Security Musings

Security Musings

Information Security Travel Guide

Stephen Northcutt, an Information Security Researcher, United Airlines 1k, Writer and Instructor, documents the struggles of the travel and hospitality industries as we all face continually increasing energy costs. He and his peers share their travel experiences and give you quick tips and short reviews of the companies they do business with as they travel. If you came across this article because of a Google search, what you want is probably here, just use find with your browser (CTRL - F), it is easier than reading from top to bottom; however, you may get some useful tips if you stick around and read. Each major cluster of trips is documented in a separate file.

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Information Security Travel Guide Edition 21


By Stephen Northcutt, Google+
infosec tour guide 21
Dear reader, May 30, 2012 is the final entry for Infosec Tour Guide Edition 21. We will start on Edition 22 June 1, 2012. Thank you.


[May 30, 2012] Boise to Seattle

Gave the keynote and then had a short meeting with the Department of Energy CIOs. Now that I have that responsibility, I enjoyed chatting with them and hearing their perspective. Kathy started the pack out while I was in the meeting. We checked out of the facility and headed to Boise. To be honest I was glad to leave. Sun Valley is almost 6,000 feet high and I was starting to get nose bleeds. At one point I got out of breath simply by going up a flight of stairs. The theme of the drive to Boise was roadwork. At one point, they held us up for 20 minutes, before opening one lane of the highway. My GPS is still set to east coast time and it looked like we would not make our flight if we stopped. Then I saw a sign that said 114 miles to Boise, I was driving at 68 MPH and there was no possible way it was going to take me another three hours of driving. So we had a laugh on ourselves for getting stressed. Pretty drive, not too much traffic and, other than the road work in four different places, easy going. Just before turning onto 84 Westbound, since we had time, we stopped to eat at Original Wingers; Kathy had the Teriyaki Rice Bowl and infinite salad. She could not eat much of the rice bowl, too sweet. I had the Durango Steak and sampled their sauces. I asked for the Blue Cheese Dressing for my salad on the side, but it came on the salad and did not taste good. Don't know how it is possible to screw up a sirloin steak, but they did. The mashed potatoes were covered in some tasteless white gravy, looked like an attempt at sausage gravy. I tried all three of their BBQ sauces on the steak; Original was too sweet, Buffalo was too thin and lacked taste, the third sauce on the table, Bootleg BBQ, had some promise and I was able to eat half of my steak with liberal amounts of sauce. Bill before gratuity was USD31.41.

We got to the airport, turned in the rental car, went to the Alaska Airline counter and were able to change to an earlier flight. I got the extra super duper inspection from TSA and then we were headed for our gate with 25 minutes before boarding when I noticed a Massage Bar, so we both got a 15 minute chair massage, that makes waiting for your plane an almost pleasurable experience. Alaska 2133 was on time and was an easy flight with great scenery when we looked out of the window. I called Starline and told them about the change, they were not on time, but were only 15 minutes late and I do not hold that against them since I changed my flight.


[May 29, 2012] Seattle to Sun Valley - National Laboratories Information Technology (NLIT) Summit keynote

Yesterday we flew on Alaska 2390 to Boise. Flight was on time - the crew fairly amusing with their announcements, including the flight attendant's use of eBay to manage any lost items; and then we picked up a Toyota Camry from Enterprise rental. We zipped up the highway looking for food. I saw a Denny's, pass; a Burger King, pass; then, a truck stop called Stage Stop. Sure, why not. It was your basic truck stop menu, I had a Sirloin steak, Kathy had an Omelet. It is a fairly long and boring drive from Boise to Sun Valley, but with the iPod you can keep the tunes playing.

Sun Valley is neat, clearly a resort destination, and the place just screams of money. We scored a Lodge Apartment (thank you NLIT). It is nice; two floors, a seating area, one bed, one bathroom, but the toilet is separate from the bath/shower. The cool thing is the kitchen. We went to the store and got some Copper River Sockeye Salmon. I love to try restaurants, but I had been waiting for the Copper River Salmon for a while. On the negative side is the technology. The TV/DVD system can't source. I called the front desk, they said try channel 3; that worked well in 1990. They have Internet and it worked for a while, but it quit working. I have a Verizon 4G MiFi here, but the throughput is more like the ancient modem days. Not surprising, if you are in Sun Valley you are not supposed to be in your room downloading email. We did a hike just before supper, some trail that is not on any of the charts I was able to download, but it was well marked. Gosh, climbing a mountain is a quick way to realize you are not in shape!

We went to Trail Creek for the NLIT BBQ for supper. Great facility, great location, poorly done food. The chicken was cooked to cardboard, the ribs OK, but no flavor, some of the worst baked beans I have ever had. On the positive side, the watermelon and corn on the cob were tasty.


[May 27, 2012] Sunday in Seattle

The day started out pretty cloudy. Kathy and I are still tired, I do not have an explanation for that, but it is true. If it were not for coffee, I think we would have missed church (and they have an 11:00 AM service). The last time we reset our alarms was for 10 AM. The weather brightened up after lunch and we went for a short paddle with our canoe on the lake. Kathy is trying to live gluten free and I want to fire up my new wood fired pizza oven when we get back from our next trip so I went to Fred Meyer to look for gluten free pizza dough ingredients. I found everything I needed. We fly out to Idaho early tomorrow so it will have to be when we get back, but that is OK, anticipation is a wonderful thing.

While we were gone, they restocked the lake for fish and it is a miracle to watch. We have two nesting eagles that are digging their sashimi and a heron is starting to join the party. There are some pretty big fish in the lake from previous years' stocking so the people that enjoy that sort of thing are going back and forth in a wide variety of boats. Some catch and release, others have fish for dinner, I am happy for everyone.


[May 24, 2012] Tahiti and back

I realize I missed a lot of days in my journal. We hired a boat in the French Polynesian islands and sailed around without benefit of the Internet. We spent a few days on Kauai and then repositioned to Seattle. United 351 had a mechanical and was late leaving, but I would much rather find a hydraulic leak on the ground than in a five hour ocean crossing. Oddly enough, we changed planes in San Francisco and our connecting flight was three hours late. That was no fun because they start shutting San Francisco airport down at 10 PM. I hurried to the food court and got some food and by the time I finished my fish tacos and two beers (USD30.00), nothing was open. This was also flight 351 which is confusing; it was a bit after 3 AM when we got our bags and 4 AM by the time we got home. I missed a phone meeting the next morning and both Kathy and I have been tired ever since.


[May 3, 2012] Voggy day on Kauai

The VOG is not bad today and people that live here all the time probably are not aware of it, but I still remember the clear days when you could see the mountains. Kauai is wonderful, mind you, but due to the continuing olcanic eruptions on the Big Island, the air looks like Los Angeles in the 60s. Yesterday we went swimming and tried out the goggles we are taking to Tahiti. They worked fine, comfortable enough and not too quick to haze over. I went shopping so there would be some food and Cost-U-Less had 20 pounds of brown rice on sale for USD12.00. Diane warned me the bugs would get it, so I went to Costco and bought one of those vacuum baggers and Kathy and I bagged the rice.


[May 1, 2012] Seattle to Kauai

If things go according to plan, tomorrow morning, Starline Limo will pick us up at 0800 to go to SEATAC. We are on our way to the biggest adventure of our lives so I am a bit excited. Great day in the office today, managed to synch with Mason, make sure my college obligations are up to date, pushed my working group forward and answered the normal email that comes and goes.


[April 29, 2012] Moving in, act two

Today is not as nice, it is not raining, but it is cloudy. After church, we hanged the large mirror that goes in the hall above the front door to the house. After we unpacked the last box we signed up for a professional style Asian massage to put our mangled bodies back together. That really helped.


[April 28, 2012] Gorgeous day in Seattle

Sun is out, we have a lot of work to do from moving back in after the flood, but going canoeing is my top priority. This is still the season to enjoy sunshine while you can, the rain will come back and we can do moving tasks then. Last night, we went to Skippers Seafood and Clam Chowder. The key is to call ahead. They have a very broad menu at attractive prices, so they do an incredible amount of takeout. They are also located on South Meridian Street which is essentially ground zero for commerce. We waited 40 minutes for our food and the cooks were clearly moving fast and this was at 5:30 PM, peak for restaurants is usually 7:00 PM. I would go back, but only if I call ahead. The menu is hard to describe, it is largely Asian, there is a Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean menu with the favorites you would expect from each. There is also an American fish menu, clam chowder and lots of fried options, but you can also get grilled fish. And they have family packs, remember they specialize in take out. Prices are very reasonable, a two entree rice and vegetable platter is USD8.95. I had the combination General Tao's and Kung Pao chicken platter, Kathy had the Pad Thai. Phone number to call ahead is (253) 841-0123.

Canoeing was fun, we went around the lake twice. Then we went to Puyallup and Clarks Creek Park. This is a really interesting watershed preservation effort, they are trying to control runoff and also too many waterfowl to increase water quality. Of course there are always the ugly Americans that don't get it and bring bread to feed the ducks. We had a wonderful walk on the trail and met some friendly people including a guy with his parrot; according to him, Clarks was his parrot's favorite place. Then shopping; I have been ignoring the fact we are going to Tahiti for three weeks on a boat and I do not have the right provisions. We didn't need to get much, lightweight duffels (we are limited to 40 pounds on the inter-island flight), a waterproof flashlight, two waterproof fanny packs, floating retaining straps for our glasses and sunglasses, and UV protective goggles.

We got hungry and stopped at the Riverside Mongolian Grill for a late lunch. If you can get there by 3:00 PM, it is all you can eat for USD7.99. After that it is USD9.99. They have a huge selection of vegetables so it is about as healthy as it gets if you choose to be healthy, if they only had brown rice, I would be in pig heaven.

Then we came back and went to the dock for sunset. We watched an eagle swooping in to roost for the night being harassed by a crow that nipped at his tail feathers twice. Lovely day.


