Current Level: 7

Level Up Progress


These are the achievements I’d like to accomplish with respect to my personal life and family. Most of this is kept to myself, but here are some public items I’m willing to share:

  • Learn a second language – Accomplished – Pre-2005 – Graduated High School essentially bi-lingual in French. It is very rusty now, but usable
  • Move to a foreign country – Accomplished – Pre-2005 – I am from Canada, but have lived in the USA since the early 90’s
  • Buy a home – Accomplished – twice – Pre-2005 – Have never rented an apartment, started in a purchased house right away
  • Become conversational in Hungarian
  • Live in Europe for at least 1 year
  • Move to and retire in Canada
  • Obtain dual citizenship – Canada and somewhere it is recognized
  • Buy a vacation home
  • Have a kid **

Health / Fitness

These are personal goals I’ve had for a long time, and develop as I learn more and get older.

  • Ride a Century – Accomplished pre-2005 – Sea Gull Century – finished in ~4.5 hrs
  • Do 100 Pushups – In one set
  • Do 10 Pullups – In one set
  • Run 5k
  • Run a 1/2 marathon – I have never been good at running, so this is a major accomplishment if done **
  • Ride 1000 miles in 1 year
  • Ride 2500 miles in 1 year
  • Ride 5000 miles in 1 year **
  • Work out on a regular basis for 1 year- started using myfitnesspal to keep track – Add me as a friend & keep me working towards this
  • Learn a martial art
  • Have a chest measurement larger than belly measurement – and not because of moobs! **


Places to go, people to see, things to do.

  • Go on a cruise that wasn’t a training one
  • Stay in the luxury suites on a cruise – Accomplished 2013 on SQL Cruise
  • Take parents on a vacation they deserve – Accomplished 2013 on SQL Cruise
  • Visit Paris – Accomplished 2010 – Spend the Christmas Holiday in Paris with Gigi. Amazing!
  • Attend a Grand Prix race – Accomplished – Pre-2005 – Even worked as a #1 flagman at one!
  • Spend a night in a castle
  • Stay in a villa in the Maldives, over the water.
  • Visit Scotland, the UK and Ireland. Not necessarily all on the same trip
  • Visit the Netherlands
  • Visit Australia and New Zealand – I know they are separate places!
  • See the Aurora Borealis like in all the photos
  • Visit all the States
  • Watch the Monaco Grand Prix from the deck of a luxury yacht **
  • Sail on a real schooner
  • Visit Japan
  • Go on a safari in Africa
  • Visit the Galapagos Islands
  • Attend a RBS6 nations Rugby match at one of the team’s home turf
  • Attend The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • Visit & chant with the monks in Tibet
  • Spend a night in an Ice Hotel
  • Get an amazing panoramic photo from the top of a mountain
  • Walk through the tree canopy in South Africa
  • Visit Hungary
  • Go Dog Sledding
  • Go to a floating lantern festival
  • Eat at the Ristorante Grotta Palazzese


There are just some things I want to do, because I want to do them for me, not anyone else.

  • Get a photo of mine on a cover of a magazine – Accomplished pre-2005 – with a photo of one of my dad’s knives.
  • Buy a brand new car – Accomplished multiple times, last 3 cars have all been new
  • Drive a Super/Hyper car – Accomplished Sept 2015 in Las Vegas
  • Attend a TED event
  • Own a Super/Hyper car ** — Accomplished 4/2017 with purchase of Jaguar F type R (Close enough for me!)
  • Own a boat
  • Publish a book **
  • Have a really cool hobby – like building weird electric things
  • Take a cooking/baking class at the Cordon Bleu
  • Get a motorcycle license
  • Try Hang-gliding or something similar
  • Speak at a TEDx event
  • Have a custom / dream house built
  • Create a video that gets more than 1,000 views – and not just of me doing something dumb
  • Find and meet the 6 people separating me from one of my favorite people (TBD)
  • Try Falconry

Work / Career

The never ending struggle, or so it seems.

  • Present a SQL Server session to a User Group – Accomplished 2013 – NOVASQL was where I got to cut my teeth on presenting on a topic I do really enjoy
  • MVP Recognition for SQL Server – Accomplished 2014
  • Attend the PASS Summit Conference – Accomplished – 2013
  • Start a SQL Server User Group – Accomplished 2013 – PASSDC was founded and is growing strong!
  • Start my own business – Accomplished many times, most recent and successful so far is WaterOx Consulting!
  • Speak at a SQL Saturday – Accomplished 2013 – First SQL Saturday to pick one of my sessions was Rochester NY.
  • Become a professional speaker – Accomplished 2014 – First truly “paid” speaking engagement was at SQLServer Live!360 In Orlando
  • Record a training video for SQL Server – Accomplished 2014 – LearnNowOnline had me record a SQL 2012 database administration series of videos, as well as Windows Server 2012 sessions as well.
  • Be a “Friend Of Redgate” – Accomplished 2015
  • Be part of the Program Committee for PASS Summit – Accomplished 2015 – Selected to be part of the Abstract Review: Application & Database Development team
  • Speak at the PASS Summit – For 2015 I have been selected to present my Hacking Exposé Too session!
  • Once achieved, maintain MS MVP for 2 years – Accomplished Oct. 2015
  • Get more than 1,000 Twitter followers – Accomplished early 2016
  • Create a successful email training course
  • Speak in front of > 100 people – Accomplished 2016 SQLSatDC Raffle
  • Get the PASS Outstanding Volunteer Award – Accomplished 12/2017
  • Start SQL Summer Camp
  • Speak in front of > 1,000 people
  • Present the Keynote of a major conference **
  • Blog at least 1x / week for a year
  • Teach a Boot Camp
  • Once achieved, maintain MS MVP for 5 years
  • Teach a Pre-Con
  • Present at a foreign conference / event
  • Work for a really prominent SQL Server company – My own or another
  • Hire the first employee to WaterOx Consulting
  • Pass 250 subscribers to WaterOx Newsletter
  • Publish WaterOx Newsletter at least 1x / month
  • Have more than 100,000 visits to the site in one month
  • Be a technical lead on SQLCruise



  • Have at least 3-6 months reserve – Accomplished 2012
  • Have a 6 figure income – Accomplished 2011
  • Be debt free, other than a mortgage
  • Pay off a mortgage completely
  • Have a net worth of > $1,000,000
  • Have at least 3-6 months reserve again
  • Have a nice IRA / 401K built up – enough to survive on
  • Win a major lottery amount – Pie in the Sky dream, but you never know **

What is the ‘Epic Life Quest’?

The epic life quest is a concept created, as far as I know, by Steve Kamb (B|T) from

For those of us that grew up with adventure and video games like D&D it gives a very tangible way to see how you are progressing in your life.

The concept is that every time something is crossed off your bucket list, you gain 20% experience towards your next “level”

You can even have Master Quest items that are worth 100% of a level due to their complexity or difficulty.

Recently some other friends of mine (Brent Ozar, Derik Hammer) have been posting updates to their lists, so I pulled one together as well.

** items in the list above with a double asterisk are epic actions that are an instant level up for me.

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  1. Pingback: Epic Life Quest | Andrew Notarian

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