Browsing articles tagged with " Travel"

To Santa with Love, Kitty

Dec 24, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Data, Data Modeling, Fun, NoSQL, Snark  //  2 Comments

Dear Santa,

My friend and debate foe victim Thomas LaRock ( blog | @sqlrockstar) sent you some last minute gift advice for organizations who need your help.  That got me thinking, so I made a list, too.  I checked it three times because I’m thorough like that. I’ve based this list on observations and data I’ve collected over the last year.  Much like you do.  Except I didn’t use that creepy shelf elf guy.  

Just in case you didn’t collect enough data, or it got lost in some hard drive failure:

For Twitter: A way to restore those 20k Tweets of mine they lost a few years ago.  Oh, wait…probably better that they aren’t part of the firehose any more.


For Data Modeling tool vendors: A copy of my multi-volume set of enhancement requests for supporting new database and datastore types. It’s nearly 2014; it’s time we data architects were able to do our job regardless of the target technology.


For the NoSQL Community: A love of data so strong that they can tolerate the mere mention of relational database solutions when appropriate.


For Microsoft: A brilliant new name for Windows Azure SQL Database. I can’t keep saying that in my presentations.  Even WASD is difficult. 


For Oracle, IBM, and Sybase users: A community as active and helpful on social media as those in the SQL community.


For United Airlines: A set of laminated copies for each employee of your Star Alliance agreement to remind you that 125k flyers do indeed get perks on your airline. First World Problems, I know.


For Star Alliance airlines, including Air Canada: A "Wifi in the Sky for Dummies" book. Tell them to get cracking.


For NASA: That other half a penny.


For Justin Bieber: US citizenship and a ranch in SoCal.  And a plane ticket.  No monkeys.


For Rob Ford:  NULL.  Not even coal.


For my readers and their customers: A year in which their data is much loved, in the right place, at the right time, with the right granularity and the right integrity.  Or World Peace.  Probably easier.



(Kitty is my Starbucks name.  I figure Santa knows that already.)

Karen’s Last Minute Gift Ideas for Gadget + Data Lovers

Dec 20, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Travel  //  9 Comments

I’m a gadget girl.  I collect them like other people acquire coffee cups on their desk.  I also love my data.  So this list of gadgets and apps focuses on my loves of technology and data.  None of these is required, which is why they make great gifts.  No sane person would ever buy them for themselves.  This is also why I own all of them.

imageSports Agloves

Agloves  (what I call my “Twitter Gloves”)  I love the fact that I don’t have to mess with uncovering fingertips or worry about what part of the glove works.  It all does.  I am currently using their Sports Agloves.  My test review of the regular gloves  I love that for travel I don’t have to worry about taking them off to use all the kiosks I have to use.

I blogged about my testing of the original Agloves here and here.

These say "I support your Twitter addiction and I’d like you to keep all your fingers, too."  What else could say "I love you" more than that?


Fitbit Nifty tiny device that tracks my every move, even my sleep.  As a data person, I love knowing how many steps I’ve taken every day, how many calories I’ve burned, how many I’ve eaten, how long and how well I’ve slept.  Being able to compare my data over time helps, too.  You can get this at Best Buy.

Withings Scale and Blood Pressure Monitor

Withings Scale Not only a digital scale that measures weight, body fat and BMR, but it sends that data via WiFi to my account. It can also Tweet that data, but I’m too chicken to do that.  Maybe later.  Probably not.  I’ve asked the engineers if they could just do the math and Tweet the weight difference…but they must be all males, because their response was "Why would anyone want that?".  We need more female engineers.

I should also point out, guys, that buying a bathroom scale for your loved one may or may not be the best idea.  It only works for real gadget freaks.  You have been warned.  Ladies, get your credit cards warmed up.  You are good to go.

Withings Blood Pressure Monitor  Don’t have this yet; it’s on my list.

I’ve seen these at ThinkGeek, Apple stores, and Best buy online.


Runmeter app  A GPS running app that provides audio feedback while I run – pace, distance, etc.  It even lets others’ talk to me via Twitter.  During a race or long run this sort of cheering is amazing.  It’s one of the reasons I keep on running longer distances.  This is a real #SQLFamily benefit – we aren’t just about databases.   Maybe we are database pros with a running habit? 

The easiest way to buy someone an app is to buy them an iTunes gift card.  Available everywhere, it seems, including on iTunes.

More Ideas

Some other things to grab for the data gadget lover in your life:

  • External battery for his or her phone, tablets, devices.
  • External Bluetooth keyboard
  • Extra nice stylus (not the ones with cheap foam rubber on the tip)
  • Tiny memory card / USB stick for keychain or badge lanyard
  • Cord/accessory organizer
  • Extra chargers (always appreciated)

You can also check out these gadget recommendations from fellow Boingo Superfans.  I have most of those things and I can vouch that they really do make a difference.

No need to spend big.  Just make a Twitter addicted gadget lovers’ lives a bit more reliable.  And save their fingers from frostbite. 

Subscribe via E-mail

Use the link below to receive posts via e-mail. Unsubscribe at any time. Subscribe to by Email