Prognostications and other thoughts

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Lily's Vocabulary

Keeping track of Lily's hilarious vocabulary

First word: "Duck"

Current mis-pronunciations:

Salami: "Some Lami"
Lobster: "Lom Ster" as in lobster + monster
Music: "Mucous" or "Ugus"
Gloves: "Glubbs"

Update 10/27/06
"Don't let the bug beds bite"
"tuh-sert" instead of "desert"

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Q3 2005 Earnings

Who did well this quarter?

Google: Revenues: 1.58 Billion, Income: 381.2 million. Market cap: 93 billion
Ebay: Revenues: 1.07 billion, Income: 356.7 million. Market cap: 53.8 billion
Yahoo: Revenues: 932 million, Income: 254 million. Market cap: 50.3 billion

Compare to Q2:
Google: Revenues: 1.384 billion, Income: 343 million
Yahoo: Revenues: 1.253 billion, Income: 755 million
Ebay: Revenues: 1.09 billion, Income: 291.6 million

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Raccoon Part 3-caught him!

Despite our efforts to treat the lawn with grub-killer (these gross white grubs are what the racoons are after) and hours of re-seeding, on Sunday, "it" or "they" came back. I thought it was just the two little racoons, but apparently it was poppa or momma racoon. So I bought a trap; yesterday, no luck. This morning, heard some crunching noises at 5AM. Sure enough, the trap worked. This sucker was big-seemed to be at least 20 pounds.

Bandit caught!

Prior to release

Fortunately, the racoon was fairly docile. I covered the cage with a blanket and then drove ~6 miles away to Huddart Park in Woodside, near a creek. Figured that would be good new habitat.
Of course, opening the cage, nothing happened at first, and I had to hold the trap door open as the big fat racoon was sitting on the "activation pad". I tipped it slightly and it ran out, crashing through the woods.

Born Free!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Flat vs Hill Time Trial

Which is harder-a hillclimb or all out on the flats? I did both today; starting with Old La Honda hill climb (21 mins) and then 7 miles on Canada road (20 mins). I did this without aero equipment, and yes, did the climb first. Difficulty was judged by heart rate output.

Check out the graph-
- With the uphill tt, avg'd 169 bpm and progressively rode harder (hitting 180 hr)
- with the "flat" tt, first half as much higher heart rate (avg 176) and hit higher (185)
- at the turnaround of the flat tt, I was spent and had to struggle back, avaraging 164 bpm.
- overall, on the flat, avg'd 170 but the effort was not maintainable.

I think the hill truly helps do the work. New found respect for (flat) time trialers.
Either that or I don't know how to ride flat TT's--where maybe one needs to save power for the return.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Raccoon Revenge!

Little bastards came back again and tore up the lawn.

Raccoon Invasion

Last night (wed) was hot so we kept the cat door open. Normally we coax the cats in and lock them up. But we thought we'd give them some freedom.

This morning (thurs), i stumbled down the stairs at 6:30 to feed our two kitties. Oddly, i heard a cat eating cat food IN the garage. Woody was near me, and I thought, how did Tinker get in the garage? So, sleepily, I swung the door open. A bandit's eyes peered back at me around the door, and then another one peeked out as well. Two teenage racoons munching on our catfood bag. They were so innocent and tame looking, I felt like picking them up. Then I remembered the hissing terror that had invaded many years ago back in palo alto. So I opened up the door, causing them to run, and opened up the garage door.
Instead of running out into the dawn daylight, they decided to climb the "nearest tree" which was my bikes in the corner of the garage. So comical; they were climbing on the wheel, which was spinning, giving them a sort of hamster-effect. Finally both got to "the top", balancing on handlebars, looking innocent. I left the door open and went back to the office to check my email and the like.

30 mins later. They are still there. I can't dilly-dally-need to be at work before 9.
Talked to my wife Nanc-who was too ascared to look at them--"they'll leave, just give them time".
10 mins later, they are still frozen on the bikes. So I grabbed a broom and nudged one off. Little bugger tried to get away but I coaxed him straight out to freedom. Phew-that was easy I thought.
Next one-maybe I got sloppy-but instead of running out through the door, he ran back toward me and to the opposite corner of the garage, behind the 'fridge and paint cans. I had to move everything out, away from the walls to get to him, coax him along. Bam... ran back along the wall behind the immovable tool chest! Finally, Nanc came down and "supervised" as I stuck the vacuum cleaner behind him to scare the raccoon-poop out of him, and he finally scurried out to freedom.

What a morning! Talk about a "mutual of omaha" moment right in the 'burbs!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Mount Diablo Bike Race

The Mount Diablo Challenge-bike race happens on the first weekend of October every year. I'd never done a bike race, and though it was very difficult I'd highly recommended to anyone who likes to ride.It is "just" a 10.8 mile up hill time trial, with 1000 of your closest friends. The big goal is to try and finish in under 1 hour--you get a "special" shirt if you do.
Got to say, this was pure hell. One hour of suffering! The last several hundred feet are a 17% climb; at that point I wanted to get off and quit even though only seconds remained. The picture is taken right at the top of that climb which is the finish line. Amazingly, some guy blasted past in the last 5 yards. How any one can reach down and go that much harder is beyond me. Good news is I beat my arch-rival, my buddy Larry (see previous entry)Twain: 59:19, 92nd overall, 30th age groupLarry Norris: 1:02:04, 150th overal, 62nd age group I was lucky enough to break 1 hour (and get that t-shirt!).

Sunday, October 02, 2005

8 more Great Cars

8 more awesome cars

Porsche Cayman. The new 914/6. Won't sell well because it's neither a 911 nor a Boxster.

Volvo 980 Bertone. Best looking volvo ever?

Cadlillac XLR. Wow, look incredible ''in person''

Ferrari 400i. Ultimate 'family sedan.' What a great front end and wheels.

Acura TL. Love the ''blood groove'' along the side.

Sunbeam Alpine Tiger. So cool looking. With Ford V-8 power.

'67 Shelby GT350. Does it get any better?

'69 Mustang Boss 302. Not as feline as the '67, but those twin headlights and scoops-awesome.

Datsun 2000. How fun would this be? Funny how Honda has the S2000 coupe; must be it's namesake...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Top 11 Cars of all time?

I like cars that can do a lot of things. Be safe, practical, look good, and most of all, handle great. In some words, a compromise.
Unfortunately/fortunately, because they can do many things, they often don't sell that well. Good side is they are relatively cheap to buy used, but they are hard to find.

Below are some cars that I think are awesome, though not in order of priority.

BMW M-Coupe

This was meant for one thing: handling! The convertible version was already amazing. With the stiff top put on, it's even more rigid. Ultimate little coupe.

BMW 318ti

23/31 mpg, rear wheel drive, functional hatchback design, what more do you need?

1985-1989 Audi 5000/200 turbo wagon

Always loved these, esp with FUCHS wheels.

1982 Audi Coupe Quattro

The Quattro that started the whole craze.

2000 Audi A6 4.2


Wonderful handling, incredible motor, looks great.

2004 Audi RS6


The ULTIMATE audi?

1964-66 Toyota FJ-45

Awesome 4WD capability with functionality of the pick up.

Jeep Comanche


With the powerful 4 litre 6 and good handling, it's amazing they still don't sell these.

Jeep Scrambler/AEV Conversion


The AEV version is simply awesome.

Toyota Prius

Amazingly, handles well, fairly peppy with amazing gas mileage.

BMW 7-series with ''James Bond Wheels''

These are the deal of the decade; used 1999-2000 for about $20k. Got to get the wheels though.