In my 40 years in this industry, I have come to the conclusion that many system problems and technician frustrations come from the installation and testing of network cabling jacks and plugs. Whereas in the old days we just had to get the right wire under the correct screw and torque it down, now technicians working on IP devices must properly terminate all eight conductors in a Cat5e or 6 cable, while making sure that only a minimum distance of the paired conductors are untwisted so as to minimize the potential for EMI/RFI and crosstalk between the pairs.
As loyal readers are aware, my daughter and I are rapidly preparing for the upcoming zombie apocalypse. As fervent viewers of “The Walking Dead,” we came to the decision that the addition of a crossbow to our growing arsenal was in order. After receiving the weapon (there should be some way to limit the per-day dollars that can be spent ordering stuff over the Internet) we took the crossbow to our summer cabin in Michigan to have some target shooting fun.
In some ways, things were better in the old days. Once I was young, working on the Illinois Tollway for $6 an hour (in 1972 that was really good money), gas was $0.39 a gallon, and I received retroactive back pay as a loyal member of Teamsters Local #705.
Flood waters that have besieged parts of Thailand and affected the production of hard drives could possibly become a problem for our industry around February or March 2012. If the DVRs and NVRs you are installing require specialized hard drives, and they were being built at the flooded factory, there well could be equipment shortages and/or greatly increased costs for these devices.
Late in the summer season and after extensive lobbying from my lovely wife, we purchased a small above-ground swimming pool for our backyard. The idea was to provide a safe place for our daughter to enjoy water sports with her friends.
I suspect that everyone knows by now that the business traveling life isn’t glamorous. On a recent trip to San Juan, as the clouds rolled in for the daily afternoon deluge that is typical for a Puerto Rican summer, I realized that the only real beauty in air travel is watching the clouds as the plane descends into the greater Chicagoland area, and I’m almost home.