Archive for the ‘Baltimization’ Category

A day at sea aboard the USS Howard #CiscoChampions #LeadersAtSea #USNavy

March 27th, 2017

I’d like to share with you an absolutely amazing opportunity that I got to experience this recent March in 2017!    

Late last year the Cisco Champions forums were abuzz with this very unique and special occasion to get the chance to head to sea with the US Navy and experience a day in the life of the men and women in blue, serving our country.   Some of you may remember the two years I spent in Afghanistan, in a sandstorm of a landlocked country, where Army, NATO, Air Force and Marines were widely represented but the US Navy, not nearly as much.   So this further allowed me to truly experience life as they live it beyond what the sandbox offered.

Well as every journey begins with a single step, this journey began with a train ride in order to arrive at my eventual destination of the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, CA.




The journey was long and tumultuous but it was well worth it for the experience and adventures that it brought about.


Feeling like a rockstar, I begin my start with a parking space just for me, or well, Mr. version of me, but nonetheless, that felt pretty good!   But things only continued to get better from there! As we head inside to a briefing room we got to drill our initial chaperon on details of the day to come as well as very specific details about the US Naval Fleet!


It was an honor to meet Vice Admiral Thomas Rowden who is Commander Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet.   There were no electronic devices allowed in the briefing room when we first met with him so you’ll have to accept this post-briefing photo-op with him. More than the honor to meet him though was the hour he spent sharing with us details of the US Navy, it’s history and the current state of effects.   Some notable quotes, anecdotes and stories he shared were;

Enlistment and enrollment figures in the US Navy are between 60 and 70% existing Navy Families.   Fathers and Mothers who serve have a higher liklihood of their sons and daughters going on to serve in the Navy, while this is a very familial type story it also speaks to fewer and fewer candidates outside of Naval families are enrolling to serve.   This then lead to the Vice Admiral sharing that his father was coming to visit the week we were there, and what they were likely to talk about, was the Navy and how things can be done better. It’s interesting to note that Vice Admiral Thomas Rowden’s father was also a Vice Admiral during his service in the US Navy, an interesting comment that he made was, while his father served, his own three sons have not expressed an interest in joining the Navy.   If the trend of familial recruiment figures were to persist as they had in the past, but pursuing a military career isn’t in more individuals trajectories, we could be facing a recruitment crisis before long.

The US Navy focus is “How do you get from where you are, to where you want to be

US Naval ships are at their lowest figure in history, “It takes 15 minutes to close the door, and 15-30 years to deploy a new ship

On the hardworking nature of the men and women at sea, “Winners work hard, losers don’t.


Here we head out for our ~45 minute helicopter flight to go 80-90 miles out to sea where USS Howard (DDG 83) happened to be at that point! Keri Kukral and I are all geared up in this mid-flight selfie!


Commander Amy McInnis, Commanding Officer of the USS Howard (DDG 83) introduces us to her crew and our liaisons who will be giving us a tour of this very operational Destroyer on the open seas of the Pacific Ocean.


A sample of both the crew and the fire power of this offensive and defensive warship.


Subtle yet very serious fire power available here on deck.


As a testament to the very familial nature of the US Navy and their attachment to their ships.  This is the bell at the front of the USS Howard (DDG 83) and when the ship is in port, often baptisms are scheduled by families to have their children baptized on the ship. Their names are then etched inside of the bell for perpetuity.   I saw the engravings, it really ties family, and ship and navy and family all together.


A comment made by one of the shipmates was, “They said join the Navy and see the world, but they didn’t mention that 71% of the Earth is covered in water!”   A poignant yet interesting comment, but they further went on to rave about all of the Ports across the world they’ve had the opportunity to visit and the amazing experiences they had while enlisted in the ranks of the US Navy.


Our time cannot last forever, so our ride arrives to take us back to solid mass of Earth.


I really liked this photo and the simple yet very complex nature of the lives and roles these soldiers fulfill to protect our borders, our shores and our seas.

I’m only sharing a small sample of photos from this whole adventure as I have over 400 photos and videos I took!

