Smarter than me, I mean I

Friday, 23 April 2004

A recruiter from LA contacted me out of the blue, as the kids say. It was about a job, or finding someone for the job, at a company I’ve been interested in putting out of business for 4 years. Not because I dislike them but because I want the business.

I can’t move though, much as I’d like to study their business from inside, leave, and do what they do right and avoid what they do wrong. I’m too busy pulling ivy, holly, and Japanese knotweed from the creekside, and watching Veri get smarter.

Anyway, I know a few kids from LA, including Barnaby, who you know already. I’ve met some kids through him including, unfortunately, Billy Bob Thornton, and some others I like much better like Eric, who also knows a little Perl, and Dave.


Now, when I was 15 I was into D&D, just then become AD&D. I loved it but I was even more infatuated with scifi on account of The Empire Strikes Back filling all the voids in my young life that my father and my church were unable to address. So between the hours of 7pm and 3am, every night for two years, I wrote a game called Stars End.

Twenty-two races, two gallaxies, governments, imperial cops, custom lasers by caliber/color, rail-shuriken-guns, AIs as NPCs, biological weapons and space flight bred by the oldest civilization known, a dozen character classes, 48-hour-long game parties in teams alternating between the Atari 5200 and playing on the clock to find the biggest zero stone in the known universe for Alexander the former Red Boot. Everyone who played it said it was better than Gamma World; well, that’s not such a compliment but they also thought it was better than Traveller, better than D&D. We had fun with that game.

When Dave was 15 he was off doing super genius stuff that maybe 20 kids in the entire world were doing. University stuff—smarter than the smartest person you ever had a friend lie about knowing stuff. Don’t be misled. He didn’t silently observe many moments where there was a chance to discuss it in a few short terms. So not only did I know he was smarter than I am but I got to get reminded, like I needed it. Like it didn’t itch already. Like it doesn’t still bother me today that I’ve met someone smarter than I am.

I let Eric know about the recruiter in case he wanted the job, though I was pretty sure he wasn’t in LA and I’m still kinda mad he thought I left the band because I was scared of LA and not because I was disgusted with the situation. Anyway, I let Eric know.

Eric wrote a nice reply. He’s in Singapore doing swimmingly. I’m not sure what “swimmingly” means beyond “well” but I’ve enjoyed saying it ever since I was a kid and realized it bugged my dad. Eric didn’t need the job and Singapore was treating him much better than it treated me.

Eric wrote to Barnaby and me. He mentioned Cort might like the job. You see how friendly we all are. I said he was otherwise employed at Microsoft. He remarked how weird it was we all ended up in IT; not one of has a formal background in it. Well, maybe we’re not as smart as Dave but we’re all pretty smart and IT came easily for us all.

Eric talked about what he’s up to and that Dave is there in Singapore too, being successful with him. He also remarked that they were playing D&D again and enjoying the new ruleset.

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