Wednesday, December 20, 2017

An open letter to Hawaii Telcom - Updated with conclusion

Dear Hawaii Telcom Leadership,

I called December 7 to subscribe to your service, order I0E1503. The lady on the phone was nice, I was a bit sad that the install date was 8 days away, but OK

They said they would come the 15th, but I had to be there ALL DAY. OK.

The installer did not come on the 15th, nobody called. We called Hawaii Telcom and was told the new install date was January 2.  But, he would ask for an expedited install.

I called back, no word on the expedited install. Everything has to go through a supervisor named Joe. Joe is in a meeting, Joe is not here. Joe will call you back in 24 hours. No call back, it is now 72 hours. I called back on the 20th and they dropped the call. And BTW the nice lady on the phone was kind enough to tell me my password which makes my cybersecurity DNA cringe for: telling me my password and the fact that is possible means Telcom must keep it in the clear. Remember, some people actually still use the same password for more than one account, keeping it in the clear makes it that much easier for hackers.

I fully realize there are only a few Internet providers on Kauai, limited fiber on and off island, we are a captive audience, but that should not be a reason to provide substandard service. For one reason, it is hard on the front line support people, who were all nice, and all very disempowered, they are unable to fix the issue from their perspective.

At the end of the day, I either will or will not get Internet installed by your team, understand that. When I was a CEO, I did everything I could to find out how my customers were being treated, to understand their frustrations. That is the spirit of this note. You can do better and you need to.


Stephen Northcutt

1/19/18 Conclusion: I finally asked the person on the phone, what would you do? How many days can you take off from work to wait for someone. She got it. I asked her to escalate. She/they allowed me to speak with a supervisor. They gave me a new date, came and installed service, I am a thankful customer. I still wouldn't run my business like that, but it sure is nice to have Internet.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Gray Line Kauai Movie Tour

We spend winters on Kauai and it has been years since we took a movie tour. Kathy booked us with Gray Line, our guide was Kaleo. It was really fun. I know a bunch of the movies that were filmed here, but not all of them obviously. Lunch is included, we stopped at Tahiti Nui and had a bit of time to wander around Hanalei. If you like fresh tumeric drinks I highly recommend the virgin "Puff the Magic Dragon" $6.00 for a refreshing healthy drink. Or you can get it with a shot of Tito's, somehow that doesn't work for me mentally.

We enjoyed meeting the tourists, they had diverse backgrounds and it was fun learning their life stories. The handout included a list of the movies, need to take some time to find the one that featured a giant alligator running amok at the Coco Palms.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Your vehicle factory coverage has expired phone call

Received multiple a phone calls from 1 (808) 278-5410 and 5409.  They knew my name, address, vehicle.

Selling mechanical coverage on my car. Initial caller put me through to a "coverage agent". She asked if the car was running, said I qualify, and then put me through to an "authorization agent".

She had three plans for 5 year coverage, 75k miles.
1) $2500 out the door with a one time payment.
2) $495 down, $660 per year, 3,300 savings to pay in full,
3) (most popular),  $395 down, 15 monthly payments $194.00

Coverage pro-rated refundable
Engine, transmission, electrical, the works are covered.
Any dealership can do repairs.
Deductible $100 per event
Towing, no limit, even over $100, rental car, roadside service covered

I asked, multiple times, who is the coverage with "National Administrative", I am sure there is such a thing, I could not find them.

When I said I had been warned that people that made you decide today are often scams, she said, "Sir, if this was a scam, I wouldn't be making over $100k/year selling it."

Call Kauai police non-emergency number. They could not do anything, did not know who to report it to.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Salish Lodge by Kathy Northcutt

Our teenage puppy, Yogi, was the last to hop aboard as we departed for our first visit to the Salish Lodge.  Hues of watermelon, pomegranate, Chianti, orange marmalade and papaya poured down tree tips and did so with more gusto as we increased elevation. 

