Top ten list of TV shows I’m watching this season

Greetings, readers. We haven’t done a top ten list in a few weeks, so Rebecca and I put our heads together and came up with this idea. Here is the top ten list of shows I am watching this season either as it is broadcast or On Demand. Enjoy!

#10. The Orville. Fox network. [This Star Trek-ish TV series starring Seth MacFarlane barely made my list because it almost got cancelled. Fox is planning to bring it back for a second half season around the new year. The Orville is much better than I expected it to be, even though it has its comedic moments. I give this show a B+.]

#9 NCIS: New Orleans. CBS. [I know Scott Bakula, the head of this NCIS team, as the former captain of the Enterprise and as Dr. Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap. His work is always top-notch no matter which show he is in. This show is number nine on the list only because I’ve watched just two episodes. I’m still learning the characters but so far I am really enjoying it. From what little I’ve seen, I’m giving this show an A-. To be on the air this long it must be good.]

#8. FBI. CBS. [I’ve watched this series from the beginning and I like almost anything from executive producer Dick Wolf. This series is a combination of cop show with SWAT task force included. When they go in for the arrest they are usually dressed in bullet proof vests and one of them is wielding the battering ram to crash the door in. There really is not a dull moment in this series. So far, I am giving this series a B+. It has potential to be an A.]

#7. Manifest. NBC. [This is the series I was really worried about. The promo commercials looked awesome, but the series itself could turn out to be awful. Three episodes in, it is holding its own with me, though there are aspects of it I do not like at all, i.e. the whole government conspiracy crap. Both Rebecca and I wish it would have gone a slightly different way, with more emphasis on character development, and less on a conspiracy theory. I’m giving it a C+ … a solid passing grade.]

#6. S.W.A.T. CBS. [Even though I could not tell you any of the names of any of the characters except Hondo, I tune in every Thursday night. This show has me hooked. It made it to its second season, which is good and I wish On Demand would have kept the first season on to watch. No such luck. I am also very partial to the retro-fitted theme song. My grade is a solid A.]

#5. Hawaii Five-O. CBS.[This is the show that I’ve watched the most episodes of. It is in its ninth season and I’ve really enjoyed it. The classic Hawaii Five-O will always be better to me, for it seemed more professional. The constant bickering and comedy between McGarrett and Danno sometimes drives me up the wall. I’m also not pleased that the series failed to pay two Asian actors who played major characters what they were worth. Hence, they both walked off the series. Their replacement characters are not bad, but it is just not the same. I give this series a B+.]

#4. 9-1-1. Fox. [This emergency rescue series, starring Angela Bassett and Jennifer Love Hewitt, among others, is in its second season. I got hooked on it in the off-season watching episodes On Demand. This year I am not watching Monday Night Football, I am watching 9-1-1 followed by Manifest. I give this show an A+. It is an awesome show.]

#3. Chicago P.D. NBC. [The gritty sergeant played by Jason Beghe is my favorite character. He has a raspy voice, he takes his job very seriously with a no-nonsense attitude, but he treats every one of his detectives like family. This was evident when one of his detectives was killed and he took it so hard that he broke down in private and cried for his fallen friend. My grade for this series is a solid A.]

#2. Chicago Med. NBC. [Oliver Platt and crew work at Chicago’s hospital, Chicago Med. The thing that impresses me most about this series is how believable the characters are, especially Dr. Charles, played by Platt. You can just see him helping you with a problem you have. But don’t mess up or he will put you in line. Also, this series does not pull punches with the plethora of patients treated. For instance, ethical issues of a patient refusing an operation because she didn’t want to lose her baby. All of these Chicago series seem so real to me. Very well done. Chicago Med gets an A+.]

#1. Chicago Fire. NBC. [I would have to say that this is my favorite series of the season so far. There is not one bad character in the lot, the whole acting ensemble puts everything they have into making their characters believable, and you feel their pain as they go through their hardships. My grade for this series is A+. Great job, Chief Boden and company.]

