Somebody please remind me to brush my hair next
time before I get a photo taken.

As some of you may already know my Gateway laptop died on 9-9-09
(kinda creepy, yeah?). Since the laptop was my backup computer
for the desktop that died last Winter, that left me with no
computer whatsoever. For a while I did the best I could to keep
plugging with the blog posts and blog rounds working from my
Blackberry. But it eventually got to be too much — just more
frustrating and depressing than anything else. Worse, it looked
like I wouldn't be able to come up with enough money for a new
computer until January.

So I decided to quit for a while, to get away from the blog and
to a great extent the internet altogether. I'm afraid that my
last post (which I have since deleted) wasn't very clear on
these matters, and perhaps was made worse by turning off the
Comments — I don't quite know what I was thinking on that one.
But I would like everybody to know that it was not my intention
to cut anyone out of the loop. For that I apologize.

I'm not exactly a cool headed private eye who keeps a level head
and knows what to do in any tough situation. In fact even my
fictional private eye Pat Maginess isn't that type of person.
When dealing with stressful situations I can sometimes freak out
a bit. In the past I've had my girlfriend or other friends there
at my side to help, saying "It's okay, Ed. It'll be all right"
and sort of mentally patting my shoulder. But those friends are
gone or are fading. And I have really no one to help like that
anymore. I guess I'm going to have to learn to do that kind of
thing myself.

In any case, I didn't have to wait until next January. Through
the auspecies of my brother-in-law John, who took pity on my poor
computerless state, I was able to arrange financing for a new
laptop. So to John I would like to say — thanks a million, bro.
Without you I would still be piddling away my mornings watching
soap operas.

For those who are into computer stuff, here are some of the
tech specs.

Model: HP Pavilion
Screen: 17"
Keyboard: full size with numeric keypad
Processor: AMD Turion X2 2.2 Ghz
Hard Drive: 500 GB
Ports: 4 USB, SD/Memory Stick/MMC/XD card slots
Webcam: integrated 2 MG
OS: 64-bit Windows Vista SP1

It's very fast. And to quote Donald Trump, it's HUGE, a real
desktop replacement. In fact I had to move my desk lamp from
the center of the desk where it has always been to the left
side to get the computer ergonomically right. It's also far
too heavy for me to take anywhere. But I wasn't planning on
being a road warrior with it anyway.

It's not really necessary to name a computer unless it is on
a network, but I typed in a name anyway. I call it "Gladiator"
— seemed to fit somehow with the shiny bronze color of the
computer. "I have my books / and my poetry to protect me /
they are a mighty armour." (Paul Simon)

Now. Let's see what I can do with this blog. Probably just
more of the same — but who knows.