May 2008 Archives

Storm Over Everest

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Tom J told me about this show (Storm Over Everest), and I keep forgetting to record it, but I found out yesterday that you can watch it online until mid-June. So if you are interested in checking it out click here.


Last week Timber and I took a few days off from work to drive over to the Eastern Sierras to see Jackie and Rocky, and watch Rocky run in a 50 mile race (Bishop High Sierra Ultramarathon).  It was a fun time overall.  We took our time driving there and back, camped out at Mammoth Lakes one night and Brown's Millpond Campground outside of Bishop the rest of the time.  And it was HOT, well into the 90's.  Here are some of the more notable things that happened.

1.  On our way there, on highway 5, just south of Sacramento, the big Yakima box we had on top came open, scattering some of our camping gear along the highway.  Luckily the lid didn't fly off and no accidents were caused as a result.  We were able to stop and recover everything, and we only had two things break as a results.  A cheap fishing pole and and electric air compressor.  It was quite exciting to run up and down the highway picking up our stuff while cars whizzed by at 70 mph.

2.  Rocky ran in the 50 mile race which had an insane amount of climbing, and it was really hot.  Unfortunately he was not feeling good toward the end and dropped out at the 41 mile mark.  Every time I see the ultra marathoners run by, especially in the heat, I ask myself why they do it.  I still don't really know.

And I almost forgot, the pictures that we took can be found here.   


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Not long after it came out, I went ahead and got GTA IV for my Xbox 360.  I've been playing it off and on since then, and according to the game statistics I'm about 15 % of the way through the game.  Overall it is very similar to the previous game (GTA San Andreas) in the actions (running, jumping, driving, etc).  The graphics are obviously improved, and the setting is modern day Liberty City (NYC).  And with all GTA games you can do just about anything you want, go anywhere you want, and generally have fun doing things that you would never do in real life.  So if you are looking for a continuation of GTA and like the game already I recommend checking it out.  If you want more of a challenge or are looking for the game to evolve into something better you may be dissapointed. One of the things I like about the game is the radio stations that you can listen to while driving around. I generally like the jazz and talk radio stations the best. I don't know what it is, but there is something comforting about listening to jazz on the radio while running over pedestrians and running away from cops. :-)
Timber and I made it back from the Eastern Sierras last night.  I will post more later this week once I get the photos ready.
I finally got permission (kind of) to post my slides and recording from my presentation at the QSE Conference a few weeks ago.  This was an internal IBM conference about test automation, continuous integration, agile methodologies, etc...  My talk was about test automation in general and what me and my team is doing around it.  So if you are interested, or are having trouble sleeping, feel free to download the slides and recording.  I can't post any of the source code or videos of the test automation running for lots of intellectual property reasons.  But if you have questions about anything feel free to email me at tom.carroll[at] .
I stumbled upon this article today about how the Senate has voted to halt putting oil into the US Strategic Oil Reserve.  One good quote about the reasoning for this was:

"Why on earth should we be putting oil underground at a time of record high prices?"  - Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.)

I can understand that quote if you are also going to do other things like reduce consumption, scale down military operations, etc...  But they are not going to do anything else.

On the surface of it, you might think this is a good idea.  After all, the basic law of economics (supply and demand) dictates that if demand falls and supply remains constant then the price should go down.  But the facts of this case lead me to believe that there will be no significant price drop in gas (what we Americans complain about every day) because:

1.  Overall, we Americans consume 21 M barrels of oil a day.
2.  We had been putting 70 k barrels into the strategic oil reserve dialy.
3.  We currently have 702 M barrels of oil in our reserve.

So we are putting away 0.33 % of what we consume every day.  Pretty small I'd say.  Also, if our oil supply ran out today, and we kept current levels of consumption, we could last for 33 days.  I seem to remember an old adage about how you are supposed to save up 3 months of living expense in case your cash flow ever stops.  We are only 1/3 of the way there for our oil. 