To sum things up, this was an absolutely amazing experience I had the opportunity to enjoy and explore with, and I had many takeaways, some public like included here, and some private.    I don’t want you to think this is an advertisement for the US Navy or any of our Military operations, just as my time in Afghanistan was not either. However it really does shed light on the state of affairs across our military in general and particularly the extremely lean (too lean) Naval forces we have, both in the supply of people to man the ships, and the ships themselves.

It really increases my appreciation for everything they do, and this was just one ship as part of one fleet, in one part of our worlds oceans.

I really want to thank the Cisco Champions program, Brandon Prebynski, Dennis Hall of Avere Group LLC and Mike Raney, PRO of US Navy Fleet who helped make this all possible.

Also see the experiences of my fellow Leader at Sea, Keri Kukral 

A DAY AT SEA ABOARD THE USS HOWARD – By Keri Kukral of RawScience.TV 

Dennis Hall, founder of Avere Group LLC, made my embarking possible via his nominating me the US Navy. He is neither an employee of nor contractor with the military.  He does this as a pay-it-forward in tribute to service members, veterans, allies and their families.  Dennis Hall initially submitted my nomination to the Public Affairs Officer of the US Navy, Commander, Naval Surface Forces – Pacific. The Public Affairs Officer selected me for the Leaders to Sea Program.   Dennis Hall acts in accord with Cisco Systems as liaison with the military for public affairs programs pertaining to Cisco Champions and Cisco Social Ambassadors. 

Dennis Hall may be e-mail contacted at:   The word “Contact” is part of his e-mail address.  His mobile phone number is 916-430-5263. His blog for Avere Group LLC is  On Twitter he is @averegroup

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Posted in Baltimization, Cisco, CiscoChampion, Community, LeadersAtSea | Comments (0)

Test Trial using WordPress OSX App for Blog Writing!

February 24th, 2017

Earlier today I was faced with the biggest challenge of “Holy crap I haven’t written blogs in a million years… why? Because I hate powering on my ancient Win7VM to launch Microsoft LiveWriter” and don’t get me wrong, I *LOVE* Microsoft LiveWriter, I’ve found that to be hands down one of the best and most favoritest blog writing apps of all time. I mean it’s free, it’s WYSIWYG and all that jazz.  But sometimes, just sometimes I don’t want to launch my VM … Or I run into a very weird bug in Windows (it’s not LiveWriter’s fault, it’s more Microsofty Faulty!) so I figured I’d see what other amazing apps are available.   There are lots of really good ones, some for high cost some for low cost in the world of Blog writing apps and after many great responses from friends in the Twitter and Facebook-o-sphere… I bring you…. The WordPress OSX App! Let’s see how this goes!

So far one thing I’m NOT a fan of, is the inability to just copy/paste images from Clipboard.  The image below was my test case there… I had taken a screengrab of it within the tool and I cannot simply “insert” I needed to save it out to a file. It’s by no means the WORST thing in the world, but it’s midly annoying for those of us who have a tendency to manipulate MANY data points at a time, including lots and lots of images.


It is nice that it maintains a “word” count in the bottom corner while I’m writing the blog post so I can get a gauge of how crazy town my writing is going in the words department.

Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 4.09.27 PM

It doesn’t seem to import the current / active theme like LiveWriter does so I can see what things look like as I do it (when you have a black/grey theme like I do, your entire presentation can look drastically different when it comes to publishing… I’ll see if there is a way around that.

It has an interesting “Featured Image” option on the side which I’m giving a try, and handling of Tags and Categories seems pretty straight forward.

All-in though, it seems interesting, I’ll continue trying some other tools to see if they can provide as good or better of a solution of Windows Live Writer, this certainly is leaps and bounds above the benefit of the ‘native’ WordPress editor so there’s that at least.

