Monthly Archives: April 2013

Book cover selected

Greetings, readers. I am very pleased to announce that, thanks to Rebecca’s great idea, the photograph which shall be submitted to for my upcoming book will be that of my kitty cat Keekee. We found a perfect photograph and it fulfilled all of the necessary qualifications, such as dots per square inch. That, and it looks great. We put the same picture on the header of my blog. The cover color scheme will be black lettering on white background, which is just fine because that is Keekee’s coloring. That is my tidbit for the day.

Until Wednesday Thursday, take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

Here’s what is going on in the next week or so

Greetings, readers. Because both Rebecca and I have appointments we must keep this week and next, I have chosen to post this quick blog post entry today and then concentrate the rest of our shortened work schedule on the A-Z book read-through. It is not out of the realm of possibility that I might post a new blog entry over the weekend. But we will be back to our usual Wednesday and Friday schedule as soon as possible.

Until soonest, have a good day, take care and happy reading.

New project’s coming nicely

Greetings, readers. My creative juices are flowing once again. Thank God. While Rebecca and I are doing our A-Z read through for the blog book project, I have begun working on what is tentatively going to be an independent film script. My first few attempts at screenplays have been less than stellar, but so far I am having a lot of fun.

For several months, I was actually worried that new project ideas weren’t coming as easily or as quickly as I would have liked. But the other day I sat down with a book on mystery writing which has a wonderful section on how to create characters, and before the afternoon was finished I had my female lead all but created.

I’m keeping the screenplay project basically under wraps for now until I get it off the ground. My list of priories writing wise are as such: #1. Getting the blog book put out; #2. New entries for the blog; and #3. My screenplay project. Come September, when the book is out … hopefully on time … the order may change.

On another note, heartfelt prayers go out to the families and the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. At some point I will write an entry about this. At present I am too angry. I’ve learned from past experience that if I cool down before writing about something that upsets me, my writing on that topic is better. Also prayers and thoughts go out to the families who lost loved ones in the factory explosion in West, Texas.

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

R.I.P. to legendary sportscaster Pat Summerall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Rebecca: Progress on the next book

Joe is having some back spasm problems at this moment, and asked me to write today’s blog entry. He is usually able to work from a reclining position when this happens, but today it is a little bit worse and he needs to completely rest for a short while. I expect that by the time I finish writing this, he will be ready to continue our work on our current book project. I thought I’d take this time to talk more about this project.

It is tentatively titled Greetings, Readers because of the greeting that Joe has on each blog entry. We both like this title, so it will probably be the one you see on the cover when the book is published. As regular readers know, it is a collection of blog posts from the first year of this blog.

Joe chose the entries he wanted in the book, I copied and pasted each one into a MS Word document, and we are now reading through from beginning to end {I like to call it the A-Z version}. We are looking at things like flow from one to the next, continuity issues, and errors. We have changed something in almost every entry, mostly adding a comma somewhere or correcting a typo. It is a little discouraging how many we found, since those errors were in the blog unnoticed! As we correct stuff in the A-Z document, we are also making the same changes to the entry itself in this blog. As we wrote in a previous entry, From Joe and Rebecca: Corrections on the blog, we are making the corrections by doing a strike-through the old item next to the correction for anything that would change the sentence, and just making the correction for typos.

Joe decided to make the entries be in chronological order in the book, and so far that is working very well. It has produced a nice variety of topics and length of pieces, and shows Joe’s progression as a blog writer through that first year. Joe was surprised to see how long it took him to start each entry with, “Greetings, readers.” He thought he had established it in the first month or so, but it was actually longer than that.

We do not tend to read the blog entries much once they go up, unless we need information on a title or content for something else. It has been nice to read over past posts, especially some special ones. There is some nice work going into this book.

We will let you know when we are closer to publishing and when we have concrete information about the book.

Joe will try to have another blog post up this weekend.

Massive technology grrr

Greetings, readers. What a wasted morning this morning. I’m not going to mention the name of the coffee shop I was in because I still wish to be a customer there. However, they do need to revamp their wireless internet. Before I said, “Oh, the hell with this,” I tried to log on for 36 minutes. Oh, the patience I showed. With music playing under earphones, I was cursing a little bit louder than just under my breath and it got to the point where people were looking at me.