I think this stoppage by the Senate is short sighted (gotta love election years) and is a mistake for the following reasons:
1.  It is not going to make gas prices go down in any measurable way, which is probably the goal.
2.  It leaves us with only a month's supply in our strategic oil reserve, and that should really continue to grow since it is highly likely that our supplies will be interrupted as the price of oil gets higher and higher because we will see more and more conflicts around access to oil.. 
So if I can't drop 5 pounds by the end of May I am going to have to watch 4 chick flicks with Timber.  I talked with her about them and these are all movies that I would rather pull my hair out than watch.  God help me if I can't lose the weight. Without further ado here is the list:
Brokeback Mountain
Made Of Honor
PS I Love You
Bridget Jones Diary: The Edge Of Reason
HillaryDonatePage1.jpg HillaryDonatePage2.jpg HillaryDonatePage3.jpg
I am a man of my word, and I finally accepted my punishment for not losing 5 pounds in the month of April. My self-imposed punishment was to donate $50 to the Hillary Clinton campaign. In my opinion this is worse than setting the $50 on fire. It is an utter waste and it is going toward a cause that I oppose. Grrrr.... I have been amazed at the feedback I've gotten from people about this. Some think I should just double down for the month of May, others think I shouldn't keep my word. In the end I have to keep my word and accept my public humiliation. So here it is. I don't like it, but I am taking my medicine and working toward losing 5 lbs for the month of May.

Fun With Automator

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I found this video about a week ago but I finally got a chance to watch it while some of my test automation stuff was running (healthier than eating a donut). If you are interested in Automator for Mac OS X feel free to watch the video and check out more information here. If not, well, you've probably stopped reading this posting by now. :-)
Thanks to Matt for sending me a link to this blog posting about Agile friendly Test Automation Tools and Frameworks. Overall I can totally relate to the pain associated with trying to do automation with tools that are not suited for the project. And if you are going to do real automation testing for an agile project it makes a huge difference if you can write the test code in a real programming language instead of some weird, proprietary, scripting language.
I found this really awesome show on the Discovery Channel called "The Alaska Experiment".  It is basically about four groups of people that get dropped off in the Alaskan Bush.  All the people in the groups are not used to being outdoors and living a subsistence lifestyle, so it is interesting to see them adjust to their new surroundings.  I wish Timber and I could have gone on that show because that's the kind of stuff that I like to do on vacation.  Can you imagine how fun it would be to catch as many salmon as you can in a month?  I bet I could catch a thousand.  I'd be all over that.  But if you are interested in checking it out it is on Tuesday nights on the Discovery Channel.  

JavaOne Conference

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I really enjoyed the JavaOne Conference last year, and I would like to go again this year.  But unfortunately, due to a tightened budget, I am not able to attend this year.  But that doesn't mean that I have to completely miss it.  I can watch the general sessions here.  So if you are like me and can't make it this year, make sure you check out some of the live video feeds and check the agenda because a lot of information freely available to those who can't attend..


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On Sunday timber and I did a 32.5 mile bike ride, which is our longest bike ride yet.  We rode from our place to downtown Los Gatos and back.  Our total ride time was 2.5 hours, and once we got to Los Gatos we returned some headphones that I had bought from the Apple Retail Store and we had lunch/early dinner at Willow Street Pizza.  Overall the ride went pretty well, but we were both ready to be done by the time we got home.  We are almost to the point where we can attempt Mount Hamilton.  That ride is 19 miles each way with a ton of climbing on the way to Mount Hamilton.

Keep It Growing

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The Sharks put themselves into a hole by losing 3 games in a row to the Dallas Stars, but they just won again (in OT) to make it 3-2.  All I ask is for one more win in Dallas so we can have a game 7 in SJ.  Get it to that point and anything can happen...

September 2010

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Contact Info:
email: tom.carroll[at]
Y! IM: tomcarroll_95123
AOL IM: parb0y77
Skype: troutm8
Campfire: link


Adventure Race
Desolation Wilderness
Eastern Sierras
Half Dome
Hetch Hetchy
John Muir Wilderness
Lost Coast
Mount Shasta[2][3]
Mount Whintey
Prairie Creek Redwoods SP
Skyline to the Sea Trail
White Mountain Peak[1][2]
Clouds Rest