“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Don't Break the Rules... Except When You Do

"The Moscow Rules" exist in various versions dating from the Cold War - originially developed as a set of guidelines for CIA personnel operating in the unforgiving environment of espionage in the Soviet Union. They still apply today in terms of dealing with possible hostile or criminal actors for people going in harm's way, or just trying to stay smart and safe in an uncertain world. One of the rules is "Don't harass the opposition." Meaning, even if y ou know who the players are, it's considered bad form to tweak their noses in it. This is fundamentally sound guidance. Irritating those you are working against can give away things you aren't ready to, clue them in enough they escalate things, or just generally piss people off and get egos involved where you then become an object lesson. Like most rules, sometimes you just have to break it. Case in point, last week I was spending time with some foreign partners helping them step up their security testing program at a location. It's a healthy relationship, as such things go, with a long history of "trust". And, while we weren't being super-sneaky about the process, it certainly wasn't intended to be public knowledge or broadly shared even on location. Yet for some reason one of their other agencies got a hair up their backside, and decided to drop a major surveillance team on us. Which is one thing. But, they were also complete amateurs about it - the closest comparison I could give is the classic "Pink Panther" movies with Inspector Clouseau. People doing the most awkward outfit changes to shift appearance, "trying" to surreptitiously take pictures, "talking" on their phone with it visibly not on and so forth. It was almost professionally insulting. So, yes, I had to play around a bit with them. We *might* have managed to add about 4 miles of "extra" steps in our routes around the place that day. Gotten a huddle together and then split in five different directions. Gone up and talked to strangers just to confuse the opposition as to what was going on. Taken selfies with their groups in the background. I mean, I had *some* courtesy. I resisted the urge to take one guy a bottle of water when he looked worn out. I was nice enough to say thank you when one of them got stuck awkwardly holding the door for us. And we all waved goodbye from the taxi at the end of the day. Worst part? Even with all this attention, we still got in...

Thursday, August 17, 2023

More Billboard Notes

From this week's observations, is the primary industry in Atlanta civil suit attorneys? Or did they just corner the advertising market?

Saturday, August 12, 2023

The "War on Drugs" to "Let's Be Careful Out There"... or, something.

Not making a judgment one way or another on this one. Just an observation from a roadside billboard during a trip this week. In less than 40 years we've gone from "Just say no" to "Don't get high alone, in case you OD". Pretty sure who won this conflict.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Independence Day Update

Spent my Fourth of July overseas, helping with a workshop for a number of international partners. Which, interestingly enough (at least to me) includes a short handful of countries that 30 years ago I considered adversaries, and actively worked against. Now, I'm helping both sides of that coin improve our security measures with a basis of common ground and objectives. Interesting how things change. And, for the bit it's worth. Glad and honored I live in a country where I have this opportunity to try and make the world a better place.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Homecoming Moments

*Opens terrarium to release some excess moisture.* 2 hours later. *Furry house goblins maniacally traipse through house with plant carcasses.* *Closes now-empty terrarium and reconsiders life choices.*

Monday, May 22, 2023

Spooky Moments

When you're on the 8th floor of the hotel, and there are no balconies, you should NOT hear two voices distinctly arguing outside your window. No, I'm not looking. Chalk it up to a long day.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

We all have our own rodeo

Things we've walked away from. Or been forced to leave. Each left a mark, but there are no regrets.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Perspectives of Time

When you're a kid "deniable actions" sound cool. Like you're some action hero. When you're an adult, they suck, because you're in the "I'd kind of like to discuss some baggage, but I can't."

Monday, April 17, 2023

We’re doomed

Serioisly, what is wrong with people that we now think it is acceptable to have loud speakerphone conversations in public restrooms?

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Watching a Train Wreck in Slow Motion

No, not what you think. No political post or other current event. Today I had one of those personal moments, where you watch the disaster unfolding but it's already too late to stop it. I had just started the periodic cleaning of my fish tank, changing filters and the like, which involves taking the top off to access things. You may recall, we had a couple of new kittens (almost cats now) join us a few months ago. One of whom is a little mischief goblin, and who likes to perch on top of said tank to watch the moving bits inside. Yes. You already know where this is going. There I was, just getting things disconnected, when a black, furry streak leaps from the side and lands square in the tank which no longer has the expected cover. He managed to equally leap directly out, in the process soaking not only himself, but the wall, floor, and a number of other things. All are fine - cat is dry and back to running about, fish are swimming wondering whatever they wonder, and towels are in the wash. Aren't pets grand...