Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting Excited About Christmas

I love Christmas, at least I think I do. Last year I was in Ireland and it was all festive, I had a hat and a stocking but this year everything seems to be cold and dark.

I am with Mogens for Christmas and I thought we were going away, perhaps I don't know but I do know the inside of this Miracle Bag is not very exciting. If you see him, tell him to make sure I get out.

I thought I had been a good vest this year, reasonably well behaved and would get a good present, but then I got this message from Santa and he says I am on the 'Naughty Watch' so I had best behave a bit more.

Anyway I just want to wish all my friends a very, Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you all soon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Give me Credit!

Debra has her own blog, I am not recommending it but from time to time life crosses over and she recently wrote about the UKOUG Panto and my starring role. However she tells it all wrong...

She misses out two very important facts:

1. I was the star, not just some prop. Of course it was obvious an entire panto would be created around me. I was the only one on stage the whole time, (except for Lisa but she doesn't count).

2. If you watch the panto she talks about needing Miracle Security and then moans (pun) that Mogens has not turned up, now I love Mogens as my keeper and am always pleased to see him but why was he needed? I am a fully elected member of Miracle Security, and would never have let the villain near Doug.

So whatever Debra says, remember I was the one everyone came to see.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Undercover Downunder

You may have seen the tweets that I am at the DOAG conference this week, well actually I have Impostor Joe standing in again, I am busy. Joe and I are friends and we will catch up at UKOUG in less than two weeks, after DOAG he will do BGOUG and then come over to England.

I am busy, I have been sent to look after a 'lunchbox'. I realise that if you are not from the UK you probably won't understand any of this but we have a retired runner called Linford Christie famous for his lunchbox (not the kind Paul Pedrazzi sells). He is on a reality TV show in the Australian Outback called I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and I have gone along to keep him safe. You may remember I spent time in the Australia a few years back with Debra, so I am trained for this.

What Happens in The Deep Stays in The Deep

The problem with having three keepers is I have to contend with 3 egos. Most of the time I am with Debra and she is OK, she and Dan are great, she and Mogens are great, but when I get my boys' holiday with just Dan and Mogens they are great but Debra can't cope.

She worries they will forget me, and with good reason as you all know and I think the boys play up to that because they know how she will react.

Debra travelled to Denmark to collect me after my dive, she says it was for the Miracle 10th Party, but Mogens and I know it was because she doesn't trust him. I was on such a high because I had finally got into the Miracle Security team and of course one of my duties is to keep quiet about everything.

Debra tried to get the gossip from Mogens but he wasn't giving anything away. Debra was so frustrated, she was scary, in fact before then I wasn't sure which of these two creatures I was more scared off, but now I know I would rather spend all day with either of them than 10 minutes with an angry Debra.

She wanted either Dan or Mogens to post something here but they kept saying 'What Happens in The Deep Stays in The Deep'  which just made her angrier and angrier. Since then I have had to listen to Debra go on, and on.....and on.......and on so finally I gave her a few snippets of info like how I was kept behind bars, I can't remember what I did to deserve it but I am sure I did.

I love diving, I love the freedom it gives me (except when I am behind bars), and I love the fact it gives me a trip away with my boys. But Debra is threatening to get her own back, I hear Dan will be giving Debra her first diving lesson soon and if she likes it, it may be the end of the DBA (Dive Boys Away).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finally I Pass Miracle Security Induction

Once before I told you about my mission to be part of the Miracle Security unit; well I think my induction is now over and I have finally been accepted.

At the Miracle 10th Birthday I met with all the guys, of course you can't see their faces, they are secret. 

A birthday is not a birthday without a gift and here is what they gave Mogens, ammunition boxes converted to hold red wine on field exercises. Just what Mogens has always wanted.

And the day after the Colonel in Chief of Miracle Security allowed me to be photographed with him. I had made it.

Home Again, Batteries Recharged and Time to Party

Back in the kit bag, the long travel home from the Caribbean began. It seemed a very long journey until I discovered, Mogens stopped off in a resort for a little R&R on the way home.

