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Louis Davidson

Why I am not going to PASS this year

This is going to be one of my toughest non-technical posts ever. And the reason it will be difficult will have an ancillary relationship to the Lortabs I have been taking for the last two days. It has everything to do with me being at home while the 2014 PASS Summit is going on. Previously, the only Summit I had missed was the first one in Chicago. I had just changed jobs, so they wouldn’t pay my way yet. They did send me to the Summit in London that directly followed, which wasn’t a bad trade since that is the one and only time I have travelled outside the country. 


So what is the reason I won’t be there?

This is the first year in at least 6 or 7 that I did not put in a session to speak at the PASS Summit. I wanted to enjoy the experience and not have the pressure of a session or two hanging over me from July to October. I had volunteered for the program committee, so I figured I would have plenty to do. Practicing the session over and over, getting it just right (or at least really, really close to right). My status as a speaker has nothing to do with why I am not attending.

For the first time in many years, we will not be having a Quiz Bowl during the Welcome Reception. While I am sad to see it go, as it was a lot of fun to work all of these years with Board Member Tim Ford (@sqlagentman), this really has nothing to do with it. Not having to worry about writing questions and setting up the game is certainly not keeping me away from the Summit.

This year, the dates for the MVP Summit overlap with the PASS Summit. I didn’t choose MVP over PASS, as PASS and Microsoft worked out a wonderful situation where we were going to be able to attend both, over 7 glorious days. The date of the MVP Summit is not why I am missing PASS this year. I am missing it too!

In fact, no other minor details would even somewhat hold me back (not long flights, too soon after Halloween, too much salmon, not close enough to Thanksgiving, too few politics, too rainy, too long, too short, too many politics,  not enough salmon, etc). The SQL PASS Summit is one of my favorite weeks of the year come rain or shine. I made my hotel reservations the minute I heard the announcement of the dates. I blogged about how much I am looking forward to attending along with some advice for attendees here on, and had several volunteer jobs set up including working at the community zone, two sessions for folks wanting to learn how to write a better abstract, and a table during the Birds of a Feather Lunch. I clearly haven’t fallen out of love with PASS.

It certainly isn’t the people at PASS. I love to see all of my online SQL Server friends in person, and meet new ones to boot. I have met a lot of amazing people over the years, and I expected to meet a lot more this year. And while online friends you never meet in person are great, getting the chance to shake a hand, break some bread, etc, makes them seem more real when you see them online.

So if you came to this blog looking for me to bash on PASS and the Summit, you are in the wrong place. No, as I attempted to foreshadow, I won’t be attending the PASS Summit for a medical reason. I had a total hip replacement done back in May of 2009. 2009’s PASS Summit was a big milestone in my recovery. It was where I finally stretched my legs and was walking (for me) considerable distances comfortably. At the same time, it was where I learned my limits as about midway through, I started experiencing pain and ended up needing a scooter to get around Seattle for my post-conference session and dinner.

Fast forward to Thursday, October 21.  Something gave way in my leg, and I was unable to walk. Turned out the hip replacement hardware had broken. So, instead of PASS, I am having surgery Monday morning to repair that hip replacement device with a new one. My surgeon quickly nixed travelling the next week after surgery (in good humor… and he kind of wanted my symphony tickets for Tuesday J), so PASS is out. Luckily while the twitterverse is exploding with PASS excitement, I will be at home and I won’t really notice, thanks to my little friends I introduced in the first paragraph… Lortabs.

Note: If you are keen to get info about how things go for me, I may tweet some at @drsql, and my wife @valdavidson will tweet occasionally as well.  Thanks!

Published Saturday, October 25, 2014 3:05 PM by drsql

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Jason Carter said:

Welk I do wish you a speedy recovery.

October 25, 2014 3:40 PM

Tim Ford said:

Going to be odd without you there!  Glad we didn't do Quizbowl because it COULD NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT YOU!  Rest up!

October 25, 2014 3:48 PM

drsql said:

@Jason Thanks!

@Tim Yeah, I know what you mean. If either of us had bailed in one of those years, it would have been nuts. We should do it again some day at a SQL Saturday (or some other SQL event :)

October 25, 2014 4:52 PM

Argenis Fernandez said:

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery, sir.

October 25, 2014 5:57 PM

drsql said:

@Argenis Thanks! Appreciated :)

October 25, 2014 6:39 PM

Greg Low said:

Damn Louis, I cannot tell you how sad am I to hear this. Lots and lots of good thoughts heading your way. I can't make it this year either but hopefully I'll get to see you there next year.

October 26, 2014 1:26 AM

Rob Farley said:

Praying you get better very quickly. I hope it's not too long until I see you next!

October 26, 2014 3:24 AM

Marco Russo (SQLBI) said:

Louis, have a quick recovery!

October 26, 2014 12:34 PM

drsql said:

@Greg Thanks! Bummer you couldn't make it, you will be missed too.

@Rob Thank you Arnie. :)

@Marco Thank you very much.

October 26, 2014 5:35 PM

Davide Mauri said:

I wish you a quick - and lasting - recovery! All the best from Italy!!!

October 27, 2014 3:00 AM

Tim Mitchell said:

Louis - sorry to hear you won't get to attend this year.  It won't be the same without you or the Quiz Bowl.

Best of luck and fast healing from your procedure!  Keep us posted on your recovery, and don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything.

October 27, 2014 8:35 AM

Alejandro Mesa said:

You are going to be missed, Louis!

Take care of yourself so can have you back next year.

Wishing you a promptly recovery,


October 27, 2014 9:26 AM

drsql said:

@Davide ha! Thanks. Love the "lasting" part. Definitely hope that :)

@Tim M Yeah, I was kind of bummed about the lack of a quiz bowl this year. Turned out to be a pretty good thing :) Hopefully I can find a SQL related way to make an update. Last time I gave my hip its own twitter account.. Didn't have time this go around.

October 27, 2014 10:32 AM

drsql said:

@Alejandro Will do. I hate missing any trip with Summit in the title :). Funny thing is that I have been working hard this year to get better... I have always said exercise is dangerous :)

October 27, 2014 10:35 AM

Andy Warren said:

Louis, that's a tough hit, hang in there!

October 27, 2014 11:36 AM

drsql said:

@andy - Yeah, in retrospect, all my complaining about prepping for a precon last year seems pretty petty at this point.

October 27, 2014 11:48 AM

Drsql said:

Success!  Complicated but successful!  Will post more tomorrow.

October 28, 2014 12:16 AM

Wayne said:

I'll miss you there. Get well, and praying that all goes very smoothly for you.

October 29, 2014 9:07 PM

Jen Stirrup said:

Hello there,

I wish you a speedy recovery and I hope all is well.

Best wishes,


November 3, 2014 12:24 PM

drsql said:

@wayne Thanks! Everything went well, but a long way to get back to where I want to be. Big blessing it broke when it did or things could be much worse!

@Jen Thank you very much!

November 3, 2014 5:45 PM

Louis Davidson said:

(Or “How I Sort of Attended PASS This Year After All and It Wasn’t as Horrible as it Might Have Been”)

November 9, 2014 8:54 PM

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