Wal-Mart Expedition was basically to get a phone card. I lucked. They had them on sale in a three-pack, so I am now stocked up on phone cards.

And also took care of a nagging, irritating, pointless frustration that I've lived with since I moved out of the shelter. I don't have room for a dish drain on the sink in this apartment. There just isn't room for it, the kitchen's that tiny. It's like a kitchen on the boat. But I've got one, because the first apartment had it along with all kinds of other things for setting up housekeeping.

What I put up with was having no flatware tray. The stupid thing you take for granted, that has slots for different flatware and goes in a drawer wasn't on the list when I moved in and somehow, I never managed to remember it at a time I was shopping for stuff for my apartment. Yes, laugh your head off. It went past oversight to blind spot to ludicrous blind spot. This time I managed to remember the doofus on a trip. It's white. I would have liked to find a black one. I'll settle for white over some ghastly pink-cream-beige color they had that looked creepy. I will probably eventually replace it when I've got money and get to some other place that has them in black, but doing without wasn't worth waiting for black. I'm so sick of flatware in a cup on the counter that it's hilarious. Even bachelors expect to be able to put stuff away out of sight.

Why little things like that matter to me is that I don't go out and the kitchen is actually part of the single large room that is my dwelling. Long narrow room. I look around and I can see everything I own, the only thing that's out of sight is half the bathroom.

This wouldn't be that bad if I could get it reasonably well organized. My physical culture is reasonable. It's more that I've got a little territoriality about it and I like having everything in it relate to everything else. Most of all to look like it's mine and not like it belongs to some other tribe or moiety. Overall, it looks good. Most of this stuff isn't handmade, except for textiles. The furniture's black except the big monster metal desk that's battleship grey with a mint green linoleum top, invisible under a lot of electronics.

It would be striking if I managed to get it cleaned up.

This bugs me every time I go out and shop. I come home, look to put the stuff away and on some level I'm really expecting the place to look the way I want it to - everything unpacked, sorted, put up with places for it and all. Instead, there's an unassembled bookshelf and a haphazard collection of crates stacked on top of each other filled mostly with books but also some office supplies like reams of printer paper and stacks of old manuscripts and things like that. The floor is carpeted in Ari since I can't vacuum.

Going on the trip put me in a frame of mind to get it all done, immediately. My body, which just hauled up that three story hill, disagrees. Scorcher of a day too, must be in the middle nineties with a high heat index from what it feels like in here. Leg cramps beginning this soon after the trip aren't a good sign - but it would be so cool if the place wasn't slobbish. I will be patient.

But maybe I can get a little of it done now and then. :D

Robert and Ari >^..^<


GeminiComputers.com rocks! Despite a little confusion with PayPal, where it persisted in listing my old address as Shipping Address, the Gemini Computers crew got my order out fast and well! Their sales department is staffed by human beings with brains. This is a rare and wonderful thing in a company.

In most bureaucracies I've dealt with, a Shipping Address that was "official" and came from an outside entity like PayPal would take precedence over something like an email that says "I'm having trouble changing my shipping address on the PayPal site, my current address is xxx etc."

They read this note. They responded quickly. They sent a worried non-techie author another email confirming that yes, the order was placed to be shipped to my current address.

Above and beyond, they noticed what the order was: Norton SystemWorks2002 for a new computer. They expedited it. Uri, the sales rep who put up with me, showed amazing consideration in doing that. He knew how important it was by what it was, and got it out to me so fast!

Big thank you to Geminicomputers.com! Their prices are great too - I got the whole package for $14.31 and the lion's share went to UPS because the software is a bargain at $6.90.

Installed, registered, set up and ready to go, my familiar utilities are all back on the taskbar again and Toshi is equipped as well as Ema ever was!

Now all I have to do is sort through all those unsorted backfiles I copied so hastily from Ema to find "The Torturer's Toolkit," an article on writing horror, so that I can send it out!

Robert and Ari >^..^< (He moved it away from my spot on the desk! Purr! Now I can get at my window again and smell the big wide world!)


Toshi's here and just in time!