Cody met us at the threshold of the Salish Lodge.  He loaded our baggage cart with aplomb.  We settled in and headed out to see the falls. On the way out we met two   staff members were headed for our room with treats for Yogi in hand.  :  )   Thank-you, Lucita!

Yogi knows the command, “Go to your mat”, and he likes having a space of his own.
I photographed him in front of the fire on his newly claimed mat, and he was the picture of bliss.  He deeply enjoyed exploring the courtyard outside.  There were more scents to be absorbed than a human could imagine in the sweet space out back.

Two wonderful managers at the desk helped me with a spontaneous question.
Would it be possible to upload photos to a local drugstore and get them printed while we’re here?   A sweet young lady who likes dogs got on the phone to Bartell’s while the gentleman at the front desk and I chatted.  Yogi, I shared, looked so comfy on his Salish Lodge blanket, lounging by the fire that I had to take a picture of it.  It sounded like a fun memory to share with the lodge.

Two of the quotes really touched me.  I printed extra copies of these to send them as postcards. One was an excerpt from a poem by Thomas Hardy entitled “Under The Waterfall”  (1914):

The other was a quote from a distant relative,  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. :

The spray from the falls was more lively and far reaching than I’d remembered, but it was summer when we first came here with Stephen’s parents. This was the first time I’d seen how spectacular the colors of fall are up here, and the party’s just getting started. I wonder when it peaks.  It was soon after our arrival that I took a photo of Stephen and Yogi in bright sunlight.  I wondered why Stephen wasn’t smiling until I developed the photo:  Stephen and Yogi were getting drenched by the spray from the falls.

Here was my first glimpse of the Snoqualmie Falls in fall colors:

We explored Snoqualamie’s old town, took a photo of the giant tree trunk by the train station, and ate outdoors in the sunshine at the Mexican place, Rio Bravo, with Yogi at our feet.  The proprietor takes great pride in his food, and it was delicious. 

After another round of photographing the falls, we settled in for the night around a roaring fire, compliments of the Salish Lodge.  They use real firewood!  We hadn’t enjoyed a wood fire in a fireplace since our days in Fredericksburg.

Stephen sampled the Salish Lodge’s breakfast offering with a sumptuous meal and said it was quite the feast.

We headed out to Issaquah for our next adventure, and had a delicious lunch, outdoors, in the sunshine, at Finn.  Stephen had the Halibut cheeks and I had wild caught mountain trout.  Yogi had a taste of trout skin over rice when we were all finished.
Our waiter also works in the kitchen, so he was extremely knowledgeable and helpful when it came to navigating the menu, and safely steered me to the gluten free options, including offering to modify menu items to make the selection gluten free.  He also understood big dogs; Yogi met a new friend.

Old Towne Issaquah was a delightful blend of modern and quaint.  The Chopin school of Music, a beautifully preserved Shell gas station with pumps from a bygone era, lovely parks, music, art, curio shops, all in one downtown strip that we took in while walking.  We took photos along the way to share with our neighbor, Mandy, who grew up there.

There are words inscribed on the steps to and from Snoqualmie Falls, one word per step at the bottom of each set of stairs.  They read:
Rolling, plunging, pouring, roaring, streaming, meandering, cascading, rumbling, tumbling, sparkling, rushing, gushing, whirling, swirling, twirling, breathtaking, from top to bottom.

Stephen took my camera bag while I ventured back into the country store, where I picked up  Snoqualmie Strange: A Most Peculiar Hiking Guide: Volume I : Mist Gate, by Jim St. James, "warden and protector of the Snoqualmie Territory.  The Country Store has great greeting cards with vintage photos for a reasonable price, 2.99.  My favorite was a quote from Reba McEntire:  “ To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.” The store manager put the charge on our room bill; she was most helpful.  

Back at the lodge we had another quiet evening by the fire.  We’d planned on going to dinner together, but Yogi wasn’t having it.  One parent gone for a bit?  That alone elicited a harrumph from him, but both of us gone?  We said “Wait”, then left and listened in the hallway. We tried that twice and gave up.  In the end, we ordered room service.  Stephen ordered a spicy Italian pizza from the Attic's wood fired hearth oven, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the Taylor Shellfish Kusshi oysters.  

