Saturday, June 16, 2018

"Toxic environments will change you, before you can change them."

I left my last job. It involved multiple HR meetings and a coworker threatening to punch me for calling him on his racism. My manager was no longer employed the next week(not related to racism but certainly a cause for my leaving). The best friend of our VP left after 6 years with basically a rage quit. Another coworker joined me out the door. It wasn't good.

I took the first opportunity that came along. It is contract work again which is scary. I knew nothing about the company but a 30 minute phone call convinced the team lead I was the right person. I hoped they were right.

The first weeks were tough. They have massive technical debt and that will never go away. I can make some changes but a manufacturing company will always have that debt. In fact after my first 3 days I bet I'd see Conficker. I was right by Friday.

The Infra team has been through a lot. 2005 their manager cut the entire team from 64 down to 5. It grew a bit but most of the dev halted then. We have hundreds of half finished products. The lawsuit against the manager for absconding with a $2.4 million in money and stolen tech is still pending. They need help.

I'm the only security person. My direct supervisor is network focused/ VM. Security is a firewall for him. That has posed some problems. His boss (whom I sit next to in the dungeon) is extremely gruff but shares  good views on security and wants to fix it.

I figured I could use this place to sharpen my basics and learn some new skills.
I got depressed and down with it mid week last week. (Contract means no PTO which means I make up every lost hour and when sick that sucks).

I decided to leave and made some calls. My contract was going to cause a problem with one of them so I backed off. An hour later my team lead grabs me by the shirt pocket and pulls me into the back room. "How are you liking it here?"

My guilt flared up instantly. Turns out, I wasn't being fired, I was being hired. One of our guys was leaving and if I wanted to stick around they would guarantee me a conversion to FTE in 6 months. Excellent, especially as by then I'll have them heavily invested in tech and I can be in a better position to negotiate. Manager mentioned that they had a limited head I wasn't going to be converted otherwise? Makes me worried for down the line but for now I'm here.

More adventures to come from here. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016


It's snowing in Portland. And the state has shut down. Actually it shut down last night when it was still perfectly nice out. The roads were perfectly clear this morning and we left late. This is unheard of. Even the weekends have more traffic. There was some wind but that was it. The snow did not pick up until 11am. It has been coming down fairly decently since then. With the exception of picking up my fiance from the bus I wont be travelling out today. Hey I got rear ended when it was just cold and rain, cold rain and snow I'm not jinxing it any more.


Last night we stayed home from archery practice and I got to work on a project for my campaign of Storm Kings Thunder. So far all we have done is fight our way through GoldenFields. This will be for the epic show down against the army of goblins, bugbears, ogres, and giants. Overall the wall stands 10 inches tall and 6 inches wide. Should be a fun conclusion. Plus I like side projects. 

Todays work and research have been light. I discovered Nviso labs blog. They had a good article on their tool VBA Emulator. Essentially it'll explode an office doc with macros and push out the resulting actions. If it works (its still really in alpha) it would be a huge help. They have alot of other great articles too so I've been going through them. 

I'm still struggling to get my concealed carry. While Washington's is fine, Oregon is proving more difficult. The closest county is notoriously against issuing them. They suggested going to St Helens which is an hour each way and they aren't doing appointments for another 2 months. 

Also been working on finishing up my UEDC bag. Its slightly on hold until X-mas. 

That is all I have. Stay safe. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hellboy is a beast.

Hellboy is my car as nick named by my fiance. When I got the little red car my credit score was a certain 'satanic' number. Last night on my way back from Kali class I was rear ended. It wasn't bad, somebody rear ended a van which rear ended me. We all got to the side and I went to check on everyone. Hooray for an EDC bag. It had a first aid kit should I have needed it, my phone for a camera, a notepad to write stuff down and a flashlight to see better. Thankfully none of it was needed as my little devil was totally unharmed. Couldn't even find a scratch. (For some reasons that the third time I've messed up the word scratch).

It was bumper to bumper traffic but still enough that combined with Kali classes I'm sore as hell. It was sayoc Kali which is different from the one I regularly take. I'm not sure how its different but it was a small 3 person class and we did exclusively knifes. In fact all the fighters had a belt of 6+ knives. I worked on 3 of 9. The basic attacks partnered with their basic counters or taps. I have the 9 attacks down but combined with the taps we only got through 7. The guy I was training with was also new so he was having trouble remembering some of the moves. Overall it was a great learning experience. I enjoyed the fact that the first tap is your typical untrained 'ahhh' *raises arm to cover*. Also the instructors little demon spawn children, apparently not exhausted from their jujitsu, were told when they say down the class has to drop and do 5 pushups. You can bet money that those evil little girls made us suffer.

I also had an interview yesterday as well. The gentleman is putting together a new SOC/Threat Intel team. He has 3 and is looking for 3 more. There was a situation question which had I been doing it for real I knew I would have gotten it right away. But without seeing the actual email that triggered the investigation I didnt think to ask the right questions, at least not until I'd already run down the rabbit hole. Overall I'm still happy with my performance. I really hope I get the position. While my current job is fine, I do miss security work.

Speaking of security work, I'm working on something a bit closer. We are deploying Snort boxes to our sites and I get to design and stand those up. Not something I've really done in the past but it shouldn't be too hard. (I say knowing full well it'll take me a few days as snort and linux both want to fuck with me.) After dropping my fiance off at work I swung in and picked up the box from the front desk. The joys of working at a hotel downtown, we have 15 minute parking right out front.

I'm still in the process of refining my Urban Every Day Carry (UEDC) bag. Looking at multi-tools and knifes. Pretty sure I will be carrying my pistol in a waste band rather than the bag. Originally I didnt think it would be worthwhile to draw that fast but all this gun talk is getting to me. That is what I get for sitting through a 5 hour long concealed class. God it was a nightmare. 2.5 hours on the instructors personal views on 2nd amendment rights. Which I paid him handsomely for apparently. 1.5 worth of random videos. 1 hour on Utah's concealed carry laws. 0 hours on Oregons carry laws (which is what the class was for) and 0 actual hands on range time. So my fiance who suffered with me will now have a concealed carry (once we drive 2 hours to find a sheriff who will issue it to us) without ever having actually fired a hang gun....Unbelievable.

Also we got snow this week. Its supposed to be off an on all week.

Not sure if these are relevant but lets try them!
#jkd #kali #hellboy #edc #udc #snort #security