“Fall back” day. Did my usual Sunday morning thing, doing the NYT crossword at home, then going out for coffee. Today I took the car and went to good old Palo Alto Cafe in Midtown. Then, because I have something else to do tomorrow that will interfere with my usual Monday FOPAL stint, I drove on down Middlefield to FOPAL and did the Computer section pricing and shelving. The shelves are pretty full, although I think I will add more on Wednesday. Then we shut down shelving for the upcoming Sale Weekend.
Interesting internet curiosity going on. My favorite tool for book pricing (and others’) is, or was, BookscoutPro.com. This odd little site does (or did) only one thing: given a list of ISBNs, it would present the range of prices for those books, gathered from Amazon and Ebay. It had a brutally simple UI, was blazing fast, and told us just what we needed to know to price used books. And last week it stopped responding. Its server still answers to pings, but it doesn’t respond to HTTP requests any more. Frank, our internet (among other things) expert thinks it was a one-man operation and the one man has either died or lost interest. He and I discussed how we might go about getting the source code of the site and running it ourselves, or recreating its function.
I spent 90 minutes culling, pricing, and shelving, including taking a pre-sale count. Then I spent another 90 minutes sorting. Sorting, by myself, is a highly satisfying occupation. I just blitzed through about 8 boxes of books, creating a nice clear space in the sorting room. Then I bought a few groceries and headed home.
About 2pm I got a call from George, who is giving a talk on Monday. The A/V committee assigned me to run this show and I had emailed him about the details of his laptop earlier. Now he very sensibly wanted to do a trial now, since he had another commitment that ran right up to his scheduled start time. Excellent idea. We met in the auditorium where I turned on the projector and we connected his laptop. All fine.
And only as I wrote this, I remembered: did I turn off the projector? I zipped down to the auditorium and no, I hadn’t. It’s an expensive projector but it wasn’t shining its light. Hopefully with no input it wasn’t burning itself out over the last 8 hours or so.
Then there was an email from Patty, to a list of several SWBB fans, wondering about the coming game with USF next Saturday. It is to be played at the Chase Center in SF, and we started an email discussion on logistics, is it practical to take Caltrain, etc. (Answer: no.) In the midst of this, it occurred to me, I need a ticket for this. It’s not part of the home season pass of course. Tickets via Ticketmaster, $50. Turns out the event is a double header, women at 3pm, USF men vs. Princeton at 6, one ticket for both events. With the result that many of the good seats have already been bought by (presumably) men’s fans. And parking is $30. Well, got that all bought.
Went down to supper by the stairs, meeting David and Helen on the way. Then Patty said we should sit together. So nice supper with four other people. David worked at SRI and knew Doug Englebart.
After supper I thought about my oft-stated idea of spending a week in London, visiting museums and seeing shows. Quick check of Road Scholar, they have nothing like that. Given I know London fairly well, I don’t need excursions to the well-known places. So, plan it myself? How hard can it be?
First thing is, when? I look at the Google Calendar. Lots of conflicts with SWBB and other pre-purchased tickets. Also, January is when the move back to the 6th floor should happen. However, there’s a nice gap in mid-February, the 9th to the 20th, with no serious conflicts. So I open booking.com and look for hotels. There are several attractive places in Chiswick and around Hyde Park where I can stay for 10 nights for less than £1000. I find officiallondontheater.com, ticket brokerage. Lots of shows one could see with prices around £30-£50. And of course there are the museums, I would use TripAdvisor to refresh my memory of those. But it should not be difficult, the work of a couple afternoons, to plan a 9- or 10-day stay with one museum and one performance a day. So we will see.