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