Finally, an Update

Looking at the last post, its been just over two years since I’ve posted, and reading an update from my friend Ryan about ‘What Do You Want’ inspired me to write-down a few things, this post will be an Update, the next my answer to What Do I Want.

Updates:

In the last two years I have:

  • Increased the family size
    • August 10, 2015 Natalie and I welcomed another girl to our brood. Kennedy joined us and over the last 15 months have figured out that all children are different, Kenna is nuts!
  • Natalie Stays Home
    • January 2016, we decided that it would be beneficial if Natalie stayed home for a bit and focused on the kids.  For the entirety of this year, she has done just that, and the kids are excelling on every avenue.  I couldn’t be happier with the results.
  • Ran a Half Marathon
    • February 2016- I ran the Gasparilla Distance Classic Half Marathon.  My goal was 2:10 and I hit 2:17 (i think)  I hit the wall around 10 miles, and I blame that on waiting on my friend Renee do his business around mile 7, standing around for 6-7 minutes was not a good idea and it caused me to seriously freeze up.  Will try again next year.
  • Remodeling the House
    • February 2016 – Lets open up the kitchen, knock down some walls and see what it looks like.   As of last week, I have permits and can start closing up the walls.  Progress pics here
  • Tried out for Microsoft
    • I thought about not adding this but I think its important as part of the story.  A friend invited me to interview for a Premier Field Engineering role at Microsoft, to which I interviewed.  Feedback indicated I was technically sound but didn’t have enough experience working with a team, which is baffling as I built the entire DBA team at my current gig.  I think the Army guy interviewing didn’t like that I was a Marine.   Not getting this was a blessing in disguise.
  • Lost Job
    • June 2016 – The company I was previously working was bought just 3 months after I joined,  hired a new CTO, and completely restructured the company, in the end shutting down the Tampa office, which was quite unfortunate, but I learned a great deal about my self during that time and hopefully can continue to grow from those experiences.
  • Started New Job
    • July 2016 –  I started a new job as database consultant for Taos.  I’m currently engaged in a multi-datacenter consolidation effort in which I am in charge of MSSQL and MySQL.  Brushing up on MySQL skills has been refreshing as its also brushing up on my Linux skills, which will set me up to take a look at Oracle in the future.  This position is work-from-home, which is awesome, since I get to see the girls throughout the day.
  • Started College…Again
    • I found a college that works well for professionals who can work at their own pace.  Western Governors University is working well for me thus far.  I was able to transfer some old USf credits as well as my Microsoft Certs in for credit.  In the last 4 months, I have been able to knock out 29 credits.  I have 2 months left in this semester and would like to knock out 4 more classes which is quite doable.

 

These are the major items that have come and gone since I’ve last posted.  Stay tuned for the next update, which I’ll add some short term goals I’m looking at.

 

 

Game on, Speaker Idol at PASS Summit

This week I am attending PASS Summit 2014 in Seattle, Washington. PASS Summit is  gathering of SQL Data professionals from around the world who come together to learn more about our craft.  As most of you reading this site will know, I enjoy sharing and speak at the regional SQL Saturday events.  At some point I would like to be able to challenge my self to speaking at a broader audience, and while not an official speaker, I have been selected to compete in a competition for new speakers while at Summit.

This competition is known as SQL Speaker Idol.  It will be held in the style of the American Idol singing competition, fortunately for everyone, no singing will be involved.  Instead, 12 speakers will be selected to  present a 5 minute talk on  subject of their choosing, with judging to be done by an expert panel.

So not only will I be speaking, folks will be actively judging me and telling me how terrible I am.  On the bright side, I have had lots of support from my local user groups.  Both Pinellas SQL Pass and Hillsborough SQL Pass User groups have allowed me to give my presentations at their users groups over the last few weeks.  I’ve had comments and suggestions from SQL MVP and MCM folks who have been presenting for years, so I feel somewhat prepared and very well supported.

Luckily my session in on Friday morning, so I have a few more days to prepare, and prepare I will.  I have asked a few folks to allow me to take a few minutes of their time over the course of this week to present the session to them and get more feedback; an audience is always better than jabbering away to my self.

