We have a lot of things in the pipeline. Somehow this always makes me think of oil pipelines, or the pipes that carry grape juice at the winery.

Since the things we have in the pipeline include news sites, a sort of talent agency for athletes, a service for lawyers, a bed and breakfast, and a new candy bar, my mental image gets messy. Basketball players and lawyers swoosh through the pipeline with candy bars and garden rooms, bathed in imaginary multicolored fluids like the bars at left, which show up on the dashboard of our workspace software.

The fear is that all of them will come gushing out of the pipeline at once.

The ideal is that they trickle out neatly one at a time, get nicely taken care of, and travel on down the drain or into our lovely basin of happy customers, where they can splash and frolic for years.

Sometimes I wish I could just write stuff and other people would be in charge of the pipeline. Sometimes I see the appeal of being in charge of the pipeline, shooting assignments over to other people and keeping it all flowing.

Things are so different for me now from where they were five years ago that I hesitate even to make predictions, let alone plans.