Saturday, December 29, 2012

Springfield MO to Kauai

We received an alert at 3 AM that our first flight had been rescheduled due to crew availablity.  However, we decided not to change our wake up times and get to the Springfield MO airport to see if there was an earlier flight. No, such opportunity existed so we found some comfortable chairs and just hung out and talked.

Our rental car was a Huyndai Elantra. I would prefer not to get one of these again, the accelerator was non-deterministic; sometimes it would work, sometimes not. That is a recipe for a traffic accident. I have rented from Enterprise a lot over the past two years, but this was the worst experience ever. The guy did not go over the car with me and there are some damages, it is a 10k mileage vehicle. So we will see how that works.

Then we went through security and to the best of my understanding there is only one food option at Springfield. I had a roast beef sandwich and Kathy had the potato soup. And we wandered to our gate and slept a bit waiting for the crew for US 6106..

Then there were signs of life. The crew had not/could not show up yet because they got in late last night and there are minimam rest rules. Those are the last rules I am going to complain about; I want my pilots to have enough rest. But the ground crew did collect the carry on baggage, this was a puddle jumper, and that saved time. Kudos to the team for that!

The flight crew showed up and I believe we made our newly chosen departure time in Springfield and thank heavens for that. When we got to Denver we raced for the gate and only beat the boarding announcement by five minutes. We had scored first class on a United 757-200, but there is limited room in the overhead bins. Worse, one of the flight attendants put their bag in sideways using two spots. But we were at the front of the line and got to smile when other folks who scored first class on United could not find a spot for their bags on UA 97.

Anyway, love the new seats and entertainment console. The service was excellent. A very happy 7  hour trip across the ocean. Thank you United.

Peter has dropped off a pile of tangerines, avocados, and lemons. So we had a glass on tangerine juice and some brown rice for supper. Great to be back!

Sunday morning we got up to go to church. Kathy made some green tean in a glass blender jar ( the blender motor died ) and we used it to fill our travel thermoses. We don't use a lot of caffeine any more, but with a five hour time change it seemed like a good idea. Bruce Baumgartner taught an inspired sermon from 1 Samuel 19, showing how David's faith wobbled just a but as a result of the onslaught from Saul. Then we ate lunch and went swimming, a good day.

Friday, December 28, 2012


I try to keep my politics as close to the middle as my conscience will allow, but I am not happy about falling off the fiscal cliff. I do not personally blame the Republican party, I blame both parties, but it is starting to look like the world is giving the Republicans the greater share of the blame. I read in the Wall Street Journal that a poll by Forbes felt more people blamed the Republicans than the Democrats.

I have no idea who coined GOPocalypse,  but it is brilliant marketing. Kathy pointed out that the Bernake phrase (who I believe coined the term) fiscal cliff laid the foundation for GOPocalypse. Quotes such as: "The U.S. economy is already being hurt by the "fiscal cliff" standoff in Washington" are very powerful and fiscal cliff is now part our language ( though not sure what the definition will be post December 31, 2012). And this provides a foundation for fanciful ( and somewhat extreme ) blogposts like this one. Now the point here is perception management; there may or may not be anything accurate in the blog post, but if you read it and especially if you are familiar with Revelation, it is likely to stick with you even if you support the Tea Party. And if you are neutral, or favor Democrat, this could serve as confirmation bias.

Now the $60,000.00 question is, will the population of the U.S. remember all of this two years later when the elections happen?  As we all know, we are a fad driven people and the issue of the moment tends to top the issues of the past, no matter how important.  If they are seen as out of step with the American people, they will lose seats. I have no doubt the Democratic Party is more organized than the Republican Party in terms of an election machine, but I am far less sure the Democratic Agenda makes more sense financially to the long term health of the republic than the Republican Agenda.

Los Vaqueros - Springfield MO

Most of the restaurant reviews on Google for the Springfield area are negative, but this had some positives and Kathy and I enjoyed it. She had a bean and cheese enchilada with a white cheese melt on top instead of the standard red or green sauce. I had the pronto fajitos off the lunch menu and it was more than I could eat by far, but I enjoyed it. The service was great. Once again the prices were fantastic. I think that is what I have learned about Springfield MO. The cost of living is very reasonable here. However, at least food is largely commodity driven, if it goes up, it will have to impact the local restaurants.

One of the things I love about Mexican restaurants is the opportunity to offer color or culture. Let me explain: Kathy ordered a large size side of Guacamole. It was served in a little Molcajete, a dish or kitchen tool used to create Mexican sauces.

It has been snowing for the past two hours and is increasing in intensity, but the weather channel says it is a passing shower and should stop by 5:00 PM and it is currently 25 degrees so we should be OK. We have gassed the rental car up and will put our big bags in the car tonight to be as ready as possible for our trip to the airport tomorrow morning. Whew, it will be nice to be on Kauai again.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fazoli's Springfield MO

This was my first experience with the Fazoli's chain. This is Italian style fast food. The prices are incredibly reasonable and the folks were friendly and service was fast, though we were the only ones in the restaurant.

I think their most popular offerings are probably the samplers. These are four different items on a plate for $6.99, a HUGE amount of food. I had the ultimate, Lasagne, Penne Pasta with a spicy sauce, I assume Arribiata, Spagetti with a meat sauce that seems to be at least partly Italian sausage and a fettuccine with Alfredo sauce (no meat). Everything was tasty. I felt bad leaving so much food behind, but I just could not eat anymore.

They are taking franchises and there is not a single restaurant in Washington State so this could be a good franchise opportunity for a business in Sumner, but at that price point I just can't see how you can make a decent profit. They do have a decent markup on soft drinks and that would help. It reminds me of the famous adage, we lose money on every sale so we try to make it up in volume.

Fantastic Caverns - Springfield MO

After work, we zipped up historic RTE 66 to catch the last tour at Fantastic Caverns. This is one of the most famous caves in the world, and they take you through on a jeep. The guide was very polished and they have some fun exhibits along the way. At one end there is a movie screen and they do the history of the cave. Who knew this used to be a speakeasy? The calcite features are in really good shape especially considering over 4 million people have been in the cave since 1867. There is also a saltpeter exhibit.

I did get a little uneasy about the air quality. You could see smoke in some of the lights and the lady next to me was starting to suffer respiratory problems. However, if there was enough air flow to support 600 people listening to a Buck Owens concert, I suppose there is enough air flow to support jeeps driving through pulling little wagons of tourists.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Doubletree Springfield MO/ Houlihan's

We landed! Yayy, beats the alternative. I have a reservation with Enterprise. They gave me a Hyundai something or another. Fine. It is a car, you put your bags in it and you drive. At this stage of my life I have driven hundreds of rental cars. The wierd thing about this one is the accelerator, you step on the gas and it either works, or it doesn't and it seems to be 50/50 in each camp.

