all that today, I think I would have spent the next few weeks still struggling.

So I guess the moral of this post is, like it’s title is, Don’t think. FEEL… 🙂




Rob seems determined to find all my hidden talents. As well as Christian evangelist and monster truck builder, I’m also a full time Photographer!



PS. I’ve available for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs… 🙂

The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know…

I’ve just returned from a very unimpressive performance at Karate and I’m feeling a little pissed off. Once again, I have to remind myself that my ability to understand my weaknesses improves faster than my ability to correct them. As a result, while I am improving, my perception is I’m getting worse.

I tend to be a “glass is half empty” sort of person, so it is easy for me to focus on the negative. I like to think this constant pessimism fuels my desire for self improvement, but it does tend to leave a sour taste in the mouth from time to time.

I’ve been on a bunch of Karate courses recently, so my list of things to work on has got serious long. I’m at a Yoga course next weekend, which will add to my list of things to work on there. My new breathing pattern at swimming is still rather sloppy and needs some concious thought, rather than doing what comes naturally. I’ve missed a few handstand and backbend practices recently, so I’ve got to get back on the case with that. Don’t even get me started on that whole Oracle thing. There’s just too much information about Oracle for my tiny mind to cope with…

The glass is half full. The glass is half full… 🙂




I went to see 300 at the cinema last night. There are lots of good things about the film, but when you sum it all up my overall opinion was it was a bit lame.

  • The visuals are very stylised, like Sin City, which at times makes for very iconic scenes, but most of the time leaves you wondering why the whole film looks like a sepia photograph.
  • The dialog is a little predictable, and delivered in a rather over the top way. I guess a lot of this was due to direction, rather than bad acting, but the final result is the same.
  • The spartan soldiers looked like they had just come off the set of a Calvin Klein advert. More homo-erotic than fearsome fighting machines.

Overall, it seemed like a mix of Lord of the Rings, Troy, Sin City and Calvin Klein. Not exactly a winning combination in my book.

There were six of us at the cinema, and two fell asleep. Kind-of says it all.



PS. The trailer looks great! 🙂

Stag Weekend…

I was at a friends Stag weekend between Friday evening and Sunday. He gets married in about 4 weeks, so a group of 10 of us guys went down to a village near Bath and spent the weekend doing stupid stuff including:

  • Karaoke
  • Driving “Rage Buggies”
  • Clay pigeon shooting
  • Driving quad-bikes
  • Drinking
  • Eating crap food

It was a pretty cool weekend, and we all managed to get through it relatively unscathed.




A few months ago, Andrew Clarke invited me to speak about PL/SQL tuning at a UKOUG Special Interests Group (SIG). I accepted, and today was the day. I woke up ridiculously early this morning and set off for Slough. I was totally knackered by the time I got there, so I spent most of the first two presentations yawning, nothing to do with the content. Then it was my turn…

I started off feeling a little nervous, but nothing major. About 5 minutes into the presentation I was meant to start talking about baselines, but all I could think about was code instrumentation. This threw me completely and my mind went totally blank. I mean completely! I must have looked like a rabbit in the headlights, because a lady in the audience (Seema) tried to prompt me. Anyway, the batteries in my brain must have reconnected because I remembered who I was and what I was doing and continued with the rest of the talk. As usual, once I got going there was no shutting me up.

When I finished the presentation I closed down Powerpoint and revealed the note I left on my desktop that read, “Don’t Choke!”. 🙂

It’s quite difficult to know what level to pitch these talks at. After-all, 45 minutes is not long to talk about detecting and tuning PL/SQL performance problems. Fortunately, Andrew gave me some good advice on that point, and apart from the brain-fade incident, the presentation seemed to go down well.

I’m not sure I’m a natural presenter, but I do think it’s fun. Although the preparation side of it is a bit painful.

Anyway, thanks to Andrew for giving me this opportunity. Thanks to the audience for coming to hear me speak. And finally, thanks to Seema for helping to kickstart my brain. I’ll drop a book off at your office tomorrow morning!