Thursday, October 25, 2007

The RIGHT way to start the World Series!!!

You start with John Williams and the brass section of the Boston Pops performing a special arrangement of the Star Spangled banner.

Then you pass the ball to Red Sox legendary outfield Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski, #8 in Left Field, # 1 in our hearts ~ alright, I'm going on a bit, but when I was 7 years old, I did want to be Yaz when I grew up ~ to throw out the first pitch.

Now that the game has officially begun...

Josh Beckett strikes out the first three Colorado batters.
Red Sox hit the plate: Dustin Pedroia hits a homer; Kevin Youkilis hits a double; Manny Ramirez hit an RBI single; J.D. Drew threw in another RBI double.

End of the first inning? Red Sox: 3 Rockies: zip

Final Score: 13 to 1 RED SOX

Sing it with me now!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007



This is the dividing issue in the Red Sox Nation.

Frickin' Pink Hats!!!

Let me start this post with a little confession. I own and wear a pink Red Sox cap. I seem to recall purchasing the hat in that color because I look horrid in red and in the Texas sun, a navy blue hat is not your friend on a hot day. (Have I mentioned melanoma runs in my family? I actually wear hats for a utilitarian purpose as well as showing my team loyalty.)

Now these pink hats have become associated with part time, turncoat, johnny come lately, girlfriend only fans.

I take offense.

One blogger referred to them as "bleacher bimbos."

Another said they "couldn't pick Jim Rice out of a line up."

And an actual newspaper suggested they were folks with no New England connection who were trying to defect to Red Sox Nation since 2004.

Did I mention that I take offense?

To all of the above and those who agree with them ~ BITE. ME.

I'm just going to glide over the idea that me being mistaken for a bimbo is laughable. And new to the bandwagon? Not in this life time. I've been a Red Sox fan since birth and possibly before then. And as for Jim Rice? I haven't had the chance to see a game at Fenway since Jim Rice was actually playing there. You can take the girl out of Boston, but you can't take the Boston out of the girl.

I had my first Red Sox cap when I was less than a year old. My uncle, a sports writer for the Cape Cod Times and a Manager and later President of the Cape Cod League, gave it to me. I wore it year round until it no longer fit. (I believe it too was pastel in color, but don't quote me on it.) I had such pale blonde hair that the sun burned my scalp right through it, so the hat was essential for all of my outdoor activities.

I went to college in Baltimore in the late 1980s and had the misfortune to meet a New Yorker who thought it fun to run through the seventh game of the 1986 World Series play-by-play. I don't remember his name, but I do hold the Mets personally accountable for his existence. The great thing about being in Baltimore at that time though was the fact that the Orioles were still playing at Memorial Stadium, just 6 blocks from campus. We could decide to go to a game at 7pm. Walk over and pay $2 for bleacher seats and be in our seats for the National Anthem. Their last season at Memorial Stadium had an added bonus: Dwight Evans, an old friend from my trips to Fenway as a child.

I still find it hard to believe that anyone would actively become a Red Sox fan. It seems to me that it's something you're born into either by geography or genetics or a little bit of both. It's not a happy life.

You're constantly being let down and having your heart broken. You can walk away from a game assured of a positive outcome because of a 7 to 10 run lead, only to find out the next day that it all fell apart in a single inning.

People try to analyze baseball down to statistics and physics ~ the hits, the runs, the speed of the ball. But with the Red Sox, there's always some extra force at work that can't be accounted for, like karma or luck or acts of God, except they can never be explained by positive or negative acts or energy. They just happen. In that way, it's a lot like life.

I like to believe that being a Red Sox fan has prepared me for life in the real world, in a way no Yankees fan could be prepared. Shit happens. Things go wrong. Sometimes everything is a whole lot harder that it ever should have been. And no matter how good a person you are, and how many wonderful and amazing things you do for others, awful things are going to happen. It can't be avoided. Even when you think everything is going right; it can still go completely wrong. It's just part of the game.

As for these so-called "bleacher bimbos" and hangers-on, they won't last. Once the Red Sox are true to their reputation and remind us all why the Irish identify with them so strongly, only the fans from birth will remain.

In the mean time, I hardly think a team from the American League, where the pitchers don't hit, can use any "purity of the game or fandom" argument to put down the pink hats.

Maybe people just want to keep their heads cool in the sun? Ever thought of that?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Because I am weak...

