Zeroing Out the Moleskine, vol. 3

moleskineI took a vacation day today, to extend my weekend before hell comes raining down on me.  Starting Sunday I’m going to be working 18 ten-hour days in a row.  I volunteered, so I have nobody to blame but myself.  However, I reserve the right to bitch about it.  Please make a note of it.  Just because I caused it, doesn’t mean I can’t complain.  These are the rules I live by.

I’m also going to work massive hours on the book, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  I really want to turn in the 100-page sample before hell takes hold.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to get ‘er done, but I’m going to bum-rush the thing, and see what happens.  Wish me luck.  There’s gonna be a lot of coffee involved.

Since this will be the final update of the week, I’m just going to zero-out the notebook today, and start fresh on the other side.  How’s that sound?  Please feel free to comment on any of this nonsense, and I’ll try to post something fresh on Sunday.

A couple of days ago we had ice falling from the sky, and the entire world was slick as owl shit.  I went to work that day, and my car was not amused.  It kept doing that herky-jerky antilock thing, which is unnerving.  And as I was nearing the exit for my job, there’s a slight curve in the highway, but the Camry just continued going in the established direction.  I almost lost control, and had a massive spike of adrenalin.  No fun.

But everything worked out, and things were much better when I got off that night, at 1:30 a.m.  The roads were just wet, and I had no issues.  However, our driveway and sidewalk were still a thick sheet of ice.  I had to walk through the yard, because I knew I’d go fully-inverted if I attempted to navigate that widow-maker.

I let Andy out, as usual, and he peed, logged-out, and sniffed every square inch of our front yard.  I was drinking a Yuengling, and when it got near the bottom of the bottle I called for him to come into the house.  And he actually listened to me for once: he came charging, full speed ahead.

“No, Andy!  No!!” I shouted.

But it was too late.  Blacklips Houlihan hit the sidewalk, all four of his legs went in a different direction, and he did a violent belly-flop on the cement.  His body almost turned a full rotation, before crashing into the bottom step.  It was ugly, and I feared the worst.  But, he got up, and trotted into the house.

I checked him out, and he seemed OK, but a little freaked.  I think he experienced his own adrenalin spike.  But he’s fine; there’s been no signs of problems.  And last night, I noticed, he stepped lightly on that sidewalk, even though there was no ice.  Heh.

You know what bugs me, for reasons unknown?  Godsons and Goddaughters.  Whenever someone says they have to attend an event featuring their “Godson” it irritates me.  I think it’s all pretension, somehow.  I know there’s probably religious tradition behind it, but don’t believe that’s the reason people still cling to it.  I think they’re just full of shit, and like to put on a show.  It’s something that bothers me, but I can’t really figure out why.  Can you help me out with this?  I need to zero in on my animosity, as it pertains to Godsons and Goddaughters.

Last night at work I listened to an entire baseball game from September 1967, between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox.  I snagged it from this podcast, and loved every minute of it.  I didn’t know half the players, but it didn’t matter.  I actually found myself getting into it, and caring who won and lost.

I started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a few days ago.  I got a Kindle copy for $1.99, and was craving some pure entertainment.  So, I’m giving it a shot.  Have you read those three books?  What are your opinions?

The dude wrote the trilogy, saw it become an international phenomenon, and promptly dropped dead.  He was 50 or something, and didn’t have a will.  His longtime live-in girlfriend was entitled to none of the money, and it was a big mess.  I think the author’s brother finally saw to it that she was taken care of, but the story behind the story could’ve been a novel all by itself.

I’m less than 100 pages into the first book.  Have you read them?  What are your thoughts?

Also, I don’t think I’ve read an actual physical book, since I bought my Kindle.  I have hundreds, maybe thousands, of books lying around our house, but I like reading on the Kindle so much better.  I can adjust the font to whatever is comfortable, and there’s a small light built into the cover that allows me to read in bed, without bothering Toney.  Before Kindle (B.K.), I’d have to turn on a lamp, and she’d start sighing and rolling around.

A few days ago I decided I wanted to re-read the Hoke Moseley series, by Charles Willeford.  It’s a four-book crime series, featuring a retired cop in Florida.  The books are twisted, lots of fun, and feature not a single unnecessary word.  Willeford had honed his craft to the point where there was no fat, whatsoever.  I love those books, and have read them twice each.

