Notes from the field: Hell hath no fury . . .

I think I've really done it this time. Rose didn't find the revelation that I had a date with someone else very funny. Sly minx that she is, she waited until we had both ordered food at a very expensive restaurant, went to the bathroom - and never came back. I was left with a hefty bill, huge embarrassment, and two filets mignon.

Still, arguments are the order of the day at the moment. For example, Network Associates (NAI) and Secure Computing are at each other's throats after both claimed to have contracts with the National Security Agency to develop the next Defense Message System and create the next SMTP3 standard with security enhancements. Details are sketchy, but it appears NAI's contract was cancelled and then reinstated, and now both are claiming wins.

The enterprise resource planning world also seems to be a hotbed of intrigue. It seems the elaborate menage-a-trois partnership that PeopleSoft announced a couple of months back with sales and service vendors Siebel and Vantive is just a cover- up for the fact that PeopleSoft wants to buy Siebel. But founder and namesake Tom Siebel (formerly head of sales at Oracle, where his was the only ego rivalling Larry Ellison's) doesn't want to become anyone else's subsidiary. So PeopleSoft has to stay in a stale relationship with Vantive and can only gaze longingly at Siebel.

Just get your shift together

Finally, it's always hard for start-up companies to grab people's attention, but one such outfit - ShiftKey Software - inadvertently found a new tactic. In sending out its initial press release, ShiftKey's public relations company mistakenly dropped the "f" from the company's name. At least, I assume it was inadvertent, but maybe they just know something we don't.

As further evidence of Rose's wrath, I've just had to turn away four fast food delivery guys, each of whom was bringing me food I hadn't ordered. I don't know for certain that Rose is the culprit, although the fact that each delivery included a bottle of vodka is a bit of a giveaway.