About Adam

Adam Stout works in the technology field and is currently located in San Diego, CA.




Recent Entries


What Can't You Get at Costco?

Posted: Mar 18, 2010
Apparently while I was at work today, Jenny got a call at home from Costco.  They were conducting a survey to see whether or not we would be interested in buying health insurance from them.  While I do like Costco and I think they sell many quality products, I'm not sure I want to buy my health insurance and toilet paper from the same place.  I can't help but think about Mike Judge film, Idiocracy.  In the movie (seen on the left), Costco sells everything.  The main character's lawyer even got his law degree there.

Regardless, it is Costco, and I trust them so once they start offering insurance in Virginia, I'm sure I'll at least get a quote from them.

Welcome to Costco... I love you.
A couple of months ago I downloaded the public beta of Office 2010.  Overall it seemed fine although it was difficult to see what was really changed.  Most of the apps looked essentially the same as in Office 2007 except I did notice that Groove was renamed to SharePoint Workspace.  It seems to work the same (with some small enhancements) but overall, it looks the same to me. 

The one exception to this was Outlook 2010.  It didn't sync correctly with my BlackBerry so I couldn't use it for long and had to revert to Outlook 2007, but the one feature I really liked was the Social Network integration.  This is similar to how smart phones sync with Facebook (and how Linked In should) so the profile picture and phone numbers stay in sync with what your contact has listed on the site.  This is a great feature to help ensure you don't have stale email address or phone numbers which both seem to change a little too often now a days.  In Outlook 2010, Microsoft allows 3rd party developers to create connections between Outlook and what ever internet service they want to help sync the information. 

This integration is made most obvious through the "Person Pane" (see to the right) in an Outlook mail message although you will see it when you open a contact directly as well.  This single feature would have pushed me to upgrade to 2010, but Microsoft did something unexpected that will make me rethink that...

They released this feature as a free add-on to older versions of Outlook.  You can download the beta version of Outlook Social Connector which works with Outlook 2003 and 2007 (and of course this is built into Outlook 2010).  Once you have the Social Connector installed, you can get the connector for LinkedIn from their site for free as well.  You can expect that a connector for Facebook will be forthcoming after the release of Office 2010 (or perhaps even earlier), but for now, I'm happy with LinkedIn since those are the contacts I'm not concerned with anyway.


Posted: Feb 15, 2010
Yesterday Jenny and I were out and stopped by a local restaurant for lunch.  It is obvious to me that we have now come to the time of Snowmageddon.  Why else would you have a sign like this on your patio?  As a native San Diegian, this is just not right.

After lunch we stopped by a nearby Home Depot.  While shoveling the never ending snow the last week, we broke the shaft on our steel reinforced snow shovel so we decided to pick up a new one.  The local grocery stores have been sold out for a while, but we figured that Home Depot may have gotten some new shovels in this weekend in preparation for the next round of snow next week.

Well, I was wrong, they didn't have any shovels but they did have a box of these upfront:

For those of you who want to see more of Snowmageddon, take a look at my photo album from the last week.

Stout Ale is in the Bottles

Posted: Feb 13, 2010
As a Christmas present, Jenny got me a Home Brewing kit from Mr. Beer.  I had mentioned in the past that I wanted to brew some "Stout's Stout" mostly as a joke (since I don't really care for stouts) but underneath that joke, I really did want to try a home brew.  This kit was a great starter, it come with everything I needed and instructions on how not to screw it up.  To the right you can see some of bottled beverages that were produced.  Now we just a have a few more weeks to wait while the carbonation kicks in a then the Stout Ale will be ready for consumption.

Brewing is fun but what I really want to try is distilling.  I'm not sure if it is legal where I live but after I do some more home brewing, I think I'm going to look into that. Have you had any luck with home distilling?

We took pictures from the brewing a few weekends ago along with the bottling from today.

The Snowpocalypse Is Here

Posted: Feb 05, 2010
For those of you who haven't heard, the Snowpocalypse is upon us, we are supposed to get 20" to 30" of snow tonight.  And on top of that there is supposed to be lighting. 
This picture is from the Shopper Stopper we had last month but it should give you an idea of what is to come.  Being from San Diego originally, this is all a bit to absorb but it was nice to get kicked out of the office at 2 and told to go home.  I never got a snow day from school, so I'll take what I can get and enjoy it.

One plus side of this weekend is that I learned the term "snowtarded".  UrbanDictionary.com lists the definition as, "Those who have no clue how to drive/function in the snow" and there is no better way to describe the people out here in D.C.  This storm is bad, but it will be clear in a few days.  There is no need to buy up a month of supplies from the store like people seem to be doing.  These are the same idiots who don't realize you need to drive slower on snow regardless of teh speed limit.

I'm just going to try to stay home this weekend.

Annoying CSS

Posted: Jan 24, 2010
I've spent the last few evenings trying to update the layout of my site to handle resizing better.  Before it was hard-coded to be 972 pixels wide.  This looked fine on my laptop (and I'm hoping on most other people's computer's) but since I bought I 24" wide screen monitor I realized there was lots of unused space that could really be used by my photo gallery.  On the left, you can see what the gallery looked like before my changes.  There was only a fixed number of pictures per row which once again was fine on my laptop but left a lot of unused space on larger monitors.

To my point, I tried to allow the CSS template to flow with the center expanding but I just couldn't get it to work right.  I need to have three variable height columns to work but that just doesn't seem possible.  This is the closest I found to what I wanted but it couldn't use a background image for the side columns (other than that, it would have been fine).

I ended up using the old borderless table technique.  I wanted to stick to CSS only, but like I said, I don't think it is possible (I though you could use the new table emulation in CSS but that isn't support everywhere and is basically just using a table anyway).

Moral of the story, sometimes you should just use the simplest approach instead of wasting time trying to fancy.  On the plus side, you see on the right the same photo gallery as on the left but now it is stretched out and can take up more of the screen space which is a good thing for the galleries that have hundreds of pictures as well as when viewing all the photos with a certain tag (which is a recent feature added to the gallery).

What does love really mean?

Posted: Jan 20, 2010
I'm not going to go into detail about ho much spare time I have, but yesterday I was reading a dictionary and came across an explanation of why we use the word "love" in tennis to describe zero points.

Although after a little more research this seems in doubt, what I read was that love is an Americanization of the French word "L'euf" meaning egg (which is what a 0 kin of looks like right?). 

Even if it didn't come from the French, people seem to agree it is from Americans mispronouncing the original (which is also perhaps Dutch).