This was the first time I couldn’t pull off a show


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Greetings, readers. I take pride in my shows. I try to do two per year for the folks at Addison Court Apartments, but this time around circumstances interfered, and for the first time ever, I had to cancel a performance.

My playlist was complete, my rehearsal schedules were set and then … the sinus infection set in. At first it felt like a bad cold. Once I realized I needed an antibiotic, my singing voice was gone. Though I’m feeling much better, I still can’t take a deep breath to sing. Hence, no rehearsals. With best friend, Dave, coming, I was not going to give a sub-par performance. I had to postpone the October show. It turns out that Dave also rescheduled his visit.

Did I go through all the stages of getting old? Yes. “I can’t do this anymore. I have no stamina. My voice is gone!,” I told anyone who’d listen. Some told me that it was because I was so sick, I’m not too old to perform, and that the rescheduled show is going to be awesome. They’re right, it is going to be awesome! The show’s new date is set for Friday, December 2nd [time to be announced]. Look for more details on my Facebook page. I will probably also mention it here in a few blog posts as the show gets closer.

Well, that’s my update. I bid all of you a great day and weekend. Take care, and as always, happy reading.

Technology Grrr 5


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Greetings, readers. Sorry for the repetitive title, but this morning it was Me versus my PS3 and the Playstation Store. I lost miserably. Grrr. Here’s what happened.

There was a two-year old game, a soccer game to be exact, on sale for $20. The only thing I had to do before purchasing said game was input my new debit card info. The billing info page accepted my name, debit card number, and back card pin number. When I went to put my address in, though, it would not accept it, no matter how hard I tried. I think I tried six variations of my address, spelling out the word East, trying E., etc. No such luck. After six attempts it timed me out and said try again later. I almost opened the window to see if my PS3 could fly. :-S

With Rebecca coming to work this morning, I had to stop and will try again later. If I cannot get the problem solved, I will have to purchase the game from a store, which will cost more money, especially if I need to order it online and have it shipped.

I always marvel at the fact that certain things that take people two minutes to do, take me an hour. To keep with today’s theme, this usually happens on computers, televisions, or other such technologies. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing; I’ve ordered things from the Playstation Store before. After my daily chores are done, I’ll figure it out.

What really drives me nuts is that I went to the Playstation Store website and couldn’t find a customer service number to call. That would have solved the problem in a matter of minutes. I’m quite certain that what I’m doing wrong is a minor gaffe. Anyway, that’s been my frustrating morning.

Am I going to let that ruin the rest of my day? Absolutely not. It is sunny and warm here today, probably the last warm day of the fall. I’m going to get out and enjoy it.

That’s the news from here. I’m taking a personal day off tomorrow, however I will have a blog entry ready for Rebecca to edit and put up tomorrow. So until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Top ten lists of things to discuss other than politics


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Greetings, readers. I am absolutely fed up with all of the mud-slinging political ads on TV, as well as the news reports about how each candidate is better than the other. Local and state races are bad enough. Please, don’t get me started on Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump! Grrr.

Here’s a list of other topics I talk to my friends about. They’ll be in no particular order this time around. Here we go.

#10. Pets. [I know I can talk about my kitty-cat Keekee for hours, and I like to hear other people talk about their beloved animals.]

#9. Talk to a friend over coffee if that friend is having difficulties. [Sometimes talking about our problems with someone who cares can help a lot. And it helps to remember that the world is bigger than politics, even elections on the national level.]

#8. Talk about the weather. [Sunshine, stormy or in between, everyone has some weather. And some people are still recovering from last week’s hurricane Matthew. They definitely have more to talk about than the candidates.]

#7. Chat about sports. [With so many different games, so many teams, in so many cities, there can be hours of avid conversation.]

#6. Discuss your favorite cars {old or new}. [Not everyone gets into cars like I do, but a lot of people have vehicles. It is fun to compare driving experiences, horsepower, styles, and colors.]

