So for the last couple of days I’ve been taking the train into Chicago for a Skillpath class called Cisco Router Fundamentals taught by a caucasian gentleman named Dale Liu. (With a slight Texas accent on top of that. ;-)
And it was fabulous.
Despite the cost I paid for food the first day, and despite the cost for the train, and despite the fact that I’m playing catch-up today for things that happened while I was gone...it was _still_ worth every bit of hassle.
Dale Liu is one of those instructors that have several of the right things going for him:
1) He knows what the hell he’s talking about and has the history and references to back it up.
2) He can communicate what he knows despite any barriers on the other end.
3) He knows HOW to teach people.
4) He has a sense of humor.
I had a great time in that class and learned far more than I thought I would over and above what I came there to learn. The man knows just how to get that information into the thick skulls of those involved. ;-D
(Despite my inability to calculate subnets easily. I can do it now but I need to do it on paper. I’ll just practice that one until it becomes second nature.)
And y’know what? I relaxed. And that is worth its weight in gold.
The man sold me on two things the had there too. The first was a CCNA pre book that is fantastic along with a Cisco virtual lab that was unlimited. (It likely needs Windows but I need to set up an XP machine at home anyway.) The second was a motivational audio CD set that actually seems to make sense. The jury is still out on that one so I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve listened to it all. (I don’t have anything yet - they have to ship them. No biggie as I have a lot to do.)
Regardless those were both such good deals that I requested a check from the credit union account to cover their purchase.
I will say this though - it was extremely hard to go back into work today. I really enjoyed getting on the train and going to class then getting on the train to come home. I miss being in school and would love to go back...
In other news I managed to get all of the dead stuff out of the garden and as soon as I weed a little and replace the weed fabric I’ll be ready to plant:
That’s pretty cool because among other things next week is about the right time to start planting in the Midwest. My daughter’s “bean” plant from school is growing quite well indoors and is pretty much ready to be planted. The peppers will likely be another two weeks or so before I can put those outside. And provided we don’t have another frost I can start planting all the watermelon seeds next week as well.
I’m suspicious of some of the wiring in the garage. My UPS unit may not be bad after all because I had to fix a bad ground out there last night. It’s entirely possible the UPS just went bad but it’s also possible that there’s issues with it once it starts to charge the battery on that circuit. I’ll test it on one of the known good circuits in the house/basement and see how it does.
The wiring that house bothers me on so many levels but that’s expensive and time consuming to fix so I’m going to have to do it little by little...