I know it’s not Monday – again

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I’ve been getting up at 4:30 in the morning for years, now. Usually I get a cup of coffee started in the drip coffee maker, pour some orange juice and get a handful of pills down and then watch the news for an hour or so. Unless I’ve got a manuscript in the works, in which case the TV never gets turned on.

So that’s why I haven’t posted anything to my blog this week. I am now under a deadline on “Twisted Key”. I need to have the manuscript ready for an editor by June of next year, and the sooner the better. I’ve got a non-fiction project I’m working on as well, and I need to have that one ready for an editor by September.

It’s nice to be busy. Unless Life is really ticked off with you, in which case being busy is the least of your worries. Right now, however, Life is ignoring me, and I am doing all I can to ignore it in return. I’ve got just enough on my plate as it is.

The CD-ROM drive died on my Dell last week. It’s been moving in that direction for the better (worse, actually) part of a year, and it finally gave up the ghost. So I contacted CompUSA, spoke with one of their tech people and got a recommendation for a new drive. It went in without any fuss and when I turned on the computer, it showed up in Device Manager just like it had been there all along.

But I’m not so happy with Dell. Admittedly, the Dimension 2350 model is about seven years old, but there is essentially NO upgrade path on this machine. You can add (as I just did) a new CD or DVD drive, but don’t even think about removing an old drive that’s died. You cannot do that. The entire frame is pop-riveted together AFTER the CD-ROM is installed, so you cannot remove it without destroying the frame. Never mind being limited to a whacking great (sic) 1 gigabyte of RAM, having to keep a dead drive in the case is frustrating as all get-out. Well, it was a gift, so maybe I shouldn’t complain too much.

In a vain attempt to get more use out of my 1 gig of RAM, I recently purchased a PCI video card with 512 MB of RAM onboard. It worked fine in DOS during the boot-up, but when Windows loaded the screen went black. I got onto a geek forum and asked about that and was told I needed a new 400 watt power supply to power the card. So I got back in touch with my buds at CompUSA and they gave me a recommendation on a replacement PSU. Now, the video card ran me $64.00, and the new PSU will run $50.00.

And the DVD/CD drive cost me around $45.00 (with a new data cable and shipping, that is). New computers run around $300.00 and up. Maybe I should just save my money. But I’ve got all this stuff on my computer, and it’s set up just like I want it. I’d dearly love a new machine, but believe it or not, I can’t afford to put out all that cash at once. Besides, I kind of like this one. I’m used to it, and I can blame it for a lot of stuff I’d have to take responsibility for if I had a new one.

Merry Christmas, and  a Happy new Year!

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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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