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Update: What A Month – Or Two

Here I go again, apologizing for the absence of posts lately. I’ll use the tried and true excuse – I was busy – because that is true. But a number of things converged to contribute. For one thing, I am posting to a group blog with other Pandamoon Publishing authors. The link is accessible from the website at http://www.pandamoonpublishing.com . Most of what I will post there is concerning the publishing and editing process. Here I plan to continue discussing other things, mostly the progress on writing books and such, but other things of interest.

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As you may recall, back in April I purchased a new computer, a Surface Pro 3. Although I love the computer I had some issues with it after installing a preview version of Windows 10. And a wrestling match with Microsoft began. The end result of that was a replacement of the tablet.

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Once more I am playing with Windows 10, albeit a more refined version. The actual release is scheduled for July 29, so the builds are pretty close to finished product. I can tell you that the build I am currently using, (10130) is almost ready for prime time. There are a couple of annoying things about it, an error I receive at shutdown for one) but, otherwise, it is remarkably stable.

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I replaced a MacBook Pro as mu primary computer. I had intended to continue using the MBP for writing but it has an issue with its battery swelling up so I have not used it much over the past two months. I had occasion to boot it up the other day to look for a file and I have to tell you that my Surface Pro 3 is so much faster. I know a lot of that has to do with the access times for the Hard Drive. The Surface has flash memory as a hard drive. The MBP has a 5400 RPM disc drive. You’re talking about factors of 100 to 1000 times in speed for pulling stuff from the drive. Boot up on the Surface Pro 3 is less than ten seconds. The MBP takes over a minute. Also, there is so many background operations running on the MBP that it takes forever – it seems – for it to be ready to use once it has booted up. I could disable everything and it would run faster, I suppose. But what’s the point now that I don’t use it. I’m considering removing the battery and using it again, though. I just haven’t gotten around to that. It is a future project. But, for now, the Surface Pro 3 is my primary computer.

I’ve been working more hours for the past several months, so I don’t have as much free time. I have been reading, catching up on some of the manuscripts I have promised to read and comment on for other authors. I have a new favorite author, by the way. Laura Ellen Scott has a book coming out later this year titled The Juliet. You will be reading that one, I promise.  Later this month Jeff Messick’s long-awaited Knights Of The Shield is being released. That’s a supernatural cop thriller. It ranks high on my recommended reads list. Rose Montague has a new book coming out as well. I still have to read that one, but I will because there is a namesake character in it – all part of the global scheme of making Elgon a common name. Yeah, it will take a while before it appears on the label of a Coke bottle.

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I have been rediscovering music from the 70’s. So expect a couple of upcoming blogs posts about that. Otherwise, over the next several months while I am working on edits for BT and the first book of The Wolfcat Chronicles, I will be writing a sequel for Becoming Thuperman and one for Fried Windows as well. So expect progress reports on those.

#BecomingThuperman, #TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #MacBookPro #SurfacePro3, #Update

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Update On Just About Everything

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Greetings from (mostly) sunny Florida. Lately it’s been hot here. Yes, it’s Florida and all that but it seems unseasonably early to be hitting the low 90’s. It’s especially hard when I commute to or from work in the afternoon. On the bright side I’m losing a little weight in the process. And I’ve been working on my sunburn. – I don’t really tan. (Yes, I am that white.)

I’ve been working nearly full time hours, which is a good thing. I’m able to save a little money. The down side of that is that I don’t have time to spend writing. I worked oink a short story this morning, one that will appear in an anthology my publisher is putting together. It’s about 5000 words now but I doesn’t feel completed yet. It may balloon into a short novella. We’ll see. It’s not my usual fare as writing goes. I’m having some fun with it.

I’ve been spending more time using the Surface Pro I recently bought. This is the first blog post I have done with it. I’m trying get comfortable with the keyboard on the cover. It’s a lot like a laptop’s and I’ve never really liked those. But it is highly portable. I’ve been able to throw it in my backpack and haul it to work where I can use it on my breaks and before I clock in. Yesterday I wrote a review during my lunch hour. So, the reason for getting it has been just justified.

