Security Sunday 20160918 Privacy Fences, Walls, and Other Obstructions


Security Sunday 20160918

Privacy Fences, Walls, and Other Obstructions

Our homes are more than a defensive castle. We spend time and money to make them comfortable and pretty. Typically the front of our home is decorated for “curb appeal.” We live in our backyards. For this reason, we build privacy fences and walls to keep people from gawking at us while we lounge around our pool, or metal tub (don’t judge). In some areas, fences are mandated by Home Owners Association (HOA) or even by local law (where pools are involved). Privacy fences, walls, and other obstructions pose a security risk. But there are ways to deal with these.

Light. Criminals hate light, especially lights that come on unexpectedly. It costs money, but hey they are lights (from $40US). With some creative organizing, you set up the lights to come on as soon as someone crosses the fence. The key in selecting a system is that it be easily calibrated and covers the entire area contained by the fence.

Observation. No need to creep out into a dark backyard with your slippers and a baseball bat. Security Cameras are available for under $200US. These systems will even allow you to record, are motion activated, and night vision capable. As with lights, they must be easily calibrated, unless you want to video cats and possums. With some creativity, you can use just a few cameras to cover all of those pesky hard to see areas. DO NOT USE wireless systems. Many of these systems will also allow you to connect them to the internet. Before connecting anything to the internet make sure you have a very good cyber security system installed.

Yelling. Yes, an unexpected human voice can freak out even a hardened criminal. Installation of external Public Address systems is easy. If you have a stereo system that is already feeding sound to the outside, you only need a few more things to scream “Get Off My Lawn.”

To this point, we have dealt with the security of the outside of your home. Criminals like easy targets, at this point you are hardening your home.  Most of the people I have known that were burgled were burgled by someone that had been in their home. We will now shift to Internal Controls in the next post.

To Be Continued….

Old Woman and The Coyote


One of the advantages of being in the military was the exposure to different cultures. While stateside I had the opportunity to study Native American myths. This was in the days before the Internet, and these stories come from oral tradition.

My favorite story is one of the many creation myths passed down among the Navajo. The characters of this particular myth are Old Woman and The Coyote. Old Woman is the partner of Old Man, the godlike creators of the world. Unlike gods from other myths Old Man and Old Woman do not help nor hinder humans they merely observe. The Coyote is a complex character. What we may see as evil is not always so. The Coyote is a trickster who attempts to sway events. These attempts are not evil or good, but they do teach us many lessons. This is the story of Old Woman and The Coyote.


One day The Coyote came upon Old Woman while she was cooking. The Coyote asked, “Old Woman, what are you cooking?”

Old Woman replied, “I am cooking the people. They will move among the animals and become their overseers.”

The Coyote watched as she put her first batch of People into her oven. After a few short minutes, The Coyote began, “Old Woman remove them now! If you cook them too long they will surely burn!”

Old Woman replied, “Not yet Coyote, they can’t be done so soon.”

The Coyote continued, “No they have been in too long and have surely burned by now!”

Old Woman gave into The Coyote’s continual begging and removed the people from the oven. She saw that they were still white, and very under-cooked. She said, “She what you have done Coyote, these people are not ready yet, they are still raw.”

The Coyote said, “I was just trying to help you Old Woman. Make another batch.”

Old Woman put another batch into her oven. After some time she went to take them out.

“No!”, said The Coyote. “Remember last time? You took them out too soon. Let them cook a little longer.”

The Coyote begged and pleaded so much that Old Woman left the people in the oven twice as long as before. When Old Woman removed the people she saw they were burned black as coal. “See what you have done Coyote? I have left them in too long now they are burned black!”

The Coyote put his tail between his legs and said, “I am sorry Old Woman. I will leave it up to you next time. Please do another batch.”

Old Woman did just that. She placed another batch of people into her oven. This time, she ignored the pleading and barking of The Coyote. She removed the people from her oven, and they were perfectly golden brown. “See Coyote, these people are perfect.”, she said.

“We will see.”, said The Coyote.

And that is the creation myth of Old Woman and The Coyote.

Security Sunday: 20160904


Security Sunday

From the Outside Looking In.

The key to a good Security Analysis is being through. A security analysis is the most important step and the most active part of your overall security plan. Put on your walking shoes, grab a sketch pad, pencil, and lets get started.

In the middle of your sketch pad make a diagram of the outside of your house [fig 1]. leave room for your front and backyard. If your property is large use a larger sketch pad. Duh.

Fig 1. Basic House

Now walk out to the street in front of your house and center yourself on the house as best you can. From this vantage point, you should be able to clearly see all entry points and windows. Anything that is blocking a clear view must be removed or trimmed to give a clear line of sight. Hedges and bushes should be trimmed to keep someone from using them as cover for breaking in.  Move to the far right and left  and repeat the procedure.

Add all features that can’t be moved to your sketch [fig 2].

Fig 2. Yard obstacles

At this point, you need to think like a criminal. How can you get to doors and windows without being seen?

