Bear Spring Camps opening and other goings on

Greetings, readers. I pretty much stuck to my to-do list this past week, but I had one miserable failure. I was supposed to work on two chapters on the new camp book. I actually sat down many times but either the phone rang, nature called, or someone knocked on the door. I know interruptions should not be an excuse, but for someone who has slight brain damage from seizures and concussions, it is an excuse. I’m bound and determined to get this last camp book published, but I doubt it will be before I go to camp this August.

Speaking of camp, Bear Spring Camps either opened this past Saturday or it will open soon. I always enjoy knowing my favorite place in the entire world is open for business. It is a short season but that is probably dictated by weather and the fishing season. I still have my video tapes from Maine from many years ago, hidden away somewhere in my walk-in closet. Once in a while I’ll stumble upon one, take it out, and watch it. Even those that were taken in the mid-1980s still have excellent picture and sound quality.

On to another topic now. I wrote a Facebook post just the other day after learning that actresses Peggy Lipton and Doris Day had passed away. I made mention in said post that famous people seem to pass away in threes. Wouldn’t you know it, the next day, the wonderful Tim Conway went to his eternal resting place. It is strange how that works, but it happens a lot. I shouldn’t be surprised though, with me in my early 50s, all the wonderful actors and actresses I knew as a kid are either old or have died. It is a fact of life.

Before closing, I will mention the weather, simply because it is so gorgeous out today. A rarity for State College, Pennsylvania. It is a sunny day, a few puffy clouds, with warming temperatures and a light breeze. I would like to order a few more days like this, gift wrapped, please. At my estimation it has been a cool breezy spring and I can’t wait for the warmth of summer. Do I want a 100 degree plus heat wave? No, for I am not a kid anymore and cannot run and play. I might only be 53 years old, but sometimes these legs and hips just don’t want to move. Most mornings, readers, I will use my walker, and I am not too proud to say that, for I would rather use it than lose my balance and fall.

Prayers for the families of the great entertainers we lost recently, the Lipton family, Doris Day’s family, and of course the family of the great Tim Conway. Also, prayers to anyone who needs them.

I’m going to put up this weekend’s blog entry either late Saturday or Monday morning. I have an unusually hectic Sunday planned. So, until then, I bid you a wonderful few days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

Advertisements

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms & I’m enjoying my DVDs

Greetings, readers. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, grandmas and Aunts. This is your day, so enjoy all the pampering, the cards, and hopefully the lunches that you are taken out to. As many of my regular readers know, my mom passed away in 2003. However, I took my friend Smith, who is mom, grandma, and aunt all rolled into one, out to lunch at Panera café after church. The church sermon was wonderful, coffee hour was very enjoyable, and our lunch could not have been better. Smith said that I really made her day special.

Let’s see what else is new. I have been thoroughly enjoying my Charlie’s Angels DVDs, but I’m a little bit worried that part of season four is missing. There should be twenty discs; two per packet. I’m going to count them this afternoon. It just so happens that season four is my favorite season. Yes, readers, I did like the Shelley Hack season. Was she the best actress in the world? No. Nonetheless, I thought that season had a lot of good stories. Miss Hack went on to star in the short-lived series, Jack and Mike.

What is the weather like today you ask? It is raining, cool, and positively miserable. It is not good for Mother’s Day plans here in Central Pennsylvania. Hopefully moms don’t have picnics or any other such activities planned. I would dare venture to say that folks took a look at the weather forecast a day or two ago, and made plans accordingly.

Finally, I will be able to cross off this task from my new weekly to do list. I’ve done my banking for the week, almost finished the blog entry, and one other thing that I can’t even remember what it was. Lol. what I still need to do is start work on two chapters for the new camp book. I was going to do that Monday afternoon, but a friend of mine asked me to go to a movie. Perhaps I can get some writing done in the late morning, or the early evening. I must keep this project moving forward.

There is this Sunday’s blog entry. Rebecca and I will be back at it on Wednesday. So, until then, I bid you a fantastic few days, take care of one another, and as always, happy reading.

