Saturday, May 27, 2017

Box Turtles

Walking home from the neighbors tonight (May 27, 2017) I spotted a beautiful box turtle laying eggs.  It is near the woods but in the sun. Unfortunately it is also a path well traveled by my family.

I returned and took some photos. I used the longer lens in hopes of minimizing any disturbance and I hope that she finished what she was doing.  When I checked a little later she had moved off the nest but I couldn't tell if she had already started to cover eggs or had moved away without laying any. It was just barely dusk so a little early to be done but who knows.

I will look for the nest in the morning and mark the spot so we walk around. Of course even then, survival is highly unlikely with all the snakes, coons, possums, and coyotes in the neighborhood.

I am not sure if this is the same one I saw in the backyard last weekend.

Meanwhile here are some photos.






She may have been looking to use some of the warmth from the carport but the dirt is pretty hard any closer.  Even where she selected, I suspect she was only able to dig the hole today because of how much rain we have had lately.  If the little ones survive, they may have to go further than expected to find water.



-SML

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Red Hat Summit 2017

A quick recap with self reminders of session links.

Sunday night was dinner with a couple of other instructors. Always a blast.

Monday night was the Ansible (Red Hat Management) Social. The venue (Coppersmith) was really cool. Their description is as a vintage warehouse but it looked to me like it had once been a firehouse.  The kitchen was in a pair of old food trucks welded together. And there was draft cider.

Tuesday was the start of the main activities. It was great to see the community groups in the center of things instead of a separate room like recent years. Also Training and Certification had various booths on the main floor instead of upstairs by the labs. For the print your own shirt, they added a RHCP option but I stuck with the skyline. I have enough other items with the RHCP logo on it.

I am not a fan of conferences in the Seaport district - the hotel and food options (for me and my allergies) are not as good as the older parts of town - but I understand the event the outgrown the Hynes. The extra room did result in a more spread out expo hall that actually appeared smaller than past years. Lines for sessions were also a bit smaller. I never heard the full numbers but I got the impression there was lower attendance as well. I also did not hear as much of an international flavor as previous year.

Tuesday evening I made an appearance at the Containers and Cloud party at Legal Test Kitchen (yummy shrimp!) before heading over to the RHCP party at Harpoon Brewery. They also had a draft craft cider.

Wednesday night we bailed on the Red Sox game. It was cold and windy and I wasn't sure what I would be able to eat. We went to Legal Seafood (again) and made it an early night. On Thursday at Summit I was able to pick up the ball caps with the Fenway logo on them.  There were a couple of other Boston themed giveaways on the expo floor that I was able to score on the final day as well. Specifically, a really nice glass with a Boston map.

The plane up on Saturday morning was about 1/3 hatters and the Friday morning plane home was more like half hatters.  We were all ready to sleep for the weekend.  I did a lot more hallway track this year than in the past but I did catch a few security related sessions.

Sessions:
Keynotes and general sessions were live streamed and are available on the Red Hat Summit YouTube channel.

Red Hat Security Roadmap included some information on upstream projects that Red Hat is focusing on and contributing to including TPM (2.0 and virtual), PKCS#11, NBDE, USB Guard. They also mentioned the ongoing work with OpenSCAP and a new site for container health index.

The Fury and the Sound: A mock disaster security vulnerability fable was a fun panel type presentation which walked through a mock vulnerability with reps from project managements, infosec, exec office, and IT.

Automating security compliance for physical, virtual, cloud, and container environments with Red Hat CloudForms, Red Hat Satellite, and Ansible Tower by Red Hat included some demos of using CloudForms to launch OpenSCAP scans and provide remediation with playbooks located in Ansible Tower.

-SML

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

In honor of International Women's Day, I would like to thank some of the allies that have helped me live a life doing something I love and getting paid for it.

First and most of all is my Dad.

