Monthly Archives: October 2012

T-24 Days Until The Summit

With the DATEDIFF script returning 24 today, I thought it would be great day to review my travel plans.

  • Hotel booked, staying at the Sheraton, which is right across the street from the conference.
  • My flights are booked through Delta departing Sunday and coming back home Saturday.  I keep checking my seat assignments in hope that I have an empty chair next to me for comfort.  It probably will not happen, but one can dream.
  • I will probably take a shuttle from the airport even though the light rail sounds interesting, I understand it is a considerable walking distance and I really do not want to do that at this point with a laptop bag and big suitcase.
  • My wife purchased some new luggage for another upcoming trip and I will be purchasing a new laptop bag for this trip.

Haven’t registered yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!


T-25 Days Until My Summit Experience Begins

With the DATEDIFF script returning 25 today, I thought it would be great day to point out some of the links provided by SQL Pass to enhance your Summit experience.

Haven’t registered yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

T-26 Days Until My Summit Excursion Occurs

With the DATEDIFF script returning 26 today, I thought it would be great to include some pictures from my last and only trip to Seattle in 1987. As a stud defensive lineman (maybe just in my own mind), I was not too cool to be a mathlete and flex my national Mu Alpha Theta competition smile. I am geek and always have been so it would not be surprising that I was the captain of the Algebra II team that won the state competition.  This was a blast for the four of us on the Algebra II team, my friend David Jones competing in the individual Trigonometry and Pedro Nunez in Geometry, I believe.

In the dugout of the King Dome

This is my friend Chuck Zanti and I sitting where Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alex Rodriquez sat inside the King Dome during our tour of the stadium.  We wanted to see a game, but the Mariners were out-of-town the whole week.  Sadly I will not be able to return here since it no longer exists.

Boeing Museum

This is inside the Boeing Museum of Flight, which was another highlight of our trip in addition to the flying fish at Pike Place Market.  I do not think I will have time to visit Boeing this time, but the market is definitely on the agenda.

Somewhere across Puget Sound with Great Salmon

I am not sure that I remember what this place was called, I just know that we took a long ferry ride to the island and then we saw a Native Americans performance along with some excellent salmon.  Of course, we had to get a picture in front of the totem pole.

View from the Dorm at U Dub

And finally, this was the view from our dorm room at the U Dub (University of Washington) where the math competition was held.  It was a beautiful campus and we greatly enjoyed our stay in Seattle.  Enjoy!

T-27 Days Until My Summit Adventure Begins

The DATEDIFF script tells me it is now 27 days until I leave for the SQL PASS Summit 2012.   Today I have built my tentative schedule (as shown below) and this was probably the most difficult task I will ever have to do this year.  Trying to balance the sessions I need that will aid my current position in addition to what I would like to know and let’s not forget the people with whom I want to see speak.  Thankfully, I purchased the DVDs to cover all of those lost sessions.

I will go over the schedule again in a few weeks as I understand it is evolving.  However, I am curious, with shifting time slots if my calendar will adjust to the session or simply make me believe that I am attending a session that is no longer in that time slot.  Another thing I would like to point out is that I loaded all of these sessions into my outlook calendar and then I realized ‘hey that calendar is on eastern standard time!’  So I edited these sessions in my phone to reflect a pacific time zone so that hopefully when I arrive in Seattle everything will be correct.  I am making a mental note to review my schedule on Sunday when I arrive.

Stay tuned for this excellent adventure!

Monday, November 05, 2012
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM RedGate’s SQL in the City
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM [AD-399-P] Query Performance Tuning: Start to Finish
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM [DBA-210-S] DBCC Commands: The Quick and the Dangerous [RM:618-620]
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM [LT-100] Bob Dylan Explains TempDB [RM:307-308]
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM [DBA-316] Blazing Fast Backups [RM:305-TCC]
4:45 PM – 6:15 PM [DBA-408-S] Choose Your Own Adventure: Performance Tuning [RM:615-617]
Thursday, November 08, 2012
10:15 AM – 11:30 AM [DBA-309] READPAST & Furious: Transactions, Locking, and Isolation [RM:302-TCC]
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM [LT-101] 3.0: Not Your Granddaddy’s PowerShell [RM:307-308]
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM [PD-200] Are You Cut Out for a Consulting Career? [RM:307-308]
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM [DBA-320-S] Diagnose T-SQL Performance Problems Fast with sp_Blitz [RM:618-620]
Friday, November 09, 2012
8:00 AM – 9:15 AM [DBA-404] Advanced SQL Server Troubleshooting [RM:618-620]
9:45 AM – 11:00 AM [LT-102] Effective Error Log Parsing [RM:307-308]
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM [DBA-212-S] SQL Server First Responder Kit [RM:618-620]
2:45 PM – 4:00 PM [DBA-406] CSI for SQL: Learn to be a SQL Sleuth [RM:305-TCC]
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM [DBA-318] You Can Do That with T-SQL? [RM:6E]

Let the Countdown To Summit Begin

Today is officially four weeks until I arrive at the SQL PASS Summit 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  So I am sure you can figure out by the title what is coming next.  That’s right, a series for the countdown onto my epicly awesome #SQLFirstTimers attendance at the most important SQL event of the year.  Have you registered to go?  There is still time, come and join me.

