August 31, 2006

Coming Soon

Here's a good article about what the fishing is looking like this coming weekend in Alaska. I'll be in the action on Skilak Lake soon.

Posted by troutm8 at 08:13 PM | Comments (75)

August 30, 2006

Frequent Flyer Phony Baloney

After hearing my brother talk about a really awesome fishing trip that he is going on in September I decided that I wanted a piece of the action too, but buying a ticket to Alaska for the time window of the fishing trip plus an extra few days isn't really cost effective. My hopes were dashed. But then I started thinking that maybe I have enough miles to get a free ticket. I checked my account with Alaska Airlines and sure enough I had enough miles to get a ticket and also make sure I could buy a few more mileage tickets in the event of a family emergency. So I set out to get mileage ticket. The Alaska Airlines website is pretty good for the most part, and it was easy to navigate to the area where I could get my mileage ticket online. But when I put in the dates and times that I wanted (fly up on 9/14 and back on 9/20) nothing showed up. Dangit! Instead, for the flight up there I could fly on 9/13 or 9/15, and on the flight back I could fly on 9/19 or 9/21. But at the bottom it had the flight I wanted, but that was double the miles! So I figured they were trying to fleece me, and as a result I changed my search critera. Sure enough the dates and times that I wanted started showing up for the regular mileage amount. So I booked my ticket. So watch out if you go to buy a mileage ticket and they don't give you the dates and times that you want. The only drawback is that my flight back to San Jose requires a layover from midnight to 7 AM in Seattle. Does anyone know how much wifi access costs @ Seatac? I guess I can buy some coffee or soda and play around on my computer while I wait. I'm sure I'll have lots of photos to upload to smugmug on my way back. On a side note, this is going to be another fishing trip to Skilak Lake (otherwise known as funkytown due to the rotting salmon smell). I caught 29 fish in 3 days last year. This year I'm pretty sure I'll do even better.

Posted by troutm8 at 02:52 PM | Comments (77)

August 29, 2006

Wifi Hotspot Security

Going to surf the web, check your email, or get some work done at a wifi hotspot? Good, read this article about how to do is securely (for the most part).

Posted by troutm8 at 02:07 PM | Comments (82)

August 28, 2006

Loon Lake Adventure

Over the weekend Timber, Wookie, and I grabbed both of Timber's kayaks and headed over to Loon Lake for a camping and kayaking adventure. We originally planned on getting there early on Saturday and then kayaking to the boat in camp sites, but we didn't get there early enough. Instead we got there after dark on Saturday and camped at one of the equestrian campsites. Wookie didn't mind camping, although he ended up burying his food with dirt and getting his face really dirty in the process. We also ended up using roughly 50 matches to get the fire started. That was pretty frustrating. That serves me right for starting a fire with one match a few camping trips ago. On Sunday we woke up, cleaned up the camp, and looked around for a place to launch the kayaks. Up on the northwest corner of the lake we found a good spot to launch the kayaks that was also very close to the starting point of the Rubicon Trail. We saw lots of 4x4 vehicles going in and coming out, and there was a helicopter ferrying supplies around. Our kayaking consisted of hugging the coastline as we worked our way north on the lake, then kayaking across to the east side where we stopped on an island for a snack. Wookie spent most of his time with me since I was using the 2 person kayak, but later in the kayaking trip Timber used the 2 person kayak and got him as part of the package. On our way back to our starting point we found a tunnel that looked like it led to the mines or Moria. We saw a 12 foot motorboat go into the tunnel and we didn't see it come out. We decided to kayak into the tunnel, and a few hundred feet into it we decided to turn around. If only we had brought our headlamps. We found out after we had gotten home that the tunnel was built to connect Loon Lake with Buck Island Lake and is somewhere between 1.6 and 2.0 miles in length. We will definitely come back and check it out with our headlamps. After that little adventure we headed back to where the truck was parked. It became really windy and we had to paddle through the wind and choppy water. Right around the time we got to the middle of the lake Wookie went overboard. We're not sure if he slipped or jumped in, but once he was in the water he was paddling around furiously. Timber yelled for me to help, but by the time I got to where he was she had already pulled him back into the kayak. We slowly made our way back to the boat launch after that. The rest of the trip was somewhat quiet. We packed up the kayaks, dried Wookie off, and got on the road. We stopped for pizza in Sacramento on the way home and got back at a reasonable hour. All it all it was a weekend well spent.

Posted by troutm8 at 06:37 PM | Comments (87)

August 25, 2006

RAW Vs JPEG Debate

I came across this article that lists the pros and cons of shooting photos in JPEG or RAW. Most people out there don't have a choice because they use point and shoot cameras. But for those of you who do have a choice I recommend playing around with both. I have been shooting most of my photos in JPEG mostly because they are a little bit easier to deal with and I'm not ready to open up my own photo gallery just yet. But when I have gone to once in a lifetime places (Top of the North Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge) I did take the photos in RAW because it gave me more to work with. I think if I'm taking photos at a picnic or dinner I'll do it in JPEG but if I'm taking photos of landscapes or monster fish that I catch I'll do so in RAW.

