Archive for January, 2010

New Blog Site

Posted: January 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

About a year ago Paul Nielsen contacted me and let me know that the “SQL Server MVP Deep Dives” book was going to be a reality. He asked me if I wanted to jump in and work on a chapter and as much as I wanted to there was a couple issues. First I was working on a couple conference events that was taking up most of my time. The second was I had just received my SQL Server MVP award and was really a bit nervous being in the same book as a number of these authors. If by the way you have not picked up the book I recommend that you do. Not only is it a great reference for SQL Server, the profits are being donated to a great organization.

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine Jeremy Lowell asked me to work with him on a blog. He had this idea that we look at the Deep Dives book and review each chapter along the way. Jeremy and I are known for not always sharing the same opinion on many topics however we always thirst for more knowledge. Jeremy also invited another friend and past coworker Richard Rodriguez to join us. So here it is,

Each Thursdays we are going to take on a new chapter of the deep dives book and give it a review. Each week we also hope to be joined by a guest that may or may not be one of the authors. When Jeremy asked me to join in on this project I was going to pass. My time right now is just pulled very thin. But after thinking about it; I have worked with Richard, and Jeremy in the past and I could not wait to see the opinions that we have. Please join us in the discussions and the reading of the book.


I guess I am going to want to do this. For a couple of reasons. I start these quizzes and then pass them along. Now that Paul Randal has started on it would only be fair that I respect those who well.. know everything, know everyone, and is an all-around good guy.. I also hope they ask me to come back to Connections to speak. I was tagged by TJay a friend that I have not met yet. But here it goes.

What 3 events brought me here?

  1. In High school I was much more interested in learning things like how to play beer pong or what the ingredients were in a Fuzzy Navel. I did hold a job where I was a Ski Tech for Vail and the Broadmoor for a year. These jobs made me realize that the people that work there smoke grass all day and work to pay for food while they borrow a lift ticket. I wanted a little more. (If my old coach is out there… Darr, put the toke down, step away , turn in the CCR CD’s.
  2. I joined the Marine Corps where I could meet great people go to great places and then kill em. Well that plan did not work out either. I trained for really cool stuff but ended up an accountant. I started to fix some problems here with the Lotus Database and well that was the hook.
  3. About 2 years later I was smoking outside talking shop with a friend Jim Paine. He said I knew a bit about access and he would like to help me become a DBA. He covered school, servers for me to work on and they I would commit my work hours to a small publishing company. Yellow Pages.

Well that is where is started. I am not sure where it is going to end, I am not sure when it is going to end, but it will. And when it does, keep an eye on the highways looking for my Red Truck pulling my Outback Camper. You can reach me there.


So who do I tag

SQL Fool

Jeremy Lowell

Kathi Kellenberger






Conference Time

Posted: January 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

I am not sure if it is starting to warm up or not. I do know that I am starting to see the signs of summer. One of those signs is the start of the Spring conference season. There is a number of events that can be found but the one most exciting to me is the vConference hosted by SSWUG. They have added a whole .NET track this time around. That means that the Share Point track is a dedicated Share Point track and is not sharing sessions. The one fee will get you into the whole conference rather than trying to pay for each individual session.

There are a number of new speakers this time around along with some returning speakers. Some of the new speakers are:

David Baldauff

Glenn Berry

Denny Cherry

Mike Davis

Jeffery Garbus

Eric Harlan

Adam Jorgensen

Devin Knight

If you sign up now there is an early bird discount rate. With that you also get Live Keynotes, 6 months of SSWUG access and great access to all the vendors. Take a look at it here:


Other Happenings


  • On SSWUG today the first in a number of articles was released about maintaining your database history. This series of articles talks about creating a DBAStats database on your systems and what sort of information that I keep in there. Today in particular I am looking at tracking database growth at the page level. The code will work that is included but the goal is to more to give you an idea of some of the things that you can do with a history database and how you can track that information.
  • I am well on my way of writing the book that I have been working on. This is a process that I did not realize was going to take as long as it does. However readers of this blog will know that grammar is not always my strong suit (to put it nice). So we are taking a bit of time to make sure that book says what I wanted it to.
  • In Feb. I will be speaking at the Denver SQL Server Users Group, This event looks fun and I like the session idea.
  • Also in Feb is the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta.
  • I have brought up my web page. I am not sure exactly what this is going to be used for just yet. Currently it’s a list of events that I am either working. If you have any idea let me know.

