You know that toe just beside your big toe…


I started to feel a bit peckish around mid-week last week – dry cough, bones hurting in places I didn’t know I had bones, like that. Thursday night I was pretty sure I was gonna die. My sister said she thought I had the flu, while I was pretty sure I had a nasty cold. I woke up Friday morning – actually I woke up several times during the night with the bedclothes all wet and soggy and chilly, and I was sweating, and hacking, and coughing, and groggy from lack of sleep. My nose was all stopped up and I couldn’t draw a decent breath.

At that point I didn’t much care if I had a cold or the flu. I made it through the day – in fact I even put my bedclothes through the washer and dryer and got them back onto the bed before I crawled back into it for the night. But it turned into another night just like the last one, with one major exception. I broke that damn toe.

At one point during that night I got up with a bad case of dry mouth. Freezing and shivering and dripping with sweat I climbed out of bed, and stumbled into the kitchen for a bit of orange juice. Unfortunately, I didn’t lift my feet quite as high as I should have. My sister has a thick rubber mat in front of the sink. That toe on my right foot caught on the edge of that damn mat and I heard the little ‘snick’ sound as the bone broke.

I was cold, and sweating, and groggy, and thirsty and I really, really had to stop in the bathroom on my way back to my now soggy and cold bed. So I ignored the additional insult to my much abused body, got my orange juice and took my badly shivering, sweating and now injured body into the bathroom and then climbed back into my damp and cold bed. Baby-ing my poor toe all the way, of course.

In the morning my toe was very much black and blue. My bedclothes went through the washer and dryer and again. And that’s how I spent the rest of my weekend.

My health started to return on Sunday, and, desperate to have something to show for all the time spent flat on my back, I ordered a graphics card for my computer. I work on an older Dell Pentium. It’s got serious limitations compared to modern machines. The greatest impediment I have to deal with isn’t the speed of the machine – it’s the 1 Gig RAM limit that’s got me boxed in. What I hoped for was a PCI graphics card with at least 512 MB RAM on board that would take the processing load out of the motherboard RAM. I do a lot of my own graphics work, and layouts for book covers and such like eat RAM like candy.

So I found a Diamond ATI Radeon card that fit the bill, and after checking the specs for the Dell Dimension 2350 it seemed to be a good match, so I ordered it.

Don’t ever do that when you’re sick as a dog and can’t string two thoughts together without screwing up.

The card showed on on Tuesday. Five minutes later I had the computer laying on it’s side with the cover off. I removed the card from the packaging and tried to fit it into one of the two open PCI slots. It was too long. It was a PCIE card. All I saw when I read the tech specs on line was PCI. When I checked the web site for the specs again, it said, PCIE. The ‘E’ is for “Extended”. My Dell does not have any PCIE slots.

I’m feeling a bit better today.

I hope your weekend went a bit more smoothly.

Here’s what I have coming up in the next month or so:

Book signings and speaking engagements

December 8    Rasmussen College, Ocala

December 11    Fleming Island Festival, Village Square Gazebo, 2245 Plantation  Center Drive, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

December 18    Middleburg Christmas Festival, Middleburg Elementary School
                          Blanding Blvd, Middleburg, 10 AM – 4 PM

January 17       All Booked Up bookstore, 1126 Bichara Blvd, The Villages,
                          11:00 am – 1:00 pm


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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