Blogspot tells me that as soon as I hit the "publish" button, this will become post #2500. It has been just over six months since #2000. This all seems astonishing. Nobody could really still be reading, could they? Hello? Is this thing on? Testing, one, two, three? Why would anybody sit through 2500 installments of what I have to say about anything? Are you all masochists or something?
Well, whatever the explanation, I'm grateful for your eyeballs running over my pages. I hope you get half of the satisfaction from reading that I do from writing.
What's that calculator picture doing up there, you ask? When I did a search for some amusing image to illustrate the number "2500," Google offered up that one. It's a photo of an old Texas Instruments model TI-2500. You can read about it here, the page from which I snuck this picture.
I picked it because the photo caused me a little whirlwind of nostalgia. You see, that right there was my first calculator, back in the dark ages. I bought it used from my big brother, who was moving on to a scientific calculator, as he was in high school then. I paid him about $100 for it. He had paid about $150 for it new roughly a year earlier. It was 1974, and I was 13. It was one of the first things I bought for myself with my paper route money. (I've never told you I had a paper route? Well, I did.) That, and an Encyclopedia Britannica, as I was increasingly dissatisfied with the old World Book encyclopedia my family had. 13-year-old kid gets a little cash, buys an encyclopedia and a calculator. Was I geeky, or what?
(Wow--I see now that they still publish the Encyclopedia Britannica. See here. I would have thought that nobody would be buying them, and they would have gone the way of the dinosaur by now. Guess not--but how long can they keep it up profitably?)
This calculator had a weird property, obviously not intended by its designers. If you turned the power switch to "on" very slowly, or sort of stuttered it back and forth between on and off, the display would spontaneously start counting. The third digit from the right would increase about once per second, with the first and second digits going 100 and 10 times faster than that, respectively. It would just continue counting as long as it was left on, once it started. Very strange thing. One time I let it go for about 12 days, which is how long it took to reach a count of 1,000,000. This amused me much more than it should have.
A few years later I moved on to my own scientific calculator, first an obscure brand, the name of which I can no longer recall, then to the Hewlett-Packard that is still sitting in the desk drawer right next to me as I write. [Addendum: The internet is the most awesome thing ever. I remembered that my first scientific calculator used "reverse Polish notation," which was extremely unusual for any non-HP model. Using just that clue, I tracked it down in less than five minutes. It was the APF Mark 55, and you can see and read a bit about it here. So cool!]
None of that has anything to do with poker or this blog, but sometimes I get into a stream-of-consciousness thing that just keeps going with a will of its own--kind of like that old calculator. It's probably best if I switch off the power for now and let it all reset.