So it’s been a busy couple of weeks ...

My original title for this blog entry was “Warning - Geek Ahead”. I planned to fulfill my promise to discuss the Riverbed WAN optimization appliance called the Steelhead. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m in the process of becoming a Riverbed Certified Instructor and I thought y’all might be interested in the technology. I actually got a couple pages written before I realized that I didn’t want the No Talent, No Topic blog to turn into some nerd-in where I typed about the same stuff I talked about all day long.

So to condense the geek content into a single paragraph - the Steelhead optimizes, compresses, and reduces the traffic generated between any two remote sites. To bottom line it, a file transfer between Seattle and New York that might have once taken 5 minutes, will be accomplished in a matter of seconds in a Steelhead environment. This is one of those few technologies that has gotten me excited over my years in the business. If you want more - either take one of my classes or buy me a few beers and get me talking...

I spent a week in Brookfield, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. As some of you may know, I’ve spent a lot of my life in Wisconsin. My family lived in South Milwaukee, Cudahy, Oak Creek when I was really young. I did grades 4-8 at Our Lady of Sorrows, In Ladysmith, and then went back later and bought a bar there. Anyway, I thought I knew what to expect this week - a bunch of mom and pop bars, grills, and restaurants surrounded by little groceries where I could find some good sausage. Well - this ain’t the Wisco I remember. This is a great place if you want some Hooter’s wings, Uno pizza, or Texas Roadhouse steak - but if you want a taste of the community, well ... I didn’t find it. The most memorable meal I had here was at the Emperor’s Palace where they lied to me about the use of MSG. Three bites in my mouth went dry, my breath got shallow, and I STOPPED EATING (so much for a buffet.) I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to teach through an MSG attack .... Anyhoo ... I’m sure there must a local flavor to Brookfield, but I didn’t find it.

I got 36 hours at home after my trip to America’s dairyland and then it was off to beef-land - Fort Worth, Texas, to teach at an Arrow sponsored convention. Without going into details, I was told I was teaching an advanced design course, the students were told they were taking a beginning ICM course, and everyone was there to fulfill a requirement for VMware certification (which the Design course doesn’t fulfill!) Needless to say it wasn’t a great week. I had *maybe* two guys who had the background needed for the class, the room’s air conditioning went from the 7th level of Hades to an Eskimo igloo (randomly,) and I got food poisoning on the second day of the trip. I started with a roster of 20 students, was down to 12 by the end of the first day, and ended up with 5 guys at the end - not great for my ego! Just more proof that the bigger the company the less the right-hand knows about what the left-hand is up to! On the plus side Fort Worth is a really great city. If I had my choice between visiting Dallas or Fort Worth I’d definitely pick the latter!

One thing this ain’t though is a prime downtown destination for BBQ. Everyone told me I had to try Risky’s BBQ - so I did. It looked like fate was smiling on me since the special of the day was “all you can eat beef ribs” - one of my personal favorites. To sum it up - don’t bother. The ribs were overdone, the sauce was flavorless, and, well, these must have been the skinniest steers in Texas - hey Chef, “Where’s the beef ???” I didn’t bother with pictures, won’t be doing a full review, and won’t go back next time.

Speaking of not going back - my second mistake was in trying a Brazillian steak house. I’m not going to name the place because without medical proof to connect the two events, I’m not sure what I *can* and *can’t” say but this dinner cost me over 24 hours of bathroom time. ’nough said! While in Texas, stick with the tex-mex, at least that’s authentic!

On another front, the relator just put the sign up in front of our house. We’re one step closer to our dream of moving back to the sunshine state! We’ve had two open houses so far - although I don’t count the first one since tornado warnings tend to put off potential buyers ... We’ve done everything to get the house ready, it’s clean and neat (thanks Susan!), and the price is right. Now all we need is a buyer ... and in this market that’s asking for a lot. Ah well, if we sell, great. If not, well, let’s not think that way. If any of y’all know someone in the market for a nice home near (but not in the middle of) the Twin Cities, point them our way!

So I’ve got *BIG* news (at least for me) set aside for my next post ... keep reading and I’ll keep ramblin’