SQLPam's Blog

December 16, 2010

OPASS Holiday Social

Filed under: Uncategorized — sqlpam @ 6:54 pm

I made the trip over to Orlando for the OPASS Holiday Social.  It was going to be some time to see Karla and make a push for Tampa’s upcoming Day of Data and SQL Saturday in January.  I was able to meet Karla’s beautiful daughter and help get the gifts to the meeting.  It was great to see everyone – many with spouses – at the meeting.  I had not realized it was the reorganization meeting of the group – where the details of the new organization process were being unveiled.  I was intrigued by the way they have organized sponsors.  I like the idea – not sure if it is an option for us.  With us not paying for our room – I am not sure we need it to the level they have it.  It is bold and looks sustainable.  They are having national sponsors set up on a quarterly basis.  It looks like they handle the major expenses like the room.  Then they set up local sponsors on a meeting basis.  It definitely adds some longer term stability to the process.  It gave me something to think about.

They are also splitting off a west branch of the meeting – MagicPASS.  I love the name!  Kendal Van Dyke will be leading that group.  Having lived in Orlando for 2 years – I understand the reasoning.  There are now a couple of options – but they are still limited and usually painful for getting from one of town to the other.  With it being a tourist town – it get ugly fast.  By setting up meetings on both sides of town – people are more likely to be able to attend one or the other – if not both.  I think it is great idea and wish both groups great success.

I got an opportunity to pass out some flyers for my events in January and to talk them into signing up.  I even had someone volunteer to assist with my registration process – BIG WIN!!  Thanks Brooke.

The Dirty Santa /  White Elephant portion fo the meeting was a blast!  Karla had placed gifts – mostly swag with a mix of Christmassy treats – in bags.  It was funny to watch as techies asking spouses to “steal” things they had no clue about.  Techies stealing from techies and watching as people debated about which book or shirt they wanted with their gift slips.  It was a good time by all – thanks Karla for pulling it all together.  The big prize of the night was an Xbox with Kinect.  Jack Corbett relayed how his kids were like my Ryan – “how could you have that in the house and not let us have it”.  Everyone should have gone home with something and all had a great time.

It was a long a drive going and coming – but well worth the time.  It was a real boost to my Christmas spirits.  Thanks to all who helped put it in place – especially Karla.

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December 8, 2010

Belated birthday ramble

Filed under: Uncategorized — sqlpam @ 5:45 pm

I turned 50 on Monday, 11/29/2010.  A half century is a lot of life.  I think this one hit harder, not only because of the number but because I realized I was not where I thought I would be at this point in my life.  Here I am between jobs at a point when I thought I would be more stable.  I find myself saying more often than ever before “It is what it is.”  It is more than a phrase these days.  It is evidence that I am accepting that it is OK to not fit in a box and not fit even my expectations.  I am seeing this as an opportunity to redefine myself.

Being out of work does not mean I am idle.  It just means that I am not being paid for work I am doing these days.

My main task has been the organization of SQL Saturday #62 – Tampa.  This year I have more help than in the previous 3 years.  Jose Chinchilla (@SQLJoe) has been working with me.  We got a later than usual start this year due to nailing down dates and the venue.  Plus we have added a Day of Data.  So we are planning – not one – but two events.  Things are coming together.  We have selected our speakers and are now narrowing down the sessions before attempting to set a schedule.

My other task is cleaning out stuff that has been accumulating around the house.  Some of that is trip down memory lane, but for the most part it is painstaking.  I sort the stuff by which room it belongs to – I swear the stuff travels around the house.  Then, it is a matter of sorting what to keep, what to donate and what to trash.  Finally, if something makes it to the “what to keep” list – we need to find where it will live.  It seems so trivial – but the 50 year mark put some of this into perspective and started the process.

I had someone joke that turning 50 was better than the alternative – meaning dying before I turned 50.  I have to agree with that observation.  But I also see it as a kick in the butt.  There are things I had hoped to do by this stage in my life.  It is time to get them done.

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