So, I dug them out again, and sat down in a chair with the first one: Miami Blues.  And the type was so tiny, I almost had a seizure.  My eyes were going crossed, and my temples were throbbing, before I finished the first chapter.

I don’t know.  I’d hate to think my relationship with actual books is over.  I had a giant attitude toward the Kindle when it first appeared (I’m a purist!  I will always cherish the feel of a real book in my hands!!), but I’m a total convert, at this point.  It pains me to admit it, but it’s true.  I prefer the Kindle version, every time, and could’ve never predicted such a thing.

In fact, I’m always a hard sell when it comes to technology.  I have to be dragged, kicking and shrieking like a schoolgirl, from my established routines.  I hated the idea of the CD, the mp3, the DVD, the ebook, the smartphone, etc.  If it ain’t broke, and all that stuff…  But I eventually come around, establish new routines, and defend them in exasperated tones whenever they’re challenged.  It’s the cycle of life, I guess.

Before I call it a day here, I’d like to invite you to try out Dropbox, if you haven’t already.  It’s free, and I love it.  It’s a folder that resides in “the cloud,” so you can access its contents from any computer with an internet connection.  Therefore, it acts as a backup for important documents or photos, or whatever.  If your computer shits the bed, no problem… the important stuff is in your Dropbox.  Plus, you can work on projects from multiple computers, and also share files with others – without having to attach them to an email.

It’s really great, and I know you’ll love it.  If you sign up through my link, I’ll earn extra space in my Dropbox.  But that’s not the main reason I’m suggesting it.  I just really like it, and want to help spread the word.  My book project goes straight to the Dropbox at the end of every day, and I can even read the manuscript on my phone if I want.

Check it out.  It’s good stuff, and costs nothing.

And I just realized I haven’t had my evening feeding yet.  That needs to be corrected, straigh’ away.  I think I’m going to order a pizza, and spin it on my finger like Scooby Doo.

I’ll see you guys again soon.

Have a great day!

Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon

62 Responses to “Zeroing Out the Moleskine, vol. 3”

  1. The Missus read all the Dragon Tattoo books like they were cold beer on a hot day. We watched the Swedish versions of the movies on Netflix and I thought they were outstanding.

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  2. You might be tempted to dump The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but give it until you hit that 100-page mark before deciding. It gets good around 75 pages in.

    I think the Godchildren thing is just a way of formalizing the idea of “who should get the kids if we die?”

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  3. I’m concerned about losing my small remaining ability to adapt to the world. So far, I’ve avoided Kindle-like losses of touch, sight and feel. I listen to lots of audio books, but the books I read still have atoms, and a Higgs field and everything.

    jtb

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    The Qweezy Mark Reply:

    I have no mass. Is this a Higgs Field Folly?

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    dorothy Reply:

    john the basket, i think i love you. oops, i think i already told you that, lo these many months ago.

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  4. Wife loves her Kindle I got her. Reads more than ever. Thought it would keep her quiet when I got it for her but now she loves to read to me all the time. I got a goddamn live-in audio book around here now.

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    johnthebasket Reply:

    A Kindle and a vibrator will get you more silence than a Kindle alone.

    jtb

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    Chuck in Belpre Reply:

    COTD

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  5. 18 ten hr days? That’s like 209 hrs.

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    jim britton Reply:

    Wonder how many hours it would be in metric?…

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    CADude Reply:

    Or in Andy hours?

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  6. My Godfather, Al, was a plumber and a rip-roaring boozer. When I was seven he taught me how to make a perfect Vodka and Ice in a tumbler. I overheard my Godmother, Lois, tell my Mom one day…”That little monster is your problem. Don’t drag me in on this”.

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  7. I have yet to read the third book in the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I liked the first two, but wow they were slow to get going. The first third was a yawn, then it got good. I’ve seen both movie adaptations, I like the Swedish one better.
    I don’t mind the concept of godchildren if it actually is a religious formality. If you stood in a church with the kid for the kid’s baptism, then fine, talk about your godchild. If it’s some crap you just made up, keep it to yourself. That irritates me beyond reason.

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    m Reply:

    Oh, and I’m a Nook addict. I have one of the first ones, and I’m hanging on to it as long as I can. It has WiFi and 3g, and you can’t get that option any more.

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  8. I read all three books back to back… they’re a great read. The only “problem” is that it felt like I read a 2000+ page book… when I was done it left me feeling as if I was missing something.