Stay tuned for my journey!

SQL Tool Evaluation, List of Tools

Thanks everyone for the feedback.  Below are the items submitted thus far for me to evaluate, let me know within the next few days if you have any others to add to the list.  Keep in mind that I am an Enterprise DBA, therefore I will not be evaluating any development tools.

Stay tuned for further details.  I will have to process all of the EULAs and other paperwork in order to setup my test environment, but we have about five months left in order to complete this project.  Enjoy!

I Want My MTV, I Mean SQL Server 2012!

I would love to upgrade my servers to SQL Server 2012.  We’ve met with Microsoft and we discussed the licensing ramifications and I got really excited about upgrading after getting the OK internally.  That was a couple of months ago.  The one piece holding us up?  Vendors!

We do have some SQL databases developed in-house, but being predominantly an Oracle shop, most of our SQL Server databases are vendor provided.  We have set forth the initiative to do all new development solely in SQL Server for cost savings.  Additionally, we  have begun moving some of the vendor provided databases to SQL Server.  However, those are also at the mercy of vendors.  My latest project only supports SQL Server 2008, not even R2.  This is very frustrating from an enterprise DBA standpoint.  I want to move forward!  Enjoy!

Taking the Blog To A New Level

Yesterday afternoon, I activated as the domain address for the blog formally known as  After a year of solid, consistent blogging, this experiment is now a daily ritual.

I cannot imagine myself not blogging on a daily basis.  This was the natural progression.  I hope you enjoy!

SQL Evaluation Project Upcoming

I have been tasked with an exciting goal for this new fiscal year. Determine whether our existing SQL Server tools, Redgate DBA/Backup Bundle and Toad for SQL Server, are the best tools for our needs. In other words, should we continue to pay for these tools or should we purchase different tools.

Before working for this employer, I have never been able to buy additional tools so I personally do not have any experience with any other tools.  Therefore, frankly, I love the Redgate tools, but I do not know how well they stack up against tools from other vendors.  Any input from my #SQLFamily would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy!

Goals Updated, End of Third Quarter

With today being the first day of the last quarter of 2012, I thought it would be good to review my goals for the year and see where I stand in my progress.  I will italicize the updates at the end of each of the original items.

  1. I will post daily to this blog in order to give back to the SQL community that has helped me so much over the years.  So far so good on this one!
  2. I will spend time daily helping people on twitter, SQL blogs, and various SQL-related websites such as SQL Server Central. I have tried to do this regularly, but it is harder than blogging daily. I thought this one would have been easier.
  3. I am setting a goal of 300 followers on Twitter which would double my existing followers for 2011. I am at 377 followers today, thanks everyone!
  4. I will attend at least ten of the twelve Tampa Bay SQL Server User Group meetings. Thus far I have not missed a single one!
  5. I will atend three to five other SQL User group meetings, such as the Tampa BI group or Orlando’s MagicPASS. There has been a new Hillsborough SQL Users Group that I have attended three sessions.
  6. I will attend every Tampa VMWare User Group meetings which occur quarterly. I am 100 percent on this one (mainly because there hasn’t been a meeting since December!
  7. I will attend other events that interface with SQL Server or VMWare such as the Orlando IT Pro Camp scheduled for January 21, 2012. Missed the IT Pro Camp, I need to try to find one before the end of the year.
  8. I will attend one Microsoft SQL training course this year, but I cannot say at this time what that course will be as that will depend upon my employer ;-) .  I would like to attend Course 2778a (Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Transact-SQL) and Course 6234 (Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. I did even better than that, I attended a class and I am also going to the PASS Summit in November.
  9. I will attend every SQL Saturday offered in the Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville areas.  I would also like to attend some others, if possible, within driving distance.  I am already registered for SQL Saturday #110 in Tampa on March 10, 2012. I missed the Jacksonville SQL Saturday but made up for it with Pensacola. I did the March one in Tampa
  10. I will volunteer to help with at least one SQL Saturday this year. I volunteered in March and spoke in June and September.
  11. I would like to attend SQL Rally in Dallas this year and I would definitely like to attend the SQL PASS Summit, but with one child in college this year and two more entering over the next two years, I may have to pass on this one for a couple of years until they are situated and my bank account returns to normal. I did not get to go to Rally, but I am going to the Summit.
  12. I will continue to take at least one to two classes a semester online in order to complete my degree in Business Administration.  All those Engineering and Computer Science classes I took 20 years ago are not relevant today and I would like  to possibly return to consulting in five or ten years and that degree would be more beneficial in that long-term goal. I am still on track here.
  13. I will continue SQLAndy’s recommendation to meet at least three people at every SQL event.  This is a great recommendation for networking.  It is hard sometimes to break out of our introverted ways. I have been working hard to do this every time and it pays off.
  14. I will attain my VMWare Certified Professional 4 certificate this year for VMWare. This did not happen as VMWare came out with a new version before my window closed to take the exam. Now I will have to take a version 5 class in order to take the exam.
  15. I would like to speak somewhere this year, my local SSUG, VMUG, or even a training session at work.  I need to get over my fear of public speaking. 2012 is the year to step it up and take it to another level. I have spoken at my user group and SQL Saturday and it is addictive.

This has been a great year for me, and I hope it has been for you too.  Enjoy.

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