Time to Slow Down a Little

I don’t mean slowing down when it comes to writing the blog–Lord knows I have done too much of that in the last year or so.  I mean that my days are finally not as hectic as they have been for much of the last month, which means I have time for more walking, writing, blogging, and doing nothing.

Mainly, this is because the fall semester rush at the Columbus State bookstore has ended until after the first of the year.  I worked from the third week of August until the Thursday after Labor Day, and the work varied from dull days with very few customers, to the inevitable scenario that plays out on the first day of class: A student has a 6 p.m. night class, and shows up at the bookstore at 5:55 to see what books they need.  And are pissed off when we’re out of them.

Susie collected her first real paycheck on the 30th of August.  She signed up for direct deposit, but the first paycheck is always paper, so we went to the Cashier’s Office and picked it up.  I asked if she was sure she wanted to cash it, instead of framing or mounting it.  Yes, she wanted to cash it.  I did take a picture of it to send to Steph before we went to the credit union.

I love the bookstore job, but I’m also thankful I don’t have it all year.  I realize that I’m a bit too misanthropic for a regular customer service job (one of the reasons I decided, after many years of considering it, that I would not be a good pastor).  I realized this when I jumped at the chance to stay at the bookstore two hours after closing time, so I could shelve the buybacks in peace.  There wasn’t total silence–the night supervisor took advantage of the lack of customers by cranking up Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on his computer.

Susie learned the joys of six- and seven-hour workdays, working in the retail part of the bookstore.  She and I both have the default job title “cashier,” but neither one of us got close to a cash register.  While I stocked books, Susie folded shirts, put merchandise on shelves, priced items, and helped customers.  The first day, she came home looking utterly exhausted.  I pretty much said, “Welcome to the world of work,” and thought that Upton Sinclair was writing a book about the Discovery Exchange that very minute.

Susie had to work until 10 p.m. several nights, and when she was impatient waiting for the bus, she ended up taking a taxi home.  I think it was then that she understood one of Archie Bunker’s common complaints: “Jeez!  Earnin’ a living is costing me money!”  My job at the bookstore ended on the 10th, and hers on the 11th, so she’s back to pounding the pavement Internet in search of sustained remunerative employment once again.

This has also been a recent time of going back to earlier habits and circumstances.  Currently, I am typing this at Ohio State’s William Oxley Thompson Library, partially because this is one of my sanctuaries here in Columbus, and also because my laptop is currently under the knife.  The fan either needs to be repaired or replaced.  I dropped it off Friday afternoon, and am still awaiting word on the cost.  So, when I had the sudden urge to blog today, I came here.

The absence of the laptop has had a positive effect.  I took my Royal Skylark portable manual typewriter out of mothballs, set it on the desk, and have written 11 pages (a Prologue and part of Chapter I) of the novel I began for NaNoWriMo in 2013 and have not touched since November 30 of that year.  Susie is not used to the sound of a typewriter in the house, it’s been so long since I’ve used one.  I grew up hearing it, and was typing almost before I knew how to write with a pencil.  I’m hoping that I can keep the momentum going, even after the laptop comes back.

One of my favorite episodes of Lou Grant, “Blackout,” features a reporter who refuses to start using the then-new VDTs installed in the newsroom.  He is shown industriously writing on a portable typewriter, and Lou berates him for using “that relic,” and asks him when he is going to start using a VDT (visual display terminal, considered futuristic in the late 1970s).  Later on, I came to be quite offended by the reporter’s reply, “I’m a writer, not a typesetter.”  Of course, later in the episode, when power goes out in much of Los Angeles, he is the only one who is still able to work.

Despite the very discursive way this blog has read since day one, spontaneous prose has never been something I’ve done.  One of the things I’ve “reverted” back to is setting up camp in a fast food restaurant for hours on end, subsisting on free refills of soda and tea.  This was my practice in the mid-1990s, when I lived on W. McMillan St. in Cincinnati, and I spent many of my waking hours at the Subway across the street from my apartment building, with my diary or several books on the bright yellow table in front of me.

Susie and I are doing the same thing at the McDonald’s on N. High St., by the OSU campus.  She’ll be there with her laptop and her ear buds, and at some point in the evening I’ll join her, again with my knapsack, books, and diary.

The major difference between my Subway experience and my current one with the Golden Arches is that they don’t allow us to run tabs.  (“He’s our Norm Peterson,” the people behind the counter said of me.)

