I was heading down Pine Street earlier. The setting sun was shining through the car windshield, blinding me. I reached overhead to flip the sun visor down and a little bag of pot slipped out — another surprise left behind by the car thieves back in April.

Backup Your Data

Today is International Backup Your Data Day. I just made it up (again). That doesn’t mean it isn’t true. All you have to do is believe in it (and copy some files over) and it will be so.

Famous in The Checkout Line

Bagger (looking at my tshirt (from North Shore Shirts)): “What does B.F.B. stand for?”
Me: “Beans for Breakfast.”
Cashier: “Debit or credit?”
Bagger: “Is that a blog?”
Me: “Debit and, uh, yes.”
Cashier: “Do you want any cash back?”
Bagger: “Do you write that blog?”
Me: “Could I have $20 and yes, that’s me.”
Cashier: “Of course.”
Bagger: “Really? Didn’t you write about [Japanese word]?”
Me: “What?”
Bagger: “Wasn’t it a contest? It’s this Japanese food that has strawberry and it’s ground up and…”
Cashier (clears throat and points at debit card reader which is prompting me for a PIN.)
Me: “Oh. Sorry.” (I type in my PIN.) “Um, I don’t remember that.”
Bagger: “Am I just totally confusing you?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Cashier (points again at the debit card reader which is prompting me to approve the total.)
Bagger: “I must have seen it somewhere else. I’ll email a link to you. Are you going to blog about this?”
Me: “Sure.”

This Face

[Statue of William Seward]

“I used to be a model. That was back in ’81 and people still recognize this face,” he points at his own face, “though I didn’t have a mustache then.”


Two of the apartments on my floor recently changed hands, so I have new neighbors. I ran into one over the weekend. He was emptying his mailbox which was packed with junk mail. He said that he’s lived in the building before. I remembered him sort of and told him that, leaving off the sort of. He moved out shortly after I moved in. A small collection of horse figurines has started to collect outside his door. This seems to be an inside joke.

The other neighbor moved in across the hall sometime in the last week. She carried her moving boxes out to the curb yesterday while I was hauling out the recycling bins. This involved several trips back and forth down the length of the hallway, and her wooden-soled sandles made clip-clop noises against the cement floor.

Shamelessly Commercial

[Sign: "For Sale/Used Vacuums/Reasonable"]

I launched a revamped website for my used book business, Using Books, this week. It has a new engine under the hood, some new features, and a table-based layout with an ugly green hat. Beans for Breakfast readers can have a 20% discount (shipping charges excluded from discount) through the end of August. To access the discount, type “BEANS” into the “Coupon Code” field during checkout.

Some potential deals:

The Postman

I used to work with Garrett at Amazon, now he works at the post office, sometimes delivering my mail.

This afternoon I was hauling a box of books out of the trunk of my car, when he appeared next to a postal service van that was parked in front of me.

“Hi Garrett. How are you doing?”

“Good, How are you?”


“You have to park all the way down here?” he asked me.

“Sometimes. But, it’s only a block away.”

“Yeah, . . . still.” He started to climb into the van.

“Well, I’ll see you later,” I said.

I carried the box up the street and Garrett pulled out and drove away. He was climbing out of the van which was parked outside my building when I walked up.

Before I could make a joke (eg: “Maybe sooner than later”), he said, “I noticed that you didn’t order Harry Potter.”

“No. I haven’t read any of those. Did you order one?”


I peeked in the back window of the van. There were several tubs of mail laid out inside and almost half of their capacity seemed to be taken up with boxes from Amazon, custom-printed with the title of the new Harry Potter book on the outside.