Sunday, February 15, 2015

An introduction and some ground rules...

Hello, everyone. I used to do some political blogging, and plan to do some other blogging (about shamanism) under the nom du blog LongHairedWeirdo. Well - in my day job, I'm a SQL Server troubleshooter and DBA. I have done a fair amount of work with Microsoft SQL Support.

Do I work "for" Microsoft SQL Support? Heh. Well, if I was, someone might suggest that what I say is Official Microsoft Best Practices, or that I'm writing "for" Microsoft, or somesuch. So, let's set a ground rule here: I work "with" Microsoft SQL Support. And I know a few bits some of the insiders know. None of what I say is Microsoft documentation (except when I call it out - and provide a link!), nor does Microsoft take any responsibility for any damn-fool thing I say what I post in this blog.

At the same time, I'm good at my job, and my job includes diving into some godawful messes... I can be wrong, sure. I have been wrong. For example, just last week when I thought I'd made a mistake... no, never mind. Old joke, and I've never been able to get it to flow right.

In honesty: I have been wrong, just like anyone else. Sometimes, I'm stone-cold stupidly wrong. Everyone is an idiot, once in a while - it's the experienced idiots who manage to put together a string of idiocies in a row. But more frequently, I'll be subtly wrong, and in some golden moments, I'm wrong on a level at which the average schmoe can only dream of being wrong!

But I've been doing SQL for over a dozen years now, I've learned a heck of a lot, and while I can be wrong, far, far more often, I'm right.

I hope to post a mixture of things here - some dead-level basic, and some more advanced - and sometimes, I hope to manage to put together a combination of the two. Sometimes the most brilliant ideas are nothing but a combination of the things that are perfectly obvious, looked at from another perspective.

If you ask me questions here - well, I might try to help. I like helping people. But please keep in mind that I have only so much time and energy, and if I can't help, well, I can't. And if I won't help, I won't - sorry. It's not that I don't love you, it's that I have to choose how to spend my energies.

Second ground rule: I'm allowed to be weird and say stupid things like "'s not that I don't love you...". I'm also the only person allowed to mock me over this, unless you and I become close, trusted friends.

But I should warn you: I have serious problems with mental fatigue, for medical reasons. That means that if I fail to respond to a question or a comment for a long time, or at all - well, it might not be anything personal. Have you ever driven and suffered from highway hypnosis, where you can pound your fist into your upper thigh as hard as you can, and it only wakes you up for a moment? If you have - imagine spending an entire day like that. Now imagine a week.

That's not how I am every day - but I have spent a week in that state; I've survived a month in that state. And it's only been recently that I've been learning what causes it. So, you see, when I say I might not be willing or able to help you out, it's serious. Many's the day I work, eat, sleep... and that's about it. But if you commented, I read it - and I'll try to answer, if I have the energy.

I'm not talking about my problems to gin up sympathy, nor do I intend to say "That's right, I'm super-tired a lot of the time and I'm still really, really damn good at what I do" (though on my worst days, that is one of my points of pride).

But that does touch on the title of the blog a bit. Sometimes, if you touch the spirit of something, you have a different kind of insight about it - one where you don't always need the full measure of raw brainpower and energy needed to get to the bottom of a tricky problem. That's what I try to develop in me; that's part of what I want my readers to pick up from this blog if I'm doing my job as well as I'd like.

Most of what I post here isn't necessarily going to be original. I do intend to cite anyone who's done something first, especially if I'm copying their work directly - so, please let me know if I forget to link back to your site! But I've come to realize over my career that original thoughts aren't necessarily required for a good blog post. Have you ever heard something a dozen different times, and only on the the lucky-13th (or 14th, or...), realized that you finally understood it? We all have different mind maps, and sometimes a different person's view of things will be the one that finally sinks in.

So, I'm not going to try to be either bold or original. And heck, this blog will probably include some notes to myself - where I finally describe something in a way that I finally get, or where I transcribe a technique that works for me.

Final ground rule for now: back when I was mouthing off politically, one did not make blog posts vanish, or edit them, without calling it out. Otherwise, people would viciously mock one for cowardice, and post screencaps of the earlier version, etc.. I do hope to keep "honest" in my future posts, calling out changes and edits, for anything other than typos or obvious clarity enhancement. But this will be open to being added to or altered, as I wish. This is, after all, my own self portrait, and that means it's mine to fiddle with.

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