Again this weekend I was part of the GW team that participated at the mid-atlantic regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. And again, it was loads of fun (and really really good food this time). We didn’t win, we got second place, but I think that’s a good result considering we spent even less time preparing than last year (actually NO time preparing in my personal case).
We probably won’t participate again, at least not with the same team (some of us are graduating this year and then there’s this rule that currently only allows two participations) so I should say this was one of the most fun competition experiences of my life. I also should mention that Casey O’Brien, who is the main organizer of this event, said that he will miss GW’s team and that he feels we embody the spirit of this competition, because we try hard to do well, but at the same time we have fun and a great time. Casey telling us that means to me a lot more than having gotten the first place. And to all of you that have worked with me, you know that’s my position, you should always have fun, no matter what competition (or just general challenge) you’re involved in, otherwise it’s just not worth the effort!
So again, thanks to everyone that made this happen and I will mention again Casey O’Brien, White Wolf Security and CCBC, thanks to all the guys on the red team (see list here)who pwned us for three days (sorry I can’t remember all of you to mention) and congratulations to PITT for winning this and good luck at the nationals! Win those too and make Casey and Tim proud, ok guys? You can definitely do it!
I think some of the pictures are up here and I’m still waiting on the videos.
I’m not really a big fan of new year resolutions. I have daily resolutions, I always make plans and improvements and I don’t think December 31st is a better choice than any other day for this purpose. But this year was a bit more interesting. I spent most of the last days of 2008 and first of 2009 analyzing two very dear friends of mine and thinking (together with others) of ways to try and help them get their lives back on the right track. But in doing this I ended up analyzing myself a lot also. What do I owe and to whom? Have I paid my own debts? Are my plans for the future realistic? Have I taken offense or played the victim where I wasn’t really offended or a victim at all? Am I any better than the ones I am trying to help?
Many such questions initially meant for other people turned around facing me. Answers were interesting to say the least.
So, New Year resolutions? No, still none. But many questions and many answers to give. I had a great time passing into 2009 (for a change) and even if the morning TV showed the same sad and disturbing news it always does, I hope this year will be better. No wait. I KNOW it will be.
So here’s to you, all the great people in my life that make things happen! I love you all, you’re wonderful, thanks for being there when times were hard and I’m glad we were still there when it was time to leave it all behind and have fun!
2008 was a weird weird year for me and it continues to be weird even through its last week. Still interesting, but weird.
Bad things happened. Death, illness, friends stopped being friends (yes, it turns out you can actually somehow decide to just stop being a friend one day after many years) and many more such things darken my memory of this year.
Good things also happened. Some friends got reunited, faces that used to be sad became happy, people pulled through hard times and did well. I made brownies and didn’t burn the kitchen down.
I also did many other things worth mentioning… Let’s look back on that together for one minute.
I went back to a healthy active lifestyle and mostly as a result of that, 2008 is the first year of my life in which I was never sick (although I still have a few more days to mess that record up…hopefully not). I worked my first full-time job as a software engineer with AOL and I loved it. Ditching dorm life, I got my first apartment. By the end of this year, I will have flown 15 times on 11 different trips in the past year (wow). I made some people happy and I made some people sad. I visited the orbital space station. (no, actually I didn’t, I just wanted to make sure you’re still paying attention). I beat my own record of hours spent in one continous block on a single project (19) and many more such fun things.
2008 was an year of transitions and it will be a while before I can tell whether these were mostly good or mostly bad. Either way, it was a big leap forward and that’s always good even when some tumbling and tripping is involved because of the distance being leaped. I’m getting ready to be on my way to end this year with style (and for me that usually involves slopes and some form of quick – and mostly gracious – descent) but… before I do that, I just want to send out a cheesy message.
Here it goes…
I would ask everyone to try and give a little bit more kindness and understanding to the ones around them (yes, I know Christmas has just passed, but it should be an example, not an exception). We can do so much with just a little extra understanding.
I also want to thank everyone who’s reading my blog for their time spent here and even more to those who comment. You make me happy, thank you for that!
I hope everyone is going to have a great time in the following days (remember: work hard, but also party hard!) and may 2009 be a better year for all of us! That’s about it from the cliche department here, see you all in good health in January!
Happy New Year!