Back from vacation!

Sorry for the long delay, but I’ve been on vacation and my wife is pretty adamant about me not checking email, posting blog entries, etc. I don’t think I need a break, but apparently I was wrong, so I took about 8 days of vacation. Of course, there are about a bunch of things I wanted to blog about in this time….but my hands were tied! Let’s get started:

Where’d Ya Go, Kai?

Well, we were planning on taking a trip to a small quiet beach in Florida, but we decided that since I travel almost 80% for my job, that sitting in DFW airport was not really a good use of our time. Those of you who travel extensively know what I mean….I see the airport/airplane as “my office”, so it’s very tough to get out of “work mode” when you’re sitting there. With all the great mobile devices today, it’s also extremely hard to “get off the grid” for a few days when you want too. In order to remedy the issues, my wife and I decided to do a series of “day trips” in and around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I’ve been here 9 years and have only seen a small portion of what this town has to offer…..unless it is in Terminal D.

  • I had the chance to visit the Ft. Worth Stockyards, where they still drive Texas longhorns down the city street (it ain’t called “cowtown” for nuthin!!).
  • I went to a rodeo and saw my first ever bull riding event.
  • I took my wife to the Galaxy Drive In theater, which she never did as a kid growing up (I remember the days of getting into my pajamas and sitting in the back, always falling asleep before the second movie).
  • I went to Dr. Pepper Park and took in a minor league baseball game with the Frisco Roughriders.
  • Attended the Midnight showing of The Dark Knight in DLP. I’m a Batman geek of the highest order. Great movie, but NOT for kids….and no…the wife preferred I went with my other geek friends, not her.

….all in all a good vacation….but now I’m back…and boy howdy, are there some topics to discuss.

FIRST…Congratulations are in order!

TN Xmas Party First, I want to extend a HUGE congratulations to my good friend Keith Combs on his winning a Microsoft Circle of Excellence award!!!! For those of you who may not know, this award is THE highest award available to Microsoft employees internally. Keith’s achievements were announced at our worldwide internal conference, Microsoft Global Exchange (MGX), held in Atlanta last week. I can tell you that Keith Combs is the standard for excellence and customer advocacy that we should all aspire too. Want to know what Keith did to receive such accolades (and prizes)? Here’s a snippet from his nomination:

1. Technical innovation by pioneering screencasting and videos for Microsoft Across America targeting the IT Pro audience, and developed best practices for editing and processing videos/screencasts for Internet viewing, allowing entire team to exceed scaled reach commitments
2. Being one of the most externally read bloggers at Microsoft and a recognized on-line / blogging expert within the company. He delivered incredible reach and impact to critical audience: Grew his blog reach to 8.2M with a 918,815 monthly average, establishing himself as a key voice to our IT Pro Audience.
3. Lead effort that reached 100,000+ IT Pros through Silverlight and TechNet Edge in both standard and high definition formats

Congratulations again Mr. Combs on a well-deserved award! Enjoy the prizes!! (If it wasn’t for Keith, you’d be reading a blank screen right now.)




Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers: What the Heck is Goin On?!

packersYou can image in the pain that exists within my Green Bay soul as I have watched the events over the past few weeks. Oh how I have wanted to comment! I had Matt Hester calling me up leaving voicemail and sending me emails about the Packers QB drama, and I sat silent. BUT NO LONGER!!! :)

First, I was very sad and shocked when Brett Favre retired. Understand my home office is painted Packers green and inside I have a literal Favre Shrine of figures, posters, helmets, etc. He just had a career season and was a single game shy of reaching the Super Bowl. I watched his press conference and thought, “Well, at least he’s doing it with class. Going out on top. No one could ever argue his desire.” I have had a long standing agreement with my wife that once Favre retired, I would cancel my beloved DirecTV Sunday Ticket, since I use it solely to watch him the past 8 years. When he mentioned he “might return” I could only think, either you are in or you are out. Don’t hold us hostage again with talk of retiring, not retiring, etc. If you want to play, say so and let’s get you back in the game. If you don’t…find something else you like to do and do that.

I absolutely HATE the way things are going now. The Green Bay management talks of “no one is bigger than the team”. Agreed. That includes the managerial staff. Your job is to put on the field the best option for the Green Bay Packers to win. If that means putting in the guy who led you to an NFC Championship, you do that. You swallow your pride, you shake hands, and you do what’s best. To me this whole thing stinks of a “who’s gonna blink first” contest. Stupid and not in the best interest of my beloved team. I’ve been a Packers fan way before Brett showed up, and I’ll be one long after he’s gone.

Computer Security? Yeah, We Got That Too!

Some stories that hit my queue on vacation that I thought were interesting:

You Know You're A Computer Security Professional when:

      • You not only lock your laptop with a physical cable leash, but you change the combination of the lock when it's not in use so that it can't be "compromised".
      • Although you have no ill intent, you spend no small amount of your downtime in airports thinking of ways to circumvent TSA security -- and you've come up with several can't-miss terrorist ideas that even Jack Bauer couldn't stop.
      • You lock your screensaver with twice as much insistence when security friends are around than when strangers are, because you're not nearly as worried about a stranger's intentions.
      • You're immediately discontent with all newly announced security solutions, even before you know anything beyond the name.
      • Having extra-long passwords that you must type over and over again to get correct is not a bother.

S.F. officials locked out of computer network – Um what? I’m more impressed this guy is pulling down $126,000 working for the city gov’t.

Microsoft Office Security Team Enlists Bots, Pen Tests – Yes, we test our code with both internal and external testers. It’ sa documented part of the SDLC process. Not news, but good article.

What You Working on Now Kai?

Well that is a very good question. We just finished up our FY and now it’s all “What have you done for me lately?” In the next few weeks I’ll be working on the following:

  • Just got approval to sit for my Certified Protection Professional (CPP) exam from ASIS. That is going to require a ton of study time as I really want to pass this the first time, since it’s considered one of the premier security management certifications in the world.
  • Researching and putting together a presentation/demo on botnets and how they work, why bot pimps do what they do, etc.
  • Researching and putting together a presentation/demo on Data Governance for IT Pros, based on the some tactical DG guidance we’re releasing.
  • Finish the editing for The Security Show: Episode II.

That’s it for now! I look forward to posting and keepin you entertained!