Monthly Archives: January 2014

Top ten list of my favorite TV theme songs

Greetings, readers. Here is a top ten list of my favorite TV theme songs. I am such a TV fan that I couldn’t just stop at ten; I have included two honorable mentions. Ready, set, go.

#10. Batman. [From the 1966 TV series. One word was never so catchy.]

#9. Barnaby Jones. [Buddy Ebsen went from being a Beverly Hillbilly to being a private detective.]

#8. The original Star Trek series.

#7. Murder, She Wrote. [Angela Lansbury was a class act in every episode.]

#6. Futurama. [Bouncy and so catchy.]

#5. Little House on the Prairie. [One of my personal favorites.]

#4. Cagney & Lacey. [Also bouncy and catchy, which was a little unusual for a TV detective series.]

#3. Hawaii Five-O. [Circa 1968-1980]

#2. M*A*S*H* [The song,” Suicide is Painless” fits so appropriately.]

#1. Star Trek: The Next Generation. [Taken from the original motion picture score in 1979.]

Honorable Mentions:

#2. Gilligan’s Island. [Seasons 2 and 3.]

#1. The Twilight Zone. [From the 1960s.]

Well, there you go. As always, people are encouraged to leave a comment. Have a great weekend and happy reading.

Advertisements

A hectic week is upcoming

Greeting, readers. Hello once again from still cold Pennsylvania. Rebecca and I just finished our weekly meeting with my accountant and are now getting down to work. Seems like the weekend was just a few minutes ago. I’ll be packing for camp before I know it.

I’ve got family coming in on Friday, Cousin Ed and his daughter Maria, from New York state. I can’t wait to see them. With three work days, including a session with Darren tomorrow, culminating with a family dinner Friday evening, plus gaming day on Saturday, it’s going to be a hectic week. I always enjoy the aspects of my life, some days more than others.

Battling bouts of depression, sometimes I feel like my life is worse than it really is. Let’s review. I have a roof over my head, a pet to keep me company, Netflix streaming, three days a week to be creative, and a gaming day for a fun outlet. I think I’m doing okay. I’ve always been the type of person who over-reacts, or quickly looks for the worst in any given situation. I try not to let that happen, but with having a low self-esteem problem since childhood, it is a battle I’ve not yet won.

To conclude, on Friday, another fun top ten list will be put up – topic yet unknown – and next week on Wednesday Rebecca will be putting up the entry on a topic of her choosing.

Well folks, let’s pray for warmer weather, stay safe and be well, and happy reading.

Futurama rocks!

Greetings readers, everyone! Oh…, sorry. As the title implies, this is one of my new favorite shows. I will admit that I never got into this series when it was on in prime time. Thank goodness for Netflix. This series was part the Sunday night Fox animation block of shows. Because I never got into the Simpsons at all, I must have figured I wouldn’t get into Futurama. How wrong I was.

My favorite character is Philip J. Fry. He’s my favorite because in many aspects he reminds me of myself; the nice guy who never quite gets the girl. His best friend, Bender, the girder-bending robot, I would have to say is my second favorite character. Even though he can be a complete jerk, he can turn into the caring character that we can all admire and look up to. Then there is Leela, the beautiful cyclops spaceship captain. This character is voiced by perhaps the most well known actress on this show, played by Katey Sagal. Once or twice a season, they’ll have episodes with musical numbers. She has an astounding singing voice. Other characters include Amy, Hermes, the Professor, and Dr. Zoidberg, the doctor lobster. One of his big things is to imitate the Three Stooges.

It didn’t take me more than a few episodes to realize that this series can have some episodes with extremely touching endings. Every story has a moral behind it some more blatantly obvious than others. Every once in a while I will catch myself tearing up or at least smiling and giving a thumb’s up.

About mid-way through the second season, the writers decided to give the Professor a catch phrase. “Good news, everyone.” Even if the news was horrible. It got to be the running gag. I would have to say my least favorite character, who was of course written on purpose to be an ass, was Captain Zapp Brannigan who thinks he is the universe’s gift to women, but is insecure and a total jerk.

My favorite episode starred Bea Arthur as a planet’s female computer in charge of a tribal race of all women. After crash landing on the planet, Zapp, Fry, and male alien Kiff, were sentenced to death by snu-snu, which is sex. I’m sure that Bea Arthur had a lot of fun doing that voice role.

