This is what I love (and miss) about Europe.

You’re driving along in one country (Austria in this case) and there’s the choice of heading off in all sorts of different directions. You want to go to Slovakia, or head off to Hungary? Or stay in Austria and head for Graz, Linz or Gurtel, or even the intriguingly named Simmering Haide?



The lad and me went to the Mets last night – his third game and despite them being really good these past couple of seasons, he has only seen one win (in fact we left while they were losing last season, but they won eventually) and two losses including last nights – but that’s the chance you take when you play 160-odd regular season games plus the post-season stuff (hopefully).
Anyway I’ve long wondered whether things in America couldn’t be run more efficiently and baseball is an exemplar. You have people to show you to your seat, even though you can find it easily enough, people carrying beer around so you don’t have to get off your (in many cases sizable) backside to get something to eat or drink and then there’s the ground crew.

When they’re painting the lines, each guy seems to get one line each and seemingly takes nine people – count them – to water the diamond. That’s a whole baseball team!


The lad was telling a story tonight about how he’d seen a man in one of the myriad nail care stores around where we live – nails don’t stop growing and nor do the number of stores catering to their owners, it seems.

I remarked that I might even get mine done thus summer. He said, “No Dad, you wont.” Why? “Because you’re not a rock star or in fashion. You’re not anything. You’re just regular, Dad.” Wow, he sure told me.

Cedar, see ya?

Now my company is moving away from the Flatiron/Union Square office and up town a bit we wouldn’t be going to Cedar Tavern much anyway. Still the ‘shelf’ became an institution to a few of us at our company. They let us stand there when everyone else had to sit and even widened it so it would fit two points across.

I walked past it over the weekend and was struck by how unlike a bar-about-to-be-reopened the building looked. And now I see this, suggesting it isn’t coming back.

We never found a rightful replacement for Cedar, Cutting Room coming the closest. Now we’ll have to find a new haunt near here and perhaps never have the option of going back to Cedar.

I knew we should have asked for that shelf to mount it in the new office, along with the other paraphernalia.

The office

So we’re moving office next week, seven and a half years after starting the business in a space that was always a bit dot com, served us well but now we’ve outgrown it and it’s time to move on.

But first things first, here’s two important features of the new office captured in one shot, modeled by Simon: darts and air conditioning (that big machine in the room behind him):


Opening Day

It was opening day in the Peter Stuyvesant Little League yesterday. It’s his first organized T-Ball experience. He’s in the Reds and they were playing the Mets. Obviously he would have preferred to be in the Mets, but you can’t choose, but he’s got an excellent coach, so it doesn’t really matter.

After a long and winding parade through Stuyvesant Town, we eventually arrived at Con Ed fields, the baseball fields behind the large Con Ed power plant on the east side of lower Manhattan. Suburban life, this ain’t. All the kids sat down and listened patiently to the league commissioners, a couple of local pols and Cardinals and Mets (and Seinfeld) legend, Keith Hernandez, who was there, along with his wife and dog…


and who threw the ceremonial first pitch…

Anyway, on to the game (at a different field right next to the FDR Drive). After a brief bit of throwing and catching practice, we got down to business and this is his first at-bat in organized baseball:


He had two more bats (as did all the kids) and did well each time. He also made a couple of throws to first base.

More than four hours after we got to the parade start, we were finally able to get the bus back home.

Update: there are many more pictures of his first game in the April 2007 folder of kids pictures. As usual you’ll need a username/password, but if you’ve got one, you can click here.

Farewell Cookie

Hopefully the news from Craven Cottage tonight will prevent my son from switching allegiances. It was perhaps inevitable, but after yesterday’s game he came to one of those markers on the road of life. “You know, Fulham really aren’t very good. I think it’s time we choose another team,” he was heard to say.

Still, with a new manager, a new shirt coming in the summer, (though hopefully they’ll still be wearing them in the Premier League), I can make sure there’s no way he will go to the dark side.

So thanks to Cookie for 10 years of service as a player and manager, but it was clearly time for a change – in fact that time was probably a couple of months ago.

Just in time, Chairman Mo, just in time.

The kid takes the picture

What happens when a 2 (going on 3) year-old grabs the camera and takes pictures from his or her point of view? Any of you with kids and digital cameras will know that this happens quite often. And we’ve seen the results before from him, though when he was 4. Macro-capable lenses in even the cheapest and lightest of cameras have made quite a difference in recent years.

But she grabbed the camera recently and wandered around the apartment picking out items of interest to her and these are the results. As usual, we need to know who you are before you can see them, but here’s a taster with the feet as a signature theme:



They don’t all involve feet, as you’ll see here.

Football myopia in your kids

I know I’m guilty of encouraging my son in watching and playing sports. It started with watching and it has extended into playing – he hasn’t yet seen a sport involving a ball that he doesn’t want to play, perhaps apart from golf, but it’s early still. Football is the mainstay, by which I mean soccer. We’ve tried the American variety, though that’s a bit dangerous for Dad to be playing in the apartment. A lot of potential for head, neck and knee injuries, I’ve found in just two or three brief, ahem, experiments.

Anyway, a few weeks ago there was a little party at his school, whereby the parents come into to read the latest stories written by their kids (and read those of the other kids and comment on them too).

Our boy chose as his subject the first professional football game he attended, that of Fulham v Middlesbrough.

I have to wonder how many of the parents thought, “that’s nice, but what is this M’brogh?”. He gets that from the abbreviation M’Boro they use on the telly when showing the score.


Anyway last week we went for his twice yearly assessment with his teacher and without going into details, story-telling came up and she said – and I’m paraphrasing here – ‘he needs to diversify the subject matter for his stories, they tend to be about one thing.’ And we know what that is, don’t we?