    The best part? I realized after watching the Swedish version that it’s pronounced salANder… not SALander…

    We were eating dinner while watching the Daniel Craig version and needed to stop the movie to take care of the Shiessehunds or something and the wife paused the movie while they were mid-coitus… The timing was perfectly absurd that they froze mid thrust.

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  9. I am a “Godfather” to my buddy’s son and my cousin’s two sons. I feel awkward referring to them as my “Godsons” but rarely miss an opportunity to sarcastically refer to myself as the Godfather (didn’t see that coming did ya?). I too am in the Kindle convert boat.

    I’ve never used dropbox but I do love me some Evernote – I can access notes and attach docs and it syncs between my laptop app or web browser and smartphone/tablet apps. No matter where I am I can write down my sarcastic and pessimistic views on life to pass down to my kids. It’s great.

    I saw the US movie version of the Dragon Tattoo movies. She shows her beaver. Heh.

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    Jeff Reply:

    I also love Evernote, Jeremy. I used to carry around a notebook, but now I just type my insensitive thoughts into their phone app, and pull them up on my computer when I get home. It’s fantastic.

    Dropbox is a little different, but both are great.

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  10. I finally got a Kindle in May of ’12, I waited until the price was too good to pass up. My initial hesitancy was the idea of paying over $100 for something to read a book on when the good lord had given me two hands for that purpose. I had previously downloaded some free Kindle titles to my computer but I don’t really like reading on my PC for extended periods of time; so when Amazon made an an offer I couldn’t refuse I bit.

    The absolute best thing about the Kindle is “send me a sample” you can fill up your kindle with hours worth of free reading before you buy. A 1000 page tome is the same weight as a pamphlet on the kindle. The second is I can make the fonts as large as I want so I don’t need cheater glasses.

    And I was also a ‘I don’t need some fancy electronic equipment to do X’ for the longest time despite being a early adopter of home computers and the internet. In one year (2007) I went from loathing to loving smart phones, GPS, EZPass and hand held video game systems

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  11. I’ve got both the kindle and nook on my tablet. Like them both.

    The godmother thing, I agree. Be a godmother if you want, just shut the fuck up about it.

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  12. Semi-retired naked movie star Ron Jeremy was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital today.

    http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/30/ron-jeremy-hospitalized/?hpt=hp_t3

    The nature of his malady was not disclosed, but my sources tell me he had an erection that lasted less than four hours.

    jtb

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    Jeff Reply:

    I just hope he’s an organ donor.

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    johnthebasket Reply:

    I wonder if they had to make his driving license extra large.

    jtb

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    Bill in WV Reply:

    Probably just getting his junk de-corned.

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  13. Bought the wife a Nook years ago and she loves it. I use it when we are away from home to read magazines I subscribe to since most allow you a free online version with the hard copy.

    I still read books the old fashion way.

    Both my kids have godparents…it was all done during baptism time and primarily done to alert my family members there was no way I was leaving them in charge of my kids if we died. Nut cases each and every one.

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  14. I was a godmother to my best friend’s (at the time) son. They were the same religion as we were, but they lived in a different state. A few years later, my friend informed me that they had left the Catholic church for another one. A few years after that, I divorced the godfather, and left the church myself. The only time I ever saw that kid was at the baptism, and I have no idea where any of them are now. So I would say it’s bullshit. Also, it’s just a religious thing, and the godparents don’t get custody of the child if anything happens to the parents. (I checked, before my then-husband agreed to be the godfather for his sister’s three animals.)

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  15. Jeff..I just bought a hard cover copy of “A Night to Remember” upon your recommendation. I am a fanatic about anything Titanic related and can’t believe I hadn’t read it yet. I have all kinds of publications about it including 1911 sheet music of “Nearer My God to Thee”…which some say was the last song heard playing. Others say it’s “Autumn”, including this book.

    I was going to download a copy, but wanted the hard cover for my collection.

    Most people I know that have been chosen for the godparent position usually just roll their eyes and bitch about having to go to the church service and buying gifts for birthdays and holidays

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    Bill in WV Reply:

    I could have sworn, the last song played was “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.

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  16. We are religious folk. We consider Godparents our “helpers” in raising our kids “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. As such we chose church-going Christians as Godparents for our children. All of our kids have aunts and uncles as their Godparents.