... And I cannot handle....

I was talking with a colleague today about my own procrastination in posting sick leave for work missed due to an asthma attack I had last week after being in a room at my office where the levels of rubber and latex particles were so high that even after doubling my allergy medication and leaving a HEPA air purifier in the room over night and then sitting practically on top of it, I was coughing and wheezing within minutes of stepping into the room.

My superviser and her supervisor are well aware of the issue. I was relocated for 3 months while the carpetting was replaced on our floor of the building. They required me to complete "Request for Reasonable Accomodations" paperwork and provide documentation from my treating physician that such special treatment was necessary. I was annoyed by the extra effort I was required to exert, but my doctor provided the perfect explanation. I could die if I was exposed to latex and rubber.

So, while I'm doing everything I can and the reasonable accomodations are not met ~ keep in mind, I'm not the one who made this into an ADA legal issue ~ why should I have to use MY time to recover when I become ill.

My colleague, not meaning to be insulting, said something about me being weak and unable to handle the conference room and that was why it should come from MY time.

But the more I think about this, the more infuriated I become.

There is nothing about me that is weak.

I put in another six hours of work following the asthma attack, consuming nothing but albuterol and Zen tea, in order to complete and polish a presentation that needed to be given the following day at an outside meeting. Granted, the following day, after all the albuterol and wheezing, I had no voice, I couldn't stand because my back muscles were so sore from gasping for air and things just wouldn't stay still either from dehydration, lack of oxygen or lack of food or some combination. It took me two days to recover. The fact that I have an IgE mitigated allergy that causes a very severe immune response ~ inability to breath, anaphalactic shock ~ does not make me weak. The fact that I live with it, through it, makes me strong.

And the fact that I put such attention to my work and do so much to try to lessen the effects of this immunological response despite the ignorant, insulting and, frankly, illegal acts of my employer, make me extraordinary.

Weak, my ass.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Giving Up.... Moving On....

I'm turning 37 tomorrow.

I honestly have no idea how that happened. It really seemed like just last week I was taking calculus in high school.

And still it seems, every time I'm faced with a new number, that I left to take stock of where I am, and where I expected to be.

We'll start with the obvious. No ONE saw Texas coming.

I knew I'd have the college degree and the graduate degree, but the being alone thing is still a bit of a let down. I was planning on having kids by now. You know, the American Dream ~ the husband, the house, the 2.3 kids and the retriever. Instead, I have the house, a grouchy old cat and the knowledge that with an allergy to cats I will never become the old woman with all the cats. Small relief. I also have my extremely tactful mother telling me that I can barely take care of myself, I most certainly couldn't care for a child. (She's always done wonders for my confidence.)

We'll admit it. The disease(s) were a surprise, an unfair handicap to say the least. It hasn't been easy and it hasn't been fair. But I've proven myself to be far stronger than anyone (including me) believed I could be.

So this is where we go from here.... We throw out the old plan. We trash the dream. We make it up as we go along.

Forget the husband, forget the kids ~ today I got the dog.

And I named her Frannie ~ for Frances Mays ~ the character and author of the book that is the basis for the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. It has one of the best life lessons at it's center, beyond great leaps of faith and courage lead to great reward.

It's one of life's pure truths ~ you eventually get what you want and need in life; it just doesn't always look like you expected it to.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Do you feel safer than you did 6 years ago?


Because you totally shouldn't....

I don't make a habit of reprinting entire NYT articles, but I had to make a VERY special exception for this one.

Just one personal editorial comment: This is SO consistent with my three year tenure in Emergency Preparedness...

October 4, 2007
An E-Mail Chain Reaction
On Wednesday, an innocuous e-mail request transformed into a flood of more than 2.2 million messages nationwide. The first e-mail, with addresses redacted:

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Alex Greene"
To: "NICCReports"

Effective October 15th I am switching jobs and would like to receive the DHS daily report at my new e-mail address;

Alex Greene
Manager - International Operations, Roxboro
GKN Freight Services Inc.

Excerpts from the e-mails that followed:

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "State of Texas SOC"
To: "Alex Greene
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

Mr. Greene,
We do not maintain the DHS_Daily_Report 2007. You will have to contact NICC to update your email address.

