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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/jim-d
Rated: E · Book · Travel · #1779685
I travel the country on business, sometimes the world. Come see where I've been.
         Talk about perks, my job has one of the best ones I can think of! I travel in the course of business, delivering classes for my employer. I am a Senior Training Specialist for Motorola Solutions, and teach classes on a wide variety of subjects centered around 2 way radio communications. I'm qualified to deliver approximately 30 different classes, but about half of those are 'Legacy' classes, and are not in demand anymore. My students are technicians, those who maintain, program, calibrate, and repair large 2-way radio systems. Some of these systems are statewide, and use TCP-IP networking to allow sites to communicate with others. Some are small, traditional type radio sites. The size doesn't matter, in each case the systems must be kept operational at all times, since many of them are Public Safety Systems. So I get to travel, sometimes frequently, 3-4 weeks in a row.... where am I this week?

         This probably won't have daily entries, but I will make entries when I get to go somewhere, and keep an updated list of coming trips. My schedule changes faster than the weather, so don't be too surprised to see me list an upcoming class, only to remark later on that it is cancelled, or delayed. Delays are fine of course, but a later date might mean that someone else gets to go instead of me,,, Well, here we go with this, let's see where it takes us.

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September 20, 2022 at 10:06pm
September 20, 2022 at 10:06pm
#1037946
Locale: Sacramento, California

Week of: 9/12/22

         This week finds me in Sacramento California for a week long class. The customer this week is a Federal Customer, and once again the class is a tailored class. With a tailored class, I combine the Powerpoint slideshows and hands-on exercises from two or more courses into one class. I've taught this same class to this customer four times already, it was this delivery that made me realize how different this group is from the others.


         One subject in this class involved a small black box that can perform several functions in our radio systems. I don't mean to 'bang my own drum here', but I consider myself somewhat of an SME on this product since I'm the only instructor who delivers this course, but am also considered an SME on it by several customers and groups. The delivery of this class showed me I still have a lot to learn. I knew that, but knowing is one thing, seeing it is another. The good in all this is that I was able to adapt to their needs, and show them what they intended to do (their network is not yet completely installed/designed), and how it would operate once the work was completed.

         There was a bit of an oddity on this trip, something that has happened only twice before. After class on Tuesday, my rental car wouldn't start, the battery was completely dead. I do mean completely. With this location being a Federal Customer site, someone had to remain until I left (not that I stayed late very long) to buzz the gate open so I could leave. When he saw that my car wouldn't start, he searched around a storeroom and found a set of jumper cables. The battery was so dead that we had to wait a couple of minutes before starting it. Once started, all was well. I drove to the Avis site at the Sacramento Airport to tell them what was going on. Of course the car started right back up after turning it off. I liked the car, and since the battery was taking a charge, I thought (hoped) it was due to me leaving something on, though for the life of me I couldn't think of what it might have been. I had no warning lights on the dash, no alarms when I got out, nothing. Still, I elected to keep the car. Bad decision. I went to dinner, then to my hotel, all was well. At least until the next morning. Because the next morning, the battery was once again dead. And once again, after getting it jumped, all was well. This time, I exchanged the car at Avis, and everything was fine the rest of the trip.


Noteworthy Restaurants:


         Pete's Restaurant & Brewhouse          https://www.petesnatomas.com/appetizers          I decided to dine here based on one dish, an appetizer. Artichoke Hearts - Tender artichoke hearts fried in a tasty beer batter, served with basil aioli and mild garlic butter then topped with parmesan cheese. I chose a burger for my meal, their Jalapeño Burger. Half pound patty, topped with fresh jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, avocado, tomato, finished off with a red pepper aioli.


         Fin's House Sushi          https://www.finshouse.com/menu          I dined here my first night in Sacramento because I was in the mood for Sushi and/or Sashimi. I wasn't too hungry though, so settled for their Jalapeno Bomb appetizer. Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, imitation crab meat, and spicy tuna, topped with masago. My meal was Sashimi, their 8-piece Chef's choice Sashimi. If you like Sashimi/Sushi at all, you should have joined me! We could have split the 24-piece Sashimi, and an additional appetizer.


