Upcoming Events

Busy Season is officially underway.  Here’s where you can find me over the next several weeks.

  1. Tonight (2017-03-23), I am giving a webinar for the Southern New England UseR Group.  My topic is data cleansing with R.
  2. This Saturday (2017-03-25), I will be in Phoenix, Arizona for SQL Saturday Phoenix.  I will give two presentations there, one on the APPLY operator and one on using Kafka in .NET shops.
  3. On Saturday, April 1st, I will be in Orange County, California for SQL Saturday OC.  I will give two presentations there, one on the APPLY operator and one on using Kafka in .NET shops.
  4. On Tuesday, April 4th, I will be in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Charlotte BI Group meeting.  My topic there is using Kafka for real-time data ingestion.
  5. On Saturday, April 8th, I will be in Madison, Wisconsin for SQL Saturday Madison.  My topic there is R for SQL Server developers.
  6. On Saturday, April 22nd, I will be in Raleigh, North Carolina for Global Azure Bootcamp.  My topic will be Azure SQL Data Warehouse.
  7. On Saturday, April 29th, I will be in Rochester, New York for SQL Saturday Rochester.  I will give two presentations there, including one on the wide world of the data platform and one on R for SQL Server developers.  As a special bonus, if you’re there, check out Chris Hyde’s talk on SQL Server R Services, which will be right after mine.  We did this pair of talks back to back at another event and they fit together quite well.
  8. On Thursday, May 4th, I will be in Roanoke, Virginia for the Roanoke Valley .NET User Group monthly meeting.  My topic there is using Kafka for real-time data ingestion.
  9. On Saturday, May 6th, I will be in Baltimore, Maryland for SQL Saturday Baltimore.  My topic there is using the APPLY operator.
  10. On Saturday, May 20th, I will be in New York, New York for SQL Saturday New York City.  I’m not sure yet what my topic will be.

That’s my speaking agenda for the next couple of months.  A couple more events might pop up in there, but I’ll call that officially busy.  If you’re able to make it out to any of these events, I hope to see you there.

Game blogging update and Baseball HOFs

I’m going to move future game blogging to my Patreon page. I will occasionally make comments about non-gaming (i.e. sports stuff) here, but the gaming stuff fits more over there. I’ll be starting my YouTube channel soon, so keep an eye out for that!

As far as the Hall of Fame voting, in all honesty, there weren’t that many surprises, unless you count Pudge sailing in despite the controversies of his career. I was pleasantly surprised to see Manny surpass 25% and Bonds and Clemens to break 50%, which means good things for their candidacies. Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman now look like locks, although the 2018 class has some strong first time candidates (Chipper Jones and Jim Thome strike me as definite first ballot guys, and I expect Scott Rolen will get in eventually). My favorite case for next year is Jamie Moyer; he won 260+ games, so we’ll have to see what kind of voting he gets. Vizquel will get traction, but probably not make it the first time.

Jorge Posada did better than I expected, getting almost enough to stay on the ballot, but I’m surprised Drew or Orlando Cabrera didn’t get a vote. The Boston thing must not be as strong as I thought.



Life and times of Avindian

I have once again been absent for some time. In particular, I’ve yet to write on the Hall of Fame election, which I plan to do in the not-too-distant future. Similarly, I have some overdue thoughts on Madden 17 to share.

I am thinking of properly starting my YouTube channel soon. I’ve gotten a little bit of experience doing some videos; once I’m a bit more comfortable, I will start posting videos. Until then, my friends!

Speaking: 2016 In Review

This has been a busy year for me as a speaker.  With my last public talk in the books, I get to take a few weeks of rest and preparation for next year.  Now, let’s see how close I got to my 2016 goals.  For reference, here’s how things looked on May 30th.

Here are my four goals:

  1. Present four new talks.
  2. Present to two brand new audiences.
  3. Speak at 12 SQL Saturdays and eight user groups.
  4. Get paid to speak at a conference.

