Sometimes life gets in the way of mustaches and the days of ‘Stachemas tick by faster than you can keep a tiny follicular agent from promenading proudly across your upper lip. But have no doubt, mustache fans, for ABMGC V is in full swing.
You wouldn’t know it by reading Pete’s blog, though, as it sits mostly silent so far. There has been some ‘stache-talk on Facebook here and there — with the likes of James, Andrew, and Charles stepping up to the plate while simultaneously downplaying their growing ability. No photo evidence from the non-Anderson entrants thus far, though.
Pete came out swinging on Facebook with his initial entry in this year’s showdown:
The alien ‘stache hast spoketh.
And to thee I respond, guided by the light of the ‘Stachemas Dove:
Here’s wishing a big happy birthday to a wonderful woman, amazing wife, best friend, and now, an incredible mom, too. Every day with Jen is a treat, and I’m lucky to have her in my life. And now, with our little Gracie, life has only gotten more fun and will continue to be an adventure from here on out.
Thank you for your intelligence, your sense of humor, your caring spirit, and your enthusiasm for life. I love you, Jen!
And what birthday blog post would be complete without a trip down memory lane? Here’s a random photo of us at the Albatross in Berkeley, CA on 10/23/2002:
The chill is not the only thing in the air this year. So, too, is the mustache vibe.
We’re only 3 days in, and James — a non-Anderson brother contestant in ABMGC V — is already starting to see mustaches wherever he looks… like today on Facebook, he pointed out that the garland surrounding this possibly ironic but likely apropos sign look like beautiful green ‘staches:
Elsewhere in mustache land, Jen caught me trying on the mistle-stache last night… I guess I’m eager for my follicular friends to arrive:
And today, it seems that the mustache fan-to-be wasn’t quite ready for her encounter with one of the most famous ‘staches in the world:
Finally, the second day of ‘Stachemas wouldn’t be complete if we weren’t paid a visit by the ‘Stache Dove, who sang me this beautiful melody today:
I can’t say I got an unfair advantage over my bro in this year’s contest — for today is the day that marks the start of the Fifth Annual Anderson Brothers Mustache Growing Competition (ABMGC V) — but, as I stood listening to the angelic caroling, my upper lip absorbing all of the magical Christmas spirit like life-giving water to fertile soil, suddenly I felt a gentle breeze and saw a soft white light.
I looked up to see the Mustache Dove of Peace descending upon my quaking lip, a glorious ‘stache in its mighty claws…
…and I heard a song billowing out from its tiny, mustachioed beak:
On the first day of ‘Stachemas
The ‘Stache Dove sent to me…
A sweet little ‘stache-fan-to-be.
And wouldn’t you know it? Just like that, the Mustache Dove of Peace dropped a baby into my arms… a baby who has yet to experience the joy of ABMGC… so there you have it — the first day of ‘Stachmas:
Stay tuned to see what other gifts the dove of ‘Stachemas has in store this year!
Few things go together like wine, food, and Ferraris. Throw in some blue skies and warm sun, and you’ve got a perfect weekend here in Saratoga Springs.
Not since 2004 when Jen and I had just moved to Saratoga had we been to the Saratoga Wine, Food, and Ferrari Festival, and after all the great fun, delicious food, and fine wine we enjoyed Saturday, we wondered why we hadn’t made it an annual outing; making it one seems like a no-brainer.
As an invited blogger guest of the Italian Trade Commission, I even brought our 5-month-old daughter on Saturday and, of course, she was a hit throughout the festival. Said a woman at one of the tasting tables, “You can’t come here and not let us see your baby!”
From the event’s website:
The 2011 Saratoga Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival presented by the Italian Trade Commission, takes place September 9, 10 & 11 in Saratoga Springs, NY. Presented in partnership with the Saratoga Automobile Museum, this three-day festival, a fundraiser to support education programs at SPAC and the Automobile Museum, encompasses a series of unique events showcasing global excellence in wine, food and design.
The Ferraris are a fairly new addition to the weekend line-up in the last few years, and they fit right in with the event.
A number of Ferraris and other fine autos greeted us outside the grounds of SPAC on the lawn of the Saratoga Auto Museum, whetting our appetite for the afternoon.
Inside SPAC, more Ferraris and Fiats circled the lawn on the picture-perfect day, including an incredibly rare 60-HP 1907 Fiat, one of just five made and the only one known to still exist. To oohs and aahs of the crowd, we even got to hear the 104-year-0ld engine fire up without missing a beat.
