Things happening today during the snowstorm

Greetings, readers. Even though it is officially spring, old mother nature has decided to play a trick on us in the form of 3 to 5 inches of snow! Ha-ha-ha. I’m not laughing at the joke. As most of you know, I suffer from a mild case of cerebral palsy, and good balance is not one of my strong points. I do have errands that must be taken care of after work hours with Rebecca. If we really get 5 inches of snow, it’s going to be a challenge walking down slippery sidewalks.

Today and tomorrow are two days off for my fast food job, and that is good for my feet. The day off I had to take last Monday for my doctor appointment and stress test is not going to be good for my wallet. Maybe in a week or two, I’ll be able to pick up an extra hour here or there. In the end, I think it will all even out.

On to other news, my new writing project is coming along slowly, yet splendidly. This voice recognition program is outstanding, and it allows me to act out the dialogue between my characters. Yes … I am writing at least the first drafts of this project in script form. Whether or not I will change it into a novel has yet to be determined. I know I’ve been working on this for two weeks, and I’m only on the bottom of page three, but I do have many other things going on in my life. If I was loaded with money, I could stock the refrigerator with food, snacks and beverages, and type, type, type. I am not loaded with money. I have to go to work four days a week (part-time), and I work with Rebecca two days a week. That is plenty to keep me busy.

My gaming channel will have an updated game added to it. Out of the Park Baseball 19 has arrived in beta form. The full version, which I’ve already paid for, comes out tomorrow. The game developers have improved the graphics tenfold. Now the players actually look like little baseball players, not like little stick figures or Weebles. Yes, I remember those commercials: “Weeble’s wobble, but they don’t fall down.”

Finally, thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families of the senseless violence that has gone on in the last few days, including the Texas bombings and the Maryland school shooting, and also for the victims and families of the bridge collapse in Florida. All are so tragic.

Rebecca and I will be back tomorrow with another blog entry, but I already know that next Thursday will be a personal day for me. I have a doctor follow-up appointment. Please keep your fingers crossed that I get good news during that appointment.

Until tomorrow, please do take care if you’re in the snowstorm, stay warm, enjoy your day and as always, happy reading.


On schedule for me today

Greetings, readers. I believe this is the second blog entry I have dictated via the speech recognition program. I’m on a slightly different schedule this morning, so I asked Rebecca to meet me at Panera Café and a little later than usual. Earlier on, I did some splendid work on my major writing project, also using said voice recognition program. I love it! It’s almost like acting; so fun.

I was up at 3:45 this morning, as usual, and began my day by making coffee, looking at Facebook, and doing a little virtual fishing on Steam’s Fishing Planet. With the new patch that came in yesterday via an update – a major update – the game plays so much better. The creators bettered the physics, I think improved the graphics, and added a Photoshop feature where you can take a picture with your humongous prize catch. It’s about three notches below Star Trek’s hollow deck.

This afternoon, I have an appointment at 3:30. It should not take more than an hour. After that, I’m planning on a light supper followed by more work on my writing project. I am really getting into the story now. As you all know, dear readers, it’s been forever since I’ve been in creation mode. If I am to take time off from my fast food job this summer to rest my feet, I must find some way to perhaps generate income through my writing. I don’t wish to just sit around for three or four months and just do nothing. Yes, one does get very used to that paycheck every two weeks, doesn’t one?

I still have an early bedtime this evening for tomorrow is a work day at the fast food job. I need to get plenty of sleep and rest my feet. When, or if, I am going to tell my manager I would like the summer off is still up in the air. My swollen feet are saying, “Go for it!” My wallet is saying, “Don’t you dare.” Right now, I’d say my decision is 50-50. I will know by early May.

Well, there you have it. I know this wasn’t the longest entry in the world, but it is what’s current in my life today. I bid all of you a great weekend, stay safe, take care and as always, happy reading.

