November 30, 2005

Pig Problems Pretty Common

Timber went to a meeting on Monday evening to with a city councilmember Forrest Williams and other concerned citizens to talk about the wild pig problems that we've been having. I had a soccer game at the time so I couldn't attend. She told me about some people ranting about the pigs tearing up their yards and the other damage that they've done, and someone actually put up a web site to document the problems. If you check out the website you'll see the aftermath of them digging up grass to get to their food. I didn't know that they are not native to this area and as result people can pretty much hunt them out of existence except for the restrictions of not being able to fire a weapon within city limits. Other ways to get rid of them include trapping them and shipping them off to a dog food processing plant or something. Good ideas in general, but they are not going to get rid of them that way. We now have to figure out a good way to either get rid of them or keep them from coming through and tearing up our condo complex. Time to innovate...

Posted by troutm8 at 11:09 PM | Comments (384)

November 29, 2005

Woopty Do Da

George Michael is going to marry his longtime partner Kenny G (Goss). Timber mentioned that she didn't know that he was gay and that she had a crush on him growning up. I almost spit out the tea that I was drinking because it was so funny. I guess she was sideswiped by the news. I mean really! And also, who cares!

Posted by troutm8 at 11:33 PM | Comments (83)

November 28, 2005

Christmas Tree

We got our Christmas Tree this weekend. It is a Noble Fir and we got a decent deal on it from Home Depot.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:07 PM | Comments (75)

Coe Or Shopping?

I heard about the Gilroy Outlet opening at 12 AM on Friday November 25th to get more shoppers, and in particular I heard that the Banana Republic outlet there had 40 % off on everything in the store. The second hand story that I heard about it was that people were waiting in line to pay for 3.5 hours. Crazy! Instead of doing any early morning shopping (the weather was crappy) I decided to go for a hike in Henry Coe State Park, which to my knowledge, is the largest state park in Northern California. There were plenty of cars there, but I didn't see anyone on the trail, and it was peaceful and quiet. The kicker is that this gem of a park is only 40 minutes from my front door. I seriously have to go backpacking there one of these days. At any rate I took a few photos while I was there.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:57 AM | Comments (92)

November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving Feast

Timber's parents went to South Lake Tahoe earlier this week, and we were going to join them for some gambling and a Thanksgiving buffet, but we decided to stay in town when we found out that her brother would be all alone on Thanksgiving. So instead of getting out of town we picked him up and went to HomeTown Buffet. I have to admit that it wasn't the best buffet that I've ever had, but the basics (turkey, stuffing, gravy) were decent. It cost roughly $10 each, which is a good price considering that the time and materials for making a decent Thanksgiving dinner would easily surpass that. All in all Thanksgiving went well.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:27 PM | Comments (109)

November 24, 2005

Aperture Is Coming

I just finished reading this article about Aperture. Ah, the fun stuff I get to do with a four day weekend. I did do some work today, but I'll rant about that some other time. :-) Aperture is a photo post-processing program being deployed by Apple sometime in the next month or so. You may ask yourself what Aperture does and why it is important. It starts with the amazing fact that the number one tool used by pro digital photographers to manage their files is no tool at all. Aperture is a tool to simplify all of the common captioning, organizing, ranking, printing, and exporting duties that make up most of the photographic post-processing workflow. I think this is important because it should give Aperture users the flexibility to do more with their photos in a shorter amount of time and make the different tasks that go into managing their photos more seamless than ever before. I plan to get it and try it out. I'll report my findings later.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:06 PM | Comments (414)

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Go Cowboys!

Posted by troutm8 at 01:51 AM | Comments (199)

Good Time For Walmart?

Is there ever a good time to go to Walmart? It seems that every time I go there, whether it be early in the morning, at mid-day on a weekend, or late at night, there never seems to be a good time to go. I hate the fact that at all hours of the day they have the aisles full of pallets and boxes of crap. If I have to use a cart I generally can't get all the way down some of the aisles. It really makes the shopping experience a pain and as a result I generally prefer to shop at Target because I never have this problem there. What ever happened to the shopping experience? Are there any MBA's out there doing blog analysis for Walmart? Listen to your customers!!!

Posted by troutm8 at 12:36 AM | Comments (241)

November 22, 2005

$5 Gas Article

I completely agree with this article about high gas prices spurring development of alternative energy sources. I subscribe to the school of thought that says we will never run out of oil, it will just become too expensive to burn. At any rate, the author suggests that people keep driving their gas guzzling SUVs, even drive them more to drive up demand for gas. That in turn will drive the price of oil in general up and will allow for research and development of other fuels. I just see high gas prices as another incentive to drive the Vespa more. Not only does it get 70 MPG but it also is a blast to drive.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:08 PM | Comments (195)

Mateo In San Mateo

We went to see some friends this past weekend that live in San Mateo. We haven't seen them in a while, and in the time of us not seeing them they had a baby (I guess that defines "a while"). They named their son Mateo. At any rate we had an enjoyable afternoon of catching up and eating great food. They even let us take some of the lemons from their lemon tree before we left. Thanks for having us over Sun and Van, we'll have to have you over to our place sometime.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:18 AM | Comments (73)

Prairie Creek Redwoods Trip Posted

I was finally able to post the trip page from our backpacking trip to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. It was a fun trip and you can check it out here.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:58 AM | Comments (528)

November 18, 2005

Truly Horrific

I stumbled across the "Guitar Tribute To the Foo Fighters" by the "Foo Fighters Tribute Band". As you may know iTunes let's you play a 30 second preview of each song. As I checked out the previews for Everlong, Times Like These, etc.. I noticed that this stuff really sucked. Then I saw some of the reviews.

