Using baseball terms to describe cricket is frowned upon. England hit the ball past the New Zealand “pitcher” into the “outfield”. I said, “That’s good for a base hit” and received icy stares. I think the score is 111-4. I’m not sure who’s wining or why. But there’s obviously no mercy rule.

Also, there’s a person who calls himself Pitbull and he does something … musical(?). Who knew, other than InfoSecSherpa?



Via Instagram (thanks, Marcia)

(Via Follow Me Here…)

Against stupidity the gods themselves fight in vain.

(J.C.F. Schiller: Die Jungfrau von Orleans, III, 1801)

Gods, various and sundry, never elevated the stupid to the levels man has. Save me from the social influencer whose fame is fame and whose vision is no further than the end of their nose.

What we opprobriously call stupidity, though not an enlivening quality in common society, is nature’s favorite resource for preserving steadiness of conduct and consistency of opinion.

(Walter Bagehot: Letters to the London Inquirer, 1851)

The wisdom of the crowd, in so far as celebrity goes, is a push toward mediocrity: Is the act at the top of the music charts actually good? Or do they succeed at a general level but are more popular via marketing and social media and presence?

Youtube’s ban on “hacking techniques” threatens to shut down all of infosec Youtube:

Infosec’s watchword is “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” If you want to prove that a product is genuinely defective, it’s not enough to make the claim: you have to back it up with demos that anyone else can replicate — otherwise the companies will straight up call you a liar and assure their customers that there’s nothing to worry about.

Yesterday, Youtube froze Kody Kinzie’s longrunning Cyber Weapons Lab channel, citing a policy that bans “Instructional hacking and phishing: Showing users how to bypass secure computer systems.” He now has a “strike,” which prevents him from uploading any new videos.

… Youtube banning security disclosures doesn’t make products more secure, nor will it prevent attackers from exploiting defects — but it will mean that users will be the last to know that they’ve been trusting the wrong companies, and that developers will keep on making the same stupid mistakes…forever.

(Via Boing Boing)

Mind-bogglingly short-sighted by Youtube, but not surprising.

I don’t often go political, but in the wake of retroactively creating airports to take over for the US War of Independence this is worth more a mere note:

UK’s top envoy in US says Trump executive ‘inept’: report:

Britain’s ambassador in the United States has described President Donald Trump and his administration as “inept” and “uniquely dysfunctional”, according to leaked diplomatic memos published by the Mail on Sunday.

Ambassador Kim Darroch reportedly said Trump’s presidency could “crash and burn” and “end in disgrace”, in the cache of secret cables and briefing notes sent back to Britain seen by the newspaper.

“We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept,” Darroch allegedly wrote in one dispatch.

© 2019 AFP

(Via Japan Today)

The ambassador’s memo is unfortunate in that it is accurate.

A leaked cable from the British ambassador to the US, sent home to the
British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has the ambassador calling Trump
“insecure,” “incompetent” and “inept.” In the ambassador’s defense,
it’s completely true. Trump has not yet commented on the news.

(Via Boing Boing)

And this isn’t even the most egregious thing of which to be aware of with this administration, sadly.

PVC Security will soon go off to a farm in the country where it can play with other podcasts.

Edgar Rojas, Timothy DeBlock, Chris Madalena, Tracy Maleeff, and Paul R. Jorgensen very much enjoyed the time with you. They’re still around on various platforms, so don’t miss out.

You will be able to find the show archives by searching on or [coming soon]. Worst case, Tim or Paul has a local copy of the show you want. Ping either on the Twitter or other social media and they may be able to help, time permitting.

On behalf of the whole team, Thank You, The Listener, for letting us sing and talk and do our thing for 99 episodes.

Doing this show with these folks was so much fun. I wish we could have kept it up. If you haven’t listened, take the time to download all of the shows and start your journey from the beginning in Kansas City, of all places.

Thank you, Dear Listener!

p.s. as mentioned, I’m working on incorporating the PVCSec material into this site for continued access, but it may succumb to bit rot and lack of available effort. Follow the like above in case I don’t.

Inspiration from Brittany Packnett, Marcus Aurelius, Simon Sinek, and More – The Simple Dollar:

Marcus Aurelius on your thoughts and your life

The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

Perhaps the single biggest revelation I had during the last ten years is that I have a ton of control over what I think about, and what I think about ends up shaping how I feel about a lot of things, how I react to things, and what I choose to do in life.

An example: if I spend my time thinking negative thoughts about working out, it’s not going to be long before I’m simply completely uninterested in working out and I’m going to stop any sort of workout routine. Rather, if I catch myself thinking negative thoughts about it, I intentionally kill them and start thinking positive thoughts instead. “This will feel good. This will make me healthier. This will be fun. Remember how much you enjoyed that workout a few weeks ago? What did you do during that? Let’s recreate it!” Thinking thoughts like that intentionally gets me more excited about exercising, makes it go better, and makes me feel better about it afterwards, and eventually I don’t really have those negative thoughts any more.

This is true for everything. You have so much power over what you choose to think about things, and if you choose to think negative thoughts about the better but more challenging things in life, things will go poorly. Save your negative thoughts for the things that actually harm you and then let them fly, but give positive thoughts to the good things in life, like the person who’s nice to you even when you feel grumpy. That person is awesome. Think about how awesome that person is.

(Via The Simple Dollar)

There Are Too Many Kinds Of Dashes:

So you’ve got the hyphen. That’s the “-” guy. It joins words together. When you put “-ass” at the end of an adjective, you are using a hyphen. Also when you are separating out the syllables of a word, like for effect—“pre-pos-ter-ous”—that is also a hyphen job. The hyphen’s function in that case is to make clear that these things are joined. The hyphen is an okay-ass punc-tu-a-tion mark.

