10/24/2014

Back Home

I'm back home a day early from the two week stint in Orlando.  Much of the project going forward can be done remotely.

I sure enjoy being on the road.  Away from the daily grind of responsibility and chores.  But I did miss the wife and dogs and morning workouts.

It's good to get away from time to time, see new things, meet new people, different scenery. 

Invigorating.

Which Lane Do You Drive In?

Politics are a delicate subject.  Some people are democrats.  Some are republicans.  Some independent.

It seems politics has divided and segmented society.  Nobody can seem to get along or agree or let alone work together for the common good.

If I had to summarize the current state of affairs, this is what I see.

Democrats drive in the slow lane, in a car that's not new, most likely a used mini van.  They drive the speed limit, yet complain they aren't moving as fast as those in the fast lane.  Yet they remain in the slow lane and complain of the slow speed.

Republicans drive in the fast lane, they don't pay much attention to the speed limit, and they get to where they're going a lot faster.  Occasionally they get a speeding ticket, but they can afford it because they're going faster.  They typically have newer cars, sportier too.

Ultra rich 1% take a helicopter or private jet.  They simply don't have time to sit and wait the common folk, too busy counting their cash and making deals and rubbing shoulders with the other 1%.

Lower Income level people, they take mass transit.  Perhaps the bus, trying to reduce costs on autos, gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.

I used to drive in the slow lane.  One day I realized, I don't have kids, so why complain about underfunding schools.  I won't have an abortion, so it's not really a problem for me.  I don't plan on having a gay marriage so no win for me there.  Right to life, I'm not having kids so it's a non issue.

All the main issues on the table to determine what team you root for don't matter to me.  I wouldn't call the issues trivial, except the issues should be related to things that matter, that have substance, real impact on the survival of our species.  They give us these low hanging fruit to divide and distract us from the real issues.

I believe all people who want to work should have the opportunity to work.  Which mean we need more jobs, not necessarily full time jobs, but a way for people to survive and pay their bills.

If one day we woke up, and schools got funds equivalent to the war machine, that would be great.  If gay marriage was legal, that would be great too.  If women could make decision about the birth of their child, without being harassed by picketers at the abortion clinic, stupendous.

So if you see me driving down the street one day, check out which lane I'm driving in.  Just be sure to watch for the blinker from time to time.

10/23/2014

Life in the Fast Lane

Working as a consultant, there are times where we travel to the client site, out of our local living area.

Traveling to other cities is kind of fun.  The first thing I do is to locate the nearest Starbucks, and supermarket, for morning fuel.

I bring plenty of cigars to keep me occupied.  As well as my personal and business laptop.  That way I can surf the internet back at the hotel.

It's good when your hotel is close to the office.

For me, I haven't had to fly to other locations, I drive my car, which allows coolers with snacks and water.  Some places have refrigerators to store drinks and most places have free wi-fi.

You can arrive Sunday night to prepare for an early start on Monday.  Lately, I arrive Monday morning, the two hour drive to Orlando is not that bad when I start out at 5am.

Leaving on Friday can be interesting, last week it took a solid hour of bumper to bumper traffic at 5pm, sitting through Orlando, so this week planning on an earlier departure time.

With cell phones, there's always text messages and email to stay in touch with people.

On this project, there's a team of 4 of us, so we have people to eat meals with.  On another project, there were 2 or 3.  I haven't had to go solo to a client, haven't had to fly or rent a car, so in a sense, I've had it easy so far.

There's also sight seeing, however, there hasn't been much time for that.

The downside of course is being away from home and family.  For me I have 3 golden retrievers, so a dog-sitter helps out few times per day.

And the weekend when you get home, you're basically exhausted and just want to sleep, yet that's not practical as there's things that must get done and people to see and places to visit.  So Monday comes around way to quick.

The good news is, many engagement only require travel during the initial start of the project, occasionally during the project and on completion.  That means dialing in from work or home through VPN which is nice.

Traveling for work is kind of exciting yet it makes one tired and miss home. 

My wife may have to fly to Germany for 2 weeks shortly for her new job, so I'm wondering if I may tag along with her and work from the hotel.  I hear its cold this time of year, but I've never been to Europe.

Life in the fast lane is never dull~!

10/20/2014

#Microsoft #Excel 2013 #MDS Add-In Install Error (Fix)

At a client site, we had an issue of loading the add in for Microsoft Master Data Services (MDS) for Excel 2013.



To get the MDS Add In for Excel, this article assisted.


The trick was to download and install many of the items listed here:


I can not tell you which file specifically solved the problem, however, it's safe to say that the combination of files for either x64 or x86, depending on your Excel version, solved the problem, on more than one computer.

Happy coding~!