So there it is folks.  For anyone at PASS Summit, come over to the Community Session room 400 on Friday at 10:15 to cheer me on.  I’ve already put the Speak Idol Final on my calendar as I am an optimist.  If you’ve got the same faith,  put the final on your calendar as well, same room at 2:45.

The Church of Mercy – Pope Francis

The Church of Mercy
Pope Francis
April 25, 2014
April 25, 2014
Audio Book
168

In the year since he was elected, Pope Francis’s simple message of mercy, service, and renewal has spread to every corner of the world. Through his gentle demeanor, selfless actions, and welcoming call for service to others, Pope Francis has captured the attention of a world longing for an authentic message of hope—we want to hear what he has to say.

Collected from Pope Francis’s speeches, homilies, and papers presented during the first year of his papacy, The Church of Mercy is the first Vatican-authorized book detailing his vision for the Catholic Church. From how to be citizens of the world to answering God’s call for evangelization, Pope Francis's deep wisdom reminds us that the Church must move beyond its own walls and joyfully bring God's mercy wherever suffering, division, or injustice exists.

Named TIME Magazine’s 2013 “Person of the Year,” Pope Francis is helping the Church continue toward an authentic Christianity that is faithful to the Gospel and resonant with the world’s greatest needs. The Church of Mercy encourages each of us to ignite the flame within to help share the light of Christ and revitalize the Church.

The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin – Masha Gessen

What you tolerate you perpetuate.

The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
Masha Gessen
Riverhead Trade
March 5, 2013
AudioBook
336

In 1999, the “Family” surrounding Boris Yeltsin went looking for a successor to the ailing and increasingly unpopular president. Vladimir Putin, with very little governmental or administrative experience—he’d been deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, and briefly, director of the secret police—nevertheless seemed the perfect choice: a “faceless” creature whom Yeltsin and his cronies could mold in their own image. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see in him the progressive leader of their dreams—even as Putin, with ruthless efficiency, dismantled the country’s media, wrested control and wealth from the business class, and destroyed the fragile mechanisms of democracy. Within a few brief years, virtually every obstacle to his unbridled control was removed and every opposing voice silenced, with political rivals and critics driven into exile or to the grave.
Masha Gessen has experienced and reported this history firsthand, and brings it up to its present moment of unrest and uncertainty. Her spellbinding account of Putin’s rise and reign will stand as a classic of narrative nonfiction.

Dad is Fat – Jim Gaffigan

Wanting to take a break from the more serious natured audio books I’ve been listening to recently, I found Jim Gaffigan’s Dad is Fat in my recommended reading list.  Since I’m a fan of his comedy and wanted something a bit lighter, I added my namJim Gaffigan - Dad is Fate to the hold list at the local library (using Overdrive of course) for the audio book.

Starting off, I immediately recognized the narrator as Jim Gaffigan himself, an added bonus.  In this book Jim offers short chapters about various portions of being a new dad, figuring out the new additions as they come, managing  as a dad, and juggling life’s responsibilities after becoming a dad for the fifth time.  While I can’t relate to that level of mastery he has seemingly acquired with five kids, I recognized many of his struggles and oddities as those that I’ve faced with just two kids.

The whole books comes across, intentionally or not, as an extended ode to his super-hero wife Jeannie.  Jim, like many of us dads, assumes that the more attractive partners in our relationships have had special instruction in child rearing, but throughout the chapters in this book you see a story of a dad who figures it out, and makes it work, documenting all the idiosyncrasies of fatherhood along the way.

Any parent who has balanced work / life responsibilities while raising their little ones will likely find this audio book an entertaining reminder of the joys that we have been through, and the joys that our kids bring us. For  any expecting parents, this is the book of things they don’t tell you in official parenting books, give it a read to know what you’re REALLY about to get into.

Dad is Fat
Jim Gaffigan
Parenting and Family
May 7, 2013
Audio Book
288

In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children—everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’sFatherhoodDad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.