Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Core Foundation

I've been slapped around repeatedly by the lesson that you must have a core or base foundation of a skill before learning the more advanced skill associated with it.  The first realization or major slap in the face of this was University calculus.  I cruised through high school and as a result didn't have to work too hard or do too much extra studying in order to get A's.  This bit me in the proverbial ass during university abstract calculus.  Doesn't that sound like a fun class?  Abstract calculus?  I mean, WTF is that anyways?  Well, turns out I had no idea because I was weak in calculus basics I could not grasp the abstract concepts.  Funny how things haunt you; as an adult I purchased several books on calculus and always meant to go back and redeem myself in my own eyes.  I never did.  Besides ego and astro-physicists and perhaps the Mars Rover team, who really needs calculus let alone the abstract kind?

The strong foundation lesson continues to resonate and haunt me even today.  I'm one day away from starting my second class on virtualization.  This is what we would call a "disruptive technology".  The iPod was a disruptive technology for instance, a game changer, something that changes complete industries and destroys others.  Virtualization is the current technology of servers, the foundation of the cloud and the future of networking.  In a nutshell and in its simplest terms it allows you to put multiple computers/applications/operating systems on one computer but each computer/app/OS thinks its on its own piece of hardware.  The underlying virtualization software "fools" each of them. 

The strong foundation I seem to be missing is a deep understanding of CPUs and their advancements over the last few years.  I've pretty much ignored reading and keeping up with it as it didn't seem that important.  You always buy as much as you can afford and the rest will sort itself out.  Not true with virtualization.  Now there are dual core, quad core, terms such as Symmetrical processing (SMP), multi-core and hyper-threading.  It is necessary to understand all of this in order to understand vSMP, logical cores, virtual cores, etc.  Consider myself slapped....again. 

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Canine Good Citizen Test - Take One

Geppetto, Dena and I ventured out today to try our hand at the AKC's Canine Good Citizen test that was being held as part of the practice match at the WLAOTC in Rancho Park.  The CGC is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club and as of January 2013 are awarded official AKC title for same.

There are 10 test items:

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger  <-- PASS
Test 2: Sitting politely for petting <-- PASS
Test 3: Appearance and grooming  <-- PASS
Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)  <-- PASS
Test 5: Walking through a crowd  <-- PASS
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.
Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place  <-- FAIL
Test 7: Coming when called  <-- FAIL 
Test 8: Reaction to another dog  <-- PASS
Test 9: Reaction to distraction  <-- PASS
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark.
Test 10: Supervised separation  <-- we never got this far
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. This test is joked about as the longest 3 minutes of the handler's life.....

I knew Geppetto wasn't ready but today was the match so I wanted to give him and I the experience of being in the "ring".  I took him out for a good long walk this morning to tire him out and off we went.  He did fairly well in the test but did not pass.  He was extremely preoccupied with where Dena was while we were in the ring.  This served two purposes - the first was that he didn't care when they groomed him and touched him as he was busy looking for Dena but the downside was that he was not focused during the obedience portion and failed that.  I thought for sure he would fail test 3 as he doesn't like other people touching him but was shocked when he failed test 6 and 7.  He was just too preoccupied.  In all honesty though - it is always the handlers fault.  I was nervous - at one point one of the evaluators told me to breathe.  Why in the world would I be nervous?  Strange.

Off we go to practice - until next time.  And we will go alone next time and leave Dena at home!