  • A man who taught me to make pancakes and made my school lunches. 
  • A man that sat with me (and cleaned up) when I was sick at 2am. 
  • An engineer who taught me to love logic puzzles. 
  • A business man who showed by example how to manage people. All kinds of people. In the realm of manufacturing and quality control.
  • A man who encouraged me and supported me when I was told directly by my teenage boy classmates and even indirectly by one of my teachers that "girls can't pay drums". 
My Mom also supported me and told me I could do anything, be anything that I wanted to be. She was a biology, pre-med major so there was no shortage of science knowledge in our home.

I was lucky to have some great role models in high school as well. A biology and life science teacher was a favorite. Also strong female role models teaching Calculus and Physics. Oh, and a band director that encouraged me to audition for several regional and state honor bands (several of which picked me).

My first full time job had its struggles but I can think of a couple of people that stood up for me, eventually.

As I moved into technical training I found most resistance came from students at the beginning of class.  There is a specific look on their faces as they walk into the classroom on day one and wonder what this chick can teach them about Linux. After 20 years I don't see that very often anymore.  I like to think that it is a good sign for the world in general. I never had a problem proving myself before the end of class - at least for the class in general - and for those few students that just didn't like me for no clear reason, the managers handling those complaints always backed me up.

Since I have been an independent consultant I have had the privilege of working with a few really great companies.  Red Hat, Cloudera, and /training/etc stand out with supportive environments for diversity, including "Women in Tech".  My thanks to several curriculum team members, several fellow instructors, and most of the scheduling and quality managers for their support over the years.

If I name names, I will miss somebody really important. But here are a few that stand out for specific events. Mom and Dad, Amy, Jay, Steve, Joe, Henry, Randy, George, Will,  Susan, Tom, Mike, Nate, Mark, Paul, Wade, Marc, Chris, Matt, and a bunch of others too: Thank You!  And all the other just all around good people that I have had the opportunity to work with or chat with or learn from or follow: Thank You!  And anyone else who has been a good citizen of a diverse community: Thank You!

-SML



Monday, December 19, 2016

RIP my sweet Cleo

Cleo: July 14, 1998 - Dec 19, 2016


Cleo came into my world as a playful kitten. The most playful of the bunch. She (with the white paws) and her litter mate Toni were born to an Abyssinian show cat that had gotten together with the neighborhood Tabby. A friend of a friend knew I was looking for some housemates and well... you know.


Of course she loved homemade catnip toys and playing with rope and laser pointers.  She preferred high perches including the top of the kitchen cabinets.

Then there was lying in the sun or curling in a warm bed.







I do not have as many recent photos. She either comes at the camera and they are a blur or she is asleep.  This one is from earlier this month as she kept me company in my home office.


Her sister, Toni, is still with me.  Currently curled up under my comforter taking her half out of the very middle of a queen sized bed. Its just us now, kid.

-SML

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Conferences 2016 (recaps and reminders)

Note to readers: This is primarily for reference for myself and for the reporting of CPEs for certifications I hold.

2016 Red Hat Summit

The RHCP party at the ballgame was awesome!
Full Schedule

Two talks that I specifically took notes in:

1 Hour Red Hat Summit - Slide presentation
Matthew Micene
Greg DeKoenigsberg
Lots of cool stuff!!! Where is the video?

Red Hat security roadmap
1 Hour Red Hat Summit - Slide presentation
Josh Bressers
Slides available for download.


Red Hat Summit 2017 is back in Boston May 2-4, 2017
[December 2, 2016: Last day to submit a proposal]


2016 Raleigh InfoSeCon - Friday October 21st

I volunteered this year which makes for a long day but I did sit in a few good talks.
I was laughing as the "Cyber Threats and Trends 2016 (FBI)" talked about potential problems from Maria just as the DDOS news was being updated with the connection.

