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5,479 Days Later

Wait, What? Fast Moving Zombies? (or 23 paragraphs about love)

Fri Apr 10 00:00:01 2020

...(Tom, Finn, Jess, Robert, Christian, Wallace, Leigh (Nic, Kay, grab Leigh's ankles and hold on there are barbs down here), Matt... MATT! put that down and listen... Guys! Hold my drink. I am going in. Don't drink that bloody drink! That's my bloody drink. This is emotional... or at least badly scripted)...

We should totes do this bloody stupid thing

Okay that main title, what does it mean? It is simple really: it is fifteen times three hundred and sixty five plus the four leap days. That’s what it is. It is that length of time since Shadowcat was born. Well, actually it is when I am writing this, which was last night (or several nights ago dependent on when you read this), today (10th April and the official birthday, like the Queen SCSYS has two of them) it is five thousand four hundred and eighty days. This is because we actually decided to form the company on the evening of the 9th April 2005 but the form submission wasn’t filed until the 10th. Oh, it is also a homage to a well known pair of films, but, heh, hitting the zeitgeist with a period reference, which doesn’t really make it zeitgeist anymore and I lost that thread but it sounded good in my head.

So Shadowcat is that many days old. I am not doing hours minutes and seconds, we weren’t mental enough to write down an actual time, at the time) and if we had I would not have the time to work out the exact minutes and seconds if we had. This is taking into account I would have to research any subsequent time alterations done betwixt 2005 and now, if you are going to be precise, be bloody precise. Hours would be fairly easy, we rarely chuck an hour around to make up for atomic clocks versus the planet. Though we do chuck an hour about twice a year but that’s a known constraint and we are on the BST or GMT+1 or UTC+(insert precise difference here).

It is rather apt that it is Good Friday that is our fifteenth anniversary and we are not out celebrating on a religious holiday. Apt because neither of us would want to mix some event with our celebration, it would muddy the mind and thoughts and giving the staff the day off on a bank holiday is bloody cheap. Though I am also glad that I am not letting Matt write any of the jokes as I know a reference to nails and crosses would be incoming right about now.

I did a quick Google of 9th April 2005, it was a Saturday and yet we were working on a project at my house. I wondered about that. What I hadn’t remembered was that Prince Charles got married to Camilla on the same day. April 9th, 2005. That’s why we decided to stay at my place and work. We couldn’t face all the media and people shit-talking in the pub. I was wondering why the hell we were working on a Saturday!

So what happened? Well 15 years ago, someone who will not be named, but is Matt S. Trout (mst or @shadowcat_mst) and who I have mentioned several times already … okay, someone who will be named, turned to me and said something along the lines of:

‘We should totes do this bloody stupid thing it will cost us our sanity, your hair, my former partner (and all my future partners (except the really ace one you get to keep)), lots of money, too many drink to mention and a host of people who either like us or will have a rage-hate for us on most of the major continents. We may lose money. Heck we will give money away even if we have little. The business is more about what we can achieve than what we can earn. Money is secondary to the goal (goal yet to be defined to a reasonable level of accuracy) of making this work. I know we can do it because you understand me and are the only human who can tolerate my jokes (okay I made some of these sentences up...okay I made pretty much all of these sentences up but it is along the right lines).”

Clearly that was too provocative an offer to turn down. So, drunk, and likely out of my tiny mind, I snapped at the chance and the company was formed. What blind bloody fools we were.

Mark Keating and Matt S. Trout in 2005

Sweet Burning red-lipped-bat-fish is this what MDK and MST looked like 15 years ago?

We did have a plan though. I already said it. We weren’t going to make money, well we needed to make money but that wasn’t what we were aiming to do. We decided that the most of what we produced we would try to give away for free. Told you we were bloody stupid didn’t I. Why we decided this is a different story, one I have told before, and because I am a gregarious drunk, one I will no doubt repeat often, and loudly, with different facts, on many occasions to come. But not here and not today.

I should be repeating it today, in fact I am sad that I am not. I should be with current staff and friends, in a bar or other food and drink purveyors location or establishment. But, I cannot, as they are all shut and we are locked in our homes. Except, of course, when walking the canine, restricting movement to defend the mighty Kingdom from The Invisible Enemy (yes that was a Doctor Who reference with a clever pun about a dog to link it in, and honestly he didn't restrict his movement in that episode, he went everywhere even inside his own brain). I had plans, I had a week of celebrations and some surprise visits in mind. Instead I have isolation with my immediate loved ones. They are good enough (in fact they are probably the best people I could be isolated with and the poor buggers have to put up with me), but it means I will be doing a smaller tribute. That tribute is this blog,the retro header, and some online chats.

I will be raising a glass or two tonight. And I will raise a glass on the other tonight, which is tomorrow for me, today for you, and yesterday for all those of you who are late for the party. It’s fine, enjoy the words and sit down, stay strapped in (don’t plug the chair in yet though) and get yourself a favourite liquid to slurp.

You are all, and always will be, freaking awesome

Where are we going with this? To one place...

It has been a great fifteen years. It has never been easy; it has been both bad and good; I have travelled, and yet also I have been around the world while sitting at my desk in my home; I have learned so much, and continue to do so - from the many intelligent, funny and thoroughly human meatforms I interact with; I am humbled by the people I know and raised up by the fact they treat me as an equal.

I want to thank everyone we have worked with and know; all the friends and relatives who have supported us; all the many companies who have worked with us, and been persuaded to contribute to communities with patches, libraries, sponsorship and much more by us; all the staff and contractors we have had, and worked with; to all the communities to whom we have been privileged to be members. I miss being able to speak to all of those people we have known over this mad, fun, fifteen years. I miss being able to see them around, and for some I mourn the fact that they are gone.

You are all, and always will be, freaking awesome. It has been a joy to meet so many different people and to be a part, whatever the size, of their lives.

To the current staff and clients of Shadowcat I can say only this: I miss being able to hug those who are my family on this day. I so much wanted to be with you in person and to laugh and share silly tales and talk of tech, ambitions, desires and any other nonsense. Sure, we can do that online. But I would rather be with you all. I know we will have times after this current event to share the warmth, but on this day I am holding you all in my heart and in my thoughts.

To Matt. Thank you. You crazy, crazy, fucking bastard.

Happy Birthday Shadowcat.

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