Whoa. I’m behind. Really behind. SQL Saturday #101 was almost a month ago and I’m just now getting around to blogging about it. Life apparently has gotten the best of me over the past couple of weeks, my apologies! So without further delay,
Friday, October 28th
It was a beautiful day to travel down to Kansas City, Missouri for SQL Saturday #101. I went to the office for the first part of the morning and spent some time just reviewing my presentations and demos. My employer, Farm Credit Services of America, was kind enough to give me part of the day off so that I could travel for the event, so I scooted out of the office around noon.
I went home, picked up the wife and son and we headed down to Kansas City. We were meeting up with my mother, who was meeting us in KC for a little ‘Grandma Time’ with my son. Once we met up at the hotel, the wife and I got ready and headed out for the Speaker Dinner.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip unless we got lost. We knew where we were headed, the Boulevard Brewing Company, however the wife’s GPS on her phone had other plans. We showed up where the GPS told us to go (right on time of course), and I never knew that a brewery could be disguised as a car wash.
At this point, I did what any other geek would have done. I tweeted it. Bill Fellows (T | B) came to our rescue with a phone call and after describing where I was, promptly told us, “You’re in Kansas.” So, we switched over to my phone’s GPS and headed back to Missouri. We were only about 10 minutes off track so it wasn’t too bad.
Once we found the place, we determined that we were in the Brewhouse Bar room. It over looked the massive vast of beer, brewing beneath us. They had a variety of finger foods available, and of course beer! Of course, I happened to be suffering from a large sinus infection so I thought that drinking beer probably would not have been the best decision, so I passed on the beer and had my usual glass of water.
One of the cool things is that the organizers had a bunch of toys on each table, which were completely pointless and completely awesome. They had little plastic dinosaurs so I of course had to form them up, like they were getting ready to listen to a SQL presentation or something.
After some excellent food and awesome conversation, my wife and I thought that we had better head back to the hotel and relieve Grandma from the terror that is my son, Corbin. All in all, I thought that the speaker dinner was well done and I enjoyed it very much. Especially since it was my first go around as a speaker, I wasn’t sure what to expect and Bill & crew did an excellent job.
Saturday, October 29th
Almost game time. My family and I headed over to First Watch to grab some breakfast. First Watch has become a regular meeting place for when we get together in Kansas City as neither of us have them where we live. BTW, if you have never eaten there, give it a try. Awesome breakfasts.
My wife and my mother had plans to go shopping while I went to the “geek fest” as my wife puts it. After breakfast, they dropped me off and I headed inside. The setup is a little funky on how to get into the building, but once you’re in, it’s awesome.
The building used to be a casino back in the day and it definitely had some awesome character to it. I walked in through the parking garage and had to take a bridge across the road. As I’m walking over and come to the end of the bridge, this is what I see:
This is the main lobby of the facility. From this view point, I’m standing on the second floor and there are class rooms off to either side of me, which come to find out later that’s where the sessions are being held. Down on the first floor had a large eating area and a large common area, which is where the WIT session was to be held.
After my initial awe wore off, I head down to the registration booth to get registered and to pick up my stuff. Then I headed off to find my room so that I can get a feel for the lay of the land.
I had already missed the first part of the first session, so I just stayed out of the way until I could get into the room. This picture is the room that I was in and it was taken from just outside the door way so to try not to disturb the speaker, Mike Lynn (T).
Once I figured out where I was going to be and what not, I headed over to the speaker room to just double check my slide deck and demos. Glad I did because I found some typos and was able to correct them.
Before I knew it, lunch had come and gone and it was time for me to step up to the plate and give my presentations. Bill had slotted me to do both of my presentations back to back, which didn’t bother me at all.
I had standing room only for my first presentation on “10 Things Every DBA Should Know” and for the most part I rolled right into “Only You Can Prevent Database Fires“. Before I knew it, I had given both presentations and my sinus infection only started to cause issues towards the tail end of the second presentation as I started to loose my voice. Thankfully, the audience was very understanding as I was drinking water between just about every question.
I was done, I hung out in the room as my friend and fellow Omahan, Andy Galbraith (B | T), was giving his presentation on “Free Tools to Expand Your SQL Knowledge” at a SQL Saturday and I wanted to show my support for him. Plus, his content was top notch!
Andy’s session got over a little early so we headed down to the commons to get a look at the swag. This also gave me time to hit up the vendors and drop my name in the various raffle boxes. As a leader of a user group, I very rarely get to do that, so it was fun to be able to do it this time around.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the swag drawings. I had made plans with my family to have dinner and my time had ran out.
I thought that the Kansas City group did a fantastic job on this SQL Saturday. The food was outstanding, the facility was great and most of all, the #sqlfamily showed up and it was an epic time. I look forward to the next one!!
Hopefully, next time I won’t get lost.
© 2011, John Morehouse. All rights reserved.