Final review for MLB15 The Show

Greetings, readers. I have had MLB15 The Show long enough now to give you my final review of this fantastic game. First off, the graphics, even on the PS3 version, are even better. Players and coaches look more life-like. Another touch that I really enjoy is that you can earn points to purchase items such as brand names for your bats and gloves and different items to make your players perform better. This is especially handy in RTTS (road to the show) mode. This is where you take a created player through the minor leagues and enjoy his career as he advances, hopefully to the major league level.

I was a little disappointed that in the PS3 version some of the goodies were not included in the game. Hence the $20 discount on the price. The PS4 version has 20 new stadiums to play in. I was very upset not to see any new stadiums in my version. I can live with it, I only paid $40 rather than $60. Very soon, probably in the fall, I am going to have to upgrade my system. Then my jaw will drop at the ultra-realism.

A big flaw, which I hope can be fixed with a patch, is that the font size is way too small for me to see, even with my glasses. It seems to me that someone made a bad decision when writing the programming and the wrong font size was used. I have a 22 inch screen and I find it very difficult to see what button produces each pitch. Also, I have trouble reading the players names and stats. This has never been an issue before. If anyone knows of a patch or a way to increase the font size please chime in in the comments section.

Now for the scores, no pun intended. Gameplay: 9 out of 10. It took me a little while to find out where all the toggles were to have certain players be on automatic. With my bad hands, I cannot play the outfield. I’ve tried, I just don’t have the coordination.

Ease of batting: 10 out of 10. There are several levels, including dynamic, which I find fascinating. It is where the computer pitcher learns what you swing at. This makes the player constantly have to adjust to what the A.I. (artificial intelligence) pitcher is doing. Very realistic.

Stadiums: 10 out of 10. Still beautiful as always, and in more detail, even in my version.

Play-by-play: 10 out of 10. With over 17,000 new lines of dialog, San Diego Studio has vastly improved the play-by-play and the color commentary. Yay, finally.

Playing modes: 9 out of 10. All the same modes are still here, such as Season, Franchise, and Road to the Show. Nothing new has been added here that I can see, but what is here is excellent.

Finally, the crowds at the ballpark: Only a 7 out of 10 here. Unfortunately it is still the same 300 or so characters spread throughout the stands. This is one of the many areas where the PS4 version excels.

Finally tally: Overall, a very respectable 9.16 out of 10.

This is the final review of this game on the PS3. Next year it will only be available for PS4. By then, I hope to be in bigger and greener ballparks. Ha ha.

Until Wednesday, have a great weekend, enjoy the weather if it is good, take care and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe performed the Beatles last week

Joe gave another of his shows last Friday, April 10, 2015 in the community room of Addison Court, and it was a good one. He did air guitar and air drums to some of the songs and sang all of them. His playlist was mostly early to mid Beatles music, with a few songs from other artists included. Joe started the show with a disclaimer to the audience; he used a music service called Spotify which does not own the rights to the original Beatles music, but does have a cover band called the Coverbeats. He said that the Coverbeats are a good band that sound enough like the Beatles for the show to work, and I agree. I could not tell the difference during the show.

Joe started the music with a tribute to the veterans in the audience by playing the “Star Spangled Banner.” In a spontaneous moment, when the anthem began, all dozen of us stood up and put our hands over our hearts, for the duration of the song. Joe followed the anthem with the sound of fighter jets flying overhead. He finished the tribute with a song called “Real American,” also known as the Hulk Hogan theme.

Joe had a different format this time, where he performed three songs at a time then took a minute to catch his breath and introduce the next three songs. I think it worked very well and kept the show moving a bit faster than in the past.

His first trio of Beatles songs was “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Should Have Known Better.” The performer chose a mix of well-known as well as lessor-known songs from the Beatles. Selections in the first half included “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “We Can Work it Out,” “If I Fell,” and “Boys.” He finished the set with the trio “Come Together,” “Slow Down,” and “Roll Over Beethoven.”

Joe had invited a few friends from outside the building to come, and a couple did arrive during the break between sets. Joe had put a few songs on the playlist that he would do for friends who showed up, so the second set began with two of those. “The Love Boat theme” and “Billie Jean” got people back from the break for the rest of the show.

Then the first trio of the second set was “Love Me Do,” “Eight Days a Week,” and “A Hard Day’s Night.” Other songs included “Ticket to Ride,” “Act Naturally,” “Twist and Shout,” and “She Loves You.” Joe included a song that meant a lot to him, “Yesterday.” He had played it in a tribute concert for a friend who had passed away, and he performed it in this show again in her honor. Many of the people in the audience remembered this late friend, and were touched by the song. He closed the show with the trio “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” and “St. Pepper’s {reprise}.”

