Lords and Ladies and Men at Arms…

My quest to read the Discworld series continues:

Lords and Ladies – This book starts where Witches Abroad finished. This time the witches have to prevent elves returning to the Discworld. Love, marriage, death and elves. What more could you want. 🙂

Men at Arms – I keep reading these books and saying, “This one is my favorite!”, only to read the next and have it become my new favorite, but Mean at Arms is a classic!

Cheers

Tim…

Reaper Man, Witches Abroad and Small Gods…

It’s a while since I mentioned any books, so I thought I’d get myself up to date…

Reaper Man – Death takes a holiday and chaos ensues. Death is my favorite character in the Discworld series, so I really enjoyed this one.

Witches Abroad – Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick have to go “abroad” do some “fairy god-mothering” to make sure a few fairy tales don’t end they way they should. These three characters work really well together as they are all so different. The funny thing is 4th fro last sentence is, “There’s a billion places like home. But only one of ’em’s where you live.”, which seemed really appropriate as I was reading it whilst feeling totally at home in Vienna.

Small Gods – What happens when people worship the politics and process of their religion rather than their God? Answer… Their God becomes a one eyed tortoise who can only be heard by the last person who actually truly believes in him. A very funny book with more than a hint of truth in parts.

That’s 13 books done and I’m still only 1/3 of the way through…

Cheers

Tim…

Post New Year Life Update and Moving Pictures…

Today marks the end of my first full week of “normal” life for quite some time!

I’ve managed to:

  • Swim every day.
  • Get to all my Karate lessons.
  • Do Yoga with my Yoga-buddies, as well do my regular stint of teaching.
  • Get to the gym.
  • Stretch a couple of times a day.
  • Do a bit of writing for the website. I’m concentrating on the OCP 11g new features stuff, but I still don’t think I’m going to be ready in time for the exam going live.
  • Do a bit of reading.

Things are starting to feel something like normal again. My routine has been all over the place since November. First I was in OpenWorld. Then I had a cold for a couple of weeks. Then my dad died. Then it was the Christmas and New Year holiday. I must admit I feel a lot more settled and positive now I’ve got back into my usual rut. 🙂

I finished reading Moving Pictures last night. As I said before, it’s been hard to connect with this book. I’m already starting to remember little bits of it fondly, but the overall experience was that it was a hard slog. I can’t explain why.

I opened up the next book, Reaper Man, and the first 40 pages flew by before I noticed how late it was.

Life goes on…

Cheers

Tim…

Guards! Guards! Eric and Moving Pictures…

I recently finished reading Guards! Guards! and Eric. Guards! Guards! has got some great characters and is probably one of my favorite books so far in the series. Eric is a really short story, but it quite pacey, so it was pretty good.

I’m about a third of the way through Moving Pictures and I’m really struggling. There are lots of elements I should find funny, but it’s just not fitting together for me. I think the subject matter is just too dull. I don’t really care about a bunch of sideways references to Hollywood, or in this case Holy Wood. I’m hoping it’ll click so I’m going to persevere.

Cheers

Tim…

Equal Rites, Mort and Sourcery…

The plane journeys to OpenWorld and back gave me plenty of time to read…

Equal Rites – Nice enough story, but it didn’t find it all that funny compared to the previous two. Maybe I’m to invested in Rincewind and Twoflower. Maybe it just suffers in comparison to the first two, which are great.

Mort – Very funny. It’s a great idea and the Death is central to it, which is cool because he’s the best character on Discworld, in my opinion.

Sourcery – Rincewind is back on form. Conina is a great character. Coin is very mysterious. Good job.

Cheers

Tim…

Flashback, LogMiner and The Light Fantastic…

I put an article about Flashback and LogMiner new stuff live the other day, but forgot to put a post here. Better late than never. I feel a bit cheap and dirty admitting this, but I’m starting to like the web based Enterprise Manager. 🙂

The new LogMiner interface is really easy to use, and the integration with Flashback Transaction is right on the money. I guess LogMiner isn’t the sexiest of features, and I’ve had very little cause to use it since I first tried it out in 8i, but at least now it’s a no-brainer in terms of ease of use.