[April 25, 2012] Richmond to Seattle

James Limo was on time and we had an easy drive to the airport with a fun to talk to driver, Bob. The line at security was longer than usual, but we had plenty of time. We had lunch at the bar next to Cheeseburger. I had a Chef Salad, Kathy had the Chili (pretty good), some sort of mixed drink, and we split a box of Fries; price before gratuity USD27.19. United 4299 to Neward (EWJ) was on time, a little turbulence on the climb out, but an otherwise uneventful flight. For some reason I couldn't eat much of my salad, so I am going to grab some food in Newark. Noticed some changes in the merged United. The United robot called my phone to tell me that my gate had changed. Diane points out the web interface has a few advantages, "So there is something I like about the “new” United website. Their Flight Status information now is much more evolved compared to previous visits. At least, I can say that it is helpful in the case of your upcoming flight, not sure if will always get detailed results. Site tells you where your next plane is coming from and even gives a link to a visual tracker J https://pss.united.com/web/en-US/apps/travel/flightstatus/results.aspx "

On the negative side, it has been feeling like a one hundred thousand mile flyer got downgraded in the merger. Those complimentary upgrades are happening less and when they boarded the plane, we are now in the second group to board, seating group one which used to be premier execs. They also did not have us queue up on the status carpet - that was a United Express puddle jumper - so we will see what happens when we board the plane to Seattle.


[April 23, 2012] Reston to Richmond

Yesterday, the AGB meeting for new college presidents was helpful, but I decided that staying for the president's breakfast the next day probably would not be helpful. So Kathy and I packed quickly and loaded up the Mustang. It was raining and I95 was very touch and go, crazy people and construction, but we managed, though we say: Just stay in the right lane, find someone to get behind and hope someone gets behind you and keep a following distance. Still it was all fairly stressful and I wanted a beer, so we went to Hooters for dinner. The one on Broad Street has 2 pounds of king crab legs on Sundays for USD17.00. A couple of beers and some crabs and our total price was USD28.34.

[April 21, 2012] Reston to National Harbor

My GPS has not heard of National Harbor, I had looked at the map the night before, but kept trying until I was able to pull up my hotel. It is actually Oxon Hill Maryland, but they have this massive project to create an upscale destination and it seems to be working fairly well. They have a nice mix of upscale and affordable. For lunch I tried Elevation Burger, grass fed organic beef, french fries done in olive oil. Sounds great, but my burger was soggy, I think from the ascension sauce, and it fell apart on the third bite. The fries were the highlight - skin-on potatoes, thinly cut and a fair number of crispy ones. I got a water bottle to drink, total price was USD11.06.

We are staying at the Residence Inn, it seems to be a nice place and being new, everything is in pretty good shape. The room is spacious. I am only a Marriott Silver, so Internet is not free, but I have my MiFi with me and it is working in 4G mode, yayy. We walked around for a second time, it was fun to see the beach area, with all the little kids playing in the sand and the statue of the partially buried man; at one point, his arm comes rising out of the sand, a ways away is his head, and the kids love climbing on him. We decided to have dinner in the room, we are very tired. We stopped at Baja Fresh and each got a bare bowl burrito, I got the Ono, Kathy got vegetables and added Guacamole for 1.89 more. While we waited for our order we filled little plastic cups with a variety of salsas. My favorite is the green salsa, but the brown medium hot had a nice flavor too. When we picked up our order there was some confusion and we ended up with an extra Guacamole and chips, but Guacamole really hit the spot for Kathy tonight, while personally I can take or leave their rendition. Price before the free Guacamole and Chips was USD18.37.

Just got a note from Becca. She has started putting our kitchen in Washington back together. The RestoreX disaster recovery folks used a LOT packing material, I guess they did not want anything to break, but the entire dining area is full of paper to about the three foot high mark. Fortunately there is a place that recycles.

[April 20, 2012] Reston closeout

I worked from my room most of the day. I did slip out to get a haircut before the New College President's workshop on Sunday. Went to the Reston Barbershop. Apparently, barbershops with a throwback to what once was the norm - the barber pole, the hot shaving lotion to shave the neck, etc. - are standard in Reston, I have seen three of them. But hey, a good haircut is what matters. When you are nomadic, finding a good haircut is a bit challenging. Then I swooshed back to the hotel and met with Eric Cole about a number of issues. While we were meeting, my phone rang with a call I had to take; we have an employee issue that must be addressed. Dr. Cole was a good sport and waited in the hall and I really do have a good track record for five minute calls, so I was not abusive. Then back to the room, trying to catch up after four days of meetings.

Foreshadowing: Kathy and I have a real vacation coming up. We will not be online, we will not be updating this or any other blog. But I want to finish well as we head towards that blessed event.

Eventually, Kathy and I were both hungry, we had a couple of errands that we needed to run. One to Home Depot to look at blinds for our Washington house, and also dinner. We found a Home Depot, but I am not sure we have a path forward with blinds. We wanted to go to a fondue place, the Mixing Pot, but our Garmin GPS could not find it; it may be a lunch-only place since we were driving around in a big office park. We ended up at Mykonos, a Greek place that caters to the local lunch crowd off of Faraday Drive. What do I think about the place? I am conflicted. However, it is the best Octopus/Calamari/Taco I have had in my entire life. So, if you go there and do not order that off the char broiled octopus from the appetizer section of the menu, you screwed up. It is not breaded, it is clearly lemony marinated. Everything else (we ordered eight sides) is fairly ho-hum. We also had two glasses each of their Greek red wine, *hey* this was the end of the conference, time to let our hair down. We had food left over for late breakfast tomorrow, because tonight is a very rare sleep late night. Price before gratuity: USD59.64

[April 19, 2012] Final day of meetings in Reston

We got a lot done during our curriculum architecture meeting. Last night we took the Mustang out and went to Reston Town Center. We ended up eating at Paolo's. It turns out that Wednesday was half price on bottles of wine. They call it Wine Down Wednesdays. Kathy had the Shrimp Risotto and added 3 scallops for an additional 7.50. I had the Chicken Saltimboco. Both were very good, excellent flavors. The bread service was Breadsticks and a Green Olive Tapenade and very enjoyable. We shared a SUD DiSanMarzano Primitivo Publia which was excellent. Puglia is the so-called heel of Italy and they specialize in Primitivo, a parent of the modern Zinfandel. Service was excellent. Price before gratuity was USD70.40.

Tonight we went back to Reston Town Center and went to Clyde's. The food is good and the price reasonable, but do not try to eat healthy here, go ahead and splurge. I had read a Google review that the Chili was really good, so I got a cup to share with Kathy as a starter. It is interesting, it is a bit sweet, but also tangy and spicy. If you made me guess, I would guess that someone created one of those molasses vinegar barbeque sauces and added that to the chili, but it is pretty good. Kathy had the Thai Seafood Hot Pot and the sauce had a wonderful flavor, not sure what they add to the coconut milk, but it really works. I had the Baked Haddock. It was crusted and coated in what appeared to be butter, but it was cooked to perfection. The bread service was OK, whipped butter, but the bread was not as fresh as I like. I had a Star Hill India Pale Ale and Kathy had a glass of House Wine. Service was excellent. Atmosphere is great; there are four basic sections to the restaurant - outdoor, one decorated with horses, another with ships and pennants, and the last with airplanes (a number of the airplane models appear to be half size). Price before gratuity USD49.67.

After dinner, we saw a Best Buy and I talked Kathy into walking in. We are going to Tahiti in a couple weeks and we do not have a working waterproof camera at present. Noel Hamilton told Kathy the one to get is a Hero 2. Sure enough, we found a helpful salesperson and walked out with a camera, the wrist strap and a wall charger. The manual is not very good, but there are some helpful YouTube videos. It surely is an amazing system.

[April 17, 2012] Fredericksburg to Reston

Or at least that is the hope. I am here in Fredericksburg for meetings. I got an email last night from Becca Iverson from Saavy Solutions. She is involved in a startup for a new cover and stand for iPads called FlipSteady. Since I find the one they sell in the Apple store to be next to useless, I am excited for them. Here is the latest blog post.

I step away for an hour and we hit our goal! Thanks to all of you for getting behind this project. It means so much to the team at NewPencil. It's been my privilege discover these shapes and nurture this product into its current design. I also feel very good about bringing the FlipSteady to market in this way. I hope that other's follow with their own products and have them manufactured locally. Think of the shared impact we could have on our economy! We have 55 days to go and as our generous backer Eddie says, "It's definitely going to be a hit!" Please talk to your friends and family, tweet or post on FB. You might also post our promotional flyers in your community (coming in a few days time). tomorrow night we are filming a video for our weekly update. The location is the RawFood Bistro in Tacoma. This innovative restaurant provides ipads as an interactive menu for its customers. And...(wait for it) they will be putting FlipSteadys on all of their menus! If you are in tacoma swing by and try the FlipSteady for yourself. Don't forget to indulge the raw food goodness while you are there. :) My deepest heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to this point.

This whole Kickstart thing is also really interesting.

Tonight we tried a new restaurant, I assume it is a chain, Vie de France at Plaza America in Reston. I had the moderately acceptable Roast Beef and Herb Cheese sandwich, Norris had the overly salty Onion Soup (they are way too generous with the onions). Forgettable, but not overly expensive, price before gratuity USD16.45.

[April 15, 2012] Driving Richmond to Fredericksburg

We have meetings at the NOC tomorrow and I wanted to get into position. It was tempting to stay one more night in my own bed, but this turned out to be the right choice. Traffic was insane, it took three hours to drive 50 miles. It would get up to 80 MPH and then stop suddenly. I stayed in either the right or middle lane and kept a good following distance and was OK. I am staying at the Homewood Suites on Hospitality Lane. So far I like it. There are three Hilton properties right next to each other, I guess next time I will try the Hampton Inn & Suites. The room has four quadrants, one for the king size bed, one for the bathroom area, one for the office/TV and a kitchen area, you can go to Wegmans get some food and cook it. This is next door to the Hilton Garden Inn I stayed in last time. They serve a light supper here Monday through Thursday, there is a menu for the month of April on the fridge. Tomorrow is Meat Ravioli, Buttered Corn, Breadsticks and a Salad Bar. Went to the Wegmans Seafood Bar again for dinner tonight. I had a water bottle, the Halibut, Asparagus and an extra side, Brown Rice. Cost was USD26.85 and there is no gratuity allowed.

[April 10, 2012] Driving from Jacksonville FL to Richmond

We woke up this morning and the smoke from the wildfires was affecting our breathing. So we jumped in our car and took off. We grabbed lunch at the Smoking Pig in Richmond Hill. Great bar-b-q. Family owned and operated. I had a Brisket Sandwich with Cole Slaw, one of the better Cole Slaws I have had, not sweet. Kathy had a Brisket and Pulled Pork Platter with Cole Slaw and Potato Salad with a bit of mustard flavor. As we came into Richmond it was about 7:30pm and we were not sure what food would be available, so we picked a seafood restaurant using the GPS. I figured it was a Tuesday night, we would not need a reservation. Imagine my surprise when I saw the parking lot was full. They were able to seat us within fifteen minutes. Great menu, fish, burgers, lots of sauces. Kathy had the Monk Fish and a Sweet Potato with Pecan Brandy Sauce on the side and Green Beans. I had the Lake Trout with Lemon Herb Butter, Rice Pilaf and the Sweet Potato Casserole. Food was great, service was great, it is a bit of a drive, but I plan to go back. It is also a great value, price before gratuity was USD37.78.

