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We had a dinner party the other night, and made a wonderful shrimp and lobster risotto. And it wasn’t just me. There were six couples here, and all the women hung out by the fireplace drinking wine, while the guys hung out in the kitchen making dinner.

It wasn’t planned that way. I planned to do most of the work myself (with a major assist from my friend Jim Roxbury, who is the cook I’d like to be when I grow up). But the guys just gravitated to it…which is its own lesson about marketing to guys the right way.

(It ended up that I needed more help than planned when I cut off a piece of my finger with a brand new Henckel knife…landing me in the emergency room at 2 am after the meal was served, the guests had gone home and the dishes were done…)

Anyway, this is a one way of getting to the point – that we served some wonderful wines both before and with dinner that I’d recommend without reservation:

• 2004 Santi Sortesele Pinot Grigio (Italy)
• 2003 Jean-Paul Mollet Pouilly Fume (France)
• 1996 Journey Sonoma Valley Merlot
• 2002 Cuneo Two Rivers Sangiovese (from Oregon)
• 2001 Cana’s Feast Red Mountain Blend (includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot…and also is from Oregon)
• 2001 Cuneo Two Rivers Bordeaux-Style (Oregon)

All great stuff…any of which would be perfect for the upcoming holidays…and all capable of killing the pain of a knife accident.

It’s made typing an adventure, though.

Now playing on my iPod: the new concert album from Jimmy Buffett, “Live At Fenway Park,” which has great oldies, some new stuff and just wonderful energy that brought a smile to my face.

I learned something this week. There’s nothing like a brand new soft top to bring new luster to a decade-old convertible.

There must be a retailing metaphor there somewhere…

Woody Allen famously said once that “eighty percent of success is just showing up.”

As of today, it has been four years that MNB has been showing up on people’s desktop computers and laptops.

But I think that if this modest little venture can be called a success, it is because the MNB community keeps showing up. Reading. Writing. Thinking. Emoting. And doing all of these things with a passion that often surprises but never disappoints me.

I was thinking the other day about how to mark this birthday/anniversary/occasion, and I thought that it was best to be low key. After all, it isn’t the first four years that matter most. It is the next four. And the four after that.

It is fun being me. It is fun doing this job – if it can be called that – day after day. I hope you’re having as much fun as I’m having.

When I started MNB, I had plenty of ideas, though no specific plan for how this all would unfold. I wanted to have a good time writing it so other people would have a good time reading it. I have to admit, though, that it never occurred to me that MNB would be the kind of website that, in the space of just a few hours, would generate passionate emails about the nature of God and religion, as well as about where to find great fruitcake (which I didn’t even know existed).

Pretty cool.

I will drink a toast to you all this weekend. I’ll stay away from sharp objects. And I’ll see you Monday morning with an all-new edition of MNB.

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