Ema, sweet, faithful Ema, my emachines etower 366i2, died... within hours after giving up the last of her files in a two day file suck and zip spree with my zipdrive. I got everything and procrastinated on copying over the Favorites links in IE.

All my fiction zipped and archived the first day, with a few pictures. All art and pictures and side files and junk on the second day. All moved. I have moved into Toshi.

I have also got a habit of staying permanently logged in on sites that are passworded, so I'm mailing passwords to myself from every one of them as I discover they don't recognize Toshi. Yet. I'm still me, there's still no one living with me who'd use my computers to log in on my weblogs or this or that site, so that's not such a big deal. But it gets mildly frustrating.

I also need to get links again for some free ebook sites and so forth, those will accumulate. One result is that I seem to be getting many more of the "most often used" links up at the top of the Favorites than my previous arrangement. That's a good thing!

She runs better than Ema. Even with a slower processor, twice the RAM helps enormously. I love Toshi. I love the feeling of freedom I have, knowing I do not have to leave *anything* behind.

I've had a bizarre little microproblem with Sonata. Her floppy drive is physically there but wasn't mounted. I found a utility that I used to mount it. Once I had, I couldn't copy to it. Huh, wha? This is a floppy drive, silly machine, it's supposed to be copied to, the disks are temporary! Why would I want to "not give permissions" to someone to use the floppy drive? Linux security assumptions are a little of a headache sometimes, they assume I'm set up for multiple users. The only other user is Ari, and I am not worried about my cat copying a lot of kitten code to a floppy. He'd have to leave the house to deliver it to other cats, no matter what it was.

It's not super high priority at the moment, there are other technical things I need to do first and there are other things I need to do with my time than play with the machines once I'm up and running. I got going on the Chazho rewrite and it's looking good. WAY important. Lot of things now get put off till that's done. I've got backups on the zip drive and I moved the graphics off Sonata by mail, when the floppy drive's up it'll be relatively simple to just port graphics by way of floppy.

I put the good optical mouse on Toshi. I am back to my usual laptop routine of 'forget inherent pointing device, bring a clipboard, mousepad and mouse.' I am way too used to fast selection for copy and paste. I do it constantly. The little pencil eraser pointer is a default device that if it wears out is useless - but if I don't use it, it won't wear out and IS backup for what happens if mousie breaks. Iomega zip drive moved into Toshi's carrycase in the compartmented section that's designed for a much larger power supply and cords object than Toshi actually has. Hers is as small as a pack of Marlboro 100's and a little skinnier. Everything critical does fit in her carrybag. I'd lose no peripherals.

Long ago, in October 1994, I almost died of pneumonia and I had my laptop with me. I went on walkabout and lost my first Toshiba laptop in New Orleans. I hope someone got some use out of it. What's spooky is that this is the same carrybag - it's efficient, it's great looking black fake leather though the new one is not cat chewed and cat clawed.

After that, I wound up buying a ratty Compaq from Dstar for $200 because I had no computer, went through a Frankenstein desktop in between but really missed being portable. He claimed it was a junker, good for only six months or so before I could replace it. That lasted till 1999 ... and I wrote five books in it, but it had no battery and some serious problems. By the end its keyboard failed and stuttered. I had rough drafts that I had to edit out stuttered T's between every other letter - this made me laugh when I read Misery about filling in missing letters by hand, because I had to do that with all numbers by copy-paste. I wore it out - but it lasted years, not months. Laptops are tough.

Toshi... is like a dream come true and a second chance. Something I lost and loved come back new and better. I lost half a novel with Tommy Toshiba, the first one - a darn good half novel, since I still remember the premise. I will reconstruct it someday, very likely on Toshi.

My life is good. My life gets better all the time and I am coming so close to ... all my goals, that used to just be dreams.

Crossthought on the Hatestream is now up at gothic.net - a subscriber horror magazine online. It's not free to read, but they have a $3 one month trial subscription and the annual subscription is $15. That was my first Pro Sale. One third of the way on Pilgrimage to Pro in 2002

I'll make it!

Robert and Ari >^..^<