Where's Nate?

living large in the four-oh-eight. wicked large.



Faithful wheresnate.com readers have been griping about my lack of updates for months. There are too many places on the web to update and not enough time. So for now please follow me on Twitter.

I've even made it easy for you by publishing my stream in the right column. Enjoy!


blood in the water.

Red Wings v Sharks. Since the mid-90s, this rivalry has blossomed into one of the better matchups in the NHL. Pitting two of the top three teams head-to-head at the Shark Tank, last night's game lived up to the hype. And I was there to see it in person.

I took my buddy, Mike, to the Tank. Mike's a good Canadian who happens to be a diehard Wings fan. He's adopted the Sharks for much of the rest of the season, but he was bleeding red and white last night.

The atmosphere in the Tank was electric. Like playoff-hockey-level electric. When the Sharks scored three minutes into the game, I thought the roof was going to cave-in.

It was a good ole high scoring seesaw of a game. 1-1. 2-2. 3-3. 4-4. And then the Sharks pulled away 6-4 before the Wings chipped in a late one to make it close.

I didn't grow up playing ice hockey. But I became a huge fan at Middlebury, one of the dominant schools in Division III. Last night had the feel of our mid-90s national championship run. A bit frantic, highly energetic, and very, very entertaining.


slumdog millionaire.

It's rare that Paige and I get a "date night" so when her parents offered to watch Hadley last night, we jumped at the chance to catch a flick and grab some sushi. We picked "Slumdog Millionaire", a topsy-turvy tale of a young man from the slums of Mumbai who finds himself one question away from winning 20M rupees. It's very well-done, one of the best movies I've seen in the theaters in a long time.

In particular, I enjoyed watching the transition of India ("from Bombay to Mumbai") through the eyes of the poorest members of society. Through the lens of authors like Tom Friedman, Americans tend to see the "rise of India" story, the offshoring/outsourcing story, the gleaming corporate campuses of Bangalore. And yet, with one-third of the world's poverty population living within it's borders, India still has a long, long way to go.

To see/read more, check out this article from today's Merc.


ano nuevo.

And here we are in 2009, a year that will be....interesting. We have a new President, a bottomless economic crisis, and major international clusterblanks festering away. I'm not one to try and predict the future, but I expect (hope?) that we'll be better off in 365 days than we are now.

It's been a great holiday season on Mossbrook Circle. Paige and I both had two weeks off and we celebrated with both sides of the family. The Johnson's spent Christmas Eve in Santa Cruz (25 years in a row) while the Budelsky's traveled to San Jose from Seattle and Cincinnati to enjoy Hadley's first visit from St. Nick. New Year's Eve was uneventful and quiet, just the way we like it.


the year in review.

It's been a looooong time since I posted, so I'm taking the easy way out. Here's a quick rewind of 2009.

Paige and I moved into our new house, an Eichler on Mossbrook, and promptly undertook a ton of big projects: painting every room, new double pane windows, automatic garage doors, and new floors in all of the bedrooms. I participated in two fantastic Google trips to Disneyland and Squaw Valley.

I broke my arm (ouch) while Paige-o was eight months pregnant. Not a great move, and I haven't thrown a softball since that fateful and crazy evening. The arm (now with metal plate!) is fully operational, a bit sore, and on the mend.

We welcomed Hadley Anne into the world on March 9th. She continues to be an amazing addition to our lives. March was also the last time we saw serious rain in Silicon Valley until November or so.

A big month at work, as I helped launch Google Earth 4.3 and rolled out public transportation data for Google Maps in Chicago. Paige and I continue to sleep in 90-minute increments.

We celebrated a nice long weekend in Carmel with our dear friends Dave and Maddy. In a related story, Fenway and Riley (their wonderpooch) don't care much for each other.

Another big project completed for Google Earth, as we launched 3D buildings for Disneyworld. June also marked my official entrance into the Tim Lincecum fan club.

