The Data Warrior

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Archive for the category “Fitness”

The Simple Fitness Habit Holiday Challenge from @zen_habits

One of my favorite non-tech bloggers is Leo Babuta over at ZenHabits.com. This post came up yesterday and caught my eye.

Why?

I had just been at my weekly yoga class and was a bit bummed out looking in the mirror at the profile of my not-so-slim-anymore belly while doing Warrior 2.

Not a pretty picture. 😦

To be a good warrior of any kind it really helps to stay in shape. And, like every year this time, I do think about such things as I contemplate all the yummy treats headed my way.

I really could stand to loose a few pounds here (definitely before Christmas), but have been pretty unsuccessful doing so in the past few years.

The older I get, the easier they go on, the harder they come off. It’s a fact of life.

Then I see Leo’s post and think – hmm maybe this will get me going in the right direction. He made it a challenge, and who is not motivated by challenge eh?

So here is the intro for my fellow warriors to peruse.

The SFH Holiday Challenge

We recently announced our holiday challenge to SFH members, and today I’m sharing it with you guys too.

What’s the challenge about? Basically, sticking to rules you create to stay healthy during the holidays — not gaining all that holiday weight, and maybe getting leaner and healthier in the process.

How does it work?

  1. Choose an eating habit. We have several suggestions, from No White Foods to our Mindful Diet to a vegan diet, but what you choose is up to you.
  2. Choose an exercise challenge. Again, it’s up to you, though we have a couple of suggestions here.
  3. Make a big public commitment. Announce it big time.
  4. Stay accountable. Check in daily or as often as you have time for. This will help you stick to the challenge.

Sound good? Read more here.

Read the entire post here:  The Simple Fitness Habit Holiday Challenge : zenhabits.

Once you click through everything, you will get to all the details. One of the suggestions is a push up challenge for the exercise piece. Since I already walk most days at lunch I decided to try that one out.

This morning I did the the initial test and pulled off 30 good-form pushups in a row.

In a few days I will start the program based on that result. Looks like I get to skip all the way to the week 3 program!  Wow.

So who else is will join me in this Data Warrior Challenge?

Leave a comment below to let us know who will give it a shot (that counts as #3 above – public commitment).

Let’s get in better shape so we can start 2014 in prime form!

Pil Sung!

Kent

The Oracle Data Warrior

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KScope13 Day Five: C’est Fini!

Yes, the last day of the conference arrived. Many folks got a bit of a slow start as they recovered from the prior evenings festivities (but that is true almost any day in the French Quarter!).

Morning Chi Gung was smaller but still a respectable turnout of 14 people. Some of my participants had already started their trek home, others just could not quite get up… c’est la vie.

Morning Chi Gung participants practicing a  still stance meditation and breathing exercise.

Morning Chi Gung participants practicing a still stance meditation and breathing exercise.

The KScope Social Network

My first session on this final day was Charles Elliott from Rittman Mead, discussing how to do Social Network Analysis with Oracle Tools. He discussion centered around using R and a graphing tool called D2 (www.d3js.org).

Network analysis of KScope contributors and influencers across two tracks.

Network analysis of KScope contributors and influencers across two tracks.

Charles had mined some data (from twitter I think) and then charted some of the connections to determine who were the major influencers related to KScope13 and several of our tracks. My name is up there, but I am a very small dot. You might be able to see in the picture a pretty big dot which is Gwen Shapira, who was not even at the conference this year!

Looks like very cool tech. Not sure where I would use it (yet).

Agile Case Study?

One session I was not too happy with was this one. It was titled as an agile implementation success story but it was (IMO) a veiled pitch for a free addin to SQL Developer.

The entire presentation was a statement of issues in trying to do version control of database objects. And they were all legitimate issues. But there was no case study of a specific project and how they tried to solve the problem. The solution was a product from the speaker’s company that they have developed as an add in to SQL Developer to allow you to control database object check in and check out at the database level.

Nice idea. Looks like it will work.

But, the product is not even available today! It will be release later this summer and is free for up to five users (then I assume it will cost $$).

My beef is that this should have been clearly labeled as a vendor presentation not as a “success” story.

