My Life as a Musical: Texas Style

  This weekend: Despite enjoying uncanny good fortune at the chance to work with the Microsoft Socl team, my first paycheck won’t be until next Friday, and funds are scarce.  As in zero, with an empty fuel tank and sparse cupboards.  I wasn’t really sure how the week would transpire, my main concern was actually gas money since I can live a long time on coffee and stale cereal.  Loose change? Busking?  Not to worry, I reverted to my operating parameters:a) What would Jimi Hendrix do?
b) What about kindness?

So, just tend your craft and hope kindness shows its face.  (Note that this system is not fail proof, do not try it at home).

This morning: Kindness called.  He was on a plane headed for Seattle, and booked a room right next to my house so we could maximize our hang time.  Dustin Hicks is not on Facebook because he’s too busy being the top dog in Microsoft Azure sales and tending to his pile of kids, including a brand new baby boy that looks just like him.  (“What’s Facebook?” he must wonder, driving his boat around in the Texas sun.  “What’s this?” I said when he gave me that device with the pictures of his baby.  “An iPad” he said, and I was in awe).

He was conveniently flush with cash from a trip to Las Vegas, and waiting for me in the driveway when I got home.  Before he even set his bags down he pulled out his wallet and shared his spoils with me, a non-trivial amount of money that will cover me for gas & groceries for the week.  I didn’t even have to ask, and he knows I’m the worst credit risk ever.  Or possibly the best, because if I ever have a team and there’s enough money to pay him, he’s already got the job as manager.  You see Dustin’s one of my best friends, for nearly 20 years.  We programmed at Catapult Systems together, where he used to join us in the storage room for band practice.  He turned me on to Megadeth, and I went through a period.  He was there for the Sultans of Swing and YYZ.  Partly inspired by my lead, he started playing guitar around that time and now picks one up every time he sees it (because that’s what Jimi would do).  So he picked up the dobro and noodled on it, and then we got started doing our thing together: (“This is Facebook”, I said and he was in awe at all the pretty colors).  We then spent some time  watching videos and picking them apart, listening to mixes, and talking about our family lives, and then I took the final round of being in awe.

You see the thing I love the most about Dustin is not is dry wit or effortless generosity.  It’s not his formidable technical skills or widely known video game addiction.  It’s the way he regards his wife, whom he met in college and fell madly in love with (and is presumably not on Facebook either since she’s busy home schooling 3 and breast feeding 1).  She’s radically different from him, the two of them are a matched pair, and now he’s the one inspiring me because they are still solid and he still lights up when he talks about her.

He took me to dinner.  We hit my favorite Italian restaurant but the hostess indicated they were closing up, just minutes until the cut-off.  I hate to pressure people so I turned around to discuss this information with Dustin and he said “so a table for two then, right?”.  They seated us, and we enjoyed a fantastic dinner discussing how best to utilize Azure from Glacier, and coming to quick consensus that it would be “awesome” for him to show in demos.

Yup, just like that.  And he totally made it worth the effort for the waitress.  “I used to be a waiter” he said, but I knew he would have forked over the tip even if he had never walked in those shoes.  After that, back to the Etherati Command & Control Center at Lynwood station where I cranked up the new Jenni Frenchtune and we talked music and looked at pictures all night, having dispensed with the formalities.  Pretty sure Jimi would have been happy with the whole scene.<itzgud2berango> \m/ (-.-) \m/

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