Where's Nate?

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


one for the teacher.

Now that I'm no longer in The Loop, I can link to articles (thanks, Dave!) that speculate about new products from my favorite fruit company. This one discusses Apple in education, a market near and dear to yours truly. After spending the better part of four years figuring out how to market the Macintosh to college students, it's satisfying to know that Apple has made dramatic steps back into a realm that used to be the company's bread and butter.

And while the sale of PowerSchool might have raised some red flags, I think it shows tremendous focus on hardware, peripherals, and software. There is no better learning and teaching platform for students and teachers than OS X. So best of luck to my former colleagues in Cupertino. Make it happen.


put a flower in your hair.

I used to take it for granted. Growing up so close to San Francisco meant that I only made it to The City a few times a year. And only to the most touristy of locales. So it wasn't until Paige and I moved back to the Bay Area in 2002 that I truly began to appreciate The City.

We managed to get away to San Francisco this past weekend, spending a romantic night near Union Square. Continuing an unprecedented commitment to public transportation, Paige and I hopped on Caltrain in Mountain View and headed north on Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon was spent shopping at H&M, chowing on Greek grub at Santorini, and watching the world go by beneath the big monument in the square. Sunday dinner, at the brilliant recommendation of my new Y! manager, was paella at B44, followed by drinks at E&O.

Monday morning was a lazy jaunt down to the Ferry Building to salivate over gourmet treats, book browing at City Lights, and a jaunt down Grant in Chinatown.

Sure, it was touristy. But what the hell. Sometimes the best treats are right under your nose. Or at the end of a short train line.


bonds away.

So Barry finally hit #715 and passed The Babe. And the only thing people are talking about is how KNBR's Dave Flemming lost power to his mike during the big call. Are you serious? The greatest player since Willie Mays is only 40 homers from Hank Aaron and the national media just shrugs it off?

Where was this indifference when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were chasing down Maris in 1998, hopped up on the juice? What about Sammy's corked bat?

No doubt Barry is less-than-perfect. But the national media turning its collective back on a major milestone makes my stomach turn.

Here's to Barry. And here's the Barry being the first to #800.


green mountain dreaming.

My eight years in Vermont hold a special place in my heart. It was in the Green Mountain State that I attended the finest liberal arts college in the land, met my wonderful bride, and received my first fulltime paycheck. All while driving Subarus, decking myself in fleece vests and wool socks, and learning the magic of fly fishing.

Vermont also pushed me further and further to the left, in support of then-Governor Dean's relentless push for universal health care and same sex unions. So imagine my delight when I found the following article on Yahoo! News (shameless plug) today: "Vermont signs ambitious health insurance law."

The gist is this: Following the lead of Massachusetts, Vermont is pushing to extend health care insurance to 96% of state residents by the end of the decade.

This is populist governing at its finest. It is the kind of aggressive move that Democrats should embrace going into the midterm elections this fall, the kind of policy that will help us sweep the right-wingers out of the Capitol building and onto the streets. Kudos to Governor Douglas and the Vermont legislature for taking a stand. And may the rest of the states in our fine nation follow the lead of our friends in New England.


generation gap.

Clearly I'm missing something. The #1 download on iTunes is that new Nelly Furtado song, "Promiscuous." So when I saw that she was performing on last week's SNL I figured it was worth staying up for. Ugh. What a stinkfest. Quite possible the worst pop tune I've heard since the days of Wilson Phillips.

What's worse: I had just finished watching Capote, among the best movies I've seen in years. The road from the pop culture peak to valley was short and abrupt.

Now, I'll admit that juxtaposing Furtado's heap of crap with Phillip Seymour Hoffman's masterpiece is completely unfair. But it's worth bitching about.


y! not?

Day One at Y! headquarters was chock full of orienting and more orienting. And I think I'm in the right place. Free bus and light rail passes, complimentary lattes and mochas in every building, and a legendary "work/life blend." Yeah, this gig is going to be pretty cool.

One of the things I admire most about my summer employer is their commitment to the community. Not only is there a foundation run by a volunteer employee board, but the company matches donations dollar-for-dollar and encourages community service by giving employees time off to volunteer. Very, very cool.

(As an aside, I received the following email from our friends in Redmond last night. Apparently, nobody in Staffing passed the world along about the offer I declined...two months ago: We are excited that you have agreed to join Microsoft and help us achieve our mission: we work to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. The following information about Microsoft's New Employee Orientation (NEO) program is provided to make your first days at Microsoft a valuable and rewarding experience.)

I celebrated the brief respite between Days One and Two by taking in a home game at AT&T Park. No homers for Bonds. But the Giants continued their hot play and beat the living crap out of the best team in the National League (the Gashouse Gang from Saint Louie).


flat is the new round.

So I finally finished Tom Friedman's The World is Flat and would certainly recommend that anyone and everyone should do the same. (I bought it last Christmas and read it in spurts over the past few months.) While none of this was news to a Silicon Valley native, Friedman's insights into India and China were quite informative.

What's interesting to me, however, are two articles from the Mercury News this week about China and India. In the first article, a Chinese academic has come under fire for claiming to invent a new kind of computer chip. Apparently, the pressure to produce a technological breakthrough in this arena outweighed the fact that this new chip concept was essentially stolen. In the second article, Indian doctors are protesting an affirmative action plan to assist lower caste candidates from receiving medical training.

Now, I've certainly oversimplified both issues. But the fact remains that as the world becomes flatter, not everyone plays by the same rules. With thousands of years of history and cutural norms, both India and China are wrestling with elements of capitalism and democracy. It's times like this, perhaps, where Americans might be able to lend a helpful perspective to domestic and economic issues that, one way or another, will touch every global citizen.

More bluntly, Election Day 2008 can't come fast enough.


in the loop.

