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.

Other Related Articles in Information Security Travel Guide

Information Security Travel Guide Edition 17 - Stephen Northcutt

By Stephen Northcutt
Version 2.6

infosec travel 17 dfs

[Saturday, November 6, 2010] End of the Working Vacation and Closeout of This Edition of the Blog

This morning was pretty funny. They were staging the Veteran's Day Parade in front of our house. One thing you have to love about Kauai is parades, they do them in a big way. Classic cars, marching soldiers, Bank of Hawaii, a hula school on a tow truck, you name it. Now, I have just finished packing my suitcases; we are packing heavy to Seattle and will drop a lot of warm things off there. It has been a fun two weeks on Kauai, but we are ready to go home. We will have another working vacation in January and February, which truthfully are not my favorite months in Seattle.

I have been reducing my intake of animal protein, but I think I will splurge today and get lunch from Chicken in a Barrel. It is a new restaurant in Kapaa and the owner, Mike Pierce, has been working on his charcoal smoked chicken for years, and he really seems to have that down. They serve a plate with brown rice and chili beans. As Auntie Zena would say, "broke da mouth', and they have been written up in Coconut Coasters. This will be the last entry in version 17 of the blog, but we will pick up the Infosec Tour Guide in edition 18.

[Tuesday, November 2, 2010] Election Day

Today, the United States makes history. There is no breeze on Kauai, I guess it will get fairly hot later but it is still morning. Yesterday, we went swimming at Baby Beach. When we started, it was high enough tide, but we stayed out too long and had to pick our way back in. I hit a coral head with my knee, cut the knee, but worse, that always damages the coral. I will heal much faster than the coral, so very sorry. Then we decided to keep swimming and went to Pono Kai and were going to swim there, but the water was very, very cloudy and there have been sharks (white tips, no big deal ) in the area, so we decided not to swim there.

[Monday, November 1, 2010] Working Vacation on Kauai is flying by

Friday, we got to have dinner with some dear friends from the mainland who are also on vacation in Hawaii. We catered the meal from Chicken in a Barrel. The chicken and ribs are outstanding. The brisket is not quite up to their standards, but brisket is hard to do well. Kathy are I are enjoying our working vacation - I did a bit of work on the new course that I am creating, but mostly took the weekend off. When we leave, we will not be back till the end of the year, but will get to visit lots of exciting places.

[Saturday, October 23, 2010] Kauai

United flight 69 was wonderful yesterday. We had great service, it was on-time. The movie was Despicable Me, an animation. Ho Hum. Kathy and I decided to take the day off, I did pop into the office to read my direct report's status reports and am going to pop out and get a haircut, it has been a couple months and I look like the nutty professor, but that is life at high speed. Weather is beautiful, Kathy, far more sensible than I, has headed to the beach.

[Thursday, October 21, 2010] Long Beach California

After I gave my talk on Wednesday, we went up to the room to answer email and the like. Turns out check-out time at the Strathallen was 11:00 A.M. They called at 11:05 and asked if we needed more time, we had been planning to depart for the airport at noon, but we were out of the room by 11:20. The hotel shuttle was available ad we got a ride to the airport. The driver was nice, but only one seatbelt in the entire van worked; ah, the Strathallen (don't stay there). We found a place that had power in the Rochester airport and continued to work, I like that airport, nice architecture, it seems clean and new. United 7320 operated by Mesa to IAD was on time, no problems there. We popped into the Red Carpet lounge and got a bit more work done and then it was time to fly to LAX. United 947 was a 777 and we scored business class. The good news is that you had your choice of channels, the bad news, the inflight service was terrible, only one flight attendant seemed to care. Dinner was some horrid chicken thing and a big mound of white rice. They ran out of wine in the first hour of the flight, which is fine, but not to their credit. I watched Eclipse of the Twilight Series and read my book. They got us to LA safely and that is the main thing.

My instructions were to take a shuttle. We looked and did not see the SuperShuttle office and we had a lot of luggage, so we made our way to the taxistand. No taxis, we had to wait 30 minutes. Apparently, people in the know, hail them right after they drop off their passengers. We got some beatup taxi, could not see anything because of the bulletproof stuff, no aircondioning, and 70 something dollars. After the drop off at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, a guy came up to us with a town car and said he would drive us back for 65 dollars. Go figure!

The Hyatt Regency is a nice place, I want to try running an event here. Kathy and I got up early and were putting our table together by 7:00 A.M. When I am not speaking we are trying to do SANS business development. It is a rainy day, so we stayed inside, but food in the hotel was reasonable, for breakfast we had a bran muffin from the "Starbucks"; two muffins came to 5 dollars. However, it turned out that ISSA supplied muffins and fruit an hour later. They also supplied a plate lunch, very generous.

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] Strathallen Hotel Rochester NY

Monday, got some great work done on my Securty Policy course, then we went to see Hunter play in an indoor soccer event. Tuesday, we had a pickup in the morning from James Limousine service. We were ready early and the driver came early which was good, because there was a bad accident on the highway. The United flights were on time and without event. The fall colors were awesome. We took a cab to the Strathallen Hotel which is hosting the ISSA meeting and then took a walk down East Ave, got some pub food (too salty) and then hiked over to the National Museum of Play, essentially a toy museum, but lots of focus on play. We got turned around on the way back, but used our Samsung Captivate phones navigation app to find our way back. For supper we went to the Pita Pit, I liked the place, healthier food than some. The Strathallen is an older building, slow elevators, funky plumbing, no coat hangers in the room, but we have a suite and the people were really nice. I did a keynote this morning, think it went well and after I post my blog, we will head to the airport to work our way to Long Beach, California.

[Sunday, October 17, 2010] Richmond, Maymont and Byrd Park

What a great day, both Saturday and Sunday were gorgeous. I realize I sang praises of the Grove Avenue Baptist Church here, but the past two times I have been, they did not have the early service which is the contemporary music, so Kathy and I did our own church service at our house. We did Numbers 6, and Luke 1 and focused on the Nazerite vow. Then we GPS'd to Maymont and Byrd Parks. There is a great exercise trail at Byrd park where you can do various exercises; we started, but then got shiny bauble syndrome and followed the ponds and ended up at the north bank of the James Park and got on some crazy bike trail (NO WAY), it is for advanced riders only and walked along three sides of Maymont, that is a lovely park. Then we found our way back to Byrd and picked up the exercise trail. The weather was perfect, this was a great day. We went to Costco on the way home; I do not have a winter jacket in Richmond and we are headed to Rochester in a couple of days. They had a Nativity scene, hand painted, really nice for $80.00; we are thinking that in Richmond, we do not need to do a Christmas tree, we will use the Nativity scene instead. We went ahead and set it up in the living room on the marble top of the dresser/drink stand we have there.

Supper was fun, I bought some flounder. I poured some water in a non-stick pan, cut up half a red onion and tossed it in followed by a handful of organic green beans, then some toasted almonds, two stalks of celery and kept them on a high heat. When the green beans started to become tender, I dropped the heat to medium, dug up all the vegetables on half the pan, laid the flounder on the pan, covered it with vegetables, then did the same on the other side of the pan with the second flounder. Then I put them in the broiler. Spices were Magic no-salt, a bit of cayenne and garlic. Then after the vegetables on top of the fish started to show some color from the broiler, I pulled the pan out and topped the vegetables with some tomatillo sauce and lemon, hit them with the broiler for another two minutes. No salt, but we were at our spice limit.

[Friday, October 15, 2010] Airlie

The redeye flight back to Richmond from Seattle was on time and without incident. We found ourselves really struggling to get into the east coast timezone, what is up with that, we were only doing a three hour shift. But we took a nap, then forced ourselves up at 2 P.M. We had a couple days to work, I really focused on my new course, Security Policy in Depth. Hope to be finished writing that in about three more weeks. It is a two day course based on a one day course that I have taught for several years, so I am confident that I can make it good. Wednesday, we drove up to Airlie, but we took I95 to 17, that is not a fun drive. After the job was finished, we drove down 15 to 522, oh my, 522 is a lovely drive. We stopped near Lake Anna to eat some BBQ (and use the facilities) and packed most of the food in a to go container and got back on the road.

[Saturday, October 9, 2010] Raining

Well, the weather has been beautiful, but it is now raining. Yesterday we went to the dock to bring our float craft up to the garage for the winter and we saw the world's fattest beaver. He was dragging a stick into the lake to add to his beaver dam. He was not concerned about us in the least. We also bought a love seat. We did some additional shopping after that and forgot to tie it down. So, it has a small ding in the wood from sliding around in the back of the truck. I drove as gently as I could, then pulled off into a parking lot. In order to reach the lot, we had to pass one of those small coffee stands that abound in Washington, Cowboys, it was called. Inside, the barista was wearing a bikini, apparently bikini baristas are common in the area. Who knew? Anyway, we tied down the love seat and got it home. For breakfast today we had a canteloupe and I have some artichokes cooking on the stove to go with lunch.

[Thursday, October 7, 2010] Network Issues

Verizon in the Tacoma area seems to be having some network problems. It started with DNS, but seems to be worse than that. For a while you could still do Google searches, but that has failed as well. Amazing how dependent we become on technology. So, I took a walk before going back to work on the Security Policy course. Very interesting walk. a Springer Spaniel adopted me and stayed around me the whole walk. The road serves lakefront homes on both sides of me, must be some sort of spit. There is a lot of money in those homes and an amazing number of RVs; I would guess one in five homes has an RV, and almost every home has at least one power boat. When you stop and realize that a number of those must be second houses, you get the idea there must be a lot of money in the area. The lake is beautiful, but there is almost no privacy, there are essentially no trees in people's lakeside yards. I told Kathy that I bet a number of people have telescopes and must spend time staring at their neighbors. Oh well, that is not for us, but I am happy for them.

[Sunday, October 3, 2010] A Sunday on the Ground

My travel schedule has had me on the move on waaaaay too many Sundays. We actually got to go to church today, yayyyyy. It was at Calvary Chapel in Puyallup which goes by the name of South Hill or similar. They had a pot luck after church, but since we did not have a dish (we did not know about it), we skipped out. When we got home, I did a Mexican dish, light fare, roasted corn, a bit of tomatilla sauce with chicken and a fairly luxurious Mexican rice, hint - sundried tomatoes can bring a Mexican rice to life. Then I got on the roof while Kathy manned the hose to clean off our atrium that faces the lake. Everything molds quickly here in Seattle, and we would like to enjoy the atrium for years, so this was a good opportunity for preventative maintenance. While I was up there I cleaned out the gutters. This was done two months ago which sends a serious message. For supper I made salmon, the topping was a bit of pasta sauce, couple drops of liquid smoke, thyme, red pepper, parsley and a small amount of white wine with grapeseed oil. It came out really well so there is another low salt idea.

For the starch and veggie, I had an organic red pepper, sliced it thin. Then I peeled four small yams, cut them into sections and boiled them. After they were soft I took a couple and put them into a small skillet, and I had a bit of water that came with the yams when I spooned them out. I added red pepper, thyme, cinnamon and a hit of rasberry vinegar. Put the red peppers and yams in the skillet and fired it up. When most of the water was boiled off, added grapeseed oil. OH YEAH! Low salt, over the top!

