August 25th, 2016


Thursday morning: Work and refreshment.

I'm nearing the end of my second week at the new job and it's going well. The work is simple and straightforward: scanning paper files into an electronic database (with the paper files then to be shredded). It's the type of work I've been doing, in one variation or another, for most of the 20+ years of my civilian work life, beginning with high-volume legal photocopying at a law firm in San Francisco in the 90s, using the now largely obsolete direct-to-paper copiers.

(Actually my very first job doing digital document scanning was with the Air Force - in the late 1980s! I worked in telecommunications in the pre-internet - or pre-DARPAnet - era, when messages were sent via a secure teletype system called AUTODIN. Towards the very end of my USAF hitch, around 1987 - '88, we went high-tech and moved from hand-typing messages to scanning them with an optical character reader. The typed message had to be put in a tray to be scanned with a red laser beam, and processed by a disk-drive computer that was literally the size of a refrigerator. Typing the messages required a special font, and all the admin offices on the base had to equip their IBM Selectrics with an OCR typing ball.)

Anyway, it's easy work; monotonous, but it's the kind of monotony I can tolerate fairly well. It keeps my eyes and hands busy but part of my brain is still free to wander and think about some book I've read or whatever. (Tasks like filing and sorting mail are a different matter; that's the kind of work I find grueling and tedious, and I avoid it whenever possible.)

Tonight I'm on for drinks with my friend Prof W.

Donna Wold

Born Donna Johnson, she went to school in Minneapolis. Two men proposed to her; Sparky would make her famous, but it was her fellow redhead Allan she married.

Allan and Donna, both redheads, attended the same middle school, where they hardly talked. After Allan returned from the Navy, he saw Donna singing in the choir at church. He decided he had to meet her.

Determined, Allan dialed hundreds of Johnsons living in the city. He found her, and landed a date.

“It went on from there,” he said. They married in 1950.

Instead of comics, their story is the stuff of fairy tales. ...