My first post in a while, to this medium anyway. And why is that? Have I been undergoing some radical new Israeli detoxification and blood filtration therapy, guaranteed to cure the junkie right out of me, for only the small small price of $7000? No.

Nothing so grand. I've just moved to Windows 7, with a 30GB SSD instead of the old 500GB WD...and there was no room to install Adobe CS5 onto it. I put off and put off, as some junkies are known to do, and two months skipped by. Even in my slow, office-bound life this was a bit of time. Stuff actually happened during that period. Today, a death.

That prompted me to do something. I googled for a free WYSIWYG, and came across one I'd heard a little about - Coffee Cup. So I installed it, only to find out that in the free edition it's not WYSIWYG - I'm working in 'Code Editor' mode - whenever I click 'Visual Editor' I get a nasty nag screen. Every word I write here I am prefacing and finishing with the ubiquitous bracketed p.

But that's okay, it beats Notepad that I was trying to use half an hour ago - my hosts, Ezihosting, or perhaps I should say, their server, an Apache beasty of some flavour, strips all whitespace from files. So Notepad is just one huge block of text with lots of angle-bracket delimiters. Definitely unfriendly in these days of people posting who've never heard of html or even aware that it exists. Wordpress has given net access to the world but left out the step (that to me seems un-skippable) of knowing how it works. But I guess most car drivers don't know what an internal combustion engine is other than a vague schoolhood memory, and they do okay..until they're stranded one day.

But hey, gabo plus ego (gabegoo?) has me waffling on, not relieving the suspense of my death mention...who died? Unfortunately, it was Andre, my vertical neighbor, two floors down and four across. So sad, she told me five months ago she had cancer and was off work.

With my super limited social skills I said 'Is it one of the good cancers?", not taking into account the fact that she would most likely not know the movie that does that line - 'What kind of cancer you got/Well, you know those good cancers you get that they cure?/Yeah/Well not one of those' - so instead we shared an awkward moment outside my local Night Owl. A moment later she told me of a show, 'Big Bang Theory' that she reckoned I would like (she said I reminded her of one of the characters). Now she's gone, and I was advised by a text message from her mobile phone just before lunch today.

That in itself was strange, receiving a text from a deceased person's phone. But I guess it makes sense, a relative can send one message out to dozens of friends and colleagues with one key press. The modern age. I shouldn't be surprised to see Facebook updates covering mortality eventually. Indeed, on the weekend two young sisters died in a car-surfing accident in SA, and the online article I read gleefully reproduced their ironic last facebook post, a post anticipating a fun night. Irony sells, second only to sex.

So Andre is gone, leaving a daughter in grade 12. I remember when Andre gave up smoking in a heck of a hurry maybe four or five years ago. She was very sick for a long time after that - in retrospect she probably was diagnosed then, but being the brave sort she was, she didn't announce it until it was final.

I told myself I would cook her a fennel lasagne and deliver it to her to assist her through the sickness, but I never did. Perhaps I should now. I can imagine her daughter in twenty years from now telling someone '..and then mum died in my last months at school...'

Not sure if everyone's mind works the same way but for me emotions are best experienced and felt through this kind of acting out of scenes. Imagining what people would be saying if they heard I was dead, etc. Bizarre but that is how I am programmed. Farewell Andre.

On the gabo front, depressing news. I can rarely give it a day off. This month I've managed to skip one day only. Monkey sits right up there dictating my every move. I have Peter A visit every fortnight, he helps me realise how bad things can get, that may sound cold and evil but he is a lovely man also. So gruff, so scary when I was younger, all I see know is another hurt individual. Such a sharp intelligence burns under all the sleepers, booze, joints and metro. 180mg I think he said. Two doses a day softening its impact to this gut.

So that's gear. I read Michael Cobley's second space opera, Orphaned Worlds, at DQ's recommendation, and am enjoying. Bacon and eggs for dinner. Sydney last week for a PSUG meeting. Enjoyed meeting Paul A again this year after a fifteen year break. He rads my words tonight and comments on them. Now to post this rough beast - ftp not working in Coffee Cup so testing my ingenuity skills.