All posts by john


Power and stuff

I have been writing a lot in notebooks lately. Normally where I’ll make checkboxes and lists I have been writing full sentences. Instead of putting “read, work out, take dogs out” as a list, I’ll write that out like this: “Today I’m going to read 10 pages from . I’m going to do my Thursday workout. And I need to take the dogs out at 10 am.” There’s something in writing in a book that connects me to the act of doing as well as the intention of doing.

It also allows me to think as I write, to process my thoughts in order to get them down. I find when I write on a computer, I’m focussed more on the writing than the thinking. I have to pause to think. That may be due to being able to type fast and without looking at the keyboard, or maybe it’s just consequent to the act of typing. I don’t know. But when I write in cursive on paper, my thought processes are much different and I’m able to think more thoughts and connect more dots than when I type.

I was explaining power to someone today (one day, I might share who that someone is – long story and beyond the scope of this post) and the morality behind it. As well as the philosophy behind power. I expressed my definition of power: Something that empowers you to do something.

Fire is power since it empowers you to cook or be warm.
Electricity is power (and we actually refer to it as power) since it empowers you to do all the things it does (too long to list here).
Money is power since it empowers you to acquire resources for your or others’ consumption and/or enjoyment.
Physical strength is power since it empowers you to help lift others up, literally, or dig them out of a tornado-struck house.

It’s the use of power that creates morality, not the existence of it. Using a horse to plow a field is power. Eating salad is power. These things empower you to do other things.

Anything that empowers is power.

I couldn’t think these thoughts while I type, only while I write.

Then I thought of contemporary uses of the term empower. When we teach, we empower. We can empower people to stand up for themselves by teaching them a perspective of the situation and themselves. We can empower people to stand up for others, again by teaching perspective and sharing insight so the compassionate will be moved to stand.

Does this make us… Power? Do we have the power to empower people?

We absolutely do.

What an incredible source of identity. To have the power to empower people. And I’ve seen that empowerment come from encouraging words, insight, perspective, instruction, a pat on the back, a hug, a cheer… so many things can empower people.

And each one of us has this power.

As they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Did you know that you have that power? If you had asked me academically yesterday, I would have said yes. But after I considered the profundity of my definition of power in relation to whether we each have power, my answer is still yes… but a wholly different yes.

Be powerful. Empower everyone whose path you cross. That’s your power.


August Thefteros Exaday 2020

I have now gone through a full decaday since I started the idea.

Here are my initial observations:

  1. The tracking part hasn’t changed. I track my week tasks on a piece of paper. I’ve updated that paper/printout to be a 10 day rather than 7 day. Tracking stuff hasn’t changed.
  2. I was right about interfacing with work. It’s going to take some effort to try to make that work. That dissonance between the weeks may make the effort not worthwhile.
  3. I think the benefit will be realized when I actually start tracking other projects. Will tracking my personal projects benefit from this decaday? I don’t know, but I haven’t given it a chance yet. So far I’ve tracked calendar items, not projects items. I think that’s where I need to focus next to see if there is any benefit.

What is the decaday?

I’m always trying new techniques to organize my time to better align to my best and most productive self.

Recently, I’ve created the concept of the 10 day week. So, basically a month would be 3 weeks long, with the final week being anywhere from 8 to 11 days depending on the month.

The format will be the week name followed by the day name.

The week names are as follows Protos, Thefteros, Tritos (First, Second, Third).

The day names are Enaday, Deoday, Triaday, Tetraday, Pentaday, Exaday, Eptaday, Octoday, Eneaday, Decaday, (and Endecaday as needed for months with 31 days). These are days 1-11 respectively.

So, the 6th day of the month will be Protos Exaday. Day 14 will be Thefteros Tetraday. The 28th with be Tritos Octoday.

Simple enough.

Why would I do this?

Because I’m a nerd, that’s why. I have no better reason to try this than to see if it will work. Instead of tracking 7 days at a time, is it easier to track 10 days? Can I break my projects into 3 chunks in a month rather than 4 and find it more productive? Will 10 days be a better fit with the nature of life and what I do?

I have absolutely no idea. I don’t know if this will be successful or if this will flop. I will not be disappointed either way. I will have learned something.

