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So I got a final count of referrals from the PASS conference yesterday and it was 183, so thanks to everyone that signed up!

We get $50 for each one and my job is to blow every bit of it. This year I was a little worried with the conference coming earlier and a slower signup than expected. I almost didn't order Best of SSC.com books to not mess up the budget. Now I hope the books get here.

So to date I'd spent about $2k on prizes, $2k on the casino company hosting the event, $3k on shirts, $1.5k on books, so about $8.5k total. In doing the budget today I had $1100 (roughly) left to spend. So after lunch I headed to Best Buy and started wandering around. My goal was a couple big prizes, but of course they didn't have a few things that I saw on the web and I changed my mind.

This is one of the best parts of my job. The best being giving things out on Tuesday night. I pick out prizes, this time updating my budget in real time on my T-Mobile Dash. I found a few bargains, like a 320GB external drive for $100 and a GPS for $179. I picked up a few smaller prizes to up my count. I didn't get enough for half the people, but I think I'm above 1 for every 3 people.

I got some Scene It's on sale, a couple "Deal or No Deal" games, some walkie-talkies, some mini-arcade games, a portable DVD player, a few more iPods and who knows what else. The guys at Best Buy think it's a riot and there's one guy that's seen me for 3 years and just laughs when I come up with a cart full of stuff. They all want to know where they can sign up to get some stuff.

I got to the register and the total was $1095 for my stuff. Right at budget.

So I treated myself to a Java Chip from Starbucks (that's my "handling charge") on the way home, getting me back with $1099 spent of my $1100 budget.

There might be a few more prizes, depending on what I hear from PASS on Monday or Tues.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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