Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Neglected, but excited for the future

Stanley here. I finally got some keyboard time now that Dan left me alone for a minute. It's been a tough week or two since Debra handed me off to this guy. No one talks to me and I just lay around on the back of a chair for a while. Finally, my home (my UKOUG delegate bag) arrived so the last few days have been a bit more comfortable with some familiar surroundings.

It hasn't been all bad, though. I did get to go to Disney World and meet lots of famous characters. Wish I could have met the princesses, but I think everyone knew how naughty I could be, so I blew my chances there. After we were home, Mrs. Norris gave me a little freshen and I didn't smell quite so strong for a while...hope she comes back with that smell-good stuff.

Looking ahead, I've heard about some great events that I'm going to attend, some of them held in my honor (or honour, depending on where you're from). First, Dan is taking me to visit the fellows from Miracle. I remember them from Miracle Oracle Open World and, a few weeks after, the Miracle Birthday Party where I got a bit soiled (not really my fault). Anyway, we're all meeting in Iceland and I'm going to get to go on my first scuba dive! I can hardly wait. Luckily, I'm made of warm material since I've been advised that the water will be about 4 C (about 40 F), so my warmth will be needed on that trip! I'm sure there will be some highlights posted here after that trip in early June.

After that trip, I'm headed off to a large event where I'll be a distinguished guest. This is the ODTUG Kaleidoscope conference, held this year in Monterey, California. As Dan likes to do, he'll take me scuba diving again, but this time in much warmer water--about 14 C (58 F) in Monterey Bay. Plus, I get to do what I do best: help the community. I'll be providing many types of help to those attending ODTUG's Community Service Day on the Saturday before the conference as well. I'm sure there will be some messes to clean up and I'm made for those types of things.

Uh oh, Dan is about to return, so I'd better slip back into my little home before he catches me. He's been busy with his first week of work at his new job (for which he sacrificed his ACE Director credentials), so he hasn't had much time to play games with me like usual. Maybe next week...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A New Concept - Friend of Stanley

In previous posts Stanley has attracted many fans. In this photo you can see the husband of Margaret Mills from Oracle Australia who really bonded with Stanley in this photo taken in the Rocky Mountains. Stanley even has his own fan page on facebook.

And now a special 'Friend of Stanley' has been born. Stanley phoned me the other day (I hope Dan that your new employer does not mind overseas calls) and asked if Mrs Norris could as a special accolade be a guest writer on this blog. Of course she could and hasn't she done well!

Mrs Norris will be the voice of Stanley for a few weeks more until Stanley attends ODTUG, where he will have a reunion of his siblings. So if you own an original Red Vest please let me know.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My worst Nightmare

It is 6.30 am and having not slept all night (I still miss Stanley, it has been 10 days since I last saw him), I decided to log in and see if Dan Norris has got around to blogging about Stanley at Disney and at Dan's first day in Oracle.

Nothing happened..........I got 'page cannot be displayed'.........what am I going to do?

Blogger is still allowing me to publish so it has not been taken down, but my other blogs work, so this had better be temporary.

I am scared

Stanley's First Day at Work

Yesterday Stanley accompanied Dan Norris to his first day at Oracle. The commute was a bit rough -- Dan nearly tripped over Stanley as he went into the home office. After a discussion on office courtesy Stanley hunkered down and got to work. Although later in the day Stanley did drift off and he took a bit of a nap on the floor. Apparently he's not the most dedicated worker, but at least he tried.

Dan sets a good example for Stanley by working all day long. In fact, Dan already has a business trip scheduled for him and Stanley just before they head to Iceland for a respite from these long and grueling commutes.

Stanley: Origins

As Debra mentioned in her last post, the Dan Norris Family now has custody of Stanley. I am Dan's wife, Beth, and this is the story of our stormy relationship with Stanley....

After every conference, Dan presents me with his spoils: t-shirts, backpacks, thumb drives…. I still use the bag he brought home from Open World in 2005; it stores all my knitting needs. So I clearly remember the day he showed me his Oracle Ace vest. He began by showing me the front of the vest, to which I said, “Oh, that’s not as bad as you made it sound.” Then he turned it around. “You can’t wear that,” I told him. I was certain it signified membership in a street gang. So we looked at it for awhile, trying to determine whether we could remove the appliqu├ęd spade without damaging the otherwise nice vest. Alas, it was not to be.

Dan placed the vest back into its plastic wrapping. I hung it in the far back of the foyer closet since I refused to give it to a shelter where some poor person could meet their demise simply for wearing it. And that is where it stayed, untouched, front to back with first our spring jackets and then our winter coats until Dan took the vest to Denmark for what was supposed to be its execution.

But instead of destruction, the vest took on a new life and asserted its identity as Stanley. Once I became aware of Stanley as an adventurer with his own personality, I felt bad about the Potteresque conditions in which he lived for his first several months. We shoved him aside! He lived in a closet and was hidden from guests! Now I am happy to report that Stanley has forgiven us, although it took a family trip to Disney World to fully chase his gloomies away.