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Johnson, Dawn"
To: "State of Texas SOC
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

Please for goodness sake, no one else reply to all, some of us actually have work to do

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Wight, Collins"
To: "Caldwell, Dwayne"
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

Collins Wight, Jr.
LDRPS System Administrator
Corporate Contingency Planning
National City Corporation

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Koszalka, Sue (DPH)"
To: "State of Texas SOC
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

Don’t know if anyone realizes it but these e-mails are going to the entire distribution list.

Sue Koszalka
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Bureau of Environmental Health
Coordinated Environmental Response Program

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-0

It's good here in DC. Just a bit muggy

Bill Miller
Emergency Management Information Officer
Office of Emergency Programs
Department of the Treasury

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Caldwell, Dwayne"
To: "Koszalka, Sue
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

I don’t think everyone realizes that yet, but what a nice way for all of us to get to know one another! J
Hope all is well in Boston.

Dwayne Caldwell, REHS, PEM
Environmental Health Supervisor
Vanderburgh Co. Health Dept.
Evansville, IN 47713

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Steve Siegfried"
To: "Caldwell, Dwayne"
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

Since we are introducing ourselves, I'm Steve and I like long walks on the beach and a nice chardonnay with my roasted duck. LOL.

Steve Siegfried
WING Investigator
HIDTA Investigator

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Flowers, Monique"
To: "Steve Siegfried"
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

I’m a Sagittarius and am from York, PA…

Monique Flowers
Harley-Davidson Security
1st Shift Asst. Supervisor

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-03
From: "Lee, Margaret"
To: "Lee, Jeanene M"

I am from the great state of LOUISIANA.

Margaret Lee
Infrastructure Protection Grant Specialist
Governors Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, Preparedness Section

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Smith, Michael B. Mr OASA\(I&E\)-Plexus Contractor"
To: "Wight, Collins"
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

Dear Mr. Alex Greene (the guy who started this mess),
May the fleas of a thousand camels infest you armpits and may a yak in heat make love to your shin.

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "JHF Security Command"
To: "David A. Africano"
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

STOP.. this is the Command Center and i keep getting your messages.

Subject: Re: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-03

Well as long as we have a free for all going here, I'm job hunting. Anybody have anything open out there?

Mary Brown, DVM, MPH

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Strohman GS11 Jeffrey T"
To: "Tripathy, Rasika"
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela


AT Training Program Manager
ISS, Camp Lejeune, NC 28542

Subject: URGENT REQUEST FROM DOD RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Kinder, Mike"
To: "Taraba, Joseph"
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

This is your COMBATING TERRORISM OFFICE for DOD asking you to kindly stop now please. We actually have work to do.
Not to be a buzz kill but this is NOT a networking tool. I will make a list of these responses to have all of you removed if it continues.
Thank you.

Michael Kinder
Infrastructure Protection
SETA Support to the TSWG

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Meyers, Charles L CTR OSD POLICY"
To: "Taraba, Joseph"
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

As a representative of the Department of Defense, I am ordering all to cease and desist with the emails! I'm a Sagittarius and it's overcast here in D.C.! :-)

Charlie Meyers

Subject: Re: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-03
From: "Bynum, Sarah J SPGI CWCS"

Well I am in jordan and this is costing me a fortune. Sent from my blackberry. Best regards. Sarah Bynum -----

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-03
From: "Palmer, Joseph H"
To: "King, James M"

If you happen to get near Golden, Colorado, stop by our plant for a tour of the world's largest single site brewery and a terrific product line from Coors!
Wonderful fall weather here in Colorado!! This is a better networking opportunity than the ASIS conference in Vegas last week

Joseph H Palmer Jr
Corporate Security Manager
Coors Brewing Company

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Slick, Scott S. BUMED Contractor"
To: "Eric Hamilton"


Scott S. Slick, CHS-III
Battelle Memorial Institute
Navy Medicine Office of Homeland Security (N35)

From: TechGuy
Subject: Fwd: Please do not use "reply to all" button
Cc: DHS Daily OSIR Distribution List

Are you serious? Is this actually the official response and remedy for this issue?
I have refrained from commenting up till now as to not perpetuate this issue, but this sort of response is unacceptable and just goes to prove why so many lack faith in our government and government agencies.
How about utilize some common measures to ensure that others are not allowed to send to the list. Its actually pretty simple and common place to do.

