Where's Nate?

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


car tippin' and fire startin'.

Every once in a while, I'm convinced I have ESP. OK, maybe not exactly "ESP". But I seem to have an uncanny knack for predicting the next song on the radio or on a mixed-up iPod.

It happened again tonight. I was humming the latest Kaiser Chiefs tune, "I Predict a Riot." I've heard it off an on the radio over the past few weeks. The tune is easily worth a buck for a legal download on your favorite non-Napster music service. It's impossibly catchy, impossibly corny, and impossibly clever. And, this week on iTunes, it's impossibly free.

Welcome to 1982, MP3-style. Errr, "FREE" MP3-style.


fly the friendly skies.

I fly a lot. And I remain fiercely loyal to United. Through bankruptcy, mergers, and downsizing, it seems like flying the friendly skies remains the best way to go.

Case in point: I have to fly American frequently when my company is picking up the bill. Inevitably, it's a lousy experience. AA is the only carrier that hasn't sent the S80s to the desert. S80s are notoriously noisy, have seats that recline when you don't want them to (and don't recline when you do), and feature the worst seats in the air. If you've had the pleasure to sit in the back row of an S80, with it's romantic "view" of the engine, you know what I'm talking about. Hungry? On AA you have the "option" of dropping $3 for .25 worth of packaged snacks. Nice.

So, who's doing it right? You have to admire Southwest for changing the rules of the game. And JetBlue for taking the Southwest model to a premium brand.

JetBlue has spawned a ton of imitators. One category is the sub-brands of Ted (United) and Song (Delta). The other category is the re-brands like Independence Air (which is a warmed-over version of Atlantic Coast Airlines).

On the horizon? How about this merger between USAir and America West. With USAir's strength on the East Coast and America West's strength out west, this could be a formidable partnership. It's certainly one to watch.


doublin' down.

Back to Lost Wages last week with some friends. This time we stayed at the Palms, a funky off-Strip hotel owned by the owner that owns the Sac-Town Kings. The Palms is a young and energetic place and the staffers are very friendly and cool. I would stay there again.


(click to see Vegas pix)

The post-Real World Palms sports a gaggle of C-level celebrities and reality-show-in-progress filiming. We saw Omarossa ("The Apprentice"), Michael Vartan ("Alias"), Trishelle ("Real World"), and Andrew Firestone ("The Bachelor"). I had no clue about the last two, but with everyone standing around and staring I had to ask. What a messed up, celebrity-crazy nation we are.

As opposed to roulette and video poker, this trip was all about Blackjack and MLB bets. While I did pretty well on the former, the latter took away the former's profits. You see, there's this clever thing called a parlay. So if you bet on more than one game, your winnings go up exponentially. For example, on Thursday I put $30 on the Mets, Twins, and Astros. If all three teams had won, I would have been $180 richer. Cool.

Except the Mets end up blowing my $30 in a bullpen meltdown late in the game. So I learned my lesson. On Friday, I put down some cash on a three-team parlay. And then another chunk on a six-team parlay. A loss by the Marlins blows up in my face. What fun!

Anyway, much fun was had in Vegas at the Ghost Bar, N9ne, Monte Carlo Brewery, and so forth. I don't have any plans to return (which is probably a good thing). I don't think my wallet can take that kind of pressure.


the red barn.

Owning a house is all about capital improvement. Which is precisely why we painted the shed in our backyard last weekend.

Being young is all about being unnecessarily nostalgic. Which is precisely why we painted the shed a dark shade of red (with white trim). It looks like a barn. And reminds us of Vermont.

Which is precisely why we did it.



My favorite weekend of the year. We get an extra hour of sunlight and the Red Sox and Yankees kick off the baseball season in the Bronx. Sweet.

Except it wasn't sweet. The free-spending Yankees beat up the free-spending Red Sox in a forgettable Sunday Night game. If only ESPN had a "choose-your-announcer" function that allowed me to listen to the brilliant Jon Miller while muting the painful Joe Morgan. At least that would have made the blowout a bit more palatable.

So David Wells takes the ball for the Sox and drags his fat ass up the hill. And before he even throws a pitch, I know we're screwed. Wells is wearing #3. In Yankee Stadium.

Now I recognize that most blog-readers have no idea of the significance of this blunder. So here's the Cliff Notes version: 1) Babe Ruth was sold to the Yanks by the Sox for a box of balls and some chewing gum in the 1920s; 2) Babe Ruth wore #3 for the Yanks; 3) the Yanks went on to win two dozen World Serieseses; 4) the Sox won one in 1918...and 2004.

So what does the newest, fattest member of the Sox do? He rolls up the hill wearing #3. In Yankee Stadium.

The Curse lives. Even if only for one night. Yankees Suck.

listen up, tivo-maniacs.

Wouldn't it be cool if you could share TiVo'd TV with friends and family? Every TiVo-head has had this exchange:

BUDDY: Oh man, Conan was brilliant last night!
YOU (sheepishly): Really? I don't have a Conan Season Pass.
BUDDY: Yeah, I TiVo'd it. I love watching that stuff over and over.

Your Buddy TiVo-ing Conan does You absolutely no good. Sure You could go over to Buddy's house and see Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's latest tirade for yourself. But he lives ten miles away. And you can't stand his girlfriend.

What's worse, You didn't TiVo it for Yourself. So not only did You miss it the first time, chances are You missed it for good.

Now what if TiVo let TiVo Subscriber A send shows to TiVo Subscriber B? Maybe a little message pops up asking if you'd like to share or receive the program. Maybe the really big files are batched overnight. As TiVo moves beyond TV and into photos and music, it could bring file-sharing to a new level. And as long as both parties are subscribers, there's no problem.

No harm, no foul.