Week in review – July 26th 2008


Overall
A quiet week, so very little to report. Work continues to be interesting and I am working tonight from midnight on a belated task that we’ve been putting off for a few weeks. Needless to say it will be for me the closure of a significant chapter and that just has to be good.

From 2008-07-26

Cats
Cats are getting on well, as you can see above. Mind you, they sit together for pretty short periods before they annoy each other through mutual cleaning. Curiosity went up on top of the kitchen cabinets today just as she did the first day I got her. I asked her to dust whilst she was up there and she obliged by coming down with a nice gray coat. I think she just went up there to get away…

From Curiosity – F…

New laptop
Before I get questions, I’ll declare the secret now… it’s a sticker! Yes, I bought a refurbished Apple iPod Shuffle from The Apple Store the other day and it came with a set of Apple stickers and I thought it would be funny to stick one on my Dell laptop. No, it doesn’t glow but I can live with that. I keep wondering if an Apple would be better as I sit and wait for my Dell to boot. I also wonder if alternatives to Outlook would help overall mail performance but to some extent I think that’s a function of the Exchange server being overwhelmed.

From 2008-07-26

Travels
Very little of note here. Our plans of course remain unchanged but since all the reservations are done, there’s little to do except plan some of the activities and work out what to see/eat etc.

I’ve spent some more time putting together a schedule of what I want to see (conference-wise) when I go to San Francisco in September. There’s literally hundreds of sessions to see and of course you can’t go to them all. Although we registered early, the OpenWorld hotels downtown filled rapidly and now we are staying out at the airport. One of the advantages of the approved hotels is that they run a regular shuttle out to them. Another is that the rate is reasonable ($229 a night at the Hyatt isn’t bad). Of course being 20 miles out means some of the ambiance of the city is lost but we’re there to work, not have fun lol.

Book Review
The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936 – 1939
Only fitting that I’m reading this since we are going to Spain in December. I’ve only started it so aren’t ready to review it yet however Anthony Beevor generally does an excellent job in his writing. Among my favourites are Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege 1942-1943 and The Fall of Berlin 1945 in which he describes the events from both sides during these key phases in the war. After the Spanish Civil War book comes Paris After the Liberation 1944 – 1949 which of course will be another fitting book for the end of the year.

Some Danger Involved – A Novel
Rather entertaining novel about a detective agency (rather a one man operation) and his new understudy. Written in a pseudo-Victorian manner,not unlike a Sherlock Holmes, this literary piece provided a great interlude from the more serious stuff. There is apparently a sequel which I’ll also read at some point and some research reveals a series of these.

Oracle 11g: New Features for DBAs and Developers
An excellent book so far as a guide to some of the new things to look for in our latest version of the database. I frequently refer to the 10g one to see if there’s anything we could be using but aren’t. This book, although not detailed, gives a taste of the new features and provides some implementation details that are a helpful starting point.

Movie Review
Sunshine is a sci-fi movie I’d watched through Netflix some months back. It’s one of the few movies I contemplated dragging Claudia to the theatre to see and I’m glad I didn’t. Watching the movie I couldn’t help thinking about Event Horizon and saw many similarities there (ok, some of these are just the strange way my mind works). So I watched it all and returned it but recently rethought the movie and decided to watch it again. Perhaps I’ll like it more this time around.

The Signal is another pseudo-sci-fi/horror movie and all I can say is “don’t bother”. I think we watched about 20 minutes of it but I found my mind wandering and thinking about flossing the cat or something equally productive. Don’t waste your time on this one.

Flawless with Michael Caine turned out to be more enjoyable than I expected. Caine plays a janitor at a diamond company in the 1960’s who befriends a female executive (then somewhat of a rarity) and involves her in his scheme. Some interesting twists and of course I can’t miss a Caine movie. Definitely worth watching.

Vantage Point is about the assasination of the US President on a foreign trip and shows the event from multiple perspectives. It can get just a bit tedious at times because each viewpoint shows pretty much the same 2-3 minutes of film (with a slightly altered perspective) however it turns out well in the end. Sure, it’s worth watching if you have a spare couple of hours but I’d rather re-watch The Departed to try to figure out who’s who.

Final note
I just came across this National Geographic photo site – some very interesting photos here, part of their Visions of Earth series.

Categories: curiosity, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, shuffle, tinto

2 comments

  1. Who wrote “Some Danger Involved” and where does the series take place?

  2. The book is by Will Thomas (actually each title is a link to the Amazon.com page for that book or to Netflix in the case of a movie).The book is set in the dank, squalid and at times menacing Victorian streets of old London town and having been there recently I have to add that not much have changed (except traffic is somewhat worse and you can’t get a cab to save your life).

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