What a glorious vacation this has been with sparkling Autumn weather!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dinner - The Petersons - Playlist

NOTES: 1) Lactose and Gluten Free 2) They want to play on the lake on arrival, so nothing will be time sensitive. 3) Due to "table density", we will go with large plates, serve family style

Anti-Pasta, COLD 3 kinds of pasta cooked with caraway, stirred with star anise, garlic, salt, olive oil. I will add some veggies, olives, meats closer to time and recheck spicing, (pasta eats spice)

Sides: 1) Rice pilaf, HOT, served with first two mains. 2) Falafel ROOM TEMP on a plate. 3) Hummus, COLD 4) Panko/Rosemary encrusted Zucchini, HOT

FIRST: Pollo Puttanesca, Maiale Pancetta
SECOND Souvlaki, Maiale di Funghi w Marzanos

NOTE: pull plates, put out dessert plates
Flourless Carob Date Raisin "brownie"

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dinner - Brent and Peggy

Playlist July 20, 2017
Pupus: dips and dippers, (Trader Joe Veggie Chips)
Shrimp gumbo dip
Chicken lime cheese dip

Initial table setting: small plates with small bowls - load bowls in kitchen
Bean and mix grill soup. Serve broth from kitchen. Pass bowl around with grilled meat, (fillet mignon and sausage) Remove bowls when people are finished, leave plates.

Fruit Salad in dish at table self serve on plates. Remove plates and wash when people are finished.

Large plates load in kitchen
Backyard rub pork over greens
Potato patties with yogurt/Parmesan topping, put extras in dish to pass around
Hummus balls with green enchilada sauce?

Dessert - small plates, load in kitchen:
Brownies with vanilla yogurt + date honey drizzle + dust with nutmeg

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Duracell Batteries Leak

This is not the result of scientific testing, but in both houses I have noticed that my flashlights with Duracell batteries are getting ruined by leaking batteries. The crazy thing is that they are all Duracells. The batteries in my supply cabinet that leak and make a huge mess are all Duracells. I am very tired of the white powder from a battery leak, tired of feeling my skin burn even after washing with soap.

I don't know if it will be any better, but we plan to go to Costco after church tomorrow and I think I will try the Kirkland brand; probably cannot do worse.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Goodbye Kauai, Hello Seattle/Tacoma

When we fly to Kauai on Halloween last year, we expected to be back December 03, 2016. However, while we were there a piece of my foot fell off, (how strange is that!) and I was grounded from flying. Oh well, stuck in Hawaii, what a burden to bear :)

I healed, we rescheduled, and flew back on Alaska Airlines , flight 816, 27 June, 2017. Nice flight, bit of a delay taking off because the LIH airport tower closed and we had to be remote controlled from Oahu, but we made it. Not a bad flight, I watched the Independence Day sequel which was predictable and then Collateral Beauty with Will Smith. I am glad I saw then, doubt I will watch either again.

There were no porters at Seatac at 7:00 A.M. to help us with out dog, Yogi, in his kennel. A baggage handler came to our rescue and helped us get to the street. Starline Limo was ready and reliable as always to get us home.

Kathy was able to stay up, but I crashed for a few hours after we got home. Then I got up and started to work. The the best of my knowledge, I am caught up with all SANS.EDU work as of 29 June. Today, I went to the foot doctor in Tacoma and we had skipped lunch to leave with all the traffic of a Friday on a 4th of July weekend. Yup there was traffic, but we got there on time and they were running late. After, I got my foot inspected and adjusted, we were hungry and went to Asado Steak House. Ymmm, we had a Happy Hour feast, (bar food is 1/2 off and it is the best bar food I have ever experienced). Kathy had two skewers one shrimp and the other scallops. I had the Asado Burger, their mix of ground beef and house chorizo. I had tried something similar at Lava Lava and it was OK, not memorable, but Asado knocked it out of the part. I also got a lamb meatball skewer. As you might guess neither of us could finish it, so we got boxes for later.