#5. Rant about your boss or co-workers. [First though, be sure they can’t hear you!]

#4. Talk about the latest technologies. [There are so many shiny new things, and they are so exciting.]

#3. Chat about a trip you once took. [A change of locale, different food, maybe a different language and culture; all these can be part of an interesting conversation.]

#2. Tell your friend about a dream you had. [Everyone can relate. Almost everyone has a weird dream they can remember and share.]

#1. Console someone who just lost a loved one. [This will really bring things into perspective. A bunch of politicians yelling at each other means nothing at this moment. Our connection to one another is so much more important.]

Well, there you go; my list of topics to talk about other than politics. Do chime in with your list if you want to, here or on Facebook. Until next week, have a great weekend, take care and happy reading.

From Rebecca: New blog post coming soon



Greetings, Joe’s readers. I had something come up today, so Joe and I are doing today’s regular blog post a little differently than usual. He wrote it earlier, it is a top ten list, and now I am editing it at my home. I have a question for Joe before I post it, so it will be later than we thought today. We will get it out to you as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading his blog, and for waiting today for a new post. Take care and happy reading.

Health update and plans for tomorrow


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Greetings, readers. With my sinus infection still holding on, Rebecca and I have emails to doctors to write, which may or may not take a lot of time. So, I have decided to hold off the top ten list until tomorrow.

It’s going to be a busy week for me with upcoming appointments and possible impromptu doctors visits. Oh, the joys of being sick during the fall. Once all the college kids come back to Penn State in late August they bring all their germs with them. For once, I can pinpoint precisely how I got sick. Our local pharmacy has this screen to sign with a pen, and of course all the sick college kids use this pen to sign their name for their prescriptions. Even though there is a big jug of antibacterial hand sanitizer, no one seems to use it, including me. When I picked up my antibiotic a few days ago, I made damn sure to use the hand sanitizer, which I will do from now on.

I’ve not decided on a topic for tomorrow’s top ten list but I will probably write the draft tonight so that tomorrow Rebecca and I can edit and put it up.

After today’s work hours, Traci and I are going to get coffee somewhere and enjoy the afternoon. This evening I will turn on Netflix streaming and watch the new Hawaii Five-O series. The show has been on since 2010, but I never really got into it until now. I’ve decided to watch every episode (all six seasons) and give it a fair shake instead of comparing it to the original series.

Well, there is my day in a nutshell. Until tomorrow, take care, have a wonderful day, and happy reading.

New chair has arrived


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Greetings, readers. I will dictate this blog entry while my voice holds out. I’m still getting over whatever this cold/infection thing is. Although my sinuses are clearer today, my throat is scratchy and half an octave lower. Oh dear, oh dear. We are writers, so we carry on and write.

The big news of the day is that my new recliner arrived. Well, new for me. I got it at a used furniture store and it is in extremely good condition. To my surprise and joy, Keekee also seems to like it. It is very soft cloth material, blue in color, and is wider and longer than my other chair. It was a very good purchase, especially since I got it on sale. When the old chair was removed, I quickly had to run the vacuum and get all the little bits and pieces of the last eight years of snacking and tissues out from the space. It was a chore, especially at 8:15 in the morning, but I got it done.

The delivery men placed the chair down and plugged it in, and didn’t really wait for a tip. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to do that or not. Perhaps it is factored in to the delivery charge. Even with that extra charge, I still think I got a great bargain.

On a side note, it is a foggy morning here in State College, PA. It was quite cool last night, when I had to step outside at 3:30 in the morning to get fresh air for my ailing sinuses. As with most people, I don’t sleep well when I am sick; I keep waking up and that is extremely annoying.

Both Penn State University and State College Area High School have their homecoming games this week, which means two parades and plenty of people here for the weekend. I thought my cousin Eddie and his family might come in from New York, but I just spoke to him and he is going to choose another weekend. Eddie graduated from Penn State and loved every minute of it. He always attends at least one game a year.