Thanks to the technology of Netflix streaming, I was able to watch the entire series in just a few weeks. Now I am re-watching my favorite episodes, and probably before too long I shall move on to another series. I have started to watch How I Met Your Mother and Rebecca has suggested Modern Family as well. I shall keep you up to date on my TV watching antics.

To close, it’s only 12 degrees here, though sunny, so if you are in the polar vortex zone, bundle up, stay warm, don’t go out unless you have to. Rebecca and I will see you next week, take care and happy reading.

Weather, sports and games

Greetings, readers, from wickedly cold State College, Pennsylvania. As a friend of mine from Canada pointed out to me yesterday, minus 2 degrees at 7:30 this morning is nothing; he has minus 30 something. It has been several years since central PA has experienced this type of brutal cold. In one word: Brrr. Luckily, not too much snow fell with this last storm. As I understand it, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City got hit much harder. We escaped with an inch or two .

It’s a beautiful sunny day out today and it looks like it could be in the upper 70s. Looks can be deceiving. After the work hours are over today at 3pm, I’ve decided I’m going to stay inside and keep warm. I should take a walk and get some sun, but I think comfort will win out.

I was up early this morning over at Panera cafe, doing some reading for a friend of mine which I had put off for way too long. His topic is not quite over my head, but it’s close. It makes the task of editing  doable but tedious. I should be ready to have our meeting by Friday, weather permitting.

Last evening, after I got back from seeing my friend Jim at Denny’s, I played a game of Madden football, and there was a real-life sports news ticker on the bottom of the screen. I saw that the NFL commissioner is thinking about making some rule changes that may include getting rid of the extra point. I say: Why? I have seen games won and lost on a missed extra point. Certainly the PAT is often automatic, but every once in a while … I hope the commissioner leaves well enough alone.

While I am on sports, it’s hard to believe that baseball catchers and pitchers report to Florida and Arizona in about five weeks. Yes, spring training is almost upon us. I’ll certainly be rooting for my Pirates once again.

Lastly, my best friend, Dave Trost, invited me to play a Facebook game called Criminal Case. It’s highly addictive and is actually good for my ailing brain. You have to solve puzzles by clicking on items in a scene from a given list, and at some point those items are used as evidence against the bad guy. It’s amazing, I’m already much quicker at completing each screen. Yay for engaging the brain. I might not be reading a 300 page novel, but anything to get the brain synapses going is a start.

If you have warm weather, enjoy it and be glad. I hope everyone has a good day, take care, and happy reading.

Off to a slow start today because of bookkeeping

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I spent the first half of our workday today trying to get our bookkeeping up to date at a local store, to see how many of my books sold there. Out of the twelve copies left there last April, only eleven were on the shelves. We either have one sold or none. You would think that would be easy to check for, but no. The store bookkeeper wasn’t there at the time, and the report that the store manager pulled up showed a payment to me that we don’t have in our records. So a trip to the bank will have to be made today or Tuesday to check on the possible deposit and to ask a question on another topic.

So here it is 1:30 pm and we are just now getting to work. Before going to Panera for coffee at 11:00 this morning, I tried desperately to get my ailing computer working to check emails. Something is amiss in my machine, for when Rebecca and I got back over here, we had difficulties. That is another reason why we are off to a slow start. Once I finish dictating the rest of this blog entry and we edit it, I’m still hoping to have enough time to do a writing exercise of some kind.

I re-read the blog entry on the helmet logos from the other day and thought to myself, wow if I had a big house and lots of money I would purchase, one or two helmets at a time, as many NFL helmets as I wanted and would then proudly display them. Ha-ha, quit dreaming. First of all, even though I am grateful for it, I live in an apartment slightly bigger than a shoebox. And the three mini-helmets I do have from the USFL haven’t been dusted in quite a while. Long story short, there’s no room.

If one day I would be lucky enough to win the mega-millions lotto, I would find the biggest house that was for sale, buy it, and have money left over to purchase all the little knickknacks that I ever dreamed of having. One room would be just for football mini helmets proudly displayed, the garage would be filled with classic cars, and the attic would be chock-full of Christmas ornaments and an elaborate manger scene. I would go crazy at the holiday season.