After late lunch/early dinner, we went to Trader Joes, (the one on Bridgeway). What could possibly be in Washington worth leaving Kauai. Well, we can start with Trader Joes. Their impulse buy dark chocolate peanut butter cups for $.99 are one example. I have had two while working on this blog post, though Kathy swooped in and grabbed a piece. So, we are back home both from Kauai and Tacoma, have started catching up with our neighbors. I am looking forward to sleeping in a bit late tomorrow, nothing drastic, just not getting up before the sun. I learned about the concept of SILS, (Sleep In Late Saturday) from my sister and we have adopted the tradition here as well.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

SPAM: I wrote you, you didn't reply, so I am writing again

This is an example of a persistent SPAM.

Hello Stephen -
I've reached out to you a few times without reply. I completely understand that you are really busy, but because I haven't heard back, I am worried that I may have offended you in some way!
I would love to show you how PerformYard simplifies employee performance and goal management, but I also don't want to make a pest of myself! 
We haven't connected yet which I believe means:
  1. You are not interested because you already have a solution in place that employees love and is not a drag on the HR team.
  2. You are interested, but are not quite ready to commit to anything...
  3. You are ready to lock in a 15-20 minute discussion this week or next.
Could you respond with 1, 2, or 3, so we can get something on the calendar or I can get out of your hair? 
Name Withheld

What, not, Where

There was an interesting post on Linkedin recently:

Considering making a move to a different province in the next half year.
What do you think, where should I head? 
Where is the best place in Canada for Cybersecurity and Information Security or will be in the next few years? What cities should I be looking at besides Vancouver and Toronto?
Any advice would be much appreciated. =)

And there were a number of replies, including mine, that dutifully talked about this place and that. I was lucky enough to get a reply back from the author.

And then it hit me. I have been part of a fairly expensive class, ($5k), on what are you going to do with the rest of your life. Apologies to my friends who graciously allowed me to talk their ears off with this question. But one of the HUGE takeaways from the class was how geography doesn't matter. Remember the movie Pretty Woman?
Vivian: What would it be like?
Edward Lewis: It would get you off of the street.
Vivian: That's just geography. 
In the course I heard from a number of people and we did a number of readings from people that found when they moved from here to there, both their problems and their skills came with them. This is not to say geography does not matter at all; it does. But it is not the major driver for employment in 2017 for "knowledge workers". To take on the question:
Where is the best place in Canada for Cybersecurity and Information Security
The answer is probably "at home". Here is Fast Company and Forbes take on the topic, you have to decide for yourself. Kathy and I have been working from home for 20 years and we have enough irons in the fire at this point that no single entity can change that. 

Anyone that knows me well has heard the story of taking a friend to the hospital 8 years ago for a procedure and forgetting my smartphone at home on the charger. Now what do I do? Turns out they had a lending library so I grabbed a copy of Alex Toffler's Future Shock, (1970). Here is a story about some of the things he got right, (hint telecommunications was one of them). The bottom line for employers is that many of the best and brightest are going to leave near a beach, or a lake, or somewhere else they consider desirable . . . then we will consider whether to do work for you.

Social interaction! Ah yes, that is important to most of us. There are tons of scholarly articles on telecommunications and social interaction, here is one. Let me spare you the pain or reading them. I just finished a Skype call with my boss. I fly next week to Seattle, one of the world's tech centers. I just had dinner with Jim Manico, one of the top minds in secure coding, who - get this - lives on the island of Kauai. And most importantly, God blessed me with a fantastic wife and dog. No wonder I smile all the time.

I do not know that I could survive and thrive in a world without coffee, but I know I can go the rest of my life without working in a sea of cubicles.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kapaa Safeway - Fried Chicken Drumstick $1.79

I was hungry, Kathy wanted to stop at a grocery store on the way home from Lihue. I have been craving fried chicken, so I agreed, happily and wholeheartedly.

