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Honoring Their Ultimate Sacrifice

Maj. Lewis P. Smith II

Today across the country most of us are enjoying a day off. I’ll be at a family cookout myself. It is easy to forget the meaning of this holiday – a day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

Our family is blessed that while we have a number of veterans among us none died while serving. We do remember Lew Smith. Well to be honest I don’t remember him personally. I was just six years old on May 30, 1968 when Forward Air Controller (FAC) Lew Smith, serving in the Vietnam war, was shot down over Laos.

But Lew had a big impact on our family. Lew introduced my sister, Connie, to her husband, Frank, while Lew and Frank were at Penn State. They were both music majors and both in the US Air Force ROTC. The Smiths were friends of the family. Lew’s dad, Coy Smith, was a contractor. They lived just up West Water Street in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, from our house.

So today, while at Connie and Frank’s for our cookout I’m certain Frank will tell some of the Lew Smith stories we’ve heard several times before. And that is fine for today is really about just that, honoring and remembering those who gave their lives in service to our great country.

My Piano Journey

In January of 2020 I decided to start piano again. There was a global pandemic coming. But, the pandemic was not my motivation. A young girl who lives in the apartment above me was practicing her piano and progressing very nicely. I was intrigued. So after almost 50 years I ordered a keyboard and began experimenting with online lessons. And soon, with the rest of the world, I realized that online study would be the only option for quite some time.

Fast forward to to today. My progress has been hit and miss. While I’ve subscribed and participated in various online programs and systems they all seem to lack the structure I need. So this week I interview with a teacher and will most likely start weekly lessons.

To mark this moment in time I made a YouTube video of the latest piece I’m working on, Bach Prelude in C Major. My playing is choppy but I’m having fun! And I will continue to work on this piece.

Let’s see where this journey takes me.

IP Addressing Basics

I am in the process of creating training on the subject of IP address basics. We’ll start with IPv4. I thought, “You know, I have a website. Maybe I can incorporate it into the training.” And so I have used this site as a potential destination for our example network.

A Simple Customer Network

Margin vs Markup

I’m always second guessing myself on this subject. I understand markup. Margin often tries to make my head explode. I found this Markup vs. Margin blog post over at Patriot Software to be very helpful and I bookmarked it. Pretty smart of this software company to make this reference available. I imagine a CEO struggling in a pinch and finding this. Then, if they are at all like me, next thing they know they are watching product information videos on the company site. Nicely played Patriot Software.

Markup vs. Margin Chart: How to Calculate Margin and Markup

A Little Recognition

In the midst of these challenging times I feel so blessed to be employed by an amazing company, Segra. Segra today recognized my efforts there via social media. I’m sharing the post from LinkedIn below.

I work every day (usually via our Unify collaboration tool, Zoom and Teams) with a solid group of colleagues. Collectively we exceed customer expectations and overcome challenges. I’m proud that we’ve been able to be a part of “the new normal” for many of our customers. Hopefully we never forget how important each of them are to our continued success.

Jim Mundy is a Segra Sales Engineer Manager. Jim has been a dedicated team member for 5 years recently taking over the responsibility of managing all sales engineers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Jim continues to be instrumental in helping customers, including continuing to go on site visits, despite the pandemic. Thank you for all you do Jim!

Greatest professional achievement within the last 12 months: Taking on management responsibility for the Mid-Atlantic Sales Engineering team.

Most proud of personally or professionally: Over my years in the telecommunications industry I have had a chance to mentor some aspiring network and information security professionals. Today they have moved on to leadership positions in other organizations and are paying it forward.

Something unique about Jim: I’m an amateur radio operator. While my ability to “get on the air” is a bit limited in my current residence I still stay active in the hobby by participating in local clubs and enjoying the hobby with other amateur operators, or “hams” as we are also known.

from Segra social media post on linkedin

SSL the Hard Way

I’m continuing the journey of building this WordPress site in a bit of a hybrid fashion. It is not an “easy button” method like WordPress.com or even a hosting provider’s managed solution. But I also didn’t start with a raw cloud VM somewhere and built the LAMP stack.

This day the big accomplishment is that I FINALLY was able to figure out SSL, get my SSL certificate created and uploaded, and get the sought after “closed lock” when arriving at this site via HTTPS.

SSL Lock Closed – Certificate Valid

It s not like I’m taking credit cards or dealing with any PII (personally identifiable information). But even for casual browsing many browsers now require, or favor, the encrypted connection via HTTPS.

The effort was a challenge. I could have gone with the quick and free auto-configuration option of a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. This method is offered by my current platform provider. I wanted to generate a key, order a certificate, install it, configure it, and launch it. I learn by doing. And hopefully you are now seeing the result of that effort.

New High SASR Score

Tonight I hit a new SASR high score. Future posts will address my journey back to piano lessons. I struggle with sight reading and SASR is an assessment of a pianist’s sight reading ability. Tonight I scored a 310. Still in the “early beginner” skill level. But I’m pleased. (And, I needed to try loading an image into a Word Press post.) Here is the report showing history and most recent assessment.

SASR report showing 310 score
New high score tonight! 310!

Independence Day

It was a bizzare Independence day weekend. Since I tend to post sporadically and often infrequently here, it is worth noting that we are now in the fifth month of some form of COVID-19 shutdown. We’ve started to reopen but the news is that the infections are increasing at an alarming rate again.

So thanks to COVID-19 this Independence Day weekend was a bit bizarre. Usually I see a fireworks display somewhere. In the past I’ve been invited by friends to view the Lenox Square display in Atlanta from a condo high above Buckhead. Or just put lawn chairs at my sister’s house to view the display put on by the nearby country club. But this weekend was oddly quiet. Heidi didn’t mind – she’s mean as hell but scared of any noises. Hazel on the other hand is almost completely deaf, blind, and showing signs of dementia, so she just paced in circles and from room to room.

I did get a few Fourth favorites. Connie and Frank invited me and the dogs over to hang out. Tom and Pat dropped by and we all maintained appropriate social distance. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, pickled eggs, and other summer favorites. And we had my favorite dessert – “red cake.” Plus the dogs got to meet and hang out with Connie and Frank’s new puppy, SPARKY!! So I guess we did have fireworks! Thanks SPARKY!

Site Progress

WordPress is not a tool you can do a drive by with and easily figure it out. So here’s where I am with this site. JimMundy.com started out pure HTML and CSS living at 1and1 for hosting. Later I upgraded to 1and1 managed WordPress. I did a couple classes online to figure WordPress out. I was with 1and1 for a long time and other than cost I had no concerns. Then I got a call pretty much hard selling me to move to their hosting and CMS system. So it was time for a change.

Recently I purged a bunch of domain names to save some dollars and moved jimmundy.com domain over to namecheap.com. So being a total novice at WordPress I figured I’d get adventurous and created an AWS account and set up LightSail and WordPress on AWS. Might as well wing it with multiple platforms.

I did backup my site from 1and1; however, I realized I got the posts but none of the images. And that backup doesn’t save the theme. So I found my old theme, Hemingway, and loaded it up. And thats where I am today.

Next steps: tighten security, select plugins, figure out images, restore old posts.


JimMundy.com is changing hosting providers and will return soon. I’m moving my WordPress site to AWS. It is a learning experience!

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