Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend Excursion - Chattanooga

For the first time in a long time, we took a weekend trip a couple of
hours north to Chattanooga... Nothing too fancy, just Friday night and
Saturday, leaving Sunday morning. The bulk of Saturday was spent
riding along the Tennessee river, which had some very nice views.
Our lodging was provided by the very historic, and apparently very
haunted, Sheraton Read House Hotel. Room 311, right across the hall
from us, is only rented by request, as it's usually occupied by the
ghost of a "lady of the night" who was killed by a Union solider
during the Civil War. (Read the story here...
Meanwhile, on Saturday, after enjoying a long bike ride, we had dinner
at the Back Inn Cafe (reviewed here... Shrimp
and grits. Oh yeah. We also got in plenty of time at coffee shops
(Rembrandts and, of course, Starbucks).
Thanks for a nice weekend, Chattanooga!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A pre-MJT Classic? It's a Wonderful Life.

It's a Wonderful Life is a classic, and a great tradition on Christmas Eve is watching this movie. Lasso the moon! Zuzu's petals! My car, Burt... My car!

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm constantly hanging with celebs.

Mark Wahlberg
On the recommendation of a co-worker, I took my wife to a small, out-of-the-way Italian place when we were in Los Angeles for a weekend and ended up sitting next to Mark Wahlberg and his model-girlfriend Rhea Durham. We also stood next to each other waiting for the valet after dinner. They both had very tan and very shiny skin.

Ben Stein
You know who I'm talking about, right? Bueller? Bueller? I met him at a Starbucks next to my office in Boston, wearing his standard suit and sneakers.

Kate Bosworth
The joke is that I once slept on top of Kate Bosworth... She had the room directly below mine at the Sheraton Boston when filming 21. (She was filming, of course, not me.)

I also ran into her at the Sheraton Club Lounge one night... She looked exactly like she does in her movies, and seemed like a very pleasant person, smiling and saying hi when I greeted her.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A 3-Year Old’s Secret

The joys of communicating with my 3 year old son, Gabriel…

Me:  So what am I getting for Father’s Day, buddy?
Gabriel:  I can’t tell you, Daddy, it’s a secret!
Me:  Please?  I really want to know!
Gabriel:  No, it’s a surprise!
Me:  What’s a surprise?
Gabriel:  That you’re getting an iPhone for Daddy Day!
Me:  So you won’t tell me?
Gabriel:  No, it’s a secret!
Me:  Is it a new BlackBerry?
Gabriel:  Nope.
Me:  Is it some new clothes?
Gabriel:  No!
Me:  Is it an iPhone?
Gabriel:  It sure is!
Me:  So when will you tell me the secret?
Gabriel:  On Daddy Day!  On Daddy Day I’ll tell you a story about an iPhone.

Gabriel Shhhh

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bring our Facebooks to Work Day

I once worked for a guy who was convinced that his personal life had to be fully separated from life at the office; the dude wouldn’t even tell us his wife’s name.  Seriously.  Or where he was going on vacation.  And don’t even think of mentioning politics or religion.  Of course, this was back in the day before anyone had heard of MySpace, before any of us were LinkedIn, when Oprah only cared about her books and not Twitter, and before Facebook was even a gleam in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye.  But in an age when most of us freely share significant personal information to the masses on the Internet, what’s the proper line to draw with co-workers?

Now, I’m not talking about ensuring your online “image” is work-appropriate; there are plenty of articles already addressing that topic.  I’m referring to striking the right balance between being an engaged member of your team at the office versus being that creepy dude at work.  For example, one of my guys tweeted that he was working late to get caught up.  Do I reply?  “@hardworkerdude, thanks for getting that stuff done!”  What about, “Hey, Jack, I saw you changed your Facebook status to single.  You doing ok?”  Is it acceptable to comment on a co-worker’s new Flickr album?

And what about me?  Is it appropriate to tweet when I had a tough day?  Is it ok to post personal photos of a recent vacation?  I don’t necessarily want everyone at work checking out my beach bod (term used very liberally), but what about some shots of when I’m on the bike?

I don’t want to be the aforementioned boss, but I also don’t want people on my team to think I’m too much in their personal business.  However, what’s the point of having interconnected social networks if you’re not allowed to connect with those with whom you spend 40+ hours a week?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What’s with the suit?

For a change I thought I’d write a unique, personally-driven post instead of using Plinky or Utterli or anything else.  I know.  Shocking.

So here’s my question – What, exactly, is so wrong with a suit?  No, I’m not going to turn into The Art of Manliness (although it’s a great blog), but has the collective “we” come so far that a suit looks fundamentally out of place most of the time? 

Yesterday I decided to wear a suit to work, partially because I have a few nice suits, partially because I went to a party after work (fine, a Tweetup) and figured I’d dress it up a bit.  I didn’t wear a tie, and the jacket spent the majority of the day hung up.  But what surprised me was that I received more remarks about the suit than the people walking around the office in shorts.  “Are you interviewing?”  Um, no.  “What’s with the suit?”  Uh, just trying to class the place up a bit.  “Ooh, look at Mr. Fancy-Pants Business Guy!”  Yeah, well my tux is at the cleaners.

Have suits fallen so far out of fashion that I just shouldn’t wear one unless I’m at church or wedding or some other highfalutin event?  Hell, now that I think about it, my blue pinstripe job was out of place in the lobby of the W Buckhead when we were there last February.  The freaking W!  (I would have had to put on a pair of $600 jeans and an art-deco designer tee-shirt to fit in, by the way.)

I own 4 suits.  I look good in them.  They’re comfortable, with or without a tie.  And sometimes it’s just nice to look nice, no?  So, from time to time you might find me in the aforementioned blue, or maybe my gray pinstripe.  Call me out on it, that’s cool.  But I might ask when you’ll be heading to the beach in your wrinkled shirt, board shorts and sandals.

(picture from The Art of Manliness via Cathe Holden)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bring on the Astra

Looking back on the software I've come to depend on for years, it has to be my IM aggregator. My tool of choice? Trillian Astra.

Yes, I love PowerPoint, can't get by without a good text editor, spend all sorts of time in TweetDeck and could live on Excel. But I've depended on instant messaging communication for over a decade, and my tool of choice is Trillian. The Astra version (in open beta) supports AIM, Yahoo, Jabber, GTalk, Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live, even Skype. Oh, and it does all this with only about 60MB of memory.

No, I don't work for Cerulean Studios, but it sure sounds like it, doesn't it?