One of the nice things about working with foreign languages is that it forces you to use a dictionary. In the course of reading some German news and using an excellent English-German dictionary, I've learned two good new words, adumbrate and nychthemeron (which is not in Webster's online dictionary ;).
At work, the last couple of phone number ports using Local Number Portability (LNP allows you to keep the same phone number if you change your telephone company) have gone abysmally bad (customers left stranded without connectivity for multiple days because our ports of numbers have not propagated to all the ILECs' switches which service our customers. I'd like to understand why we're experiencing these issues, and how we can avoid them in the future. As far as I can tell (currently), the problems are caused by old non-SS7 speaking switches which are statically configured with call routes.
To deal with these supreme inconveniences, I've found some good resources online that explain how various ILECs' LNP procedures work. They are ordered by complexity with 1 being the minimum.