The Consulting Life

I'm back in Orlando for another week of Data Warehousing, ETL and SAP reporting.

Another week at the Hotel.

And eating out.

What did I do over the weekend?  Spoke at the IT Pro Camp.  Compressed a week's worth of chores into 2 days and spent time with the wife.

The consulting life.

10/18/2014

Speaker at IT Pro Camp Tampa

This morning I presented at the Tampa IT Pro Camp .  Topic of conversation was - Intro to Business Intelligence.  Started at 9am.  The room was small to mid size.  Just about ever seat was full.

I thought it went well, one of my best presentations.  However, I did not use a Power Point deck.  I simply had a Word doc with the outline of topics of conversation. With each bullet point, expanded upon real life scenarios.

Also, the other interesting thing is I had absolutely no demos.  I've been bitten by the demo bug, while giving a presentation on Power BI at USF for SQL Saturday.  The Internet kept going out, which my demo was 100% dependent upon, and it was quite not so good.

This time, people asked questions along the way.  And of course I threw some jokes in as well.

It was a good crowd and I felt like it was more of a conversation than a speech, people seemed to be engaged.

I also co-presented Intro to SSIS with Jose Chinchilla at the 10am session.

And finally, I spoke with some of the other speakers, had a few donuts and coffee and thought the event was well run.  One of the event organizers asked if I'd like to present next year at the Sarasota IT Pro Camp.  Sure, sounds great.

See you then~!

10/16/2014

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Fireman.  Policeman.  Doctor.  Garbage truck driver.

The possibilities are endless.

During childhood, you learn at school and life.

You find your identity.

And then you do what you went to school for.

Perhaps get married.  Have kids.  Go through life.

Kids graduate.  Go to college.  Leave the nest.

Work some more.  Then retire.

That's the traditional path.

One which I did not choose.

I did not once, ever, envision myself as an adult.

Never did I look into the future and see myself working, married, with kids.

I lived in the present.  Playing sports.

When it was time for college, I was still undecided into my junior year.

The guidance councilor said I really needed to pick a major, quick.

He suggested Anthropology, as I had enough credits to graduate on time.

So I did.

After graduation, finding a job was difficult.

I landed an entry level job approving credit cards over the phone for Sears.

Then went into banking, approving loans.

Then into computer programming.

Why?

Because I grew up with computers.

Was dabbling with the IBM PC at age 14 in the mid 1980s.

I found that working in IT was a lot better than approving loans.

So I kept at it.  Worked hard.  Learned a lot.  Gradually climbed the ladder.

23 years later, I find consulting a good life.

Yet I didn't plan it.

It just happened.

As I look back over the years, nobody guided me.

Nobody walked up to me and said you should get into computers.

No one in the working world, the college world, public schools.

The one perplexing question I still think about is, what if someone did help me along the way.

What if one of my teachers realized my analytic skills and pushed me to excel.

What if my guidance councilor at college helped me pick a major earlier.

What if I was programming in the early 1990s.

I just can't help but wonder how much further I could have gone with the proper training, guidance and mentoring along the way.

What if I didn't have to scrap my way up the ladder.

How far could I have gone had the path been easier.

I've never asked for a handout.

Never asked for anything.

And never expected anything.

So what now.

Where do I go.

I believe my best days are still in front of me.

I'll continue to learn, to provide service, work to become a better person.

With that mantra, anythings possible.

I'll see you along the way.

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

10/14/2014

Were Dinosaurs Highly Advanced Aliens?

So whatever happened to the dinosaurs?

Apparently, 65 million years ago, a giant comet hit the planet earth, created a crater, which filled the sky with smoke and wiped them off the planet.

Is it me, or does that story seem to have a few holes.

Do you want to know what I think?  I think dinosaurs were really aliens.  We know from skeleton remains they had different body shapes and sizes, but they're always depicted as animals, usually ferocious.

I say this.  What if they weren't animals but highly evolved species from other planets.  What if they had social order and civilization.  Maybe they attended the theater on weekends.

Why do we assume they were reptile animals with no structure.  Could they not have been aliens, from other galaxy's, visiting this planet as their summer home, to get away from the stress for some good old rest and relaxation.

You probably think this is the most impossible theory in the world. But let me ask you this, can you prove me wrong?  What evidence do you have to prove the contrary?

I say they were aliens, highly intelligent, with social structure and hierarchy and they disappeared from this planet a while ago.  I don't believe they were animal like, low on the intelligence scale.  They could have been more advanced than humans.

Prove me wrong~!  Could Dinosaurs have been Highly Advanced Aliens?  I challenge the status quo story fed to us in school.  It doesn't make any sense.

And don't get me started about the pyramids in Egypt.