August 19, 2003

Eastern Travel, August 1-4: Chapel Hill Wedding

Serving as a groomsman in the wedding of Todd and Christy provided the spur for our travel throughout the east.

I hired Todd at Epinions. We became great friends. At Epinions, we would hang out with some others, including Christy. Over time, Todd and Christy began hanging out more. Then they moved to North Carolina to attend UNC-Chapel Hill's Library and Information Science school. They met a bunch of cool people. They had some ups and downs. They travelled to Washington, D.C. to protest the impending war with Iraq. Spending the night at a friend's place in Baltimore, Todd proposed marriage to Christy. She accepted. They became guardians of a beautiful dog, Sebastian James. (Sadly, Sebastian doesn't give kisses.) Todd left the LIS program, deciding he wants to get far away from anything resembling practical. He's studying sociology, now. They bought a comfortable townhouse in Carrboro. They know many of their neighbors.

On August 1st, Stacy and I flew across the country, taking three different planes, landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. (We arrived later than expected. Inclement weather up and down the east coast. That weather has persisted to the day I write this, August 12th.)

The wedding took place on August 2. As a groomsman, I had various duties. The first was to make sure the breakfast and the park was cleaned up. Then I help set up tables at the wedding site. Then I waited.

Stacy and I met up with a bunch of folks at Maple View Farm Dairy and had ice cream and sat in rocking chairs, looking out over a stereotypically beautiful rural countryside. The ice cream was pretty good (I prefer mine heavier). The mosquitos left me alone.

Back to the wedding site, a professor's beautiful house. It was raining, a problem since the ceremony had been planned to take place in the front yard. The groomsmen dressed: an outfit comprised of a white shirt, tan vest, light-colored slacks, dress shoes, and a bright green bow-tie. We looked a bit like riverboat casino dealers.
Groomsmen in front of a mirror

We waited. We took a belt off a bottle of bourbon. We wondered if we were going to have to move the ceremony inside. Todd strapped the ring onto the ringbearer (see pic). We waited some more.

The groom preps the ringbearer

About 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the ceremony, the rain stopped, and the sun broke through. The ceremony's officiant (what do Unitarian's call those people? Reverends? Pastors? Anyway...) lead the groomsmen through a hand-holding and energy-flowing exercise. We headed outside, joined up with the bridesmaids, and formed the procession.

During the ceremony, I was able to snap one picture.
The bride approaches the altar

A delightful ceremony, Todd and Christy pledged refreshingly honest vows.

In short order, we segued into the evening part of the event -- drinks, dinner, and dancing. I was asked to MC. The P.A. rental neglected to give us a microphone, so every 15 minutes or so, I shouted out the subsequent happenings ("Receiving and buffet line!" "Father/daughter dance!" "Cake cutting!"). The merriment lasted well into the night.

Stacy and I returned to our hotel, exhausted.

The following day, Stacy and I deked around the area. Asking around, we were directed to brunch at Elmo's. A friendly place, the food was really only okay. Our waiter was one of those types you seen in college towns--overeducated folks doing drudgery service work who clearly get excited at the prospect of chatting with someone intelligent. We chatted a a bit about media studies.

We drove into Historic Hillsborough, but since it was Sunday, everything was closed.

We returned to Carrboro, ate at the local hip grocery store, drank some good coffee, and drank beer at a little post-wedding reception. Headed back to the Dairy Farm for a Sunday evening of live bluegrass music.

Then we headed to Chapel Hill for what proved to be one of the best meals on the trip: southern cookin' at Mama Dips. The ribs and chicken were excellent. The sides were cooked with pork. There was no complainin'.

That was pretty much it for us in North Carolina. Extremely delightful. My second time in the area, and I'm looking forward to returning.

Posted by peterme at 11:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Play With Your Search

On October 8, 2000, I wrote about a TV ad for (scroll down), which utilized a visual metaphor for search that I felt was necessary to help most searchers to really understand how search works.

Well, now someone has made that a reality. is in the business of providing visualization tools for sifting through data. On their home page, in the bottom left-hand corner, is a link to digital camera search. (Yes, you'll have to sit through an unnecessary flash intro... sorry). Click on it, and play with it for a bit. It's pretty cool.

Things I would change:
- Show brand. In my research, people shopping for digital cameras are way brand-oriented
- Utilize rollovers. I should be able to rollover the images and be given the name and model number of the camera, and it's price
- Compare side-by-side. Some way to select multiple cameras, click "compare", and see specs side by side. People LOVE comparing products.

Posted by peterme at 07:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


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