This document is as historic as a Gutenberg Bible or a First Folio Shakespeare. It's a page from a 1994 notebook of mine, showing that I had paid my Cincinnati Subway tab in full.

This document is as historic as a Gutenberg Bible or a First Folio Shakespeare. It’s a page from a 1994 notebook of mine, showing that I had paid my Cincinnati Subway tab in full.

Since bringing the typewriter out of retirement, I’ve been thinking–for the first time in over 30 years–of a guy who habituated Harvard Square in 1982 and 1983, when I was typesetting The Harvard Crimson.  He would come by with a bridge table, an IBM Selectric typewriter, and a big stack of white typing paper.  He would plug the electric typewriter into a public outlet, roll in a sheet of paper, and begin typing whatever came to his mind.  Once he finished a double-spaced page, he would hang it with Scotch tape to the front of the table, so that people walking by could see whatever he had on his mind.  Sometimes he would let other people take turns at the keyboard.  (I seem to recall doing it only once, writing about my Crimson supervisor’s constant threats to quit unless we ditched the computerized typesetting and cold type and returned to flatbed presses and Linotype machines.)

I have contemplated doing this at McDonald’s.  I would be far from the most bizarre character that comes in there, especially in the night hours.  When Susie and I are there after midnight, which often happens on Friday and Saturday nights, the managers are grateful for at least two people who aren’t panhandling or sleeping.  Many LGBT (including several trans and genderfluid) teenagers congregate there.  They’ll usually take up a whole table playing Magic the Gathering, and this McDonald’s has been popular because of its proximity to Star House, a shelter in Weinland Park many of them call home.  (Susie and I seem to have taken a trans teenager under our wing.  They met when this person saw the bisexual pride sticker on Susie’s laptop lid and mistook it for a trans pride flag.)

Susie has threatened to pretend she doesn’t know me if I start bringing the typewriter in and cranking up to full speed, hanging the finished pages out for all to see, but I think she’ll get over it.  Harlan Ellison wrote one short story, “Hitler Painted Roses,” live on the air during the Pacifica Radio show Hour 25, and he wrote at least one other story in the display window of a bookstore.  I should probably promise her that I won’t imitate the late Stephen J. Cannell whenever I finish writing.

Just realized another reason why I love working on my typewriter.  Just now, I clicked the wrong tab by mistake and thought I had lost all my writing since I sat down and began typing this entry.

Much to my (and your)  relief, all is here, all is well.

Now, if I could only save my product to a Cloud, I would be very happy. (But wait: I don't have to worry about power failures or disk malfunctions with this, do I?)

Now, if I could only save my product to a Cloud, I would be very happy. (But wait: I don’t have to worry about power failures or disk malfunctions with this, do I?)

Wide Awake Since 3 a.m., Maybe I Should Blog

Dawn will soon be breaking here in Columbus, and I have been awake since 3 a.m.–“the dark night of the soul,” as F. Scott Fitzgerald says in The Crack-Up.  I’ve sat in a booth at the McDonald’s on High St. and written a three-page diary entry, and did a C. Auguste Dupin-like wandering around the narrow streets east of N. High St.  So, now that I still have some energy, I will devote it to the blog.

Susie and I have become the first bi-generational employees at the Discovery Exchange (a.k.a. the DX, the Columbus State bookstore).  She has been on the job there in retail since before I began my latest rush gig.  (Classes for the fall semester began on August 31, and I started working the Tuesday before.)  When I come in at 5:30 p.m., Susie has already been there for 2½ hours, and usually stays for over two hours after the bookstore closes at 7:30.  She and I both have the default job title “cashier,” although neither of us has touched a cash register.

Jimmy Carter at his word processor writing his memoirs, Keeping Faith. His recent cancer diagnoses shamed me into getting back to the blog.

Jimmy Carter at his word processor (1981 or 1982) writing his memoir, Keeping Faith. His recent cancer diagnoses shamed me into getting back to the blog.

Faithful readers of the blog know that my job at the bookstore is seasonal, only at the beginning of each semester.  It had been my hope that Susie would be able to get a permanent job there, whether full- or part-time, once the rush ended.  I thought there was a good likelihood for this, since her supervisors have praised her hard work, but that is not going to come to pass.  Permanent part-time jobs at the bookstore go to work-study students, with the Federal government picking up the tabs for their wages.  So, as of the 11th, Susie will once again be out of work.