In Closing

         Next week I am on vacation, but I doubt I will get much rest. I am on a red-eye flight to O'Hare Friday night, and will arrive home shortly before noon. Then either that afternoon, or Sunday morning, we'll head out to Virginia Beach for the Akita Club of America National Dog Show. A dog show holds little interest for me, I've never been into things like that. But my other half has, we're going for her. Besides, I plan on visiting my oldest child who lives in Hampton Virginia, and will also stop by the Forks Of Cheat Winery/Distillery to grab a couple of bottles of wine and Moonshine, maybe some Brandy. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell
September 14, 2022 at 9:37am
September 14, 2022 at 9:37am
#1037692
Locale: Buffalo, New York

Week of: 9/5/22

         This week finds me in Buffalo New York for a three day class. The customer this week is Erie County looking for a bit of a tailored class on different devices. Getting here was not near as bad as trying to get to Albuquerque last weekend. There were no flight delays at all, but, there's always a but, isn't there? But. I had to fly from Bloomington to Chicago, Chicago to Philadelphia, and Philadelphia to Buffalo to get there. Obviously there were other flight options, but the connections were either too short, or too long to consider using them. Coming home, I was able to fly from Buffalo to Chicago, and Chicago to Bloomington. The only advantage to having two-stops on the way there was that I was given priority due to the length of time I'd spend traveling. Believe me, I'd take a non-stop flight any day (not possible from Bloomington), or a one-stop trip over a two or more stop trip. But, talking about it doesn't do any good, does it...


         The class itself was excellent. The students wanted, and needed to learn about the equipment in their system, I was quite willing to share what I could. There was a lot of interaction and discussion between all of us during the class, with the hands-on activities going quite well. Class ended on Friday about 2 pm, then it was time to head home. I'd only have long enough at home before heading out again though.

         You can't go to Buffalo (in my opinion) without seeing Niagara Falls (been there, done that), or riding the 'Maiden Of The Mist', (a boat tour of the falls), been there and done that too. Since I had already seen the falls on two or three previous occasions, I decided not to go again. That's a shame too, but because water does draw me, whether it's fresh or saltwater. Also, there wasn't really time enough in a day, other than after work. Usually I'm too tired now to get out much, which also contributed to my decision about going.

         Another thing you have to do, if you're a foodie, is visit the 'Original Home of Buffalo Wings', the Anchor Bar & Grill downtown. It was there that this whole Buffalo Wing madness started. https://www.thetravel.com/where-did-buffalo-wings-originate/ So being there, I obviously had to have dinner there one night. I've been told that The Anchor Bar doesn't have the best wings in town, but they are the original home, so going there was a must for me. *Smile*


Noteworthy Restaurants:


         Anchor Bar & Grill          https://anchorbar.com/          As mentioned, I had to go there. The wings were fine, but not the really spicy Buffalo Wings you find at most places, like Buffalo Wild Wings. I enjoyed their appetizer of Stuffed Hot Peppers, which were Hungarian peppers stuffed with a blend of cheeses and baked to perfection, served with garlic toast. I had 5 wings on the side, soaked in their secret sauce, and their Tuna Melt Sandwich. No wonder I gain weight when I travel!


         Liberty Hound          https://www.libertyhoundbuffalo.com/menu          This place is on the river, with a menu that just sounds like one could spend a week there sampling dishes. Sadly, I only had the one night to sample their dishes, and believe it or not, I only chose one. Their Mediterranean Salad. I was in the mood for a salad, and this hit the spot. It was not small by any means, consisting of Romaine Lettuce, Kalamata olives, tomato, red peppers, onion cucumber, feta, pepperoncini, pita. I couldn't have asked for a better dish that night.

