Hello Card  -  Volume 18  -  John Card Number 0  -  Tue, Feb 19, 1991 3:34 AM

Since my last hello card I have survived (rather tame) Christmas and New Years celebrations back in Idaho, where I lingered well into January. My Christmas loot consisted almost entirely of books, but I did receive a telephone answering machine, and I bought myself a modem.

The modem is all sorts of fun and is even rather useful. I have been shipping files back and forth with the guy I work with in Helena on a regular basis; this often saves a 70 mile round trip and/or speeds up my work by several days. And Robert made Archipelago history by being the first member to transmit his transit stack over the phone (see VC 18 John 12).

I have also been experimenting with several electronic bulletin boards around the country and sending recreational faxes to various friends. I am trying to convince Paul's co-workers that he leads a bizarre double life away from the office; my first salvo was a letter from Creative Monoliths, Inc., discussing his plans to erect a giant billboard of himself in downtown Salt Lake.

Other than that, things have been downright tranquil here at Command Central. I spent the first three weeks of the new year working on a mathematical problem which continues to elude me (see VC 18 John 8). I am also just finishing a minor programming project for my friend in Helena and will soon be returning to Idaho for some more work down there. When I'm not programming I am all too often playing computerized solitaire (a mindless but strangely addictive game - I finally threw it out) and watching the cats play high velocity tag.

So far this winter has been relatively mild and I have neither been snowed in nor hospitalized. My parent's new house made the local paper last month with a picture taken from the road and a caption which read "WINTER IN ACTION - Drifted snow closed in on this house along Highway 279 east of Flesher Pass in a big way. Travelers from Helena headed for Lincoln Tuesday didn't have to go far before they found a lot more snow than they had left behind." Actually, there were only a few inches on the ground; the photographer didn't realize that it was an underground house.

So things are VERY quiet here. I am looking forward to Springtime in the Rockies and all the changes in the year ahead (especially the arrival of the little Shirey nipper). Here's to a bountiful (and PEACEFUL) new year!