She and I have become fixtures at the McDonald’s near the Ohio State campus.  In a way, this hearkens back to my time in Cincinnati in the mid-1990s, when I spent many hours camped out in the Subway across the street from my apartment building on W. McMillan St.  There are substantial differences, though.  Neither of us have established the rapport and camaraderie I did with the Subway employees in Cincinnati, and McDonald’s does not let us run tabs.

Yet, Susie is a familiar site at the Golden Arches, with her laptop in front of her, surrounding by a scatter of books and notebooks.  When I’m with her, I have a book or my diary in front of me.  We take full advantage of the free refills, of course.  (I have been drinking sweet tea, since I am making yet another attempt to abstain from carbonated beverages.)  We also seem to be the most normal of the people who camp there–in some cases literally–for hours on end.

In addition to the panhandlers who prowl High St., there is a sizable contingent of teenagers from dark until well after midnight, seven days of each week.  A lot of them seem to be genderfluid.  (Full disclosure: I am still trying to understand that whole concept.  Susie has several friends who prefer the pronoun “they,” and I am still trying to unlearn how I learned gender differences as a toddler: “You’re a boy, you have a penis.  Jenny is a girl, she doesn’t.”)  Susie and I seem to have adopted a genderfluid person, aged 17, named Tyler, who is very conversant on 1970s and 1980s music, vintage computer games, and horror literature.  (They were very interested in the copy of Black Seas of Infinity: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft I had on the table.)  Tyler met Susie when she was at a table typing on her laptop, and Tyler thought the bisexual pride flag sticker on her laptop lid was a transgender pride flag.

Like many places that are open 24 hours a day, McDonald’s has many surveillance cameras.  They did not help much when someone stole Susie’s wallet.  There was footage of the actual theft, while Susie was in the women’s room, but neither the manager nor the police officer who looked at the video could identify the perpetrator.  (As is the case with a lost wallet, replacing all the ID cards is the biggest nuisance.  Susie only had about $10 in cash, but she had to go to the credit union to get a new debit card, and to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for a new state-issued ID.  I was more upset about the loss of the Subway rewards card I had lent her, which had over 600 points on it.)

It sounds like I am laying the groundwork for a tinfoil hat-type rant about the lack of privacy and how Big Brother is everywhere (and here I would insert a mention of the two-way telescreens in Orwell’s 1984), but I am not as obsessed with that as many people, on both the Left and the Right, seem to be.

To me, fear of surveillance is the moral panic of the decade, much like the loony reports of rampant child abuse in daycare centers during the 1980s (I highly recommend Richard Beck’s book We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s for an examination of this), the rumors of a vast Satanic underground network in the 1970s, and the fear of alien abductions and black helicopters in the 1990s.

I have actually taken offense at the fact that I am probably not under government scrutiny.  One Facebook poster pointed out that if the NSA is not investigating and spying on you, you’re not doing enough.  Every decade or so, I send a Freedom of Information Act request for anything they may have on me, and end up highly offended when the Attorney General’s office sends back a letter saying there is nothing.

And that is surprising.  When I applied for employment with the U.S. Postal Service, and later the IRS, I was afraid that a letter I wrote when I was 18 would surface.  I had written to Selective Service after I registered for the draft–and I let them know it was under protest, and in the letter I said that if I was drafted, I would give classified information to the Soviet Union and to Iran (This was in 1981, right after the Iranian hostage crisis ended, and when Ronald Reagan–he of the double-digit IQ–was talking of the “evil empire”).

And my ongoing games with Selective Service didn’t rate a file, either.  They instructed that I was to inform them of any change of address, so I began filing change of address cards whenever I left the house–to the store, to Burger King, to church–complete with the addresses of my various destinations, and then filing another card when I came home.  When I moved to Boston in 1982, I sent in a change of address listing an address that would have been midway in the Charles River, between Cambridge and Allston.

It ended when they sent me a letter care of my home address in Marietta.  To this day, I do not know its contents.  I wrote ADDRESSEE DECEASED–RETURN TO SENDER on the envelope, dropped it in the mailbox, and never heard from them again.  Their bureaucracy was too lazy or inefficient to request a death certificate or obituary to prove this.

