Where's Nate?

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


golf in the city.

Had a chance to swing the sticks at the newly-revamped Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco. Built in 1925, apparently this course fell into severe disrepair in the 1980s and 1990s. But somebody at the club convinced the PGA that they need to play a major tournament on this once-hallowed ground. And the city of San Francisco spent the last few years restoring this gem.

I managed to avoid the countless bunkers and sweeping cypress trees. And we hit it on a day without fog and/or wind. When the dust settled (and an alarming number of long putts dropped), I carded an 81 (+9). Not too shabby.

Get out there and play it before Tiger does.

(A side note. We were paired up with a guy named Tom who owns Fuse, a bar on Broadway. Great guy. Pedestrian golfer. Hopeless Yankees fan. A word of advice: Don't wear your Red Sox gear to Fuse. You may find that your mixed drink is five ounces of water and a quarter ounce of booze.)


how to think highly of yourself.

So Michigan has been keeping my Inbox busy. This week's assignment was a 360 Review in which I was asked a bunch of questions about my business skills as a producer, team player, and manager. It's the kind of introspective dribble that makes you think you are a perfect fit to be the next Senior Director at a Fortune 500 company.

But what's interesting about the exercise is the other 180 degrees, in which you ask others to tell the world how much you suck. That's where you come in, friends (cough, Dave and Norm). Don't make me come across as a pompous ass. After all, my future classmates have until 2007 to figure that out for themselves.

sounds familiar.

A great post from the Best of Craigslist: My iPod shuffle Thinks I'm Gay.

I've found that my shuffle is trying to tell me something, too. For example, last week my shuffle was informing me that I run too slow and was really pushing the System of a Down. Like, every-other-song pushing. Then, today, my shuffle was at it again, beating me over the head with Metallica and Rage Against the Machine.

What gives, iPod shuffle? Seven minute miles aren't fast enough for you? Life is random. Apparently, so is my pace.


off the grid.

OK, so that headline is a little dramatic. But Paige and I returned yesterday from a solid week above 5800 feet in the Sierras. After three years of being hooked into the Corporate grid, it was a pleasant surprise to see my crappy cell phone read, "No Service". Of course, it reads "No Service" nearly every day at my house in Silicon Valley. But, I digress.

(click to see sierra pix)

Essentially, it was a week of hiking through national parks, exploring alpine meadows, floating in the middle of a mountain lake, tossing dry flies at skittish rainbow trout, and general decompressing. Not to mention a failed attempt at beard-growing. Despite the implication of the hat (shown above), I'm not even remotely related to Johnny Damon.

It is, however, good to be back in the land of TV and wireless networks. We'll be off the grid again in about ten days for another alpine excursion. A week online followed by a week offline. Where do I sign?



Major League Baseball's All Star Game annoys me. Actually, it's the Fox coverage of the Midsummer Classic that's out of control. Take tonight's game. The first pitch wasn't tossed until 45 minutes after "coverage" began.

But the biggest slap came when Fox paid tribute to legendary Tigers announcer, Ernie Harwell. Kevin Kennedy asked Harwell a question...about Al Kaline. As Harwell began to wax poetic about the Hall of Famer, Jeanne Zelasko preempted the response to go to something more important. Like the first pitch? Nah. How about a two minute montage of Motown singers that had absolutely nothing to do with the game. Thank you, Fox.

In related news, CNN announced today that Kelly Kaposki from "Saved by the Bell" was married to some D-grade actor last weekend. Now that's what I call news.


how to root against your favorite team.

Fantasy sports signal the end of team loyalty. Take tonight, for example. Paige and I watched the Giants play the Cardinals underneath a thick fog bank at Pac Bell Park. Mark Mulder, on the mound for the Redbirds, completely shut down my hometown squad. Fortunately for me, Mulder is also the ace of the Green Mountain Boys. So when he went seven innings without giving up a run, I wasn't too bummed out.

If the Giants are going to lose (big), at least they have the presence of mind to get their asses kicked by "my" pitcher.

coming soon to clinton, michigan.

But not soon enough. A brand new IKEA opens next summer about thirty minutes from Ann Arbor. These Swedes are brilliant.

The IKEA showroom has three primary components. First, you wander through mocked-up bedrooms and kitchens where you can see sheets, dishes, and shower curtains in their natural habitats. Next, you have the opportunity to see all of the blankets and utensils together (for some Comparison Shopping 101). And finally, if you still haven't purchased anything, all of the build-it-yourself furniture is presented warehouse-style.

Maybe I should defer my admission to Fall 2006.


the day after the day after.

The third day of vacation was all about the homefront. I suited up in the aforementioned Haz-Mat suit and tackled the humping chipmunks in my attic. (I think I need to bring in the Doctor Ruth of Attic Fans. Sigh.) Then I mowed a Red Sox logo into the front lawn, in preparation for next week's All Star Game. And I marinated and grilled Lemon Garlic Shrimp. For lunch.

Our neighbors, Phil and Mary, stopped by to invite us over this weekend for drinks and cards. The funny thing is, I figured I'd drink over at their place at some point...with their twentysomething stay-at-home kids.

The old lady at the end of the street finally got rid of the trailer that sat in her driveway for the past two years. And to the delight of light sleepers throughout the 95008 ZIP code, she also released Tweedledee and Tweedledum (the Wonder Dumbass Battle Hounds). In sleepy Campbell--deep in the 408--we call this "progress".

Now if only I could convince the old lady that a garage door isn't supposed to lean against the side of the house. Clap on, clap off.


where blog entries come from.

I take my dog, Fenway, out for a midnight tinkle each evening. It's quiet. And it's dark. And I often compose my blog entries while the two of us are out and about.

They say a man does his best thinking on the throne. Not me. I prefer the throne of man's best friend.


jesus rocks.

So I'm deaf in my left ear because I spent my first day of vacation at the Warped Tour in San Francisco. Unlike last year, I only had two or three bands that I *had* to see. I missed one (Silverstein) but hit the others (Avenged Sevenfold and No Use For A Name).

Of course, that left plenty of time to discover new (to me) bands. Highlights this year included Thrice, Strike Anywhere, and Underoath.

Thrice is the kind of hit squad that knees you in the balls, steals your lunch money, and then buys you a Dr. Pepper (only to shake it up and spray it in your face). Most of the mod-punk movement relies on screaming and singing (see Taking Back Sunday). And most of these bands have a screamer and a singer. Not Thrice. One dude has the pipes to scream and sing AND play guitar.

Strike Anywhere reminded me of Rise Against with Bad Religion lyrics. Never mind that the lead singer looks like Phil Collins with dreadlocks. This only distracted me for one or two songs. What sucked me in was the infectious hooks, the gratuitious F-Bush stanzas and couplets, and the persistent circle pit. Talk about old skool.

Underoath gives a nod to The Man upstairs. They hit hard and hit often, like an amped-up version of The Used. Plus they have a guy that alternates between playing the keyboard, banging his head, and lip-synching lyrics to his own songs. Right on.

I'll admit it. I'm at least a half-decade outside of the target audience. And I feel older every year. But there's a reason why the Warped Tour is the longest running summer music festival. And there's a reason why I'll continue to go.