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.
more…

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.