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Vinegar
2004-03-31 17:22
by Ken Arneson

So Will invited me, Ken, to join this blog, and I asked Will what he expected from me, and Will said "Write whatever you want Ken" and I thought "OK, simple enough, I can do that." But then Will introduced me. It started off nice:

"Hes full of heart (sure) and humbug (definitely), intelligence (perhaps) and vinegar."
Vinegar? I'm full of vinegar? Now I'm confused. What does that mean? If Will is expecting vinegar out of me, I'd better go do some research and find a definition:
Vinegar can be made from any fruit, or from any material containing sugar. [It is produced by] fermentation of natural sugars to alcohol and then secondary fermentation to vinegar.
Apparently, Will expects me to take something sweet, like baseball, and make it rot--twice.

My role here isn't discourse; it's decomposition.

--

So now I'm feeling a little déjà vu.

Ten years ago, I was working for a struggling database company called Ingres when Computer Associates bought us out. CA planned to lay off most of the company. The other database companies started recruiting Ingres employees like mad. Sybase hired an airplane to circle our building with a recruiting banner. Oracle held a special day just for us, and Larry Ellison himself showed up to encourage us to join his team.

Ellison was so charismatic that if he had produced a contract right then and there for me to sign I would have signed it, no questions asked. (Charisma wears off; I later declined an Oracle offer.)

Although I was dazzled by Ellison's charm, I can only remember one thing he said. When asked what he thought about CA, Ellison paused, then said, "Well, every ecosystem needs its scavengers."

An odd thing to say, really, considering that Oracle itself was scavenging for new employees out of the remains of CA's kill. But heck, Oracle is a fabulously successful company. CA eats pond scum, and you are what you eat, but they're also a fabulously successful company. Decomposition is good business.

--

Businesses are born, they merge, and they die. Blogs are born, they merge, and they die. If the baseball blog ecosystem needs a scavenger to feed off the rot, to pick upon the bones of last week's news, I am happy to serve it. Being recruited, being wanted, being needed, whether for software or for blogging, is a wonderful feeling, even if I may not deserve it.

So thank you, Mr. Carroll, for the seat
inside your friendly bar across the street.

And Mike Crudale.

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