Holiday Holidays–That’s a Bake and a Wrap
December 13, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The patent-pending fruitcakes are baked, soaked in cognac, wrapped in fondant, and in transit to family and friends, including the devoted employees of Guild Companies, the publisher of the Four Hundred group of newsletters here at IT Jungle. That is how I know it is almost time to stop typing for a while.
This company, like baking holiday fruitcakes, is a labor of love. Nothing good is ever easy, and a fruitcake is about as popular as an AS/400 out there in IT Land. But just like IBM Rochester makes a system that is different, yet good, I happen to make a fruitcake that people–well, most people excepting one co-worker, who prefers my beer, mead, and hard cider, also showing good taste–actually want. So much so that I had to bake 22 of them this year. Don’t ask what they cost or what the shipping bills for these bricks of fruit, fat, and booze are. They might as well be gold bars:
Maybe next year, after I get the reviews for this year’s cakes, I will give you the recipe. You may regret it.
Did I mention that fondant is a white substance with glycerin that bears more than a passing resemblance to C4 explosives? Thus, I don’t think the Transportation Security Authority will allow you to take these on planes. You don’t want to make the papers as the Fruitcake Bomber, especially if you are like me and you have a beard that, most days, makes you look like a Civil War general. So be prepared to have people who claim to hate fruitcake suddenly ask you to make them one, and brace yourself for the postage and the cost of dried fruit.
This year, not only am I getting fruitcakes for everyone at Guild Companies, but I am getting on an airplane today (December 13) and actually heading out from New York to spend a few days with my co-workers at IT Jungle and then heading north to San Francisco to visit my co-workers at The Register. I am also going to visit Kim Reifel, a former editor of The Four Hundred from way back in our paper days in the 1990s and early electronic days in 1996 and 1997 before I joined Midrange Computing. For once, I am going to the office Christmas parties, and thanks in large part to my children now being old enough and responsible enough to be latchkey kids.
I don’t care what any economist or politician or business leader says, the overall economy might be in recovery but I happen to think there are two or three or maybe even four economies. The top-end one that is measured in the stock prices and profits of large corporations is doing great in the wake of the Great Recession, but I am not so sure that the smaller economies that are underneath these behemoths are doing as well. So here’s to hoping that things turn around a bit for the little guys and gals in 2011. I remain optimistic, however cautiously.
All of us at Guild Companies would like say happy holidays, good readers of The Four Hundred, Four Hundred Stuff, Four Hundred Guru, and Four Hundred Monitor. We thank you for your support throughout this year and look forward to serving you in the next. And we all express our heartfelt thanks to the advertisers who pay the bills that make these newsletters possible. Without them, we do not exist. And all of you, both readers and advertisers alike, owe thanks to the staff at Guild Companies, who work hard to give the IBM midrange the best news coverage and analysis available in the market–bar none.
Now, it is time to buy a tree, get it decorated, and fly. . . . See you in 2011!