I like to travel, f*ck with technology, and partake in the occasional tropical drink.
I am also a co-host on The NBD Show podcast.
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So we are going on year two of this Pandemic thing, and so far it looks like it might be here longer then we thought,  That being said with the new normal it has changed what we carry with us when we have to leave the house. Below are a few of the items I have come across that have worked really well for me.

Face Masks: I have tried quite a few but a few masks and mask accessories have risen to the top.
  • My Number One mask so far I just purchased and I have to say it is comfortable and provides really good protection. It is the U mask, https://www.u-mask.eu . I found this mask because quite a few of the Formula 1 teams actually use them. Here is a link to their protection information https://www.u-mask.eu/certifications
  • My second favorite mask is a cloth mask that was a included with SF B-Sides conference. It has been my go to for almost the entire pandemic. With the addition of the next item on my list.
  • This has been a life saver for me and can turn a mediocre face mask into a great fitting comfortable face mask. Its the 4ocean face mask support frame, this thing is awesome and your purchase goes to an awesome charity removing plastic from our oceans. 
  • Last but not least the good old fashion disposable masks. These masks have proven to be affective and are really comfortable. I am not a fan of one use masks but in a pinch.
  • Updated addition: I have been wearing a new mask from Cambridge Masks and I  really like it. They are super comfortable and offer a lot of protection. check them out https://cambridgemask.com/ . Also here is a link to their protection information https://info.cambridgemask.com/hc/en-us/categories/360005482191-Certifications-

Hand Sanitizer
  • I purchased a case of alcohol hand sanitizer at the initial onset of the pandemic from Raff Distillery in San Francisco and I am still using it. It doesn't look like they are producing it any more but here is a link to their web site. https://raffdistillerie.com/handsanitizer.html
  • I also purchased reusable flat pocket sprayers that fit in your pocket and are discreet so you can carry them anywhere. I filled them with the alcohol based hand sanitizer above and a little Vitamin E and inessential oils for smell. 
  • The travel size Purell hand sanitizers are the best if the spray just doesn't feel strong enough.
  • Lastly a small travel size Clorox wipes these are awesome to wipe down airline seats, hotel countertops, or pretty much any where sketchy.

I am become pretty comfortable with the new normal, in-fact I kind of like wearing face masks in public locations. It makes me feel covert.... In addition to the above I have a couple more things that I do that are probably not necessary but I do them anyway.  

The first is when I fly or I am stuck in a crowded indoor location I like to wear my glasses. I don't need to wear my glasses all the time, but I feel like it might add a small additional layer of protection, and does not look as paranoid as the entire face shield. 

Finally if I am traveling on the road or staying in a hotel or AirBNB I will bring a can of lysol to just spray and sanitize the general counter tops restrooms etc. I have a few friends that did this before there was such a thing as coronavirus but since the pandemic I have picked up the habit. 

Remember Get Vaccinated, Stay Safe and be Compassionate, the first two are obvious but Compassion for our fellow human beings is really what is going to get us through this Pandemic and the Stressful times many are experiencing.



Enhanced Data Visualization Dashboard using Splunk


I am a fan of Palo Alto Networks NGFW, especially the visibility it can give you in to your traffic. PAN does a pretty good job within their management tools of organizing and reporting on the data, but most of us also have large SIEMs or Logging solutions like Elastic's ELK stack. Splunk, exabeam, etc.

Splunk being one of the more popular SIEM and logging solutions, I created a PAN Threat Dashboard I wanted to share. If you have Splunk running in your environment and the Splunk Palo Alto Networks add-on installed all the pre-defined fields should work correctly. If not, you may need to tweak 1 or 2 fields in the dashboard to make it work. When you copy the code from my GitHub save it in a text editor and perform the following steps.  It should be up and running in your environment in no time.

You will need to identify your Palo Alto firewall host= fields (how Splunk identifies the device sending logs) to populate the field2 drop down menus.


  1. Log into Splunk and go to Search
  2. Click on Dashboards and Create a new Dashboard
  3. Once you have created your new dashboard go to edit and select source tab on the top
  4. Clear out the default text in the dashboard and copy and paste the dashboard from GitHub.
  5. Before you save the dashboard you will need to identify your Palo Alto firewall host= fields to populate the field2 drop down menus, I have space holders firewall-1, firewall-2, etc. configured currently


You should be good to go!



The following is complete speculation but wanted to at least start a discussion around what could have happened at Facebook today.

 I don't think it was an honest mistake that caused the Facebook outage. With DNS reported down  BGP routing issues and reports that even internal networks are affected, this looks bigger than a single mistake. Facebook most certainly has complicated network segmentation and redundancy in place for there internal and external networks.

Also, the timing is very suspect since it is the day after the Facebook Whistleblower interview on 60 Minutes.

If this isn't the work of a disgruntled employee, it is some sophisticated shit, and they have been living rent-free in the Facebook network for a long time. They got all the bytes they need and decided to blow that shit up after the interview.

I hope Facebook shares the details of the outage. If it was indeed an internal error that caused the outage it may be an eye opener for other large platforms to learn from the mistake.  If it was nefarious activities that caused this, it could be an epic learning opportunity for the Cyber security world.

Either way please share the outcome Facebook....

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. I like all cookies but chewy warm chocolate chip cookies are my favorite.  Since there is only two of us the recipe I posted is cut in half.  Just double it if you want the full batch, the half batch will make about 1 1/2 dozen.


  • 1 1/8 cup of all purpose flower
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 stick of un-salted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of smi-sweet chocolate chips



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in the upper and lower third positions. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside.
  3.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add salt, vanilla, and eggs; mix to combine.
  5. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.  
  6. Mix in chocolate chips.


Preparing to Bake

  1. Using a tablespoon measure, drop heaping portions of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.



  1. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes.  
  2. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. 




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