5 May 2000 bartd   » (Apprentice)

I was in Chicago to speak at a conference at the Kellogg School of Management. It was a lot of fun hanging out with Magda and the other NoCal people that were with us. I had a classic Seinfeld Moment on the way back: we were all sitting at the gate, and one of our group went to the bathroom. I was absorbed in a discussion but noticed someone sitting down in her seat, so I turned around and blurbed "Excuse me, but that seat's taken" before I noticed that the friendly-looking lady there was REALLY OLD. She said: "well, I don't see anybody sitting here", in a real friendly way and I was fast getting really embarrassed because she definitely needed to sit down, so I mumbled something like: "It's not a big deal" And she answered: "I'm just waiting for my wheelchair to arrive". Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Magda jumping up and running away, because she was bursting up laughing. The old lady added: "I can stand up". I mumbled something like "That's OK. Don't worry about it," turned away, stood up, walked away and joined Magda. It was such an embarrassing moment, we both were teared up with laughter for 10 minutes. Then we waited until the old lady had left before we dared rejoin the group.

On the plane back, I finished chapter 4 of the Perl book and DEBUGGED a hangman game. I had a giant headache at the end, but it was fun.

Breakfast at Buck's with Oliver Muoto, a crazy entrepreneur that I rather like. I sat down and noticed a big group of people at the table next to me. Then, Mike Homer walked in - we chatted for a second and he noticed that Simon Perez, Tim Coogle from Yahoo, Andy Grove and Les Vadasz, Jean Louis Gassee, and John Markoff from the NYTimes were all there, including a Secret Service guy. Quite impressive. Oliver is really smart and well-read and claims that his competitive advantage is that he doesn't sleep. In any event, he knew about 10 times as much about Linux as I did, so I was pretty humbled at the end of breakfast.

Went to the newest dermatologist that Susy found for me. No problems, just wanna make sure that the other guy didn't miss anything. This guy has his office at Stanford and he's got himself a regular little business going. He's got top 40 music playing in the waiting room, where there's a bunch of Palo Alto Wives waiting to get their latest skin care lotions. The consultation lasted all of 4 minutes, at the end of which the receptionist sold me $50 worth of lotions. Quite a business. Kind of the exact opposite of the 90-year old guy I saw last month.

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