Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Heading home to La Mesa, CA

Amtrak's 2:04pm Pacific Surfliner pulled into Santa Barbara station at 2:04pm! Wow! It is a gorgeous afternoon.

I am in the Business Class train car. Lah dee dah! Business class features cushy seats with headrests, adjustable footrests, more legroom, tray tables and electrical outlets for laptops or DVD players. Costs a bit more than coach seats.

Amtrak vs my car
When I was younger, during my RVer years, I could drive distances without too much strain. Now I am in my 78th year. Even driving 100 miles is problematic.

I know friends [ie; Bill and Carol who recently drove their RV to Mazatlan] who are about my age and have no problems with distance driving. It's me that is the problem! The train is sooooo relaxing. Smooth stopping and starting. Quiet. A pleasurable trip.

5pm - Passing thru Burbank Ca
My Amtrak train is passing thru Burbank. Off to the left we view a lovely full moon! Tried to capture a moon pic with my iPhone, and it came out crummy. So, you'll have to take my word that this full moon actually is lovely.

A little while ago I made a Men In Black Taxi reservation to pick me up at the San Diego Amtrak station at 8:15pm.

Uncle Seymour advised me to use the Uber Taxi Service because Uber has a good reputation for good service at low prices. But I could not find hardly any online Uber reviews. Men In Black Taxi had a ton of good reviews so I chose MIB over Uber.

Computer reminiscing
Both my children were computer talented kids. During summer school in 1980 when son David was 15, he took a computer class. By the time summer school ended, David was programming in several languages including machine language.

In September, 1980, David hit me up for a loan to buy a computer. There was a computer store in downtown Walnut Creek CA run by a couple guys from Iran. David and I went down there to see what was available.

I swear to God, at that time I had no conception what a computer was, or what could be done with one. While David walked around looking at computer models, I prowled the store trying to make sense of these things. I spotted a software package called "Visicalc". This was described as a "computerized spreadsheet".

I knew what a spreadsheet was! I used a paper spreadsheet to do the accounting for my two restaurants. But nothing clicked in my head while I was in that computer store.

David settled in on a Commodore PET, this computer being close to what he used in the summer school class. For $3,500 we got the Commodore computer and a 9-pin dot matrix printer. This was an extremely high price for what was really a toy computer [in my opinion, looking back].

Now get this, at that time home computers did not have hard drives because I do not believe that a low cost hard drive for home computers had been developed yet!

The Commodore came with 4kb of RAM and (2) 5-1/4" floppy disk drives. These floppy drives were 180kb each. The storage capacity of this Commodore computer was sooooo small.

By December, 1980, I had gone back to Walnut Creek Computers and bought that Visicalc spreadsheet software. I began to switch my paper spreadsheets to the computer. Soon son David and I were struggling with each other for computer time.

Those were amazing times!


7 comments:

  1. Who doesn't love a train ride -- sounds very relaxing.

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  2. You'll never be "a problem," George. You know how to live right!

    Lah dee dah ... Hilarious! Thanks for the chuckle.

    Sue

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  3. You have earned that lah dee dah, George! I wish we had more mass transit,and way fewer cars!

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  4. George, it's wonderful to see you blog more frequently.
    Life is a series of adjustments, isn't it? Some painful, some wonderful.
    Happy Hanukkah !

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  5. George,
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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  6. A Very Merry Christmas George from beautiful Mazatlan. We talk of our times together here often. Went to El Quelite restaurant the other day. I still have the picture of us in front of the mural.

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    Replies
    1. The three of us at El Quelite is a very good memory!

      George

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