Captain’s Log: November 2021

This month was remarkable for the joy of walking again! It is truly a simple pleasure to be able to go places. Last month I broke a toe and it is now ok to walk again.

TargetSummary
11k steps a dayI am not really aiming for this as I recover from the various injuries. I have managed two or three 10k steps a day per week this month which is a step in the right direction.
150 active minutes per weekNowhere close. But I managed about half from the walking. A huge improvement from a month of being stationary. My mood and everything is so much better.
1 technical blog a monthFinally published research via the work blog covering 10 CVEs in OpenCMS 11.0.2. These were found in collaboration with my colleague Sam Moore. I also published a Proof Of Concept for the ClickJacking vulnerability which resulted in admin level access.
Support my partner to exerciseThey stopped asking for this and I now am just taking the kids on wild adventures on Saturday mornings.
Record five songsI have probably recorded more than 5 songs for the year. So lets smash that goal this month.. *woo*.

I am making it a pretty regular hobby now. Considering upping my game with collaborations, or maybe biting the bullet and getting singing lessons and such. I have never taken it seriously but it is kind of fun.

I have not practiced playing guitar so often in my entire life and can feel lots of gains.
OSWEThis was a personal goal. I was asked by work to pursue another exam so this is probably not going to happen. If we are honest I am getting the joy of studying and improving my technical ability anyway. So this has changed to be “study to get better at the technical side”. I have been smashing through some more stacks so it is paying off.
Panic AttacksNovember was a pretty clear month. One or two moments where I needed to remember to hydrate and rest.

Other bits

Panic Attacks– I have not been on a train in years. The last time I did, I had a panic attack. Now I know that it was entirely unrelated in my conscious mind. But it is undeniable that I have chosen to avoid trains since. It was very unpleasant to be stuck on a train for 3 hours panicking back at a time I had no coping techniques at my disposal. I do have tools now. Soooooo… I went on four different trains this month. Not going to lie. There was definite uneasiness on the outward journeys. But I *always* came home smiling and full of the joys of life. Exposure therapy in action. The image for this post shows my face on the way out and back on my first trip.

Audiobooks – still plodding on with the Shoal series. I have completed Nova War, and have moved on to Empire of Light. As I have gotten back some mobility I have been able to walk around listening to audiobooks. This has massively helped improve my mood.

Television 1 – Doctor Who was back with a bang! On Halloween an opener to the Flux story line left me thirsty for more. Then this month it continued to deliver joy. It was nice to properly watch this with the kids. They have mostly sat there politely and let us watch it.

Television 2 – I watch all of Kim’s Convenience this month. It was joyous. Let some of this into your heart.

Public Speaking – I did a talk at Edinburgh Defcon for the firs time. I always figured I would be drinking beers in Edinburgh when I did. But… It was good to get off the fence.

Video Games 1 – Hollow Knight has been a bit of an obsession the last 2 months. I have sunk around 60 hours into it. I was attempting to get the PS4 trophies and also generally just loved getting lost in it. The platforming was joyous, the art gorgeous, and the boss battles challenging. I could have completed the story much faster but I kept hunting around for more to do. I am letting this linger on and refuse to end the story until I have done the fools challenge.

Video Games 2 – Wolfenstein: the new colossus. I somehow missed that this came out. The story is absolutely WILD. I am surely not even half of the way into this and it is such a roller coaster. I write this after a very powerful scene. The plot twist was absolutely brilliant.

Family – I played a lot of board and card games with the kids. We went to the park several times. Their granny visited. The eldest had some play dates. I taught my eldest literally everything I know about playing the piano, then we jammed! They are getting good at singing and hopefully getting confidence from it. We put the Christmas decorations up together. It was all rather nice.

House – We have tried to get builders to quote for an attic conversion. Not many have come to view the project. None have as yet delivered a quote. We still have no idea if we can even afford to do this. I have gone with doing smaller things myself regularly to feel progress. This month we built a new cabinet for the kitchen and finally gained the counter space and storage we needed to put all of our kitchen stuff into the kitchen. The next project will be to sort through the things in the kitchen so that they are to hand where they should be. This will be a big change.

This was mostly a great month.

