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 22


By Stephen Northcutt
Welcome to Edition 22 of the Infosec Travel Guide Journal. Kathy and I have looked at our calendar for the second half of 2012 and it looks like a lot of travel, a lot of work. We will be faithful to journal our experiences, the restaurants we visit, any insights in information security. At this point we have done a lot of writing and it may be hard to find things, here is a suggestion. If you are going to San Diego and want to know about restaurants we have been to, if you type "site:sans.edu san diego" it should bring up previous editions.

[December 3, 2012] Last day in Richmond VA

We left from Kauai to Seattle after diverting from hurricane Sandy and then did a conference in San Diego at the Hard Rock Hotel. Now we are in Richmond VA, getting ready to take the train to Philadelphia for the Middle States Conference and on to DC for the last conference of the year.

[November 1, 2012] Last day on Kauai


Wow, we are going away for almost two complete months and we were here less than a week. Last Friday we were in Orange County at the Disneyland Hotel for a very well run, valuable, ISSA meeting and this Monday we were supposed to be in Reston, but we canceled that meeting due to Hurricane Sandy. There were no seats available to get back to Sumner WA, so we diverted to Kauai; guess you can't complain about that.

[October 9, 2012] Last day in Seattle

The car comes to get us at 8:20 PM. We have a redeye flight.

[October 5, 2012] Rudy and Shanda are our houseguests

The weather continues to be lovely. Blue skies and plenty warm when in the sun. We are going to spend the weekend together and then they are moving on to Portland by train.

[September 27, 2012] Lovely day on the lake

Still enjoying blue skies and moderate weather. After work today, we pulled out the canoe and paddled around the late. It is funny, when the bald eagles are here, the other predator birds, golden eagles, osprey, heron, various hawks tend to stay clear. So today, they left the tree they normally perch in and the osprey showed up within twenty minutes for some sashimi. When, we came back I worked on investing a bit. If you have never seen that blog it is available here.

[September 24, 2012] Back in Seattle, but with the flu

Arrrg. There is much more good news than bad news. Planes were on time, but the smoke from the Western fires did a number on my sinus and breathing. My ears did not clear landing and if I had not been wearing earplanes, I think I would have done some damage. We both woke up with the symptoms of the flu, but a very mild case at least today. The biggest hassle is that I cannot get to a comfortable temperature, hot, cold, sweats, chills. A great reminder to go get a flu shot.

[September 15, 2012] Vegas Baby!

Here comes the whirlwind. I am scheduled day and night so I will fall behind on my blog, but you can track the conference from the web page.

[September 14, 2012] Last full day in Seattle

After work we decided to drive down to Sumner. I learned that the old Salvation Army building is for sale. Kathy and I have been thinking about opening a retail business and this seemed like the perfect spot. It is in the historic section of Sumner which is the best. Across the street, we saw people dining outside at Sorci's Italian Cafe so we joined them. We had a Greek Pizza ( Kalamata Olives and Feta Cheese on a Gluten Free crust) and water. It was the first pizza Kathy had since she ditched gluten; what fun. Price before gratuity 15.04, what is not to like?

[September 11, 2012] One perfect day in Seattle

We worked late the night before and worked late on September 11, so we could tour the city. We had a car pick us up, since wine was part of the plan. Our first stop was the Boeing Museum. It was GREAT. They have a fighter simulator for 15.00. I was not able to get the restraining bar tight so after about 6 barrel rolls and a 4D ejection simulator for 5.00 that is much tamer. Then we got our car and went to the Space Needle for an 11:30 lunch seating. We both had the King Salmon, shared a bottle of Angel Zinfandel and two glasses of Mount Baker Late Harvest desert wines and the driver took us home. Food was excellent, though I am less sure about the wilted pea vines. We grabbed a short nap and went back to work. Price before gratuity was $136.88.

[September 3, 2012] Last full day in Richmond

Prepared a Middle East inspired meal:

Quinoa and Lentil Sfeeha Salad

Boil the appropriate amount of water for the quinoa and lentils you plan to make
Add Sfeeha spice to taste, salt to taste
Cut a white onion into four pieces, chop 3 of the piece loosely and place in boiling water
Chop the remainder finely and set aside
Chop two celery sticks finely and store with onion
When the quinoa and lentils are done, let cool for five minutes then add the remaining vegetables

Chicken and Brown Rice Shawarma Salad

Boil the appropriate amount of water for the brown rice, add brown rice when boiling
Shawarma and salt to taste (make it a bit strong)
10 minutes before rice is done, cover with smoked almonds to soften in the steam
1/2 chicken cooked and chopped, set aside
1 pack green onions, put the white parts in the water, set remainder aside
1 zucchini, I chop in different sizes, set aside
When rice mixture is cool mix together with one package of fat free cottage cheese

Flounder Tikka (mild)

2 pieces of flounder
1 green pepper chopped
Asparagus spears
Dust bottom of broiler capable pan with salt and tikka, arrange fish and vegetables, broil. If the skin will come off the fish, pull it off and dust top of fish with tikka and salt to taste

Serve everything with mint tea, what is not to like?


[August 30, 2012] Virginia Beach

Many times conferences are a blur, this was no exception. Sorry about the missing reports. We had a fantastic night at the Isle of Capri, the classic locals fish platter at Nicks, a nice meal at Murphy's where we stayed in theme with the Irish Stew and the Irish Pie, and the last night we splurged and went to Terrapin's. What fun!


[August 25, 2012] Time with family before VA Beach

We slept till 8:30 AM, oh my that was nice. Kathy made coffee and I started putting lunch together for the family. We drove to Trey's and arrived about 10:30 AM. We spent some quality time with the kids and Kathy got some great shots. They were really well behaved, you can tell a lot of work has gone into raising them. Part of what I made was a chicken salad, recipe is below. Then we said our goodbyes and went home where Kathy loaded the car while I took care of a few last minute things. Then we headed for Virginia Beach. I do not like driving on I64 East; there is a tendency for people in the left lane to go too fast and not leave enough room behind the car in front, a combination that often leads to accidents. I always see accidents on 64 east of Richmond and this time was no exception. One in particular must have been really bad based on the number of emergency response vehicles on the scene. I just get in the right lane, keep a good following distance, and get there when I get there. The tunnel had a 3 mile backup, so we took the 664 alternate route.

After a 3 hour drive, we arrived at the Hilton and chose the valet option. We scored an ocean view room which was a real plus. There was a live band playing at Neptune Park next door, so after we got settled we listened for a while then went to find food. There is a cute little Greek restaurant a block north of the Hilton on the other side of the street. Mykonos 3108 Atlantic, (757) 422-1212, does not have the best location, you have to know where it is, in fact Google doesn't even know about it (at least not yet, I tried to make a places page), but it is authentic Greek food. Kathy had the Horgiatiki salad and I had the Chicken Souvalki. Pretty good.

Ars Technica has a great article about the recent advances in password cracking. Wow! The large scale online exposures such as Gawker have made millions and millions of hashes available and the crackers are finding patterns. When RockYou was hacked, their passwords were not stored as hashes, so that gave researchers 32 million passwords. In addition they have souped up hardware that use boards of GPUs such as Erebus, with 8 AMD Radeon GPU cards. Finally, there is new software such as oclHashCat Plus that can support the most modern attack methods.

Chicken Salad

1/2 Costco rotisserie chicken (one breast and the dark meat as well)
2 TB toasted slivered almonds
1/2 C fat free cottage cheese
2 TB olive oil mayonnaise
3 sticks of celery, cut finely
15 chopped skinny asparagus spears
2 TB Parmesan cheese
1/8th of a red onion, chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste.


[August 24, 2012] Birthday boy

We wanted to celebrate Trey's birthday. Kathy spent the day with him while I waited for the Carrier repairman for the HVAC. After he got to the house, I left to go meet Kathy and Trey at CineBistro at Stony Point, a high end movie theater where you can order a full dinner at your seat. Trey had the Salmon, Kathy had their version of a Cobb Salad and I had the Veggie Burger and salad. The first two dishes were good, but their burger disappoints. The beans don't hold together well, so it falls apart and the taste was limited as well. I think they would be wise to serve something like a Morningstar veggie burger. The movie was Expendables 2. Yes, it was a stupid movie and yes, I enjoyed it.


[August 23, 2012] Richmond house is a mess

There was a power outage and when it came back on it took out our new state-of-the-art HVAC and tankless water heater. I called Gilman Mechanical and got same day service, so we have AC again. I called Bubba's Handyman about the water heater, but we still do not have hot water. And to my security friends: with perimeter devices we talk about failing open and failing closed. I bet you think hot water heaters fail open - the water may not be hot, but it continues to come out. Not so with our Rinnai, it fails closed. And, our modern showers will not work unless you can mix hot and cold water to help protect you from scalding. So our shower this morning consisted of a pan of water lightly heated on the stove and a cup to pour water over our face and body. Works well enough except for the underarm area, very hard to get the soap off.


