I had a million things to do today, but I crossed 999,997 of them off my list because all I felt like three’s a good number and that’s all I felt like doing. And it’s the weekend. Not that I needed an excuse, but it feels like I should type one anyway.

My #1 goal was to find some way to store my kayak, which has been sitting on the ground in the back yard all summer because it’s too long to hang in the garage. My kayak is seventeen feet long; our garage is not, so I have to figure out how to protect it from the elements that will otherwise ravage it this winter. My solution was to hang it from a pair of aluminum shepherd’s crooks fixed to the posts of our deck; that’ll get it off the ground. I’m also going to mail-order a heavy nylon storage bag, but that doesn’t have to be done today. Today, I just wanted to get the shepherd’s crooks and screw them into the deck, and I found out that I could buy a pair of them from the store with the name I’m never going to get tired of saying out loud: Dick’s. Childish of me? Oh, a tad.

Dick’s is out by the East Towne Mall, and so is Half-Price Books. I’m required by law to stop at Half-Price Books every time I pass within a block of it, which I did, so I did. I went straight to the science fiction section to look for my favorite authors, and for any books by Octavia Butler, who I’ve read little of but want to read more. Found no joy in the sci-fi section, so I moved on to the movies, where I finally found a copy of Mister Roberts.

I’ve been looking for a copy of Mister Roberts for years, in several different cities. I don’t know what’s made it so hard to find. Bargain bins were lousy with copies of Mister Roberts when VHS tape cassettes were still everywhere; I had one that I watched at least once a year. Much of the movie is corny as hell but there are parts of it that are brilliant and I could watch Henry Fonda all day long. Couldn’t do that after our last working VHS machine went on the fritz several years ago, though, and I’ve been looking for a copy in DVD format ever since. Half-Price Books has hundreds of movies on their shelves, but this is the first time I’ve been able to snag a copy of Mister Roberts. Can’t wait to fold the laundry, which is traditionally the time I pop in an old movie I’ve already watched a dozen times.

Then, right next to the checkout counter, my eye caught sight of the new Jeffrey Kluger book, Apollo 8. I honestly doubted there would be anything in it that I didn’t already know, but that’s never stopped me from buying a book about the moonshot before, so I grabbed that, too. All in all, Half-Priced Books was very good to me today.

After stopping at Dick’s to pick up the kayak hangers I headed back home, indulged in a short intermission from the day’s errands to take My Darling B to brunch, then went back home, selected the appropriate tools from the workbench and got to work. Didn’t take long to hang the hangers on the deck railing and, after that, the kayak on the hangers.

The weather today was just beautiful for working outside, and I took advantage of it by dragging the hoses out of the garden and stretching them across the driveway to drain and warm in the sun. By the end of next week, temps will be in the fifties and the hoses will be as hard to bend as steel springs. After the sun beamed down on them for a half-hour or so I coiled them up so easily that I had them put away and was washing my hands fifteen minutes later. That left me lots of time to break out a book, curl up on the sofa with a hot cuppa and read quietly for an hour and a half before dozing off in the evening sunset. A pretty good day!

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