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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Redstone Arsenal Conference 9/21


The first flight from Portland, ME to Charlotte, NC was Flight 815. Eeek! (If you're not a LOST fan, you won't understand). It was a very bumpy ride and I kept looking for Hurley and Jack on the flight, haha!

The flight from Charlotte was much better. When we landed in Huntsville, AL, it was HOT. 95 degrees. And humid. Yuck!

Ranae, who booked me for the conference, picked me up, took me to the visitors gate at Redstone to get my badge, then left to get lunch. She said the average time to wait was an hour or two. Oh joy. So I waited and waited and about a half hour later, my number was called (yes, it was like being in a deli, where you get a number).

The girl pulled up my info, looked up at me, a little oddly, then asked if I was with the same company. I said yes (I'd spoken there in 2006). She shrugged, printed out my badge and gave it to me. I went outside to call Ranae and let her know I was already done. While I waited for her to come get me, I looked at my badge and started cracking up. Under my name, where it should have been WHOA, was SPYRUS. Someone has a sense of humor.

Ranae picked me up, I showed her my badge, we laughed and went to the building where the conference was being held. Got in, hugged another girl I know, Amy, and sat to eat my very first Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich. It was good! After a bit, Ranae took me to my hotel, a Marriott and I checked in. Unpacked and hung up my suit for the next day, then went online. No wireless, but LAN and OMG, it was so hellishly slow, I got fed up with it.

Ranae called me around 6 pm and went down to another room where she, Amy and Sharon waited. We hopped into Sharon's car to go to the Olive Garden and had a great dinner. They all made me laugh!

The next morning, up bright and early to go to the conference. When we got there, I helped Amy set up the ice, cookies and other things we'd brought in, then some freebies (which were going like crazy - boy, some people are vultures!), and waited for the A/V guy to show up so that I could make sure my videos would play and sound okay.

Met Kevin Jones, who was speaking before me about Securing Social Media and we followed the A/V guy into the room we'd be speaking in, connected our laptops and made sure everything was okay.

Judy, who is with NASA and knew from the last conference, surprised me when she got up to sing the national anthem. What a nice voice! I'm jealous! A guy spoke for a bit, then introduced Kevin, who did a superb job, then I got up and did my thing. I talked about how I got into cyber crime (my cyberstalking case), then social media, especially Facebook, scams targeting the military, a sample email case showing them how to trace an IP address and how to work with victims, then Q&A.

Afterwards, a girl came up to me and said she'd been my student when I was at UMUC in Maryland back in 1997 or 1998. Wow!

I had so many people stop me the rest of the day to tell me how much they enjoyed my presentation. A few were while I was walking around with Judy. She was very happy and plans on having me come back next year - YAY!

Got the pizza lunch and sat with Kevin and we talked and people-watched, then he headed back to work (he's a civilian consultant for NASA at the base, where the Marshall Space Center is located). Then Judy lost her cell phone. We backtracked to where she thought she'd left it in the bathroom. Nothing. I had her use my phone to call T-Mobile to have hers disabled. She was very worried about the info on the phone. I don't blame her!

Ranae took me to the airport - I get to see her in January for the Cyber Crime Conference in Atlanta! I picked up some souvenirs for Chris, Phoebe and me, got on the plane headed for Charlotte and took a cool photo of the clouds out the airplane window (which I've posted with this).

The plane ride to Portland was good and actually got in early. Stopped at Burger King on the way home and when I got here it was so good to see both my babies.

Ate, had a glass of wine, then it was bedtime for all.

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