Thinking about my writing career after my baseball game crashed

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Greetings, readers. I awakened this morning at 4:00 as usual to do my morning routine, which consists of making coffee, checking my Facebook account, and updating the day’s goings on with the Steam video game Out of the Park Baseball 18, where I have created my version of the World Baseball League. Well, yesterday as work hours with Rebecca were ending, the computer threw a whole boatload of updates at me and this morning my game file was gone.

I want it made clear right now, I do understand that this baseball league was a game and completely fictitious, but I am still feeling a weird sense of loss because my month and a half of game playing is gone. I came up with my own teams, uniforms, and logos for the caps, and even a few names for some players. I was perfecting my league. I was the league’s commissioner. And now all those hours perfecting the league are gone. I am completely in a funk. Am I going to call my therapist? No. I think I can drag myself out of this on my own.

The one thing this incident does prove is that my creativity and imagination for being a writer must still be there. That is good news because my dream of being a writer has not completely died. Although Bear Spring Camps book 3 is looking less and less likely, either a new book of blog entries or a book of my own short stories might be a plausible option. When I was in my 20s, I wanted to be a writer so bad. I could dream up anything at anytime. Then the seizures hit and as I get older it is becoming increasingly more difficult to create.

Now to update on my feet. As I mentioned before in the blog, I slipped and fell a few weeks ago and am okay except for my feet which I stand on for 5 hours every work shift. Just when I think everything is healing, I come home from work and it feels like there is an elephant sitting on them. This is almost enough to make me want to quit my job. There is only one problem; I like the income too much. It is solving a great number of problems.

Lastly, here is my plan for the rest of the day. I have an appointment this afternoon at 3:00 and dinner with a friend this evening at 7:00. Squished in between that and after dinner, I am going to try to recreate the World Baseball League on the game. Once I delete the whole file, there will be no going back. But it is most doubtful that I can get the old file to run correctly. There went a month and a half. 😦 (Quick question: Does anybody know what a SQUILE file is? That is what the computer says it is missing to run the World Baseball League’s file.) I have to get to sleep no later than 11:00 if I am going to function at all at work tomorrow morning. I do not see myself getting up at 4:00am. I am a tad worried because my body does not do well when I change my daily routine. If I take my pills at a later time, sometimes they don’t work as effectively.

Well, what do you know, a two-day work week, and a happy anniversary to Rebecca on our 7 years of working together. We’ve done short stories, essays, three books, one editing of a play, and now we are working on the novel that Darren adapted from that play. As far as I know, next week will be a two-day work week also. I will need to check my schedule at my fast food job.

So until Wednesday, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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Rebecca and I have been working together for 7 years tomorrow

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Greetings, readers. I can’t believe it has been seven years already since Rebecca agreed to be my typist and editor. That job quickly morphed into personal assistant, but that is okay. The main job is writing. After almost seven years together, we have put out over 600 blog entries, three books, and part of a book (written by Rebecca’s husband Darren) based on a play I wrote before we started working together. Oh, and by the way, that book is coming soon.

Yes, we’re very excited about Four’s a Crowd. Although we still have one or two edits to go, I’ve read the project and it is awesome. You’ll love it. Very soon Rebecca is going to begin putting it into the CreateSpace formatted templet, cutting and pasting each chapter in place, and we need to write a book description, before uploading the file to the publisher. Then it will be time to order proofs and we are going to do our final edit right on the pages. Proofs are never for sale, so what the heck, let’s mark them up.

When the book comes out, I’m going to go to Webster’s bookstore across the street and ask the owner, a personal friend of mine, if she would take several copies on consignment and push them. The worst thing she could say is no. I already have a few people from Facebook who I will go out on a limb and say will be guaranteed buyers. I have one phrase for you folks: Spread the word … please.

I’m extremely excited about this project, and Darren, who had lost all hope when things were moving slowly, has renewed enthusiasm as well. I’m not going to set an exact release date, but let’s just put it in the ballpark of January or February of 2018. I think we can do it. Updates as they happen.