Well, there you have it, for once in order. Hope you enjoy the read. Next week we will be back with you on Wednesday for another interesting entry. Until then, please stay safe if you are in the path of Hurricane Michael, my prayers to you, and until next week, happy reading.

Advertisements

CreateSpace.com is going bye-bye

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I were met with an interesting problem this morning when we saw that Amazon, the parent company of CreateSpace, is basically taking them over. All my books will be transferred over to Kindle Direct Publishing at some point, or I could move them over myself. This news threw us for a loop, for we really didn’t know what was going to happen. To our relief, we found out that the transfer could be done quickly and painlessly, and KDP will still publish the printed versions.

Amazon and Kindle also gives you an opportunity to advertise your books somewhere on Amazon itself. I shouted, “Yes,” gleefully. My glee was short-lived. Rebecca tried to find the price of said service, but to no avail. It was extremely difficult to find, making me think they want beaucoup bucks, which I just don’t have at the moment. Yes, it’s true, you need to spend money to make money, but funds are tight right now.

Luckily, the remainder of my business cards say Amazon on them, so I can still pass them out and use them. Thank God for small favors. Could we have done more to promote our books? Probably so, but I still have nightmares about our first and only book signing at the local Webster’s Bookstore and Café. We started with a good crowd, but by the time we were done, all the students who were studying for their tests had been driven away by our stories. By the end the only people who were left were the people who we had invited. Not good.

Enough belly aching. Finally, some cooler weather is coming tomorrow night. With my air conditioner on the fritz, you can imagine just how much I am looking forward to cooler temperatures. For those of you who know me well, no, I am not looking forward to winter, but day-time highs in the 60s F and lows in the 40s are just fine for me right now. It is supposed to be in the mid-50s and partly sunny for the Nittany Lions homecoming game against Michigan State this Saturday. I’ve been invited by my friend Nicci to go see the homecoming parade Friday evening with Traci. I hope it won’t be too cool.

We will keep you up to date, dear readers, about the progress on getting all books to Amazon/Kindle. For those of you who have Kindles, I am sure you will enjoy the reads. We will keep you abreast.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: Darren and I went on a date today

Joe said yesterday that he was taking today off for personal business and dictating the blog entry, but he is feeling under the weather and he asked me to put an entry up. Feel better soon, Joe!

My husband Darren and I decided to go on a date today and get out of the apartment together for a while. We ate at Olive Garden and it was a good experience. We had plenty of bread sticks, salad, and pasta, and it was all delicious; we ate just enough to be full without being uncomfortable. We get take out fast food a lot, but we don’t often go to a restaurant to sit and eat there together. It was nice and we had a good time.

While we were out, we did a few errands, like getting gas for the car. It rained off and on, which was irritating, but we didn’t get too wet by the end. All in all, we had about four hours out and about, and came home satisfied.

I hope you all are having a really good day. Joe will be back next Wednesday. As he would say, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

We’ve got some local help for book promotion

Greetings, readers. A major step forward was taken yesterday in the attempt to get Four’s a Crowd selling like hotcakes. I talked to my friend from the building, Joel Solkoff, who is also a blogger here on WordPress, and he has agreed to help us out by promoting it on his blog and website. Joel gets tons more hits per day than I do. I have a very good feeling about this work relationship.

Speaking of Four’s a Crowd, the two copies I ordered for local sales to people in this building should be arriving any day. Both sales will be priced for friends and family. Darren and I will each receive $5 from each sale. Also, the money from the one Amazon.com sale last month arrived in my bank account the other day. Each of us are now $2.25 richer … I’m not joking. When I say that Amazon sales won’t pay the rent, you can see what I mean. With Joel’s help, however, this is likely to change in the near future.

