Archive for April, 2004

Like a 2-2 fastball…

Tuesday, April 6th, 2004

It was made announced to the team today, so it’s probably safe to announce publicly that my last day up north at Yahoo will be April 30th. I won’t be leaving the Yahoo family, however. Instead, I’ll be transferring to Overture down in Pasadena.

In the end the siren call of Los Angeles proved irresistible, but it was a hard call. I really enjoyed working with everyone on the Premium Services Infrastructure team (the folks who took your money if you ever used a fee-based (premium) Yahoo service) , and on My Yahoo before that. Yahoo’s filled with a lot of bright, wonderful, hardworking people and it was cool being able to hear the inside scoop of what folks were working on.

At the same time, I’m really looking forward to starting at Overture. From the interview, and what’s Sang’s told me, Overture is well-stocked with smart, hardworking folks as well. (And speaking of Sang, it’s certainly not a bad thing that I get to work with one of my oldest, best friends again.) Obviously, since Overture does sponsored search, I’ll be in the mix of that somewhere. In my head, I have a rough picture of the particular parts I’ll be dealing with, but I’d be hard pressed to accurately describe it. Throw in some Perl & databases, and I’m pretty happy duckling. (And did I mention the bountiful life of Los Angeles?)

At the very least, it’s a chance to go up against the other big player of sponsored search: Google. Google, like Microsoft, is a 600 pound gorilla. A lot of people will say it’s stupid to fight with the 600 pound gorilla. Don’t anger the 600 pound gorilla.

Me? I’m an instigator. I want to kick the 600 pound gorilla in the balls. Who knows what’ll happen, but let’s rumble motherfucker.


Monday, April 5th, 2004

It occurred to me the other day that while the word “rewind” remains in my vocabulary, it’s become a bit of a misnomer. I no longer really rewind anything. I don’t rewind my cassette tapes. I no longer need be kind & rewind my VCR rentals. In fact, I don’t really use anything that literally rewinds.

I still rewind & go back, however. I rewind a DVD, I rewind a CD, my iPod, streaming media, and one of the features I love most of my Tivo is the ability to rewind.

Mark my words, but one day — and it will a day where you feel your oldest — in 30 or 40 years, a kid living in an even more digital world, will ask you why we “rewind” things, without honestly a clue in the world.

When that happens, my own plan is not to answer them. Instead, following in the footsteps of Plato, I have my own question for them: Why do DVD players have both a stop and a pause button?

Answer that one, you little snoot-nosed brat.

It’s not “crazy” unless it talks back

Sunday, April 4th, 2004

I am not making this up, but at the grocery store tonight there was a man, on his hands and knees, talking to a can of Campbell’s mushroom soup. I know it was mushroom, because when you seen a man on his hands & knees talking to a can of soup, you have to get a little closer to find out what kind.

I’m left feeling a little empty. In my thirty years on this earth and countless cans of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, we’ve scarcely said a word to each other. It raises a good question though: when you’re crazy, who initiates the conversation? Do you talk to the can of soup, or did the soup, perhaps, reach out first? Was it something simple, “How’s it going?” or something deeper, some more meaningful that compelled it to break all these years of silence?

And which is crazier? Sure, both are, but I think if you initiate you’re further on on the road to crazy. Talking to a can of soup out of the blue is fucking nuts. As for the latter, well, after all, if someone talks to you, it’s only polite to respond. And maybe that can did say something interesting – I’ve got to imagine a can of mushroom would have some fairly unique insights – so without realizing it you fall into an in-depth and beautiful conversation. In the world of mushroom, where is does rank to be a cup of soup? Did he have bigger dreams of being a portabella? Is he simply happy to escape a future of being dug up by boars?

I suppose it makes since chicken noodle doesn’t talk to me. After all, the chicken is dead and the noodles themselves aren’t going to talk, they’re just fucking noodles.