Finally, prayers and good wishes go out to those families affected by the California wild fires, and by Hurricane Nate. I don’t know how long those fires will burn, but from what I saw on TV, they have already ruined several wine vineyards. Expect the price of wine from California to skyrocket. Also, an R.I.P and condolences to Tom Petty, a great singer, and his grieving family and friends.

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful day, take care, and happy reading.

Re-post of an entry about my Cerebral Palsy

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Greetings, readers. As I wrote yesterday, I have a shift at my job today and left the blog to Rebecca. She said she would either write a new post or re-post a little-read-but-worthy one just like she did last week, and it turns out she chose to re-post. She picked one from the end of my second full year of blogging, where I wrote about my Cerebral Palsy and how it worked in my life. Thank you for reading. I’ll be back next week.

CP and me

November 15, 2013

Greetings, readers. This is my one and perhaps only blog entry dealing completely with my affliction from cerebral palsy. I have been looking at blogs and websites about CP for a project, and have connected with a couple of people in the same boat, and I now have my own case on my mind. I have mentioned my CP in this blog here and there, but I have not done a post about it and how it effected my life.

I have had it since birth and will die with it. However, thanks to my well-meaning but over-protective parents, I didn’t know I had it until around the age of 16. Up until that point, I was simply told that I had a weak left side and the whole topic of being different from other people really didn’t come up at the dinner table.

Let’s start from childhood. Vivid memories of Tuesday evening swimming lessons at the Bellefonte, Pennsylvania YMCA conjure up images of cold swimming pools and a little boy trying not to drown. I remember thinking to myself that I should be able to do what all the other kids were doing – swimming. I could just barely tread water. I knew it was time to quit when my favorite part of the evening was when it was time to leave, and I could put my quarter into the vending machine and get my plastic NFL helmet for my collection.

Around the age of 10 or so, I suffered what I still call to this day my klutz year. I was a normal active boy enjoying Nerf football and Whiffle ball, but in the span of twenty-one weeks I suffered three broken fingers, one smashed elbow, and a broken wrist … all on the same arm. The arm that I tended to fall to – the left. I was cast-free for one week before I smashed my elbow, then for one day before I clobbered my wrist. Not deterred from wishing to feel normal, I continued to play outdoor sports.

In my 20s, I remember playing racquet ball, with my friend from high school, which can be a brutal sport. We created our own game and called it Tenaquet. We served overhand and we gave each other two ball bounces rather than one. That aided my bad balance and Jim’s bad knee. What fun we had. When my knees and my back started to go haywire, I had to officially ‘retire’ from sports.

Around this time, it was becoming painfully obvious that attending Penn State University day classes was not for me. I was having a very hard time with taking notes and I was a horrible test taker. Later I figured out why. Even though I can read, my retention isn’t quite up to par. I had to withdraw and never did finish. I think Mom understood, but was in denial that her son couldn’t finish college. Just a couple of years ago, I found out from my Godmother that Mom had the measles when she was pregnant with me. This could explain why my brain didn’t develop correctly. Perhaps in some strange way she felt responsible. Which of course was ridiculous. Things happen.

As I briefly mentioned in other blog posts, things like my balance and fine motor skills are effected; not to mention the fact that I have seizures. But every day I do the best that I can do. I can just give people 100% of all I’ve got on any particular day.

On the positive side of my mild CP: I can walk, I can jog, I can drive a car. I can write. And I can give a fairly proficient air guitar show. Also, with the help of Flight Simulator X, I can even be, in a way, what I always wanted to be growing up as a kid, which was an airline pilot.

Overall I would have to say that my life has been good and I have learned to live with my mild disability as best I can. Having the knowledge as a child that I have CP may or may not have made a difference. Who knows, I might have been worse off. Unless someone invents a reliable time machine, I will never know.