[April 8, 2012] Driving from Richmond to Jacksonville FL

We got up fairly early to drive to Jacksonville. It was a beautiful day and because it was Easter, not many cars were on the road. We stopped for gas every time we hit the halfway point in the tank, which was four times. I like the Mustang GT 5.0, but it does not have a lot of range, a full tank is only good for about 253 miles. We used to drive from Virginia to Florida a lot because Hunter's grandparents lived in Florida, but it has been a long time. There is this crazy rest stop between North and South Carolina called South of the Border that we used to enjoy stopping at. It was not as good this time, filling the tank was easy enough, the location for getting back on 95 was fine, but could not get a cup of coffee easily. There was a sit down restaurant that was willing, but after waiting five minutes we decided to leave. We got back on the highway and about an hour later still in South Carolina, we saw a police car coming fast in the left lane. A second later we realized why. About two hundred yards ahead was a fire; turned out a car caught on fire and totally burned up. This stopped all traffic. People were out of their cars, talking as if it was a great social event. One young lad sailed by on his long skateboard and then came back and reported what he saw. Then about 25 minutes later cars started moving and people were scrambling. I was really glad we were so close because I was in the right lane, which was the lane getting by. Sounds like an advantage doesn't it? It never is. The people in the left lane alternate between going all the way to the end to change lanes or changing lanes in random places resulting in the left lane going much faster than the right lane. But since we only had 200 yards to go, it was not that frustrating. And, of course, once we high the highway, we had it to ourselves because all the other traffic was bottlenecked getting around the burnt car.

It was easy driving till we got to Jacksonville itself, and then it was your basic urban driving. We are staying in the Jacksonville Embassy Suites at 9300 Baymeadows Road. I like the location and since it is a Hilton, I get wireless for free and I really like that, but they have some cleanliness and maintenance problems. There was hair all over the bathroom, not one or two pieces, but even a clump. There were soap stains on the bathtub etc, etc. We went out to eat and I asked that they revisit the bathroom and the hairs were gone when we got back which is a plus. They have one of those shower clotheslines, but it is not working because it is not attached to the wall properly. I will report it tomorrow and we will see if it gets fixed.

Instead of researching restaurants using Google, I used the GPS, I have a Garmin with maps that I just downloaded two days ago. There was an entry under Seafood, Gator's Dockside: we were thinking seafood restaurant on the water, nope, it is a sports bar chain and this one was in a strip mall. However, there was a Red Lobster next door, so we went there. Tonight we are fasting for our physicals tomorrow and were are not supposed to have anything heavy like red meat, and neither oil or dairy. So, fish, minimally prepared seemed like the ticket. We both ordered the ultimate feast, ate the lobster, non-breaded shrimp and king crab legs. We got a to-go box for the breaded shrimp and red crispy potatoes. The food was good, the place was quiet, but our waiter was a stitch. He could only do one thing at a time and he goofed that up about 20% of the time. He was managing four tables and that was clearly his limit. But he was nice, earnest and obviously trying. so I still tipped at 15% and it was OK, we were not in a hurry. Then he came up with a box and offered to put the food in the box, which is above and beyond and I was really glad I had tipped 15%, but then he dropped potatoes off one of the plates onto the floor and I started having second thoughts. But no complaints! I think the price was reasonable for lobster, king crab, and shrimp with salad and a side, total before gratuity was USD58.93 for the two of us.

[April 7, 2012] A gorgeous day in Richmond

Both Friday and today were like being in the Pacific Nothwest in the summer, cool enough, but not cold and not a cloud in the sky. We took the convertible out, visited Springfield park and walked around looking at the flowers. We were a bit hungry so we tried Miso Asian Grill and Sushi Bar for our first time. I had the Green Seaweed Salad and Grilled Tilapia. Kathy had the Edamame with Sea Salt and Red Curry with Shrimp. We both had hot jasmine tea. The food was excellent and you can get brown rice, yayyyyy! The sauces are very subtle, the sauce with the Tilapia tasted like it had Tamarind on the fish and there was a shade of Mustard on the rice, how can you do that? Only complaint was too much sea salt on the Edamame. Generous portions, good experience and we had the place to ourselves which was a plus. Price before gratuity was USD42.53.

[April 4, 2012] Fredericksburg meeting, return to Richmond

I think the meeting went well. Kathy and I did not really want to cook, we are letting the fridge get empty before our next set of trips, and we needed to pick up our drycleaning from Puritan (less than 24 hour turnaround - wow). So, we headed for Stony Point mall, to get a part for one of Kathy's pens at Paradise Pen Company and then dinner at Brio Tuscan Grille. I have been there twice before and had good experiences, I may even go back, but they really sucked tonight. We ordered from the Prix Fixe menu. Kathy had the Bistecca Salad and Chick Limione and Mini Chocolate Cake. I had the Lobster Bisque, Artichoke encrusted Pork Chop and the Tiramisu. They seated us outdoors even though there was a really ominous black cloud. They assured us if it started to rain, they had everything under control. Not to worry about anything on the table, just go inside and they would find somewhere to seat us. We ordered our drinks, the bread service arrived (good bread), and the starters were delivered as the rain hit. A manager appeared, said, grab what you can and follow her. So we each got a starter and a wine glass. She re-sat us. We didn't see our waiter for ten minutes. I asked him for another water, that was another five minutes. They did not replace the bread service. When the food came out the pork chop was like dry cardboard. The deserts were good, the starters were good; I tasted Kathy's Chicken Limone and it was so-so. Price before gratuity was USD84.75.

[April 3, 2012] Richmond to Fredericksburg for meetings

It was a lovely weekend, it is cool in Virginia, but not cold. Kathy was pooped out on Saturday, so I worked on updating my course. Sunday, we went to Grove Avenue Baptist church with Norma, had lunch together, and then Kathy and I went to a couple parks downtown to walk some of the trails. Today, we jumped in the Mustang at five minutes till two to drive up to Fredericksburg. We are having an A3 planning meeting at the NOC tomorrow and wanted to get into position. We are staying at the Hilton Garden Inn on Hospitality Lane. Because I stay in Hiltons a bit I was very excited to find they upgraded us to the Presidential Suite for free. With tax the room was USD170.00. There was some wear in the carpet, one lamp did not have a knob to turn it on. The staff was friendly and all in all it was fine for a one night hotel. If you do stay here, it is walking distance to Wegmans, a super upscale grocery store. This is my second time here; for one nighters, I am still happy. If it is multiple nights, I would opt for the Hampton Inn and Suites (also a Hilton property) about 300 yards away. A bit farther from I95 and even closer to Wegmans so you can walk to Wegmans, get some cool food and cook it in your own kitchen if you like to do that.

So! The Hilton Garden Inn is next door to the Wegmans, Wooo Hooo; I finally got to visit a Wegman's and it is a cool store. If you are careful the prices are reasonable, though if you are not careful you could drop serious dinero. The vast selection of organic, gluten free products and top quality meats and produce is astounding. I come to Fredericksburg for business meetings and the next time I come I am going to bring a cooler the size of a pickup truck bed. The location is awesome, right off of I95 at the RTE 3 exit. We got a late lunch, carpet picnic style and brought it back to the hotel.

We came back to the room and I tried to push out an update of my MGT 512 course day 2 that got a turbo-booster update by Judy Novak, one of the best security researchers and authors that I know of. After that was done, we went to Wegmans to eat supper. They have the standard hot/cold food, buy it, weigh it, and eat it in a designated area that you get at Martins or Whole Foods, or they have an internal restaurant they call the Seafood Bar which also serves burgers and steaks. It was a great experience. We both had two glasses of wine (it is easy walking distance from the hotel, I never drink more than one glass and drive), the most amazing Bordeaux I have ever tasted for USD6 a glass. Kathy was not hungry so she had the salad and a serving of brown rice. I had the fresh caught halibut, salad and brown rice. The halibut was perfectly prepared. Service was not the best in the world, however we arrived at 7 P.M. which is peak for most restaurants and we were not in a hurry. The bill before gratuity was USD80.00 and they do not accept gratuity. If the good Lord allows me to stay on this earth a bit longer, I hope to come back to Wegmans.

[March 30, 2012] Orlando to Richmond

There was some confusion at the Marriott World Center on how to get transportation. There were a lot of people checking in and out. But, with some help from Lana Emery, the SANS conference manager, we found a car and headed for the airport. We had lunch in the airport. JetBlue flight 1114 MCO-RIC departed on time at 1:25 pm EDT and arrived 3:19 pm EDT in Richmond. Our TV sets did not work, but we had plenty of newspapers, so we did not go nuts. I am reading Thinking Fast and Slow, but did not want to read the book on the plane for some reason. James Limo was right there when we got to RIC, although this driver seemed a touch confused.

[March 29, 2012] Last day of class

Whew, that was a lot of work. I had a good class. Tonight we went to Mikado Japanese Steak House for dinner. It was fun, but we sat next to a Youngevity person and she was fairly pesky trying to multi-level market us. Fortunately, she left early. Kathy had the Lobster and Filet combination and I had the Lobster, Shrimp, New York Strip and we both had a glass of sake. Portions were huge, but we often get hungry late at night, so I got a to-go box. It was fun going to a restaurant with Kathy, mostly we have been getting by with salads and subs from the food court.

[March 26, 2012] Ristorante Tuscany

Tonight is one of the few nights we can eat together, I am booked pretty solid. We went to Ristorante Tuscany. I had the Pork Porterhouse and Kathy had the Grouper special. Service was good, food was good - what is not to like.

[March 24, 2012] Day zero SANS 2012

Mostly I had meetings and email today. Kathy and I did try the transportation system. We have an agreement with the hotel to run buses to Disney Downtown from the hotel. Since the conference starts tomorrow there would be almost no use of the system, but as things get started usage will clearly pick up. We did the test run. It took a lot of discussion with the drivers, but they finally got it and the first bus rolled. While we were at Disney Downtown, we decided to eat since we probably cannot get off property again while we are here. We went to Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe. Kathy had the Salmon, I had the meatloaf, they were both OK, not great, service was OK, not great. We were not inclined to order wine, the so-called wine list is a joke, a number of ten dollar grocery store wines for USD40.00 or more.

