April 30, 2004

Another Shot @ Mount Shasta

The Mount Shasta Trip is about a week away and Forrest already has a site for it here. I have a feeling that I'll make it to the top this time. We are going to take the Avalanche Gulch route up and camp at Helen Lake the first night. Since I've been there twice already I know exactly what to expect. And to add a little stylistic flair this time I am going to bring my snowboard and snowboard down. This trip is going to rock!

Posted by troutm8 at 11:41 AM | Comments (1516)

iTunes Enabled Pepsi Apparently A Flop

I was suprised to read this article that talked about the Pepsi iTunes Promo being a flop. I guess when you aim to give away 100 million songs and only give about 5 million away then that would classify as a flop. On a personal note I must have redeemed at least 10 - 15 songs from that promo, and I'm a KO stockholder. But now that the iTunes promo is over (ending today) I'm going to go back to buying my company's products.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:07 AM | Comments (83)

April 29, 2004


I just went to get my truck out of the shop. The plus side about doing it was that I rode my bike home when I dropped it off yesterday and I rode my bike to get it when I picked it up today. The weather in San Jose has been nice over the past few days so it was a good excuse to get out of work and get some exercise. Ironically, now that I have my truck back I think I'll ride my bike to work tomorrow. Redoing my brakes cost about $500, but they are under warranty for 2 years or 24k miles. I have approximately 78588 miles on my truck now, so they'll be under warranty most likely for the two years since I doubt I'm going to drive more than 24k miles in the next two years. At any rate I get to do some personal record keeping for the world to see! I decided to take my truck to the shop when I stopped hearing the squeeking sound and started to hear the crunching sound. I guess I should have listened to them when they told me to get my brakes done last time I had work done on my truck. You live and learn.

Posted by troutm8 at 06:08 PM | Comments (160)

Stuck At Home Today

I had to put my truck in the shop to get my brakes fixed which has left me stuck at home for the day. Luckily, through the wonders of modern technology I can do all my work from home and even call into my meetings. My only regret is that I'm going to miss a 5 PM showing of Office Space in one of the conference rooms. I feel that in some ways I can get more work done at home while in other ways I can't. For instance, I don't have the constant interruptions that I have at work. But one of the drawbacks is that communication can sometimes be a little slower and at work I can talk to several people at the same time about an issue and get it resolved right away. All in all I like having the option to work from home when I need to (like today) but I am a firm believer that you lose something when your team members all work in different locations and only interact through instant messaging, email, and phone calls. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Posted by troutm8 at 01:36 PM | Comments (813)

April 28, 2004

Everyone At Work Now Knows What I Look Like

My company is now adding photos (or has been for some time) and I got mine updated today. Too bad I couldn't keep some of the out takes from the photo session. So now anyone I see in the hall or anyone that comes to visit from another site will be able to grab me in the hall. How is this supposed to increase our productivity and help us do our work?

Posted by troutm8 at 02:34 PM | Comments (76)

April 27, 2004

Parents Left Today

My parents left today to go check out the Hearst Castle. I wish they could have stayed longer. I'm not going to get to see them again until June. Yesterday we went to the Valley Fair Mall so my mom could do some shopping and then we went to IKEA because they have never been and my mom wanted to check it out. After IKEA we took the Caltrain from Palo Alto to San Francisco so we could watch the Giants game. One thing I noticed was that even though SBC Park has free WiFi I didn't see anyone there with a laptop. Other than that it was a pretty good game but we didn't see much out of Barry Bonds. He got walked a lot and seemed to only walk around the field. He later was quoted as saying the game was boring. After the game we caught the Caltrain back to Palo Alto and then drove home from there. What a day!