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

The 52 year old kid

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Greetings, readers. I’ve often told myself and other people that I’m young at heart and I feel like a big kid. I really have not taken life seriously, upon reflection. At age 15, I should have gotten the job that I have now, which is a cashier at a local fast food restaurant. That is the time I should have learned the importance of saving money and having my own. Still my favorite recreation is playing video games or watching them on YouTube. I don’t sit down and write for hours and my hands have not had 35 years of hard labor. What does this say about me?

I’m about to open up a little bit and share. My mom, God rest her soul, loved me and yes, overprotected me. I was basically taught that everything would be okay and that I would be provided for, I think because of my disability. To young parents: This is a mistake. While I had a happy childhood, and young adulthood, I’m still trying to straighten out the curves thrown at me later in life.

At this point of my life, I had envisioned myself writing several books, a couple of plays, and maybe even a pilot for a TV series. Well, only a fraction of those things actually came to pass. I guess I’m alright with that. But at age 52, with a brain that’s been slightly damaged by seizures and dulled by medication I don’t know how much creative writing I have in me for future projects.

When I sit down to play my games, I can lose myself in my own little world and forget all my worries, such as my handicaps, and my monetary situation. Then the phone will ring, or I’ll have to put laundry in the dryer, or go buy that jug of milk, and back to the real world I come. I can do it. Sometimes I just don’t like to.

Is this escapism? Or just a single guy wanting to have a hobby? There’s a question for you. If I were to ask my therapist, she would probably say it is a little bit of both. Am I going to change my ways and become Mr. Ultra Serious Man? Hell, no. I don’t want frown lines on my forehead. The Lord made me the way He wanted me to be, and that is good enough.

I again have a work shift tomorrow, so Rebecca will be putting up the blog from home, either a fresh one from her, or another re-post of a previous blog from me – most likely from my third year of blogging.

Now we have some good news to share with you. I have decided, with Rebecca and Darren’s go ahead, to begin final editing work on our novel, Four’s a Crowd. As my older readers may remember, it is based on my play Kimberly from several years back, which Darren adapted into a novel with my imput. I think Darren was excited when we had our conference call this morning. It was bugging me no end that my work from days gone by and his recent very hard work had stalled in the mud. I see this on CreateSpace for sale by February 2018 … earlier if we get our butts in gear. 🙂

Before we close, prayers go out to the families and survivors effected in the senseless shooting in Las Vegas. There are people like that in the world who do monstrously terrible acts. As I understand it, he committed suicide. What a coward. He didn’t have the courage to serve his jail time and pay for his crimes. Now he will have to deal with a Higher Power and face his final judgement there.

Well, that is the news from today. Until next time, have a great day, take care, and as always, happy reading.

I can’t be here today so I am sharing an older blog post with you

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Greetings, readers. As I wrote yesterday, I am at my job today, so Rebecca picked out a blog post from my second full year of blogging to re-post. She looked for one that has not showed up in our stats since the year it was written and that she thinks is good enough to be seen again. She chose one that she said was heartfelt and might appeal to many readers. When she mentioned it to me yesterday, I thought it was a good choice, too. So here it is, I hope you like it. I will be back with a new entry next Wednesday.

R.I.P to legendary sportscaster Pat Summerall

April 17, 2013

Greetings, readers. Yesterday word went out that Pat Summerall died at age 82. I loved listening to him broadcast games, with Tom Brookshier, and later with John Madden. I will miss his voice.

Pat Summerall was a sports broadcaster from 1962, when CBS hired him, to 2011 when he did pre-game coverage for the Cotton Bowl.

He played football from 1952 until 1961 for the Detroit Lions, the Chicago Cardinals, and the New York Giants. The following year CBS picked him up and he began his broadcast career including a record 16 Superbowl broadcasts.

Personally, even though I knew that he was a football player in the 50s and 60s, my earliest recollection was watching a weekly show called This Week in Pro Football. He and his partner Tom Brookshier would recap the games from the previous week. I enjoyed their narration style, the slow motion instant replay, and certainly that NFL films soundtrack playing while they showed the clips. That show ran from the late 60s through the 70s, according to Wikipedia. Pat and Mr. Brookshier also played themselves in the famous 1977 movie Black Sunday, in which terrorists plotted to crash the Goodyear blimp into the Orange Bowl stadium during Superbowl X.

