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2002-01-23 - 12:44 p.m.

This weekend JohnnyBravo and I have a date with another couple. Well, actually I don't know if it'll be just the couple who invited us or a whole gang that they know or what. The guy, Mark, works at the same company as JB and they also went to the same high school, back in the day. We haven't really spent any time with Mark & Wife so it was sorta out of the blue that he asked if we wanted to join them in Pioneer Square this Saturday.

I met these guys last summer at JB's 10 year class reunion. Wife was bubbly, not so much in a witty effervescent way; more in a helium-saturated, squeaky giggles way. At one point she hauled out pictures of their dogs and showed everyone crowing "these are my babies until Mark gives me some real ones!" which I thought would dissolve Mark into a pool of embarrassment - but he just gave an aw-shucks look and then told us all how great their dogs were. If I had produced a picture of our cat JB probably would have refused to speak with me for like a month. We also got to hear: how great Mark's job is and how he has had an actual meeting with the big company boss, how super their big house is on almost a square mile in a really expensive area of town, and how they are having so much fun with their new 30 ft. Bayliner boat.

So I'm feeling sort of ambivalent about the outing, it's been a few months and they've probably either adopted some sort of beautiful, special child, or he's retired at 28, or they will have bought a condo in Jamaica that we are totally invited to, if that's a place we, you know, go to often.

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AOL VS MICROSOFT: Decision To Resolve Issues in Nude Wrestling Match! Wouldn't that be great? It's like Steve Case and Bill Gates, all naked and mud covered and stuff. Wait, that would actually be gross.

I'm not on board with the whole let's-legally-attack-Microsoft-because-they-are-huge thing. Have you read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged? In Atlas, government officials demonized singular achievement, preaching 'do what is best for the people' - including cutting into the profits of successful companies, and creating an "Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule" to stop competition.

It makes me think of my last job, at Asinine Craptacular Management Executives, or, let's call it ACME (ACME suffered mightily from many of the ills that befall young tech companies, like a company management team with brains formed entirely of circus peanut candy material). We had one competitor that basically dominated our marketplace. Even though their product supposedly didn't do as much as ours, they were faster, smarter, bigger, more strategic, made better partnerships, had more money, and were just all around better than us, and they got all our business.

I know this is not a direct parallel with what has happened between MSFT and Netscape, or any of the countless others that are whining to the legal system right now. But my point is, ACME didn't deserve the business. Our competitor did. THEY probably had actual BRAIN material in their skulls.

Here's a quote from a government official in Atlas: "We're after power and we mean it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

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