Rands The world is full of brilliant people

A Small Grey Leaf

At the bottom of an individual post on this site, you might notice there is a small grey leaf.

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No one has ever commented about this leaf. No one has ever asked about its significance. It’s a pleasant quiet ending to a post.

There was a time when this version of the site was being designed that the leaf was a set of dice. The original design had the leaf, but it was a placeholder and I wanted something relevant… something that told a story. The designer responded with a set of dice. Hard eight – a pair of fours. The designer asked me, “Bonus points if you can figure out why I used double 4s for the dice.”

I had no idea.

“The date of your first post.”

“Brilliant,” is what I said to the designer. A story. Relevance. I stared at the pair of fours for a few hours and I told the designer, “Yeah, after sitting on it for a few hours, I don’t like it… Let’s stick with your single leaf.”

That was it. We never talked about the leaf again. We worked on the design of the site for several more weeks. One night in early November 2013, I sat in a hotel bar in Tyson’s Corner and the designer sat in his office as we launched the current site. I texted a picture of my gin and tonic to the designer when we hit publish. He sent me a picture of his cocktail.

It is with great joy that I tell you the designer of this site is my friend, Alex King. It is with great sadness that I tell you that Alex passed away in late September. I do not understand how to write this post other than to tell that the world is full of brilliant people who are unfailingly kind and generous with their time. Each moment that you aren’t spending with these people is a moment wasted.

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7 Responses

  1. Jason Speck 9 years ago


  2. Sorry, Michael. Losing friends sucks.

  3. I am sorry to hear about this.

    I have never noticed the leaf as I only ever read your site through an RSS reader, and it doesn’t show.

    Can you make it show via RSS also?

  4. Barry Williams 9 years ago

    My condolences on your friend Alex.

    Well said on spending time with quality people. It seems like fewer are made every year.

    I assumed the leaves were representative of portions of what is in your head (the tree) falling off as posts (leaves). It is a poetic way to brain dump slowly both the leaves of wisdom, and those newly sprouted in no particular sequence. They are also aesthetically pleasing… soothing in a way.

  5. Here’s to the invisible contribution of wonderful people.