[March 23, 2012] Richmond to Orlando FL

We spent the morning in Richmond getting ready to travel. James Limo picked us up a bit early, but that is almost always OK for me going to an airport. JetBlue 1115 was on time. We bought extra legroom seats, less for the legroom and more for the ability to use the overhead bins. I had the bulkhead seat, you do not actually get more room, but you do get a free shot at the overhead bins. Easy flight and we arrived early. The Marriott World Center sent a car and the driver, Dean, grew up in Hawaii, so we had a lot of "Hawaii back then" discussion. Our room at the World Center is huge, the World Center is huge, Orlando is huge. For supper we shared a pound of peel-and-eat shrimp from the Pavilion (pool bar) for USD20.00 and still had shrimp left over.

[March 20, 2012] A challenge in Richmond

Last night the oven started beeping with an F7 error. I made some calls today to get it fixed. Bubba's Handyman tried, but could not quite get here. They will measure and order tomorrow. I was not inspired to try to cook with only a microwave so we went out and settled on El Caporal, a Mexican Family Restaurant. Kathy had the Enchiladas Nortenas and I had a combo platter they call the Familiar. The portions were huge, the food was good and the price very reasonable, in fact, I have to wonder how they stay in business.

[March 17, 2012] Saturday in Carytown

We went to visit the window showroom and it was closed for Saint Patrick's day. So we wandered around Carytown. We ate lunch at Basilis, Kathy had a lovely Greek Salad and the Avgolemono Soup (lemon chicken) and I had the Lamb Platter. We both had a Ginger Beer by Specher. Bill before gratuity was USD26.63. It was good, but not great food. We enjoyed the shops and were intrigued so many Persian rug shops were going out of business. Guess the recovery came too slowly for them.

[March 16, 2012] iPad Day

Today the iPad 3 went on sale. I checked my email in the morning and after I got it under control, headed for the local Apple store. I had not pre-ordered one, so I knew there was a good chance I might not be able to get one. I had heard that the store would be mobbed; it wasn't. There were four or five Apple employees outside the door and they had cards for all the iPads they had in stock, they gave me one of the cards, took me to a payment desk and that was that. The Apple Genius was unable to set it up but I'm a trooper and wanted to see how far I could get with it. So far I have gotten the video to work, and I can get online to the internet. But, it could not download anything, apps or iTune store stuff, so I have an appointment at the Genius Bar next week to see about getting this iPad 3 totally operational.

[March 12, 2012] Stuttgart to Richmond VA

Early wakeup, got to the airport early as well. We were able to go into the Lufthansa lounge and I had two bowls of cornflakes. Flight UA 153 was awesome. We scored first class (burned two systemwides). The meal was very classy, we both had the steak which was an honest chunk of beef. I watched a couple of movies on the plane, Fifth Element and New Years Eve which I thought was well done. In the approach to Newark we looked out the window and saw the skyline of NYC and the Statue of Liberty. At Newark we cleared customs easily. Our connecting flight UA 4427 is running about an hour late, so we did work in the United Club till I got too bleary eyed.

An hour and ten minutes before our flight was supposed to board, we transferred to "A" terminal and that is when the "travel sucks" factor hit high speed. First, United did not have any idea when the flight was coming, I got this fragment of an email from someone tracking our travel: "United's website has the same information, they can't seem to adjust the arrival time based on later departure time. Oh well, nobody's perfect. Of course it's not much better when I call United; the automated system works great until they say (in so many words) "I understand you want to talk to an agent, but they are all busy now assisting other customers. Please call back later. Goodbye." click."

The second problem is Terminal A at Newark; it is terrible. It is way too crowded and has too little infrastructure including temperature control. If United had the ability to accurately predict when the plane was coming we could have gone back to another terminal with a restaurant, but instead they changed the arrival/departure time three times. A plane finally arrived and we headed to Richmond on United 4427. When we got off the plane, one upset passenger told the crew he did not appreciate the way he was treated, that he blogged and as he headed up the jetway said loudly, "United sucks". I have a sense his blog has a few choice words for United. Me? I realize they are in the midst of a major conversion and things will be a bit rough for a while. However, I am secretly glad our next flight to Orlando and back is on JetBlue.


[March 11, 2012] Last day in Stuttgart

Our plan was to sleep till 9:00 A.M., but we both woke up early, so we went down to breakfast. We met a Japanese professor of mathematics at breakfast that was here for a couple of weeks. He was fuzzy from his plane flight and left his room key and room number of the table. But, he figured it out when he got to the elevator and could not punch in his floor. Today is a rainy day and on Sunday, they roll up the sidewalks in Stuttgart, which is fine with me; I need a quiet day. Kathy is downstairs checking her email and I have been working on this blog, but I will go down and join her and then we can sort the day out.


[March 10, 2012] Out and about in Stuttgart

I am finished teaching; I think we ended the class well despite a few challenges. I came down to the staff office and helped rip a few unissued books in half and then checked my email. Suzy is trying to help with the whole future predictions bit, so I updated my file with a few more predictions and links. Then I came up to the room to get Kathy and we set out to see some of Stuttgart. We wandered through the university, the museum, the Saturday street markets, stopped to listen to an amazing street musician and bought two of his CDs. We grabbed a light lunch at the Herrmann Cafe, a Michael Ehrmann business in Konigstrabe. We both had the Tortilla Chicken Wrap (Wrap Hahnchen) and a bottle of Strawberry Juice (Erdbeersaft). Total before gratuity was EUR11.60.

Next we went shopping. Many of the men here wear scarves. I have been reading the story of Tazo tea founder Steven Smith. After he sold Tazo, his wife insisted they move to France and he learned to wear a scarf. I thought it would be a lot easier to buy one in Germany. We dropped into several department stores. Eventually, I think I will get two, one of those light weight, multi-color jobs, but it is winter still and we have done our share of tromping around in the cold, so I went with a fairly massive merino wool scarf. Maybe it is my imagination, but it seems like the locals treat you differently when you wear a scarf.

In Richmond VA, I had a suit and blazer custom tailored at Michael's Tailoring, a fine organization by the way. I brought the Harris Tweed blazer on this trip as my primary layer of warmth; we are trying to travel light, at least for us. I do not think we are upgraded on the way home and I would rather pack the blazer in our check bag and try to get back home with a layering approach including the new scarf. Long story short, you can't say we only saw the inside of a hotel in Stuttgart. This week we have walked many kilometers and sampled many dishes. As the sun was starting to set we headed back to the hotel, there is a bit of a ruffian scene at night in Stuttgart and we are tired and I did not want to deal with drunk, stupid teenagers with spiky orange hair.

We were both very tired, so turned on the TV and watched CNN international. It is amazing how different it is from CNN in the US.

[March 9, 2012] Day 5 MGT 512 in Stuttgart

I am tired. Teaching in Europe requires toning it down a bit and making sure there is time for plenty of discussion. But I let it rip today. I learned later that the staff office could hear me across the hall through two closed doors. After class, a number of my students lingered and we chatted.

Kathy and I had an early supper, we headed for an area not too far away where there are a lot of restaurants. It was called Asia 5 Sterne. They have a Mongolian grill and buffet. We were the first customers and had the restaurant to ourselves. They seated us by a large saltwater fish tank that was nicely apportioned including live coral. It was a lot of fun watching the fish, some of which we saw for the first time, others are old friends. We both had a plate of seafood and vegetables, Kathy really appreciated the non-breaded calamari. We also shared a victory bottle of wine, a San Marzano Primitivo. We really enjoyed the experience, the meal was EUR57.60.

[March 8, 2012] Still teaching in Stuttgart

Sometimes teaching is not so fun. It is a small class and to be honest, I was excited about that. In a week and a half I have 50 students and that makes in-class discussion hard. This is not a bad class by any means, everyone is civil and they are all clearly interested in security, but I do not think they are getting what they were expecting. For two of the students, it is too much, for four of the students, they want it to be more technical. The other three, I cannot read. I understand the sun came out in Hawaii today and I am very happy for everyone there. From what we read, the rain is coming back, but hopefully it will not be as destructive as the rains they just had.

I tried to catch up on my email after class. I have been getting up at 6:30 A.M. and getting breakfast, trying to process email before class starts at 9:00 A.M. and then at lunch trying to eat quickly and - you guessed it - catch up on my email. Tonight is the fourth day and it is starting to wear on me just a bit, but I plan to end the class with as strong a finish as possible. It was a bit chilly outside and the train station is close so we went back to Gosch. I ordered the Fish Soup (Fischsuppe) and they told me they were having a special and you got it with wine (wein) for one EUR more. Sure thing. I also ordered the Small Pasta with Shrimp done Thai Sweet Chili Pepper style (Bratnudel Klein). Kathy ordered a really awesome Lemon Shrimp Potato Soup (KaSu Krabben) and the Curried Langostino she ordered last time (Krebssalat). The restaurant experience was enjoyable again, I am glad we went, but I do not know that I have a strong desire to go back. Total before gratuity was EUR27.70.

On the way back to the hotel we saw the moon rise. It was so big and clear I wondered if it was fake, maybe a bunch of LED screens, but I think it was the real thing. Maybe we are farther north than I am used to, maybe the solar flares, OK, OK, I am reaching, but that was a heck of a moon rise. When we got back to the hotel after supper, we went down to my classroom where there is wireless and set up a Skype connection to Diane. We are trying to figure out which flights to book, how long to spend where, all the things a modern nomad must do. Then back to our hotel room to get some rest. I did not fall asleep immediately so I spent some time pondering a keynote I need to develop for an event in Sun Valley Idaho. Great keynotes provide leadership, they help people focus their efforts to meet coming challenges. I have only given a few really awesome keynotes, maybe four out of ten tries, so I really want to make this speech count. It isn't pride or ego, it is the importance of trying to make a difference. If I had to pick my topic tonight I think it would be "Slip Sliding Away". Every month that goes by, we lose more and more of what we formerly equated with "control" due to virtualization, cloud, etc.

[March 7, 2012] Teaching MGT 512 in Stuttgart

Tonight was social night for the conference, so we all headed to the hotel bar. I had one small beer, chatted with my students and then went to find Kathy. When I found her, she was very frustrated. She had been on the phone with United Airlines for three hours. There is an incredible amount of rain falling on Kauai causing flash flooding, road closures, school closings and so forth. We do not think it makes sense to fly 24 hours to get there when the last thing the island needs is two more people consuming resources. Since our cell phones are not set up for calling in Germany, Kathy used Skype to call United. However they are merging computer systems from United and Continental and apparently it is not going so well. However, Kathy was able to get us a new flight to Richmond. There was a $250.00 change fee for each ticket which seems odd since the Governor of Hawaii has declared the island a disaster area.