We had to let kitty cat Josie out of her time-out cage so she could use the litter box. Now she is exploring and saying hi to Rebecca. She can stay out as long as she doesn’t get near the computer. That is a no-no. I hear her, as we are typing, using her cat box. Rebecca’s assumption was indeed correct.

On a side note, I was very happy that a heavy rain came through last night with a lot of lightning with a little thunder. Even though I sat in the dark with lights and modem off, the hard rain and heavy wind broke the humidity this morning. I actually needed my hoodie for my walk to Panera. It was quite refreshing.

At the restaurant, I saw my friend Ron, who had been visiting home in Vermont, and is now back. Apparently, to stay. He had previously visited Massachusetts, but that visit was cut short. When I asked him how long he was staying here this time, he used the word indefinitely. I am very happy to see him. We always swap tales and jokes. He is a very kind fellow.

Okay, there is today’s blog. I’m taking tomorrow off for personal reasons, but I am going to dictate a blog entry for Rebecca to edit and post. A: Because I need practice doing that and B: Because the more I use my voice recognition program the better it gets.

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

On Demand has me hooked and the fall season of shows has begun

Greetings, readers. One day, I was watching On Demand from our cable system, Xfinity, something related to sports and during the commercial breaks they advertised three very good shows. As it turns out they are all related. They are NBC’s Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD. I have been binge watching, trying to get caught up for this week’s season premiers. I am hooked on these shows.

I also like NBC’s new hit Manifest, as well as Fox’s show 9-1-1 dealing with the Los Angles fire company. Jennifer Love Hewitt joined the cast of 9-1-1 and I have always liked her as an actress.

Back to NBC for a moment, this coming Wednesday evening all three Chicago series will cross-over, as they do quite often. However, this is being advertised as the cross-over of all cross-overs. Apparently all three shows will mesh for an in-depth episode dealing with all the characters. I find the cross-over idea extremely intriguing. Why can’t I write gritty screen plays for characters with so much depth that they feel real? I don’t know, I think I lack the tools.

I did not get a chance to watch the new series New Amsterdam, but they all go directly to On Demand twelve hours after airing, so if I wish to, I’ll take a compulsory look. I am intrigued by its premise of a doctor who says to hell with the rules and regulations, let’s help people. The only reason I didn’t watch it, was because they put it on Tuesday which is not a good evening for TV watching for me.

On to a different topic, wouldn’t you know it, while dictating this blog entry, my recliner/bed decided to break. I’m not going to mention where I bought it, I got it used, but I think they fixed it up just enough to sell it. I’m going to have lots of work to do, for now I have two dead recliners. I was hoping the blue one would hold out until Christmas, but it didn’t. Now I have to talk to my accountant and see if we can pry out of the budget enough for something new. I will not buy used again. I am leaning towards a love seat or sofa, once I get both broken chairs out of here to make room.

Well, there’s our blog entry for today. I might be searching for furniture next Thursday, we’ll see, but Rebecca and I will be back next Wednesday. Tomorrow or the next day, we are supposed to have blue skies. Gee, what’s that? Enjoy the good weather if you have it, and continued good thoughts for those in the flooded areas. Please stay safe.

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

Drastic measures for Four’s a Crowd

Greetings, readers. Rebecca went on-line this morning to look up local publicists. We’ve got to find a way to push the latest novel. We found one near where I live and have already emailed them. Hopefully we get a response by tomorrow. That would be encouraging. If sales of the novel would take off, I might consider continuing the writing career into 2019.

The downfall of self-publishing is just that; if you don’t know how or don’t have the funds to push the book yourself, it is just going to sit there and not sell. Sure it is gratifying to see a finished product with your name on it, but holding some cash in your hand from a sale of said book is an even bigger thrill.

I’ve been trying to keep the author of the book, Darren Taylor, in the loop as to what is happening with all the things I am trying to do. I am sure that he will agree to a local publicists meeting. We’ll have to find the time, though, when all of us are free to meet the publicist group. Wish us luck.

