Where has Mike been?

I’ll never make @SQLRockstar’s list like this!

I have been quite busy lately. I haven’t followed some of the great advice of Brent Ozar (Blog, Twitter) and his series on blogging tips (especially the part about writing when you have the time). My lack of posts is not because I want to deprive you, the poor lucky reader, of content. Au Contraire! I have a lot to say, I just need to make the time to do it. I will, and I am thinking I will set aside a block of free time to get some posts that are rattling around in my mind out here once I am done with some changes.

Changes? I don’t like changes, what do you mean?

I am in the process of learning the ropes with WordPress through a new site I am working on to get my personal, political and faith based posts on their own blog (A Believing Patriot). Once I am done getting the ropes there, I will be switching from Squarespace (They have been a great adventure in easy to set up sites,blogging but I like the plugins, ease of moving, ease of hosting and price of hosting with a simple WordPress setup.) to WordPress. That means I need to make sure that all of my link love comes back to the WordPress version and hope that the DNS cutover to the new hosting is perfect and seamless. Look for me to pull the trigger here sometime this month hopefully.

Tell Us, Mike, What have you been doing?

Besides the normal (Church, Family, Work) I have been quite busy with a few pursuits. Unfortunately one of them is not keeping up with my ActiveAugust commitments, it was more of a StableSeptember… Going to the foot doctor next week for some issues I have been having.. Plantar Fasciitis perhaps, been bothering me, also allowed me to rationalize an excuse..

So for any curious minds that may be out there I will share (but only after asking why are you actually curious what I am doing?):

  • PASS Volunteer Opportunity – I am trying to coordinate and organize some of the behind the scenes stuff with Blythe (Twitter, PASS Website) for the Summit coming up in just ONE MONTH!!! I am playing a role of scheduler, contact person, co-coordinator for some of the events like the Birds of a Feather lunch and Chapter Leaders lunch. Also reaching out to the numerous great MVPs coming to PASS for free but giving their time in return. It is going to be a great year with some great help in the “Ask the Experts” area and some really interesting Birds of a Feather lunch topic suggestions from the MVPs. This is seeming to have a desire to increase the time needs over the coming weeks.
  • Politics – I have been an armchair quarterback, commentator, etc. in the political world until recently. I have become much more active this year with some groups that are liberty focused (I’ll be posting about that journey on the Believing Patriot blog, linked above). I am also actively helping a great candidate in his run for Governor of my state. It is early, he is first to have announced an exploratory bid and I am spending a lot of time with the guts of that campaign. He is a regular guy who I agree with on most issues and he has impressed me thoroughly enough to drag me into politics as this active a participant. So far more hours have been spent helping this than any previous political activities and it’s only a month into it.
  • Chickens, Trees, Here comes Winter – Our chickens are finally laying, change in food, cleaning/caring for the coop getting more involved as their “byproducts” get more pronounced. We are also fooling ourselves that we will be getting more agrarian in our lives. So breaking down the summer garden, prepping it, buying apple and peach trees, blueberries, blackberries and getting them in the ground will be my fun the coming weeks. Fruits of the work expected in the coming years 🙂
  • Last but by no means least: Pease Greeters – Wow. I am blessed to live where I live for a few reasons. Autumn leaves, crisp autumn air, great county fairs, great neighbors, church body on fire for the Lord, close to in-laws who I love and also love the Lord, fun place to be for politics, quick drive to the mountains/fly fishing/ocean, yet still close to Boston. Well one more treat for me is a solemn one: I live in one of the few states that sees special stops for our soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen in Iraq/Afghanistan: For many we are their last stop on US soil before leaving for their theaters by way of Ireland or Germany, etc. For many others we are their first stop on US Soil when returning. An amazing group has been saying, “Welcome”, “Goodbye”, “Thank you so much”, “You are loved”, “You are being prayed for” to these troops at any hour of any day when flying through for their refueling/aircraft cleaning layovers. I went on my first greet two days ago. I will be blogging about this at BelievingPatriot.com soon but a quick taste: It was awe inspiring. Seeing the number of people out at any hour saying hi and cheering for them was great. Seeing the reaction of the surprised troops was inspiring. Listening to the pre-flight ceremony put on by the founders (mostly former Marine combat vets from many wars/conflicts) for the soldiers was breathtaking and singing the national anthem with these troops is impossible for me (After the first few lines, that choking feeling in the back of my throat while stopping any possible tears required the same muscles I use to sing…) Shaking hands, giving my e-mail address for prayer requests and sending troops off or welcoming them home was incredibly humbling to this person who counts one of his regrets in life as not serving his country. I will post more with pictures on the other blog soon but you can check out the greeters site: Pease Greeters. This is going to be taking a lot of my time, Pease is taking on a lot more and larger flights from another city in Maine. I am going to be doing all I can to make as many flights as I can to shake hands and offer prayers. I actually don’t understand why but I feel moved to do this tiny, tiny, token for these men and women willing to give up so much for their nation. These flights happen all over the country for refueling/picking up more passengers. Even if your city is not the first/last stop on US soil, if you can make it out to say thanks, it seems to be an encouragement to some or many of the troops. Regardless of where you stand on the wars, this generation is doing it right: The individual troops are doing their job and willing to lay down their family time, their comfort and their life if needed wherever this country sends them. A pat on the shoulder is the least we can do for them. I have all of the flights on my schedule and will make each flight that does not impact my relationship with Christ, my employer or my family. In other words that takes priority above blogging.

