Monday, April 28, 2008

Don't Forget: Ben & Jerry's Cone Day

Don't forget: Tomorrow is Ben & Jerry's annual Cone Day!! Stop by your local B&J for a free cone anytime tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Congrats to Chris & Nick!

Congrats to my little brothers Chris and Nick for continuing to keep their tennis game strong through the end of their senior year! Below is an article that appeared about them in today's Daily Oklahoman newspaper. :~)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vacation to Memphis

I just got back home-- after going on a mini-vacation this weekend. You'll never guess where I went-- Memphis!

The rules were simple: no driving, no going home, and all tourist attractions.

Last night, I had an early dinner at Grill 83. I had a tasty goat cheese salad, and a wonderful duck entree. I've always liked Grill 83. They're never too full... the food is great... and the people are laid back.

After dinner, we headed to Ballet Memphis to see their production of Under the Sea. Under the Sea is the story of the Little Mermaid. I'm a big supporter of Ballet Memphis-- they have great choreography, wonderful music, and creative costumes. I'm never disappointed when I go and this weekend was no different. Thanks also to Arts Memphis for the wonderful tickets!

After Ballet Memphis, we headed to Val's going away party. Val is moving back to Boston and we'll miss her. Best of luck!

Last, we stayed at the Madison Hotel. I was incredibly impressed that such a great hotel is right near my house. The room was very nice and they have a cool pool and workout room- not to mention the wonderful view of the river. I felt very welcome and that the experience was top notch.

My only complaint is this: this morning was alarm HELL. First, the alarm clock started playing music (progressively louder) at 6 AM. Then, at 8:00 and 8:10 AM, we received two unscheduled wake up calls. Then, around 8:30 AM, the alarm started making some kind of duck noise. UNBELIEVABLE!

So much for sleeping in.

Needless to say, we were over an hour early to brunch at the Peabody. Brunch at the Peabody is always tasty. I had 3 courses-- breakfast, seafood, and a dessert. And of course, I had champagne- the best part about brunch!

We spend today cruising up and down the Mississippi on one of the Riverboats. We had a nice time, and got a few good laughs in. Be prepared: The tour guide knows the history of Memphis AND he's opinionated. :~) It was one of the most random and humorous tours ever.

Now, I'm back and home and enjoying a beautiful sunset over the Mississippi. Speaking of which, I've gotta run or I'll miss it!

Talk to you soon.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Weird Things Go Bump in the Night

This is going to sound strange, but here it is: I woke up this morning at around 4:20 AM (5:20 AM EST) to shaking. My entire apartment was shaking, just a little. I was very calm and lie thinking about the after effects of earthquakes that I used to feel when I lived in LA.

When I woke up, I wrote down the time and date of the shaking, so that I could compare notes in the morning with the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (located in Memphis!).

This morning, I checked online and learned that just before I woke up to the light shaking, there was in fact an earthquake a few hundred miles away in Illinios. So far, people have reporting feeling its after effects as far down as St. Louis, MO so, I documented Memphis too.

Let me add that for some reason, I'm pretty sensitive to this sort of shaking. When I lived in LA, I'd wake up to a tiniest earthquake, and my next door neighbor would sleep right through it. We'd have a disagreement about whether or not it had even happened, and I'd have to pull up the earthquake site to prove my point. :~)

Here's the map of the tremor that I felt last night.

As you can see, it happened early this morning and the magnitude was at a 5.2 -- pretty strong.

Update: The Wall Street Journal has an article today detailing the quake. They say it was actually a 5.4. Check out the article here (or read it below).

Update 2: One of my neighbors also woke up to the earthquake this morning. SO glad it wasn't just me! :~)
WEST SALEM, Illinois -- An earthquake struck the U.S. state of Illinois early Friday, and it appeared to rival the strongest temblor ever recorded in the country's Midwest region.

The quake jolted residents in several nearby states as well, but no injuries or significant property damage were immediately reported.