Service was great, I bought two and brought them home. Do you remember being a kid on Sundays when they had dinner after church and some kind soul brought in a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  And . . . the adults were so dumb they said, "children first", hehe, no chicken for you oh last shall be first!

I brought the chicken home. Fired up Google news. Started to eat and saw the cost. $3.58 for two drumsticks, $1.79 a piece. Good thing I didn't get a bucket to take to church.

Attacking Trump is not enough - Washington Post article

WP reports, "“Attacking Trump is not enough,” a senior Democratic aide said late Tuesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly about strategy."

Whether you are liberal or conservative, identify with Republicans or Democrats, I hope this article makes you take notice.

1) “Attacking Trump is not enough,” I am glad to hear that. For starters something like “Attacking the sitting president is not enough,” would show a longer view. In the past presidents have been Republicans and Democrats, (and other long gone parties), and that is the most likely future.
2) "condition of anonymity to speak frankly about strategy". Have you noticed we, the public, are being fed a lot of anonymous quotes?

What ever happened with all the money that was spent on the election in Georgia, isn't really my business. I do not live and vote in Georgia. I need trustworthy information about the people running for office in Washington State. I wrote my representative yesterday, one useful fact in my next vote will partly depend on whether or not I get a reply :)

And as a free tip to the Democratic party. The Washington Post, (my first pay check as an author was a WP check), is right. Attacking Trump is not enough. And to try to be even handed, Republicans, Attacking Pelosi is not enough either if you want my vote.

So if you are a political strategist trying to get this undecided voter's vote, here are four tips in no particular order just to get you started, (if you go out and listen to people there are probably more):

  • Slow the Twitter thing down, democracy cannot be governed well 140 characters at a time.
  • I understand money is tight, but try not to build your platforms on policies that are abusive to children, kapuna, (older people), and the handicapped.
  • Ease up on the sleazy, sneaky behaviors. Have your meetings in the open. That sneaky style of politics got so bad in Hawaii, that we have a sunshine law.
  • Even though many of our African American brothers and sisters probably immigrated illegally, (not many passports on slave ships or so I am told), today most folks you meet were born in the USA, Springsteen style. We should find ways to get this shooting to kill black people thing back under control.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I just sent a note to U.S. Representative Reichert

This is what it said. I continue to try to be as politically neutral as possible consider the candidates and the issues and am not loyal to any party - but damn, somebody needs to start putting control rods in the nuthouse we call Congress.

Sir, I know you are in the House of Representatives, but I am hoping you are in communication with some senators. I have been healthy all my life, but took a fall in Hawaii this year that required ambulance transport. Till then, health care was not a priority for me. Now, it has been educational to say the least. BTW, I am fine now, all body parts are operational, and fly home next week.  
Politically, I am undecided, I try to vote for the most qualified person, but to be honest, in the past six months have started to move away from Republican positions even though I am caucasian and fairly tech-wealthy. Those presidential tweets are a bit scary. 
BTW my wife was a special ed teacher for years, thanks for supporting IDEA. 
All I am asking in terms of health care is a chance for folks like the CBO and insurance to weigh in. A chance to have the issues discussed. If you could make a phone call or two or send an email to those in power, I would be appreciative.
And, Representative Reichert wrote me back, he gets points for that!:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding efforts to reform our nation’s health care system.  Health care is a deeply personal issue, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your stories and concerns with me. Over the past several years, I have been committed to fixing our current health care system to increase choice, reduce costs on Americans, and allow families to access the care they need. I have also remained committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities, including children on Medicaid, people with preexisting conditions, and older Americans. These have been and continue to be my priorities for health care reform. Unfortunately, the revised version of the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) that the House considered on Thursday, May 4th fell short and did not provide the essential protections I needed to support it. While I did not vote for this legislation, the American Health Care Act passed the House by a vote of 217-213. It now awaits consideration by the U.S. Senate.  With all of the political banter surrounding this bill, it can be difficult to remember that this decision ultimately comes down to people. We need to know our loved ones can get and afford the care they need, regardless of age, income, or health status.  And we need to know that changes made by our government, even to a failing system, will not leave our friends, families, and neighbors worse off. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fix what is failing and make our current system work better for American families.   Thank you again for contacting me. Your interest and input is valued and appreciated.  I encourage you to continue to stay in touch with me as Congress works on legislation to improve our health care system.  
David G. ReichertMember of Congress