After that, I would watch Pat and Tom broadcast a couple more seasons of NFL games before new partner John Madden came in. Summerall and Madden were the team to beat as broadcasters go for many, many years.

Pat Summerall also broadcast golf tournaments. As I am not a golf fan, I did not partake.

On a side note, as with many famous people, he did voice overs for shows. He did an episode of the Simpsons with his partner John Madden.

I would put Mr. Summerall’s voice right up there with my all time favorites: Dick Enberg, who still broadcasts San Diego Padres baseball games, and the late Curt Gowdy.

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

It’s going to be a hectic few weeks

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Greetings, readers. Until further notice, Rebecca and I are going to have a different work schedule. She will come in on Wednesdays as usual, and we will write the blog entry, check the mail, and have the weekly meeting with my accountant. For the next two to three weeks, quite possibly, I will have work shifts at my job on Thursdays, in addition to my regular shifts on Fridays and Saturdays. My poor aching feet! This means that Rebecca will be working from home and doing that day’s blog entry. It’s not an ideal situation for my creative writing, but we can make do.

I’m kind of in a dark place right now emotionally, but that never lasts very long. I feel myself slipping into a rut, then every other Friday I see my pay come into my bank account and all is right with the world again. In the next few days I am going to sit down, re-prioritize a few things, and get back to my happy place.

Today is the last day of our Indian Summer, thank goodness. Today’s high is 86 degrees fahrenheit and tomorrow might not even reach 70. Yes, I will admit it, it is going to feel so good. I know I tend to talk about the weather too much here in the blog, but 86 degrees in late September is a bit much. President Trump, are you sure you don’t want to change your mind about climate change?

After work hours today, I have to do a quick load of laundry and go visit my friend Traci at the hospital. The poor dear broke her ankle yesterday. It was not exactly the birthday present she was hoping for. After that is home to bed to get ready for job work shifts Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

I enjoyed the football games this past weekend, with one notable exception. I want to speak briefly about the trend in sports with players failing to show respect for our National Anthem. Before I get to that, let me mention my biggest pet peeve about the whole thing. I’m going to say it once and once only: Black players talk about their race; are we not all of the human race? I do believe they are referring to their ethnicity. I am the same race as all other people: Black, Asian, Latino, etc., but a different ethnic background. There I have now scratched the chalkboard with my nails. I hope in the future people will learn not to mix up these two terms. Now back to the games this weekend. For a couple of hundred years or so at sporting events there had never been a problem that I know of with putting your hand over your heart for the National Anthem, why should there be a problem now?

After I dictated the paragraph above, Rebecca and I got into a discussion to answer my question. She talked about the reason that the original player, Colin Kaepernick, began to take a knee during the National Anthem, to protest black people getting killed by the police and not getting justice in the courts for it. I didn’t know that. She acknowledged that this weekend many of the people on the fields taking a knee or linking arms were protesting being told to give up first amendment rights by the President, or having him tell the NFL who to fire. Which she knows is also a worthy cause. Though she also hoped that the linked arms were also a message to black people that the NFL supports their rights, too. It was a good discussion. Here is my take on it.

Although I agree with the right to protest, I am just afraid that this might mushroom into something where people putting their hands over their hearts will be the exception rather than the norm. Personally, I’ve not gone to many live games, but the few I have, I’ve either placed my hand over my heart or saluted the flag. The flag of the United States means a lot to me. Even though I never lost a family member to war, I know that the military protects those freedoms that sometimes I take for granted. The flag represents those freedoms.

Okay, I’m done ranting now. For tomorrow’s blog post, Rebecca is going to go back into the archives to pick a good entry that hasn’t been viewed much and share it again. I will be back next Wednesday with a new post. We will get back to our regular two-day work week as soon as possible.