Lastly, on the bus the other evening, there was a report of two people dressed in sinister clown outfits wielding weapons. The bus drivers, via telephone, were kept up to date on the whereabouts of these two clowns. They were hoping they would not board one of the buses. I asked my bus driver what the protocol was in case something like that happens. She said that if they weren’t carrying weapons in their hands, then they could get on the bus. They couldn’t if they were brandishing weapons. When I got off at my stop, there was no update, so I never did find out exactly what happened. I assume that all these clown sightings across this area and across the country are due to next year’s release of the remake of the movie It, which was based on Stephen King’s original novel. I think these people are sick to willingly want to scare people. Sure, on Halloween kids and teenagers dress up in costumes. Folks around the country expect it then; not now. All I know is, if I see one, I’m going to duck into the nearest establishment.

Well with my voice almost totally gone, I will end this blog entry here, and tell you that next Wednesday I will have a top ten list for you. Take care, have a good weekend, and happy reading.

UPDATE: 10/19/16 I have a photo of the new chair now to share with you.

My new [used] recliner. Arrived at my place on October 6, 2016.

My new [used] recliner. Arrived at my place on October 6, 2016.

Thank goodness for honest people


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Greetings, readers. Yesterday I had something happen to me which turned out okay, but boy could it have been a lot worse. I took Traci on an errand in a Zipcar. When we returned, I failed to check the back seats. Oops. I left something behind. Rather valuable, I might add.

What’s more, I didn’t even know I was missing it until I got a call. Fortunately, my name was on the item. Thank you to that honest person who put effort into getting the missing item back to me. This morning, I was able to retrieve it bright and early. This experience did bring to mind a comparison to my mom. I started to think, in all the years I knew her, did she ever make a mistake like that? Not that I can recall. Mom was always so careful. She made lists, checked things twice, checked every nook and cranny of a rental car; Mom was right on top of things. Me, not so much.

Needless to say, last evening I was a bit down, and called brother and buddy David for a pick me up. He, as always, was quick to provide one. He pointed out that I am more like my mom than I think, because of my generous nature, and how much I like to help people. The big difference is her mind like a steel trap, mine is like a bowl of oatmeal. Yes, working three crossword puzzles a day had advantages for my mother.

I’ve already figured out how I am going to combat this issue next time I take a Zipcar. I will either not take anything with me, or I’ll put it in the front passenger’s floorboard where it will be easily seen. Like people say, out of sight equals out of mind.

There are other things I can and will do to make me a little more like Mom. I’m continuing to peak and tweak my morning routine and I’m doing a fair job of going to bed early. Sometimes, though, that YouTube movie or Star Trek episode calls my name too loudly and I have to stay up an extra hour or so. Happily though, I am no longer a night owl, which Mom never was.

Rebecca and I will have another blog entry for you tomorrow. I am slightly under the weather, and if the situation gets worse I’ll type it in myself and have Rebecca stay home.

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

B movies so bad that they were good


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Greetings, readers. Today’s blog entry will use a slightly different format. Over the last few days I watched four movies that were so cheesy that they were good. What I’ve never done before is this: I am going to include the names of the people who uploaded the videos to the website; they are called YouTubers. In the brackets are the word for word description that each YouTuber included with the video. Then I’ll add a little bit about what this movie meant to me. In a way you could call this a top four list. So here we go.

The first movie I am going to describe is Area 407, from the year 2012, uploaded by YouTuber Mary Logan. [Her description: The terrified survivors of an airplane crash fight for their lives against a pack of monstrous, unidentified creatures in a top secret government research area on New Year’s Eve.] I’m not going to spoil this for anyone by telling you what the creatures are, but here are my thoughts on this film. First of all I love airplane movies and disaster films. When this movie began on an airplane, and then crashed with survivors, that gave it 5 stars from me right there. Soon after the survivors evacuated the plane, they heard a monstrous growl. Now, it was a race against time to find shelter and wait for morning. Little did they know, they crashed on a military base. The acting was pretty good, and it followed the airliner disaster movie blueprint. They had the heroes, the smaller child, and the grumpy man who was a pain in the rump to everybody. I love stories about area 51 and this reminded me a little bit of what might happen if an airliner really had to make an emergency landing there.

