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Archive for July, 2009

Fun Disaster Video

Gotta love this.



A Recent Clinton Admin PII Breach Affects Me!

I received notice that “The National Archives Records Administration (NARA) learned in late March 2009 that an external hard drive containing a copy of Clinton Administration Executive Office of the President data is missing from a NARA processing room… The hard drive includes files that contain personally identifying information (PII.)” Specifically, this hard drive includes HR information… and I used to work at the White House… so my information was compromised.

The brochure also says what NARA is doing about the situation:

  • “NARA’s Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the US Secret Service, has launched a full-scale criminal investigation into this incident. NARA is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the recovery of the missing hard drive.
  • NARA informed the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team of the Department of Homeland Security, the White House Counsel’s Office, staff of our House and Senate Oversight Committees, and a representative of former President Clinton.
  • NARA is sending notification letters to affected individuals and offering free credit monitoring services to help protect individuals from identity theft.
  • NARA is revising its internal policies and procedures to ensure maximum protection of electronic and textual records containing PII. NARA is also implementing stringent physical and technical safeguards in place to protect protect personal information and prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future. Other initiatives include annual and refresher training for our employees and contractors to ensure they are familiar with privacy rules, regulations and standard operating procedures aimed at reducing the risk of breaches of PII.”

This is all pretty interesting stuff for me. My thoughts:

  1. I currently specialize in IT Compliance, which includes designing, implementing, and testing controls for protecting PII. I now have a new anecdote for sales meetings!
  2. I am annoyed that it took so long to inform me. Four months?!?! There’s time for some serious Identity damage in that amount of time!
  3. I am not particularly concerned, since I took Identity Theft protection measures after my computer was stolen… so much of the work is done… I’ll take up NARA on the extra protections, but it is duplicative at this point.

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South Bend Indiana & Chicago

Recently, I attended my friend Tamara’s wedding at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. I flew into Chicago & spent a few hours in downtown Chicago on the way back.

Here’s a photo of me and Tamara, along with a link to the photo gallery on Smugmug.

Lura and Tamara

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Little Friends

CC is a very friendly dog. She gets along with adults, children, and other big and medium-sized dogs well. The other day I took CC to the dog park & she made quick friends with the large dogs at the park. Then an owner brought a mop-like little white dog to the park. This teacup-sized dog must have been a pomeranian/poodle mix or some such ridiculousness. It just looked too much like a bunny rabbit or stuffed animal to me. I didn’t want to take any chances that CC would see this little guy as an easy target. I lunged for CC’s collar and took her home right away.

Today, I took CC with me over to Matt’s house. Matt and I worked, while CC and Butter (his labrador) had a play date. Neither of us were really paying attention when CC came in the house & immediately found Neptune, the family cat. But CC was perfectly friendly with Neptune. The cat wasn’t amused with the slobbering monster greyhound towering over her, but nothing bad happened.

Maybe I can take a deep breath and calm down a bit when it comes to CC making little friends. Her “prey drive” isn’t super high. Thank goodness!


Grinning and Cockroaching Greyhound

OK… I know I’m a little transfixed on my new dog. So sue me!

Greyhounds are weird dogs. In this photo Cecilia is displaying 3 ways in which greyhounds are weird.

  1. They can sleep with their eyes open, like a cat. In this photo, CC is actually asleep.
  2. Greyhounds sometimes sleep in this “cockroaching” position.
  3. Normally when a dog displays his/her teeth, it’s a sign of aggression. Not so with GH’s. With GH’s this is a sign of happiness and contentment. Below, she’s doing what is called “grinning” among GH owners.

So this photo shows that Cecilia is a happy dog, totally comfortable in her new environment. I think that’s pretty darn cool. We’re only 4 days into bonding & her whole new life.

CC - a Cockroaching & Grinning Greyhound


CC Outings & Firsts

I took Cecilia to the Torrey Pines Glider Port and to the Del Mar dog beach yesterday. She loved both!

Here are some photos.

CC beachdog


Name = Cecilia / CC


So I decided to call my dog Cecilia “CC” for short. She has 3 theme songs:


Ex-Racing Greyhound’s First Day As a Pet

Yesterday was my girl’s first day as a pet. Previously, she was raised in kennels with other working dogs, or kenneled at the Greyhound Adoption center. She did extraordinarily well. We didn’t have any problems worth mentioning. She didn’t try to get up on my furniture, she didn’t potty in the house, she ate all her food. She’s just a bit disoriented by the sounds of the neighborhood, which include a daily piano lesson, a baby crying, and basketball court nearby. The squeaking of sneakers on the pavement must remind her of a squeaker toy, because she seems to get excited and wants to go out to investigate and play.