I scored the complete Charlie’s Angels series on DVD. Sweet!

Greetings, readers. After many years of searching, I finally found my dream DVD collection. I was a huge fan of the Charlie’s Angels TV series, from 1976 to 1981. Yes, Farrah Fawcett only lasted one year, plus a handful of episodes, and there were more cast changes than a successful TV show should have had, but I loved it non the less. So put on your bell bottom slacks, plug in your lava lamp, and get ready to take this stroll down my mid-70s memory lane.

In ’76 I was 11, and yes I liked girls already. Then came the show Charlie’s Angels in September of that year. I had always like detective shows and mysteries and along came three beautiful ladies in lead roles as detectives.

The original cast was Kate Jackson as Sabrina Duncan, Farrah Fawcett as Jill Munroe, and Jaclyn Smith as Kelly Garrett. During the first season, TV ratings were off the charts. Farrah Fawcett had posters galore, and was the hottest selling ticket in town. Perhaps I’m wrong, but if memory serves, it was more story in the early seasons and more body in the later years.

To the best of my knowledge, Farrah Fawcett left because she was dissatisfied with her role in the series but agreed to make guest appearances in the second season. Enter Cheryl Ladd who played Jill’s younger sister Kris Munroe, for the show’s final four seasons. I loved her! She had looks, acting ability, grace, and style.

At the end of season three, Kate Jackson departed and was replaced by Shelley Hack. During that fourth season, the show took a turn … not for the worst, but for the different. They decided to glamour up the girls. Shelley’s character, Tiffany Welles, was a high-class beautiful woman from the Boston area. Not your typical California beach babe. I liked it a lot, but apparently that didn’t go down so well with the show’s fan base. I read somewhere once that during the cast party at the end of season four, everyone was told how well they did that season and was asked back for season five, except for Shelley Hack, who was dismissed. As Stephanie Tanner would say, “How rude.”  For the fifth and final season, Tanya Roberts was added as Julie Rogers. At first I must admit, readers, I didn’t like her, but she grew on me. Side note, Tanya Roberts was the only Angel to also to be a Bond girl. I learned that recently when I watched 007’s A View to a Kill.

And we cannot forget, dear readers, lovable David Doyle as John Bosley, the office manager who always sat behind the big desk and tried not to lisp. Charlie was played by the incomparable John Forsythe who went on to star in Dynasty along with Joan Collins.

What did I love about this show? These stories were hardly ever about catching a bad guy while the Angels were wearing bikinis. It was not all sex. Did they have their scenes in bathing suits? Of course they did. But there were many episodes where they were not in swim wear at all. The stories were good, the acting above average, with guest stars a plenty, including Jim Backus, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, just to name a few.

The one thing I didn’t like about the series, was the treatment of Shelley Hack. Did she win an Emmy award for her acting ability? No. But if the series was only going to go on for one more year, why not keep the continuity?

This afternoon … if I can get my PlayStation 3 to turn on, I am going to dive in and binge watch. I’ll gain five pounds by tomorrow. Side note about me readers, I cannot watch TV without snacking. It’s my one really bad habit.

Do you have any favorite episodes or favorite Angels? Let me know in the comments section below, or on my Facebook page. I’m sure I’m not the only one to enjoy Charlie’s Angels. No need to be shy or embarrassed.

Until this weekend, have a wonderful few days, spread love around – this world can sure use it, take care and, as always, happy reading.

Top ten list of things I hate and love about going to a movie theater these days

Greetings, readers. When I was a teenager, I would go to the movies on a Friday evening about twice a month. These days, if I go to a movie theater twice a year, it is a lot. Today’s top ten list are reasons why I don’t like going to the movie theater anymore… Plus a few reasons why I do. So sit back, grab some popcorn and a soda, and get ready for today’s list.

#10. The overall quality of films today [There are still a lot of good films out there, but unless you’re into Marvel comics… which I am not, I have to search for something I am willing to spend beaucoup bucks on.]

