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Kevin Kline

SQL Server SWAG Smackdown

This isn't a technical topic at all.  It's just sort of a quick and funny topic that hit me on a whim.

I'd hit one of those moments today when I couldn't get any more work done because I was way to fed up with the messiness of my office.  It was time for me to take stock of all the stacks of paper, notes, and other junk that'd built up since the last time I'd done a major house cleaning.  As I was triaging the various accretions of the last few months, I started coming across some unusual and interesting tchotchkies and doodads all related to SQL Server that I'd picked up at various events and conferences.  As often happens when I'm cleaning things up, I got onto a tangent of cataloging all the SQL Server stuff I've accumulated over the years.

I'm certain that this is a CHALLENGE that I'm gonna lose, but I'm THROWIN' DOWN THE GAUNTLET to see what other MVP, writer, or SQL Server enthusiast out there can OUT DO MY LOAD O'SWAG?!?

Here are the rules:

a. It has to be official SQL Server stuff from the US or an international subsidiary.

b. It has to be free SWAG - none of the custom-ordered stuff from the Microsoft store or a conference store.

c. It can't be from a special, non-specific program like the MCP, MVP, or other "not Microsoft" organizations like PASS, Ineta, Culminis, SQLMag, SSWUG, SQL Server Central, SQLTeam, etc.  (This kills me because I've got dozens of shirts & swag between all of these sources, my favorite of which is the "99.999% Uptime Boxer Shorts" from SQL Server Magazine.)

d. And just 'cuz I'm making up the rules, you cannot work for Microsoft now or in the past, since you'd have access to all kinds of goodies that us mere mortals cannot touch.  I'm also inclined to exclude consultants who work directly for Microsoft on the SQL Server team (sorry, Kimberly, Kalen, Ron, et al...), but you're ok if you work for them through a partnership deal at a customer site.

So here's my inventory - and the first volley in this smackdown:

  1. 1 SQL Server wristwatch (Thank you Microsoft Singapore!)
  2. 1 pair of SQL Server flipflops (TechEd '05)
  3. 1 SQL Server denim long-sleeve shirt (can't remember but prolly TechEd '02-'04)
  4. 1 SQL Server God-awful Hawaian shirt (not the PASS shirt either, for those of you who've seen that one)
  5. 6 SQL Server polo shirts  (my favorites were given to me by Pete Petisch at the release of SQL Server 6.0 and by Marc Souza prior to the SQL Server 7.0 airlift).  I probably have owned more, but I recently purge all of my XL's because they're way too big for me these days.
  6. 1 SQL Server BI polo shirt with the snazzy chrome bar on the sleeve (big thanks to Angie O'Hara at the TechEd '06)
  7. 1 SQL Server girl action figure (acquired for me by Rick Heiges at TechEd '06, thanks dude!)
  8. 10 buttons from various TechEd's saying something like "Ask Me About SQL Server" or "Ask Me About Transact-SQL"

OK, so it's not quite as impressive a haul as I initially thought.  I'm sure that there are at least a few other packrats out there who've outdone me by a long shot.  Let's hear your inventory!  And even if you've only gotten one or two goodies, I want to hear about them - especially if they're weird...  like the rubber-chicken someone gave me at the PASS 2005 Summit.  Top that!



Published Monday, January 21, 2008 6:09 PM by KKline
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Chuck Heinzelman said:

The best that I can do is a SQL Server Wine Kit - it comes with a corkscrew and a stopper in a nice wood case with SQL Server inscribed onto a metal plate.

January 21, 2008 10:01 PM

KKline said:

Hey, that's pretty darn good, Chuck.  I can't imagine that there are too many of those floating around!  :^D


January 21, 2008 10:05 PM

AaronBertrand said:

I have a black SQL Server 2005 baseball cap, the "Integrate" t-shirt from the 2005 launch, two t-shirts from the Data Dude launch (one black, one white), two "no more underdog" t-shirts (one white, one blue), a "flattenable" bright orange SQL Server 2008 beer cozy (definitely the coolest SQL Server freebie gizmo I have), and a collapsible Yukon fleece blanket.  I'm sure I have various pens, pads and notebooks that are not within reach.

I also have some really nice items but they probably count as MVP items... an 11.5 poker chip set with "SQL Server 2005" printed on the chips, a fleece jacket with SQL Server 2008 underneath the back collar, the blue and black bowling shirt from the most recent PASS, and a green winter jacket with SQL Server "Yukon" on the left chest or the sleeve, I forget which.

January 21, 2008 10:26 PM

KKline said:

OMG Aaron!  I completely forgot about caps and T-Shirts! I've got a few of those myself, though no beer cozy like you.  That's way cool.  :^D

I really like the "No More Underdog" T-shirts.  But my favorite T-shirt has got to be the "Replicate" T-shirt that Bill Baker was throwing out two PASS'es ago.  LOL!  I also got one that said "Query" and one of my kids now allows remembers the first syllable of that one in association with "Microsoft BI" caption on the front.  Yeah, teenagers...

I had the Yukon fleece as well, but one of my kids now uses it as a snuggly.  Who am I to deny them?  Besides, they've drooled on it quite a lot by now.  LOL.