Even though I am a typical paranoid security guy, I do not think the problems with United are a personal attack directed against us, I found this in the Wall Street Journal Middleseat blog: "Elite-level frequent fliers have complained they haven’t been able to get complimentary upgrades on domestic flights. Some people have said reservations have been dropped or changed, and they’ve received email notes from United to call to straighten it out. Yet some have reported waits on hold of five hours; others say they can’t get through busy signals or dropped calls."

Kathy and I wanted to go out. We have been eating dinner in the hotel for the past two nights and it was fine, but it was time for a change. We walked down to Friedrichstrasse to Thai Corner. Kathy had the Nua Phad Med Mamung and I had the Khao Phad Sapparod. The food was good and the people were nice. Had a bit of confusion on the bill pay. The server brought the bill and it was all in German and there was a line that looked like it might be for a tip and another that looked like it might be the total. However, she did not bring a pen. Kathy was searching for her pen when the server came back. She did not look happy that the bill was blank, but took it anyway and came back with a final receipt for EUR39.60. My understanding is that most of the gratuity is covered by the meal price in Germany, but it is customary to round up or even leave a small tip, say 5%. So, we left a couple of EUR coins on the receipt. I enjoyed the walk, it was not too cold and while I often do not enjoy walking after stand up teaching all day, this was fine. On the way back up the hill we passed Gareth, Steve and Angharad on their way to dinner, I guess the student social night open bar had just closed; so it will be a bit of a late evening for them. When we got back, Kathy tried to get online. Gareth swears the thing that looks like a modem cord with the sign that says "56 bit networking is free" is actually Ethernet and it works for him. Kathy was not able to make it work and so she is headed down to the bar with her Android tablet to use the wireless.

[March 4, 2012] A Sunday in Stuttgart

We took our showers and wandered down to the breakfast buffet. They really have a nice spread and we have no scheduled agenda. I really enjoyed the local cheeses and the bread selection is out of this world. They also have a local section, so I tried a local sausage that tasted exactly like a Slim Jim. The tea selection is awesome and we tried a lovely green tea from China that must have jasmine in it. They had small individual packs of Nutella and I really enjoyed putting a little on a thinly sliced heel of whole wheat bread and then sticking two hazelnuts on top of that. After a truly leisurely breakfast we wandered back to the room. I powered up my Mac to write in this journal and we blew the power again. I sure hope the hotel's wiring does not destroy my Mac power supply. The hotel came to reset the circuit breaker and eyed my Mac power supply suspiciously and we both said 110 US, 220 Germany to each other and he wandered away. I hope things work better in the classroom and staff office.

We went out for lunch and did find an open restaurant, the Block House, I had their original Mr. Rumpsteak and a Beer (Bier), Kathy had two sides, a Sauteed Vegetable dish (Pfannengemuse) and a bowl of Mashed Potatoes mixed with Puree of Celery (bill lists it as Kart.Sell.Puree) and we shared a bottle of still water. Bill was EUR38.30 before gratuity. We did exchange some money at the train station, so Kathy would have spending change, a hundred dollars gets EUR68.40 before the service fee; my oh my, is our currency falling. Almost everything is closed on Sunday, we thought it likely we would eat supper in the hotel, but both of us felt like one more walk before the conference teaching week started. The most likely place to find food was the train station. Most of the venues, you pick up your food and eat it elsewhere, but we were hoping for a place we could sit down and enjoy. There was one place that had a symbol that might be a lobster or some other crustacean so we gave it a try. It was Gosch Sylt HBF Stuttgart and it was fun and I hope we get back there before we leave. The menu was inscrutable, but you order at the counter where you have the opportunity to point at what you want. Please forgive if I mess up the English to German descriptions of the food, there is no Internet in the Arcotel Camino Stuttgart hotel room to check my work, so I am doing the best that I can. Kathy had the Fish Soup (Fischsuppe) and the Curried Langostino (Thai Kleine Port). I had what appeared to be a Saffron Pasta with Shrimp (Krebssalatkg) and I enjoyed it and Kathy gave me some of her soup and it was excellent, as in, off the charts excellent. I am guessing it was a bouillabaisse base that had a touch of cloves. Throw in a bottle of Barazahlung Cabernet and the total was EUR34.90 for a big smile of a meal.

[March 3, 2012] A Saturday in Stuttgart

Our first leg of the flight, Lihue to Los Angeles, United 244 was on time. Our purser was Dee (Deana); she did not remember us, but it is the third time we have flown with her. Service was just north of crappy and they did not have much water. We did score first class for this one leg. We landed at LAX and most things were closed, it was still very early in the morning. We relocated to the terminal our gate was in and by then the Red Carpet lounge was open, so I had some corn flakes. Continental 40 opened boarding early. We did not score first class, but we did get an exit row. It was a very full flight and was not able to leave on time; too much pilikia of people trying to store their bags. Service in the back of the plane was close to nonexistent and the flight attendants were one step removed from surly. I bought the Tapas snack pack for about $10 and after we finished it, they left it on my table tray for over an hour. They did bring water from time to time though. We slept through some of this flight. We were delayed landing in New Jersey due to weather. In all the time I have been flying, I have never seen a flight that boarded and deplaned as slowly as Continental 40.

We wanted to get some real food before flying from Newark Liberty to Stuttgart. We found a French style bistro in the international terminal, Le Grand Comptoir. Kathy had the Filet, I had the Crab Puff Pastry, it was OK, nothing to get excited about, bill was USD73 before gratuity. Continental 152 from Newark to Stuttgart was the first flight I have been on in ages that was not totally full. We scored exit rows again, but since it was not a full flight, Kathy was able to lay down in another row of seats for a while. I was not sleepy so I tried to watch movies, but the video system was flaky and kept crashing. It is a Linux system by the way, I know that because I got to watch it boot at least 15 times. For the last two hours of the flight the video system stayed in an infinite loop trying to boot again and again, but never succeeding. Once again, service was just above minimal, I have to wonder if the approaching merger is bumming out the flight attendants. I just do not think I could live with myself if I did such a minimal job. In any case, after a bit over seven hours in the air, we were wheels down in Stuttgart. It was a EUR45.00 taxi ride to our hotel, Arcotel Camino Stuttgart. Check in was easy. Since we had paid for the previous night to assure room availability we were able to take advantage of the breakfast buffet. It was a nice buffet.

There is something wrong with the electronics in the room. The circuit breaker keeps popping. The technician said it was my US to German adapter so I bought another one. I just hope my Mac does not fry. The circuit in the bathroom works properly so we try to charge things using that one. Maintenance has been up to our room four times now. Fortunately, we should be able to use the staff office tomorrow. Our room is stuffy, but it is right over the place where people smoke cigarettes, so we will not be able to open the window. The room is small and there is no desk and no wireless; I cannot imagine the thought of a SANS hotel with no wireless in the rooms. They say they have it in the bar. We decided to go out, one thing that surprised me was the amount of litter on the ground. My memories of Germany are from the late 1970s, I have been to several cities and the streets were really clean, not a piece of litter. In older neighborhoods, people would clean the street in front of their homes with soap and water. This trip, I saw litter, stains on the street, apparently homeless people looking for handouts, reminded me of home.

Kathy's Samsonite Spinner carry on died this trip, it is about four years old, and we do travel a lot. The zipper, the handle and one of the wheels all failed in the same trip. We cut the bag open with a knife to empty the contents; needless to say, buying a new bag was task one. We found a luggage store at a mall and really took our time trying to find the right bag for Kathy. When you travel a lot, you learn a lot about carry on bags.

There was a Travel Pro spinner and a top of the line Delsey personal effect that looked like it would make a nice combination. The Delsey is clearly designed to carry a tablet or small laptop, but not look like a laptop personal effect. It actually cost more than the Travel Pro if such a thing is possible. We dragged the bag back up the hotel and then marched back down the hill to find some lunch.

There is a mall about a half mile from the hotel and we found a place to eat lunch before crashing. We have been mostly awake for 30 hours and hope to be asleep by about 4:30 P.M. Stuttgart time and sleep till 7:30 A.M. The lunch place was Steigenberger Graf Zeppelin Stuttgart. It is a mixed mode restaurant, they have a side that serves steaks and a side that serves local food; we opted for local. I went with Lentils and Spatzle (Linsen und Spatzle) which had a generous portion of sausage that tasted exactly like a hot dog and Kathy opted for the Mussels (Miesmusche) and we shared a bottle of local German red wine (Rotwein). It was a 2009 Monatswein, it was fine if a bit dry, but with a few more years of age and some time to breathe, this is going to be a tasty bottle. Service was great and boy did we appreciate that; bill before gratuity was EUR64.00.

What I am about to tell you is not a healthy plan, but I need to be in this timezone and functioning Monday morning. We found a local store in the mall that has tons of condiments and a wine section, so I bought two bottles of local wine and we headed back up the hill. Now to sleep, on top of the exercise of walking up and down the hill a few times, we shared a bottle of wine, had four melatonin apiece and each had two droppers of passionflower extract. The combination, plus being awake for so long dropped us both down even though the sun was still shining. We both woke up at 11:30 P.M. cracked open the second bottle of wine (we did not finish it), hit some more melatonin and passionflower and slept till 7:20 A.M. which was ten minutes before the alarm was set.

Carry On Bags

Just a few more words about carry on bags from a couple that flies 100k miles a year. Kathy prefers spinners, her style to move her bag to the right and just in front of her. Spinners also have the advantage in narrow aisles on jets since you can turn them sideways. I prefer skateboard wheels, I pull the bag behind me and simply lift it up and turn it sideways behind me when boarding jets. There was a nice Delsey that was a tad too big. You want to avoid bags that have to go in sideways on most of the overhead compartments, other than United 757s; if you do not get on the jet early enough, it may be impossible to put your bag in the overhead. We did find a wonderful, sturdy Samsonite, but the telescoping arm was single. It was beefy, but I had a Swiss Army Victronox brand single pole arm in the past, and when the bag is loaded and you are moving fast, it becomes unstable and starts to wobble. You also want to look for zipper pockets, so you can get your book and water bottle out of the bag without opening the main compartment. This is why I avoid the new hardshell cases, they do not usually have pockets, though there is currently a hardshell you can order from Skymall that does have a pocket. None of the bags in the store had a small pocket on the back for a water bottle or personal thermos. That is too bad, that takes a bag over the top. If you give up some space in the size of the bag, you want to be able to make it back up with your personal effect. Ideally, this sits over the telescoping poles of your carry on bag. The thing to look for is a wide back strap that is tight, not sloppy, a lot of these are just a piece of webbing; that will not keep it on nice and solid. I would not recommend buying a carry on that does not have a handle on the side, you do not need it that often, but if you travel a lot it really comes in handy when getting on a hotel or rental car shuttle bus. The convention is to put your luggage sideways on the luggage rack, this makes it a lot easier. Kathy's new Travel Pro even has feet so if it is rainy or snowy, the bag isn't getting wet on the bottom.