We arrived at Heathrow and met up with Debra (secretly I think she was just checking on me), and then all four of us travelled onto Denmark. By all four of us I mean she still had that pesky bear Ujurak, although she did promise me she was passing him onto another friend Heli in Denmark and he was off to Finland after the weekend.

And the reason for Debra coming to Denmark?  to attend the 10th Birthday party of Miracle. Debra has never been to one of these parties before, but I have and still have the stains to prove it.

The party was lovely and I had a great time, it had a very patriot Danish feel and I felt really at home.

Normal Service Will resume Shortly

With guest blogs coming in from Latin America and the Caribbean, the chronology of my posts is a little out at the moment. as each arrives I will slot them in the right place.  Visit frequently till I catch up.                         

LAD Tour part I - Joe Gets the Call Up

 When I first found out about the OTN LAD Tour I immediately volunteered to join the other ACE Directors on their tour of Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica ... after all one of my duties as an ACE Director is to share my knowledge with people's around the world and this was a part of the world I hadn't visited before. I was so enthusiastic I even agree to go on the side trips to Cuzco and Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. I didn't even give Stanley not being able to go a thought, any opportunity to stand in for him and I am there.

I accompanied Dan Morgan on his trip from Seattle to Lima though I did so with some misgivings given I had heard from Stanley that the last time he flew with him Stanley had ended up losing a food fight at the 8th anniversary party of Miracle. I'm wasn't sure I could ever completely trust Morgan after that.

Things were Ok arriving in Lima and I was starting to relax but it began to go sideways as soon as we got on the plane at the airport in Lima to fly to Cusco. Morgan got me a seat in an exit row and the flight attendants insisted that I read the emergency procedures card. English: Ok. Vietnamese: Ok. But Spanish I was immediately bundled into an overhead bin without even the slightest thought to my comfort. 


The flight was only a little over an hour so I survived but on arriving at our hotel in Cusco I had a bout of altitude sickness. I sure wished I'd purchased an OxiShot while we were still at the airport. 

Lucky for me the natives are extremely friendly they introduced me to some of their local customs, to a distant relative, and came to my aid with copious quantities of coca tea.

By nightfall I was fortified and ready for my trip, early the next morning, to Machu Picchu.

Stanley will regret missing this trip (hehe).

Diving - Making Sure I Was Ready

Back to being in the dark, smelly wardrobe, why was I there?  Well if you have been a fan for a while you will know the story of when Dan broke my heart and forgot to take me Diving in Iceland with Mogens.

Mogens is sometimes forgetful, I think it is something people have grown accustomed to, and he manages to do well despite this affliction, which is why I think his company is called Miracle.

Debra and Dan were worried I would be left behind, but Debra had planned in advance.

Dan emailed Mogens a few days before to remind him to take me; he didn’t want Mogens to get the abuse he had suffered for forgetting me. Mogens sent a text to Debra asking where I was as he was packing, and Debra was so impressed he remembered........ until he admitted Dan had prompted him.

I have a new ACE Director bag for travelling in now so I was already packed, just waiting for the big man to come get me. 

And where was I? In the bottom of the diving kit cupboard, amongst the smelly wetsuits and kit, the one place Debra could be almost sure that Mogens would visit whilst getting ready for the vacation.

My Audience Awaits I Must Send In Reinforcements

I am just too popular. I cannot be everywhere at once. So when OTN told me they were organising a Latin American tour I was gutted. I cannot be everywhere, Debra was having a few weeks out, something about surgery (when I was a living donor I never took any time off work), and Mogens, Dan and I were off to Caribbean (why do people in America say this so funny?).

ACE Director of the Year, Francisco Munoz Alverez (I told you I knew), was very disappointed and then he was reminded by Dan Morgan that I, Stanley, the Original ACE Director, has a stand in for just such an occasion, Imposter Joe. Now I am still unsure about this representative idea, I want all the kudos, but I will live with it to ensure my fans do not suffer.

So then the next few postings will seem a little odd if you don’t understand the fact that I can, just like Mickey Mouse, exist in more than one place.

Does Debra Love Someone More Than Me?