         Deep South Tacos          https://deepsouthtaco.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/DST_Food-menu_2022.pdf          This place was a block or two away from my hotel, walking there was easy, even for someone my age. They had quite the selection of sipping Tequila's, but I steered away from those. I did have a Bourbon based drink called The Revenge Of The Luchador, it was exactly what I was looking for that evening. Strong, but not too strong, flavorful with the Bourbon and Reposado Mezcal dominating it. Their Shrimp Ceviche came on a hard corn tortilla, that was a little surprise, but it was quite satisfying. For dinner I had three of their taco's. A Shrimp Taco, a Fish Taco, and a Korean Beef Taco. The tastes of each was quite different, especially the Korean Beef taco. I need to go back and try more from their menu, and have another Revenge of The Luchador.


In Closing

         Next week I will be in Sacramento California for a week, then enjoy a week of downtime (vacation anyone?). During that week we'll go to Virginia Beach for the Akita National Dog Show. I will make sure I visit my oldest child while there. She lives in Hampton Virginia. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell
September 7, 2022 at 5:17am
September 7, 2022 at 5:17am
#1037435
Teaching In Schaumburg For Three Days


Locale: Schaumburg, Illinois

Week of: 8/29/22..

         I last taught this class about 3 years ago, but was not worried about my knowledge and presentation of it. I was correct in that thought, my knowledge was solid, I had no difficulties delivering the class, nor any difficulties in answering questions. Where I lacked though, was the flow, being smooth, knowing where I wanted to be at the end of each day. Small things like that. Something like that can only come with consistent scheduling, and thank God I'm scheduled to deliver this class 3-4 times next year!

         There was one area of 'rustiness' that I couldn't avoid, that being the use of the Service Monitor to perform checks on the system. In one of the hands-on activities, we needed to get to the Spectrum Analyzer mode, and from there, the Track Generator mode. I couldn't remember how to do that! I got there on one of the three Service Monitors, we only needed the one. Thankfully, one of our lab techs asked how we were doing, when I mentioned the Spectrum Analyzer mode, he politely showed me how to get there. I don't think I'll forget that small step very soon.

         After the class, I flew to Albuquerque for 2 days, just so I could attend my High School class 50th Reunion. Yes, I am that old. *Smile* The trip there was delayed 5 hours by thunderstorms in Dallas, the trip home was also delayed 2.5 hours for the same reason. It was a good time, I loved the 'New Mexican' breakfast I had each morning, but it was also very tiring. Luckily I was able to nap some on Monday, so caught up a little bit. It was a weekend I wouldn't change one bit, other than 'healing' our housesitter/dogsitter so my other half could join me, as we had planned. I ended up going alone. If not for the reunion, I would have cancelled the trip. As it is, due to several doctor's appointments being scheduled during my planned October vacation, we've cancelled plans to go there for the Balloon Fiesta. That's probably a good thing too though, because I would have been exhausted when we headed out.


In Closing


         I am in Buffalo next week, and know I'll stop at the Anchor Bar and Grill for dinner once. It's the original home of Buffalo Wings. I was there in 2014, and long to return. My schedule remains full to the gills through the end of the year and through March of 2023. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell
August 24, 2022 at 10:16pm
August 24, 2022 at 10:16pm
#1036899
Teaching Teaching In Schaumburg For Two Days

Locale: Schaumburg, Illinois

Week of: 8/22/22

         Yey!! I made it through a class without COVID hitting me. Well, okay, it was only two days, but still...

         I last taught this class about 4 years ago, but was not worried about my knowledge and presentation of it. The device is called the MLC 8000, with dimensitons of 1.7 in x 8.6 in x 10.4 in. It's a small box essentially, but does quite a few things. We designed it to do 2 functions, but customers have gone far beyond that. Luckily, I only have to know what it was designed for, not everything it's being used for.