I hope you have a great day, if I have forgotten anything feel free to drop me a note.

If I were to look at who would be the best person to give me an overview of Power Pivot or the next release of SQL Server, I without a doubt would pick the man himself Mr. Donald Farmer from Microsoft. However getting the chance to sit down with Donald on a one on one base is very difficult; he is one of the driving forces behind Power Pivot. Not too long ago I had the chance to work out a schedule with Donald that will allow for a FREE event that is going to be hosted by vConferenceOnline in coordination with SSWUG. This Free event is completely free but will require that you sign up. You can find all the information here:

This event looks like it is going to be a 4 hour review with a full list of the sessions on the registration pages. If you work with SQL Server I honestly cannot think of a reason why you would want to miss this event.


Posted: January 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

I cannot tell you how busy it has been lately and with me working on the book when I am not at work that just adds to the amount of things that I am doing and taking away the time I have to do it in. I received an email today from Jesse Young that included some interview questions that I though you may find interesting. I have actually used one of these before. Here is a sample.

What would I find in your refrigerator?:

When I was in the Marine Corps on occasion we would attempt to be promoted by merit. This meant a long interview test, as well as a number of Marine Corps history questions. You never knew what questions were real or fake; there was always a fake question to see how you would handle the pressure. I recall a couple of the Questions I was asked.

How many beads were on the Dog Tag Necklace?

    This is not a trick question. The number of beads is supposed to help you keep track of what day it is as a POW and the only thing you Dog Tag.

How many trucks were on the base?

This is the trick question, well sort of the question should read how many trux are there. On Most installations there is on one. It is the ball that is located on top of the flag pole. If you are lucky you get asked the follow up.

What is in them?

Some say it is a bullet, razor and a match. The items are there to assist you in defense of the flag or to make sure it get retired and not in the hands of the enemy. Now I have no idea if this is true beyond the first question, but I have been asked the questions when on a military base. If you would like to see some more insane questions check out Jesse’s post here.

As an added note, I had an article that was published last week and another one today about the Top 9 things that I learned in 2009.  These can be found on SSWUG.  If you have some you would like to add to the list let me know.

Open Door Policy

Posted: January 5, 2010 in Uncategorized


Time for a big dose of reality, oh maybe a bit of whining.

After talking with a few friends of mine about work this weekend they had mentioned that the companies they work for have an “Open Door Policy”, both of them had commented that this was no more than a ploy to get employees to bring issues to management. I guess in both situations two different people have the same experience with the same policy. Does this mean that the policy is flawed or maybe that the people we choose for managers now just are not where they should be. I can say I like the people I am working with and the management style they have, and no it’s not because they may read this. I doubt they do. If people feel like open door policies do not accomplish what they are meant to do they then promote the reverse? Maybe we should go back to the suggestion box or even more drastic…. Understand that our management has insight that may not be ours and it would be a good idea for use to understand not everything can be fixed every day.

The reason this is on my mind is because I got to thinking about the clichés people use. One in particular “we do the right thing”. I think doing the right thing means not talking about it and not bragging about it but just doing it. Come on, what the heck is wrong with people now a days when they have to mention they do the right thing? I was working with a company the other day that had recommended a server configuration, and then a client went and engaged into a contract with that configuration. After added review the client realized that this was not the configuration they wanted or needed. But now they are under contract… To top it off the vendor admitted to the fact that it is not the right config.

Well there is my rant for this week; there is a new article out this week on SSWUG. Beyond the traditional backup . The book is moving along and so is the SSWUG Conference. Don’t forget about the free SQL Server 2008 R2 Event coming up with Donald Farmer.