Anniversary Remembered in a Bottle

Lynn and I were married "around Labor Day weekend" according to both our memories. Each year, we more or less fail to remember that it was Sept. 1, which should be easy enough, no? This year was no exception.We were visiting my dad in Port Townsend, and had stopped at the grocery store to pick up some food for dinner. My dad and I went in while Lynn entertained the boys in the car. We mooched around the store, finding things that would work for the kids and us, and at one point passed a refrigerated wine case. Lynn had asked me to pick up some beer or wine, and I looked through the case, until my eye settled on a bottle of Argyle Brut, an Oregon winery's terrific sparkling wine. We'd sent a 1996 bottle to Lynn's brother and his wife on the news that they were engaged. They liked it! It was a 2002, and I figured it would be just fine. Marked down $29 by $7 for store club members (of which I'm one). I reached out to pick it up, thinking, this is great to buy a bottle of champagne because it's my anniversary -- and then realized what I'd just expressed to myself. I show the bottle to my dad, and say, it's our anniversary! He laughs. We buy the goods and head out to the car. I show it to Lynn and say, happy anniversary. She starts laughing, too; she'd forgotten as well (fortunate for me). We drank the whole bottle along with donut holes. Lynn had a terrible headache the next day: sugar plus champagne, she said. When I got home, I found I had our own bottle of Argyle Brut 1996 in the basement! Apparently, we'd bought it several years ago and forgotten it. Maybe for our anniversary next year.

Putting Your Money Where Your Mouse Is

My latest piece in the Economist (print/online) is about crowdfunding, a way for artists, writers, and others to raise money from friends, fans, and interested others in small increments. It's a fascinating notion. Tens of millions of dollars have been raised this way so far, pretty clearly; could it turn into hundreds of millions per year? Maybe. In any case, it's a great way to kickstart projects with seed funding--the reason that Kickstarter, the biggest enabler of crowdfunding, named itself that.I've also filed a couple more Economist Babbage blog entries as G.F., including one about password selection and another about Dropbox and cloud synced storage. And we did another episode of the podcast, The Incomparable; well, another one with me, at least! Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, and Steven Moffat. And I'm writing a book. Did I tell you that? It's a collection of hundreds of reviews of the best or most interesting apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Five-Star Apps. Pre-order it now. And I'm tired. Back to work! September will be crazy.