Regards

Captain’s Log: October 2021

First, a highlight. I recorded a wee video which should speak to parents everywhere:

I was waiting for paint to dry with the front door open for air flow when I made this. As a bonus the neighbours have left me alone since!

This was a month marred by breaking my big toe on my left foot. It was sore but I have had worse. The featured image is the first day I managed to brave putting a shoe on. I have now healed up and am raring to start a bit of walking again.

Here is how I did in the new condensed table format.

TargetSummary
11k steps a dayI hurt my right ankle in March so this took a backburner. I started October getting back to decent mobility. Then guess what? I broke the big toe on my left foot! A temporary set back. By the last week of October I was able to walk about without flinching so I am hitting November with delusions of walking around again. I need to. I have put so much weight on with all these setbacks.
150 active minutes per weekNowhere close. The broken toe really made this impossible.
1 technical blog a monthI sneaked out a short blog post about finding missing patches in .net applications where you don’t have the source code.

There is also one that is still ready and waiting on some CVE references to get assigned.
Support my partner to exerciseThey stopped asking for this and I now am just taking the kids on wild adventures on Saturday mornings.
Record five songsI have probably recorded more than 5 songs for the year. I am making it a pretty regular hobby now. Considering upping my game with collaborations, or maybe biting the bullet and getting singing lessons and such. I have never taken it seriously but it is kind of fun.
OSWEI’ll be honest I think this is a Winter time activity. I was due to sit an exam this month so I took on the Portswigger Academy labs for a while. I really appreciate that these labs existed and that they are available for free. I still have lots of them to get through but I might actually do that exam instead of OSWE.
Panic AttacksThe start of October was pretty brilliant. I was getting back into the zone. I was sleeping, I was eating right, and exercise was in the right direction. The foot injury had the possibility of dragging me into depression but I chose to tell myself it was a brief delay and it worked. It was a tough month but I weathered it well.

Other bits

Audiobooks – still plodding on with the Shoal series. I am at Nova War. Without massive stretches of the day where I am walking about outside I did not really get the time for this it deserves. But it is good.

Television 1 – Deep Space 9. I finished this again. There are episodes that need to start with “warning; contains Gul Dukat and Kai Winn kissing”. Still a very entertaining show. Some really amazing episodes.

Television 2 – Watching Another Life season 2. I am completely bemused as to what happened in Season 1. There was no recap and me and my partner in crime were significantly confused. It is a good show. I love that the aliens are clearly Scottish “Ach-aye-ians”? You cannot hide that from me.

Television 3 – Doctor Who was back with a bang! On Halloween an opener to the Flux story line left me thirsty for more.

Television 4 – I re-watched Kimmy Schmidt. An excellent show. Lots of laughs in there and yet they covered quite a lot about mental health and inclusivity too. Honestly joyous.

Family – Unfortunately my foot injury happened the day before I had days booked off for half term. Instead of jollies I ended up with my foot up and yelling at the kids to please stop hitting it (which appeared to be their chosen activity) ! Classic. Then when I was back to a bit of mobility there was a cold/flu that ran through the family sticking us in several staggered periods of isolation awaiting COVID tests. It was a very tough week the one before Halloween. I upped the interaction with my eldest by getting off the bench and playing the Pokemon card game several times. With my partner being ill I was doing a lot of extra things and it was challenging.

House – I have started doing small DIY projects in the house. One a week. I have stared at damage I am capable of fixing for the entire 12 months we have lived here. The problem has been we know there will be a massive building project (attic conversion) and anything I do will likely get destroyed then. It has been depressing since the chances are a decent building firm will be booked into 2022 or 2023. In finally accepting that. I have decided to do minor patching and decorating myself. It is certainly making me feel better about the place. The plaster work is so bad that if we ever properly “do” a room, we are going to need it to be ripped back to brick and plastered before anything is done. Until doing that everything is just mucking around.

That is the log for October. I am looking forward to November. All the bad luck is officially over because I have decided it is.

If you have kids. I wish they eat their food for you.

Captain’s Log: September 2021

Here is how I did in the new condensed table format.