With the front and sides of your house sketched, we move to the big threat area. The back.

Many people love privacy fences, so do I. However, a privacy fence offers excellent concealment for bad actors. We will deal with this type of fence later…for now repeat the procedure in the backyard as you did for the front yard.

This next step will require either another person or a stick to act as a marker. The stick needs to be no more than 4 feet high, and easy to see. If you are using a person they should be average adult height (no midgets). Now go inside your house.

You will make several sketches at this point. One for each window
or other entry that allows you to see out of the house. From each of these points have the person start at the far right of your property and move left just until you see them. Add this point as your line of sight right. Have them continue to move left while you note anything that blocks your view. Add these items to the sketch. When they just disappear from sight on the left this is your line of sight left [fig 3].

fig 3

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it will pay off. While you are doing all this sketching you are training yourself on what a bad guy can, and can’t use to his advantage. You are becoming the master of the terrain which we will take advantage of later.

We will expand on these sketches, and discuss what you can do about that pesky security fence.

To be continued…..

Security Sunday. 20160828

Security Sunday.

Security Plan.

If you have not read the Introduction to this series you should go HERE first. Assuming you have read the introduction we are ready to move on to developing our security plan.

Kings and Generals have created battle plans that would have guaranteed a victory only to be undone by poor security. The person in control of your security is you, and you must have tenacity and discipline to make it work. Let’s dig in.

Your Circle of Trust.

Yeah, I stole that from the movie “The Fockers”. Your circle of trust will require a great deal of thinking on your part. The circle consists of family members, friends, government agencies, delivery services, and strangers. How you handle each is important and you must base it on what you know, what you need, and who needs to know it. It sounds complicated, but as we go along you should be able to grasp the concept.

Study this graphic.


At the center is you. You control, or at one time controlled all of the information about security. I say at one time because prior to now you may have shared important information with people. Don’t freak, you will learn new ways to reduce the amount of information you release.

Trusted Agents. These are significant others, children, parents, anyone that MUST have access to the inner-circle. The information in this circle is the type of information someone could use to gain access to your home, business, or travel plans. For instance, when you go on vacation, who looks after your property? Who knows where your important papers are, or where you hide your good stuff? Who has a set of keys? As you can see, only the most trusted people are considered a Trusted Agents. Even Trusted Agents must be limited to only the information they must have to perform whatever task you need. Your big mouth sister or brother are off the list.

Limited Access. These are delivery persons, police, mailman, lawn service. anyone that will access to your property on a regular basis. The information they should have is only the amount they need to complete their tasks. You need to know as much information about these people as you can get. What do their uniforms look like? What type of ID do they have? How do you verify their authenticity? We will cover this is more detail later.

Everyone Else. If they are not in the first two categories, then they are not allowed on your property. Pollsters, Girl Scouts, Door to Door Sales, and Jehovah’s Witness must all be engaged quickly and sent packing. We will discuss how to do this later.

At this point you have a security analysis from your local police and you have developed a Circle of Trust. Now it is time to do a security analysis of your own.

To be continued…..

Music and Cryptology.


The other night I was working on a song when it dawned on me…music is its own language…and as a language, it could be used as a code. I did some research and found out that this had already been done. But I didn’t let that stop me. This post is about how you can use music to create cryptic codes. Music can become complex very quickly. To present this in a short blog post, I will keep the concepts simple.

A code must be able to transmit information in a secure and understandable way. Music does just that. I am not talking about cryptic lyrics, but the actual notes and notation that makes up music. For instance, every song has a tempo. Some songs have many tempos within the same work, but we will stick with one tempo.

Tempo is a way to define time. A song may have 80 beats per minute…that is the timing of the song. If you set a metronome, a device used to keep the timing, to 80 beats per minute This type of timer is exactly how a fax machine works.

Imagine this. Two people are very distant from each other, they communicate by holding a flag up. If they both walk at the same speed (determined by the tempo) when one person raises his flag the other begins to make a line on a piece of paper at the same tempo. When the flag is lowered the person with the pen stops making the line. Using this method a message can be transmitted over a huge distance. This is the importance of tempo. For those of you into digital systems, you know the importance of time.

A code should also have infinite possibilities. Music at first glance is not infinite. But this is not true. Each pitch in a musical scale has a corresponding frequency. The middle C on a piano has a frequency of 261.6 Hz. This is where number theory ( a basis of many codes) comes into play. How many frequencies are there between middle C and the D just above it? Middle C is 261.6 Hz and the D just above it is 293.7 Hz. **Warning Number Theory** If the frequency was to be increased to halfway between 261.6 and 293.7 Hz…we would be at 277.65 or musically just above C#. What if you go halfway between C# and D? If you continue to move half-way to D…you will never reach it. In theory, there is an infinite number of frequencies available. This gives us the ability to assign an infinite number of values to a code.