Lots of travel, including business trips to LA, New York City, and Valencia, Spain. We take Hadley to Cincinnati and St. Louis for family activities. Also, we enjoyed our first of (hopefully) many fourth of July celebrations with the Mossbrook Eichler neighborhood. My brother-in-law and I finished first in the water balloon toss. Booyah.

Our side yard gets a major overhaul with the installation of a professional grade bocce court. Grandpa Johnson rolls the first ball, and it's a strike.

The good: big time launch of transit in New York City. The bad: Michigan football begins the worst season in school history. The ugly: the Giants complete their downward spiral. The uglier: JT O'Sullivan is named the starting QB for the Niners.

Hadley's first Halloween features a hilarious ladybug outfit. And the whole family travels to Nebraska to celebrate Grandpa Johnson's 90th birthday. Paige and I celebrate (again) our 8th anniversary in style.

We host Thanksgiving for friends and family, serving homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes, a brined turkey, and more. More importantly, Obama wins the election. I build a massive fence with my next door neighbor.

Cold days and even colder nights put the radiant heating to the test. And for the first time in several years, our tree and holiday decorations come out of storage.

That basically sums it up. Here's hoping for better blogging in 2009!


a welcome distraction.

Tuesday is a big day in the history of our country. With the stock market and housing situation in the toilet, I'm hoping for some good news. And even though I already mailed in my ballot, I'm keeping a close eye on the election.

If all goes according to plan, Tuesday marks a new beginning. Whether it's Obama in the White House or the approval of same sex marriages in California, I believe we're about to see sweeping change. Here's to celebrating a new dawn for America in 48 hours.


turning colder.

It's been a rough fall for my teams. Michigan, with a new coach, is looking more and more scattered. How a team can beat Wisconsin one week and lose to (gulp) Toledo the next is beyond me. Nebraska showed glimmers of hope against Texas Tech but couldn't find a way to win. The Warriors lost Baron and have Monta Ellis pulling a Jeff Kent impersonation. My Niners have promise, but JTO is not the answer. And the Giants...the Giants...are hopeless.

So I'm pinning my hopes on the Sharks. They actually have a chance. A new coach, a revamped defense, the best goalie in the NHL. Hopefully, they'll bring the cup to the Valley.


the modern life.

Paige, Hadley, and I joined our neighbors Erica and Stephen on a tour of Eichler homes in Palo Alto. We saw everything from a retractable roof to a fancy A-frame over an atrium. And we weren't alone. The tour brought out hundreds of mid-century modern enthusiasts. It was a great way to get new ideas about landscaping, remodeling, pain colors, and more.

What I enjoyed about it most, though, is the appreciation it gave me for our humble Mossbrook neighborhood. While many of the Palo Alto Eichlers sported second floors and additions, the three streets that comprise Mossbrook remain very pure. It's our little secret, I guess. And we're delighted to call it home.


feed me.

I've grown more and more fond of Vienna, my RSS reader. Here's what I read every day:

Valleywag: All the Valley gossip that's fit to print. Even though it's a bit snarky, it's unbelievably entertaining.

TechCrunch: Where else am I going to find product reviews?

Google LatLong: The latest and greatest for Maps and Earth.

Redneck Modern: A periodic update from a couple of Eichler owners.

Uni Watch: Classic observations of sports uniforms.

MVictors: Everything you want to know (and some stuff you don't) about my Michigan Wolverines.


1000 days.

I was on the phone earlier this evening with a friend from business school and it dawned on me how much life has changed since I left for Ann Arbor in 2005.

Katrina hadn't landed on New Orleans. Obama was a glimmer in the eyes of the public. The iPhone was still a rumor.

Three years ago, I was gearing up for pseudo-single life in Michigan. Paige and I were preparing to spend months apart. Starting a family was years away.

I guess I'm most thankful for having such a supportive wife. She understood that a short term sacrifice was worth long term gains. And, for that, I am forever in debt.