Posted by troutm8 at 07:49 PM | Comments (1619)

August 22, 2006

Soccer Drubbing

Well I guess I was due a soccer drubbing anyway, but one was delivered to me and my team late last night. We lost 13-0. Ouch. It all started with us not having many subs and not warming up before the game started. Two of the goals were my fault because I had two passes intercepted after which the other team came back and scored on me (I played goalkeeper). Overall we hardly ever shot the ball and we didn't do much on defense. I would equate the experience to listening to a really bad song, and when you're almost done with the song someone comes along and resets it back to the beginning, over and over again. These types of games serve the purpose of keeping us humble and learning how to lose with dignity and class. We just have to make sure this doesn't happen too often.

Posted by troutm8 at 01:46 PM | Comments (2060)

August 21, 2006

Mexico Research

Timber and I are going to Los Cabos in September and I've been doing some research to get ready for the trip. One book that I got from the library was the Frommer's Portable Los Cabos & Baja Guide. It seems to have lots of good information which should help us decide what we want to do while we are there. Some of our choices include kayaking, fishing, golfing, atv tours, horseback riding, diving, snorkeling, just hanging out on the beach, and more. It should be fun.

Posted by troutm8 at 08:33 PM | Comments (418)


On Saturday Timber and I went to the Walk'n'Wag that was held at Kelly Park near downtown San Jose. We brought Wookie with us and met up with Eric, Diane, Mark, Terry, Kyle, and Luigi. Overall it was pretty cool with lots of dogs and people everywhere, and it was for a good cause.

Posted by troutm8 at 07:59 PM | Comments (60)

August 18, 2006

Now You Too Have Friend In The Startup Business

Anyone want to buy a web 2.0 startup? Starting bid is $50k. The cool thing about it is that it uses Ruby on rails on top of a postgresql database. Woohoo!

Posted by troutm8 at 09:05 AM | Comments (51)

August 16, 2006

Making Photos Last Forever

This is a good article pointing out 10 tips to make your digital photos last forever. If you've ever lost photos you'll know how frustrating it can be. Here's how I keep and manage my photos so they will last:
1. Take the photos (I use 1 Gb Compact Flash Cards because if I lose one disk (which I will eventually do) I won't lose all my photos from a trip or occasion).
2. When I get back to my computer I immediately upload all of my photos using iPhoto (extemely easy to use) and I don't erase any of the original disks.
3. I then copy the photos over to another computer.
4. From that other computer I upload the photos to Smugmug and then go in later to parse out the bad photos and add captions. I chose Smugmug because I can control whether or not viewers can download the original files. I like having unlimited storage and being able to go back later for the originals of my other copies die.
5. Burn a DVD of the photos (sorted by date) and then label the DVD with the date information.
6. Copy the photos (sorted by date) to an external hard drive that I have specifically for photos.
7. Blog about the trip or event where I took the photos so that I can later match up the event with the date.
Miscellaneous steps -> I will eventually have to clean up my computer's hard drive due to space restrictions, but as long as I have a backup hard drive, a DVD, and the photos are uploaded to Smugmug I'm safe to clear out the space.

It may seem like a lot of work to keep these photos, but it was a lot of work to get them in the first place. If you follow these steps or some varation of them you can reasonably rest assured that your photos will endure for the foreseeable future.

Posted by troutm8 at 02:12 PM | Comments (40)

Free Wifi in Mountain View

I guess I'll give this a try the next time I go up to Mountain View. Very cool. Thanks Google!

Posted by troutm8 at 01:41 PM | Comments (196)

August 15, 2006

Loon Lake

Sometime in the next few weekends we are going to hit Loon Lake for some kayaking and camping. They have campsites that you have to kayak or conoe to (no drive up camping for lazy people) and hopefully the fishing will be decent. Even better is that we can bring Timber's two kayaks and Wookie. Here are pdfs of the area and campsites.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:54 PM | Comments (77)

Staying Focused @ Work

This article talks about ways to stay focused at work. I work in a cube environment with lots of activity and interruptions. I particularly liked items #1, 3, 7, 9, and 12. Unfortunately I practically have to file an HR complaint to get a decent chair, so that one is out.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:42 PM | Comments (41)

August 14, 2006

Monterey Kayaking

We went back to Monterey on Sunday to do some kayaking. We rented our sit on top kayaks from Monterey Bay Kayaks. For our $30 each we got a kayak, paddle, wetsuit, windbreaker, life jacket, and we could hold onto the kayak from 9 AM until 5:30 PM. Overall it wasn't a bad deal. We kayaked from the launch site right on the beach near the first pier (where fishing boats unload their catch) and paddled up to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and back. Along the way we saw sea otters, harbor seals, stellar sea lions, cormorants, pelicans, sea gulls, and lots of other birds. I even saw an octopus. On our way back we got up on a beach and then had lunch on Fisherman's Wharf. After lunch and some ice cream for dessert we got back in the kayaks, paddled back to where we started, and grabbed our cameras. I'll post the photos that we took later in the week, but some of them actually turned out decently. :-) Overall it was a fun trip and I would highly recommend it.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:57 PM | Comments (45)

