Secret Message in a Bottle — About Tim

It takes a lickin' and keeps tickin'.Traditionally, “Dear John” letters are written from the person departing a relationship to the soon to be soon-to-be departed (not to be confused with the “dearly departed,” in which case the letter is actually an obituary). Today, however, I will invert the model and direct my “Dear John” to the departing party seeing as they didn’t bother to send me a letter. I know this 180-degree twist on convention might rile the purists among you, but considering that neither of the parties is named John, any notion of purity is a charade. One is me and the other is former Sonoma Valley Sun managing editor Tim Omarzu. And the break-up isn’t romantic despite all the ouzo we’ve shared. It’s, as my uncle Luigi used to say, “Just business.”

Yesterday was Omarzu’s last day at the helm of this paper, and seeing as I missed his going-away party (my massage and chardonnay-scrub at MacArthur Place went long – sorry!), I am compelled to address his departure frankly and forthrightly in this column. Tim is in the CIA. Continue reading “Secret Message in a Bottle — About Tim”

My Gregarious Brain

Tip of the brain.A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times Magazine published “The Gregarious Brain,” an article that explored the genetic disorder Williams Syndrome and its symptoms – slight mental retardation coupled with an enormous capacity for conversation and interest in socializing. I anticipate that at least two questions have sprung to mind. A) “Doesn’t that sound like you after an evening at the Fig?” and, B) “Are you reading the competition?” The answer to both is a resounding “Yes.” Here’s how: Intoxication reduces cognitive capacity and makes one chatty; I read the competition because it’s part of my job as an editor of a glossy magazine to assume the Joneses have the jump on me – especially the ones in New York (okay, I’m hedging, I don’t know any New York Joneses, but if I did…) More to the point, there was a turn of phrase cited by the article’s author, David Dobs, describing Williams patients’ hyper-sociability as the “drive to affiliate.” Continue reading “My Gregarious Brain”

Kaput Currency

Money makes the world go flat.In the attic of the bungalow I now call mine (with the Contessa and our creditors, of course), abandoned beneath the wood beams and moldering in a shroud of cobwebs was a weather-beaten valise. Why I was in the attic is my business (well, my wife’s), but the suitcase, or at least its contents, was once the business of the Treasury Department of the Republic of Blum. Continue reading “Kaput Currency”

The Blue Chair

Who will sit in the blue chair next? Think musical chairs by way of existential angst with a brilliant original score by Brodie Giles (the heir apparent to Wendy Carlos in my opinion).

Forget the iPhone: Drop a dime on a dFone

dFone blue print.After witnessing the global marketing push for the Apple iPhone in recent weeks, it occurred to me that I’ve been slacking on my own uber-phone initiative – the dFone. Though the dFone, as in “Daedalus phone,” has a more humble origin story than Steve Jobs’ newfangled communicator, let’s explore it nevertheless as another example of American ingenuity. Continue reading “Forget the iPhone: Drop a dime on a dFone”