Posted by troutm8 at 09:09 PM | Comments (42)

April 25, 2004

Parents In Town This Weekend

My Parents are in town this weekend and we didn't do too much yesterday after they got into town, but today we went to the A's game. Unfortunately the A's lost, but we had some really good seats and I got some great photos of the game. It was a fun experience overall. The only drawback was that it was pretty hot and we were sitting so close to the field that there wasn't much shade.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:31 PM | Comments (156)

April 24, 2004

Republicans Starting To Annoy Me

Anyone that really knows me knows that I'm a fairly conservative guy and that I'm reasonable about it. I don't spout off about liberals as being idiots and all that other typically ignorant stuff. That being said I'm still a pretty conservative guy and I support my party, but lately the Republican Party has been annoying me. First, I think I should disclose that I contributed $25 toward the re-election of Dubya. And the party has taken that money and sent me at least $25 worth of junk mail. The latest thing that I got the RNC Charter Member Gold Card. What the hell is that for? Am I supposed to parade around the Bay Area telling everyong how conservative I am? On top of that, it starts my name out with Ms. instead of the proper Mr. How the hell did they make that mistake on my profile? Do they have Amorosa taking care of this stuff for them? In most of the junk mail that they have been sending me lately they use what I would consider really inflamatory language to describe Kerry and Democrats as liberal special interests intent on basically destroying America. Come on guys! Does your profile on me say I'm a brain dead idiot? You don't have to spout off to me with deragatory rhetoric about how bad the Democrats are. Instead, how about you focus on what you are doing with the power that you have and how you are different than the Democrats. The latest information I've gotten from them is a little better but I still think the RNC has a long way to go.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:40 AM | Comments (75)

April 23, 2004

Back To Reading Lots Of Books

I found out that I got my subscription to books 24x7 back through work and I'm back on track to read a new book every week. On top of reading my book on 24x7 I'm also reading a lot of books through the library. Last weekend I read a book about how to hide your assets and disappear. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 05:32 PM | Comments (102)

April 22, 2004

The Avs Played Like Cheap Goons

I watched the Sharks/Avs game today and I think the Avs played like cheap shot goons at the end. They might have been trying to send a message to the Sharks but the only message that got through was that the Avs are a bunch of cheap shot artists that got outclassed.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:18 PM | Comments (888)

Earth Day

I saw an interesting blurb here about what people can do to make a difference. Living in the Bay Area I'm definitely more aware of things that are environmentally conscious than I used to be. Some of the things I do that help out with the environment are, recycle everything I possibly can, shave in the shower or turn the faucet off when I shave, I live close to work so when I drive to work I don't have to drive far, I read the news electronically instead of getting a subscription to the newspaper, and I'm pretty good about turning off lights when they aren't needed. Some of the things I plan on doing in the coming year do better are to get a new thermostat, replace the dining room lamp with a fan, bring my own bags when I go shopping, take myself off of junk-mail lists, and ride my bike to work more. I would also like to start a compost bin, but I don't think that is possible since my patio and garden are pretty small.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:03 AM | Comments (214)

April 21, 2004

Your Tehran TV Sucks!

I was flipping through the channels earlier tonight and I came across a show called Your Tehran TV and I thought I would check it out for a few minutes to work on my Farsi and I'm falling out of my chair laughing. This show sucks! The commercials are super cheap and cheesy and they are showing music videos that are absolutely horrendous. The commercials remind me of the local commercials I used to see back in Fairbanks. They basically look like some grade school kids put them together. But the worst thing abou tthe commercials is that the video is shaky and they zoom in and out a lot. If you watch it for long enough it will give you motion sickness.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:52 PM | Comments (62)

I Finally Tried the Pizza

I finally tried that pizza from Lou Malnati's. Overall it was much better than any other frozen pizza I've ever had. The crust was great and the toppings were only so-so. Now the biggest question I had on my mind was would it be worth it to buy it? I found out that the price is $34.95 (that includes shipping). So for me the answer is no, it is not worth $35 for me to have the best frozen pizza I've ever had. I would rather spend that money on a couple of Round Table pizzas or better yet buy the materials from the grocery store to make three pizzas exactly the way I want them. If you, on the other hand, are not as cheap as I and want to try a really good frozen pizza then I recommend Lou Malnati's.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:28 PM | Comments (85)

