Friday, December 06, 2013

 

Bucket List: USPTO



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.

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Monday, December 02, 2013

 

Color Guard!



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.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

 

Bucket List: NASCAR Driving



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.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

 

Katie's Elevator Antics


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!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

 

NYC


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!





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Thursday, July 18, 2013

 

Four Years, Eleven Months, and So Many Moments



She's got a way about her
I don't know what it is
But I know that I can't live without her
She's got a way of pleasin'
I don't know what it is
But there doesn't have to be a reason anyway 

She's got a smile that heals me
I don't know why it is
But I have to laugh when she reveals me
She's got a way of talkin'
I don't know why it is
But it lifts me up when we are walkin' anywhere

She comes to me when I'm feelin' down
Inspires me without a sound 
She touches me and I get turned around 

She's got a way of showin'
How I make her feel
And I find the strength to keep on goin'
She's got a light around her
And ev'rywhere she goes
A million dreams of love surround her ev'rywhere

She comes to me when I'm feelin' down
Inspires me without a sound
She touches me and I get turned around

She's got a smile that heals me
I don't know why it is
But I have to laugh when she reveals me
She's got a way about her
I don't know what it is
But I know that I can't live without her anyway

Monday, July 08, 2013

 

Reedy Falls in Greenville, SC

The last night of the most memorable and awful vacation in recent memory. The girls were real troopers and definitely made the best of it.

We stopped in Greenville, SC on the way home from Charleston and enjoyed the view of these pretty water falls.



Friday, July 05, 2013

 

Dublin fun

II always enjoy speaking in Dublin. My goal for next year is to do a multi-city tour.

That's me and my good friend, Aaron Bertrand.



Wednesday, July 03, 2013

 

The Charleston Aquarium

The girls begin a new adventure!  Aren't they beautiful!



Saturday, June 29, 2013

 

Bucket list!

I've always wanted to tour the Biltmore Estate. So beautiful!



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

 

SQLintersection


The best emotion to describe how I'm feeling is 'astounded'.  I'm astounded that I'm in such august company to be speaking the SQLIntersection (#iSQL) conference.  Read the blog post from my first SQL Server mentor, Kimberly Tripp, which tells you all about SQLintersection.

Check out this list of speakers:
Read the list of SQL Server sessions here.  On top of the list of outstanding sessions to attend, I'll be giving a keynote on Tuesday afternoon. Witness:

iSQL Keynote

So the only thing between the attendees and the booze in the reception hall is our keynote address?!?  Oh yeah, that's going to go down real smooth, isn't it?  I'll last about as long as a puny henchman between James Bond and the villain of the movie.  Sumeet Bansal, from Fusion-IO, will have to survive until the credits roll.  We'll be talking about high performance computing on SQL Server 2012 with an eye towards high availability, AlwaysOn, and Availability Groups.

If you're in Las Vegas, I hope to see you there!  If not, you should consider coming to this excellent conference.

-Kevin

-Follow me on Twitter!

 

Continued Work Pays Off in the Leadership Space


I was surprised and honored to be mentioned by leadership expert Evan Carmichael as one of the top leadership Twitter experts for March 2013.  Not only did I make the top 100, I came in at 12!  
If you weren't aware of my leadership training specially geared for IT professionals, check out ForITPros.com, as well as my DVD and stream media training Leadership Skills for the IT Professional.

2013-03-25 Leadership Twitter List

-Kevin
-Follow me on Twitter!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

 

Little Em Sings Twinkle


video

Emily was just 3 yrs old at the time.  So cute!

 
video

It's old, but kind'a funny.  She's so big now. But it's fun to see her when she was itty bitty. ^_^

-Kev

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

 

Vegas in October 2012

I was attending the SQL Connections event with my colleagues at SQL Sentry.  Below is, from closest to furthest, Greg Gonzalez, Andy Kelly, and Peter Shire.  It was an amazing party limo, literally a stretch Hummer with interior disco lighting.


The beautiful fountains of the Bellagio.


From left to right, Aaron Bertrand, me, and Peter Shire.


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

 

Katie is growing up too fast

And she's looking quite old too!


Her most recent birthday, July 26th, was her 11th.  She's as tall as her sisters and mom, even though she's in 6th grade.  Don't let the unibrow and handle bar mustache fool you - she's a beautiful young lady!


She's also bonkers.



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