[Saturday, October 2, 2010] Enumclaw to Tacoma

We zipped up to Enumclaw for the Octoberfest which never seemed to get started. Did go to a Barn Sale (like a yard sale, but in a barn), Kathy got a zip lock bag full of girls' hair taming devices, then we headed off to the art supply store in Tacoma across from the Art Museum to get me an easel. When I paint on Kauai, I usually face a white wall (sensory deprivation ); however, when I paint in Seattle, I think I am going to do it with the water view. It is going to be a multi-year study of grey and water reflections. When we got back we had mushroom soup for dinner:

Low Salt/ Low Fat Gourmet Mushroom Soup
1.5 Cups of water, in sauce pan on medium heat
Crush .5 cups presliced button mushrooms and drop in water
Add .5 cups of fresh or dried mixed mushrooms (this may require adding a bit more water if you use dried)

Cook for at least five minutes, possibly ten - you want the mushrooms to be soft and feel like parts of soup; if you are in a hurry you can always blend the soup.

.5 cup, non fat sour cream
3 tablespoons dried buttermilk, fresh buttermilk would be even better - .25 cups
Garlic to taste, I added 1 tablespoon minced
2 Green onions
A couple squirts Mushroom Sauce (Soy sauce that is shitake infused, if you do not have it, a couple big squirts of soy sauce and one dried shitake mushroom)
A couple squirts Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons decent red wine
.5 cup pre-cooked wild rice or brown/wild rice
Black pepper to taste, you want a bit of spice, hit that grinder one more time
Two tablespoons finely chopped parsley
A dash of celery seed
Feel free to experiment with a bit of basil or oregano, but not much and not both
*** If you want an animal based protein, .3 cup dark chicken meat will take this over the top

Taste as you are going, only sources of salt should be the mushroom sauce and Worcestershire. Without much salt it may taste too garlicky, do not panic, we have an exit strategy!

Prepare a roux, olive oil and whole wheat flour preferred, the secret to making this soup is adding some black truffle oil just after adding the roux. You are looking for a fairly thick soup that satisfies on a cool day or evening.

[Friday, October 1, 2010] Top is fun!

After work we went to get our dry cleaning and we noticed that in the same shopping center there was a grocery store called Top. What a blast, the closest thing I have seen to it is the now defunct Ukrops, but Top has a fun wine selection. This is one of those places that has 12 different types of basalmic vinegar, though I did notice they did not have both white and black truffle oil. They are a little limited in their beef, but the fresh salmon (wild caught coho at $4.99) makes up for it.

[Wednesday, September 29, 2010] Sleepy in Seattle

SANS NS2010 went well. One of the highlights for me was riding on a Segway (it was part of the contract since the hotel was so large) and Iorn Fan II, a martial arts contest. We had three pretty special meals at Caesars:
Neros, the steak house, I had the veal, very nice
Bradley Ogden, we both had the pan roasted halibut, excellent
Guy Savoy, one of the best restaurants in the world, we went for the ten course dinner, a great experience.
We flew to Seattle on Sunday. We did not get a direct, so it was nearly evening when we got here. We went out and got healthy food for our time here.

Monday after work we went shopping at the Great Mall or whatever they call it. Kathy had a coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond and we only have one set of sheets and three beds (plus two inflatables) at this point. We tried to be careful to only get what we need. Tuesday, we did the Puyallup river hike, we did not get the entire distance, but it was real exercise. Tonight, after work we headed for Snoqualmie falls. Saw the falls, but the trails were closed. Had a lovely Mexican dinner at La Fogata (The fire). Managed to race back home before the sun finished setting, I was not sure I wanted to be on that road in the dark.

[Sunday, September 19, 2010] Kick off for SANS Network Security

We flew in Saturday from Atlanta where we attended the ISSA meeting and an awards ceremony. We stayed in the Marriott Gateway Airport hotel. The Champions restaurant there is the slowest airport hotel restaurant I have ever experienced. It is much smarter to get back on the people mover and eat at the airport, more choice, faster service, slightly better prices. The United flights to Vegas were uneventful and on time. We grabbed a snack at the food court, because dinner was a big deal. For supper we went to Nero's the steak house at Caesars Palace. What a fantastic restaurant. Kathy had the Haddock done up in a Salt Crust. I had the Veal Chop, I think Kathy made the better choice, but my Veal was cooked perfectly. We shared a side of Field Mushrooms, also done to perfection. I think steak houses do the best job of mushrooms, probably because they cook them on the same grill as the steaks.

Today, I teach the Management 404 Security Policy course for SANS. This should be a load of fun, though a bit of a challenge. I am trying to teach this in more of an interactive, facilitator role fashion instead of the lecture style I have adopted for our Management 512 Security Leadership Essentials course, which is a certification prep course, so there needs to be more of a scripted delivery. However, they are recording me for the online version of 404, so I need to do lecture, but also have interactivity. We will see.

[Wednesday, September 15, 2010] Flyday to Atlanta

Washing dishes in between appointments and also a radio broadcast with Eric Cole and Mike Kizerian. There is so much involved with shutting down a house for five weeks. But we needed to be here, moving to Washington means we have thousands of loose ends that we need to tie up. We need to get some sort of busness license in order to rent out our house, for one thing. But Kathy was able to get that done, yayyyyyyyy. Anyway, our ride for the airport comes in 55 minutes so I'd best post this and come back to it later.

[Tuesday, September 14, 2010] Getting ready to leave Kauai

Sunday was awesome, gorgeous, went swimming and bike riding. Monday, there was a lot of work to do, but it flew by. Today, I just finished my last meeting of the day and am going to get one last swim in, then pack. The water was crystal clear, but there were blue bottle or Portuguese Man o' War jellyfish, even with a rasher, we cut the swim short. Very short stay on Kauai, but it was good to catch up with as many people as possible, but the overhead for so few days is killer. We had to clean up all the salt on all horizontal surfaces, shop for the basics.

[Saturday, September 11, 2010] First time out for new boat

We woke up with the sunrise, but did some office work. Then Stephen, the fount of grace, dropped his glasses and one of the lenses popped out, so off to Costco for emergency repair. Checking my credit card statement, I found out that Riverside Ford Washington, the people that would not sell me an F-150 over the Internet, charged my card $1,000 and did not refund it. I have now called them several times. May have to write the Better Business Bureau, sigh. Also found out that Chase is still charging for Identify Theft protection. How many times have I had to call them? Took the Heritage 18 from Little River Marine out for the first time, they did not send me oars, but I had a koa paddle on the wall and it worked just fine.

[Friday, September 10, 2010] Back on Kauai

Had the Quail Fajitas at Guapos in Bethesda on Tuesday night, loved it. Wednesday was spent in meetings with Middle States, it was better than a dental appointment, but unsatisfying. That night Debbie, Matthew and I went to Rock Bottom Brewery, I had the Chili (skip it) and the Chopped Salad (can't go wrong). Thursday was a travel day, we got up early and caught United 83 from IAD to LAX, on time, great service. Couple hours in the Red Carpet club checking email and then our classic United #69 to Lihue, on time, good service, all the bags came through and quickly, what is not to like. We crashed early and today is a beautifil day on Kauai.

[Tuesday, September 7, 2010] Travel to Bethesda

Started the day reading email, need to pack in a few minutes. Want a suit and dress shirts for the business meeting, but going to Hawaii next, will need the suit again in Atlanta for the ISSA awards. Have a small suiter that fits inside of my spinner, I can take one bag to Hawaii and bring two back, so I am ready for Atlanta and also have a teaching set of clothes for Vegas. This life on the road thing is enough to make your head spin. I wanted to get fitted for a second suit, mine vanished earlier on some part of this road trip, however we flat out ran out of time (and I wanted to play not spend the day in Nordstroms). Been asked about taking another onsite in November, don't really want to do another job, I am falling behind at a number of things, but it is an opportunity to scout out Atlanta, I still think we could do well running events there.

Got a note that Secunia PSI has a beta test for version 2.0. I downloaded it, it is incredible. Here is the note:
New Features of Secunia PSI 2.0 (Beta):

- Auto Update: Now it is easier for you to improve your PC security by automatically updating insecure programs without any user interaction.
To learn more, download the product sheet at:

- Integration with the Secunia CSI 4.1: Are you an administrator wondering how to protect your campus network from threats coming from PC's, that are not actively managed by you?

It is now easier to manage such threats, using the Secunia 4.1. To learn more, download:

You can also register to our FREE webinars to learn more about the integration, as well as other key features of the Secunia 4.1 at the following URL:

The train sign at the station said train 80, the Carolinian, was five minutes late, but I think it came a bit early. We ended up at one of those tables which is not ideal since you are knee to knee with your seatmate. The cell phone connectivity was worse than usual, maybe the sun is acting out or something similar.

[Monday, September 6, 2010] Labor Day

Sunday was lovely, Norma came over and we tried to go to Grove Avenue Baptist early service, but it was cancelled so we did a berry pancake brunch. Then we headed up the road for Crab Feast, an annual party that has been going on at least 25 years. We dropped our bicycles off at Kathy's house, left the truck at the Fredericksburg Courtyard Marriott. This is a wonderful, modern hotel that is perhaps two blocks from the train station. Riding bikes downhill at night through Fredericksburg was a blast. Nice sleep, woke up with the sunlight, I went down and brought up coffee, fruit and a healthy choice sandwich. Traffic was light driving south to Richmond VA and then we loaded boats onto the truck and went to Pochahontas State Park. Hunter really seemed to be at home on the Sirocco and Trey has the potential to be a master with the row boat. When we were done we dropped Trey off and went to Martins to get food from the salad bar. Then Hunter, Kathy and I spent some time together chatting and we all went to bed early; big day.

[Saturday, September 4, 2010] A lovely day in Richmond VA

We got up and had breakfast with Hunter. Then we did a driving tour of University of Richmond, that school is on Hunter's short list. After that, Kathy and I took a trip to Costco to purchase bicycles. I love this world, an advanced off road/road hybrid with an aluminum frame and Shimano 30 position gear setting for $280. Of course I have to tune the bikes myself; Kathy's front brake was installed wrong (fixed), and her back brake needs adjusting, but it was fine for a trip through the neighborhood. Before we took the bikes out we popped into Precision Bicycles to get helmets, waterbottles, lights, a pump, and now we are ready to go. We will take them to Fredericksburg tomorrow. After our innagural ride, we feasted on leftover Jambalaya; a fantastic day.

[Friday, September 3, 2010] Earl is well behaved

We didn't even lose power, I had fun teaching my course, MGT 421, Leadership. When I was done with the course the sun was shining and we elected to drive to Richmond on Friday and got to enjoy a home cooked meal, yes, yes, yes!

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] The calm before the storm

Last night we ate at the Sheraton, after teaching a long day I could not walk to a restaurant. I had the Seafood Penne Pasta, Kathy had the Crab Cakes, both were excellent. It is 3:30 P.M. The temperature is starting to drop a bit, everything gets greyer by the hour, the Weather Channel was just outside the hotel filming the ocean, the waves are just starting to pick up, guess the surfers are loving life, we have not yet had any rain, but you can feel the mugginess. You never know what is going to happen, but the hurricane is projected to pass by Friday morning ( day 6 of the conference). We have been starting early, running late and using working lunches to accelerate the training. We may not make it with security essentials because it is bootcamp style, but our goal is to complete all the courses by the close of class day 5. For the folks that are stuck here, I will be teaching leadership and John is going to offer some hack type lab training as long as the power holds. Some people have worked very hard this event. In particular, want to thank facilitators Jonathon, David and Brandon and staff Kathy (ringleader), Velda, Norris, Barrington, Brian Corriea, John Fitzgerald for helping move the staff office to Velda’s former bedroom so we could get Steve Sims class out of the basement and up on the floor with the rest of the conference.