TargetSummary
11k steps a dayI hurt my ankle in March. Working on it with stretches and am back to walking about a bit. Hit several 10k steps days in the month too.
150 active minutes per weekNowhere close. But I was closer than last month so positive.
1 technical blog a monthIt is written but waiting for the vendor patches which are in mid-October.
Support my partner to exerciseThey stopped asking for this and I now am just taking the kids on wild adventures on Saturday mornings.
Record five songsI still don’t know how to use reaper but I have found the odd hour long slots to write and record some stuff. It is all rough and cringey but I guess you don’t get anywhere without practice.

Smiles
Cowboys Have Metaphors
No Manual

There was also a Webinar that I did for work where I ended with a song. I have linked to that bit of the video at the end.
OSWEI’ll be honest I think this is a Winter time activity.
Panic AttacksSeptember was a very stressful month at times. We were ill in a loop after the kids returned to school/nursery. There were several negative covid tests and many many lost hours of sleep. As always. The panic attacks come when there is a lack of sleep. For the September weekend we got away some place. It was invigorating so I ended the month really probably the happiest I have been in a while. Hence the music getting made.

Other bits

  • Research – Vendor is releasing patches in October so I will be able to speak about this on various blogs next month. I have invested £99 in a bit of hardware just to go looking for vulns to mix up the target for the next time. That has not panned out great so far. It has actually been a pretty hard target given the limited number of features enabled and real effort being put into disabling all the androidy options that you would usually be able to flip on.
  • Work Stress – I had a very stressful time at work early in September where I put in an ungodly amount of hours over a week. I got the thing done so eventually feel good about it but living through it. But I was pretty close to burning out. I did get support from colleagues when I put my hand up so remember to work places where you can play that card and know you will get assistance.
  • Audiobooks – Still plodding on with the Shoal series. I am at Nova War. Without massive stretches of the day where I am walking about outside I am not really getting the time for this it deserves. But it is good.
  • Television 1 – Deep Space 9. Really close to the end of it. There has been noise about Netflix losing various Star Trek franchises soon. Initially that seems to just be in the US but I guess the writing is on the wall. A fair amount of Netflix’s appeal to me is because it has ST properties. So lets see.
  • Television 2 – Man Down. I finally got around to watching it all. What a great show that was. Disappointed to not get a resolution to the cliffhanger ending. It made me seriously crave more Rik Mayall energy. His part in the first series was absolutely electric.
  • Family – First weekend we did play date on the Saturday then a nice breakfast at café. This was nice because I actually met some dad’s for a change. Usually I head along to the park for the exercise. But hey there I was debating whether a 36 year old Cristiano Ronaldo would have earned his transfer fee back in shirt sales already. I think yes. Kid 1 is getting to an age where they can almost watch a game of football with me staying up late to do so having survived the Scotland vs Moldova game.
  • Family 2 – We managed a long weekend away from the house. I am dubbing this the anxiety buster. After years of cancelled or hectic and horrible holidays we managed one where I mostly relaxed. I came back more positive and more able to sign up to things.
  • Car Upgrade – Got a new car stereo fitted. Because who knew that phones would be made one day in the future without Aux cables??? Had to join the Bluetooth revolution eventually I guess.

For those who stuck to the end. Here is the outtro song from the Webinar I did:

Yes that is majorly product placement for my current employer. But that was the gig. Technically I was paid to write a song there so I am now semi-professional.

That is the log for September.

Captain’s Log: August 2021

Here is how I did in the new condensed table format.

TargetSummary
11k steps a dayI hurt my ankle in March. Working on it with stretches and am back to walking about a bit.
150 active minutes per weekNot found an exercise I can get done with my ankle like this. There is quite limited availability for swimming pools atm due to covid and my exercise bike would put pressure on the ankle. Waiting on a referral to see whats what with it. Though just at the end of the month I got back on the bike as the ankle had felt better for several days.
1 technical blog a monthIt is written but waiting for the vendor patches.
Support my partner to exerciseThey stopped asking for this and I now am just taking the kids on wild adventures on Saturday mornings.
Record five songsI played with Reaper a bit more. But no completed songs. I still don’t know how to use DAWs because I am fairly chaotic and have zero sense of timing.
OSWEI’ll be honest I think this is a Winter time activity.
Panic AttacksI have been well clear of panic attacks. Probably because I mostly got sleep when sleep was good to be got. But to clarify I feel a sense of dread literally every time I go to do something. It is exhausting to push through that sometimes but I always drive home happy and singing from every jaunt out.

