Monthly Archives: April 2012

SQL Azure Baby Steps

Yesterday I listed a few links to get you started in SQL Azure. In addition to the free 90-day trial, did you know that there were special pricing offers for Microsoft Partner Network, Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and or BizSpark for SQL Azure?  MSDN subscribers, for example, get $3,600 dollars worth of Azure benefits at no charge.  Check out Windows Azure Special Pricing: MSDN, MPN, and Bizspark Benefits for more information.

When you move past all of the pricing and setting up your accounts then you will want to check out the following article MSDN Magazine article about Getting Started with SQL Azure Development.  It is essentially a walk-through guide that will get you up and running or should I say flying through the cloud.  Enjoy!

Don’t Know Much About Azure?

Everyone is talking about the cloud these days.  Microsoft’s cloud offerings provide many amazing features including SQL Server.  I have posted several links to begin you cloud journey.  Enjoy and I hope this helps you get to your destination!

Relay For Life Has Been Completed

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John Wayne Pushed Me Onward

Relay for Life 2012 for Sumter County has come and gone.  Many people stopped by our team’s booth to chat and buy food:  Roy Ponder’s whole sweet corn on the cob was amazing as was his chili dogs.  We raised some money, I will update this post later with the exact amount, for a great cause and we saluted our friends and family that have survived cancer.  We cheered them on as they completed laps and we walked for our friends and family who did not survive.  Even John Wayne came out to cheer us onward.

There were many people who helped our team and I thank them.  But I really want to thank Roy and Theresa Ponder for doing most of the work setting up the team, the tent, cooking the food, buying most of the food and drinks.  This team is their passion and I am humbled by their spirit of giving for this worthy cause.

I did not walk as far as I wanted to, but I did walk  farther than I did last year.  I was told in the past that the track was a half mile, so last year I made ten laps for five miles, or so I thought.  Last night I found out that the track was only a quarter-mile.  So essentially I only walked 2.5 miles last year.  This year, I fumbled around with RunMeter on my phone for three laps before I got it working.  It reported just under 2 miles but with the .75 miles I walked prior to that I did beat my distance last year, but it was a let down to know that it was such a short distance but it was worth every step!

The music and activities were amazing and my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed another successful Relay for Life.  Won’t you come out next year?

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People Making Their Way Around the Track

Today is Our Relay for Life

Tonight I will be participating in the annual Relay for Life.  This is a cause that I believe strongly in as I have had several friends and family members who have beaten and/or lost to cancer.  I’m sure my story is no different than most and I am not telling you anything you haven’t already heard.  Tonight I will walk for those who cannot and I walk for my children and hope that they will never have to feel the hurt that I have felt losing friends and family to cancer.  There is always hope and today is no different.  Won’t you join me?

Please join my team or make a donation to help the American Cancer Society create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Together, we can help make sure that cancer never steals another year of anyone’s life!

Please Help My Relay for Life Team

My Reason to Relay

I am participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life because I want to make a meaningful difference in the fight against cancer. 

Almost everyone has been touched by cancer, myself included, either through their own personal battle or through someone they love.

Every day, the American Cancer Society is helping us stay well by preventing cancer or finding it at its earliest, most treatable stages. They assist families in finding the best resources to help their friend or loved one deal with a diagnosis and their journey to get well. The American Cancer Society is also rallying communities (like ours!) through events like Relay For Life, to fight back and find cures for this disease.

Please join my team or make a donation to help the American Cancer Society create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Together, we can help make sure that cancer never steals another year of anyone’s life!

Thank you!

Consequences…We All Face Them

When dealing with my teenagers, I’ve realized that the hardest concept for them to comprehend is consequences.  For example, they have done something wrong and I am going to take away their cell phone to which they reply: “You can’t do that because I need my phone, what happens if I get into an accident.” 

They are right, we should take away the car as well.  If you do not learn that there are consequences to the choices you make, then how will you ever be a responsible adult? 

Parenting is a difficult job for children.  Parenting for teenagers is almost near impossible on some days.  Do not get me wrong, my teens are great kids who make good grades, but even good kids can be snotheads thanks to all those hormones.

Mom, if you are reading this blog, I apologize for all the trouble I put you through, and stop laughing please.

Enjoy!

Tell Me A Story, Please

I read some great advice today while researching effective presentation skills in order for me to prepare my presentation for a future SQL Saturday.  Being my first ever SQL Server presentation, I am doing research and everything.  What was the advice you ask?

