Still Slogging Away


This was one of those days where everything seemed to conspire against me when it came to getting lab work done.

Problem 1, children’s homework. My 7 year old needed help with his music theory. Okie dokie, he comes first. Dad helped the boy learn “FACE”, “every good boy does fine”, “all cows eat grass”, and “good boys do fine always”. On his way, smile on his face.

Problem 2, the weather report. The wife reports that we’re getting rain in the next couple of days, and oh by the way, there have been lots of roof collapses in the area because of all the snow. Roof collapses? Yikes! I wonder how much snow I have on MY roof? I better get up there and see. Oh, man…I’m glad I did. On the back part of my roof where I don’t get much sun, I had about 3 feet. I shudder to think about all that snow soaked by rain. I spent an hour and a half shoveling.

Problem 3, laundry. The wife usually deals with laundry in our split of household duties, but she had to run out to her music practice tonight. So laundry became my problem. Okie dokie, can do.

Problem 4, family tech support. I made the mistake of checking the BlackBerry to discover a voicemail. My darling sister needed help with her Internet connection halfway across the country. I have no problem helping, no problem at all. But it’s a half-hour of my evening I won’t get back.

Problem 5, mystery leaks. Whilst I was in the laundry room, I look up at the ceiling tiles, and find mysterious water spots in 3 places. Now, THAT’S odd. If it was on the second floor, I’d figure snow melt backed up somewhere. But in the basement? I poked around in the plenum and found…nothing. No explanation, really. I spotted a drip in one spot, but after moving aside insulation, the drip went away. No water pipes in the area above. I’m sure the leak will reveal itself again, though.

Despite all that, I managed to get through one BGP lab, and I’m going to try to get another one done now. But the last few days have just not been cooperative. <sigh>

If CCIE is important to you and you still have a choice, don’t get married, have kids, or buy a house until after you have your digits. The rest of you feel my pain, I have no doubt. ;-)

About the author

Ethan Banks

Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.


  • Hey. Just to say, yes, I feel your pain – I have a toddler who’s got a cold, a wife with a stomach flu (thus I end up putting the toddler in bed, a 2hr ordeal), a house being painted, kitchen reno stuff to throw away and a bunch of Cisco security material (I’m working on my CCIE-S) to study… Oh well…
    Best of luck on your lab exam!

  • Lolzz
    Ask me. I’ve been putting off my wedding to focus on CCIE prep this year. I managed to somehow ( though a mixture of pleading, rhetoric and fake anger) convince my fiance to hold it off til Jan 2009.
    And no day goes by in which I dont hear sarcasm regarding that. She evan asked me to marry a router instead with a switch as my best man :D

    And she has already told me that she will lock away evey book that I have :D so if I fail, there is no second attempt for years to come.

  • okay…

    So I’m dumping my hot GF tomorrow.

    You have good skills and a strong ethic Mr Banks I’m sure you will do fine as you continue. An hour here and there make it easier for me. I hope they do the same for you.

    I started Narbik’s Soup-to-Nuts book that send you when you sign up last night. I have to buy another router for my lab I think I’m 1 short since I use IE’s topology and I had to rewire it. But I’m hoping to have most of it down by the time I see you in two weeks.

    good journey!

  • Haha…all I can say is “word”. Preganant wife, daughter, house, etc….Wouldn’t trade it for anything, but man does it make it tough sometimes.

  • Don’t forget the following mnemonics when helping your children with their music theory:

    Fat Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Birds
    Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle
    Elephants Got Big Dirty Feet
    Elvis’ Guitar Broke Down Friday
    Empty Garbage Before Dad Flips
    Every Good Burger Deserves Fries


Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.

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