[August 22, 2012] EWR to RIC

We landed at EWR to change flights. We had two hours before our connecting flight to Richmond and not much was open, but the United Club was, so we read newspapers for an hour and I had a couple cups of yummy Numi Orange Spice White Tea. After a bit I got restless and we wandered towards our gate. Not much was open but Smashburger was and food junky that I am, I had to try their breakfast burger (basically you add a fried egg to a cheeseburger). I had been eating really healthfully for days and was even losing some weight but ... I fell off the wagon big time. I could feel all that salt for hours. It was tasty though, I still think Five Guys is a bit better, but either is delicious fun.

UA 4409 was not full, a very rare occurrence. Boarded on time and LEFT early, wow! Got to Richmond 20 minutes early, was slightly concerned that James Limo would not be there, but they were and our bags were on the baggage claim carousel as soon as we got there. Easy drive from airport to Richmond apartment. Something appears to be wrong with the new high tech tankless hot water heater so I called Bubba's Handyman and Kathy and I took a nap for a couple hours. Got up and tried to fire up my brain. The biggest issue on the table; we have run into a few more setbacks trying to get a great risk management course into the field.

I am going to knock off about 4:00 PM and zip to the store. We actually brought some cooked quinoa and veggies with us, so that will work for lunch.


[August 21, 2012] SEATAC to EWR

We took the redeye from Seattle. Our pickup was by Starline and they were on time as usual. No significant problems getting to the airport, so we settled in to the United Club. It was fairly deserted. 20 minutes before boarding we headed to the gate. They had just closed the door to Houston when a young man walked up. He was on standby and checking his chances, he made it. A minute later a lady run up, her flight had run late; she didn't make it. Boarding UA 652 was without incident, we did not make first class, I think that is a bygone era unless you burn your regionals or pay the price. An incredibly stupid movie, Mirror Mirror was on. I couldn't bring myself to plug in my headset; ended up sleeping for the first third of the flight.


[August 20, 2012] El Charro in Sumner is a must to avoid

Well, that has to be the business opportunity of the year. We were on our way back home and were hungry. I remembered a little boutique off 167 in downtown Sumner, but it was closed. Then I remembered El Charro, so we gave it a try. Don't. There were lots of cars in the parking lot so we thought we were off to a good start. My first observation; there were no Latinos, either serving or as customers. We were seated and I noticed the policy statement on the back of the menu, "If we prepared it properly, we will not take it back or give a refund". That is a first. The water glasses were very small and they did not refill the water. Kathy had the Vegetarian Enchilada, I had the Carne Asada. Two pieces of my steak stuck together and I guess the cook did not notice, so one side was raw. We bought the Guacamole, it had no taste and looked fake. The rice was apparently stored in a chiller overnight without a cover so some of the kernels were dried out. The refried beans were OK with a generous sprinkle of cheese. Service was non-existent. We got our own box to take my steak home to cook it and finally got someone's attention for the check. Oh, they are in the front. We went there and waited five minutes. But the locals apparently love it, most tables were still full when we left. But am I ever tempted to open a Las Margaritas in Sumner.


[August 17/18, 2012] Struggling with the smoke

There are a lot of forest fires out of control in the western states and the smoke hangs over Seattle like a fog. I have had a bit of the burning of the eyes and light stuffiness, but I woke up today barely able to breathe. Could not think either, finally gave myself an extra hour of sleep and was able to get something done. Slashdot has an amazing article on how plagiarism helped win the American Revolution. It makes sense; news was hard to come by so the colonial newspapers copied each other. Kind of like bloggers today :)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/todd-andrlik/how-plagiarism-made-ameri_b_1772782.html


[August 16, 2012] Las Margaritas

I did not feel like cooking so we splurged. We were originally planning on eating at Serafina Osteria and Enoteca on Eastlake, but I could not find their parking lot and that part of town is not friendly to a long bed Toyota Tacoma so we bailed out. On a whim, I headed out of town. We had no problems with traffic until we ran out of commuter restricted lane on 167. As soon as we backed up into traffic, I took the nearest exit and used the Garmin to locate a restaurant. This was essentially at Emerald Downs in Auburn on A Street and it is a growing chain called Las Margaritas. Kathy had the Dungeness Crab Enchiladas and I had the Mixed Seafood over Spanish Rice. I am not a big mussels fan, but whatever they do to prepare these is awesome. One complaint, we were seated by 5:58 and they would not honor happy hour pricing (3-6pm), so I skipped having a Modelo Especial. On the other hand they bring a pitcher of water to your table and the chips and salsa were never ending.



[August 14, 2012] Provisioning the studio

After work today instead of visiting one of Seattle's parks, or canoeing on the lake, we headed for Sumner Woodworking. I am sure there are better places, but I like the feel of this place. I bought a basic wood carving set and a variable speed grinder. I already have a bandsaw. I cut out my first woodworking project; a wooden spoon. It is not finished of course, but the important thing is that it has begun.

There is an interesting article that has been posted, the title is Can United Airlines Fix Itself. I am not ready to say, "screw you United", but I can see considering the thought if things continue as they have been going. The line in the article that hit me in the gut was comparing United to US Air. I did quit flying US Air, and it was exactly because of the the things that happened to me then on US Air are happening to me now on United. Until this post I was thinking, it is anecdotal, it just happened to you and now you are suffering from confirmation bias. Well, confirmation bias just got worse because the article quoted statistics: the most delays (tell me about it) and the most mishandled baggage of any mainline carrier (my baggage experience with United has been mostly positive). After a million miles with United you are not going to hear me say "I will never fly United again". However, you may well hear me say, I am going to start building privilege on another airline.

Memo to United management and rank and file; can an outsider share something with you? It will not take too much more of this malarky to drive United back into the red. If you alienate your most faithful customers, you die; and, you are well on your way there now. How do I know? I am Group 1 so when I line up on the (now) blue carpet, I try to chat up whoever else is there. I must tell you dudes and dudettes at United, you are losing ground. And, you are doing it again and again and again; a persistent, clear, top-down driven, "screw you, passenger" attitude - no matter what your privilege level, except (possibly) Global. Once you screw up and put your company in the dirt, how exactly do you think you will recover? You have a lot of debt. You need revenue. And the enjoyment you feel from slighting a customer will soon fade when you face the awful reality that, not only will United be unable to fund the previous pensions, they be not be able to fund yours either. There is another way, however. We had an unhappy customer write in to SANS today and multiple people responded, including the highest ranked executives. You have to care, you have to try, otherwise what is the point of being in business? I will quit griping in just a second, but, losing a ten year old? Really? United is the new US Air.



[August 11, 2012] Long day in airports, Boston (BOS) to Seattle (SEA)

Management 514: IT Security Strategic Planning, Policy and Leadership went well overall, but the students scored the first day low. Possibly an expectations mismatch.

Kathy and I got up early and went down to breakfast. It was very quiet and peaceful. I did notice my bill under the door. The Hyatt Regency Boston has been charging a gratuity for breakfast of $3.20 on top of the gratuity I have been paying. That is pretty scummy, but it will not break the bank. We ate in the hotel last night because it was raining; we both had the Potato Chip Crusted Cod. It was fairly tasty and cooked to perfection. This trip we also ate at the Bento Box Express 63 Boylston St. Pretty neat place, and it can be an incredible value if you order one of the bento boxes. I chose the beef; it was a bit undercooked, but they were willing to give it another boost. They let me substitute brown rice for white rice which was appreciated. The California rolls were fun, Miso soup was classic, and the potstickers absorbed exactly the right amount of soy sauce.

We took a taxi to the airport. NOTE: if you are flying United to New Jersey Newark, Cleveland or Houston, you need to go to Terminal A, not the main United gates. No problem though, United transported us in a golf cart and we got to go in a premium lane through security, and we had our first experience with PRE. Yayyyyyy, yayyyyyy. Kept my shoes on, my laptop stayed in the bag, and I just had to put my cell phone in my carry-on bag. WOW! And so fast. The United club in terminal A is very quiet because they only service the (old) Continental routes.

A really interesting Slashdot theory about politics bit the dust. They noted that Sara Palin's Wikipedia page was updated 68 times before announcing she was the Vice Presidential choice. By that logic, the Romney VP would have been Rob Portman.

