June 2008 Archives


| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
In a landmark ruling today, the Supreme Court upheld the right to bear arms.  Duh!  You can't get any more basic than upholding what the Constitution says.  It was a close decision, split 5-4, and both sides felt that the same passage, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.", meant different things.  We all know what the last part, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" means, but we don't want to see people keeping bazookas in their homes supposedly for self defense.  So where do we go from here?  We are probably going to stay roughly the same.  Some gun control laws will be updated to make them more "constitutional" and the debate over guns will go on.  I think if you are a city with a lot of gun violence like Washington DC or Baltimore you need to revisit your strategy for keeping guns off the streets.  You could enact tighter controls over how can legally own them, make them more expensive, account for every bullet, and start incentive programs for people to get ride of their guns.  For my part, I think we the people have the right to firearms for self defense, hunting, gun clubs, militias, and other defense and recreational uses.  I think it makes sense to limit the types of guns to what citizens would actually use for their activities.  For instance, a duck hunter needs a shotgun instead of an AK-47.  A moose hunter needs a .310 instead of an uzi.  Perhaps we could do a study where we follow the uses of guns in a test set of people for 10 years or so to see what types of guns they use for what activities?  I think that would help us create better laws and regulations around gun ownership.  Anyway, a NY Times article about today's ruling can be found here.

Mount Hamilton Trip

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
This past Sunday Timber and I finally did the Mount Hamilton road biking trip. It is something she has wanted to do for a long time, and we had been doing some pretty serious (for us) training to get ready for it. We trained because it is a 19 mile (mostly uphill), 5000 feet or so elevation gain bike ride. If you don't train for it you probably won't make it to the top. I was aiming to have us do it in about 3 hours. We moved the ride from Saturday to Sunday because it was going to be significantly cooler on Sunday. So we started out at 6 AM on Sunday, and an hour into the ride I got 2 flat tires. I knew after the first flat that the day was not going my way, but after the second flat I decided to not tempt fate and aborted my summit attempt. After I fixed my second flat I turned around and headed downhill to where I had parked my truck, and I told Timber to go on without me. My plan was to put my bike on the rack and then drive up the road to be her support crew. I did exactly that, and stopped in 3 spots along the way to make sure she had enough water, food, and motivation. I was also a great opportunity for me to document her feat with pictures. She did eventually make it to the top in 2 hours, 55 minutes. I was (and am) very proud of her for making it because it is not an easy ride. I will have to try it another time and hope that I have better luck.

California Wildfires

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

View Larger Map
We have been hit with lots of wildfires in California already even though it is early in the season. You can see from the map where they all are, and it looks like Cal Fire is doing a good job of updating the map on a daily basis so everyone knows where the fires are and how far along they are toward being contained.
I finally got around to posting the photos from the Portland trip here.

Scooters In The News

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
I saw an interesting article in the Mercury News today about scooters.  You can find it here (assuming you don't have to register). Timber and I got our Vespa when gas first hit $3 a gallon and unfortunately for Timber, I'm the one that gets to drive it most of the time, and it is a lot of fun to drive. As far as scooters go, the Vespa probably isn't the most practical because it is not the cheapest, but we felt that along with great gas mileage (60 - 70 mpg) we would get something that could last 25 years or more and still be a really nice scooter far into the future. In general you get what you pay for. So if you are interested in a fun commuter vehicle, I definitely recommend looking into getting a scooter.

Back From Portland

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)


My 36 hours in Portland/Beaverton are now over. After getting to the hotel room late on Thursday morning the guys and I met up for breakfast at IHOP and then broke off to watch the Croatia - Germany game before regrouping for our poster session. We literally only had to walk across the street to the IBM site, which was right next to Nike World Headquarters. Michael and I had a little trouble finding the building we needed to go, but we eventually made it. They had a tent setup, and each of us got a space to put our posters. I tried to get some extra things printed out, but ran into technical difficulties and not enough time, so I went with the slides that I had printed up in San Jose. So I spent the next 10 minutes pasting everything into place and I also got my laptop out and got a movie looping showing the automation framework that my team built. Once the poster session started it was roughly 4 hours of us alternating between standing next to our posters and talking to people about our work as they walked by and walking by other people's posters and talking to them about their work. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting but it was alright. I got to meet some new people and see some work that I hadn't heard about before. I also got to say hi to Erika (who was also presenting a poster) who had moved up to Beaverton from Almaden, and she helped us launch IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition a while back. After everything was over some of the guys and I headed downtown to check things out and have dinner. On Friday I got up at 4 AM to get to the airport and was back in San Jose by 8:30 AM. After that it was time to hit the grindstone again.