I am not denying that surveillance exists.  It is, however, hypocritical that the same Republicans who were all for it after 9/11, when it was called the Patriot Act, and who vigorously supported the wiretaps and mail interceptions Richard Nixon authorized in 1971 against people who committed the heinous crime of opposing the Vietnam War, are now the shrillest voices against the NSA.  I have no right to be outraged if I get in trouble for something I have posted on Twitter or here in this blog.  It is accessible to anyone with a router, and that is its purpose and intent.  If, however, I get government attention as a result of a diary entry, or a snail-mail letter to a friend, then I have the problem.

It *Is* January, Right?

Between the mercury standing at 56 degrees, the thunder this afternoon, and the fact that almost 9000 of us in Olde North are currently without electricity, I would have a hard time believing my calendar.

Since my domicile is currently without power, Susie and I have relocated temporarily to the McDonald’s near the OSU campus, each of us on our respective laptops.  I haven’t eaten all that responsibly today, so the Golden Arches is the last place I need to be, but I’ll pile on some unnecessary calories so that I can use the Wi-Fi here.

There does not seem to be a pattern to the areas affected by this.  I had been reading posts about “Anyone’s lights go out?” on the SoHud News Facebook page.  I wondered what they were talking about, since my lights and my Wi-Fi were working just fine.

I didn’t see this first-hand until I called Susie while she was at Starbucks, and suggested we meet at Kafé Kerouac and decide where we would eat dinner.  As I walked south on N. High St., I saw that most of the houses and businesses on the west side of the street were dark, and the opposite was true of everything on the east side.  This meant that we could not eat at Cazuela’s Grill, but both of us were relieved when we saw the Blue Danube did have power.

I went to American Electric Power‘s Website and clicked the “Storms and Outages” tab.  There was no further information except to say that it was due to “equipment failure.”  While Susie and I were walking here, we did see several AEP trucks in alleys, so I guess they’re working on restoring the lights.

Kafé Kerouac’s bartender passed us as we were walking here, his arms laden with candles he had just bought at CVS.  Susie and I had stopped in the blacked-out café to see how they were dealing with the outage, and there were some real troupers on the small stage.  It was a jazz quartet, playing for the first time in public, and they were plowing along with excellent music, darkness be damned.

The newsroom of The New York Times the night of the July 1977 blackout in New York City.

The newsroom of The New York Times the night of the July 1977 blackout in New York City.

I admit being eager to get online and blog about this experience (not my first blog entry about a power failure, I admit), or otherwise I would have stayed to hear this quartet play a little longer.  The room where they play is tiny, so no one really missed the microphones and the speakers.  I found myself thinking of the video for one of the few rap songs that counts as music, Digable Planets’ “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)”.  The setting reminded me of that.

This is a bizarre ending to Susie’s last night in Columbus.  We’re heading out to Port Columbus at 5 a.m. so she can catch an early flight back to Orlando, and this trip, sadly, came and went without a visit to The Florentine, our favorite Italian restaurant, and one we visited quite regularly when we lived in Franklinton.

Today started with a rather mundane errand.  Steph and I decided that it would be less of a pain for all concerned if I took Susie’s paperwork to Ohio with me and had her blood draw at a lab here, rather than try to find an in-network lab in Merritt Island.  So, Susie and I slogged through a cold rain this morning to go to LabCorp way on the west side of Columbus, one of the few labs open on Saturday.  The bus ride was depressing, as we saw how the west side of Columbus has deteriorated in the years since we lived there and I worked there.  Empty storefronts, rent-to-own businesses, check-cashing joints, and day labor establishments seem to dominate.  The site of the former Media Play is now an Ohio Thrift Store, and the Hollywood Casino now stands on the site of what had been Delphi Automotive’s plant when I worked at Merck-Medco.  Susie keeps saying she hopes something is wrong, because otherwise we would have gone all that way in all the cold and rain for no reason.

Reports from SoHud’s Facebook page say that power is back on in our block, although we thought we had dodged that bullet earlier tonight, only to be proven wrong.  Susie and I both have to be up at 4 a.m., so maybe nursing three or four cups of iced tea wasn’t the brightest idea we could have had.  Also, the lights better be on, because Susie needs to pack for the journey, and that won’t be much fun in the dark.