#9. The lack of fan interaction [Unless you want to stand in a long line on opening night, most film showings play to half-empty theaters. To me, if there is no fan interaction, and the film is not ultra-exciting, it can be a most boring and expensive 90 minutes.]

#8. The price of a ticket [Now I know it was more money back then, but I remember the good old days when $1.50 got your matinee ticket and two dollars bought you an evening show ticket.]

#7. The price of popcorn and other such snacks [Continuing along the line of money, I find it absurd to pay 5 to 8 dollars for popcorn, and slightly less for a large drink. Not everyone is made of money, and can spend it just to see a flick.]

#6. The size of the theater [In 1977, when Star Wars came out… oh, I am sorry… Star Wars: A New Hope, it played at the Garden Theater which probably sat up to 250 people or more. It had the ground floor filled with seats, plus a big balcony. Today, many theaters will have rooms for perhaps 100 people. More rooms = more films = more money!]

#5. All the sequels lately [Star Wars has had its prequels and sequels, Star Trek has had numerous films with old crew and new; and dare we not forget the gazillion Fast and the Furious series. Let’s think of something new.]

Okay, now for four reasons why I still do enjoy going to the movies.

#4. Full theater surround sound [Today, when you are watching an action-packed film with plenty of explosions or sci-fi laser fire, it is so great to hear it all around you. This is something that you just could not get back in the 70s and 80s.]

#3. At least in my small metropolis, we have relatively new theaters [Sure, there was something wonderful about the classic old theater with its beautiful balcony, but the aforementioned Garden Theater caught fire due to old and faulty wiring. It was such a great loss.]

#2. Most movie theaters around here are kept up to a high standard [I cannot remember the last time I walked into a movie theater and it either smelt bad, or was excessively dirty. I’m not going to count the few popcorn kernels which fall out of bags that kids are carrying. Kids will be kids.]

#1. Even though it is outrageously expensive today, if the film is good, the theater is a great place to take a family and enjoy an evening out. [If you think it is expensive now, wait five years. Some people will be paying their entire week’s paycheck just to take a family of four to the movies.]

Well, there you have it. That’s today’s blog entry for you. I hope you enjoy it. It is the first top ten list which I have done solo, and I’m not sure how smooth it’s going to be. Until Wednesday, when Rebecca returns to help out, I bid you a wonderful rest of your weekend, take care, love one another and happy reading.

Why does Panera Cafe’s music have to be so dang loud?

Greetings, readers. As a lot of you know, from reading my blog, I normally start my day with friends Smith and Traci, enjoying coffee at Panera. Recently the music level has been that of a dance club. I’m not kidding. I’ve spoken to numerous managers about it, they all claim it is set at that volume level by corporate policy. However, the last two days out of three the music was at a wonderfully low volume, making it painfully obvious that if the managers really want it lower, they’ll do it.

What ever happened to the old adage that the customer was always right? I’ve asked on more than one occasion if they could please turn the music down. Some associates say yes, only to be overridden by their manager. “Oh, it’s corporate. We can’t do anything about that.” I’ve often wondered if it was an attempt to get people to not loiter in the café; to eat and get out. But students who are the steady customers of Panera will sit there as long as they are going to, regardless of how loud it is. Most just put earphones on. So if Panera is making the music loud to clear out their restaurants, it’s not working.

When I go over in the mid-afternoon, and there is about 100 people chatting away, I can barely hear the music. So if I am lucky enough to have any Panera corporate employee reading this blog, here is a suggestion: When you just open your store and there are a handful of people in it, set the volume lower and around lunchtime, feel free to crank it up.

The three musketeers, as we are known, love going to Panera for coffee, but if we truly can’t talk to one another in a normal voice, we might have to go elsewhere. There is a Sheetz, Webster’s Café, and a little coffee shop called Saints in the vicinity.

