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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/profile/blog/jim-d
by Sum1
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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April 3, 2024 at 1:30pm
April 3, 2024 at 1:30pm
#1067497
Two Weeks In Bangkok


         The class I delivered to the Department Of State in Bangkok went quite well. My only trepidation about the whole delivery was that I would be delivering one portion of the class for the first time. Especially since I didn't 'qualify' to deliver that class the traditional way. A policy has been set that "To qualify on a new course, the person qualifying must sit in the class when it is being delivered. Once that is done, a Team Teach with a qualified instructor must be done." None of that happened. I had the equipment shipped to my house in December and spent a week studying the course Powerpoints, and performing every lab available for the course. Fast forward to April, and you can understand my angst. Especially once I learned that the State Department is doing far more with this small device than the course is written for. I became a mushroom, learning on the fly, and trying to remain one step ahead of them. I was successful in some of it, not so successful in others. But it all seemed to go well with all attendees quite happy.

         I want to say a couple of other things about the class. Most of the students were American Citizens working for the Embassy. There were 12 students in class, only three were from Bangkok. The rest were from Embassies in Kathmandu, Manila, New Delhi, Frankfurt Germany, and Springfield Va. Speaking of Frankfurt Germany, I may be going there for a week in late August, as well as two weeks in January/February. Plus, my Embassy contact told me that they are trying to ramp up their training since they are hiring a lot of new people, some with no RF background whatsoever. They have a technical/electronic background, but nothing to do with RF. I guess most have a bit of an IT background. If you are looking for a job, and have some kind of electrical/electronic background, you might consider applying.

         I didn't get out much while there, mainly because it was pretty hot, and the Bangkok traffic. Besides, I discovered that the Conrad Hilton has an executive lounge that serves an awesome breakfast (buffet), as well as a small lunch and dinner buffet. With food that good, and free to boot, I found it hard to do much in the evenings. The hotel does have 5 nice restaurants that serve excellent food. I found I didn't like going to the Bar/ Lounge on the first floor though. The music was incredibly loud, and the band's drummer seemed to think that he was the most important member of the group, not the singer. He was very loud, at times drowning out the singer's voice. I just couldn't deal with that.

         I did get out on the weekend, and that was a mistake I'm afraid. I bought a few small items, and at one of the stalls my debit card was compromised. I woke Sunday morning with a text from my bank about a Fraud Alert. And again on Wednesday. The bank locked my card so it couldn't be used, I didn't even lose a penny as a result of this. It also meant I couldn't use the card myself though. I didn't mind, I'd rather have my money safe than compromised. On Monday I went to my bank and received a new card. My old card was shredded by the bank. *Smile* On Friday, my Embassy contact pulled money from his account and gave me 7000 Baht, about $220 American. In exchange, I sent him enough to cover that, plus a little extra, via Paypal. It all worked out.

         I did snap a lot of photos Sunday, emphasis on Snapped. I'm love taking photos, but I could never be mistaken for being a photographer. I have one below that I posted in a previous entry, and am keeping it here with this entry. I did go out twice to dine, one was dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, the other was a BBQ place that was very good. Plus, when I returned from that Sunday outing, I had dinner at Polo Chicken, Thai style Fried Chicken smothered in Garlic! Yummmmmm.



         We won't talk about me discovering I still can't walk on air. A skinned forearm, bruised and sore right leg, and somehow I bruised a rib on my left side. Minor stuff, all healed now. That's it for an update. Til next time, keep on writing, and care for those you love!


Jim
March 19, 2024 at 7:39pm
March 19, 2024 at 7:39pm
#1066582
First Working Days In Bangkok