Head Start on New Years

It’s only October, Mike! This is for me more than anything. I want to write out my goals/priorities so I can understand what I am doing towards them and ask myself, “Does this 2 hour journey into a 15 browser tab Wikipedia-fest on Particle Physics seem right for right now?”

My Priorities

  • My relationship with Christ (Bible study, Prayer, Fellowship at church)
  • My relationship with my family (Being home but not just being home, being available. No laptop on the lap when they are awake unless I have good reason, engaging them in conversation/games/prayer and devotion time.. having fun and enjoying my kids while they are kids)
  • My relationship with my employer. As long as it doesn’t interfere with the first two, a job is fine. The work-life balance needs to be as good as it can (which means I need to be as diligent in doing 100% effort 100% of the time while there)
  • Pease Greeters – This one seems weird to write here only having just discovered it but unless I find out that the troops actually hate it and the offer of prayer requests, someone to talk to while on the ground here is a completely and utter waste I am going to keep doing it.
  • Sharing my thoughts on my faith – I don’t know what I am being called to do, I need to pray and understand God’s will but in the meantime, I feel a tug to putting some thoughts to electrons and bits after prayerful consideration.
  • Governor Campaign/Liberty minded issues – I want to help get this man elected, I want to continue blogging about what I feel is a good direction for our nation. No, I don’t want to bicker but I want to share my journey as I explore the concepts of liberty and this nation’s history and founding.
  • Growth/Sharing of Technical Skills – Specifically SQL Server (Helping out PASS, answering more forum questions, writing more blog posts, etc.) This is almost equal with the one above.
  • Consulting Business – I know this isn’t the kind of priority you put last on your own professional blog. It’s true. I have a couple key customers right now, if more business is to be had it will need to fit in with my priorities or replace one of these customers. Taking on a lot of additional work won’t serve me or the customers. This will be revisited next Spring/Summer based on full time work load and other priorities… Have something small that you want advice on? I’ll give you some advice under growth/sharing of technical skills instead… If it’s longer but not long enough to be a full time engagement, a few hours here or there of additional work won’t be a problem. It’s a long term, heavy hour gig I can’t do right now.
  • Fun/Misc – Everything else 🙂 Might even go as equal as the above.

