Friday, January 28, 2000

Here we go again

There is a joke that winds up a little too often in my in-box that goes as follows.

One day after completing a long project for yet another pre IPO dot com company, a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, and a computer programmer are driving home when all of a sudden the cars starts to spin out of control down a steep hill. Just before it is about to hit a large tree the car manages to skid off into a bush. Because the car has air bags the group is ok after they dust the broken glass.

The mechanical engineer turns to his two co-workers and says “the breaks must not have had enough fluids which cause the car to crash.”

The electrical engineer responds “No, I think there was a short in the drive system.”

The computer programmer shrugs “I have no idea. Let’s try it again.”

* * *

I am a computer programmer and look forward to being the Web captain for the following season. To me the fact that I can combine my love of hacking with the same group of people I run with is an honor and a joy.

Towards that end I have converted the running calendar to a Microsoft .pst file. If you use Outlook, you can import the file. It is also great if you later synch with a palm pilot.

I am also thinking about putting some fundraising letters on-line. If you have a copy of a fundraising letter, a follow-up letter, or a thank-you note that you could send me for distribution it would be fantastic. The more letters that the group can see the easier it would be for a novice to write a good one. Or at least a piece that doesn’t start with cheap joke.

When I got the introduction letter from Kristi, I was thinking about the three engineers spinning in a car together while frantically trying to prepare for the bottom of the hill. It must have been an intense, nervous, almost exhilarating few moments before the final bit. They were lucky to have each other to comfort and advise each other after the ordeal and will probably remember that one incident long after they have vested their stock and moved to Oregon.

I am a computer programmer and I love to run. Any day on the open road is a good day. Last season I snuck into the level three group under the guise that I had done approximately a marathon thirteen years earlier. I was pretty well humbled in Honolulu and afterwards spent some time trying to figure what I had learned.

The main thing I took away (other than I really need to stretch far more than I do) is that marathons are more of a life style than an event. The buddy runs and the brunches are better than the shells at the finish line. On any given day it might rain. But if you work at something a few times a week you would be surprised how far you can go.

So if you ask why I am going back to this thing after spending a week walking down stairs backwards, I will tell you “I have no idea. Let’s try it again.”