That of course is fantasy land. To re-iterate, I am happy for the home I have here at Addison Court apartments, but who doesn’t like to dream once in a while. And if you are going to dream, dream big.

Well, have a good weekend, stay warm, take care and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite football helmet logos

Greetings, readers. Since the NFL playoffs are in full swing and the Superbowl will soon be upon us, I thought it would be a good time to come up with the top ten list of my favorite helmet logos. So here they are, plus two. The first two are from the old United States Football League. We used a website called Collectible Supplies to confirm what the NFL helmets look like.

#10. The Pittsburgh Maulers from the United States Football League: An ironworker with a hardhat swinging a mallet.

#9. The Washington Federals from the USFL: A white helmet with a bird-shape, probably an eagle, with a white star in the bird’s neck, and three green strips flowing behind.

#8. The Houston Oilers from the National Football League: A white helmet with a tall dark blue oil well in a red outline.

#7. The Kansas City Chiefs from the NFL: A white arrowhead with the letters KC in red.

#6. Cincinnati Bengals from the NFL, the throwback design from the 60s and 70s: An orange helmet with words Bengals on both sides. [It was simple but it worked.]

#5. The Los Angeles Rams from the NFL, the throwbacks: Dark blue helmet with the lighter yellow or orange stripe depicting a ram’s horn. [Today’s version the ram’s horn is a darker mustard yellow.]

#4. The Miami Dolphins from the NFL, the new helmet brought out for the 2013 season: A white helmet with a big teal dolphin in an “S” shape in an orange ring, with no helmet on the dolphin’s head.

#3. The Minnesota Vikings from the NFL, any version: A purple helmet with a white plume to depict the horn on a viking’s hat.

#2. The New England Patriots from the NFL, the throwback: A white helmet with a minute man in red uniform in position to snap the football.

#1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the NFL, the throwback: A white helmet with a creamsicle-orange pirate, with a sword in his mouth; his name was Buckle Bruce.

And two honorable mentions:

#2. The Philadelphia Eagles from the NFL, the throwback: The rare white helmet with the green eagle wing. [I wish they would change back; hint, hint.]

#1. The Pittsburgh Steelers from the NFL; Black helmet with a yellow stripe, and on the side of the helmet it says “Steelers” in black letters with three diamonds in yellow, red, and blue (signifying the three rivers coming together into one).

Well, there you go, hope we did an adequate job of describing them to you, if you didn’t follow the link yourself. Let the debates begin in the comments, and please feel free to share your top ten if you wish.

Until next time, take care, enjoy your day and happy reading.

Doing the right thing while having an adventure

Greetings, readers. Tonight I have to go about 20 miles out of town using a Zipcar rental to show support to a dear friend of mine whose mother passed away. The viewing is approximately 10-12 miles past the point where I actually know where I am going. I’ve got pretty good directions from our apartment manager as well as from Google Earth. But I have to be there at a certain time and getting lost is not an option.

I’m going to work today with Rebecca until 3:00, take my meds, make some coffee and leave at 5:00. The service does not begin until 6:00. I should have plenty of time. Going to viewings or funerals is not a fun activity by any stretch of the imagination, but it comforts our friends and that in itself makes it worthwhile. I’ve known my friend since we were 13 years old, going back to our junior high school days. We both stayed in the State College area all our lives and thanks to Facebook we have kept close these last few years. She seemed very close to her mom and, with me losing my mom already, I know exactly what she is going through. I’ve reserved the Zipcar from 5:00 to 8:30 and that should leave me more than ample time. Once I leave the event at 7:00 pm, I don’t care if I get lost. I just don’t want to be late.

I’m going to be 49 years old in July and it’s just a fact of life that more and more of my friends are beginning to lose their parents or have them slip into poor health. Over the next several years I’m sure that I will be going to more viewings and funerals. I actually enjoy showing my support and love to my friends, but of course it comes full circle that on the way home from these functions I will inevitably think of my own parents and grandparents. This is the first occasion that I can truly say thank goodness for Zipcar.com. If this wonderful service did not exist in my town of State College, PA., the flowers I sent would have to have done.