         Well, Monday arrived and I wasn't quite over the Jet-Lag yet. I was fine really, but not quite ready to deliver classes. Things go on though, there is no can't, there is only do. First though, I had to get an Urgent Work Permit (UWP) to deliver the class. The thing is, I breezed through Customs at the airport, no one would have known if I was working or not. But you know how things are, I do try to follow the letter of the law, so there I was at Chamchuri Square at 8:30 am. Imagine that you're to meet someone you don't know or have ever seen, at a center about the size of any LARGE shopping center. You're supposed to go to the 18th floor, but there's no obvious way to get there You can't ask for help easily because very few speak people English. Yeah, that was me Monday morning. Somehow I found my way to the 18th floor. I happened to wear one of my Motorola Training Polo Shirts, and as I was leaving the elevator a young lady saw me and took me in tow. Of course she was my contact person and recognized me because of the shirt I was wearing. How fortuitous that was! I handed her my required documents, thirty minutes later I had the UWP. I managed to the US Embassy (my customer this week), and arrived in the classroom about 10:45. The Motorola Sales person was there, and he spent a good 20-30 minutes talking the students before I could begin. I saw what time it was, we promptly went to lunch. *Laugh*

         After that it was a pretty normal day of class delivery for me. As I mentioned, the US Embassy in Bangkok is my customer this week, my students are all employees of the Embassy. They are not necessarily from Bangkok though. Three of them are, three are from Washington DC, the others are from Dhaka Bangladesh, New Delhi India, Frankfurt Germany, Manila Philippines, and Kathmandu Nepal. Thankfully all of them are speak English. It would be a long, trying class is they didn't speak English.

         Class is fine, everything is good in that regard. I'm staying at the Conrad, a Hilton hotel. Why such a 'fancy' place? Because I was here in 2018 and stayed here. It's a quarter mile from the Embassy, so just a short walk. It's a hard walk in some ways, because of the heat and humidity. I'll live, I'm sure of that.

         Since I am lucky enough to be a Hilton Diamond Member, I have access to the Executive Lounge on the 29th floor. (My room is on the 26th floor). The food there is awesome with a wide variety of options for you for breakfast. It's a buffet and amazingly, completely free! Wow! Breakfast has become my main meal of the day. There are 5 restaurants in the hotel, I won['t leave the property until the weekend. The reason for that is fatigue, traffic, and not really sure where I want to go. Monday night I had dinner outdoors at a restaurant on the 7th floor. I know I'll be back.



         That's it for an update. Til next time, keep on writing, and care for those you love!


Jim
March 16, 2024 at 1:13pm
March 16, 2024 at 1:13pm
#1066362
Meeting Enga


         I was fortunate enough to be scheduled to come to Bangkok, Thailand for two weeks this month. I was even more fortunate that Kåre Enga in Udon Thani was there also, and we were able to meet. What an interesting day it was, and for several reasons.

         Liam (as he is known here) is a charming man, one of about my age, though we won’t try to compare ages here. We met at the Hostel he’s staying at and there was an immediate connection! Part of it was our mutual love of all things Writing.com, part of it was the similarity in age. I think another part of it was our inner desire to meet and interact with other people.

         I’ve never stayed at a hostel, but his hostel is about what I imagined a hostel to be. It has a small lobby where we sat and talked. Guests are not allowed in the rooms, which was fine by me. He described his room though, and frankly, it sounds a little like a barracks I lived in early in my Navy career. I think there are six beds or so to each room, and a couple of bathrooms also. So much like a Navy Barracks from the 70’s, but newer of course.

         Enga and I sat down to talk about anything and everything. As we started talking, a young man sitting nearby turned around at something Enga said. As it turns out, Timm (the young man) is from Switzerland. The discussion immediately switched to discussion of the dialects the Swiss speak. Timm was surprised that Enga knew of the languages, and could speak them to some extent. I don’t think he’s fluent in any of them, but he knows enough to be polite to people while speaking their language. What a skill to have! I mean, I speak only English, I butcher that all the time, making me very reluctant to butcher another language.

         It was very interesting as Timm and Enga talked about things. I became a listener then and learned a little about each of them. Liam is far more traveled than I am, I travel for business, he travels for leisure. I loved listening to them talk though. I don’t get to meet a lot of ‘foreigners’ in my travels. When I have traveled internationally, most of my students have been Americans because I work on a US Military base or at an Embassy. The times I have taught a class for the citizens of a country are few and far between. Listening to Liam and Timm talk was very interesting for me. The places the two of them have been!

         I did manage to have photo’s snapped of us. In this photo you’ll see his hat is pulled down far over his head. He doesn’t want his face to appear on social media at all, I’m honoring that request. I do have permission to post this one.



