Everywhere he goes, he gets four-star service. Doors are opened, luggage is carried away wordlessly, and at one point, warm chocolate chip cookies magically appear. When his brakes sputter and his convertible starts spewing smoke, he picks up another Mercedes.
I feel bad admitting it, but my billionaire day has been stressful. Without an assistant, just keeping up with the hundreds of moving parts — the driver, the security detail, the minute-by-minute scheduling — has been a full-time job and then some.
I have Internet access wherever I have a cellphone signal. my cellphone bill is paid by my employer. If I ever have an employer who does not pay for my cellphone bill, I, like most of you would be able to pay it myself.
We’re lucky, you and I.
The digital divide isn’t just access, but also ability, and quality of information, and the common dignity of having equity of participation in our increasingly digital culture.
The photo above has nothing to do with anything below. I simply took it in Greenwood, Mississippi over the weekend and thought it might make you happy or sad or scared for your life.
The second edition of last year’s new annual feature is here, and I somehow managed to try less beers in 2011 than I did in 2010.
How it works: I keep track of the different beers I drink through a iPhone app called Untappd. It’s free, and it does a good job.
Most notabale are the obvious lack on Pacific Northwest beers (miss u Seattle) but an abundance of Southern beers and European beers due to both our move to Birmingham and our 9-day Euro jaunt.
*Denotes a favorite.
+Denotes the most interesting beers of the year.
Abita Purple Haze
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA
Avery 18th Rye Saison
Avondale Brewing Battlefield IPA
Avondale Brewing Belgian Pumpkin
Avondale Brewing Spring Street Saison Ale
Back Forty Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale
Bayou Teche LA 31 Bière Pâle
Bear Republic Racer 5 India Pale Ale (IPA)
Bell’s Batch 10,000
Bell’s Deb Red Ale
Bell’s Winter White Ale
Big Al Harvest Ale
Big Al IPA
Big Al Pale Ale
Bitburger Premium Pils
Blue Moon Belgian White
Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale
Boulevard Nutcracker Ale
Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat
Choc Last Laugh
Choc Spring IPA
Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
Copper Bell Light Beer
Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Good People Belgian IPA (cask)
Good People Brett IPA
Good People Hitchhiker IPA
Good People IPA
Good People Mumbai Rye*
Good People Pale Ale
Good People Snake Handler Double IPA*
Good People Tornado IPA
Great Divide 17th Wood Aged IPA
Great Divide Chocolate Yeti (cask)+
Green Man IPA
Heavy Seas Red Sky at Night
Highland Gaelic Ale
Highland Kashmir IPA
Highland St. Terese’s Pale Ale
Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale
Hopsicle IPA (cask)
Innis & Gunn Highland Cask
Karbach Hopadillo IPA
Karbach Yule Shoot Your Eye Out*
Killian’s Irish Red
Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout
Lazy Magnolia Southern Gold
Leavenworth Whistling Pig Hefeweizen
Left Hand Sawtooth Ale
Lone Star Beer
Lone Star Light
Magic Hat #9
Magic Hat Wacko Summer Ale
Michigan Brewing Company High Seas IPA
Miller High Life*
Moylan’s Hopsickle Triple IPA
Moylan’s IPA (cask)
O’Fallon Pumpkin Beer
Ommegang Three Philosophers
Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Pisgah Pale Ale
Red Brick Blonde
Redhook Longhammer IPA
Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale
Rogue Belgian Golden Ale
Rogue Brutal Bitter*
Rogue Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA
Rogue Juniper Pale Ale
Rogue Mom Hefeweizen
Rogue Yellow Snow IPA
Saint Arnold Brewing Amber Ale
Saint Arnold Brewing Christmas Ale
Sam Adams 48* Latitiude IPA
Samuel Adams Boston Ale
Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Samuel Adams Octoberfest
Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Shmalz Brewing Coney Island Lager
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (2011)
Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
Smithwicks Irish Red Ale
Sprecher Double IPA
Straight To Ale Monkeynaut IPA
Straight To Ale Stop Work 689 Kolsch
SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale
SweetWater Motor Boat Ale
Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA
Terrapin Rye Squared DIPA
Thomas Creek Banana Split Chocolate Stout+
Thomas Creek Brewery Oktoberfest
Thomas Creek Class 5
Trappist Witte (Wieckse?)
Vedett Extra Blond
Warsteiner Premium Verum
Yazoo Brewing Fresh Hop IPA
Yellowhammer Miracle Worker Tripel
Yellowhammer Saison de Le Chasse
Back for another year end wrap=up of travel. Years past are…
These are places that are a destination, not a “driving through” or “changing planes” visit.
Total states: 9
Total countries: 4
*Denotes a first time visit.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Asheville, North Carolina*
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Las Vegas, Nevada
Menlo Park, California
Nassau, The Bahamas
New Orleans, Louisiana
Orange Beach, Alabama
Palo Alto, California
Pebble Beach, California
Perdido Key, Florida
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California*
Santa Clara, California*
When Chelsea and moved back to the South last year we arrived in Jasper, Alabama on December 17. From December 17, 2010 to December 17, 2011 I consumed Chick-fil-A 110 times. I know this because I’ve used Foursquare to track my activities for the last 2+ years.