Paige and I met my good friend and fellow Section Fiver and bandmate, Margot, for dinner at Tandoori Oven, our favorite taqueria-style Indian joint. Margot is summering in the Loop, working for my buddy, Norm, who works for my former manager, Paul. (The Valley is incestuous, indeed.)

Anyway, I think you'd enjoy reading Margot's observations as a Silicon Valley virgin. And I'd invite you to click on her name in the sidebar to follow along with her journey.

Good luck, Margot. May your three months with the fruit company be as enjoyable as my four years.


global warming.

It's 75 degrees in Silicon Valley at midnight. I just took Fenway out for his nightly pee in shorts and flip-flops. When did I move to Austin?


like spinning plates.

I'm always on the prowl for new music. But sometimes "new" music means a trip down memory lane. Take the latest Chili Peppers album, for example. Sure "Dani California" is a bitchin' tune. But it sounds like "Californication" and nearly everything from Blood Sugar Sex Majik. This isn't a bad thing, of course. That album was one of the best (if not the best) of the early nineties. In fact, it was Flea's virtuosity (sp?) on that album that inspired me to learn how to play bass.

Or how about the new album from Pearl Jam? "Worldwide Suicide" could have been a track on Ten or Versus. (Thirtysomething) critics are heralding the new album as the "return of Pearl Jam." Which is sweet.

One album that's getting a lot of heavy iTunes rotation is the new solo album from former Catherine Wheel frontman, Rob Dickinson. If you've never heard this guy sing, download "Black Metallic" or "Handsome" immediately. Dickinson is the only singer on the planet with the pipes and range to sing over an epic wall of sound. Every Catherine Wheel song is/was an anthem and Dickinson's solo album pulls in the most melodic and brooding of his former band's orchestrations.

So what's the point? No sense can immediately transport one back in time like sound. PJ and RHCP were my bread and butter in the nineties. Any song by these guys reminds me of rocking out down main street in Los Gatos in 1992, wearing flannel, acting all pseudo-grunge. And Rob Dickinson's voice takes me back to 1995, late night at Middlebury, crazy flashing lights on my dorm room ceiling. If you don't mind, I'm going back to my iTunes...

Oh, and by the way, Blogger needs to fix the link publishing in Safari. Thanks.


walls come tumbling down.

By all accounts, Ross is going to look very different when we return in the fall. They are knocking down three of the primary buildings on campus (Assembly, Davidson, and Paton) and jamming everybody into the "new" half of the school. Not a bad gig for current MBAs (but it sucks to be a BBA). They also aren't wasting any time, and this photo that circulated around the MBA1s this morning is proof that the wreckers have arrived.

photo courtesy of a fellow MBA1.

People are grumbling a bit, but here's my take: anyone who picks a school based on physical facilities is missing the point. It's about the quality of the faculty and the student body, and Michigan is second to none. Now, if the new building helps attract "better" faculty and students, that's a good thing. But a two year construction wave shouldn't scare anyone away from Ross.

Side note. I was a little bored this morning so I decided to take the train to the City to see my Giants beat the crap out of Dusty Baker...I mean, the Cubbies. No home runs for Barry. Yet.


quiet. too quiet.

My email is silent. So is my cell phone. And my IM client. It reminds me of my undergrad summers, back in the days before smileys and Bluetooth. Perhaps I should be celebrating. After all, it's only a matter of time before it starts getting pretty noisy around here.

The first few days back in the Bay have been simultaneously busy and relaxing. I fixed our sprinkler system, washed the windows, got the biennial smog check for the VW, made an appointment to fix the humping attic squirrel situation, and acted all domestic for the first 72 hours. Then, this afternoon, I sat in my backyard with Fenway, drank a latte, and surfed the web. Sweet.

The big chatter around here is about Barry Bonds and his march toward history. This anticipation has dwarfed the Sharks impressive early run in the NHL playoffs. San Jose? A hockey town? Almost.


home sweet home.

Home at last. If there's one great thing about the Michigan MBA academic calendar, it's that you get a full four months off between years. So I'm back in the Bay Area for the summer. And that's sweet.

Dad and I tore it up on the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan on Wednesday. Our guide, Merle, waded us to a few excellent fishing holes. Dad caught a beautiful 18-inch brown trout (his first with a fly rod) and I managed to land an 18-inch cutbow, a 15-inch brown, and a 14-inch rainbow. My second fish is shown below. We were too excited about the cutbow to snap a photo.

Today we hit D'Andrea Golf Course in Reno, Nevada, for one final round of eighteen. I shot a 42-42 for a decent 84. Not bad for a course where the greens were like putting on windshields. We rolled into the Bay at around 7:00pm, a full seven days after I left A2 last week. And it's great to be home.


life a mile above sea level.

Picked up my Dad at the Denver airport yesterday morning to continue the cross-country adventure. Our first order of business: checking into our hotel in Littleton as quickly as possible so that we could start fly-fishing. Dad landed around 11:00am. We were deep in the mountains on the South Platte by 2:00pm. Awesome. No luck, although we did have a few nibbles.

I'm a huge fan of the Rockies and the dramatic pause they give one when one is travelling west from Denver. While I am a native Californian who grew up spending every summer in the Sierra Nevadas, the Rockies are bigger, broader, steeper. And when you're tossing a tiny fly in a shallow stream, dwarfed by thousand foot cliffs, it's other-wordly.

This morning we met up with my buddy, Soren, to play a round at Arrowhead in Littleton. Amazing course made very challenging by stiff winds on the front nine. Shot 44-39 (better once the wind calmed down). Drove over the pass to Glenwood Springs and decided to play another nine holes at a local muni. 27 holes, 170 miles. That's my kind of road trip.