Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Books from Alexander McCall Smith

This week I studied Aruba stuff on the way out to DC and then on the way back... starting my Vacation a bit early... I finished the two latest Alexander McCall Smith books on the flight home.
These are further stories in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series... quite a fun little read.I've read all the others and these were a nice addition to the series.

Aruba - Partner Technical Training - TTT Class

This week I was in DC (Chantilly actually) participating in an 'alpha' of a new Aruba Partner training class I'll be teaching this year. Hosted by Kimberly Graves (my partner in the Wireless LAN Security Assessment Toolkit course). I got some quality time with Aruba's equipment and reviewed the slides and concepts I'll need to be teaching later this summer. We stayed at a nice facility, and had enjoyable discussions on technology and our industry with a couple of the very best WLAN trainers around. It was quite enjoyable. Now on to a Family Vacation in Puerto Vallarta!

Brent's Hit in the MCLA Quarter-Finals

A video of Brent's big hit in the Simon-Frasier Quarter-Finals game in Dallas made it Online!

Check it out...

They show Brent (#47) with his big hit 'twice' in the video clip, as well as the final scene of the clip is the play Brent ends up hurt... it's looks 'ouchy'.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Travel for the last 5 months

I was working on my flight plans for the coming couple of months, and referred back to my flight records so far this year... Already in almost 5 months I've completed 61 flights, visited 7 countries, 18 states, whew! No wonder I'm tired... ;-)

So here's a look at where I've gone so far this year.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Point Trip

Friday night I cooked up some Mongolian Beef for family dinner as Karrissa, Joe, McKinley and Kylie drove up from Las Vegas to have a little weekend at home with us.

Saturday we enjoyed just sitting around talking in the morning... then off to Lehi and Wingers for lunch on our way to Thanksgiving Point to see the 'moooos' as Kinney says.

We took the kids (Alysha was at UVSC watching the Timpanogos boys win the State Championship game in Baseball) to the 'Country Farm' to see all the animals.
McKinley enjoyed the cow 'Bessy', and pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys, rabbits, llamas, chickens, ducks, etc. She also got to ride on a pony a couple of times, as well as the wagon ride pulled by big Belgian horses.I enjoyed reading about all the animals. I learned things I never new before. Like the 'withers' is the highest part on a horse's back between the shoulders and neck - that's where they measure a horse's height in 'hands' - about 4". And lots more about all the different animals and where they came from.

Brent liked watching the mating of the Peacocks and Llamas...

A good time was had by all!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rudyard Kipling's 'Kim'

This classic was the book for this week... I read it on my Amazon Kindle while on planes.

One of the particular pleasures of reading '
Kim' is the full range of emotion, knowledge, and experience Kipling gives his complex hero, Kimball O'Hara, the orphaned son of an Irish soldier stationed in India. Raised by an opium-addicted half-caste woman since his equally useless father's death, the boy has grown up on the streets of Lahore India.

Though he was burned black as any native, Kim was white--a poor white of the very poorest." His peculiar heritage as a white child gone native, combined with his "love of the game for its own sake", makes him uniquely qualified for the 'big game'.

So when the long-awaited colonel comes along, Kim is recruited as a spy in Britain's struggle to maintain its colonial grip on India.

Kim also has relationships with a Tibetan Lama, a Afghani horse trader, a white school for boys, and other 'spy trainer' folks.

This portrait of the Indian and sub-continent peoples takes this from just a gripping yarn, to a timeless classic.
Highly recommended!!

Lots and lots of Travel...

Well, I'm now done with the first week of the new 802.11 n Workshop. This is a very new Wireless LAN Technology... and very *complex* - it's taken me months now to complete the development of this -little- one-day workshop on the subject.

I 'schlep' around the country with *lots* of equipment - two pelican cases plus my suitcase. I've been bringing this stuff along on all my trips lately so I could continue to develop the labs and demonstrations. But the 'baptism by fire' of the first week went well this week. I'm not sure I really like this each day waking up in a new city thing though...
AirMagnet software uses an 'expert' system that goes by the name AirWise... so the marketing plans for this workshop all have to do with 'wisdom' and the slide deck's transition slides are all Wisdom quotes I found that reflect the new 802.11 n topic at hand.Last week was SLC --> Orlando --> Dallas --> SLC, then followed the very next day after being home less than 20 hours... SLC --> Atlanta --> Seattle --> SLC --> San Jose --> SLC. Lots of flying, taxi's, rental cars, hotel rooms, and venue setup/takedown... whew!I'll be glad to stay home in Orem for the next couple of days - (Next week I'm off to Washington DC to sit a new Aruba TTT class)

Karrissa, Joe and the grand-daughters are on their way to come and spend the Memorial Day weekend with us! Yea! Here are some pictures from this week's activities.

