Sunday, January 07, 2007

Nits and lice

Nits and lice are the little things that remain to be done when your big jobs are finished. I use it to describe stuff not worthy of a post in itself, but which I feel like sharing. To wit:

I just got a check from my publisher; unbelievably, more copies of my (our) book sold this year. I love love love getting royalty checks--they're like a kiss from heaven. The first year, the royalty was for a respectable amount; now it's dribs and drabs. However, I don't have to do anything to get these checks. How cool is that?

I feel sad when I find a personally autographed copy of a book in a book sale, with an inscription like, "To my old friend Charlie, in remembrance of good times." I also feel sad when I find old photographs for sale. Didn't anyone care any more about that picture of great-grandma in her first communion dress? i would never throw away a picture of my forebears.

I hate to file. Despite the upcoming paperless society, my files are bursting. And the pile to file just keeps growing.

Never buy anything from one of the associate dealers at Amazon.com. It's almost impossible to return anything to one of their satellite dealers.


Late model cars are better than older ones were. My Taurus ran uncomplainingly for years, up to 128,000 miles. Then the bottom fell out. Literally. Our old cars were cranky and unpleasant. One would never start in the rain. It hated getting its tires wet. Another drank oil; we had to carry a case of oil in the trunk and periodically pour in a quart or two. Don't let me get started about our cars!

Too late, I'm off: Our first car, purchased when Mr Charm was a college student, was bought from a man in New York doing business under the name of Meyer the Buyer. We couldn't even get it home. It kept stopping on the West Side Highway. (This was before the highway fell down.) I can't remember how we got it home.

Several cars later, we had a car with a rotary engine. Mr Charm thought the rotary engine was the New Good Thing in cars. It wasn't. Several Chevys later, he decided that Diesel powered American cars were the leading edge of automotive engineering. We discovered from bitter experience that only Germans could make good Diesel engines. The thing spewed black smoke, just like buses used to do. It also did not like to start in cold weather. Or often, in non-cold weather.

Now we both drive old rustbuckets. In fact, they are so old that they are on the cusp of being classic cars.

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