Good News And Bad News

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
The good news is that I made it to the airport in time for my flight tonight, and that San Jose International Airport (SJC) now has free wifi.  I tested it and found that the download speed is 2.57 Mbps while the upload speed is 1.93 Mbps.  That's respectable.  The bad news is that my flight to Portland is delayed by 2 hours.  So instead of getting to my hotel by roughly midnight I can look forward to getting there by 2 AM.  That's not going to be fun.

Phenomenal Concert

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Yesterday Timber, Eric, Diane, and myself all went to the Kenny Chesney concert at AT&T Park in SF.  The artists (in order of appearance) were Luke Bryan, Gary Allan, Leann Rimes, Brooks & Dunn, and Kenny Chesney.  If I had one word to describe the concert it would be phenomenal.  The venue was packed with people and all the acts, especially Brooks & Dunn and Kenny Chesney, were really good.  There were appearances by Steve Miller and Sammy Haggar which suprised a lot of people.  So if you ever get a chance to check out a Kenny Chesney concert I highly recommend doing so.

Portland Bound

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
A few weeks ago there was an announcement at work where they were accepting abstracts to take part in a technical exchange program between my work site in San Jose and our IBM work site in Beaverton, Oregon, just outside of Portland (and right next to Nike world headquarters).  Since it wasn't any extra work for me, I recycled my abstract about Test Automation (see previous entry for slides and audio recording of my talk) and submitted it.  It got accepted, and now I get to go up to Portland this week and preach the gospel of Test Automation and recommend that other groups adopt the framework and I and the team I work on developed.  In addition to me getting to go, two more guys from my group get to go.  Tony is going to talk about Continuous Integration while Michael is going to talk about our contributions to Lucene (open source text search engine written in java).  The only bummer is that since I had to book the trip last minute all the flights back to San Jose on Sunday evening are booked, so I can't have Timber come up and spend the weekend with me there.  So I am going to fly up there on Wednesday evening, have the event on Thursday, and fly back on Friday morning.  

SF Giants Game

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)


Thanks to Glen for the tickets.  Yesterday Timber and I took a day off and went up to SF for a 12:45 PM Giants game.  I was shocked to see so many people at the game (roughly 35k).  All sections except for the very top were pretty full.  As we are used to seeing this season, the Giants lost, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.  The wifi connection at the ball park is pretty fast, and Timber was able to get some work done (she lugged her MacBook Pro around everywhere).  After the game we walked over to Union Square and did a little shopping and had dinner before walking back to my truck and driving home.  All in all it was a pretty good way to spend a day off.
On Monday Timber dropped me off at work so I could ride my bike home because her car was in the shop.  As the afternoon wore on I was feeling the urge to ride more than just the 5 miles home that I was slated to do after work.  So when the work day was over I went for a 20 mile loop near work, and then after that loop I rode the 5 miles home.  Later in the evening I had a soccer game with my co-ed team.  My team won that game 2-1 when the other team scored on themselves with about 30 seconds to go.  After the game I found out that we were actually playing in the playoffs, and since we won we had to hand around and play the winner of the game right after ours.  then I started to wonder why the other team scored on themselves.  :-)  I was not too happy about that since we were really low on subs, and I didn't know how we would handle playing another game with basically no subs.  So we hung out and watched the game and then we played the winning team.  We ended up winning that game, which apparently was the championship game, 3-1.  And as a result each person on my team gets a t-shirt.  So at least we ended up getting something for hanging out and playing an extra game.

September 2010

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    
Contact Info:
email: tom.carroll[at]gmail.com
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