2016 All Things Open - October 26 - 27

Great two days. And spectacular weather. I wish I would have battled the traffic to get a T-shirt from early registration and see Totty at the pre-party.   
With the increase in attendance, the rooms are still packed even with more sessions to choose from and lots of conflicts. Can't wait until a sponsor steps up to allow at least some sessions to be recorded and viewed later. I did find a few talks had been recorded. One on the Asian Penguins club was well done. The other on encrypted data in mysql was too hard to hear to be useful. (Please use the mic when being recorded even if those in the room can hear you without amplification).
  • The keynotes were great. 
  • I attended technical talks on Spark and Vault. 
  • I had some fun with Blinky Flashy Things, Security with Tolkien, and listening to Bob Young talk about startups.
  • I now have three new (signed) books to read.
  • I feel less guilty about not writing as much as I want to since I now know I am just stuck in the reading/research phase of writing according to Rikki (with the help of Stephen King).
Looking forward to next year. ATO and InfoSeCon are the same week in October so that will help my schedule some.  I need to decide on something to talk about...

-SML

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Strata Sessions and Events

Sessions

The choices of session at Stata Hadoop (NYC) this year were plentiful. I was not surprised by the number of talks around getting value out of data (analysis) but I was also happy with the number of talks that fall in my admin category or otherwise discuss how the services work. I would have preferred a few more categorized with security tag. The developer talks on the newly announced projects - RecordService and Kudu specifically - should have been in much bigger rooms. People had to be turned away.

Lack of food options for those with allergies

The Strata Hadoop conference sponsors provide food through the venue for lunch and expo socials. There was a distinct lack of allergen labels on food and limited choices. For a registration that asked about food allergies or preferences, there was not much choice for gluten free,kosher, or vegan. There were some vegetarian options.

The morning keynote area had some fruit (apples, oranges, bananas) with the supplied coffee. Other breaks that I saw did not have anything I could eat - lots of pastries in the morning and some rich and sugary treats in the afternoon. The evening Booth Crawl event was as expected with mostly beer and wine but the food was also not at all allergy friendly. Mostly I saw pasta, cheese plates, and Mexican style chips and dip. I did find a bag a chips to eat and I saw a hotdog stand (but didn't risk it). I also found a corner with some mixed drinks.

The first lunch had some options but not well marked, I had to find a supervisor and ask what I could eat and that was pretty limited. OSCON did a much better job in Portland by providing a separate serving area in addition to clear labeling of gluten free and vegan options (I'm still waiting for dairy free labeling to reach similar frequency). Lunch on the second day was a complete disappointment. It was soup and sandwiches and even the salad had croutons. No gluten free options at all. What is the point of asking people if they want GF at registration if the information is just ignored anyway?

Off site events

I did not make it to Data Dash.  It was a rain or shine event and it was raining but more importantly it was dark. I really am solar powered - early morning and late night events are most often slept through.  There was also the issue of timing. To make it to the event and back to the hotel for a shower, I would not have made it to the keynotes.  I am glad I attended that set of keynotes.

Data after Dark - High Line Hop was a combination of an off-site evening party and a pub crawl.  At other conferences I have attended these two events are separate with the pub crawl following the evening event. That means the pup crawls usually start well after my body gives up and send me "home" to sleep. Since it was a main event, each sponsors provided some combination of drinks, food,and swag. Also at each event was a wristband - collect enough to turn in at the main conference the next day for a hoodie. Initially I was told, get all 7 but later I saw a sign that said get 5 of the 7. I actually popped into all the venues. I am sure it would have been more fun if I was here with a crowd of people I already knew - or if I had any of that type of social skills at all. Still, after a nice walk to the area along the High Line, it was an opportunity to see the inside of some popular NYC hostpots:

The three bars at The Park are interconnected. I entered the Red Room first and found it to be kinda dark. . There are also several small changes in levels so that means step down in the dark.  Seems like a bad combo for bar.  Of these three, it was also the most crowded with everyone hanging right around the bar area at the entrance. After winding through Red Room, The Garden is open and light. This feels like a really nice place to hang out on nice evening. There was also some food provided but it was more pasta so not for me. Finally, there is a steep metal stairs up to The Penthouse which is back into a darker venue, though not as dark as the Red Room. There were some fancy looking deserts provided here.

