I was far too busy this week -- 04/10/04

I was far too busy with work this week -- that's why six days has passed since my last entry.

Last week I put in fifty hours. This week was just about as busy. I went into the office on Friday (because I needed to physically hand someone a CD and because I had some stuff I wanted to print -- I'm talking six or seven hundred pages, not something I'd want to print on one of our little ink jet printers at home) and somewhere just before one o'clock I reached forty-nine hours and so I shut down my laptop and packed up and left.

There were a number of entries I wanted to write, just did not have the time.

This past week marked the 40th anniversary of the launch of the IBM System 360 mainframe computer system -- an astoundingly daring you-bet-your-company gamble that proved to be far more successful than the most optimistic would have predicted. I have a special fondness for the S/360 because when I was in college I had a summer job in an IBM plant manufacturing them. Well, maybe I'll reminisce about them sometime this coming week...

News broadcasts are extremely annoying. Nancy likes to have the television on in the bedroom while getting ready for work. I might join her with a cup of coffee while the local morning news is on -- that way I can get to see the important stuff like the weather forecast and the traffic conditions -- but I can't stand it when the Today show comes on. Okay, so it's not really a news program, it just pretends to be one some of the time -- it's full of entertainment industry gossip and blatant plugs for NBC programs and tabloid-type reporting of the latest missing teenager or celebrity assault case or whatever trash news used to be at home on those scandal sheets sold at supermarket checkout counters.

The other day I had NPR news on in my car -- the studio reporter was talking with a field reporter in Iraq. She asked him how the U.S. forces could tell who was an insurgent and who was an innocent civilian. In great annoyance at such a typical NPR question (I mean these people can sometimes make the New York Times appear to have balanced reporting.) I yelled at the radio "They're the ones with the AK-47s, you airhead!" (Nancy keeps telling me I have to stop having arguments with radio programs.) Much to my delight the puzzled reporter in Iraq replied to her "Uh, they are the ones carrying weapons." Fortunately I pulled into our driveway and turned the radio off before she could move on to her next question, which probably would have been concern that the Marine Corps was not reading Miranda rights to the terrorists.

Jill and I had a pleasant evening out on Thursday -- went up to Providence and had dinner at her favorite Japanese restaurant on Wickenden Street (in the neighborhood where she had an apartment for a while. We eat there every now and then -- the whole take off shoes and sit at a six inch high table traditional Japanese thing -- good food and very reasonable prices. Then we went over to 2ndStoryTheatre in Warren to see an interesting production of Hedda Gabler.

Last night was pizza night. Nancy's sister Clara was visiting along with her teenage daughter and a friend. Her married daughter had been there earlier but left before I got there, leaving behind her 6 year old daughter and almost 4-yr old son to hang out with grandma and great grandma -- and also sister Karen was there (with photogaphs of her grandson)... plus Janet and Tom and their two girls and Nancy and me and Jill and Jeremy. So I made a salad and picked up five large pizzas (four cheese and one mushroom and pepper) and brought them over to my mother-in-law's house. After dinner Jeremy took off with a couple of his cousins and their friend to hit a mall and then go bowling. Jill had a good time playing with the two little kids.

Today I made two chicken pot pies -- one for here and one for Jill to take to Vermont (she's trying to get in one more day of snowboarding before the season ends). She and I both seem to be traditionalists, so before she left I hardboiled a dozen and a half eggs and then we colored them. Of course this year I don't think the Easter Bunny is going to be hiding them around the house for children to find in the morning -- so Jill suggested that I should put them in the refrigerator so we could use them for egg salad. [In fact, just as I was typing this she phoned from Vermont to announce her safe arrival.]

And that's the latest from Rhode Island.

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