Beginnings and Endings
Last Wednesday Katie and I went to dinner with an old friend and classmate, Nate, and his lovely wife. Nate and I were two of three Rice computer science 2001 graduates who started up companies at about the same time so we shared a special bond of cutting our teeth together. He is founder and CEO of Entrance Software, a top notch custom software company that is one of Houston's fastest growing. It was bootstrapped since the beginning and has grown organically based on smart talent and fastidious attention to customer satisfaction. As I know most of the team, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the company to anyone looking for IT solutions.
Dinner was at Sorrento, less than a mile from my house. I pass it every day and every day I say to myself, "Hmm, that looks good; we should give it a try." At last we did give it a try and it was well worth the wait. From the anchovy-cheese bread to the risotto served from a parmigiano wheel, from the tender, succulent fillet with foie gras to the delicious salads, the experience was sublime. By the time we ordered dessert it was too late to order the chocolate-Gran Marnier souffle', which bummed us out a bit. But our waiter surprised us by bringing us a snifter of Gran Marnier with gorgeous chocolate truffles. Well played, sir, well played.
Friday Katie and I celebrated a special date at Capital Grille uptown. It has plenty of redeeming qualities--many of which we tasted--but number one hands down is LOBSTER MACARONI & CHEESE. Words can't describe how rich and delicious this is so I won't even try. The citrus-glazed salmon, green salad, parmesan truffle fries, and everything else merit praise but the lobster mac & cheese clearly takes the cake. Mmmm!
Last week I was also pleased to host Angela, a Ugandan woman in search of a US university. Due to discriminatory practices in her own country she has been forced to look elsewhere for higher education. She found me through an Irish IMD classmate of mine, who had worked for several years in Rwanda--now that's a global network! When she expressed an interest in Rice University, I offered to put her up at my house and do whatever I could to facilitate her application. Although I didn't have as much time to spend with her as I would have liked, it was a real pleasure getting to know her. She is smart, capable, and would be a real asset to the next Rice class; I really hope she gains admission!
The week wasn't all sunshine and roses, though. I dropped my tablet (laptop) in a parking garage and it understandably began behaving very unreliably. It turns out that my hard drive was damaged and needs to be replaced. The computer itself is pretty worn but can be salvaged. In the meantime, I bought a new tablet, the HP TouchSmart tx2z. It is about the same size as my previous one but the mult-touch screen is much more functional: I can control everything with my fingers instead of just the attached stylus. It also runs Windows 7, with which I am very impressed. It is fast, clean, and quite functional.
Last week I also caught up with two friends with dying fathers. Obviously the subject is a pretty poignant one for me and I'm sad that others are having to deal with it. However, I'm glad to be a resource for them. If I can ease their burden at all or help out in any way, then at least there is some silver lining to my own experience. I remind myself that death is just as natural as life and that none of us are getting any younger. The best we can do is live life to the fullest and enjoy the blessing of the time we do have with those we love.
While I'm on morose topics, what a terrible, terrible football season to be a fan of the Rice Owls or the Washington Redskins--not to mention being a fan of both! My Owls are winless on the season, giving up 46 points per game! The Skins aren't doing much better with two wins and a dramariffic front office. Oh well, at least the Texans are doing well, as are Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, my two favorite active QBs.
It was a busy week for Enistic too. We have almost finalized the deal with our UK partners and will soon be ready to raise some money and get started. As many of you know, I'm not a patient person so I'm very, very eager to move this venture forward!