Well, I quickly changed plans, began a flight simulation program, took out pen and paper, and began to jot down some goals for myself. It took ten minutes for the flight simulator to respond. Now, granted, same old computer, but I had switched my internal WI-FI off. By this time it was quarter after eleven, and with Rebecca due to join me at noon, time was wasting away quickly. Finally I got the Russian three engine Antk Tupolev jet airborne and could concentrate on the task on hand.

As of this moment, it is only 2:15 in the afternoon. There’s still plenty of time for more technological crap to happen to me today. I don’t even want to think about my cell phone today. Knowing my luck, I’ll push a series of wrong buttons and call Hawaii. I know it sounds like I am ranting and raving. No, it’s not the sudden outburst of warm temperature. I am thrilled with the warmer weather. I must admit it takes some getting used to. But to me it is better than freezing my badoingies off.

Now that I’ve vented enough, news of the day. As I just mentioned, we went from cold to minor heat wave in the span of 72 hours. Boy I love it.

R.I.P.s go out to Annette Funicello, Roger Ebert, and Margaret Thatcher. My condolences to their families.

Well, before this computer freezes or blows up, we are going to edit this entry and post it. Until Friday, take care, stay cool, and happy reading.

Top ten long running television shows

Shows that have endured the test of time with at least seven or more seasons, not necessarily in my least-to-favorite order.

10. Full House [ From Danny’s obsession with cleaning to Jessie’s perfect hair to Michelle’s “Auscream” and “You got it, dude!”, this show had the right mixture of family love and comedy. Great job, Warner Brothers, Miller/Boyett Productions, and a host of others.]

  9. Star Trek: The Next Generation [ The gamble to redo a classic paid off. TNG ran for seven seasons]

  8. The Love Boat [ My love of cruising, plus a great theme song, made this highly enjoyable for me.]

  7. Little House on the Prairie [ This show plus my # 6 selection centered on good old-fashioned family values.]

  6. The Waltons

  5. Happy Days [ Another family values sit-com from the 1970s… set in the 1950s.  😉  ]

  4. Bonanza [ As a child, I only have a few memories of watching episodes with my grandmother. She loved it.]

  3. The original series of Hawaii Five-O [ Book ‘em, Danno]

  2. Gunsmoke [Until the Simpsons, this show was #1 in longevity]

  1. M*A*S*H [Top notch series. I own all the DVDs.]

Honorable mention: Charlie’s Angels [1076 – 1981. This is my all time favorite show and it gets the HM only because it ran five seasons. Sorry ladies.]

There are a few shows that I did not put in, such as the Simpsons and Saturday Night Live. They are still on the air, and I don’t know how many seasons they will continue to run.

Well, there you have it. Let the debates begin and chime in with a comment if you wish to. Until next week, have a great weekend, and take care.

My Easter gift

Greetings, readers. This past Easter Sunday I went back to church for the first time in far too long. It felt nice, but not having a family there I had a sense of being alone. I arrived at the Penn State campus church, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, later than I wanted to and was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to get a seat. To my surprise, there were five seats left on the right side of the front row. I grabbed the one on the end.

As I was sitting there waiting for Mass to begin, a sad feeling came over me and I began to miss my mother. Years ago, she and I attended daily Mass. After she passed away, I continued to go for a short while but something didn’t feel right. I felt alone. That is when I made one of my poorest life decisions. Instead of fighting through my emotions, I simply stopped going to church. Not good.

Right before the service was to begin, a very nice family, I didn’t ask their names, began to take the last few remaining seats around me. The lady asked me if I would mind keeping an eye on her kids while she sat behind me. I, of course, said sure, why not? As the service began, the lonely feeling went away. At first I thought it was because I was busy listening to the lectors, the singing of the hymns, and the priest giving his sermon. But as time went by I realized it was much more than that. I think the Lord worked a little bit of magic that day. He put a big family right around someone who desperately did not want to be there alone. When I came to that realization, I had trouble containing my emotions for a moment.

After Mass was over, I let the lady know what had happened and thanked her for letting me keep an eye on her boys. I told her that she didn’t know how much it meant to me to be with a family on that particular Easter day; my first time back to church in three years.

I am vowing to go to church every Sunday from now on. Will I succeed in this endeavor? Oh, probably not. As long as I make the effort to go to as many Sundays as I can, I think that will be a great first step toward getting back to my Catholic religion.

On Friday, I will have a top ten list for Rebecca, hopefully already made, so that we can quickly post it and move on to other Friday work. So until then, take care, have a great week, and happy reading.