Recruiting Season

October 10th, 2008 School, Work

I am overwhelmed by the opportunities available within the Stanford community, and by the opportunities offered to us by the neighborhood and those further away. My boss told me a few times that I was crazy to leave a successful company where I was one of the most senior employees — but however much more my buddies there make than me in an IPO, I’ll be glad I was here.

Also, the Bay Area — I find myself in a place where it’s easy to meet accomplished mathematicians, adventurous nature-lovers, ambitious world-shapers, and genuine, friendly people. It’s easy find people who miraculously combine all of these traits. It may sound arrogant to say I feel like this is where I belong, but being here, surrounded by people with the qualities I strive for, is a humbling and inspiring experience.

Welcome, Deloitte, and recruiters yet to visit. In the end, we all want a good fit, and I’m glad we have so many ways to learn about each other.


October 10th, 2008 Travel

The trip to Lebanon last month was beyond amazing. Thanks very much to my hosts there, Alison, Riva, and Talal, and to the east-coast hospitality of Seth, Clay, and Simon. Pictures are up at

East Coast

August 24th, 2008 Travel

I’m in Washington. Tomorrow I head to Beirut by way of Dubai.


Worth the Fighting For

August 4th, 2008 Personal, Plans

I just read Worth The Fighting For by John McCain.

The book was written by a man currently practicing politics and still pursuing his ambitions. Unsurprisingly, the book is not critical of anyone whom McCain hasn’t already criticized in public, and it is very positive in its portrayal of himself and his friends.

With that understanding, I found it to be a great read and it offered me a new perspective on some of the recent Balkan and Middle Eastern history I’ve studied. It also offers an informative (though not all-encompassing) view of the modern Republican Party from a mostly-insider.

More than recent history, I enjoyed the personal explanations of what McCain tries to be and how at many times he has failed to live up to his ideals. It’s easy for me to relate to his high expectations for himself and his struggles to resist urges of vanity (which he recognizes as silly). In the book’s epilogue, McCain reminisces about his image in his youth:

It had been enough for a while for people to know me as a fighter and an individualist. But it didn’t seem to give my life enough meaning to justify the risks I took. That was because I took them for myself alone.

He concludes, “Vietnam changed that.”

I’d prefer my Vietnam to be less bloody and on a battlefield of my own choosing, but I definitely feel myself seeking a cause Worth the Fighting For.

Bark Hide & Horn rocks Portland

July 28th, 2008 Travel

I just got back from a great trip to Oregon to visit the coast (Depoe Bay) with my family and returned to the city too late to catch the end of BrewFest but just in time to see my Pomona friends Brian Garvey and Andy Ferguson rock it with their band Bark Hide & Horn at the PDX Pop Now! Music festival… And to catch up with a number of friends over fine northwestern microbrews. Good times.


Restaurant Guide to Park City, UT – by Casey

July 18th, 2008 Friends, Outdoors

Ski Town Restaurants - Park City restaurant dining guide

I don’t live in Park City anymore, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the best ski or mountain vacation in the world. When I moved there I was struck by the lack of a good local guide to nightlife and restaurants (sorry, Park Record/Flipside, you suck). I dabbled with making one but decided to spend my time at work instead.

Fortunately, my friend Casey Sowul has come to the rescue and put together a professional-quality guide to restaurants, bars, nightlife, and everything worth doing in your favorite mountain town in Utah (that’s Park City). All it needs is a few 5-star reviews of Bistro Bar and I’ll have nothing more to tell visitors.

Ski Town Restaurants – Park City restaurant dining guide. Reviews, photos, menus, coupons, specials, maps for the best restaurants in Park City


July 12th, 2008 News

Starting in Q2 2009, you will be able to register anydomainname.yournamehere. (See BBC article.) Rather than, I could have just Or tom.tomspot. Or www.tomspot. Or (maybe?) even just tomspot. Confusing? Heck yes.

Apparently each new TLD will cost thousands of dollars. Of course, as soon as the change hits, any big company with a brand name to protect will need to register their name. Who will win the rights to generic but valuable terms like .groceries or .videogames or .xxx is a mystery, though ICANN, the nonprofit in charge of the domain name system, seems to be suggesting they might be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Looks like ICANN wants to raise some cash and doesn’t care much for internet users (confusion) and small-time domain owners (cost).

Paradise for Sale

July 7th, 2008 Friends, News

The Home of the Week in the LA Times this week is my aunt Mary Jane Elgin’s house. It’s as beautiful as it looks in the paper. Ever since I can remember, her house has been my paradise-home-away-from-home. I’ll miss it as much as everyone who has shared its (and my aunt and uncle’s) hospitality. If you have a few million dollars or very good credit, I highly recommend buying it.

Thanks Jeff Fortner for the heads up.

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