Bad news gets worse

Holding my mom's hand 

Today sucked.

Today the doctors sat us down and gave us the news my brothers and I had a sense was coming, but weren't prepared to really hear.

The stroke was catastrophic. They weren't able to save her brain. She is, for the most part, gone. About the only processing that's going on is that she's able to see us out of one eye, barely recognize that someone she knows is in the room, and squeeze our hand.

I'm reserving my real emotions. But, let's just say that this is about the suckiest thing I could imagine. Turns out she'll be lucky to live out the week. She signed a do not rescuscitate order and told all of her friends and family to let her go if she was going to be in such a state. Thankfully that took most of the hard decisions out of our hands. But it still was tough not overriding her wishes.

If there's some good that might come out of this, please sit down and communicate with your family about what you'd like to have happen in a similar situation. Do not leave these kinds of decisions to your next of kin.

Anyway, now I gotta stop crying, pull myself together, and fly relatives in from around the world. (Her sister is reading my blog, hello Tante!) There are many family and friends who can't make it here. We really appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers and we're reading these to my mom, she tugs on my hand when we're there, so the notes are comforting. If you need to talk with me, I'm on cell phone at 425-205-1921.

How do you say goodbye? One hand squeeze at a time.

Damn, this sucks.

Radio UserLand developer joins Microsoft’s Live.com team

One of the nice calls I've received over the past couple of days came last night as my brothers and I were walking around downtown Billings. It was from Jake Savin. He told me he had just started working on the Live.com team at Microsoft and had just moved up to Seattle. Awesome. Jake and I worked together at UserLand (he was one of the developers on Radio UserLand, and is a pioneer in blogging and Internet software).

At the very moment I was talking to Jake on the phone, we came to Jake's restaurant here in Billings. I thought that was very weird, so I shot a photo and sent it up to Flickr.

I see that the New York Times is putting us in the middle of a talent war with Google. Alright Jake, this war is all on your shoulders now. Heheh.

Jake's (the restaurant) is already demonstrating one way that search could be made better. Search for "Jake's Billings MT" and you only get reviews and intermediaries and noise. Does this restaurant have a Web site? We don't know for sure unless we dig through page after page of reviews and do several different searches. Here's the results:

On Live.com. On Google. I like the infinite scroll on Live.com, by the way. One thing we learned from our research with users is that most people don't click on the "next page" link. So, we got rid of it. We're now finding that people who use Live.com look at more search results than they used to.

Jake's restaurant

From Billings, MT

This is one of those times when I'm not sure what to write. The size of my audience is causing me to wonder. Most of you are probably here to read about my insider thoughts about Microsoft or the tech industry, or because I find cool links to various tech industry things.

But, life is intruding here and it's my personal blog, not a PR vehicle, so gotta push those worries to the background and just write about what's going on in my life and let the chips fall where they may.

We saw my mom yesterday (all three of the Scoble kids arrived at the Billings airport at the same time, which was pretty weird considering we were flying from three separate cities).

When we first saw her, she opened her eyes, stared strongly at us, and had a tear in her eye. She vigorously squeezed our hands. That comforted all of us. A little.

Well, I won't bore you with the emotions I'm feeling. Or the decisions that are going to start coming at us (we're meeting with her doctors today).

I did want to thank everyone for the very kind notes. About 150 comments, all of which were very kind. Many phone calls. Many emails (including emails from people who work for our biggest competitors). This stuff really makes times like this a lot easier. I'm going to read them to my mom (finding what to say to her is really tough).

Needless to say that the next 48 hours probably won't see much blogging.

A little technology note (you know I couldn't resist) the machines that are keeping track of her vitals and helping her breathe are running Windows. Yet another demonstration of just how many machines Microsoft's software is running on.