Finally, prayers and good wishes go out to the people in Puerto Rico and the other Caribbean islands who have been so devastated by Hurricane Maria. Also to the folks in the Everglades and all the victims of the recent storm activity. This also includes the people in Mexico still recovering from the earthquake and aftershocks.

Until tomorrow for Rebecca and next week for me, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Sharing another story from my second book with you

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Greetings, readers. I am sharing a story, “Going Down the Runway,” from my second camp book, published in 2012 from CreateSpace.com. I have written three books that I published using CreateSpace, a publish-on-demand site which I have had good experiences using. I am proud of all of them and the hard work I put into them. All three books are available through CreateSpace, or through Amazon. The first two, about Bear Spring Camps, are also available on Kindle (I haven’t put the third one on that platform yet.) In case you are interested in looking them up, here is the information to find them. You can find most of same information on the Books for Sale page.

My first book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, is available on my e-store, https://www.createspace.com/3625476, Amazon.com, and Amazon Kindle. I have shared two stories from this book in the blog before, about a tribute to my mother the year she passed away, and about when I fell asleep fishing.

My second book, Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, is the one I am sharing a story from today. It is available on my e-store, https://www.createspace.com/3674407, and Amazon.com and Amazon Kindle. I shared one story from this book already, about a run-away boat.

My third book, Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, has entries from my first year of doing this blog. It is available on my e-store, https://www.createspace.com/3678800, and Amazon.com.

Without further ado, here is the story. I certainly hope you enjoy it.

Going Down the Runway – The worst mishap the Galileo ever
endured was due to lack of planning. It was a hot breezy afternoon.
David, Pop, and I decided to cool ourselves down with a long boat
ride. Mom decided to stay behind on the porch with a cool drink. We
were going to go to the other side of Great Pond where any breeze
might be stronger. It was an area that none of us went to very often.
After we got back, I wished that I had, the night before, asked Mr.
Mosher for a lake map that I could study before we left. But I didn’t.

The ride started out in North Bay as usual. We then started
making our way through Chutes Channel to the other side. We were
enjoying our ride with the Galileo’s throttle open to full. She was
getting a good workout. On this rare occasion, I was not at the helm.
Dave had taken a turn driving and then Pop took his turn; a rarity for
Dad. I should have been paying attention to his driving so that I
could assist him as needed, but I didn’t think of it.

It was during Pop’s turn at the wheel when the minor tragedy
occurred. We were on our way back to North Bay (where we knew
what the markers meant) but we were unsure of the markers on the
other side. He had to navigate the Galileo in an area where rocks
were abundant. On one side was a row of green markers and on the
other side, approximately ten yards away on the left, was a row of
red markers. Pop must have thought that in between the rows of
markers was the danger zone. As it turns out, it was the safe passage.
Just like landing an aircraft, we should have aimed right down the
middle of the runway. Pop veered to the right toward the rocks.

By this point in the ride, I was sitting in the front passenger area
half asleep. I got a rude awakening. As the propeller smacked
against a boulder just underneath the water surface, the Galileo came
out of the water for a fraction of a second. Pop immediately brought
the boat to a halt. As he lifted the engine up with the automatic
lifting device, he asked, “Davey, do you see any damage?”

Dave, though not really wanting to be the bearer of bad news,
replied, “Um, yes, sir, there is.”

I quickly walked back to where the engine was. Luckily the boat
itself was undamaged. To this day, I don’t know how the propeller
was the only thing that hit the rock, but it happened. With the
propeller in the mangled shape it was in, we weren’t getting out of
that spot on our own. I reached into the glove box, got the air horn, and blew it to call for help. After several minutes, someone came to
our aid and carefully got us out of the rocky situation we were in.

Once back in deep water, the ride home was slow but
uneventful. The propeller was just useable enough for us to drive our
boat back to our dock at the slowest possible speed, although the
engine put out a rough quiver. I kept thinking to myself, now how
am I going to explain this to Mother? Pop assured me that he would
take full responsibility. I felt guilty, yet relieved.