Book Tag...

From Jake and Marrissa...


1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the 5th sentence on your blog.
5. Tag 5 people

"One way of creating a common ground is to drive a copper rod into the ground and connect your electrical and electronic equipment to this rod using wires or straps (grounding wires)." -- Certified Wireless Network Administrator Study Guide

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Working in Hotel Room

I think Jill was a bit surprised to see my 'setup' I carry with me to all my hotel visits. I need to have a 'bunch' of stuff with me when developing new courses. Since the BYU Lacrosse games were only a couple of hours per day... I setup my 'lab' in the Hotel Room so I could continue to work and practice for the new course. Lets see... four laptops, five 802.11 n access points, a PoE Switch, lots of cables, power bricks, etc. How fun!

Jill of course has a chance to catch up on her reading while I'm working... she received for Mother's Day the new Stephanie Meyer book - Host...

MCLA Championship - Dallas

We went out to dinner with Ferrin's at Pappadeaux's... even got Jill to try a bite of fried alligator (ok, just one bite) - I thought it was pretty good though. I had Blackened Shrimp & Crawfish Fondeaux - really enjoyed it as an appetizer. Actually was so full I could barely eat my shrimp and catfish... Jill had a fantastic (2nd best fish she has ever eaten) Texas Redfish on the Half Shell Lump crabmeat in brown butter with asparagus & creole roasted tomatoes...

We went at saw the new Narnia movie - Jill loved it... I thought it was a bit slow and I *really* didn't like the Prince Caspian character... was he Greek, Spanish, Mexican? His accent rotated between all of them and thought that looking with a blank stare into the camera was somehow his best trait...

Then on to Texas Stadium for the Semi-Final.
BYU .v Michigan. Though we didn't win... Michigan 11 - BYU 7. I'm proud of how far the BYU Players went this year in the tournament. Like Jim Ferrin said... the season ends this way for all but 'one' team...


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

BYU at MCLA National Championships

Tuesday was the BYU Cougars first round game with Boston College (Eagles) - Brent mentioned it was a very hard defensive game... but the Cougs brought it home in the end with an 8-7 squeaker. Some of the other Parents mentioned how nerve-wracking it cane be in a tight game. I was teaching in Orlando and couldn't make the game. But flew in late last night after teaching some security sessions at TechMentor for the day. Today I picked up Jill from the Airport then we got to watch the Quarter-Final game with Simon Frasier. The 'Clan' as they are called would have had an un-defeated season if it wasn't for the loss to BYU earlier this year. So they were raring to go...

It was a real close game with SF up by one, up by two, up by one... then finally we were able to tie it up. It was then Brent put the 'hurt' on a guy with a HUGE body check... one of the best he's ever done, picked up the ground ball and ran down the field (Almost falling as in the picture below) this was a real change in the Momentum of the game and BYU was able to finish 10-9...
Brent also was hurt in the game (see photo) where he spread his left leg out too far during this hit. He was carried off the field (well - finally took his helmet and stick from the trainer and walked under his own power off the field)

And it was very nerve-wracking to be watching on the sidelines in such a close game.
Brent Really Enjoyed the Win with BYU's Goalie - Christian Kikumoto

Now BYU gets to play next in the Semi-Finals, Friday night at 7:00pm in Texas Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) - and if they beat #1-ranked Michigan they'll be playing again Saturday night at 8:00pm also in Texas Stadium!

Photos from BYU -vs- CSU in Conference Championship

I received a couple of photos from Bill Nixon - the Father of #35 of Brent during the RMCL Championship Game the Saturday I was flying to Amsterdam.

So here goes. I especially like the quick shot of Brent 'hopping' after catching a 'fast ball' to the ankle... the ball didn't go in the net by the way.

They won the game 10-5

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Week in Amsterdam

Amsterdam and Travel Home

I spent this last week in Amsterdam, well by the Amsterdam Airport ‘Schipol’ - never really got very far away. I left Utah last Saturday afternoon and landing in AMS on Sunday afternoon. Took the requisite 2-3 hour nap then forced myself awake to ‘reset’ my time-clock so I wouldn’t have Jet Lag. (I’m actually pretty good at this… as long as I can follow ‘the plan’ I do pretty good)

Then daily schedule was something like this:

7:30 Wake up and check e-mail then get ready

8:30 Setup classroom

9:00 Teach AirMagnet course (a AM-105 course on all products)

5:00 Complete class and check e-mail again

5:30 Take an afternoon nap

7:00 Get up, take a long walk in the fields around the hotel & Dinner

8:30 Continue Course Development work on new 802.11 n course

10:30 Start watching a Movie on my laptop

12:30 To bed and start all over

This was the entire week… well on Friday I needed to FINISH the course so I worked until 3:30 in the morning before finally crashing for a couple of hours before heading to the airport Saturday morning for the flight home.

