Where's Nate?

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


the freshman fifteen.

I'm back in the working world, having joined "The Google" last week. While the first week was full of training and networking, the second week is showing signs of settling in. I'm on a fascinating product, surrounded by very sharp people. Seems like a good place to be at this point in my career.

At first glance, this place seems a lot like the other Valley employers who have cut me a paycheck over the last half decade. But there's one big difference: free food.

I'll be honest. I was skeptical when I heard about this perk, thinking the quality would be mediocre and the choices limited. After eating tri tip sandwiches, avocado and corn soup, and BBQ shrimp gumbo over the past few days, I guess I was mistaken. We'll see if the novelty wears off. It probably will. But, for now, I'm filling my plate and dreaming of miles and miles on the elliptical machine.


dubya your fun.

Too good to pass up, this quote was sent to me by a friend today. Apparently, it comes from the recently published "Reagan Diaries":

May 17, 1986: 'A moment I've been dreading. George brought his ne're-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida . The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I'll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they'll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.'


my way or the norway.

Denmark and Sweden are connected by the Oresund Bridge, an impressive ten mile tunnel/bridge hybrid that spans the Baltic. So when you want to go from mainland Europe up the the Scandinavian peninsula, you no longer need to get wet. Of course, we saved Sweden for last. Norway was next.

The train rides from Copenhagen to Malmo to Goteborg to Oslo were typically Scandinavian: right on time, spartan yet comfortable. We even had high speed Internet on the high speed X2000, meaning we could surf the web as we roared through the countryside at over 200 KMH. We only spent one night in Oslo, which was probably enough. It's a charming city but it lacks the sophistication of Copenhagen (and Stockholm, for that matter). The real highlight of Norway is heading west over the spine.

It's been said that the train ride from Oslo to Bergen is among the most beautiful in the world. I don't know who said that, but I'd have to agree. It's right up there with crossing the Alps and taking the Red Line between Porter Square and Charles/MGH. Halfway to Bergen the train climbs to a stark, tundralike plateau. No trees, just a ton of lakes and rocky ridges. Past the town of Myrdal, the train roars down to the fjords of the west coast, through terrain that looks a lot like British Columbia. Without the totem poles.

Bergen (or as I like to call it, "Seattle Junior") hugs the North Sea, protected by a series of long and deep fjords. Our hotel, the Hanseatic, was located in Bryggen, the old waterfront. This gave us brilliant access to the fish market, where I tried whale (free Willy!), and the historic fortress that protects the harbor. The highlight had to be taking the funicular (a fancy word for steep train that goes in a straight line) to the top of Mount Floyen. Phenomenal views and access to great hikes down to the city.

All aboard at Bergen Station

Bryggen waterfront, Bergen

At the top of Mount Floyen, Bergen

So that's Norway, in a nutshell. Actually, many people do the "Norway in a Nutshell Tour" which is like a six-day version of our four-day journey. Whichever way you slice it, Norway is a very unique experience. If nothing else, it's the most scenic way to purchase $400 sweaters.


help others, help yourself.

An interesting article in The Economist suggests that "charity is just as selfish as self-indulgence." So the next time you sign up for community service, what's the root cause? And does it even even matter?


i bet you look good on the dansk floor.

Wheresnate has been a sleepy 'burb in Internets-ville since mid-July. That's because Paige and I spent about two weeks in Scandinavia as part of our last hurrah before jumping back into the working world. Ahhh, the smell of responsibility.

Anyway, for your reading enjoyment, this is the first of three installments about our trip. Let's call it, "Part One: Denmark".

Why Scandinavia? It's a question we heard a number of times. It's not a cheap or trendy destination like Southeast Asia (undoubtedly the locale-of-choice among my fellow Ross grads). It's not the first place Americans go in Europe. And it's not warm and tropical and full of golf courses.

All of the reasons listed above contributed directly to our decision to leave the beaten path. We wanted to go someplace new for both of us (Paige has done huge chunks of continental Europe, I've done Asia, Australia, and much of Europe). Plus, I'm basically Swedish and German. And I've already been to Germany.

Copenhagen, our first stop, is an amazing city on the narrow strait between the Atlantic and the Baltic. It's built on a series of canals and features the most extensive pedestrian mall in the world (Stroget). We spent a considerable amount of time wandering the narrow and winding streets and took a clever, multi-lingual canal tour around the city.

With Paige in Nyhavn.

Copenhagen canals and boats, oh my.

Obligatory photo of obligatory landmark.

I was very impressed with the old part of the city and would put it up with Paris and London (without the Louvre and Buckingham Palace, obviously). But what Copenhagen lacked in must-see sights, it more than made up for in charm, cleanliness, and sidewalk cafe dining. In particular, Nyhavn, the picturesque old port in the heart of the city, melts all of these traits into an old world Danish feelings.

We also joined the locals at Tivoli, the oldest amusement park in the world (or something like that), for a free concert on Friday night by a band named Grand Avenue. Drinking Carlsberg beer and listening to one of the most popular bands in Denmark in an outside amphitheatre, all under a cloudless sky and a dusk that lasted until 11:00pm. Does it get any better?