    We only have one sibling left who has NOT yet been asked to serve as Godparent. To give you an idea of why he he’s been benched, consider …

    1) Instead of Uncle Jack, our entire family has nicknamed him “Drunkle Jack”.
    2) Before and after each visit from Drunkle Jack our kids need to be reminded that whatever new words they learn during his visit must never be repeated.
    3) Our family mantra regarding Drunkle Jack is “Our job is to love him, not fix him”.
    4) As a consolation prize for not being a Godparent to any of our children he has been dubbed the “Oh My Godfather” of all of them.

    Although he’s no Godparent, he couldn’t be a more loving, attentive or fun uncle, brother and brother-in-law and we are thankful to have him in our family!

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    CADude Reply:

    Bless his heart…

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    ron Reply:

    drunkle jack is the most fun
    i want him for my godparent

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    T-STORM Reply:

    I think I am drunkle jack.

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    ron Reply:

    accually in my fambly of bible thumpers i am the drunkle jack

    fambly is always trying to ”save”me

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    Liza Zajac Whitehead Reply:

    Drunkle Jack, the OMGFather puts the fun back in dysFUNctional.

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  17. One thing I do not miss so much is the condition of library books. Sometimes they are covered in questionable stains and are marked up and whatnot.

    When I use my Nook, I don’t have to worry about that sort of thing.

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    ashton Reply:

    Sorry. My fault.

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  18. I use the Kindle app on my iPad and I’d just about stopped buying paper books since then. Part of it is sheer impatience because instantly getting the next book in a series is like magic. I also like that the apps sync between the iPad and my phone, so I can go back and forth and always pick up where I left off. The only bad part is that the type is teeny on the phone and I can’t figure out how to make it bigger, which I assume is user error and not a limitation of the app.

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  19. Miami Blues – a movie staring a young Alec Baldwin. I love the scene where he gets his fingers chopped.

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  20. Got a Nook for Christmas and started browsing through the “Under $5″ category. I downloaded “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” which I never read and also “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. So now I feel smart an sassy and well read! And I don’t even have to do a book report.

    Good luck on the book, Jeff. And the monstrous work weeks you have a’coming.

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    m Reply:

    If you like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you might like Joy in the Morning, written by the same author (the name escapes me at the moment). I love the Under 5 category, too.

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  21. So I walk into the bathroom after lunch and discover that all the commotion this morning was because they installed fancy new toilet paper dispensers in the stalls. Now I’m all for the latest in wiping technology, but couldn’t they have sent an email warning us first? I really hate trying to learn how to use the fancy new dispenser while sitting with my pants around my ankles. And I get that the new dispenser holds a roll about 2 miles long and that means they don’t have to change it out as much. But why is the paper now half as wide as it once was? I had to develop a whole new wiping technique on the fly. What the hell, man? I wanted to nervously whip my hands through my hair, but had to restrain myself. Who knows what might have happened down there? This is uncharted territory. No sir, I didn’t like it.

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    WB in OH Reply:

    Half width toilet paper? That sounds pretty shitty.

    Everybody goes, why not enjoy the go…

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    ron Reply:

    half wide for half assed people

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  22. I like my Kindle. I like reading on it. It pisses me off when an author releases a book and the hardcover costs $12.99 and the kindle version is $10.99. I’m sorry but to me that is not enough savings for me to not get the hardcover. I don’t know why my brain can’t justify it. I’ve been out of bookshelf space for sometime now.

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    Ognir Reply:

    That’s the reason I don’t buy many E-books – the cost. I went with the Nook just for the fact that I can borrow e-books through the state wide online library.

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  23. Blizzaks.

    That is all.

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  24. I have a kindle app for my BB Playbook but I still love picking up my King, Grisham and Koontz at Costco.

    The only kindle book I have is this really funny one about a guy who’s mother in law wins the lottery or something.

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    johnthebasket Reply:

    You pick up your attorneys at Costco?

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    madz1962 Reply:

    Probably better than BJs. Imagine what THAT retainer would be?

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    CADude Reply:

    For the record, I’ve never been picked up at Costco, nor have I retained anyone for a BJ (madz is right–too expensive). I have, however, been restrained at a Sam’s Club while attempting to find a King Grishom for my Koontz. Close enough?

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    johnthebasket Reply:

    If a man keeps his Koontz happy, everything else will follow. Close enough.

    jtb

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  25. Forgot to mention – I did read the first “Dragon” book. I liked it.