The Move May Actually Take Place Today

Once again, Susie and I are waiting in the Family Waiting Area. It seems likely now that Steph will be moved to the Step-Down Unit this afternoon. Susie and I got here just after 10 o’clock (Susie slept until past 9–much to my surprise–on the rollaway bed in my room at the Sight Center), but Steph was fast asleep. We went down to the cafeteria and ate McDonald’s breakfast meals, and then came back up. The last time, we stayed less than 10 minutes before the nurse came in to pull Steph’s last remaining chest tube.

Still no results from the CT scan. I’m not sure if no one has read them, or if they just haven’t told us what they say. Steph is still in a great deal of discomfort–she’s sweating buckets and she frequently has me move her right arm up and down several times. Even though she is feeling no sensation in that arm, she still feels discomfort, and moving it around, squeezing it, or massaging it is the only way to alleviate that.

The Olympics have been on almost every TV in the place. The big news is that Michael Phelps has won more gold medals than Mark Spitz did in ’72. (The only thing I remember from that Olympics was when Arab terrorists broke into Olympic Village and murdered several Israeli athletes.) Hearing Spitz’ name reminds me of a joke popular in fourth grade–my grade in 1972. How do they fill the Olympic Pool? Mark Spitz. I have zero interest in sports, but the news about Phelps is inescapable, since it’s on every TV screen and newspaper.

Susie’s godmother Anne just called. She’s about to leave Columbus to pick up Susie. We had briefly considered my going back with them, but I think–as does Pat and Tanya–that Steph needs me here, at least to get her over this hump. Susie brought along games and books, and I killed a little time by writing in my journal, and now here in the blog, but I think both of us are impatient to get back in and see Steph.

Last night, I made Susie into a Styx fan. We streamed a file of Eric Cartman’s butchered version of “Come Sail Away,” and I told her that the original version is much more beautiful. I ripped two of Styx’ albums downloaded on my RealPlayer, so I played her the real thing. I played several other songs from the two albums, and she asked me to burn her disks of them.

I’m Back at the Clinic, This Time With Susie

Susie and Craig came 10-15 minutes after I posted the last entry. They arrived at 12:30, just as he said he would, but it took him quite a long time to navigate around all the construction, closed streets, detours, and one-way streets to get to the building where Steph is.

Susie was more than a little shaken by the sight of the ICU, especially the people in the beds across the aisle, many of whom are in much worse shape than Steph. I think I made the right decision in postponing Susie’s trip here until after Steph was more lucid than she was yesterday.

Susie and I took some time to get a McFlurry and some apple pies at the Clinic’s McDonald’s. I let her use the laptop, since she was chomping at the bit to check her E-mail and play some of her online games. I sat across from her and wrote about three pages in the diary. We came back up to the Family Waiting Area and called on the house phone. The nurse who answered said they were getting ready to take Steph down for her CT scan, which would take about an hour.

Susie and I walked back to the Sight Center, and she made some origami animals and drew with her new set of markers. I didn’t mean to, but I dozed off for about 45 minutes. (I didn’t think I had slept, but Susie said she heard me snoring.) We came back here and called the unit, and the nurse told me to wait another half hour while the duty nurse wrote up her report.

The policy here at the Clinic is for ICU visitors to come to the Family Waiting Area and call their loved one’s unit to make sure they can have visitors. I guess it’s better than waltzing in there and being turned back.

I left my laptop back in the Sight Center, so I’m using the computer in one corner of the waiting area, which is part of the Clinic’s Web service, http://www.thestatus.com, which is supposed to provide information on the patients’ conditions. Susie is talking to one of her Columbus friends on my phone, and we’re about to see if it’s okay to go back to see Steph.

Second Holiday This Month

Susie and I are at the Hilltop Branch of the Columbus library.  Some of the branches are closed due to the MLK holiday, and that includes the one two blocks from our place.  Susie’s friend Rosemary spent last night with us; Susie spent Saturday night at Rosemary’s.  Rosemary’s aunt didn’t give us a specific time for when Rosemary had to go home, so when she showed up just before noon and Rosemary left, Susie was inconsolate.  I finally got a couple peanut butter sandwiches into her and then we took the bus up here.

Steph went to the gym this morning… She left around 7 a.m.  Neither Susie nor Rosemary were awake (I’m still not sure where they slept, since Susie’s room is such a disaster area).  After the gym, Steph was going to see Marie Antoinette at one of the dollar theatres.  I’m semi-incommunicado right now, since I forgot to bring my cell phone with me when we left.

