Monday, February 28, 2005


Open That Bottle Night - Feb. 26th, 2005

This was my first year of observing "OTBN" partly due to a heightened interest in wine over the last 12-18 months. My wife & I received an excellent mixed case of smaller producers as a wedding present back in 1997. Of which the only bottle left is a 1994 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir. We decided within the first year of our marriage to save one bottle and it just so happened to be this one. Back then we were hardly oenophiles, rather neophytes when it came to wine. I contacted the winery last Fall and found out the Pinot was near peak and should be consumed within a couple of years. So, I thought that this year’s OTBN would be a great occasion. However I forgot to block our calendars and my wife made separate plans with some girlfriends for their monthly outing.

Determined to still observe OTBN, I moved on to Plan B - as a soloist. A little non-traditional, yes. But it’s the thought that counts, right? A couple of years ago I was in Germany for my MBA program and we stayed one night in Rothenburg. We arrived past 5 pm and the only local shop that was open was the Rothenburg wine shop. Several of my classmates and I went in and probably funded this couple’s summer holiday abroad. I picked up just a couple of Rieslings, one of which I opened, a 1998 Wollsteiner Olberg (from the Rheinhessen region), for OTBN. This trip to Germany was my fist trip abroad and was a capstone of sorts from my MBA program. Several of my classmates and I remain very close as it was an intense program and a sort of “boot-camp” bonding experience.

Anyway, the trip was fantastic and being of German heritage it was really special for me to see my ancestor’s homeland. The Riesling was a great reminder of one of my most memorable travel adventures. The wine itself was very nice. Great color, not too flabby with strong apple and hints of peach left on my palette. It’s not as sugary as I remember from other wines I drank while in German. Although, I’m sure the wine has had a chance to age and my palette today is more welcoming of different whites (i.e., over and beyond Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc) as it was back then. As I drank the wine and took in the nose, etc. I was reminded of all the different and wonderful meals of spatzle and schnitzel. I went on-line and pulled up my photo web site dedicated to the trip and went through the pictures remembering what a great time we all had and how much we learned about international business (it was an educational trip, after all). It was certainly better than slurping from a paper cup at a burger joint, a la Miles in “Sideways” (Note: The 1961 Cheval Blanc that Miles is saving for a special event is blended from Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the two grape varietals that Miles specifically downgrades during the movie)...

More info about OTBN can be found here.
Charlotte Observer 02/17/2004 Open bottle and uncork old memories

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Don't Blame Wal-Mart

After watching the Oscars last night, I was channel-surfing and came across the great piece from David Faber on CNBC about Wal-Mart, "The Age of Wal-Mart". I was making this same argument to my wife about the trade-offs of market forces and the sometimes ill effects of globalization. And then I see it print the next day in an Op-Ed piece from Robert Reich. Looks like the ol' MBA came in handy...

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Don't Blame Wal-Mart - Ebbers: 'I don't know finance and accounting'

Pleading the "Forrest Gump defense" - I'm not a bright man or Stupid is as stupid does... Whatever! This guy was audting coffe filters used vs. coffee packages he was so obssesed with the botton line. Nice try Bernie. Don't drop the soap in the joint. - Ebbers: 'I don't know finance and accounting'

I'm a Runner

This month's "celebrity" runner is..

Rupert Jee - Runners World

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Last bottle of world's oldest single malt whisky leaves Scotland

Stating the obvious

Couldn't have said it any better...

Friday, February 25, 2005

36 Hours: In Lawrence, Kan.

Must be a slow news day in NY. Actually, Larry-town is one of my favorite places. Long overdue for a nice travel write-up.

The New York Times > Travel > Escapes > 36 Hours: In Lawrence, Kan.

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Kansas on My Mind

What's playing on Bush's iPod?

Downloaded and Ready to Rock

"It's perhaps the most public manifestation of how the iPod -- with 8.2 million units sold in 2004, more than 5 million during the holiday season alone -- has gone mainstream, spawning an entire iPod culture that goes far beyond wearing those distinctive white earphones."

registration required
Downloaded and Ready to Rock (

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Vinyl Stickers for iPod Shuffle

Sort of a temporary tattoo - interesting...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

a portable audio history

Canada's CBC has a nice history of portable audio that starts with the transistor radio and concludes with the iPod.