A few weeks after OOW I was at Keeper Mogens' house for the Danish Oracle User Group event. 

I love Măløv where Mogens lives, I just feel so at home, sitting at the OakTable and just hanging out with the guys.

I visited my friends the goats again, but this time stayed outside the enclosure I didn’t want a repeat of the previous incident!

Now I am familiar with the town I needed my own transport which was provided for me by Viktor, son of Mogens, and  it made such a difference.

Even more important for this visit was the fact that I was going to be staying on for a while ready for my annual diving holiday with Mogens and Dan, what was odd though, was that Debra had a new friend she kept taking photos of called Ujurak. Apparently he belongs to the son of our fellow ACE Mike Riley who keeps those ODTUG people in check. Debra tried to show no favouritism but I am not sure, and if she isn’t careful and still has the bear (who isn’t even real like me), when I get back there may be trouble.

I thought I was being paranoid and then I had tea in the glasshouse, and on the table was a gun, what was the message behind that? Did they want to tell me my time was gone?

I survived the firearms incident only to be thrown in the bottom of a dark, smelly cupboard, which is a place I am very familiar with, normally when people want to forget me, but Debra says that this time it was very important, it was so I wouldn’t be forgotten.  Whatever did she mean?

How I Love Oracle Open World

What I love about Oracle Open World is I get to see all my friends and meet new ones.

I like to meet influential people are here you can see me with Analyst Ray Wang; apparently he is a friend of Debra’s although he did seem quite normal. Any friend of hers is a friend of mine.

I caught up with Judi from IOUG she had these real weird shoes made out of kangaroo skin and people were very fascinated by them. Me I would just like feet to put in shoes.

OOW  is also one of the few times I can hope to see all my keepers, and yes this year my dream came true. Dan, Debra and Mogens together with me, just the way it should be. Apparently Debra is in this picture somewhere.

Be Careful What You Wish For

After my sucess against the geese I thought I would move onto the penguins. I know they have them at Oracle HQ, there are all these signposts warning you. I guess they must be pretty big and dangerous or they wouldn't need the warnings.

I was in redwood for a few days but didnt see any, perhaps they are nimble and stay well hidden.

Then when we moved down to San Francisco City I caught Debra will one of them! They are enormous and come with really scary security guards who got very cross with Debra when she tried to give the penguin a new I LOVE STANLEY badge.

For a few moments I got a little jealous, Debra seemed to be hugging the penguin just a little bit too much, and then I realised she was placing a sticker on his back, while the security guard was looking else where.

So listen up Oracle birds, I am king of this jungle, stay out of my way.

YES! Stanley 1 Oracle Geese 0

For me Redwoods Shores can be a little intimidating, for a start there are all these geese who make such a mess and get under your feet. 

Well this time I was not having it and without actually touching the thing it just dropped dead in front of me. As pest control goes this is not very efficient but it is a start. 

Now if only I could get one of those penguins!

Hanging Out With My ACE Director Friends

Just before Oracle Open World each year there is an ACE Director briefing, and a chance to let my hair down with my friends. This year was no exception.

We hung out on the way to Redwood Shores, and then I pumped some iron in the gym. Many Oracle people looked on in awe, I bet they all wished they were as good looking as me.
Then to finish off the day I played hand ball with Alex Nuijten and had a great time. All the photos are from Markus Eisele who is now my official photographer.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What's With All The Weather Larry?

I am a vest of simple needs. Somewhere to sleep, occasional love and even more occasional a bath.

Coming from Vietnam, I like warmth, and as I blogged before I was excited when Oracle decided to buy SUN, I thought I was on to a real winner. But Charles let me down, SUN was not that beautiful, heat generating orb in the sky but some kind of box.

Then last week at my annual holiday in San Francisco (more in the next blog), Oracle kept talking about the CLOUD. I should have been sceptical as I was caught out before but Charles is no more and some new guy was up there with Larry, Cloud this, Cloud that. Yes I thought, if Oracle owns the cloud, they can get rid of them, no more rain or overcast days ever.