That evening, Mother went up to supper early to place a call to
the marina right before it closed. A mechanic was up the next
morning to not only install the new propeller but to inspect the
engine for any other damage. To my relief, when the new propeller
was put on, everything else checked out ok. Mom told all of us that
she would greatly appreciate it if we would stay on our side of the
lake.

The next morning, Uncle Cy, David, and I planned and partook
of a fishing trip. The engine started up as usual and ran smoothly. I
purposely opened her up to full throttle to check for any vibration.
Thankfully, it was as though the entire incident never happened.

A month or so later, when the marina bill was sent to our home
in Pennsylvania, Mom showed me how much the new propeller cost.
I felt like crawling under the rock that we had hit.

My feet and legs are still on the mend

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Greetings, readers. Although I have a little bit of walking to do in town today, which can’t be helped, I plan to spend the majority of the day off my ailing feet. I am still recovering from my fall the other week, where apparently I twisted my left knee badly. After yesterday’s work shift, I sat down to my crew meal and when I got up my legs almost couldn’t support me. This is when it is time to throw the bottle of pain reliever in the tote bag. Tomorrow before my extra work shift, I’ll go ahead and take two Aleve.

I’m filling in for someone tomorrow and it will only be the second time I’ve worked three days straight. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I am a part-timer. As I believe with most people, once you are on the job and working, you don’t have time to complain or think about discomfort. For me, getting up at 5:00 to do the few things I need to do on my computer as I have my morning coffee, means that I go to bed around 9:00pm. Under normal circumstances, that would be a wee bit early for me, but when I am tired, I sleep.

Speaking of sleep, when I get those extra hours, I’ve noticed that I have pretty vivid dreams. Recently I’ve been dreaming about my parents, and Bear Spring Camps in an altered form. Just a couple of nights ago, I somehow took a chainsaw and destroyed my mom’s car. Then I wanted to drive it. She told me, no you can’t drive anymore. This, I am sure my therapist would say, is me telling myself that I should not own a car for a multitude of personal reasons.

I’m still having tons of fun with Out of the Park Baseball 18, but if any of you, my readers, know the answer to the upcoming question, please chime in here or on Facebook: All my players’ injuries seem to be season-ending. Does anyone know a way to adjust injure severity mid-season? Or do I have to wait until the next season rolls around to make adjustments? I am losing so many players on my Pittsburgh Steel Hounds, and the entire league is as well. I’ve searched through the manual and screen pages to see if I can adjust the severity of said injuries. So far, no such luck. I even went so far as to go on Twitter and tweet Out of the Park Baseball 18 directly and so far they have not replied. I still feel it’s the best baseball simulation ever made, with MLB The Show a close second.

Finally, I get a chuckle when Rebecca and I go through our stat numbers and the blog entry about my restful summer comes up. I met none of these goals, nor am I going to any time soon. I work four days a week and quite literally need to be off my feet as much as possible on my days off. With me having my job, this summer and now early fall has been way more hectic, but also fulfilling, than I ever thought it would be. I actually enjoy hopping on the bus early, getting my breakfast there, and clocking in. So far, so good, except for some construction woes. It seems like State College goes through a multitude of construction every summer. On this particular project going through the main artery of town, a problem arose and they had to redo all of it. One time I sat on the bus for 20 minutes and moved half a block. My job has a policy that if you call in and let them know that you on a bus delayed by traffic, it is an excused lateness.

So much for my hodgepodge couple of days. Until next time, I bid you a good day, take care, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: Yes, another one from me

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As Joe wrote yesterday, he has a follow-up doctor’s appointment for the foot he hurt in a fall last week, so I am bringing you today’s blog post. It seems like I have been doing this a lot in the last couple of months, for one reason or another, starting with Joe’s annual trip to Bear Spring Camps in Maine and then both of us have had some personal appointments on Thursdays. I like writing here, but I am aware that regular readers probably come for Joe’s unique voice and what he shares on this blog page.