My heart seems to be skipping a beat lately

Greetings, readers. I know I am no spring chicken any more, but on the other hand I am only 52 years old. Approximately ten days ago, I noticed that my heart was beating irregularly from time to time. One time it would pound hard, the next incident it would feel like it was skipping a beat, and my most distressful moment was when I got a heart grab that lasted for a few seconds and really made me stand up and take notice.

One of the classic symptoms of a heart attack is pain or numbness in the left arm. I am happy to report I do not have that symptom. Feeling all right other than that, I was waiting to see if it would correct itself. It did not, and I was urged by friends to get it checked out. Wouldn’t you know it, upon going to my general practitioner, I got hooked up to the EKG and ‘Nothing but normal.’ Don’t get me wrong, I was happy, but part of me wanted the doctor to see what was going and tell me. No such luck.

The doctor did suggest and order a stress test, which is happening this coming Monday. Oh joy, oh bliss. I get to go to work from 10am to 2pm, hop a cab, and then walk on a treadmill for an hour with hurting and tired feet. Yay, me. If the heart goes thumpity-thump-thump the right way it might be worth it. Perhaps the stress of the hurting feet might make the heart do what I want it to do so it can be measured.

One big thing that is different since all this started is the lack of ice cream in my diet. I gave that up for Lent. I doubt seriously if that has anything to do with it at all, but it is a weird coincidence that the heart irregularity is happening at the same time.

I will find out Monday during the stress test exactly what is going on and more importantly what to do about it. Oh goody, I will probably be put on another medication. Yay. There are many people in the world who take more pills than I, but I was really hoping not to add to my total any time soon. Of course, dear readers, I will keep you up to date on the outcome of my visit.

Before I close, a side note. R.I.P. to a genius … the great Stephen Hawking who passed away yesterday at age 76. He inspired millions as he used innovation and technology to be able to move around and speak to do great work despite his disability. He was a giant in the scientific world. I’m sure he will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

There you have it, today’s entry. If you know something about Stephen Hawking and wish to share, please chime in with the comment section or on my Facebook page. Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Schlow Centre Region Library revisited

Greetings, Joe’s readers. Back in October of 2013 I wrote a post on libraries and Schlow Centre Region Library. I said a lot of good things in that one, so here is the link you can follow if you want to read it too. Since I wrote it I got faster internet at home and stopped using the library for their computers and internet, but I still go there once or twice a week to check out books and CDs. It is still one of my favorite places in the world.

A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that my mother-in-law might enjoy audio books and I wondered over to that section. Sure enough, Schlow has a large collection to choose from, including a lot of the J.D. Robb series that we both read. I knew about this section before, but until I was looking into them I didn’t appreciate it. It impressed on me one of best features of libraries, that they offer so many different resources and we might not need them for years, but when we do want something, there it is.

The upper level of Schlow contains the audio books, CDs, large print books, young adult novels, graphic novels, books for sale, public computers, helpful staff, non-fiction books, fiction books, a wide range of newspapers and magazines available to read, tables and chairs, two rooms with doors that close to use – one includes materials for crafts, and desks with plugs for people with laptops or who want space to study. The lower level contains the children’s section with computers, fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, helpful staff, graphic novels, and games. Thinking about it, I am amazed by the variety.

Last year, I was looking at books on a return cart and picked up the first novel in an unusual series, Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham. The main character, Fiona Griffiths, has a rare mental condition that she struggles with to do her job on the police force in the U.K. I would never have found this series without seeing it at Schlow. I wanted to read more of these books, so I looked him up in the catalogue, and the library only had the first one. So I did an interlibrary loan request for the second book in the series once I looked up the title (my first time doing an ILL) and waited about a month for it to come in. When I picked up the book, I noticed it had Schlow Centre Region Library identification on it, and looking through it I realized it had the signs of being a print-on-demand book. They might not have been able to find a copy in other libraries. I realized that Schlow bought the book to fill my request and to put in their collection. Wow. I know at least one other person read the first one because it was on the return cart, so I hope that my request helps someone else read the second book, and now the third book. I want to read the rest of the series, but knowing that Schlow would buy the book instead of borrow it, I waited a few months before requesting the third one, and will wait a few months before asking for the fourth one. There are six books in the series and I would feel guilty asking for so much of their resources in a short period of time. I don’t have the space on my shelves or the money to buy the series on my own.