On a side note, rain, rain go the hell away. I say that for me as well as all the flooding victims throughout the country. It is supposed to be a sparkling sunny weekend here in State College, but I will believe that when I see it. The Penn State Nittany Lion football team has its biggest challenge of the season so far when Ohio State comes visiting. I don’t know if we can beat them, but we certainly can’t beat them in rain and mud. So how about all local folks pray for good weather for our evening White Out game.

That is today’s news. Tomorrow Rebecca and I will be back with another interesting blog topic. What do you know, we are working two days in a row. Until then, have a wonderful afternoon, take care and happy reading.

Goodbye old brick building next door

Greetings, readers. I’m feeling a bit sad today because a very old building, which I thought would stand forever, has been completely torn down. During my lifetime, the old brick building next door to Addison Court Apartments was a Weis supermarket, and later a CVS pharmacy. When I was a small boy, my grandmother used to get her hair done in a salon in the back of the building on the first floor. Oh, what vivid memories.

I’m not exactly certain of the building’s complete history, but I have some recollection of it either being a furniture store or another supermarket before it became Weis. I’m going back into my brain for memories around the year 1975, so some details will of course be sketchy.

This morning I watched the bulldozer mash up the last bits of rubble and put them into big piles. A while later, two dump trucks arrived and debris was loaded on, one truck at a time. Truck A would take off and dump its load somewhere, while truck B was loaded with more debris. This is going to be an endless chain of events throughout the day. When all the pieces of rubble have been cleared, the next step is for the construction workers to come in and begin digging – probably with jack hammers – to get down to the proper depth to build the new parking garage. In the old brick building’s place will be a brand-new, seven-story apartment building for students and ‘young executives’.

I don’t know how much of my wonderful view I’m going to lose. The old brick building was only three stories tall, with apartments on floors two and three. I took the eighth-floor apartment because I loved the view. Well … we’ll see how much of it is left when the new building is complete. I know that my town has quickly become a small metropolis, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. One major high-rise downtown has already gone up, with a sister building set to be built right across the street from it. Oh joy, oh bliss. I’m certain it will be several months before the new building is complete. I’m praying the building will not have balconies. Can you just imagine how loud it will be, and the school semester parties the kids will have? Oh brother!

I shall keep you up-to-date on the progress of the new building, and let you know if there will be any businesses on the ground floor. I’m certain the building will be modern and beautiful, but to me, nothing can replace an old brick building which was part of my childhood.

Until next Wednesday, I bid you a great weekend, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

A major decision has been made

Greetings, readers. I have thought about my writing career long and hard, and have asked myself what are my options. Money to continue paying Rebecca is dwindling, though she earns every penny of what she gets, and the blog itself is not set up to make money for me. The book, Greetings, Readers, sold a hand-full of copies since 2013, so a book 2 of blog entries is not even an option. Between low funds, battling depression, and years upon years of seizure medication (and seizures) I’m coming to the conclusion that I don’t have the right stuff to be a writer any more. Maybe I never did and getting those first two camp books out were just because of my passion for Bear Spring Camps and all my friends who go there.

I’m seriously considering shutting down writing operations at the end of the year. Unfortunately, this would also include the blog. I am leaning towards keeping it open for everyone to enjoy with the occasional new entry. I might reconsider my plan, but that is how it looks now.

Rebecca and I were discussing earlier this morning an idea I had for a GoFundMe page. I need $$$ to find and pay a publicist who can push Four’s a Crowd. I worked too hard on Kimberly, the play on which it is based, and Darren Taylor worked too hard on the novel for it to just wither and die. Rebecca also put in extensive hours on both projects, and it would be a crime for her work to be for naught. If we could find a publicist and get Four’s a Crowd off the ground, that would re-energize my desire to be a writer.