My flight, United 4951 is delayed, though the board does not show that. At this moment it is still possible to make the connection. So, we decided to get some lunch. They have a Legal Seafoods Test Kitchen. Kathy had the lobster and I had a red clam chowder. Bill before tip was 32.00.

As usual, United changed the time - again, and again, and again. Then they switched planes. We arrived at Newark EWR a few minutes too late to make our connection. United rebooked us on the next day 6:35 AM flight. We went up to United customer service. The guy claimed the reason for the delayed plane was Air Traffic Control (ATC). I guess they were trying to avoid paying for a hotel. Come on United, it isn't about the money, you were late, again. And the advantage to us of a hotel voucher is we don't have to research the hotels, find out which ones have rooms, etc. But, we wanted to get home and there was a flight about 8pm that we could be re-ticketed for that evening. Done. So, now we have to find food. There are a couple of decent restaurants at Newark, but our favorite for C gates is Le Grande Comptior. We have been there several times, even know some of the wait staff by name. We tried to order a Sterling Meritage off the wine list, it was not in stock and Amre recommended a Washington State blend called CMS. Kathy had the Filet and I had the Chicken Comptior. Good food, good wine; our departure time was still far away so we were very leisurely and took over an hour and a half to enjoy the bottle of wine.

Our gate was a disaster, a very full flight to Orlando needed to load and was running late. Kathy was booked in 12F and I was booked in 14F and went to see if there was any way we could sit together. The lady said we were in luck, an inbound flight from Tel Aviv was not going to make it and there were two first class seats. Wow. The joy was short lived though, we burned regional certificates to try to get into first class and the flight attendants on United 761 Newark to Seattle were some of the worst I have run into in over a million miles of flying on United. They spent the entire time talking with one another. If you asked for something they made you feel very small. Kathy was dehydrated by the time we landed and headed straight for a water fountain; she drank, refilled her thermos (her only source of hydration on the flight), and then drank some more. Today is not the day I say goodbye to United, I need access to their routes and it looks like we have a chance of making 1K again, though since the merger 1K is not what it used to be. But, I am using my Alaska Airlines credit card more and more to build miles and planning an exit strategy.


[August 5, 2012] Preparing to teach Management 514 in Boston

I woke up early and went to breakfast. It was a total zoo. Apparently the hotel includes breakfast in some room rates, so it was very well attended. Then I came up to review the course materials; this is the first time we have taught the full course in production, Mgt514: IT Security Strategic Planning, Policy and Leadership.


[August 4, 2012] Seattle to Boston

0430 pickup, what a way to start the day. United 916 was on time. We made it to Dulles without event and pulled up into the United Club lounge . I went to check on our flight, UA 1731, and even though the board said it was on time, when I got to the gate they were saying the incoming aircraft would be late. So I headed back to the club. I do not usually drink when we travel, but this called for a glass of red wine. Sigh, United is late most of the time it seems. Late became later, and the excuses less plausible. The plane is here, the bags are loaded, but the flight attendants have to clear customs. Then the weather thing. At one point, all passengers were loaded, the bags had been loaded, and we still could not go. They did give us free direct TV, so I watched the Avengers. I had seen parts of it on other flights. We landed, then picked our bags up on carousel 2 even though the sign said 6. Our taxi seemed to really know the back ways and got us to the hotel swiftly. It was about 10 PM; since the only restaurants that would be open were nightlife type places, we decided to eat in the hotel.


[August 3, 2012] Last day in Seattle

I just packed my check bag, have a 0430 pickup in the morning so everything has to be ready to go. Trying to get a ton of SANS Technology Institute stuff closed out, it will be very hard to do once we are on the road. One of my action items is to get a vision statement approved. We were last at version 1.2, here is version 1.3:

The five-fold vision of the SANS Technology Institute is to:
  • Remain aware and ever vigilant to emerging information security threats against the enterprise.
  • Maintain an informed approach to threat mitigation and risk management that allows us to defend assets globally.
  • Elevate the rigor and quality of deep analytics and scholarship on the strategies and tactics required to be prepared and maintain acceptable risk.
  • Educate responsible professionals in leadership roles, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and abilities required to develop and implement strategic approaches to manage information security at the enterprise level.
  • Develop scholars/practitioners with the expertise to develop curricula and literature to guide the “white hat” community.

[August 2, 2012] Vancouver to Seattle

We got up early and went down to breakfast before the crowd. It was a perfectly acceptable included breakfast. I had the pre-made egg omelet, two pieces of Canadian bacon (they call it "back" bacon here) and a scoop of potatoes. I realize they were precooked and pre-seasoned, but they were very tasty. I distributed a draft code of ethics to the GIAC Advisory Board and a flood of useful comments is coming in. We leave for the airport in an hour. Packing will take about two minutes. I have been living out of a mountain climbing rucksack. Started the trip with 15 pounds of gear, but did not pack enough warm clothing and had to buy stuff on the road, so I am guessing we are at 22 pounds. Pulled everything out on the bed so I could make a list for customs.

Took the hotel shuttle to the airport. We arrived early so we could get lunch at the airport. We were unable to check in at the kiosk, so we got in line. Here you drop your check bags off at one station, then you clear security, and next you get to clear customs right in the airport. United and Air Canada apparently have a reciprocal lounge agreement, so we were able to hole up in a Maple Leaf lounge and check email. There was a bit of excitement in the airport when a gentleman got agitated and started yelling and police had to take him down. They even had stanchions and ribbon to mark off the area while they took him into custody. Now that is what I call being prepared.


[August 1, 2012] Nanaimo to Vancouver

We got up early and prepared to cast off. Unfortunately we could not turn our access card in until 0800. So we did that, pulled power, pulled the lines and took off. I steered through the marina, it was easy, almost no wind, but on all the 90 degree turns I put one engine to neutral and the other ahead slow. If there were winds, I might have had to put the pivot in reverse. Once we got out of the Marina, we had to find our course. The crazy thing about this trip is that none of us have been to these places before. So you read all your assets, you zoom out the GPS, and when possible, you ask for local insight. But we started early, there was not much traffic or wave action though that was expected to increase during the day.

We made it into Vancouver harbor easily and found the Royal Rowing Club which is also a boat harbor. We picked up our slip and filled the water, switched to shore power and finished packing. Then the bittersweet moment; it was great spending a few days on Blue Hawaii, but we need to get in position for Boston. We hailed a cab just outside of the Club and headed for our airport hotel. We are staying at the Hampton Inn Vancouver Airport. There are always tradeoffs for any airport hotel, but it should be noted that the Subway across the street is open 24 hours. I hate arriving at a hotel when all the food stores are closed. The cab arrived at our airport hotel just a few minutes before my meeting. It was nice to take a hotel shower instead of a boat style shower. We were still careful with water use, but appreciated lots of hot water.

For supper we went to the ABC Country restaurant. Kathy had the soup and salad and substituted yam fries for the corn bread, in case it had flour. The soup was pulled pork chowder which sounds interesting, but it was sweet. Sadly, I ordered the same thing. I also order the Farmer's Fettuccine, a sausage and mushroom dish, it was better than the soup. I got a beer, Kathy got a glass of wine, price before tip was CAD51.20. Not recommended.


[July 31, 2012] Sidney to Nanaimo

Some of the trip is best not done in low tide and you never want to cross in a falling tide. So we calculated slack tide for the trickiest part and then the narrow passages are like fiords. Rudy had the wheel and navigation and I am working on a code of ethics for SANS.EDU. We will show that a bit later. After we tied up in Nanaimo, I phoned in to join our college weekly meeting. Our berth in the Yacht Club is right where the kids sailing school is located. What fun! They have a bunch of El Toro style boats and others that resemble Sunfish, but seem to be an alternate brand. From time to time a kid would figure out how to huli (Hawaiian for "turn over") the boat and then would have to swim for the rescue ladder. More than once I heard them say they could not feel their fingers or their toes. No, duh! It may be the height of summer and it may even be possible to lay out for a tan in the peak sun, but it does not get warm here by any means. After work was over, Rudy and I took a hike into town. We found a tobacco shop and Rudy does the occasional cigar, so we went inside. I haven't smoked in 20 years, but they had Cohiba Cuban cigars, so I bought one for Rudy and another for myself. We hiked around the town, not hard to do, this is pretty small. We went into a couple jewelry stores, Rudy was looking for a simple gold band for some reason and Kathy's birthday is in August. Every place we went we asked, "What is the best seafood restaurant?" Keeping in mind it would be very seasonal, but you could make a mint during high season. But what about off season (which is most of the year)? We finally decided to go to Penny's Palapa down at the docks, or harbor basin. There was a 30 minute wait, so we wandered back to the walkway and a street musician one man band with a keyboard was playing and we set down next to him and lit off our Cuban cigars. He was terrible, but who cares? I hope not to wait another 20 years before another experience with the (mostly) legal evil weed. As my cigar burned down to the 30% mark, our restaurant buzzer sounded. Penny's only has 40 seats and the people are friendly, but they are almost always sold out. They had already sold through the Snapper and Ling Cod specials and we were there at 1915.