However, there was not much traffic and so we did OK. After we found the Doubletree, we noticed a HUGE Wal-Mart across the street. I have been blowing through my antacids ( just the plain calcium minty kind, nothing hi-tech) so Kathy was willing to let me take her out of our way to get a replacement player. GOSH, this Wal-Mart was big and there were lots of cars in the parking lot, December 26, 2012 at 8:15 PM on December 26 in Springfield MO. And guess what! This is not the only Wal-Mart in Springfield. Oh do I wish I had not sold my primary equity position in Wal-Mart, but maybe if we fall off the fiscal cliff I can replace it. Got the calcium, off to the DoubleTree. Very, very quiet. We got our room, the room number was a smile and after we check out, if someone reminds me, I will share the coincidence. We asked for a bellman to help with the luggage, there was no bellman, but they did have carts. The room is clean, but the shower/tub does not properly, maybe they can work on that tomorrow.

The location is interesting. Glenstone drive has hotel after hotel. You have heard of restaurant row; this is hotel row. I looked out the window and most of them are mostly empty. I am guessing this is the nicest one, maybe the Ramada gives it a run, but some of them are pretty scary. Not sure what the economic factor driving them is.

The workout facility is excellent, clean and well stocked, much bigger than I first thought it is an L shaped room. The pool and Jacuzzi was great, the hot tub is just a tad hotter than I usually like, but it is easy to cool off in the pool. This is one of those split, inside/outside pools where you can go underwater to move from inside or outside, or you can use the door. I like the non-slippery tile floor around the pool.

For dinner, we went to the on-property restaurant, Houlihans. We ordered a bottle of the Malbec they have on the wine list; quite nice, an Amado Sur from Argentina, it is not pure Malbec, but mostly and the high point of our dinner. The menu is creative with a Southwest influence. We had a good waiter, he did not introduce himself and his name is not on the bill, but he added to the experience and I tried to tip appropriately. However, another waiter ran a noisy vacuum cleaner in a private dining room while we were eating, at the closest table to the dining room for 15 minutes and that was incredibly annoying.

Kathy ordered sides, edamame, mashed potatoes, elote corn. I ordered the pot roast with side salad. Somebody needs to take the chef in charge and smash his/her teeth in. Salt is not the only way to season food. I only ate a fraction of my food ( maybe 1/5), and I feel like I was poisoned; they may even use monosodium glutamate. I have that light head ache and have been through three tall glasses of water and I am  still parched.

The bottom line. Someone who knows what a good restaurant needs to be put the menu together and laid out the physical facilities. But they are not managing the details. If you just want a beer and some nachos and chips, I am sure this will be a great experience, If you want to take your significant other out on a date night, this restaurant is a must to avoid.

Chicago Airport C concourse food court

There is a wine bar just outside that I have always wanted to try, but never has an empty seat and today was no exception. The business part of my brain screams because 10 or 20 more seats would be a lot more revenue. However, this is Chicago and you have to buy a lot of politicians to make your way. However, in the food court there is another bar that runs by the name of the Jazz Bar.

Now, I know, this is probably making you think we drink our way from coast to coast. No way. Kathy and I are extremely careful about drinking while on travel because anything can happen and  we have experienced a number of reminders of that. However, while the Jazz Bar does not have jazz, it usually has seats. Sadly, their wine choices are fairly limited, Fetzer and Fetzer and I cannot do that, so we ordered two vodka tonics with two waters with lemon and then went to look for food at the food court. There has to be a better way to handle Chicago Airport, the two vodka tonics were 18.36 before gratuity, which is half of a bottle of a really nice vodka ( this was Smirnoff's and I will lead you to draw you own conclusions, but hey, we got a seat.).

There is a salad place in the food court and it is amazing. Not everyone that stops and gets food from there is a skinny pretty girl, but all of the skinny pretty girls stop and get salad from there, including my own foxy wife. I just could not stomach any of the choices in the food court, I tried, I stared at ever sign thoughtfully, but when we left, I zipped over to the MacDonalds and grabbed a cheeseburger; $2.50, a bargain at ORD, and an additional plus, I could swallow it. When you are on the road as much as I have been, you realize that in travel mode there are things you just cannot put in your mouth or bad things will happen.

Richmond to Springfield MO

Oh this crazy world. Kathy and I had bought tickets for several shows in Branson. We figured we would spend time with my parents, sister and her kids. Then we get a note; they are not coming. HAH! Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. And please do not get me wrong, they had valid reasons, an injury and concerns about the weather.

But this time, for 19.95 I had cancelation insurance, so the circumstances failed to cause me to waste several thousand dollars at least this once.  So if they are not going to visit with us, why go to Branson? Our flight lands at Springfield Branson airport an hour drive from Branson. So we canceled the hotel and we rebooked at a Doubletree in Springfield. I have no idea what we are going to do, but I am looking forward to sleeping late tomorrow.

Aii's Turkey

Christmas was fun, I made a pile of sides, but Ali's turkey was superb! Done in a crockpot, it beats the heck out of this fad about frying turkeys.

Bone in breast
Add one cup of salt and one cup of brown sugar to a boil in one gallon of water.  Cool completely, and add 8 cups ice.  Add rinsed bird to icy brine, refridge for eight hours.  Rinse bird, store overnight in fridge to dry out.
Put in large crock, add cut up onions, carrots, celery.  Season bird with Italian seasoning.  Add two cups of liquid (white wine or broth) 
Put 1/2 stick of butter on top of bird.  Cook on low for 7ish hours.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cinebistro - Lincoln

About 1 PM today, Saturday, the weekend before Christmas, I realized I was board and asked Kathy if she wanted to see Lincoln at Cinebistro. If we did, we needed to be out of the house in ten minutes. One of the things we have done since we were first married, is I drive and she puts her makeup on while we drive.

The movie was awesome, if you have not seen it, put it on your list, I think it would have as much impact from a DVD as it does on the silver screen, there is a lot of depth to it.

We did feel like getting a bottle of wine in the middle of the day, but Kathy got a side of collard greens and I bought a bowl of the bottomless popcorn, but even with Kathy's help could not finish it; once you reduce your salt intake, exposure to too much salt makes you feel bad.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cinebistro - Hobbit Unexpected Journey

Last night Kathy and took in the 6:00 showing at Cinebistro. We had great seats and there were wonderful couples to both our left and right.  One of the secrets of Cinebistro is that they often have sides that are not on the menu. You just have to ask. Kathy found out they had collard greens which is a favorite of hers. For her main, she had the seared Ahi tuna. I had the Fettuccini and this is my new favorite, I have tried the meatloaf and hamburger already. We shared a bottle of wine and shared a glass with the couple to our left.

