Whoo-hoot we got a book sale

Greetings, readers. I stopped over at Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe and talked to the owner about any recent sales of my books. I was happily surprised to learn that we did indeed have one sale of Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, my first blog book. I say first blog book, because a second one is in the planning stages. This news has my weekend off to a great start.

After ten straight days of cloudy weather, we are finally seeing slits of blue sky and the reflection of sunshine off some buildings. I was beginning to forget what that big, orange, glowing ball looked like. And yes, my depression was taking a hit. On the way up to work from Webster’s, I chatted with a lady in the building, and at the end of the conversation she told me what a wonderful attitude I had. So, I suppose, even if I’m a bit depressed on the outside, I must be projecting being happy on the outside.

As far as today and the weekend plans go, after our blog entry is posted, I’m going to try to dictate to Rebecca a short story for the final camp book. Either from scratch, or we will work from one that is already in a folder. Tomorrow is our usual Dungeons and Dragons day, and on Sunday I have been invited to a pre-holiday dinner. How wonderful it will be to get a complete and delicious meal. Being a depressed bachelor, my diet is not what it should be.

The holidays are coming up, as we all know, and my place is as decorated as it is going to be. I will be taking my Christmas Eve light ride, watching parades, ball games, and the Christmas Mass from Rome, and doing other traditional holiday things that I have done since childhood. For the past year or so, I’ve felt an overwhelming urge to get back to my roots and be who I was, not who I am now. I almost feel like I want to start over again – now there’s something to talk to my psychologist about.

Here’s wishing everybody a good last week of holiday preparations and shopping. I don’t bake cookies but I’m sure that there will be some delicious dessert at the holiday meal. I am getting my fill of eggnog; I love it but sometimes the spices in it don’t like me too much. Thank goodness for Prilosec.

Until Wednesday, have a great weekend, stay warm, and happy reading.

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Possible problems with WordPress

Greetings, readers. This morning, Rebecca’s sister sent me a Facebook message, alerting me to a possible problem with WordPress dealing with hackers, malware, and a plug-in that I don’t use. Before we began today, Rebecca looked over the site and read linked articles. She deems it safe to use today, as far she can tell. The problem seems to be with a plug-in called Slider Revolution, which we don’t use. So this blog entry will not be on the topic which I had planned,  but it will be more or less a test for what happens after we hit the publish button.

As all of you have read in my technology grrr pieces, I’ve become deathly afraid when I hear such words as hacking, malware, or viruses. My Asus laptop is over five years old, and like Muhammad Ali, it is towards the end of its career. One good punch could put it down for the count.

What is going on with WordPress is something that I don’t think my AVG anti-virus could catch. I believe it is an internal issue with a third-party site connected to WordPress. After we spell check, add a category and tags, we will post this test entry and if all goes well I will have an extra special one for you on Friday.

Until then, take care, think sunshine if you are in a cloudy area, and happy reading.

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The ultimate in technology grrr day

Greetings, readers. I am dictating this blog entry while gritting my teeth. My alarm went off this morning at 6:45 and I turned on my laptop by 7:15. I was going to enjoy a morning of Train Simulator 15. Ha ha ha.

After coffee was made and I had my comfy seat arranged just the way I wanted it, I activated the game. The error message read something like: Missing start application. Right there I knew my whole morning was screwed. After fiddling with it for ten to fifteen minutes, I decided to play some music on my PS3 using Music Unlimited, go back to my laptop and uninstall said game. It shouldn’t take long to reload and I will have it running by 9:00. Ha ha ha.

By 10:15, I was still struggling to get the program to run. With no one else in the room, I actually said out loud to the computer, “Eight stories is a long way down.” Yes, readers, I talk to myself when I’m angry.

By 11:15, I had to leave the apartment to get some brunch and meet Rebecca. I shall try one more time to re-install the game this afternoon after work hours. Most of you, I’m sure, are thinking, “Well, what’s he complaining about?” But my days and weeks are very rigidly scheduled. Afternoon is writing and creation. Evening is filled with activities with friends or getting caught up with Netflix, so my mornings are slated for personal computer time. After almost four hours today with nothing but troubleshooting, I threw my hands up in the air and said, “I’ll try this again later.” As my pop would have said, “So it goes.”

While waiting for Rebecca at Panera this morning, I almost grabbed a newspaper and read my horoscope. I would have laughed if it had said stay in bed, for today is going to be a terrible day.

Okay, I’m done ranting now. For this weekend, Saturday will be my usual Dungeons and Dragons day with Rebecca and Darren, and Sunday will be filled with watching football and having someone come to help keep up the apartment. So I wish you all a good weekend, do stay warm if it is cold outside, and happy reading.