I had already noticed some books on the shelves that looked like print-on-demand (Joe’s books from CreateSpace are print-on-demand so I know the specific look of the back page) and was impressed by the many ways that the library supports all these industries in publishing and entertainment. Yes, we the public use it for free, but the library bought it all. That is a lot of money going into the world, and libraries are constantly having to raise that money – from government sources, from selling books and items donated to them or off their shelves, from local fund drives, from business donations, and from patron donations. They also need to keep the lights on and pay the staff. It makes me proud that I donate two dollars a week; I couldn’t afford to give Schlow a hundred dollars in one go, but by the end of the year my two dollars adds up to that. They do some much for me and the community.

I want to close with one paragraph from my October 2013 post, which sums up what I want to share about libraries in general.

Libraries do so much for people. They are sources of information on government agencies, how technologies work, and they have manuals, non-fiction works, plus entertainment materials too. Often the local history archives for the area are in a reference section. They can provide a meeting place for organizations, and often put on events of interest, in a community room. The staff is usually able to assist people in finding information, on databases and websites, as well as navigate through the library system. They have newspapers and magazines available to read on-site, which may be especially helpful to someone looking for a job who cannot afford to buy a newspaper every day. I don’t know about other libraries, but I know that Schlow has made free downloads of ebooks available to patrons, something that costs the library a bite out of their budget for each e-book copy. On top of all that, they provide the latest books by popular authors, sometimes with multiple copies for books with long waiting lists, so that more people can read them sooner. They provide older books too, including the classics. Many people discover authors new to them in the stacks. The libraries have photocopier machines at either the same prices or cheaper than other places. They might also have printing available from the public computers, perhaps with a small fee to off-set the paper and ink costs. A community without a library within an easy visiting distance is poor in ways beyond money.

Joe will be back next Wednesday with a new blog entry. Until then, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Getting into someone else’s head is difficult

Greetings, readers. The last couple of mornings I have been working on my writing projects and I can’t tell you how good it feels to be writing again. One of my projects is based on a TV series from the 1970s. Those characters I know quite well; what they would say, what they wouldn’t say, how they would act, etc.

My main project, however, has characters that are pretty much blank slates. The female lead character is based on someone I met in a chat room many room many many years ago. She sent me her picture but that is literally all I have to go on, the rest of her character will be constructed by me. I’ve never tried to get into a female character’s head before. You might say I wrote my play Kimberly, and this is true. But I knew the person I based her on. The whole first draft was basically a carbon copy of a friend from high school. This new project’s female lead has a name and a face. That’s it. I get to decide how tall she is, whether or not she smokes, what her habits are, and how provocative she is. In a way, I have to become this character during writing hours. I was working with this project this morning and I could feel myself begin to think like her and thought to myself, now we are in business. I know I am going to have fun with it.

It’s been years since I have put signs on my front door saying Do not disturb, I’m writing, and I even get angry if I am writing and it is time to go to work. To me those are good signs. If I can go to some cabin near a lake … magically with internet included for research … I would do it and I could probably pump out a great play or film script. I just need to be left alone for a few months. Unfortunately I am not independently wealthy, and besides that is not how the real world works. Moreover, I like my real world job.

I got a sobering dash of reality a few moments ago. Rebecca and I were on the CreateSpace website trying to send an email to get a question answered. As we were going through the automated set-up system, a huge list dropped down with not only my three books for sale but all the stalled, dead, abandoned projects I’ve tried to do since latching on to CreateSpace. Seeing that list made me feel like a failure for a moment. Don’t worry, I’ll bounce back soon. As a matter of fact, now that I know where that list is, I might even go back, choose one of those dead projects, and resurrect it. You never know.