The Cult of Mac Blog

Engadget readers respond to the "new" iPods

Feedback from the digerati on the new iPod announcements (most are not thrilled/compelled to upgrade). Wall St. seems to like this, though. Stock is up $2.50 as of mid-day trading.

Photo iPod commentary
Details on the new 30GB and 60GB iPod photo - Engadget -

iPod Mini commentary
The 6GB iPod mini - Engadget -

The new iPods cometh

"The new iPods are here! The new iPods are here!" (done in my best Navin R. Johnson voice...)

The new iPods - Engadget -

Korn Guitarist Finds God, Leaves Band

Bush, Schroeder Bury Iraq Hatchet; Iran in Focus

And if you belive that the "dispute is over", I have prime ocean-view real estate for sale here in Kansas for sale...

Yahoo! News - Bush, Schroeder Bury Iraq Hatchet; Iran in Focus

Queen denies 'snub' over wedding

Back to Work Grandpa! - The new "65"

The Ad Report Card for VW

Interesting article over on about whether or not VW has lost some of the hip-factor associated with their advertising.

At VW, There Are Bad Ads and Good Ads - Good ads wanted. By Seth Stevenson

Wineries and the "Sideways" effect

Note to self: Skip the wine-country trip to Santa Barbara county for a couple of years...

registration required
The New York Times > Dining & Wine > The Pour: Best Supporting Grape

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Infographic of the day...(click to enlarge)

Presidential Income

Adjust the salaries of U.S. presidents, and it is clear that some had quite a bit more spending power than others. (source:

Monday, February 21, 2005

Paris Hilton's Sidekick gets hacked

Too funny, yet also a scary invasion of privacy. Like they say, "there's no such ting as bad PR". Execept all the people dialing and hanging-up on Lindsey L., sister Nicky, etc...

Engadget has the details along with several mirror sites folks found for hosting the content if you scroll down through the "comments" section.

"There's Something About Marrying"

The greatest TV show ever continues to push the edge of the envelope. Another example of how to stay fresh and attract interest after being on the air for over 15 years.

registration required
The New York Times > Arts > Television > 'Simpsons' Animates Gay Nuptials, and a Debate

Arcspace - architecture online

Stumbled upon this site over the weekend (OK, call me slow..) while killing some time at my parents house. Here's their description:

"arcspace is an architecture and design magazine that features today's most creative projects as well as the most influential of the past. We work closely with major architects around the world and keep our readers informed with weekly updates.

Besides features and news items we review Books and Exhibitions and show selections of work by architecture photographers in The Camera, and sketches by architects in The Architect’s Studio.
In our Travel section we feature interesting hotels with a guide to architecture in the area.
Access to all features and other information is free, we charge only for our larger images that are available for downloading in the Image Library."

Great images and inspirational ideas abound. Read on friends......
Arcspace - architecture online

McMansion Meets SoHo - Suburbanites' penchant for urban lofts

File this in the "should have seent it coming yeard ago" category... I have to admit I rather like it. A compromise between the realities of wanting an urban feel but also wanting the schools/amenitites of the suburbs while raising a family. Call me Mr. Predictable, I gues...

McMansion Meets SoHo - Suburbanites' penchant for urban lofts. By Clay Risen

Stylish OSX RSS Reader

"NewsFire supports the two major feed formats - RSS and Atom. It also imports and exports OPML, a standard bookmark-like file format for news feeds."

Me likey...
Stylish OSX RSS Reader

Plasma Mounted Mac mini

Click the photo to see others and the "how-to". � Plasma Mounted Mac mini

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Chateau Elvis - Which celebrities make the best wine?

Fun read over on regarding vanity wine projects.

Chateau Elvis - Which celebrities make the best wine? By Mike Steinberger

The Sommerville Gates

A great parody of Chritso's gates. Be sure to check out the "About page".


The Door Gates

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT Preview: Digital Photography Review

Mmmmm, 8 megapixels... Looks like another license to print money.

Canon EOS 350D / Digital Rebel XT Preview: Digital Photography Review

Yahoo! News - Farmers Who Backed Bush Upset With Budget

Isn't it ironic?

A Canadian goes American.
So now when she complains about US policies, do we have to listen, seeing as she now is a citizen of this fine land?

