Thursday, September 12, 2013

BSides LA

I recently flew out from the East Coast to warm and sunny Los Angeles, CA to attend and speak at Security BSidesLA.  As a California Native Son, any opportunity to get back to California is more than welcome. Plus the opportunity to participate at BSides is just icing on the cake.

First on my agenda was to get some REAL MEXICAN FOOD.  This is important as nobody on the east coast seems to ever make mexican food "right".  I hit up Zapatecas in nearby Hawthorne on a recommendation from a friend.  3 tacos and a Dos XX Amber later, and I wasn't disappointed.

I then set out to Venice Beach for some people watching.  I watched a lot of people on skateboards and got bummed that I didn't bring mine with me.  I saw several surf/skate shops selling Penny Boards and I had been meaning to buy one for my daughter.  So I scooped one up and test drove it for her.  Everything was going well for the next few hours including a skate to my friend James' house.  However on the way back to get my rental car thing went downhill. The board is so small that my huge feet were too big for it.  My lead foot got in front of the truck and took a hard spill.  Thought it was only a bloody scraped knee but then my ankle started to swell and ache throughout the night.  I ended up breaking my left ankle. :( 

Before the skateboarding accident I ran into an organization called New Life Society on the Venice Beach Boardwalk.  They are dedicated to feeding the hungry of Venice Beach.  I talked to one of the volunteers for a bit and we discussed Hackers For Charity and Hack Hunger.  I made a small cash donation and took some fliers.  

The next morning I couldn't walk on my ankle any longer and went to the nearest UrgentCare center.  I was slated for my first BSidesLA talk at 4PM and thought I had plenty of time to get my ankle checked out.  I was wrong.  I made it out of the doctors just in time to make it to BSidesLA for their beach party and firetalks. (BSidesLA actually has firetalks around a bonfire, how cool is that!?)

I meet up with the organizers who gave me a drive down to the beach since I was on crutches.    They were awesome guys (and gal) and were more than understanding about what happened.  Apparently, my message didn't get relayed that I was indisposed at the hospital and there were a lot of disappointed people that showed up to my DNS talk.  They ended up just opening the walls which gave the other track speaker a huge crowd.  
I spoke with some of the BSidesLA participants and ended up giving everyone a mini-impromptu version of my talk on the beach.  How rad, right?  I still had my other talk bright and early at 9AM the next morning, so I still had the opportunity to do my other talk. 

All in all, my trip to LA was great beside the whole broken ankle business.  BSidesLA was well run and had terrific participation.  Everyone there was super chill and great to talk to too.  Hope to see you guys next year!

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