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Money money money … money!

Greetings, readers. Have you ever had one of those weeks where money just seems to fly out of your wallet? I’m experiencing one of those weeks right now. Christmas is right around the corner and I have some people to shop for. I’m also going to treat myself to one Christmas gift this year. That’s not the big issue. Some unexpectedly high bills have come in, putting a slight damper on my holiday mood.

Yesterday I went to the dentist. Although it was a painless and relatively pleasant experience, as dentist visits go, the bill was much higher than I was expecting it to be. It is enough to make me never eat sweets ever again.

Speaking of that one Christmas gift I’m going to treat myself to, it’s either going to be a trade in and upgrade of my gaming system, or a Keurig coffee maker so I don’t have to spend as much money at Panera. For the gaming system trade, I would imagine I would have to shell out $200 to $300. For the coffee maker, probably $125 for the version with the water reservoir. Right now the Keurig is in the lead.

I’m definitely getting into the Christmas season mood. This morning I listened to Christmas music on Pandora while waiting for Rebecca to come to work. I know that it seems that money is leaking out of my wallet, but it is that time of year, and I’ve already told my accountant and Rebecca that in the next month or so I will rein in my expenditures if I can. Well, how about that, another goal set. I will be pleased to keep you up to date on my progress.

Lastly, I passed my latest inspection yesterday with flying colors.

That is the news from here. Rebecca and I will have a new blog entry for you on Friday. Take care, stay warm, enjoy life, and happy reading.

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Top ten list of my top ten lists

Greetings, readers. Rebecca had an idea that I just loved; to do a top ten list of our top ten lists to date. Here they are in order. You can click on the titles to link to the original blog entry. Enjoy.

#10. Top ten list of my favorite football helmet logos

#9. Top ten list of my favorite TV theme songs [In my last performance, the theme to The Love Boat was the show opener.]

#8. Top ten list of great M.A.S.H. episodes [It was truly hard to choose only ten. M.A.S.H. was such a great show; truly top quality TV.]

#7. Top ten list of favorite holidays

#6. Top ten list of favorite television show finales

#5. Top ten list of places I want to visit or revisit

#4. Top ten list of MLB or NFL stadiums gone by [I wished I could have lived in the era when Forbes Field in Pittsburgh and Shibe Park in Philadelphia were in their heyday. I definitely would have gone to games there.]

#3. Top ten list of ways to get inspired

#2. Top ten list of airlines no longer with us [I never thought that TWA, Eastern, or Pan Am would ever go out of business.]

#1. Top ten list of Air Crash Investigation stories [This topic continues to be one of the hottest on the blog and this is the entry with the most views.]

Honorable mention: Top ten list of modern conveniences [This one is a funny one. Every week with few exceptions it shows up in the views stats. Neither of us have any idea why this is so popular. For all we know, a teacher might be using this as part of a homework assignment.]

There you have them, in order. Chime in with yours if you wish to, here or on Facebook. Until next Wednesday, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

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Are we alone in the universe?

Greetings, readers. I have often asked myself this question. Recently on Netflix streaming I watched a show called Unsealed: Alien Files, which was on the one hand very interesting, but on the other hand it seemed to be made up. Episode topics included the men in black, and alien hot spots such as L.A., Texas, and even Washington D.C. The episode I laughed through was the one talking about Adolf Hitler using U.F.O. technologies. Yeah, right.

If the fuhrer actually processed U.F.O. technology, this would the United States of Deutschland; the man would have won World War II. After I got done laughing, I had to rewind at least three minutes of the show to listen to it again.

Being Roman Catholic, I do believe in things such as the afterlife, spirits, and that God created heaven and earth. I am just stating that as my fact, I’m not trying to ram that down your throat; I would like that understood. Most of me wants to believe that in all vast space with its galaxies upon galaxies, that intelligent life must exist elsewhere. Rather or not I will see it, that is another question. The only things I’ve seen flying around in my lifetime are airplanes and birds.

Back when I was a teenager I was fascinated by the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I went to see that at the theater seven consecutive Friday nights. I think a lot of people wonder if we are alone. And when this series talks about the government conspiracies and the things they are supposedly hiding, it makes me wonder all the more.

On the final episode of the series, it only ran one year, they talked about our government launching people to start a small colony on Mars before the year 2020. I always thought that earth was the only habitable planet in our solar system. But I suppose with the advancements in technology, some sort of atmospheric dome or something of the like could be build. Time will tell.

Do I really want to see a grey or reptilian being? Half of me says sure, come on in, let’s have a cup of coffee. The other half of me would be positively scared to death.