         My concern in this class delivery was that the MLC's in my small system were not fully implemented. I had configured them many times, but needed necessary hardware (cables) made to connect them to other devices. Also needed is a small box called a TIM's set, or Transmission Impairment Measurement Set. This is used to check the level of an audio signal over an analog connection. I had neither the cables, nor the TIM's set on hand, and was sure it would be mentioned. And it was. In the course critiques, every student mentioned the lack of test equipment, and said we needed one. True statement. Sadly, that will not happen most likely, unless I purchase it myself. We'll see what the future holds.

         During the class, I cleared up some misconceptions that each of the students had about the device, and was able to answer every question asked. I guess that carried over to the course critiques, because they were surprisingly good. One student didn't really care for the class, the hardware on hand, and my knowledge. The other 4 were fine with everything. In fact, during the class, we made the necessary cables to connect the MLC's to the Base Radios! *Smile* After a quick calibration, the links were showing 'green', meaning the MLC connection to the Base Radio was good, and communication would occur if a radio transmitted on the channel. A major milestone and accomplishment if you ask me. I sent my supervisor a note about the class along with my thoughts and future goals. We'll see if any of those are acted on or what.

         I'm home the rest of this week, going to the Chiropractor today and tomorrow, and relaxing all I can. Other than vacation I scheduled last year, I am busy until Thanksgiving, then my next off period after that is Christmas....


In Closing


         I am in Schaumburg again next week before flying home to Albuquerque HS Class reunion, the 50th! My schedule remains full to the gills through the end of the year and through March of 2023. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell
August 13, 2022 at 6:01pm
August 13, 2022 at 6:01pm
#1036454
Teaching From Home

Locale: Bloomington, Illinois

Week of: 8/8/22

         Well, since I couldn't go to Los Angeles as scheduled, I'm teaching the class from home this week. There wasn't much time for the customer to prepare for it, they were expecting me there last night. But a retest for COVID was positive once again, even though I feel fine. It was a good call though, evidently this customer is still checking everyone for COVID daily, but only at the Fire HQ, which is not where I would have been.

         This class went exceedingly well, despite the last minute notice about it being a Virtual Class online. They asked A LOT of questions, especially when we discussed Trunking System operation. I've learned a lot these past 21 years, teaching the wide variety of classes I do now, and have in the past really helps me answer questions. At the end of each class, the students send us a class critique using our Learning Website. The grades you can get are Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Neutral, Dissatisfied, and Very Dissatisfied. I very rarely receive either of the Dissatisfied grades, and just a few Neutral grades. This class submitted a couple of nice compliments in their comments, and every grade was what we call the Top two. Very Satisfied, or Satisfied. Some of the grades I have no control over and I mainly look at those grades that are based on my delivery and performance. To say I was very happy would be an understatement.


In Closing


         I am home next weeks delivering Fleetmapping to the same customer. After that, it's 2 weeks in Schaumburg (only 5 days total really), followed by a week in Buffalo during Labor Day week. Then it's football season (yippee <sarcasm>), and fall arrives soon after. My schedule remains full to the gills through the end of the year and into next year. I look for it to remain that way. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell
August 8, 2022 at 9:31pm
August 8, 2022 at 9:31pm
#1036253
Teaching From Home

Locale: Bloomington, Illinois

Week of: 8/8/22

         Well, since I couldn't go to Los Angeles as scheduled, I'm teaching the class from home this week. There wasn't much time for the customer to prepare for it, they were expecting me there last night. But a retest for COVID was positive once again, even though I feel fine. It was a good call though, evidently this customer is still checking everyone for COVID daily!

         So far so good though, but there is one small wrinkle to things. They work 10 hour days Mon-Thurs, and no one mentioned that in all the prep-work emails. So tomorrow and Wednesday we'll add an extra hour to the class, and Thursday we'll go until we're done. Fine by me because due to the time difference, I'm teaching from 10 am to 6 pm CDT. Getting done early Thursday will be nice, and having Friday free even nicer. Plus, I will teach the same customer next week, but the class will be Fleetmapping.

