Friday Four

Friday, April 04, 2014

1. On days that we have the kids in daycare, I usually drop off and pick up our daughter, who is closing in on three, and Mrs. Van Horn does the same for Little Man, who will turn one soon. On those days, it is often the highlight of my day to pick up Pumpkin at the end of the day. I love it when she smiles at me, and runs over for a hug -- or to stiff-arm me, while grinning -- or suddenly veers off and runs away, giggling.)

Picking up Little Man, now that his personality is more obviously developing, is also similarly rewarding. I did this recently, and when he saw me, he gave me a huge smile and "jumped" up and down. (He's not actually standing, much less jumping, but his arms and body move like he's jumping.)

2. I haven't made a beer recommendation here lately, so let's end the drought with Ska Brewing Company's Hibernal Vinifera Stout:
Complex, but not in a "why won't you tell me what you're thinking?" kind of way.

Some grapes never have a chance to become anything but wine. But these grapes told us that when they grew up, they wanted to complement the deep, roasty notes and sweet finish of this oak-aged, 8% stout.

Once we translated their Castilian, we realized we had to support their dream. We knew you wouldn't let us down, grapes. An oak-aged stout fermented with Malbec grapes. Complex and slightly boozy, yet balanced.
Oddly enough, it took me a couple of cans to decide I like it.

3. GMail launched a decade ago on April Fool's Day. Time has an enjoyable piece on how it all came together.
As news about Gmail dribbled out on March 31 and continued into April Fools' Day, the reaction did, indeed, include a fair amount of disbelief. "If you're far enough ahead that people can't figure out if you're joking, you know you've innovated," says Harik. "Primarily, journalists would call us and say 'We need to know if you're just kidding, or if this is real.' That was fun."
The article shows that GMail involves several innovations and faced its share of doubters within the company. Despite its recent faddish concessions to tablet computing, it's far and away my favorite email sevice.

4. He looks like he could have come up with a better name for it, but all John Cook could come up with was, "looking like you know what you're doing":
Neither my nearsightedness nor my facial hair made me an expert on Dutch trains. This was my first time catching a train in a new country where most of the signs were written in a language I do not know. I imagine they've ridden more trains than I have. The only advantage I had over them was my sobriety. Maybe my experience as a consultant has enabled me to give confidence-inspriring advice on subjects I know less about than I'd like.
This reminds me of a brief conversation I had way back in my sophomore year of college, at the tail end of a semester I spent at Rome:
Map-Bearing Tourist: Parla Inglese?
: Yes.
: Which bus do I take ...
By an amazing coincidence, MBT asked about a stop I knew to be on a route I used almost daily. I reeled off the answer without skipping a beat and was told how nice it was to meet a native who knew English so well. (He couldn't have been there for very long.) In the years since, my encounters with this phenomenon have been mainly at stores, when someone assumes I work there and asks me where to find something.

-- CAV


Steve D said...

"Primarily, journalists would call us and say 'We need to know if you're just kidding, or if this is real.' That was fun."

The reverse of an April Fool's joke. What fun!

Should have followed up the next day with 'For those of you who thought we; were joking; we weren't. April Fools...NOT!'

Gus Van Horn said...