I did enjoy the movie, I really don't have anything deep to share about it, but fell into the story and enjoyed it. I am not a super Lord of the Rings freak, but when I was in college I was taking cartography and I did a map of Middle Earth for my final project. It is hanging in Hawaii and the moisture and salt have aged it so it looks pretty old. Wonder what it would fetch on eBay as they unveil the new series.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Family Secrets Restaurant

Kathy and I met with SANS Mentor Chip Greene, who is planning to run an MGT 512 event in Richmond Va in February. We met at Family Secrets Restaurant downtown.  This is an American Cuisine with Soul Food inspiration venue. The prices are very reasonable and Dana, our drop dead gorgeous server, was gracious and attentive.

I had the North Carolina pulled pork w mac cheese and yams as my sides. The pork and mac cheese were great the yams were way too sweet for my tast, but here is a link to better yams. Kathy had the veggie platter, two sides of greens and one side of green beans. The greens were cooked with ham bones and that took them over the top. But, she just had dental work done, so she had to be careful not to chomp down on the bones. The green beens were OK, not great. Chip had the blackened fish (generous portion!!!), with greens and rice with gravy. He killed his greens, left most of his rice.

The unsweetened ice tea is sweetened, I can only imagine what the sweet tea tastes like. Would I go again? Sure; when you have a hankering for food from the South, this will satisfy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Adult Yams - Holiday Cooking

This year, I am doing all the sides, Ali is doing the turkey and Norma is supplying dessert and salad. Tonight I made the yams. Will they be food safe on the 25th if I am making them on the 17th. You betcha, these are adult yams.

I went to the VA Liquor store and bought a 375 ML bottle of Bacardi Select. I am not a big dark rum fan, but it is one of the keys to awesome yams. Let's break it down.

Peel 5 yams, boil in a big pot, no salt or spices, that comes later. Drain the pot, smash them up. If you must add butter, fine, but olive oil will give you the buttery taste and is healthier. Next I added a small bag of Craisins ( dried sweetened cranberries ), over time the liquid in the dish will soften them and absorb some of their sugar. I also added a cup of chopped walnuts.

The spices: Cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Salt to taste, if you can mix some salt free in as well that is healthy. Then just a dusting of red hot pepper, that is a real key to the dish. Sometimes I throw in part of a vanilla bean, I did not choose to do that this time. People have radically different opinions about sweetener, I just had a side of yams so sweet I could not eat them, but I would suggest using dark molasses to taste. Then a can of coconut milk. Finally, it is time to start the dark rum. Be careful, you can add more rum, but you cannot take away, I ended up using 70 ML. You want the rum to be a foil against the coconut milk.

DC to Richmond - Amtrak

Saturday, the 15th, our car picked us up and we headed to Amtrak. We are still traveling heavy, so first thing we did was looked for a Red Cap. It was an easy train ride, very calming. We were happy to see a taxi van at the front of the line at RVR station ( Staples Mill Road).

When we got to our house, I took the Mustang out of the garage and zipped down to Wal-Mart to purchase some supplies. Whew, was it crowded! You learn when there are no carts in the store it is going to be a bit of an adventure. Last job of the year is done and we are spent, but we are also happy.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Washington Hilton and Towers - CDI

I am actually here just above Dupont Circle for business meetings, but SANS is running their one and two day courses. I just learned the concierge lounge closes after breakfast today. I guess business travel is done for the year. The hotel gave us coupons for the snack shop, Coffee Bean and Leaf for two pastries. They also gave us coupons for pupus ( Hawaiian for snacks) at the bar which is far more interesting.

We have the same room as last time. I spend a lot of time looking out the window, Washington DC is an amazing place.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Russia House - Dupont Circle Washington DC

When ever we do a job at the Washington Hilton and Towers we like to visit the Russia House. We usually try to get there early, because it gets a bit crazy later especially on a Friday or Saturday night.

They have changed their menu since I was last there, we both had the Arctic Char, I really enjoyed my meal and Kathy did too.

Kathy also ordered one of their vodkas, a cherry infused vodka from Lithuania. I just was not in the mood. We got there right after they opened at 5:00 and had the dining room to ourselves the entire time. This is one of the things Kathy and I treasure in life; having a private dining experience.

Philadelphia to Washington DC - Amtrak

We had a heck of a time getting a cab. The Middle States convention was ending and the taxi line was very long, but we got there. I was hoping for a van since we are traveling heavy, but Kathy tipped the hotel guy $5.00 and he found a way to make it work.

We got to the train station and could not find a Red Cap, so we brought the bags in using two trips. When I got my tickets I asked if there was an earlier train and there was, it was an additional charge, but I felt it was worth it.

We went back to the Red Cap desk and this wonderful guy, Chris shows up. He loaded all of our bags and helped us get to the Silver Star, train 125. The Internet was slow, but other than that the train was great. We got to the other side, Washington. There was a Red Cap right on the train as we were getting off. He loaded our bags on a golf cart which we shared with one other lady. He started in one direction and then he turned around. Oh My! He took us through the heart of the underground part of the train station and then out onto a street and then up to where our limo was waiting. Incredible, I have never seen anything like it. Thank you Amtrak!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

13 at the Marriott Downtown Philadelphia

It is cold outside tonight and so we decided to eat on property at Marriott at 13 for dinner. I looked them up on the Internet and the page said they were four star. Not hardly. Not a bad meal or anything and our waiter, Ed, was attentive. But it was a limited menu and hardly four star.

Kathy had a side of mashed potatoes and could not finish them, she figured that two bites was a meal, that they were full of butter, cream and two kinds of cheese. I do not know, but I had a bite and they were good. I had the steak cobb salad. Crazy thing was they did not bring a sharp knife. Fortunately, I had a Spyderco in my pants. I do not have a copy of the bill but before gratuity it was about $30.

Comcast SPAMed my cell phone

I just got a call and they said they were going to double my speed for free and give me access to all sorts of TV, for free.

Only after two months it is only 39.00 a month. Take a hike Comcast, do that again and I will switch to Clear.

Maggiano's - Philadelphia

We have lunch supplied as part of the MSCHE conference, but it was so noisy with a thousand academics in one room that we decided to go across the street to Maggiano's.

Kathy had a gluten free veggie pasta that she loved and I had "Mom's Lasagne" which always satisfies. Did we finish our portions? Are you kidding? But it was fun and much quieter.

The Melting Pot - Philadelphia

I have seen these as I have traveled, but had never been to one. It was across the street from the Marriott Downtown Philadelphia. They opened at five and we were hungry so we went. It is a fondue/hot pot type restaurant. We were lucky, happy hour is five to six and this can be an expensive place to eat.

