Where's Nate?

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


the musical peeping tom

one of the first things i do when i go over to someone's pad is check out their cd collection. it's a great way to start a conversation and to peer into their personality. and, since an ipod or computer directory is a bit more personal, it's also one of the casualties of the movement to digital music.

until now.

check it: www.audioscrobbler.com. this new-fangled plug-in builds a profile of your musical taste for all the world to see. it automatically updates your profile every time you play a new song in itunes, winamp, etc.). here's mine. so if you're a stats guy (like me), you can get a sense of where the heavy rotation is.

but it doesn't stop there. you can also peer into bands and affinity groups, facebook-style. so you can do a little bit of six-degrees-of-separation action to find out about brand new artists.

so go download it. and then try not to play that lindsay lohan/hillary duff mix you like to sing along with in the car. you're cooler than that, right?


the hotel bar

it's an interesting place, the hotel bar. a melting pot of businessmen, bridesmaids, out-of-towners, and loaners. tonight, i fit into three of those categories. and, if you need a hint, i'm not aiming to catch the bouquet tomorrow.

after a long day of travel and prior to two full days of business, all i'm looking for is some decent grub and a local brew. tonight i got the decent grub. but when i asked for a local brew, the bartender shrugged and poured me a michelob ultra. what's up with that?!?! i can get better beer at my local supermarket.

anyway, here i sit in atlanta. my proud "local brew" in front of me. a gaggle of giggline women to my left, two semi-loaded businessmen hitting on a poor woman to my right. way off at stage right, there's a guy waxing poetic about hitler not being an "evil person." welcome to the south.

they don't call it hot-lanta for nothing.


one of those days

i'm not sure why, but two unrelated things made this a great day for me. a closer look at these items allows you to peak into my far-flung hobbies and interests.

first, the annual l.l. bean spring fishing catalog arrived on my doorstep. this arrival prompted uncontrollable salivating and an impulse reach for the visa card. i cannot wait to tie one on and start tracking rainbows and browns in the high sierras.

second, i learned that the new album by the mars volta will be released on march 1. (mouth watering.) this half of el paso's at the drive-in cranked out a disc in 2003 that didn't leave my player for six months. what's more, you (yes, YOU) can download the new tune "the widow" at the itunes music store.

no excuses. just make it happen.


permission to buzz the tower

i'm sitting here in camp bell waiting for paige's flight to arrive from o'hare. she was off at a girls-weekend-o-fun in grand rapids. those three crazy girls had about as much fun as one can have when the temperature struggles to get out of single digits. brr.

anyway, sjc will almost certainly roll out one of those fancy cell phone lots. this is essentially a 21st century version of the parking lot that used to sit beneath the runway. back in the day, if you got to the airport early, you could just chill out and actually *watch* your plane fly over. then you knew it was time to head to the terminal.

no such luck in 2005. you just orbit the airport road, avoid mowing down luggage-toting groggy travelers, and whip yourself into higher and higher levels of annoyance.

that's where flighttracker comes in.

there are a handful of different apps where you can type in the flight number and actually *watch* a little graphical fisher price version of your plane fly across the country. so after a little quick math, you figure out when you need to head out to the airport. my rule of thumb is about 10,000 feet.

now, this technology has been around forever. i remember thetrip.com had a tracker back in the mid-90s. i just wanted to pay homage to that cool little app that has made my life so much easier.

gotta boogie. paige is at 14,000 feet.


life is shuffle-riffic

they call it macworld. and it's the biggest annual event in which apple announces the latest and greatest. yesterday's keynote did not disappoint. ipod shuffle. ilife updates. iwork. all very cool.

but what blew me away was the mac mini, a fully-tweaked personal computer for under five hundred bucks. this puppy is two inches tall and weighs less than three pounds. still hesitant to switch from your clunky old windows machine to the promised land?

you just ran out of excuses.


who shot your shirt?

i just returned from a business trip to honolulu. yes, that's right. a "biz-ness" trip. we really worked hard in paradise. not a lot of beach time.

here's what i noticed.

hawaii is really chill. instead of collared shirts and ties, the company uniform is the legendary "aloha" shirt. everybody, from the shopowner to the cfo, the school teacher to the salesman, was decked out in floral tops.

the aloha shirts du jour ranged from the classic, wide-collared to the nouveau, rayon style. and the color schemes covered all categories, from primary colors to the most obscure crayola vibes. the top brands seemed to be reyn spooner, tim richards, and kahala.

so i bought one.

now, mind you, i'm a bit of an aloha shirt connoisseur. i can spot a brilliant hawaiian wardrobe from a half-mile at the local flea market or thrift shop. that's easy. buying one at a honolulu macy's, on the other hand, is a challenge.

fortunately, my first choice rose to the top without a whole lot of effort. i'm pretty picky about aloha shirts. they have to be retro and feature a color scheme just tacky enough for people to wonder if i'm being serious or goofy. at least that's how i justify my fashion decisions to myself.

mahalo for listening.


new "new's" for a new year

so i can't help myself. here are a few things i picked up over the holiday break. while they might not be new, they are "new to me".

tunes: muse rocks. they rock in a wacked-out pseudo-ok-computer-era-radiohead kind of way. maybe it's because i'm suffering through thom yorke withdrawal, but muse is locked and loaded in the heavy rotation column.

eats: bbq oysters. we first tasted these morsels up in marin county and then reprised the treats in seattle over the holidays. it's easy.

first, get somebody else to shuck 'em so you don't add any of your special red sauce. then crumble up some bacon and thinly slice a bit of spinach. next crumble a bit of bleu cheese. add all three to the oyster, put 'em on the grill (in the shell), and let 'em roast for a few. then enjoy with a frosty brew! (btw, there's an official name for these. i just call 'em "bitchin'.")

dvds: ok, ok. so the billy madison/happy gilmore combo is pretty brilliant. but you gotta check out garden state. zach braff (even better out of his hospital wear) is a genius. the soundtrack is the best since high fidelity. and did i mention that i'm now in love with natalie portman? so long, ashley judd!