         We went to lunch at a nearby place named Porwa Restaurant. I loved that the name was written in English as well as a local dialect. It wasn’t true Thai, even I could tell that. I couldn’t read a thing of course, it was just nice to be exposed to a written language, even if I couldn’t read it. I’ll leave it to Liam to tell you what we ate. I was a rice dish with cucumber and fried chicken (I think). Liam and I talked a lot during lunch also. I have to say that it was a truly pleasurable day. I’d love to spend more time getting to know him, but he has to return to Udon Thani Monday, while I have to start work then. We’ll meet tomorrow and spend a bit of time talking again, then part ways for a final time. At least for now, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.






Jim Dorrell
March 9, 2024 at 5:29pm
March 9, 2024 at 5:29pm
#1065941
Locale: Frederick, Md

Week of: 226


         The week of 2/26 I was in Frederick Maryland delivering a class to FEMA. Yes, that FEMA. I was with their Mobile Emergency Response System (MERS) team. I always learn something in every class I deliver, in this class I learned a bit about their operations. When a disaster occurs and FEMA is on the scene, the students in my class this week are too. The people assisting the local populace need to stay in touch with their HQ, they do it using radios. So the students in my class also deploy to set up communications for them. It's very interesting how this is done, but I won't bore all of you with details because you'll probably fall asleep in seconds. *Laugh*

         I'm delivering this class to FEMA because a co-worker recommended I deliver it, They are looking for specific information on a couple of our products, and I'm the SME (Subject Matter Expert) on these two devices. Like I've said before, it's nice to be needed, but it's not nice when you are going East Coast to West Coast, and repeating it. Yeah, in the last three weeks I've been in Dover New Hampshire, Beaverton Oregon, now Frederick Md, and next week, Beaverton Oregon again. That back and forth from one coast to another can really get to you. Plus, by the time I go to Oregon again, I will have spent about 30 hours at home in three weeks. It's okay, it could be a lot worse.

         I did enjoy myself, there's a lot more going on in Frederick than you might think. Plus, downtown there's a small canal/creek that has quite a few small boats in it. I found myself fascinated by this area, and snapped a few photos of it with my phone. I found this while going to dinner one night. See what you think.




Noteworthy Restaurants:

         Firebirds Woodfired Grill          https://firebirdsrestaurants.com/frederick/menu          I dined at this restaurant while in Brentwood Tennessee last year and really loved their menu. I had to return, didn't I? I enjoyed myself again by having an excellent appetizer of Lobster Spinach Queso - Lobster / spinach / pepper jack cheese / tortilla chips. There were far too many chips with this, I didn't even try to finish them, but the Queso was history. For my meal, I enjoyed their Seared Tuna Superfoods Salad - Seared sushi-grade tuna / organic ancient grains / cucumbers / spinach / radish / avocado / grilled corn / edamame with an outstanding avocado lime vinaigrette dressing. This was exactly what I was craving, and didn't know it until I was eating it.

         Brewer's Alley          https://brewers-alley.com/menu/to-go-menu/          My students recommended several breweries around Frederick, however almost all of them had food trucks instead of a dine in restaurant. I wanted a dine in area, and chose this place. It was very good. I had a nice sized serving of their Fried Pickle Chips - Cajun Spices, Kölsch battered kosher pickle slices with Sriracha ranch. For dinner I had to try their Kölsch Fish & Chips - Kölsch battered Pacific Cod, Fries, Coleslaw & Tartar Sauce. I was in the mood for Fish-n-Chips that day, this hit the spot for me.

         Isabella's          I dined here, but was seriously disappointed. Why? Well, I really wanted Paella, and ordered it. BUT, they burned the rice on the bottom of the pan, and I didn't notice it until I was almost full! Nuff' said, I would dine there again to give them a second chance, but you know I'd have something other than Paella.

         My schedule has not changed recently, here's where I'll be through April.


