About mid-way into August of 2015, I learned some important new factors in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that caused me to make some big changes to the way in which I blogged. Namely – simply reposting a slight variant of a given blog post could hurt your overall SEO rankings for any of the given posts. Now you might be saying to me “Kevin, those aren’t new factors. They’ve been around for a long time, you idgit”. And I would say in response “Ok then. But I had other things on my mind”. (Of course, if you have other recommendations for improving one’s blog performance, please drop me a comment).
Up until that time, I would typically write a blog post for my work blog and then repost with some variations at my personal blog and then at SQLblog.com. As it turns out, that’s not the ideal way to do things. Consequently, I continued to blog heavily throughout 2015 on my work blog, but I hadn’t figured a good way to keep my personal blog (which was intended to be a central location for everything I might be doing) and SQLBlog.com in the loop. Shame on me!
So I thought get a catch-up post in place before the end of January (Looks like I just barely made that goal), pointing out some of the better blog posts that didn’t make it here after my change in blogging strategy.
SOME FAVORITE BLOG POSTS YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE SEEN
The Troubleshooting Series: Starting in September, I wrote a multi-part series on performance troubleshooting Microsoft SQL Server, culminating in a find blog entry with all of the links, plus a place for you to watch the video and download the slides and scripts. The multi-part blog series can be found HERE, while the slides, scripts and video link are HERE.
The Four Challenges of a Well-managed Plan Cache: The SQL Server plan cache is one of the most important architectural elements for DBAs to understand. However, Developers usually write the code. That means, in many IT shops, no one really pays attention to what happens in the SQL Server plan cache. This session helps both DBAs and Devs overcome the knowledge gap so that they can write optimized code and manage the plan cache effectively. Get the slide deck and sample scripts HERE!
How to Reduce Latency and Boost SQL Server Performance: This very popular webinar, sponsored by Tegile, we cover many of the basic principles of high-performance SQL Server I/O subsystems, as well as why and how we often prevent our own applications for achieving peak performance. The slides, scripts, and video are available HERE, while the very informative Q&A session is HERE.
Protecting Each Other: One of the most important aspects of our #SQLFamily is that we look out for each other. I talk about some of this in light of some very bad behavior at afterhours events during the week of the PASS Summit 2015. Read the blog post HERE.
Going forward, I’ll continue to put in blog stubs here to give you all of the latest details. In the meanwhile, be sure to connect with me on social media where I post all of my latest blog posts, articles, presentations, and other good stuff.
He's a wonderful little fella. It seems like it's only the last week or two that he's really started to acquire new words. He babbles constantly. But it's just been the past couple days really that he tries to repeat all the words Rachel and I try to teach him.
Last year, I got to take Katie Jo to Manhattan with me when I spoke at the SQL Saturday there. This spring, I got to take Anna Lynn to another of America's great cities, San Francisco. One of the highlights of our trip, and there were many, was a day trip up to Muir Forest for a walk among the redwoods. These beauties are between 200-300 feet tall and so majestic that it steals your breath away and leaves you speachless.
Some of the other highlights of our trip included lots of time spent on the piers, Chinatown, Japantown (also known as J-Town), a tour of the city, the Goldengate Bridge, and the San Francisco Imaginarium (or something like that), which is one of the coolest and most fun hands-on museums I've ever experienced.
One of my personal highlights was getting Anna to have a delicious desert crepe for the very first time. After that, she pretty much wanted crepes for every meal. Anna also loved spending every available moment in the big Kintetsu Mall in J-Town. We also got to visit my nephew, Sam Holley-Kline, whose working on his PhD at Stanford and shared a wonderful evening with him.
One of the other unexpectedly fun things we got to do was a visit to the interesting Winchester Mystery House in Palo Alto. This huge sprawling mansion is the blueprint for every haunted house movie you've ever seen. It was great fun and, despite being a bit creepy, very interesting.
March and April are the busiest of seasons for birthdays, here at Kline Manor. Ava has the first birthday of the year on March 4. And the April gets real with three more birthdays. Kaylee's birthday is April 22, Savannah's is April 27, and Anna's is April 30. Whew!
Pictures to come.
In the meantime, here's a quick picture of a new gazebo I put up on the deck. It's reinforced and bolted to the deck, so I hope it'll stand up well to storms and high winds.
We've always enjoyed our deck. But without any shade, the deck had a very limited time period where we could use it enjoyably. In fact, even in mid-April, it wouldn't be possible to use the deck in mid-day because of a blazing hot sun. So this is pretty awesome for us. Since I built it, we've spent about 400% more time on the deck than in previous Springs. And have enjoyed it a lot.