I ordered the three course meal off the happy hour menu and Kathy did a Swiss Classic Fondue for one. You get bread, apples and veggies. The only thing that was really tasty was the apples.

The next course included chicken, steak, shrimp, potatoes, veggies and mushrooms. Instead of cheese you have a pot of flavored water ( think Shabu). And they give you eight different sauces. That was fun and Kathy enjoyed a shrimp and a mushroom.

It was so much food that I could barely do dessert, the classic is a chocolate and peanut butter. I asked for the minimum amount of chocolate possible and just two strawberries, ( they want to give you an assortment). Our waiter was very attentive, thank you Matt Hen. It was fun, but I am not sure it is high on my list for a return. Bill before gratuity was 51.09.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Richmond to Philadelphia - Amtrak

I write this just south of Wilmington Delaware on Amtrak 80 the Carolinian. We are headed to Philadelphia. I like the train for a number of reasons. I wrote my first book on the Virginia commuter train an hour from Fredericksburg VA to Crystal City ( Pentagon) and they would charge my laptop at the guard station and then an hour back.

The train is peaceful and having power outlets and wireless onboard is awesome. But what really gets my attention is how kind most of the Amtrak employees are. Kathy was injured in September and they help her get on the train and help put her belongings up in the overhead.

You do not need to get to the train station as early as you do to the airport, but we are creatures of habit and ordered a taxi in order to get there with the logic after we check our bags, we can go get lunch. I ordered a taxi from West End Taxis in Richmond. I do not think I will use them again. I like to support them because there is a taxi parked in my neighborhood, but the last time I called them, some crazy guy in camos showed up and this time an even crazier guy with garbage or recycling in his trunk that made it hard to fit our bags in came.

We checked our bags and were getting ready to walk to Anthony $ George's Steakhouse next door for lunch when an Amtrak employee offered to keep our carry on bags in their baggage room. Thank you Doug!

Kathy was not very hungry so she ordered a side of butterbeans and we do not usually drink alcohol at lunch, but she wanted to sleep on the train so she ordered a Long Island Ice Tea. Kathy does not tend to drink hard liquor drinks and she is very particular about her Long Islands, she does not want them too sweet. The waitress said not to worry and she made the best Long Island I have ever tasted; I do not tend to favor them. I had the Seafood Combo, it was nicely seasoned. Then we walked back to the train station.

They put our carry on bags on a little cart and gave Kathy a ride to the train. For some perverse reason I wanted to carry my own stuff and didn't even ask for help climbing up the train; my carryon  is very heavy. The train was 20 minutes late, but that is OK, we don't have to work until tomorrow.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Last day in Richmond VA

It has been nice to have over a week and not be on travel. However, that is coming to an end. We leave for Philadelphia followed by Richmond VA tomorrow on the train.
So, we drop out for a few last minute errands try to get my SANS work done and think about a two job pack.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Crustless Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Since it is the holiday season I felt like making some pumpkin pie for lunch. Simple and fast. Open a can of pumpkin, stir in some agave sweetener, pinch of salt, pumpkin pie spice to taste, two tablespoons of gluten free pancake mix and an egg. For liquid I used skim milk. I mix it right in a glass baking dish and serve from same.

Cover and microwave for four minutes. Let it sit for two minutes, microwave for one more minute.

Libbie Place Shopping Center - Richmond VA

A massage therapist suggested that Kathy get a back pillow made of memory foam and recommended the Healthy Back Store as the source. It is located in the Libbie Place Shopping center which is pretty handy. It is close to the house we have in Richmond and there are more ways in and out of it than you can imagine. There is a Target, Vitamin World, Great Clips and Healthy Back Store.

Much less traffic than West Broad Street near Short Pump. I think this is where we are going to go when we want to visit Target from now on.

With our other project we have been trying to think of business ideas for Sumner WA and a Healthy Back store needs to be on the list of ideas.

Update: December 21, 2012 Kathy wanted to go to a Target and I did not want to attempt the one at Shortpump this close to Christmas. There was a bit more traffic than usual, but it was not insane.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pigeon Shooting

I was following a story about someone shooting a drone out of the sky. Turns out it was an animal rights activist group called SHARK. I am not the biggest tree hugger on planet earth. However, pigeon shooting is pretty gross.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the US to allow this. And the police will not investigate the shooting of the drone.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Goodbye Hard Rock Hotel - San Diego

Mike Poor secured a group reservation at Roy's. Deanna Boyden, Eric Cole, Johannes Ullrich, Kathy and I were able to join him. We got the appetizer boat for the table and shared a bottle of Joel Gott Zinfandel.

It was a good time. the next morning Kathy and I took a cab to to the airport. United 531 was on time and it was smooth flying to Chicago. Sadly my ears did not clear. We ate at the food court, I had a Reggiano's Deep Dish Turkey Sausage Pizza and Kathy had a salad. Two US Marines sat next to us and I was able to buy them a beer and Kathy thanked them for their service. They struck up a great conversation with Kathy, but I could not hear so I kind of tuned out.

United 529F to Richmond was also on time. Believe it or not it was a full sized plane, I guess the Richmond airport is picking up. And we scored first class of all things. I did not feel like drinks, but did down three glasses of water to try to get my ears to clear this time.

James Limo was on time. It was an easy ride to the house in Richmond. Kathy put in Top Gun, what a great movie. Apparently I fell asleep. I woke up Sunday morning about noon exhausted. This travel stuff is taking an ever greater toll on me.

I finally got out of bed, went to Wal-Mart to pick up some food, it was packed, people are taking this holiday seriously I guess. I made lean turkey, spinach and pinto bean enchildas for Hunter and Kathy. Sunday is a quiet night and I am getting ready to look at the calendar for tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nathan's Smoke House - San Diego

A bit of a dive, but friendly people and tasty food. They have an electric smoker right in the kitchen and mostly focus on Tri-Tip, Pulled Pork, and Chicken.

Kathy and I both had the Tri-Tip, it is thinly sliced and grilled up with onions and mushrooms. With the house BBQ sauce, it is pretty good. You get a side with the plate, two with the platter, I chose the plate and the garlic mash potatoes. They were a bit too salty, but incredibly good.

They also have a full bar and they were operating with one person managing the bar and one guy cooking. There were only two active tables so it worked, not sure how they handle Friday nights.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cafe Sevilla - San Diego

I think they have been in business for 25 years, but this is a wildly successful place. We love it, but can only go there on Monday's. They are located at 353 5th Avenue. Otherwise it is too busy for our tast. The crazy thing is Thursday at 8:00 PM where they have Salsa lessons.

This is a small plates or tapas place. We sat at the bar which is our favorite, but get there before 7:00 PM even on a Monday. Kathy had the grilled artichokes and green mussels which were both good and the Mushroom Ajillo which was spectacular.

