Sunday, September 04, 2005


"If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and, without whose company life seems empty and meaningless -"
[Michael Ende, The Neverending Story 7]

This quote begins a question. The question comes at the very beginning of a most amazing story: What would you do if you found a book containing a story that never ended?

There is such a story. Moreover it is a real story: that is, it does not merely exist in a book,, existing only in a secondary sense, but it has primary reality. It is this story. It is this world.

It really is the never-ending story. And it is wonderful to be a part of it.

And so we must be grateful - as St. Paul tells us, "Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness." [Col 3:15]

Therefore, I want to express my gratitude to the friends who made work at a certain company such a wonderful thing. (It wasn't my company - I just worked there too.)


I cannot count the pebbles in the brook.
Well hath He spoken: 'Swear not by thy head,
Thou knowest not the hairs,' though He, we read,
Writes that wild number in His own strange book.

I cannot count the sands or search the seas,
Death cometh, and I leave so much untrod.
Grant my immortal aureole, O my God,
And I will name the leaves upon the trees.

In heaven I shall stand on gold and glass,
Still brooding earth's arithmetic to spell;
Or see the fading of the fires of hell
Ere I have thanked my God for all the grass.
[GKC CW10:209]

Well, yes, GK, I did do a little counting. (I am a computer scientist, after all, so actually I had the machine do the work.) We were up and running for five and a half years, or just over 2000 days. About 200 field machines were installed. About 200,000 spots were encoded, which would take 215 days to play, end-to-end. Those spots were sent to the 200 field machines, over 100 a day - multicasting to an average of 6.5 portals each time. Some 200 million status packets were transported, and 8 million logs brought back in order to perform billing.

Finally, the machinery played ONE QUARTER OF A BILLION spots over that time, more than one every second.

When all those numbers are multiplied by seventy-times-seven, and I have posted my thanks on every blog and filling every disk in the known universe, I will be on the phone ordering more disk drives... Nope, too impersonal. Technology will always fall short there - so I'll do my "posting" at Holy Mass, which is all about giving thanks in the infinite sense of the term.

Deo Gratias!

PS: please don't ask to know the name of the company. They've had enough ADVERTISING as it is. Hee hee.


At 04 September, 2005 22:44, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your thankfulness is always so evident, and well expressed in prayer, Dr. T. A question- do you know who the illustrator of the artwork at the top of your posting is? Congratulations & God bless you as one chapter merges into the next in the miraculously neverending adventure of life!


At 06 September, 2005 08:39, Blogger rhapsody said...

Me again, Dr. T,
I clicked on the pic above- and could see the intricacies in the details of the enlarged version...
It looks like the work of someone we know...
If I am right, do you know of any books that might be filled with the artwork of this very gifted artist?


At 07 September, 2005 09:05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eloquent as always Doc. Those of us lucky enough to have had a doctor on call know what thankfulness is about.


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