First, the title is a tongue in cheek.
This past fall, I lost the MVP status that I had carried for the past 5 years. As everyone knows, Microsoft’s MVP status is an award bestowed to those that are actively involved in the “community”. Every year, the team looks at what you’ve done in the past 12 months to figure out if you deserve a marketing award.
The short answer to the title was that I was busy working. Last year was an absolutely dizzying year. The net result was that I wasn’t an active blogger or speaker. I had a few posts and only 2 speaking engagements. Shame!
What was I doing? Working on SharePoint and life’s other miscellaneous projects. :)
Here’s a rough breakdown…
SharePoint – Aptillon has been moving forward in leaps and bounds. Work was good. Work kept me traveling. By the end of January last year, I had already been in Jersey City, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, and Honolulu. 24,000 miles in 1 month. Ok, Ft. Lauderdale was not work related (more on that later). Mileage total for the year? Roughly 160,000 miles here in the US - none of that fancy travel to Europe or Australia or Antarctica.. and that was with me putting the kibosh on travel for nearly 2 months - twice. I reached Delta’s platinum level before most folks even start buckling their seat belts. SharePoint in the cloud? Just pray you don't have a screaming kid next to you. :)
Businesses – I now own a part of 3 companies. I started out owning 2 and by year’s end, my wife and I started a new venture. Running a single company takes time and effort. Running two takes patience. Running three requires medication!
Speaking - last year was the quietest year I've had since I first entered the speaking circuit. There were a couple of occasions where I just forgot to send in ideas and applications. Worse yet, I made a huge scheduling mistake when I double booked a conference with a client engagement. We got the project out the door that week, so it was a nice offset to missing the conference in Orlando.
The Boat – Sailing has been a part of my life for quite some time. My big dream in life has been to buy a boat and go around the world. Luckily, the woman I married also shares that dream. We started looking for a boat in late 2011. We entered 2012 with some serious shopping plans (it’s why I was in Ft. Lauderdale in Jan). Well, long story short. We are now the proud owners of a beautiful Catana 472. We found her in San Diego and after a super long story involving an incompetent captain and a company that literally left us (and others) high and dry in Ensenada, she came home to Tacoma in late October.
Tacoma – For those not from the Seattle area, Tacoma is roughly 35 miles south of Seattle. I’ve been in Seattle for 17+ years. In that time, I spent all of maybe a half day in Tacoma. It’s never been a destination for me. Either you’re driving through Tacoma on your way to Portlandia or taking the long route to the Olympic Peninsula. With the boat moored in Tacoma, we’ve had to learn a new city. I have to say it’s been a lot of fun learning more about the city. It’s got some hidden gems and you can definitely see where they have been trying to revitalize the city and the waterfront.
The Boat (part 2) – With the boat moored in Tacoma, we literally took on a new primary job – boat maintenance. First, we’ve had to figure out everything there is about the boat. Have you ever bought a house or rented an apartment? How much time do you spend thinking about how things work in house? Probably next to nothing. You figure out where the light switches are located and then you move in. Boats, especially the larger they get, are complex machines. You need to know where the switches are… what is connected to them (outlets)... what they are connected to (breakers)... what are the emergency shutoff points... what parts are needed in case something breaks... etc.. etc... now rinse and repeat for water - all three types, fuel, etc... in a nutshell, understanding what we have and identifying all the things that need to be fixed (especially after a 1300 nm voyage up the West Coast) has been daunting.
MCSM - even though I lost my MVP status, thankfully I didn't lose my Masters certification! To be honest, I am still having problems typing MCSM (Microsoft Certified Solutions Master) rather than MCM. You might have noticed my earlier post on how the certification program is changing things around. Not only was I excited to see these improvements make their way into production, but toward the end of year I also had a chance to work with the Masters certification team again. It was fun getting back into the frame of mind of building detailed courseware. My teammates David and Matt also helped out as we put together four different modules for the Masters program. Then I had to do double duty in late December as a student for the first rotation in the updated format.
Somewhere in there... we had family come visit twice, we hopped on planes to visit them as few times as well. Oh yeah - I even had my tonsils taken out some time in April. That was a fun drug trip that did not involve planes at all. :P
Pretty much 2012 was a whirlwind. SharePoint 24/7/365 + a boat ... and a lot of planes.
My pledge to the long time readers of this blog ... I'll actually reserve some time this year to share more stories about SharePoint and how to make it do more for us. I might even throw a few boat stories...