[March 1, 2012] Off to Stuttgart, 27 hours and counting

Tonight we fly. We start on Thursday and end up in Germany on Saturday morning. Whew! I will let you know how it went when I get a chance.

[February 29, 2012] Happy leap year, last night on Kauai

Bob and Pam had us over to dinner. Pam made a lovely curry with local coconut, followed by a salad that was amazingly creative, corn roulade patties on top of arugula and seasoned chip, then followed up with her famous rack of lamb. We had a great conversation and then about 9 PM we excused ourselves to go pack.

[February 26, 2012] Tahiti?

A couple months ago Rudy mentioned it would be nice to go to Tahiti and rent a boat. And then he said something, "before we are too old to do it", that really got my attention. Every once in a while you see a couple coming to Hawaii on the plane and they are fairly old and feeble; you know they can't go hiking or surfing, and you wonder what they are going to do. We are going to meet for soup and cornbread tonight and plan this out, can we do it, can we put the trip together? Kathy and Rudy have been researching and one boat that is available is a Leopard 38.

[February 24, 2012] Whale watching on Kauai

I received a stop work on my tasks for the college in my email and right after that Rudy called and asked if we wanted to go out on the boat. So we left work a little early (I made it up on Saturday and Sunday). The trades have lessened and it is not so brutal being on a boat. We went to Kipu Kai, saw a sea turtle, went swimming in the clean waters (most of the ocean near the shore is brown due to all the rain), and Kathy walked along the beach. But the swells were pretty strong and we needed to get back on the boat before the wave action pulled the anchor free. We headed towards Maha'ulepu and must have seen 20 different whales. At one point we just killed the engines and the whales would swim by, often only 100' from the boat. Really fun. Then we zoomed back to pick up Shanda and she brought ravioli, salmon, salad, and we added cheese and crackers and cashews. We also shared a bottle of 2007 Cabernet Pfeffer. It was truly a lovely experience.

[February 18, 2012] Phoenix to Kauai

Our car pickup at the hotel was 4:00 A.M. We got to the airport and getting through security went well. United 6523 was on time and we scored first class, but it was a waste of a seat, I slept from the moment I sat down till wheels down. We had a little time before our next flight so we ducked into the Red Carpet Lounge at LAX. The quiet room was empty so Kathy slept on the big vinyl bench and I crashed in a chair. A 3:15 A.M. wakeup after teaching all week put a serious energy burn on the day. United 559 to Lihue was a bit late leaving, but, you guessed it, I was asleep; my guess, based on arrival, is about a half hour late. Our purser Patricia was a hoot and a howl, one of those flight attendants that clearly loves her job and wants to make the flight fun. Believe it or not, the flight attendants are going to have an hour down time and they are going back to LAX with the plane. We scored first class, the meal was so-so. A small piece of chicken breast with tomato sauce, green beans and some rice. I was hungry though so I wiped it out. The movie was The 3 Musketeers, really stupid, but the trailers made it look like it would be interesting. I gave up on the movie and went back to reading. Though I am working my way through a good book, most of my reading was a couple days worth of the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. On the road you can get behind on your news and analysis.

[February 17, 2012] Last day of MGT 514 Security Planning, policy and leadership

This was the last day of the class, I have finally gotten to teach this course. It was over two years in the making and I appreciate the patience Deb Jorgensen and Suzy have showed. After class we went to Matador Restaurant. There were a lot of locals there, they clearly have a following, I just cannot see why. We both had ice tea to drink, Kathy had the Spinach Enchiladas, I had the Seafood Enchiladas. They give you two types of restaurant made salsa and sadly that was the highlight of the visit. Kathy's enchiladas were OK, mine not so good and the service was non-existent. Not recommended. Price before gratuity was 27.16.

[February 16, 2012] Completed the policy section and visit to Hanny's

This is day four of my course Management 514 and I completed the policy section. Tomorrow, we dive into leadership. We went to Hanny's and it was a wonderful experience. Great atmosphere, fantastic food, exceptional service. We both had ice tea and Kathy had the Chop Salad, I had the Proscutto Parma Pizza. Price before gratuity was 32.24.

[February 15, 2012] Thai'd Up

Kathy and I wanted Thai tonight. That was a spicy experience and we loved it! I had the Fish Two Ocean, which is fish prepared two ways. One was steamed with hot peppers and a sour sauce, the other was a sweet chili sauce. Very generous portion, could not finish. Kathy got the Red Curry with chicken. Both dishes were good and they have brown rice which we chose. We each had a beer, a Singha and a Phuket, liked the Phuket better. Price before gratuity was 51.37. Now the neighborhood, just a block from the Hyatt Regency is not the best. At one point a street person came into the restaurant and started yelling and then left.

[February 14, 2012] Kincaid's

Kathy and I had a good but not great dinner at Kincaid's, a steak and seafood house. Kathy had the Filet, I had the bone in think cut blackened pork chop. It was just a touch to salty for me, but the flavor was outstanding. We also got the smoked truffle infused mushrooms and a bottle of Edmeades Zinfandel. We both really enjoyed their garlic bread, it was so good we had to be careful not to fill up on bread. The food was good, the service by Erica H was subpar. Very slow water refill, no serving implement for the mushrooms, we had to ask for sharp knives for our mains, no checking in on us. I realize this was Feb 14, but not all the tables were full, there is no reason to drop quality because you have a few extra tables in service because someone may post the experience on Google. Price before gratuity 116.79

[February 13, 2012] Steve's Greenhouse Grill

Kathy and I both had the Roast Pork Loin Special with mashed potatoes covered in white sauce. Comfort food, but it hit the spot. I also got Steve's White Chili. Everything was tasty, I like what another reviewer wrote, good, not great, and I love the big glasses of water. It was happy hour so I ordered a Long Board Lager and Kathy ordered a glass of the house Cabernet Savignon. Price before gratuity 36.51.

[February 12, 2012] Compass Restaurant

Richard, Wendi, Kathy and I had dinner in the revolving restaurant at the Hyatt. Three of us had the Cowboy (bone in) Ribeye and Kathy had the filet. Steaks were all cooked as requested, service was excellent. They serve a sweet jalapeno corn bread instead of wheat bread. I do not normally like sweet cornbread, but this seemed to work well. We shared a bottle of Ridge 3 Valley Zinfandel which we did not finish so we corked it for tomorrow. We were there for sunset and it was gorgeous. A little pricey, bill before gratuity was 261.23.

[February 11, 2012] Richmond to Phoenix

James Limo was on time to pick us up. He was actually early and pulled into the elementary school bus "U" next door. Going through security at RIC was easy. We got some breakfast at Cheeseburger Cheeseburger; not recommended but they were open. United 5996 was on time. We both slept on the the plane. It was ten degrees Fahrenheit at Chicago and the wind was brisk. No jet bridge, so we had to come down the stairs of the puddle jumper, pick up our carry-on bags and go inside. More importantly than the cold was all the salt. It was too far to carry our carry-on bags (we both pack a lot of electronics and our carry-on bags are usually heavier than our checked bags). Thick Ice Salt got all in around and through the wheels. I took my bag into the airport bathroom and cleaned it up to prevent from salting the hotel furniture when we get to our destination. We did not get the upgrade, but we did have exit row seats. Flight United 393 was a bit late leaving, I will spare you the details, but chalk it up to the human frailty factor. The movie was Three Musketeers, but the audio did not work for channel 1 for either Kathy or my seat and could not see the screen, it was an Airbus 319 and we were just too far back from the little screen. Also, everyone had their window shades up. They probably asked people to put them down, but the PA system had the volume so low, I did not understand a single announcement. Not United's best showing, but the flight attendants were really good about serving water and seeing that we were headed to the desert, I was happy to oblige.

We are staying at the Phoenix Hyatt downtown. The room seems nice. I was a little hungry, so we wandered off, I like to see the area right near the hotel anyway.

Happy Hour at The Arrogant Butcher

What fun. The Butcher is located at 2 E. Jefferson #150 three blocks or so from the hotel. There was clearly a local presence and Kathy liked the vibe so we wandered in. We anchored with their Artichoke Hummus, a brilliant dish with tomatoes, lovely hot peppers and artichokes on top of the hummus, I am going to try this next time I serve a dinner party. We also got the Montchevre Goat Brie with Razz Cherry Marmalade (dried cherries with rasberry juice), Elephant Garlic and Marinated Olives. Kathy had two glasses of wine: the Indian Wells Merlot and Manifesto Zinfandel. I had two local beers, Four Peaks Kiltlifter Scottish Ale and San Tan HefeWeizen. We elected to sit inside and I am glad we did; armies of Harley Davidson's, with tuned exhaust pipes, motorcycles are part of the charm of Arizona, but they can make conversation difficult. Cost before gratuity was 38.26

[February 10, 2012] Quiet day in Richmond VA

Technically this is paid time off, but like so many other SANS employees I continue to monitor my email. This morning I overhauled my carry on bag and tried to straighten up the apartment a bit. I am trying to decide what to do about a number of investment decisions. We make our last meal a potato casserole with the leftover goat cheese, fat free cottage cheese, asparagus, and a couple pieces of cooked bacon. Pretty good. Gassed up the vehicles and put them in the garage.

[February 9, 2012] Last day of meetings in Dulles

Meetings at the Hilton Dulles have gone well, we have been productive and I think this was a good investment of time. The hotel has been good about coffee and snacks while not being intrusive. It was snowing when we broke, but someone told me that today would be clear. That is great because Kathy and I will be driving as soon as the meetings are over. I woke up early, before my alarm and before the club lounge opened so I packed my main bag and took it to the car. There were a lot of people waiting for the airport shuttle. It never seems like they will all fit, but somehow they do. The snow from last night is all gone, the Mustang was covered with a mixture of water and ice. I think it will all be gone by the time the meeting is over, but just in case I made sure the scrapers were on top of my bag, not underneath it.

