Snow Storms Connect People

The Pacific Northwest just experienced its largest snowfall in decades this February 2019. Snohomish county was covered with over two feet of snow. At first people hovered inside their warm homes if they still had power and schools closed. The blanket of snow decorated the hills, trees and roads.

It was not all fun and games. The snow plows had to clear the roads for people to travel to work, buses adorned chains to transport people to their destinations and people shoveled snow off the sidewalks.

The roads and hills became an outlet for sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, walking the dogs and photography the stormy scenery. People were playing with friends and family. People waved and smiled at each other.

The condominium property where I dwell was deep in snow and ice. One neighbor cleared the pathway to the mailbox. It was not enough. On Tuesday morning broken tree branches blocked the opening to the front of building and mailboxes. A large branch fell across the garbage container, the lids could not open to toss the trash in. Garbage pick up was cancelled.

The snow was deep and cars were not budging from their parking spots. Neighbors to the rescue. We had two plastic shovels, cardboard, brooms and buckets. We took turns moving tree branches, shoveling snow and clearing a path for people and cars. We could not empty our garbage and pick up our mail safely. Several of us could now maneuver our cars in and out of the parking lot. These achievements may seem small in scale, but not in heart.

This community spirit made me aware of how lucky I am to have caring neighbors who look out for each other. A storm brought us together. by creating a memories. I snapped photographs of the weeks weather activity which are posted on my public Facebook page Peridot Eyes Photography. I do hope the next community event is a few degrees warmer. A few posted photos.

Leadership in the 21st Century

As a speech evaluator at Totem Toastmasters January meeting; I heard two great speeches on the topic of, The Leadership of Dichotomy. The two speakers John Messer and Jack Buce shared their knowledge, insight and humor on the topic. The two speeches complemented each other and demonstrated why these listed concepts should be added to your leadership toolbox.


  • Trust your own leadership
  • Exercise your flexibility at ever opportunity to your team
  • Balance, you cannot balance opposing forces if you do not realize their is more than one force at work
  • Own it, while empowering others via delegation
  • Plan, but do not over plan for your goals
  • Know when to mentor and when to fire a subordinate
  • Be humble, but not passive
  • Focus on achieving the effect, not just a principle

Sources cited for these speeches:

Mission One Accomplished

Mission one from the book, Get Coding, was to build a web page using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). I read the instructions from the book, and made a few minor edits as required to achieve the final result below. Learning via storytelling is much easier then listening to a lecture or webinar.

web page

A Day in a Dog’s Life

Life is full of surprises. Sunday afternoon I grabbed my camera and headed to Edmond’s dog park at the south end of the marina. The dog park is fenced in with access to the beach. Enclosed there is an obstacle course for the dogs. I think the dogs have the best real estate with a view.

I was challenged with constant action between dogs and humans. Dogs were barking, running, sniffing, and chasing balls and frisbees. Leashes were not required. I witnessed one minor skirmish between two dogs along the water’s edge. No casualties to report. It was obvious dogs ruled inside the park.

I snapped many photos with the whirlwind of activities between dogs and humans. The playtime energized me and set a happy mood for the rest of the day. I posted my favorites on Peridot Eyes Photography facebook page and posting a few here.

A fund day at the dog park in Edmonds, Washington, with three dog photos

Learning JavaScript, HTML and CSS

One of my goals is to expand my programming skills. I decided to learn JavaScript since we use it at work for web pages and sites. I do have basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, Linux and C+ from prior work and educational experience.

First day, learning from the book , “Get Coding.” This book incorporates learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript all at once. The book teaches you how to build a website, an APP, and a game. The audience is directed towards kids. I recommend this book for adults since it is easy to read and has pictures demonstrating what the code and final product should look like. The writing style is simple and you can download information, code, and images from their website

Second day, involved building the website immediately using HTML after creating a Coding folder and opening NotePad++ as my text editor. The book describes the requirements for each topic then offers a Code Skills section at the end of each chapter. I found this beneficial, especially for people with little or no programming experience. This book is great at explaining the process step by step while providing a fun learning environment, which engages the student. Ready to learn more!

Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS)

Pursuing a career in cybersecurity is still a goal.  Despite a few obstacles along the way. I am still committed.  I joined WiCy.  WiCyS is the only nonprofit membership organization with national reach that is dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry to share knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring.  I am thrilled to be part of a dynamic organization, women reaching out to other women.

“Each year, WiCyS holds an annual conference with a local host university partner  – next year’s WiCyS Conference will be hosted by Carnegie Mellon University March 29-30 in Pittsburgh. The WiCyS Conference is an excellent opportunity for companies to connect with women students and candidates to recruit them into the field!”

I plan to be actively involved in this organization.  Learn more about WiCyS at 

Word Camp Seattle 2018

Enjoyed the two days of  Word Camp Seattle 2018.  I learned more about WordPress, Content Strategy, how Gutenberg editing is the future for WordPress staging and web site hosting. Thank you to the sponsors, speakers, volunteers and attendees who made the event a success.  #WCSEA   

Experimenting with the new editor

Seattle Give Camp 2018

This year was my sixth year volunteering at Seattle Give Camp; another fun weekend hack-a-thon.  The group develops software tools and applications for non-profits in the Seattle area.  The event took place at the Commons on Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA.

This year I volunteered on a team of nine for La Leche League of Washington.  Their focus is mothers who are breastfeeding their babies.  My contribution to the team was planning, editing photos and creating graphics for the web site.  The team migrated the Drupal web site to a WordPress web-site.  A few challenges for the team,  we solved them.  We did attend a WordPress training session on Saturday, which was beneficial. for the team and La Leche League.  La Leche League is an International organization, more details on their services here  La Leche League of Washington

Thank you to our sponsor and volunteers.  Learn more about  Seattle Give Camp










Leading with Kindness

Sharing this article from Inc., because I believe in leading with kindness.  Taking the time to listen to others and their life stories offers insight to who they are and what their values are.  People are a valuable resource, not a commodity to be traded.  Empathy, sincerity and vulnerability should be embraced as a strength, these traits are learned through experience and not a text book.  People are individuals with potential to be outstanding team members with great ideas to share and make this a better world.

Why You Should Lead With Kindness



Malware Tools

A great time learning from other hackers, Jesse Moore shared his slide presentation on Adversary Tactics Configuration Management with the South Sound Hackers meetup.

Takeaways for me included.

Always be prepared – Patch Software

Benchmark Your Starting Point

Biggest Threat to an Organization – 93% from phishing and pretexting;

96% most common attack vector was from Email

Configuration Best Practices:  CIS CAT PRO, CIS Benchmarks and CIS Controls

Mitigation Detection, Check out  ATT&CK  Technique Matrix

I did order my free poster from SAN DFIR, a resource for Digital Resources and Incident Response


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