Home from DEFCON27!

I've been pretty bad this last few weeks, and I haven't recorded any updates here at all. July has been a busy month, between holdays, personal and work travel I've hardly had time to sit down and think, let alone write. I would like to complain, but in truth I'm busy doing awesome stuff! Summer schedules fill up quickly. With no more children returning to school this year, I have to wonder if this is our new normal?

Eat right, sleep more, get some exercise.

Travel is bad for all three, I'm going to have to try a bit harder. Use that gym membership, and I've got some kettle bells around here somewhere...

Mission completed, prepare for re-entry

Hands down, I had more fun at DEFCON than I've ever had at any convention, ever. While I did manage to attend a few of the talks and panels, I was really there for the Villages, the events and the spectacle.

At one time or another I managed to walk through just about all of the villages. I was in particular interested in the Red Team and AppSec villages, but both of these were in a narrow and crowded part of the Flamingo and kind of hard to get in to. I saw a couple of AppSec talks and scored a free t-shirt.

A cat from HackerBoxes was handing out free badge kits, so I scored one and took it to the Soldering Skills village to put it together. Somewhere I found the Corn Totem! PCB by @JamesDietle, which I'm hoping to play with and have ready for next year. Found out about SOA's (shitty add-ons) that apparently work pretty well with this one. I didn't get to do much with my con badge beyond clicking badges as much as I could with fellow attendees, though members of my team did read through the source code. I expect we'll hack on these here and there through the winter.

In a random moment I got to meet Bruce Schneier, shake his hand and help him find the Crypto & Privacy Village. I seriously wish I'd asked for a photo. Later I caught his talk on InfoSec in the Public Interest. Anywhere you look would be hacker luminaries, it was kind of a trip. I sat in on a panel on Right to Repair which included Tarah Wheeler (@Tarah), then later an EFF panel with @evacide. I would have liked to see more talks in the AppSec village but for lack of time.

As for the spectacle, that will have to be left to the imagination. We trolled along the gorgeously filthy Fremont St. Experience; I was momentarily, temporarily dislodged as I chatted with folks from EFnet under the throbbing light of a homegrown music visualization. We danced for hours to Rabbit in the Moon.

In the mountains, in the dirt

Before Vegas I rode down to Montrose, Colorado for this year's Rocky Mountain RAT Rally, which I'd attended once the year before. This is a very small gathering of folks from the Denver area with whom I'm only somewhat acquanted. Montrose is hot this time of year, but is central to some of the best mountain riding around, both on and off road. I rode solo, taking the long way down through Park county and the San Luis Valley before heading back north over Slumgullion Pass and on in to Montrose, all told about 430 miles.

The first day of the rally we put together a group of six riders to head off-road onto some fairly well-maintained gravel and more narrow dirt service roads. This was a first for me, I'd just put 50/50 tires on my Triumph Tiger the week before. We had a great time, doing about 50 miles before I decided to peel off and blast canyons for the rest of the day. Riding off-road was fantastic, and I learned to spend a lot of time standing on my pegs. For the next several days my legs were on fire! Time to start doing more squats.

Now what?

So, I'm home for a couple of weeks. Still more travel planned for the year, including another great hacking con, the Wild West Hackin' Fest, for the third year running. In the meantime I'm trying to focus on home. The bees need to be treated for mites and guided into the fall, there's stuff around the house to be done. I'd like to volunteer with some local affair, perhaps OWASP or DENHAC - something to keep the vibe going.

More coming, ĝis la revido...