Other bits

  • Research – Waiting on a vendor to patch vulns before I can toot about the next batch.
  • Audiobooks – Still plodding on with the Shoal series. I am at Nova War. Without massive stretches of the day where I am walking about outside I am not really getting the time for this it deserves. But it is good.
  • Television 1 – Deep Space 9. This is probably the 3rd time I have started watching it through. This time I am seeing it through the lens of racism. The whole show seems to be about hating the Cardassians at the start. Even from Miles who is supposed to be an enlightened Human member of Star Fleet.
  • Family – Still working on fun for family, fun for me and my partner, and fun for me. Not doing too badly at it. We have been out and about more for food. To a few museums. It has been pleasant. We even made it to a swimming pool in Glasgow for the first time this year. It has been impossible to book slots all summer. When they stopped taking bookings we rocked up at 9am to be told there was an hour to wait and we were entirely unprepared for that. So it was a victory to finally get into a pool.
  • Family 2 – With the return to school we have gained a less stressful work-life balance (aside from odd drop off and pickup times). My partner (and primary child herder) has enjoyed a few weeks of afternoons free of childcare and has thoroughly and deservedly chilled out. The much delayed thinking about returning to work is now back on the cards. It is rarely spoken about how childcare can be monotonous and unrewarding for some people. But because of love, and covid, they have stuck ably to the task for years beyond the age nurseries would take the kids. Not to be a martyr, but because we believed it was right to do it this way for us. That has come at a cost to our mental health at times. The last time there was light at the end of this tunnel lockdowns started and punched that back down hard for over a year. Living a life waiting for time to tick is exceptionally hard.
  • Pentesting – I found a target with “.svn” folders and used svn-extractor to get the win.
  • Housey stuff – Most weekends this August we do about an hour of tidying up as a family and get the place pretty decent. Many hands make light work and all that! That is what this months featured image is about. The fact we were tidying stuff regularly. As a result I was also able to do some of the DIY tasks and get things variously recycled, gifted, or out of my life for ever as appropriate. My home office has had a re-orientation and I am considering getting a second desk for “hobbies”. We have also paid for a new floor for the kitchen and are waiting on an installation date. It will be great to finally be able to mop a surface. I could rant for hours about how this house has broken flooring everywhere but I won’t.

That is the log for August.

Captain’s Log: July 2021

Here is how I did in the new condensed table format.

TargetSummary
11k steps a dayI hurt my ankle in March. I have basically given myself a free pass and seen my health decline as a result. Now I am back to doing more exercise. Mixing YouTube videos with the kids and other activity. I have seen my steps back up to around the 10k a day mark. This is progress but it is slow. Then right at the end of the month my ankle has started hurting again. Time to get a GP involved.
150 active minutes per weekStart of July was a nightmare in terms of hay fever. I figure better cardio health is probably a good tool for bad days. So I have resolved to increase this again. Now the battle is getting what fitbit determines to be “Active Zone” minutes. Several times I have been out murdering parts of the garden dripping with sweat only to find that hour didn’t count. Logically I was definitely working hard. Not sure how to be measuring this now.
1 technical blog a monthI have failed to achieve this.
Support my partner to exerciseThey stopped asking for this and I now am just taking the kids on wild adventures in and around the house for Saturday mornings.
Record five songsI did not make anything ready to release. I have acquired a new DAW (Reaper) but have not had time to go through any tutorials for it. This is in the wake of Audacity going to the dogs and because I never quite got along with Ableton Live Lite which I have used before. I have done a lot of playing guitar in the garden but have not recorded anything.
OSWEI’ll be honest I think this is a Winter time activity.
Panic AttacksI had the start of a panic attack after gardening and probably reacting badly to all of the pollen. When you cannot breathe that is a good time to start a panic in my opinion. I got over it pretty quickly.