Still, there were plenty of choices, nothing on the menu is deep fried, so life was good. I stuck with the molineres, but substituted Halibut for Snapper (life is rough) and Rudy went with some skinny burrito with fish and salsa. Rudy had a couple of Margaritas and I had a couple Negra Modelos and we skipped dessert. Kathy stayed on the boat, took a nap and had food we had packed on the boat. Price at Penny's before gratuity was CAD74.20. Rudy and I had a lovely walk back to the boat, I guess it was a half mile.


Ethics code, version 1.2.

Try as I might, I cannot figure out how to make the same code really work for faculty/staff as students, but I will keep pondering it. Obviously, I need to cover all of the tenets in the common ethics framework in both cases. I would really like to phrase this in the positive, as opposed to the negative. So, here is the working framework.

As a student or faculty member of the SANS Technology Institute (SANS.EDU), I pledge to pursue higher principles and in particular I will:

Integrity
Perform duties in accordance with existing laws, exercising the highest ethical principles.
  • Conduct myself in a manner that casts my employer, my school, and myself in a trustworthy light.
  • Use appropriate measures to report theft, plagiarism, bullying, lying, cheating, defamation, or the misuse of security knowledge, skills, and abilities in myself or in others.
  • Avoid or appropriately disclose situations which may appear to be in a conflict of interest
  • Act in the best interests of stakeholders consistent with public interest
  • Act honorably, justly, responsibly, and legally in every aspect of my profession.

Objectivity
Perform all duties in a fair manner and without prejudice
  • Exercise independent professional judgment, in order to provide unbiased analysis and advice.
  • Support assertions in writing with supporting references when available.
  • When an opinion is provided, note it as opinion rather than fact.

Professional Competence and Due Care
Perform services, research, and scholarly activities diligently and with professionalism
  • Act with diligence and promptness in rendering service.
  • Render only those services for which you are fully competent and qualified. That said, I have the mind and heart of a security researcher and will never fear to pursue increase in knowledge, but only after disclosing to the client my work will be exploratory in nature.
  • Ensure that work performed meets the highest professional standards. Where resource constraints exist, ensure that my work is both correct and complete within those limits.
  • If resources are inadequate to achieve an acceptable outcome, so inform clients and principals.
  • Be supportive of colleagues, and encourage their professional development.
  • Recognize and acknowledge the contributions of others, and respect the decisions of principals and co-workers.
  • Keep stakeholders informed regarding the progress of agreed upon work.
  • Refrain from conduct that would damage the reputation of the profession, or the practice of colleagues, clients, and employers.
  • Report ethical violations to the appropriate governing body in a timely manner.
  • Participate in learning throughout my career, to maintain the skills necessary to function effectively as a member of the profession.
  • Take responsibility for personal actions, writings and words and strive to be a respectful contributing member of the profession, community and commonwealth.

Confidentiality

Respect and safeguard confidential information and exercise due care to prevent improper disclosure.
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of proprietary and otherwise confidential information encountered in the course of professional activities, unless such action would conceal, or result in, the commission of a criminal act, is otherwise required by law, or is authorized by the principal.


[July 30, 2012] Victoria to Sidney BC

The weekend is over and I am working full days so we cannot go far. I started work at 0645 and ended my last call at 1400 and finished up on my email and we took off. Just as I was finishing my last email a yacht came in hot and literally bounced off the dock on the other side of our boat. So we all scrambled out and got the lines and pulled it in against the wind. Whew! Easy trip and we decided to visit the number one beach in British Columbia, the Sidney Spit. It was about 1615 and the sun was losing strength, but there were still brave people in their bathing suits getting a sun tan in the 50 degree weather. We joked that you can tell a Sidney Spit beach junkie: they have a great tan, but are missing a few fingers and toes to frostbite.

Sidney harbor is a bit perplexing when you first visit, so we employed the most important mariner trick of all, hover in safe deep water till you see a boat or two come in and go out and then do as they do. The slip they gave us had someone in it, so we called again and got H22 North. That is worth noting if you guest dock at Sidney. Yes, H is the longest walk, but our stern has a full view of the bay, most of the H slips have a view of a huge granite wall. The commercial Internet BX doesn't work here, you really are in the boonies, but we have redundant Verizon and AT&T links so we switched over to those.


[July 29, 2012] Roche Harbor to Victoria

We got up and said goodbye to everyone from the rendezvous. Kathy noticed the water tanks were empty, so we filled them while Rudy met with sailors experienced with the local area to suggest trips that we can take, whether now or in the future. Then we pulled out and headed for Victoria. We decided against any side trips, but rather to enjoy the city. Clearing customs was painless and then we scored a slip right in front of the Empress hotel. We were a bit hungry so we went to Earls Bay Center on 1199 Government St. We decided to share a bottle of Errazuriz Carmenere, essentially Burgundy, but not from France. It was rich and complex, but too warm. Rudy had the idea of ordering an ice bucket, chilling the rest of the bottle and mixing it. That was perfect. Kathy had their version of a Tortilla Soup and Yam Fries. Rudy had their Jerra Curry with brown rice. I had the Cedar Planked Salmon which came with a lovely spiced brown rice, a couple beets, some carrots cut length wise and only cooked enough to slightly soften. Everyone agreed I was the lucky guy with the best dish. After lunch we continued to walk around the town. From what I have been able to see, it is a lovely town. Finally, we didn't want to walk anymore, so we came back to the board and worked on email and similar.

We did not take advantage of this, but I notice they have a two mast sailing vessel, the Thane Victoria, with a BYOB sunset tour of the harbor; if you find yourself up this way, their number is (250) 885-2304. For dinner, I had planned on picking up some vegetables and greens and making a salad on the boat since we had a late lunch. However, I cannot find a decent grocery store in downtown Victoria. So, we went to Nautical Nellies, a steak and seafood place. Kathy had the Salmon, Rudy had a Surf and Turf that isn't even on the menu, but they were willing, and I had a Surf and Turf platter as well. But we ate late, our reservation was at 8:30 and then Kathy and Rudy wanted to watch a movie and here it is 1:00 A.M. and I am still up. I checked my SANS email and things are still quiet, so I am going lay down at least and hope I get some sleep.


[July 29, 2012] Roche Harbor and the rendezvous

We got up early to have breakfast with the Roche Harbor SeaSport rendezvous. Then we were supposed to hang around and have boat tours. But there were not many boar tours so we decided to poke around San Juan Island. We went to the British Fort from the Pig War. This weekend is pretty special because they are reenacting life as it was during those years. There were old style white canvas tents, woodworkers including a froe, a working old style kitchen with a really interesting "portable" cast iron stove, musket loading and firing demonstration and music, much of it from 50 years after the pig wars, but who is to complain. That whole area boats anchor instead of moor, so you could save money if you did not need Roche Harbor dock water, power and facilities. Then we came back and joined the rendezvous for a BBQ dinner. It was wonderful experiencing their developing sense of community. The SeaSport boat community was disrupted, partly by the recession. Now they are trying to recover and hence their first annual rendezvous. After dinner we took a walk to burn off a bit of the food and went to the sculpture garden, that is truly amazing. At one point a buck and doe came out. They really were not very alert, it would have been possible to walk right up to them, well at least 20 feet if I was alone. But there were three of us and they were talking.


[July 28, 2012] Anacortes to Roche Harbor

SeaSport and Waypoint are sponsoring a rendezvous and fishing derby in Roche Harbor, so we headed for that. We stopped for lunch at Orca Island at The Boardwalk, a casual lunch place. It was mostly pub type food, but they did offer a non-fried Salmon dish, so we all ordered it. It was overcooked, in fact Rudy rescued the dishes, the cook wanted to cook the fish ten more minutes. It was smothered in tarter sauce. Yuck, service was also terrible, not recommended, but that is what you risk at any smaller boating location. Price before tip was USD57.97 for entrees only, we had water to drink.

