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Journal mcgrew's Journal: Nobots Chapter Eight

Spies is online.

Thursday was the first time in 125 years that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fell on the same dates. According to the news reports, it won't happen again for another 70,000 years.

I picked Leila up about eight for the journey down to the St. Louis area. It was only 22 degrees F and the cold wind was blowing hard. It was almost as cold as Leila's mom's heart.

Leila has a habit of bringing most her electronic toys with her, even when they're redundant. I'd had a hard time returning the extra phone they'd sent, and since Leila had said she wanted it I'd given it to her as an early Christmas present. She brought it for the camera, her tablet for music, her CD player for more music, and a big bag of snacks. I'd talked her out of bringing her notebook; she had the tablet.

All I took was what's always in my pockets, a copy of Nobots (three were delivered Wednesday) and two bags of frozen Brussels' sprouts that I was going to cook at my mom's and take to my sister's.

We stopped off at Mike's place in Columbia on the way to Mom's. He'd asked me to drop by and look at his teenaged grandkids' XBoxes to see if I could fix the CDs. I hadn't looked inside an XBox but figured I might be able to replace them with CD players from old computers.

I've known Mike for forty years. He's probably my best friend.

"Come in," Rita responded to my knock. We did.

"Where's that old man?" I asked. Mike's ten years younger than me.

"He's still in bed. He was up until four drinking and bothering me while I was trying to cook. Go get his ass up!"

I went and turned on the light in his bedroom. "You're early," he said.

"No," I replied, "We're running late, stopped for breakfast on the way. It's ten thirty, get out of that bed!"

Mike Junior poured me a cup of coffee and Mike Senior came out. "Look what I have," I said, handing him the book.

"Cool! What do you get for these?"

"Twenty five bucks."

"What do they cost you?"


"I'll give you a twenty."

"Deal," I said. What's five bucks between old friends? Especially since he feeds me pot, beer, and food almost every time I visit.

"I still have that pocket knife your dad made," he said. After his retirement my dad made hand-crafted, very high quality pocket knives completely from scratch. Like I've mentioned, eye-hand coordination and creativity runs in the family -- his brother had gotten filthy rich making medical prosthetics. Fortunately for Uncle Dan his partner was an amputee and a born salesman, and salesmanship is something that doesn't run in the family. I couldn't sell a glass of water to a rich man dying of thirst.

Alas, the CD players in the XBoxes are entirely proprietary, with completely different form factors and electrical connectors than in a computer.

We stayed an hour or so. Mike gave me a couple of hits off his hitter. I asked him if Mike Jr. could get me one of the vaporizers he'd had the last time I'd come down and what they cost. "Ask Mike," Mike said.

It turns out the vaporizer was ninety nine bucks and the hash oil for it was hard to come by. "There's only one guy I can get it from," he said.

Pity, that thing was great -- I'd "smoked" out of it the last time I'd been down. Damned thing is one step closer to a stratodoober. Oh, well, when that new medical marijuana law they passed in Illinois comes into effect my insurance company will buy one for me and supply the oil. For my arthritis, of course.

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Nobots Chapter Eight

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