For some reason I’ve been addicted to Christmas song YouTube DJ’ing all day – if you only knew how much I have complained in the past about others behaving like this.

Going down to Marietta to be with Mama post-cataract surgery for the next two days. I was going to leave tonight, but I found that I am not comfortable at all with driving a long distance at night through the country during deer season. So her boyfriend is going to take her to the hospital and I’m going to leave at daybreak tomorrow morning and meet her there. If it is like the last time I will be there in plenty of time. And this time I will have my Kindle Fire to play with while I wait.

I know, I can hear you. You bought a Kindle? You, a dedicated bookie, a maker of books, a former bookseller? Yep, I did. It was cheap ($199 with free shipping and no tax) and my laptop crashes on a regular basis, and I have a hard time holding a book these days so I thought why not? I can access email and the Internet on it and it will be much lighter to travel with. So as much as anything, I was looking at it as a replacement for my crappy laptop. Well, I found that it is not a good replacement, but I have no familiarity with such devices, and it is good enough for the price. I saw in the NYT today that Amazon is getting a lot of negative feedback about it. Sounds like it is mostly from people who are used to touch screen devices. I was glad to see one complaint was that you need fingers “the size of a toothpick” to click some of the links on the screen. That certainly is true. I’m scaling down my expectations rapidly. I can use the typepad on it, but I will not unless it is really necessary. There won’t be many of those times, but at least I’ll have that capability. And I can read in the dark now. How cool is that!!!

I hate texting with a passion, and I even have texting blocked on our phones. (We kept getting lots of texts for the former owner of the phone number.) When I first went to my hand surgeon about my tendinitis, the first thing he asked was if I did a lot of texting, because this kind of tendinitis tends to crop up with texters. So keep that in mind if you are obsessed with texting. Believe me, you don’t want deQuervain’s tendinitis. It is quite painful. So I am serious about not typing on it.

Anyway, I am reading “Cutting for Stone” on it now, which I highly recommend, and I downloaded about a dozen freebies – classics that are in public domain and cookbooks. Found a free version of Canfield Solitaire that I’ve been looking for. You get a free month of Amazon Prime, which gets you free 2-day shipping and the ability to borrow from a fairly mediocre list of books once a month. You also get their Instant Video service, which is not as good as Netflix or Hulu, but the quality on the device is pretty impressive. $79 a year, which is cheaper than Netflix. I’m trying to decide if this is worth it to me. I’m really not sure that it is worth it.

I found that most e-books are really expensive, so this will not get rid of my printed book habit. Fortunately there are a lot of classics that I want to read and Project Gutenberg is a free treasure trove of old books in e-format. I understand that many public libraries will let you borrow Kindle books online. I have yet to try this because my library card is so ancient that I doubt the number is still valid. I have decided to rein in my book buying and hoarding and visit the UNCG library much more often.

It runs apps for Android.

So there you have it from a newbie point of view. I’ve been playing with it for about three weeks, and I’m still learning how to use it.

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