Monday, September 24, 2007

Night Out in Manhattan

Thanks to my buddy Chad Johnson for taking these great pics! Manhattan is an exciting place, especially for an old school techno-dancing fool like me.





Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Letter to EU Competition Commissar Regarding Microsoft Ruling

9/17/07

Ms. Neelie Kroes,

You, your department, and the entire EU deserve moral condemnation for your recent criminal actions against Microsoft. Microsoft is an excellent software company whose only "crime" is achieving too much success in European markets. To accuse Microsoft -- a company that has contributed more to the growth of computer technology than perhaps any other single company -- of "hindering innovation and consumers" is beyond ludicrous. It is the ironically-named "EU Competition Commission" which discourages innovation -- by punishing companies who innovate.

If it continues down this road, some day the EU's implied wish will be fulfilled: all of the "evil" American companies like Microsoft will pull out of Europe all-together. The already abysmal economic situation in Europe will grow even worse as it scares away those who innovate and produce. Even then, you will blame the greedy capitalists for your downfall.

I can only hope that in my own country (the U.S.), we can learn from the failures of European collectivism instead of emulating them.

Dan Edge
Small Business Owner
Pomona, NY USA

You can write to Neelie Kroes, the EU's Competition Commissioner, at
Neelie.Kroes@ec.europa.eu.



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where Were You? -- Reflections on 9/11

For me, September 11, 2001 began as a normal Tuesday morning in Greenville, SC. I got up, had breakfast, got dressed, and drove to StereoVideo, where I worked as a retail salesman. I arrived at work at about 8:30am. As usual, most of the staff met in the back of the store for a bull-and-smoking session before opening up. At about 8:50am, the owner (who was always late getting in) called to tell us that a plane had crashed into a building in New York City. We wanted to see what was going on, so we turned on the store.

StereoVideo is a high-end electronics store specializing in large, high-definition televisions and powerful audio systems. When we turned on the store, hundreds of thousands of dollars in audio-visual equipment brought the height of consumer technology to bear – to show us a scene of terror. The World Trade Center was on fire. The Sony high-def rear-projector shot rays of light on the wall, displaying a plume of smoke 10 feet tall. The $10k Infinity floor standing speakers boomed their built-in subwoofers as the second plane exploded on impact. It was a terrible spectacle of light and sound.

All day we watched – surrounded by 100 televisions, all showing the same nightmare. As the events of September 11 unfolded, StereoVideo continued to operate. I fought back tears as the wave of attacks continued. People kept coming into the store and would stay for hours, transfixed by images of destruction. To my utter shock, a few customers still wanted to chat about setting up their new home theatre system. So we loaded Shrek into a few of the DVD Players, and Princess Fiona pouted – next to images of tragic murder victims hurling themselves from the top of the World Trade Center. It was surreal.

After we closed the store, I went to a sports bar near the Blood Bank in downtown Greenville. All of the televisions were tuned to news channels, and the bar was alive with sad, angry, and patriotic discussion. I spoke with three or four strangers who shared my grief and rage. We all agreed that whoever was responsible for these attacks deserved prompt and utter destruction. We were at war.

As I approached the Blood Bank, I saw that I had to park half a mile away in order to get close to it. Many others had the same idea as me, and the place was mobbed with patriots offering their blood. A police officer that had just given blood advised me to come back the following day. The staff at the Blood Bank was overwhelmed. When I went the next day, they said to come back in a month, as they were already filled to capacity with blood donations.

In the days and weeks following the September 11 attacks, the country seemed to come together in a way I’d never seen before in my adult life. I finally understood why the adults around me were rejoicing so much when the Berlin Wall fell. Americans demanded justice, and a significant portion of the public had the moral courage to support an all-out war against Islamic Totalitarianism.

Unfortunately, that window of opportunity has passed. Most Americans seem to have forgotten what happened that Tuesday in 2001. It has become just one attack of many – perpetrated by some terrorist group or other – all tied-in to some nebulous “War on Terror” that is going nowhere fast. That is why, every year on the anniversary of September 11, I take the time to remember where I was that day. I remember where I was, how I felt, what I thought, and most importantly, what we need to do to make sure it never happens again.

Where were you?

--Dan Edge

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wedding Inspiration Board

My lovely and creative fiancee Kelly recently crafted an "Inspiration Board" for a contest on the wedding-related blog Style Me Pretty. Out of over a hundred entries, Kelly's was one of ten favorites selected by the blog's owner as a beautiful example of a "work of art."

Style Me Pretty writer Abby Larson describes why she chose these particular boards here:

"There are a few inspiration boards that I just think are little works of art. The colors, the styles and the overall look on each of these boards is brilliant, and I can really "feel" the type of wedding that the bride is looking to create. I have asked each designer to give us a little description of the wedding they are envisioning, along with a list of sources where we can find all of the gorgeous goods featured."

Below is is Kelly's board and her description from the blog. I'm proud of you, honey!



Sources: (Left to right, top to bottom)

1) Flower Headpiece: Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2005 (no, I'm not the type that has been collecting wedding magazines since I was 12...just a lucky coinicidence.)
2) Bridesmaids in pink: Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2005
3) Flower Arrangement: Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2007
4) Pink Lanterns: istockphoto.com through Google image search
5) Wedding Dress: brides.com: Dress by Tara Keely, Fall 2007 collection
6) Flowers in Box: Stylemepretty.com Feb 28, 2007 entry, Preppy but Elegant board
7) Light in Tree: Stylemepretty.com July 31, 2007 Sarah's board
8) Rustic Sign: Stylemepretty.com July 31, 2007 entry, Kay's Picinic Themed Wedding
9) Cake: Thecakegirls.com
10) Shoes: Marthastewart.com through google image search for Turkish Shoe Signing
11) Petit Fours - Stylemepretty.com January 26, 2007 entry, Insp board for Anne
12) Building - Google Image search for Wyche Pavillion
13) Lemonade - Google Image Search for lemonade
14) Photo Frame Signing - Stylemepretty.com July 31, 2007, Kay's Picnic Themed Wedding
15) Table Arrangement: Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2007

From Kelly...

When I was younger and envisioned my wedding, I always thought of being surrounded by my closest friends and family in a place that strongly represented me and the man I was going to marry. For me and Dan, that meant being close to nature; near the mountains he loves and surrounded by the flowers I grew up with. We are relaxed, casual people who share a deep romantic bond, and I've worked to create a setting that would reflect that.

Dan really wanted to get married in his hometown down south, and when we found the Wyche Pavillion (picture 12), we knew it was the right place. The rustic, outdoorsy feeling was perfect and would provide shelter if we needed it for our early April wedding. Also, being right on the river for both the ceremony and reception provides a venue that speaks to our personalities.

I chose a soft, spring color palette filled with pinks, knowing that my bridesmaids would look good in any pink they chose for their dresses. To create an almost "secret garden" feeling, I chose lush flowers like peonies and mock orange in loose, overflowing arrangements. Also in keeping with this theme, we're using wood and vines in both our table arrangements and our wedding arch.