After exiting The Park venues, I headed next door to Avenue. This venue has a couple of floors. I did not go upstairs but was told there was a second bar up there in addition to some seating. It was very loud and I scrammed fast.

Originally I was going to pop into the 4 that were together, then stop by the Cloudera sponsored venue and head out.  I'm glad I decided to keep exploring. I made a quick walk through Gaslight. I think this would be cool if I could eat pizza. I stayed a while at Catch NYC. This venue was sponsored by Bloomberg and was the "classy" venue. It was also the least populated while I was there. The had some food out but it all appeared to have dairy. We were upstairs and could watch the kitchen at work. I saw a few plates headed downstairs. I think it might be a place that could cater to my needs for a sit down meal.  The music here was also a bit loud but I sat and watched the world go by for a bit.

Finally, I headed to Tao. Very crowded, very loud, very bar scene.I wandered through and then tried to squeeze back out. Another group came in, saw the crowd,and turned around breaking a path back out for all of us.  I suggested they try Catch if they wanted a bit more room.

Overall, I logged many steps and my legs were very tired.

-SML

Back in the Big Apple

I made sure my NYC trip this month had a bit of extra time for exploring. I wanted to look for some "small space" bedroom furniture ideas for a specific project. I really need to get motivated to look for some new clothes and I need to find a new backpack that I like. It is Fall, so still warm enough to wander outside and window shop, look for free concerts, and generally people watch.

Day 1 ended with mixed feelings. I did get a doughnut at BabyCakes - now just known as Erin McKenna's Bakery. As I remember, everything is too sweet but that did not stop me! I walked it off though strolling along Spring Street across town. I didn't find the type of shops I was looking for but it was a nice, if hot, walk.

I also got checked into the conference. Glancing around I saw more business casual than Tshirts. Even more than a RH Summit event. Not sure what I am getting myself into here - I must be getting too used to "geek casual".


The 7 subway line is being expanded. The stop near the convention center is brand new. At first glance it is very different from other NYC subways. It has an open, covered, entrance way that is clearly marked. It is modern and deep with multiple escalators. It reminds me more of DC stations. Not to be disappointed, at the bottom of the long escalator, there is still a final level change to the platform - and that transition is all stairs, even if there are many more stairways, each of which are more even and open than the old NYC stations.

At the moment there is only one entrance at street level and 8 escalators - 2 up, 2 down in each of 2 "tunnels" beyond the fare turnstiles. All of this is at one end of the platform. The construction areas at street level show another entrance being built a block away that I am guessing is at the other end of the platform. That new entrance will give slightly better access to the convention center as well by being both a bit closer and with one less major road to cross.  I do not know if there will be any direct access to the convention center. It would be but I am not sure how possible it is.

The Whole Foods  was busy all week, as usual. The one on 23rd street, near the hotel I stay at, has no seating. In the evenings, the crowds and chaos is disturbing. With a conference instead of a class, I was able to experience the mid-week, mid-morning quiet and also the 10pm ease of checkout. The lack of seating is what sent me to Columbus Circle for my late afternoon meal. Since I opted for hydrating fluids with my salad, I ate out in the modern main eating area. Maybe sometime I'll eat back in the pub. They did have a cider on tap.

I had started to learn of several places to eat in NYC, even with the Gluten Free diet  Then I had to give up dairy. My online searches for suggestions come up pretty slim to begin with and then it turns out most of those posts are over 5 years old and half the restaurants are now closed. There are several bakery type locations but I really do not need the calories. And there are some vegan options but dairy free does not have to be vegan. You would think I could find a kosher deli that can make a good sandwich with either no bread or with GF bread. The search will continue, meanwhile I keep falling back to the safety of labeled items at the Whole Foods.

One place on the list and still in existence is Friedman's with several locations. I had a B.L.A.T. at Chelsea Market one evening. It was a very good sandwich though over priced. I know this is NYC but still, the markup fro GF free bread substitution is one of the higher ones I have seen.  The market is a nice place too.

-SML