Until next week, take care, enjoy your weekend, and happy reading. P.S. Please keep your fingers crossed that I don’t get lost. 🙂

On the NFL, writing, and watching television

Greetings, readers. I am flat on my back with another one of my lovely back spasms. Thank goodness for Rebecca and her ten typing fingers. Today I am going to get you up to date on what was going on with me since Friday. This past weekend I watched most of all of the post-season playoff games on Wild Card weekend of the National Football League. None of my four teams won. First, the Chiefs blew a 28 point lead over the Colts. I was throwing things. Then the Pennsylvania representative, the Philadelphia Eagles, lost to New Orleans in the final seconds. On Sunday, I watched the Chargers win over Cincinnati, and the 49ers defeat Green Bay at Lambeau field. I don’t think there has been a weekend in quite a while when at least one of my teams didn’t win. So now I can officially say I no longer care about the NFL until next September.

On to writing news, on Sunday evening I began a short story which could possibly be an entry for a third camp book. I at least wanted to have something for Rebecca to edit today. It was frustrating after hours of thinking, and typing as best I could, I only completed one page. But I most admit it felt good to give it the effort. As far as me making a career of this … let’s just say when I get back from camp this August, I will probably have to get a job and truly have writing be my hobby. We’ll see.

I thought I would have to find another place to get my nails done. Due to my cerebral palsy, my left hand does not work well enough to control scissors or clippers and I can’t take care of my nails myself; thus they get long and jagged if I don’t have them professionally done. I have a place near where I live that is convenient and in my budget. I thought they might be closing up shop and was looking for a replacement place, but now it seems the shop is in different hands, getting a new paint job, and still doing nails. That solves that problem.

Lastly, in my Futurama marathon watching, I finally got to the season which was picked up originally by Comedy Central channel. I know that for certain because the writers went so far as to make a joke about it in the opening scene. I will admit after having now watched at least half of the series, I am no longer laughing out loud at the show’s humor. I suppose I’ve learned how the writing team writes and, although it is still well-done, I can kind of see what is coming next. Liking Futurama as much as I do is almost enough to make me want to give The Simpsons another try. I watched a few episodes of The Family Guy and one episode of The Cleveland Show. The Family Guy might be my next show to invest my time in, but I must say I just didn’t find The Cleveland Show funny at all. With the ultra cold weather that we have been experiencing, staying inside and watching TV is certainly a good past-time.

Until next time, take care, stay warm, and happy reading.

I was an emotional boy

Greetings, readers. As I sat in front of my TV set New Year’s Eve waiting for the ball to drop, I had some time to think about the last few years. With much knowledge acquired recently about my Cerebral Palsy and how it affects my emotional state, I’ve made observations about my health. When I was a little boy, I would cry at the drop of a hat. Leaving Bear Spring Camps in Maine was especially difficult for me. Yes, I loved the people and it was hard to say good-bye, but no one else was crying. I figured I must be different somehow. Jump ahead to a few years ago. When I heard I had a certain type of CP along with depression, many questions got answered. The reason I bawled at almost everything remotely sad was because of a weak emotional system caused by my condition. Now that I am on anti-depressants, things are much better. Or are they …?

I’ve begun to think. Sure, feeling happy is a good thing. But is it an artificial happy? Am I taking part of who I am away by dulling the emotions? So, I began to do a little experiment. I have temporarily ceased taking my nighttime doses. My emotions are still under control though every now and them I feel the way I used to feel when something touching is shown on the TV.

As Rebecca and I have been discussing points to add to this blog entry, it has made me realize that a note to the doctor’s office might be prudent. I suppose the question is this: should an artificial happy win out over who I was meant to be? With no ill effects from the anti-depressant, taking it certainly wouldn’t hurt me. And most times I’m a bubblier person. But is it real? I’ve never been great at philosophical debates, that was my dad’s thing. He was the professor of philosophy. I suppose all I can do is get advice from doctors and friends and weigh what they have to say against what I feel. Once I’ve done that, I’ll make my final decision.

Until Wednesday, friends, stay warm, take care and happy reading.

2013 in review

Greetings, readers. We just received our annual report for 2013. WordPress.com provided us with lots of interesting statistics to aww and ooh over. Also, lots of cool bells and whistles, such as the fireworks in the background. Both Rebecca and I were waiting for this page to arrive because we both loved it so much last year. Lo and behold, we opened up WordPress and here it was.

I wish to thank all my readers and commenters from my first two years and fear not, we shall continue into 2014 and beyond. Enjoy, take care, and much continued happy reading.

-Joe and Rebecca-

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.