Grace the Dancin’ Fool

The other night we were getting some movies from the video store. Our video store of choice is a great independent, alternative place that happens to be next store to a rock club. There’s a pizza place on the other side. You gotta love Carrboro.

We came out of the video store and the band was doing their sound check at the rock club. This meant there was loud, thumping music working its way out the door. Peter put his hands over his ears and hurried to the car.

Grace stood on the sidewalk wiggling her hips back and forth. Baby, she was dancin’. She had a big grin on her face and said, “I like it. When are you going to take me there.”

All I could do was smile. My 5 year old daughter wants to go to Cat’s Cradle, the premiere music club in the Southeast. Bands like REM played at an earlier version of the place when they were coming up.

A Chill is in the Air and Chili’s in the Pot

It finally feels like Winter in these parts (hi 40s lo 25 tonight), so we are having chili for dinner. I just put the pot on, and it will simmer for about 3-4 hours. I’ll bake some corn bread in a cast iron skillet to go with it. Mmmm!

Ingredients:
Onions
Green Peppers
Garlic
Chili Powder
Cumin
Tomatoes
Black Beans
Beef Chunks
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Wilco in Chapel Hill

Wilco, the band that I followed in 2004 (literally to Pittsburgh, DC, Charlotte, Chicago and Denver), but have not been very involved with since early 2005 (I even stopped downloading their live shows) is coming to Chapel Hill.

Crank the Wilco machine back up! They are playing at the renovated Memorial Hall on UNC’s campus in the beginning of March. Very cool!

And to think I almost bought tickets yesterday to go to Athens GA later that same week.

Spotted on the Road

A goombah driving a beat up Lincoln Town Car with paint worn off the trunk and weighted down so much that the rear tires are no longer round and the rear bumper is just a little too close to the ground. The only thing I can think of is that he must have a body in there.

Anyway, a homeless guy carrying a sign that says, “I’m Homeless, but Jesus is my Lord” approaches this car. The goombah takes off his seat belt, reaches into his pocket and gives the guy some change. I’m sure that every little bit helps, but the look of disgust on the homeless guy’s face was very apparent as he counted the change in his hand.

Highway exits in Chapel Hill are very lucrative, so this guy was used to getting more. I think the goombah was trying to relieve his conscience of the body in the trunk with 50 cents.

The Fluidness of Time

Thursday Night / Friday Morning I am lying in bed and I hear Peter wake up and go to the bathroom. All of a sudden I hear him turn on the shower. For a moment I think I must have dozed off and it is now 6:00 am, the time he wakes up. I roll over and look at the clock. It is 2:30 in the morning.

I get out of bed and go into Peter’s bathroom. Peter, what are you doing, I ask him. And Peter, the master of the obvious responds, I’m taking a shower. I try to explain to him that it is 2:30 in the morning and he doesn’t need to get up for several hours.

He turns off the water and gets out. I help him dry off and we go into his room. I point to the time on his clock. I ask him what made him get up. He thought he heard his alarm go off. Peter put his pajamas back on and gets in bed. I tell him I’ll see him in a few hours.

Why THE Bronx?

NY Times: The short answer is that the borough was named for the Bronx River, and the name was shortened to the Bronx for convenience. If Manhattan had been named for its main river, we would probably be calling it the Hudson.

Jonas Jonassen Bronck was a Swedish-born sea captain who arrived from Amsterdam in 1639. “When he died in 1643, at the age of 43, the only thing that was named for him that kept his name through the centuries was Bronck’s River,” Professor Lloyd Ultan, the Bronx borough historian, said. “It was much easier to abbreviate it as Bronx.”

In 1898, when the city set up the borough system, it was decided that the annexed areas north of Manhattan should also become a borough, but it had never had one name before, the professor said. People in Manhattan called it the Annexed District; people in the district called it the North Side.

In the middle of the territory was the Bronx River, and so the borough was named.

Nikon to stop making most film cameras

NEW YORK (AP) – Nikon Corp., which helped popularize the 35mm camera five decades ago, will stop making most of its film cameras to concentrate on digital models.