    Oh, and poor Andy! Slip sliding away!

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  26. Off topic but I was cleaning out some old emails and found this one. It was my response to a question on Yahoo questions. I think I was blocked from answering after this:

    Can you please comment on these unique girl names individually?
    They are all VERY unique.

    1. Harna
    2. Schweena
    3. Hyacinth
    4. Churchley
    5. Riviera
    6. LittleSammy
    7. Makeda (pronounced Mah-kuh-dah)
    8. Schlinga
    9. Wishy
    10. Florla

    Harna gonna bang me?

    Schweener

    Hyacinth, the name of a girl I dated, so not unique, also a poisonous flower

    Churchley? Really? Considering that you are probably still in High School and preggers it sounds like you need to go to more churchley

    Riviera? Let me think…I’m gonna go french riviera. I heard you’re named after a nude beach?

    LittleSammy? You might as well give her a bag of pork rinds as a rattle because with a name like that she’ll be 400 lbs.

    Makeda? Like the cordless drills?

    Schlinga? For those of you who know a little spanish, Schlinga te.

    Wishy? As in Wishy Washy?

    Florla? Like who a chick with a hairlip might say Florida?

    So what I’m trying to say is that you’re an idiot. But you are also the exception that proves the rule that there are no stupid questions. You asked ten of them.

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    m Reply:

    Oh sweet lord. I had to learn to perfect the poker face all those years I was a labor and delivery nurse. You’re going to name your new daughter J’Obama? How…nice.

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    johnthebasket Reply:

    Hey, Scottish people need names too.

    jtb

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    m Reply:

    Hey, I am Scottish and I can assure you that little J’Obama was not.

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  27. I have bought one ebook – “Crossroads Road”, I forget the author. I read it on my phone and it was pretty good. But I really prefer the paper-book experience. A Kindle or Nook seems so… vendor-specific. Also very temporary and transient. I frequently reread books, often ones I’ve had for decades. Will Barnes+Noble (or Amazon) still be around in 2038? When technology moves on and the Nindles and Kooks have gone the way of the Apple Newton, how will you read your “books”? This is why I also bought a paper copy of CR.

    I am nobody’s godfather, and would probably recuse myself if the request were made. Don’t get me started; simply refer to Bill Hicks.
    .

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  28. BTW, Jeff, I highly recommend a Bodum press pot. Best coffee for the least money. And plus, it’ll keep ya reg’lar.
    .

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  29. I brought to my marriage 3K+ books. To a one bedroom apartment. Needless to say I had to downsize. I kept all my series (or is it series’ or series’s…) books and a few others that were meaningful and donated the rest to the local library. I thought the librarian was gonna have a coronary when I told her I had a few books to donate and brought in 15+ boxes. Haven’t bought many books since 2000 as 1) its gets expensive 2) my local bookstore closed 3) Its just down right strange to buy a book for a penny online and pay $7 shipping 4) I’d already read most of what I liked in the local small town library as they used to be mine…heh. Hubby bought me a Kindle 3 years ago. As a surprise. I threw a holy hissy-fit. He didn’t let me research it like to good geek I am…no cost to enjoyment ratio to look at or nothin’! I am converted. From the moment I bought it, it became the best present…ever. Have since bought hundreds of dollars worth, probably 5 times the amount I had bought in the 10 years prior. Amazing piece of technology.

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    m Reply:

    When I got pregnant (and we needed a nursery) I had to pare down my library. 7 large boxes to the library, 4 boxes of paperbacks on Freecycle.

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  30. Off topic, but RIP Patty Andrews. Ed Koch too.
    .

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    johnthebasket Reply:

    Did you ever hear those two duet on “The Way You Look Tonight”?

    Mesmerizin’ I tells ya.

    jtb

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    chill Reply:

    It’s a fascinatin’ rhythm.
    .

    [Reply]

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Thanks for stopping by! My name is Jeff Kay, I was born while JFK was president, and it's all very embarrassing and corny. Today I'm a suburban husband and father, who is sometimes accused of being a bit tightly-wound. The West Virginia Surf Report! is my creative outlet, and insurance policy against completely losing my shit. I hope you'll stick around and participate in the lively community of geniuses and curmudgeons who hang out here every day. I love a full 87% of them! And while you're at it, please follow me at Twitter and Facebook.

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