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Happy Mothers Day... and a long overdue update!

----- 2010.05.08 --------
Wow, it's been a long time since my last full post. With the exception of a brief posting around Christmas, it's been since September of last year! This have been busy, busy, busy! And the busier things are, the more interesting the update, but I've just not gotten around to it. To all of you without kids, you'll hear everyone who has kids, especially your parents, tell you how much life will change once you have kids and how much your priorities will shift. There's a reason almost every parent I've ever met feels that way, and I am now part of that club. So... what's new?

I literally don't know where to start or how to possibly include all the changes since my last post, but I'll start with probably the biggest change. We moved out of Toronto! 3 weeks ago, Kim, Alice & I loaded up a truck and moved to Montreal! I was offered a new job and started a couple weeks ago. Although it's only been a few weeks, we totally feel at home here and love our new place in Brossard (South Shore). I commute into the city, which consists of a 10-12 minute walk, a one-stop 20 minute bus ride across the bridge onto the island of Montreal and into downtown, and then another 10 minute or so walk to the office. It's great! A good mix of walking and not too much time spent on a bus, and I get an hour of 20 minutes worth of audio book reading in a day. It's awesome! :)

My new job is with a financial services company called Maples FS, working for one of my former bosses. My role in the organization is as Infrastructure Architect, with a heavy focus on virtualization, but remaining a generalist to dig deep into the tougher problems for root cause analysis. I love it! And speaking of virtualization, the VMware advanced certifications I was after in my september post have now both been obtained. I'm please to become vCAP #89 on the Datacenter admin exam (VCAP-DCA), and vCAP #137 on the Design exam (VCAP-DCD). Throughout the fall and into the new year, I read through dozens of technical whitepapers put out by VMware and many other vendors. Within that time, I had the opportunity to participate in the Beta exam for the Datacenter Design exam, and successfully completed both exams in February of this year. They're both pretty tough, and the Admin exam in particular is one that you won't find many "paper-VCP's" able to complete. When I refer to paper-vcp's, there was quite a period of time in the late 90's and early 2000's where there were a lot of Paper-MCSE's out there. People that studying and could pass tests to become Microsoft-certified, but really didn't know what they were doing in practice. The VMware Datacenter exam is a tough, lab-based exam and is as close to real-world scenarios as it gets. The exam is almost 4 hours long and there's a ton of labs to complete, all weighted differently depending on their degree of difficulty and how long it takes to complete. Next stop... VCDX, so I better get working on a design to submit and defend!

Also since my last update, we moved again. And I'm not referring to the move to Montreal! We moved from the beaches to Dufferin/Eglinton area near the end of september into a cute little bungalow. The place was great, but with mixed emotions, we moved again in April to come to Montreal. My last couple months at WWF Canada were especially busy and I was putting in a TON of hours trying to complete a couple migrations. Kim was incredibly supportive and orchestrated the entire Montreal move on her own. With the execption of some muscle on my part on move day, it was all her!

Alice is doing great! We celebrated her 1st birthday on April 5th! Wow, how time flies!!! We're especially happy to have a nice-sized fenced in yard for her to play in now! Although she's still a little young to take advantage of it, I'm sure she'll be running around it before the end of this summer.

Although she may not be able to fully appreciate it, Nugget is! Nugget? Who's that? She's our new dog! I told you... LOTS of changes since the last update! We adopted her 3 weeks ago, after we made the move. I've got some sad news as well... we had to say goodbye to Sally, our beloved beagle in February this year. And although Nugget isn't Sally and doesn't fill the gaping hole that was left in our family, she's an awesome fit in our family and we love her all the same. She's 2 years old and incredibly well-behaved! She's got a lot of energy and loves to run around... in fact, I just finished walking her and throwing a toy around the yard with her for the past 45 mins to burn up some of that energy!

Today happens to be Mother's Day, so a very special thanks to the Moms in my life who are so awesome to me and their other children! Kim left for Toronto a couple hours ago to deliver a speech tomorrow. Her speaking career is really starting to pick up and I'm really proud of her the way she's been able to build a business while raising a young'in. Incredible! I am sooo lucky :) Looking forward to seeing her and Alice again on Wednesday. For the next couple days, I'm on my own, which usually translates to more hours at work, which I enjoy :)

There were so many things over the past months I wanted to put in this update, but there's just too much and I can't keep track of all of it. More and more, I find myself using Facebook to share the events of my life with friends since it's so easy, but more imporantly, there's a lot more interaction. The future of this site is still TBD, but it's definitely been great to fill the pre-facebook void and keep friends and loved ones up to date on what's going on in my life.

This seems like a good place to leave off. Hope to have another update soon, but who knows! Cheers! -Rob


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