Paul Randal asked yesterday in his blog, “What three events brought you here?” As I read through his post and then Scott Gleason and Brent Ozar’s follow-ups, I thought to myself perhaps it might an interesting exercise to answer this question in an honest way. Narrowing down 42 years into three occasions at first seems like a daunting task, and it probably is. But since the Cowboys are getting their tail kicked by the Vikings at this particular moment, and that’s depressing the cr@p out of me, I think I’ll give it a go.
- 4/7/85 – I can hear it now, “we knew you’d include your first Dead show.” Well congrats, you were spot on. As cliche as it sounds, indeed that show was a major life occasion for me. I don’t mean it in a “wow, did I get f’d up that night” kinda thing either. I found my second family that spring evening; one that hasn’t left a day since then. It’s hard to explain, but an intangible element pervades the atmosphere at these events that I’ve been unable to recreate in any other form since. Jerry and the boys still to this day (even a full 15 years since his passing) bring peace and order to my life. The music and my Dead family fill my mind with joy and purpose and expect they will for a very long time. Been struggling with a nasty replication problem all day? Hmmm, how ’bout a mind-numbingly sweet 5/8/77? The devs insist it’s a SQL problem but you’ve run trace after trace proving otherwise? How about a smokin’ 8/29/83 to soothe your soul? I suspect strongly that a lot of you won’t really appreciate this as much as I do. But you all will have to agree that whatever you find in life that feeds the soul, be it fishing, knitting, riding your motorcycle, or the Grateful Dead; sometimes that’s all you need to put you in the right place. The late Bill Graham said “The Grateful Dead aren’t the best at what they do. They’re the only ones that do what they do.”
- The day in 1998 I left Chrysler Financial – After graduating from Delaware in 1989 (go Hens), I did what most art majors do; worked in a restaurant. After eight years running IHOPs, Pizzeria Uno’s, Perkins, and a couple Olive Gardens, I had had enough coming home smelling like a fryer every night. Taking a position in suburban Philadelphia w/ CFC in their customer service department eventually brought me here to sunny Florida. For that, actually I’m pretty happy. But the job itself (post-repossession collections) was absolutely horrible. Dunning people for money you know they didn’t have will wear tirelessly on you. It wasn’t long before I ached to do something else; something more fruitful both mentally and fiscally. It was then I turned my life around by leaving Chrysler, getting an evening job waiting tables, and going back to school and getting my technical degree. It was a difficult several years but changed things for me monumentally. Shortly thereafter, I landed my first position as a business analyst and Microsoft Access specialist. A few years later here we are. Not only has my income multiplied several-fold since Chrysler, but more importantly; I actually enjoy waking up in the morning and going to work. You can’t put a money value on that.
- Orlando SQL Saturday 2009 – Now I realize this was a few months ago, but this was the day that truly awakened me to the depth of the SQL community. Yes, I’d heard of Twitter. Yes, I read a couple blogs here and there. But it wasn’t until this Saturday that I was made aware of just how much of a brotherhood that existed within the SQL professionals all over the world. Connected in real time by the miracle of the internet and this “new” technology called Twitter, I shortly came to realize just what resources and kind individuals were out there. Sessions from my new friends Jorge Segarra and Andy Warren cemented this new found knowledge. Within a few days, the GratefulDBA Twitter account had been opened and the beginnings of this blog were starting to take shape. If I had to pick a single day that brought me into the world of blogging, this would have to be it.
Mark Twain said, “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
Have a Grateful day…Troy