I also want to thank our instructor team, Eric Cole, Eric Conrad, John Strand, Johannes Ullrich, George Bakos, Bryce Galbraith, and Steve Sims for the can do attitude. That was an amazing performance and effort, as John Strand put it, teaching from 8 AM to 6 PM and through lunch will make you a little loopy. Also, some of us went without lunch, the lines were fairly long, no complaint, when you order food at the last minute you have to take what is in the freezer or walk in, but Mexican goes slow because they have to fill their tacos one at a time. Many people from the hotel went the extra mile for us and we want to publically thank Liz Parker, Chris Petersen, Nat Wilson, John Valentine, Jennifer Bybee, Jean Louis Morrison and Harley Lounsbury.

[Saturday, August 28, 2010] A lovely paddle

We got up with the sunrise, I love that about beach facing rooms at Virginia Beach, the sunrise is lovely. We are staying at the Sheraton and our room is really nice except for the air conditioner, it sounds just like a jet aircraft, I keep looking up at the sky. Kathy and I went for an early morning paddle at the 64th street State Park, they were just opening the gate when we arrived. Lovely protected water, fine sand beach entry. The Sirocco is everything the reviews say::
  • A bit tippy at first
  • Cool looking boat with sweeping lines, UKish Greenlandy inspired
  • The chines are quite soft and the bottom of the boat is fairly round
  • Tracks ok with the skeg up and just fine with skeg down (skeg has multiple positions )
  • Great turning and very playful boat.
  • While being playful, she still maintains a fine cruising speed
  • Too many jellyfish in the water for me to experiment with the secondary stability, another day!
I have a couple hours free and then I meet with Eric Cole, and then on to the 11th annual Joel and Sharon Horner sushifest at Sakura. At dinner we had a conversation with the instructors for Ed Skoudis' Ethical Hacking course SEC 560, it seems to be really well tuned and people are enjoying it. I wonder if it might be possible to add one or two more Community SANS and reach some underserved communities.

[Friday, August 27, 2010] Virginia Beach

The past few days have been insane. Last week I went to Pittsburg for a Middle States accreditation meeting, then to Dayton Ohio for an Infragard keynote and then up to Seattle for a couple of days to do some camping and boating, back to Richmond VA. Today, we left at 2 P.M. to drive to VA Beach, the tunnel was merciful and that gave us time to drop into Wild River Outfitters. Kathy wanted to remove the rudder from her boat and put the footpegs back. I picked up a replacement for my yellow sea kayak ( it has been adopted by someone who does not want to give it back and that is OK with me). It is a Current Designs Sirocco. We named it Snowcrash. We should be able to get her wet tomorrow morning and then get ready for registration for SANS VA Beach. For supper we went to PI-zzeria, we shared the Chopped Salad and Gorgonzola Pizza with the low carb whole wheat crust. The pizza was excellent, but the crust is sweet and that did not work for me. The Verizon MIFI is marginal so reading mail has been a bit of a chore.

[Thursday, August 12, 2010] Branson

Couple of days ago we grabbed an Air Tran flight from Richmond to Atlanta to Branson. Meeting with a couple members of my family. There are some health issues and other important discussions that need to be made. I did work, but I took some time off as well. We saw Inception Wednesday at the IMAX theater. WOW! Don't miss it and don't miss it on IMAX if that is an option, would love to see that in 3D, not sure it is possible, but it lends itself nicely to the format. Today we went to The Legend of Kung Fu. Oh my, that is a great show! I have seen the Shaolin Monks several times, but this topped any of those events. After the event my sister treated us to early supper at McFarlain's Family Restaurant on the IMAX complex with the "special" table. This makes the second time I have tried to order off that G-d Awful menu and pretend to be surprised by the "special" table; sigh. I had the Spinach Salad, you cannot do a worse job of a spinach salad than they do. Kathy had the Baked Potato, nothing is particularly good there. Tomorrow we dive into Arkansas for my second time for lunch with my parents then we turn around and head for the Branson Airport.

[Sunday, August 8, 2010] Tourists in Boston

A one day course I was supposed to attend got canceled so Kathy and I had the day off. After church we headed for the Boston Fine Arts Museum. It is our second time to visit and I hope we get to see it again; it is fantastic, so much history, so much creativity. While Kathy was packing, I took a long walk through Chinatown trying to walk up and down essentially every street, what a colorful, fascinating place! Since I had worked up an appetite, we headed out for Chinese food for our last night at Hei La Moon, it is very near the Chinatown Arch, but across Rte 1 and 93. Kathy ordered Dim Sum (they are famous for Dim Sum, many people claim the best in Chinatown). I tried the Shrimp and Scallops which was pleasant, though the Szechuan Crispy Duck was very tempting.

[Saturday, August 7, 2010] Teaching complete

Today taught MGT 421 Leadership and Management Competencies, I really enjoy that. Small class again, but then everyone gets to share their experiences, so I do not mind. Class finished early and we headed for the Museum of Science, that was fun. I enjoyed the 3D sharks movie, the Escher exhibit, electricity and lightning and whale rider events the most. They rotate exhibits in and out so do not be surprised if you have an entirely different experience. We walked back and stopped at the festival, but the music was just too loud, so we wandered to the Corner Mall Food Court. I got some Jerk Chicken at Cafe Calypso and Kathy had Dahl from Indian Entrees. We had a late supper at Mantra, 52 Temple Place. I am a bit conflicted about what to say. It is an old bank building with highly figured marble and a beautifully patterned ceiling. However, when we got there they had a sandwich sign for restaurant week out in front, saying you could get a three course meal for $33, but when we got inside they did not honor it. And the manager was standing by the side, saw us read it and go in, so my first impression of Mantra is deception. And the mens bathroom is wild, it appears the urinals are also hand washing sinks; I opted for the standard toilet. The stalls in the women's bathroom have one way mirrors according to Kathy. And the bars have curvy mirrors that distort. However, I will say the portions were generous, (I was really expecting a microscopic piece of food) and the flavors were really fun. Kathy had the Crab and Coconut rolls and Naan Pizza and I had the Halibut, the spice is just starting to fade away as I write this. The craziest thing of all, at 10 P.M. it converts from a restaurant to a private club, some of the tables are on wheels and they convert to bars to make room for what I assume is dancing.

[Wednesday, August 4, 2010] Full on conference mode

We are running hard, mostly we are eating at UFood Grill, but tonight we took the time to visit Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale. They have 20 beers on tap, tons of bottles, and even a few in cask. Kathy had the Clams Casino (stuffed clams) and their amazing Smoked Grits. I had the Pork Loin Duo with the same Smoked Grits, wild mushrooms and asparagus. Very nice, we even had a beer; Kathy had the Harpoon Leviathan Red and I had the Palm Belgian Draft. Definitely recommend the place, here is a link to their menu. Clearly a great pub and popular with the locals. I need to post this and run down to Evan Wheeler's talk on Risk Management.

[Sunday, August 1, 2010] Setup day for #SANSBoston

We skipped breakfast today and went to the UFood Grill for lunch. Kathy had the Veggie Chili and Greek Salad and I had the Turkey burger and a Blueberry Smoothie. Very nice. Kathy wanted to journal, so I hiked out across Boston Common to go to DeLuca's one of my favorite stores. Imagine my surprise when I found they were closed. They had an electrical fire less than a month ago. That was followed by a run in with the health department at their other location. So, at least for the present, I would call before hiking to DeLuca's. For supper we went to Kaze Shabu Shabu in Chinatown; we split Edamame as an appetizer, then Kathy had the Seafood Deluxe in the Chinese Cilantro soup base and I had the surf and turf in Spicy Szechuan soup base. I was amazed at the amount of fat in the beef, so I ate all my seafood and trimmed the beef up as much as I could. Great service, very much fun; I love Shabu Zen, but these guys are going to give them a run for their money. We actually picked up two bottles of wine when we went to the wine exchange, we also got a Layer Cake Primitivo 2007 for $15.00, and this is one of the best Italian wines we have ever had; I would put this up against most of the so-called "Super Tuscans" I have tasted. I probably will not be able to get out there Monday, but would like to get one more bottle before we leave Boston, maybe I will try to fly it back to Richmond so the family there can taste it. Well, now it is time to prepare for tomorrow, I may miss a few days in the conference whoosh!

[Saturday, July 31, 2010] On the ground in Boston

Kathy and I flew UA 66 from Lihue (LIH) to LAX starting about noon Hawaii time on Friday 7/30. The plane was ten minutes late for departure; passengers could not seem to get their bags in the overhead bins. Almost totally full flight, couple empty seats. I must say they had decent service, and we both had the Szechuan Beef instead of the Citrus Chicken. Movie was Date Night (I have seen it on United twice now, so pretty much ignored it). Pilot tried to make up the time, but when we got to LAX there was nowhere for the plane to go, all the gates were full.. Boarding for our second leg on UA 52 was at 10 P.M. and most of the shops were closed, it was a completely full flight. The sign at the gate said you could only have one carry-on. The announcer said "according to FAA regulations you can only have one carry-on, a small item like a purse or laptop"; is that a change or was he blowing smoke? After all that, they did not enforce it, lots of people in seating area 3 and 4 had three carry-on items or more, but I did not see any bags get gate checked. They offered a Turkey Panini sandwich as a snack, movie was Last Song, I had been wanting to see that and will say that it drew me in. After landing, a short wait for a cab and easy drive (7 A.M. on Saturday) to the hotel. We are staying at the Hyatt, I think it is a great hotel, not really big enough for us, but the location is awesome and it is a hard working hotel. Kathy crashed out and I went looking for food, almost everything was closed. Got a Big Tony Panini at Boston Common Coffee. I was the only customer and asked for a Panini and the first girl said no, but the other one said she would make it for me. It was good, much better than the turkey sandwich on the plane (I only ate a few bites of the turkey) and then I crashed as well. Hopefully we can go out in a bit and get some exercise and acclimate to this time zone.

It was a beautiful day in the high 70s, we hiked all over reminding ourselves of the lay of the land, Chinatown, Boston Common, Theater District, Old South Meeting House. We wanted to share a bottle of wine tonight from a wonderful store, Boston Wine Exchange and picked 2006 Chateau Haut Nadeau Bordeaux, $22, we will open it to breathe when we go out for supper. Eamon, the proprietor, has just left for vacation, but when he comes back tell him that Stephen, the Infosec Travel guide, sent you. It turned out to be a very fine choice, little smoky, great balance, fully enjoyable in 2010, but it would be fun to revisit in five years. Late lunch at Boston Kitchen Pizza (although neither of us had pizza). I had the Kabob platter, it was so-so, and Kathy had a Veggie wrap; they are very generous with portions. Too bad our hotel room doesn't have a fridge. Our favorite part was people watching. They have stools facing the sidewalk and it was enjoyable seeing all the people coming and going. We dropped into the Kenmore Army Navy Store on Washington, what fun. I picked up a "First Production" Benchmade 3.5" folder for under forty dollars. This will be my first experience with 9Cr13CoMoV, a Chinese high-carbon stainless steel using cobalt for greater edge retention and it is supposed to resist corrosion. I have another Benchmade that was a collaboration with Spyderco in ATS-34, it is OK, in fact it is my primary knife when I am in Hawaii and not boating; it will be fun to compare the two.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010] Starting to pack for Boston

It has been a wonderful two weeks on Kauai. Got a few swims in. Had a visit from Stephen McCormack from BeyondEncryption and we drove to Waimea to see the canyon - it was lovely. Almost cloudless which is rare.