Beyond the cars, a series of giant, interconnected tents overtook the SPAC lawn. As we stepped inside the first tent, our ears filled with the cheerful din of people who’d come from far and wide to taste the wines and food.
Armed with our tasting glasses, Jen and I wasted no time filling them at the first stop of the day, Fish Hook Vineyards. Throughout the afternoon, we tried a series of reds, whites, and sparkling wine from wineries and distributors including J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Adobe Road Winery, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, and lots more. We enjoyed a delicious sample of New Hampshire-based Cabin Fever maple whiskey, which was one of the highlights of the day for us. I also sampled a concoction of limoncello and 46 Peaks vodka, a local potato vodka from Lake Placid Spirits, named for the Adirondack high peaks.
Along the way we also tasted a variety of delicious food from Saratoga and surrounding area restaurants:
As if Saturday’s festivities weren’t fun enough, my dad — in town this weekend visiting his granddaughter (oh, and I suppose his son and daughter-in-law, too) from the San Francisco Bay Area — joined me for Sunday’s jazz brunch at Saratoga National, where we enjoyed a delicious buffet with food such as broccoli rabe, risotto, frittata, and French toast. Another beautiful day, the Ferraris were once again on display.
Such a great weekend and yet another example of what makes Saratoga a special place. I look forward to enjoying the festival again next year!
Yesterday at 1:51 PM Eastern Time, while on the phone with a customer in New York City, my office — and my whole house — in Saratoga Springs began to shake. And shake.
At the time, my friend Ken was down in the basement crawl space installing a ventilation system for our new dryer, which had involved chipping away part of the foundation near a hole in the kitchen floor that leads to our dryer. So my immediate reaction was, “Woah, what’s Ken doing down there?” Then Jen came running down from upstairs and said, “Are we having an earthquake?!”
But it didn’t seem like it could possibly be an earthquake — especially in Saratoga Springs, NY (despite the fault line that runs through town here). It never does.
Jen and I quickly turned to the Internet to confirm, and watched as Facebook and Twitter exploded with comments from friends and others up and down the East Coast, including some reports from as far west as Ohio.
I grew up in California and lived in San Francisco before moving east, so I’ve experienced my fair share of earthquakes — including the last Big One in 1989 (Loma Prieta in SF, which I felt 90 miles away in Sacramento). And I have to say yesterday’s was one of the stronger quakes I’ve felt (circa 2000 in SF there was a sizable one, too, when we were living there). Yesterday I looked around my home office and literally saw the walls moving back and forth, my marathon bibs and medals swaying to and fro.
Plenty of people are saying things to belittle yesterday’s quake, but I’m here to tell you it was no small potato if we could feel it 504 miles from the epicenter. It may not have caused much damage or too many injuries, thankfully, but it was noteworthy. And pretty darn rare for this coast, which caused the earth to shake even more since it does so less frequently here.
Eight years ago today I married my best friend. Time really flies when you’re having fun. The past eight years have gone by so fast. I still remember our wedding day like it was yesterday. Each year just keeps getting better and better.
And this year, of course, we have a new member of the family to help us celebrate everything we have to be thankful for — our health, our family, our friends, our Grace, each other.
Today my little bro turns 31. I’ve had the great pleasure of living just a few hours away from Pete the past year — the first time that’s happened since I left for college in 1995.
From the day he and Sierra arrived in Saratoga last July, we’ve been making the most of our proximity to each other — from Chalmers-infested trips to New York City to Mini Hulk-infused Saratoga Springs invasions via the Double Pleasure bus — and have had one hell of a year.
We watched polo. We played the ponies. We drank, we ate, we Scrabbled. We shoveled snow, grew mustaches, got humped by a Dalmatian. We bowled, played in the snow, grilled, drank martinis, ate pickled herring, ran. We moved furniture, trimmed hedges, raked, partied.
I became a dad; Pete became an uncle.
It’s been one hell of a year, and I’m going to miss having Pete and Sierra nearby.
Last week our good friends and Saratoga Springs photographers Niki and Seth stopped by for what we thought would just be a visit to meet Grace and take a few quick pictures. Little did we know they had a full-on photo shoot planned with what was essentially a mobile studio.
The resulting photos of Grace are simply amazing and have been described by friends and family as magazine quality, the best some people have ever seen, breathtaking, incredible, beautiful — and the adjectives go on. Of course we’re biased, but Jen and I fully agree.
Thank you for capturing the magic of our precious little one, Niki and Seth! You guys rock and we love you.