***

Well, here it is a half hour later and we’ve had our weekly meeting with my accountant. I don’t like being interrupted when we are writing the blog, because it gets me out of rhythm, but sometimes it can’t be helped. The meeting went extremely well and the idea I had to help promote Four’s a Crowd has been approved. The next step is for Rebecca and I to research publicists and take notes. That will be done next Wednesday. I will probably dictate a blog entry and have it ready for us to edit and post early so we have extra time to do our research.

Continued prayers go out to the flood victims and their families in the Carolinas and wherever flooding hit. I’ve heard that Wilmington, North Carolina is now an island. There is not one road that is passable by car as of late yesterday.

Like last Thursday, I have something to do tomorrow, so I’ll dictate a blog in the morning and Rebecca will edit and put it up no later than tomorrow evening.

Please do take care, have a wonderful day, take care of one another, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: Watching The Price is Right

Joe is taking a personal day, so I am writing the blog post today, from my home. Darren and I have The Price is Right on television right now. Drew Carey is the host, and has been for just over ten years, since Bob Barker retired. I have watched the program off and on since I was a child, and its familiarity is like comfort food in troubled times.

You have probably known the show since childhood too. It has contestants bidding on a prize to see who goes up to play the next of six games, two sections of spinning the wheel, and ends with the showcase showdown. They often have gimmicks, like big money week or an episode for just expectant mothers, but the basic structure of the show is always there underneath the added bells and whistles.

Bob Barker was the host for a very long time, and was so good at the job. Smooth, unruffled, genial, and welcoming, he obviously loved the show and loved what he did. When he retired, it seemed impossible for anyone to fill his job. Bob Barker was The Price is Right. Drew Carey took over, and at first it seemed true that no one could replace the long-time host. Drew Carey was stiff, had trouble explaining the games, and sometimes played around with the products on display. That first year was rough. But he got better, of course, and grew into the show. Now, more than a decade later, Drew Carey knows the games inside and out, is better at explaining them, and while he still moves a product on set occasionally, he is as smooth with the contestants and flow of the show as Bob Barker.

I don’t get to watch the show a lot, but when I can catch it, usually on Mondays or Tuesdays, I enjoy it a lot.

Joe will be back next Wednesday. As he would say, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Slightly under the weather and I’m about to build another Noah’s ark

Greetings, readers. Whoever said that you should take your medications at the same time every morning is most correct. I took my meds later than usual and although not by much, I could not listen to my morning music because I felt slightly seizure-ish. I’m fine now, but I hate it when my morning routine is interrupted. It is hard to describe how it feels. I remained completely awake and alert but my arms and hands didn’t do what I wanted them to do. I had to shut down the computer and rest.

On to the weather, prayers go out in advance to the folks in the Carolinas, who are about to be slammed by what is now called a “monster hurricane.” I will be donating later in the week to a GoFundMe page for hurricane relieve efforts, and I encourage you to do the same. In a few days, central Pennsylvania is forecast to get the outer ring of this humongous storm. This comes shortly on the heels of three straight days of hard rain from the remnants of the last hurricane, Gordon. Not to make light of the areas affected in the south, but we can’t take a whole lot more rain because of area flooding. This is after we had three solid weeks of rain in August. We had two weeks of drying out with a heat wave, before these latest storms. We don’t need more rain.

I watched quite a bit of week one pro football and was not impressed with my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, readers, these Cleveland Browns are a better team than last year’s winless club, but come on … we should have beaten them by at least 14 points, despite the rain. This week we play the Kansas City Chiefs. If we are not careful, we will be 0-2. The Philadelphia Eagles squeaked out a close one after looking pathetic in the first half. Maybe I will become a Philadelphia Eagles fan. A lot of folks in our area have become New York Giants fans to watch former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. I had an opportunity to do the same, but chose to watch the pathetic Steelers instead. Bad choice!

I’m taking tomorrow off for personal reasons, so I’m going to ask Rebecca to put up a new blog for everyone to enjoy tomorrow. Until next week, I bid you a wonderful weekend, please stay safe and dry, and as always, happy reading.