Thursday, September 25, 2008

Night Grill

Jenn and I have been grilling our hot dogs all Summer. It's a new thing with us. We used to boil our hot dogs before eating them. After a barbecue this Summer, it seems as if we've switched to grilling these. The taste and texture of a slightly blackened hot dog cannot be beat. It's now a matter of course.

Tonight was hot dog night. As I went outside to grill, I realized it would be a slightly different experience, since it was night. As Summer marched on, I grilled in fading light. Thanks to Fall, or the Equinox, or some combination, it was dark by the time I got to the grill tonight. "Use a flashlight," Jenn said.

Getting the grill turned on was tricky, but the front door light helped. However, once I got the hot dogs started, I found that I liked the light turned off. The glow of the fire seemed magical. The heat and the smell of the food whisked away the slight chill. I turned the hot dogs, but I couldn't see them, so I couldn't tell whether they were getting blackened the way I like them. I found I didn't care. I sat there in the night, me and the grill. This must be what a campfire meal must be like. I haven't been camping since I was in school.

I eventually turned on the flashlight. I shut everything down, and went back inside with my food. The hot dogs were blackened perfectly.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Clive Thompson's NY Times article about Twitter and Facebook shows how online social networking has somehow expanded people's concept of their "social circle." Through a steady diet of short "status" messages (e.g. "Having a pizza dinner", "I'm watching the US Open now") that eventually become a stock ticker of your real self, Twitter enables people to follow other people's lives in a strangely more intimate way than they might "in real life." Thompson is careful to point out the drawbacks to virtual friendships, but as a whole, it seems positive.

While reading this piece, I kept thinking about a recent lunch my wife and I had with a nearby friend of mine. We met with our families, and had an entertaining time catching up, laughing, telling stories, and minding our children. I kept thinking "this is so nice!" Now, weeks after that lunch, I wish that my friend had a Twitter account (I searched; she doesn't have one that I could find). However, since it's a Web 2.0 thing, I'm pretty certain that her children will end up with Twitter accounts someday.

Won't they be surprised when they find out that they can follow my tweets?

If you want to follow me, check out the sidebar of my blog for my Twitter updates, or visit my Twitter page.