I had the Spanish sausages ( great), Chicken Skewer ( OK, but saved by Kathy's Ajillo garlic sauce) and the Charcuterie (OK). But it was so much fun and so affordable at Happy Hour, I think that is 5 - 7 PM.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Burger Lounge San Diego

We thought we might go to Sevilla, the tapas place, it was packed out. Then I thought Hooters on Market Street, it was packed out. But on the way up 5th street from the Hard Rock Hotel we passed this very interesting restaurant chain, Burger Lounge.

It is pretty much a standard burger menu, but they feature grass fed and free range. I had the Bison burger and a Quinoa half salad. Kathy had the full Quinoa salad and a salmon patty. The salmon tasted terrible, we both wondered if it was "off". Hopefully we will not find out the hard way, but that salad was pretty neat.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

This is an interesting place. Guitars in the meeting rooms; one of Janis Joplin's concert suits in a glass display case; wow. But tonight is Saturday night and there have been 30 people in the suite next to us ( we are in a regular room). The bellman has come up with bags of ice. this may not be the best night of our life. Apparently it is Matt's birthday. How do I know all this? The sound comes through the walls.

Meze J Street San Diego

After our SANS.EDU selfstudy meeting today, Kathy and I headed out to find some food. The Tapas restaurant was full ( Saturday night ). So we continued up the street. We noticed Meze had space so we dropped in.

They have a limited menu and a very wide range of spending opportunity. We ordered a Joel Gott Zinfandel, but they could not find the bottle, so we punted to a bottle of Hess Special Cabernet Sauvignon ( I know, I know, but the markup was only 2x). Kathy ordered the Falafel Sliders without the bread and the lentil soup and I ordered the Gyro Wrap. Service was excellent, I tipped the full 20%. Price before gratuity was 60.34

Dick's Last Resort - San Diego

When we got back to the hotel, we ran into Dr. Gouker and Dr. Davidson from SANS.EDU. They were in the lobby and going out to eat. So we asked if we could put our stuff up and join them.

We went to Dick's, I had only been one time. Since we had both eaten we just had a drink and both of the good doctors ordered the fried Cat Fish.

Price before gratuity was 78.65, I picked it up hopefully as a business dinner.

Sumner WA to San Diego

Saavy Solutions picked us up at 0815. We got to SEATAC with no problems. Our plane, United 6339, was scheduled to depart at 1118, we were a bit late, but it was not a problem. Service on the plane was great, they were not particularly concerned about protocol. I fell asleep on the plane and when I woke up at wheels down, notice my seat belt was not fastened. That was a first for a couple of reasons.

Our next flight departed 1424 from LAX. Candy, our flight attendant was so uptight we were all kind of laughing at her; sorry. It was a short flight, there was no inflight service because it was a short flight.

We took a cab to our hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gas Lamp district. We were both hungry so we looked for food outside the hotel. Most places were not open for dinner, but the Palm was and we love the Palm. Kathy had a 3 pound lobster, I had the Chicken Parmigana and we shared a Goat cheese mashed potato. We also had a bottle of Knotty Pines Zinfandel. Price before gratuity was 184.04.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Yayyy New York Marathoners

Here is a link to a beautiful story of folks from the canceled marathon ( good decision by the way ) running supplies to people in need on Staten Island. Here is the facebook page.

Chops to the Occupy Wall Street folks as well.

World Wide Pandemic Watch Version 6.8

World Wide Pandemic Watch Version 6.9 Latest update 1500 January 10, 2013. The purpose of this document is to prepare IT and IT Security people to brief management. We put this news aggregation together and have made it as accurate as possible. I have tried to be careful with the credits to the internet sources aggregated here. No rights are claimed, feel free to repost, copy, link to, harvest information from this document. Just try to be as accurate as you can and be careful about believing everything you read, the two best information sources are WHO and CDC. Also, the Pro Med mailing list has TONS of information, not just on H1N1/A. If you have additional information I would love to hear from you, I am on twitter and for email.

Executive Summary

In January 2013, Boston has declared a public health emergency with a 10x increase in Flu. If you feel sick please stay at home.

In November 2012, a third case of coronavirus has been confirmed by the Saudi government. This is related to the SARS virus which was lethal to 10% of infected persons. Hopefully, the Haj pilgrimage did not allow it to get a toehold.

In September 2012, The Minnesota Department of Health reported detection of 3 infections with an influenza A H1N2 variant (“H1N2v”) virus with the pandemic M gene from the 2009 H1N1 virus. These cases were reportedly associated with prolonged contact with pigs at a fair.

The H1N1 Pandemic was declared over in June 2010. It will be incorporated in the flu shots to prepare for 2011 ( highly recommended). There has been recent activity in Northern Ireland. The most exciting news on the pandemic front right now is the so called "superbug". This is not a virus, but rather bacteria with NDM-1 ( New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase) which allows it to be resistant to antibiotics. So far this is boutique, but if it was incorporated in something that could spread, it could be a serious problem. India is ground zero, there have been recent cases in Britian. There have also been some animal dieoffs that we are closely tracking.

Organizations in affected areas should be prepared at this point to operate in a quarantine scenario. A key word is cluster, when there are a number of related infections in a day care facility, school, or church, you can expect to see it close for ten to twenty days and people either voluntarily not going there or being directed not to go to that location. Two of the most important issues are how to keep IT up, if no one is in the datacenter and whether the VPN concentrators can handle the load if a large number of employees are working from home. Managers need to start asking hard questions right now about how operations will continue if a significant number of people get sick. Technical people do not tend to look at all of the parts of the system and you do not want to wait till you are in a flu situation before you start asking questions and finding out that everything except backups and fund transfers can be done remotely.

Take common-sense precautions, such as frequently washing hands with soap, covering your mouth when coughing and stay home if feeling ill." The virus is easily destroyed; most cleansers will work, and it appears to be viable about 7 hours on a hard surface and one hour on porous fabric. Patients are most infectious when first coming down with flu, but remain infectious throughout the illness.

How bad could a viral pandemic be?

Nobody really knows. So far H1N1 has been fairly mild, though if you were one of the 500+ that died, you would probably beg to differ. The H5N1 Avian flu is far more deadly than H1N1, but doesn't spread well enough human to human to cause a pandemic at this time. Here is a well researched presentation on the history of pandemics:

What is new is this edition:

CDCEmergency, CDCflu The CDC has a twitter account,

What is a virus, what is influenza? A virus is not exactly alive, "it has some fundamental information (genes made of DNA or RNA) which allows it to make copies of itself. However, the virus must be inside a living cell of some kind before the information can be used. In fact, the information won't be made available unless the virus enters a living cell. It is this entrance of a virus into a cell which is called a viral infection." According to the CDC, "Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Every year in the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and; about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes." "The virus is spread person to person via small particle aerosols (less than 10μm diameter) that can get into respiratory tract. It can also survive for a short time on surfaces and can be spread by this route if the virus is introduced into the nasal mucosa before it loses infectivity. The incubation period is short, about 18 to 72 hours." People do not normally get H1N1/A, according to WebMD, historically, there's a case every year or two in the U.S. among people who have contact with live pigs. Human cases typically involve people who have had direct contact with pigs, but person-to-person transmission is suspected among recent cases in the U.S."