Yahoo! News - Alanis Morissette Becomes U.S. Citizen

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue - An intellectual history

The Ken Aulatte - Notable quotations on coffee cups

I'm calling it here. Coming Soon - Blog entries soon to follow on the sides of Starbucks' cups.

The Ken Aulatte - The media reporter's words now come to you on a Starbucks cup. By Jack�Shafer

Please, sweat the small stuff ~ Authentic Boredom

A little Photoshop 101 advice on the use of "Unsharpen Mask" followed by a healthy commentary from the minions..

Please, sweat the small stuff ~ Authentic Boredom

In Da 'Burbs

Apparently 50 Cent made over $50 million last year and parlayed $4M into Mike Tyson's old place.

One man, 48,500 square feet, and $5,000 worth of Bacardi - Wonder if he'll be at the next homes' association meeting?

registration required
The New York Times > New York Region > A Wealthy Hartford Suburb Longs, Vainly, for a Rap-Star Neighbor's Company

The flava's

New Ben & Jerry's flavors for 2005 are here!
Mmmmmmmm, Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies flavor..... (now with less THC!!)

New 2005 Ben & Jerry's Flavors

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Wines of the Times: Poetry and Attitude, Pinot Noir's Paradox

In a comparision of pinot noirs from New Zealand and the central coast of California, the NY Times panel found some illuminating differences. Read on....

registration required
The New York Times > Dining & Wine > Wines of the Times: Poetry and Attitude, Pinot Noir's Paradox

Best in Show

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The USB Aqua Hub

For the geek who has everything....

Audio Cubes - Stylish Audio Gear and Accessories

How-To: Make a cheap portable espresso machine - Engadget -

This is so bad, it's good...

Call me old-fashioned, but something about the combination of strong coffee and plumbing supplies conjures up different thoughts - if you know what I mean...
How-To: Make a cheap portable espresso machine - Engadget -

The Servant Leader

This could be useful at the 9-5 gig.... - Servant Leader

Brand Autopsy: "While You Were At Lunch"

Now this I'd watch. I've seen a few 8x8's here at the Mothership that are ripe (literally) for this kind of makeover....

Brand Autopsy: "While You Were At Lunch": "'While You Were At Lunch'
PREMISE: Co-workers lure you away from your desk to lunch. While you're away from your desk... the building facilities team partners with designers from Hold Everything, the Container Store and Office Max
They have 55 minutes to totally re-do your cubicle. A total cubicle make-over..."

Goodnight Carly

Goodnight Carly

Goodnight suites, goodnight jets, goodnight to all my foolish bets
Goodnight Dolce, goodnight Gabbana, goodnight to my Hannover Street sauna

Goodnight Wall Street, goodnight disguises, goodnight to my quarterly surprises

Goodnight A.J., goodnight choices, goodnight to those Stone Yamashita invoices

Goodnight hangings, good night to "doing them all faster", good night to my merger disaster

Goodnight tools, good night INVENT, goodnight to six long years misspent

Goodnight Bill, goodnight Dave, goodnight to the "shining soul" I told you I'd save
-Anonymous email from HP

Link here
Goodnight Carly

Crazy Rich - Are Americans successful because they're nuts?

Christo's Gates - Continued

More images over on

Christo's Gates - Galleries

A collection of photo galleries over on show the wonderfully quirky "Gates" exhibit currently on display in New York's Central Park.

Concept of $100 laptop for world's poor is a winner

The Firefox Explosion

Make the switch, you won't regret it!!

Wired 13.02: The Firefox Explosion

Monday, February 14, 2005

No Mullah Left Behind

Thomas Friedman lays it out - plain and simple. The problem is changing consumers' behavior towards consumption. For the benefits gained by conservation and less reliance on foreign owners of our debt, the offsets to GDP related to the auto and oil industries would have to exceed in order to shift attitudes.

Still, I'd pay more at the pump if I knew I had a car that was highly efficient (hybrid or fuel-cell) or that I could rely on public transportation. Unfortunately our infrastructure in the US is so fundamentally different than that of most European nations (where gas is taxed high in order to conserve and cities/countries are small), we're stuck with what we've got. But, we need to start making changes somewhere/somehow.