Halfway through the first set, we in the audience started singing along and dancing in our seats. Joe was happy for the participation. Joe performed to ten to fifteen people. Though some came and left as they had to, most stayed.

Joe, as usual, gave the show his all. He didn’t have as much time as usual to practice for this show, due to some unforeseen events that took some of his time in the previous two months, and he did look really tired by the end of the concert. But he made it through to the end, drumming, strumming, and singing to the last note.

Show day is one day away

Greetings, readers. April 10th will be here tomorrow, and boy did it come quickly. I remember beginning to put this show together almost two months ago, knowing that I would have plenty of time to be ready. Well, I’ll be honest, I’m ready but not as much as I would like to be. A lot of things which were out of my control happened, including an illness and brief hospital stay. No set backs were major, but there seemed to be many minor ones.

The play list will consist of thirty early to mid Beatles songs, with three or four extra numbers which were requested by friends coming in to see the show. One of them is Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning.” OMG. I’m going to sing back up vocals and pray. It’s not a bad song, but I would have needed at least six months of prep time. The other highlight is the opening show tribute to the U.S. veterans living here in my apartment building. I’ve loaded up the “Star Spangled Banner” from the Poltergeist soundtrack album, followed by a sound effect of a jet fighter flying overhead. That’s for ambiance and chuckles. Then I shall tie in Rick Derringer’s “Real American”, also known as the Hulk Hogan theme.

Two songs which got eliminated from the playlist were “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. Hopefully my local friends will be able to attend, especially high school friend Lisa, who told me she may be able to record it for me. If it turns out well, I shall put segments on YouTube and Twitter.

After Rebecca leaves work today, my afternoon and evening will be spent practicing and enjoying MLB15 The Show. Mostly practicing. Next week, we will be getting back to our usual three-day work week and expect my final report on the video game in Wednesday’s blog entry.

Until next week, have a good weekend, wish me luck with my show, and happy reading.

Rebecca and I are back at it.

Greetings, readers. After a week of rest and recuperation, the writing team is hard at it again. It certainly feels good to have Rebecca back with me, because, I must say, I don’t think that my two blog entries were edited quite as well without her. But I didn’t want to go a week and a half without a new entry.

Viewing numbers are up. This pleases both of us. So far it seems like we’ve had a gazillion hits on the Air Crash Investigation episodes entries. Certainly that is a hot topic around the world these days. As I might have mentioned before, another biggie is my top ten list of modern conveniences. It is good for a chuckle every time we see it in the stats, because we both figure it has to be part of a school assignment, unless other people are simply fascinated by what I consider modern conveniences to be.

My performance is coming up this Friday afternoon at my apartment building, so Rebecca and I will write another blog entry tomorrow. That way we will keep our two per week average. Writing the blog is always fun but sometimes I will admit I make it up on the fly. Very rarely do I have a topic in mind before Rebecca arrives for work.

I’m in the process of trying out the new video game MLB15 The Show. I must admit for the first time ever I’m slightly disappointed. This is the final version for the PS3 and the game did not come with all the goodies I was expecting it to. It finally might be time for me to trade in and upgrade to the PS4. Other big expenditures, such as Keekee’s vet bill, might put that back a month or two. I give the game an 8 out of 10 just for the increased amount of dialog in the play-by-play alone. It was much needed in previous versions to keep the game from being repetitive. The one thing that is driving me nuts about the new game is the small font size on the screen. I have to go up to the television screen to read it. Soon I will give my final review on the game as I always do.

Lastly – and fear not regular readers – I had a very bad day last Monday and that night was a complete wash-out emotionally. I had just come from my therapist and was feeling wonderful, then I had an incident where someone said something that insulted me. She had the best of intentions and didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but it struck a sour chord. I will certainly have plenty to talk about next Monday. But as usual, I didn’t stay down for long.

Until tomorrow, enjoy the warmer weather, take care and happy reading.

A Saturday evening post…., er, blog entry

Greetings, readers. So sorry I didn’t get the entry up yesterday, but I was still a tad sick. Today I am much better. Rebecca was also on the rebound the last time we spoke, so I can only assume she’ll be back on Wednesday. This is the second time in a row that I’ve been sick a week or so before one of my performances. Better to be stuffed up and throaty now than next Friday.