Monday, May 15, 2017

Breakfast at Lava Lava (Twice)

This is the Lava Lava Beach Club on Kauai, 420 Papaloa RD. If you are ever making reservations be sure and get the right one. Yesterday, Mother's Day, we stood behind a couple that was sure they had reservations, and did, but at the Big Island restaurant.

The cost is about the same as any other breakfast place, but the atmosphere is more fun if you are not in a hurry, (they tend to be busy). Kathy favors the "Surfin Pig Omelet" and I have tried the Hapa Moco and Eggs Benedict with pork, both were great.  Kathy tends to order coffee and our first time there when we paid the check they gave here a cup to go. Our server yesterday, Katreesh, did not make the offer.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Joe Dado, fraternity death at Penn State, when will they learn?

Joe Dado was a freshman at Penn. State. He engaged in drinking massive quantities of alcohol at a frat party and turned up missing the next morning. He was found, dead, in a stairwell, an alcohol related death.

There was legal action, "Two students, (John “Jack” A. Townsend and Jennifer E. Clifford) and two fraternities, (one of the fraternities, Alpha Tau Omega was found guilty of unlawful acts related to liquor, malt and brewed beverages, and a court sentenced the fraternity to 70 days of community service and a $500 fine). are charged with misdemeanors, accused of providing Penn State freshman Joseph Dado with beer, shots of vodka and whiskey and marijuana before the 18-year-old was "pointed in the right direction" of his dorm and began to walk home alone."

I  think the two students managed to get assigned to the ARD program, (it is hard to tell, the records seem to have vanished off the Internet). "If they can prove themselves, then they can have their records expunged," Shubin said of the ARD program. "It's largely successful." Contributing to the death of an 18 year old and then having your record expunged is good legal support if you can get it.

There was talk of a "serious change" at Penn. State.  "“Joe Dado’s death had an impact on the student body in a way that we had not seen before,” Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers told the Collegian in September 2010. “It made [students] think about excessive drinking, being responsible for themselves and being responsible for others.”

But did things actually change? I could point out falls from windows and other events, but the one that is in the news right now is Timothy Piazza.  At least this time, perhaps the records of those charged with involuntary manslaughter will not vanish. Most of the stories do not mention the charged by name, here is one that does. The story is already starting to sink, after all, how can it compete with the latest Trump tweet? And Penn State did not even send a representative to Timothy's funeral, (apparently they could not spare someone from their 26k employees), though they did attend his vigil. So, I guess the way the family put it is true, "The parents of a Penn State University student who fatally fell down stairs during an alcohol-fueled event described their son's death as "torture" and said the fraternity brothers involved "treated our son as road kill."

6/20/17 The Piazza case is working through the court system. With incoming students the incident has had some effect, at least for now.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A reading chair

I got injured and had to go to the hospital.  While I was there I caught a nasty superbug, c.diff, and had to stay 12 days. They let me out, but the deal was I had to stay in isolation. Kathy, Harry and Keely fixed up the ADA bathroom downstairs really nice.

And they put a chair in there, a cross between a "normal" chair and as easy chair. Plenty of padding, but not huge. When you have c.diff, at first you want to sleep all the time, (between trips to the bathroom). But as you get better, you sleep less. The hospital gave me drugs, Adavan, but I didn't want to use them. so I started reading. Ended up reading the New Testament from the John Maxwell Leadership Bible. I really came to appreciate the chair.