April 20, 2004

Quarter of the Way There

The Sharks are 1/4 or the way to their Stanley Cup victory, the next leg of this journey takes us through the Colorado Avalanche. I predict a Sharks victory in six games. Here's the schedule. Hey Mom, when you and Bert are here would you like to go to the Sharks game on Saturday? After this round I expect the Sharks to face the Detriot Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals and then the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL Finals.



Posted by troutm8 at 12:53 PM | Comments (66)

April 18, 2004

How Much Does Jack Bauer Make?

I was watching the show 24 tonight and seeing all the things that Jack Bauer has to do for his job and I wondered "How much does Jack make?". I did a little bit of remedial research and I saw that he is the Director of Field Operations for CTU LA. I'm guessing from this article that the maximum possible salary for someone like Jack would be about $145k. Another article says that entry level pay with the CIA could be in the range of $31k to $38k. Based on the limited research that I've done I would guess that Jack makes somewhere in the range of $110k to $130k. Overall that is not enough for what he has to do.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:12 PM | Comments (71)

April 16, 2004

Sharks Taking A Break

As I predicted the Sharks made short work of the Blues. Now they get to wait around and see whom they will play in the second round. Things right now look like they Colorado. I would like to see Nashvile win agaisnt Detroit and play the Sharks in the second round.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:41 PM | Comments (70)

April 15, 2004

Amazon and Sharks

I got to check out the new Amazon extension to search. You can check out A9 for yourself. I say that it is an extension to search because it is built on the google search engine but it adds a few features. One feature is if you login it will track your search history, it also has a diary function so you can take notes about websites. You can also check out site information. All in all it has some nice features that will probably become standard. I feel like an arms race has been going on in the search space for a while now. On a side note the Sharks are fimly in control of their series with the Blues 3-1. I expect the Sharks to close them out either tomorrow or in game 6 if the Blues get lucky.

Posted by troutm8 at 01:40 PM | Comments (153)

The Taxman Cometh

Well they say the only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, and every time it gets to be about this time of year I feel like I'm getting both at the same time. I always come up with colorful and innovative curse words and phrases when I prepare my taxes. And don't get me started on the California income tax form. I think that has to be the most poorly written, archaic, idiotic peace of garbage I have ever had to deal with. The Federal tax forms were a breeze compared to trying to decipher what they are trying to tell me when going through my 540 form. I think the California tax board purposely makes it as complicated and idiotic as possible so that people will give up and not itemize deductions. The state of California gets an emphatic thumbs down from me on their tax forms.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:11 PM | Comments (77)

WWW Inventor Wins Millenium Technology Prize

I just happened to see this article about Tim Berners-Lee this morning and I thought it was ironic that he won this award after listening to him talk yesterday. So thus far this week I've gotten to listen to the inventor of the WWW give a presentation and I've gotten to meet and train with a world champion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master. I guess I can't say it has been an uneventful week.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:02 PM | Comments (79)

April 14, 2004

It's a mess, it's a web, it's your life

I was fortunate to be able to listen to Tim Berners-Lee speak via webconference at work today. He is the inventor of the World Wide Web. And as expected he is brilliant. He was talking to us about the future direction of the WWW and how you could get data in different applications to talk to each other. And as he was speaking I began taking notes from a toastmaster's perspective. Here's my evaluation of the inventor of the world wide web. Please refrain from sending me death threats. :-)
1. speaks in spurts, sometimes fast and sometimes really fast
2. not much vocal variety
3. good eye contact
4. sometimes hard to follow due to change in speed
5. awkward pauses
6. sometimes reads from presentation
7. lots of um, ahs, and uhs
8. I got the impression that he was slowing down so that other people could understand what he was saying
9. good use of body language
10. pretty funny how he asks how much time he has for the presentation
11. sometimes breathes hard because speaks to0 many words per breath
12. Great quote -> "it's a mess, it's a web, it's your life"