On a gaming note I have two pieces of news. First, D&D gaming will resume next Saturday, which I’m looking forward to. Secondly, my one video game I purchase every year, MLB15 The Show is out. Some of the goodies are not in the PS3 version, though I’ve heard through websites that for the $20 deduction in price, it’s still a better game than last year. I’d heard that there would be more stadiums to use. Well, not in the PS3 version. I’m going to have to head on over to YouTube and watch videos to see all of the improvements. The one thing I’m not fond of is that the display [score on the screen, ball and strike count etc] is noticeably smaller this year. It’s quite hard for me to see. Guess I’ll just have to get used to it.

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

Both Rebecca and I are under the weather :-(

Greetings, readers. This blog entry today will be a short one. Neither of us is feeling up to par and we’re taking the day off. Don’t worry, KeeKee will take good care of me. :-)

I’m creating this short entry just so it won’t look like we forgot our loyal readers.

We’ll be back on Friday with a new blog entry. Until then, enjoy your day, take care and happy reading.

Tweet, Tweet, Twitter

Greetings, readers. For approximately two years I’ve been on the social media network called Twitter. I like it very much and it’s great fun. I follow almost all the Star Trek stars, some of my personal friends, and tons of sports teams. It’s nice to keep up with what’s going on in short little Tweets, as they say.

When I first began, I had a devil of a time compacting my thoughts into the 140 character allotment. I kept forgetting that every hit of the space bar counted as a character. In two years, I think I’ve gotten somewhat better at being more succinct. It’s actually a challenging writing exercise for me to think of what I want to say and then make it fit. I will confess that on a few occasions I do need to compose two connected tweets because what I need to say just can’t be chopped down.

My pros for Twitter are these: I like its current format and relative ease on how to find everything. Now that I am used to it, that is. It is easy-peasy to follow people and 35 people have followed me back – including the Minnesota Vikings pro football team.

My cons for Twitter are these: My biggest one – I know it’s because I’m not famous – is that almost no one replies to me. I can count the number of responders on one hand. Including my cousin, and a video gamer who goes by the handle Jamin000, and an inspirational blogger with cerebral palsy. Another con is that sometimes, especially early on, my blog entry would not appear in my Twitter feed as it should have, and I would need to go back and re-establish the link in WordPress. In the last few months it has been working much better in both my social media places.

Now here is something that is both a pro and a con: You don’t need to have someone following you to follow them. That makes lurking a little bit easier. On Facebook, you have to either like someone if they are famous, and have them like you back, or send a friendship request and have that person accept it before communication begins. To me, I like that little bit of added security.

Rebecca and I both have the habit of checking Twitter and Facebook one after the other. The two seem to go together. I must admit to liking Facebook a wee bit more. However, the more I use Twitter, the more comfortable I get with it.

If I had to give Twitter a mark out of 10, I would give it a healthy 8.5. I’m not the kind of person who would stay on something such as this if I didn’t really like it.

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

Reconnecting with friends 2: massive fail

Greetings, readers. Over the years I’ve lost touch with some friends and I miss them. Some I have reconnected with, especially through Facebook, but a few I am still looking for so that I can re-establish the friendship. On two separate occasions this past weekend I came oh so close to making contact with friends from long ago. Thanks to an internet service, for a very inexpensive price, I was able to get leads on my two friends. After plugging in their correct middle initials, I was happy to see that I had indeed found the people I was looking for.

I tried to call friend number one and got the family’s answering machine. I could tell right away it was my friend’s husband, who does know me quite well. My mom and I have visited with them many times on our Maine vacation trip when we would stop overnight in Connecticut. I left a detailed message on the answering machine and either they don’t remember me – which would be disappointing – or the message was never relayed to my friend. I’m sure she would have called me. Oh, and yes, I did leave my phone number.

That same afternoon I found a friend of mine from junior and high school who still lives here locally. Yesterday afternoon with address in hand, I went to the house. I must admit I was a little nervous. But when the young gentleman answered the door, I explained who I was and why I was there. To my disappointment, I learned that the information from the website was outdated and that friend number two no longer lived there. Oh, if I had only done this a year ago. To think, every time I went to Denny’s, she was a stone’s throw away.

Maybe I’m not supposed to find my friends. Perhaps it’s not in the cards. I’ve asked for help on Facebook, hoping that perhaps friend number two’s brothers will see it and respond. Then I realized for them to see it they have to be on Facebook, and to my knowledge they are not. So, I could not ask them directly where their sister is.

I’ve decided I’m not going to push the issue and I’m going to back off for a while. If I’m meant to reconnect, it will happen. I hate losing friends, I always have. I’d give my left arm to know where my junior college girlfriend is today, but she is probably married with a wonderful family of her own. I was never very good in the romance department. That’s why I am about to become 50 years old and am still unmarried.

