Seems like it was yesterday I looked at the snow outside, now it’s late summer, what happened?
Well.. Flyingwise it’s been a bleak season at home so far. We had our Nationals in Vågå as usual one week in July, I think these pictures tell the tale of the weather we had;
We did not fly a single task in the nationals, weatherdemons vs hanggliding – 8:0 The nationals ended on Saturday, and on Sunday it was flyable and taskable again… I took some pictures from flying in Bøverdalen that Sunday;
The week after our nationals was my XC flying week this summer, but even though we got some good flying, the conditions were too stable for any real XC attempts. I did get to try out my new GoPro camera boom from Instinct Windsports, works great! A few examples from a late evening flight over Vågå (We took off at 19:00). So not a single good XC flight at home this summer so far, and it’s getting late into the season now.
After that week I headed back south to Elverum and Starmoen airport to run a beginner course in Hanggliding. The course went really well with 8 students, we had really nice weather most days, and flew 8 out of 9 days with really good progress and great students. It was a scootertowing course, and we did around 250 tows that week with great results. Some pictures; (Some images by Morten Heller and Frederic Bakken)
Workwise it’s been quite busy spring and summer, I did the next big Cisco certification – CCDE in April and May. (Which involved 3 trips to London in 3 weeks), then flew to Miami, had a week vacation on South Beach in Miami, and Long Island in the Bahamas, before heading up to Orlando for the yearly Cisco Live conference.
I also did a quick trip to the North of Norway, to meet family and also meet classmates from highschool 25 years ago, which was great fun! Weather was “interesting”;
It’s been a few very busy fall months this year, catching up on work, starting working out and running, instructing our new beginner course, and organization work for the airsports federation. I’ve only had one flight for myself since our nationals ended in July.
Here’s a few pictures from one of the nicer days where both me and Georgia found time to take a walk in the hills close to Sundvollen. The lookout is called “The Kings lookout”.
Some cool videos of bats in slow motion;
This years CIVL meeting was in Manzanillo on the west coast of Mexico. Knut and I are the delegates for the meeting, and Stein Tore also traveled there to work on the scoring parts. The meeting was OK if a little inefficient, we had good progress on many aspects of competition matters. Knut and I had brought paragliders with us, and together with Esa from Finland we tried to get some flying the day before the meeting. We found a nice inland site near Colima, but the conditions were a little strong, so we drove to the coast to dune soar.
Esa shot the picture of me and Knut groundhandling in the sunset. It was around 20km of perfect beach, and a few beach bars with no guests so we had the whole place for ourselves. I had not flown paraglider for many years and did a few very funny takeoff attempts. Esa filmed it so I guess I will be the entertainment on Finlands funniest home videos next month…
I had tried to book a ticket to travel from Mexico to Brasilia, and then back to Oslo, but this would bee extremely more expensive, so I had to fly back to Oslo, work a few days, and then travel back across the Atlantic for the third time in 4 weeks. Glad I have an extra battery on my laptop, so I can play Civ IV for 6 hours straight on the plane to make time go faster. Brasilia was nice, but it’s rainy season and no flying there. I hope to be able to get there again in August this year, to fly the competition there.
It’s only a few weeks left before the comp in Bassano, and it seems to be very popular, with 140 registered HG pilots. Should be good fun, as long as the weather plays along. We are almost 20 Norwegian HG pilots going this year, great attendance.
The last year or so I’ve been studying for a certification for my real life job, and it culminated the first two weeks in the new year where I set aside everything else to focus on my studies. The certification is called Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, CCIE for short. It’s the most attractive certification in the IT industry, and requires a significant amount of time, money, and effort to achieve.
You need to pass the written exam first, it’s a 3 hour, 100 question, multiple choice exam. I took that in May last year, and could then start preparing for the real deal – the 8 hour practical exam. The practical exam consists of configuring Cisco routers and switches (The devices that makes the internet work). This is what I have been doing for a living the last 10-15 years, but the lab exam is designed to be much more difficult than a real network ever would be.
I set up my rack with lab equipment and started my training. Here’s what the rack looks like in our lab at Ementor. These are 10 routers, 4 ethernet switches, a console server, LAN switch, frame-relay switch, and lots of cables. Not too messy, but those fat old serial cables are hard to organize in a neat way. Total cost of this equipment is around US$200.000
And this is what my desktop looks like when I’m configuring the lab exercises. This is some multicast setup that I’m configuring. We always configure the devices remote, as the lab is a noisy and cold environment. I spent most of my lab time in my home office to minimize interruptions.
After reading and labbing whenever I could in between work and flying 2007, I ramped up the effort and spent every day, 12 to 16 hours, the first two weeks in the new year, and then got on the plane to San Fransisco on Monday morning, to take the practical exam at Cisco’s headquarter in San Jose.
I relaxed the day before, and got a good night sleep before entering the lab at 08:00 on Wednesday the 14. Around 9 hours later I stumbled out, exhausted, dead tired, but with a slight hope that I had passed. Everything worked out during the lab, I got in the zone while working, which is when everything clicks right in place like during a good thermal flight where you just know where the thermals are and where to go.
I got the score the next morning by email, that was most exiting email I have opened in a long time. I was very happy to learn that I passed! I am now CCIE # 19831
After some shopping some more BluRay movies at Fry’s I got on the plane home, turned around in Oslo and went to Barcelona for the Cisco Networkers Conference. This is a huge industry event with around 5500 people attending the 4 days. The conference was interesting, with some very nice new product launches, and lots of technical updates and tutorials. And Cisco know how to make a big party the last night, with food and drinks, and lots of nice entertainment and a cool concert.
The conference ended on Thursday, and Georgia flew down to Barcelona to meet me for a weekend holliday in the nice city. We played tourists, saw some of the cool stuff Gaudi designed and built. The La Grada Familia cathedral is quite a sight, what an insane project.
On Saturday Knut, Stein Tore and I will travel to Mexico for the CIVL meeting. We hope to get some flying done in the days before the plenary. When I get back home the week after I will again change bags and go to Brazil for a short winter holliday.
Then it’s easter and the drive to Italy and the Bassano comp – finally some time to go flying for real again…
Georgia, my father and me went for a lunchtime walk in the woods above my parents house to burn some of the energy from too much Christmas food. We brought the three dogs and they were running around enjoying the freedom. The one in the picture is Willa, my sister’s German Sheperd. She and Marthe the Schnauser stay close, while my parent’s Norwegian Grey Elkhound go on wide hunting patterns, only coming back to check on us every 10-15 minutes.
We got a very light snowfall this morning, so it was bright enough to see where to walk.
All three together when we came back home. My father is experimenting with his new EOS 400D in nightportrait mode.
Happy hollidays! I’m in north of Norway to celebrate Christmas with my family. Here it’s quite mild for the season, 5-6 degrees, windy and rain. No white Christmas this year so far. The sun is below the horizon all day, we have dusk a few hours mid-day. With no snow to go skiing or play in it nice to be indoors and just relax.
I’ve added some cheesy snow effects to the site though, enjoy!
If you ever played 8 bit videogames, the music of pornophonique might ring a few bells. This German band combine gameboy sounds and some very good songwriting, I really liked the result. The music is free for download from the site. All your bases are belong to us!