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Bass, Michael L SFC 94TH RRC"
To: "Chris"
Cc: "Ryan-Bunger, Gisela

Im a Sagitarius from NY. My only fault is that I am partial to V.O. on the rocks as I cut into my rare Porterhouse!

SFC Michael L. Bass
94th RRC
Command Security Manager

From: Jonathon Bangler
Subject: Vegas Anyone?
To: DHS Daily OSIR Distribution List

Anyone want to plan a gathering in Vegas?

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "Joseph Key"
To: "Darrel West"
Cc: "Alex Greene"

Does anyone have high level media contacts? This would make a great story for the national news.

From: "Alan Steinberg"
To: "'Bob Dart'"
Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02

I would expect that the list would be worth something!
What if someone was running for political office had access to the list and just wanted to plug themselves. Perhaps say something like "I'm Alan Steinberg, and I'm running for U.S. Congress." Or even plug their website, by saying "Please visit"
Oh wait... I just did it =D

Alan Steinberg
Candidate, U.S. Congress, TX-22

Subject: RE: Unsubscribe!
From: "Arlt, Timothy J."
Cc: DHS Daily OSIR Distribution List

I applaud your reaction it was mine as well. I sent a message to the DHS message board stating the following: Very distributing that the so called "security stakeholders" would use this exploder list in this manner! It is obvious that this message from DHS is reaching an audience that has no clue about security nor how to use what relevant information is presented. DHS needs to tighten control and security of these messages!
I apologize for adding an email to your already expanding inbox, but I wanted to convey to you that you are not alone. This event has left a severe distaste and dissatisfaction with many of your peers.

Tim Arlt
Nebraska Public Power District
System Control Manager

From: "Bob Dart"
To: DHS Daily OSIR Distribution List
Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02

I like the SANS blog post: "dozens" of e-mail replies. Dozens wouldn't be nearly as funny as the 200-some that you guys have managed to send so far.
And where did all the funny go, anyway? Sure, endless "take me off this list" messages are pretty funny themselves, showing us how clueless so many "security professionals" can be, but they're no match for long, virtual walks on the beach in between scuba diving. Come on, I expect more from you! Don't make me do work!
By the way, anyone know how much money someone can get for a list of 200+ e-mail addresses of government security professionals?

Subject: RE: DHS_Daily_Report_2007-10-02
From: "McBride, Donald"
To: "Bob Dart"

Is there going to be a prize for the 300th response?
Maybe a bottle of wine for those with a sense of humor, or a CD on how to configure your email to delete messages for those without.

From: "Amir Ferdosi"
To: DHS Daily OSIR Distribution List
Subject: Is this being a joke?

why are so many messages today?

Amir Ferdosi
Sazeman-e Sana'et-e Defa'
Qom, Iran

From: Marshall Odom
Subject: Give it a read you may see yourself in here!!!!!
To: Amir Ferdosi

Wow a reply from Iran!!!! Open source really does mean open source!!!!! For those of you that have responded to this email from an official computer with your snazzy little signature at the bottom, especially those that have every piece of contact information listed, including those of you that have disclosed sensitive phone numbers and classified email addresses have knowingly provided this information to people all over the world some of which I am sure are deemed "undesirables'. Folks wise up. This is an open report that anyone with an email address can subscribe to. Although some of you responses have been humorous to say the least (leave poor alex alone) you are opening doors to people that you do not want to. I notice some of you are in jobs that use this list as a way of staying informed although you have no true capacity in the world of infrastructure security and I applaud you for using this tool to stay abreast of all the information provided. But those of you that are in the military or provide services through any official office you should know better than to advertise who you are and who you work for. The best tool that someone can use to gain access to information they should not have is to befriend you and what better way than through some harmless emails. besides now they have all your information. This is trade craft 101 folks. Wise up and don't reply to something just because you can. I know that I now have access to hundreds of IP addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, names of personnel in sensitive positions and locations, I am only a cover story and a fake letterhead away from trolling for intel. James Bond made it look cool but in it's most simple form intelligence gathering can very easily start right here.Not good folks, and don't blame DHS for this, no one forced your hands to type. Besides DHS is not some all knowing autonomous being, it is staffed by people just like us; human and fallible, add some computers to the mix and we sit. In closing I would like to say thanks to all of you that serve our country in whatever capacity you may find yourself; from nurses to night-watchman and soldiers to salesmen, we all contribute to this great country and I thank you all.