         I've taught this class for over 21 years now, I feel like I can almost do it in my sleep, or with one arm tied behind my back. Just as I get it fully in my mind (that actually happened long ago), I will edit the course with a thorough re-wwrite. It needs it though. I just have to find the time to do it, and decide what I want to delete from the course, what I want to add. That's been my main problem all along, figuring out those two issues. It's time I tackle it though. Maybe over Christmas, we'll see what my priorities are then.


In Closing


         I am home next week, and as of now to teach Fleetmapping to this same customer. After that, it's 2 weeks in Schaumburg (only 5 days total really), followed by a week in Buffalo during Labor Day week. Then it's football season (yippee), and fall arrives soon after. My schedule remains full to the gills through the end of the year and into next year. I look for it to remain that way. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell
July 30, 2022 at 9:24pm
July 30, 2022 at 9:24pm
#1035898
Teaching In Schaumburg & From Home

Locale: Schaumburg & Bloomington, Illinois

Week of: 7/25/22

         This class is the one I delivered in Kansas just two weeks ago. While the students didn't exhibit the same enthusiasm that the Kansas studens did, things still went well, all things considered. All things considered? Yeah, Monday night was a tough night for me, I coughed most of the night and felt sorry for anyone in a room near me. Shades of early last year! The cough was that bad. I went to work Tuesday morning, and from there to Urgent Care. The students ended up having the day off because I was tested for COVID again, and was positive this time too. I'm still not sure if it was a carry-over from being in Kansas, or a new case. Either way, I was miserable. I was in Urrgent Care for about 3 hours, and was prescribed Paxlovid, the same anti-viral medicine our president has been taking. When I left Urgent Care, I went to my hotel, packed things up and checked out. Then of course, I had that 2-hour drive home. In some cases, I probably should not have been driving. The cough remained with me, and there were a couple of times that I felt the blood rush to my head, and the feeling I might pass out. But, having gone through this last year, I knew I wasn't close to the fainting point, but still..... I should not have been driving. With no other way to get home really, I had to drive. It wasn't that dangerous, but that might just be me downplaying things.

         My manager came in while I was in Urgent Care and explained what was going on. They were offered the chance to go home early, or continue the class as an online class. Believe me, when I got home, the last thing I wanted to do was teach on line the next day. When I woke Wednesday morning I sitll didn't feel like teaching on line. But I did begin the class, and as the day wore on I felt better. That cough is still with me though. I see my Primary Care doctor Tuesday morning, we'll see what comes of that. I made it through the week though, but have slept on a makeshift bed (cot), or on the love-seat (we don't have a couch), every night. I have a tough time lying down right now, when I lie down I start to cough. This cough is not a small, soft cough. It's loud, it's from deep in my chest, and can leave me breathless. I haven't passed out from it, but I've felt it coming on once again. I am not sure the cough is due to COVID, or if something else is going on that might be COVID related, which is causing the cough. I'm still here, alive and somewhat well, that's the good thing. Am I completety healthy? NO. Nor do I think I will ever be 100% again. If not COVID, if not the cough, I have some amount of pain every day. There's no getting away from it, so I grin and bear it. I am going to a back pain specialist this week, we'll see what he says.

         My schedule has been modified due to this past week, so I will not be in Schaumburg as originally scheduled. I will be home resting, sleeping, and recovering all I can. My Quarantine ends tonight, but I have the extra 5 days of isolation, and will wear a mask about everywhere I go. My manager wants me to have another COVID this week, and it has to come back negative. Otherwise I will not fly to LA on Sunday the 7th of August. *Frown* I have my fingers crossed.


In Closing


         I am home next week, and as of now, I fly to LA as I said. We'll see what happens with the tests this week as to whether I go or not.. As of now, my schedule is full to the gills through the end of the year and into next year. I look for it to remain that way. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell
July 20, 2022 at 6:38pm
July 20, 2022 at 6:38pm
#1035497
This should really have a different title, but this title hit me, and I'm stickin with it.


