Monthly Archives: March 2013

Goldfish – A Short Story

The fish rise to the surface and eagerly suck down the floating pellets with mouths agape, greedily inhaling food and air before disappearing with a splash.

I hate doing this. I’ve hated doing this for the three years I’ve been visiting the lake. But promises must be kept.

I visit for you, to keep your ghost at bay. You loved these fish. I can still hear your happy laugh from when you used to throw handfuls of food into the water and incite the school into a golden rush.

Soon I will stop coming. It’s been almost six months since you died and I’m finally almost out of fish food.

No more will I have to give my pocket change to Gary, the homeless former bus driver who sleeps in the bushes and bathes in the lake. No more nodding and smiling to Sheriff Donaldson, who occasionally teases me about needing a permit to feed the fish. No more kids begging and jostling me for a handful to throw. No more cold, expressionless faces leering at me and disappearing in a flash. No more you.

No more you — it’s hard to believe. We had so many happy days before the angry ones. Holding hands, making plans and sweet nothings.

Then our hands fell away and we didn’t want to touch each other. Then the plans came undone. And finally, in the end, there was nothing.

Then that nothing turned into something horrible. Neither one of us could let go, and we both choked our relationship with a death grip while trying to hang on for dear life. Then a life was suddenly gone. Yours.

I knew how much you loved these fish when you made me promise to help take care of them. You knew how much I didn’t like it, but you still asked.

“Together, or not at all,” I replied.

“It’s a deal!” you agreed.

I look around and spot a fisherman landing one of the carp. Thrashing in his net, he quickly dispatches it with a club before unhooking it and placing it in a bucket with others. It looked bronze out of the water.

So here I am. Almost done. Almost done with you.

I throw another handful into the melee, let the snot-nosed kids fling some in, tip my cap with a smile to Sheriff Donaldson on the way to my car, and calculate how much pocket change I have for Gary.

Oh! – A Photograph


Null Space

Triangles2Words bubble and churn inside of me. What I start isn’t what I need to expel. Miasma leaks out my fingers, spilling amber ichor through my keyboard. If only delete could erase this feeling as well as it clears the awkward words spattered across my screen.

Tripe is what it is! All teenaged melancholy angst, more awkwardly ugly when worn in graying middle age. Write! damn you, write! Put voice to the almost audible whispers. Drag those voices out into conscious daylight and watch them flower or shrivel as they will.

Nurture them or smite them, goad them or coax them, caress them or stomp them, lose them or hold them, cup them or discard them – they don’t care, they’re only words. Write! Write! Write! Write!

Write a dungheap of words to fertilize the thoughts, never mind the smell; to the dung beetle it’s gardenia wafting on a sea breeze under the Southern Cross. Pile it high, let it sit, then dig, dig deep and pull out the coprolites and build a holy altar from those words. Light a candle, meditate, write.

Write. Write. Write.

My New Job

Color-BlockI left Microsoft last October to spend more time with my family, and when family life was about as sorted as it was going to be (and they were sick of me kicking around the house) in January, I started to look for a new job.

I’m incredibly fortunate and happy to announce that I report for new employee orientation March 11, 2013 at 8 AM, at…

Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.

My roots are as a founder of a startup, and the desire to climb back on that roller coaster was very strong. As I talked to startups and later-stage companies around town, I realized something: I liked working at large Internet scale and startups by definition don’t have much of that.

The intersection of the top Internet companies and the Seattle area is a relatively small set, so this really focused my job search.

As has happened to me a few times in the past, a gig opened up at just the right time that offered what I was seeking. (Did I mention how fortunate I think I am?) And after interviewing last Monday, I was offered the job and happily accepted Microsoft’s offer. 🙂

I’m joining the Microsoft Office Division, where I will be leading the team of people who publish and maintain the Office TechCenter and Office Dev Center websites, and the related IT Pro and developer communities.

As to scale, Microsoft Office is used by over a billion people worldwide. The IT Pros and developers that visit those websites have hundreds of millions of people behind them that they support and write solutions for. Now that gets me out of bed in the morning. Even better, it won’t take me months to learn the corporate culture and I know many of the people I’ll be working with on a regular basis.

Finally, if you’re a customer that uses the Office Tech or Dev Center, please feel free to drop me a line – I’m listening and would love to have your input as we plan for the future.

SITO Gridcosm 3644c1


SITO Gridcosm Level 3644c1