Current Mood: Continued Giddiness

Remember your first baseball game? I remember mine. August 10, 1987. Astros at Giants. I remember a lineup full of food names: Chili Davis and Candy Maldonado. I remember both pitchers had double-d names: Danny Darwin and Dave Draveckey. I remember the Astros jumping out to a four run lead. I remember thinking how bad it was that the Giants were going to lose my first baseball game, and how badly I wanted them to get back in it.

And then they did it.

Down four to one in the seventh, they scored three runs to tie it. I remember standing. Cheering. Knowing they were going to win.

The Astros took the lead again. Pushed across a run in the eighth to make it 5-4. They held us scoreless in our half of the inning. Don ‘The Caveman’ Robinson got them out in the top of the ninth, and then it was our turn again. Bottom of the ninth. The wind blowing cascades of August fog over the dome of the ‘Stick, trash swirling all over the outfield, blotches of bundled-up fans in the mostly empty upper decks. We stood. We cheered. We still believed. Two more runs, boys. Two more.

Candy Maldonado came up. And of all the ways he could have made an out, he didn’t. Instead he tied the game with a home run.

And then Will Clark came up. Will The Thrill. And of all the ways he could have made an out, he didn’t. He sent us home with another home run.

After 23 years, all the games I’ve seen or listened to, I’ve never forgotten the feeling I had going into that bottom of the ninth: That my team was going to find a way win. That it was nearly inevitable. That fate was on our side.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way about this team.

I feel it again.

I don’t own a TV. I watch sports online. Baseball and football. That’s it. I’ve seen or heard almost every Giants game for the last two years, even when I was in Paris when many games started at 3AM. Lived and died with this team. Mostly lived, lately. Yeah, it’s just sports. An elaborate fiction. But a damn good one, too, and one that unfolds across a lifetime, with fresh twists continuously being woven into a massive tapestry.

Two more, boys. Two more.

Current Mood: Giddy

Giving Power, Getting Power

My data analyst is telling me about a problem he’s having. Foreign key design and how to integrate a new set of tables into our database schema. He’s talking out the problem and I’m forming a solution in my mind, but instead of blurting it out, I just listen to him, ask simple questions, and let him work on the solution.

Later that day he came back into my office fired up. He’d done it, tied the whole thing together with a brilliant little trick. As we were high-fiving, I realized something:

– He appreciates that I have the technical knowledge to understand the magnitude of the problem he’s working on
– He respects that I’m acknowledging that while I could wrestle with the problem myself, he is better than me at it.

Giving someone responsibility. Cultivating in them the idea that what they do is unique and needed. “You’re my guy”. There’s power in that.

Power for everyone involved.

Early October

It is a Celtic morning here in Portland Oregon. Deep grey rifts in the sky. The mind reaches out for context, mud, a murky stink, wet wool and sweaty leather. Something green and respirating. The algae in the pool of our-story, his-story. The lives upon lives stacked like pies in a bakery, the boneyard we’ve built our lucky lives on top of.

meme and motif, texture and contour, smog and clarity
rousing, raucous, elated
to desperation, to defeat, that acrid panic
a November nut stash falling to the floor
of the forest, to be devoured by the rats.

These days I spend a chunk of my week following the S&P 500 futures market. Trying to reduce organized chaos to a probabilistic formula. Trying to meld art and gut with hard %s (the symbol is more significant than the word). Trading a broad market index, in many ways, is an attempt to embrace the collected spirit of the world in all its over and under-confident moments and to prosper from a calculated bet against the sway of a pendulum.

It is noble work. Providing liquidity. Without liquidity, the free market dies, and damn what the naysayers and whiny babies say, *that* would be a crash none of us wants to see.

It is also not the only work. It is an avocation, but there are so many, too many to cram into one lifetime. But we try anyway.

Lo que más quiero. And how we spend our days.