Friday, September 15, 2006

Feeling the MapleSoft Love

About two weeks ago I posted about a thank you gift from MapleSoft that seemed somewhat amusingly lacking to me. In brief, the situation was that the College spent around $2000 to upgrade Maple, and as a thank you they sent me a kinda mediocre poster and then offered to send me more of the same mediocre poster if I wanted. This was a nice gesture, but didn't suggest to me that the poster was limited-edition collector's time. My post was meant almost entirely in jest. I like Maple and everyone I've ever spoken to at MapleSoft (the company that makes Maple) has been extremely pleasant in an earnest, Canadian way.

Monday of this week I received a package from MapleSoft. Odd, as I hadn't ordered anything. What could it be? The box was sort of big. Perhaps they were sending me some manuals? But the box was too light to be filled with books. So I opened it, and was shocked to find an amazing array Maple goodies. Some folks from Maple had seen my blog entry and were apparently sufficiently amused and/or dismayed to take action. I had figured that MapleSoft had seen the blog entry, since I noticed in my logs that my blog had gotten a handful of hits from Waterloo, Ontario, which is where Maple is headquartered. But I never expected a response from Maple, and certainly not one like this. Let's go through the contents of my box of Maple joy...

The box contained a nifty tote bag, pictured above. It's a nice, and appears to be quite well made. There's a little bit of velcro to help it stay closed, and it has a nice outer pocket. I'll definitely be able to put this to use. Also shown in the picture are three nice ball-point Maple pens. Also definitely useful.

Maple also sent me a nice, 100% cotton Maple t-shirt. The photo above shows the back. The front is also quite nice; it has a small Maple logo that's embroidered right on the shirt. Quite cool. But there's more.

The MapleSoft folks also sent me a large notepad and a copy of their conference proceedings from the last Maple conference.

I also got a small magnet that will stick to a refrigerator or filing cabinet and hold onto a piece of paper.

And last, but certainly not least, MapleSoft sent me a nice blue water bottle. It even has a little plastic strainer that fits in the lid so that I could use it for tea if I wanted.

I was stunned to receive the box. It's hard to capture my feelings when I opened it. It was a mixture of joy, sheepishness, and a sense of the surreal. It's not unusual for me to feel that my life is a little surreal or bizarre. Usually this is a not-so-good-feeling, but opening the box of Maple paraphenalia was a good sort of surreal feeling. I'm genuinely touched by the gesture. The cool Maple stuff was accompanied by a nice, humorous note from one of MapleSoft's vice presidents.

So, a big thank you to all the folks at MapleSoft. Your box of Maple items was definitely a highlight of my week. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to blog about it sooner; the first week of classes was remarkably hectic. I hope all is well in Waterloo. Here in Maine it's been a beautiful autumn.

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