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Archive for January, 2013

FREE Book! Jan 29

My husband wrote and published his first book, with some help from Amazon. For anyone interested in learning more about Getting Started With Computer Security, check it out!

I’m sure you’re looking for a review of some sort, or words of wisdom to up and coming computer security gurus, but that’s not my forte.

What I CAN tell you is that it is well organized and easy to read. If you have recently become employed in computer security and your friends and family look confused by any statement other than, “At work,…” then this is the book for them. It does not answer all possible questions (and isn’t meant to), but it can help to bridge the gap in conversation and maybe get others to realize how much this subject means to you (and should mean to them).

My favorite section is Digital Forensics because I’m interested in investigative processes. Really, I like anything that has a process, whether investigative or not. For me, this section was too short, but I have to remind myself that this is an introduction and, with luck, there will be more to come from this series. I hope there are many others who feel the same way about the sections of this book!

The most difficult section for me to read was about certification. Because certification in any of these fields is not what I’m interested in, it turns into a jumble of alphabet soup, but would prove invaluable to someone breaking into the career field and trying to make sense of what certifications they will need.

If anyone is interested in certifications, there are resources available at INFOSEC School, and quite a few other locations.

If you’re already in an entry level position, are in the process of receiving certifications, and need an updated resume to apply for all the new positions you qualify for, CV Launch can help you on your way.

Category: BIG DEAL  | Comments off
An Adventure Jan 18

At the time this posts, I will be buckling my seatbelt to drive myself, my 2 daughters (4 years and 14 months), and a friend of mine to Atlanta for a girls weekend while my husband and a couple friends participate in a startup weekend. (More info on that after it’s over.) The number of firsts that this is for me is pretty high and is resulting in a high anxiety level. There have been more tears and stomachaches over this trip than in all the years I’ve had issues with anxiety.

But this trip has the potential to be AWESOME.

This trip could open up the world (or at least the continental U.S.) to our family. My husband and I have wanted to do a cross country road trip for some time, and this is the springboard trip which will help us determine if and how it can be done.

This is not the first time my husband and I have done a road trip with a child. Our older daughter is a fabulous car rider and made the trip from FL to NY like a champ. Our younger daughter though, can barely make it out to Disney (about an hour) before she’s antsy and fussy.

And I have chosen to drive this fussy child all the way to Atlanta. Just me in charge of my two girls in a Mazda CX-9 for 9-10 hours.

The only thing saving me from dissolving into a literal puddle of goo is that while I might be the driver and parent, I am not alone. If I absolutely have to, there is still someone else who can drive. There is still someone to take the “happy” child while I deal with the “unhappy” child – whoever that may be at the time.

And that this trip has the potential to be AWESOME.

Wish us luck.

Category: travel  | Comments off
Camping at Stone Mountain Jan 02

In April 2012, we bought a popup camper. A Rockwood Freedom 2318g, to be exact. Despite construction that doesn’t meet my husband’s stringent standards, we made our tenth trip over the Christmas break. However, this was only our third to someplace other than Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney World.

We LOVE Disney, and have become pretty good at packing for those trips. It helps that we can pack everything up at home and into a cooler without worrying that it will spoil on the trip. That also worked for our trip to Fort DeSoto. But this time, we drove all the way from Central Florida to Stone Mountain, Georgia, just east of Atlanta. Best case scenario was 7.5 hours to get there. Neither my husband nor I was comfortable filling a cooler with food for that long.

So the “plan” was to take a meal that could be cooked without any ingredient needing to be refrigerated. I decided on Barilla Three Cheese Tortellini and sauce. The sauce was supposed to be Prego Italian Sausage, but it wasn’t on sale in the weeks prior and I forgot to grab a jar regardless of price. So instead I took a box of Pomi Tomato Sauce, our McCormick Italian Herb grinder, and my own version of seasoned salt and made do. Or, my husband did when we finally got around to eating them.

Instead of arriving tired and stumbling through our pantry meal, we spent forever leveling the popup on the uneven ground, couldn’t get the heater started (It was already down to 42 when we arrived and the overnight low was predicted for 29.), and discovered that the drain pipe to the sink was broken and we flooded the electrical and plumbing storage compartment. We destroyed the towels that we keep just for camping trying to get the water removed before it damaged anything that would make the popup unliveable. We finally got the water mostly cleaned up and the heater still wouldn’t start. Wal-Mart (ugh) was the only thing nearby, so my husband left to get a heater, new towels, and the groceries I had intended to buy the next day.

