Litterfin Louie

Check out my friend Habel's soon-to-be-released iPhone/iPod game Litterfin Louie.

From his site:

Eat junk. Clean up the ocean.

The ocean is being trashed by polluters! Help Louie gobble up the trash to keep the water clean. If you miss too much, the water will become toxic. Avoid obstacles and collect power-ups to get special abilities. Coming soon for iPhone and iPod Touch. Mmmmm... junk food!

There is a video of the game on the site.  Fun!

Prohibition Homebrew

Check out my friend Alex Foley's latest venture -

Prohibition Homebrew is an e-commerce site specializing in homebrewing supplies, ingredients, etc.  They're doing some smart stuff through Facebook Connect to cultivate a community of homebrewers.

From their site:

Prohibition Homebrew is the world's first fully integrated online community where homebrewers can share their recipes as well as track and document each batch of beer throughout the brewing process. Users can share photos, videos, equipment recommendations, and shop for necessary items in the online store. Each Speakeasy Community member can record and store data on every batch of beer they brew in order to improve and perfect their recipes.

Spread the word to your brewmaster friends!

Canadian Expat Network

I had coffee this morning with my friend Sean to catch up and to learn about his venture, the Canadian Expat Network.

Quite simply, CEN is a free social network and resource portal for Canadian expats living the US.  Users can connect by geography, common interest, etc. to discuss expat issues and build social and business relationships with their countrymen/women.  Plus, Sean does a great job of writing articles and features of interest, such as this piece on the head coach of the Canadian National Baseball team.

I was admittedly surprised to learn that he is well on his way to having 1K registered users by the end of the year and has already booked some strong Canadian brands as sponsors, including Air Canada, the Ottawa Senators, and the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Considering the niche-ification of online networks and, more importantly, his passion for all things Canada, I think that Sean has a great chance to build a significant site.

Back in the Saddle

Kelly and I returned from our trip this past weekend. Photos with C+ captions here.

The trip was fantastic in every way. We spent 3 days in Munich, 3 days in Vienna, and 6 days in Prague. In brief, the highlights include:

- Amazing beer and delicious meats with every meal for 2 straight weeks.

- Easy living in Munich, inspired in part by the naked people in the English Garden.

- A harrowing and gut-wrenching visit to the Dachau concentration camp.

- The view from atop the Schloss Schonbrunn gardens in Vienna.

- A day in Okur* outside of Prague with Lee and Emily. (Pronounced kinda like "O-korjsh" - there should be a little tick over the "r" that WP doesn't allow...)

- A ridiculous night of beer cheese, spare ribs, fried minnows, beer, potato rum, blistering Czech bluegrass, learning Czech slang, and teaching Lee's friend to say "fannypack". (Hate that we didn't take our camera. Highest of high international comedy...)

- The beautiful vistas in Prague at night.

As much as Kelly and I would like to still be in Prague, sleeping on Lee's communist era foldout couch, we're glad to be home and I'm ready to get to work.

I turned around some interesting work pretty quickly since my last post. I'm working 2 part-time gigs this summer. I started at Integrian this week. The company develops intelligent mobile video solutions for public safety and transit. I'll be working on product specs for a couple fascinating applications that originated from the company's R&D arm, Signal Innovations Group.

Next week, I'll start spending some time with a pre-launch online software/media start-up that has a great team and an interesting idea.

I had hopes of brute-forcing a software idea into existence over the summer, but cooled on both of the ideas I was carrying once I started thinking hard about them. So it goes...

All in all, I'm excited about the summer. I'll work a relatively normal schedule and Kelly will have a ton of time off. This should translate into lots of grilling out, lots of basketball, lots of time spent with my KFBS friends that are in town for the summer, and a bountiful harvest from my vegetable garden.

2007's Greatest Hits

My friend Chaz Felix just sent me "Felix's Picks" for 2006 and 2007.

Chaz' "Picks" is a collection of the songs that soundtracked his previous year . He typically picks really good music - a fair portion of which I've never heard of, so it makes for a nice diversion from my typical listening habits. Plus, not all of the music is from 2007 - which adds a nice balance to the record. I'm not sure how long he's been doing it, but (somewhere in my house) I have "Picks" all the way back to 2003.

So, in a shameless emulation of Chaz, I present my 2007 picks:

Charmer - Kings of Leon

"Because of the Times" by KOL was probably my favorite new record of the year. I like this song because of the abrasive screeching and angular, almost a-rhythmic, guitar riff.

Dress Blues - Jason Isbell

The best (only?) anti-war, pro-military song ever written. I hated to see Jason leave DBT, but expect that he'll find great success as a solo artist.

Holy Moses - The Drams

The Drams are one of the country's finest purveyors of true redneck rock. Holy Moses is a slow one, but my absolute favorite from an absolutely outstanding record.

Blood and Thunder - Mastodon
Winter's Wolves - The Sword

Back when I had time to workout, these were the songs that put me over the top, "Blood and Thunder" in particular. I expect to have more time to lift - and more time to listen to deliciously repulsive metal - now that the hard part of my MBA program has passed.

Sky Blue Sky - Wilco

The new Wilco record was exactly what I expected, but I loved it just the same. I remember having this song playing in my head while Kelly and I sat on an Italian beach under a beautiful sky right before sunset.

Public Service Announcement - Jay-Z

Yes, this is an old one, but it sports my favorite rap lyric in recent memory: "I check chedda like a food inspector." Plus, I'm pretty sure that this is the song that was playing through the Bronto speakers when Joe - my former boss and company CEO - came by my desk to tell me to "never play that song again".

Can't Get Enough - Bad Company

I went through a strange Camaro-rock phase this fall, largely driven by a new found fascination with Bad Company. Fortunately, it came and went pretty quickly, but stayed just long enough to sear this song in the back of my mind for weeks...

There's a Higher Power - The Louvin Brothers

Kelly and I love these old-timey country songs because the simple two-part harmony makes for great singalongs while we're in the car. I especially like The Louvin's gospel songs because they remind me of my childhood church and my grandmother.

Pig Pickin' At Lee's

My dear friend and former college roommate Lee Bidgood married Emily Behler in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. I've never attended a wedding that so perfectly and beautifully reflected the personalities and passions of the bride and groom.

Lee - who once said "There is nothing I'd rather eat than food." - hosted a rehearsal dinner pig pickin' (see below) at his house Saturday night that featured a 120lb pig, homemade fixin's, a keg of Starr Hill brew, and good bluegrass music. The wedding took place in the beautiful Albemarle County countryside, though the rain unfortunately moved us indoors. The ceremony itself began not with a formal processional, but with Lee and Emily walking toward the altar and toward one another from opposite sides of the room while singing beautifully to one another. Lastly, the reception featured more bluegrass and - not joking - a thoroughly entertaining juggling routine from Lee's little sister Grace.

While the music, socializing, Starr Hill keg, juggling, and ceremony were all great fun, the best part of the weekend was without a doubt this:

Kelly upon seeing me eat the meat that I pulled directly from between the pig's ribs:

That is enough to make me want to become a vegetarian.

More photos from Lee's wedding at my/Kelly's Flickr page