There are several stages a virus must go through to enter the human population. Most viruses originate in animals simply because there are so many more animal species. Many viruses, the base of the pyramid only exist in animals. The next level is either animal type viruses that can exist in several species OR viruses that can, but only are transmitted to humans. In the Nathan Wolfe video, we see that one crossover to humans occurs because we hunt "bush meat" and this often involves contact with the animal's blood. The next level of concern are virus that can fairly easily transmit from animals to humans. The next level of concern are these crossover viruses that can then spread from one human to another, that is what we appear to be dealing with in the H1N1/A outbreak. And finally, for completeness sake, we have viruses that only exist in humans.

Since H1N1 was such a bust, why should I be concerned about the next flu season? The most important observation by June 2009 is that the virus did spread to over 84 countries. This is true even though is was probably the most reported health threat of all time. From the TV News networks to Twitter,we have more tools to share information than ever before. This virus has already reported one measurable mutation (in the Netherlands) as reported in ProMED mail. There are basically two tools in our toolbox, vaccinations and medicine like Tamiflu. We do not have a tested vaccine for H1N1, the earliest is September and history suggests that you don't want to be the first to try a Swine flu vaccine. So if the virus is immune to Tamiflu it is a big issue.

Why self imposed quarantine is the best answer in a future outbreak I just flew from Greece to Virginia. Not one traveler wore a mask, nor did they wear gloves. I tried to focus on how many surfaces you have to touch on a three leg plane flight and was it possible to keep my hands sterile and came to the conclusion that it was not possible. This means it is a matter of dumb luck whether or not I got exposed. Now, as already said, by summer, this was seriously winding down and risk is a matter of exposure, however if we have another outbreak next winter without safe vaccine and are dealing with a drug resistant mutation, this risk is exponentially higher. This means companies should start now to plan for what they can do to keep operations going with a significant number of employees working from home.

How to disinfect and kill viruses Clorox: Lysol: Soap: Alcohol: More info: NOTE: DO NOT combine agents, ammonia + bleach can kill you

What exactly is this H1N1/A?

According to the CDC: "There are many different subtypes of type A influenza viruses. These subtypes differ because of changes in certain proteins on the surface of the influenza A virus (hemagglutinin [HA] and neuraminidase [NA] proteins). There are 16 known HA subtypes and 9 known NA subtypes of influenza A viruses. Because the New York student samples do not match H1 and H3 human subtypes of influenza A by available testing methods, they are considered probable cases of H1N1/A. The specimens have been sent to the CDC in Atlanta for confirmatory testing. Results of those tests are expected Sunday. It is possible that the H1N1/A will be more aggressive in human populations than the bird flu has been to date. According to Forbes, "Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health Program said Thursday that the virus in the United States is influenza A N1H1 mixed with swine influenza viruses. The virus contains genetic pieces from four different flu viruses -- North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza viruses and swine influenza viruses found in Asia and Europe, she said. "That particular genetic combination of swine influenza viruses has not been recognized before in the U.S. or elsewhere," Schuchat said."

What are all these viruses and where do they come from? “Human influenza virus” usually refers to those subtypes that spread widely among humans. There are only three known A subtypes of influenza viruses (H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2) currently circulating among humans. It is likely that some genetic parts of current human influenza A viruses came from birds originally. Influenza A viruses are constantly changing, and they might adapt over time to infect and spread among humans. While it is too early to tell how deadly the H1N1/A will be, either it or the H5N1 Bird Flu could kill tens of millions, if either became a pandemic because there is no vaccine ready to distribute and people will not have built up any individual immunity from having had similar strains in the past.

What should I do if I feel sick? H1N1/A symptoms include runny nose, and fever, muscle aches, lethargy, lack of appetite, fever over 101 and sudden onset. It is difficult to distinguish from other flu types, and does require a diagnosis. Here are the Mayo symptoms. Patients experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, disorientation, confusion, seizures, persistent vomiting, inability to hold down liquid should seek health care and treatment. If affected persons have household contacts at high risk for complications from influenza – young children, the elderly, and people with chronic illness – those at risk should receive preventive treatment. Also, be prepared with BRAT, Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast, good flu recovery foods.

DO NOT skip the rest step. If you have the symptoms it is time to take a couple days off. Get some rest, that is crucial to recovery.

How can I avoid getting sick?

The most effective way to lower the risk of transmission is for people with symptoms to stay home. Take pandemic preparation sites with a grain of salt; this one seems reasonable. The virus spreads easily from person to person through direct contact and possibly through the air; if it can spread through the air we have a very serious situation. It can cause serious illness and death. Please cover your mouth when you cough and take the additional precautions: Wash your hands often with soap and water. Antibacterial soaps may not be more effective than pure soap to prevent virus infections. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are more effective, go for 60% alcohol. [CDC Hands Together video] Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to avoid infecting them. If you have ever laughed at people using a paper towel to open the door of a public bathroom after washing their hands, quit laughing and join them, the virus can remain active for several hours especially if moist and not exposed to direct sunlight. Try not to rub your eyes or touch your hands to your mouth Try to get enough sleep, avoid stress ( not always easy in a pandemic) and treat your body right Respirators and face masks: YouTube video on how to use an N95 respirator, pretty good, I learned a few tips Powered respirator FDA site


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday tests involving antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza against the H1N1/A suggest the drugs would be effective treatments. Tamiflu is available over the counter in New Zealand. Anti-viral drug Tamiflu must be used with care to avoid the new strain of H1N1/A developing resistance, an expert on infectious diseases has warned. I called several New York City pharmacies this afternoon and was told there’s been a run on Tamiflu. As a physician, I know how tough it can be to “just say no” to an insistent, worried patient. And I haven’t totally gone over to the dark side of not remembering what it’s like to be a patient; believe me, there’s an insistent, worried patient hiding inside many physicians, myself included. But inappropriate use of Tamiflu and Relenza can lead to the becoming resistant to these medications - the same thing that’s happened with overuse of antibiotics.

What if I do get sick and can't get Tamiflu?

