1.301 betterness, appointment prep

Sunday 9/27/2020

Woke up from a very restless night and, after coffee and a shower, suddenly realized I felt normal. It’s hard to express the difference between feeling a little bit ill, and not feeling that, because after all, normal is normal, you don’t usually comment on it. Its your basic condition. But to realize you feel normal after a couple of days of feeling more or less crappy, is pleasant.

Did some color spray on the model; all the small parts are now a rather luscious red. Tomorrow I will start spraying the two big body parts; and then go through the whole thing again with two coats of clear.

Mid-day I made sure I had the Sutter Health tele-medicine browser extension installed (they only support Chrome and IE, no Firefox or Safari, come on, people what is this, 1998?) and working. Then I wrote up a day-by-day account of this — what is it, an illness? — that started Wednesday morning. So I won’t waste the doctor’s time tomorrow. The nurse who brought lunch said she would make sure the test nurses knew I had this 9:30 appointment, and would call me for my swab before or after it.

By afternoon a degree of fever was back, but the pain was not. I sat on the deck and read. I’ve been getting more reading done these few days. I read all of The Salt Path by Raynor Winn and liked it. If you’ve lost your home and everything you ever worked for, and your partner has a fatal diagnosis, what should you do? Well, maybe take a 600-mile hike?

I got quite a few chapters forward in The Dream Machine by Waldrop, about a guy central to computer history of whom I had never heard: J. R. Licklider. The book is immensely detailed about computer history in the Twentieth Century, stuffed full of anecdotes about people whose names I do recognize, like McCarthy, Englebart, Fano, Shannon, Von Neumann, and detailed stories about the creation of machines I talk about at CHM, ENIAC and SAGE and so on. But apparently it was Licklider who, as the head of ARPA, created the vision and pulled all of them together to create computing as we know it now. I’m just up to the point where it is all coming together in “Project MAC” at MIT, the first useful time-sharing system. That was 1963-64. It’s kind of pathetic that at that time, I was putzing around in San Francisco, doing nothing of any value, feeling aimless. And in another universe… I could have gone to MIT and been one of the student hackers helping cobble together the first-ever online community. Not a very likely other universe, mind you. But geez. If only.

In the afternoon my temperature blipped up a bit. Couple Tylenol fixed that. Watched some TV. Wrote a long post on reddit. Going to watch Travels by Narrowboat and go to bed.

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