Locale: Saline, Kansas

Week of: 7/11/22


         This past week was spent in Saline Kansas. Don't say Say-leen like I do. Instead it's Say-line. Whatever.

         The class started out very strong. There were six students, each with a bit of RF background, each looking to bolster their knowledge and learn more about a Trunked RF System. Monday was excellent, one of the Senior Engineers commented that he was learning a lot already. That comment was special because it seemed the others looked to him for guidance and advice. Back at my hotel Monday evening, I received a call from the Motorola Project Manager. Someitmes this can be a bad sign, and I wondered what might have prompted the call. As we talked, he said one of the students had called him immediately after the class ended and raved about it, saying, "This is exactly what we need to learn!" What a compliment to recieve on day one. *Smile* The rest of the week was just as good as day one.

         What I really love in delivering a class is receiving a lot of questions from the students. There are two reason for loving questions on my part. First, it shows they're interested, and want to know more about topics I haven't covered and may not cover. Two, if I don't know the answer I look it up, and in the process, I also learn. There were no unanswered questions durin this class though. This class is particularly suited to many questions and answers, we took full advantage of every opportunnity there. During breaks, it was hard to get out long enough for a restroom call, letalone relax a little. I didn't mind, but I did excuse myself on occasion to take that restroom break. Other than that, I remained in the room answering questions.

         On Wednesdaty I developed a minor cough. With my coughing experience from last year pretty fresh in my mind, I figured it was due to new pollens in Kansas that I had not been around before, and that the coughing was due to allergies. Or was it wishful thinking on my part? Yep, as you might know now, I contracted COVID, verifed by a test completed Saturday with results coming in on Sunday. I had a very mild case of it though. I only had the cough, a little bit of 'going to the bathroom frequently' (trying to keep it clean here), and a bit of fatigue. I've spent all my time staying home since this, and did not go to Fort Lauderdale as planned Monday. I was relegated banished to the living room per the CDC guidelines. We don't have an extra bathroom, so that was shared. Anything I ate was placed on a small table at the living room entry and I carried it from there to my small TV tray in front of the love seat. Yep, small house, and small living room. I slept on the love seat three nights (and days at times), which is not long enough to accomodate my body. It was cramped, but livable and doable. Once the weekend passed, I seemed to get better quickly, but am still not 100%. It might take a while to get there.


In Closing


         I am in Schaumburg next week for 5 days, and will spend the weekend home. As of now, my schedule is full to the gills through the end of the year. I look for it to remain that way. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell
July 8, 2022 at 5:12pm
July 8, 2022 at 5:12pm
#1034888
Locale: Bloomington, Illinois

Week of: 7/4/22


         Though this is considered an off week (no delivery because of the July 4th holiday), I still had work to do. We all do, but mine was an organized type of work. The content manager blocked my schedule for this week so I could spend it working with one of our technical writers. We were to work on a course that is a prerequisite for a course that I am the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for.

         We had a one-hour meeting using Google Meet Tuesday-Friday, with a goal of covering all 12 modules in the course. We achieved our goal and then some. She shared the Course Storyboard with me so I could mark it up as needed, delete inaccurate text, and arrange things so it flowed smoothly.

         Let me backtrack a little, and explain a little bit about this course. Being a prerequisite course, it was divided into two separate paths. One path is for what we call the M Core/L Core. These are both Cores used mainly with Trunked Systems. I'm not going to go into what a Trunked system is vs a Conventional System, which often uses the K Core. It's the K Core that I am the SME for. Some of the slides are identical, some have minor or major differences. The problem with this course is that Trunked data/graphics/demonstrations were used at times in the K Core portion. Plus, the flow was not consistent, often we'd see a subject covered in detail, only to come back to that subject later in the course. When that subject was covered later, it may or may not match what had been covered earlier.

