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 JalapeƱo 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.