The idea I had for tomorrow’s blog has been put on the back burner, for it requires research and development. It deals with this past Super Bowl. I think you will find it most interesting. I just found out moments ago that I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. So yet again, Rebecca will get the day off and post the entry from home. We will see you right here next Wednesday. Keep those comments coming, enjoy, take care, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: The luxury of a good sleep-in

Greetings, Joe’s readers. Joe took a personal day today, so I am writing today’s post from the comfort of my own home, which makes me lucky because it is raining outside right now. Since I didn’t have to get up at my usual time when working with Joe, I was able to sleep in late. I have a habit of going to bed about seven, sometimes six and a half, hours before I get up, so I rarely get a full eight hours of sleep. This morning I decided to get all eight hours in bed, and though I did spend the last hour drifting in and out of light sleep and checking the clock a bit, it was good. It was relaxing, almost decadent, and nice. Hours later, I am still feeling rested and satisfied.

Ordinarily, I trade a full night’s sleep for other pleasures. It will be eight hours before I need to get up, but instead of going to bed then, I’ll want to watch one more TV show, or to look at just a few more websites, or to read one more page/section/chapter in my book. The next hour slips away and then it is really time for me to get ready for bed if I want at least seven hours of sleep. I take my blood pressure medication and my multi-vitamin, brush and floss my teeth, use the bathroom, turn out the living room lights, and go join my husband in bed.

Like Joe, who gets up early in the morning and goes to bed before midnight, my husband Darren gets up a few hours before I do, and goes to bed a few hours before I do, too. This arrangement gives us each time to ourselves when the other is sleeping, and I think we each enjoy the chance to do private things, like watching shows the other spouse doesn’t like, or having our own thoughts without interruption. He enjoys the early morning time, and I enjoy the late night hours.

This is a bit off topic, but since I have mentioned bed a few times, and when is the next time that happens in this blog, there is one thing I will add. Darren and I have said for years that there is one bit of advice that we would give to couples if we had the chance: Have separate blankets. We have never shared a blanket and it has worked wonders for us. I run cooler than Darren, so I use a sheet and two comforters in the winter, a sheet and light blanket in the summer. Darren uses one comforter in the winter and often a light blanket in the summer. Except on very hot nights when my bedding gets on his side too much, this arrangement works year in and year out. We are not fighting over them. I slip into bed, and I am moving just my covers and not his. He gets out of bed, and he is shoving his covers off to the floor and not mine. Paradise. We highly recommend separate blankets.

Back to the main topic. I hope you all have a chance for a well-rested day, or even more than one! I like my other pleasures too much to start getting to bed earlier on a regular basis, but I will remember this feeling and choose eight hours in bed more often. It is nice.

Joe will be back on Wednesday. Until then, I hope you end each day dry and comfortable and safe, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten list of things I have difficulty or am unable to do because of seizures and my cerebral palsy

Greetings, readers. Today, we are going to have a top ten list, a long overdue top ten list, and I think I’ve found an interesting topic. It is jobs and hobbies that I have difficulty doing or am not allowed to do by law because of my health issues and medication. As almost all of you know, I have cerebral palsy, and every great once in a while one of the side effects of it is a petit mal seizure. There are many professions I dreamt of doing and would have loved to do but at age 16, when the first seizure hit, those doors were slammed shut. Those professions will be featured in choices two and one. Okay, so here we go, let’s start it off.

#10. Circus performer. [Now, I know some of you are thinking, why did this even make the list. I’ve never dreamt of being a circus performer; however, with my bad balance due to my CP and that minute risk of a seizure, anything like a trapeze artist or a high wire act is absolutely out of the question. I could be a clown or some other act on the ground, but really the whole circus thing really wouldn’t appeal to me.]

