On Marley and Me

I spent most of late 2006 and early 2007 traveling domesticly and international working to try and convince people that some of the security foundations we had placed in Windows Vista were important enough to keep in the product, despite some third parties trying to maintain that any attempt to correct the problems of the past was infringing on the opportunity to capitalize on those mistakes.

I spent a lot of time in airplanes. I did not do this because I was paid to, to be clear. I fervently believed then and believe now that the security underpinnings of Windows Vista were state of the art at the time and deserved to be included in the product to protect customers.

But this story isn’t about that. It instead involves the image of a young Labrador retriever puppy, running carefree on the beach.


Yeah really. I spend a lot of time on my "record scratch" segues.

I left one meeting where an entity opened the meeting with: "We will work tirelessly to see you are eventually broken up and your products banned. Now please give us your presentation" utterly crushed.

I was away from my dogs and my wife for 20 days out of the past 30, and the very thought of shipping Windows Vista was suddenly up in the air because third parties were actively complaining about security features in the product.

My luggage was heavy, my ideals in trying to make people understand we had truly turned a corner in security were not doing so well. There was a lot of investment that had been made by others in trying to convince people that any effort on our part in trying to make our products more secure was some diabolical plan to crush any and all competition. It seems idiotic now, but at the time it was a real argument people were having.

I trudged by World of Whiskies in Heathrow and bought a 17 year Bowmore Islay both out of love and pure despair. As I passed by the seafood and sushi open bar at Terminal 4, a book caught my eye. There was a blond lab retriever pup with a red bow in his mouth. I stopped, gobsmacked, and missed my dogs and home and Rochto so much it was a tangible thing in my chest. Something I could, with enough effort, cough out.

Theoretically, should my plane not crash, I was a mere 12 hours from home. But I was perplexed by being confronted by a so-simple and homesick inducing image that I bought the book: Marley and Me.

British Airways is practically the only way you will get me up in the air to fly overseas. Due to my frequent overseas flights at that time I was allowed business class, which had introduced a lie flat bed and all you can eat movies. I ignored everything to read that book.

As many people know from reading this blog I love very deeply my golden retrievers and I read in this story of a lovable but not-quite-aware-of-his-own-weight dog the story of my own pets. In the humorous telling of the tale, my wife’s patience not just with them but with me as well. I consumed the book on the entire flight and reached the end struggling not to bawl out loud like a gassy baby lest the crew suspect my mental state. (Spoiler? Marley lives a long and wonderful life)

I bring all this up because I just accidentally caught that they have made the book into a movie. I downloaded the preview which features a young pup Marley running along a beach (a descriptive scene from the book) with his owners haplessly running in chase, screaming his name. It nearly brought tears to my eyes not just because I know how the story (wonderfully, gently) ends, but because it evoked my most precious memories of my own dogs. Which reminded me ever more, and always such — on this earth:

hey guys.



Bless you Marley.

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