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: No Mullah Left Behind

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Bushism of the Day

Dubya tries to explain his proposed changes to Social Security

Bushism of the Day By Jacob Weisberg

Rummy's Got a Secret

Another piece. they've been on fire lately. This one has to do with the supplemental requests related to funding the "Liberation of Iraq".

President Bush's cognitive dissonance

Slate be keepin' it real...


Fell In Love With A Drummer

As a part-time working musician in a former life (pre wife & kids), I can relate to the loser stereotype that drummers usually get. Although a long-time musical partner and friend from the 8th grade on was indeed a drummer, and he broke the mold I'm happy to say.

That said, I've seen my share over the years that live up to the old joke "What do you call a drummer who just broke up with his girlfriend? HOMELESS"

Read on...
stereogum: Fell In Love With A Drummer

Hide Your iPod, Here Comes Bill

So popular is the iPod, MSFT executives are increasingly sending out memos frowning on its use. Drink the Kool-Aid...

Wired News: Hide Your IPod, Here Comes Bill

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Now let me get this straight.. You voted for me??

The Gates

REUTERS/Jeff Christensen
People walk through a group of gates that makes up part of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's temporary work of art called 'The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005' on February 8, 2005. The installation will consist of 7,500, 16-foot-high gates along 23 miles (37 kilometers) of footpaths. Free-hanging saffron-colored fabric panels will be unfurled on Saturday from each gate, coming down 7 feet above ground.

Ellen McArthur Breaks Sailing Record

(08 Feb 2005 REUTERS/Stephen Hird)
Britain's yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur arrives in Falmouth, Cornwall on her trimaran B&Q following her successful solo, non-stop round the world record of 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds February 8, 2005. MacArthur beat the previous record held by Frenchman Francis Joyon by 1 day, 8 hours, 35 minutes, and 49 seconds.

"Throw Me Somethin', Mista!!!"

Bush Expands Adviser Rove's Domestic, Foreign Policy Roles

Great. Now Karl can screw-up the rest of the world along with the U.S. Top Worldwide

Sideways in Santabarbara

Cashing in on the success of "Sideways", the city of Santa Barbara lays out all the locations and wines from the film. Hear the full piece on NPR

Sideways in Santabarbara

Style matters, even inside the bottle

The SF Gate profiles a new round of inexpensive Reds & Whites worth looking into.

Style matters, even inside the bottle / From light and zesty to big and fruity, there's a variety from which to choose

Monday, February 07, 2005

Relations With That Corporation

"Last September, Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) found that 82 leading corporations paid no federal taxes in one or more years since Bush took office in January of 2001."

Yahoo! News - Relations With That Corporation

Dem blues

Man, we've got a long road to hoe compared to the GOP...

U.S. News & World Report - Dem blues

Budding Jordan cyber love ends in divorce

Ahh, the age-old story of boy meets girl in on-line chat room, girl meets boy , girl is cloaked from head to toe in Muslim dressing, man screams "Divorce" 3 x at the top of his lungs.

Yup. The classics never die...

Yahoo! News - Budding Jordan cyber love ends in divorce

Yahoo! News - New Rules at Oscars: Not All Winners Take the Stage

As if costume designers, editors, and cinematographers were not already toiling in obscurity - now this...

Yahoo! News - New Rules at Oscars: Not All Winners Take the Stage

Gigapxl Project

The mother of all cameras...

Gigapxl Project

"Defining the upper limits of large-format photography, digital scanning and image processing, custom-built Gigapxl™ cameras capture images with unprecedented resolution.

It would take a video wall of 10,000 television screens or 600 prints from a professional digital SLR camera to capture as much information as that contained in a single Gigapxl™ exposure.

The Project's near-term goal is to compile a coast-to-coast portrait of America; photographing her cities, parks and monuments in exquisite detail.

A longer term goal is to create for future generations a world-wide archive of vanishing cultural and archaeological sites."

Wright This Way: iPod Shuffle RAID

Why?? $450+ for less than 4GB of storage? Time to get a life, Cha-Cha...
Wright This Way: iPod Shuffle RAID

Read old text messages on your iPod - Engadget -

File this under "Worst use of an iPod"...

Read old text messages on your iPod - Engadget -

The $54,000 diamond-crusted Samsung SPH-E3200 - Engadget -