Friday, September 30, 2011

Early finish!!!

Well sort of.
5pm finished in the classroom, but still had to write up notes/revise. It makes up for yesterday, which was another long day (hence no blog). It does mean I should get some well needed relaxing time later this evening.

I am starting to think I might actual know things again!
It is a strange experience, coming here as an "expert", then realising that you know "nothing" and then learning loads, and realising that you might be an "expert" again.

I am feeling better about the prospect of the exam and qualification lab at the end of next week. I will still need to do loads of revision, but I am starting to feel I might actual know what I need to know. Whether will be able to remember enough to pass is another matter.

Now the big question is can I find a way to watch the England game tomorrow night. (that will be Saturday morning for the UK).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mango :)

The latest version of Window Phone (codename Mango) has downloaded and installed on my phone :)

For some reason I had some spare time tonight as I thought I had copied the slide decks for today to my laptop, but when I went to look at them to write up my notes they weren't there :( It now means double work tomorrow night. It did mean though that I got to play a little with the update :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How can time pass so quickly?

Another full on day. The longest (in the classroom) so far. Doug (the instructor) was brilliant, but where did all the time go? We had presentations/discussions for the first part, until 3pm and then went into lab time. Suddenly Doug says it 7pm does anyone need any help before he goes!! I was well into the "extra" tasks by then, but still didn't finish until 8pm.
If was a very clever lab, complex enough without being over complex and also in such a way to keep some things easy. For me it was an area I know well, so I found the lab fairly easy. In fact I spent some time helping out the person next to me.

Then home and time to eat, before revision, was great as I suddenly had a eueka moment, and now I know how to work out Erlangs !! For those not into how voice works (well all the people reading this really) it is a measure of voice traffic that allows you to work out how many phone lines you need.

On the subject of food, I have been staying "relatively" healthy, except today in the canteen I had "junk" food as the queue for the sandwich bar (deli) was very long. For tea it was curry, as I said relatively healthy. We have been doing meat and cook in sauce, pasta/rice type stuff, or meat and veg etc. I would like to know though where you can get Naan bread in the US, as they don't seem to do it in the shops we have been in. We have adapted what they call soft taco, which is like we have as fajita, but Naan and popadoms are no where to be seen (I don't count popodoms which are just Pringle type crisps!!).

Monday, September 26, 2011

A day off ????

Well today was meant to be a day off, and in some ways it was. I did a bit of studying this morning and then went out for lunch, did some shopping, watch some NFL and then a bit more studying. By 5pm I was feeling really tired!! so went and had a lie down for an hour. For those that know me, you will know this is unusual. Some more NFL, evening meal and now watching some TV.
So as a "day off" it has not been too bad, a combination of some studying and some relaxing. but given there is 2 more weeks of this I will be exhausted by the end. I also had a good chat with Karen on the phone this morning, which was a great way to start the day :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

so much in 24 hours!!

I managed to watch the rugby last night, an no not on the porn (pay to view) channel. I rigged up a proxy to the UK so I could watch it on ITV player. (not sure how much spam I will get from the registration, but I used one of my junk email addresses so not to worried). Great game, England playing at last. It meant though I didn't get to bed until 1am :( I really didn't want to get up this morning.

Morning start with a practice test, and that didn't go too well. My only consolation is that was true for others, and also a fair bit was on stuff we plan to cover next week.

We then spent the rest of the day on a migration and merger lab. Basically speding lots of time implementing and fixing things. Very time consuming, and I managed to get to roughly where I wanted to be. (we complete the lab next Saturday). Didn't finish until 8pm though :(

A few of us decided as there is no class tomorrow to go out for a meal rather than eating in. Good idea, we really need some time to relax. Not sure what we are doing tomorrow, but I suspect it will be a combination of revision and some time out.

So the first week is basically over. It has been full on and tiring all week as I expected. I am worried about the test and qualification lab at the end as not many people pass both first time :( but I am coping with the pase.

I have missed not being there for the bible reading, although having the odd facebook update from Anne during the "night" stint has been fun. I like the pictures of the cupcakes Sarah made, again sad not to be there. That being said overall I am fairly happy with how things are going.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunny :)

Today was very sunny, not a cloud in the sky :-)

Microsoft had their Company Meeting, which meant all the cafeteria's were closed. Good job Adrian arranged lunch for us.

The pace of the training is ok. We are on to the first part of the Migration Lab (all day tommorrow and also next Saturday!!). I have managed to catch up on writing up my notes as I skipped doing it last night. I had 2 beers last night :)

It was a bit of an odd day, as for some reason I was hit by the fact it would have been my sister Linda's birthday. She died back in 97, I don't know why it hit me, maybe just missing home. Also a good reason to have 2 beers. Feeling much better today.

The big question of the day is will I be able to watch England tonight. Not sure it is on free to view here in the US :(

Thursday, September 22, 2011

more of the same....

Not much to say about today. Another long day with great content, very heavy on the brain.
Had sausage, beans and mash US style for tea :)

Now to write up notes for the day. I am feeling that the pace is ok, although not much time for anything else. I only hope that I will remember everything come the exam.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Brain Hurts

It is only day 2, and already my brain hurts!! Even having done this before I had forgotten how intense it can be. All good stuff though. I now have 24 revision cards written, just from the first 2 days at this rate I will be revising over 200 cards for the exam.

Exams are slightly different to last time. Previously we had an exam each week and a final qualification lab, now it is one exam at the end and the qualification lab. I am not sure if this is better or not. It may mean I get a bit of time on Sunday as there won't be the presure of the exam. The theory of doing it this way is that you will really know it, rather than relying on cramming/short term memory.

Slept fairly well last night, woke once, but then slept till 5am again and dozed until 6. I have not been feeling particularly tired during the day (not feeling like I am almost nodding off), just normal strain from the intensity of the learning.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I had forgotten how long a day could be...

The long days have started. 8am to 7pm and yes we didn't finish until 7 :-(
Today was relatively light as the morning was all the usual intro stuff.
Good news was I slept well last night, from 11pm to 5am and then dozed until 6, so not much jet lag, but I am sure it will catch up with me at some point over the next few days.

Tim (who I am sharing the appartment with) and I are trying to eat relatively health, so went shopping for food. Spag bol for tea and yes I did add the Brombley magic ingredient :-) It will mainly be meat and cook in sauce type stuff so it is quick to prepare, but better than something and chips.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A long day

I am not sure why I decided I would do the "hop" and not fly direct. Big difference in cost and I felt it was the "right thing to do". Well, I am here in rainy Seattle. I spend all of 2 hours in Canada, which consisted of get off plane, pick up luggage, go through Canadian immigration, carry (or wheel) bag to US pre-flight immigration (means I didn't have to do it in Seattle), drop pack, go to gate, get on plane.

I am now at the appartment I am staying in, and have met Tim who is sharing the appartment with me. He seems ok (for an Aussie!!). Time to get some shut eye before the long days start tomorrow.

Monday, September 12, 2011

America here I come (again!!)

I started this blog when I had to go to America a couple of years ago for some intensive training (Microsoft Certified Masters). I have since then blogged occasionally. Well I am going back to the USA again for the same type of intensive training so I thought I'd better blog again so my family know how I am.

As Karen knows, I am really not looking forward to going, as last time my dad was dieing, and I even thought he might die whilst I was in the US. My mum is still in a nursing home and who knows how long she will last, but all this is playing on my mind. I have just re-read some of my posts from last time, and it reminds me of not only how little time I will have, but also how good God is, and how he looked after me last time.