I may be able to add a celebrity blogger to my HooBlogs register of blogging University of Virginia alumni, now that it looks as though Katie Couric (along with NBC’s other anchors) might be starting a blog (thanks to MicroPersuasion for the link, original story at Yahoo).

Katie, if you need any support or advice about blogging in general or blogging from inside a corporation in particular, let me be the first to volunteer my assistance.

Big box stores

My new office is in Framingham, and it’s surrounded by big box stores. Coming in, I pass a financial services complex and a big box mall on my left, and a big box strip on my right. Just past my office is a big box grocery store (the “super” version of Stop and Shop). In a two mile radius can be found Office Max, Office Depot, Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, Target, Macy’s, Filene’s Basement, Best Buy, Tweeter, Comp USA, BJ’s wholesale club, and Old Navy, among many others, plus an assortment of supporting stores like Panera and Starbucks that seem to accompany the big boxes like birds picking insects out of a crocodile’s mouth.

Is it odd that I feel a sort of relief in the litany above? These are stores that can be found next to most white collar office parks. They were in Fairfax and in Redmond (or Bellevue), and tend to show up near most of the places I have traveled on business. Their purpose in life seems to be to place everything within reach that you might need to pick up on your lunch hour or on your way home from work. At this job they are very good. Big box stores are a little like APIs for office worker shopping; they make it easy and simple to accomplish known tasks and are present wherever you go.

Of course, that is their downside as well. There are no surprises with big box stores, only the same things you can buy everywhere else. And there is a terrible cost—in wasted space, in environmental impact (you need an SUV to take home all your big big purchases!), in health (have you ever eaten in the restaurants that cluster next to big boxes? They should all have standard defibrillators to go with the hubcap sized plates), in soul.

But oh, the convenience.

Friends with bands

The benefit of sitting on postable items is that sometimes they pile up into some neat connections, as is the case with these three friends-with-bands stories. First, here in the Boston environs, Chris Rigopulos’s band Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives has released its second album, Second and Eighteen. (Chris was the lead guitarist with the Jack Tang Orchestra back at Sloan.)

Second, Craig Fennell, who sang at our wedding and who was a dear friend for many years starting in the Glee Club days, takes time off from his landscape architecture job (and, apparently, weight training. My God, it’s full of muscles!) to play keys and sing in Wonderjack, a DC area band that’s starting to get some radio play. The band’s bassist is another former Virginia Gentleman and Glee Club member, Dan Roche—congrats on the nuptials, Dan. (Nice band pics by another Glee Club friend, Guido Peñaranda.)

Finally, Justin Rosolino has added a new credit to his resume: producer. Apparently he sat behind the boards (as well as behind the electric guitars) for Portrait of Another, which (completing the UVA connection) is the band of the housemate of Hooblogger Hunter Chorey.