Week of:


3/4: Beaverton, Oregon (look for a Blog entry about this week 3/9 or 3/10)

3/11: Travel to Bangkok Wednesday/Thursday

3/18: American Embassy, Bangkok

3/25: American Embassy, Bangkok

4/1: Work from home

4/8: Strafford County, New Hampshire

4/15: Schaumburg, Illinois

4/22: Work from home

4/29: Los Angeles

          Well, that's about it for an update, at least for now. Until my next post, be good to those you love, spoil them, and write!






Jim Dorrell
February 25, 2024 at 9:16pm
February 25, 2024 at 9:16pm
#1064886
Locale: Beaverton, Oregon

Week of: 2/19


         While I haven't been consistent in writing posts in this blog recently, that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. Real life caught up with me, along with work. To put bluntly, I've been swamped a bit. Something I've known for a long time, is that we need more people qualified to deliver some of the courses I specialize in delivering. I don't plan on working a whole lot longer, so someone will have to step up. The problem is, only two other instructors are close being able to deliver them, and both of them are swamped with other responsibilities. All I can say is that it won't be my problem once I retire. That's not a nice thing to say, but it's the truth.

         I was in Beaverton Oregon last week delivering a class to Washington County. I'll be there again next week too. The class I delivered last week went very well ,I was happy with my delivery, I think the students were too. I was pretty tired all week because I flew home Friday night, then flew to Portland Sunday. That East Coast-West Coast swing can really get to you, as some of you know. Now I'm on the East Coast again, and will be on the West Coast next week, again. Life could be a whole lot worse for me though.

         I'm delivering this class to FEMA because a co-worker recommended I deliver it, They are looking for specific information on a couple of our products, and I'm the SME (Subject Matter Expert) on these two devices. Like I've said before, it's nice to be needed, but it's not nice when you are going East Coast to West Coast, and repeating it.... OF course I did manage to dine at a couple of nice restaurants while there.


Noteworthy Restaurants:

         Oasis Lebanese Cuisine          https://beaverton.oasis-lebanese-cuisine.com/menus/          I love trying foreign dishes, especially Mediterranean dishes, so I chose this place. It was just outstanding! I enjoyed their Feta Cheese Plate, and Veggie Stew. Man, what dishes!! Not too filling either, just good wholesome food.

         Copper River Restaurant          https://www.copperriverrestaurant.com/          I decided to eat a Northwestern dish that night, and enjoyed their Stuffed Salmon. Stuffed Salmon - Northwest salmon filet, crab, shrimp, brie, beurre blanc, wild rice, seasonal vegetables. The only problem I had with this meal was that my veggies (asparagus), and rice were room temperature at best. I mentioned it to my server, and as I suspected, he told no one about it. He seemed to have the attitude of "This is one person, an older man at that, he's not that important to me". Oh well, you can't get excellent service all the time. The meal was very good, it was just spoiled by the veggies being room temp.

         Right now I am in Frederick Md, having flown here from Portland. It's too tiring/exhausting to try to get home for 12 hours or so, only to fly out again on a Sunday. I've spent half of today resting and napping trying to get ready for the week. I will fly home Saturday to spend about 30 hours with my better half before flying back to Portland Monday.

         My schedule has changed a little, here's the rest of the 1st Quarter for me

Week of:

2/26: Frederick Maryland

3/4: Beaverton, Oregon

3/11: Travel to Bangkok Wednesday/Thursday

3/18: American Embassy, Bangkok

3/25: American Embassy, Bangkok

4/1: Work from home

4/8: Strafford County, New Hampshire

          Well, that's about it for an update, at least for now. Until my next post, be good to those you love, spoil them, and write!






Jim Dorrell
February 14, 2024 at 6:50pm
February 14, 2024 at 6:50pm
#1064189
Locale: Bloomington & Schaumburg, Illinois, Dover New Hsampshire

Week of: 1/22/24 thru 2/12/24

         Wow, it's been a month since my last post? You know as well as I do that many things can change in that time, and they have. I was in Schaumburg the week of 1/22, and came home on Thursday. My other half has been having some intense leg pain caused by a herniated disk in her back. She saw our pain doctor on Friday the 26th, he arranged for her to be admitted the following week. To make a long story short, she had back surgery the following Thursday, and was home Friday. I was (always am really) the doting husband, taking care of her every need, cooking, cleaning, feeding the dogs, whatever was needed. She's recovered beautifully and is doing quite well. So well that I am in New Hampshire this week. I was scheduled to be in Maryland the week of 1/29. because of her surgery, it was moved to the week of 2/26