Of course, a code without a key is worthless. And the key can be found in…the Key Signature, the first note, chord, or nearly any of the accent marks, etc…

So that is my idea.

Thanks to Sieve70 for the help.

Friday Freak Out. 20160826

This is a freestyle blog post…no single subject…no cute outline. Just a rant.


About Trigger words, warnings and safe spaces.  I have no ability to keep track of all the words people dislike.  So, if I Trigger you…get over it..or…get over it.  The only words I consider to be Trigger Warnings are…”Halt or I’ll Shoot”  That is the only warning I give.  If my shot was not a warning shot…I missed.  A safe space is a bunker…or a well-constructed fox hole.


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., begins to speak at a rally Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in downtown Seattle. Co-founders of the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter took over the microphone shortly after Sanders began to speak and refused to relinquish it. Sanders eventually left the stage without speaking further and instead waded into the crowd to greet supporters. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)



Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)





Ooops…that was racist….it will also lead to




I watched a YouTube video that asked this question.

Is It Ethical to Kill Animals For Food?

The argument attempted to put a moral spin on killing animals. One of the arguments was that killing animals because we are smarter than they are is not a good reason.

Oh, so killing Kale because we are smarter than it, is a good reason?


and finally.

Why does this guy still have a job?



End of Freak Out Friday.

Military Monday: 22 August 2016, Heroes.



I have met many decorated heroes. However, there are  more that have never gotten a medal. This is their story.

Harry was a young sailor stationed with the South Vietnamese Navy at Cam Ranh Bay. It is early April 1975. For the last month, he had been ferrying South Vietnamese Army and civilian refugees from along the northern areas surrounding Saigon. Harry relates “many times we had just left with a load of troops when the NVA began firing at us”.


In the early morning hours of 30 April 1975 Harry’s commander ordered his ship to head out to sea. Harry’s ship was not an ocean going vessel, and its draft was too deep for some of the small channels they would need to navigate before reaching the ocean. It was also full of refugees. An hour before daylight the ship hit a large mud bank in the middle of the channel. If the sun came up before the ship reached the bay they would be an easy target for the NVA. Working feverishly the crew was able to free the ship and it made it out into the bay.

For the next three days, Harry’s ship followed alongside U.S. Navy ships. There were few supplies and no facilities for such a large number of people. Finally, the were taken aboard a U.S. Navy ship and taken to the Philippines. It was here he met a refugee and they were married.

Harry was able to raise enough money to immigrate to the United States. Landing first in Seattle, and then taking a job in a casino in New Jersey. Harry saved his money and managed to get both his and his wife’s family passage to the U.S. Harry used what savings he had to buy a gas station in Tampa, Florida. Today Harry and Nancy have two son’s that are enrolled in college and they are living the American Dream.

Sam, had already been enlisted in the South Vietnamese Air Force for 2 years when the NVA launched an offensive in 1972. Sam realized that the withdrawal of the US from South Vietnam it would not be long before the country fell. He managed to move his family to the Philippines in mid-1974.

In August of 1974, Richard Nixon had been forced to resign and Gerald Ford was now the President. The North Vietnamese tested the new President’s resolve by attacking Phuoc Long province. This was a direct violation of the Paris Peace Treaty. President Ford protested, but did not offer any military support to the South.

Sam also found himself in Saigon in April of 1975. Stationed at Ton Son Nhut Airbase Sam decided it was time for him to leave the country. On 29 April as the final USAF C-3 transports were leaving, Sam moved to the end of the runway and waited for a C-3 with an open door to line up for takeoff.


Finally, as one C-3 made the turn onto the runway, the door opened and a U.S. Airman waved him to jump in. Sam landed in Japan and was eventually reunited with his wife and family in the Philippines. Sam immigrated to the United States by way of Texas. Today he owns a seafood market in Tampa.

Harry and Sam had fought for their country and continued up until it was obvious that their country was doomed. They managed to save others, their family and themselves and are productive citizens of the United States.

Security Sunday. Introduction.

Security is something I consider to be the one thing you can actively do to protect yourself from not just terrorists, but everyday crime. Every Sunday I will post about steps you can take to make your home, work, and travel safer. There is no guarantee that any of these steps will prevent crime, there is no 100% safe.

The first thing you need to do is get a pen and paper. Security begins with your plan, and do not put your plan on your computer. Granted paper can be stolen, but if someone breaks in to steal your plan…your plan was bad to begin with.

The first thing you will do is a security survey. This post will cover the beginning steps of your security survey.

The survey begins with a free analysis from your local Police Department. The police will come out and do a survey of your home, apartment, and business and give you recommendations to improve security. This is also your chance to ask questions. You should ask the officer where you can get data on crime in your neighborhood? How long it takes the police on average to responThe officer may not answer some of these questions but ask anyway. Make sure you write down everything he finds. Then think about them. What can you find that he may have missed?

This is the one and only time you will use someone that is not part of your security circle.  We will be covering that next.

You might be tempted to just stop here. Don’t. This is just the start.

To be continued….