It’s nearly midnight and I’m a little wired, to be honest. Just discovered that one of Rosie’s friends has cancer. I didn’t know what to say but did my best to show some loving kindness. Ultimately that’s all you can do.

Struggling with motivation at work, but doing a lot of paddling when I’m not working on my business. Langollen paddling good, the recent rain is probably annoying a lot of people but it suits me; warm rivers with water in them. Lots of fun without the unpleasant trauma of winter freezing your parts off.

I’ve been working on spinning anti-clockwise in the wave at the bottom, not something I’ve ever been able to do easily. Discovered that I need some speed and to turn my head to make it go. I can now hold my position in the wave and go back and forth along it. One of the tricks is to keep your weight forward all the time and use paddle strokes in front of you to turn.

I’ve been working on clockwise spins not using the paddle, except to start them off, just moving my weight around and switching edges, throwing the kayak across at the front by using my legs. This is coming on too; I’m also beginning to lose my fear of double pumping the boat on its edge which means that cartwheeling shouldn’t be too far away. Lots of objectives achieved with a little help from Matt Cooke the other week. Remember the mantra: turn your head and the kayak follows. Sometimes I need to follow my own advice.

My laptop stopped working (not the work one, my personal one). I sent it back under warranty to find out something rather weird: it had two 512MB chips fitted but one wasn’t working. It had only ever reported 512MB anyway, which is what I ordered in the first place. I paid for another 512MB to replace the chip that was now stopping it working and hopefully they will send it back after fitting it. The original chip must never have worked but only stopped the laptop going a couple of days ago. I don’t get it but I’ll at least have a 1GB machine.

Kind of winding down for my holidays even though I have a week left before they start.

Rosie and the kids have been away on guide camp all week. The house has been a bit weird. I’ve been living off ready meals and fruit as agreed with Rosie because I knew I couldn’t be arsed cooking. Still having a problem with chocolate, particularly in the afternoons when the boredom really starts to kick in. I’m a professional, it doesn’t stop me getting the job done but it’s been hard going without the family to get back to.

I got a call from Oracle asking me why I had downloaded their new 10g database. I was unintentionally rude to the lady calling – I just said straight off the cuff so I can evaluate it, why d’you think? I am a little embarassed by being so blunt but the sheer oddness of the question caught me off guard. I’m downloading it so I can make a big database to help Santa and the pixies build a high-availability RAC system to monitor the bad kids 24/7/365; I’m downloading it because I like watching IE download 300MB files and give up just before the end; I’m downloading it because I love you. In fact, I’m going to set up a server at home with 10g and the application server so I can look at doing some work with Workflow and the new Application Faces stuff they were trumpeting in the last edition of the Oracle magazine. To be honest the database is almost irrelevant but I think it best to use the latest version so support can’t come out with the usual BS about upgrading if you have a problem.

On the big download thing; one of the guys recommended some download manager software GetRight. Have a look on Seems quite good but they won’t pay for it so I will have to be mildly dishonest about shareware again. I don’t like doing that and will pay for my home machines but work can pay for their own. This software inserts itself seamlessly in between IE and the download site and then allows the whole pause/resume/etc. thing to happen. A must with these big files from Oracle.

Oracle workflow (continuing on from an earlier blog) still won’t install: it started whining about the absence of an 8i DLL, which is weird because I was attempting to install into a 9i database. I think it’s probably because I told it to install locally so it’s trying to use the bequeath (sic?) interface instead of SQL*Net and has maybe picked up an 8i version of SQL*Plus from the path. I’ll use this as a treat to help me with my boredom tomorrow (today now, it’s 12:02). Yes, installing workflow is a treat; it’s hard not to cry, isn’t it?

Went to a business meeting on Wednesday. A breath of fresh air. Stuart told me to keep the dream alive and I am.

Still waiting for the guy from Oracle to reply to my calls about the consulting option to sort out the version numbers in Oracle Repository. Will probably have a go myself if he doesn’t get his finger out.

It’s now over a year since I was made redundant: rejoice! I would never have started my business or on the road to financial freedom if it hadn’t happened. One of the people at Adis left for a better job recently and I wanted to give them a bell to say good luck but they won’t return my calls because they are afraid of me talking them into something. This makes me sad. They obviously don’t know me at all.