January 2009 Archives


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One of the things I did on my day off on Monday (MLK Jr. Day) was to install Boxee on my Apple TV.  Over the weekend I had first installed Boxee on my MacBook to see if it would even be worth installing it on my Apple TV.  Overall I found the user interface to be decent and it allowed me to see hulu, netflix streaming, cnn streaming, cbs online, and other online content.  So I went ahead and installed it on my Apple TV, and after a few software updates and other fun I got it working.  It wasn't all that bad, and if you are interested in putting it on your Apple TV you should check out the instructions here.  They also have 2 videos linked from that page which also talk about how to install boxee on your Apple TV.  In my experience the instructions are pretty good, you just have to make sure you get the latest version of the software and don't use Safari to download it because Safari barfs on it for some reason.  But if you use firefox to download it and then unzip it everything works fine.  :-)


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Bank of America?

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What if Bank of America really becomes THE Bank of America?  I ask that because the US government is continuing to pump money into it.  So at what point does it become a nationalized bank and move from being "Bank of America" to "The Bank of America"?  Does anyone care?  And what about an institution becoming "Too big to fail?".  In my mind, "too big to fail" means that the company is so large and influencial that if it fails there will be devastating effects on the overall economy.  I think in light of the current economic situation we should protect our economy by changing the definition of what a Monopoly is to include the term "Too Big To Fail".  I think that because we should really not be bailing out companies that are "too big to fail".  Instead, we should break them up into smaller companies that, if they fail, will not have a devastating effect on our economy.  Think of it this way.  If a company is too big to fail, then they know there is a safety net and will not act as responsibly because they know the government will bail them out.  If instead, there are many more smaller companies that are not too big to fail, and they know that no bailout is coming (like most small businesses), then they will act more responsibly because they have to be self reliant.  And if they fail we, the US taxpayer, don't have to bail them out because it won't torpedo the economy.  So instead of pumping money into AIG, Bank of America, and others, we should be breaking them up.  I think long term that will be better for the economy than saddling them with so many regulations that they cannot innovate. 


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Last Friday Timber and I got our first delivery from our CSA, Farm Fresh To You.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and typically CSAs are local organic farms that sell directly to their members.  So as a member of a CSA you cut out the middleman which is usually a grocery store and as a result usually get better prices and fresher produce.  Plus you typically get to visit the farm where your produce is grown and can talk to the farmers yourself.  I was introduced to this concept at the end of the book "In Defense of Food".  Here is a link to pictures of our first box.  Our first box included:
  1. Kale.
  2. Collard Greens
  3. 1 head of red leaf lettuce
  4. Baby Bok Choy
  5. 1 Napa Cabbage
  6. 1 Bushel of Carrots
  7. 1 Butternut Squash
  8. Potatos
  9. Apples
  10. Satsuma Oranges
  11. Pears

Silicon Valley Car Show

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On Saturday Timber and I went to dinner with Erik and Diane at Il Fornaio in downtown San Jose and then we walked over to the Silicon Valley Car Show.  The car show had fewer concept cars than I expected, but dodge had a really cool looking electric car.  Other than that we sat in lots of cars and were even impressed by a few enough so that we are going to add them to our list of cars to test drive.  Those cars are:
  1. Land Rover LR2
  2. Dodge Journey
  3. Hyundai Genesis
  4. Hyundai Santa Fe
  5. 2009 RDX
  6. VW Jetta TDI

In Defense Of Food

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I finished the book, "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan yesterday and I have to say that it really opened my eyes.  It talks about the industrialization of the American food supply and goes on to make the case that putting our food choices and habits in the hands of scientists who tell us "Low Fat", "High Fiber", "Low Cholesterol", "No Butter", etc... is a foolish thing to do.  Most of the book is spent dispelling myths about food studies purporting new understanding of nutrition and then the food industry rushes to reformulate the processed foods to include that ingredient.  Think about it, high fiber, antioxidants, omega-3's?  What will the new health flavor be for 2009?  I saw a talk show the other day that recommended replacing regular onion rings with new and improved onion rings which had less calories and high fiber.  High fiber from onion rings?  I don't think so!  It wasn't until the end the Pollan got into rules of thumb for eating.  I'm going to save you some time by listing them here, but be warned, most of them are not exactly as the bullet points make them sound.  For example, the bullet point that says "Eat Meals" has a lot more to it than face value.  If you want any detail or explanation you are going to have to read the book.  So the rules are:

  • Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
  • Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) Unfamiliar, B) Unpronouncable, C) More than 5 in number or that include D) high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Avoid food products that make health claims.
  • Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
  • Get out of the supermarket whenever possible.
  • Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
  • You are what what you eat eats too.
  • If you have the space, buy a freezer.
  • Eat like an omnivore.
  • Eat well-grown food from healthy soils.
  • Eat wild foods when you can.
  • Be the kind of person who take supplements.
  • Eat more like the French, or the Italians, of the Japanese, or the Indians, or the Greeks.
  • Regard nontraditional foods with skepticism.
  • Don't look for the magic bullet in the traditional diet.
  • Have a glass of wine with dinner.
  • Pay more, eat less.
  • Eat meals.
  • Do all your eating at a table.
  • Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does.
  • Try not to eat alone.
  • Consult your gut.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Cook and, if you can, plant a garden.

September 2010

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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