We went to Edinburgh for a weekend and the start of the drive definitely had me feeling the panic rising. This is possibly because I have not been further than 3 miles all pandemic. The hotel was worryingly about 5 degrees C hotter inside than outside in a heat wave. I have sensitivity around being too hot and if I cannot cool down then I am not really able to relax. Eventually we did what we had booked before we arrived and then checked out as soon as possible and went home. The thought of a second night not sleeping in the furnace of a room was not great.

Other bits

  • Research – Having cleared the Fedena stuff I finally went hunting for more CVEs. As part of a team at work we have found 10 new CVE worthy vulnerabilities in another bit of Open Source software. The vendor has been responsive (result!) and hopefully I can turn this around in way less than 12 months to disclosure like Fedena was. There is scope for a blog and a talk at DC44141 for September IF they can get the patches out in time.
  • Euro 2020 – What an amazing tournament this was. I really enjoyed it. Scotland’s cameo showed we needed a striker but that is life. Our players have experience now so lets go for more qualifications.
  • Audiobooks 1 – as I have picked up the exercise and steps again I have finally completed Stealing Light: Shoal, Book 1 by Gary Gibson. This was really entertaining and had some nice ideas in there. I am now a couple of hours into the second book in the series.
  • Television 1 – Deep Space 9. This is probably the 3rd time I have started watching it through. This time I am seeing it through the lens of racism. The whole show seems to be about hating the Cardassians at the start. Even from Miles who is supposed to be an enlightened Human member of Star Fleet.
  • Movies – We watched Parasite. It was a fun couple of evenings (because parents can rarely watch a film in one sitting).
  • Family – I have made an effort to ensure each day has fun for me, fun for me and the kids, and fun for me and my partner. I think the pandemic really had done a number on my happiness. This seems to be the way to go. We went on a trip to Edinburgh (the first time I have gone more than 3 miles since lockdown 1). This was largely a success.
  • Outside 1 – We travelled more than 3 miles for the first time since lockdown 1. We went to Edinburgh to see the Ray Harryhausen exhibit. I thoroughly recommend it if you have enjoyed any of his movies growing up. It has many models that made me go *squee*. Highlight of the trip for the kids was a go in a swimming pool at the hotel. This was a great weekend because I didn’t have a major freak out and this is progress. It gets easier as the kids get bigger.
  • Outside 2 – Last weekend of July we went to the Glasgow Science Centre. This is always a joyous experience and you should also give that a go. The soft play part on the middle floor is closed (probably because Covid would make that a nightmare to police). There is still oodles to see and do. We gave the cafe a go and rate it pretty highly.

That is the log for July.

Captain’s Log: June 2021

Here is how I did in the new condensed table format.

TargetSummary
11k steps a dayI hurt my ankle in March. I am out of this game for the foreseeable.
150 active minutes per weekI am not getting “active” minutes (on the FitBit scale) on the exercise bike to the same degree I was from jogging. But I am doing 20 minutes at least 3 times a week. I am going out for walks with the kids and gardening at the weekends. None of this is seemingly counting on the FitBit scale.
I am working on getting back to activity it feels closer.
1 technical blog a monthSuccess. I documented the basics of attacking an internal network using Responder, Hashcat, Metasploit, Bloodhound and CrackMapExec. Giddy thrill of apparently this being shared by threat actors enough to wind up in threat intelligence feeds. Which is bemusing for entry level tooling and techniques that have been around for years.
Support my partner to exerciseThey stopped asking for this and I now am just taking the kids on wild adventures in and around the house for Saturday mornings. Counting down the days until I get vaccinated and feel willing to goto visitor attractions again like the world class museums in Glasgow.
Record five songsI have recorded heaps of short ideas. Mostly on the guitar sat out in the sunshine. Some of them I can see me converting into 2-3 minute items.
OSWEI’ll be honest I think this is a Winter time activity.
Panic AttacksI have avoided them again this month.