Some Specific Goals – Not listing the general items like time with kids, more back rubs for my wife, more exercise, etc. Going to try and work on a plan to implement these and get them implemented by November if not this month.

  • Open and Close my day with Scripture and Prayer – The only true must. When I fall out of a schedule with fellowship/devotion/prayer (whatever you want to call it) time, everything else is affected. 
  • Family Devotions/Prayer – We do pray around the meal table and when driving my daughter to preschool she and I do. Plus before bedtime. I want to have a more dedicated and focused time of prayer/study as a family.
  • Share my faith – Not online through impersonal blogs but reach out to others and share. Not force, annoy, etc. but tell others about what I believe. Let them make up their own mind but simply tell others of what Christ means to me.
  • Read a “fun” book – Can be fiction or non-fiction. Just have a book to read, no timelines but I would like to always be in a book in spare 5-10 minutes here and there, keep my mind and imagination active. I don’t watch much, if any, TV until Lost comes out.
  • 4 Technical posts/month here.
  • at least 30-45 minutes of forum/newsgroup time a week. My goal is to try and offer help to at least 5-10 people with questions.
  • At least 6-8 Believing Patriot posts/month.
  • Hit at least 8 of the Pease outbound flights a month. I like greeting the inbound troops as well but if I have to cut down on time (because of other priorities and with the increased frequency/bad scheduling of flights for work/daughter to preschool driving commitment) I want those flights I make to be outbound. Yes prayers and support needs don’t end when you get home but I have it in my head that the outbound troops are in a different prayer need with a smaller support network available where they are heading. Either way, I want to hit at least 8 flights a month.

4 thoughts on “Where has Mike been?”

  1. Hi Mike,

    Nice post, I totally agree with your views and understand what you are going through. Everyday, I have same game too. Again, there are lots of other things than blogging only, which pays for bills.

    Keep up the good work!

    Kind Regards,
    Pinal

    Reply
  2. Thanks Pinal –

    I don’t know how you do it, by the way! You are constantly pumping out great articles and I love them! Keep up the great work you are doing for the community through the blogs, the user groups and everything! Glad to know I’m not the only one with prioritiy-scheduling issues, though.

    Reply
  3. WOW, great job doing the greeter thing. I saw my first one last year when I happened to be in an airport at the same time a group of troops were flying in, and I burst into tears. It was just so heartstopping. Thanks for doing it.

    Reply
  4. Thanks Brent – It is tear jerking. Shaking their hands and saying thanks, and getting the humble "no problem, sir", "you got it, sir", etc. back is difficult to describe. It humbles me, I don’t serve my country, I haven’t served my country. These guys are going away (or coming back) for 7 months for Afghanistan or 1 year for Iraq in most cases. Ready and willing to go where sent. Disagree or agree with the war, we have that luxury, they go where they are told. I can’t help but go there, it feels small but they seem to appreciate it. Had the opportunity to go today to see 300 Marine Engineers, Infantrymen and Navy Corpsmen in two companies heading to Iraq. While there talked with a greeter who makes just about EVERY flight and he is a Vietnam vet. He told me part of his going is to show them support and say he is with them in thought and prayer the other part is this is healing from him. He told me when he came back he had to be scattered onto civilian flights, ordered to wear civilian clothes and still got looks/comments because of his short, military looking hair cut and luggage.

    Next time you are up in New England you have to come check out this airport. They literally gave it over to the Greeters. The wall to the single gate is called "Heroes Walk" and it has a picture of every single flight that went through with patches/information on who they were/etc. On those going overseas flights it’s great to be able to shake a hand and say, "We’ll be here when you get back", and that airport will always allow it. Anyway, I’m giving away the blog I should be working on for the other blog here in my comments 🙂

    Thanks for the comments Brent! Don’t thank me, thank the old veterans who organized it and let this punk 30 year old who never served his nation get a chance to meet some real heroes and have some interesting conversations with some courageous souls.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share This