While he went shopping, the girls and I hooked up the TV and digital antenna and bundled under all the blankets that belonged on their bed. It was pretty damp and chilly for us Floridians, and the temperature when we left home had been nearing 60 when we left home at 9:30am.

To try and keep this short, we’ll say the shopping trip was a success and we ended up eating Wendy’s for dinner. Then we finally got the popup organized and everyone in bed at 11p. Even the kids were so tired they just fell asleep.

It was a rough start, but the trip continued smoothly after that. We visited The World of Coca-Cola (my husband is a HUGE fan of Diet Coke) and took the kids to the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. They had a BLAST and, if we lived there, would definitely have annual passes. We ate at Fox Brothers BBQ which is kind of a requirement if anyone of our friends goes to Atlanta. The fried pickles and jalapenos are awesome and I’m a huge fan of the rub they use on their ribs. The sauce is more vinegar-y than I usually like, but it also good. And the macaroni and cheese is amazing. The rest of the menu is pretty standard in terms of barbecue and my opinion. But it’s fairly priced and a great experience to check out a local restaurant.

We spent several hours playing in Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain before we spent an afternoon and evening hiding from the downpour in the popup. After the rain subsided the next morning, and we had a huge pancake breakfast, we did some exploring at the Quarry Exhibit and the Grist Mill inside Stone Mountain Park. I could have spent quite a while enjoying the scenery of both, but the kids tired quickly due to the uneven ground and steep incline. We took a short, but somewhat scenic drive through Snellville and had lunch at Boston Market then let the kids play on the playground at the campground for a bit before reality set in that we would be leaving in the morning. So we cooked hamburgers and french fries on the grill and tried to use up the last of our refrigerated goods then started to pack up.

Packing up the night before was definitely sad, but it helped us get going sooner in the morning for the return trip. While my husband took down the popup, the girls and I went to Dunkin’ Donuts (found on our scenic drive the day before) and then to the huge children’s playground inside Stone Mountain Park. It was WAY to big for my 2 years 2 months and 4 years 11.5 months old daughters, but it was also still wet from the rain, so we didn’t stay long. The return trip took 9 hours as compared to 8.5 hours to arrive, so that is probably a pretty average time for us.

This trip taught us to take one step at a time and not worry about the big picture. Stay in the now. It also further emphasized to me that obsessive meal planning is key to any camping trip. I’m not a huge fan of obsessive meal planning, but it’s the only way to maximize food and storage in such a small vehicle over a few short days.

I’ll be uploading pictures of the trip to Instagram over the next few days. The lack of Wi-Fi when you’re out in nature made it difficult to share like I wanted.

Have you ever been camping with young kids? Do you have advice to share?

Category: holiday, travel  | Comments off
2013 Resolutions Jan 01

Holy cow! From Merriam Webster, a resolution is:

1: the act or process of resolving

    a: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones
    b: the act of answering : solving
    c: the act of determining
    d: the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance
    e: the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents
    f(1): the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2) : the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable
    g: the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum

2: the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation)

    a: something that is resolved
    b: firmness of resolve

4: a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group
5: the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out

    a: the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light
    b: a measure of the sharpness of an image or of the fineness with which a device (as a video display, printer, or scanner) can produce or record such an image usually expressed as the total number or density of pixels in the image

Yikes, sorry about the formatting, I’m too tired to make that work and I couldn’t just leave it as a block of text. But, the point is, for 2013, I will be analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones. Weight loss isn’t for vanity, it’s for my health and well-being. This will be a goal for the upcoming year any time I am no longer within a healthy BMI range. I need to lose 15-ish pounds. I will be determining the source of the problem and solving or proposing solutions to the problem. Right now, the problem is being pre-diabetic, and it’s time to analyze my blood sugar and my eating habits to lose weight and regain control of my blood sugar. I hope to resolve this issue with permanent changes to my lifestyle and eating habits. This is difficult, and I expect it to take time, but it needs to be done.

On a lighter note, I think I’d like to open an Etsy store and my own PayPal account in 2013. I like crafty things, but rarely need anything I put together, nor do I have the space to store it, so why not sell it? I get the fun of creation and hopefully it will fund even more creative projects.

And I hope to cross things off my list of 30 Things To Do In My 30s. A cruise is in the works, let’s see if we can make it happen!