Month three done, nine to go

A really slow month I’m afraid. Work has been busy, the Lync rollout is still going on but is in the ironing-out bugs phase. Still seem to be deep into BGP, and havn’t moved on much from last month, but I do have a game-plan in place to get my head around it properly. Hopefully more on that soon… But it does feel like I am going backward instead of forwards.

It turns out that I might need to rethink how my studies are structured, as the release of version 5 of the CCIE R+S is due out within the coming months. You can read about what is potentially coming up in the V5 here. I don’t think it will change my plans a lot, but it is a bit of  cause for concern, but only time will tell, so at the moment I am not changing my approach to the CCIE studies, but it does mean that unless I can finish my studies within a couple of months and get a lab date after sitting the written exam (which are all very unlikely) then I will be sitting the V5.

CCIE lab hardware

Thinking about getting a desktop rack for when I eventually tidy the study and bring all the equipment home. I am wondering if the changes in the Version 5 blueprint will make the equipment less useful (not going to say its useless, as there is no such thing as useless Cisco equipment! I hope Cisco release VIRL soon…

CCIE and home life

Its been harder to study at home this month. We went away with my mother for a weekend, which was really nice but certainly couldn’t study in the evening, mainly because of tiredness, and I actually wanted a bit of a break. Staithes is a nice part of England, they film the children’s TV program Old Jack’s Boat there. Not sure the boys appreciated the location as they only watch the program for a few minutes – such is the attention span of atwo-year-oldd. Not sure I’d like to live there as cell service is terrible.

I have also got a trapped nerve in my C6 vertebrae. For those of you who don’t know what a trapped nerve feels like, well, it’s having pain twenty-four hours a day, and so far, for two weeks solid. Most of the time its limited to feeling like someone has pushed a knife into your shoulder, and left it there, occasionally moving it about so you don’t forget its there. Add to that the numbness in the arm and fingers, and reduced movement (and painful movement) in the neck. Driving to work after the weekend away was probably a bad idea, stuck in traffic in a manual car moving the gear from first to second, and back to first again did not do me any favours.

Many sleepless, or sleep deprived nights as I couldn’t get comfortable. Even sleeping on my “good” side was painful as the weight of my own arm was enough to send shooting pain through the shoulder socket. I do have some good pain killers and muscle relaxants – the strongest being the diazapam, which I have only taken a couple of times as it does have a zombie-like effect on me.

I think its starting to clear up now, and seeing a chiropractor has helped immensely, though hearing your neck make a strange popping/crunching sound is very weird, I hope lugging a Rotavator in an out of my car and around the garden hasn’t set me back much in the recovery. The numbness in the arm has been replaced by the occasional feeling of burning if I “catch” my arm when in bed. Feels like fire going through the arm. Probably part of the inflammation reducing. To say that my nerves are getting the better of me is not an understatement!
CCIE and work life
Lots of things going on at work, really need to set aside some weekend time to catch up on the things that I can’t do during the week (mainly firewall changes), but I am getting a little time to study in between what I am supposed to be doing, but it’s easy to get side tracked and have to restart CCIE topics.

Hopefully this month I can finish off BGP, like I said I have a game-plan for BGP, which I hope will solidify my knowledge as well as help others. I need to pick up the pace a bit, not because I think I can beat the V5 coming out, just because I know that if I don’t push myself harder then it wont happen…