We attempted to go hiking over the weekend at Harper's Ferry, WV. The National Weather Service told us on Sunday (we were to go hiking Monday) that the weather would be clear all day. This turned out to not be the case. Disappointingly, the places to park next to the bridge over the Potomac (Harper's Ferry is at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers) had been razed in favor of a new layout from the National Park Service. This is kind of a bummer. We couldn't find out how we were supposed to get to the other side of the river for our hike. As we were realizing this, it started to rain. Not enough rain to get us seriously wet, but enough rain to make us concerned for the cameras, and for the hike back up a hill (I've never actually hiked up a hill that's slick with rain, but it's 1100' of elevation change, so I imagine it's not terribly fun). We thus turned around, and headed back to the car. We didn't even really get pictures worth keeping.
And speaking of which, I figured out what was plaguing the poor D200. Apparently, D200 owners have had problems (at least with the early batch of them, which I have) with them totally forgetting their custom settings, and instead using some wacky -- and wrong -- setting. The solution is to hold down "QUAL" and "+/-" for two seconds. It zaps most of the custom settings, and the wackiness. A few minutes of reconfiguration should get you back to where you were. At least for me. I didn't realize this was happening when I was using the camera out at Shenandoah attempting to take pictures of the nighttime sky (we went to Mathew's Arm campground to look at the sky on a new moon), and most of them were wrecked. Additionally, the pictures I took at the capitol when our cousins (on Sandy's side this time) were out from Oklahoma (yeah, there are chinese people in OK, can you believe it??). Apparently there's a firmware update that fixes this.
Work has been proceeding incredibly slowly. I find myself stuck with almost nothing to do much of the time. This fed/civ stuff is breaking my heart. We're implementing the work defined in Executive Order 13228, so it's not like we don't have a framework to go from. However, the NOAA staff have outlined some plans for the implementation which don't address many important questions. Things like "which multifactor auth to use." So we have TACACS, WiKID, and RADIUS swimming around in the requirements. Only it hasn't been pushed back into the requirements document (revision control? what's that?). We have a loose conflation of emails mentioning this or that, but no hard requirements. So I wind up interpreting EO13228 and marrying that with what I know to be best practices, and things that sucked or didn't suck in the past. That interpretation gets pushed into a "requirements" or OPLAN doc, and broadcast to people who won't read it. But in the end, it means when somebody says "well, why did we go with radius?", I can say "Because POTUS told us to. Didn't you get the policy doc I [wrote and] sent to you?"
So in a way it's kind of cool that I can write policy as long as it fits into the EO13228 framework, and then build my product to suit the policy I wrote. Of course it means I have to get the "doesn't suck" part right from the getgo, which doesn't always happen. I am hopeful that after all this time I should be able to get pretty close to asuckfulness. And I get to say things like "this document is based on the premise that the simplest solution is generally the correct solution." In other words, three different authentication schemes (in addition to PAM and LDAP) is probably not the right way to go. RADIUS it is.
In other news, it turns out I work with a guy who does "sailing lessons" on the Chesapeake. We had a lively discussion this morning about the differences between the harbor in San Diego and the Potomac river here. Basically, the Potomac is not suited for sailing because it's so damn narrow that you're tacking all the time. Said instructor said that he didn't think a Hobie 17 was suitable for sailing fast anyhow, because it "didn't have a jib." Well, the Getaway does have a jib. You can even get a spinnaker for it. Anyway, the point is it got me thinking about boats again. Sandy and I are convinced we need approximately three cars. A daily driver, a bruiser, and a truck to tow said bruiser or use offroad, etc. Well, the same is true of boats. I'd love to have a nice monohull for cruising, a wicked cat for high performance sailing, and then your average superfast powerboat for beating the hell out of the water, when necessary. We've talked often about retiring to Hawaii, possibly to Hilo or Ko'Olina (Big Island, O'ahu respectively). The problem is, we'd need a boat. Hell, it seems like we'd need three. And three cars. Not to mention the house. This sucks. I can't buy all the toys I need.