Then we went at full cruising speed (20 knots) for Friday Harbor. It was a bit bumpy, but we were OK. We did not have much time to spend in Friday Harbor, but we did want to visit the Sea Shepherd facility. It was nice chatting with them and I made a small donation, but I did not buy the T-shirt; I do not like the skull and bones style logo. I am not an end justifies the means guy, but some of the stuff they are fighting is truly atrocious. Then full speed again, a bit late, and it was 7:30 PM when we pulled into Roche Harbor. For dinner, Kathy and I went to the Roche Harbor Lime Kiln Cafe. This was another disappointment. I had the Lamb Burger, Kathy had the Shrimp salad and cup of Clam Chowder. The chowder was good, everything else was questionable. This is what I am starting to realize about this whole boating thing. Unless you prep your food and cook on the boat, you are stuck with an endless assortment of pub food. Price before tip was USD37.57.

[July 27, 2012] Anacortes

After work we zipped to SEATAC to catch the 5:00pm shuttle to Anacortes, the gateway to the San Juan Islands, to catch up with Blue Hawaii. We caught a bit of traffic, schedule was 7:45 PM and we ended up here at 8:20, but an easy way to travel. The Port of Anacortes marina at 100 Commercial Ave is really nice and the town was a lot of fun. Rudy waited for us and we walked to get dinner in the historic district. Almost everything was closed, there were a few open restaurants, but we wanted to go to Frida's, named after the famous Mexican painter and one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants. Now, you can get enchiladas or burritos if you really want to, but the menu here rocks, so be brave. Rudy and Kathy opted for a Margarita, but I tried a sipping Tequila flight. Neither of them finished their Margarita, tasted my sipping Tequila, and ordered one for themselves; they both chose the Plata (or Blanco).



For a starter all three of us chose the Maya Lima Sopa (Soup). Kathy was not very hungry so she chose the Aguacate Relleno, an avocado dish with shrimp, mushroom and cheese that is served as an appetizer. Rudy and I both chose an Alaskan Halibut dish with a Mexican version of cole slaw, a green pepper, tomato, black bean and onion cold relish, plantain slices, a scoop of rice and a perfect red sauce to unite all the flavors. It was 10:15 when we got back to the boat. Tomorrow will be a big day.

I read in NewsBites today that Firefox 14 is getting massive adoption, that is great to hear since they have added some neat safety features.


[July 24, 2012] Screwed quadruply by United

Sigh. We raced to the airport after our business meeting. Turns out we could have arrived on the back of a turtle. First, United now has "AirServ" workers both behind the counter and in the security line. Dulles (IAD) has always been one of my less favorite airports to check in to, though it certainly beats Los Angeles (LAX). We got to the counter to check our bags and printed our boarding pass and were ignored, and ignored, and ignored. The were literally pulling people out of line behind us. Finally, someone came up and said you can't check bags here, you have to go there. So we went there and waited some more. But, we arrived early, all was well. Good thing, read on.

Going through security, we noticed a state change. Instead of all being TSA, now is it TSA with AirServ. They were doing the metal detector / image machine duo. Kathy walked towards the metal detector. The TSA person motioned her to the back scatter machine. Kathy asked for alternate screening. And here is another part of the United/Dulles state change. As normal, they said you would have to have a pat down. Then they said, but you can opt back in. And then they made her wait, and wait, and wait and reminded her a second time she could opt in. Near as I could tell the TSA person never called for female assist, at the 15 minute mark, another TSA person came over and asked her why she was standing there. They also completely unpacked her camera bag. Thanks TSA, we get your strategy, pretend people can opt out of the back scatter machine, but make it nearly impossible. I imagine every cancer survivor and pregnant woman thinks that is a really swell tactic.

United 917 was delayed and also had a gate change. I do not know about you, but the message, "Awaiting Aircraft" really does not tell me much. While we waited we decided to get dinner. We ate at Tidewater Landing. If you are ever hungry in the C Gate area, I recommend this place. The drinks are approaching pricey, but the chicken plate was really good, we both had it and I would try this place again. We also had a friendly caring server. She put lemons in our water, noticed we had thermoses and offered to fill them up. I was very happy to tip 20%. Two drinks each and food came to USD66.97 before tip.

Dulles was surreal, I know the weather can be dicey and that is no one's fault. But I have never seen so many people running through an airport trying to catch their flights. We did not score first class and I understand that happens a lot since the merger, but what I do not understand is why 2 1ks traveling together were not even waitlisted. My best guess is that when United canceled our flight to Richmond, that caused us to fall off the waitlist for this flight. We boarded, but could not push back. We were finally able to push back, but could not taxi. We were finally able to taxi, but no takeoffs were happening due to weather so we killed the engines. We were in the plane, on the ground for over an hour. Finally the blessed event, takeoff. There was some turbulence, but not too bad. At one point we flew past and above a thunderstorm, it was awesome. Obviously we landed late. And no jet bridge. I guess United did not have enough ground staff. Finally a jet bridge, we went to baggage claim. No baggage, it would be another 25 minutes. Really United? You raise prices four times in one year and you do not have employees? I am not mad, not saying I will never fly United again, but somebody needs to tell Jeff Smisek what is going on; judging from those cheesy ads they make you watch before the safety briefing, it seems that he thinks all is well.


[July 24, 2012] Headed for Seattle

We have business meetings at the Sheraton tomorrow morning and early afternoon and then we break and make the mad dash for Dulles to grab our flight. We thought we were upgraded with miles, but after United canceled the flight to Richmond, they reset all the counters. Kathy did have a chance to upgrade for USD200.00, but we were in a business meeting, not reading email and by the time we called, first class was full. That is OK, but it would have been nice to have a little extra loving on an evening flight. No complaints though, I am homesick for the Pacific Northwest, they could fly me in the cargo hold with an oxygen mask and a sleeping bag and I would be up for it. For dinner tonight we went to Vinifera. If you are ever in the Reston Sheraton this is a HUGE step up from Chili's, a bit pricey, but a lovely experience.


[July 22, 2012] Moving into position for Reston

We picked up the Carolinian train, it was running about 40 minutes late. The train was sold out, so we were seated in a four person group. Fortunately, we did not have seatmates till Fredericksburg, there is no place to put your legs. We ate in the train station, turkey and tuna sandwiches, but it was what was available. I was still hungry when we got on the train so I picked up their Tuscan sandwich (Flatbread with ham and salami - real health food, but it tastes good ). However, I think the food person overcooked it - it turned to liquid, it was a real mess. Train number 80 had wireless which was great, Kathy napped, I read my email and tried to read the SANS.EDU master Academic plan. When we got to Union Station, we picked up our luggage and headed for the taxis. The queue was fairly long. A gentleman came up and quietly said, "Taxi." I asked him how much, USD120.00, I said no thanks. He asked what I would offer, USD100.00. It was a Surburban limo; I much prefer limo drivers to taxi drivers, they seem to drive more safely. He was a good driver with modern equipment. I recommend him (and now you know you can negotiate the rate), Zachary Limo Service (206) 883-0486.

It was about 45 minutes end-to-end to arrive at the Sheraton Reston Hotel. This is not my favorite hotel in the area by any means, it is a bit run down, goes from empty to crowded in a flash. And your choices of off-property food within walking distance are Chili's, Popeye's and Reston Kabob. However, the Sheraton does have its redeeming characteristics. The Shiraz restaurant staff is kind and attentive and you can find something to eat, especially at lunch where they do a themed buffet. The Sheraton also claims they have the biggest pool in the Reston area. I do not know if that is true, but I am so beat down by travel it is plenty big enough for me. I really want to get my swimming distance back. We had a great swim, but the sleeping life guard was pretty funny. Then for dinner, we chose Chili's. The Reston Chili's is poorly designed in my view. There is a tile floor, the walls in the seating area are all pony walls, so there is nothing to dampen sound. At 50% full, it is so noisy that you cannot hear anything. The menu looked like Denny's for all the world, but with spicier foods. Kathy and I shared the Potato Skins starter, moderately OK, and we both had the House Salad/Chili combo. My logic was, if the name of the establishment is Chili's the Chili must be good, sorry, no. At least it was cheap, bill before tip was USD26.22, but I would have preferred Popeye's if I had it to do over; if you have followed this journal, I think the world of their Red Beans and Rice (also real health food).


[July 20, 2012] Maggiano's at Short Pump

We made a reservation for 8:00 P.M. When we arrived at 7:50 the restaurant was totally packed out. They could not seat us until 8:20, but we had a great conversation, so no worries. We were upstairs which is much nicer than the lower floor in terms of noise and crowding. For starters we shared Bruschetta and Crab Cakes. Hunter had the Chicken Spiedin, Kathy had the Gluten free Bowtie Aglio, Madison had the standard Bowtie Aglio and I had the Rigatoni. We also got to pick portions to take home, Kathy stuck with the Bowtie, I chose Lasagna, Madison chose Eggplant. We also shared a bottle of the house wine. Service was excellent, they kept the water glasses filled. For desert we got Poundcake for the table. To summarize, food was good, portions generous, service good, and I do not blame the restaurant for being so busy, Richmond VA is underserved in the decent restaurant department. Price before tip USD124.48.