There are herbal flu remedies, no one knows how effective they would be. Getting a bit of ginger root and a few bulbs of garlic and a few onions next time you go to the store might be wise and slightly sweetened blended ginger on sliced peeled apples tastes great, and you can use the garlic and onions when you put your Italian chef mindset on. Warning, eating raw garlic can cause you to vomit and, with the flu, you want to avoid dehydration, so a tiny bit at a time is strongly advised until you understand your tolerance. Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Vitamin D, especially D3 may help.

Pandemics in the past point to what we may have to deal with 1918 Spanish flu, H1N1, killed healthy young adults, 40 - 50 million deaths 1957 Asian flu, H2N2, killed children and elderly, 2 million deaths 1968 Hong Kong flu, H3N2, killed elderly, 1 million deaths 1976 Swine flu where the inoculation was worse than the flu 2002/2003 SARS (near pandemic), SARS-CoV, killed elderly, 774 deaths.

Skeleton Plan for Companies Don’t Panic! Here is a quick podcast interview with Bill Brenner on the H1N1/A and its implications on IT and IT Security. Warn people about coronavirus etc phishing attacks

Here is a CNN great article on what companies are doing to prepare and respond.

Initial monitoring stage: If you’re sick, stay home Family is sick, stay home Close contact with someone showing symptoms, stay home Wash your hands, cover your cough Then, if multiple cases in your area: Think about telling non-essential workers to stay home Start prioritizing critical workers and make sure they can work from home Recommend workers take kids out of daycare Can you stock some food/liquid in your datacenters, is it possible for someone to stay there for a sustained period of time? Pandemic stage Everyone will be staying home, how will you handle it? Do you have enough laptops? Can your VPN concentrators handle the load Who will stay in the data center Can you operate server systems from home Link to SANS reading room paper on pandemic and network systems

H1N1/A Business Opportunities amazon_twit: New product: N95 Particulate Respirators Surgical, Dust & Avian Flu Mask, 10/ pack (

Bird Flu H5N1 Worldwide, 608 cases ( 359 fatalities) most recent action is in Egypt. Most cases are in Egypt, Viet Nam and Indonesia. Four cases in Egypt in December 2010/January 2011.

Kauai to Sumner

We had a merciful take off time. The car picked us up at 1030 and we headed for the airport. They are doing construction on the highway, but we left plenty early. United 351 was on time and the service was great and we scored first class and were seated together, what is not to like. The food was even good, I do not eat much beef, but I had the steak with peppercorn sauce.

Our connection was San Francisco and a restaurant was still open, so I had the turkey burger and Kathy had a plate of Nachos. Also not bad. United 1673 was a Continental plane and the service was well, what you expect of Continental.

We arrived about 1 AM. Starline was there to pick us up with their SUV because we were packing heavy bringing stuff from Kauai to Sumner. Not sure when we dropped off, but I did not wake up till 1300. Gosh, these long flights are starting to really take their toll.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Last day on Kauai

Sometime this afternoon, I need to go over to the house and pack. We have two different meetings with friends, a walk along the beach to discuss things and then dinner with Rudy and Shanda.

It is a gorgeous day and I might just spend some time sitting by the ocean. There is a very small amount of VOG in the air, causes my eyes to burn, but not so bad. It will be a couple months till we get back.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


We took advantage of United having a waiver on changing flights to switch from Reston and the Frankenstorm to Kauai for six days ( the flight to Seattle was booked solid and the flight to Kauai had two open seats). After we landed, I went to the store, and Kathy and I sat down to a dinner of cheese and Jalapeño tamales and yams mole and just as we washed the last of the dishes the tsunami alarms went off. Evacuation was easy, we had not unpacked from the airport and we make a point of traveling with things like flashlights and water bottles. So we slept in a car last night, but I am thankful we got out of the way of the storm, I was not packed for snowpocalypse.

We learned about the storm while we were in Orange County, at the Disneyland Hotel, for the ISSA annual meeting. It was fun to see some familiar faces and I honestly believe that ISSA is a significant force in our line of work for professionalism. My talk seemed to go well. After my talk we mingled and took a car to reposition at an airport hotel. On the way to the hotel, I called Diane and learned about the storm.

Looking ahead, we will stay on Kauai five more days and reposition to the West Coast to start getting ready for San Diego. It will be fun to try a new conference hotel and I have never had the privilege of staying in a Hard Rock.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sumner to OC to Kauai

We took Alaska Airlines 502F from SEATAC to Santa Ana Orange County John Wayne Airport on 25 OCT for the ISSA awards. Good flight, on time, good service, a bit of turbulence, but not too bad. We found a table with Al and Andrea Hoy and watched the awards. I think ISSA is a really important organization for security.

Then we checked into the Disneyland Hotel, boy they sure have perfected the use of the mouse logo. We ate at 55 Steakhouse, I had a bone in chunk of meat, Kathy had a filet. Bedtime and happily so.

Got up early to hear Howard's keynote. Had an hour to prepare for my own keynote, then lunch. After lunch, more awards and then a panel on ethics.

We had a car at 4 PM to transfer to the LAX airport Hilton Garden Inn. Our flight to Dulles is being canceled due to the hurricane and the risk of Snowpocalypse. Diane re-routed us to Kauai.

We caught the 1030 shuttle from the Hilton Garden Inn, there was another couple and he works in information security as well. The driver dropped us off at the wrong terminal, terminal 7, we were supposed to be in terminal 6, but it worked out. The lady at the United odd sized baggage and special services area told us it would be a long wait, but there were only five people in line so we took our chances. Worked out well, there were several empty terminals and she let us use one. Then security was a breeze, there were four people ahead of us and it was a metal detector not one of those imaging machines. We were early enough to check in to the United lounge and catch up on email and blogging. The crazy thing was how empty the airport was, this is the second time recently, I have seen an unusually empty major airport.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last day in Sumner for a long time

We have an 0830 pickup tomorrow for SEATAC off to Orange County, then Reston, then Kauai. It looks like we can't get back to the lake house in 2012. We put up the canoe and paddles yesterday. I gassed up the truck, cleaned up the yard, winterized the hose bibs, while Kathy put the house in order. Life is certainly moving fast.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Future Shock - The Neural Investment Part 2

The author goes on to say: "change, roaring through society, widens the gap between what we believe and what really is, between the existing images and the reality they are supposed to reflect."

In a class I authored and often teach there is a section on information warfare and one of the topics is perception management. I tell my class there is a battle for their minds. Please forgive me if you find the following offensive, I mean no disrespect to anyone.
  • Have you ever tried to reason with someone that gets all of their information from Fox News? It is impossible, they cannot know or understand truth or middle ground, they have poisoned their minds.
  • And lest that bullet makes you think I am a flaming liberal, the same is true of someone that gets all of their information from MSNBC ( at least that is currently what they call it).