When he was talking about having applications be able to communicate with each other he used the exapmle of a calendar, a map, a digital camera, and a gps unit. He said that when he takes a photo he would like the camera to store the longitude and latitude along with the time and day the photo was taken. And he asked why a person shouldn't be able to download that information into their calendar to see where they were when they took the photos, and then why shouldn't they be able to download that information into a map to see where they were. He talked about much more than I can list here.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:31 PM | Comments (720)

April 12, 2004

Training With The Best

Rong and I went up to San Carlos on Sunday to train with a black belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expert whose name escapes me right now. But he has won the world championship at every level and learning from him was very interesting because he only speaks Brazilian Portuguese. But I was amazed at how smooth all of his movements were. He moved like a ghost. And in all of his motions he was never out of position and didn't waste any energy. It was really something to see. He did a really good job of teaching us even though we couldn't understand most of what he was saying. Needless to say I learned a lot and I need to practice the techniques that I learned so I can use them on fellow white belts. In the photo I'm on the one in the lower row all the way to the right. Rong is the one standing second from the right, and the guest instructor is the guys standing in the middle.

Posted by troutm8 at 04:55 PM | Comments (115)

I Finally Got A Library Card

After paying my property taxes this last time I decided that I would go and see what I could get for my money. In short, I decided to get a library card. The experience of getting a library card has gotten a lot better than when I was a kid. This time I merely had to fill out some information on a sheet of paper and present my photo id. The cool thing about the San Jose Library System is that they allow you to have up to 100 items out at any one time. That's quite a lot! I can't imagine having 100 books checked out at the same time. The checkout process was pretty easy overall as well. It was very similar to using the self checkout at the grocery store. Overall it was painless and I can request books and materials online and they will email me and let me know when they are ready. Now they just need to have wireless internet access at the library. I'm sure that is coming.

Posted by troutm8 at 03:39 PM | Comments (74)

April 10, 2004

San Jose BeatDown of St. Louis

I just got done watching the San Jose/St. Louis game and as I expected the Sharks won again. They are now leading the series 2-0. My analysis of the game is that St. Louis took too many penalties and didn't play very smart and San Jose took advantage of that. The next two games are in St. Louis and I expect the Sharks to win at least on of them.

Posted by troutm8 at 03:01 PM | Comments (80)

April 09, 2004

Pretty Good Day Overall

Yesterday was a pretty good day overall. First, I got to leave work a little bit earlier than usual and didn't work at all in the evening (for once in a long time), and the Sharks won their playoff game. I also watched The Apprentice and I was puzzled to see Omarosa lie to her team and completely drop the ball. The weird things is I'm not sure why she did it. She seemed to consciously decide to not do what she needed to get done, and then she lied about it later. So it wasn't incompetence, it was something else. Was she trying to sabatoge Kwame's chance of winning? Does she just like being a biyatch? I really don't know, I'm puzzled. Oh lastly, Timber brought home a frozen pizza from Lou Malnati's. If you're not familiar with Lou Malnati's don't worry, I wasn't either. I guess they ship their pizzas from Chicago to anywhere in the country and someone at work had received the pizza but since they didn't work there anymore the pizza somehow ended up in Timber's hands. Now that's cool. I'll report later to see if this deep dish pizza is any good. I'll tell you already it was worth the price!

Posted by troutm8 at 03:58 PM | Comments (75)

April 07, 2004


I found this really cool network graph application. You can check it out here.
The following example is a network with www.apple.com at the center.