“People want to hear a story, not a PowerPoint!”

Wow, that is so profound and so true and yet so simple.  Now to translate that into my presentation  and that will be easier said than done.

Thinking about other presentations, I’ve seen some great ones and some not so great.  I’ve seen simple ones and complex ones.  However, the great ones, in my opinion, are engaging, sometimes humorous, and always humble.

So in order to be successful, let’s recap:

  • I need to not read the PowerPoint
  • I need to be funny and charismatic
  • I need to be humble and not tell people they are wrong and stupid (this one may be hard to do)
  • I need to have a relevant and interesting topic
  • I need be knowledgable about the subject that I am speaking about

I think I figured it out, I need to hire someone to be me for the presentation. Enjoy ;)

How to Upload/Share with Google Docs

While working on the TribalSQL project and discussing Google Docs with other authors on the project, I thought there might be a need for a little handy Google Doc uploading guide.

Google Docs Upload Button

Figure 1 - Press Upload

  1. Once your document is saved and ready to go, then log into Google Docs.
  2. Press the upload button (actually just an icon next to the create button) as shown in the Figure 1 and then select File. 
  3. Browse and select your file that you wish to upload.
  4. In the Upload Settings caption box, do not worry about converting your documents, unless you need to.  Press the Start Upload button.
  5. Unfortunately, once this is completing, you are not done.  Now click on the ‘Owned by me’ link below the Create button as shown in Figure 1.  This will show you all of your documents that have been uploaded.
  6. Now check the box next to your uploaded document as shown in Figure 2.
  7. Now press the Organize icon on the top row (the one that looks like a file folder) as shown in Figure 3.
  8. Choose the collection that you wish to upload the document into as shown in Figure 4.  Now you are done with the upload.  Enjoy!

Figure 2 - Select Document

Figure 3 - Choose Organize Button

     

 

 

Figure 4 - Choose Collection

 

Help Me Pick a Dream Vacation Spot


So the wife and I were looking at our Marriott Rewards points that we have been squirreling away for a once in a lifetime (or at least once in ten years) vacation opportunity.  My wife wants to go to Ireland.  On the other hand, I want to go back to Italy and see all of the marvelous historical sites that I missed when I went to Genoa in 1998.  Essentially, all I saw was the Riviera and Christopher Columbus’ birth place.  I thoroughly enjoyed it but being there a month, I should have capitalized on the opportunity and seen way more of the historically relevant sites.  Oh wait, I was working during the week so you can cut me some slack.

Interestingly enough, I thought she would have wanted to go to France and see all of the beautiful art and eat in a cafe, etc.  Being the good Irish girl that she is (or is descended from) she wanted to see her homeland.  Being part Irish and part Scottish and part Native American, I feel no real affinity to any particular homeland other than Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida or the Deep South.  I enjoy saying that I am part Irish, mainly in March but through my genealogy I am correct in my boasting.

This vacation getaway would cover a week in the respective country, paid for by our points.  We would just need to get there and feed ourselves.  Therein lies the rub.  I looked up flights to the various locations and a flight to Italy must be covered in gold because it will take a small fortune to get there.  Yikes.  In 1998 it was a mere $2400 for first class travel.  Now it is much more than that just for coach.

If you could go somewhere for a once in a lifetime trip where would you go?  Where would you send me?  Here is the bigger question, what is there to do in Ireland?  I thought we could compromise and go to London, say around the time of SQL BITS conference.  But then I would miss all of the sight-seeing as I get to meet all of my twitter friends from the UK.  It looks like you can take a ferry from Ireland to the UK.  What is that like?  Maybe five days in Ireland and a couple in the UK.  What do you think?

Besides I wanna be Clark Griswold going around the circle saying look kids Big Ben, Parliament House.  Enjoy!

P.S.  If you are interested in joining Marriott Rewards, send me your e-mail address and I will send you a referral whereby I can receive some points to use on this vacation, if you feel so generous.  The Rewards program is free but I will receive some points for referring you.  This is not a pyramid scheme.

Confused About the Recent SQL Server 2012 Certification Changes? Me Too!

Are you confused about the recent changes to the SQL Server 2012 Certifications?  I loved the MSCE and MCSA certifications, so on  cursory glance I was stoked.  Yes these certs have name recognition.  Wait, there not the same?  Oh this is going to be fun.  Kendra Little (Blog | Twitter) demystified some of these changes in the following blog post: SQL Server 2012 Certification Changes Video | Brent Ozar PLF.  Enjoy!

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