Dark Night of the Scarecrow, from 1981, uploaded by YouTuber A Touch of Evil. [American made-for-television suspense horror film directed by veteran novelist Frank De Felitta (author of Audrey Rose), from a script by J.D. Feigelson. Feigelson’s intent had been to make an independent feature, but his script was bought by CBS for television; despite this, only minor changes were made to the original screenplay] I remember watching this movie on TV, either when it first ran or when it was rerun. It’s the story about a mentally challenged man in his mid-30s who was accused of hurting a young child. SPOILER ALERT. Bubba didn’t do it. He saved the little girl from a dog attack. Anyway, the town folk tried to chase him down to kill him. Bubba runs and hides inside the scarecrow but they hunt him down anyway. The three men who killed Bubba meet terrible demises. END SPOILER ALERT. This film also has an extremely creepy last 30 seconds. I would rate this my favorite of the four films I’m talking about. Back when I first watched it, I actually hid under the covers. Even the other night, after all those years, I still had that tense feeling. I had forgotten most of the movie, so it was kind of like watching a brand new film.

Eyes in the Dark, from 2010, uploaded by Robyn Scaringi. [Secret video files just discovered on a FBI server prove that the government has been hiding unexplained disappearances in the Pacific Northwest wilderness.] This film to me was a combination of any of the films where people supposedly find videos and have big foot experiences. The film shows several groups of folks, as they are eventually hunted down by the growling creature with red eyes. About a quarter of the way through the film, the six main characters make their way to a lodge in the woods complete with hot tub and creepy caretaker. The kids find a cave with unusual markings and everything hits the fan from there. One by one, the six of them get killed by this never seen creature with red eyes. Only glimpses of red are shown through windows and car doors. This was the most B-looking movie, cheesy film of the list. I enjoyed it and the acting was fairly good. The hand-held bumping choppy camera work might have been deliberate, but it made the film look amateurish in my opinion and made me nauseous.

The Horror at 37,000 Feet, from 1973, was uploaded by The Celluloid Highway. [CBS TV Movie first aired on 13/02/1973 and featuring the mind blowing talents of William Shatner, Chuck Connors, and Roy Thinnes.] I watched this film last evening and loved it. Again, I love airplane movies and this film fascinated me. A man and wife were bringing back to the States from England a druid altar from an abbey church. The altar was haunted by spirits. I didn’t much care for the fact that the dog in the hold got frozen when the evil entity broke out of its container. Apparently if you got too close to this thing, it can freeze you to death or cause very bad frostbite injuries. Some of the passengers took actions to try to get rid of the evil that was going on in the hold, including lighting a fire, and sacrificing a little girl’s baby doll that included a lock of the woman’s hair. My favorite mistake was revealing which real-life airline they purchased the airplane from. It was supposed to be AOA airlines, but for a brief second, you can clearly read the three letters TWA. The airplane’s paint scheme was also that of Trans World Airlines. In other words they didn’t try to hide much. Even with all of my negative comments I still enjoyed this film very much. Many of the performances, included Shatner’s, were top-notch.

Like I said, not exactly a top ten list, but perhaps in a few months I’ll give you my thoughts and reviews on some more films I’ve viewed. Until next Wednesday, take care, enjoy your weekend, and happy reading.

A major writing idea has finally hit me


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Greetings, readers. After pondering for many weeks about what personal writing project I will do, I came to a conclusion.  I was looking at an old proof copy of Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, the book with blog entries from my first of being a blogger. I realized one big mistake I made. I was charging people money to read what they could read on my site for free, with very little new content.

