25 September 2006


Found Andy's blog from Tom's blog which mentions this post about DBMS_APPLICATION_INFO. In the words of Dr. Tobias Funke, "You're blowing my mind, Frank."

Everyone says that the problem is just getting developers to use it now. Hopefully mine will, since they're always asking how far along a large index build or data load is or how much longer it will take.

Clinton Smacks Down Fox News

Two undeniable facts: Clinton is a very smart man, and Chris Wallace is a worthless troll.

Think Progress » VIDEO: Clinton Sets The Record Straight On Terrorism, Smacks Down Fox News

23 September 2006

The Week From Hell

I can honestly say that the past week has just been horrible for me, work-wise. I'm still having some growing pains with my roll-out of Oracle RMAN for my company's backup/recovery strategy. As anyone knows, you are only as good as your last backup. And I found out that some of my early backups were just not good.

First I was trying to do an RMAN duplication to a development instance which bombed due to three mysteriously missing archive logs. I spent two days trying to understand a) where in the hell those logs were, and b) why RMAN even needed them. It turns out RMAN needs them because they were created during the incremental backup on that particular night. Otherwise it would only have needed the incremental backupset itself, no logs. I never did get those logs, instead asking the developers to pick another date.

That second duplication failed at the very end with date format string problems. I spent 3 freaking days trying to understand it. I'm sure you can find my desperate pleas for answers on the internet. Normally, date format errors involve the user specifying an UNTIL TIME parameter in an improper format, and RMAN will complain right away. This problem wouldn't complain until after restore and recovery were complete. In my case, a full restore and recovery can take over 10 hours.

Well it turns out that the problem as a mismatch in the NLS_DATE_FORMAT from the target instance ('DD-MON-RR') to the auxiliary instance ('YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI:SS'). I've since unset NLS_DATE_FORMAT on the auxiliary instance, and sworn to just use the "TO_DATE()" function instead.

And while I was at my most frustrated and lowest point, my 1-year-old son dumped a full mug of coffee onto my laptop. Luckily my hard-drive was salvaged and transplanted.

In the end everything is working (except my old laptop), and I know why it wasn't before. Thankfully it was "only" development restores that were held up.

Plus I've turned into a complete social networking loser, with accounts now on MySpace, Facebook, and now LinkedIn.

20 September 2006

Talk Like A Pirate Day: The Aftermath

I'm sure most of the world knew that yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate Day. Even Linus and the linux kernel devs got into the spirit: LWN: Patch: Arrr! Linux 2.6.18

That said, don't assume any URL with "yarr" in it is pirate-related, or that is isn't scat-related.

19 September 2006

WTF is going on in the world

"To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government." -- Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769)

I snagged that quote from metafilter. I'm repeating here in the hopes that the 3 of you that read this will read and be disgusted by the things that have happened to Maher Arar.

Congress is powerless to absolve Bush of capital crimes and torture charges


The Existentialist Cowboy: Congress is powerless to absolve Bush of capital crimes and torture charges

08 September 2006

U.S. Senate: 'No Saddam link to Iraq al-Qaeda'

BBC NEWS | Americas | 'No Saddam link to Iraq al-Qaeda': "There is no evidence of formal links between Iraqi ex-leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq prior to the 2003 war, a US Senate report says."

Oh good. Except that everyone knew this already, including those in the White House that demanded a war.

Silence is Defeat. Question Authority.

02 September 2006


At around 10:50 PM Friday night my wife came down and said she heard what must have surely been a very bad car accident. Since I was bored and didn't quite feel like doing the RMAN duplication I was staying up for, I got in the car and looked, eventually finding it 8 blocks away.

Apparently some worthless piece of shit got drunk and decided to burn down Lincoln Boulevard, squealing his tires. Then I can only assume he thought the STOP sign at Waldo Boulevard (a major thoroughfare in Manitowoc) didn't apply to him. So he continued his drag race through the intersection and collided at very high speed with a family in a minivan, visiting from Illinois according to their license plate.

Fortunately everyone in the minivan was wearing seat belts, although the mom was a bit hurt and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The idiot in his compact car was far more hurt, although probably not feeling it due to intoxication. He actually begged one witness not to call the police.

Anyway I had some pleasant conversation with fellow gawkers, meeting some nice people. One of the people was a German man, who told me that in Germany the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.04, compared to our 0.08. And if you do violate that, you will pay dearly. Things get even worse if you injure someone else through your stupidity and selfishness.

01 September 2006

Pat Buchanan: Proud White Supremecist

Think Progress: "What I would like is — I’d like the country I grew up in. It was a good country. I lived in Washington, D.C., 400,000 black folks, 400,000 white folks, in a country 89 or 90 percent white. I like that country."

I think the old proverb of "stupid is as stupid does" applies here. Although I'm not sure because I never really understood what that proverb means.