Then there is what is called the “figure dash.” That, too, is the “-” guy. It has the same meaning and use as the hyphen, but when you use it to connect numbers, rather than words or parts of words, you call it a “figure dash.” Your phone number (555-123-4567) is connected by figure dashes. But let’s be real, here: Those are just frickin’ hyphens. The “figure dash” is bullshit.

Then, if you are a regular reader of this website, you likely know the “em dash,” which several of us, most especially me, overuse badly. (My editor, who also overuses it, added two of them to the first paragraph.) That’s the “—” guy. The long one. It has many uses, but mostly you will see it on either side of an interpolation—not an aside (which would be better marked with parentheses)—in the middle of a sentence. In writing that contains dialog, the em dash also is good for marking an interruption.

(Via Deadspin)

This is the first time I’ve really thought about the various dashes. I knew of them but not really the “official” uses of them, in so far as they are defined.

But wait!

And then, would you believe it, there is a whole other dash. This is the dreaded “en dash.” The en dash is shorter than an em dash but longer than a hyphen. … The en dash does a bunch of stuff. It denotes a closed range or continuum of values … But it can also denote a relationship between two separate or even opposed things, like in a sports score … The en dash can also do other stuff. For example, it can help to sort out PEMDAS weirdness when you’re sticking a prefix (“non-” for example) onto a phrase that is already compound and joined by a hyphen.

Thus, we have five different dashes (if you include the minus subtraction sign as a distinct character for mathematical equations, which I do) that we have to use. This is a mess.

I co-sign on this solution:

So what I am proposing is that there should be two kinds of dashes. There should be a short dash (-) and a long dash (—). The short dash can be for basically everything that you don’t use an em dash for. The long dash can be for the em dash stuff. Ranges can just be short-dashed. Sports scores, too. Nobody is going to think that the Lakers defeated the Wizards by every number between 39 and 173. When I write that you are a goober-ass loser, nobody will wonder if what I mean is that you have somehow lost a coalition between the opposed forces of “goober” and “ass.” It’ll be fine.

The whole article is kind of fun, so read it for the silly sport-y examples.

The drawback to the pub’s musical mix (I assume it’s via one of the streaming services) is that I’m occasionally subjected to Steely Dan, The Grateful Dead, and other classic rock bands I can typically do without (GD’s Touch of Gray being a notable exception). As always, follow your own joy and enjoyment.

If you are a Steely Dan, the band, fan, you may want to stop here.

If you’re a William H. Burrows fan or really like Naked Lunch, this does not go there. I like the author and the book, and kind of enjoyed the movie. Maybe someday I will write about them. This is not that day.

Continue reading

I’m loving most of the mix the pub is playing today. Two doses of The Band, a few other lighter bits, and the afore mentioned Genesis song was good fun.

Now, Epitaph from King Crimson is on the speakers. This may well be one of the first times I’ve heard this in the wild, but even if I have it does not diminish my enjoyment.

I used to weekly review almost religiously. I fell out of the habit somewhere along the way though I cannot recall when or why. This week I am restarting this habit yet again (some false starts exist in my timeline).

Re-starting the weekly review habit means defining what I’m going to do differently this time to help make it stick.

Make it fun and positive

Maintenance mode isn’t something I generally enjoy, but I love fixing things. Looking at week from the perspective of what would I do differently and what do I want to instead of something more historical should help me keep focus.

Think about what

What do I like? I like listening to jazz. I like when I speak Japanese – not perfect Japanese but when I try. I like my house clean. I like when I have a project. I like travel. I like spending time with family and friends. I like reading, eating, drinking, writing, and getting a shave & haircut.

… Don’t think about why

The why behind doing something, at least for me, ties me up in guilt, regret, and justification. I tent to phrase my “why” statements in those terms, which isn’t actually useful.

Do I need to think about why I like the above things? No. Do I need to explain to others why I like these things? No. Spending time defining these in terms of “why” adds no value and potentially reduces my enjoyment of them. If I think something might be out of the main stream, I will change the “why” into defensive statements and start to question them.

And yes, this post is a bit of why albeit with a lot more what.

Schedule the time, value the effort spent, and honor it

Honoring my time and the value of the weekly review is key to this. The items above are to help make this a joy and not a chore.

We measure what we value

The weekly review (with monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews) are meant as a checkpoint and opportunity to measure how I’m doing as me. While the weekly review is on the calendar week, the others are triggered off of 19 January because they are about me, my growth, and my development.

What am I doing, in practical terms?

There are several buckets I’m reviewing weekly. They are:

  • Finances
  • Goals: Personal and Professional
  • Deliberate Practice (DP): Japan & Japanese
  • DP: Emacs
  • DP: Heath – physical, mental, emotional
  • DP: Stoicism
  • Getting Things Done (GTD) capture and processing
  • House cleaning, specifically things like washing sheets and windows (in totally different ways)
  • Planning, including block scheduling office hours for the coming week

The Deliberate Practice items are done daily. The weekly review is to measure how I’m doing on them, both in effort spent and how I feel about my progress.

The other thing I do, which I may make into a weekly habit, is my batch food preparation. I will press my InstantPot into service making pulled chicken, rice, and other things for the week’s meals.

Is this too much?

It is a lot to start. Subsequent weekly reviews should reduce the effort. In a few weeks I want to reach a point where I spend more time planning and less reviewing.

What am I not doing?

I’m not looking at social media/SNS at all. I’m not looking at my posts. I’m not looking at work aside from my professional goals and planning for the coming week’s calendar.

Work items are best thought about and planned on company time and not on personal time. Personal and work time blend a bit in a consultant’s life. In Japan, where office hours are the norm, it’s easier to make the distinction. To that end, one of the things I am doing in my weekly review is setting my office hours for the week via block scheduling.