April 26, 2004
Michael (3) smells good. I like to go in and sniff his face and hair when he's asleep. (He smells good when he's awake too, but he's more likely to hit me then.) Too bad it doesn't last long. Andrew (6) isn't stinky yet, but he doesn't have that fresh kid smell anymore.
Sniffing your kids is a very nice and frequently undocument perq of being a dad. I'm enjoying it while I can.
April 21, 2004
What could be more decadent than an afternoon of slurping as many fresh, fresh, fresh oysters and washing them down with great local wines? Some friends (and my brother - not to be confused with a friend...) went to the 15th Annual Oyster Olympics last month. This was a benefit for the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.
Anyway, I've never had so many oysters in one day, and in particular, have not had a chance to have oysters from all over the region. I decided I liked the Hood Canal oysters a bit more than the Puget Sound oysters; they're a bit less salty and bit sweeter. Still, they were all amazing.
The event was huge with oyster shucking contests, an oyster-wear contest, and lots of media coverage including the Travel Channel.
My buddy Kevin invited me to join him for a Macallan Scotch tasting at the Hotel Monaco. This grand (and free!) evening started off with copious amounts of the Macallan 12 year and yummy appetizers from Sazerac (the hotel restaurant.) I've never had lamb chops as finger food, but let me tell you, it's wonderful.
We were ushered into a ballroom where we each had four glasses of scotch in front of us that we couldn't touch until our charming Scottish host ran through his 1/2 hour Powerpoint presentation on why Macallan was the best scotch. Powerpoint aside, the presentation and the presenter were very informative and entertaining (lots of jokes about the Irish and British). (Did you know that Irish whiskey is distilled three times whereas Scottish whisky is distilled twice? Irish whiskey can be a bit smoother but scotch is has more interesting flavors as result. I'm enjoying a glass of Jameson Distillery Reserve - my favorite Irish whiskey - right now and can attest.)
He then described the whiskies in front of us and had us guess which was which. The first was a Speyside whisky from another distillery. Nice but a little uninteresting compared to the Macallan 12-year we'd been drinking.
The second was a kick-you-in-the-ass Macallan Cask Strength. Normally, whisky is cut from the full strength to make the 80 proof. This was the full 118 proof. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but it definitely grew on me as I came to terms with it. This was my favorite.
The last two had a very interesting story. They were replicas of the 1841 and 1861 Macallan products. Macallan bought a bottle of each at auction and then had their Master Distiller (what a job!) taste virtually all of their barrels to find ones that matched the 1841 and 1861. Macallan then made replica bottles and made these whiskys available. Unlike wine, whisky doesn't really age or change once it's in the bottle, so it's not that these tasted old, they just tasted different. It was interesting to see how the house style of Macallan had changed over the century.
It's too bad they didn't have any of the Macallan 60 year. Apparently, they only produced a few hundred bottles of this exceptional whisky. Each bottle goes for $39,000 (yes, that's US dollars). The borgata in Atlantic City is selling shots of this fine stuff for $4000 each. That's a bit spendy even for me.
Anyway, it was a very educational and enjoyable evening -- definitely a top notch event with no sales pressure (they weren't selling at the event, probably thanks to our friends at the BATF and Washington State Liquor Control Board). I'm a big Macallan fan now and feel a bit more knowledgable. I'll have to drink a lot more scotch, whiskey, and bourbon for comparison now...
April 13, 2004
This morning Michael (3) hid himself in our bed. Michelle was playing with him to get him out.
Michelle: "I can get you out. I'm the smartest." [Uncovers Michael]
Michael: "Who's hair is the driest?"
Michelle: "Yours is. Mommy just took a shower."
Michael: "Who's still in bed?"
Michelle: "You are."
Michael: "Yeah, who's the smartest?"
Damn. Outwitted again.
April 12, 2004
Not quite sure where to file this, but I think Gadgets is OK. This link goes to the Armed Forces Journal where they cover the annual shootout at Blackwater; this is a tradeshow of sorts for weapons and defensive technology makers. Lots of cool streaming videos of neat new guns and ammo plus a cool bulletproof glass demo.
The most insane video is this one where a blended metal rifle bullet explodes a pot roast. All things being equal, I'd rather not get hit by this thing.
Michael: "Daddy, when I grow up..."
Me: [Eagerly] "Yes?"
Michael: "I'm going to hit you with a hammer. Maybe two."
I guess if it's worth doing once, it's worth doing twice. More is more...
April 8, 2004
We recently went to the Arboretum here in Seattle with some good friends. The flowers are starting to bloom and the weather was really lovely. Of course, I got no good flower photos, but I did get a good shot of the boys. (It's hard to get one where Michael isn't whacking Andrew, about to whack Andrew, or just finishing whacking Andrew.)
I messed with the photo a bunch (obviously). I like it. Thoughts?
In the last two weeks, I had reviews/meetings with my entire management chain from my immediate boss through three levels of VPs plus Bill Gates. I only missed Steve Ballmer. Damn. I've never gotten so close before. (Not sure this is a really good goal or not, actually.)
The meeting with Bill was almost a disaster. I was preparing to show Bill some of our competitors; I had arrived early and was all set to go. Then thirty minutes before the meeting, I lose network connectivity; my computer cannot see the Internet. This is a very bad way to demo web browsers. A little panicked computer magic and everything is OK again. Whew.
Then twenty minutes before the demo, my boss asks if he can borrow a pen to take notes. No problem, I hand him mine. He uncaps my nice new rollerball pen to discover it's leaking blue ink everywhere; it's all over his hands. Just as I'm about to start laughing I notice my hands are covered in blue ink too. Lovely.
We were a sight. The guy demoing before us is brilliant; he invented the laser printer and was showing off some cool very futuristic display technology he whipped up. By comparison, my boss and I are covered in ink and barely able to surf the web; not a great way to establish credibility with the richest man in the world.
Fortunately, we were able to clean up, pull our shit together, and give a good demo. Dodged another bullet...