More Crossover

For my last session I went to Stewart Bryson and Edward Roske’s presentation on Innovation in BI: Oracle Business Intelligence Against Essbase & Relational.

This was a great collaborative effort between these two guys who work for companies that might be considered competitors. I am pretty sure this is a KScope first (in many ways).

A KScope 1st: Stewart Bryson and Edward Roske do a joint presentation on using OBIEE against both Essbase and a relation data warehouse at the same time.

A KScope 1st: Stewart Bryson and Edward Roske do a joint presentation on using OBIEE against both Essbase and a relation data warehouse at the same time.

In the end, after some demonstrations of how to do this, they guys left us with a really nice comparison chart on when to use which tool and its relative effectiveness in solving specific problems.

Edward and Stewart came up with this nice chart trying to compare the two technologies on a number of features and functions.

Edward and Stewart came up with this nice chart trying to compare the two technologies on a number of features and functions.

Nice job guys!

C’est Fini

A relatively new KScope tradition is to hold a final closing general session. Here we say farewell to the event and the city with some slides and humorous videos from the week.

We also get to learn who the top five speakers were for the event (as ranked by session evaluations) and who the speaker of the year winner is.

This year the Best Speaker Award went to Edward (don’t call me Ed!) Roske from InterRel.

There was also an award for the best Kscope Ambassador (the one who helped with the most sessions). This went to Mark Becerra.

Congratulations to both!

Attendees at the KScope13 closing session with their KScope14 travel mugs

Attendees at the KScope13 closing session with their KScope14 travel mugs

As a final note we got a great little video welcoming KScope14 to Seattle.

The even bigger news was that we already have sponsors for the 2014 event! Platinum, gold, and sliver level sponsors have already signed! Plus a boat load of exhibitors.

We must be doing something right that they have secured their spot a year in advance.

We have come a long way baby!

The website for Kscope14 is up and running. You can register, submit an abstract, and make your hotel reservation for next year.

So head on over there now while you are thinking of it!  KScope14.com

One Last Shot

I can’t end this series without at least one picture of the great food here in New Orleans. I did eat well!

Ending the conference on a high note with blueberry upside down cake at celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's restaurant NOLA in the French Quarter.

Ending the conference on a high note with blueberry upside down cake at celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant NOLA in the French Quarter.

See you in Seattle (if not sooner)!

Kent

The Oracle Data Warrior

KScope13 Day Three: Crossing Over in New Orleans

Well Tuesday was another fun and fact filled day at the annual ODTUG KScope conference in New Orleans.

As we do each morning, the first event is Morning Chi Gung. This morning the group grew again to 22 participants who met at 6:45 AM (yes it is early) to walk down the street a few blocks to get in some morning moving meditation. Today we even picked up a few “strays” who joined us (folks not part of the KScope event).

Only in New Orleans would people wander by and join an Ad Hoc exercise and meditation class.

I consider that a sign of success. 🙂

After that is was back to the hotel, breakfast, a quick shower, then my first session.

Hands-on Lab

To start off I went to the SQL Developer Hands-on Lab run by Oracle Product Managers Jeff Smith and Ashley Chen. We had a very nice lab (downloadable from OTN) on how to use SQL Developer for Tuning database queries.

It was very education and useful for me. I even learned a few new options in the tool I had not seen before.

Lunch and Learn

Next, after writing yesterday’s blog post, I got to participate it an ODTUG annual session – the BI Panel Lunch and Learn.

This year they improved it by allowing 30 minutes first for everyone to eat before we started the discussions and questions. Much better (at least for us panelists!).

Quite a good audience for the Oracle ACE BI Lunch & Learn Panel discussion

Quite a good audience for the Oracle ACE BI Lunch & Learn Panel discussion

We had a great and interactive session with lots of give and take and a few somewhat controversial comments from Dan Vlamis to liven things up a bit. Our esteemed moderator, Mark Rittman, did an excellent job of prompting us with relevant questions and controlling the flow of the conversation so everyone had their say. Rounding out the panel was Gurcan Orchan, our resident ODI expert (amoung many other things)

Data modeling sessions

After the panel I went on to see my friend Ashely Chen introduce people to SQL Developer Data Modeler in her Data Modeling 101 session.