January 21, 2008 10:38 PM

John Pertell said:

Does a SQL 2005 USB cup warmer, received from Microsoft for viewing a series of SQL 2005 webcasts, count?

January 22, 2008 9:52 AM

roman said:

Cabernet Sauvignon from France, SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition. It’s in a cute little bottle, I think it came from either the Windows 2000 Readiness conference in Denver or the PASS 2000 San Francisco conference. I am planning to open it when I retire or defect to the MySQL camp, unless Adam tells me the wine will go bad before then.

Cool “Staff” shirt from the SQL Server 2005 launch.

About 15 “No more underdog” shirts. I shamelessly walked around the deserted lunch room and collected a bunch.

Yukon fleece still gets used, it serves as a cover for my office air conditioner in the summer because I don’t feel like carrying that monster to the basement.

January 22, 2008 10:44 AM

KKline said:

John, I got a USB cup warmer too at about the same time.  But I don't think it had any marketing logo on it.  So yours is definitely the winner in that category.

Roman, I think your Sauvignon sounds like the grand winner so far!  I did get an engraved bottle of Absolut Vodka, at the SQL Server 2000 launch, but it was for .NET not SQL Server.  So you're the overall coolest swag leader so far.

Fun feedback guys.  Thanks!


January 22, 2008 11:25 AM

Kalen Delaney said:

Hey, I never worked directly for MS except for teaching some classes, and it wasn't for the SQL Server dev team. Why don't I get to play?

By excluding me, you'll never get to see the list of all my SQL Server swag, including a SQL Server webcam!

I noticed nobody mentioned the deodorant they were giving away at TechEd last year!


January 22, 2008 8:13 PM

AllenMWhite said:

Great post, Kevin.

I've also got the SQL Server wine kit Chuck mentioned, a squeezable SQL 2005 battery (great stress reliever), black baseball cap, one of those strange metal bag tags Microsoft gave out last year at TechEd, a BI "Report" t shirt, a white and a black Data Dude shirt Gert Drapers gave out at PASS last year, and I also have a long sleeve denim SQL Server shirt that YOU gave me at my first PASS Summit in 2003 when my team lost the SIG Challenge.

The rest I've given away at user group meetings and college classes where I've given presentations.


January 23, 2008 9:56 AM

KKline said:

Ok, we'll make an exception for you Kalen, since you didn't work for the dev or marketing teams.  And, of course, there's no prize in this, so what have you got to lose?  ;^)  But most of all, I want to hear about all the cool things you've gotten over the years.  I bet you even have something that's a SYBASE SQL Server goodie somewhere...?  And how could I have forgotten about the SQL Server deodorant?!?  Someone in my family actually used that stuff - the entire thing too.  LOL!

Allen, that's some awesome stuff!  I've got the squeezy battery too.  Hey, and how can I forget the SIG Challenge of 2003.  Isn't that the first year that we had the big buzzers and fancy stuff?

January 23, 2008 10:09 AM

Kalen Delaney said:

Ok, I'm out of town this week, so I have to wait until I get back to my own office to take inventory. I keep the deodorant in my carryon bag, just for emergencies, like when my luggage gets lost.

January 23, 2008 11:56 AM

Don R. Watters said:

Here's my list...probably not all inclusive:

1. SQL Server Engraved Pen (Parker type)

2. No More Underdog long sleeved t-shirt

3. Ready To Rock T-Shirt, for the launch of SQL 2005

4. Yukon button up long sleeved shirt (periwinkle)

5. Two SQL Server license plates (one blue, one red)

6. 2GB Microsoft SQL Server USB thumb drive

7. Two SQL Server Notepads (with pen)

8. Mini-mouse for Laptop (came in a special sql server box)

9. Squeezable SQL Server 2005 battery

10. Pair of SQL Server portable speakers (for something like a Zune), although I can't remember if that's a Visual Studio thing that I got at a SQL Server event...

Do connections count?  ;)

The pen and usb drive I use everyday.  I try and wear the shirts as much as possible, but they're usually covered by a sweater or something.  Everything else...just a reminder of what my career is built on!

January 25, 2008 6:39 PM

SQLCraftsman (Geoff N. Hiten) said:

Two noteworthy items stand out beside the normal SQL Swag one accrues from regular attendance at trade shows.  One is the aforementioned corkscrew.  The other is a SQL 2000 Enterprise Edition High Availability crank-powered emergency radio/flashlight.  It also has a solar power strip (for the radio, not the flashlight).  This was the final SWAG item from the original SQL High Availability course Kimberly and Don  (and Richard) put on at Redmond back in 2001.  I also have the Shirt from that event.  Those came before I was awarded as MVP, and are still some of the coolest Microsoft SQL Swag I own.

January 31, 2008 3:47 PM

mrdenny said:

Ask me on Thursday.  Hopefully there will be some good stuff for the taking at the Launch Event on Wednesday and the after party Wednesday night.


February 26, 2008 1:13 AM

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About KKline

Kevin Kline is a well-known database industry expert, author, and speaker. Kevin is a long-time Microsoft MVP and was one of the founders of PASS,

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