         Another thing that's being done with this edit, is to create a new prerequisite course that applies to the K Core only. So, I deleted any slide that was used in the M/L Core content only. As a result, we lowered the modules from twelve to about six or seven. The next step is for the writer to rework everything with custom animations. She'll send it to me for review and suggestions. Corrections will be made by her (yes, corrections will be necessary), and I'll review it all again. She wants this completed by mid-August. I don't have a free week until late August, I am delivering classes for the next six weeks. That doesn't matter to me, I'll do the reviews during an evening or on weekends. I told her to give me a deadline each time, and I will get it done. I like deadlines, believe it or not. I think I work better with one, because I will front load the work so it's completed early, then spend some reviewing the suggestions. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my job? I'm not being sarcastic in saying that either.


In Closing


         I fly to Kansas on Sunday, and and have about a 70 minute drive to Salina from Wichita. I may visit Marquette Kansas on my drive. It one of those towns where you can get property for free! The catch of course is that you have a fixed amount of time biuild a house. Yes, I would not mind one bit living in Kansas. The following week will be spent in Fort Lauderdale for a four day hands-on only class. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell
July 4, 2022 at 10:42am
July 4, 2022 at 10:42am
#1034681
Locale: Bloomington, Illinois

Week of: 6/20/22


         For the first time in a while, I delivered back to back classes of the same course. This is one of the things I love about being qualified in the courses I am. I rarely deliver the same course two weeks in a row. But here I am doing just that, and that's fine. Once in a while.

         This week's class was a Federal Customer, and since it is the Fourth of July weekend, Friday was a holiday for them. This necessitated a slight change in the schedule. Instead of delivering the class in five 3-hour days, I would deliver it in four 4-hour days. It changes things quite a bit really. You might wonder why, so I'll explain. I know where I want to be at the end of a given day for every class I teach. So, teaching five 3-hour days is different than teaching four 4-hour days. You stop at different places in the curriculum. For some it's no big deal, they sort of 'wing' each delivery, teaching each delivery of the same class differently. I was trained to follow a different approach due to my background in Nuclear Power. You follow the Instructor Guide, and personalize the delivery with your knowledge. For most others, personalizing means deliver the class in whatever order you wish, no need to follow a guide. I lost that fight long ago, and though I haven't given up, I realize I'll never change their minds. It would take management involvement to change the way classes are delivered. Oh well.... maybe some day, long after I'm gone.

         I know I've mentioned this before, but Fleetmapping is all about configuring the system (in particular, a server at the Core called the 'Provisioning Manager') and the radios to maximize their capabilities. I teach radio programming also, making this class a bit easier to learn initially. In every class of radio programming, I tell the students that configuring a field value in CPS (the software used to program radios) only gives the radio the ability to perform that function. The system in this case, is that server called the Provisioning Manager. Here's an easy example. Suppose I configure the radio with CPS to send a voice call using encryption? I have to log on to the Provisioning Manager (PM), create/edit that 'radio object', and configure the radio in the PM to grant it permission to make that kind of call. Now imagine that your company, county, city, state, or whatever your agency is, has spent over 100 million dollars on this new radio system, and the radios you want to be able to send Encrypted Calls can't because they have not been configured correctly in the PM. You start to see the value of Fleetmapping.

         I was given a copy of their Fleetmap, which is in the preliminary stage. They have a long way to go, and a lot to learn. The class was good, everything went well. I could almost see their eyes becoming less confused as the class progressed, even though I never saw their faces. (No one turns on their Webcams for class). This group did a good job in asking questions and discussing topics they didn't understand well. Only time will tell how much they learned as they build their Fleetmap.


In Closing


         I am home this week, and will spend it working with a curriculum developer on modifying an online prerequisite dourse. My session with military members was a complete flop since no one showed up. Since they are still in the Military, they had Friday off also, so I'm not surprised. My next trip will start Sunday when I fly to Kansas to visit Dorothy, and the town of Salina. After that, it's back to Fort Lauderdale for a four day hands-on only class. Til next time, be good to yourselves and those you love, and WRITE!





Jim Dorrell

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