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One of the first things I do when I wake up is to turn on the computer. This may seem like the pathetic actions of someone who is totally addicted to his computer but the reason why I do it is because my apartment is so small that the light from both monitors reaches out to the kitchen. One thing I don’t want to do at 5:00am is hit the birds with bright light, so the softer light from the monitors really comes in handy.

This morning it was particularly hot in the apartment. Hot enough to turn on the air conditioner, along with the ceiling fan and floor fan that were already on. Imagine my surprise, then, when I got back to the computer and saw that my weather widget said it was 28°F and snowing. I opened the window to confirm that and give Junior a chance to get some fresh air. It definitely wasn’t 28­°F outside and most definitely was not snowing.

I clicked on the weather widget figuring it would take me to a web page which had accurate information. It sent me to the MSN site (it’s a Microsoft widget) where it still insisted it was 28°F outside, although the snow had changed to thunderstorms.

Going to Weather.com, though, I was informed it was 70°F with a chance of showers. That seemed much more likely.

On the whole, it’s probably a good idea that I only use the widgets as a reference but use my window as an absolute indicator of what’s going on outside.

One of my favorite authors is James P. Blaylock. I picked up one of his books at a used book store years ago and loved it. Since then I’ve bought everything I could by him. Then, for reasons that I won’t go into, I ended up losing my Blaylock collection. I’ve wanted to build it back up, but the cost of his books have reached the stratosphere. Many of his books are out of print and others seem to come from a smaller publishing company. No matter how you look at it, though, they’re pretty damned expensive.

That’s how it is when you don’t follow the mainstream. I’m a rebel. Dottie.

That’s where the future comes in handy. With eBooks it’s a bit cheaper to keep up on certain things. For the past year or more I’ve been trying to get through “The Adventures of Langdon St. Ives,” which I have on my phone using Amazon’s Kindle program. Unfortunately, I’m having a really hard time getting through it. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s not as easy reading on a cell phone or if I’m just not enjoying the story (oh no!). One day I’ll get through it, though.

I also have a Nook, which I haven’t used in a while. It probably needs a charging. I find it easier to read on the Nook than I do the phone but, groovy technology aside, I really prefer reading books made of paper.

I was at work, walking with a friend of mine to look at a computer that was in need of some fixin’. We chatted while passing a cubicle farm when we were stopped by one of the cubicle denizens.

“Hey guys,” she greeted us. “They installed my new printer but they put it too close to the edge of the desk. Would you mind scooting it back a little? Just an inch?”

We stopped and looked at the printer. It was right on the edge. It was also an HP LaserJet 4, one of the small ones. I paused long enough to give the impression that I would do it but, really, it wasn’t anything she couldn’t do herself. It was just an inch, after all.

I handed my stuff to my friend, put both hands against the printer and gave it a tiny shove.

Lights bloomed and flashed. An indescribable pain ran up my leg and through my spine. I opened my eyes and found I was lying on the floor with a halo of heads gazing down at me.

“Are you all right?” my friend asked me. “You’re pale!”

I had to think about it. I finally said, “No, I don’t think so. I can’t move my legs and I’m in a lot of pain.” It wasn’t long before my legs started working and they got me back up on them. I had a really hard time moving, though, without sending waves of agony slosh across my back. Everyone was pressed close in, asking me questions.

The head of security loomed up and pressed through the crowd. He was easily seven foot tall, ex-military and cut through the crowd easily. He grabbed me by the shoulder. “Come on, come with me,” he said. I was thankfully to get away from the press of people and walked, slowly and painfully, with him. to his office.

He sat down at his desk and said, “Now, I’m having a problem with this program…”

He went on for a few minutes until I finally cut in saying, “I’d like to help you, but I just collapsed on the floor out there and my back is killing me. I don’t think I can concentrate on what the problem is, much less fix it right now.”

He was understanding and asked a security guard to make sure I made it to the nurse’s office, which was in another building. Across two parking lots. We walked over there, very slowly. I lay down on their couch for a while but it wasn’t helping. The security guard suggested maybe walking around a bit more might help loosen the back muscles. The nurse agreed and it sounded like a good idea to me, so the guard and I went outside the front of the building. I walked up and down the sidewalk while the guard held on to one of the back belt loops for my trousers. I’m not sure what help it would have been had I collapsed, but it kept her happy. It looked like she was taking me out for walkies.

Eventually I felt well enough to drive home. Operating the clutch might be a bit tricky but I thought I could pull it off. I was escorted to my car, fell into it, and felt a bit better. The Honda CRX was a tiny car, but the seats always felt very comfortable to me, very supportive.

I was able to drive home but had to be helped out of the car by my ex-wife. In fact, I had to fall out of the car and get back up. But I made it.

You’ll be amazingly lucky, and although you’ll have plenty of company along those lines now, it’s definitely your turn to cash in. No matter how much you have on the line, don’t worry. You’ll definitely break even. In all departments.

I’d like to see how this one works out.

So far, it isn’t working out.

Today I am making meat loaf. I’m using the other gift I got from my mom which is a meatloaf pan with a grease drainer thing. I am looking forward to seeing how the thing works and how my meat loaf will turn out.

The only thing unfortunate about meatloaf is the name. It just sounds wrong. Meatballs sounds all right, but meatloaf is like saying “meat pants” or “meat helmet.” It just doesn’t sound very appetizing.

The other good thing about making meatloaf is that I use green bell peppers, but not a whole one. The birds, then, get a treat because they love bell peppers. I drop a few pieces in their bowl and they chomp down on them happily. Tonight, though, for the first time in over a year Zoey has been demanding apples. I don’t have any apples tonight so she’s going to have to wait for that.

That’s all I got for today. Tomorrow is Wednesday and that means only a couple more days until Skyrim comes out. I get to see if Amazon manages to get this one to me on time. They better.