The quake, measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale, hit just before 4:37 a.m. local time (1037 GMT) and was centered six miles from West Salem, Illinois.

"It shook our house where it woke me up," said David Behm of Philo, Illinois. "Windows were rattling, and you could hear it. The house was shaking inches. For people in central Illinois, this is a big deal. It's not like California."

The jolts were felt in a region that included parts of the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Its Web site said earthquakes seldom occur in the area, and that the largest recorded earthquake in the region -- also a magnitude 5.4 -- caused damage in southern Illinois in 1968.

Friday's quake shook buildings in central Chicago and the cities of Indianapolis, Indiana; Cincinnati, Ohio; and St. Louis, Missouri.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blake Loses at Ping Pong

Check out my neighbor Blake losing at ping pong:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's Official: NWA and Delta Merger

All I can say is, I hope Delta decides to keep the Memphis hub...

Here's an e-mail I received this morning about the merger:

As a valued Northwest Airlines customer and WorldPerks® member, I wanted you to be among the first to hear that we have announced a merger with Delta Air Lines. Subject to regulatory review, our two airlines are joining forces to create America’s premier global airline which, upon closing of the merger, will be called Delta Air Lines.

By combining Northwest and Delta, we are building a stronger, more resilient airline that will be a leader in providing customer service and value. Our combined airline will offer unprecedented access to the world, enabling you to fly to more destinations, have more flight choices and more ways than ever to earn and redeem your WorldPerks miles.

You can be assured that your WorldPerks miles and Elite program status will be unaffected by this merger. In addition, you can continue to earn miles through use of partners like WorldPerks Visa®. And once the new Delta Air Lines emerges you can look forward to being a part of the world’s largest frequent flyer program with expanded benefits.

The combined Delta Air Lines will serve more U.S. communities and connect to more worldwide destinations than any global airline. Our hubs – both Delta’s and Northwest’s – will be retained and enhanced. We will be the only U.S. airline to offer direct service from the United States to all of the world’s major business centers in Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa and around North America.

Both airlines bring tremendous strengths to this new partnership. Our complementary service networks form an end-to-end system that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. This is a merger by addition, not subtraction, which means all of our hubs – both Northwest’s and Delta’s – will be retained. In addition, building on both airlines’ proud, decades-long history of serving small communities, we plan to enhance global connections to small towns and cities across the U.S.

All of these positive benefits of our combination mean that we can:
  • Offer a true global network where our customers will be able to fly to more destinations, have more schedule options and more opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles in what will become the world’s best and most comprehensive frequent flyer program.
  • Continue to serve our current roster of destinations and to maintain our hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Salt Lake City, Amsterdam and Tokyo.
  • Improve our customers’ travel experience, through new products and services including enhanced self-service tools, better bag-tracking technology, more onboard services, including more meal options, new seats and refurbished cabins.
While we work to secure approval of our merger, which may take up to 6 to 8 months, it will be business-as-usual at both airlines. We will continue to operate as independent airlines and the people of Northwest will remain focused on providing you with the very best in safe, reliable and convenient air travel. At the same time, both airlines will be planning for a seamless integration of our two airlines, one that delivers to you the enhanced benefits that will earn – and retain – your preference.

As we work through this process, we will keep you informed at every step along the way. Thank you for your business and we look forward to serving you on your next Northwest flight.


Bob Soukup
Managing Director, WorldPerks

Big Recap - The Last Week in Review

The last week was another busy one. I flew around, trying to remember what timezone I was in and what the weather would be like from day to day.

