The Leap of Destiny

Today is my last day as a Bronto. I suppose it is fitting then that I spend my last minutes at my desk detailing my last official act of business on behalf of Bronto Software.

Our downtown Durham office at The American Tobacco Historic District has a "river" that runs through the middle of our courtyard. After we moved our offices here in 2004, the mystery and intrigue of said river brought about countless "meaning of life" type questions, including:

  • How does the water get from the bottom of the river back to the top?

  • Why are those poor guys cleaning the river every single day?

  • Do you think any dead bodies have been dumped in the American Tobacco river?

  • Would I get arrested if I skinny dipped in the river on a 90 degree Friday afternoon?

  • Do you think that I could make the jump across?

Today - after some encouragement trash talk from Carolyn - I put the latter question to rest. Here are the videos to prove it:

'Twas truly my proudest moment with the company. The legend of the leap will live long in Bronto lore.

Dear Richard, You Are My Favorite Player

Check out the story about a baseball player that responded to his fan mail 15 years later.

I wrote similar letters to countless professional athletes when I was a kid. My dad and I used to pick a handful of likely prospects and reel off 10 letters in a single sitting. (Watching my dad write "My name is Eric Boggs. I'm 10 years old." in a simulated 10 year-old's handwriting was pretty darn funny...)

Just like the author, I - or we - always used the "you are my favorite player" line and expectedly realized a significant conversion on letters targeted to the mediocre players. Craig Worthington of the Orioles, Brian Noble of the Packers, and, especially, Richard Anderson of the Hornets are some of the no-names that come to mind.

Richard Anderson was a scrub for the Charlotte Hornets. I remember him as a complete stiff that subbed into the game for mop-up duty when the Hornets were getting slaughtered, which happened more often than not. My dad and I called him "Wrong Way Richard" for some reason - I guess because we thought he was so terrible. This seems kinda harsh after looking at his career stats and realizing that he stuck in the league for 6 years...

My dad jokingly suggested that I write one of my letters to Richard, so I did. I remember laughing my 10 year-old butt off writing a letter telling Richard that he was my favorite player and that - get this - I thought he should get more playing time. My dad and I thought it was an absolute riot.

As we hoped, Richard wrote me back using the SASE I provided. He wrote a gracious thank-you note, that I've lost, and autographed the card I provided. (I still have the card.) Surely Richard realized my ruse, yet he still replied. Nice guy, that Wrong Way Richard.

In addition to Richard, my efforts also netted some pretty big fish, including Don Mattingly of the Yankees, Kirby Puckett of the Twins, and Kevin Johnson of the Phoenix Suns. I also received a lame "join my fan club" packet from Dan Marino, which was the first in a long line of disappointments from my childhood football hero - including the "Ace Ventura" cameo, the Isotoner Gloves commercials, the Atkins diet commercials, and the awful commentary on CBS Sunday afternoons, not to mention the whole "no Super Bowl" ring deal. Another post for another time...

White And Nerdy

Weird Al's "White And Nerdy" has been getting mad air-time at Bronto this week.

My favorite rhymes:

There's no killer app I haven't run.
At Pascal, well, I'm number one.
I do vector calculus just for fun.
I ain't got a gat but I gotta soldering gun.

Shopping online for deals on some writable media.
I edit Wikipedia.

Weird Al is truly the voice of a generation.

PS - To all ya'll gangstaz bloggaz out there, can a link to a GooTube video serve as my obligatory weigh-in on the Google/YouTube transaction?

(Can we find something new to talk about please?)