As far as the rest of this work week goes, yes a new blog will be up on Friday on a yet unknown topic. I’m sure that Rebecca and I will come up with a good idea. I’m struggling today to deal with the weather. It is raining, not snowing, but it is that cold damp rain. I knew it was coming because this morning my left knee was aching. As my mom used to say, I have accuknee, instead of Accuweather.

Until Friday, take care, have a great day and happy reading.

Top ten list of things I like about myself, to stave off depression

Greetings, readers. Two nights ago, I was suffering from a terrible bout of acute depression. Last night was better and today I am my cheerful self. I am very happy to report this. I’ve decided that this top ten list will describe my positive qualities; I can think about them when I’m down.

#10. I’m a caring person. [Sometimes I go out on a limb and be what a friend used to call too nice. Can a human being actually care too much???]

#9. I try not to gossip. [Gossip leads to drama and there is enough drama in my apartment building. Because of this drama, I tend to stay in this apartment more than I should, but that’s okay.]

#8. I am a very young at heart 49-year-old. [Most of the time I still feel like a big kid.]

#7. I am a hopelessly old-fashioned romantic. [This one is a double-edged sword. When I think about how romantic I can be, I remember that at this moment I don’t have a girl-friend. Oops.]

#6. I try to be as independent as I can. [However, I’m not afraid to ask for help when I need it. I think some people would be.]

#5. When I do drive the Zipcars, I am a very safe driver. [Driving gives me back some control and independence that I’ve lost in recent years.]

#4. I am usually optimistic and have a never say die attitude. [When Dave and I would be playing sports when we were kids, he would tell me how much he admired the fact that I just never gave up. When you are losing 42 to nothing, most people would.]

#3. I am keeping my apartment clean to a better degree. [My bedroom is three-quarters finished and surprisingly the worse area is now the living room, which unfortunately doubles as our office.]

#2. As instilled in me by my parents, I am polite to my elders. [No matter what happens in the apartment building where lots of elderly people live, I will not lose my temper with my elders in their presence. That is just not how I was raised.]

#1. Even though I don’t have any of my own, I am excellent with children. [When I joined David’s family many years ago as Uncle Joey, all the nieces and nephews came to love me as though I was truly one of the family. Now that they have children of their own, it’s happening all over again. I am truly blessed.]

{Special from Rebecca. Joe is a very good friend. He is loyal, thoughtful, and accepting. If you are one of his friends, you are a lucky person indeed. When we were in high school I was a mess, and projected a vibe of leave me alone. One day Joe sat down next to me and started talking, as if I was open and approachable. So I responded as if I was. And then a friendship began. I am blessed to have him in my life.}

Well, there they are. I hope that some people can look at this, and if not get inspired, at least get a smile out of it. Until next week, have a good weekend, happy first day of spring, and happy reading.

Decisions, decisions

Greetings, readers. Life is full of decisions. From a very early age I always had to make decisions of what I was going to do that day. Would I wear my red sweater or my yellow sweater? When Dave came down to play, would we play Wiffle ball or Nerf football? As the years went on, and I got into high school, those decisions were more long-term. What college was I going to? What should I major in? Etc.

To answer those last two questions, I stayed home here in State College, Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University, majoring in Liberal Arts and taking some night-time writing classes. Around the age of 20, I had to decide what I was going to do with my life. I wanted to be a writer. I’ll be honest with you readers. I wrote a lot more back then. I could put classical music or a Star Wars record on in the background  and type for hours. For some reason, now I can no longer do this.

More recent decisions have dealt with my writing career and its recent lack of productivity. Yes, Darren is still working on turning my play Kimberly into a novel called Four’s a Crowd, and that is showing remarkable promise. When she is home, Rebecca is the editor of the project and is currently proofreading it. I am trying to figure out what I am going to be doing next. I firmly believe that it’s going to be a fan-fiction script for a web-series called Star Trek Continues. I came up with a very good outline, with Rebecca’s help, but after looking at it more closely, I realized that my idea was perilously close to an episode from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  I told Rebecca, and I’m promising you my readers, this project is not dead. It’s just on hold for a while until I can come up with an idea that is more my own.

As far as decisions for later in life, they would include: Where am I going to live in my golden years? Will I move to sunny Florida, steamy Arizona, or California? Probably not. Something tells me that I shall remain here in State College the rest of my life. Mom and Dad are buried here, and actually my plot is also there, near my mother.

The decision whether or not to get a used car, to take a cruise, or to marry again are the three big ones. At this point, due to finances, the cruise might be a fantasy. The vehicle will always remain on my wish list. And a second wife, well … time will tell.

Until tomorrow, when I hope to have the top ten list I am working on completed and ready to go, take care, think spring, happy belated St. Patrick’s Day, and happy reading.