May 27, 2004

Disruption And Conflict Will Be Endemic Features Of Life

Great title eh? Those are the last words of this report which was created for the Pentagon. I like reading documents like this because people and organizations like to use these documents for political purposes, but if you read the document itself you can see that it is not accurate to use them for political purposes and scare tactics. For instance, this document is housed on the Greenpeace website. My impression of Greenpeace is that it thinks the US government is some kind of evil organization that is concentrating on destroying the environment and giving tax cuts to the rich. The report that is linked here discusses a scenario where there is farily abrupt climate change and how the world will react to it. I think it gives some good insights and in the end it suggests more studies and analysis is needed if the US government is going to be prepared to meet challenges that will most likely come. The good news for the environmentalists out there is that it says that environmental progams (reduce, reuse, recycle) are worthwhile, but it doesn't say anything about how we can reverse the course of global climate change. Better yet, it doesn't say definitively if global climate change is caused by humans. It cites geological data that shows climate change happening during the course of thousands of years. So now you might be wondering what my point is. My point is that these things could already be happening now. What is your strategy for dealing with them?

Posted by troutm8 at 04:45 PM | Comments (701)

May 26, 2004

Bush Was An Alchoholic

I found this article insteresting because more people would rather have a bbq and drink beer with W than with John Kerry. The reason that I find it funny is because Dubya doesn't drink due to his bout with alchoholism. So in a sense the people that were responding to the questions didn't know enough to give an accurate answer. On a side note Author E. L. Doctorow was booed after giving an anti-Dubya speech. I don't think he was booed about the content of the speech but was instead booed because he gave that speech when he should have been doing comencement at Hofstra University. And I can understand that. Commencement is supposed to be about celebrating the accomplishments of the students and give them a little bit of advice on how to handle life after college. It is about telling funny and inspirational stories. But anyone that uses it as a soap box to spotlight their political views deserves to get booed. I would feel that way whether he was bashing Dubya or bashing Kerry. If you want to do the bashing, do it on your own time. Do it in your blog, or perhaps arrange to give a speech specifically to do your bashing.

Posted by troutm8 at 05:19 PM | Comments (518)

May 25, 2004

Coyote Peak

After work today I rode my mountain bike from my garage (elevation 180 ft) to the top of Coyote Peak (elevation 1155 ft). I challenged myself to get to the top as fast as possible and I made it in 42 minutes. I was originally hoping to get to the top in just under an hour. I think I will do it a couple of times a week from now on to see what personal record I can set.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:54 PM | Comments (414)

Memorial Day Plans

It is never too early to start making plans for Memorial Day. It sounds like Forrest is going to head to Bishop Pass, and I was talking to Timber about going into the John Muir Wilderness from McGee Creek. But that trip probably won't be until later this summer. I think what we end up doing depends on Mary's nephew Elijah. When we were cherry picking this past weekend he said that he wanted to go fishing, and our last best chance to do that is to take him fishing on Memorial Day weekend. So now we need to check to find out if it is something he really wants to do or if it just sounded fun to him at the time. Depending on what he says we can make our plans accordingly.

Posted by troutm8 at 03:09 PM | Comments (352)

May 24, 2004

IBM and Linux

I read an article earlier today about IBM's relationship with Linux and the history of how IBM decided to jump on and according to some "create" the bandwagon. It reminded me of when I first came to San Jose in April of 1998 to interview for a internship at IBM. I was taken on a quick tour of the area where I would be working and I got to see the server rooms and labs and all sorts of different servers. I asked them what operating systems they ran on those machines and they said that most of them ran AIX while a small minority ran OS2 Server. I then asked the interviewer if they had Linux on any of their machines and he laughed and said "Why would we use Linux, we have our own operating system." He was referring to AIX. I politely nodded my head and noted that moment. IBM has come a long way since then.

Posted by troutm8 at 03:58 PM | Comments (145)

May 23, 2004

The Land Of Plenty

This was a fun weekend by most accounts. I finally got to go mountain biking again at Henry Coe State Park. We were in Park Headquarters and saw that there are plans to put a high speed rail line right through the park. I'm going to write to the state senate and the governor to tell them that I am opposed to that idea. I think that is what any environmentally friendly republican should do. The route we took on our bike ride was to Manzanita Point and back to the headquarters. It was about 6 miles overall. On our way to the park it was a little cold and overcast, but true to form it got bright and sunny once we got there. I was worried that it was going to be hot and miserable but we lucked out because it was still relatively cool and there was a nice breeze. Today we went cherry picking in Brentwood. We went to a place Sharp Ranch and picked Bing cherries. They charged $2 per pound for the cherries, but you have to pick them yourself. I picked 15 pounds of cherries on my own. So for those people out there that say we should let illegal immigrants stay here because Americans don't want to do these jobs, I say you're full of crap. We got a flyer that talked about other fruits and vegtables in the area that people can go and pick themselves. You can find out more about it here.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:25 PM | Comments (1070)

May 20, 2004

Earth Day Progress

Back on April 22 I listed things that I could to do to be more environmentally friendly. Here's my report card up to this point. Thus far I've taken myself off of junk mail lists and gotten bags to take to the grocery store. I've also ridden my bike to work a few more times than normal, and I hope to ride my bike to work even more. The problem is that there always seems to be something that requires me to drive to work. It can be a toastmasters meeting after work, a soccer game after work, a dentist appointment, or any assortment of other things. I still plan to get a more efficient thermostat and get a fan to replace the light fixture in the dining room. The summer is on it's way, so the time to do those things is now.