My car, Mini Lee, is a hatchback & racing greyhounds view the hachback lid as a starting gate. So her training would tell her to jump out never to be seen again, without a lot of new training to undo the old training. To solve the problem, I bought a harness and a 2-sided clip leash & clip it to the tie-down loop that is exposed when the back seats are folded down. This way she can’t get very far as I maneuver to get a handle on the leash.

Anyway… this dog loved the car ride. She didn’t seem to be at all frightened. (Apparently, the racing greys are fairly accustomed to driving since they get transported around for races.) She loved the windows and the speed. She kept slobbering on my shoulder trying to view and sniff out the window. Totally, flippin’ adorable. I can’t wait till she is lead-trained enough that I feel comfortable taking her to different parts of town for walks. People are totally drawn to her, she’s the center of attention wherever we walk, though some kids thought she was a doberman pincer when they saw her from afar. I corrected them and invited them over to meet her.

Yesterday was quite an adventure for her. She met a few other types of dogs. Racing greyhounds don’t usually have the opportunity to meet any other type of dog. So she was particularly interested in meeting other dogs. She met a golden retriever, and a pug up close (butt sniffing = meeting)… and she saw a pit bull, boxer, cocker spaniel, and cock-a-poo. Boy she thought that little white fluffy dog was pretty interesting… but I wasn’t ready to have her meet anything that looked that much like a rabbit!

Speaking of rabbits…she’s definitely got a significant prey instinct and is very, very interested in bunnies. She saw a bunny on the grass this morning while we were taking an early-morning potty break. She looked back at me as if to say “Please, mom! Let me go get that bunny!” I told her “No, that’s work! You’re retired now. Let’s take a break from chasing bunnies for a while.”


The dog formerly known as BW’s Celeste

I took the plunge. After spending several hours over yesterday and today, I fell in love with this dog. Can you blame me? Look at her face! Such a sweetheart. Her personality is awesome and she doesn’t have any “issues”: i.e. she’s already calm and balanced.

Her temporary name at the Greyhound rescue kennel was Tonks (named after a female character in Harry Potter.) Her racing name was BW’s Celeste and this link shows her racing history. And boy is she strong! I’ve got some work ahead of me in order to teach her how to walk to heel. She almost tore my shoulder out of socket trying to tug me along. I’m very grateful for all those episodes of The Dog Whisperer that I’ve been watching. I used the first two walks today to project calm assertiveness and display my pack leadership skills. She’s getting the idea.

BW's Celeste


Dog update

I returned to the kennel today to discuss the issue & change of heart. They were understanding. The circumstances of my visit today were completely different, and I bonded well with one of the dogs that I had discounted yesterday. But, given the change of heart, I decided to take this a bit more slowly. I will view this new girl (Tonks) in a couple of different circumstances and may take her to a couple of different locations. I’m going to go back tomorrow to take her our in the morning, when she’s likely to be in a state of high arousal and most amped-up.


Dog Instinct

Yesterday (the 4th of July) I went to the Greyhound Adoption Center and met several dogs. I was down to 2 dogs: a girl and a boy.
The girl was super sweet on me, was already house-trained, lead-trained, and would easily jump into my hatchback. She was about 60 pounds. The boy was also sweet on me, but was straight off the track, weighed right around 75 pounds, and didn’t want to jump up into my hatchback.

So… I was very interested in the girl. But, there was a problem: the girl had a couple strikes against her. She got into a tussle with another dog at one house, and was returned to the shelter. Then she was adopted into a home with no other dogs, but there was another issue: she has the sleep startle issue that some GHs have… only she has it a bit worse than others and she apparently bit the 2nd owner.

I wasn’t super-worried about it at first. The Adoption Center saw me interact and figured that I’d be a fine owner, so we filled out some paperwork. But I didn’t want to take the dog home last night due to fireworks. As I thought about the situation over night, I became increasingly worried that I’ll fail as a dog owner for this dog. I haven’t had a dog before, and I just don’t want to let this dog down. So, I had a change of heart on adopting that particular female dog because of her history.

I still really like Greyhounds and will continue to search for the right dog. I just think that these 2 weren’t right for me.


Toto… we’re Not in California

You don’t even need to see the license plate to know that this car didn’t come from California! I was driving behind this car when I visited South Bend, Indiana last week for a wedding at Notre Dame.

Not in California



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