Other bits

  • Research – I was not able to talk about this last month but the Fedena research finally came out. My team and I found seven vulnerabilities in this school management software. It took over a year from discovery to posting. This was picked up by the daily swig, which was nice! Getting clear of this has given me a boost to go find some more bugs. The technical details for the authentication bypass CVE-2021-27980 are out for reading. Or just the short video of the PoC:

  • Euro 2020 – I cannot adequately put into words how excited I was for this. I barely watch football these days but I just love these tournaments. The fact that Scotland were at the party just made it all the more exciting. The build up to the first game was fantastic and I was singing through the entire game. It doesn’t matter that Scotland exited early. We actually played pretty well. I would say that was pretty much the tale for our tournament in the end. We played well. We created chances. But we couldn’t take them and that was the end of that.
  • Audiobooks 1 – technically still on Stealing Light: Shoal, Book 1 by Gary Gibson. A good bit of Sci-Fi. But without much exercise or walking occurring these days my time has been limited.
  • Television 1 – Star Trek Voyager. I have completed this and it honestly stands up quite well. Last time I watched it there were far more episodes I wanted to skip. This time I was ok with most of it. Some excellent Star Trek in here.
  • Television 2 – Brooklyn 99. After voyager I fell back into season 7 of this. What a lovingly made show this is. Captain Raymond Holt going badass over his fluffy boy being kidnapped is a total highlight.
  • House – We booked someone to come replace the bathroom sink and they have not done so yet. We have sort of been stuck waiting on that as we are trying to do things in a set order.
  • Garden – Has paid out strawberries twice already this summer. I have had horrific hay fever (the worst I have ever had) but I have still been able to murder the lawn appropriately so hopefully I will learn to get that done more effectively to minimise the impact. I have been out the back in a Darth Vader style breathing mask but that didn’t actually reduce the symptoms after cutting the grass. Answers on a post card (or comment) welcome.

That is the log for June.

Captain’s Log: May 2021

Here is how I did in the new condensed table format.

TargetSummary
11k steps a dayI hurt my ankle in March. I am out of this game for the foreseeable.
150 active minutes per weekWeek 1 – No.
Week 2 – No.
Week 3 – No.
Week 4 – No.

I am not getting “active” minutes (on the FitBit scale) on the exercise bike to the same degree I was from jogging. But I am doing 20 minutes at least 3 times a week. I am going out for walks with the kids and gardening at the weekends. None of this is seemingly counting on the FitBit scale.
1 technical blog a monthA cheeky wee post about XSS. Nothing too fancy. But highlighting that the techniques I blogged about a while back still pay out.
Support my partner to exerciseThey stopped asking for this and I now am just taking the kids on wild adventures in and around the house for Saturday mornings. Counting down the days until I get vaccinated and feel willing to goto visitor attractions again like the Transport Museum.
Record five songsI recorded a song for the Euro2020 campaign called Singing and Swinging. I knocked out a cheap video over the bank holiday weekend so that it can be shared on YouTube. The video is under the table.
OSWEI’ll be honest I think this is a Winter time activity.
Panic AttacksI didn’t get to full blown panic attack. But I did medically need sleep one day at the end of May. Kids were just popping up at random times of the night. I also did rather a lot of things in the evenings into the wee hours too many nights on the bounce. It settled down after I finally got some sleep.

Singing and Swinging

Other bits

  • Audiobooks 1 – carrying on with Stealing Light: Shoal, Book 1 by Gary Gibson. A good bit of Sci-Fi. With the school commute removed, and me no longer grinding out 11k steps a day otherwise I have barely touched the audiobooks. I should rethink my life!
  • Television 1 – Star Trek Voyager. I have not rewatched this in ages so it was a natural thing to give another go. I like it and think the performance of the Dr in particular stands out.
  • House – We finally got new windows installed having waited something like 6+ months. We moved at a point when you couldn’t get people to quote let alone fix anything. So this has been a massive boost. A new boiler has also gone in this month. I want to tackle at least painting everything now while we tread water for years waiting on the real work that I have to save up for.
  • Open Source – I got feedback from Daniel Card that my CVE-Offline project was out in the wild helping the Cyber 19 volunteers secure healthcare during covid-19. You never know where open source projects go or how they help. So this has been great to learn.
  • Research – [REDACTED BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT GOT THE CORPORATE BLOG POST OUT YET]. A bit of a tease I know.
  • Bank holiday weekend – I really needed this one to be good, and it really was. I BBQed twice. I did some gardening (well I murdered a bunch of stuff and trimmed things). I went for a walk in some trees with the kids. Did the whole “look at me I know things” stuff when Kid B walked through stinging nettles and I used a doc leaf to sort it out. Started a log fire in the garden at night and sat talking to my partner into the wee hours. It was a really relaxed long weekend and I just want more like it. I feel like we have been low on joy for a very long time and we are getting back to it.