Posted by troutm8 at 05:31 PM | Comments (637)

May 19, 2004

"A Traitor To Animal-Kind"

Does the term "a traitor to animal-kind" make you think of a dog? Some people feel that way. And I think those people know absolutely nothing about the world in which they live. They feel that way because an 11 year old black lab chased a mountain lion up a tree yesterday. Once the big cat was up in the tree the Palo Alto police department decided to shoot it and kill it. Some people in Palo Alto think the cops should not have killed the cougar. You can find an article about it here. My opinion is to agree with the experts who say that in that situation it was important to either capture or kill the cat before the three nearby elementary schools let out. The experts say that mountain lions see children as a food source, so in this situation the cops had to act fast. Because the cops did not have a tranquilizer gun on hand and because the schools were going to be let out imminently they decided that they had to kill the mountain lion. So, contriversal as it may be, I'm going to side with the cops and the experts on this issue. And I hope those people out there that feel that they should not have killed the mountain lion use this episode as a way to get to know more about them. I think once they actually understand something about this animal's behavior they will probably change their stance. The police should not take instructions from people who have only seen mountain lions on TV and in cartoons.

Posted by troutm8 at 05:43 PM | Comments (132)

Get Motivated!

My employer was kind enough to get me a ticket to the "Get Motivated!" seminar that was held at the HP Pavillion yesterday. I don't know how many of my coworkers went because there were so many people at the seminar that I didn't see any other coworkers there. I took the light rail to the Santa Clara station and then walked from there to the HP Pavillion. But the widely regarded king of motivational speaking, Zig Ziglar was there. I have to say that he is an excellent speaker and for me this was the highlight of the day. I was surprised to see so many people there. I believe the capacity of the HP Pavillion is 20k people and I'd estimate that there were about 15k people there. Overall I think the seminar was pretty good but there were parts that seemed kind of cheesy and it seemed that sometimes people can be a little too easy to influence.

Posted by troutm8 at 03:26 PM | Comments (68)

May 17, 2004

Milka Alpenmilch

One of my collegues just got back from Germany and brought some German chocolate back with him. It is called Milka and you can find their website here. Overall the chocolate is pretty good, but interestingly enough it is made by Kraft. Because of that I'm not sure how authentic it is. Then again, if I were to go to Europe and bring hamburgers from In-N-Out Burger I'd still be bringing authentic American burgers with me right?

Posted by troutm8 at 04:29 PM | Comments (86)

May 16, 2004

Not Quite Fly Fishing But Still Productive

I had planned on doing some fishing this weekend, but instead I was somewhat productive by replacing nine power outlets throughout the house. I also got a chance to play golf at Rancho Del Pueblo. On top of that I finally got a chance to visit the San Jose Fly Shop and tried the ice cream at Sweet Retreat. The interesting thing about Sweet Retreat is that they have ice cream like Baskin Robbins, but they also have frozen yogurt which you can have mixed with fruits and other materials. The prices are very reasonable. When we got there at 10 PM on Saturday night there was a line out the door and we had to wait 30 minutes before getting served. And after waiting all that time for some ice cream I can still say it was worth it and I'll go back again another time. I just have to get more exercise first.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:03 PM | Comments (160)

May 15, 2004

Troy Was Lame

I just got back from watching the movie Troy. To summarize my review, don't bother going to watch this piece of garbage. Before the movie started I didn't expect much out of it, and in the end it dissapointed even those low expectations. First, the music was cheesy. Second, I don't understand why they cast Brad Pitt as Achilles. How many blond haired, blue eyed Greeks are there out there? They might as well have cast Jet Li, at least it would be more entertaining to watch him fight. Another thing, I could swear all of the old warriors in this movie were in Braveheart, and they still had the Scottish accents too. Also, they kept saying "My Lord", but they are not in England and they are at least two thousand years ahead of that accent. Unless they know more about string theory than I do they can't have had that kind of accent back then. The best parts of the movie were when they just shut up and fought, and I wasn't even interested in that. I also noticed that Eric Bana (Hector) looks just like Peja Stojakovich. And that's it for my review. Two thumbs way down...

Posted by troutm8 at 02:11 AM | Comments (80)

May 12, 2004

Netflix Probably Won't Like This Getting Out

I don't think Netflix will like this getting out, but here it is anyway. This was sent to me by a little birdy. Basically if you go to cancel your subscription they cut your price for a while to keep you. Interesting marketing strategy. I'd love to see what their retention rate at this point is...

