:: Troutmaster blog :: January 2004 archiveThis is the blog for www.troutmaster.net.
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:: Saturday, January 31, 2004 ::
We're leaving town a little later than expected. We played a late game of Risk with Jenny and Rong last night and then went to bed really late. Our plan is to try to get out of here by noon and go to the condo at Incline Village. From there we will get situated, go to the grocery store, and plan our snowshoeing and super bowl plans for tomorrow.:: Friday, January 30, 2004 ::
I'm starting to get ready for our little vacation at Lake Tahoe. We're going to drive to the cabin from the Bay Area tomorrow and then come back to the Bay Area next Friday night. While we are there we're going to do some snowboarding, snowshoeing, and relaxing. I'm looking forward to it.:: Thursday, January 29, 2004 ::
I had a consultation with a physical trainer today and I learned a few things about myself (most of which I already knew). First, my resting heart rate and blood pressure are both very good. Second, my body fat percentage and overall strength leave a lot to be desired. So we designed a workout plan for me that will cut down my body fat percentage and increase my strength. First, when I do my cardio exercise I need to have my heart rate in between 140 and 174 beats per minute. And when I do lift weights I am aiming for muscular endurance which means that I will do lighter weights but more repetitions. Here is my weekly workout plan.
I ran across this article. It was pretty funny. Yahoo! News - 'CtrlAltDelete' Inventor Restarts Career:: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 ::
You'd better watch out if you use Brawny paper towels. You might ask why, but I got my hands on a complaint sent to their company about the change in their product. I didn't realize that they had changed their product. The names and places have been changed to protect the innocent. Check out the letter.:: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 ::
I went to an association meeting for my condo complex tonight and I was not disappointed. Overall I think the management team runs a tight and efficient ship. It is good to know where my money is going. One funny story that I heard from the police officer that manages the police patrols in our complex is that the cops patrolling our complex ran into a pimp that came to the complex looking for a woman that used to work for him. They say that now that the pimp knows that real cops patrol the complex he won't be coming back. I would have liked to see that.
It was quite a Risky weekend. I ended up playing more risk this weekend than I have played in the past two years. It is a fun game, but the drawback is that it is a productivity killer. Maybe I'll play more this coming weekend. :-):: Friday, January 23, 2004 ::
What is a palimpsest? If you don't know the answer check here. I was delighted to stumble upon a really good show on TV last night. It was about a lost Archimedes (ancient Greek mathematician) text that had survived (just barely) to the modern age. What is fascinating about it is that this text shows that Archimedes was on his way to using calculus in his mathematical works. The the non-mathematicians out there that means that if Archimedes work had been allowed to continue, we would have had integral calculus by around 200 BC instead of having to wait until 1665 AD. That's nearly 2000 years. You might wonder about the implications of this. If we had integral calculus 2000 years earlier than we got it, that means that our entire society could look dramatically different today. Integral calculus is important for space flight, electricity generation and distribution (and thus all electronics), structural engineering, civil engineering (bridges, roads, water systems). So integral calculus is part of what makes the modern world modern. If we had it 2000 years earlier I think the history of the world would be dramatically different. Maybe there wouldn't have been a United States? Maybe the Romans would have created an atomic bomb? Maybe Spain would have put the first person on the moon? This one text could have made all that and much more possible. Just the mental exercise of thinking about that is enlightening.
Lending books to prevent crime? This is an interesting and unique idea. I guess we'll see if it reduces the amount of crime on the Mexico City Subways.Yahoo! News - Mexico City Subway Starts Lending Books:: Thursday, January 22, 2004 ::
Overall I would say this is a pretty good article about a trip to Alaska. But they need to fix the caption for to photo. It is an iceberg floating in the water, not a glacier. I guess you can't expect Texans to know the difference. :-) Star Telegram | 01/18/2004 | Grand Alaska:: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 ::
I took at 3.5 hour avalanche class tonight after work, and it was worth every penny. I finally realized why Eskimos have lots of different words for snow. A person could literally spend their entire life studying snow. But from this one short introductory class I learned enough to get a rough idea of what the avalanche conditions might be in the backcountry and now I really want to take the Level I course.
Here's my critique of the State of the Union Speech.:: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 ::
It is time for an early vacation. As such we got a condo in Tahoe for the first week of February. During that time we'll be snowboarding, snowshoeing, and generally just hanging out and relaxing. It is nice to get an extra week a vacation this year. :-) The layout for the condo that we're staying in is here.:: Monday, January 19, 2004 ::
Since I work in the tech industry I've been keeping close tabs on what is happening with the off-shoring of tech jobs to countries like India and China. I thought this article was fairly thoughtful and thorough. The author talks about the good and the bad of off-shoring jobs and then he raises some interesting questions at the end. I've always had a few questions that are never addressed when people talk about off-shoring tech jobs. First, is everything static or will there continue to be jobs created here while all of this is happening? Second, what exact jobs are being moved and what are the people being laid off here doing when they lose their jobs, finding other jobs or continually being out of work? At this point I think there are more questions than answers.
