Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Create Post

December Writing Challenge: Week 3 Wrap-Up

Level 17

It was another incredible week for the December Writing Challenge, and I continue to be amazed, touched, and humbled by the responses everyone is sharing. You folks are bringing yourself to these comments and we are all enriched because of it. I’ve never been so happy and excited to distribute THWACK points.

Here are some of the responses that caught my eye this past week:

Day 10: Count

Ben Garves (thegreateebzies) was our lead contributor again for this post, waxing philosophic on the very nature of what it is to count.

Meanwhile, joshyaf  shared the hopeful and instructive thought:

“Count your blessings. They are numerous.

Count on others. As you are counted on.

Count to ten when you are angered. Your mother was right, it helps.”

Kimberly Deal took the theme in a personal direction, saying, “I just hope, that when all is said and done, that my time here counted for something good.  We've already got enough something not good.  I'd like to be something good, just this once.”

And jamison.jennings decided to bring us back around to the technical, with

“SELECT CONVERT(date,[DateTime])as Date, COUNT(TrapID) as Traps

FROM dbo.Traps

GROUP BY CONVERT(date, [DateTime])

ORDER BY CONVERT(date, [DateTime]) DESC”

Day 11: Trust

Day 11 marked the first (but not last) lead post from Kevin Sparenberg (@KMSigma). If you use our online demo ( then you owe a debt of gratitude to Kevin and his team.

Peter Monaghan, CBCP, SCP, ITIL ver.3 voiced an experience common among THWACK denizens: “I have found "trust" to be a misunderstood word in IT, especially monitoring. For example, "I don't trust our monitoring." blah! blah! blah!”

In what is become a daily (and much welcomed) tradition in the challenge, network defender gave us a short poem:

Trust in your knowledge

You know the way,

You'll find the problem

And save the day.

Finally, tomiannelli gave us another detailed diagram – this time of the hierarchy of trust – and followed it up with this personal thought:

“I could not comprehend living life without explicitly trusting others. I thought how fearful a life like that must be. To wait for a person to exhibit most if not all of the attributes shown above before you trust them could take a lot of interaction and time.

Day 12: Forgive

Head Geek Destiny Bertucci (Dez) returned to the lead poster role, sharing some techniques for dealing with negativity and how it has helped her grow in her life.

mtgilmore1 invoked Robert Frost, with the quote, "Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense."

miseri Was one of several folks who shared an unattributed quote about the personal benefits of forgiveness: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

And mldechjr also shared some of their insights and techniques for what many of us said was a very challenging action: “Almost every time I get mad at something or someone it pays to stop, take a breath and realize how many stupid things I have done in my life.  It then becomes easier to forgive any trespass that I was upset about. Especially knowing the forgiveness I have been shown over the years.”

While I normally find three stand-outs per day, I couldn’t NOT include an LOTR quote from one of our THWACK MVP’s, rschroeder

Chapter 8:  The Scouring Of The Shire:

‘Very well, Mr. Baggins,’ said the leader, pushing the barrier aside. ‘But don’t forget I’ve arrested you.’

‘I won’t,’ said Frodo. ‘Never. But I may forgive you.'

Day 13: Remember

Many people can guess that managing the Head Geeks is a lot like wrangling five caffeinated toddlers in a room full of puppies. Fewer people know that this job falls to Jenne Barbour (jennebarbour), along with all the other responsibilities entailed in being the senior director of Marketing here at SolarWinds. Despite this, she signed up to share a memory about memories.

In response, imm an included both an unattributed quote: “When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.”

…and their own thought on this: “Remember because if you don't then no else will remember it for you :-)”

Michael Kent shared some extremely apropos words from Stephen Hawking, "Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up."

But jokerfest got the last laugh in with, “I keep forgetting to remember things.”

Day 14: Rest

If you have ever enjoyed any of the SolarWinds videos (whether they were the funny ones, the training, the teaser trailers for a new version of our products, or SolarWinds Lab) then you have enjoyed the work of Rene Lego (legoland) and her incredible team of video wizards. As the lead writer for day 14, Rene opened up about the challenges she faces and her complicated relationship with the concept of “rest”.

silverwolf took the word and turned it into an instructive acronym:

Relax  -relax yourself, you don't need to rush all the time.

