And so it ends

The project is finished at last. Kids will be able to learn the alphabet now, thanks to me and dozens of other dedicated people, even in Canada where they say ‘zed’ instead of ‘zee’. I’m no longer tied to high-speed Internet and expensive hotels. I can go where I want and do what I want. I can devote myself to Jer’s Software Hut and to writing novels.

I had been looking forward to seeing the message all day. There were a couple of last-second crises and some fine-tuning of the product that forced me to extend my stay here another day. That was not unexpected; that’s been the way this project has gone.

I read the message. I sighed in relief. It was over at last. We had made something. I read the message again. I wanted to write everyone on the project and tell them how much I had enjoyed working with them, but I didn’t know what to say. I read the message again. It was very short. I did not feel the rush of joy I had expected. In fact, I felt much like I had driving away from my house for the last time, when I first took to the road.

The project had been an anchor for me both figuratively and literally. It had limited my movement when my life is supposed to be all about movement. It also provided stability, and regular contact with other people. It was my last anchor. Now, if I don’t keep my sail up I will drift. I still have stars to guide me, and ports to pull into, but I blow where the wind takes me and I could easily get lost.

Maybe the rush of joy will be all the stronger later, when the freedom sinks in. I don’t know. When I read that message today the world got bigger. Scary bigger.

20 thoughts on “And so it ends

  1. Funny thing about this particular business. There is no .1

    There may be other localizations somewhere down the road, but other than that when a toy ships, it’s done.

  2. Jerry, my friend – I expect to be able to hear you break the sound barrier as you hit the road in earnest… since the Blue Rollerskate is too low to the ground to make the contrail visible.

  3. 1,2,3,4,5 new posts! Man. I haven’t even read any of them yet. It’s like the late 1800s and Doyle or Dickens has just published another serial installment in the London Times. Best part of the day. Wish I had a giant english breakfast to go with ’em. Well, time to dive in….

  4. Wow. Great stuff, esp. this last post. Also, I hadn’t looked at the photo album in a long time, then fortunately you remind us to in tour status side bar. The mountains in rearview are tremendous. There’s also one photo of crater lake I would like to use as a background on my computer. But I want to ask for your permission first.

  5. Permission granted with pleasure. I can provide you a higher-res version if you tell me which photo it is. (I reduce the resolution to reduce the upload time. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing that if people are going to want to use the images.)

  6. Its the one with the dead tree in foreground. I hate to recommend this, because it basically adds inelegant crap to beauty, but you may want to think about overlaying a copyright notice on some of your photos. I won’t be surprised to see the rearview mirror ones get stolen. Those are great. At first the symbolism seems like, “driving away from adventure and beauty into wasteland.” But I like to think of the desert scape as the wild unknown. You’re driving away from the mountain that everybody recognizes as cool, and into the unkown. Maybe be cool, maybe terrifying.

  7. congrats! the world is yours!

    I liked the Stanley Cup talk..only thing..For the Canadians, only places where ice naturally forms should there be professional hockey teams…just my opinion….and that means a lot…

  8. One way to make friends up here is to say, “If I had so much money it made me stupid, I’d buy the Dallas Stars and move them to Canada.”

  9. Hey, you bastard that’s my get poor quick scheme – thank you very much. I would buy all the teams in the US especially those stolen by yankee “running dogs” and move them to more deserving locales, such as Saskatoon. OK, maybe I’d let the US teams of the original six remain stateside. You would then of course be obligated to place them on your schedule of “Boomarang” spaceports.

    Congrats on your ring back of “Shippit!”

  10. All those sailing metaphors … I don’t suppose you might be drifting toward southern CA in mid-July? With Pat’s wrist broken, we are, quite literally, looking for another hand for the cruise to Catalina.

  11. Well you guys are obviously vigorous fans, so why is hockey suffering from lack of interest and poor TV ratings? At least according to the news articles I’ve read?

    Maybe hockey should move back to Canada, but there’s something so American about putting hockey in Florida. Makes you proud. And at least we adopted an unusual sport from somewhere else, instead of jumping on the crowded bandwagon of the most boring sport ever invented. Some people know this as soccer.

  12. As Brian used to say about soccer:

    “Give ’em sticks and put ’em on ice and you’ve got yourself a game.”

    I think hockey tried to become a major sport too quickly. Salaries got way ahead of revenue while there are still people in the stands after the game waiting for the fourth quarter to start.

    Not many Floridians played hockey as a kid. That will change over time, but time is what you need to build a knowlegeable and passionate fan base.

  13. Just an update – I have another episode to post, but it’s on my Mac, and my AOL free trial is on my PC. (What? doesn’t everyone travel with two computers?) I assumed I would be able to bridge the modem connection and get both computers on at once, but it won’t let me. I don’t know if it’s because windows sucks or aol sucks (I suspect aol in this case), but I’m going to have to get something figured out so I can dial up with the Mac.

  14. OK, it’s uber geek time.

    Do you have a null modem ethernet cable? If not go to the nearest Radio Shack or the Canadian equivalent and buy one. Then set up the ftp server on the Mac (you do have OS X, right?) and copy the file over using FTP. If not, get some NFS software (this is even better) so that you can share filesystems between the two boxes. Or, you can install Samba on the Mac and do the same thing. Have fun, but it ain’t all that hard…

  15. Had a great time revisiting the photo album after a much too long time of not looking at it. It actually helped to solve a particularly bitter argument Pat and I had been having — with his broken wrist, I’ve been insisting he take things easy to avoid making the injury worse. He’s been insisting that if we cancel the sailing cruise to Catalina, his dreams die. I said calling off the Catalina trip wasn’t destroying the dreams, just postponing them. Pat’s response was that I clearly didn’t have faith in him.

    After seeing those photos, I had to change my tune. Clearly, dreams are important. I’m still going to be in a state of agitation for the whole trip, for fear that Pat might re-injure the arm and cause permanent damage. But after seeing those photos of Jer on his dream drive, I can’t forbid Pat from following his dreams. I can just hope that we get an extra crew member on the boat to help, so Pat’s less likely to harm the arm.

    One commentator on some TV network or other remarked about Ronald and Nancy Reagan: “He worries about nothing; she worries about everything.” The commentator went on to say that that system worked well for Reagan; he probably couldn’t have been the leader he was without the combination of his own optimism and Nancy’s caution. I kind of like to think that’s what’s going on here.

    But anyhow, the big thing is that the pictures are great.

  16. I have no rouble moving files between the two computers (OS X has support for damn near every networking protocol these days), but the blog software is Mac-only and my dialup is PC-only (because aol was preinstalled on my PC and I get 3 months free). I should be able to bridge the ethernet and modem connections on the PC to allow the mac to share the PC’s Modem, but for whatever reason the aol driver is not playing nice with XP. (It shows as not being connected even when it demonstrably is.)

    Right now I’m downloading the AOL client for Mac onto my PC. Once I get that over to the Mac and installed, I won’t need the PC at all.

    Then in two months I can uninstall AOL and get that nasty taste out of my mouth.

  17. Download failed two hours in. Who would have thought there would be a time I wanted an AOL CD and didn’t have one?

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