Sunday, July 11, 2010] Back on Kauai

After church we zipped off to Lihue to shop for food and a new calendar (we had a waterbottle failure and it drowned). I want to do a bit of Cajun and Creole in this week's gathering. Today's task is to test my first course soup recipe.

Mock Crab done in the style of Turtle Soup

I just love the Turtle Soup at Commander's Palace, here is a variation on a classic theme:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz mock crab
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • 1 medium onions, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup peeled chopped carrots
  • 5 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 4 teaspoons minced basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon minced parsley
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup medium salsa
  • 1 quart water
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • OPTIONAL Pale India Ale, 4 tablespoons
Melt stick of butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the roux is light brown. Set aside.

In a full size crockpot add celery, onions, pepper, carrots, garlic and seasonings, and cover with water. Cook until the vegetables are soft, but still have a light crunch.

Add salsa, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the roux and switch to the low heat setting, stirring from time to time, until the soup is thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper or more thyme and oregano to taste. Add mock crab, lemon juice, eggs and parsley.

Wait ten minutes before serving.

Saturday, July 10, 2010] Return to Kauai

Got up, said our adieu to Bacon Mansion, thanks for everything Daryl. I-5 is a touch easier driving on a Saturday and the GPS found Enterprise without fail. We got to the airport and had enough time to get breakfast at Bigfoot Food & Spirits, we both got omelets and they were fine. United 6105 was on time. It was a regional jet, but a nice one - Canada Air; I can actually stand up in it, and they had Economy Plus seating for just a bit more space. Then we popped into the LAX Red Carpet Lounge to catch up on email. I noticed a note from Rick Miner, we had talked about Seth Godin and he had read about Seth giving his birthday away to charity. Rick had donated and it seems like a great cause giving people clean water, ( I just read about the Guinea worm yesterday, how horrible is that!), so I also donated. Who knows, maybe it will do some good.

[Friday, July 9, 2010] Visit to Seattle done

We slipped out about two and opened up a couple local bank accounts. We also have our Washington State Drivers licenses and a contract on a house. The contract could fall through, they have a wetland violation and we know what clearing something like that up can take, but we are at peace, there are other properties and always will be. Had a late lunch at Windmill Bistro, I had the Rigatoni Bolognese and Kathy had the Manicotti, they are both good, we both like the Manicotti better. Then back to work until about 9 P.M. and Kathy and I made a return visit to Byzantion Restaurant, Kathy had the Egg Batter Shrimp and I had the Seafood Salad. Then to bed, tomorrow we fly.

[Thursday, July 8, 2010] Scorcher in Seattle

By the afternoon, it really was getting warm here. We moved our laptops outside under some trees for the shade and it was OK. Later we moved out to a deck, and after the sun set the temps began to drop. Sunset this time of year is about 9:45 P.M. If we do relocate, I am going to invest in some very dark sunglasses, the sun is intense here in summer. For dinner we went to Charlie's on Broadway. I had the Blackened Prime Rib on Pasta, and it was the worst meal I have had since I started the Information Security Tour Guide project. They added a lot of sugar to the blackening and the Alfredo sauce was tasteless. However, they did serve it with fresh bread, so I wiped the blackening off and hit it with some hot sauce to take care of hunger. Kathy had the fake meat Reuben, they use vegetables instead of meat which is a neat idea. However, their Russian dressing is far too thin, you are going to wear this sandwich if you eat it with anything other than knife and fork. The amazing thing is that Citisearch gives it 4.5 reviews based on 24 reviews; stick with your tour guide, avoid the place. We went in because they said they had AC, but it was barely tolerable temperature wise.

[Wednesday, July 7, 2010] Boating in Seattle

Rick Miner of was kind enough to invite us boating after work. He is one of the most most successful real estate agents in Seattle and the most knowledgeable about houseboats. Kathy and I had thought about getting a houseboat as part of the relocation. We have since decided that is not for us, but it was great to meet and spend time with Rick and Joyce. They took us around the lake and then to the Seattle Yacht Club for dinner. I had the Turkey Noodle Soup with Ry-Krisp and it was yummy; Kathy, who has never met a vegetable she doesn't like, had the salad bar. Then we set our laptops up at a table outside to work, the Bacon Mansion is historic and does not have air conditioning, don't need in Seattle except for a few days a year, but it quickly cooled off.

[Tuesday, July 6, 2010] Glorious weather in Seattle

Apparently summer has been delayed in Seattle and today is sunshine and warm. We also moved rooms in the Bacon Mansion Bed and Breakfast, the Rose Room is a smaller room than the Carriage House Suite just at the top of the stairs, but it certainly meets our needs. We now have a Seattle address by the way, 1916 Pike Pl. Ste 12 #307 Seattle, WA, 98101, we will begin using that as our primary address for the foreseeable future. At lunch, we caught bus 49 and zipped down to the Pike Place Market to enjoy seafood at the Athenian Inn which was founded in 1909. They serve a special appetizer, roasted garlic spears, it is the flowery tops of the elephant garlic plant. Raw spears are just a bit too garlicky for me, but it turns much milder once you flame broil them. This was a first for Kathy and it has been a long time for me. I think I would like to try to grow elephant garlic. I had the Seafood Bowl, mussels, oysters, clams, octopus, and salmon in a broth over white rice, it was good, not great. Kathy had the fresh catch Halibut, again the sauce was okay, the potatoes were roasted well, not overdone and almost crunchy, and you could see Rosemary, but you expect more flavor from potatoes in a Greek restaurant. Then we took the bus back to work.

After the work day, I thought it might be fun to go back to the Pike Place Market, but we didn't quit till 5:15 and bus 49 must have just come by so we waited about fifteen minutes; long story short, we showed up at the Market at five till six and they were busy rolling up the sidewalks. We hiked around for a half hour looking for an interesting open restaurant, the only thing open was bars and I was not up for pub food. We waited at least 20 minutes for bus 49 and got off on Broadway and decided to drop into La Cocina Santiago. Tuesday is Margarita night, so I ordered my first Margarita in well .. ; you can count the total number of Margaritas I have had in my life on one hand. It was good, especially after boosting it with a half lime, but left me a bit groggy. We ordered the buffet, not because I wanted a lot of food, but I wanted to build my dish. They had yellow corn tacos and fish, so one homebuilt fish taco coming up. They have both a red and green salsa there, the red is forgettable, the green is interesting. Add some Pico De Gallo and this starts to be fun. Should have put cheese on it, but didn't feel like it. The sun was shining bright, most of the folks from Seattle felt it was too bright, but I loved it. Oh, and they wear Hawaiian shirts at this restaurant. After we ate, I needed to walk a bit, so we went across the street to the grocery store (QFC). Daryl King, the proprietor at the Bacon Mansion allowed us to use his fax machine to make the offer on the house and we wanted to thank him for going above and beyond, cash seems crass ( thought it has always worked for me), so we thought maybe a nice bottle of wine. Kathy found a Grgich Zinfandel that seemed to suit.

Then back to the B&B, we need to put a couple hours in since we will need to sneak out for a couple hours in the morning. We need to go get our Washington State driver's licenses. As I understand the law, we can continue to drive using our Hawaii drivers licenses for a year, but if we can get this done, it is one more step in relocating. Feels funny actually, we have been on the road more than we have been in any one place, so we need to concentrate and intentionally set roots.

[Monday, July 5, 2010] Working from Seattle

Got the following fraudulent Habitat for Humanity phishing note, this scam appears to originate from Brazil.
Claims to be from: Habitat For Humanity []
Here is a paragraph from the note:
You've got a chance to be one of our representatives and earn a commission for funds raised.This Could earn you an average of $300-$500 weekly.
You can be rest assured that you WOULD NOT be required to pay any fees upfront and this won't affect your current job earnings or disability payments in any way and you can conveniently work from your desk at home.

Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true and it comes from the Internet, there is a 99.9999% chance it is fraudulent.

After checking our email, Kathy and I decided to spend the rest of the holiday looking for a home to relocate to and the area we were interested in is Lake Tapps. To be sure, the lake has a couple problems, such as not always having enough water plus some aggressive invasive species of weed, but overall it meets our hopes of waterfront, a laid back community, peace and quiet. Most of the homes we looked at are drastically overpriced ( and this coming from someone that lives on Kauai) and not in that good of a shape, but we did find one home that was just charming. Our real estate agent is Bob Chapman and he was patient to work with us by email before we came to set up a short list of houses to look at. His normal area is Snohomish but we needed better access to SEATAC airport than that area gives.

We skipped lunch while touring properties so we headed out to eat as soon as we got back. There was nice cozy cafe called the Byzantion Restaurant with a sandwich sign out front offering a four course meal for $15.95, and when you are hungry, that is a no brainer. There were two choices for each of the courses so we each ordered what the other didn't and shared. The first course was Hummus and Tzatziki with Pita. The Tzatziki had just the right balance, the dill was subtle. Then the soups, a Lentil Soup and Chicken Rice, both were excellent, both served with a slice of lemon and a touch of lemon took both from good to wonderful. The mains were Lamb Souvlaki, perfectly cooked and seasoned and Kotapeta, the chicken was a bit dry, and dessert was Baklava and a custard that tasted like Galaktoboureko minus the filo dough. It was fun sharing the dishes and overall a very fair price for a lovely meal, and then back to email for us or tomorrow we will be playing catchup.

