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Monday, September 15, 2003

Big doings here in Fantasyland, and I didn't even have to buy a ticket. This was more than just another busy Monday. It was also the prelude to a week of happy mayhem.

I know there will be mayhem, and I'm willing to be convinced it'll be the happy kind. I'm not convinced yet, but I have little input into the decision, so I might as well pretend to be optimistic. There's nothing to be gained by trying to hold back a tidal wave on my own, so I'll go with the flow, for now.

The Boss and his surly son Tim are headed to Southern California this week to make presentations that they hope (and I hope, because it's part of my job) will persuade someone that we can manage a big project for a large municipal entity. That's as specific as I can get, but it's something on a larger scale than anything we've tackled in the past, and yet we have to sell them on the idea that we have the resources and the experience to do it.

They're salesmen, the Boss and Tim, and they can be quite charming when money is involved, but they need help that I can't give them. They've somehow enlisted an accountant, a management consultant and an architect to sign onto the project, providing a cachet of confidence and expertise, while at the same time diluting the profits. They've also hired a Power Point specialist, to make this whole castle appear to be made of more than air (or sand; choose your own metaphor).

My role is as sounding board and cheerleader. I'm much better suited for the latter responsibility. As a sounding board, I make a good yes man. It's not what they need, but it's what they want and it's what keeps the paychecks rolling in. I'm a reluctant cheerleader, because I'm not as sold on the company's new direction as they are. But I keep my lack of enthusiasm to myself.

The first of their two presentations is tomorrow. It's important, but it's a glorified rehearsal for the Big One next week, in front of the actual decision-makers, the people who will have to figure out if we're for real. Tim spent a lot of money to make the show impressive enough to get some attention, but not so glitzy that it overshadows what a solid, level head he has. (Kind of like an anvil.)

I guess I hope it works, because failure would make him even surlier. He's the best hope for the future of the company, after the Boss retires, and that makes him a very important person in my life. He and I have a good, not great, relationship. I think we respect each other about equally (and I'm not sure it's enough to build a successful business around).

15 September 2003

Today's sky.

Anyway, I've been doing what I can. I don't know Power Point, but I downloaded the Power Point viewer so I could see what he's created for the big show. It looks good to me, but I know too much behind-the-scenes dirt already. If he offered me a lollipop, I'd make him taste it first. But you can bet I told him how impressed I was, and how sure I am that he'll do well. I'm just not so sure I want him to do well.

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A last place team (the Padres) walked Barry Bonds with a two-run lead tonight to bring the winning run to the plate in the eighth inning, and guess what happened. The Padres lost their two-run lead. Bonds scored the tying run, and the winning run was right behind him. The Giants won, 8-7. Decisions like that are part of the reason the Padres are in last place and the Giants are in first. (The fact that earlier in the game Bonds hit home run number 655, putting him 100 behind all time leader Hank Aaron, might also have something to do with it.)

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One year ago: All Wet
"Chances are she didn't get me in focus anyway."

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