A day of mystery and adventure…

Hey, KW? You are kidding yourself? More like chores and errands… Up and at ’em at 0-skunk-30 to hoof it down to The Planet Ann Arbor farmer’s market, thankful that the temperature was in the upper 50s / lower 60s. Today. I dread the weather reports because apparently we are heading back up the old escalator toward triple digits. We bought coffee (and the Roos Roast folks photographed us wearing our new tie-dyed t-shirts, coffee in hand). We bought tomatoes, lettuce, corn, onions, and yellow wax beans and I schlepped it all the way back up the “hill” to home on my back (and then trucked over to the Plum Market and schlepped an equivalent load home from there). I loved this simple presentation of zucchini and summer squash (or whatever you call that yellow stuff) at the farmer’s market.

On the way home, we encountered The Restroom at the End of the Universe Top of Haisley School. Fortunately, I was able to hold it until we returned to The Landfill.

A while back, I packed up a couple of boxloads of books to donate to the AAUW book sale. The book drop-off is right next to my fave Plum Market so it’s a no-brainer to drop things off there and The Commander was a long-time member of the AAUW, albeit not here on The Planet. Today was a good drop-off day but *someone* couldn’t leave well enough alone and, while I was at the Plum Market, that person pulled this little book [below] out of my “kid book” box. I was kind of annoyed until I looked *inside* the book and discovered that there was a special hand-drawn picture of a *mouse* and “mene” (“meanie”? or what?) written on EVERY page. Okay, we’ll keep that one. (Note to beach urchins, I have saved a LOT of kid books but MUST thin out. They’re all available either as ebooks or on eBay anyway…) To be fair, that same *someone* subsequently went down into The Dungeon and filled another box with books *he* was ready to ditch. Thank you! (And *I* saved Monkey outta that batch but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

And, well, yes, a few bits of mystery and adventure were tucked into the corners of a Workday-type Saturday. Chores and errands… A surprising and very welcome email led to the [re]-discovery of the VERY COOL artifact below. I am not going to blahg about this for now. Maybe someday… Courtois folks may know something about it. Obviously the Courtois person that has tolerated meeeee for the last 30 years does >wink<

There were other little bits of mystery and adventure today but y’all will have to wait for those too… … …

5 Responses to “A day of mystery and adventure…”

  1. GG Says:

    The last picture shows a 1975 mailing envelope and the punched paper tape that it contained. The punched paper tape “stores” the ETAOIN SHRDULE chess program written by my oldest brother Garth Courtois Jr.. It was a winning competitor in the 1975 and 1976 Association of Computing Machinery North American Computer Chess Championship. It proved a that a simple mini-computer could compete against the big high-financed mainframe chess programs. More computer history will be communicated in the future. Anyway, go to http://www.ComputerHistory.org/

    I suspect that most of you folks don’t know the purpose of a punched paper tape. In this case, it was used to store a computer program.

  2. jay Says:

    I can say that I did recognize the paper tape before I read the comment. At least that it was paper tape. Certainly not what it contained.

  3. Margaret Says:

    I love adventures, mysteries and cool artifacts, especially those from past times that bring back memories. However, triple digits?? No!!

  4. Kathy Farnell Says:

    I think the first time I ever saw that “tape” was when my father (and GG’s father) Garth Sr. bought some home and was so excited about the Computer tape that was in “binary” format. I’m not sure if I’m saying that right, but it was probably in the mid 60’s. Does anyone know if it was called binary tape? I think it used only 0, 1, and 2. Anyhow, I would think that maybe the tape and the information in that envelope would be important to a collector. Certainly a piece of History.
    I miss Garth Jr.

  5. GG Says:

    Garth, Dad, brought home the first punch tape we had ever seen in the late 60’s or very early 70’s. I remember his excitement about Kearney & Trecker being a technology leaders with respect to Numerically Controlled Milling Machines. The punched tape, in his case, contained instructions for carving up parts (milling) from castings using a milling machine coupled with a computer. This was earlier than Gary’s (Garth Jr’s) storage of his chess program on a paper tape.
    In 1975, I bugged Gary to give me a copy of his chess program so that I might see what I could do with it. I never could get access to a tape readers or a Nova mini-computer at MSU.