I am well now and back upstairs. I have been thinking about a reading place. I tried outdoors, we have a teak chase lounge from Indonesia and I can hear and see the ocean. Pretty cool, but the tradewinds play havoc with the book pages. For now I have settled on the leather love seat we watch movies from. Right now, I am reading the Psalms. I just finished the Ascents, which are my favorite Psalms I think. It is a good location for reading and the lights are not bad. The love seat has seen better days and when the time comes, I will certainly prioritize a place for reading. I have found mine, have you?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Rep. Shuster, your country is counting on you

Regardless of where you fall on the Democrat/Republican/Conservative/Liberal scale, if you are going to fly in our airlines there is a name you should be aware of: Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Perhaps more than any other person in the USA, he has the power to modify the amount of pain air travel inflicts upon passengers.

Needless to say there have been high profile cases recently, Doctors being bloodied, passengers hit with strollers, families with toddlers illegally being removed from planes to accommodate oversold seats and these are just the ones we know about. How many others have suffered in silence?

"Shuster, [Chairman of the oversight committee], told The Hill that he went into the hearings with an open mind, hoping to gain insight into what Congress should do, if anything, to try to make flying a little more pleasant. The committee is working on a major aviation bill, and Shuster made clear he's willing to consider customer service components of it, if necessary."

Shuster's own words give me some hope, "I used to own a business.  And one of the fundamental rules of any successful business is that the customer comes first.
So something is clearly broken when we see passengers being treated the way some of them have been treated on recent flights.  Regardless of the contractual relationship between the airline and the ticket holder – it’s just common decency and common sense that you don’t treat a person that way, let alone a paying customer."

Of course, as the Washington Post reports, he is the same Shuster that said, "“I don’t believe in overburdening our businesses,” Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) told the [airline] executives, saying only that Congress would act “the next time” if they don’t police themselves this time."

According to the Economist, "WHEN politicians feel they must summon industry bosses and implore them to treat customers better, it is a sure sign that the market is not working as it should."

Schear family: What if there was no such thing as YouTube?

If a tree falls in a forrest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound? - Zen Koan

I watched the Schear family video with a sense of horror when a family with two toddlers was illegally kicked off the plane. The airlines are out of control. I always thought Delta was pretty cool, but they need to train their people in Delta's and the FAA's policy WRT younger children and carseats. Yikes.

If it wasn't filmed would any one care?

Coomey makes me nauseous

If you know me, you know I am not political. I didn't really like Clinton or Trump as presidential candidates, but you vote the best you can.

“It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election,” he told the senators. “But honestly, it wouldn’t change the decision.”

This op-ed piece says it all. Coomey altered the election.  He made the FBI a political entity at a time when their trust is at a low.

And he is a loose cannon, what he did with that announcement violated DOJ policy and they later filed a complaint with the Office of Professional Responsibility. Apparently that is his nature.

Like every American, I am a bit squeamish about Russian interference in our presidential election.  But in this Internet world, we either can or can't do anything about that. However, we can, and should, fire Coomey.

It appears that Mr. Coomey has played a bit fast and loose with some of the facts in the case. UPDATE: 5/9/17 President Trump dismisses Coomey.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Review: Maxwell Leadership Bible

The Maxwell Leadership Bible by John C. Maxwell

So why this book? The graduate school I work for The SANS Technology Institute has an assignment on transformational leadership. I have always been a bit worried we would run out of topics. After reading this book I worry no longer. It turns out Mr. Maxwell has a full understanding of leadership and uses the stories and characters in the Bible to point them out. He also has a framework or two including qualities of leaders and irrefutable laws of leadership.

It is a bit distracting moving from Bible text to Mr. Maxwell's call out boxes, but after a while you adapt.

I did not read the entire Bible for this review. In the old testament I read Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah and the entire new testament. I was mostly satisfied with his treatment of transformational leadership with the exception of Paul's letter  to the church in Rome. Mr. Maxwell tried to be a bit of a study Bible, so both that and the leadership component suffered.

Conclusion: This was an eyeopener to me. There is a lot left to say about transformational leadership. When I get some time I would like to choose some very famous fiction novel and see if I can apply Mr. Maxwell's approach