That is the log for May.

Captain’s Log: April 2021

Here is how I did in the new condensed table format.

TargetSummary
11k steps a dayI hurt my ankle in March. I am out of this game for the foreseeable.
150 active minutes per weekWeek 1 – No. But I now have an exercise bike which I am starting a new journey on.
Week 2 – No.
Week 3 – No. Kids returned to school so I was walking rather than exercise.
Week 4 – No. Back on my bike now that school routine is established again.
1 technical blog a monthI sneaked out a wee post on enumerating RDP settings using PowerShell and release rdp-enum.
Support my partner to exerciseThey stopped asking for this and I now am just taking the kids on wild adventures in and around the house for Saturday mornings. Counting down the days until I get vaccinated and feel willing to goto visitor attractions again like the Transport Museum.
Record five songsI have recorded a mountain of partial songs. I just go sit in the garden and batter something out. Nothing quite fit for release this month.
OSWEI have not prioritised it this month.
Panic AttacksA clear month really. A few dicey moments but not full blown panic.

Other bits

  • Audiobooks 1 – carrying on with Stealing Light: Shoal, Book 1 by Gary Gibson. A good bit of Sci-Fi. With the school commute removed, and me no longer grinding out 11k steps a day otherwise I have barely touched the audiobooks. I should rethink my life!
  • Television 1 – Star Trek Discovery Season 3. Bravo to the makers they have really turned it around. While I didn’t hate STD season 1 and 2 I would say I was not in love with it. We didn’t get enough about the crew and the almost singular focus on one character was not working for me. It is Star Trek. I want some aliens. I want some exploration of humanity through the prism of different cultures. Maybe I like Season 3 because I have given up on that dream to some extent? Season 3 has been a breath of fresh air and we actively WANTED to watch the next episode. It was well done.
  • Television 2 – Titans. Oh wow… A DC property that isn’t just needlessly moody. With characters I know little or nothing about going into it. This show has been keeping me going on my exercise bike adventures. Like when I had a treadmill, I get a lot of TV shows watched while I exercise. I ran every minute of Sons of Anarchy, 24, and various other programmes in the past.
  • Game 1 – maquette. A PS Plus title of the month. It is gorgeous on so many levels. The sound track is sumptuous and the mechanics of the puzzles is so damn cute that your inner 5 year old will make you laugh. You honestly will.
  • Game 2 – Final Fantasy VII (remastered). I never played this before. I will start with that. Another PS Plus title which I would otherwise have not chosen to play. The story seems like it is going places. The kids are watching as I play along because of all the whizzy lights and swords and such. It is not a true open world because of the age of the title. You are very much on rails for the duration but it is going down well with me. Update: I finished this over the early May bank holiday before I got the post out. It was worth the time but suffered from massive cut scenes at times.

That is the log for April.

Captain’s Log: March 2021

Here is how I did in the new condensed table format.

TargetSummary
11k steps a dayI hurt my ankle. I do not know how and cannot recall a slip or anything I was just suddenly in lots of pain walking one day. So.. At day 452 since I started going for 10k steps a day my run ended. I needed to rest it up.
150 active minutes per weekWeek 1 – Yes
Week 2 – No – ankle injury and sore throat so I took a week off.
Week 3 – Ditto on the ankle.
Week 4 – Ditto on the ankle.
1 technical blog a monthI managed 2 short but useful posts that I will need to refer to in future.
How to use letsencrypt with python HTTP services.
Solving a pentester’s pesky proxy problem.
Support my partner to exerciseWeek 1 – Yes
Week 2 – No – they actually smashed their goal and didn’t need me on the Saturday.
Week 3 – Yes
Week 4 – Yes
Record five songsSince I was inactive I had more time and I actually have made a song. Well almost. It is not finished. I had a DAW to try and learn and fancied trying some layers because that is all new to me:

Whatever – version 3

The vocals will be re-recorded sometime when the kids aren’t asleep in the next room, the lyrics are already different on paper, and there is a 3rd verse from a different protagonist to be expected. But still.. Been happily listening to it today on a loop.
OSWEI have not prioritised it this month.
Panic AttacksA clear month really. A few dicey moments but not full blown panic.

