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Showing posts from September, 2010

Practicing What They Preach: Jonathan Rauch on the Tea Parties

Jonathan Rauch in the National Journal writes an excellent piece on the the tea parties, Inside the Tea Party's Collective Brain.

I know it's the all the rage for media outlets to try an "get inside the head" of the tea parties these days, but this article is set very much apart from the rest. It has far more to do with organizational structure than politics.

This video provides a brief synopsis:





The ideas in the article seem a lot more Clay Shirky than Glenn Beck:

"Essentially what we're doing is crowd-sourcing," says Meckler, whose vocabulary betrays his background as a lawyer specializing in Internet law. "I use the term open-source politics. This is an open-source movement." Every day, anyone and everyone is modifying the code. "The movement as a whole is smart."

Can it work? In American politics, radical decentralization has never been tried on so large a scale. Tea party activists believe that their hivelike, "organized but…

Wine Country Vacation - Monday

Today we had two objectives. 1) To eat lunch at Coppola's newly redone Rustic, and 2) to round out my case of wines I was bringing back.

Coppola's Rustic, formerly Russo & Bianco, formerly Chateau Souverain. They remodeled and took the castle towers down, so the place doesn't look like the Bastille anymore. 

The interior dining area is entirely new
This view hasn't changed, thank God. This is table #81. Ask for it.
Fearless Leader! He'll probably ask me to take this picture down as well. 
Chris (and our waitress. Oops)
Trouble.
Some knick knacks that Coppola had laying around. :-)


The tasting room. This is the only place on earth that has more bottles of Coppola's Claret than my recycle bin.
Stepping out of the elevator to get down the hillside is a lot like entering a Holodeck when the doors open. I know, I'm a nerd.
The vinyards at UNTI. God, I love this winery's stuff. 
The Barrel/Tasting room at UNTI
My favorite winery in all of California. Taldeschi.
In the…

Wine Country Vacation - Sunday

Today we headed into Napa for lunch with Hal and Carol Varian. They are long-time friends of my hosts, and just delightful company. Most of my trips out here seem to involve a meal with most of this crowd together. This time we were at Bouchon, which was an extraordinary place, for being so perfectly down to earth. The food was simple and perfectly prepared, the service was attentive but unobtrusive, and the wine list was extensive but not out of my league. Considering this place is about a block from Keller's French Laundry, I was a little worried.

Moreover, I had a geeks dilemma to face: I had made arrangements to visit the TWiT Cottage today and catch an airing of Leo Laporte's This Week in Tech over in Petaluma. However, the only time we could hook up with Hal and Carol for a meal was Sunday afternoon. I had to decide between Leo and TWiT, or lunch in Napa with Google's chief economist?!?! So I asked myself, WWJJD? (What Would Jeff Jarvis Do?)

Lunch it was!

To the pictu…

Wine Country Vacation - Saturday

Okay, I remembered to take more pictures today.

Annual Heirloom Tomato Festival!
This morning's run was before the fog burned off. The vineyards don't look as pretty.
Wine Country Historic Baseball! I think the La Dee Dahs need to make a road trip!
The garden at Willi's Wine Bar, where Richard and I had lunch, tasted wines, and discussed what I was going to make for dinner. That's how you know you are food obsessed - you spend lunch talking about dinner.
After our discussion, we decided that Balletto was the winery to hit to look for something to accompany dinner. I wandered out into their vineyard for a shot.
A little fountain outside the tasting room.
Balletto! We loved these wines and grabbed a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a Zin for dinner. I got two bottles of the Zin to bring home with my. My fellow Zin addicts are going to need to come over and sample this stuff when I get back - it's fantastic!
Fair Warning! Don't let your kids run free at Balletto. They mean it…

Wine Country Vacation - Friday

I'm playing catch-up a bit, it's been a fun couple of days. I've made a conscious decision to cut down on the number of wineries I visited this trip. It saves on the budget, but it also let's me concentrate on just a few good wineries. Friday we hit only one, and it was outstanding. Hanna Winery didn't pour something in the tasting room that I didn't want to bring home. Sadly, this made me forget to take any decent pictures.

Here's the photos I did manage to take from Friday.





From the morning run along Old Redwood Highway
I have to eat here every trip. Duskie is going to be on Iron Chef this month on Sept. 15th. Everyone who's in the Michigan chapter of the Zazu fan club (you know who you are), should tune in!
Hmmm... I think someone at the office has been holding out on us!
Richard and I in front of Zazu after dinner. I am 10 lbs heavier than when I went in.
Zazu in it's entirety. So much goodness in such a small package!

VMWorld Thursday - So Long San Francisco

The last day of the conference was short and sweet.

We had a great closing keynote from Pranav Mistry, as well as a few other innovators in human-machine interfaces, probably to most valuable breakout session of the whole conference, and I even squeezed in a lab. To the pictures!

Captured a great shot on my morning run.


Pranav Mistry on stage presenting.
I tried to capture the slide they kept coming back to. "Innovation!" It's everywhere.
A view of the city from the Embarcadero.
The Gold Dust Lounge. This was my base of operations for most of the trip.
Union Square had an art show on Thursday. 


Another shot of the city from the Bay.
Tad's Steakhouse. This is where my room service came from. Notice my hotel right next door.

A better shot of the hotel. I'll miss you, Hotel Union Square!
Checking out. So long San Francisco! As I type this, I am up in Santa Rosa, staying with friends. I don't know what the agenda is for the weekend yet, but I'm sure we'll get it sor…