Monday, July 31, 2006

I Just Don't Want to Die Without a Few Scars

That's the quote from Fight Club.
For me, if I can die without scar is still fine. I would never wish for such things. But sometime things come up and given to you whether you like it or not.

So yesterday I fell down in Ski Dubai and fainted. I believe I was exhausted since I had been practicing the S-turn for couple of hours. It was my last run and suddenly I fell.
The most scariest thing is I can't remember how I fell. I remember I started my falling leaf and then blank. I fainted. I woke up and found myself on the snow with broken sunglasses and bleeding mouth. Half of my face was numb. Two medical officers run to help. One of them asked me the date. I told him, how the heck I know. Even in normal circumstances I can't remember the date. He told me that I'm fine. Then they took me to medical room, gave me some ice and dropped some liquid to my eye. I went home driving alone with the ice sticked to my face.

I didn't know how bad it was until the next morning, today. I looked at my self in the mirror and I saw a bruise under my left eye. Little scar next to my eye and dried blood. It's not that bad.
The only bad thing is I will have two job interviews in the next couple of hours.

Have I done something bad to my head?
Hopefully not. My brain is the only thing that I have now to get me a new job. The most precious gift from God and I hope I can pass the interviews today with it.
With the bruise and scar in my face.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Something to Remember

I'm not a sport kinda guy.
When I was small, I used to play soccer as goalie until the 2nd grade when I realized that I have to use eyeglasses. Minus two.
That explains why I was never been able to catch the ball, I thought.

Anyway, since that time I have never been involved in any serious sports anymore. I do sport only in my PS2. Soccer? Winning Eleven for sure. Golf? Tiger Wood's. I can even drive very fast in Need for Speed. Well, at least I can have exercise for my thumbs.
I swim almost every day in the small swimming pool on the roof of my new apartment, but I don't consider it as sport. Sport means get sweaty. Playing inside the water for an hour or two definetely will not make me sweaty. Or perhaps that's only because I can't distinguish between the pool water and my sweat? Hmm.

After I decided to resign from my current company, I was looking for some activities that I can do only in Dubai. I want to do something that make me remember this place. You never know, I may not get a chance to work in this country anymore.

Dubai offers quite lots of activities, for both outdoor and indoor. The only drawback is during summer the heat can go beyond 50 degree celcius. Even local authority never confirm this, since according to the regulation beyond 50 degree all outdoor activities must be stopped completely, but you can see it really happens if you have temperature sensor in your car.
So four wheel driving in the desert, no way. Surfboarding, too hot. Rock climbing, never seen it and even it exists it will be too hot. Drag racing, no I don't consider it as sport. No sweaty. Perhaps the people who watch will get sweaty hoping their love one to win, but nah. And it's too expensive!

Then two weeks ago I was roaming around one of the shopping mall in Dubai when I saw one activity that I always wanted to do but never had guts and chances to do it because of the nature of my work and my CCIE journey.
Yeah, snowboarding!

Dubai has the world's third largest indoor ski slope and the only one in the region, offcourse, called Ski Dubai. Measuring 400 meters and using 6000 tons of snow, it offers consistent -1 to -2 degree celcius temperature. So only in Dubai you can experience 50 degree celcius in the desert and sub zero in Ski Dubai, in the same day!

Since I have decided to drop my CCIE Service Provider journey until Cisco upgrade all the lab equipments to 7200 series, I have plenty of time to spent. So here we go. I registered my self for snowboarding beginner class last week.

After 3 lessons and falling down around 2347 times, I realize what the most important thing in snowboarding. Control. And just like CCIE, what requires is practice, practice and practice. The good thing is I don't have any target to catch. There is no exam that I need to attempt. Only that there will be snowboarding 5-days bootcamp starting on August 5th to learn freestyle from Burton's professional snowboarders and I don't want to miss it.
I have to be in Level-2 to be able to join this bootcamp, this means I must be able to perform S-turn and small ollie in beginner slope.