[July 19, 2012] Quick stopover in Richmond VA

After we landed, Hunter picked us up. He is partial to the Mediterranean Bakery and Deli at 9004 Quiocassin Rd. We got two Chicken Kebab combination dinners and Hunter got a side of Hummus and Tabouli as well as a Lamb combination dinner. Flavors were OK, but one of the Chicken dinners was not cooked enough. Hunter said he got sick the last time he came, so we probably will not return for food. I did get four lovely spices, nice generous portions for USD3.99 each; I got the Shawarma, Sfeeha, Biryani - hot, Tikka - mild. I may well return for the grocery aspect of the store. Price including spices was USD40.97.


[July 15, 2012] Managing Incident Response

Last night Kathy and I had a great dinner at The Russian House at 1800 Connecticut Ave (202) 234-9433. We did not have a reservation and were lucky we got there early. They were able to fit us in. Our server, Anton was a delight. We shared a bottle of Fiddletown Cellars Zinfandel and the Salmon done two ways topped with Caviar appetizer. Kathy had a small plate Elk Sausage for her main and I had the Wild Elk platter. It was excellent, nothing was left after we devastated the meal.

Sunday morning, we got up early, I was team teaching MGT 535 with Chris and Rob. Then at lunch we bugged out for Dulles, not that there was any reason to hurry. United 1052 was already running late before we even got to the airport. They changed the departure time seven times, which makes planning impossible and we still left the gate later than the final announced departure time. It was one of those DirectTV flights, so I opted in for Clash of the Titans (not recommended, but I was in the mood for a stupid movie and that is what I got ). I tried calling Enterprise car rental several times and never got through. We did get a car and left the airport just before midnight. The drive from Orlando to Jacksonville is longer than I remember and the AT&T navigator could not find Mayo. It was a little after 4:00 AM, when we got to bed with my first appointment at 8:00 AM. We are staying at the Inn at Mayo. It may be a great place, but we did not have a great start. I got up at 7:00am to take a shower and water from the light started to drip on my head - not the shower, the bathroom light. I called the front desk, apparently the bathtub in the room above overflows. Great, I am in a hospital hotel and the bath from another patient is dripping on my head. Sigh.


[July 9, 2012] Day one of Management 512

I am co-teaching with G. Mark Hardy. He kicked the class off and did the risk assessment section. We are roughly modeling risk assessment after the NSA Blue Team model: we talk about an outside view, information you can glean from the network using scanners and other tools; inside view, information from the system itself either with system tools or agents; and, user view, "what can the user see and what can the user do". Kathy and I were able to get out before the evening panel discussion and get some dinner. We went to the Connecticut Ave Alero Restaurant. I liked it! Kathy had the Chicken Enchilada and I had some amazing sizzling platter that I can't remember the name of; it is not on their online menu, it was something like Paradilla Mar Y Tierra, and had marinated beef and chicken as well as shrimp, scallops, octopus, squid and I think a few pieces of salmon thrown in. The vegetables were mostly onions, there was a touch of rice, not much, and some fantastic sauce. I can't wait to get to one of my kitchens so I can try it. Kathy had a margarita, I had a Modelo Especial beer, price before gratuity was USD52.67.


[July 7, 2012] Attending Dr. Johannes Ullrich's IPv6 Class

Well, not the whole thing. I have to study to teach my class MGT 512 Security Leadership Essentials. I got really crunched for time and Judy Novak was kind enough to update my course and she did a great job, but now I have to teach a course with two updated days and since I didn't do the update, I need to study. However, I got to spend the morning in Johannes class and I thought the material was well presented. We had lunch in the hotel, Kathy had the Salmon Salad, I had the Parpadelle and Rock Shrimp. Neither of us could finish our food so it was also our supper. Just as well, I think it is over 100 degrees today. One facilitator came to the conference manager and said his room was too cold. I just quietly told him to tell everyone to get a jacket, they are going to have to run the cooling full blast - if they get behind, there is no way to catch up.


[July 6, 2012] The SANS IPv6 Summit went well.

Most of the speakers were good, my favorite is Sean Siler from Microsoft. Apparently he is famous, Microsoft used him for their "I'm a PC" commercials. Sadly, I have not watched TV in 28 years, maybe I can pick it up on YouTube, yup here he is. He offered a very cogent explanation for the reasons Microsoft made the v6 choices they did. After school, I tried to catch up on my email; it never stops at SANS. Most of it seemed to be the running discussion from the advisory board wanting all their course books as .pdfs; oh we know, oh we know. Kathy and I went out to dinner. There was an upscale looking place called Sette Osteria on Connecticut. We both had the Branzino Al Forno (Seabass from the oven). The sauce was good, they did fine deboning the fish, but all in all it was not a great experience nor great service. We both had water to drink, price before tip 57.09. After dinner we split up. I needed my hair trimmed, Kathy saw an upscale consignment shop she wanted to visit. I was going to visit Dupont Circle Hair, but they appear to be closed, so I went to the Hair Cuttery. I have been there before, you have possibly been to a Hair Cuttery and think you know what it is like, but this is Dupont Circle. I am fairly certain there is not another one like this. It operates on a huge scale and their folks are very talented. My cutter was Tommy, he did a great job on hair and beard, threw in a massage with the shampoo; cost was USD18.00. Kathy found a silk top she liked at the shop, also USD18.00.


[July 5. 2012] Richmond to Washington DC

We got up early, we still had to pack. Our train is scheduled to leave at 2:12 PM, but Norma is taking us to the train station and we want to stop and get lunch. We stopped at the Panera on Staples Mill Rd. Norma was not hungry so she had the Mango Smoothie (and killed Kathy's Potato Chips). Kathy had the Black Bean Soup and I had the Roast Beef. Then we headed to the train station. We were early, but they were able to put us on an earlier train, the Silver Star. It took a very long time to get our checked bags, but they made it. We checked into the Washington Hilton and Towers. Kathy was hungry, a bowl of soup only goes so far. It was over 100 degrees so we wanted some place close, so we went to Buca di Beppo. They were featuring a Mazzoni "Super Tuscan" so we got a bottle; after all, there will be no stopping very soon. We have a fridge in our hotel room and we ordered large portions so there would be food in our room when there is no time to eat in the hotel. Kathy had the large Salmon Limone Pomodoro (USD39.99) and the Large Garlic Mashed Potatoes (USD11.99), we shared the Large Green Beans (USD11.99) and I had the Large Chicken Limone (USD30.99); our meal, with tax, came to USD144.74 before tip.


[July 4, 2012] Richmond

It was a very hot day, so Hunter and I spent a lot of time chatting; we did breakfast and lunch together which is unusual since we are usually moving in different directions. We spent some time talking about investments. Hunter made a strong case for considering two Scandinavian ETFs, EWD and GXF. I opened a small position in both. Then Hunter suggested we go to Bell Island, so we did. We found a parking space and hiked across the bridge to the island. Kathy is getting up to speed on a new camera for her, so she used the opportunity to shoot, Hunter used the opportunity to stretch and I used the opportunity to just "be".


[July 3, 2012] Fredericksburg to Richmond

We got up early, packed up our hotel room, ate breakfast at the hotel and took off for the NOC. Apparently, the coders think business meetings start at 9:00 or 9:30, so they were not ready, but that is fine, there is always the endless stream of email that needs answering. I think it was a good meeting, a lot of effort working on improving the scheduling part of planning. We managed to roll south just about lunch time. I-95 was lightly traveled, which was a true blessing. We got home, got back online to answer the emails that came in while we were gone and we were able to close out the day.

For supper we went to El Charo's in Massaponnix. There is no restaurant we have been to more in our lives; we love it. We got the Fajitas for two and could not finish it, so we brought it back and although we made it into a late lunch for Hunter, Kathy and I and still had food left over.


[July 2, 2012] Richmond to Fredericksburg

We started the work day in Richmond. My most important business call of the day was at 3:00 EDT, so we either drive before or after that call. We chose before and took off at 1 PM. Traffic on I-95 was very merciful, easy drive up. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Carl Silver Central Park Land. Next to the Wegman's there are three Hilton properties, a Garden Suites, a Homewood, and the Hampton. By staying in the Hampton, we have now stayed in, and enjoyed, all three (and Wegman's is not bad). After our business call, we went down to the pool to get some exercise. We did get to swim, but did not get sun as the sun sets in front of the building. That is OK, it was over 100 degrees and shade is a beautiful thing. After about 30 minutes the kids started showing up and we got out of the pool.