My schedule:
Tuesday afternoon - Flew from Memphis to NYC
Wednesday - Spent the day in NYC for work
Thursday - Spent the day in NYC for work; met up with RPI friends Andy Andyland, Raul, and Adam Garrison for dinner
Friday - Flew from NYC to Memphis in the afternoon; went to the gym; went home to work and shower; went back to the airport; flew to Denver
Saturday - Snowboarding in Denver in the morning; visited Memphis Rob in the evening
Sunday - Flew back to Memphis
Monday - Survived Monday

That brings me to today-- It's Tuesday again (tax day in fact); the day I go horseback riding, and generally the day the weather is bad. Like clockwork, there was a freeze warning last night. is reporting a high today of 63 degrees. Let's hope they're right.

On the topic of horseback riding-- A few weeks ago, I was checking the mail in my building after horseback riding. I was wearing riding gear and a neighbor stopped to say, "wow- cool outfit!" My response was along the lines of, "Thanks... I'm wearing this because I was riding horses."

But in NY last week, women everywhere were wearing riding boots as a fashion statement! It seemed that at least 1 in 4 women I saw were wearing them-- along with the tight looking riding pants. One woman was even wearing a spur to work. This is a style I haven't seen in LA... or in the middle of the country, so it was quite a suprise. I guess I'll be in style tonight during my horseback riding!

Memphis Apartment for Rent

A friend of mine here in Memphis is trying to rent out her South Main apartment. Check out the listing below and email her at if you are interested.
OLD MEETS NEW!!! All the modern amenities in this historic warehouse conversion. 36 luxury condominiums, exposed brick, 14 ft. timber ceilings, hardwood floors, custom cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, dishwasher, washer & dryer in unit, gated parking, and controlled access. Steps away from riverwalk, trolley and entertainment venues.
This 4th floor 1 bed/1 bath condo directly overlooks the Mississippi River and has a rooftop deck with incredible river and city views. Non-smokers preferred. Looking to rent for May 1, 2008 and ready to show asap so please call now! (901) 569-4234

Thursday, April 10, 2008

TN Tax Free Holiday

For more details, click here:

Thanks Edison for this tip!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sad News

After a great game by Memphis, I'm sorry to report (as you already know) that they lost the Big Game to Kansas last night.

I watched the game from two different bars downtown. The energy was just amazing. Everyone was wearing blue, cheering, and finally being proud of Memphis.

Memphis could have really used a hero last night...

So sad that they started trying to run the clock out so soon... and then, that they missed their 4 free throw ops in the end... and then, for losing the ball to Kansas and not regaining in overtime...


Congratulations however for making it so far! Nobody thought Memphis would go anywhere... do well in their league... make it to the semi-finals... make it to the finals... hold their own until the end. So, good job guys! :~)


Monday, April 07, 2008

One REALLY Good Day!

Wow-- Turns out today is my day! This may very well sound silly, but...

Today when I got home, I checked my mail. There was an odd looking hand written envelope in my box. If it had been printed, I very well would have considered tossing it without opening. While waiting for my dry cleaning in the lobby of my building, I decided to check it out.

Inside, I was surprised to find-- THE TITLE TO MY CAR!

I've been unexpectedly paying on this car since 2003. Just before I quit my job to go to graduate school, some moron (not me) drove my last car into an oncoming deer and totalled it. It put me in a very uncomfortable situation. My old car was paid for, and I had to find a way to personally finance a new car knowing I'd intentionally be without a job for two years.

Anyhow, I found a great deal on my car and got a super interest rate - less than 4%! I've been paying and paying and paying since then... using automatic withdraws from my bank account. I purchased the car using, and originally I'd check all this out on my account with them. Unfortunately, the loan was sold a few times and checking everything out on a regular basis became more challenging.

So, I've just been paying and paying since 2003. And, apparently, I'm done!

Congrats to me. :~) What a good day!

Angie's Olympic Torch Tracker

Friday, April 04, 2008

Memphis Wine Blog

As I mentioned recently, I've created a wine blog to track wine tastings, parties, and dinners in Memphis.

So far, you'll find both detailed information about events, and a calendar of events. It's pretty surprising just how many wine events there are in Memphis-- especially on Wednesdays. :~)
Check it out now!