Currently Reading #15

 An actual novel for a change… Kind of. It is a novel of the Korean War from Jeff Shaara. First, I am a huge fan of Jeff Shaara and his father, Michael wrote one of my favorite novels on Gettysburg and the Civil War, “The Killer Angels”. Second, I have never really researched the Korean War before, so this will be a nice change of pace on two fronts. Here is the GoodReads Review. The master of military historical fiction turns his discerning eye to the Korean War in this riveting new novel, which tells the dramatic story of the Americans and the Chinese who squared off in one of the deadliest campaigns in the annals of combat: the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, also known as Frozen Chosin.

Currently Reading #14

 When Jefferson Davis became president of the Confederacy, his wife, Varina Howell Davis, reluctantly became the First Lady. For this highly intelligent, acutely observant woman, loyalty did not come easily: she spent long years struggling to reconcile her societal duties to her personal beliefs. During the war she nursed Union prisoners and secretly corresponded with friends in the North. Though she publicly supported the South, her term as First Lady was plagued by rumors of her disaffection. (Review from GoodReads.)

Currently Reading #13

  I have read many books on the Founding Fathers and the History of America. I picked up this book to gain insights from a different perspective. More specifically, Herstory of America. In that aspect the book was exactly that for which I was looking. This books has tales of 40 women, some of whom I had never heard of before, that helped shape the United States of America. The author likes to ramble on about a specific point long after the point of understanding.

Currently Reading #12


Secret Service agent Clint Hill brings history intimately and vividly to life as he reflects on his seventeen years protecting the most powerful office in the nation. Hill walked alongside Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, seeing them through a long, tumultuous era—the Cold War; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy; the Vietnam War; Watergate; and the resignations of Spiro Agnew and Richard M. Nixon. (Review from GoodReads.)

Data Amp Webinar

 This coming Wednesday, April 19 at 8AM Pacific Time (click for your local time), Microsoft will be hosting a major on-line event of interest to anyone working with big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence: Microsoft Data Amp.

During Data Amp, Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie and Corporate Vice President Joseph Sirosh will share how Microsoft’s latest innovations put data, analytics and artificial intelligence at the heart of business transformation. The event will include exciting announcements that will help you derive even more value from the cloud, enable transformative application development, and ensure you can capitalize on intelligence from any data, any size, anywhere, across Linux and other open source technologies.

WGU Excellence Award

 I didn’t even know there was such a thing. But apparently, my paper for my marekting class won the WGU Excellence Award for April. The email I received stated: Congratulations!  Your recent submission for Marketing has been selected by the WGU Evaluation faculty for recognition due to the exceptional nature of the work you submitted. The evaluator shared the following about your Task 1 submission: The document exemplifies effective marketing and business research through the introduction of two new services in the global environment. An informative report rich with ideas that demonstrate the need and process of going global delivers an interesting and engaging read.

MCSA Certifications – April

 Just when I thought I had all the certifications figured out, Microsoft announced yesterday the addition of the MCSE: Business Applications (focusing on Dynamics 365) which includes two new supporting MCSA paths – MCSA: Dynamics 365 and MCSA: Dynamics 365 for Operations. Additionally, they’ve added the new MCSA: Data Science, which puts you on a path to earn an MCSE: Data Management & Analytics certification. Check out this new pdf that clearly outlines the requirements for each certification and the electives that can be taken to renew each MCSE annually. Bonus information on the pdf download is some other unannounced MCSA certifications including Cloud Database Development, Big Data Engineering, and BI reporting.

Currently Reading #10

 In this major new history of the Civil War, Bruce Levine tells the riveting story of how that conflict upended the economic, political, and social life of the old South, utterly destroying the Confederacy and the society it represented and defended. Told through the words of the people who lived it, The Fall of the House of Dixie illuminates the way a war undertaken to preserve the status quo became a second American Revolution whose impact on the country was as strong and lasting as that of our first. (Review is Reprinted from GoodReads.)

MCSA: Windows 2016

 Passed two exams this week during the MCT Summit. I started with the 70-740: Installation, Storage, & Compute with Windows Server 2016. This was the one I studied for on the train, because I thought I was a little rusty on Virtual Machines and Clustering. But it was the simple stuff like REFS and Data Duplication that was tripping me up during the exam. Today, I took the third and final exam needed for the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification. Which of course is the 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016 exam. Again, I breezed through the difficult parts of the exam only to be hung up on a silly subnetting question. It was like I forgot how to do math. But a few extra minutes double checking my work and I knew I had it right. So that is 9 exams and 9 certifications in the last 6 months. I think I’m going to take the rest of the year off from Microsoft exams.

Currently Reading #9

 Everything I was expecting from this collection of ancient stories retold and edited by the filter of Neil Gaiman’s mind. It is a smaller book, but a time-consuming read. This is not fiction, or what we typically see from Neil Gaiman. But rather a fragmennted collection of mythology to assist us in learning from what can still be discovered of Norse Mythology.

Currently Reading #8

 Moving beyond the concept of “That’s how we’ve always done it” is not an easy task. And there are not many areas in today’s popular culture that will hold on to the concept of tradition more than baseball. Brian Kenny, of the MLB Network, is one of those analysts in sports media who is unwilling to wait. Using statistical analysis to move past the basic back-of-the-baseball-card numbers has allowed us to look beyond tradition and to interpret data in such a way as to enhance our understanding and our baseball experience.