Well, let’s see what else is going on in the world. There was a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte … I thought guns weren’t allowed in schools. There is a blizzard in the Rockies … again I thought spring was here. And of course the mid-west states like Texas doesn’t need anymore rain. Have we really screwed up our planet this much? This is beyond climate change. To me this seems like the beginning of the end times. I’ve heard theories that this could be the last generation on earth and I’ve also heard theories that all things will even out and the weather will calm down eventually. One thing is sure, glaciers are melting and small islands are sinking under water. More than likely, they won’t come back. In a way I am glad I didn’t father a child, because that child would have inherited a world with an unfixable climate problem.

On to a nicer note, this Sunday I will dictate a top ten list, which I have never done without Rebecca before. I’m not exactly sure what the topic will be, but I will give it a go and make it as interesting as possible. The top ten lists seem to be a hit, so look for that this weekend.

Until then, do take care, love one another, let’s end all this damn fighting, and as always, happy reading.

I thought spring had sprung… and more

Greetings, readers. Here I thought spring had sprung, but Mother Nature had other plans. Today it was rainy, damp, and the high temperature was only 46°F. That’s not very warm for April 28th. I know that many years ago, we had snow in May. Yes, that can happen here in central Pennsylvania. In this college town however, when all the co-eds see the tree’s leaves turn green, they all run around half-naked. This is why half of them are sick during finals week.

That’s right, it’s finals week here at Penn State University. This Saturday and Sunday, the seniors will be graduating and moving on to their next phase of life. The undergrads get to go home for three months, before returning in late August to do it all over again. I can only imagine how loud Friday’s and Saturday’s parties are going to be.

From late morning until close, Panera Café is swarming with college kids either studying or hanging out sipping coffee. Between early May and mid-June, there is a wonderful lull in between the college students leaving, and public school children still having classes. After approximately June 10th, all hell breaks loose when the little ones are also set free for the summer.

Speaking of summer, the mid-July Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will be here before we know it. When I was younger, that was always the midpoint of summer. Yes I know that technically the summer season does not begin until June 21st, but it just seemed as though the second half of the summer went much faster than the first. Now that I’m older, I feel that way all the more. I love summer and hate winter, and my summer goes way too quickly for my liking.

Briefly, a spring cleaning update. My kitchen remains clean. Yay! I have begun work on the bathroom, which is the least dirtiest room in the apartment. All the towels were recently washed and put away, the shampoo bottle was placed on the rickety stand by the toilet, and such things as nail clippers and my comb were neatly placed at the back of the sink. Next up on the spring cleaning list of tasks is the dining room table/writing area. I am hoping that Rebecca does not think I want her to choose one phrase or the other here, because my computer lives on the dining room table. No, folks… I do not put my cereal bowl on top of my computer. That would just be asking for trouble.

Finally… and yet again… prayers go out to the families and victims of yet another senseless shooting, this time in a synagogue in San Diego, California. It’s time that state and national leaders step up to the plate and tried to put an end to this senseless violence. Maybe one day, my plea will be heard by someone who can do something about it. Before my malfunctioning computer goofs up again I’m going to close this entry, spell check it, and post it before my technology, and my patience, go splat!

Until Wednesday, have a great rest of your weekend, take care, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

Oops. sorry about that, and belated Happy Easter

Greetings, readers. I was completely embarrassed when Rebecca texted me informing me that I had forgotten to put up the weekend blog. I said a few minor expletives, apologized to her and asked if she could put up a short blog entry on Monday. She, of course, said sure. I just knew that one of these weekends it was going to slip my mind. If it was going to happen, it was logical that Easter weekend would be it. Sunday morning I went to church, came home, went out with friends for a buffet dinner, and after all that food and two desserts, I came home and slept like a log. My “nap” lasted until 10pm. Needless to say I didn’t sleep much the rest of the night. I hope your Easter was as good as mine, with many blessings and a wonderful day spent with family.