         Dover, New Hampshire is a small town about 15 miles from Portsmouth, home of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. There isn't much to do here, and I've been very tired, which is not unusual anymore. A lot of that was caused by stress over getting the VISA needed to enter Thailand for business. The Sales guy who is also the acting Project Manager for the State Department in Bangkok has been very little help too, which added to my stress. However, a co-worker has been a big help by providing a name of a Motorola who might halp, that really turned things around for me. All's well, it's always been well, but now my stress level is normal!

         My schedule has changed a little, here's the rest of the 1st Quarter for me

Week of:

2/12: Strafford County, New Hampshire

2/19: Beaverton, Oregon

2/26: Frederick Maryland

3/4: Beaverton, Oregon

3/11: Travel to Bangkok Wednesday/Thursday

3/18: American Embassy, Bangkok

3/25: American Embassy, Bangkok

4/1: Work from home

4/8: Strafford County, New Hampshire

          Well, that's about it for an update, at least for now. Until my next post, be good to those you love, spoil them, and write!






Jim Dorrell
January 19, 2024 at 10:33pm
January 19, 2024 at 10:33pm
#1062677
Locale: Bloomington, Illinois

Week of: 1/15/24

         I have been home this week, no classes scheduled so I can focus on preparing/learning that one course for the Bangkok delivery. Fortunately I have completed those preps, all I need to do now is deliver the class and gain much needed experience on that course in doing so. Instead of focusing on the Bangkok delivery, I've been editing/preparing course materials for a class schedule much sooner in Frederick Md. I always get a kick out of a customer when they say, "Our system has no Trunked Sites in it at all, this class needs to be all Conventional." My reply is an easy one to say. "While I know Trunking quite well, I am the Conventional Subject Matter Expert (SME) in the training department." The class in Frederick Md will be all Conventional.

         I'm in Schaumburg for a Networking Class, but found out last week that my immediate supervisor will be doing a team teach with me that week. So I will sit in the back of the classroom taking notes to provide him feedback on his delivery. Some of you might find that a but strange, but in our department, the delivery team is all instructors. Since a manager shouldn't have more than 10-15 people reporting to them, we're divided into groups with one of the members being the manager of that group. So yep, he's my immediate supervisor. I don't mind, I have no desire to be a supervisor really, plus the time I have left before retirement is a bit short, so why make me a supervisor only to have me retire in the near future?

         In addition to prepping for this upcoming delivery, I spent all week working off and on around the house. My other half suffered from a severely agitated nerve in her right hip and couldn't do much. I cooked, fed the dogs, cleaned house, and worked on my work PC when not otherwise occupied. I even baked a cake last night. It was a good week too! Today I took her to a pain specialist for an injection in that hip, she's already feeling better too.

         I've been assigned another class that no one else has delivered, or knows anything about. It's not until July though, and the course materials are over 10 years old. This means they definitely need updating. I have two weeks of prep time for that, so there's work to be done. This class is at Fort Bragg North Carolina, the week of July 8. We'll see if it slips to a later date.

          Well, that's about it for an update, at least for now. Until my next post, be good to those you love, spoil them, and write!






Jim Dorrell
January 13, 2024 at 1:56pm
January 13, 2024 at 1:56pm
#1062339
Locale: Ft Lauderdale, Florida

Week of: 1/8/24

         This week found me back in Fort Lauderdale delivering a class I've delivered many times. This class was a little different since I've never delivered it in Fort Lauderdale, plus there were only five students registered. Of those five, there was one no-show, and one is a co-worker who hired in, in August. You might think he wouldn't know much, but he's a former field technician who has maintained this equipment for years. He has experience I'll never get, so his input this week was timely, and excellent.

         The class itself went very well overall. I wanted to learn how to use a certain piece of test equipment, but that didn't happen quite as expected. It's okay, I know enough about it to use it, I just wanted to learn more about it is all. The Motorola facility in Fort Lauderdale is on the 16th floor of a bank building. Something I hadn't seen until my first class there, is going to the desk to show your ID, and having the person at the desk summon an elevator for you. The elevator control panel is hidden behind the desk, they punch a button to summon an elevator, a small screen informs them which elevator is coming. They then tell you which of the five elevators will be the one you ride. Interesting, but nothing spectacular.

