What I did on my (disconnected) birthday

A couple of people have asked me if I had any symptoms of withdrawal, being away from the Internet for more than 24 hours. I don’t think so, although I was eager to check my email and blog stats as soon as I woke up this morning. Actually, I was rather humbled by all of the birthday wishes I received. I’m very fortunately to have such thoughtful friends and family.

And there was even a talking cat electronic birthday card that referred to that fact that I’d gone paperless. Let’s see Hallmark try and beat that!

Mostly, I spend the day yesterday deliberately doing nothing. I hung out with the family in the morning, lazed around for most of the day. I got a head start in reading the May 1940 issue of Astounding, but even there I didn’t do too much.

I had phone calls from a number of friends and family and it is always nice to hear those voices that I don’t get to hear very often.

I did clean off my desk. It was a complete and utter mess with stacks and stacks of golden age Astounding’s piled all about in disarray. The desktop is now clean and clear and the Astounding’s have been arrayed. I always feel like I can think more clearly when my desk is clean.

On said desk, I had a backlog of some 12 or so issues of New Scientist and Scientific American that I hadn’t touched. There is no way I was going to catch up reading each page of every issue, the way I normally do. So yesterday evening, I went through the contents of each magazine, making check marks on the contents page next to those articles I thought were particularly interesting. Then I started reading those articles and tossing the magazines when I finished. I’ve still got about 9 or 10 issues to go through, but there’s only about 1 or 2 articles in each that I’ve highlighted so it should go pretty quickly. This is important because it is how I keep up with science, but also because I usually get at least one good story idea from every issue–and last night was no exception.

It was a very nice day, all told, and I was glad I chose to unplug. I can see why Jack Benny wanted to remain 39. It seems just about the perfect age.


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