Topic number two. The apartment cleaning. Yes, April 22nd came and went and as promised to myself, I began work on the kitchen. Ready for your funny of the day? A person starts a major cleanup project with one new trash bag in the box and no disinfectant wipes. Sure, I’m prepared. Lol. I must say, it looks a lot better. Then I walk into the living room and I see just how much I have to do. Slow and steady wins the race.

I can’t believe that Bear Spring Camps opens in less than a month. I’m already getting into my camp routine. My TV cable has Music Choice, channels dedicated to playing different genres of music. I enjoy listening to their easy listening music station, and having about an hour or so of what I call wind down time right before bed, which may include listening to crickets, loons, or a thunderstorm on Spotify. Between Music Choice, Spotify, and YouTube, I can find almost any background “white noise” choice I desire. When I am actually at camp, and I’m by myself, I like to lock the screen door and have the wooden door open, turn off the lights, and sit on my sofa, while I watch the twilight disappear into darkness. The easy listening radio station in that area of Maine disappeared long ago. So I will either listen to nature or a cassette tape on low volume. Trust me, when you spend an entire day in the sun, the breeze, as well as eating three wonderful meals a day and expending energy, you are more than ready around 9pm to wind down and call it a day.

Finally, prayers go out to the injured and families of victims from the church bombings in Sri Lanka. I said it before and I will say it again, we need to stop the madness. People must learn to get along with one another and to treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Until this weekend … I hope … have a great few days, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: It has been a while since I wrote a blog entry

Hi, Joe’s readers. Joe got caught up in Easter yesterday, and didn’t get to do his usual Sunday entry. He has begun spring cleaning today, as he wrote he would, and he asked if I would do an entry for him. I said yes, I’d be happy to put something up.

I’m not sure what to write about that isn’t the weather (really nice yesterday and today), politics (does anyone else think that the media/congress should be focusing more on the Russia interference with our elections and government, as well as what Trump and Co knew or did), or health (my knees are sore or painful a lot this last month.) Joe and I are trying to pick different topics for the blog, other than the same ones. That’s why for the last post he did a list of his blessings.

It is a reminder to me of my blessings. My husband, my mother-in-law, my sisters and their children, all my parents, my books, my library, my television shows/movies, my technology, and the health and mobility I do have. I have struggles and problems, but I am so lucky, too.

Joe and I will be back at work on Wednesday, and then he will dictate another blog entry for you. Until then, have a good week, may you be safe and comfortable at the end of your day, and happy reading.

Top ten list of blessings in my life

Greetings, readers. Today I thought I would go upbeat with the blog entry. Recently I’ve been telling you about all the things that have been bothering me in my life, and today I thought I would go cheery. I am grateful for many, many things, even though sometimes I don’t always show it. So here is my top ten list of things for which I am grateful.

#10. My late kitty cat Keekee. [Not too long after I moved into Addison Court, I’d say less than a year, a friend of mine was moving out. She could not take the two cats she had with her and asked me if I wanted one for free. I’m glad I decided to try it, allergies notwithstanding. She was my buddy for one week short of 12 years.]

#9. Princess Josie. [This cat is completely different in demeanor than Keekee. I love her to pieces, but she is a little more rambunctious than my former furry feline.]

#8. Meals on Wheels. [Although they are not always dishes which I would consider my favorites, I do eat most of them and feel blessed to have them at such an economical price.]

#7. A place over my head. [No, it’s not the family house that we used to own, but it is two nice-sized rooms with fully functional kitchen and I enjoyed the great view from the top floor for 13 years. With the new building going up next door though, I’m going to lose most of that view.]

#6. Sentimental items from my parent’s home. [When I moved to this apartment 13 years ago or so, I vowed to take as many paintings as I could get. It gives the apartment a hint of my former home. For that I am extremely grateful. I also have my mom’s desk and a bookcase of which we make good use.]

#5. Good neighbors and friends in the building. [As in any community, there are good neighbors and neighbors you’d like to run over with your car. I’m very happy to say that I have most pleasant neighbors, with only a few exceptions. I’m a very easygoing man and can usually work around any people who cause conflict. I’m glad that so many of my neighbors are folks I am happy to call friends.]

