For those of you who follow the business-doings of…

For those of you who follow the business-doings of the internet, the last few months have provided plenty of captivating knockout punches, along with more than a few left jabs and body blows. Of course, everyone is waiting with baited breath for the Google IPO. We haven’t seen anticipation like this, arguably, since the heady days of Netscape’s IPO, when the sky wasn’t the limit – the universe was.

Social networking, the internet’s newest fad, is starting to make inroads – the mighty Google launched Orkut recently, which is not typical of Google – following in someone’s footsteps. Friendster, and a few others were there already and Orkut is not much different than any of them. Maybe some different colors here and there. But if Google wants to play in the public spectrum, they’re gonna have to throw a lot of toilet paper at the ceiling to see what sticks, because right now they have just one source of revenue – paid search. I know one thing, I wouldn’t touch a public offering with a ten-foot pole for a company that has once source of revenue that just happens to be hot right now. Who knows what that market will look like in a year.

Yahoo made their big move last year with their acquisition of Overture. Don’t let any of Yahoo’s press releases fool you – their comeback has not been fueled by great content or their partnership with SBC. Yahoo’s comeback is because of Overture’s paid websearch program. Period. End of story.

Anyway, roughly at the time of the Netscape IPO, two good friends and I were in the process of shutting down our little record label (more on that later) and I was, somewhat unknowingly, about to be plucked out of the HotJobs database and dropped into the internet bubble. At the time, I didn’t see myself as an internet guy as much as I saw myself just flailing around trying to latch onto something for a while. The record label was supposed to be my life. Music was supposed to be my life. Instead, there I was, freshly dumped (although somewhat mutually) by a long-time girlfriend, my record label dream shattered and I was severely in debt, living in a five-bedroom house in Allston, MA – and no idea what to do with myself, personally or profressionally. That period of my life, although not one I look back on with too much glee, changed me forever. It made me so much stronger and eventually gave me a little shot of self-esteem, which is probably still something I could use more of to this day. But that’s a story for another time. Bottom line: I dug myself out.

After many years in the record business, I landed at a The name doesn’t matter and they don’t exist anymore. Over the next two years, I worked at two’s, met the person who is now my fiancee, managed to get myself out of debt and learned quite a bit about the “business” of the internet. I don’t necessarily consider this a major turn-around or anything – I was never ready to jump off a cliff or clinically depressed. Instead, I took a left at the intersection where I would normally take a right. Whereas in the past, I was always calculating and very careful, I decided to try some new things. At the time we shut down the record label, I believe I had enough foresight to comprehend that just being in the music business wasn’t going to be enough for me. Part of the reason the record label was shuttered was because I (and maybe my partners) started to lose passion for the one thing that put me in the music business – music. Duh. Anyway, I badly needed additional skills if I was going to have any measure of professional success and I spent those next two years getting them.

Which brings me to today. Thanks to a couple of people at the company I’ve been working at now for almost three years, my skills have been expanded to places that I never thought I could reach. I couldn’t have ever guessed back in 1998 that I would be where I am today. Again, those occassional left turns make all the difference. If I hadn’t met up with my girlfriend, I would have never gotten this job. If I hadn’t been randomly called by the person who ended up being my boss for a while during those first days, I would have never gotten to where I am today. If I’d gone right back to the music business, the only thing I would know is how to call up magazines and radio stations and beg to get records reviewed or played on the radio. Those skills in and of themselves are fine skills, but I knew it wasn’t enough for me.

So I think about where I was and who I was when I was 20, 25, and now 32 and I really cannot believe what has transpired in those 12 years. At 20, I never wanted to be who I am now. At 25, I didn’t know where the hell I wanted to be except at a nightclub, with a beer, seeing good music. At 32, I look back at 20 now and see how wrong I was. Sure, it’s all part of the passage of time and maturity. It’s part of realizing that life doesn’t revolve around one person – myself. What matters is the constants – the people who stick with you through any and all stages of your life, supporting you as you change and as you strive for……whatever. It doesn’t matter what you’re striving for – if someone is there and they have your back, there’s no better or more comforting feeling. Because all of life’s changes, left turns and ups and downs – they all happen because of chance meetings and people you know – the human factor – not the chair you sit in at the office you work at. IPO’s will always be around. Businesses being acquired will occur long after we’re gone.

