Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Baby Turns 8

Eight years ago, I became a father. Now, that beautiful Halloween baby is growing up fast. This weekend, my wife said "She's half way to 16!" To which I replied, "Yeah, and one-third of the way to 24."

Happy Birthday, beautiful.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My Boring Life

This is from Tuesday Morning Quarterback, a column at ESPN.com written by Gregg Easterbrook. Check out the amazing life this guy had:

One Fascinating Life: The below obituary, of a man neither you nor I ever heard of, appeared in the Washington Post last week. Every word of this obituary is fascinating. The life's story told represented, for me, an argument why God would remain interested in human affairs:

Harald Lindes, 85, former editor of the U.S. Information Agency's Russian-language magazine Amerika, died Oct. 11 at the Deer's Head Hospital Center in Salisbury, Md. Mr. Lindes worked for the USIA for 21 years, starting under broadcaster Edward R. Murrow during the Kennedy administration. Mr. Lindes retired in 1980, then worked for about five years as a personal assistant to cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, former director of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Lindes was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. When he was 15, his father was arrested and executed, and his family was exiled to Siberia. In 1939, he returned to study in his native city but in 1942 was arrested by the Stalin regime, sentenced to a labor camp and sent to the Finnish front, where he was captured by the Finns. Because of his German name, he was handed over to the Germans, where he was drafted into the German army.

After World War II, he left Europe and moved to New York and then Monterey, Calif. He became a master sergeant in the Army Reserves and began teaching Russian at what is now the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. He moved to the Washington area in 1958, working briefly for the Voice of America before joining the USIA.

Apart from work, he enjoyed researching his genealogy at the Library of Congress and reading Russian history and works of world culture and religion. He also enjoyed travel and growing vegetables and herbs at his home in Kensington. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Olga Lindes of Kensington; two children, Nina Willett of Ocean Pines, Md., and Hal Lindes, a guitarist in the rock group Dire Straits, of Los Angeles; and seven grandchildren.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Open Season

I've found an additional upside to the Open Season soundtrack, which features several great new songs from ex-Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg, one of my favorite rock and roll guys (in addition to great new PW songs):

Today in the car, I was listening to it with my 6-year-old, and she said, "Daddy, can we go see this guy sing in person?"

Brought tears to my eyes.

Voice Loss

All I could say at the end of this blog entry from Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, was "Wow." An incredible story.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Surfing and Science

What do Australian surfers and a treatment for cysticfibrosis have in common? Read to find out.

Medical research and science never ceases to amaze me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Michael Lewis

Over the past several years, Michael Lewis has become on of my favorite non-fiction writers. I blew through his most recent book, The Blindside. An excellent read.

Here is a recent interview with Lewis from the Powell's Books website.

And here is an interesting article he wrote a year ago about New Orleans, which happens to be where he is from, and the post-Katrina real estate market. (This piece is also linked in the Powell's interview).

Sunday, October 15, 2006


My nephew has learned to pee standing. This is what happens when MOM teaches, and doesn't bother to consult with dad.

As the child's grandfather said this evening, the kid is "overtrained."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Fall Flowers

We had our front yard landscaped this past summer, removed ALL the grass and replaced it with a small wall, front sitting area, and nothing but plants. One of the one's they planted has suddenly decided to bloom. In October. Pretty cool.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Starting Early

"Dad, who are you rooting for?"


"Are they ahead?"

"Yes, 3 to nothing. Actually, I am rooting against the Yankees."


"Because I don't like them. I root for any team playing the Yankees."

"Why don't you like them?"

"Um, well, they're bullies."

"OK! Go Detroit!"

She watched the rest of the game with me, which the Tigers won 6-0. So much for the media annointed the Yankees the best offensive line-up in baseball.

Beer Prices to Spike?

Better watch those domestic beer prices. Fire at a hops warehouse in C. Washington burned 4 percent of the nation's hops!

My fishing buddy, Jason, said he could see the smoke from his house.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bumper Stickers Cont.

You may recall the column I posted from Margie Boule of the Oregonian that dealt with bumper sticker civility. Well, she wrote a follow-up and included part of an email I sent her.

Take a couple minutes to go read the column, and when you get back I'll share "the rest of the story"....

OK? You back?

So here is the back story on my comment. After I emailed her, she wrote back and said she liked the line about "Insert Pithy Statement Here", and asked if she could use it in her next column. Without really thinking I said, "Sure."

Fast forward a couple weeks, to Tuesday of this week. I am working at my desk in my office and a co-worker, our IT guy, pops his head in with a big smile and says,

"Liked your comment in the paper today."

I hadn't read the column, so was racking my brain about where I might be quoted in the paper. Since I work in PR and communication, being quoted isn't actually that unusual. He told me more,

"About bumper stickers. Margie Boule'"

"Oh, right. About 'insert pithy statement here'."

"Do you know her?" he asked.

"No, just emailed a comment. I don't really read her regularly but this caught my eye."

Then he left. So I went to the lunch room to find the column and read it.

"Oh, crap!" I thought to myself. "She included the part about 'Waterboard Cheney!'"

And the co-worker the IT guy, who told me about the column is the guy who's car has the 'Waterboard Cheney' sticker.

Um, as a media relations professional, I advise you to be clear with reporters and columnists about which part of your statement they can use in the paper.