    So what are we to do? Well we need to be very careful with what we let enter our "eyegates" and "eargates". We are bombarded with so much information, we do not have time to properly examine each item closely and then start to develop a significant confirmation bias.
  • Future Shock - Neural Investment Part 1

    In 1971 Alvin Toffler wrote: "Events speed past us, compelling us to reassess our assumptions - our previous formed images of reality. Research topples older conceptions of man and nature. Ideas come and go at a frenetic rae. ( A rate, that, in science at least has been estimated to be twenty to one hundred times faster than a mere century ago.) Image-laden messages hammer at our senses."

    A little later he says, "All this cannot - and does not - leave us unchanged."

    What does this all mean? We don't know. In an article by Monika Guttman, she writes, "Part of the mystery is due to the fact that, until recently, people did not have the same lifespan as they do today-now an average 75 years, up from 47 years in 1900. This means there has been precious little time to study brain aging, says David Walsh, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology. He says, "Theoretically, this is a whole new world."

    But research on how this three pound organ ages is speeding ahead-pushed by the fact that 10,000 U.S. baby boomers hit age 50 every day. This huge group, which will soon swell the ranks of senior citizens to previously unheard of proportions, wants to know what can be done to preserve brain function as long as possible.

    So the largest population in the history of the world, with an increasing lifespan has become a major science experiment. So what can we do to improve our odds and keep our aging brains operating? On the plus side is rest and exercise. On the minus side is stress and hypertension. But how can we improve our ability to adapt to change and increased information flow?

    Here is an Internet article on adapting to change. I have no idea whether he is right or not or what his research sources are. What I do know is that some of the things on the list sound pretty good including:
  • Inhale through your nose slowly and deeply while silently counting to five. Feel your lungs fill with air.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth while counting to seven. Expel all the air from your lungs. Kathy and I call that yoga breathing. Sometimes when we travel in airports it is stressful and this seems to help. Also, the author suggests:
  • Exercise and eating right. Kathy and I are working on that.

    Iwolf has an interesting observation, if we can anticipate change that facilitates our ability to adapt to it:
    It is far healthier to actually anticipate change than to be consistently shocked by it. There are a few good reasons to stand on our emotional tip toes looking for change to occur:
  • Anticipating change can take away the personal violation we feel.
  • Anticipating change keeps us from taking advantage of the organization.
  • Anticipating change is a more realistic way to see the future.
  • Poached Eggs Florentine

    Trying to lose weight does not mean not eating. At least that is true for me. I am a foodie, I want to remain a foodie, but I would like to be a smaller foodie. Breakfast today was Poached Eggs Florentine.

    In my green skillet I tossed a handful of baby bella mushrooms and spinach. Then I added some low sodium chicken stock. I pushed this to the side of the skillet and added two large eggs. A spoonful of garlic ( hey Kathy and I are both having the dish) and a large spoonful of pre-cooked cheesy grits.

    When the egg whites are fully white, I flipped the eggs to sear the center and served. Yum.

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    Future Shock - Ford Mustangs

    On the United flight from IAD to SEA the direct TV did not work. However I had a copy of Future Shock by Alvin Toffler so I read a few pages. Page 268 talks about the Ford Mustang. He quotes critic Reyner Banham as saying, "There isn't a dung-regular Mustang any more, just a stockpile of options."

    Fast forward from 1971 to 2012 and nothing has changed. Disclaimer, I own a 2011 GT Mustang convertible GT 5.0. When I was doing my research to buy the car, one article said, "best pony car on the road, but the problem is there are so many of them". When you own a Mustang ( or any other car), you notice other Mustangs on the road. It almost drove me to buy Ford Motor Company Stock ( I have also owned 1 Ford F 100 Pickup and two F 150 Pickups), but the amount of debt the company has scared me off.

    Despite the fact I am not an investor, there is an amazing array of custom Mustangs on the road:
  • Racing stripes, not racing stripes
  • Sort of four passengers and fast backs; no hope of four passengers
  • Convertibles ( my 1965 Mustang was also a convertible)
  • And then there is the Shelby, ummmm, ummmm, ummm

    We live in a world of near infinite choice; at least at the moment, but Ford had that vision dialed in over 40 years ago.
  • Saturday, October 20, 2012

    Dulles to SEATAC

    We awoke an hour before our alarm at the Westin. Breakfast was included in our rate which was nice. Then showers and finished packing. It was a lovely day and the hotel to airport shuttle was on time and had plenty of room for all the people and bags.

    There was a little confusion at the United ticket counter, but everyone was nice and we figured it all out. Kathy and I are on separate reservations because I was using a canceled ticket.

    I was selected or Pre, but Kathy was not, but there was no line, Dulles was deserted, I have only seen that happen one other time and that was in the great recession. Since we breezed through security, we were able to visit the United club and make hot tea.

    We did not get the upgrade. This was a Continental style 737 with Direct TV. I swiped my credit card, but it did not work. I just checked online and it has not been charged yet.

    The flight left on time, but we ended up being 30 minutes late arriving. I guess we ran into some headwinds or got re-routed. Starline was there promptly to pick us up and there was no traffic. For supper I grabbed something we had made and froze (Chicken with potatoes and artichokes), it was good, simple and fast.

    It is great to be home. The light on the lake was incredible. The change in the trees as fall is coming was also very dramatic. And the rains are finally here, the ground was very dry, I am sure the plants appreciate it.

    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Richmond to Fredericksburg

    Thursday, October 11, after lunch we jumped in the Mustang and headed up I95 to Fredericksburg. Traffic was light, such a blessing. We checked in to a Homewood suites near the NOC and headed over to Wegman's to eat. We both had a salad and hot food and ate it in their cafeteria area.

    We caught up on our email and watched a couple episodes of Burn Notice. The next morning we zipped over to the NOC and talked about some of the next steps for our software developers. About lunchtime we headed back and scored east traffic again; wow! That is not going to happen every time one drives I95. Spent the rest of the day trying to catch up with my email.

    Finished with the email at 8:00 PM. Kathy and I are going to watch the VP debate on Youtube.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Sumner to Richmond

    Becca Iverson, our concierge, is bringing her car and is scheduled for 8:20 PM, we will be flying on United. I don't like redeye flights anymore, used to try to schedule them.

    I have two business meetings tomorrow after we land so really hope I sleep some on the plane.

    Flight 1617F from Seattle was on time. The service was OK. After we landed in Chicago, we had a pretty long hike to our next flight. Flight 6107Y was slightly delayed. James Limo picked us up and the driver was quite pleasant. We had time to lay down for 20 minutes before my first business call. It was a really important topic, instructor development and I was really tired .... I was actually afraid I would start snoring.

    Finally both meetings were done. I made some food and we both crashed hard. I used to like redeyes, but I think those days are coming to a halt for me.