I found a very cool iPod application over the weekend. It is called Pod2Go. The download link on the Apple website doesn't work, so you'll have to grab it from here. Basically it lets you pick what kinds of news feeds, weather reports, horoscopes, stocks, safari bookmarks, and any other RSS feeds that you want, and then synchronize that information with your iPod. It came in really handy while I was waiting for Timber to try on clothes during our shopping expeditions this weekend. I put the RSS feed from Forrest's blog on there and was reading through it and other news feeds while I waited. The only bad thing for a lot of people out there is that this application is only available for the Mac. One thing that I think would be very cool would be the capability to take the bookmarks from safari and crawl a few levels down for each site and then synchronize that content with the iPod so you can look at websites (albeit in grayscale) on your ipod instead of just being limited to rss feeds. I'm sure there are some fairly simple ways of doing it. Maybe I should be the one to do it? We'll see.:: Sunday, January 18, 2004 ::
I went to the Gilroy outlets this weekend and picked up some jelly beans at the Jelly Belly outlet. I was shocked to see that they have a roasted garlic flavored jelly bean. They also had some weird flavored jelly beans out of the Harry Potter books. Some of the specific flavors that I remember are earwax, grass, booger, dirt, and vomit. Maybe I'll pick some of those up before the next Harry Potter movie. I did get some of the garlic jelly beans and they really do taste like roasted garlic.:: Saturday, January 17, 2004 ::
I recently got some spam mail from a magazine called Cargo. They describe themselves as "A What, Why and Where Guide to all the Stuff You Want to Buy." I got a good laugh at that. If I want to buy something, why wouldn't I do research online or check out the website of the manufacturer? Why would I buy a subscription to find out about this stuff? Maybe I fit some kind of demographic of people that just go out and buy junk, but I don't go out and buy junk. I aquire assets (things that will put money into my pocket). And the magazines for people who do that are called Forbes or The Motley Fool. Suckas!:: Friday, January 16, 2004 ::
I have a few gripes about my new iPod. 1) The cradle that came with it for some reason does not let me turn off the iPod sometimes. 2) I thought for a while yesterday that it would not charge while it was plugged in and playing music. 3) I plugged it into the cradle which was connected to the iMac last night and went to bed, and this morning I found that my iPod was out of power, how can that be? Here's what I did to fix or mitigate each issue 1) Not sure yet why the cradle give me grief when I try to turn off the iPod, but I found out that it has a sleep option which I will set and try tonight. In theory this should solve my problem. 2) I read the instruction manual and it says that the iPod will charge while it is plugged in and playing music, but at a slower rate. 3) Since the iPod charges through the firewire (IEEE 1394) port, if the iMac goes into sleep mode it will no longer charge the iPod. This makes sense, and the fact that the iPod did not turn off last night explains why it was out of power this morning. So there you have it, the joy of learning the ins and outs of my new toy.:: Thursday, January 15, 2004 ::
I just saw on the news that a mountain lion had been sighted around 4:15 PM today about one mile away from my condo on the Coyote Creek Trail. I knew that there were mountain lions in the area, but this is the proof I was looking for. I'll still continue to run and bike on the trail, and that mountain lion had better hope it doesn't want to step to me.
:: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 ::
Here's what Bush should be pushing as the way out of poverty for America. "Here's Williams' roadmap out of poverty: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits. "A Nation of "Hamburger Flippers"? by Walter Williams -- Capitalism Magazine::: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 ::
Man, I always crack up when I check out craigslist. I've found a few entertaining links here, here, and here.
Have you every tried a chaser? Neither have I. I still can't believe I saw commercials for this crap on TV. What would be really funny would be to see a Jack Daniels commercial and then a chaser commercial, but I doubt that would happen.