[February 7, 2012] Relocating to the Dulles/Reston area for meetings

Our Richmond house is falling apart, both the heater and the hot water heater have failed. The pipes would have burst except we have heated floors for our tile floors, so we turned them up. We also have solar hot water, which on a cloudy winter day allows for a warm shower, but not freezing cold. We called Gilman Heating and Mechanical. They were supposed to send someone at 8:00 A.M. however he called in sick. So they rescheduled to 11:00 A.M. It was closer to 11:40, but Lance was the nicest guy, amazing EQ. It took him about 90 seconds to troubleshoot the house furnace. The vent on the roof allows animals to get in and we had a pile of birds and squirrels in the motor that runs the heater. So he went for rubber gloves and went into animal removal mode. When he put everything back together he pointed out the irregular noise. He said the induction motor is damaged and it might work for two more days and might work for two more years. So I made a note to start researching choices in replacing the temperature control plant in the house. My hope is that it will make it through the winter and that can be a project for next year.

After Lance left, I pulled the Mustang GT 5.0 out of the garage and we loaded it up for Dulles. It is kind of nice driving instead of flying. You can keep your pocket knife in your pocket and fill your thermos with tea since you do not have to go through security. We brought snacks since the Hilton Dulles is literally in the middle of nowhere. Yes, I have a car, but why go out when I have snacks right in the room? Traffic was light so I95 was easy. I was tempted to drive to I495 next, but in the end decided to take 234 to Manassas, when the Beltway goes bad, it can go very bad. Just north of Fredericksburg VA, I noticed a James Limousine black town car, (this is the service I use from the Richmond airport). I dropped in behind him. If you have ever tried to follow a professional driver it is a bit of a trip. He was mostly very professional and of course cars got between us. If it was one car I always let it happen, I did not want to be too obvious. If it was two or three, I would use the handling and acceleration of a GT 5.0 and drop back in. I really smiled when he took 234, he was also headed for Dulles. At one point he was in the right lane, I was in the left and I pulled up to see if it was a driver I knew. Just as I pulled alongside, he jumped in front of me, no signal, just a few feet ahead of me. Odd that he would do something that dangerous in front of a car that has the acceleration mine does, but I let it go. These are the guys that pick me up from the airport, don't want to rattle them.

We are in the Hilton Dulles. I have been here before and suspect I will be here again. The Hilton Dulles is better than usual for an airport hotel. We have a large room, not sure the Hilton corner room upgrade is possible in a round hotel. Plenty of parking. We are on the 4th floor and this is clearly a renovated room, clean nice carpet, no dings, etc. There is no tub, but the walk-in tile shower looks fun. When I walked into the bathroom and saw the Hilton elliptical mirror with scallops on the side I just had to smile. Branding is an amazing thing. Warning, this is in the middle of nowhere. There are no restaurants within walking distance to the best of my knowledge. We were tired of driving and ate at the in hotel - Old Ox Grile, Kathy had the filet with wine sauce, I had the Osso Bucco special. We each had two glasses of the happy hour house red Cabernet @4 each. I have to agree with the "Random Guy" Google review, my Verizon MiFi could not bring down my email, however, I happen to be a Hilton Gold, so they take the $10 a day wireless charge off my bill. We will be here for two nights and we are off to a good start.

[February 6, 2012] Office work in Richmond VA

It is funny, in Hawaii, I never eat lunch at my computer. It is important to get up sometimes, change scenery and so forth. But in Richmond I usually eat lunch at my computer. Have a lot of phone meetings today, but I think we are getting some good things done. Just finished reading the latest version of the first day of Rob Lee's advanced forensic training course. It looks really awesome.

Kathy had a crown put on today and was supposed to eat something soft. In the frozen seafood section at Wal-Mart they had a bag of frozen fully cooked lobster claws. I fired up some brown rice rotini pasta, chopped some red onions fine, cut up a red pepper and simmered the veggies in evaporated goat milk. For spices I mostly used garlic, basil and black pepper. While everything was cooking I removed the lobster meat and cut it up fine. Just before serving I tossed in the lobster and as soon as it was warm, served.


[February 5, 2012] Superbowl Sunday

Whew, we are exhausted. I woke up about 7:30 A.M. However my get up and go, got up and went. I would wake up, fall back asleep, dream like crazy, do it again. Finally at 12:30, I got out of bed, mostly because I was hungry. We had a very quiet afternoon. In the evening we live streamed the Superbowl. It actually worked very well. On all the commercials, I Command+Tabbed to my email and worked away on my inbox.


[February 4, 2012] Monterey to Richmond

We got up earlier than we needed to, I forgot how easy (relatively speaking) it is to get through security at Monterey Carmel airport. The puddle jumper, United 6290 was on time and an easy flight. We had about an hour in LAX, Kathy had a cup of Split Pea soup from the California Kitchen, they do soup well and then we boarded United 653 for IAD. What a great flight! Cost us two systemwide upgrades, but we scored business class on an international 777. Very nice, great service, I watched Aliens and half of Avatar before we landed. One hour layover in IAD before the puddle jumper to Richmond. I treated myself to a 5 Guys Bacon Cheeseburger. I know it is not healthy, but it is certainly good. United 6151 was on time. James Limo picked us up and we got to bed just before midnight.


[February 2, 2012] A sunny day in Monterey

Friday night, February 3, we had a business meeting and needed to get dinner fast. We were in a hurry and came to Montrio Bistro right at 7 PM which is usually peak. They sat us instantly even though we did not have reservations. Our server Charissa understood and we were in an out in 45 minutes; amazing. Kathy had the Calamari, best ratio of meat to breading I have yet seen. I had the Sirloin and Prawns. Prawns were delicious, sauce was delicious and good thing, that was the driest steak I have had in a long time. I love the way they leave water pitcher/bottles on the table. The crayons on the table were a nice touch and we had a classic cute kid at the next table, so I will give atmosphere points. Our total before gratuity was 40.76.

Kathy and I went to Round Table Pizza tonight, we needed something fast. Not a great experience. We both got the return trip salad bar and I got a slice of cheese pizza. Kathy had the house wine and I had a beer. It is a good salad bar, plenty of items to choose from. The pizza was OK, but not special. Kids were running back and forth and the facility is a bit run down. Bill before gratuity was 24.75.


[February 1, 2012] Crypto day in Monterey

Lowest score today was a 7, thank heavens. It was the crypto day (actually the crypto morning) and my students had a lot to learn. I have learned to break it down for them in bite size chunks so when we do the review at the end of the day, they get it and if they miss a few parts, they get those taken care of in the review. I am very annoyed at Kaspersky, my anti-virus. When it updated or whatever it did to itself, it can no longer find its license key. So it deactivated itself, putting my machine at risk. I now rate Kaspersky as one step above pond scum. Even if they choose to penalize me by not updating my signatures till I get to Richmond which is where I have the paperwork.


[January 31, 2012] Night market in Monterey

Gotta love Tuesday night in Monterey and the night market. Today was a long teaching day and a couple of my students are scoring me low; one gave me a 5, the other a 6. The 5 is clearly a case of test anxiety, dunno about the other one. If they only knew how hard it was to deliver a top performance when you have negative comments, but I try. I also take a bit of comfort in the fact that Microsoft just offered a significant job that said it prefers the GSLC. Heck, I find myself wanting to apply; I think the world of Microsoft and hold what, is for me, a significant position in their stock! I will post the text below, because it will be taken off the site, but first I want to talk about the night market and supper. The night market is part farmer's market, part street entertainer, part street vendor. I love the balance. We have been several times over the years. While I LOVE street vendor food, it was a bit cool, nowhere to sit, and I did not want to spill food on my custom blazer.

We decided to eat at Rosine's Restaurant. They offer 14.99 specials on Tuesday (night market) night. Great service, great food, I think we need to go back there. We both chose the mushroom soup as our starter. They are in the top ten mushroom soups I have tasted in my life. This may be surprising to you, but the mushroom soup they serve on United is also a top ten. I chose the stuffed chicken Italiano, the chicken breast was too dry to eat, but the stuffing was excellent. Kathy chose the beef Burgundy and it was fantastic. I am not a dessert person, but only an idiot would ignore that display case. Kathy had the French Cherry Pie, I had some piece of cake big enough to choke a horse. Total bill before gratuity: 32.15


Microsoft Job Posting
Job Category:
IT
Location: Redmond, WA, US
Job ID: 780054-70968
Division: IT

Do you have a passion for protecting computer networks and enterprises? Microsoft IT's Information Security and Risk Management (ISRM) team is looking for a seasoned leader to establish a strong team focused on protecting Microsoft IT's intellectual property, critical data, and critical business processes from malicious activity.

ISRM works closely with Trustworthy Computing's (TWC) Network Security (NETSEC) team and Global Foundation Service's (GFS) Online Services Security and Compliance (OSSC) team to drive enterprise-wide governance, risk, and compliance. ISRM's Security Operations group is establishing a new team to enhance security intrusion detection and incident response activities within Microsoft IT.

As Director of Intrusion Detection and Security Event Management, you will be responsible for ensuring that the team deploys, implements, and executes scalable security detection and response services. You will be responsible for developing and implementing robust operational processes and integrating with ISRM's larger security incident response program. You will develop and implement the team's long-term strategy; ensure that it has sufficient resources, is appropriately deployed worldwide based on emerging and ongoing risks; serve as key member of ISRM's response team during security incident response; and nurture excellent collaborative relationships with partner teams in TWC, OSSC, and elsewhere. You will need good judgment, an ability to handle dynamic situations, and a well-developed sense of discretion involving sensitive issues to thrive in the position.

Qualifications include:

- A Bachelor-level degree in Computer Science, or equivalent.
- Strong leadership skills
- 5+ years experience leading an organization with global responsibility for the implementation and operation of common security operations systems, such as Intrusion Detection Systems, Security Information Event Management Systems, log collection systems, etc
- Strong knowledge of security monitoring and incident response
- Demonstrated ability to deal with ambiguous situations in a high-paced dynamic environment
- Deep understanding of relevant regulations such as PCI-DSS and SOX
- Strong cross-organization collaboration skills
- Strong experience influencing without authority
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate with senior executives and customers
- GIAC Security Leadership Certification preferred.
- A United States Federal Government security clearance is preferred.



[January 30, 2012] First day teaching in Monterey

I have an unbelievable classroom. It is on the 10th floor of the Marriott Monterey and it is all glass on three sides of the room. The view of the ocean and the mountains is remarkable. The carpet has the most awesome padding. Since I teach standing up, it is really hard on my legs by the end of the day, but I was OK.