On a separate note, I finished The Light Fantastic last night. It seemed marginally more serious than the first book, but was still very funny. The introduction of character Cohen was very cool. Had me in stitches. I adopted a Sean Connery accent (in my head) for most of his dialog. Off to the book shop on the way home to buy the next couple…

Cheers

Tim…

The Colour of Magic…

Last night I finished reading The Colour of Magic. I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, but reading isn’t really my bag. If the writing style is too complicated I quickly become lost or bored, or both.

When I started this book it was a bit unnerving because there is a barrage of weird names and the story seems to skip around all over the place. A couple of times I assumed I had missed some pages out, only to find that the huge change in tack was intentional. Quite confusing, but fortunately there were some very funny bits that helped keep my attention.

About half-way through the book I seemed to get used to the writing style and, for want of a better word, relaxed into it. There is some really funny stuff here. I literally put down the first book and started on the second (The Light Fantastic). I have a horrible feeling I’m going to end up reading all 38 of the DiscWorld series…

Cheers

Tim…

Articles and stuff…

Articles:

I think I’m finally getting myself back on track. It’s been an unusual few weeks though.

I spent quite some time complaining that I couldn’t think of anything to write about and hoping 11g would inspire me. Since the release of 11g and the inevitable installation articles, I’ve felt rather lethargic again. Getting into a new version of the database is always a bit odd. For me it’s a combination of excitement and denial… 🙂

Well, I’ve finally updated the VMware RAC article for 11g, which was dependent on a RAM upgrade. It works fine, but very slow. Unless you want the ASM experience, I think the NFS RAC method is a lot cleaner and easier.

I’ve also started to plug through the DB new features. The first thing I played around with was Partitioning. I’m hoping I can keep up the momentum for a while. I wanted to sit the 11g beta OCP exam, but I know so little about 11g at the moment it seems really unlikely I’ll get to grips with it before the beta exam closes. It’s a shame really because it’s nice to be involved in the process.

Stuff:

I finished reading Vittorio the Vampire. Of all the Anne Rice books I’ve read I think it’s the weakest. It’s all a bit flowery and “mills and boon”. Not my cup of tea.

On a more serious note, my 5 year old nephew was in A&E last night with pneumonia. I was with him all day yesterday and although he wasn’t well, we didn’t suspect something so serious. A bit of Calpol and he was up attacking a balloon octopus with a plastic sword… Things got worse through the night which resulted in the A&E visit and the diagnosis. The doctor was surprised he was so active and chirpy considering. Tough as old boots! 🙂 He’s back at home now and all looks good, but it’s very unnerving. I suspect within a couple of days he will be back in full effect.

Cheers

Tim…

Taltos…

I’ve had an extended break from reading fiction. I’ve never been a big fan of reading, but I’ve been trying to force myself…

After reading the 10 books that make up the “Vampire Chronicles” I moved on to the “Lives of the Mayfair Witches”. This was a three book series, but I stalled after finishing the second book (Lasher). In a fit of boredom I recently picked up the final book (Taltos) and read it. After about 10 pages I was gutted I had waited so long to start it. Whether you love or hate Anne Rice, she has a really good knack for pacing a book just right. I think this makes about 15 or so books I’ve read and she seems to get me hooked so easily.

All of the main players were familiar because of the previous books, and the later books in the Vampire Chronicles explain some of the characters lives after this book ends. This is bit weird as you already know who what happens to people, but it doesn’t spoil th fun.

I’m now moving on to “Vittorio, The Vampire”. This is the second book in the “New Tales of the Vampires” series. I left this until last as it is apparently a stand alone story, with no ties back to the other books. It’s supposed to be a bit more like a love story, which doesn’t bode well, but I bought it when I bought all the other books, so it seems a shame not to read it.

A couple of the guys at work have been telling me to read the Discworld stuff by Terry Parachett. It sounds kinda fun, but with 37 books and counting, it’s really rather daunting. I guess time will tell if I get suckered into that one.

Cheers

Tim…