Friday, January 27, 2012

STP Isn't Just an Oil Treatment

Since my last post, I've read up through chapter 10, covering VLANS, VTP and Spanning Tree Protocol (STP).  I'm almost halfway through my review for this exam and I'm feeling pretty good about everything so far.  The remaining 8 chapters are mostly network design, services and security, which I don't think I'll have a problem with.  I'm in the groove with the reading and proper use of Yerba Mate for focus.  Confidence is HIGH!

On the work front, things are good.  Gigantic projects are winding down in the next month or two and some new, juicy initiatives are getting underway.  I'm splitting my time between implementing on the older projects and super-fun Visio design time on the new ones.  On another note, I decided to dust off my old teaching hat and start teaching networking classes here at Securus.  It's something I did back in my DST days and it really pays off over time.  Also, I started a Cisco Certification Study Group here to keep myself on track and also help some of the others get their certs together.

On the weight loss front, there's not much going on.  I've been decent on the diet, but haven't been as strict as I'd have liked.  Not drinking any calories, other than the occasional iced mocha.  Other than that, it's mostly water, with one diet soft drink in the morning and yerba tea when I'm studying.  Worked some weird hours this week, so I was having to eat what I could in some situations (lunch-hour meetings with pizza delivered, etc.).  For the most part, I've been doing good and have managed to lose 2 pounds this week.  I haven't been doing the food log, and it's starting to be apparent that I'm going to have to do that to keep myself on track.  Also, I've got to get more exercise in, so I can justify a cheat day to compliment the slow-carb diet I'm on.

I'm heading out of town for the weekend.  We're having a reunion for all the people who had Darrell Buzan for chorus at Idabel High School.  Memories!  Anyway, not likely to diet much this weekend.  I'll be sure to get diet cola with my Bacardi, but that's as far as I'm going.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SWITCH Exam Scheduled

Well, now it's official.  I always study better with an official date to hit.  Reading chapters 3 to 5 today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Delayed Start... Go! Uh.... GO!

Did I say I was starting my weight loss and CCNP study programs 2 weeks ago?  No no... I meant today, really.  Uh sure.

This time it's for real.  I have eaten well today and I also read Chapters 1 & 2 of the CCNP Switch Certification Guide.  Chapter 1 barely counts, as it's about the "Planning Tasks of the CCNP Exams" and has very little actual testable material.  Chapter 2 covers basic "Switch Operations" and was a nice little refresher.  Picked up a couple of little facts that are only useful as test answers.  Stuff like CAM entries timing out in 300 seconds and TCAM table values being 134 bits in size... completely useless in real-world application, but good to know for the cert exam.

I'm going to start teaching my Network Topics classes here at Securus.  Maybe we can train up a couple of network engineers from the NOC ranks.  Here's hoping.  I'm also going to be doing a Cisco Certification Study Group here.  Hopefully, having that to keep me accountable for my study goals will keep me on the straight and narrow.  This whole recertification process is going to be boring, so anything that will help me get through this material will be a welcome help. 

Why did I let this cert expire?  Why, oh why?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weight Loss - Round 2 - Engage!

Okay, so the "keep the weight off through the holidays" phase is over.  I did pretty good.  Drifted up a little from 266 to around 270 (+-2 lbs water/food volume fluctuation).  Now it's time to kick things back into gear.  I'm starting today with increasing my water intake and re-starting my food log.  I'm not going to be on full-blown Atkins, like I was during my round 1 weight loss.  This time, I'll be following Tim Ferriss' Slow Carb diet, which is a little different, but close to the same thing.  I'll also be lifting three or four times a week, with some kettlebell work to increase core strength.

On a work front, I'm going to be working on my technical skills and getting re-certified.  I'm committing to 1 hour per day of reading until I get my certs back in order.

Wish me luck.