Oracle Product Manager Ashley Chen presenting Data Modeling 101 with SQL Developer Data Modeler

Oracle Product Manager Ashley Chen presenting Data Modeling 101 with SQL Developer Data Modeler

Ashley dd a great job setting the stage by showing people what is meant by data modeling and how it fits in the life cycle of developing a database. She then showed many of the basic features of Oracle Data modeling tool.

After Ashley’s session then I had my final presentation on my Top 10 Cool Features in SQL Developer Data Modeler. Ashley and Jeff Smith both attended along with 20-30 other folks as I ran down my list of things I use and like in the tool.

The talk went well with some good questions about the product and how to use it (except for the fact I kinda ran out of time and had to rush the last 3 features). I got some great feedback from Jeff and Ashley on the talk and an excellent suggestion for my next talk. 😉

The Hyperion Crossover Session

This was a KScope first -sessions about topics aimed at people on the other side of the fence. So this session was for database people who know nothing about the Hyperion and Essbase products that Oracle acquired a few years back.

It was an excellent session, even if not highly attended (something about being after the happy hour in the exhibit hall perhaps?).

Andy Jorgenson conducts the first ever Hyperion 101 Crossover Session (for database people)

Andy Jorgenson conducts the first ever Hyperion 101 Crossover Session (for database people)

I learned that they are solving many of the same problems as we database people do but just with a different technology. Some of the terms are used a little differently. For example what they label as BI is much broader than I tend to think of – to them it is basic reporting against an ERP. I tend to associate BI with a data warehouse or a data mart (but the data comes from an ERP or operational system originally).

We also got a full list of some of the pre-packased applications that Oracle provides in this space. Very focused on financial solutions.

During the Hyperion 101 session, Andy discussed all the pre-built packaged analytic application that Oracle offers.

During the Hyperion 101 session, Andy discussed all the pre-built packaged analytic application that Oracle offers.

The really cool thing I learned was what Essbase stands for:

Extended SpreadSheet dataBASE

Very telling!

After that it was off to another fine dining experience in the French Quarter.

Probably not going to lose weight on this trip!

C’ya! Tomorrow I should be reporting on our big event!

Kent

KScope13 Day Two: Wine to Water and Other Transformations

So day two in New Orleans at the ODTUG KScope13 event was another big day.

I am gong to start out at the end of the day with the General Session update so if you don’t have time to read the whole post you can read the really important and interesting stuff first.

General Session and Keynote

First the fun part, we got greeted by a live New Orleans Jazz band.

We had a live band in the lobby to great attendees before the general session and keynote.

We had a live band in the lobby to greet attendees before the general session and keynote.

That was great fun. They then led us all into the grand ballroom for the general session and then went out and led in our board of directors and the conference committee all dancing up a storm in true NOLA fashion.

The general session gets opened with the board and conference committee being lead on stage marching/dancing behind a live New Orleans Marching Jazz Band

The general session gets opened with the board and conference committee being led on stage marching/dancing behind a live New Orleans Marching Jazz Band

ODTUG Announcements and Award Winners

Every year ODTUG gives out a number of awards so I want to recognize the winners here:

Editors Choice Award for Best White Paper went to David Schleis.

The Oracle Contributor of the Year (which goes to an Oracle Corp employee) went to my good buddy, Jeff Smith.

The ODTUG Volunteer Award went to Mack McCasland who has been working behind the scenes at our events for over 10 years (and he is retired!),

In addition to these awards, Oracle also announced the promotion of my good friend John King to the status of Oracle ACE Director.

The big announcement: KScope14 will be in Seattle, Washington, USA on June 22-26, 2014. The conference hotel will be the Sheraton in downtown Seattle.

Wine to Water

The big deal for the night was our keynote speaker, Doc Hendley. He is a bartender who decided he wanted to make a much bigger impact on the world and ended up founding an organization that now brings clean water to people in over 15 countries.

The statistics he gave us on how many people in the world do not have clean, safe water to drink (over 1 billion!) were stunning. And that more people die from lack of clean water than those that have died in all the recent wars put together. Another startling fact is that even though it is the biggest killer on the planet, dealing with dirty water for the poor of the world gets less than 20% of the funding when compared with funding for HIV, malaria, and TB.

