Opened the day with my customary walk to the local coffee shop to read the paper and do the big crossword. Problem: in a month or so, living at C.H., where will I take that pleasure? All right come on, that’s an opportunity not a problem.
On return, I was faced with a day in which I’d told myself I wouldn’t do any chores. But what to do instead?
I remembered that for some time I’ve thought of going to the Berkeley Hat Store, one of the best hat shops in the area, to look for a replacement for my favorite casual fedora which is showing some wear. Well, why not today?
Two minutes (at most) with the internet answered all questions: yes, the store was open today at noon; yes my clipper card works on BART; here’s the address of the BART station in Fremont; the next trains depart at 11:17 and 11:37; it will take a bit over 20 minutes to drive there. I try to get people on my docent tour to grasp how our lives have been changed by networked computers. As fish we have a hard time seeing the water we swim in.
So I drove to Fremont, had an hour’s ride on BART to Berkeley Downtown and a nice 20 minute walk to the store. A helpful clerk wasn’t able to find an exact duplicate of my pet hat, but he found one quite a bit like it that looks ok on me. And cheap, at $32. I had a slice of pizza for lunch, and reversed my journey, stage by stage.
To continue the theme of the computer revolution: I passed time on the ride reading a book on Kindle on my phone. It was the first volume of a science fiction trilogy and I really enjoyed it. That’s a change; the experience of really getting into a story and liking the characters and being interested in the events — has been rare of recent years. I’ve abandoned a lot of books (and even more movies on TV) because I just didn’t care what was going to happen, or actively disliked the people or events. (Case in point, last night I gave up on On the Road about one-fourth through. What a bunch of smug, obsessively self-focused, asocial losers.)
Anyway, having finished the science fiction book, I wanted to get the next two volumes and although I could see them on Kindle, I couldn’t quite figure out how to buy and download them on the phone. I’m sure it was possible, I just couldn’t see how to do it through Kindle’s interface. (Sure, blame the software.) But that would really have closed the loop. Reading a book on your phone would have sounded like science fiction already, fifteen years ago (the iPhone was announced in 2007), but to be able to buy and download another volume on your phone while riding a train… that would have been perfect.
Home for a quiet afternoon and evening reading and watching TV.