If you have some favorite WordPress editors (For Mac / OSX) definitely make it known! I have a list of things to look into including OneNote plugin, MarsEdit, UlyssesApp, Blogo, and to finish reading this post; Best Blogging Apps For Mac Users: 2016 Edition

Now the real test … Will this publish or will it error out with some weird RPC error :)

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Posted in Baltimization, General | Comments (0)

Solarwinds; Rebel forces or the Empire…

November 24th, 2015

I often get hit up about various campaigns of stuff like, “Hey check this thing out! Share it with your readers” yada yada yada. However.. this is actually pretty cool. Solarwinds is getting behind all of the Star Wars hype and has some pretty cool looking shirts available, so in this case.. I am sharing it with ya’ll :)

Check out more details here at the It Is your Destiny link!

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.17.18 PM

Log Data: You will never find a more wretched hive of faults and dialogs

I find your lack of backups disturbing.

Help me SysAdmin, you’re my only hope.

These aren’t the OIDs you’re looking for

I’m doing this using the raw editor instead of Live Writer, so this post PROBABLY will look horrible, and for that I do apologize :)

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Posted in Baltimization, Free | Comments (0)

EMC Proven Knowledge Sharing Competition – Join Now! Abstracts Due 12NOV #EMCElect

October 22nd, 2014

EMC Proven Knowledge Sharing Competition 2015!

I know some of you may be aware of this, and others of you have absolutely no idea about it at all! Well don’t let that be a hindrance!

This is the 9th year of this Competition and the camaraderie which comes with it is awesome and drips with community!

Some of the key points which are used to convey interest in this (At least from EMC) involve a few points below..

Your idea can lead to:

  • Articles selected for publication can reach thousands of your colleagues worldwide
  • The current top 10 downloaded articles have been downloaded more than 475,000 times
  • Overall, our Knowledge Sharing library recently reached a significant milestone; 1.5 million Knowledge Sharing article downloads!
  • Enhancing your professional credentials by having your work published
  • Gaining recognition from EMC, the EMC Proven Professional community, and the information storage industry
  • Becoming eligible for cash prizes ($15,000) and a free pass to EMC World 2015 in Las Vegas

So if that doesn’t seem interesting enough to you… turning your abstract and written ideas into technology gold, recognition in the community AND Cash and Prizes… I mean, why not, right?!

This doesn’t mean it is easy!

That’s so true. I looked at the winners from previous years. This is VERY high quality work, I commend and admire the effort and results they put out, this makes those expensive whitepapers put out by organizations look like nothing compared to the very well researched and laid out work by the folks who are in this competition.  Don’t let that sway you though, you should still do it if you’ve got the passion and something to share!

Signing up has never been easier. It all starts with expressing interest at this link, and then the EMC team will reach out to you to provide you additional links, places to update information, etc.   Also you don’t have to go at it alone, you can join as a team with multiple authors! Also more details can be found at the EMC Community here.

I know that TIME IS RUNNING OUT! So I wanted to make sure you in the community were aware and to take advantage of these opportunities!

Good luck and stay awesome!

Posted in Baltimization | Comments (0)

Incompatible Repository – Solving the vSphere Update Manager "undocumented" error!

June 1st, 2013

Cannot import patch definitions and patches from an incompatible source

Incompatible Repository. Provide a repository from VMware vSphere Update Manager Download Service 5.0.0 to 5.0.0 Update 1
Incompatible Repository. Provide a repository from VMware vSphere Update Manager Download Service 5.0.0 to 5.0.0 Update 2

VUM Error

I know what you might be saying, WTF?! "I’ve gotten that error before, yet there’s no solution documented anywhere!" Damn straight! And it’s documented here, now!


The simple answer is, you’ll get this error (and various iterations of it) when you have a firewall blocking you from connecting the vCenter server to the destination VUM Server. So clear those firewall rules, get those ports opened up, and BAM! YOU BE GOOD!

Also, there are some other scenarios whereby this will happen and it’ll be due to the URL you’re entering incorrectly, like ending it wrong, appending a “/” or various other iterations, if that’s the challenge you’re facing the solutions for that are well documented, unfortunately the “Firewall blocking” option is NOT documented. :)

If you find this helps you, let me know!

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Posted in Baltimization, vmware | Comments (1)

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