How does this all tie in? Fuck if I know. The biggest period of change in my life has come from 1998-2003, and the bookends of that period have also brought the internet bubble full circle. I think that’s the best I can do to tie it all together. If you knew me in 1998 and still communicate with me today, in one way or another, you are one of those people who stuck by me. So thanks.

By the way, it took me four years, but I am very much a music fan again.

Song now playing: Otis Redding – “Just One More Day”

Occasionally I’ll bitch and moan when I forget som…

Occasionally I’ll bitch and moan when I forget something, drop something or when I have to miss a scheduled day at the gym. I’ll whine about something at work. Complain when I have to go somewhere I don’t want to go. Everyone complains selfishly at one time or another. So when I see an article like this, I feel like such a boor. I’ve been reading Donald Murray’s articles in the Globe now for a couple of years and they never fail to stir my emotions. His matter-of-fact style of writing and his reluctant acceptance of the unavoidable passage of time always make me grateful for what I have and what I’ve done. I’m also grateful that I’ve come to “know” Donald and Minnie Mae, not in person, but through his writing. This man’s articles always seem to fly under-the-radar, but I never pass over his articles.

Then there’s this immigration inspector, who, pre-September 11th, had the gumption to stand up and say something about a certain Saudi airline traveler, despite whatever the flak the U.S. or immigration would be subject to. Did he save Washington DC? Of course, we’ll never know and it seems dramatic to assume such things. But I applaud him for his actions.

Song now playing: Big Star – “The Ballad of El Goodo”

If only I could break into the printing press wher…

If only I could break into the printing press where US magazine is produced and do something like this, it would be so worth getting arrested for. Which brings me to an interesting question – what would be worth getting arrested for, within reason? We could make this more specific – if you know you’d only be fined $750 dollars and arrested/released, what would you do? I think I might run out onto the field at Fenway Park during a Sox game. That might be worth getting arrested.

We’ve been spending most of our recent weekends re-doing the third bedroom in our recently purchased house. I’m here to tell you that re-doing a bedroom is quite deceiving. I know this because I’ve done three of them in a span of five months and it is just plain exhausting, especially when you add the removal of old, thin, stubborn wallpaper to the mix. That said, I give you a blow-by-blow account of the five major steps involved. The first picture in this set is a picture we shot on the very first day we saw the house. The middle three were taken during the last couple of weeks and the last picture was taken at about 4pm yesterday.

Finally, this cannot really be true, can it? All indications point to this being a real story. Please make note of the picture, too, which is just too surreal. Can you imagine? “See here, yo? I’ll do some toprock first, then this is poppin’ — sweet, huh??!! Want me to do some swipes? Floats? Flares?”

Song now playing: Grant Lee Buffalo – “The Last Days of Tecumseh”

I’m no expert at web development or anything, but …

I’m no expert at web development or anything, but Blogger has a new feature called “Atom” that will allow you to syndicate this site and read it via your own preferred method (another site, PDA, software, blah blah blah). If anyone tries it out, please let me know if it works. To use it, you’ll see a link in the table on the right side which says “XML Site Feed.” Enjoy.

Time for the news:

– I have to wonder if, while scanning the job description, this fella found the words “chasing elk.”

“No, really it says to walk right over here and there’s a beautiful vista, let’s check it………ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

All the Howard Dean parodies have really been cracking me up, particularly the Howard Stern version, where they created a medley of classic rock songs that mention states and they cut in the screaming Dean. Songs like Led Zep’s “Going to California,” Neil Young’s “Ohio,” and The Eagles “Hotel California” never sounded so funny.

So now that Ben and Jen are officially done, does she have to give back the 6 carat, $1 million dollar ring? Despite all the publicity, Affleck has only appeared in two good movies. Can you name them?

30 days until spring training.