Those of you who are long-time readers know that this is not our normal pattern, we usually go a month or so between From Rebecca posts, and Joe does both the entries each week. Life is hectic for us right now, and Joe’s job at a fast food restaurant has pulled a lot of his energy and time, but I do expect us to go back to the normal writing schedule soon.

I first met Joe in high school and we remained friends since then. I became his writing assistant in 2010, mainly to type for him as his cerebral palsy makes it slow and difficult for him to do that task for his writing work. He started this blog in December of 2011, with him dictating, me typing, and both of us editing. We have a good system down that we have used to put at least one new blog entry on this site every week for almost six years. I am very proud of that, and I know that Joe is too. When I post this entry, if will be the 654th one on this blog site.

We see from this site’s statistics that daily views are steadily getting higher. Joe has big spikes in views once in a while, usually when he writes something about Bear Spring Camps and links it to their Facebook page, but it looks like some people are staying around after the surges. To all of you who are long-term readers, thank you so much, we really appreciate you coming here so long. To all of you who are newer readers, welcome, and we hope you enjoy the voice and topics so much that you stick around.

Joe will be back next week, and as far as we know now, he will do the blog entry for both Wednesday and Thursday. As he would say, until then, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Out of the Park Baseball 18 is a hoot

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Greetings, readers. About a month ago I purchased from Steam a really good-looking baseball video game. I watched the trailer, and thought to myself, that’s for me. The price was right, and I love sports games, so I clicked purchase and downloaded it. My fun was just beginning.

Obviously I was going to take a good look around the game to see what it had to offer. I quickly learned that the graphics when playing a game are something from the 1990s. That, my readers, is this game’s only downfall. OOTPB18 more than makes up for the bad graphics with every conceivable statistic you could want and several game modes you can choose from. You can be the manager of the team or the general manager and hire and fire as you see fit. You can play a season from any year 2017 all the way back to the beginnings of baseball, including the Negro leagues. I’m not certain if all the correct players are there since the Negro leagues were before my time, but I imagine that they have as many correct names as they could find, with all appropriate statistics. There is an on-line mode which someday I will try out and all major league teams have their own appropriate farm systems in place. lt is such fun to watch the Portland Sea Dogs – the Boston Red Sox AA team – play a season.

Now, for my favorite part. You can create your own league. When I saw this, I went bananas. I spent an entire evening putting together my new league. The NABL, or North American Baseball League. I have two teams in Mexico, one in Cuba, and yes, Montreal has a team again, the Montreal Mounties. With me being from Pittsburgh, you just know I had to have a team representing my home city. The Pittsburgh Steel Hounds got off to an 8-2 start and have fallen on hard times since. I tried to renegotiate a new contract with my best player and when he didn’t respond, I withdrew the offer, intending to make it better, but to my surprise and utter disappointment, he, “will no longer negotiate with this team.” Now I know how George Steinbrenner felt.

Another cool feature is the daily news page, complete with newspaper, all the leagues’ activities, team injuries, and standings. It’s your whole league in a nutshell. This is what I do when I get up in the morning; I check my team’s page as I sip my morning coffee.

Also, there is a fantastic feature called real-time simulation. When activated, the games will be played at true-to-life speed. You see just the box scores in this mode, which in itself is intriguing. If there is a pitching change needed in any of the games, there will be a pause of a few minutes. That is how real this game is. If you choose to view the game, it will speed up again.

This is one of those games that I am going to discover something new about a month from now. It is never going to get old to me. Me and my North American Baseball League will be very happy I’m sure for many seasons to come.

Here is my final score, no pun intended. Graphics: 4 out of 10. On-line mode: bravo, lets give that a 10. Statistics: 10. Ease of Operation: 9. Features: 9.5. Bringing the final score to a 8.5.

A side note for you. Because of my fall last week I have a follow-up doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning. I didn’t want to take another personal day, but I also don’t want to damage the foot if there is something wrong that can be taken care of now. Rebecca will have another blog up tomorrow, and I will be back next week, hopefully for both blog days.

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