Last night the idea hit me: Since I love blogging, and I dare say I am fairly good at it, why not write blog entries exclusively for the new book? Does this mean I will give up writing in this space? Absolutely not. Rebecca and I will continue to blog here on WordPress on Wednesdays and Thursdays. And I/we will also create blog entries for the new book, tentatively titled Greetings, Readers 2 (subtitle to come later.)

This is the first that Rebecca has heard of the idea and I don’t know what she thinks of it. I have been told by a number of people to go with my strengths. We have been blogging for 5 years come December and we now have 550 entries. If I could create between 60 and 80 extra entries, exclusively for the book, that might be the ticket.

On a short side note, I already know what topic I will blog about tomorrow. I’ve been watching very bad B movies on YouTube recently and I will share my experiences about some of them with you tomorrow.

Please, readers, if you wish to leave a comment, suggestion, or a thumbs up or down, about my writing project idea, please do so in the comment section or on Facebook. If there is a topic you want to see me cover, here or in a new book, let me know.

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

Top ten list of Star Trek holodeck programs I would have if the technology existed


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Greetings, readers. As a Star Trek fanatic and a holodeck episode lover, I started to think, just what programs I would create and save if I had use of a holodeck. In the Star Trek world, even though a person is in a small room, the concept is that holographic images are displayed and moved so that people are tricked into thinking they have unlimited space. Here’s my list in reverse order.

#10. A visit to any city I chose. [Maybe one day I would create Paris and sit to enjoy coffee in an outdoor cafe. The next day, perhaps Rome to visit the Colosseum. Or to Devils Tower in Wyoming.]

#9. Drive a car to anywhere. [Oh, what fun it would be to drive to Maine any time I wanted to.]

#8. My own baseball league with my own home team and personally designed stadium. [I could see the Pennsylvania Lumberjacks, perhaps.]

#7. A house with a virtual family. [This idea, I must admit, came to me after watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, “Real Life”, where the Doctor created the perfect family, but B’Elanna Torres thought that was too easy and changed the program. I would set it up so that I could control the weather and the type of home and furniture we had, but I would randomized how my family reacted to me day-to-day to be more realistic. I would not have the “perfect” family.]

#6. A train ride to anywhere. [I could ride an Amtrak in America, take a local in New Jersey, or hop aboard the Orient Express. Lots of intrigue and mystery there.]

#5. Take a virtual cruise. [I could set it up for any number of days I chose and for any destination. I could take a quick trip to the Bahamas, or a cruise around the world, stopping at all the wonderful ports of call. This one would have to be saved and gone back to. ]

#4. An airplane ride to anywhere. [I absolutely adore aircraft. I wish I could fly in them more often. If I only had an hour, I would take a prop pane ride from State College to Pittsburgh. If I had more time on my hands, maybe I would hop a jet and fly cross-country to California. I could sit in my virtual airplane seat, take notes, and type my stories.]

#3. To speak to any writer I chose and pick his or her brain. [I could share my limited amount of work with them and ask them to critique it. Hopefully they would be kind.]

#2. A day at the beach. [Imagine the warmth, the sand, the smell of salt in the sea breeze, and of course, the ocean. I could spend hours in this program.]

#1. Recreate a day at Bear Spring Camps anytime I chose. [I would have a few scenarios in this program with different kinds of weather, different times of the year, and, of course, the people I know from real-life Bear Spring, as well as computer generated fictional families. You would hardly ever get me out of that program.]

Honorable mention: Camping in a tent. [I’ve never gone camping in a tent before, but if there was one big enough that I wouldn’t feel claustrophobic in, it would appeal to me. To hear the crickets at night and have my campfire going would be soothing and peaceful. I love nature, especially crickets and the sound of birds.]

There’s my list. I hope you enjoy. Whether you are a Star Trek fan or not, please do chime in with your list, either here or in Facebook.

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