When I got to work this morning I was thinking that I have a pretty good commute. Even if I hit all 5 stop lights on the way it doesn't take me any more than 15 minutes to get to work. If you compare my average commute time of 10 minutes to the Bay Area average of 29.4 minutes (referenced here) you'll see that I save about 40 minutes a day in commute time to the Bay Area average. That comes out to about 200 minutes a week, and 173 hours a year that I save. Now the question is what do I do with those savings? I get to sleep more, work more, and do other things like exercise. On the flip side, I spend about 100 minutes a week commuting, which comes out to 87 hours a year. That is still a lot, but it is a heck of a lot better than 260 hours a year commuting. If I could telecommute 1 day a week that would drop my commute time for the year down to 70 hours a year. I should see if I can do that.:: Monday, January 12, 2004 ::
This weekend was so action packed that I didn't get a chance to blog any of it yet. On Saturday, Timber and I spent most of the day watching football. We were going to wait for the Panthers-Rams game to end before leaving the house, but the damn thing wouldn't end! They went to double overtime before the Panthers ended it. After the game we ran some errands, then came back home, and Timber made her pizza with Boboli crust, half pesto half alredo as the sauces, then mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chicken, and orange bell pepper as the toppings. I grilled the chicken, but halfway through the grilling process I noticed that I had run out of fuel, so I had to bake the chicken until it was done. That definitely slowed down the cooking process. I also overdosed on Globe Trekker by watching three episodes this weekend. On Sunday we were significantly more productive. We grilled buffalo burgers while we watched the Colts whoop up on the Chiefs, and then we worked on planting Tulips, hyacinth, and Iris. And later in the evening we went to the San Jose Auto Show. There really weren't any cars that excited me at the show. But I think Timber and Jenny want me to get a Toyota Tundra.:: Friday, January 09, 2004 ::
I want to go to Alaska where it's safe! Yahoo! News - Lion Attacks O.C. Biker; Man Found Dead Nearby On the other hand I could always mountain bike with a m16 and grenade launcher like the one used by Al Pacino in Scarface. I know there are mountain lions near where I live. I've seen tons of deer and a few bobcats on the trail. I'm sure the mountain lions are lurking somewhere.:: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 ::
Happy Birthday Timber! As an online present I'll post the horoscope for people that have today as their birthday.:: Monday, January 05, 2004 ::
I generally don't talk about my work in this blog, but I found a publicly accessible article about my project that is pretty cool, so I felt I would include the link here as a way to brag a little bit. While I will admit to working on this project I will not discuss any specifics about what I do. But I am willing to discuss search technology and it's related topics.
I just wanted to send a shot out to all of those people out there that I work with that might read my blog. Today is the fourth anniversary of me starting at my company. It is hard to believe that I've been there for four years already. I started at the ripe age of 22 (having finished my last finals just 20 days earlier). When I started, I think I had the confused deer in the headlights look in my eyes. Thanks to everyone for looking out for me, helping me along the way, and being very good people to work with.:: Sunday, January 04, 2004 ::
:: Saturday, January 03, 2004 ::
I spent yesterday in downtown San Jose, which is something that I rarely do. I took the light rail to the Tech Museum and spent a few hours touring around the Tech and watched an Imax dome movie about Lewis and Clark. At best the Tech is a great place to go and take children to let them spend hours learning about everything from earthquakes to genetic engineering. At worst it is a zoo of children gone mad with parents telling their children to shut up (I heard that several times). I really enjoyed it because I've always been interested in science, robotics, space exploration, and technology. The wonderful thing about going to the Tech by myself is that I can look at things at my own pace and can spend the time where I want. After I was done at the Tech I went to the San Jose Museum of Art. It was my first trip, and I'm glad I went. There were lots of really fascinating pieces of art. I was particularly interested in an interactive piece that simulated being in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.:: Thursday, January 01, 2004 ::
I have to admit to the world that I was wrong about something. Timber and I got to talking about ski resorts in Australia, and I told her that I thought there were none. After doing some research I found out that Australia really does have ski resorts. They seem to be down in New South Wales and Tasmania. You can find a link to some of them here. In other news Timber told me about some funny ads that she saw on Criagslist. Upon further investigation I found a few examples of what she was talking about. You can find them here, here, and here.
Happy New Year Everyone! I had an interesting New Year's celebration last night. It all started when Timber and I went to dinner with Jenny and Rong at an Italian Restaurant called Frankie, Jonnhie, and Luigi's. After dinner we met Jackie, Patty, and Tony back at their house. We left J&R's house at about 11:30 PM and we tried to make it to Santana Row because Patty said there would be a ball drop there. We expected there to be a lot of people and traffic, but when we got there it was quiet as a ghost town. We looked at each other and just said "Patty!". As it turned out there was no ball drop, and the only people at Santana Row were at a few of the bars there. The clock struck midnight as we were walking down the sidewalk toward one of the bars. We spent a few minutes at the bar and then moved on to the hotel party that was going on. I got to see a guy resisting arrest, a drunk woman fall down in the elevator entryway, and an old drunk lady stumbling around the party running into people. And all of this was free! After spending a little bit of time at the party we went home. Another New Year's celebration for the ages!