         It was only a three day class, which left me with 'only' three nights to dine out. I think I made the best of it though, but if I had to choose a night that wasn't up to par with the other nights, it would be Tuesday night. Read below about my two memorable dining experiences


Noteworthy Restaurants:

         Eatapas  https://eatapasfl.com/fort-lauderdale-eatapas-food-menu  I was sold on this place when I walked in the door, as well as when I browsed their menu on line. This restaurant's menu is almost exclusively Tapas (small plates of course) with Seven types of Paella! I had my heart set on Tapas that night though, so sadly, no Paella for me. Seeing that it was a Spanish (Not Mexican) restaurant, I had a glass of Spanish wine. My Tapas were `Aceitunas, Herbs marinated assorted Spanish olives. I also had Croquetas de Bacalao, Cod fish croquettes, and Huevos Rotos con Jamón, Soft eggs served over potatoes and serrano ham. What amazed me is that the eggs were soft of course, the yolks were not hard cooked, yet they weren't runny. This is a place I will most likely dine at every time I get to go there.


         Pirate Republic Seafood Restaurant  https://piraterepublicseafood.com/menu/special-menu/  This restaurant sits on the New River, my table was outside with a nice view of the river traffic. For some reason, I went overboard for dinner, maybe a celebratory kind of dinner, who knows? What I do know is that three of us could have dined at Eatapas for what this dinner cost. I started with their Garlic Spice Shrimp, Shrimp Sauteed With Garlic And Red Pepper Flakes. My entree was one of the Snapper Towers, Snapper Tower 2. Snapper Two With Shrimp (Yeah ,Market Price, which means I shouldn't have ordered it). *Smile* Whole Snapper & Jumbo Shrimp (about seven Shrimp/pound) With Drawn Butter And Garlic Spiced Sauce. It was served with a house salad and a choice of two sides. I chose Collard Greens (Brazilian Style), and Okra. That Garlic Spiced Sauce was red in color, with the Ramekin about half full of minced Garlic! Wow! At least half that meal was my Thursday lunch. While Eatapas is a place I will frequent about every time I'm in Ft Lauderdale, Pirate Republic is a place I will go to celebrate something, or go with friends and loved ones. This was my second time there.


          Well, that's about it for an update, at least for now. Until my next post, be good to those you love, spoil them, and write!






Jim Dorrell
January 7, 2024 at 8:10pm
January 7, 2024 at 8:10pm
#1062038
Locale: Wichita, Ks

Week of: 1/1/24

         This week it was time to get back on the road again, even if it was a short two-day class. I flew to Wichita, Ks on Wednesday and delivered a class on radio programming Thursday & Friday. Everything went well, and the students learned quite a bit. Especially those with little to no experience in doing this.

         I found that Wichita is a city/town I could live in too! Though nowadays I would love a place on the outside of town, not in a residential neighborhood. That's just my preference at this stage in my life. What I really liked about the city is that it's large enough to have what I like having close, but not so large that traffic is a nightmare. When I arrived Wednesday it was early enough to drive around some, so I did. I found a beautiful statue of a Native American called Keeper Of The Prairie and snapped quite a few photos of it. One of them I used as my newest Trinket.



         It snowed there almost all day Thursday with us eventually getting 2-3 inches of the white stuff. It wasn't bad though, at least people know how to drive in it there. It wasn't all that cold either, which is a good thing. I had a few 'digestive issues' while there, mainly due to having a Colonoscopy the day before I flew. This meant that everything I ate stayed in me resulting in my weight going up more than I care to think. Thankfully things have settled somewhat, and I'm about back to normal. I did find a couple of nice places to dine, what else do I do when I travel? *Smile*

Noteworthy Restaurants:

         The Old Spaghetti Factory  https://www.osf.com/food/  There is a lot to be said about Comfort Food, and to me, The Old Spaghetti Factory is it for me. There isn't one near me, so going here was almost a must for me. I have a lot of fond memories of going there when I lived in the Puget Sound area.

