Sunday, September 30, 2007

Family Weekend - Yea!

This weekend started with Dinner at the Foundry Grill up at Sundance for Grandma Parsons birthday - G&G as well as Jill and I had an enjoyable meal.

We then went to attend Timpanogos' Homecoming Football game (they lost to PG 24-21 - a fairly close game) and got to watch Alysha do her Cheerleading thing. She is definitely good ad it!


Then on Saturday after finishing the development work on my latest class - we got to go and watch Brent play in his first BYU game against cross-town UVSC (no contest at 20-4) in the new IPF (Indoor Practice Field) - there were actually quite a few people watching the game from the sidelines. The 'real' season starts in the spring, but they are holding three practices a week, plus weight training three times as week as well. The coach mentioned to me the change he has noticed in Brent's physique with all this working out.

Brent is ranked #5 on the defensive line - and currently is slated to play in 'man down' situations, but at the game Saturday got in more than a quarter's playing time and did a good job. I'm just thrilled that as a freshman he gets any playing time at all! Quite the proud papa I've become.

This was a great chance to try out my new birthday present, a Nikon D40 with an 18-200 VR Zoom lens. The lighting in the IPF wasn't great for capturing 'stop action' photographs... that and I'm still trying to learn how to use this new camera... but I did get a couple shots of Brent's first outing for BYU Lacrosse.

BYU's Lacrosse took 1st place in their Lacrosse League in 2007 - and made it to the cover of Inside Lacrosse Magazine!

Jill and I are looking forward to being the 'supportive parents' and traveling to watch Brent's Lacrosse games this year. First trip - Virginia and Maryland in two weeks!

Finished AM-105 Course Development!

Whew! - Finally, after about 6 weeks of on-again, off-again work I completed the new 5-day training course for AirMagnet that covers all of their latest products. This is a combination/upgrade of a couple of classes I've been teaching awhile - but it was a pretty intense week getting all the over 650 slides in the PowerPoint presentation, as well as a 42-page lab exercise manual all completed.

I'm now on my way to DC for the first teaching of this new class - With lots of 'stuff' - I'll have 4 black pelican cases full of classroom equipment plus a box of all the student binders - quite a load for my little rental car in DC.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

FCC Radio Certified - Call Sign KE7OXL

Well - I've achieved a 'life-long' goal. Every since I was a little boy in Sacramento California, listening to my small crystal radio at night (When I was supposed to be sleeping) - I wanted to be FCC Certified to use HAM Radios. (but that 5 words per minute in Morse Code looked to be way to difficult for something I'd never really use) But this spring the FCC changed the rules to no longer require Morse Code - I now had a chance.

Last weekend I went to a 'cram course' on Saturday morning at the BYU Law School Library all morning, then finally took and passed the FCC Technician Class license exam! - Good thing I've been teaching RF in all these WLAN classes for a couple of years - that was a tough exam.

Here is my FCC Approval

I just received notification of my 'official' Call Sign - KE7OXL - I think this might be a nice hobby to get into. There are volunteer HAM operators that work with the Utah County Sheriff's department - perhaps I'll get involved there, or with the emergency preparedness folks in the Stake to provide emergency communications.

Now I have to learn how to use my radio transciever! They are no longer simple little walkie-talkies...

My goal of getting 50 professional certifications by the time I'm 50 is going strong. This one makes #49... just one more to go.

Now I need to get working on visiting 100 countries before I die...

It's your birthday... It's your birthday...

Well, I'm now 48 - what an Old Man. At least I'm not bald... yet...

I remember when I got baptized in Norway all those many years ago the Mission President said to me something about "being alive in the year 2000" - and I calculated I'd be like... 40... an Old Man - and here I am at 48 and still kicking!

I received MANY text, e-mail, voice mail, cards, and phone calls wishing me a Happy Birthday - thanks to you all for remembering.

After flying home from Minneapolis last night - Jill, Alysha and the Boys were all home waiting for me - with gifts and a nice Key Lime Pie! - Janet got me a BYU tie, and Jill showed her thoughtfulness and had picked out some books and a DVD collection - All of which I would have picked out for myself. I guess living with a guy for 25 years lets you know what he likes!

And the best gift of all came from my son Brent - lets just say I'll have many many years of continued laughter on my future Birthday's remembering his phone call to the Insurance Company...

