Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Farewell To Dead Caterpillars

I hate those bloggers who take long breaks, and then post something like, "I know I haven't blogged in a long time, but I'm so busy that I just don't have time, and I'll be back at it soon."

Alas, as Pogo said, we have met the enemy and he is us. I could tell you about everything we've been doing at Ustream, including a couple of major breakthroughs this past week, such as our first live viedo campaign event with Barack Obama.

But hey, that would make me just like everyone else. So instead, I'll illustrate my situation with the story of the dead caterpillar.

Earlier this year, Palo Alto was infested with a particular species of fuzzy caterpillar. They were everywhere for weeks.

One day, one of the caterpillars dropped on my shirt without my noticing. My son saw it and grabbed the caterpillar to play with. When it survived the ride home, I decided we should adopt it.

I emptied out a jar of food and gave the caterpillar a new home. For weeks, we harvested leaves at the Mountain View Public Library to keep it fed, and it grew and grew.

Finally, when it came time to transform into a moth, it spun a cocoon around itself, and the kids settled down to wait for it to hatch.

Alas, at this point, the story veers into tragedy. A fungal infection attacked the cocoon, and the moth never emerged.

So I had a dead caterpillar, in a mold-infested cocoon, sitting on the kitchen table.

Which is where it sat for about 3 months.

My in-laws are coming into town tomorrow, and I decided that I'd better clean out the jar. It took all of 5 seconds.

That's how bad I've been. But hey, at least you got a good story out of it!