SQLPam's Blog

November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving musings

Filed under: Community — sqlpam @ 2:34 pm

It’s that time of year when we are more aware of what we are thankful to have in our lives.  Family, health, a roof over our heads and food on the table are the basics.  I am grateful for each of these and as the years go by – I am even more aware of how precious each can be.  I have a loving husband.  After watching Mom loose Dad, I cherish him more.  I have a 14 year son that is turning me grayer on a daily basis – but as I think of him leaving home – I almost (note almost) look forward to seeing what bucket of trouble he falls into next.  As I get older, my health is less of a given and more of a gift to protect.

As I think of the roof over my head, I think of the skills that allowed me to earn the money to put that roof there.  I am grateful that I happened into the programming trade and eventually into SQL.  The skills have allowed me to expand my mind and meet challenges that many could not overcome.  This makes most days on the job, at least as I go home, satisfying.  I slayed the dragon for the day and I usually learned something new in the process. 

But more importantly of late is the community I was introduced to by being part of the trade.  The people in this community really amaze me.  These are techie people – where growing up I was told techie people are cold and insensitive, they work with machines – not people.  And yet I have watched this community open their hearts and wallets to assist fellow developers that have been ill and unable to care for their families.  I have watched as they celebrate the joys of fellow developers, snickering and a little jealous at new love or commiserate with sleepless nights of a new mom.  I have watched as they lose all fear of embarrassment and get up and belt out a tune – having the time of their lives.  SQL community has become family of sorts.  I am grateful.

I recall when I was much younger my grandmother asking me if I considered why Thanksgiving was when at this time of the year.  I was stymied.  I grasped at an answer with “the harvest had just come in and food was plentiful” – something I had heard in a description at school.  She smiled and said that had something to do with it.  This was the time of the year when most of the chores were indoors because of the weather.  People had a chance to sit down and think.  They were thankful thoughts that heavy muscles were not as required.  They still had work – but it was not the back breaking, harvest related labor required in the heat of the summer. 

We no longer have that down time.  Our toils are less strenuous, but usually more stressful.  I still think we need to take the time to think thankful thoughts and show our appreciation to those we are thankful to have in our lives.  This is not for them – but for us.  It is a means of fighting self-pity and depression.  It is hard to be either if you are busy being grateful.

So thank you to all who touch my life.  You give me a reason to get outside myself and enjoy what is around me.

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!!

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November 11, 2010

PASS Summit 2010 – near end of day 2

Filed under: PASS Summit,SQL Saturday — sqlpam @ 3:19 am

Another day od PASS Summit close to being complete.  All that is left is the fun stuff – Gameworks and SQL Karaoke. 

I actually made it to the key-note this morning.  Lots of interesting stuff coming down the pipe.  The BIG surprise was the actual release of the CTP1 disk that were waiting for us as we left.  We need to make sure we get involved to help avoid any issues going in the final version.

I then attended the PASS Chapter leader meeting.  I was disappointed that there was any time for us to share lessons learned with our peers.  It is the one time a year that we actually get to be in the same room together.  It looks like PASS is trying hard to do the right things.  It would have been nice to have a little more interaction.

I then attended the Women In Technology lunch.  As usual, I was not disappointed by the level of women presenting.  The Q&A portion of the session was great.  I was particularly impressed with the lady that discussed doing her “Boyfriend” project with a group of girls to teach them SQL.  I am strongly considering a half track for teenagers at our upcoming SQL Saturday.  It would fit nicely as we are working with the Hillsborough Children’s Board for session rooms.  I will follow-up with more info as it is available.

I then was able to snag swag for the User Group back home.  With help from Mike Wells and Patrick LeBlanc, I was able to get most of it shipped home from the Fed Ex downstairs.

We (Jose Chinchilla and I) were able to decide on doing a pre-SQL Saturday day of training.  We were even able to get people lined up.  Drum roll please…. On the DBA side we will have Denny Cherry doing his Storage and Virtualization for the DBA pre-con session for us.  On the BI side we will have Stacia Misner doing a full day of BI for us.  Now to make sure we have somewhere to hold the sessions.  That will be next week.

Now off to the fun stuff – as if this hasn’t been enough fun.  Gameworks and SQL Karaoke but best of all – time with some really great people.  Did I mention kilt day?  The guys look great!

November 10, 2010

PASS Summit 2010 end of day 1

Filed under: PASS Summit,SQL Saturday — sqlpam @ 6:00 am

I am at PASS Summit this week.  As always the experience is rich in networking and the joy of reacquainting with people I’ve met here in the past.  It is amazing how smoothly we pick up where we left off a year ago.  It also brings to mind how much has changed in the last year.

Yesterday was the SQL Saturday round table.  It is wonderful to see how well the brand is being embraced.  Andy Warren told us of his goal to have a SQL Saturday in every state / province.  He admits it is very ambitious – but without goals that stretch us, we seldom reach as high as we can. 

Today was my day to reach out for sponsors for SQL Saturday #62 in Tampa on 1/15/2011.  I was excited to see so many vendors that were already planning to participate.  Life is good.

I look forward to 2 more full days of content and networking.

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