One year older and wiser too...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Eight Habits or Facts - Tagged by Karrissa

I was tagged by my daughter Karrissa to write eight habits or facts about myself. (Ok, not tagged explicitly - but the implication was there)

Here they are:

  1. I have to 'pat' the right side of the airplane door opening with two taps - on the way into each airplane (kind of saying to the plane, I know you are there and please take care of me) and then again on the way out to say "Thanks" - always with the right hand.
  2. When I drink from a water fountain I have to count to Seven.
  3. I like to sleep in the WAY DARK - and then if I wake up to go the bathroom in the night, I pride myself to make it to the bathroom without turning on the lights. (think how many hotel rooms I've been in...)
  4. I can only do creative work in the morning - after lunchtime I can only do things - not any think.
  5. I sing out loud when I'm driving somewhere alone. It's usually multiple renditions of the same tune, in different keys, with different voices. Each voice challenges others to sing it better.
  6. I can't help myself from crying when things touch my heart - so I have a hard time telling anyone what I feel.
  7. I really like to eat Pork and Beans (with the little pieces of pork fat removed) with Ruffles potato chips like little spoons.
  8. I hate to talk to people on the plane - up in First Class the people understand this 'rule' and keep to themselves. It's a big reason I like to get upgraded to First Class - well, that and the flight attendants bringing you drinks and snacks and the wide seats where you don't have to the people next to you touch you.
  9. I like the challenge of holding a conversation with someone more intelligent than myself.
  10. Just about every day I think of a thought, or wish to capture a picture, or remember a joke to share with my Wife - but I usually forget.
Ok, so I came up with 10 - now the gauntlet is down...

Like Karrissa, I too don't know who to tag so if you read this, consider yourself tagged. It is fun to think of eight weird things about yourself and even more fun to read them about others!

Tomorrow's My Birthday -

Tomorrow is just another day of teaching. I'm in Minneapolis teaching one of our Wireless Hacking courses... oh, sorry, that is Wireless LAN Security Assessment Toolkit courses.

The town has lots of great architecture. Downtow
n as well as here on the East side of the Mississippi river. Some famous architects have done quite a job here. Though over the years the architecture has NOT stayed very consistent. Each generation continues to change.

I'm teaching in the Alumni Building - Wow - with over 6 miles of wood lined interior, walls sheathed with over 75,000 feet of beaten copper sheets, and a river and waterfall inside. But outside is a 'weird' look.

They have the Red Cross inside taking blood donations today - and it reminded me that I can't give blood any more and how the 'silly' Doctor wouldn't let me give any more platelets to Lynn while he was dying of leukemia because my blood had traces of Hepatitis... Sometimes I miss having a brother to share stuff with. Having my boys around has been a great substitute though.

Well, I'm back home tomorrow night!

Brent Parsons - BYU Lacrosse 2008 - #47

Brent has worked hard and made the BYU Lacrosse team. Here is his 'bio' from their web site. Way to go Brent! I am looking forward to watching the BYU Lacrosse team play this year.

Boston for a Week

Ok, ok, I know some of you would really like to spend a week in Boston. But for me it was just a week of 5-days of training for AirMagnet. A 3-day AM-103 class followed by a 2-day AM-202 class. I did take the 'T' around a couple of nights over to a Mall area in Cambridge to pick up a new watchband (twice when the band broke after the first evening) and a book to read.

I like cities where walking is expected. It's nice to walk around - each night I tried to get 4,000 - 5,000 additional steps on my 'constitutionals'.

The flight home had some spectacular clouds - nice to see God's handiwork at 36,000 ft.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

MAR-Mesh Training in Dallas

This week I'm in Dallas Texas at Todd Lammle's Globalnet Training facility taking a class on how to install and implement Cisco's Mobile Access Router (MAR) and their Wireless LAN Controller based Mesh network (1500).

Todd asked me to come down to sit the class and help teach the RF sections - and learn to use this equipment. Either to teach this class in the future, or to work on the Mine's systems next time I'm down in Safford on a Site Survey. It's good to spend some time in a classroom and not be 'in charge' - but to be more of a resource and to learn new stuff.

We have LOTS of equipment in this class - each student 'pod' has over $25,000 of Cisco hardware and we build out an entire mobile system using MARs, Routers, Switches, Access Points, WLAN controllers, and lots and lots of cables. Just configuring all the devices and keeping the 'logical' diagram of what is connected physically to what straight is a bit difficult.

Yesterday I spent all afternoon configuring this big set of stuff... only to erase all the configurations and then start all over again this morning to build a working network again. (This morning only 2 hours to get my set of equipment all operational)

Tomorrow we add more MARs, more access points, and the mesh network into the mix... fun! (OK, I am a geek! - but it is way cool when the 'tunneled - encrypted - crossing over a mobile - roaming - network' actually works!)