Stupid Yahoo Mail

I just browsed my Yahoo spam folder and found an email purporting to be from an ex-work colleague. It was sent to a bunch of other ex-colleagues as well and contained a link to what looked like a site for selling fake ED pills.

I replied to the colleague to say, “Hey looks like you’ve been hacked! Ha ha ha”, and was told by Yahoo:

Your message was not sent

Your account has been temporarily blocked from sending messages. This block can be caused by sending messages that trigger our spam filters, or by having too many recipients in one email. We encourage you to review the contents and recipient list of your message, and try sending it at after an hour or two. Doing so will usually resolve the matter.
If you are still unable to send messages after a 24-hour period, please read our FAQ for more information and to request Customer Care assistance.

We apologise for the inconvenience.


The Yahoo! Mail Team

Thanks for apologising for locking my account, assholes.

“If you are still unable to send messages after a 24-hour period …”? Well, I don’t think I’ll bother with your “Customer Care assistance” as it has done me fuck-all good in the past. I think I’ll just make that switch to a less irritating email provider that I’ve been thinking about for the past ten years.

Back in the Saddle

Well, I have been called out of my blessed retirement and cajoled into working for a living again. Rats. Just as I was getting used to life as a Country Gentleman of Leisure.

A gentleman relaxes ...

It was all so unexpected as well — yesterday at 2pm I casualy extended a finger and pressed an “Apply for this Job” button, and by 7pm I’d been interviewed and had signed a contract. Huh … actually a total of 3 hours between click and being accepted, with the rest just being paperwork.

Interesting stuff, anyway. “Business Intelligence Architect”, designing a system for external and internal reporting of network alerts and alarms for a major telecommunications company. The really interesting part is that the duties are not just on the Oracle data warehouse design side, but also include the reporting environment and ETL functionality. It is so much more satisfying to mentally flick between “Ah hah … so this metric is required …” into “Well it’ll have to be stored in such-and-such a way” on to “In that case the ETL wil have to …”. A real synthesis of thought processes.

Also, that’s a heck of a lot of paperwork I’ll be spitting out.

The actual development will be offshore and the designs will be subject to approval by the client of course. It should be a wild ride.

Curiously, the consultancy for the work is the UK branch of the company I was a full-time consultant to from 2002 through 2006, when I was in Ohio and Colorado. Coincidence, but another interesting facet.

Not withstanding my new employment status, I’ll still be off to Spain for two weeks at the end of August. I feel like I’ll be ready for it by then.

Born Again Virgin(ian)

Some weeks ago, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, I submerged into a world of long freeways, gas stations, fast food, good and bad hotels, and a couple of timezone changes. I resurfaced in Fairfax, Virginia 1,620 miles and a few days later with a sense of disorientation, new schools for the kids, the potential of an exciting new professional opportunity, and the sound of birdsong in my ears.

I’m a big fan of Virginia so far, although I was very keen on Colorado also. I’ll miss the mountains, the cool dry air, the endless sunshine and my Sunday morning motorcycle rides into the mountains to the Donut Mill to bring back breakfast for the family. I’m not looking forward to the local humidity, the insects and the heat, but to see so many trees, birds and little mammals is a delight. The cat is very interested in those also – he’s out of practice at hunting but looks ready to get back into the game. Wildlife beware.

I managed to skip the hard work of supervising the household packing by virtue of a daytrip to Washington DC for an interview, followed by two days at the RMOUG Training Days 2007 where I presented a paper on Linux 2.6 I/O Schedulers for Oracle Data Warehousing — to say that it’s a niche subject is quite th understatement, so an attendance of around twenty was well above my expectations. I managed to duck out of some of the unpacking by attending the Hotsos Symposium in Dallas TX last week, which was just about as much of a brain-melter as last year through the intensity of the technical presentations and the long hours at the bar in the evening. “Symposium” is derived from an ancient Greek term for “drinking party”, as it happens.

Today I’m at home with a sick-but-sleeping three year-old so I suppose I’d better get some unpacking done then. When I get a moment I’ll write up something about a dynamic sampling epiphany I had recently – try not to burst with the anticipatory excitment.

Data Warehouse Architect Position Available — Dayton OH

As I was mentioning earlier, I am leaving my current client and moving on to new pastures. Apparantly I have been with them fulltime for five years, though when I started it was just for a quick two weeks to get them up to speed on some issues — time flies, it seems.

Here are the highlights of the requirements for my replacement:

  • In-depth knowledge and prior experience of Oracle Data Warehousing concepts and features — partitioning, parallelism, materialized views and query rewrite, bitmap indexing, data segment compression.
  • Strong SQL and PL/SQL development and tuning experience.
  • 9i and 10g experience.
  • Instance tuning for data warehouse environments.
  • Knowledge of ETL tools (Informatica preferred).
  • Knowledge of BI tools (Business Objects v6 and/or XI preferred).
  • Prior experience of dimensional and 3NF modeling.
  • Experience in supply chain management & accounting & finance preferred.
  • Incumbent will be responsible for full life-cycle development, from requirement analysis through schema design and strong input into ETL and BI configuration.
  • Must be U.S. citizen and be able to obtain a Department of Defense Security clearance.

Here is a link to apply for the job or to get more details, or you can email me directly at

New Laptop Required: Suggestions?

I think my laptop is finally ready for the boneyard. Dead battery, dodgy USB ports, overheat issues (to install a new o/s I need to use a “cryogenic install” method of running the install on my deck on a cold winter’s night, preferably subzero temperatures).

I could go browsing around Best Buy and such like but I’m sure that a reader has recently got themselves a great deal. Portability is high on the wishlist, as is a ton of memory.

Any ideas? Brands to avoid?