Truly Horrific -> Consistently barely a half-step above Musak. How can this even be called a tribute? Can't the Fighters file suit for such abject butchery of their best work? Give the entertainment lawyers something productive to do rather than suing collegiate Limewirelings.

Yo -> It almost makes me dislike the foo fighters, easily my biggest regret itunes purchase.

You too can check out this and other crap on iTunes. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 04:15 PM | Comments (49)

November 15, 2005

Redwood Photos Posted

I finally posted the photos from the the Redwoods backpacking trip this past weekend. You can find them here. I brought my old camera. As I looked through the photos I noticed that any photo that wasn't taken by my 20d seems to be crappy. I guess upgrading my camera and spending some time to learn about how to take proper photos is turning me into a bit of a photo snob, at least for my own shots.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:44 PM | Comments (247)

November 13, 2005

Return From The Redwoods

I made it home a little while ago. It was an action packed trip filled with ferns, trees, sand, elk, slugs, and rain. I'll put up a trip page and post the photos later in the week.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:56 PM | Comments (88)

November 10, 2005

Redwood National Park

I'm doing a backpacking trip this weekend with Forrest & Co. We're going to backpack in the redwoods, check out Fern Canyon, and hike along the beach. It should be a fun trip.

Posted by troutm8 at 03:24 PM | Comments (539)

November 09, 2005

Proposition Results

It looks like the rest of California agreed with me on most of the propositions. I don't know if that means that I'm moving to the left or if we all agree that they are bad for California. At any rate here's what we came up with (a * denotes what I voted for):
Prop 73 (abortion)
Yes 47.5 %
*No 52.5 %
Prop 74 (teachers)
Yes 44.9 %
*No 55.1 %
Prop 75 (unions)
Yes 46.5 %
*No 53.5 %
Prop 76 (governor authority)
Yes 38 %
*No 62 %
Prop 77 (redistricting)
Yes 40.5 %
*No 59.5 %
Prop 78 (drug discounts #1)
Yes 41.6 %
*No 58.4 %
Prop 79 (drug discount #2)
*Yes 39 %
No 61 %
Prop 80 (energy regulation)
Yes 34.4 %
*No 65.6 %

Posted by troutm8 at 10:00 AM | Comments (79)

November 08, 2005


Most places in the US are having elections today. San Jose is no different. I voted on my way to work. I also heard that San Francisco has some initiative to ban handguns. It will be interesting to see how people there vote on that one. If you have an election in your area today please get out and vote.

Posted by troutm8 at 08:35 AM | Comments (46)

November 07, 2005

Tool For KFC

If KFC were using the tool referenced in this article, they could see that people are saying bad things about them online and simplify their menu in order to keep a good reputation. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 06:07 PM | Comments (173)

Meal Or Combo

Timber and I went to KFC yesterday and had a mediocre experience at best. I ordered a combo (#9 to be exact) while she ordered one of their meals. After we ordered and were told the total we moved up, payed, and then received our goods. That part was fine. The interesting thing is that my combo came with a drink while her meal did not. Does that make any sense? Why would you offer a meal deal and not put a drink in with it yet offer several combos and have a drink with them? Do people that order meals generally not get drinks with them? My guess as to why KFC does this archaic thing is so that they can hit a price point. I think in general people are willing to pay roughly $5 for a fast food meal. If you can hit the $5 price point then you are going to sell plenty of meals, but if you hit $6 for the meal the number of meals that you sell will drop off. So my guess is that they believe their total sales will be higher if they offer the $5 (meal without drink) than the $6 (meal with drink). That's all well and good except for people that get angry and then blog about it. I think they should combine their combos and meals into being just combos (complete with the stupid number) and include a drink with each. Then you can price them appropriately. I think making things easy for the customer will sell more than trying to swindle and trick them. As you can probally tell I subscribe to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) methodology. There were also other problems with my combo which have made me decide to avoid KFC for a while.