         AVI Seabar & Chophouse  https://www.aviwichita.com/lunch-and-dinner-menu  Their Shrimp & Grits drew me here, but when I asked my server about that, he didn't brag about how great it was, which I liked. Instead, he said it was a good dish, but it was missing something that he couldn't put his finger on. As a result, I ended up enjoying their Seafood Taco's, one Mahi Mahi, one Shrimp. It was excellent and not over seasoned. It was bit large though considering my appetite hadn't yet recovered from Tuesday. Still, an excellent choice for my meal.


          Nothing has changed on my schedule. The class in Bangkok is not on it yet, but the class coordinator has said that the customer accepted the March dates, and it's a go. It's not on my schedule due to the holiday period, but should appear this week, There's a lot to be done before I head to Thailand though. Since I'm going on business, I need a VISA, a Letter of Invitation, and a Business Cover Letter. The Training Department doesn't generate those, that has to come from the Project Manager. I've written him to let him know that, and provided the letters that were created when I was there in 2018. All I can do now is wait....


1/8: Fort Lauderdale
1/15: Work From Home
1/22: Schaumburg
1/29: Work From Home
2/5: Maryland
2/12: New Hampshire
2/19: Oregon

2/26: Work From Home
3/4: Oregon
3/11: International Travel
3/18: Bangkok, Thailand
3/15: Bangkok, Thailand
4/1: International Travel



          Well, that's about it for an update, at least for now. Until my next post, be good to those you love, spoil them, and write!






Jim Dorrell
December 24, 2023 at 12:42pm
December 24, 2023 at 12:42pm
#1061364
Locale: Bloomington, Illinois

Week of: 12/5/23 - 12/31/23

         I've been working from home since December 5th to give me time to learn a new course. It's nice that manager has a lot of faith in me.... Let me explain, even though a lot of this will not make sense to almost all of you. The State Department wants two weeks of training in Bangkok, Thailand in March, and the same classes in Germany in August. The problem is, they want four classes delivered, and none of us teach all four classes! I'm the closest one, and most experienced, so my Manager said, "Give the classes to Jim, he can handle it." Nice that he has such faith, huh!

         As I said, I've been home all month learning one of the classes. The classes they've asked for are on the newest Conventional Repeater (rack mounted radio), basic Portable (hand-held), and mobile (vehicle mounted) radio maintenance, Radio Programming, and a small device called the MCD 5000. The MCD is the class I don't currently teach. I've been reviewing the course materials and practicing the hands-on activities, I have most of those down pat now. Plus, I've been upgrading my knowledge on the new router we use in our systems. In many ways, that's the tougher of the two to learn. Anyway, the co-worker who is the only qualified instructor on the MCD 5000 wrote the course I've been studying, and I can only say one thing. He doesn't write well..... the materials fit him of course, he understands the stuff. It's not well written for someone to learn on their own. So you know what I've been doing, off and on. To give you an idea of things, I can't seem to complete the last hands-on exercise satisfactorily. As a result, I will spend Thursday in Schaumburg with him, going through every hands-on exercise with him. Plus there are other things the students could be doing, depending on the customer setup, but that's not written... Yet. I've sent e-mails to the Project Manager asking about their system setup to ensure we address every aspect of their devices. Still, life should be so tough, huh.

          Below is my current schedule through March. As you can see, I don't have much time to prep after Christmas. Let's just hope that what time I do have is enough. It's nice to be wanted, but retirement is looming it seems. We'll see what the future holds.


12/25: Christmas Break
1/1/24: Kansas (Thursday/Friday)
1/8: Fort Lauderdale

1/15: Work From Home
1/22: Schaumburg
1/29: Work From Home
2/5: Maryland
2/12: New Hampshire
2/19: Oregon

2/26: Work From Home
3/4: Oregon
3/11: International Travel
3/18: Bangkok, Thailand
3/15: Bangkok, Thailand
4/1: International Travel



         Merry Christmas everyone! Well, that's about it for an update, at least for now. Until my next post, be good to those you love, spoil them, and write!






Jim Dorrell

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