Last night I couldn’t get the old Ringo Starr song “Photograph” out of my head. I play hockey on Thursday nights, so it occured to me more than once that I was probably the only person in the world last night humming “every time I see your face it reminds me of the places we used to go…” while playing ice hockey. Yep, this is my life.

Song now playing: Grant Lee Phillips – “Lily-A-Passion”

At a recent work trip to Chicago, I found myself, …

At a recent work trip to Chicago, I found myself, somewhat inexplicably, staying in The Four Seasons. You see, a co-worker had some kind of personal connection and we got like 65% off the “public price.” Normally, I shy away from the chains and stay in hotels like this one, which have far more character than the culturally devoid chains. But when given the opportunity to represent (yo) in The Four Seasons, as Mick Jagger once said, you gotta move.

This leads me to today’s post, which is about soap. And shampoo. The Four Seasons had what I believe to be the best soap and shampoo ever created. I wrote down the brands of the shampoo, shower gels and conditioners (not the soap, though) and took whatever was remaining in the room. Last week, I ran out of everything and now I’m back to using, like, Dove. Or Finesse. Those brands are fine in their own right, I’ve never been terribly picky about such things, but these Four Seasons offerings were just too good.

So I got on the phone last week and called the hotel and let them know that I loved thier soap and asked if they could please give me the brand and flavor, etc etc. Not only did they do that, they actually offered to send me some in the mail. I was like, “wait – for free?” She was like “of course. I’ll send you some today.” I was like “I don’t have to pay anything?” and she said “nope. I’ll send them today.”

What a racket! I wonder if I can call ALL the Four Seasons now and get my soap for free? Just yesterday a FedEx package came for me, and sure enough I open the box and there’s 10 bars of the soap! 5 full-size bars and 5 half-size. Can you even believe it? Can you even believe I am so fired up about soap?

I’m off to call the Four Seasons in Washington DC to see if I can get some free shampoo now….heh. By the way, here’s the soap I speak of.

Song now playing: The Cars: “Moving In Stereo” (always think of Phoebe Cates when I hear this)

My suspicion is that there have been a lot of peop…

My suspicion is that there have been a lot of people through the years who have been very excited upon winning fabulous prizes on the TV game show “The Price Is Right,” but I’m not quite sure you will ever see anything like the freak-out this guy has. Truly incredible (that link is a Real Video download – you won’t regret it).

I don’t think I watched one whole Patriots game until the playoffs – and now we’re going to the Super Bowl and I am on the bandwagon. I pretty much only watch football when the local team is in the playoffs and I am not ashamed to admit my bandwagon support. It’s okay.

It’s almost time to buy an Ipod…….as soon as I get it, I wonder if I’ll be the only dude in the United States with the Vulgar Boatmen’s “Opposite Sex” on it. One of the greatest albums never released in America. Thankfully, a friend was able to copy it for me last week….

Happy MLK

Song now playing: Pink Floyd – “Mother”

This has got to be one of the funniest things I’ve…

This has got to be one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. I mean, stuffed animals, Wesley Clark, pancakes, “fart dust” old, John Kerry, Carol Brown, voice chips, Howard Dean, Gore, Secwetawy Snuzzles and Dizzle to E-A Nizzle. Hopefully, that’s enough to get you to click that and read the whole thing. It is just plain genius.

This is kind of a cross-blog update. A few months back my friend Dan wrote a small overview about how silly the shaving-razor game is getting. Well, the next step has arrived, and it’s not a fifth blade……how about the newest, pulsating razor? No kidding.

For the first time in my life, they’ve cancelled school in just about every town in Massachusetts due to temperature. That’s right – it’s so cold here that they didn’t want to risk children getting frostbite while waiting at bus stops. Certainly a first.

Finally, they held the the annual bull taming festival in Palamedu, India, today. To win a prize, competitors try to hold onto the bull and run with it for about 164 feet (my question – why not 166? 153?). Anyway, if the bull escapes, the prize goes to the animal’s owner. This picture, snapped just minutes ago, shows me in a good position there on the right side and I’m glad to report that I was only thrown 23 feet, sustaining a minor skull fracture and a mere two broken legs. What a rush.

Song now playing: Earlimart – “The Movies”