[June 30, 2012] Fried

Waking up was hard to do today. Thankfully it was a Saturday. There was no food in the fridge, there had been a major multi-day power outage from a storm three days earlier and most of the food was lost. So we went to Panera for lunch. I do not fully understand this business, but it seems to do well and we have the stock. Kathy had the Black Bean soup, I had the Asagio roast beef. Then we went to the Wal-Mart super center to get a few groceries. They were restocking because of the power outage, they like us, had to throw a lot of food away. It is amazing the difference between this Wal-Mart and ours in Bonney Lake. For instance, here they have half of an aisle for wines including real classics like Little Penguin; it is a full aisle in Bonney Lake and there are some decent labels.


[June 29, 2012] Repositioning to the East coast

Becca came to give us a ride to the airport, she came an hour early to help us put the finishing touches on the house for guests. We got off in good stead traffic was fine. We were at the airport early as is our custom, so we got lunch at Anthony's, a sitdown seafood restaurant. Kathy had the Mussels off the small plate menu and I had the Sockeye planked Salmon. The food was good, but the service was subpar, Kathy's dish sat under the hot lamps for over five minutes before someone bothered to deliver it to the table. That is the risk of having the cooking gallery in sight of the restaurant: if you screw up, all the patrons see it.

Then we repositioned to our gate. United 1698 was on time and we scored first class. This is a different configuration than I have seen; there is seat power just under the pull-out drink and nuts holder tray, there were five rows in first class instead of six and no in-flight entertainment. The carry-on holders were the type that go up with a circular motion like the aisle seats of a United 767 or 777. It was a 737-800/900 according to the emergency card. Good service, they ran out of menu choices by the time they got to us (row 4), but the Ravioli was not bad. When we got to IAD they were playing the please stay seated and let people with tight connections go, but we had 22 minutes till boarding and we landed at D concourse and had to get to A concourse. The tram was leaving just as we got to it so we gained five minutes there, but when we got to A gate, we found out that that our flight to Richmond was canceled due to a mechanical. We grabbed a taxi, we will sort our refunds and baggage later. There was a crazy thunderstorm the entire drive down, branches were blowing across I-95 and there were wrecks, so we took backroads several times. It did not help that the taxi driver said on several occasions he was afraid he wouldn't get to see his family again. Anyway, we made it home, the fridge was empty, lost power for two days earlier this week, but Kathy had the foresight to have us get a sandwich and salad while we were at the airport.


[June 25, 2012] The forty dollar hot tub

When we were rebuilding the Seattle house after the flood, I spec'd out a tankless hot water heater and a hot cold tap outside of the downstairs lanai. Yesterday, when we went to get some groceries I saw a USD39.99 inflatable pool. It was exactly what we needed. I also bought a 25' hose. After supper, I went in the garage and pulled my air compressor out of its cabinet and started filling the pool with air. There was a gentle rain falling. Under the pool we put three moving blankets for padding and for privacy, we took our wooden laundry rack, put it on the right side of the hot tub and hung a beach towel over it. I only filled the water half the size of the tub and that was plenty. So we had a glorious time in our forty dollar hot tub. Now there is one complicated part, draining it. The drain field is just below the lanai, so it is wise to use a hose and divert the water past the drain field during the rainy season. In the dry summer this will let us enjoy the water before we water the plants.


[June 24, 2012] The end of this adventure

I woke up first, again, still. Started to put breakfast together. Rudy got up and suggested we do breakfast underway. It was several hours again at high speed with radar to get back to Seattle. In rainy conditions whoever was not piloting served as a second lookout. The currents in Puget Sound played heck with the autopilot so we steered manually. We got to the locks and I was glad to be wearing Dri-Star clothing in the rain. You still get wet, but this stuff dries in minutes, not sure how they do that. This lock worked completely differently than the other one. In the small lock, you connect both sides of your line to the lock and you use a short tight connection because the walls of the lock go up as the boat goes up. It was bitter sweet saying goodbye to Rudy and then we jumped in the truck and headed home. I don't really like driving in the rain, but there was plenty of light and the traffic was not bad.

When we got settled at home, I fired up the Traeger smoker. On the way in we stopped at Top, a local supermarket, and they had Copper River Salmon so I grabbed a filet. Instead of brining it, I took a page out of the Tillicum Village playbook and created a garlic, butter, salt spread and put it on the non-skin side. I also smoked a bean patty. I do not put the fish directly on the Traeger grill, it sticks. Instead, I use my cookie sheet (Kathy and I do not bake many cookies). However, the food we are smoking gets all over the cookie sheet and it is very hard to clean. What to do? When my new canoe paddle was shipped, it came inside of a big brown paper bag. So, I cut off a chunk of the bag and placed the salmon skin side down on that and it worked great; no cleanup. Even better, the salmon skin bonded to the paper and the meat peeled right off; yayyy! While this was happening, I started some pink rice from Madagascar with half a bag of lentils. I like this rice because it cooks down into a sticky, but still solid, reduction. What is good about that? You can make rice lentil patties and the rice is sticky enough I can use egg whites for the binder, (though I sneak in a spoonful of Xanthum Gum powder just to be sure). We are going to have house guests at the end of the week, so I used my food saver to give them a portion of the rice and lentils so there is something to eat if they arrive late (and if Kathy can keep me from eating all the patties, we will leave some of patties as well).

[June 23, 2012] Poulsbo to Gig Harbor

The coffee pot kicked off at 7 AM, but I was already up reading my email. The Port of Poulsbo Marina had wireless which was wonderful since my Verizon MiFi is a bit of a disappointment, I wish I still had my 3G, it worked better and I had unlimitied bandwidth. As Kathy and Rudy got up to drink a cup of coffee, I made a country breakfast of egg whites, potatoes, turkey bacon and a little cheese, it came out pretty well, though it took some time to get the turkey bacon to brown on a boat stove. As we finished breakfast this incredible inflatable pulled into the slip next to us. The label on the side hatches was Armada De Chile. We talked to the crew, turns out it was built on Bainbridge Island and was in final trials before delivery.

We launched before 8 AM, retracing our steps out of the inlet. It sure is easier to pilot a boat when you have been there before. Then I navigated south to Blake Island and Tillicum Village. According to our books, we could enjoy a native American show and Salmon bake. When we got there, they were turning a boat away, no spots left in the marina. But, I chatted with the marina master and explained we were here for lunch. He said we could stay for 30 minutes. While Kathy and Rudy were securing the lunch, I walked up along a pathway of shells to the lodge. The door was locked, but when they saw me in the window, they came and opened up. The waiter said, "Shall I open a bottle of wine?" OK, this is promising. Kathy and Rudy came up. They were baking salmon and it was really neat. Sets of two filets were attached to sticks and they were in a circle around a fire. I asked if the salmon was brined and the chef told me no, they hit them with some lemon butter and juniper sauce just before serving (the salt is in the juniper seasoning). Our menu did not have salmon on it, this was for the buffet run by Argosy tours. We had a limited menu and we each selected the Venison stew. It was OK, not great and it turned out not to be venison, it was bison. OK. But they kept our waters filled and they were nice, I tipped 20%. Then back in the boat. Rudy piloted from Blake Island to Gig Harbor and I got online and did some SANS work. It is amazing how the email continues to come even on the weekends.

There are several marinas in Gig Harbor, the guide book suggested Arabella's Landing. So we called ahead and reserved a spot. It is kind of funny, "Aloha Arabella's marina, this is Blue Hawaii hailing from Kauai Hawaii." They said they had a spot. We wanted to meet Becca for dinner and the classic meeting spot is Tides Tavern. We were docked by 3 PM and did a walk in the town. Arabella's does not have wireless which was a big disappointment. They also have non-standard power. I walked up to the marine store across the street to buy an adapter, they did not have one in stock, so that was a hassle, but we finally made it all work. It turns out Tides Tavern is kind of a local establishment, very big, more of a bar food menu, and it was clear when the place was full it was noisy. Not a great place to have Becca meet Rudy. So as we walked the town, we kept an eye open for a great restaurant. We walked all the way from Tides, visitor center to the maritime museum arriving there five minutes to 5 PM and learning they close at 5. Rudy said OK, and toured the entire museum in about seven minutes. They had to escort him out. Next to the museum was a restaurant, JWs, we stuck our heads inside. Perfect - family owned, upscale menu and wine list, small number of tables, classy. We made a reservation for 7 PM, called Becca and waved her off. In fact we asked her to pick us up, we had done enough walking for one day.