#9. Mountain climber. [Again, I have absolutely no desire to go climb a mountain, but if I did, it would be one of the most unsafe hobbies I could try. You need two strong hands to grab on to the rocks; I only have one strong hand.]

#8. City high-rise window washer. [If I lived in New York City or Los Angeles, that could be a job that I could try, but I think my bad balance and fear of heights would petrify me so much that I would freeze in one spot and not be able to move. Now I know there is harness equipment to keep you from falling to the ground, but I don’t think that would be enough to overcome the blind panic.]

#7. Police officer. [A police officer has to be strong, well-coordinated, and able to run fast. I am none of those things. Oh, I could drive the police car, no problem, but if we were chasing someone in a car at 80 miles an hour, my bad coordination would come in to play and I would most likely wrap the squad car around a light pole. It would be a fun job, but … no, not for me.]

#6. Firefighter. [As a child I loved the show Emergency!, and later the short-lived series Code Red wasn’t bad either. It made me dream of wanting to be a firefighter. I’m sure I could hold the hose on the first floor, but carrying heavy things just isn’t going to happen. I would tip over and fall, or drop the heavy piece of equipment or person. Not good.]

#5. Drive a train. [I love my train simulator game, and I wonder what it would have been like to drive one in real life. My daily medication regiment makes that dream impossible. ]

#4. Play professional sports. [When I was a child, most boys, myself included, dreamt of playing sports. Ah, the dream of scoring the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, or the game winning hit in game seven of the World Series. Now, I don’t mind telling you, I was a pretty fair Nerf football quarterback, but as far as going out for the high school team, forget about it. I was not strong enough, big enough, or coordinated enough.]

#3. Do all tasks of my job and do them fast. [At my fast food job, there are a few jobs I can’t do, like the take out window, because the drink lids are different from the coffee lids, and I will tend to spill the drinks when my shaking left hand gets in the way of my firm right hand. That tends to make my manager an unhappy camper if I goof up and spill a drink. I take pride in getting thinks correct. That means at the register I will take a couple of extra seconds with each customer. People have rewarded me through good reviews for my extra effort. If you want speed and accuracy, well I can’t count change as fast as anyone else. I might be one of their friendliest cashiers, but I am in no way the quickest. Every day I do get a little bit better, but with these fingers, I’ll only be able to get just so fast. I have to remember to stay within myself, and be the best me that I can be. What else can anybody ask of me.]

#2. Truck driver. [The thought of driving down the interstate in a big-rig filled my dreams many times, especially after watching Smokey and the Bandit thirteen consecutive Friday evenings at the movie theater. Yes, the movies were only $2 back then. When my seizures began, again there went that employment opportunity. I doubt highly that any trucking company would hire anyone with seizures and who is medicated to the point where at the end of the day his favorite word is nap. I guess I’ll just have to stick to playing Euro Truck Simulator 2 for my gaming channel.]

#1. Commercial airline pilot. [This was my big dream as a child. I loved airplanes and still do. I was in awe in big airports. Everything jumbo jet fascinated me. I wanted to fly for TWA or Pan Am. And again, then the seizures hit. Not to be too redundant, but no airline in their right mind would hire someone on four different types of seizure medications. Plus, with my weakness in my left side, yes I could lift the yoke up and get the plane to fly, however, if the hydraulics failed, I know right now I would not have the strength in the arms to keep that aluminum bird flying straight and level.]

Well, there you have it, the long overdue top ten list for today. I’m planning on taking a personal day tomorrow, so Rebecca will do the entry for Thursday. Until next time, have a great weekend, take care, and as always, happy reading.

Four days and four nights

Greetings, readers. That’s how long it is supposed to rain in my corner of the world. No, it’s not the biblical 40 days and 40 nights, but it sure will feel like it. I see some flight simulation in my future because I’m going to need to look at blue sky, either real or artificial.

