I did absolutely nothing worth writing about this week…


But I still got some things done, and found a dream I’d misplaced several years ago.

The first part of the week had me researching small business accounting applications. Right now I’m using Quickbooks Simple Start, the free Quickbooks starter app. It works very nicely, and is just about as easy to use as an accounting tool can be. It’s also very limited in what it does, but it’s enough to get started with. But to gain any real control over your business you have to upgrade to QuickBooks Pro.

I’m at that point now. But before I shell out $200.00 for the Pro version I spent a few days looking over other packages to see what they had to offer.

My bookkeeping and accounting skills can be summed up in one short sentence. I cannot balance a checkbook. No kidding. I have no business running a business, though I have run several over the years. My only saving grace is that I know how completely unsuited I am to be allowed that close to money and business ledgers. I know when and what to delegate, and to whom, which is how I’ve survived this long.

So those few days spent researching accounting software leads me to believe that I will indeed be shelling out $200.00 to buy Quickbooks Pro. It does what I need, and it’s reasonably easy to understand. Besides, they have really good support and a large community to fall back on if you’re stumped by anything the software throws back at you.

Now I need to get out and sell some books.

My next round of events starts next weekend in Middleburg, Florida, at their Historic Fall Festival. Stop by, purchase one or two books and help me get my financial affairs in order.

The rest of this week was spent playing with a long-held dream. Back in the 70’s I experienced a work-related injury that put me out of work for nearly eighteen months. I’d been an avid model builder as a kid, so I purchased an R/C boat kit from Sterling.  It was the Emma C. Berry, a Noank fishing smack re-rigged as a schooner. I loved the idea of building a 48” R/C schooner. The boat went together in a few months (I only had one hand at the time – my right hand was in a brace, so it made a good clamp for holding pieces in place). And when she hit the water, she sailed beautifully.

Well, Sterling is out of business and no one is selling the Emma C. Berry Schooner anymore. but the sheet plans, bulkheads and builder’s notes are available from other model builders, and I am in touch with them. I don’t have a lot of room (in fact I have no room for a project like this), but I am going to scale up the drawings and build a 6’ model from scratch. She is a pretty boat (in my head), and I look forward to getting her into the water.

Dreams are nice, aren’t they?

Happy Halloween


About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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