Good to have friends, part 2

This morning I was finishing my tea and getting ready to head to work when the phone rang. It was Larry Mueller, who will be in Seattle for his grandmother’s 100th birthday and wanted to catch up with us? Maybe we could do lunch? Or maybe dinner and we could put him up?

Yeah, I think we could manage that. We haven’t seen Larry in a few years–since I went to b-school at MIT instead of Virginia, where Larry is director of financial aid at Darden–and I was beginning to despair of catching up with him again. Besides, we owe him. Shortly after he moved into his new home, he did us the favor of letting us stay with him before he had curtains. Well, Larry, most of our windows don’t have curtains yet either, but you’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like.
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Run it up the middle (again and again)

It would appear that the fans of my college football team, the Virginia Cavaliers, can’t take a joke. Greg thinks he caused the problem, but I’m sure that the original poster could have come across the poems in question through Google, where they are hit #6 for the good coach. (Note: The new link for the George Welsh poems is now on this site.)

For what it’s worth, I really respect Welsh. His work as a football coach made us cheer much more often than it made us moan. But in 1993, after watching yet another press conference after a win where he smiled about as much as a man with a gastric ulcer, Tyler, Joe, Patrick and I realized that there was something funny about the thought that this stoic man might have a secret literary life. Hence the poems. Of course half the fun was parodying the lit crit that might surround Welsh’s oeuvre.

Pork Products Transcend

It's fourth and ten, boys, Florida State... You gonna eat that 'wurst, Frank? Damn.

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Almost forgot…

I had a brief but rewarding lunch with my friend and former roommate Greg yesterday. He’s on his way up to Maine (for the first time) to do some legal consulting work for a group up there. It’s funny—it’s been at least two years, maybe more, since I last saw Greg, but we hadn’t changed a bit. Politics, music, edging around talking about life.

I’ve often said Greg needs to get a blog. It looks like he’s come close over the years, with stints at ePinions and various other media, but he’s never bitten the bullet. Now would be the time, Greg.
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Grief, offline

Just learned through my alumni magazine that Jeff Belmonte, a friend from kindergarten through college, died last December. I had to pay our hometown newspaper $2.95 for the privilege of learning that he died while snowboarding. I can’t believe how far out of touch I’ve fallen that I had to wait six months to find out about Jeff’s death. His poor mom.

A whole new Web(b)

Congratulations are in order to my good friends Don and Kim Webb, who have announced the birth of their first child, Sarah Madalyn (Maddie). I don’t have pictures this time, but maybe soon.

Don Webb has been one of my closest friends since college, when he and I sang together in the Virginia Glee Club. He was best man at our wedding, but since his move to North Carolina we haven’t seen nearly as much of him as we’d like. Here’s hoping we can change that soon.

For those who need a laugh

In these times of crisis, it’s useful to remember that though America’s heights have not always been dangerous, an unfortunate few of our population have suffered a disproportionate number of height-related accidents. I’m talking, of course, about our cows. It was only a few years ago that the University of Virginia’s Great Cow Prank was revealed to be the work of the president of the NASDAQ.

Anyone who was an investor in tech stocks over the last few years will be unsurprised to find that the head of the NASDAQ, America’s principal high-tech stock exchange, has a warped sense of humor. However, few tech stocks tanked as dramatically as the poor cow, who according to the article at A&S Online “died from a combination of complications including shock, dehydration and an overdose of tranquilizers administered to calm it during the rescue.” Much like some venture capitalists I’ve met.

And speaking of people needing a sense of humor: the much-discussed Clear Channel list of “songs not to play” on their hundreds of radio stations nationwide has done two things for me. First, it’s given me a head start on finding songs to arrange for the Sloan “E-52s”. Second, it’s given me another opportunity to plug KEXP, the Seattle noncommercial station whose playlists are second to none. If they’ll play Gastr Del Sol for me, they’ll play anything…

On a more serious note


Keep my sister in your thoughts today. On a good note, it’s her birthday (yay!). On a bad note, her dog had to be put to sleep yesterday.

I was sad because I had no broadband

…until I met a man with no modem. If you’re trying to contact my parents via email, you may want to try the phone instead — their modem perished via electrical storm last week. The moral of the story: get one of those little modem surge protectors from Radio Shack. Your Internet thanks you.

Yucca Flats

So the cryptic reference in yesterday’s writeup was to a beverage called Yucca Flats, which we used to enjoy at Myrtle Beach after classes ended each spring when I was in college. For the record, here’s the recipe: Put 10 lbs of ice in a cheap styrofoam cooler. Pour a big (1.75 liter) bottle of vodka over the ice. Put sliced fruit (whatever you’ve got handy, but make sure to include limes, oranges, and maraschino cherries, plus the liquid the cherries came in) in the cooler. Add about 1-2 cups of sugar. Stir. Put the lid on the cooler and place it in direct sunlight for about six hours, stirring periodically. (The ice must melt down enough so that you can’t taste the vodka any more).

The only problem I ran into making it last night was that I didn’t get enough direct sunlight, so I had to use a few cups of hot water to melt some of the ice — which made it a little too weak. But it had good flavor anyway.

Reggie Aggarwal and the Thrilla from Manila

A long time ago, I decided to start this page so that I could play around with the Manila technology and keep a web log. I didn’t realize the power I had at my hands until I started looking at my referer log. I saw that a lot of people had come to my page after searching for things on Google. Curious, I clicked through one Google link (a search request for info on Reggie Aggarwal) and found that I had the top two links for him! The links showed up ahead of his own home page and his official biography at his company.

I can only assume that the Manila back end managed to store my site in such a way that it showed up pretty darn high on Google. I don’t know how you did this, guys, but I’m sure I speak for all Reggie’s fans when I say I’m grateful.