Enjoy -enjoy the relaxing time, find something you like doing, maybe pick up a puzzle or go grab your favorite book, do you like drawing? Go draw something.

Sleep -make sure you get enough sleep. Lack of sleep is not good for your body or the mind, go catch some zZzZzZzz's your body needs it.

Trust - trust in yourself. Listen for the hints that your mind and body are telling you, Rest is GOOD.

In another unattributed quote, mtgilmore1 shared

“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.”

And desr gave us a more telling update to the old cliché, saying:  “No rest for the intelleigent”

Day 15: Change

Diego Fildes Torrijos (jamesd85) returns for his second lead post, commenting on what is at the heart of all the massive change that we see in the world (spoiler: it’s us)

THWACK MVP Radioteacher  Dec 19, 2016 12:10 AM

noted that, “Change is happening whether you adapt to it or not.  Do not be left behind.”

And mlotter elaborated on the same idea, saying, “I think change starts with having the right mindset for that change. You can talk about change all day long but what are you truly changing. Ive seen people change the way they do things or the way they communicate but when you investigate further you find they are still doing the same things with the same outcome. They are just arriving at it a different way. “

And network defender  added a thought wrapped in poetry with,

Change is coming

It will never quit,

Learn to adapt

And get over it.

Day 16: Pray

Day 16 gave one of the more “charged” words in the series, and of course the THWACK community did not disappoint with thoughts that were profound, varied, and overall respectful to the beliefs of others while remaining true to themselves.

  1. jamison.jennings opined that, “Prayer is simply conversation with God. In any good relationship there is conversation. You don't say a bunch of fancy words or magic incantations with your friends, you simply speak what's on you heart. Same goes with God, but remember, it's a relationship...the more the conversation, the better the relationship.”

Meanwhile, joshyaf Offered two sides of the same coin, saying, “Praying isn't defined entirely as talking to a deity. Sometimes prayer is just reflection on yourself or the situation. I believe in my own prayer to God and it is a necessity in life for me. Though, maybe just a little insight for those that don't. Meditation can be a form of prayer.”

And unclehooch put it succinctly with, “If you only pray when you’re in trouble… You’re in trouble!”

That wraps up week 3 of the challenge. Look for my week 4 wrap up sooner rather than later!

Level 11

thanks for the review and wonderful support without which nothing would be possible.

I can't say enough, how much I am enjoying this.

Level 14

Thank you for the wrap up and the open forum in which to express ourselves.

Level 11

adatole​ if i am not wrong it was like 200 points per entry correct?

I made 15 entries but i do not see any points as such.. any idea when i will get it?

Level 10

Thanks for the @mention adatole

Level 17

As always, points will be awarded a reasonable time after the challenge closes. And each person can get 200 points per DAY, not per entry. We're aiming for quality, rather than quantity, in this challenge (as we do in all things IT, #AmIRightOrAmIRight)

Level 21

Wow, I feel like I was just reading the Week 2 wrap up, this month is going by way too quickly.

This has certainly created a lot of fun to read entries, I can't wait to see the rest!

Level 11

Completely understand and agree mate. Thanks for your support and effort as usual.


Level 20

Time has been flying by this month o.O!


came late to this, but it is definitely one of the more entertain/thought provoking series.

Keeps me coming back for more


I appreciate how much you do in building this community with events like this.

Level 21

I love seeing all of the creative stuff people have come up with!

About the Author
In my sordid career, I have been an actor, bug exterminator and wild-animal remover (nothing crazy like pumas or wildebeasts. Just skunks and raccoons.), electrician, carpenter, stage-combat instructor, American Sign Language interpreter, and Sunday school teacher. Oh, and I work with computers. Since 1989 (when you got a free copy of Windows 286 on twelve 5¼” floppies when you bought a copy of Excel 1.0) I have worked as a classroom instructor, courseware designer, desktop support tech, server support engineer, and software distribution expert. Then about 14 years ago I got involved with systems monitoring. I've worked with a wide range of tools: Tivoli, Nagios, Patrol, ZenOss, OpenView, SiteScope, and of course SolarWinds. I've designed solutions for companies that were extremely modest (~10 systems) to those that were mind-bogglingly large (250,000 systems in 5,000 locations). During that time, I've had to chance to learn about monitoring all types of systems – routers, switches, load-balancers, and SAN fabric as well as windows, linux, and unix servers running on physical and virtual platforms.