E-Books rock!

I posted this as a comment on another writer’s blog  (http://tamedingtonshaw.blogspot.com/) and was so infatuated with myself that I decided to put it up here.  I have a low infatuation level evidently.
I swore never to cave in to the electronic book.  For 40 years I was never without a book of some kind, usually a paperback jammed in my back pocket.  I’ve read books at 30,000 feet in the air and +800 feet below the ocean’s surface. Love them, eat them, cherish them, need them.
And then I won a Galaxy Tablet in a contest. It had all the stuff the Ipad does including a Nook and Kindle capacity.  I downloaded a free Bible on it and some free classics.  Bleh, it was just OK.
About a year ago I went to visit my mom in Florida.  I decided to buy a book on Kindle as I didn’t have time to run to the bookstore to get the one I wanted and the prices at the airport were too high. Oops.
I haven’t looked back. I’ve bought paper books now just when they are not available on Kindle.  That’s exactly 4 books in a year… I used to buy 50+ a year. My Kindle?  That little monster is loaded with over 100 books.  I read way more now than ever before with the Kindle.  It can buy new books whenever I get a wireless signal. I can buy a book I read about in an article or review without moving two feet.  At ACFW last year I bought two books by the people lecturing while I sat in their presentation. (Both pretty darned good books as a matter of fact.)
Am I a fan.. whoa, yeah!  It gives me the chance to take hundreds of books with me everywhere.  They are cheaper than paper books, more convenient and I share my Kindle account with my mom and my wife.  We all get to read each others books.
Yes, the smell and cover art of a new book are a joy. But I’ve found a new joy in the convenience of the e-book.


Help needed in grocery department…never mind.

I’m a Customer Service Specialist where I work.  That’s ironic, because I never talk to customers.  Instead I just geek away on the computer and fix stuff that I find to be broken, or that someone else sends me a message telling me that it is broken. No face to face.

Today a met a woman who should seek a job like mine.  Problem is she has a blue shirt, a name tag and a walkie-talkie.  These are symbols of import at Walmart. She actually does provide customer service. Well, that’s the idea anyway.

I was there in pursuit of my favorite flavored water beverage. It’s calorie free (I need all the help I can get) and comes in a variety of flavors with light carbonation. I don’t just go and by five or six bottles, I usually stroll out with a minimum of 100 bottles, or as many as will fit into the cart. I prefer to get them in the shrink wrap and cardboard to make them easy to carry to the depths of the basement where I fill my shelves.

Today there were  no wrapped bottles on the shelf. It’s one of those big industrial shelves that’s about six feet deep.  Lots of loose bottles scattered around, flavors all mixed together.  I didn’t relish the thought of crawling (literally) up on the shelf to get what I wanted.

Instead I approached…”Betty.” Yup, let’s call her Betty.

“Hi, can you help me locate some product?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe.” (Not a good start there if you’re keeping score at home)

“I need a bunch of beverages, hopefully still in the box. They’re right over here.”

We then walked the 20 feet to the display.  Or, should I say I walked the 20 feet, she hung back like I was trying to lure her into a car with the promise of candy and a puppy. She finally came close enough to the shelving that I could tell here what I wanted.

“I’d like to get a bunch of cases of this water. Any flavor will do, but I’d specifically like a few flavors that I don’t see here.”

Betty looked like someone had just tasered her without notice. “I haven’t seen those in months and I don’t know where to even look.”

She said it with such an air of finality I was tempted to thank her and walk away, or flop down on the floor and create a scene with a faked seizure just to see if her facial muscles actually worked.

“I’m sure you have them, I bought them here a few months ago and just ran out. They helped me out then, so I’m guessing you still carry the brand.”

It was sitting right there on the shelves, cardboard boxes broken down under the bottles.  Pretty obvious they had it, it was four feet away and on display.

“No, I wouldn’t even know where to look. Sorry.” And she didn’t flinch, not a muscle moved, nothing. I started looking around for a camera crew to come rushing down the aisle. It had to be a joke.

I thanked her for her time and left the store.  Sorry West Saint Paul Walmart, that business goes elsewhere.  You may want to work with Betty when she comes out of that coma. You’ve already spent the money on the shirt and name badge, why not get some work out of her!

It happens a couple of times a year.

I was gnawing on a stale piece of red licorice last night when the thought occured to me, “I should call Dad, he’d get a kick out of me eating stale licorice.”  Dad loved licorice.

Dad’s been gone for several years now.  I guess I can skip the call, he was looking down and caught it.  But it’s still strange to have that go through your head after these many years.

Guess I’ll miss him until I catch up to him.