For supper we went to Cibo, we have been going there for years. Our waiter was the low point, he never seemed to show up, but everything else was great and family members kept coming over and making things happen, so overall it was OK. Kathy had the BBQ Calamari (a non-breaded version) as a starter and then the Salmon as her main. I had the Ravioli as a starter and it was big enough to be serve as a main. It is an amazing dish, four cheese ravioli, lots of walnuts and some pine nuts and they add the Parmesan at the table. It is not soggy at all and I think they must broil it because it comes out very hot. I am partial to their Salsiccia, restaurant-made sausage over peppers and polenta. Our check before gratuity came to 77.22.


[January 28, 2012] Last swim on Kauai before Monterey

A gorgeous Saturday. Spent a lot of it getting ready to fly tonight, but we had a lovely swim this afternoon. Kathy left her beach towel on the beach and when we got back two tourists were concerned that the lady on the towel had been gone so long *smile*. If we had not had so much to do, we would have been gone longer. We flew out on United 719 at 9:39 P.M. We got lucky and scored first class, had to burn systemwides to get it. Sikokie was our purser. He is a consummate professional as a flight attendant. Flight was on time and we did not have much turbulence. We landed at LAX just before 5:00 A.M. on January 29. United 6290 operated by Skywest Airlines was late, the galley door was signaling it was not closed and latched. Since losing a door in flight would be a disaster, I was happy to wait till they got it fixed. A mechanic was able to replace the micro-sensor and we took off about an hour late. Kathy and I both slept for the hour and five minute flight.

The Marriott Monterey is a very accommodating hotel. Even though we arrived early, they put us in a temporary room so we could get a nap. And everyone is incredibly friendly, I have not seen a hotel quite this welcoming in years. We went out for lunch and chose Maha's Lebanese Cuisine at 470 Alvarado St. (831) 372-8999. I enjoyed our visit. Kathy had several sides including a not to be missed potato salad and a green salad. I had the mixed grill. The lamb was great. The beef was very flavorful, but a touch tough. The chicken was a bit dry. The lentil soup was a bit salty, so we both ate all the lentils and left most of the broth. The only way I was able to swallow a few pieces of chicken was dipping it in the broth. They were out of date cookies so we shared a piece of baklava; who can complain about baklava. Total bill before gratuity was 34.42 and the service was very good. This was lunch so there was no belly dancer.

For supper we went to a local market and had a floor picnic in our hotel room.


[January 22, 2012] Back from New Orleans

Tuesday we jumped a jet to New Orleans for some business meetings. Took the team out to Commander's Palace Cafe. I had the Andouille encrusted fish. Yum! Wednesday, Kathy and I got our fill at the original Popeye's Louisana Kitchen. Thursday, we catered a dinner, Creole of course, the Seafood Etoufee was truly excellent. Friday morning we got up early and flew back to Kauai; whirlwind. The lady at the Continental ticket counter in New Orleans was the rudest airline person I have had the "pleasure" of dealing with in a while. We tried to check in online; could not. We tried to check in at the counter; could not. So we had to wait for the frowny face lady; yuck. There are some other signs that this is not going to be a happy year with United. They seem to be changing their upgrade policies, 1k seems like it means less and prices seem to be going up as well. But the tradewinds are blowing, we had an incredible swim yesterday and a lovely walk along the ocean today. I am going to wander over to the main house and do some cooking, we are having two dinner parties this week. I need to really watch myself because we fly in a week, so I need to manage the refrigerator well.

After the sun went down the weather changed and the winds started blowing out of the South again. I made my own version of red beans and rice, mine is red beans and rice pilaf. There are a couple keys to doing this well and it did come out well. Do not be afraid to use more garlic than you think makes sense. Paprika, Cumin, and Bay leaves are spices that I like to use. Another key is a source of fat. I do not ever use port lard, so I used vegetable oil in this case - Peanut oil.

[January 16, 2012] Extended winds out of the South

Whew! We fly to New Orleans tonight and I am thankful. Extended winds out of the south affect a number of people including Kathy and me. We have a little room we can seal off and run an air filter. We call it "the bubble". It has been good swimming though, the ocean has been flat, but cannot swim today, too much runoff from the rain.


[January 11, 2012] The weather is changing on Kauai (I think)

It has been an amazing string. Windless days, still ocean, clear mountains. Yesterday when we were swimming, the swells started coming back. There was a very minor haze to the west and it dulled the sun, but only by a little bit, enough to dampen the glare of the late afternoon sun when it is low in the sky. I love swimming in totally calm water, but to be honest, I love the swells too. At Perfects Beach the current is reliably north to south, parallel to the shore; in all the years I have been swimming there, I have never felt a rip, probably because of the outer reef, Perfects is a lagoon beach.

Today, we just had a rain band come through, it will be interesting to see what the weather does today; it seems like something is changing, but for now the sun is up and it looks pretty neat outside. I may try to sneak out and get a walk along the ocean and then work late today to make up the time.


[January 9, 2012] My HP Laptop is back

It died November 27 and I have HP's damage protection, but we had a number of problems communicating addresses and the box has been trying to get back to me for weeks. It came today, I put the battery back in it and it fired up. Great timing, Diane and I use three computers total, when you are doing courseware it is really nice to have that extra screen. Great timing too, the Dell Precision M90, I think it is six years old, but it failed to boot today. Kind of like a grandfather's clock moment. I am still primarily using the Mac and do not plan to take the HP when we go to New Orleans.


[January 8, 2012] A picture perfect day on Kauai

Oh my, the waves were almost flat on East shore, the weather was perfect, we went to the beach as soon we were back from church and had lunch. It was lovely. When we finished our swim we noticed a white dog tied up to a tree. Sadie has a very recognizable face and she is also a three legged dog. We had seen Harry while we were swimming, didn't know it was him, but it was clear someone was enjoying diving around the old reef. After our swim we went for a walk along the beach, a perfect day. The temperature dived after the sun went down and the full moon came up. I wandered into the office and puttered with the Code Academy. Tomorrow is the big day. This is a free service to teach people to code in javascript. I think we are on the cusp of some amazing things and it is great to see it happen. They say that over 200 people have signed up for the year of code including the mayor of New York City. I also received two books today, The Manga Guide to Statistics and The Manga Guide to Physics. Brilliant! These come from No Starch Press, which is becoming my favorite publisher. They are designed to appeal to a younger audience and are pretty nifty. I started reading the stats book last night. Little bit of a slow start, but where I left off on page 50, the fact rate is picking up.

[January 5, 2012] Learning to use a Mac

It is a still day on Kauai, this is when it gets hot. Fortunately, we have a room we call the bubble and we can turn on the air conditioning. I have been without a PC for three weeks now. I had an HP with keyboard failure. We did have damage protection, but even though I went through the very polite and better than usual support team from India, they got the address wrong. The laptop arrived a day after we left Richmond and I was the only one that could sign for it. So hopefully it is headed for Hawaii. In the mean time, I have learned that it is important to use the Command key!

Removing flash cookies on MacOSX Lion

One of the things I have been pondering is how to remove flash cookies. Charles Edge, the Mac security guru suggested:
rm -fr ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\\ Player/\\#SharedObjects

And I am sure that would work, but is a bit heavy handed for my taste. So, I tried to cd to ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\\ Player/\\#SharedObjects and it returned me to my home directory. /Users/snorthcutt; odd. So I went one directory at a time and was able get to Player. I changed directory to #SharedObjects and bang, back in my home directory. Then I tried ls:
ls -la ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\\ Player/\\#SharedObjects/EHVEE7C7
total 0
drwx------@ 4 snorthcutt staff 136 Jan 5 18:44 .
drwx------@ 3 snorthcutt staff 102 Jan 5 18:21 ..
drwx------@ 4 snorthcutt staff 136 Jan 5 18:21 core.videoegg.com
drwx------@ 3 snorthcutt staff 102 Jan 5 19:11 s.ytimg.com

Ah ha, now we are getting somewhere!
rm -fr ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\\ Player/\\#SharedObjects/EHVEE7C7
Stephens-MacBook-Pro:~ snorthcutt$ ls -la ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\\ Player/\\#SharedObjects/EHVEE7C7
ls: /Users/snorthcutt/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash Player/#SharedObjects/EHVEE7C7: No such file or directory

I am still not done, they have another location:
ls -la ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\\ Player/macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/sys
total 8
drwxr-xr-x@ 3 snorthcutt staff 102 Jan 5 18:21 #core.videoegg.com
drwxr-xr-x@ 3 snorthcutt staff 102 Jan 5 18:44 #s.ytimg.com
drwxr-xr-x@ 5 snorthcutt staff 170 Jan 5 18:44 .
drwx------@ 3 snorthcutt staff 102 Jan 5 18:10 ..
-rw-r--r--@ 1 snorthcutt staff 544 Jan 5 18:44 settings.sol

OK then!
cd ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\\ Player/macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/sys
Stephens-MacBook-Pro:sys snorthcutt$ rm -rf *
Stephens-MacBook-Pro:sys snorthcutt$ ls -la
total 0
drwxr-xr-x@ 2 snorthcutt staff 68 Jan 5 21:20 .
drwx------@ 3 snorthcutt staff 102 Jan 5 18:10 ..

How I am ever going to remember any of this is beyond me, but never despise the day of small beginnings!


[January 2, 2012] A long swim followed by curry for lunch

The water was flat and glassy this morning, perfect for swimming in the ocean. Mind you, we like swimming with the waves too, even though our favorite beach has a shorebreak, but this was so nice, it was sunny but there was the thinnest cloud imaginable covering the sun most of the time so it was not harsh. Kathy suggested we wear wetsuits, we have really comfortable ones from NRS, I wasn't going to, but we were in the water so long, I am glad I listened. Kathy and I did three round trips up and down our favorite beach, we would have gone a bit further to the north, but there was a fisherman with his line in the water and they do not like swimmers, but we were able to go further south than we normally do. Hunter stayed at the beach for another hour. I was hungry so I made curry. We already had a lovely multi-rice dish to serve it over.

Chicken Curry Island style (serves 2)

1/2 onion cut up fine
3 celery stalks cut up fine
5 white button mushrooms
Cover the first three ingredients with free range chicken broth, start a medium heat
6 baby carrots, cut each one into about 8 pieces
1 can coconut milk that includes the cream
As the last thing you do before spicing, add a chicken breast (skin removed) cut into 1/4 slices and cut each slice into at least 3 parts

Spicing:
12 Basil leaves chopped up
2 sprigs worth of thyme leaves
Garlic
Black pepper to taste
Curry powder to taste
Red cayenne pepper to taste

Serving:
As soon as you are sure the chicken breast is cooked, serve to bowls with warm rice


// Stephen Northcutt Google //