Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Ladies and gentlemen,
I proudly introduce to you,
my new colleague and teammate:

Sauron / Sowron.

She is the new Tower admin here in the Digital Security team and responsible for all things Barad Dûr. Thanks to her valuable input, we also put up a disclaimer for our coworkers that reads as follows:

- we look out for you!
(But we don't film.)

She's a young sow, handcrafted by me and brought to life by all of our collective imaginations. OK, yes, mostly mine. But still! She's a great addition to our office.

I mean, just look at that cute little curly tail. 

Sowron at work.

Her workstation is right in the top of the Tower itself, just below the Eye.

From there, she makes sure everything that goes on in the larger office space behind us is compliant with the security measures we implement and there's no shadiness going on anywhere. And if there's a problem, she can alert us as well as everybody else by activating the Tower lighting system.

You're right!
This is another change!

We now have our own little nook in the office that allows us to be more at the center of all the happenings and goings-on. Therefore, the Tower is also in a new spot and the Eye now watches over the wide, open workspace of the larger IT department. It's awesome.

Everybody loves her.

Monday, April 22, 2019

OSPR: flower.

I have another product review for you, with a picture. A one shot product review, OSPR for short. It's been a while since the last one, hence the explanation.

I walk around the shopping area inside Westbahnhof every once in a while when I meet someone on Mariahilfer Straße. Get a coffee or not-quite-window shop around Elbenwald (let's call that store geek paradise) or Tschibo (let's call that store housewife paradise) while I wait if I'm early. It's nice.

Last time, however, my attention was drawn to a flower shop close to the main entrance  because they happened to have on central display what had to be the ugliest flower in the history of plants. So hideous, in fact, I cannot comprehend why they even had it, much less put it on the table in front of the shop! Just, the worst.

Worst flower ever. 

I really want to know if anybody bought this. And if so, who? Who would buy this thing? Or maybe they threw it out; that would make a lot more sense. I just know it was gone the next time I walked past.

And the shop is still in business, too.

Monday, March 25, 2019

it BARAD secDURity

I work in IT.
IT security, to be exact.
IT security project management, to be even more exact.
I’d be even exacter, but I’d lose my one reader to sleep (Hi, mom!) if I did that, so let’s let this be the exactest we get.

Of course, being part of a security team, it is my top priority to make all my colleagues and the people in our department (and the whole company, logically) feel super duper safe. Really. Not just safe, that wouldn’t be enough. You don’t need a dedicated IT security team for that. So with us on board, people can feel super duper safe. That means there’s a bunch of measures in place ranging from password policies over firewall protection to a bunch of stuff I am not going to tell you about either, because it would be too exact. (Read, I have an NDA.)

In order for the people around us to feel the super duper safety at all times, we want to let them know that we are here for them, working our butts off for them, and watching over them/looking out for them. How to let them know that? They know we are here for them, because they see stuff and things being implemented, like, constantly. And there’s info mails and news bulletins about that. And I do get on a bunch of people’s nerves about wanting their input and cooperation. They know we work our butts off for them, because we make sure to complain a lot by the coffee maker any time anyone will listen. And also if nobody listens. And also not just by the coffee maker.

But how can we make sure they know we’re watching over them?
How can we make sure they know we’re looking out for them?


We found a wonderful solution for that little dilemma in the form of a literal watcher. An eye. On a tower. If that sounds a little familiar, it’s because it is. Like dear old Sauron, who built a structure that would allow him to watch over everyone from a convenient location and without having to stretch his resources too thinly, we, too, To look from our section of the open floor plan office space over everybody else’s, because we are kind of in a corner that allows us to keep an eye on everybody. One angle to see them all, if you will.

In order for our colleagues to know we’re watching over them
and looking out for them
at all times…

I have built a model of Barad-dûr.

Does that make our space Mordor? Probably! Just like there, here is a place people totally want to visit and I’m sure there’s someone who would take up a major quest to come see us. Also, obviously, we all know that one does not simply walk into Mordor. And my coworkers are, slowly and one by one, learning that one does not simply walk past me at work.

You walk past me? I will ask how you’re doing with that deadline. I will let you know I’m looking forward to your feedback. I will make sure you remember to send me that one email you promised to send last week that somehow I still haven’t gotten but will be in my inbox in about two to three minutes, right? Good times.

(Just so you know, there’s not really a way to get around the office without walking past me. 
Extra good times. For all. Definitely.)

Here’s our own little Dark Fortress, in the process of being built and as the finished masterpiece:

Here’s my kittieboy seeing if Sauron is home and wants to go play (for a size comparison).

"Hello? Heelloooo?! Anybody in there? Send out some orcs to play!"

Unfortunately, for the time being, it only has a light. There is no camera. Yet?
So, for the time being, it is just a representation of us watching over and looking out for our coworkers with our human eyes.
There’s a light in the camera’s, the real eye’s, place. At least, like that we can use it to remind everybody that we’re here (for the rare moments they manage to sneak past us unstopped).
But it’s still a cool thing, even if it’s not 100% like its inspiring counterpart in the actual Middle Earth.

I’ll post an update when I’ve set it up at work.

I just know they're all going to love and appreciate it!

I can’t wait!