Posted by troutm8 at 05:19 PM | Comments (80)

April 06, 2004

24 is Back

24 is back. In my opinion, this is the best show on TV. Don't believe me? Check it out.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:40 PM | Comments (35)

Great Quote

Here's a great quote that applies to the war on terrorism. It is supplied by Lieutenant Colonel Bryan McCoy of the Third Battalion, Fourth Marines. -> "There are two kinds of people on this battlefield, predators and prey. Don't be prey. Don't be an easy target. We'll do the ambushing; we'll do the killing; we'll take the fight to the enemy and not be passive about it. The best medicine is aggression and violent supremacy. After contact, they will fear us more than they hate us."

Posted by troutm8 at 12:44 AM | Comments (66)

April 05, 2004

UN Not Very Efficient in Afghanistan

I was suprised to find out that out of the $5.2 Billion in promised aid, only 20 to 30 percent reaches the villages in Afghanistan. See this article.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:15 PM | Comments (155)

Sharks Start Playoffs on Thursday

Here's the schedule for the San Jose Sharks first round series against the St Louis Blues. If anyone from work is reading this, I'll be unavailable during these times. :-) I watched the last Sharks game of the season this weekend, and when they were down 3-1 to the LA Kings Timber asked if she should change the channel. I told her that the Sharks had come back from being down 3-0 to Dallas earlier in the season. So we kept watching the game, and sure enough the Sharks came back to tie the game with 3.2 seconds left. Then they went on to win in overtime. I think that is a great way to go into the playoffs. I'm sure they will beat St Louis in 5 or 6 games. I'll make more hockey predictions later.



Posted by troutm8 at 12:04 PM | Comments (76)

April 04, 2004

Trying To Get Exercise This Weekend

I'm trying to get some exercise this weekend. On Friday I left work early to go for a 15 mile bike ride on the Coyote Creek Trail. Yesterday I got a heart rate monitor so I can train more efficiently. I've just gone for a run on the Coyote Creek Trail. The weather is very nice today.

Posted by troutm8 at 02:06 PM | Comments (76)

April 02, 2004

The Giants Have It Going On

I think the place to be this summer will be SBC Park. This article talks about free wireless internet, new food choices, and a host of other things that should make this a good season to go to Giants games. Hey mom, maybe you should bring your laptop with you when you come to visit. You can bring it to the game and follow the stats while you watch the game.

Posted by troutm8 at 02:16 PM | Comments (179)

The Importance Of Testing

As I've spent some time working on my site I can't help but constantly come back to the thought about the importance of testing. I find that there always seem to be some sort of mistake in what I am trying to do that I often don't realize the mistake until I've take a step back and played around with the application that I've created. And a bug doesn't have to be a broken application, it can be an application that works perfectly well, it just doesn't do what I had originally intended. I think that is a bug that most people don't think about.

Posted by troutm8 at 01:04 AM | Comments (82)

April 01, 2004

Good Article about webfountain

Check out this article about WebFountain. I'm suprised they went into this much detail about how the system works, but better someone else to leak out that information and not me. Searchig the web is such an interesting subject. There is so much going on in this area right now and I think we are barely scratching the surface. We have to think of better ways to search and deliver the data. And we also have to think about better ways to use the data.

Posted by troutm8 at 07:10 PM | Comments (66)

Being broke ain't no joke

Damn! I paid my mortgage and property taxes today and I'm BROKE. I'm not doing anything for a while that includes the expenditure of money. All you kids out there that go to the schools I pay for better study hard and get good grades or I'm going to do some "tutoring" with a bat. Just kidding. :-)
Check out this article. I think I'll be going to a lot of Giants games this year!

Posted by troutm8 at 12:50 PM | Comments (187)

Mount Diablo wild flowers

Here's a photo from when I hiked to the top of Mount Diablo a few weeks ago. The weather was great and some of the wild flowers were out in force.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:13 AM | Comments (64)

Switch is complete

The switchover is complete. Hopefully all of the links and "things of that nature" are working on my new, movable type blog.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:06 AM | Comments (575)