Posted by troutm8 at 04:39 PM | Comments (42)

I Don't Want Excuses

I hate to classify this as politics, but from my perspective it looks like it is politics. I couldn't help but notice on the TV, radio, and online, that people on all sides of the political spectrum were drumming on about the prisoner abuse scandal that has taken place in Iraq. One congressman, I don't remember who he is other than that he is from Oklahoma didn't seem to think that the photos were a big deal. People on the left were calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, and people in the middle were coming with excuses as to why US soldiers would treat prisoners they way they have been treated. I don't want excuses and I don't want political squabbling. I want the situation to be fixed and I want our military to comply with the standards that we have put in place for ourselves. Namely, that we follow the Geneva Convention guidelines that we agreed to. The biggest problem that I see is that on all sides, it seems like we are losing sight of the fact that all this is happening to people. They are people just like us and we are people just like them. Perhaps if we behave like we are supposed to behave we won't get our people beheaded. Unfortunately I think once the line has been crossed (which it has been already) there might be nothing we can do to stop the escalating inhumanity. And that is really sad.

Posted by troutm8 at 01:31 PM | Comments (70)

May 10, 2004

Photos From Shasta Trip Posted

I've posted the photos from our Mount Shasta trip here complete with captions. Enjoy!

Posted by troutm8 at 09:16 AM | Comments (327)

May 08, 2004

Mount Shasta Strikes Back

Timber and I just made it home a little while ago. We did not summit Mount Shasta this trip. More details will come later. It's time for me to unpack and clean things up.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:08 PM | Comments (1041)

May 06, 2004

Walking Out The Door

We're off to Mount Shasta tonight. We'll get to town tonight and get our summit pass, wilderness pass, and rental gear in the morning and then head up to base camp. With any luck we'll summit on Saturday and be back home at a reasonable time on Sunday.

Posted by troutm8 at 07:14 PM | Comments (2930)

Sparks From My Fingers

Is it weird to be excited about something to the point that you can see sparks shoot out of our fingers? Well I'm feeling that way about the Mount Shasta trip. It's official, we're leaving later today to head up there. There are chances of precipitation and possible high winds, but the percentage chance is low enough that we're willing to take our chances, besides, the mountain creates it's own weather, so even if the weather report said everything is crystal clear you'd have to take it with a grain of salt. But this time I know what to expect, I'm motivated, and we have plenty of time to reach the top. I'm feeling good about this. Here's a list of the items I'm bringing up to this point. Anyone want to be my sherpa?
List for Shasta Trip:

Air mattress
Sleeping Bag
Mountaineering Boots
2 fuel canisters
camping stove
stainless steel mug
titanium spork
Water Filter
Sun Block
Chap Stick
cooking pots and pan
snowshoeing poles
snowboarding boots
crampons (rented)
ice axe (rented)

gps unit
two radios
Head Lamp
Camera with extra discs
chemical toe warmers
gerber tool
map & compass
extra batteries

Beyond Fleece Jacket
Snow Pants
4 Pairs Thick Socks
Mittens With Liners
Fleece Hat
Face Mask
Helmet with Goggles
gaiters (get from snowshoeing bag)
rei pullover
thermal underwear for sleeping
hiking shorts
extra change of clothes to keep in the car

Red Tape:
wilderness permit
summit pass
poop bag with kitty litter

Posted by troutm8 at 12:49 PM | Comments (683)

May 05, 2004

12 Cent Jump In Gas Prices This Morning

Timber told me this morning that there was a 12 cent hike in gas prices overnight. Today I found this article confirming that. I also noticed the hike at two gas stations on the way to work this morning. Before I knew much about it I was asking her if the Middle Eastern countries all of a sudden don't like us and she said they've always hated us. The article that I read said that gas prices could go up another 7 or 8 cents by tomorrow.

Posted by troutm8 at 02:24 PM | Comments (2278)

May 04, 2004

Hard Ride To The Top

I rode my bike to work today with my backpack laden with my laptop, shower stuff, and the clothes that I was going to wear at work. Overall my pack seemed to way 30 or 40 pounds which made it the most difficult ride to the top of the hill which is where my work site is located. I think it was a good little practice for Mount Shasta, and no matter how slow I went on my bike I never stopped. I made it all the way to the top and I even managed to get cleaned up and make it to my first meeting of the day. And when I go home today I'll enjoy the benefits of "earning my turns".

Posted by troutm8 at 11:16 AM | Comments (74)

May 03, 2004

Mean Girls And Salmon Tacos

This weekend had the feel of the calm before the storm. I say that because next weekend Timber and I will be attempting to climb Mount Shasta again. It will be my third attempt and Timber's second. I found the video that Forrest made from our trip last year. You can check it out here. On Saturday we saw the movie Mean Girls. Most people would not think that I would allow myself to be forced into watching a teeny bopper movie like Mean Girls. And they are right, I went on my own free will. Overall I think the movie was good mind numbing entertainment. It certainly won't win any awards but it was pretty funny in parts and entertaining overall. On Sunday I went rollerblading for the first time in a very long time. And on Sunday night we cooked salmon tacos. I think they turned out pretty good. I'll definitely keep that recipe in my pocket for laster use. Thanks for bringing the salmon with you from Alaska Mom!

Posted by troutm8 at 02:20 PM | Comments (1289)