#4. Rebecca. [Every book I’ve ever done would not be published without Rebecca. Not only is she a good friend, she is a fantastic typist and an awesome editor. In her role as personal assistant, she has kept me from missing numerous appointment. Kudos to Rebecca.]

#3. Working technology. [Yes, I do like my Steam games, and to watch movies on Netflix. Sometimes I lose myself in a fantasy world of baseball, or I’ll spend and entire evening watching James Bond pictures. I’m happy for the technology to do so, i.e. my computer and gaming system to watch Netflix and YouTube on my TV.]

#2. A great bus system. [As chance would have it, my apartment is steps away from a bus stop, where many of the buses I take stop at. Though, during the summer time, when the buses run on reduced service, I find myself having to walk downtown a few blocks to catch buses at the main stop, called the College Ave, and Allen St stop. Sure, I’d love to have my own vehicle, but this is the next best thing.]

#1. And yes, it is in order, is that at least for now, I can still go to Bear Spring Camps. [I might have to stop after this year or perhaps after next, but I am going to milk it for all it is worth. Bear Spring Camps, and those people I have known all my life, are my truest blessings.]

There is today’s top ten list, on this cheery topic. I hope everyone enjoys it. Please pray for everyone who needs it, and if you are inclined to and can, please consider donating to a fund to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Such a tragic loss. I plan to donate some money myself.

Until this weekend, have a fantastic few days, take care of your family, enjoy good weather if you have it, and as always, happy reading.

My spring cleaning begins a week from tomorrow

Greetings, readers. Yes, I have set my date of April 22nd, to begin my spring cleaning. I’m going to take this week to do lots of writing on my two projects. Work begins promptly at 9 AM tomorrow. I’ll also spend this week tweaking my spring and summer schedule, which not only includes the aforementioned, but also making plans for my trip to Maine in August.

We’ll begin with the trip to Maine. I began going to Bear Spring Camps in 1970, and have only missed three years. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this year… perhaps next, will be my last. As my monetary means run dry, I’m saving up for one last extraordinary vacation. I want it to be a cruise, but recently I’ve seen some articles about cruise ships that are making me think twice. When the time feels right, and the right deal pops up, I’m certain that the dream vacation on the sea will be a go!

With the sunrise earlier and earlier, I think it’s time that I begin getting out of bed before 6 AM. I used to wake up at 3:45 every morning, but that got a bit taxing on my body. So, I pushed it up to six. With the construction people working next door, if I worked from 4:30 until they began working at six, I could have an hour and a half of quiet and solitude for writing. Even though the jack hammers aren’t making noise anymore, trucks and concrete mixers make their own bothersome sounds. When I used to type my material, I would listen to music from the Star Wars albums. Those were quite inspirational to me, but quite impractical when using the speech recognition program. I’m certain I’ll find that happy medium.

Now for the big task! As mentioned earlier, April 22nd, will be the big day that this swamp I call my apartment gets cleaned out. Will this task be completed in one day? No way! I’m looking at a two or three-week task. You see, I can’t clean eight hours a day. With my delicate system, I have to clean for perhaps only an hour at a time, before either taking a break or stopping for the day. First up… the kitchen. That’s not in bad shape at all. I expect I can get that done in an hour or so. When it comes time to go through the mounds of junk on my two broken recliners, a.k.a. dead red and dead blue, I’ll have to have plenty of trash bags and a dust mask. The two areas of the apartment I’m dreading most are the bedroom and the walk-in closet. The back-left corner of the bedroom is one ‘storage area’, while the walk-in closet houses a lifetime of videotapes and DVDs, as well as a plethora of miscellaneous junk. I’m going to need a hand with the closet. Fear not, I shall get it done.

There is today’s blog entry. Continued prayers go out to all who need it. I bid everyone a fantastic few days. Rebecca will be back on Wednesday, and will have a new entry up by 1 PM.

Until then, do take care, love one another, be safe, and as always, happy reading.