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I’m still getting used to Window 8.1. Remember I have a Windows Phone so the learning curve was not quite as steep. Also, I used Windows PC’s up to an including Windows Vista. That disaster of an operating system drove me to use Linux for a couple of years and eventually compelled me to buy my first Mac. I never officially used Windows 7 on a PC, although I have played with a couple of computers that had that OS. Anyway, there are many things I like about Windows 8.1. From what I know about Windows 10, I’m not going to like all echo hangers because a couple of the features I use with Windows 8.1 are going away.

As for hardware, I think the Surface Pro 3 is the best touch screen computer available. I did a lot of shopping around and it was the only machine I played with that didn’t feel cheap and flimsy. Maybe I should have waited until the Surface Pro 4 comes out later this year but I got a  pretty good deal on a slightly used Pro 3 with 256GB SSD. It also came a year’s subscription for Office 365 and a 64GB micro SD. Oh, and there is the stylus pen.

For the record I still prefer Mac OS to Windows. But the touch screen is pretty cool and though haven’t used the pen all that much it is a nice feature intend to play with.

My birthday came and went without incident. I received a lot of well wishes from online friends and a card or two via snail mail. I don’t feel 59, and that’s a good thing. I have a lot of books that need to be published and promoted. Two new ones for later this year?

#update #Windows8.1 #Windows10 #MacOS #SurfacePro3 #Microsoft #Office365

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Midweek Crisis

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Generally, I don’t care what day of the week it is. There is a routine I observe regardless. I guess that comes from many years working in retail and having the concept of weekend totally destroyed. But, if I hate any day of the week it’s probably Wednesday, aka, humpday.

While most people hate Mondays, I’m generally okay with those. Sometimes I have them off even when it doesn’t involve a holiday. Wednesday, however, used to be my weekly in store staff meeting. This was when my boss delivered all the notes that his boss gave him on their weekly Tuesday meetings. And, as the rule of shit flowing downhill, it meant having to scramble to get things done before the weekend, and a lot of stuff done before the new weekly ad broke on Thursday. Even though I’m out of that situation now, the dread feeling about Wednesday remains.

I’ve never liked meetings, especially the ones that turn into non-productive bitch sessions. Also, I’m not fond of the ones that should probably take 45 minutes but extend well past three or four hours – and then you have all these bullet points and action items to communicate to subordinates and get them to implement things before the end of the day. Meetings, conference calls etc are necessary I guess, but often they are used in the CYA (cover your ass) mode of thinking, as in, “As I told you last week at our meeting…”

Today I have a couple of things I have to. I was originally scheduled to work today, to do some training at work. But I’m driving my son over to the airport, so I had to reschedule a bit. My son have a conference in Indianapolis. As he is aware he’ll be freezing his Floridian ass off, he is out shopping for a winter coat. The good news is that those who’ll be on clearance by now here in the Sunshine State.

I’m a bit apprehensive about the drive to the airport. I have a license and lots of driving experience – like since almost before I could walk – but for the past five or so years I haven’t been driving all that often. I ride a bike everywhere. And my son’s car is new to him (not new to the world but it amounts to the same thing, right?) And it’s a Porche. Anything one needs to have a crash course on how to start it is going to be intimidating. Plus it has twice the horsepower of the last vehicle I drove regularly. So I’ll be driving this thing like a paranoid grandma from Pasadena.

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When I get back to the house I’ll be diving into The Wolfcat Chronicles Book 10 Chapter 4. I did nothing with the book yesterday or Monday evening. I was working on some promotional stuff for one of the authors I represent as a publicist. And yesterday afternoon and evening I was at my other job. So, I’m kind of eager to get back into the book. I’m hopeful about getting to Chapter 10 or 11 before the weekend, which roughly a third of the way through the book. Realize, of course, that somewhere around Chapter 20 everything will come to a screeching halt as I will be rewriting everything – and at time writing entirely new material. I have an outline and some other ideas I’m playing with for that, but I expect I’ll be into that just prior to the end of the month.

A good portion of March I’ll spend reviewing Book 10 before finally submitting it, the concluding piece of The Wolfcat Chronicles. By then I expect to be knee deep in substantive edits for the series.

#update #TheWolfcatChronicles #Humpday