[Sunday, July 4, 2010] Seattle

United 454 from Lihue (LIH) to Denver (DEN) was a great flight. It was a 767, we got the free *no miles* upgrade to First Class, which was almost empty. Normally, I get a bit nervous about the 767s because your carry-on can only fit in the overhead bins front to back, but when First Class is empty, you could store a dozen carry-ons up top. The flight attendants were very service oriented, and there were two movies, Date Night and The Bounty Hunter. It was a red-eye flight and I should not have watched the movies, but I did. I would not have wanted to own either, but they helped me pass the time and they both have funny moments you can identify with. Flight 875 from Denver to Seattle (SEA) there is not much I can tell you about it. It left on time, but both Kathy and I slept through the flight. SEATAC is a very rational airport, easy enough to get to where you are going. We are choosing Enterprise Car Rental these days; I switched because Hertz has been consistently non-friendly and also not accurate, they actually looked at a printed confirmation once and told me I did not have a reservation. I will say that Hertz has much better position in a lot of airports, but friendly works for me. My last car rental a few weeks ago in Palm Springs was a Chevy HHR, I wanted to try something else so we selected a Dodge Caliber. They both handle about the same, but when you are doing a freeway merge with a Caliber, you wish it was an HHR, the Chevy has a lot more umph. We are staying at the Bacon Mansion, a bed and breakfast on Seattle's Capitol Hill. During our time here we will stay in several rooms, the first is the Carriage House Suite. It is just what it sounds like, a former Carriage House, with plenty of room and plenty of amenities. We got here fairly early and they may have had to do a speed cleaning, but the room was ready, and we will see how it goes. Daryl King met us, he has been friendly, professional and knowledgable. We were hungry, Flight 454 had a turkey panini for the meal and I ended up scraping the turkey off and Flight 875 had a mushroom omelet that was cold in the center; we had some food with us but really felt the urge to go get something fresh and hot. So we wandered over to an area that had some shops, first one we found was Bella, a cross between a Pizza Joint and a Greek/Italian restuarant. Kathy had the Vegetarian Calzone and I had the Greek Cold Plate Starter and one slice of Hawaiian Pizza. We did not come close to finishing the food off, but our room has a fridge so we got a to-go box. Then we grabbed our go bags and took the rental car to Alki Beach. What an adorable community! From first impressions Kathy and I feel we could make our new home at many of the waterfront locations in the Alki Beach area. We saw one one ad for 1156 Alki Ave, (425) 246-4748 that looked good and called the number. A lady named Melinda answered and she seemed reasonable enough, and if we do not find the perfect place on Lake Tapps tomorrow, it would be great to consider setting up a lease solution for the year and keep looking for the right property. Sadly, a really gruff guy called back and said that he was showing the property today, something Melinda did not say. One of the rules of real estate is to remember that there will always be more property to buy, sell, lease or rent, so never force it. If this turns out to be a mind games situation, Kathy and I are better at the property next door, or, or, or.

It was raining fairly seriously when we got back. We found some on street parking. Just down the hill is a popular place to view fireworks so we wanted to get onstreet parking if we could. People from all over will consume the onstreet parking to watch the fireworks. The all nighter getting us here is taking its toll. We want to see the fireworks fired off of Space Needle for Pete's sake, but weary. However, when you want to leave your rental car parked and you are hungry and it is raining and a bit cold, there is only one solution, restaurants that deliver! So we set up our wireless access point and got online. We found serves Seattle, ( I already have an account with them). We settled on Genghis Kahn. They were on-time with the delivery. By far, the best dish we ordered was the Mongolian Scallops, you can choose your hot spicy level, the default was three, so I left it there and it was perfect - plenty spice to be interesting, but not too much.OK, bedtime for me.

[Saturday, July 3, 2010] Getting ready to fly

We are on the 8:10 P.M. flight to Denver. Last night we hosted a dinner party; lots of great people and great conversation, it is what you want to see happen on Kauai. One of the big hits both this week and last was a Black Bean Hummus, here is the basic recipe I used. Added a bit more tahini and DO NOT reserve the black bean sauce, instead rinse the beans well and ditch the sauce. Otherwise you will cause gastric discomfort. Anyway, two great parties and we wish Kauai well, but we are thinking about relocating. It seems to be voggy all the time and the government gets more instrusive by the day. The biggest news I guess was last week's Sunday paper had a photo of Kathy and I at a wine tasting at Da Kine Wine. We even made the cover. Makes church life a bit dicey, some people have strong opinions, but if life favors the opportunity, I should like to open a restaurant with an excellent wine list. We will support families and parties of six, but my target is to give couples a really wonderful experience; if I ever get to do it, most of the tables will be for two persons or four persons. You gotta have dreams. Also gotta pack, I think I am going to travel light. Bill and Laurie from Tropical Tantrum, the best clothing store on island, gave me a shirt. I will fly in it and base my wardrobe around it. I am thinking bring clothes for three days, wash clothes on the road, a couple plastic coat hangers and everything falls into place.

[Monday, June 21, 2010] A glorious weekend on Kauai

Saturday I went out to the farm and lifted rocks. While I was on travel I got a new shipment. I am building micro terraces to try to forestall erosion and create planting spaces. Am a bit out of shape, but it was still rewarding. Took a walk with Kathy when I got back, then we hiked over to Da Kine Wine for the Saturday wine tasting and a guy from the newspaper took our picture. Not sure how that will play out in church, but I am a chef and chefs study flavor. Sunday after church I dug in with some serious research into the current state of Greek food. Greek and Italian have, for better or worse, "fused" more than any other genres. We are serving church leaders from two different Calvary Chapels on Friday and we have decided on a Mezedakia ( essentially Greek tapas ). It is too early to start cooking, of course, but I wanted to start researching my options, and I did make the falafel since it will keep three weeks in a fridge.

Pan fried, low fat, falafel

1 can chick peas
2 stalks celery
1/2 cup tomato juice ( use 1/3 cup, reserve the rest )
1/4 cup tabouli mix
1 tablespoon garlic
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 nioi ( Hawaiian chili pepper )
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
3 tablespoons rice flour
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese ( this is one of your binders )
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice ( you can add some zest )
Food process, you should have a paste that spoons easily. If it is too dry, add more tomato juice
** TASTE before adding raw eggs
3 organic brown raw eggs
Let stand for ten minutes to let the tabouli soak in the moisture, you may well have to add more tomato juice

All that is easy - the tricky part is the cooking. It would be much easier and less time to fry, but give this a try: In a cast iron skillet put the heat very low then spoon in falafel about the size of a rounded teaspoon. Flip when one side is golden brown. If they fall apart, try adding a bit more Parmesan cheese. When both sides are brown, stand them up against the side of the skillet for three or four minutes to ensure the egg is fully cooked.

[Friday, June 18, 2010] TGIF in Hawaii

Yesterday we got up at 0400 as advertised. We found the rental car return for Enterprise with no problem. NOTE, Enterprise is not on airport, so you do not turn at the rental car return sign, we found that out when we did the practice run. We were already checked in and checking our bags and going through security was a breeze. Our flight was on time and the trip to Las Angelos (LAX) was a breeze also. I grabbed an Egg McMuffin because I am suspicious of airplane breakfasts. We did not pop into the Red Carpet Club, there was only a 30 minute wait and it was a bit too early to read my email. Eventually these trips start to wear you down. Keely picked us up at the airport and shared some news about what has happened on Kauai; after we got home, I zipped over to Safeway and got some fish and vegetables for lunch, it is great to be home, great to eat healthy food again.

After work today, Kathy and I took a walk along the ocean and saw a young monk seal, his name is Mahalo Eha. Mahalo means thanks in Hawaiian since he was born the day after Thanksgiving, and Eha means four or four times and he was the 4th monk seal, a very endangered species, to be born on Kauai this year. We got hungry on the walk and decided to eat at Noberto's El Cafe in downtown Kapaa, it is OK, not great. Then we came back and sat on the lanai listening to the ocean and I finished reading Securing the Borderless Network by Tom Gillis. It will age fast, but it helped me with some big picture thinking, I hope they consider a second edition to keep it fresh.

[Wednesday, June 16, 2010] Last day in Palm Springs

Good day, a whole lot of business related email, but we are making some process improvements that I think will be great. I haven't gotten to looking at the emerging trends body of work, but do not plan to sleep tonight ( that is what long plane flights are for ). We ate lunch today at Pinocchio in the Desert. This is patio dining with one of the better mister systems in Palm Springs, it is very popular and quirky in the positive sense. They have a bottomless Champagne for $3.95 - no thanks, I have a LOT of work to do and a Martini Burger ( no idea what that is ) and they serve breakfast all day. Kathy had the California Omelet and loved it, I had the half sandwich (Meatloaf) and salad (Hawaiian Chicken Salad) and it was fairly terrible. The bread on the sandwich was the greasiest I have ever seen, the slightly curried then served sweet chicken was terrible, I did eat all the cashews. However, the portion was very generous and had some fruit and a piece of lettuce they used for garnish. For our adventure, we went to the other desert cities and hiked the "Rodeo" drive of the desert, El Paseo. Then we drove to La Quinta, the Santa Rosa mountains are lovely there and Old Town was fun. Then back to Palm Springs by way of the airport, we have a zero dark thirty flight tomorrow and there is no time to spare being lost before sunrise, so I drove to the Enterprise car lot to drop the car, it is on Ramon and look for the (I kid you not) Fat Burger restaurant. We did a bit of work and then it was time for supper. We have reservations for Las Casuelas Terraza, which more or less means the Saucepan Terrace and that is important, because we finally ate somewhere that the sauces are good, in fact they are great. It is a fantastic value of a restaurant, we tried the Creamy Guacamole with our chips and their salsa is excellent as well. Kathy had the Enchilada Suiza which was the best dish of all, but all were good. I had their Sopa Albondigas as a starter and a Chicken Enchilada as my main. They had a live band and a dance floor so we ordered a Tequila to share for sipping between dances, a Corralejo Reposado. We finished the night with a Mexican Hot Chocolate, I asked them to bring some cayenne on the side, it adds another dimension to the chocolate. The bill was minimal, best value for a meal in Palm Springs, especially when you factor in dancing with your spouse. So, a fine night, but a 0400 wake up so I will post this, pack up my laptop and crash.

[Tuesday, June 15, 2010] More Palm Springs

Great day for most of the day. The email was light and easy to deal with so I focused on some base research for my course, SANS Security Leadership Essentials. It is amazing how quickly a course can get out of date. At 1500 we called it a work day and went back to the Tram so we could hike another trail. That part of the San Jacinto mountains has to be one of the prettiest places on earth. We did much better with the high altitude today. I was so happy poking around in the forest and Kathy was photo shooting her brains out. After we completed the trail, we headed back to the desert low lands. My shoes got dusty on the hike (Airspeed's black suede leather) and I asked the front desk at the Hyatt if I could borrow a brush or broom to clean them and the clerk was not willing to give me the time of day. Sigh, we (SANS) spend millions on Hyatts every year, and invest a lot of time helping them be the hotel chain they should be, but I am not Lana, so I simply went out to the pool and cleaned my shoes with a hotel towel. Dinner was at the Fisherman's Market. This was a recommendation from Deanna Boyden who has a place here in Palm Springs. Totally non-pretentious. It is an outstanding business model, the customers line up to order their food, give their table number and they bring you the food, you get your own drinks and condiments. Great balance between fried and grilled food and they have some incredibly healthy choices. The Crab Cake appetizers were the size of a quarter pounder hamburger and served over a bed of salad greens ( these guys do greens very well ) and they have a spot of their "famous" tasteless white sauce, but you can scrape the sauce off. Kathy had the Cod "Lifeboat" 200 calories, zero fat veggies and salad, very cool. The salad has no dressing on it, I am sure there are plenty of choices at the condiments bar, but we both just enjoyed the greens as is. I got the fish tacos ( mahi mahi ), if you order that tell them to hold the white sauce, but I used a napkin to get rid of as much as possible and hit the taco with a bit of verde hot sauce, now we are talking. The misting system is one of the best in Palm Springs, we were very comfortable in the temperature and the music track they played was superb if you like Chicago and the Beach Boys (and we do). If you are wining and dining a client for a multi-million dollar deal this may be the wrong place to go, but if you are out with friends, want to relax and ditch the formalities, Fisherman's Market has my endorsement. They have very generous portions so after we ate Kathy and I walked around a bit; way down S. Palm Canyon Drive we found an interesting wine and cigar shop. We had decided we wanted to share a bottle of wine before bed and I wanted a Zinfandel. We settled on a 2007 Cigarzin from Woodbridge CA. On the way back to the hotel, we popped into the Naked Grape for one glass each, this is a wine bar across the street from the Hyatt 2412 N. Palm Canyon Drive, it was fun although we did not stay long. Victoria Volsky, the proprietor, poured us a Mettler Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2007 Epicenter. It was good not great, the 2006 is better. I like Palm Springs and do not want to be critical, but this town does not seem to "get it" for wine or sauces for food very well. Friends, if I sound critical, please know I am very, very, thankful for good, but feel we should aspire for great, that is the ethic at SANS. Coming to a close for the night, we are back to the hotel; Kathy is doing pictures, it takes her weeks to get all the pictures from a major conference like SANSFIRE to all the people that ask for them. I know it sounds simple, but when you shoot thousands of photos, it takes time to download them off the memory cards, sort them and push them to all the people that want them. I checked my email and then wrote this blog update, we are working while listening to the music of Ottmar Liebert's Nouveau Flamenco, yum, yum, yum, they use this soundtrack on the tram and it is excellent.