Going into this though, I know my difficulty will be interfacing with my work calendar which will inevitably stay 7 day-based.

I’ll update as I go along.


Log: 08/16/2020

Here we are. Sunday night. Everyone’s asleep but me (and everyone playing videos, but they should go to sleep).

I bought a new laptop recently. I’m not going to say it is the fastest in the world, but it is faster than the one listed as the fastest in the world by several (no doubt branded articles) 2 months ago. It does have more cores than any laptop in the market.

I’ve not been able to do any serious development for many months as my other laptop is 1) old enough to start showing signs of keeping up with my need for processing power and 2) damaged enough that it no longer charges a battery so it’s basically an underpowered desktop. I’ll probably repurpose it as a server.

Anyways, I have so many projects to try to catch up on now. First of which is a rewrite of my task-management software. I built a version that is SUPER insecure, but the purpose was two-fold; to learn how to program in a new language and to also create a rocking task manager. I accomplished both, but I was not following any security conventions when I wrote it. Now that I work in security, when I look at it my skin crawls.

I’m rewriting to a version others can use as well. So, if you’re interested, drop my a line and I’ll add you to a beta-users list.

Once I’m done that, next “Johnny Renaissance Project” is a t-shirt store that I’ve started (on paper at least, plus some domain purchasing, etc). Trying to generate a little passive income. I have a few projects passed that but they are written in my journal which isn’t in my hand at the moment and I wrote them down so I wouldn’t have to remember them. 🙂

I am toying with the idea of working in 10 day chunks. You can follow the Decaday category for the updates.

PS. RV life rocks.


How to deal with all “this”

There are so many things going on in the world today: riots, protests, racism, pandemics, entitlement, righteousness (from damn near every segment).

I’d like to suggest a framework that might help you deal with all the constant deluge of information. So many ways you’re suppose to think and feel otherwise you are wrong and will be blasted across the internet as someone who doesn’t think the right way. But not any 2 groups can agree on how to think.

The framework is…

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Journey to the CISSP

I’ve started a new journey.

Actually, this journey was started when I attended a March 2020 CISSP bootcamp. They were clear during the bootcamp that in-and-of-itself, the bootcamp was not enough to get you a passing score on the CISSP exam.

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Biz ops to solve climate change

I seriously don’t like the term climate change. Because lets face it, if we get it moving in the right direction, it’s still changing, right?

Change isn’t bad.

We need to rename this.

All that aside, any problem presents opportunity.

Here’s a quick article about opportunities in the climate “change” industries.

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Starting in Cybersecurity

So you want to get into cybersecurity??

I mean, it’s all the rage, right? Cyberwarriors are the new soldier!

But where to start?

I’ll make this short and sweet, much like myself.

There are two components to getting into anything digital. Only two components. If you want to write programs, create graphics, run projects, or get paid to hack.

The two components are:

  1. Learn
  2. Do

Easy, right? Well, ya. Seriously, you can try to do either one of these, but if you only focus on learning and you never test your knowledge or who your skills by doing, then you’re an academic and people can smell them a mile away. The people who “know” everything but can’t actually get anything done because they really don’t know how to do the do.

You can focus on doing. A lot of people get ahead by doing. That’s because most people don’t do. They sit on their asses and want.

But only doing and not enhancing your skills with knowledge beyond your pragmatic day-to-day crumpets of do causes you to lose out on a significant amount of progress and headway.

You have to do both if you want to break into a new digital industry.

The greatest thing about the digital industry, though, is that learning and doing can by super cheap and even free.

To learn, look for free or super cheap resources. Udemy is cheap. Khan academy is free (I think it is, in part at least). Youtube is free. Google is free (except the parts of you they sell, but we don’t talk about that).

There are so many free resources for learning what you want to learn that it’s not even worth trying to give an exhaustive list.

The next part is doing. If you want to learn cybersecurity, nothing really beats setting up an environment and trying to hack it. Environments are free. Virtualbox is free. Linux is free. Hacking tools are free. Sample vulnerable apps are free. Download these things, set them up, and start hacking away.

It’s going to be so painful at first. Everything is when you have to learn an entirely new skillset. But you have to start somewhere.


and Learn.

If you don’t stop, you will eventually know.