No Time To Blog

I’m just dropping in a note to say “I’m alive”.

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write because we’ve been going 13-15 hours a day in the Directory Ranger class. This schedule is tough. Not only that, but I’ve been sick and am only just now feeling better.

I got sick sometime last week at TechReady, whether it was on the plane I caught it or at the event, I’ll never know. But by Thursday, I was fully sick with a sinus infection. This made my flight home very painful for my sinuses and ears. Then, Sunday I flew again with the same dificulty. I’ve been very lethargic all week until maybe Wed. when the sinus stuff started to go away. Of course, at the same time, Wed. night, I woke up and the left half of my face was swollen and puffy. I figure it is some sort of lymph node that is swollen. The swelling was very bad on Thursday and I felt feverish.

The good news is the swelling has gone down and the feverish feelings have gone away and I’m feeling much much better. All I have left now is a minor sniffle.

The bad news is that I had to suffer through all of this while sitting in training and forcing myself to pay attention when all I wanted to do was sleep. And worse: Laura isn’t here to take care of me 😦

And The Miles Go On…

TechReady 6 [our internal training seminar for Microsoft employees] is now over, with some really cool presentations by BillG and a wonderful guest speaker: Michio Kaku. I read his book “Hyperspace” and highly recommend it for those of you who are interested in theoretical physics.

Now, I’m on the road again – flying back home for an ever-so-brief reunion with Laura only to hop on another plane again on Sunday. It’s not too bad, but it’s my hope that the Ranger training will be somewhat slower paced, what with the parties and dinners that we had to attend here.

Of course, while I was here, I got sick somewhere. Some kind of sinus thing. Could have been the airplane and travel that I’m no longer used to, or just some freak accident. But, I had to power through it anyway. I even passed an exam on my worst-feeling day. But now I go home to Laura and some rest. Then, I get to come back to Redmond and do some more work. Should be more interesting but less exciting – which is better for me in my current state.

And I didn’t get very many pictures.

On The Road Again

Soon, in a couple of weeks, I’ll be on the road again for training – work training. The first week will be TechReady in Seattle where thousands of Microsoft field employees gather for a massive training event. Then, after a very brief sojourn at home, I go back to the area, Redmond this time, for the first half of an intesive training program – the Directory Ranger program.

It’s the “alpha” version of a new certification program that will augment the existing Microsoft Certified Architect – Messaging [aka: Exchange Ranger] with an equivalent certification for directory skills. I’ve been fortunate enough to be selected for the first round of training and, while it will be difficult and intense, it proves to be satisfyingly challenging as well. I perhaps will acheive some level of recognition for my skills that was previously lacking – as well as getting noticed for some “leadership” skills. This class is not yet open to the public, but will soon be and I will be on the cutting edge of the program.

Long Week

I’m sorry I haven’t posted for a while, but my job has recently been taking up a good amount of my time. In fact, I worked long hours this weekend for a customer who was upgrading their systems. Mainly, they wanted me there just in case something went wrong… which it didn’t. So, I worked late Friday night and into the wee morning hours, and then was back on site again at 8AM. I think I’m still tired from that day.

Working for Microsoft is sometimes very interesting. Take this weekend, for instance. I didn’t actually do anything, but the customer was very glad I was there. They simply wanted someone from the company there “just in case” and so that they’d feel better that Microsoft was responding to their needs. And so, there I sat. It wasn’t too bad – except for the lost sleep.

I Passed!

I forgot to tell you: I passed my certification exam, which gets me the new specialty certification MCSE: Security. I know, some of you don’t know what that is and most probably don’t care, but for me, it’s another check mark: something I wanted to accomplish and have. It doesn’t mean I am an expert now, but it does mean that I understand the Microsoft security model a bit better. I think I’ll be implementing some new security standards here at the house…

Security Certification Test

One reason I’m taking this class in Spokane is that I want to complete my MCSE:Security certification. I also want a better grasp of how to implement security in a Microsoft environment.

So far, the training is pretty good and filling in some gaps I have in my experience. In fact, I will likely be implementing some security changes in my home lab to increase security and enhance my learning and experience.

Soon, I will be taking the test. Wish me luck!

Spokane Update

This week, I’ve been spending a good amount of time on training in the Windows security area. I have to say that I’m liking the format of the class pretty well. They have it set up so that I can choose my own pace and break whenever I want. This way, I’m much less likely to fall asleep or lose interest. I can just pause the lecture, take a walk, get some coffee, etc. It’s quite nice.

On the non-work side of things, I really like this town even though it’s a bit small. Spokane is in a valley surrounded at a distance by mountains. And it is GREEN here. Lots of evergreens and other beautiful plants. Then, of course, there’s the lovely Pacific Northwest rain… lots of that, too.

There are even some really good restaurants, although it’s not quite a cheap little town – it’s somewhat expensive here.

Well, back to the class now. Just wanted to update you all.

Management Change

Those of you who’ve talked to me recently are aware that my work-life is changing a little. One major part of that change is that my current manager has resigned and will be gone in a week.

The best part is that I just had a meeting with my second-line manager in which he was very encouraging and even said that he would recommend me for a promotion in the next round! Yee-haw!