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Journal Entries for December 2010
December 9, 2010 - 9:13 PM

Where's John?
In California!

What am I doing in California? Fresno / Clovis to be specific. Well, Clovis is home to a little company called Pelco. Pelco manufacturers and sells a wide variety of security camera systems — everything from black and white cameras to High Definition Pan Tilt Zoom (dome) cameras that you often see in malls or at the airport. They also make high end video switching systems (called Matrixes) and their latest system line is an enterprise class completely IP based video system called Endura. I am taking the courses here to become both a certified Endura system designer and an Endura Technician. (I've actually been working extensively on this system now for about three years, but just now am getting the 'official' training on it.) Plus, I get a trip to California out of it. How could I refuse?

The training consists of a mix of classroom theory and hands on experience. Our classroom has been furnished with six small but complete Endura systems to try out all the configuration settings and walk through a series of 12 labs necessary to familiarize us with the system and it's components. Although most of the equipment is not new to me, I have learned a lot, particularly in the classroom portion of the training, on the network aspect in particular, which - being IP based, Endura depends heavily upon.

Outside the training, I've been trying to see a bit of the city. Without a vehicle, I am limited to the 5 mile radius within which the hotel shuttle will drive me to and from, but I made it to a rather interesting mall this evening and did some Christmas shopping. Of course, it's just fall here so quite comfortable weather for walking both in and outdoors.

I also wandered over to Pelco's Building 3 where they have a World Trade Centre memorial dedicated to the lives that were lost on September 11. Included in the memorial is a number of pieces from the remains of the towers. Pelco was heavily involved with a number of organizations during the recovery operation that took place in the weeks and months that followed the collapse of the twin towers, and they have a museum of sorts commemorating that day and the people who never saw another.

December 25, 2010 - 11:36 AM

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is here, and what a privilege it is to be able to celebrate it with family. Last night we had all of Kristi's family over, the house being completely overrun by kids and babies. There was food, laughter, stories and song. We trooped over to church for a Christmas Eve service, and then all returned for evening ordourves.

This morning the girls awoke to newfound presents left by the big man in Red under the tree. Included in the loot were some crazy carpets and flying saucers we'll have to try out on the toboggoning hills of the area. The temperature just rose about freezing, which ought to make this a perfect day to try them out!

Thirty years ago, I was a present under a Christmas Tree. I remember it like it was yesterday...

Me under the tree, 30 years ago

Largest, flattest candy cane ever!

Ah, the joy of discovery at Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

The guys from the airport and I went to Joey Tomato's on Thursday to celebrate another year passing. Kimbo sure likes his whipped cream...

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