Sunday, April 3

For Free (Ode to Open Source)

I don't know why I'm so tempted to write stuff like this. Apologies to Joni Mitchell.
I slept last night in Los Altos Hills
I went shopping today for Treos
The GIFs brightly beamed on my hand-held's screen
While I checked in upon my Keoghs
I was sitting in a quiet corner
Sniffing at my latte steam
In the Starbucks he sat
And coded like that
On his own laptop for free

Now me I hack for options
And that fancy in-house lunch
I've got a new M5
And a company masseuse
To work-out my shoulder's hunch
I hack if you have the money
Or if you're a top VC
But that unkempt guy
Didn't sell, didn't buy
He was coding real good for free

Nobody stopped to watch him
Though he coded clean and tight
They knew he would never make
Stuff for their PC
So they ignored his download site
I meant to go over and sell him some tools
Maybe make him my licensee
I watched, feeling foolish
As my venti got coolish
He was coding real good for free

(Don't) Hear the music

Long drive today, the traffic made terrible by the spring rains and the end of spring break. Stopped into Starbucks to get caffeine, and surprised myself by buying a Joni Mitchell CD; her so young and winsome on the cover. How did I forget how much I liked her lyrics? It made me think of my commuter marriage:

Oh you are in my blood like holy wine
And you taste so bitter but you taste so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you
I could drink a case of you darling
Still I'd be on my feet
I'd still be on my feet
And it made me think of the life I've just given away for an interesting job:
I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favors
And no one's future to decide
You know I'd go back there tomorrow
But for the work I've taken on
Stoking the star maker machinery
Behind the popular song
On second thought, I probably should have listened to George Thorogood & The Destroyers — better to be bad to the bone than maudlin.