Post A Comment, Please! Or, How Do You Stay Fit?

A while ago I had been thinking to do something about the amount of comments on my blog.  When I divide the number of comments by the number of visitors, I’m getting a really small percentage.  So small that the first two digits following the decimal separator are zeroes!

Maybe that’s because I’m not frequently asking people to actually comment on what I write.  Everyone is free to comment, but I’m not asking for it explicitly.  Most people will only post a comment when they don’t agree with what I wrote, or when they have an issue that might (or might not) be related to the post’s subject.  And some people will post a comment when they’re really satisfied with what I wrote, for instance because it saved them some/a lot of time.  But only a minority of visitors are actually doing that.

And that’s okay, I’m not expecting everyone to post a comment every time they read something here.  On the other hand, that means that I don’t know anything about you besides what the web statistics tell me.  All I have are some numbers indicating things like “most visitors are coming from the US”, or “post A was the most read post in the last X months”.  But it doesn’t really say anything about you: what’s your name, what are your daily activities, who do you work for, and so on.

But, Who Are You?

Then I came across a blog post by Adam Machanic, where he’s doing exactly what I’d been thinking.  His post is titled Who Are You?.

Following his example, I’m asking you now to post a comment here.  Tell me (and the world) something about yourself, anything.

In case you want to know something about me, I’m sure there’s plenty to be found on this very site, for instance in my About page.

If there’s something about me that you couldn’t find and want to know, post a question here and I’ll answer.

And How Do You Stay Fit?

Cube Reaction Pro Now that I’m asking for some interactivity from you, let’s add one more question.  Given our profession, we’re probably not getting enough physical activity during our regular daytime tasks.  So, what are you doing to stay in shape?

I tried running for a while but found that I couldn’t get myself into those running shoes frequently enough.  Then my eldest daughter started to take swimming classes.  And I decided to go swimming as well while she’s being kept busy by the swimming instructor.  So every Wednesday evening I swim for about half an hour.  In that time I can do 700-800 meters.

And recently I’ve added an additional sport to the list: mountain biking.  I try to get on the bike once a week, either Saturday or Sunday.  Distances so far reach between 25 and 55 kilometers.  Terrain so far includes small paths through forests (known as single track), mud, roots and trunks, cobblestone, sand, paths through agricultural fields and also regular road.  The region where I’m doing this is not flat either, so physically this requires quite a bit more than swimming.  But I really like it, it gives me a sense of freedom and I get to see some nice landscapes, and trees from real close-by.  Currently I’m using a second-hand bike which I have bought for a good price from my brother-in-law but by next year’s Summer or so I’m planning to buy a new one.  So the MTB on the picture is not my bike yet, but it’s one of the possibilities on my list for next year.  I’ve got official dealers for Cube, Trek and Specialized close-by so it’ll be a difficult choice :-)   If you happen to know one of these brands and you’re happy with it, do post a comment to share your experience!

With these two sports on my list of sports activities, I’m happy and I can feel the difference as opposed to no extra activity at all.

How about you, what do you do to keep up the shape?

Looking forward to those replies!




  1. Linda’s avatar

    I like to read you tech articles and learned so much, thank you :)

    And I’m an BI developer in China, Could you please introduce me some others good bolg webs about BI such as its tool: SSIS,Informatic,BO.


    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for your comment, at least my post wasn’t totally useless :-)

      For interesting links related to SQL Server, including BI, I’d like to refer you to the right part of my website (with “right” I mean on the right side of the screen, as opposed to “correct”). If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see parts called “SQL Server Blogs” and “SQL Blogs @Microsoft”. Have a look at the links there and I’m sure you’ll find what you were looking for. On those blogs you will not only find more interesting posts but also links to even more blogs!

      Best regards,


  2. Mike’s avatar

    Hi Valentino,

    I also enjoy mountain biking for the same kind of reasons. I think when you do our kind of work which is mentally strenous, it’s good to do something physical but also where your mind is active but only “playing” (not working). Dodging all the obstacles on the trail, anticipating gear changes etc fills that need nicely.

    I live in Melbourne Australia, so we have many vast areas of forest within 1 hours drive and some great trails, clubs, events etc. You just have to watch out for snakes, kangaroos and wallabies. We also have nice weather for riding as it is dry and not too hot or cold for most of the year.



    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      Hello Mike,

      You’re making a good point there! During mountain biking you indeed need to keep your head at it, the auto-pilot cannot be used as frequently as with other sports. And yet it is a different kind of brain activity when compared to the work situation. I actually find it relaxing in a way – although I’m still tired after a mountain bike tour, don’t misunderstand me here :-) .

      Melbourne, that’s a nice place, I’m sure you’ve got really interesting biking opportunities over there! Several years ago we (my wife and myself) visited Australia during our yearly holiday trip, including Melbourne. As for nature around Melbourne, we did a good hike in The Grampians National Park. Very nice!
      Over here in Belgium weather is, well, not the same. Right now there’s lots of mud in the country-side tracks, not good for the bike and neither for the person on it – although you get free skin treatment while doing sports :-) The forests are still okay though, there’s obviously some mud as well but less than in the open fields. And all that means that it’s difficult to choose the right tire. During just one tour you can encounter all types of underground: mud, roots, cobblestone, concrete, grass, … Of course I want my bike to stay on the track in muddy situations but I don’t want too much resistance on the easier terrain either. Luckily we IT guys like playing with technology, even though the tech in this case is just bike tires :-)

      Thanks for your comment!

      Best regards, Valentino.


  3. Joost’s avatar

    I would go for the Specialized :)
    I bought myself a granville frame and put my bike together with a friend with some help of a dvd. It says everything, also how to clean, maintain,…
    If you want it, I’ll ask my friend for it because I gave my version to our CEO (but I didn’t get a raise).



    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      Hey Joost,

      Thanks for the info. As you recall last time when we spoke, chances were high that I’d go for a Cube bike (well, what did you except from a BI guy who plays with cubes during working hours?).

      And I have gone for a cube, more precisely the Cube Reaction SL:

      You can see it (and me – don’t look at my eyes, it was -5°C and they were in tears because of the wind during a fast descent earlier on that tour in Huldenberg) in action here:

      So, when (or where) will I encounter you on the weekly Tour Trips? :-)



  4. Rosemarie’s avatar

    A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.


  5. Tim’s avatar

    Riding my bike is my favorite activity for staying fit! Near my house i have some country roads so , i ride for 5 km once on a week (Sunday). My family and friends say that i look good and i’m never gettin’ old. I wonder if that’s happening because of riding the bike, or because i eat only eco food.


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