Well, looks like I have to get ready then.
I'm a goofy and my board is 145.
Practice, practice, practice.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Breathe the Free Air

After Cisco announced the update to CCIE Service Provider lab, I decided to delay my lab schedule. I want to pass the lab with 7200 on it. It will be more fun.

So it looks like I won't be Triple CCIE by 30.
And for sure I won't be Triple CCIE while still in my current company. I have resigned three weeks ago and my last day of employment will be October 1st, 2006. From now until my last day I will be busy completing some projects, looking for a new job and preparing myself for the updated CCIE SP lab.

It's quite funny. I will be jobless in couple of months but I'm not afraid. I have no car, I live in strange country alone, and I slept in my rental car couple of days ago because they kicked me out from my apartment, but I'm still feeling good! My mind is free because now I'm the one who controls my schedule, my projects and my life.

I breathe the free air.

And since I have sold all my labs to gain my financial status back to balance, now I can only practice with remote lab. At home I'm using Cisco 7200 Simulator in my laptop to simulate an ISP network with 3 P and 3 PE routers. The simulator surely brings down my laptop down to its knee with 100% CPU utilization all the time, but it's good enough to keep me busy.

So no car, no job, no home, no lab, live alone. But I'm free.

"It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything."
-- Fight Club

Saturday, July 15, 2006

CCIE Service Provider Update

Cisco 7200 is in the house!
Read the announcement from Cisco here.

With the introduction of 7200 series routers to CCIE lab starting November 2006, all my calculation has been changed completely. Why taking CCIE now if you know after November you will have chance to have "real world" scenario in the lab? With 7200 most probably several features that were not tested before, i.e. L2VPN Martini, will be added to the lab.

Now we are back in business.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Things That Keep Me Alive

Cisco 7600, Supervisor 720-3B, MPLS VPN, 10 GE modules, QOS, Cisco 6509, Firewall Blade, NAM, Wireless LWAPP with WISM, OSPF stub, MP-BGP, Cat 4500 Sup V-10GE, XENPAX, IDS blade, ASA with IPS, Cisco 3845 voice gateway, OSPF Stub, MCS 7800, Cisco 6513,
Routing to the Edges, CSA, Call Manager, Unity, 802.1x, WPA-2, Video Phone, HDV, PVDM2, CiscoWorks, MARS, ACS, Radius, ATM E3, AAA, Layer 3 Roaming, VG224, Load Balancing, Transparent Proxy with WCCP, VTP mode Transparent, Route Target, Port Channel, OSPF Area Authentication, DHCP Option 150, Firewall vlan-group, NTP, High Availability, Dial Peer, Calling Searh Space, BGP Route Reflector, SSHv2, VRF, Call Park, LDAP, 3750 StackWise.
All in 25 days.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wake Me Up When September Ends

I have just resigned from my company.
I still can’t believe it. Finally it really happens.
I still can’t believe finally I can tender my resignation letter.
After 4 years, 4 bloody years.
As per my contract, I have to stay in my company for another 3 months to complete all the projects or hand them over to my successor.

What’s wrong with my company?
Uhm, nothing.

It’s only that I’m not ready to end up here.
I feel like a big fish in a small pond.
I want to go to bigger pond. I want to go to the ocean.
I may go down drowning over there, but at least I have to try.

And it’s not only a bigger pond.
I want to go to a place where people judge me only based on my expertise and my capabilities to deliver the work. And nothing else.
I want to go to a place where I can grow.
Where I can’t see the end of the road.
The place that respects me for what I can do.

You may call me a dreamer.
That place may not even exist.
After 3 months, I may find myself standing in nowhere.
But instead of die in curiosity keep thinking about it, it’s better to try to find out.
And I still have time to dream until 1st October.

So please wake me up when September ends.
And if you know that such place really exists, please let me know.