On Friday, I’m going to have a top ten list ready for you. So until then, take care, have a great couple of days, look up to the skies if you believe, and happy reading.

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Happy day after Thanksgiving

Greetings, readers. Another Thanksgiving has come and gone and I am happy to say that I did my new routine. That consisted of sleeping in just a little, making coffee at home, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and then I walked down to a local diner and had a wonderful turkey dinner. The meal came complete with all the trimmings, several kinds of pie to choose from, and delicious coffee. All the proceeds went to a charity so I tipped well. The servers and other staff were mostly volunteers; I’m sure it felt good to give of themselves.

After dinner I was planning to watch the afternoon football games. Well, whatever it is that is in turkey that makes you tired said, “Joe it is time for a nap.” I didn’t fight it and dosed off from 3:00 to 6:00. I am happy to report that it did not infer with my sleep cycle as I was fearing it would. When I woke up from my nap, I had some eggnog, broke out the Christmas lights, and decorated the apartment. I plan to put some pictures of the decorations in the picture gallery soon.

Keekee was treated to extra treats throughout the day and I did my best to let her know that it was a special occasion.

Another thing I did yesterday was make and receive phone calls to friends and family. I heard from my Aunt Marilyn, friend David, and a great friend Sue whom I know from Bear Spring Camps.

As I always do when I have a day off, I thought today was Wednesday. No, it is only Friday. That’s okay though because I am planning a restful evening and a leisurely weekend which will include D&D gaming.

On a personal opinion note, something I’ve never really done before, boo hiss and bah humbug to K-Mart; as I understand it they forced all their employees to work on Thanksgiving day and threatened to fire them if they did not comply. To me, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Easter should be days set aside to be with family and loved ones.

Until Wednesday, take care, stay warm, and happy reading.

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From Rebecca: Thanksgiving and my mom Betty Lee

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, the holiday where we celebrate the gathering of Pilgrims and Native Americans to give thanks for friendship and abundance. Traditionally we celebrate it with a big meal that we eat with as many family members as possible, where we say what we are thankful for, and then after the meal we fall asleep will watching football on television. The holiday is about family, tradition, gratitude, and food.

It was one of my mother’s favorite holidays. Betty Lee was big on counting your blessings, but she also really loved that every few years her birthday was the same day as Thanksgiving. Last Sunday I had conversations about her with my father and with my sisters. She passed away almost four years ago, and we are thinking about her a lot. We aren’t going to be all together this year, instead we are having small gatherings in our own homes. I never realized how much she and my step-father did to get us together for the holidays and birthdays until she passed away. Without her calling with the time, place, and expectation to be there for family get-togethers, we just don’t get many of them arranged anymore. We do see and talk to each other a lot, so that is good. Maybe the big meal together is more for families that are far apart from one another. We are blessed to live as close as we do. We are not as close as we would like to be my step-father, but we try to keep in touch as much as we can.

My mom and step-father, when they were still in good health, loved going places and talking to people. In restaurants they knew the servers and managers, in banks they knew the tellers, and in grocery stores they knew many of the cashiers. They really liked knowing about other people and had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. If someone had trouble and needed help, my mom and step-father would give that help if they could. Mom loved keeping in contact with people on the internet, especially Facebook. My sister Marjorie has inherited these traits. She also likes keeping up with a wide circle of friends on the internet. When I go to restaurants with her, she knows all the servers and managers. They stop by the table for a minute on the way by to chat with her and she cares about many of them. At one place, she is such friends with a few of the servers that for a while she was giving them rides to and from work when they had trouble with transportation. Mom would be so proud of Marjorie.

Mom also spent her life exploring her spiritual path, inner truth, and how to live her faith. She sometimes explored paths that were different from those her family, and sometimes society, were following, like A Course in Miracles. She followed her own sense of inner right and wrong, while accepting that others had different views. My sister Jennifer also explores her inner spiritual truth and how to live her faith. She participates in her church and struggles with how to follow her path and God’s plan for her. Her father, mother, and sisters are not a part of her church and that faith, but she is true to herself by choosing to be there. She also uses her artistic skills to help others who are in pain because of tragic loss. Mom would be so proud of Jennifer.

I am not sure what I share with Mom, other a love of books, but I know that her life on earth flows through us and with us into the world. I am so thankful that she was my mom. It is one of the things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving, along with my dad, sisters, step-father, nephews, niece, brother-in-law, husband, mother-in-law, my friend Joe, and my other friends. Mom was a big believer in going around the Thanksgiving meal table and saying our list of what we are thankful for each year.