I am a slow vest but even I understood this one, It was mentioned so many times at Open World, their solution is simple. The SUN they bought, the box, which I got so angry about, is actually the answer; they are putting the Cloud in the box. Simple, Cloud gone! That is real Exalogic.

I love Oracle.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What you Don't Know About Me

Some think I am just a vest, others think I am the most important part of the Oracle ACE Program but few know I am a very secret undercover agent.

If you promise not to tell anyone I will let you into the undercover world that is Miracle Security.

This very secret, undercover outfit is run by one of my keepers but I can't say which. His identity needs to be protected to ensure the safety of his clients. But a man cannot work alone and sometimes a vest can go where a man cannot, on these occasions, like when champagne needs to be smuggled into an AA meeting, they send me, in disguise of course.

Would you like to work for them? Well they don't advertise, they approach you, you are hand selected, tested and put through many, many tests. You think the abuse I suffer in this blog is just fun, well it isn't - each is a carefully designed exercise to see how far I can be pushed. I have earned my insignia, I am the best.

Shhhhhh remember don't tell anyone

My First Wedding

One of the reasons the trip to Melbourne was so short was because I had been invited to my first Wedding.

I don't often go to church, so I sat very quietly during the service, avoiding the temptation to answer the Vicar's question about why they shouldn't be married. But at the reception I let it all hang out.
Julie's first priority for photos was for a picture with me. Here she is rushing to wear me at the reception. You will have seen this on the previous guest posting from Paul Jackson who labeled me the 'Vest Man' ; I quite like that.


Julie is actually a customer of Debra's but they have been great friends for a long time and she just love me. Please don't get this Julie mixed up with the other Julie. They are both friends of Debra and I think it is a reflection on Debra's lack of originality that she can't find friends with different names.

Anyway, back to the wedding. If you follow me on facebook, (and if not, why not?), then you will know that I was at a loss as to whether I should wear a hat or not. Debra says only men where hats, but Cary Millsap thought perhaps I should. Julie wanted me to and as it was her wedding I felt I had to. However I was on a trip to the other side of the world so how was I meant to get a hat? Luckily my personal milliner Sue Shaw, remember I went to Amsterdam with her last year, she was also in Melbourne and she and her husband Ian made me a lovely hat for the big occasion.

And finally, here I am with Kara, who is Julie's little girl. I do love my younger fans, they believe in me so much more readily, just like they believe in my other red friend Mr Claus.

Would you believe it - AbbaWorld

What do you do when you only have the morning to sight see in Melbourne? We were looking at options when we first arrived for our very quick 3.5 day visit for Insync10. As ever we were 3 out of 4 with no Dan Norris (Is Australia not interested in Exadata?). Anyway I asked my friend Tom Kyte (doesn't everyone AskTom?), and he, knowing how much of a fan Keeper Mogens is, suggested AbbaWorld which is based in Melbourne.

I didn't mind, on the day after my christening in Denmark, there was a bit of an AbbaFest at Mogens' house and a lot of my friends now have the entire Abba back catalogue on their iTunes, (I won't embarrass them here).
The concept is quite funny, you buy a ticket which has a bar code and at each interactive station you scan this. First you choose your favourite Abba member and I have to say, Debra and Mogens suit the part very well.This is where being a celebrity causes you to come unstuck, I got in for free, as you would expect, but it meant I didn't have a ticket to scan.

As you wonder around the exhibits there are also quiz stations, Debra won these hands down, I think possibly because she read the notices more thoroughly, she certainly isn't an Abba expert. But Mogens found his area of expertise - any of you have a Wii or one of the other dance systems? You know, where the screen tells you were to put your feet and you have a mat that records how well you do? Well Mogens won this hands or should I say feet down. Turns out he had ballroom dancing lessons as a boy, (there goes his reputation).

He loved the old film best, you know how he loves video. Anyway here he is sitting down, and although it is hard to tell he is actually awake!

You also had the chance to pose for photos, and here is me in a helicopter and then just to get in on the act, Debra and Mogens tried to recreate the Abba LP Cover.

And finally you get a chance to appear in a video with Abba themselves, well I couldn't turn that down now, could I? Although as it turns out they were also very excited to appear with me.