Becca came and got us, we parked at the museum. JWs had saved us a table and other people were waiting. We ordered some beautiful upscale 2006 Washington state Cabernet Savignon that was decanted. Kathy and Rudy ordered the Salmon of the moment and they both switched the wild rice for garlic mash potatoes. Becca ordered steak and I ordered the wild boar. It tasted just like the stew I had at lunch, meat was the same consistency, I was only able to eat half of it. In any case, it was a fun experience, great atmosphere. And it turned out the lady at the table next to us was from Kihei Maui, so we had a good time chatting. I would be happy to eat at JW's again if I was in the neighborhood.
NOTE: awesome business opportunity. Gig Harbor is full of multi-million dollar yachts and JW's is the only upscale restaurant. It would make serious sense to pick a different theme, say French, and give people another alternative.


[June 22, 2012] Thank goodness it's Friday

After work we jumped in the truck and headed for Seattle. Rudy is up here with his boat and we wanted to spend a couple days boating. We filled a large cooler with boat provisions as our way of saying thank you. We moved fast when we got to the boatyard, even though it is light well into 9 PM, it was overcast today and it can be hard to see low contrast boats. We were lucky, they were using the large lock on Lake Union and it opened up as soon as we got there. We moved all the bumpers to the starboard side of the boat and set our lines. That was my first time in a lock. Once we were out and clear of the marina, we floored it. Since we were moving at over 20 knots and there is a bit of traffic, we turned on the radar. Rudy and I took turns piloting, but we both worked as lookouts. We went around north of Bainbridge Island then set a course to enter the inlet that terminates with the town of Poulsbo. Now we had to cut speed. Rudy's GPS chip had not arrived yet from West Marine so I was navigating by chart. It was fairly easy, I was mostly using latitude. We called ahead and secured a berth.

It was still light when we tied up in Poulsbo, an interesting town that was almost all Norwegian until World War II. There is still some of that influence, in one of the stores that was still open I found a Viking T-shirt. On the way back to the boat, we saw a wine tasting shop for the Eleven Winery. I was already familiar with their red blend La Ronde, but did not realize they had seven different wines till today. We bought a bottle of the Syrah to have with dinner and also a bottle of their Cabernet Port with a set of chocolate cups as a gift for a friend. Dinner on the boat was steamed green beans, steak, and pink organic rice from Madagascar. We were all tired so we turned in before 10 PM.

[June 17, 2012] My, how time flies

We set our alarms and got up to have some coffee and breakfast before church. It was a good service, glad I was able to attend, but it did go long, lots of special things. It was 12:45 before we got home and our neighbors met us outside; we had received some bulky thing in our mailbox and they were afraid it would get stolen since it did not fit in the box so they took it and brought it to us. They had never seen the house so we gave them a tour. Then I started on lunch - I am in a Greek mood cooking right now and we have plenty of fresh herbs just outside the doorway. As we were cooking the weather changed, blue sky, suddenly boats were on the lake, so we cleaned up the kitchen and went out in our canoe. The wind also picked up and it was quite breezy so when we were making turns that were broadside to the wind, we made them snappy. When we got off the lake it was 4:30 PM, the weather was holding and we have not had a walk in our neighborhood in a while so we did that. We needed a few things for one of Kathy's projects and headed off to Wal-Mart. Kathy found whatever she needed for her sewing project in the clearance section, apparently that is a good thing, and we headed back home; it was 7:20 when we got here and I moved as fast as possible, but it was still 8:00 PM when we sat down to eat. That is not a problem, but nights before work we usually close out a bit quicker.


[June 15, 2012] Get us out of here

Last night it stormed for hours starting at 2:30 AM, tons of lightning. We got up early for our business meeting. By eleven AM I was not feeling well. Worse, I was having motor difficulties. Later I found out Kathy was too. We must have been exposed to something. I was glad when the meetings were over; driving the rental car to the airport was pure concentration. I was thankful for the traffic, they slowed the 65 MPH highway down to 40 MPH. Got the rental car returned without incident. Got the shuttle to DIA, got through security, made it to a Red Carpet Lounge, tried to drink plenty of fluids to start flushing whatever we were exposed to from our bodies. In other parts of Colorado there were tornado warnings and baseball sized hail, but the weather only looked ominous right at Denver International. Our flight back to Seattle, United 407 had a mechanical and was a little late getting off the ground. However, we scored first class and had an awesome flight attendant. He kept his badge in his pocket so I do not know his name, but he was enough fun that I chose to have the meal and a glass of wine instead of sleeping which had been my plan. Starline was right there for us when we got to the airport. Great to be back home to Seattle.

[June 14, 2012] Headed for Denver

Starline Limo was on time at a merciful 8:00 AM pickup and we had no traffic problems getting to SEATAC. Everything went smoothly at the airport and United 235 was on time. It was an easy 2.5 hour flight and very little turbulence until we were landing and that was a flight attendant strap in. But not so bad, it was a bit of a hard landing, but I am sure the pilot was dealing with a lot of wind. We picked up our rental car at Enterprise and they were really nice as usual. I was a Hertz customer for years till they finally drove me away. Our car was a Mitsubishi Eclipse, which is a sporty little devil. I liked it, but the handling takes some getting used to. We stayed at the airport Homewood Suites by Hilton. I am starting to like this hotel format more and more. That night we had a business dinner and we selected Ted's Montana Grill. I had the Bison Pot Roast, my associate had one of the Bison Burger choices, we both had a beer.

[June 6, 2012] Verizon and AT&T, you have got to be kidding me

Hackers apparently found my Visa card number a while back and we had to change the number. No big deal. However, I have an AT&T smart phone and a Verizon MiFi, long story, but recall that Verizon was first to market with these PC data devices, originally the USB and then the MiFi. So my first problem was AT&T tried to bill my cell phone to my credit card and it failed. Somehow, I did not get the mail message (might well have been operator error, I do not read every email that comes into my box). So, I try to pay. First with their automated phone system. It could not handle the credit card number and sent me to a person, a very unhelpful person. She said she could take a payment, but could not change the card and there would be a $5.00 processing fee on my next bill. Warning: be careful AT&T, as you will soon see, if you suck bad enough you can lose my business. So, how to change the card? I will try online. First I try to log in with Safari running on Lion. Put in the info, Safari loses it. Try three times. OK, no problem, Firefox, try again, no joy, however, I do run NoScript on Firefox. Try Google Chrome, I get in. Find the right section, finally change my card number.

In the same day AT&T was going to cut me off, I get an email from Verizon. Kathy and I have used half of our bandwidth quota and we have to make it to June 21 before we can get more packets. Excuse me? Last month we were in French Polynesia and didn't use any bandwidth. So I called Clear. They will have a Clear MiFi to me on Thursday and I have an unlimited plan. Then I will terminate the Verizon account. And yes, I know they have a fee. I will pay it, this is the second time I have run out of bandwidth and mostly we just do email. I am not going to say I will never do business with Verizon again, but the Verizon 4G MiFi has been a real disappointment from a performance perspective, it really is slower than my original 3G MiFi.

[June 5, 2012] Cloudy windless day in Seattle

Clouds are OK by me, I have a lot of indoor work to do anyway. Today is a day of phone meetings, in fact I am having a hard time keeping my phone charged. It is about two years old and so the battery is not as resilient as it once was. Under my AT&T plan, I can get another one, but that takes time and I sort of want to hold out until the new iPhone 5 ships, a lot of people expect that to happen in September. Over the weekend we planted some blueberries. Our blueberry patch is also home to (at least) two Garter snakes. The first time we encountered them, they went crazy and so did we. Now, I can't say we are pals, but we have a truce: they sun, we dig holes for blueberries. Today one of them shed their skin right in front of us. I bought three more blueberry plants at Home Depot, but they appear to be diseased. I have them far away from the patch and will observe them for another day or two and then decide whether to try to return them, I do still have the receipt.

The sun just popped out and it is blue sky, but I still have meetings, so I just get one quick peek and then back to the phone. When work is over for the day, we are going to meet with a local contractor. If I have the finances, I would like to rebuild an ailing dock by the water and put a closet in it for boat storage in the winter time. I think I will leave one boat out though. Last Sunday, a couple was boating nearby and the man was standing up in his canoe then they tipped over. He couldn't swim so he got under his canoe and held on to the braces. His wife swam for shore and ended up on our working dock. She ran up the hill to ask for permission to use our canoe to help her husband (we have a BIG hill). We were gone, but our neighbor said sure and her son in law went down the hill with the wife to rescue the gentleman under the tipped over canoe. I have been thinking about installing a rescue ring on the dock as well. Moral of the story, if you can't swim, wear a life jacket and don't stand up in a canoe! When we first moved here, there was a tragic drowning; a family was playing by the lake, the ball went into the water, and then the dad, who couldn't swim, went in after the ball and drowned. You just have to wonder.