I know there are people who do not celebrate Thanksgiving the same way, and see it in light of the eventual oppression of the Native people of this land by the European people. I am aware that the Natives got the short end of every deal they made with the people and nation that followed the help that tribe gave the Pilgrims that first pivotal year. But I love the spirit of two different groups gathering together to celebrate friendship, generosity, and achievement. The Pilgrims had lost so many in the ocean crossing and the first devastating winter. Then, with help, they learned to live off the land and grow crops in their new home. They had food and skills to go into another winter from a better position. In gratitude, they invited their teachers to a feast, to celebrate having an abundance to share. We honor that meal with our holiday.

So if you are in the United States and participate in Thanksgiving, may you have a good meal and great company. If you don’t celebrate the holiday, may you still have many blessings to give thanks for this year. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Crazy day after yesterday’s technology problems

Greetings, readers. I’m not quite certain what happened with my computer yesterday, but it was very slow going. I don’t think it was a virus because my anti-virus checker didn’t find one. However, the two separate scans needed to solve the issue took most of the work day. My computer runs terribly slow when the virus checker is active.

As for today, Rebecca and I are going to work on the website dealing with my health insurance. We obviously couldn’t do that with a computer that might have had a virus. I figure that this job will take a good chunk of our work day today. This is why I am typing in the blog entry. Rebecca will edit it when she arrives, which will save time.

To be honest, I didn’t get the computer working correctly until an hour or more after Rebecca left yesterday. It’s a good thing that it wasn’t our back-up-files day because neither one of us wanted to put our flash drives into the funky acting computer. I am confident that all issues have been taken care of. As we work today, time will tell if my computer is still running slow or if we will be able to use it for work as needed.

Well, until next week, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

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Hawaii Five-O classic ’68 to ’79

Greetings, readers. As a binge TV watcher, the latest show that I have been enjoying is the classic Hawaii Five-O. The way I have been enjoying it recently is that I will watch one episode per season. Watching it that way makes it very easy to see how much Jack Lord aged during those years. Hawaii Five-O was one of my favorite programs along with The Waltons and M.A.S.H when I was youth. Here are my thumbs up and thumbs downs for this series, classic Hawaii Five-O.

In 1968, when the series began, the 30-something Jack Lord had a look and feel of a James Bond. Everyone wore short hair, thin ties, and polished shoes. Steve McGarrett was the super cop, the head of the fictitious state police. To me the first season was hysterically funny although the series was a drama. Characters Chin Ho, Kono, and Dan Williams, when asked if they knew anything about the case, would always reply something to the effect that they had no new information. This would leave super-cop McGarrett to be the one who figures out the crime. After a season or so of this, thank goodness, CBS decided to change the format slightly. The other characters added more and didn’t appear so stupid. Steve McGarrett, however, remained the one who always cracked the case.

In the early years, when I was a youth, Steve McGarrett had a wonderful black car, a 1968 Mercury Park Lane Brougham. From season 8 to season 12, his classic car was replaced with a new model. I liked the old one better. I read on the internet that a car collector purchased the original Hawaii Five-O Mercury. I wish I was that person; I would love to own that car.

At the end of season 10, Kam Fong, who played Chin Ho Kelly, wished to leave, so his character was killed off. That made me very upset because I liked him, yet it gave Jack Lord the opportunity to shine with his acting skills, as his character swore to Danno that he would not rest until he caught the killer of his friend. James MacArthur, who played Danno, hung around for one more year. No mention was ever said about where he went or what happened to him. For their final season, season 12, three new characters were created; Lori Wilson, the first female character to join the team, the Hawaiian strong man who played Truck, and Danny’s replacement, Kimo. I have to be honest, book him Kimo didn’t have the same ring as McGarrett’s catch phrase book him Danno.

Two quirks I have with the series; one minor and one major. The minor one I believe took place in season 9 where the Hawaii Five-O team was magically transported to a different building. I believe this was because the Iolani Palace was being renovated in real life. The major one, which makes me chuckle every time I see it, happens in the later seasons during car chases. One scene McGarrett will be driving his new Mercury Marquis, then the next scene he’ll whiz by in his old car, and back and forth it will go. Obviously the editors didn’t care; to them a black car with McGarrett in it was fine. When you have seen the episodes as many times as I have you can forget storylines and pick up little details like this. To them cutting and slicing was probably being cost-effective, to me I call that bad editing.

I did give the new Hawaii Five-O that started about 4 seasons ago a trial run. Although it is still on the air, I don’t watch it. To me there will only be one Hawaii Five-O, what Netflix streaming calls Hawaii Five-O (1968) Classic .

That’s our post for today. Feel free to chime in with your favorite shows in the comments, and for my friends on Facebook and Twitter, leave a comment on there if you wish. So have a good day, bundle up if you are in the deep freeze, take care and happy reading.

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