The ‘ground crews’ – baggage handlers, push back folks, etc. started on STRIKE this morning at the Schipol Airport! – just in time to make my flight late (we had to take buses out to the runway, because the planes couldn’t go in and out of the gate areas) – and the Delta gate agents had to also load the plane’s baggage hold.

Needless to say we were late getting into Cincinnati… and so I’m writing this blog from my hotel room by the CVG airport… waiting for the first flight out in the morning back to SLC. I land at 8:00am – just in time to get home, shower, change clothes and go to church to teach our Sunday School Lesson. (Jill has to work tomorrow on Mother’s day)

We’re having the family over to our house for Sunday dinner tomorrow so Ryan and I will get to be the hosts/cooks.

Book Reviews for the last two weeks

Somehow the last two weeks became 'Non-Fiction' zone... I read three great books, all non-fiction. A departure from the last month of so of SciFi and Fantasy (due to some new books from some of my favorite authors) Here's what I've been reading.

Back of the Napkin

I have no trouble understanding where Dan Roam is coming from in his book The Back of the Napkin when he speaks to his readers about visual thinking. Frankly, it doesn't matter whether or not people can draw when they present their ideas. All the errant lines and mistakes that they make when drawing under pressure contribute to a sense of immediacy and urgency in the final product. At least, that’s what I hope happens when I draw in class for students.

Roam is a consultant by trade, and I trust that he won't take offense when I say that while his "back of the napkin" sketches lack the technical prowess of a Rembrant or DaVinci, His simple line drawings are clear, concise and evocative of the emotional verve one in comics. This, of course, is precisely the point of his book: simple sketches are often more compelling than technically adept Power Point slides.

Well Done! Highly recommended for anyone who needs to communicate ideas! In fact I read the first copy on my electronic book ‘Kindle’ – but I really wanted the pictures so I could copy them and practice some of what he teaches – so I ordered a second paper copy from Amazon the same day I finished the e-book.


I was enthralled by the premise in Jared Diamond’s previous work “Guns, Germs and Steel” – the research is great… I learned quite a lot… but I didn’t agree with his final assessment. This book follows the same path. His account is crammed with absorbing facts drawn from ecology, history and anthropology in characteristic Diamond fashion - which is to say, highly readable, highly persuasive, and richly informative.

But when he ‘waxes philosophical’ in the end – and just turns into another ‘Anti-Bush’ – ‘Pro Global Warming’ – that in spite of his obvious intelligence, follows blindly down the liberal path.

A great read, just ignore or skip the last 40 pages of $^*%^%.

Made To Stick

The Brother’s tone throughout is very low key and positive, but the content is pretty powerful. I've heard and read much of this stuff before, but by placing it all into this pleasant and persuasive context, a lot of the familiar ideas seem to have a bit more authority and persuasiveness. What do you know? They stick!

I read this at a great time for me, I was just working through the development of a new course… a very complex new technology, and this coupled with the Drawing book were a great asset in helping form my course materials.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

MCLA Championship Games in Dallas

The brackets for the MCLA Championship games in Dallas just were posted on the MCLA Championship Web Site...

BYU plays Boston College in the first round - Tuesday May 13th at 4:00pm. I can't be there, I'll be teaching a session at TechMentor in Orlando. They should win this game... at least I sure hope so... I'll be flying in late Tuesday night so I can be there for their second round game the next afternoon.
It looks like we'll have a chance to play Simon Frasier again in round 2.

Then probably Michigan in the Semi-Finals. Then Duluth, or Chapman in the Finals... but who knows how this will all play out in Dallas. That's the 'fun' of a Championship.

Here's the brackets and times - My sister Laura thought she might come up for a game with her kids so we can enjoy some time together at a Lacrosse game and dinner or something.

Monday, May 5, 2008

BYU Lacrosse Wins RCML Conference Championship

On Saturday afternoon while I was flying from Cincinatti to Amsterdam, Brent's team won the RCML Conference Championship against Colorado State.
Brent's in the upper left, just to the right of the guy without his shirt.

Here's the article about the game.

Brent took a shot to his ankle (saved the goal eh?) but has a nasty bruise I hear.
So the Cougars will be in the National Championship in Dallas next week.