Where's Nate?

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


summer lovin'.

Today marks a summer milestone. It is essentially the midway point between Graduation from Ross and my first day at Google. And we're one month away from our departure to Scandinavia.

We've been busy recently, with Jeff and Sarah's big (huge, actually) wedding in San Francisco. Highlights included rehearsal dinner on the 45th floor of the Hilton (see above), tearing up a dance floor encircled by a mid-size pack of cougars, a gorgeous ceremony in the famous St. Mary's Cathedral, and a mega-reception full of great speeches and hilarious dancing. All in all, a fantastic and memorable weekend. We were glad to celebrate with Jeff and his bride.

The excitement didn't end with the wedding. Uncle Wayne was able to score Club Level seats to the Giants-Yankees game on Sunday and my Grandpa flew out from Nebraska to join us. Happily (for me, at least), the Gigantes pulled out a dramatic victory. Then, last night, fellow Ross alum Patty (who is visiting some pals out here) joined Paige and I in the bleachers for another Giants win. So far this season I'm 4-1. Can you say "MVP"? Absolutely.

We're scrambling a bit this week to get ready for our big trip to Fountain Point in northern Michigan. And by "scrambling" I mean, "starting to think about what we should bring." I figure I won't need much more than golf clubs, swim trunks, and flip flops. Sounds perfect to me.


project completed.

The first big project of the summer was to overhaul our garage. Dad, Reed, and I installed an attic ladder and a ton of storage space.

This would have cost at least $1000 to bring in a contractor, but the three of us installed it for the cost of materials ($100) and a few hours of excitement.

Sanders and I painted the walls with mismatched paint from Orchard Supply. (It's a garage, after all.) Total cost: $8.

Finally, we hired Premier Garage to remove the carpet glue and lay down a textured surface. Can you say "Party Room"?



In the whirlwind of WWDC, Apple rolled out the first major revision of apple.com in several years. And it's fancy and sleek and whatever. But direct navigation to several key sites from the home page have disappeared. It appears that Apple Education is now buried.

Here it is, below the fold on the Mac tab:

Am I missing something? I sure hope so.

I'll admit it. I'm bitter. I poured four years into working on the education market on behalf of the fruit company. (Specifically on apple.com/students.) To see one of Apple's most loyal audiences relegated to a secondary (actually, tertiary) position makes me sad. With NECC, the largest and most important education technology conference right around the corner, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts. It won't be pleasant. But that's the way the corporate world works.

When a company drops "Computer" from the name and focuses all of it's engineering resources on the development of consumer products like phones and MP3 players, is there room for a traditional market like education? Maybe not.


so long, crappy carpet.

Paige and I have lived in our cozy house on Inwood Court for almost four years. And it took me that long to finally get the garage into the condition we desire.

Here's the deal. Campbell houses are small and Californians don't have basements (we call them "garages"). The result is that owners often either finish their garages and use them as bonus rooms or use the space as extended (or primary) storage. Park your cars in the garage? Blasphemy! That's what the driveway is for!

Our garage fit the mold, as you can see in the image above. Over the past four years, our spoiled cars have enjoyed the comfort of carpeting while we have wrinkled our nose at the associated smell. After suffering through this, it was time to take action.

First, I tore out the carpet. This sucked. I'd estimate the carpet had been glued to the floor for at least a decade. So pulling up the carpet was the least of my problems. Removing the glue was the big headache. After two full days of scraping, the carpet is up. And we've hired a garage floor company to come out tomorrow to finish the job.

Second, we like to park our cars in our garage. (What a novel concept!) So Dad, Reed, and I installed a fancy attic ladder to give us access to the crawlspace above the garage. I laid down about 100 square feet of plywood and have spent several hours moving items into it. Thank goodness I'm related to engineers. Especially engineers with a lot of power tools and elbow grease.

Finally, the walls. They were nasty. Since Sanders, my UMich buddy, was in town the last few days, I put him to work. We painted the walls a nice neutral shade. Just in time for the flooring company to show up tomorrow to mess them up.

I'll post the "after" picture later this week. Keep your fingers crossed.


asking for it.

What's going on with Ask and their marketing department? First, they are a distant third place in the search department. Next, they post cryptic billboard messages about the Unabomber. And now, they roll out an eBay-esque (and slightly perverse) television ad campaign. I don't get it. Chances are, the American public doesn't, either.


choose responsibility.

The former President of Middlebury (and my thesis advisor and mentor) has been getting some attention for starting Choose Responsibility. John McCardell's organization is focused on lowering the legal drinking age to 18. Having spent time in the Dean of Students Office during the early years of my career (and being pretty loyal to Johnny Mac), I think his proposals make a ton of sense.

College kids drinking a few beers at a frat party isn't the issue. The issue is when 18 year olds with low tolerances hide behind dorm room walls and pound shot after shot of cheap liquor. I believe that a little bit of education will go a long way in this situation.

To learn more about views from both sides of the argument, check out this article from the Boston Globe. (Thanks, Nick!)