Present Four New Talks

I had already succeeded by May 30th.  Since then, I added the following repeatable talks:

  1. Securing SQL Server
  2. R For the SQL Server Developer
  3. Getting Started with Custom Visuals in Power BI
  4. Kafka for .NET Developers

I have plans for three more talks next year.  I’ve actually gotten to the point that I’m archiving some older talks so that my active presentations page isn’t quite as large.

Present to Two Brand New Audiences

By brand new audience, I meant getting into places which almost never see relational database professionals.  I did speak at the Raleigh Future of Data group in August.  Aside from that, I spoke at the Carolina IT Pro Group in November; they’re typically sysadmins rather than developers or database administrators, and it was nice to be able to walk into a room full of people who could school me on most infrastructure items and talk to them about infrastructure (specifically, securing a SQL Server instance).  I helped them learn some, they taught me some things, and that’s how it should be.

Speak at 12 SQL Saturdays and 8 User Groups

Yep, done that.  Here’s the final breakdown for SQL Saturdays:

  1. Cleveland (2016-02-06)
  2. Tampa (2016-02-27)
  3. Chicago (2016-03-05)
  4. Richmond (2016-03-19)
  5. Madison (2016-04-09)
  6. Baltimore (2016-04-30)
  7. Jacksonville (2016-05-07)
  8. Rochester (2016-05-14)
  9. Atlanta (2016-05-21)
  10. Portland, ME (2016-06-04)
  11. Chattanooga (2016-06-25)
  12. Columbus, OH (2016-07-16)
  13. Louisville (2016-08-06)
  14. Indianapolis (2016-08-13)
  15. Spartanburg (2016-08-20)
  16. Columbus, GA (2016-08-27)
  17. Charlotte (2016-09-17)
  18. Kansas City (2016-09-24)
  19. Pittsburgh (2016-10-01)
  20. Orlando (2016-11-12)
  21. Washington, DC (2016-12-03)
  22. Providence (2016-12-10)

That was a lot of Saturdays away from home.  I have passed my user group goal as well.

All in all, I gave 53 public presentations at 45 separate events.

Get Paid to Speak at a Conference

Okay, really, that goal should be “speak at a paid conference.”  I did speak at DevTeach 2016; it was a great experience and I plan to submit again.  I also want to apply to a few more paid conferences as well, now that I have two years as a speaker under my belt.


I was able to succeed at all four goals, and I’m excited about next year.

October Presentations

After a busy summer, October is slowing down a bit on the speaking front.  As of right now, I have only three presentations lined up:

  1. SQL Saturday Pittsburgh was October 1st.  I gave my talk on integrating Hadoop with SQL Server.
  2. SQL Saturday Orlando is October 8th.  I will be giving my talk on R for SQL Server developers.
  3. The Triangle area .NET User Group (TriNUG) Data SIG is Wednesday, October 19th.  My topic is Kafka for .NET developers.  This is the first chunk of work for a larger project built around streaming data in Hadoop.

With presentations quieting down a bit, I should have some time to work more on next year’s slate of talks, but I’m saving that for another post…

Getting Started With Custom Visuals

I’m going to be presenting a new talk for the Raleigh-Durham Power BI Users Group.  The talk is entitled Getting Started with Custom Visuals and will cover a half-dozen custom visuals as well as where you can go to get more of them.

If you’re interested in seeing this in webinar form, I’m going to give a version of this talk this upcoming Tuesday at 1 PM Eastern.  Registration is free, so sign up today.

Where’s the Penguatroll?

You may be asking yourself, “Where’s that handsome gentleman who provided great content and has not at all been slacking with the content, not even a little?” I’ve undergone a rebranding in connection with my campaign to, one day, become a YouTube sensation with ALL THE VIEWERS AND SUBSCRIBERS. If you want to help me reach that goal, you can pledge some of your hard earned cash to do just that. What a bargain!*

Continue reading