As you can see, Stanley met all his favorite Disney characters. He had a particular affinity for Goofy, who, you may notice, wears a black vest. Stanley did run into a bit of trouble when he made some wise cracks about Donald Duck, but he redeemed himself when he rescued the children from Bruce the Shark. All in all, Stanley appears to be happy to be back with the Norris clan, especially now that he gets to sleep in his very own room.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Stanley is not mine, he is simply the symbol of the ACE Director community but he has spent six months with me as I have travelled the world spreading the Software Gospel (I think that is what you do as an evangelist).

I knew it was coming and I thought I was prepared but when it was time to hand Stanley over to Dan Norris it was a fight.

Stanley started his ACE life with Dan, and Dan's wife Beth has promised to post some of Stanley's childhood episodes on the blog soon.

Although the ACE Program is excellent it like all others does have a few a little issue, Oracle employees cannot be ACE Directors, and Dan starts work with Oracle in a few weeks and will have to give up his title. I find this really sad as he will not give up his input into the user community. But what this does mean is that Stanley will get to accompany Dan on his first day at Oracle and I look forward to hearing about that.

I am trying to be brave but it was a real wrench both physically and spiritually and not without a few tears.

However we will be reunited at Kaleidescope the ODTUG conference in just 5 weeks and there will be a Stanley Siblings Reunion, Make sure you are there!

Head in the Clouds

If Stanley had a head it would be in the clouds. He had so much attention at Collaborate he will take a while to recover, which is not going to happen as Stanley is now in the hands of Dan Norris but more about that later.

Anyway one great fan of Stanley is Tim Tow who we saw with Stanley at Universal studios and he invited Stanley to go for a quick trip in his plane. Obviously I had to go as well even though that would be difficult if you remember how ill I could get just being in a land rover in Dubai!

Having boarded the aircraft Stanley took to the controls, although we did need Tim to do the actual take off.

Tim's friend Andy sat up front and made sure Stanley had the best view whilst I tried to look cool whilst actually gripping the sides of the aircraft. I forgot the headphones where voice activated and when I squeal led Tim stayed remarkably calm! Stanley hid his nerves very well and never uttered a sound.

All too soon it was time to return to the Orlando Executive Airport (only the best for Stanley) and Tim executed the perfect landing.

Another Look At Dubai

Many of those who were with Stanley in Dubai met up again at Collaborate and there were more pictures uncovered.

Stanley had the most rides on the camels and in this picture he is with Michael Rulf a fellow ACE Director, quite brave as I was feeling very ill at the time.

Nadia then decided to tease the camel with Stanley.

Then a ride with Elke Phelps another ACE and Cliff Godwin.

The camel was actually rather taken with Stanley - can you see the smile on her face?

And when it all got too much Stanley and I just colapsed on the ground.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stanley having fun with friends

Collaborate is almost over and the big Party at Universal gave Stanley the opportunity to hang out with his friends.

Stanley went on most of the rides but it was not possible to take photographs, except on the Merry Go Round (the only ride I had)

Nice and Scary Universal - Brave Stanley

Universal has a lot of characters, some nice some scary.

1st Olive Oil and Popeye, both strong characters but they too couldn't wait to meet Stanley.

Then a Jarassic Park T Rex takes a bite of Stanley.

The most Scary Duncan (again - bit of a theme appearing).

No idea what this is but looks good.

This one is for Elke.

Stanley and the Hulk(s)

Off to Universal for the big Collaborate09 party. First ride is the incredible hulk, difficult to take photos I am afraid,

1 - the picture is set up and
2 - very afraid of Duncan Mills seen here with the great Tim Tow.

Wildlife in Orlando

Stanley was minding his own business going to the OAUG VIP party at the Peabody in Orlando when he was viciously attacked without provocation. The alligator was bad enough but Andy and Jeff from EIS is pure cruelty to Stanley. There are no photos of the two guys as their shirts were so bad and I have readers to protect.

The at the Hotel the famous Peabody Ducks came out to play and without hesitation made straight for the most famous VIP of them all.

From Rock to Classical

Having rocked with the best last night, Stanley wanted to show that he is cultured and turned to more classical music.

Here you can see and hear him play a classical piece on the piano accompanied by Ms Nadia Bendjedou who would be a super ACE Director if only she was not Oracle.

Stanley continues to amaze his fans.

Stanley Rocks

Last night Stanley decided to hit the town and joined me at the Fujitsu VIP after party in the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal. Every man fancies themselves as a Rock Star and after a drink or two Stanley is no different.

Actually this is not the first time Stanley has lived the Rock Star life having hung out in the past with our great friend and emerging Rock Star Oliver Weers who is also an Oracle DBA by day.

Anyway back to last night, after a few drinks Stanley decides that he fancies some light in his life, and starts to chat up a lava lamp (I think he thought it was an acid trip) and then to ensure his groupies were equally treated chatted up the Zebra Lamp!