I get a lot of ideas. Some of them are even good ideas. And some of those are even good enough to turn into a product. Consequently, I've spent a little bit of mental energy over the years learning about how you'd go about filing for a patent.
So while this trip to the USPTO wasn't about one of my ideas, it was still a dream come true for me to be involved in a patent filing. The buildings and grounds for the USPTO in Washington, D.C. are very new and, to be honest, gorgeous. They're fully worthy of the world's greatest technological power. And my experiences with the USPTO staff were also surprisingly great. They were courteous, helpful, and answered questions freely. It was a really good experience overall, except for the fact that you pretty much need a lawyer to navigate the labyrinthine process of filing for a patent.
Once you experience something that was scary and find out that it's nothing to be scared about, ideas of doing that thing again don't seem scary at all. So that leaves me hopeful that I might be able to come back to the USPTO someday for a filing (or three) of my own.
My two oldest step-daughters, Savannah and Kaylee, are hard-core color guard girls. Their program this year was pretty darn awesome. I'm not sure if you can see the detail of their costumes, but they were all done up as the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. Had I known the amount of duct tape that they'd all use in making their costumes, I'd have bought stock in the company.
On top of that, Kaylee also plays trombone in the marching band. So she was doubly busy at the performance.
Their program was definitely a crowd pleaser. They had lots of big spectacular moves and maneuvers. The weird thing for me was that they didn't score terribly well in the COC (Contest of Champions). It turns out that the judges gauge all kinds of things that are nearly invisible from a distance, such as the position of your thumb when catching a flag after a toss. Your team gets more points if you catch the flag with your thumb on the same side of your hand as your fingers than if you use a standard "grip" catch where your thumb wraps around the flag pole. Consequently, some color guards with much less interesting shows ended up scoring higher because of little reasons like that that the overall appeal of the performance.
We've had a couple weeks of respite. And after the holidays, they start in earnest on "winter guard" in which all their performances are in doors.
A big "Thank You!!!" goes to my boss, Greg Gonzalez, for choosing to have one of our big corporate events at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the HQ of NASCAR. In addition to that, he paid for us to get a chance to ride in a real NASCAR racer with 687 horsepower. My driver took us up to nearly 150 MPH. Let me tell you, this speed is INSANE. It was like riding the high-speed launch of a roller coaster for 5 minutes. And it was AWESOME in the truest sense of the word. I really was filled with awe.
It cost a little more than $100 which, in my mind, was a price well worth paying. If I get the chance, I'll do it again. And I encourage you to give it a shot too, if you ever get the chance.
Katie always likes to make faces at the security cameras in elevators. This look (above) is something I'm still not used to seeing, even though it's the first thing I see from her after the doors of the elevator close. Ha!
Katie and I got to do something very special as a daddy and daughter. I had a business trip to Manhattan and she got to come with me! I'm especially thankful to my employer, SQL Sentry, for enabling me to do this sort of thing.
Here's a picture of us taking the harbor cruise, where Katie got to see something she'd always wanted to see. Personally, I'm a big fan of the Jackie O' sunglasses.
Here's the new World Trade Tower, aka Liberty Tower, from the harbor. The whole skyline is just amazing and beautiful. The City itself was clean, energetic, and full of people bustling to and fro. Just like you'd expect for NYC.
We walked EVERYWHERE. Since our hotel was right in the middle of everything, so it was super easy to walk to any of our important destinations.
We saw most of the places that were the inspiration for various TV shows: Friends, Seinfield, 30 Rock. We toured the city on one of the hop-on hop-off buses, which I highly recommend to the tourist with tight timelines. We also visited a lot of the famous retail spots (Times Square, Chinatown), not to mention the theater district where we took in a show called "Once". Simply fabulous. I think NYC might be the only city on earth where you could find several dancing, singing, beautiful cello players. I mean really?!?
Central Park and the Museum District was lovely. And as you can tell from the photos, the weather was absolutely gorgeous! We started early each day and many days ended in near total exhaustion. Voila!
I'm a full time dad to one son and three daughters. They are the lights of my life. They live with me half of the time and their mom half of the time after we split up in 2005. I met Rachel in late 2006 and we fell in love and married in August of 2008. Rachel and her three daughters have added a new dimension of fun and activity to our home.
I'm a well-known expert in my field with a lot of books & articles in print and a couple monthly columns in IT magazines. I have very ecclectic tastes in music, art, food, and entertainment. My moods range from intellectual & introspective to goofy & silly.