Other bits

  • Audiobooks 1 – carrying on with Stealing Light: Shoal, Book 1 by Gary Gibson. A good bit of Sci-Fi.
  • Television 1 – Star Trek Discovery (catch up Season 1 and 2). My house loves Star Trek. So we watched this when it came out. We sat down to consider watching season 3 and realised; we cannot remember a damn thing that happened. Like literally nothing. So we decided to re-watch Season 1 and 2 first. It is definitely different to previous ST series. It is not necessarily good or bad that it is different. I feel a bit like I really don’t care about any of the characters at all and that the plot is too heavily reliant on the lead character instead of there being an ensemble to draw on. Rewatching it again was like watching it for the first time for us. It was definitely a chore at times. Then we finally got to Season 3. It was like a breathe of fresh air. Suddenly it was way more exciting and we were happy to watch the next one as soon as possible!
  • Television 2 – Away (netflix) – I like a bit of sci-fi but I also have a soft spot for content imagining our near future with basically the technology we have but an increased will to use it. This series was pretty decent in that category. Some good acting performances. A nice distraction. I wanted the next episode when the season ended. But so far this is likely to be something I entirely forget in a few weeks.

That is the log for March. It is sunny outside and I have some days off. Excellent.

Captain’s Log: February 2021

Here is how I did in the new condensed table format.

TargetSummary
11k steps a day5 miles of steps. Every single day.
150 active minutes per weekWeek 1 – Yes
Week 2 – Yes
Week 3 – Yes
Week 4 – Yes
1 technical blog a monthI missed this in January (which seems mad when I had several drafts almost ready to go). So in February I put out two:

Verifying Insecure SSL/TLS protocols are enabled
Pentesting Electron Applications

On track for that. I have a few other ideas for coming months.
Support my partner to exerciseWeek 1 – Yes
Week 2 – Yes
Week 3 – Yes
Week 4 – Yes
Record five songsI have not prioritised it this month.
OSWEI have not prioritised it this month.
Panic AttacksI never actually got to the state of disruptive levels of panic this month. I got pretty close. I had a fairly stressful project to work on at the same time as home schooling while maintaining the daily and weekly exercise tasks. This had me doing some pretty long days which definitely made me stressed. I just knew better when to go and take a lie down. All hail the hour nap.

Other bits

  • Audiobooks 1 – I completed Dune by Frank Herbert. This was a great listen and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Audiobooks 2 – I have started Stealing Light: Shoal, Book 1 by Gary Gibson. This was a recommendation and so far I am not far into it. It is painting an interesting universe for mankind’s future. There is a species that pops up to other sentient species and goes: We can give you a bunch of technology and help you colonise this region of space which is yours. In order to get this you agree to not do X, Y and Z. Which creates a dependence on the Shoal corporation. So far it is some pretty decent Sci-Fi which shows despite the advancement of time we remain just as seedy.
  • Television – I have loved South Park for years. I haven’t been keeping up with it for over a decade. With a bunch of episodes being added to Netflix I have started to catch up. They are masters at talking about issues in an interesting way. You don’t have to agree with everything they say to enjoy it. But it is worth remembering how great this show is (once we get past the initial seasons which were mostly fun but entirely juvenile).
  • Television – A while back I started watching Babylon 5 again when I realised I could get it on Amazon Prime (not free). I watched the show when I was clearly too young to understand it. For some reason I didn’t complete the full watch through even though I was enjoying it. I picked it up again and mid season there was an announcement that the content had been upgraded to HD. This makes it even more watchable. The writing is amazing and the cast do some fantastic things together. It is truly amazing that this was made pre-streaming to be as layered as it is. You had to wait a week for another episode, and they would sometimes not have a thing pay off for years. Now that you can watch this back-to-back I intend to and so should you :D.

That is the log for February.