Posted by troutm8 at 05:58 PM | Comments (56)

Gen Y Taking Over

We (roughly 70 million of us) are moving into the workplace and taking over with our flip flops, financial savy, and constant feedback needs. I can definitely relate to most of the tendencies outlined for Generation Y in this article. I do like not having to wear a suit every day although I haven't done flip flops too many times. I also think Gen Yers are very likely to have a blog and rant about customer experiences like I am going to do later today. If you are a corporation looking to monitor your reputation you may want to check a tool that I will detail still later in the day. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 03:00 PM | Comments (93)

November 06, 2005

Golden Gate Bridge VIP Tour

We went on a VIP tour of the Golden Gate Bridge this weekend. Thanks Paul for taking us on the tour and scheduling the excellent weather. We got to ride in one of the bridge vehicles and get driven down the sidewalk beeping at tourists and having them get out of our way. Once we got to the north tower we went inside it, up the elevator, and to the top. It was flippin' cool. The view all the way around was spectacular, but it is not for people that are afraid of heights. One of the things that made this tour really special was that we got to check out the Golden Gate Bridge from a perspective that relatively few people ever get to see. But you can enjoy my photos. :-) After the tour we went to PPQ for dinner. It was great food as always. Thanks again Paul.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:00 PM | Comments (113)

November 04, 2005

Photography Class

I took a 2 hour photography class yesterday after work. In that class we briefly covered Exposure, Metering, Exposure Tools, Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, White Balance, Composition Tips, Human Compositional Factors, Leading Lines, Contrast, The Rule of Thirds, Foreground & Background tips, Filling the Frame, and other miscellaneous tips. The instructor also recommended three websites for further study. They are:
DP Review
Luminous Landscape
Brandon Andre (Instructor)

Posted by troutm8 at 09:34 AM | Comments (67)

November 03, 2005

Routed From China

My brother and I went in on an iPod Nano for our mom's birthday, and I watched the iPod Nano travel via FedEx from the factory in Shenzhen, China to Anchorage Alaska. I'm assuming all times were local time. Here's how it went.
Day 1: Package data transmitted to Fedex and leaves the factory in Shenzhen.
Day 2: Package arrives in Anchorage and then leaves Anchorage.
Day 3: Package arrives in Indianapolis then leaves for Anchorage, and then is finally delivered at 11 AM.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:43 PM | Comments (147)


Now I think I'm starting to warm to the video iPod. My biggest concern was that you cannot get your dvds onto the video iPod. That is a problem no more! Here's how you solve it. Get HandBrake (available only for Mac OS X & Linux) then rip a dvd to the resolution of the video iPod (320 x 240 pixels), then import the movie to iTunes, and then sync iTunes up with your iPod. As an experiment I ripped "The Incredibles" to mp4 format. The 1h 55min movie converted to a 900 Mb mp4 file. Then I imported it into iTunes. Now all I have to do get a video iPod to complete the experiment.

Posted by troutm8 at 10:33 PM | Comments (480)

November 02, 2005

Nice Rainbow

Here's a nice rainbow trout that my brother caught a few weekends ago at Skilak Lake. Nice Fish!

Posted by troutm8 at 11:29 PM | Comments (142)

November 8 California Special Election

I've heard a lot about the November 8th California Special Election coming up and that reminded me that I've already read through my materials and have decided on each proposition. Here's how I'll vote and why. If you are interested in finding out more about the proposition please go here.
Prop 73 (Parental Abortion Notification For Minors) -> No because you know some kid is going to die because their dad goes crazy upon finding out his daughter is pregnant and wants to have an abortion. There's no real value add here.
Prop 74 (Probationary Window For Teachers) -> No because it is hard enough to get and keep decent teachers now and increasing the probationary period before getting tenure from 2 years to 5 years is just going to make that problem worse.
Prop 75 (Public Employee Union Dues) -> No because I don't care what the public employee unions do, if they have a problem with their union then they should sort it out in house. I shouldn't be deciding what they do because I'm not part of their union.
Prop 76 (Increase Governor Power) -> No because I don't think the Governor needs more power than he has already. It is as simple as that.
Prop 77 (Redistricting Rule Changes) -> No because I don't like the alternative that was presented in this proposition.
Prop 78 (Discount Prescription Drugs) -> No because only one of these two (78 & 79) will take effect even if both are approved and I think 79 is better.
Prop 79 (Yet Another Discount Prescription Drugs) -> Yes because it is more inclusive than Prop 78.
Prop 80 (Electric Service Regulation) -> No because I don't like the language of the Proposition and when in doubt I vote no.

Posted by troutm8 at 11:13 PM | Comments (59)

Prius Saves America

I was listening to the radio today and the discussion was about United States energy policy. Later in the show listeners were calling in, asking questions of the guests, and making comments. One guy called in ranting about how he wants the price of gas to go up and how he feels that some of the money Americans pay for gas makes its way to terrorists. Then he went on to talk about how he drives a Prius. I couldn't help but notice the tone of his voice the entire time. His tone basically said that he wasn't part of the problem and the rest of the American people were. It is kind of how a devout Christian will openly tell non-Christians that they are going to hell all the while smirking with the knowledge that they themselves are going to heaven. I want to set the record straight. If you drive a Prius you are NOT saving the world. You are still using fossil fuel, you are still emitting greenhouse gasses, you are still a "consumer". The only way you are going to "save the world" or "not contribute to the world's problems" would be to live somewhere isolated from the rest of the world where you grow your own food and do not live a modern lifestyle. Some people are too self-absorbed and in love with their cars to realize that, especially in California.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:20 AM | Comments (110)

Our Laptops Will Crush You

I'm sure you all know that Lenovo bought the PC division from IBM. Looks like they are making a splash in their advertising.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:06 AM | Comments (125)