The Passing of Gretchen Ambrose 1967 - 2010

She was not a SANS employee very long, but I was sad to hear of her death. Gretchen had a lot of allergies and died of an asthma attack and that has to be a very terrible way to go. Our prayers and concerns are with those who remain behind and knew and loved her. May you receive peace beyond understanding and treasure the good memories, we are but a breath.

[Monday, June 14, 2010] Working away at Palm Springs

Set my alarm for 0500, Kathy found that disorienting, she was certain we slept through Monday and it is actually Tuesday, too many hotel rooms, too many timezones has a cumulative effect I think. We slipped out about 1000 to get an early lunch at Ignition Coffee and Hookah, a coffee house, performance bar, you name it, right on Palm Canyon Drive. They started in 2007 after purchasing the former Palm Springs Coffee shop. Kathy decided to treat it like brunch and went with the scramble, I got the turkey sub which was well done on some really fresh bread. After my call with the web team I am going to slip out and we will ride the tram, more on that later. Two friends on Facebook gave me the scoop, Bob Hallman told me to schedule enough time to hike around and Richard Stiennon told me to dress warm, Kathy and I are very thankful for the advice, too.

Palm Springs Aerial Tram and Dinner

After work we headed for the tram. It was not very crowded and the next car was leaving five minutes after we got there. The more you know about the engineering that makes the tram work, the more amazing it is. The floor in the car rotates which is a little tricky if you are trying to shoot pictures, your window is moving away from you. Also, when it gets to a tower the car rocks a bit. However, I did the best I could to shoot, will look at the pictures shortly. When it docks, you are 8,500 feet above the desert floor. I really noticed the altitude and made sure I stayed hydrated. They have some observation decks and then we went on a hike. It is truly lovely, one of the prettiest spots I have ever seen. There is water flowing, it is cool, there are birds and squirrels and pine and spruce trees, including some huge ones. And there are mountain vistas and enough trail that there are at least some moments we were alone. Before we attempted the ascent back up to the station, we pulled over to a picnic table and enjoyed a light lunch of Doctor Kracker organic Pumpkin Seed Cheddar Flatbread and hit our waterbottles pretty hard. In the thinner oxygen, I wanted to get our pulse rates down, please don't get me wrong it is not a barbaric climb up the hill, but if you did have a heart attack you are probably done for unless they have an evacuation helicopter stashed somewhere. And besides, it was lovely being in the forest. Apparently a few of the visitors to the part do not honor the rule not to feed the animals, soon as we broke out the crackers a couple of Western Bluebirds started hovering on limbs of trees near us, it was fun to watch them. During off season you can purchase a ticket that gives you unlimited rides; if I lived here, I think I would do that and try to do that hike at least twice a week. The gift shop was mostly corny, but I picked up a T-shirt for myself and one for Hunter. The bottom line, this needs to be on your list of things to do. I was willing, but not excited, now I am thinking about going back before we leave.

After we got back I did some Internet research looking for a restaurant we would remember. I chose Zin American Bistro 760-322-6300. They had a Prix Fixe offering. We got a half bottle of Biale Zin, not the best Zin I have ever tasted, but quite nice. The atmosphere is so so, concrete floors with some paint here and there, paint on the walls needs to be redone, the choice of music was nice. The service was fantastic until dessert, then it fell flat, dessert to the wrong person, slow to notice the credit card on the table. We both had the Wild Mushroom Soup as our starter, I realize it may not seem sensible to have hot food when it is about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius), but I do not mind, I was glad to see they put a bit of chill on the wine however. Anyway, the soup is excellent, really great. I had the rabbit it was in a rather tasteless yellow sauce and there were some very nicely done flame roasted greenbeans. The leg piece was cooked to perfection, the other piece overdone and dry. Kathy had the Mussels, they were great specimens, almost certainly fresh, but the broth was lacking. When we were in Baltimore, we ate at Sister's Pizza and Mussels and that broth was much better and yet they were both your basic white wine, garlic, but the difference was telling. For dessert in the desert I had the Sorbet and Kathy had the Bread Pudding, All in all I give it a 7 out of 10 and the Wild mushroom soup saved the 7.

We got back to the hotel and decided to take a quick swim, the sun had not truly set, but it had set behind the huge San Jacinto mountains that the Hyatt almost butts up to. The temperature was dropping just a bit but it is still hot ( I like hot ). But, it was nice to be able to jump in the pool, lose the heat, then get out of the pool and sit in a pool chair and be just a touch cool, but not too cool. One complaint, the Hyatt does not appear to have a pool shower, when I get out of the pool, I really like to wash the pool chemicals and bacteria off of my skin. Maybe it is there somewhere, but I could not find it. If I had realized that I would have specified one of the "pool rooms", that way after a dip you can use your room's shower. After our swim and shower I got back to work, NewsBites comes to the editorial board on Monday nights for one thing. Kathy took a nap, she had a big day that started early. About 2130 we had a small earthquake that woke Kathy up, so I will check email one last time and then knock off for the day, maybe we'll download a short show from Netflix. Tomorrow is another day.

[Sunday, June 13, 2010] Palm Springs

Yaayyyyy, we are here. We started the day early, 0415 wakeup, 0515 pickup, we are both exhausted, a couple days of business meeting and six days of conference use up a lot of energy. We slept on the drive from the Hilton Baltimore to IAD and then slept the first part of the flight. The movie was Valentine's Day and it was such a star studded cast I wanted to stay awake to watch it. I was a tad disappointed, but having said that, there were some great lines. I think I would invest the time to see it again with a high quality home theater, you lose a lot on a plane. The service on the United flight was so-so. We landed in Vegas and pretty soon it was time to board our commuter jet to Palm Springs. Easy flight, enjoyed the desert scenery and we landed at Palm Springs. We chose Enterprise as our rental car company and they were all about service as usual. I am a bit tired right now and do not remember the make and model of my rental car, but I will look that up and make a full report. We are staying in the Hyatt Regency Suites (looks like a converted Embassy Suites to me) and our room was not ready when we landed so we went out. We drove around just a bit and visited the Palm Springs Art Museum, what a treasure. They were having a get-in-free-on-Sunday special, so I made sure to stuff some cash in their donation box. They had a local artist doing an exhibition painting of the lovely mountains in the area and at 2:00pm, they had a classical guitar exposition from the local high school, they were pretty good. There were also painting classes going on, I would guess fifty people young and old were participating. It was fun to see the community so involved. After that, we went to get some crackers and nuts in case we got hungry late at night, we found Fresh & Easy, If you are a regular reader of this blog you know I adore supermarkets and this one was so very fun. They try to be green, they try to support local and they really put some energy into their product choices. Yes, there is the same ol', same ol', but a lot of that is on the bottom shelf. We called the hotel from the parking lot and our room was ready so we showed up and checked in. I was getting hungry, but before we went out for food we tried to set up either a couples massage or a therapist that could do one of us first, then the other. The Hyatt is not doing them right now so I hit Craigslist. The majority of the therapists on Craigslist sound more like something I do not want to deal with, but we thought the ad from Deniz sounded promising. Then we went out for food, we saw an interesting restaurant called Look. Kathy and I splurged and we got a bottle of wine, a Kenwood Old Vine Zinfandel called Yulupa. They served it a touch too warm (Palm Springs in June, that happens), but it appears like a keeper. Kathy had the Carne Asada Quesadilla, I had the Wild Mushroom Ravioli. They were both off the starters section of the menu and they were both main sized portions. I had ordered an artichoke pizza and had to ask for it to go. Kathy's Quesadilla was fantastic, it really was one of the better ones I have every tasted. The Wild Mushroom Ravioli disappoints. The ravioli themselves are fine, but I think the sauce is made of Campbell's Condensed Mushroom Soup and some salad oil, hopefully olive oil, but who knows. Mixing a cream sauce and olive oil is only for the true experts and it can only work if you are using minimal fats. I will try to let you know about the pizza later, but I am skeptical - as I was putting it away in the fridge it looked like they had used their strange white sauce instead of Marinara which I had ordered.

[Saturday, June 12, 2010] #SANSFIRE, Any conference you can walk away from

Had some students this week from a large aerospace manufacturer that weren't too bright, but had an attitude that made the teaching less than enjoyable. However, today, I got to teach leadership today to a class that was technically advanced, they all had 500 level GIAC certs and are advancing in the organization and they wanted to improve their leadership skills. It was really nice to have a chance to enjoy teaching again. After class, Kathy and I got reservations to Roy's Baltimore, yum! I had the fixed price potstickers, lamb chops, warm center chocolate dessert, Kathy had the tiger shrimp curry. Service was perfect, food was very good, and value of the meal was very high. We did come in early before the peak rush. Afterwards there was a live band playing near the roundabout and we joined the block party before coming back to the hotel to pack; we have a zero dark thirty pick up. I liked the Baltimore Hilton, not everything was perfect, but they are trying hard. That said, the inner harbor is the place to be in Baltimore.

[Thursday, June 10, 2010] #SANSFIRE

Getting to restaurants is hard here when they have baseball games. The Baltimore Hilton is next to the stadium and everything fills up, but you can grab a hotdog or hamburger from a streetstand pretty easily. #SANSFIRE was a great conference, the evening talks were the best for the year.

[Thursday, June 3, 2010] Getting into position for #SANSFIRE in Baltimore

Kathy and I slept late today, we will not have a chance to do that again for a while. About 0830 I checked my email and there were no really hot items, I guess I am not the only one traveling today. Hunter and I had a nice talk about next steps in college, we want to make sure to hit everything we need to to be in position for the next stage of his schooling. Then we headed for the train. We stopped at P.T. Hastings, a local seafood & crabhouse on Old Parham for lunch. Their crabcakes are some of the best that I have had and their prices on fish are quite fair. They also have a lovely assortment of fairly priced spices. They do want to fry almost everything, which is a bit of a bummer, but the tuna is available sauteed. They really specialize in takeout, there are only two tiny round tables to eat at, but it was fun.

Amtrak train 80, the Carolinian, was a bit late and they oversold, but thankfully they were able to find seats for both Kathy and me, and even together. We are currently south of Fredericksburg, this area, as well as the ride for the next hour, offers gorgeous scenery.

