Where's Nate?

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


not tonight, i have a headache.

Evite is a brilliant, functional way to manage party invitations and has revolutionized how we RSVP. But it has also spawned a subculture of alibi-creationists. In other words, a "No" response is always accompanied by a reason for not attending. Bear with me here.

If you can attend, you simply click "Yes." A small number of responses include a bit of relevant information. For example, "Yes. I'll bring the beer." Or "Yes. [Insert inside joke here.]" But mainly you just say "Yes" and then show up.

But if you choose "Maybe" or "No", you must also include a logical reason as to why you won't be able to join the shindig. Here's an example:

I'm invited to an engagement party this weekend with a list of 50 invitees. Of the 40 people who responded in the affirmative, only a small handful included a short salutation. But of the half dozen people who cannot attend, every single response has a minimum-two line alibi:
* "Sorry we won't be able to attend we have last minute family coming to the house for the weekend"
* "I will be checking in at my second home, Las Vegas, that weekend. Big surprise, I know. I'll do my best this time to keep my head and the sidewalk from contacting."

You get the idea. The balance of the list are the technophiles, too afraid to clutter the invitation with any sort of response. They're out.

What does this mean? Human beings innately have a hard time saying "No." And I'm no different. You see, I don't know if I can ever decline an Evite again. I'm all out of excuses.


beat the heat.

It's been unbearably hot on the Left Coast for the last week and a half. And during times like these, Paige and I are happy we installed central air conditioning two years ago. (Thanks, Apple stock!)

The National Weather Service issued warnings like these for four or five consecutive days:
You know you're in trouble when it doesn't get below 80 degrees overnight.

So what did we do? We escaped to the mountains, to our favorite spot (Pinecrest Lake). Which led to drinking wine on innertubes and pictures like this:

And this:

Good thing the water was deep. And cold. Which reminds me of a very crass and rude joke told by my friend Dave Thomas. Which I won't repeat in mixed company. Or here, for that matter.


big news from the big house.

I've owned only two season tickets in my life. The first was for the Vermont Expos, a brilliant A-ball club in Burlington in an ancient stadium where I knew the beer man by first name and we could walk to the games. The second is for the Wolverines. And today we received some interesting news:

We plan to reunite the students at the Big House! We are moving the visitors and public season ticket holders, who are currently adjacent to the student section, to allow 1,875 more students to be able to sit in the student section. The new capacity of the student section will be 20,469. In addition, we are relocating the Marching Band into the student section to seats near the field in front of the student section.

So long old people and people-wearing-the-colors-of-the-schools-we-hate. Bring in the rowdies! And hail to the victors, indeed.


tag me, tag you.

So I've been tagged by Srini, my UM colleague. I guess I can't resist.

I am thinking that a four month summer is both too long and too short. Mainly, too short.
I said ten years ago that Radiohead was the best band on the planet. And I stand by that claim.
I want to learn how to be a wine snob.
I wish Americans would wise up this fall and vote anyone with an "R" next to his/her name out of Congress.
I miss the excitement of the playoff hunt when my Giants weren't so mediocre.
I hear voices every once in a while telling me to start my own company and stop working for The Man.
I wonder what the world will be like when we get 100 MPG.
I regret not spending just a tiny bit more money on travel. When I had the chance.
I am patient. But not too patient.
I dance in the same wacky way I did back in junior high.
I sing constantly. In tune. Out of tune. To guilty pleasures. And along with bands I love.
I cry when I see deep emotions on the faces of loved ones.
I am not afraid to share my opinion.
I write blog entries when I should be keeping in touch with old friends and colleagues.
I confuse anyone unfortunate enough to drive behind me in a parking lot.
I need more cowbell.
I should wake my ass up early four days a week and go for a run.
I finish great sports columns and opinions pieces in a matter of minutes.

I tag Morin and Cooley. You're next, wee-otches.

itchy, scratchy, and moochy.

After spending 6+ years in tech marketing, I thought the gold mine of free schwag was the conference and trade show circuit. Which was before I arrived at B-School, where CPG companies throw all kinds of random shiite at students and we are eligible to get a subscription to the Wall Street Journal courtesy of some unnamed investment bank. Of course, all of this was prior to spending a summer at Y!, where it seems that T-shirts grow on trees.

So I'm thinking of starting a "Schwagmeter" in which I will catalog every free item I receive. Any interest in that from the loyal wheresnate readership?


foxy browser.

As a devoted Firefox user and IE-hater, I was delighted to read this. It appears that our friends in Redmond are losing some serious ground to those crazy folks at Mozilla. If you haven't downloaded Firefox yet, you're running out of excuses.


searching, seek and destroy.

One of the cool features of the free sitemeter at the bottom of my blog is that I can see how people are referred to wheresnate. Among the highlights:

Yahoo! Search:
#1 link on "nate johnson apple"
#2 link on "www.google.edu" (now THAT'S ironic)
#6 link on "chipmunks in attic"

Google Search:
#1 link on "where's nate"
#2 link on "duck the fodgers"
#4 link on "fucla shirt"
#7 link on "ikea brand"

Ask.com Search:
#2 link on "how to fix attic fan"
#8 link on "grilling pizza"

MSN Search:
#6 link on "old port lobster shack"


wide open spaces.

Paige and I spent the long weekend with my family down in Carmel. It was truly laid back. We explored Big Sur, watched the sea otters play, and managed to get in a bit of golf. I carded a 38-43=81 at Pacific Grove Golf Course. At $35 for seaside golf, it's easy to see why they call it "The Poor Man's Pebble Beach."


house poor.

One of my new favorite Web 2.0 sites is Zillow.com, which takes home prices, compares them to recent transactions, and makes you feel rich at the same time.

cool wine, hot dishes.

Yet another sign of growing old: I get excited about new appliances. Last week, Mom and Dad gave us their "old" dishwasher. So the new one is quieter and more efficient and looks a helluva lot better in our kitchen.

And then on Monday we bought a new wine refrigerator, installed it in our garage, and promptly filled it up with a half dozen bottles from Trader Joe's. Must be a slow news day.