During the morning, I found a fascinating Website called Road Ode.  It’s at http://www.roadode.com and it features excerpts of various television commercials, station identifications, bloopers, etc.  In case anyone is nostalgic for that idiotic “Let’s all go to the lobby…” cartoon that movie theatres used to play at intermission (the one with the dancing popcorn and hot dogs), it’s in there.  What pleased me most was the 1967 NBC Peacock logo, with that authoritative voice, “The following program is brought to you in living color on NBC.”

I had a good day “off” yesterday.  I played hooky from church and went to the campus area.  I was majorly wired on caffeine for most of the day, since I was sitting in the McDonald’s just south of Lane Avenue and constantly refilling my cup with Diet Coke (after I had eaten my two burgers).  I wrote a three-page diary entry and made a cursory trip through the Sunday newspaper that someone had abandoned in an adjacent booth.

I don’t know where Scott G. and I are walking tomorrow night.  While Susie and I were going toward this library’s entrance, I got a look at St. Mary Magdalene School’s track/football field.  If the gate isn’t locked tomorrow night, and there’s enough lighting that we feel safe, it’s a possibility.  (Steph wants to walk in the Columbus Half Marathon, which I think is next fall.  I’ll probably walk with her.  A full marathon is 26.2 miles, so I guess the half-marathon would be just over 13 miles.

Orientation at Highland Elementary

Yesterday was my orientation as a tutor for Columbus Reads.  The school that the Industrial Commission and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has “adopted” is Highland Avenue Elementary, which is located pretty close to where we live.  Our house is in Franklinton, just west of downtown Columbus.  Since it flooded every year (pre-floodwall), it became known as The Bottoms.

On the other hand, Highland is on the “high land”, in a neighborhood called The Hilltop.  The school is just around the corner from a fire station, so hearing the sirens and the station loudspeaker adds a quaint ambience to the learning experience.

It’s going to be a challenge, especially for a rookie like myself.  A third of the student body does not speak English–they’re either Hispanic or Somali.  I have never taken a foreign language (a regret I’ve had since I graduated from high school), so I cannot help in the ESL program.

I had some excitement when I got home from work.  Steph is taking Susie, even as we speak (6:56 EDST, per my Casio Data Bank watch) to an audition for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at the Davis Center for the Performing Arts.  I knew I’d be on my own for dinner, and I started some of the chores on the list she left on the dining room table.  I had just gotten to the Franklinton library and was logging onto a computer when my cell phone rang.  It was Steph.  Just then she learned they needed a photo of Susie for the audition.  I ransacked a desk drawer or two and came up with one taken at Meijer’s when she was in kindergarten or the first grade, in between losing her baby teeth and the beginning of the permanent ones.  I am now at the Main Library, pounding this poor keyboard to burn off excess energy and consume the adrenaline that’s coursing through my system.

My friend Pat C. gave me a Palm III Palm Pilot yesterday.  He and I go back a ways–he read and stood up for both Steph and me at our wedding in 1996 (he was memorable for wearing a kilt), and I did the same when he married his wife Tanya the following year.  Tanya is a midwife, and was on hand at Grant Hospital for Susie’s birth (nine years ago as of 10/6), and the 36 God-awful hours of labor that preceded it.

I asked him if he had a PalmPilot he had outgrown and wanted to sell me.  He volunteers at a non-profit computer group called FreeGeeks, and he said I could have a Palm III if I wrote some ad copy for them.  So we met yesterday for lunch at McDonald’s, he gave me the Palm III (which is Amish compared to other Palms and BlackBerries, but it does all I’d ever need it for), and told me it needed batteries.  So, I stopped at Family Dollar and bought two AAA batteries.

And the damn thing seems to be DOA!  I E-mailed palmOne to see what repairing it would cost, and the conservative estimate was $169!  And I could buy a brand-new one for $99 plus shipping and handling.  I’m hoping that there’s some miracle I can pull off to get the Palm III working.  (I had a PalmPilot for awhile, but one of the kids in Steph’s children’s choir five-fingered it when we lived on Avondale Avenue.)  I know that PalmPilot has passed into the language, much like Xerox and Kleenex and Scotch tape, but the equipment I am describing was made by palmOne.

If anyone has a Palm they’re willing to part with cheap, please E-mail me!