I’ll certainly take this over freezing rain or snow, but with a number of errands to do today, I’ll have to put on several layers, including a hat or an umbrella just to step out the apartment door without getting soaked to the bone. That’s the biggest thing I hate about winter and early spring. In the summertime it is 80 degrees F. If you want to go outside, you just go outside. In the winter time, it is boots, mittens, down coat, scarf, and hat, just to protect you from pneumonia.

Back to our weather at hand, we had two beautiful days, Tuesday and Wednesday, and now it feels like we are paying our dues. Granted, we’re not sitting in the middle of a hurricane nor having tornadoes, but rain this hard for February is rare.

On a completely different topic, I finished binge watching Star Trek: Enterprise. It was a delightful show and I enjoyed it much more in seasons 2, 3, and 4. As like with any TV series, in the first season actors are learning their roles, peaking and tweaking, and there really isn’t much to the back story of the characters. The show was considered a mild flop. Last evening I saw on a YouTube video that the executive producers were not only getting Enterprise going but were also finishing up Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and a Star Trek feature film. I think it was too much on their plates. As well, with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was just ending, perhaps viewers just needed a break from Star Trek. If Star Trek: Enterprise had just waiting two or three years, it might have gotten the standard seven-year run.

Finally, I am uploading a YouTube video as we type this blog entry for my new gaming channel, the JMK Gaming Channel. I’ve spent the last week to ten days putting up approximately a dozen videos of Fishing Planet, Out of the Park Baseball 18, and Train Simulator 17. I’m planning to add more games soon. I’m going to contact a couple of hardcore gamers whom I am friends with and ask them to critique me. One of them, who goes by the handle Squirrel, I am sure will give me an honest answer about my performance.

Okay, there is today’s entry. It sounds like the rain has calmed down a wee bit. I’d better start building my ark now, or at least rent a paddle boat. Rebecca and I will see you next Wednesday with entry #702. I bid you all a wonderful weekend, try to stay dry if you are in the rain zone, take care and happy reading.

Blog entry #700 – A heartfelt thank you to everyone

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe we’ve arrived at entry #700. I’ve blogged about many topics over the years, as has Rebecca, and I always think that I’m going to run out of topics to blog about. Then a new one presents itself, like today’s topic of losing local businesses due to on-line shopping.

This blog averages about 20 reads a day, which is not as many as a big writer like John Scalzi will get on his blog, but I am certainly happy with it. Rebecca and I are read all over the world and very proud to be. I noticed just last week we had a read from India. As I like to say on my YouTube videos, “Wowzers.”

Again, thank you so much for hanging with us these last six plus years with no end in sight. I appreciate all of you. I like sharing my thoughts and experiences with others, and having such great feedback from you.

On to the other topic, one of State College’s long-time stores, the Bon Ton, is getting ready to close. The clothing store has been around since the mid-80s. With our mall, the Nittany Mall, losing several stores recently, it has made me think just how destructive on-line buying truly is. Sure it is convenient, you whip out your credit card, find what you want, add it to the cart, pay for it, and within a few days it is at your doorstep. What could be easier? Just so you don’t call me a hypocrite, I’ll confess that I am just as guilty as you are. I’ve purchased on-line many times. What a lot of folks fail to realize is, in my opinion, that over the long run, if you shop from a store’s website, say Sears or J.C. Penney’s, and don’t give your local dollars to your local store, eventually that store will go out of business, as ours have. I see stories on Google weekly about how numerous companies are closing a number of stores nationwide. As a child, I never thought that Sears would be this close to extinction. Are there issues other than on-line buying? I’m quite certain; bad management for one. But there is no doubt that the convenience of on-line purchasing is destroying local businesses. I made a New Year’s resolution to spend my money at local stores more often, and buy less on-line. I urge everyone to do so. Then if your favorite hardware store goes out of business, you can say, “I shopped there, I did my part.”