I love Foursquare because at the heart of my discombobulated life and ADHD-ish attention span, I am a number geek and map geek. I like to track my activities, and Foursqaure does a good job of that, despite the occasional this.
Foursquare doesn’t yet provide what I would term “substantial analytics” tools to help me break down my activity into something more meaningful like the number of locations visited, the most frequented locations, or breakfast vs. lunch vs. dinner vs. snack binging… but 110 is n indicator nonetheless.
Why the obsession? I wouldn’t call it so much an obsession and I would call it the lack of food and service quality across the board at other fast food chains and restaurants, and how Chick-fil-A has them beat by light years. I love the products Chick-fil-A makes, and how each one (aside from the coffee) is pretty much near perfect. I love the way they treat their employees, and how that translates into how their employees treat me. I love how fast and easy it is to buy something from Chick-fil-A. But at the end of the day Chick-fil-A is simply a great place to eat and always a pleasant, enjoyable experience.
Before I moved to Seattle in August 2006 I faced the stark reality that the business I love the mostest was nowhere near Seattle. By “nowhere near” I mean 763 miles. When one opened about 2 hours north in the Western Washington University student union, I ensured that a weekend trip revolve around food… but the Chick-fil-A was closed the first time… but open the second… and the third, etc. I spent many days trolling them on Twitter to open a Seattle location, and sometimes they responded.
They’ve yet to expand in to Seattle, but I hope they do because every time we drove north to Western Washington University we would always bump into other Seattleites equipped with coolers and dry ice, prepared to haul back weeks of sandwiches to quell their cravings. I’m not joking. That type of behavior makes my 110 visits pale in comparison.
According to some fancy statistics, I live in a pretty smart ‘hood, y’all. I’m sooo the 1%.
Mountain Brook is the smartest mid-sized city in Alabama by a wide margin, according to a new report from on Numbers.
The report, which looked at educational attainment data for communities across the U.S., said Mountain Brook ranks No. 14 nationally with a brainpower index score of 34.
That’s nearly 10 points better than Vestavia Hills, which ranked second in Alabama, but only 130th nationally with a score of 23.9. Homewood ranked third in Alabama and No. 172 nationally with a score of 21.9.
Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need… roads.
Back To The Future is one of, if not my favorite movie of all time. I love the first, LOVE the second, like the third (trains? we needed trains to make this more compelling?).
We were invited to an 80s themed Halloween party, and the choice was obvious: be everyone’s favorite childhood time traveler. However, I should note that we were worried that things might get heavy if no one recognized us.
You can’t tell, but I’m wearing a maroon undershirt and my white collared shirt is checkered in blue… just like Marty’s. (I worked hard and want credit, y’all… which is sad.)
Inspired by these…
Halloween from years past is below.
2010: Ralphie & The Leg Lamp, A Christmas Story
2009: Eric & Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights
2008: Joan Holloway and
Don Draper Pete Campbell, Mad Men
2007: Jim and Pam, The Office
College football is on TV.
And yes, I understand that most of the wives and girlfriends out there enjoy football as well, though not many enjoy it to the sun-up-to-sun-down-OMG-there-are-WAC-games-on-at-2AM-and-I-must-watch extent that most of the male species do.
Note that it’s not “You break it, you buy it.” That phrase has been repeated so many times, and with such implied anger toward the customer, that it falls on deaf ears.
Take a note from the Christmas Round The Corner store in Fairhope, Alabama and 1) change a clichÃ© message, and 2) stop wagging your finger at a customer during their first interaction with your company.
I’ll be traveling more than normal in 2011, therefore I’m doing my darndest to travel better.
“Better” is defined as:
- lighter suitcase
- smaller suitcase
- faster through security
- faster at packing
- faster at repacking
- activity learning and practicing airport security tips/tricks
Sound cheesy? I agree… until one has to get from DFW’s Terminal A to Terminal E in 16 minutes.
To assist in my efforts I’ve been reading up on what others have to say about the ins and outs of business and personal travel.
One of my particular favorites was this blog post, and the following snippets.
I am very minimal when I travel.
I never check luggage. I refuse to check luggage. I look down at people who check luggage. When I get on the plane I have a backpack with my laptop and a carry-onâ€”thatâ€™s it.
If youâ€™re going to check luggageâ€¦
you basically should just get back in your car, go home and not fly anywhere.
When you fly: donâ€™t wear sweatpants.
Wearing sweatpants on a plane is like wearing a fanny-pack walking around Paris. Itâ€™s pretty much the same thing.
I was on a plane once that lost all cabin pressure.
We had to make an emergency landing in Buffalo. My nose started bleeding because there was no air-pressureâ€¦and then we realized that the only thing worse than crashing and dying was landing in Buffalo.
One time I sat on a plane next to Britney Spearsâ€™ mom.
That was hilarious. We talked about Britney for two and a half hours.
We finally closed/moved into the house.
We’re in Birmingham and it feels great.