[Wednesday, June 2, 2010] Trying to go green

We want to try to minimize our carbon use and have been working for months to get solar hot water and photovoltaic operational on the house in Virginia. Today, we had no less than three inspections, but they say we have to turn the system off while we wait for a netmetering device to be added. However, we have saved 340 pounds of carbon already. If you are considering solar, do not listen to the promises of rebates, srecs etc, make your economic decision solely on your power use saving or your desire to be green. Two of the three programs for grants and rebates that were discussed with us fell through. That is OK with me, I was never counting on them; but if I had been, I would be very sad.

[Monday, May 31, 2010] Memorial Day

Wonderful day. Hunter, Kathy and I all went out on the new boat (modified Heritage ClassiC 18) from Little River Marine. We are still in row mode, don't feel we know the boat well enough to sail, especially with three people, but great exercise. We have all the appropriate cuts and bruises from rigging the boat and the roof racks to carry it. We stopped at Stony Point Mall for early supper and ate at Brio Tuscan Grille. The food was good, not great, Kathy had the Rainbow Trout special, I had the Chicken Limone, Hunter had the Chicken Milanese. Prices were reasonable, Kathy had a glass of Zig Zag Zin and we were out for under $100.00

[Friday, May 28, 2010] Work day in Richmond VA

The trip out to Virginia went OK, not great. United 62 was on time with smooth flying across the Pacific and good service on the plane. We landed at San Francisco SFO and had a glass of wine at Wine Wisdom, a Joseph Gott 2006 Cabernet Savignon; that was pleasant. United 792 to Dulles IAD had some sort of communications device failure and was late off the ground. We did make our connection to United 8012 Richmond RIC, but it meant a full on race from C gates to D gates; we were the last persons on the plane, they were just getting ready to shut the door. I think what saved us is a lady in an information booth, I shouted out our last name and destination and she called ahead. Haven't had to run at an airport in some time, sure glad I upgraded my carry-on. When the American Tourister finally died ( 4 years, 400 thousand miles + ), I replaced it with a Movera, it has some nice features, but the handle is a bit too short and in a full on run through the airport, you need every possible advantage. I did pay a premium price for the new carry-on, it is the top of the line Samsonite, but if I get four years out of it, it will be worth every penny.

Plowing through email and trying to do some writing in between phone meetings today. My last appointment is at 4 P.M. and when it is done I am going to rig our Ford F-150's pipe racks to carry the new boat. More on that soon I hope.

[Tuesday, May 25, 2010] Last full day on Kauai

Push, push, push, got to close out here. Rainy weather, a really misty rain and back to Kona winds, but we are flying - so bring it on. Read an article, what if they cannot shut off the BP oil well and the bit about loop currents. Yikes, that could change the world as we know it. Leaving for 20 days means cleaning out the fridge, but that doesn't mean you have to eat scraps. Those of you who know me understand that I am usually regionally faithful when developing recipes, but tonight we post:

Creole Greek Potato Soup

A day before

To begin creating the dish, take a small or medium beet ( yes, do it even if you do not like beets ), cut into thin strips, microwave enough to soften, but not to mush, cover with your favorite brand of hot sauce, (I used Frank's Red Hot from Costco) - I did 90 seconds in my consumer grade microwave. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the beet slices to marinate. Cover and refrigerate.

The day of

Russet potatoes work best in this dish, two bigger than average potatoes cut into cubes in a 3 quart sauce pan, cover with water about 1 inch above the potatoes. Cut into 1/2 - 1/4 cubes leave the skin on unless you are super un-turned on by vitamins and fiber.

Add 1 leek cut up finely
Add 1 white onion cut up finely
Add 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic ( or be bold and do more, it is creole )
1/3 cup Spaghetti Sauce ( I prefer Bertolii, if you use a different sauce, consider adding a tablespoon of olive oil )

Spices at this point:
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed ( unground is best, if ground, 1/4 teaspoon )
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon celery seed, ground is fine
2 small habanero peppers ( or similar heat level )
Black pepper to taste
15 basil leaves ( fresh )
1 inch of rosemary off the stalk
5 chives ( fresh )
NO SALT ( we will get to that )

Boil, boil, boil, and when potatoes are thoroughly cooked

To be fully into the Creole side of this dish add two tablespoons of canned refried beans, creole dishes are thick. Just before serving, add the beet cut up finely, this will bring a delightful color to the broth, and two tablespoons or more of Greek Feta cheese depending on your taste for salt. When you add the beets, their flavor will blend with the creole, but they will be crunchy and contrast with the potatoes and leeks.

[Monday, May 24, 2010] The worst Nigerian 411 fraud note of all time

The dinner went well, never got to the fajitas because no one could eat any more! Got this fraudulent in the mailbox, hope you enjoy, it really is a classic, and yes, I really did receive it:



Based on our investigastion department, we wish to warn you against some scammers in africa who claiming to be who they are not and thereby scamming some innocent people by tarnishing the image of this wonderful country.WE INVESTIGATE THAT YOU ARE A VICTIM OF SCAM ARTIST, WE LIKE TO INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE ARRSETED ABOUT 50 SCAMMERS ARTIST IN NIGERIA AND BENIN, AFTER SEACHING THEIR HOURSES WE FOUND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FROM ONE Mr. Akinwuntan Patrick WHO claim TO BE THE DIRECTOR OF BANK OF AFRICA. THE PRESIDENT OF BENIN AND THE UNITED STATE PRESIDENT HAS DIRECT US

TO RETURNE SOME FUNDS BACK TO YOU IMMIDATELLY SO DO NOT HESITATE TO REVERT BACK TO US.Thank for your understanding and we are deeply sorry for the inconveniences this has caused you all this while. And if you are dealing with any one of them we urge you to STOP because you are taking a big risk we endeavor that you help us to help you returned your funds back to you.Your co-operation will be highly appreciated in regards to this cause.

In this regards, we are going to send your part payment of $700,000 USD.
through ATM MASTER CARD, I have secured every needed documents to cover the money Kindly forward this blow informations to our delivery department for them to deliver the ATM MASTER CARD to your doorstep without any further delay.

1)Your full name...............
2)Phone, fax and mobile .................
3)company name, position and address............
4)profession, age and marital status...............
5)Copy of int'l passport,drivers linsense,or any valid ID card via attachment.............

Person to contact Mr Bill Cooper.
Best Regards,
MR PeterJames.

Gratis email til alle overalt:

Find dit perfekte match:


In other news, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced Monday that it fined investment firm Piper Jaffray & Co. $700,000 for violations related to its failure to retain about 4.3 million emails between 2002 and 2008. Sounds like Piper Jaffray had a very good attorney. Brian Krebs blog has a story on tabbed browsing and using social engineering to steal user login credentials. I love one of the comments, "tabnapping".

[Friday, May 21, 2010] Life is going very fast right now

Dear diary, I think this is the biggest gap ever. I have no idea what I have done between the 12th and now. I do know that I am serving 12 for dinner tonight and it is very rainy today. Glad we went swimming yesterday, because the runnoff is going to make that a losing proposition for a few days. But we need the rain, so who is to complain. Anyway, dinner, here is the rough plan:

Inspired by the cuisine of Mexico, tonight's theme is chicken presented seven ways with other small plate dishes.

Aperitivo Quesadilla – A wedge of quesadilla with chicken stuffing to get us started, paired with a virgin mojito, beets botanas style

Sopa de Pan de Mau00edz – Cornbread is suspended in an herbed chicken soup, served in a small bowl as an appetizer

Toastar el Maiz con Pollo – Roast corn, chicken breast and a touch of heat, enjoy with red tea, red wine or both

Arroz y Frijoles – This classic rice and black beans is enhanced with spinach, orange pepper and bright herbs of the field

Brocoli y Pollo Carne Oscura – Dark meat chicken and broccoli, lemon and salsa finish this off

Enchilada – Classic baked corn tortillas stuffed with chicken and asparagus covered with pepper sauce

Frijoles Refritos Estilo Lagasse
– Refried garbanzo beans, Emeril Lagasse style

Pechuga de Pollo Cubierta – The skin is removed from chicken breast, spinach is layered on top and sauced, the skin is carefully spiced then put back on and covered with parmesan cheese

Fajitas – High temperature cooking sears in the flavor of onions, peppers and chicken

Dulce Trio: Copa del Desierto de Limu00f3n – Blue Agave sweetens fresh lemon and zest as an after dinner drink, virgin or adult available - Chocolate sobre el azu00facar de cau00f1a, spicy very dark chocolate on sugar cane - Guayaba Enchilada, dessert enchilada with Guava from our farm

[Wednesday, May 12, 2010] Conference Blurrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I still like the Manchester Hyatt and they are still a good conference hotel, but they have lost a bit of their lustre. There are cracks in the tile in our bathroom. The bathroom doesn't get cleaned properly, there are hairs on the sink - one of them behind the faucet was there four days (and we leave a $5 tip every day, wonder what happens to people that don't tip). They haven't replaced the soap; all the bumps have worn off the Hyatt soap and it is about to break in two because it has been wet so long, and it is soft soap. The first morning we ate at Lael's and I had one bowl of cereal, orange juice and coffee and Kathy had an omelet, apple juice and coffee, and the bill was $50.00 which seems high. We ate at Sally's Seafood on the Water one night and it was pretty good. They had a fixe price menu, and the appetizer was mussels in coconut lemon grass sauce. The salmon was so-so, clearly farmed salmon and a bit dry, then we had a fun gelatto dessert.

We also had a dinner at Roy's. We both got combo dishes, but for the life of me, I can't remember what we ate. We were not able to get out to eat much, just too busy, I was supposed to have Grand Club access, but they did not enable that on my room key till yesterday, so I made do with conference food. It will be a while before I intentionally eat a sandwich cut like a triangle that isn't toasted, but the bread is dry as if it was toast. I realize it sounds like I am complaining, I am not, just reporting what the scene is like. Kathy and I managed to pop out before my SANS Technology Institute recruiting talk and eat at Greek Islands Cafe in the Seaport Village. That was fun - she had the Falafel Platter, I had the Famous "Combo" Platter.

One more function for the night and then time to get some rest, the GIAC Advisory Board is going to do a meet up in the George Bush room at 9:00 P.M. I will probably show up a bit early after posting this.

[Friday, May 7, 2010] In position for #SANSSecWest

Flights on United yesterday went really well, United 0449 from ORD ( Chicago) to SAN ( San Diego ) was the BEST service I have experienced on a domestic flight. Transfer from airport to Manchester Hyatt was an easy trip, but glad I did not try this on Wednesday during Cinco de Mayo. Our rooms were not ready, but they gave us Grand Club access and we were able to get online. Then they called us, we set up, did some work and met @TommyLuke and his wife for dinner. It was good, we went to Cafe Sevilla which usually does not disappoint and shared a bottle of Red Guitar and enough Tapas for ten people.

I noticed that Sherri Davidoff was picked up in a PC World article about social engineering; funny thing, she is co-author of SANS upcoming Social Engineering class.

