Visual Migraine…

Yesterday I had an episode where my vision was totally distorted. At first, my central vision was blurred and I could see flashing lights. Then over time the distortion and the flashing lights moved towards my peripheral vision, leaving my central vision fine. Two visits to the hospital later and I was diagnosed with visual migraine. It’s the same visual distortions experienced by some migraine sufferers, but without the headache. Possible triggers include:

  • Caffeine
  • Cheese
  • Dehydration
  • Stress

A life without diet coke and cheese is no life! πŸ™‚

Now I know I’ve not had a stroke and I don’t have a brain tumor, I’m going to look for the positive in this. Next time it happens I shall play some mp3s on my phone and pretent to be in a disco until it passes. πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Theme change… Again…

After receiving a number of complaints about the blog not displaying properly in various browsers, or various window sizes, I’ve decided to try a new theme. This one is a little plainer, but still kind-of nice, so let’s see how long this one lasts. πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Overly muscular cows and motorbikes…

On Sunday I went to the West Mid Show in Shrewsbury for the second year in a row. It’s an agricultural show with a whole host of machinery and livestock on display. I’m not a country type, but I do like having a look at all this stuff.

Anyone in the UK will know that the last few days have been pretty horrendous from a weather perspective. Despite this, me managed to avoid most of the rain. The agricultural equipment went down really well with my nephews. As you can imagine, they are pretty sturdy machines, so the manufacturers don’t mind having children climbing all over them.

I guess I actually looked a bit more closely at the livestock this year, because I noticed loads of weird breeds that I don’t remember from last year. I didn’t realize there was so much variation in the shape of sheep heads. Some looked like dogs, some looked like rabits, and one breed reminded me of a dinosaur from the Walking With Dinosaurs series. Freak Show!

The cows were pretty cool. There were two standout breeds for me. First, the Belgian Blues are like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of cows. If you needed a cow as a bouncer at a night club, you would pick a Belgian Blue. They look totally amazing close up. Second, the Dexter cattle. These are so dinky compared to all the other cows. If I had a spare 2 acres, I would get a couple and just watch them. The farmer displaying them was trying to convince me how good they tasted, but I’m a vegetarian, so it fell on deaf ears. I just thought they looked cool. Kind of like the dachshunds of the cow species. πŸ™‚

Last year, one of the highlights for my nephew was the dancing diggers. Take a bunch of JCB diggers and do some formation driving and Bob’s your uncle! This year they had the Bolddog Motocross Show Team doing some awesome motorbike jumps. The arena wasn’t that big, and the rain had made it very slippery, so I was quite nervous watching this display. The two main riders did some amazing jumps. You can see the sort of things they were doing on their website. For this display they also had a 15 year old boy jumping. On his third jump he lost the back end of the bike, due to the slippery conditions, as he was jumping off the ramp and fell to the floor. It was an incredible fall, but he got up and walked away fine. He spent the rest of the display standing on top of the lorry with the guys jumping over him. When we got back to my brother’s house my nephew got his bike out. I wonder what he was imagining as he jumped off the curbs. πŸ™‚

Good day!

Cheers

Tim…

Theft and revenge…

I was checking through my web stats and I noticed a site sponging my images. It turned out this individual had nicked an article and was just linking to the images on my server. Due to a slight evil streak I decided to take revenge and rename the directory holding the images and replace it with some alternate images. Check it out:

http://blog.chinaunix.net/u/21174/showart.php?id=295159

I know it’s wrong, but it feels so right… πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Noons is channeling me, or vice versa…

I read the latest post by Nuno Souto (Noons) and it felt like he was channeling me, or maybe I’ve been channeling him. I guess everyone knows my thoughts on the fiasco that is J2EE, so I won’t go there. After over 12 years in the business, I’ve still never found a development technology as simple or productive as Oracle Forms. Maybe I’m looking at things with rose coloured spectacles, but it’s been 10 years since I’ve used Oracle forms regularly and I can still open it up and knock out an application in a couple of minutes. I don’t think many people could say the same of other technologies.

Those were the days… πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer…

I saw Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer last night and thought it was a pretty decent film. My expectations had been lowered by a friend who told me it was very average, which always helps. The first few shots of Jessica Alba freaked me because she looked kind-of weird, like she had had some plastic surgery. I think she had gone a bit mad with the bottox, because in a few shots she looked like she was trying to produce a facial expression, but nothing happened. Especially round here eyes and forehead. As the film went on I either got used to this, or the bottox wore off.

Anyway, there were some cool visuals and comic book action, without the endless whining of a Spiderman film. The film was paced quite reasonably and at only 92 minutes, I never got chance to get bored. If you like your cartoon spin-offs lightweight and choppy I think you’ll like it. If you prefer overly long, moralizing crap go an see Spiderman 3.

Cheers

Tim…

Coming down off my 11g high…

I guess if I was honest with myself, I didn’t really expect to be downloading 11g database software on 11th of July, but to see my doubts confirmed is a little deflating:

Get Ready for Oracle Database 11g – July 11th 2007

It takes me back to a discussion with Tom Kyte at last years UKOUG where his estimate for the release date was, “Between 1st July 2007 and 31st December 2007”. πŸ™‚

I know Oracle need months of hype before a release, but I’ve still got my fingers and toes crossed for something earlier than Christmas.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Licensing…

We’re trying to figure out what Oracle licenses we have to buy to add another node into an application server cluster. Sounds easy doesn’t it!

Trouble is, we need to load an old version of the application server, and the whole product set has been renamed and re-jigged since this version of the application server was released. The components we’re using sound like a match for the cheaper Java Edition, but that didn’t exist when we bought the product originally, so we are really not sure if we can get away with this.

We contacted sales yesterday, and the lady we spoke to was very pleasant, but was unable to confirm what we need to do. We’re now waiting for an account manager to investigate it and make a decision.

This just confirms to me that Oracle’s licensing is a total mess, and repeatedly renaming their product ranges along with the components they include only serve to exacerbate the problem.

Cheers

Tim…