Where’s Drew, July 2018 Edition

If you’ve been watching this space (or following me on twitter) you’ve probably noticed I’ve been quiet on the contributions front. That was by design. I wanted to take a little time for myself over the last month (actually, last two months) and work on me a little bit. I didn’t submit to any conferences, I didn’t have any plans to work on side projects. I just wanted some down time. And it was glorious.

What did I do, then? Here’s a quick list:

  1. I’ve decided that my fitness goals were really starting to slip, especially my endurance. We just finished a cycle of back squats and while I hit a PR, my cardiovascular performance has been terrible. Part of that has to do with my ankle. A while back, I hurt it. I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but I feel like it had to do with me jumping up to and dismounting from a pull-up bar. Regardless, for several months, it hurt really bad, especially if I were doing anything that required me to go up on my toes (or, pretty much any explosive lift in CrossFit). It also hurt to run. So I took a big break from a lot of different workouts and instead focused on mobility and gymnastics. While that paid off, my “regular” workouts suffered, a lot. I felt good that I could do big sets of pull-ups… but, man, I would get winded. I got some treatment from a sports medicine doctor and some tips from the coaches, and I’ve done what I can to improve (and some new shoes, too). Things are better, but I wouldn’t say they’re great. The point is, I’m back to hitting the weekly endurance workouts with the hope of breaking some personal records in the coming hot months (when I perform my best).
  2. Listened to a lot of Pete Rock.
  3. Messed with keyboard emulation on Arduino. I’ve got a cool thing I’m making (it’s not ready yet) and I’ll share when it’s done. Hint: it’ll revolutionize the way you run your queries.
  4. Tidied-up some code repositories of mine. There were a couple enhancements and bug fixes to some of my personal projects, which you can find over on my GitHub page.
  5. Explored a lot of new technology. I’ve been trying to learn more automation. Not the theory or process, but the management of automation using frameworks. Currently, I’m pretty high on using Chef and InSpec to manage configurations and monitor “compliance” with how I want my SQL Server instances running. It’s a concept I’m not ultra-familiar with but so far, I’m really enjoying learning. Once I get some more comfort with the theory and practice, I’ll see if I can’t whip up a presentation about it, or at least a couple of blog posts.
  6. I built a new computer at home! I’ve always enjoyed rolling my own systems, and I typically do a 12 to 18 months refresh schedule on my hardware. This time, though, I wasn’t really impressed with any of the new processors or platforms out there. I did build an AMD Threadripper-based machine, but it’s not my daily driver (it’s currently running as my VMWare hypervisor at home, which is just amazing). That mentality changed when Intel released their Core i7-8086k processor last month. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 8086 platform, the chip maker released a “special edition” of their current high-end 8th generation processor. It features a slightly increased base clock frequency of 4.0Ghz with single-thread performance up to 5.0Ghz.  The thing is, the general consensus of internet people who get mad about things that it’s overpriced as a normal unit over the much cheaper i7-8700. However, I’m not using it “as prescribed” and am instead manually overclocking the thing to 5.0Ghz, all threads, all the time. While I’ve dabbled in overclocking to make numbers look bigger on the internet, this is the first time I’ve overclocked for stability and daily use. And this chip does not disappoint at all (aside from dealing with some more heat, but that’s what closed loop coolers are for, right?).

  7. Finally shaved my head. It was time.
  8. Listened to a lot of Collective Soul.
  9. I also helped my gymnastics coach, Jenny Borda, re-launch her blog. Jenny is a fantastic coach, a doctor, and all around just a great person. I recommend you give it a look, let me know what you think. I love helping people with this kind of stuff. It might be easy for people like me and you to spin up a hosted WordPress site, but everyone has different talents. I was glad to lend mine to her since she gives so spends so much of her own talent on me.

Other than that, it’s been pretty quiet on the professional front. Other than subbing in at the June CBusPASS user group talking about replication and eating a burrito on camera during the latest GroupBy series, it’s been a pretty nice time just doing things I want to do. I’ve been away just long enough that it’s starting to mess with me a little bit, so it’s time to jump back in. Here’s where you can find me this July:

  1. First things first: get ready for some more replication-related blog posts. I’ve got two in the hopper right now around a couple topics that seem simple on the surface but can have pretty big implications for your environments. Those will probably be posted mid-month, as long as I get them finished, proofed, edited, and test all my code in time.
  2. Starting mid month, I’ll be on the road again. First up: SQL Saturday Louisville. On July 21st, I’ll be talking about SQL Server and PowerShell. If you’re in the area and want to come out, I’d love to see you. The line up of all the sessions is pretty impressive, too. And the ‘ville crew always do such a fantastic job.
  3. Then, the week after that on July 26th and 27th, I’ll be conducting my third “PowerShell for DBAs” course as part of Brent Ozar Unlimited’s guest instructor series. I’ve written about the presenting experience already, and I’m planning another “Why it’s worth it: taking an online training class” blog post around the benefits of not just my class, but any of Brent’s offerings. There’s still some seats available, so sign up now if you want to join me. If you’re on the fence, don’t just take my word for it, see what other people are saying.
  4. As soon as that class is done on Friday, I’ll be shutting down the studio and getting ready to present at SQL Saturday Columbus on the 28th. I love that my city has a local chapter and is putting on another event. Once again, I’ll be talking about my love for PowerShell and hopefully I can infect you with that love, too.

I think that’s pretty much everything for now. As always, you can keep up with the latest things I’m working on, sharing, or doing by staying tuned to this blog or following me on twitter. Hope to see you in July!