Golf Beat Down

On Saturday morning Timber and I played golf for the first time in a very long time. We hit the short course at the Santa Teresa Golf Course. There was a lot of smack talking and a bet was made for the loser to buy the winner a snack of their choice. After the first few holes I jumped out to an unsurmountable 3 to 4 stroke lead and then at one point got my lead up to 8 strokes. By the time we got to the last (9th) hole I was up by 7 strokes and opted to use my putter for the entire hole. Even after going 6 strokes to Timber's 4 strokes on that hole I won by 5 strokes. The snack that I had her buy me was a $1.62 ice cream bar from the snack bar at Costco when we went there later in the day. I know this was an off day for her and she'll be back with a vengence. But I think this blog posting will help inspire her to better golf. :-)

Posted by troutm8 at 09:36 PM | Comments (73)

ASR Summer Picnic

On Friday we had an ASR Summer Picnic at Almaden Lake Park. There was lots of food (burgers, hot dogs, side dishes, etc...) and our Australian collegue even grilled up some Australian burgers. The burgers consisted of hamburger patty, cheese (not sure if any specific kind is called for), sauted onions, pineapple, fried egg, beets, and tomatoe sauce. And of course it has to be on a bun. Overall I'd say it was a pretty good burger. Other activities for the picnic included a water balloon toss, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, soccer, and bocce ball. It was well planned and executed and I think everyone had a good time.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:27 PM | Comments (48)

Monterey Wednesday

On Wednesday (of last week) Timber, Wookie, and I took the day off and headed over to Monterey for some sea kayaking. Unfortunately we didn't get there or to Elkhorn Slough early enough for the rentals to be worth it (but we went back on Sunday for a full day of kayaking), so we spent some time wandering around Monterey and stumbled upon a very nice garden at the Pacific House. They also had some nice bocce ball courts and fountains. We had lunch on the wharf and then hit Johnny Carino's in Gilroy on the way home. I have to say that I was dissapointed in the food. I heard good things about Johnny's and was expecting the food to live up to the hype. Sadly the dish I got (spicy chicken and shrimp pasta) was only mediocre and the spicyness was way more than needed for this sort of dish. I'll probably pass on going to Johnny's again.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:08 PM | Comments (75)

August 12, 2006

Reflections On Turning 29

I turned 29 earlier this week and it got me thinking about where I've been and where I'm going. Here are a few random thoughts and questions:
* I've been able to legally purchase and consume tobacco products for 10 years now. In that time I've bought and smoked exactly 0 cigarettes and no chewing tobacco. Am I missing anything? Probably not.
* In the past 10 years I've graduated from college (BS EE), worked as a halibut charter deckhand, worked as a tour boat deckhand, done 3 internships, moved from Alaska ot San Jose, and started working full time.
* Is there anything I want to do or accomplish before I turn 30? I think I want to see more of the world and go on a few more adventures before I start marriage and kids.
* My 20's have been an adventure thus far, and I intend to make my last year in my 20's my proverbial June. If you know me well you'll know exactly what that means.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:51 PM | Comments (76)

Last Weekend Eats

Last weekend Timber and I hit three food places of note. First, we hit a Mexican place close by on Blossom Hill Road called Antonio's which was pretty good. Their carnitas tacos and nachos were definitely worthy of a return trip. We also hit Jakes Pizza (excellent pizza) and Yagoz (so so gelato but free wifi and live music) in Willow Glen.

Posted by troutm8 at 09:40 PM | Comments (68)

August 08, 2006

Kayden Shawn Kuan

Congrats to J&R on the birth of their son Kayden Shawn Kuan at 9:20 AM on Sunday August 6th, 2006. He was 7 lbs 15 ounces and 22 inches long. We went to see them this evening at the hospital and Mom, Dad, and baby are all doing well.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:35 AM | Comments (91)

August 03, 2006

The Best Thing Ever

Have you ever had to travel somewhere and wondered if there were any breweries nearby? I run into that delima all the time. But now there is a solution! A brewery overlay onto Google Earth! You can grab it here and I found out about it here. I also encourage you to give back to society by taking part in the beer mapping project.

Posted by troutm8 at 12:16 AM | Comments (54)

August 02, 2006

Dog Show Photos Posted

I've posted the Niles Dog Show photos here. Enjoy!

Posted by troutm8 at 09:20 PM | Comments (257)

As I Was Saying

As I was saying in an earlier blog posting, when you bring up the Drigon Dog Park in Union City from Google Earth you see the walkway in the park is in the shape of a large bone. Nice work!

Posted by troutm8 at 08:05 PM | Comments (86)