He has a very moving and passionate story about how he got to that place in his life where he found his real purpose, discovered these facts, and set out to do something about it. His talk (and book) tell the whole story. There were a few teary eyes by the end of his talk. Doc has shown amazing courage and perseverance in the pursuit of making a difference.

He really has proven that one, very ordinary person can have a large impact on the lives of others if you really set your mind to it.

I encourage you to go over to his site and learn about his mission, his story, and his organization Wine to Water.

Maybe you can help him make a difference.

Doc Hendley, Founder of Wine to Water, gives a moving and inspirational address as our keynote speaker.

Doc Hendley, Founder of Wine to Water, gives a moving and inspirational address as our keynote speaker.

The rest of my day

So back to earlier it the day (for those still with me here)…

Started as always with my morning chi gung class. The group grew to about 14 people with a few new folks joining us. We had a few passersby stop to watch and try a few moves as well.

After a healthy breakfast and a shower I did my first talk of the event, Five Ways to Make Data Modeling Fun. There were about 20 folks in the session and we all had a good time trying out my ideas.

Then I headed over to hear my friend Jeff Smith talk about SQL Developer (my 2nd favorite Oracle product).

Oracle Senior Product Manager (and ODTUG Oracle Contributor of the Year) shows us his top tips and trick for SQL Developer.

Oracle Senior Product Manager (and ODTUG Oracle Contributor of the Year) shows us his top tips and tricks for SQL Developer

After that is was another awesome lunch (beet salad and redfish!) then on to Mark Rittman’s session about OBIEE, Endeca, and his take on the overall landscape of Oracle BI and data discovery in the new world of NoSQL and Hadoop.

In Mark Rittman's session he talked a bit abut Oracle's strategy around business analytics.

In Mark Rittman’s session he talked a bit abut Oracle’s strategy around business analytics

Always a good idea to get Mark’s take on things BI.

Lastly (before the general session that is), I did my second presentation along with Stewart Bryson. We introduced folks to the idea of using OBIEE on top of a Data Vault Data Warehouse and showed how it conformed to Oracle’s reference architecture while at the same time enabled an agile approach to BI.

Oracle ACE Stewart Bryson talks about how he used OBIEE to create a virtual data mart on top of a Data Vault style EDW model

Oracle ACE Stewart Bryson talks about how he used OBIEE to create a virtual data mart on top of a Data Vault style EDW model

I can’t thank Stewart enough for taking on the challenge to learn Data Vault and figuring out how to use it effectively in OBIEE. His approach works very well and should really enable organizations to truly leverage their data and create an agile BI/DW framework.

That’s it for today’s report. I should have another report for you tomorrow on activities today!

Cheers.

Kent

P.S. Yes there was eating and drinking around the French Quarter after hours. Even got to have a drink with Doc Hendley and his wife on Bourbon Street. That was a nice treat.

See you at KScope13!

Are you ready?

It is almost time for the annual ODTUG KScope conference in New Orleans. It starts with the Community Service Day on Saturday June 22nd and runs through Thursday June 27th at the Sheraton Hotel right on the edge of the French Quarter.

For my readers that are attending, I will be giving three talks this year, leading morning Chi Gung classes,  as well as sitting on the BI Lunch and Learn Panel.

My talks will be:

Five Ways to Make Data Modeling Fun – Monday at 9:45 AM

Using OBIEE and Data Vault to Virtualize Your BI Environment: An Agile Approach – Monday at 3 PM (with Stewart Bryson)

Top Ten Cool Features in Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler – Tuesday at 12:15 PM

And on Wednesday at 10:45 AM you will find me in Social Media Lounge getting interviewed about Data Modeling, ODTUG, and KScope.

If you are joining me for Morning Chi Gung, I believe we will meet in the hotel lobby at 6:45 AM so we can walk to the river front park where we will hold our class. It is only a 30 minute class right before breakfast so please give it a try and get energized for a long day of learning and networking! Follow me on twitter @KentGraziano for any updates to the location and meeting time.

Don’t forget to download the new KScope Mobile App so you can keep track of your schedule and not miss any of these sessions.

See you in New Orleans!

Kent

The Oracle Data Warrior

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