I’m sorry if that sounded like I was ranting and raving, but just the other day I overheard two college girls talking about the Bon Ton closing and the one girl said to her friend, “But yeah, you like shop on-line all the time.” They were the like twins, every third word was like. But that pet peeve is for another blog entry.

Finally, Central PA is enjoying a three-day heat wave with temperatures in the low 60s F. I will take it. I don’t know what that corresponds to in Celsius, but I do know that you flip 61 F you get 16 C. The next several days will be in the 40s with rain … every day. Get out the boots and the rain coat. No frigid temperatures are expected however, so the down coat might be able to stay on the coat tree hook. 🙂

Well there it is, #700. Thanks to everyone for reading the blog this long. We will have another blog entry for you tomorrow.

Take care, have a great day, and for the 700th time, happy reading.

Oh, what a morning I had

Greetings, readers. I was going to make a YouTube video for my new gaming channel and also dictate the first draft of the blog using my voice recognition software before Rebecca got here. Well … none of that got done. I got up at 3:45 as usual and by 4:15 I was in a full back spasm already. What to do, what to do. There was only one answer. I shut down the computer, put my full coffee cup in the microwave for later, turned out all the lights and went back to sleep. Now, most people would love to do that, but I have grown to savor my early mornings. It is peaceful, it is quiet, I can get my day started, and make plans for later in the day. I’m just glad this was not a workday at my fast food job, so that all the things I didn’t get done this morning I will have time to do this afternoon.

I don’t know what triggered the back spasm. All I did was get up and make coffee. If carrying a coffee cut weighing only a few ounces throws my back out, then just go ahead and put me in the old folks home. Yes, that is an exaggeration, but that is how frustrated I was this morning. Joe gets cranky when his plans go awry.

When I woke up from my “nap”, I was able to put up a new video on my gaming channel. This afternoon, after my banking and an appointment, I’m going to put up my first Canadian Baseball League video using Out of the Park Baseball 18. Even in the one pitch per batter mode, the video will be at least an hour and a half long. That’s not the problem. Once I am done uploading it to YouTube and put all the tags and descriptions on, it will be approximately 8:30. On a work night, I go to bed around 9:00, so very soon after the video is uploaded and live, it will be lights out for me.

I work 10am to 2pm at the fast food job tomorrow, and here in State College this is the weekend for the Penn State Thon, the 48 hour dance marathon they do to raise money for childhood cancer research. This weekend and the next one will be unusually busy at the restaurant. The weekend after Thon will be my most hated time of the year, State Patty’s Day weekend. All the college children use those two days of a made-up holiday to see how drunk they can get without being arrested or dying. I say that because a couple of times, drunk college students have fallen from apartment balconies. In the past we have had slightly warmish weather. I am praying for negative 5 degrees F. May they all stay in the bars or at home, not parade downtown and scream their lungs out.

Two more things before we close. The Wednesday blog entry, #700, will be a combination thank you entry and top ten list. I’ve been thinking recently about how the internet has been affecting our local economy. One store, Sears, which has been around since I was a child, went out of business, and a clothing store called Bon Ton is closing in a month or two. Now, I am guilty once in a while of shopping on-line, I will admit that, but for those of you who do it all the time, you’re helping to cripple local businesses and chains. Get out once in a while, go to your local store, and buy something there. In the long run, you will be glad you did. You will be helping to stir the pot of your local economy.

Finally, heartfelt condolences to the families of the shooting victims in Florida. I saw the breaking news this morning and thought to myself, here we go again. I’m not calling it a copy cat shooting, but we’ve had these random acts of violence way too often. As I understand it, the shooter will be facing at least 17 counts of murder and I hope he gets convicted on each one of them. He destroyed and cut short people’s lives and will cause never-ending grief to the victim’s loved ones. My heart bleeds for them.

I’m going to end this blog entry here and on Wednesday we will write the aforementioned entry 700. I bid you good day, have a safe weekend and give a family member a hug, and as always, happy reading.