[Monday, May 3, 2010] Some security bits from magazines

  • Information Week Dec 9, 2009 main story was on mobile apps. Kids spend more time texting than we do, adolescent girls may send 200 texts a day. ( Gartner) By 2012, PCs will no longer be the dominant platform. From the famous Steve Jobs note we learn mobile needs to be based on Open Standards, Access the "Full Web" (HTML 5). Be reliable, secure, have high performance while being sensitive to battery life, and support touch.
  • Information Week April 12, 2010, the main story is Google wants you. Mostly about Google Apps, a lot of talk about competing with Microsoft Office; I surely do not see that in my travels. Two key points to the story, Google apps allow for collaboration, but they do not support offline work which kills their chance of becoming mainstream, at least until most airplanes have wireless. On page 26 is an ad for a Dell sponsored web site Enterprise Efficiency. It is your typical have-to-register for the .pdf, but one of the reports available is virtualization management. This has been published elsewhere, I recognized much of the material, but it isn't bad and there is some real meat, not just cloud, cloud, cloud. Page 20 has the required cloud article, better than most, written by Greg Shipley. Biggest takeaway for me was the Cloud Security Alliance is working on a cloud audit called CloudAudit A6, The next page over is the most incredible female athlete picture, it is a Marriott Residence Inn commercial and the you tube video is even more awesome ( sorry, I haven't had television in 26 years and am easily impressed).
  • Network World January 8, 2010 main story is a crisis, they can't find people with the skills they need for modern data centers. Top skills listed: Virtualization, Services Management, Unified Computing, Green IT, Communications ( as in writing and speaking to people, something geeks never seem to get till they are 40), Resource Management (network bandwidth, energy), Engineering ( related to modern data centers), Advanced Networking, Financial Analysis, Project Management.
  • Network World July 20, 2009, most interesting article was on wireless. Need for widespread HTML 5 adoption, wireless will be the death of cables ( take a hint from a guy who has been around a while - keep some cables handy), high cost of international wireless.
  • Network World April 8, 2010, wireless discussion is on 4G. Two competing standards: WiMAX where Clearwire is the market leader, LTE used by Verizon in particular and also AT&T. Magazine predicts LTE will be the eventual winner, but WiMAX is here today and we may need mobile devices that support both for the next few years. There is also a really interesting discussion about Microsoft's SSL VPN UAG, it seems to perform well for Authorization, Endpoint Security, Access Control at the application layer if and only if you are using Internet Explorer and Active Directory. They claim they couldn't do endpoint compliance checking ( is my AV on and up to date sort of stuff) with Safari and Chrome, and got closer, but in the end no joy with Firefox. Network extension is a bit of a bear, XP and Vista support the Whale protocol, Vista and Seven support SSTP.

Monitoring Health Care Records Access

Here are examples of the problem:

Former UCLA Medical Center Employee Indicted For Allegedly Selling Celebrity Medical Info (April 30, 2008)
A federal grand jury has indicted Lawanda Jackson for allegedly using her position as an administrative specialist at UCLA Medical Center to access celebrities' health records and selling the information to tabloids. Lawanda Jackson could receive a prison sentence of up to 10 years if she is convicted. Additional defendants may be charged in the case. Jackson allegedly accessed information about Farrah Fawcett, Maria Shriver, and 60 other well-known people, and allegedly leaked medical information about Fawcett to a tabloid. The charges against Jackson were brought under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Jackson resigned from UCLA Medical Center last summer.
She pleaded guilty, but died of breast cancer before she could be sentenced:

Prison Time for Snooping on Patient Records (April 28, 2010)
Former healthcare system employee Huping Zhou has been sentenced to four months in prison for snooping into patient records. Zhou, who is a licensed surgeon in China, was working as a researcher at the UCLA School of Medicine. He began accessing patient files without authorization in 2003 after learning that he was going to be fired. Zhou is the first person to receive a prison sentence for violating provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

In the last edition of NewsBites I asked for insights into the state of health care medical records security. Here are some of the things that I have learned:
  • In health care access and availability trump access control, they are in the business of saving lives
  • Most modern medical records system include some access control monitoring capability
  • The majority of the people that wrote in are concerned there are insufficient controls in place especially as records are exchanged between organizations
  • Two responders are considering the use of the FairWarning appliance
  • One responder suggests considering the work of the HITRUST Alliance
  • One responder suggest Iatric
  • One responder suggest Varonis DatVantage
  • One responder is considering the use of ArcSight for additional oversight

[Sunday, May 2, 2010] Late spring in Richmond VA

Norma joined us for church at Grove Ave. Baptist. Sermon was on tithing, you could see the squirming. Actually, best tithe sermon I have ever heard. Then I made lunch, Salmon Quesadillas, Wild Rice and Beans, Zucchini broiled with Parmesan cheese and Apple Walnut salad.

Then we went to Nordstrom's to buy a suit and dropped into Trader Joe's, what a wonderful store Trader Joe's is. Kathy is trying to avoid gluten and meat, so I wandered around looking for gluten-free this and that. We are going to have some meat this week, the fresh turkey breast looked lovely. We did some work for SANS, and then about five thirty took a walk in our neighborhood. I love the light green colors of the trees, it was a hot day, but at 5:30pm, not so bad at all. When I got back, I made supper. Here is a recipe for you to try:

Green Beans with Pizazz

Cut off the stems; cook beans in as little water as possible or else you lose nutrients, don't quite cover with water, instead stir from time to time to get them cooked.
Use a fork to test tenderness, hopefully there should only be a little water left by the time they are feeling tender, if you need to add some more water that is OK.
Add some olive oil, about a tablespoon is enough.
At three to four minutes to serving clear the middle or hottest part of the pan and add fresh minced garlic to taste.
After two minutes stir the garlic into the beans add 4 tablespoons spaghetti sauce.
Three or four squirts of Worcestershire Sauce just before serving, stir and serve.
Optional: a pinch of Cayenne pepper ground finely for spice lovers
Optional: a spoonful of white sesame seeds can hold the flavor from the liquid as they stick to the beans

[Friday, April 30, 2010] Friday is Flyday

Less than two hours before the taxi. Busting tail to get as much done as possible. Those of you who sent me documents to review, you knew today was fly day, so that is not going to happen. Don't know if you read this, but United Airlines has added US$64 Million to their balance sheet for unused air miles. Kathy and I were lucky enough to be confirmed for an upgrade on the first leg of our journey, thanks to United's new Unlimited Domestic Upgrades program, but don't know about the red eye leg from SFO to IAD; we won't find out until we get in line for that flight later tonight. With the new Unlimited Upgrades program, we don't have to use miles to upgrade, but it seems actually getting the better seats may not happen as often; to get a confirmed upgrade, you can still use your miles, but it will cost you now - used to be free, and it's pretty pricey to upgrade on longer flights, especially flying multiple legs and going over oceans. At least with our first flight upgraded today, they will serve lunch; but when we fly the red eye, we just get a little snack.

The bottom line of the trip, United performed flawlessly, but we are starting to get a bit too old for these five thousand mile trips. Leg one, United 62, we did get upgraded, yayy. They had the new leather seats and the flight was pretty smooth. The movie was Did you hear about the Morgans. We have seen it once before ( on an airplane of course). I think it is Mary Steenburgen's best role and Hugh Grant seems to own the apologetic male role. Anyway, good flight, ontime departure, arrived early. We did not get upgraded for the other flights, in fact we did not even have have a chance, two United 1ks flying together were 3 and 4 on the upgrade list with three slots. Kathy and I do not separate, upgrade both of us or neither of us. Not sure United gets that concept. United 198 from San Francisco (SFO) to Dulles (IAD) was a red eye. This is actually the first time in ten years I have flown a red eye from California to the east coast. The flight was packed out, they apparently have a problem with carry on luggage ( running out of space ) consistently on this flight. Kathy and I were good boys and girls, we put our personal effects under the seat in front of us making as much overhead bin space available as possible. On time, friendly flight crew, what is not to like. The movie was Leap Year. Oh, my gosh, that is a good film, I may need to own that one. We are starting to be very picky about the movies we own. Our DVD closet is full in Hawaii and we pulled all the Bruce Lee, Jet Li, fighting films out and brought them in my checked bag to Hunter this trip because he wanted us to buy them. This means we can only add about 20 more titles and, of course, now there is the Blu-Rau player issue and in a year or two, the 3D consideration. I will need to look in to how you sell used DVDs. I guess we will have a serious talent contest for shelf space, but Leap Year has an honest shot at a spot on the shelf.

After a gazillion miles in the air, both Kathy and I are developing a sense for oncoming turbulence. Even if we do not really need a trip to the bathroom, when we sense turbulence coming we take advantage of the opportunity. This trip the seatbelt sign was on most of the time and trust me, I am an expert in this from the United 1k blog, you NEVER want to treat turbulence lightly. The most amazing thing about this trip was the time in the airports. We did not have much more than an hour between flights. In the past, two and three hour layovers were common, which gave us time to pull into the Red Carpet lounge and do office work. This trip, we were able to make some tea in the lounge in our insulated water bottles and move on. The last trip, United 8012, had the most pragmatic flight attendant I have yet met. Diane scored us exit row seats, a real bonus on a puddle jumper. The flight attendant actually lifted up the access panel on the exit row door and showed us the famous red handle. Hope I never have to pull it, but I will surely try if need be. United had an on time departure and arrival, decent weather for flying; no turbulence. We were met by James Limousine and taken to Hunter's house in Richmond VA. Kathy was exhausted so I went out to buy food. I decided to go to Walmart, it is close and they have a full food shopping center. We are sticking with the no meat, no gluten thing for Kathy. I really enjoy shopping for food on the mainland. One downer, they had record pollen this year on the east coast. I do not have extreme allergy issues, but who gets a bye from a record pollen count? I turned on the AC of my Ford F-150 truck and it blasted me with collected pollen of being parked four weeks on the mainland since the construction crew is using the garage as a workshop. I am OK, but it would be a lie to say that concentrated blast had no effects. Despite everything you read about inflation, the price of food is going up; but, oh my, what rich choices, and Walmart has some awesome bargains. Since Kathy is not doing gluten, I got a big stack of corn tortillas and am doing everything around my vision of a Latin American diet. Hey, let's throw a non-gluten, Latin inspired recipe into the mix!!!

You know your life is insane when you start a trip in April and end it in May.

Eggs on Oatmeal, Huevos de Harina de Avena

Make oatmeal, it is fairly tasteless but so good for you. Make a pile of it. Make a gentle depression in the middle, pour your choice of red or green ( my preference ) enchilada sauce ( warmed ) into the depression. All the time you have been cooking an egg over medium ( these days eggs over easy are restricted to organic free range chickens); put the egg over the sauce, and serve. I know it is simple, but it takes oatmeal to the next level.

[Thursday, April 29, 2010] Our last full day on Kauai

Rainy morning. So much rain, we will not have a chance to go swimming. Back to Kona style weather and that softens the blow of having to leave the island - Kona conditions are not as much fun. I read the note by Steve Jobs on Adobe Flash, it was well done. He could have been a lot more negative, they have had so many security problems. Had a talk with Security Barbie today about the struggles of recruiting females for our college, so far, it is an all-male operation. Then, another chat with Ben Tomhave on how SANS is doing and he is going to take a look at the college's strategic plan. With his technical background and current management responsibilities, I wonder if he might be a good person to teach my course, Management 512, Security Leadership Essentials? Off topic, but just read a good article about the consequences of the oil spill in the Gulf, I hope they can get that shut off soon. Went down one fun rabbit hole: Tim Keanini posted a video from China about a unique way of loading passengers onto and off of trains without the train having to stop.