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Seven Semi-Useless Facts

Negative sauna    

My good friend and open source-loving, running, beer-drinking community ambassador and MySQL VP Kaj Arnö (top row middle) has named me (bottom left) in the "7 useless facts" meme.  I don't mind.  I'd mentally prepared myself for this semi-fun semi-useless task when I saw Jay Pipes do this a few weeks ago.  I figured Kaj would fall soon and he would spread the virus, er fun, to me. 

Here are the rules:

  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

Ok, so here are seven semi-useless facts.  I am not sure if they are suitably "random" or "weird" or both.  They are not completely useless because they all have links to somewhere more interesting.  (Or at least that's my goal.)  

  1. A few years back, I created a humor site called I have not written any new material in several years, but there are some stories that I wrote there that still make me laugh. 
  2. I have an identical twin brother, Michael, who is much smarter than me.  (Also more serious.) I occasionally write at a blog that he created called  If you don't have a twin I don't think you can fully appreciate how cool it is.  For Christmas, I just buy him what I would like.  And, there's always at least one person who remembers my birthday.
  3. I managed to qualify and run the Boston marathon a couple of years ago with a qualifying time of 3:18.  While that's no world record, I still can't believe I ran that fast.  The good news is the older you get, the more time they give you to qualify.  I wish more things in life operated that way.  For runners, here's an article I wrote about how to run a marathon PR.  If you don't know what a PR is, then you might want to consider this article about running a first Marathon.  Sometimes I think I learned more from running marathons than almost anything else in life. 
  4. I am learning to play electric guitar.  I won't say I suck, since that would be negative. But it's safe to say I am unlikely to get the call from Angus next time Malcolm's out sick.  But I believe "brute force" mastery can make up for almost any lack of innate talent.  However, at this point, my best musical contribution may be a blog I write at
  5. In the Meyer-Briggs personality test, I am considered an ISTJ, heavy on the J.  That means I mean what I say and say what I mean.  At one point at MySQL many of the executives did a Meyer-Briggs test to help us better understand how and why we operated the way we did. It was a fun exercise and I  was glad that there was at least one person who was more J than I was.  (Maybe that's why we get along.)  I had done the Meyer-Briggs tests some years earlier and found it to be helpful to me in understanding aspects of my personality.  When I read the ISTJ description, it's scarily accurate.
  6. A couple of years ago, I decided to grow my hair long in honor of my mother.  When my hair got long enough, no one recognized me.  Then , I cut it and, again, no one recognized me.  It's been liberating in a weird way.  If you're looking for a reason to grow your hair long, donating it to a charity is a pretty good excuse.
  7. Kaj and I once did a negative sauna in Finland that went to -110 C (-166 F).  It was friggin' cold, so we sang Helan Går.  That's us in the photo afterwards.   

Ok, I hope that was moderately useless information.  And now I nominate the following good fellows to carry on this semi-useless factually quest.  (Sorry guys! Feel free to just make stuff up. I'm pretty sure that's what Kaj did.)

El Reg: Shuttleworth Makes Do with Lo-Def Porn!


Matt Asay over at CNet reported a fine article from the NY Times on Ubuntu  by Ashlee Vance, a former writer from The Register.  The article is entitled "A Software Populist Who Doesn't Do Windows" and despite the awkard title, it's well worth reading.

But reading this closing quote with Mark Shuttleworth, I couldn't help but think that if the story was filed at The Register, the headline would have been much more sensational.

“I want to find out what it’s like to have a gigabit connection to the home,” he said. “It is not because I need to watch porn in high-definition but because I want to see what you do differently.”

That's a real quote from Shuttleworth.  But of course, I'm joking about the headline.

One Million Downloads


Earlier today, MySQL 5.1 was downloaded for the millionth time.  Pretty cool!  I wonder if we can find out who the lucky downloader is who got the millionth copy.  Maybe we could embarass them with a MySQL logo prize or something at the MySQL Conference April 20-23 in Santa Clara.

Congrats to all those who created MySQL 5.1, to all our users, to the many who found, fixed or otherwise helped us chase down bugs.  Thank you for making this a great release!  

Key Posts from 2008

Here are a few key posts from my various blogs from the last year.

From my InfoWorld open sources blog:

From onDisruption, a blog about disruptive business:

And finally, from GuitarVibe, my blog about guitars and music: