Tuesday, April 23, 2002

No More Ink

My PaperMate pen ran out of ink. Finally.

When I joined my current job last Summer, I grabbed two generic PaperMate pens out of the office supply cabinet. For work, I have used no other pens except these two.

So today was an oddly satisfying day. The pen gave out during a presentation I was attending. I had been scribbling notes furiously, but with about fifteen minutes to go, the ink started thinning out. It produced the recognizable fade of a pen nearing its end. I wrote until the pen scratched invisible notes on my paper, before I put it in my pocket.

At home, I took the pen apart. Its barrel of ink was empty. I felt like the character out of a cartoon I once saw who exclaimed "Yes!" when he gets to the last Post-it Note. I want to announce to my co-workers tomorrow: "My pen died yesterday. I've been using it for ten months straight!"

Being strict about using these pens was an exercise in discipline and restraint. Office pens are in such abundance that it's easy to take their presence for granted. I guarded these pens, however. I carefully watched people who needed to borrow it during meetings. I felt a little odd everytime I brought one of them home by mistake. These were my work pens. They belonged at work.

And now this one pen has gone. I'll be casually replacing it tomorrow, grabbing a pen out of the boxes of fresh new pens in our supply cabinet. But there'll be nothing casual about how I'll be keeping it over the next year.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Ending Mia's First Year Diary

And just like that, I stopped writing Mia's First Year, a daily on-line diary I had been keeping about my daughter's first year of life. I have archived the whole diary for posterity.

I named the diary Mia's First Year because I wanted to record only the first year of her new found life. I also wanted to put a limit on the diary because I didn't think I could keep up the pace of writing every day, even if it was only a few sentences. But as the year marched on, I found how easy it was to think of something to say. Every day, Mia changed in such big and small ways that I always found myself saying "I better put that in the BLOG". Most of the time, I did.

As she starts Year Two (!), I started debating whether to start a Mia's Second Year on-line diary. I kept procrastinating the archiving of the BLOG, and the writing of the last page. Last night and tonight, I made the final cut-over. I even deleted the diary from Blogger, so that I wouldn't be tempted to write to it.

I hope that many years from now, when the time is right, I can show Mia these web pages (probably on some laptop she'll need for the fourth-grade), and she can see what her Dad's been doing the entire time she was turning one.

Monday, April 15, 2002

Tiger's Third Masters

Tiger Woods won his third Masters.

Today, at lunch, someone asked me how Tiger did this weekend. How did he do this weekend? He won, OK? He became only the third player to have won back-to-back Masters. He became the youngest player to have won seven major championships. He solidified his reputation again as the person to beat when leading the tournament going into Sunday's final round. How did he do this weekend? Among other things, he chipped in a birdie to take a stroke back (6th hole), stiffs a wedge to five feet for birdie (15th), then knocks in a critical par-putt to seal the deal (16th). While other players wilted, Tiger bloomed.

After Tiger Woods won his first Masters (1996), I thought: if he never wins another major, he'll have written his name in history. Today, he continues to stamp his name all over the golf history books. And he will not stop.

If you want to look up "the real deal" and "the man" in the dictionary, look under W, for Tiger Woods.

Friday, April 12, 2002

Oprah's Book Club

Oprah Winfrey shut down her famous book club over the past few weeks. She says that's she's having a hard time finding good books that she's excited to share on her popular television show.

By all accounts, Oprah's book club brought about a resurgence in popular fiction. I knew of it primarily from my wife, who used to ask me to pick up books for her if I went to the book store. She would often suggest that I just pick up an Oprah recommended book.

Minor class warfare broke out in the Fall of 2001 when Oprah selected The Corrections by Jonathan Frazen. Mr. Frazen huffed with real disdain about having the Oprah book club seal on his "important literature". But no doubt he enjoyed the additional sales that always accompany an Oprah book club recommendation.

I have read two Oprah books, The Pilot's Wife and While I Was Gone, both wonderful excursions. I am slowly making my way through a third Oprah selection, A Map of the World. I'm amazed at where this book is taking me.

Would I have discovered these books without Oprah? I doubt it.

Since college, my reading has been quite unstructured. I would get a recommendation from my brothers, or some friends, or some work colleagues. Every once in a while, I'll read a book because it "looked interesting" in the bookstore. More often than not, I'll buy a book based on some book review or advertisement in the Boston Globe, or the New York Times. My Visor has an ever-growing list of books that I should buy or borrow.

The reading life is a wonderful life. Thanks, Oprah, for sharing this spirt!

Monday, April 8, 2002


I turned thirty-four this past weekend. Hurray!

Monday, April 1, 2002


I gave up soda for Lent. It was a good sacrifice. With the beginning of Easter, and the end of Lent, I had my first Diet Pepsi in almost forty days. It was tasty!

I will probably continue to reduce my soda consumption during work day lunches. One aspect of not drinking soda is that I tend not to munch on chips during lunch (sweety Pepsi and salty chips are a compelling combination), and as a result, I've been avoiding cafeteria food. This is a money savings, and that's not a bad thing.