The Japanese company said it wanted to focus on “business categories that continue to demonstrate the strongest growth” as film cameras sales keep shrinking.

Nikon will discontinue seven film-camera models, leaving in production only the current top-line model, the F6, and a low-end manual-focus model, the FM10.

It will also stop making most of its manual-focus lenses.

Most of the company’s autofocus lenses work with manual-focus bodies, however. Also, German optical company Carl Zeiss AG is widely reported to be planning a line of manual-focus lenses for Nikon bodies.

Nikon did not give firm dates for the discontinuation of its products, but said Wednesday that sales will cease as supplies are depleted.

Major competitor Canon Inc. still makes five models of single-lens reflex film cameras. At the lower end of the market, Eastman Kodak Co. announced in 2004 that it would stop selling film cameras in the United States and Europe.

Nikon ranks fifth in digital-camera shipments in the United States, behind Kodak, Canon, Sony Corp. and Fuji Photo Film Co.

Nikon was a major force in establishing the dominance of the 35mm single-lens reflex camera, the workhorse of professionals and sophisticated amateurs until the arrival of digital cameras.

Its breakthrough model was the F, released in 1959. It set a standard for ruggedness and reliability and became a must-have for photojournalists.

Unusually, Nikon has maintained the same lens mount over the years, meaning most lenses from 1959 will fit today’s digital models and vice versa, albeit with functional restrictions.

Networking: There is a Difference

Last week I went to a local networking group meeting. There were over 90 people there, and one of the raffle prizes was a loaf of bread. Many of the attendees were businesses with 1 employee: Insurance, mortgage broker, massage therapist, etc. Contact count: 4. Job offers: 2.

Starting with the job offers: 1. Selling ads (could be part-time while I am looking) for a “shopper” type publication. The guy told me he had more leads than he can handle. There are lots of underground businesses, he said. For instance, when he is stopped at a traffic light and sees a contractor’s truck drive by, he takes down the phone numbers. And that’s a lead? Pass

2. I met a guy who gave me his card, and told me if I was interested in learning about his company, call him and he would explain it to me. He didn’t really go into what they do, other than refinancing and mortgage loans. I went to their web site when I got home and discovered it was a pyramid scheme. Yes, they offer real products, not mango juice, like home financing, etc., but it is still a pyramid scheme. Pass

The other two contacts I made were technology guys. I set up meetings with both of them for no other reason than I was there and you never know what can come from a meeting. The first guy didn’t show up to the meeting, but I have concerns about him anyway. The other meeting is next week.

I went to another networking group meeting tonight for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association. This was a much better meeting. I made much better contacts at this meeting. These were professionals who work for real companies. I sent out a couple resumes that people would forward on internally. One to a company I submitted an application, and another, a major ad agency. I also added a couple people to my LinkedIn network. Check out this networking tool if you haven’t seen it.

And the raffle prize, which I won, was a pair of tickets to the NC State vs. Seton Hall basketball next week.

Daytime in Suburbia

Here in what passes for Suburbia in this part of the world, but what is really just Subdivisionland since there is no city, or “urbia,” the daytime is just as desolate as 6:00am. Today I ran at about 10:00am and except for a few workmen, there were no more people out and about than there are before sunrise.

But a few hours later the grocery store was packed.

Now Clarissa Must Explain It All

NEW YORK – Melissa Joan Hart, former star of TV series “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,”[and Nickelodeon’s “Clarissa Explains It All”] has given birth to a baby boy.

Mason Walter Wilkerson was born Wednesday afternoon and weighs 9 pounds, People magazine reported. It is the first child for Hart, 29, and husband, Mark Wilkerson, 28, lead singer and guitarist for rock band Course of Nature.

“He was a little stubborn, but all is well,” Hart told People. “Everyone is well and we are all relieved.”

Hart and Wilkerson met in May 2002 when she introduced his band at a Kentucky Derby event in Louisville, Ky., according to the magazine.

The new parents tied the knot in Florence, Italy, in July 2003, three months after “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” a popular sitcom about a high school student with magic powers, ended its seven-year run.