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High Tea 2014

September 25, 2014 News, PASS Summit 1 Comment

Tea_at_the_Rittenhouse_Hotel“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

The yearly SQL nerdfest that is the PASS Summit is approaching, and of course that means it’s nearly tea-time!

Let’s put the important stuff up here at the top:

  • We’re scaling down this year, because Reasons. It’s going to be a smaller, more intimate affair. So to speak.
  • This year, High Tea is an invitation only event.
  • So, email me with your request for an invitation by October 15. I’m still Jen at; please put “High Tea Request” in the subject.
  • Only request an invitation if you’ll be in Seattle, WA the week of November 4-7. And you should enjoy adult humor and offensive language. This should all go without saying, but I said it anyway.

Selection: The selection process will be heavily favored toward those who have attended or presented, but don’t think this is a members only club. You guys can all curry quite a lot of favor by showing us you really want to go…say, offer an abstract to speak. Or explain why you deserve to go and others don’t. Or write a love letter to Sean’s hair.  An ode to the show. Your best original limerick.  Whatever, get creative, we’re pretty easily amused.

Call for Speakers: Tell me if you want to speak…we always need good, inappropriate presentations*. Give me a session title and a brief abstract (sessions should be no more than 5-10 minutes long).

Notification: We’ll pick through the invitation requests and choose a bunch of people. Hopefully, we can fit everyone in**.  If we run out of room, we’ll do a lottery or a bidding war or a virtual Jell-O fight or something for the remaining spots.  You’ll have your invitation in email before the Summit, along with the venue and time.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about: We hold an annual event during the Summit, for like-minded folk. The original idea was “hey, there are all these rules we have to follow at the big conference when we teach a session. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just say and do whatever we felt like? WAIT A MINUTE!!” And then people got together and drank and heard inappropriate things, and had a jolly good time. And so shall we again, my friends. So say we all.

Happy tea time,

*No, your presentation isn’t required to be perverted in nature, or to contain vulgar language. Some of our very best sessions were…nothing at all like you’d expect. Of course, other sessions are probably exactly what you’d expect, so there’s that.


Wendy Pastrick and Grant Fritchey: Optimists in Action #passvotes

wendyIf I had a favorite kind of politician, it would be the kind that, when asked a question, sighs tiredly, and then regains their gleam of manic optimism as they begin to speak about the path ahead.

Given that, my two favorite politicians right now are Wendy Pastrick and Grant Fritchey.

Both of these people are realists, with that unaccountable combination of caution and optimism that I like in friends and technologists alike. Both give to excess to the SQL community. Wendy  speaks, volunteers, works with virtual chapters and user groups, acts as a regional mentor, and joined the PASS Board in 2013. She’s a PASSion Award recipient. Grant speaks, organized and ran a user group, volunteers, has edited the SQL Standard magazine, and on and on.

I’ve talked to multiple board members, past and present; it’s a difficult job. I support Wendy and Grant because they can do the job, do it well, and make a difference. And when their terms are done and we ask them how it went, they will sigh, and then get that manic gleam again…

grantGet information about the PASS elections here, and look for your ballot in  email  around September 24 or so. Vote!

Happy days,
Jen McCown

To Mourn a MidnightDBA, Press 2

September 17, 2014 Fluffy Stuff No Comments

finalpostcropWe had an interesting time on Tuesday evening. (Any chef worth his salt knows that interesting usually isn’t a good thing.) The interesting part was when Sean’s blog reported that he died in a car wreck. Sean was very surprised to hear about this.

My first indication that something was awry was a text from our dear MrDenny, asking if everything was okay. People were worried.

Worried about what? What blog? Oh, hellfire.

First things first: tell Denny, and the dozens of people messaging me on Twitter, that everything’s fine, Sean’s fine, we’re all fine, oh my goodness I’m so sorry for the worry but we’re fine. Step two was pulling down the post.

After the anxiety comes the relief, and after that comes the dark humor. We’re into dark humor, so we’re not going to let this weird almost-crisis, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood hacker, go. Not quite yet.

Here’s what we’re gonna do

We’re throwing Sean a wake this Friday on the webshow. He’s pretend-dead, so we may as well pretend-mourn him and pretend-celebrate his life. BYOB.

You? Oh, here’s what you need to do, and you don’t even have to stay up late, if you don’t want to. YOU can call in to our Skype voice mail box – that’s 972-815-1DBA. (Remember how to punch in letters for numbers?) So yes, you should call in and say whatever you want said at his wake. Er, his fake-wake. Fake-bake-wake. Wakka wakka wakka.

Call the number. Leave a message. We’ll play some of them on the show: DBAs@Midnight episode 7, live this Friday at 11pm.

I suppose if that’s too much work, you can leave us a tweet at the hashtag #MCM1up (Get it? 1-up? He’s got a whole new life? GET IT??)

Poor taste?

Listen, life is long, and it’s also too damn short. Someday one of the two of us is going to be gone, and the one that’s left is going to be lost and sad, along with (as it turns out) a whole hell of a lot of friends and well-wishers. While we’re all still here, let’s have a little fun.

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Where are We?

November 3-7: PASS Summit, Seattle, WA

PASS Summit: Jen is presenting How to Interview a DBA: A Panel Debate on Thursday 11/6 1:30pm, room 401 (along with Adam Machanic, Sean McCown, Bob Pusateri, and Michelle Ufford).

PASS Summit: Sean is presenting Performance Tuning Your Backups on Wednesday 11/5 3:00pm, room 602-604.

December 11: Presenting "Powershell Cmdlets.." at Alaska SQL Server User Group

January 30: "Become an Enterprise DBA" precon at Austin SQL Saturday

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