What happened to 'IO' I hear you say, well she, and her real name we have heard is 'Carol', 'IO' is just her Geek name was saving herself for the big party tonight and not to seem too 'needy' too soon let Stanley go out on his own.

All Rock Stars have their fans and obviously Stanley is no exception, here you can see Brian Austin from the Hard Rock Hotel who is the latest person to become a Stanley Fan on Facebook

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stanley in Love (Again)

Having had a holiday romance in New Zealand Stanley has been a bit sad, but at Collaborate he has found the woman of his dreams.

It appears they met at the QUEST ' Geek Meet' but the pictures here are at an ODTUG party.

The lady in question isn't saying much but it appears her name is 'IO' which is either really cool in a binary sort of way, or as the restaurant waiter suggested one of the rings of Saturn.

Either way this is a romance we will be monitoring.

Stanley and the President

Last night at dinner Stanley asked his friends if they had heard of the 6 degrees of seperation theory, obviously we all have. Then he said, now he knows Charles Phillips he is only one away from the President.

Oh dear

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stanley and the Keynote

Collaborate 09 is in full swing and this morning was the keynote from Charles Phillips. There was reserved seating at the front for VIPs and of course this included Stanley. You can read about the content of his keynote in many blogs including mine but Stanley is in a huff as I was on the big screen and he hates not being the centre of attention.

Then there was a meeting of user group leaders and Stanley was pleased to have a photo opportunity with Charles and Judy Sim. Judy admitted she knew exactly who Stanley was and was last seen promising to share the story with Charles

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stanley in Trouble Again

Having been to the beach in Australia Stanley he sneaked off with some sand as a souvenier, not a big issue until you realise he has to get past Homeland Security on entering the US today, so when asked to turn out his pockets guess what they would have found?

Stanley is in Love

Having been allowed out in New Zealand Stanley was on a high and yesterday we visited a Maori village that had been buried in a volcano over 100 years ago.

Stanley met a local Maori Vest and fell in love but he will have to pine, he had to fly to the US today and leave her behind. If you see Stanley at Collaborate be gentle with him.

Can Stanley Come Out to Play

The purpose of Stanley's travels is to support the Oracle ACE community, so it is not enough simply to take him somewhere, there needs to be either an Oracle or Usergroup Conference or a meeting of 2 or more ACE's to qualify. So when I left Australia for a few days in New Zealand catching up with an old friend before going out to Collaborate I expected Stanley to stay in the suitcase. Then my friend took me to dinner with some colleagues of hers' and it became a regular 10.7 appreciation society so Stanley got to come out and play.

SO I took Stanley to see some of the fantastic sights of New Zealand and he really loved the volcanic action.

As you can see Stanley can go 'where no man can go'.

Update on the 'stretchy thing'

So having asked lots of people what the 'stretchy thing' is meant to be, I had put it to one side and await the consignment that Oracle Sweden have sent me back in Ireland and that I will distribute later.

Whilst in Australia I met up with my daughter. Her first comment when seeing my hotel room was 'I don't believe you have that rag with you here!' and made me promise I would not take it to where she is on an internship. I hated leaving Stanley behind but Daniel Strassberg looked after him.(More about that in a minute).

However my daughter spotted the 'stretchy thing' and said 'What a cool buff' apparently you wear them to stop your hair getting tangled in outdoor pursuits. Obvious isn't it!

And back to Mr Strassberg - I caught him feeding Vegemite on weetabix to Stanley, how gross, Marmite on Toast yes but not Vegemite.

Pampering to my tastes

Before we left Australia I stayed with Daniel Strassberg of QUEST and his family, they asked me what I wanted to do and I admitted I was a 'Home and Away' fan, so they took me and Stanley to the beach where it is filmed. I was so excited and although he didn't say it out loud I know Stanley was too.

The beach is gorgeous and as Nadia Bendjedou had already left so the sun came out (I am sure I have told you that whenever Nadia and I are at a conference together it rains so look out Orlando).

So a little bit of self indulgence but that is fine, Dan Norris and Mogens Norgaard are taking Stanley diving

Stanley is simply too famous

Some of the ACE community are jealous of Stanley and one has gone beyond the norm to upstage him.

Stanley doesn't mind, any press is good press as they say.

Check out Daniel Morgan's home page

If you want Stanley to model for your web page or blog he is available.

Stanley Down Under

I was lucky enough to be asked to present at Insync 09 in Australia and it was a great conference. Stanley was not at his best he had been in a suitcase for a week whilst I was in Japan and he was grumpy. I suppose I could have taken him to Oracle Japan but I was not sure he would be appreciated and on the day I visited, Larry was there, perhaps I should have asked Larry if he reads this blog.

Anyway back to Australia and Sydney, Stanley played poker and actually the great big ACE on his back we hate is not too bad in a poker game and he didnt do too bad.

Then Stanley decided to do the sites and he went on the Sydney monorail and walked across (not over) the harbour bridge. Stanley loved Australia but it was over too soon and he was expecting another long stay in the suitcase until we reached Collaborate....