Monthly Archives: September 2014

From Rebecca: Official report on Joe’s September performance

As readers of this blog know, Joe performed a show of music from the 70s and 80s on September 12th in the community room of Addison Court apartments. We have both mentioned it a few times in the past month. We also put the pictures in the Performance Pictures page of this blog. So forgive us if we are repeating ourselves too much. We have a tradition that when Joe does a performance that I write up a report on it afterwards; two weeks after the performance, here is the official write-up.

The room looked a little empty just before 1:00 pm, but it didn’t take long for it to fill up with people ready to watch and hear Joe. He did more singing this time, with just a bit of air drumming and air guitar, and even less lip-syncing than before. As usual, he practiced a lot for the show. When he did his KISS shows, he knew the words to almost all of their songs, since he has been performing to them since he was a kid. He chose an eclectic selection for this show and though he knew and liked all of them, he didn’t have them memorized as well. He told me that one of the songs he had chosen turned out to have different lyrics than he had been singing all this time! So he had to find and learn lyrics to the songs on his playlist.

One of the songs Joe sang in his first set was one he chose because it reminded him of when he and I would hang out in high school. The school library had a place people could listen to music under headphones, and Joe had a Elton John album he and I would listen to, which included the song “Honky Cat”. Eight songs in to the show, Joe told this story and sang this song. It brought back memories for me too.

 

Joe singing during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.
Joe singing during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.

 

He started his first set with the Dominik Hauser version of the Love Boat theme, to get people in the mood. He followed that with “Enjoy Yourself” by The Jackson 5 and “Drivin’ My Life Away” by Eddie Rabbitt. Other artists he sang to included Highway 101, the Beatles, KC & the Sunshine Band, and the Bee Gees. Joe finished the set with a song from the film Rocky, “You Take My Heart Away” by DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford. It is a duet and he sang both parts.

 

Joe doing a dance move, for the song Billy Jean by Michael Jackson, during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.
Joe doing a dance move, for the song Billy Jean by Michael Jackson, during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.

 

Joe started the second set with “Love Me for a Reason” by the Osmonds. Then he had me speak for a moment while he ducked into the bathroom to change his shirt and put on a dress coat for his next number. He came out, put on one glove (black instead of white because that is what he had) and he was ready. He sang and danced to “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. He had more dancing in the show, but found out in a rehearsal that he couldn’t do it very well. So this number represented all his dancing. Afterward, he changed back to the other shirt for the rest of the show. This set included “Knock Three Times” by Tony Orlando and Dawn, “The Hustle” by Van McCoy, and “I’ve Got the Music in Me” by Kiki Dee. He finished the show with Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”.

In between the sets, Joe took a break while a friend of his did a song. Mike Weaver sang and performed “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver. It was a good performance, and many of us sang softly along with him.

 

Mike Weaver sang and did interpretive dance to a song by John Denver at Joe's show on September 12, 2014.
Mike Weaver sang and did interpretive dance to a song by John Denver at Joe’s show on September 12, 2014.

 

I grew up with these songs, so I really enjoyed hearing them again.Ā As usual, a good time was had by all. Thank you Joe.

 

Joe doing a drum move during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.
Joe doing a drum move during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.

 

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Feeling much better and ready to get back to work

Greetings, readers. I am about 95% better now. Certainly well enough to get back to our work day routine. It feels good. Although there was no way I could have worked last week, I felt guilty for doing not much of anything. With our goal to get camp book 3 out by July, any huge time off could be potentially costly. For the immediate future, Wednesdays are going to be our easiest day, with the accountant meeting, book work, and the blog. Thursdays I have earmarked for creation. And as for Fridays, another blog entry, some more creation, and our favorite end of the week treat, Order of the Stick.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, Order of the Stick is a web-comic by Rich Burlew based on the Dungeon and Dragons role-playing game. His first jokes were about the changes between two versions of the game, probably between 3rd edition and 3.5. Over time, he has developed strong story lines with his stick figure characters. The archive of his strips can be found on his site, Giant in the Playground, named for a reference in the TV show Babylon 5.

That will be our work week. As far as my weekends go, Saturdays will be D&D gaming, weather and home football crowd permitting, and Sundays I hope to watch lots of Steelers football or play Axis & Allies with Rebecca’s husband Darren.

Lastly, my brain just forgot what I was about to say here. That is oatmeal brain for you. So I will conclude this way: Have a great day, take care, happy reading. And if I remember what I was going to say, look for it on Friday.

P.S. Good movie recommendation: Unstoppable with Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. Five stars.

Crawling back from being under the weather

Greetings, readers. Yes, my sinus infection is slowly going away. I’ve been on extra orange juice, water and sleep. By Wednesday Rebecca and I should be back to our regular schedule for working. Trust me, it will feel good. I’m already falling behind.

Right now I’m watching Penn State demolish U-Mass 41-0 in the third quarter. We’ve finally got our running game going. We’ll need it to be competitive in the Big Ten.

I’ve been binge watching a series on Netflix streaming calledĀ Weird Or What? Seasons two and three were hosted by William Shatner, one of my favorite actors. Most of the stories are a bit far-fetched like alien abductions and monsters, and at times very difficult to believe. They’re definitely weird… or what.

Well, KeeKee’s been taking good care of my by staying close by. I think she can tell something’s not right with me. Until Wednesday everyone, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

 

From Rebecca: Joe performed a good show last Friday, and has a cold this week

Yes, Joe has a cold now, after having many busy days last week, so this will be a quick entry. Joe is probably over the contagious part, though I am still using my hand sanitizer while using his computer.

Joe performed his show of 70s and 80s music last Friday to a full room. There was disco, and singing along, and a good mix of different styles. Joe has eclectic tastes in music! To name just a few of the artists Joe sang along with during the three-hour experience: The Beatles, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and Van McCoy.

There was video taken that Joe plans to put in YouTube if he can get a couple of glitches figured out. A lot of people took pictures, and I took some with both my cell phone camera and Joe’s. With Joe still a little under the weather right now, we will wait until another day to move the pictures from his phone to the computer. When we do, we will do a blog entry with pictures from the show.

As Joe would write, until next time have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

T minus 2 days and counting until my show

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe that by this time on Friday I will be performing my next show. I like to give performances for the folks at my apartment building every six to eight months. They seem to enjoy it and I love it. Besides writing, it is a great form of creativity. Over the years I’ve gotten much better with my showmanship and have actually become much less shy.

Friday’s show is a 70s and 80s show. Playlist performers I will sing include Billy Joel, the Jackson 5, Eddie Rabbitt, and many others. And as has happened in the past, I have learned the words to the songs; some of which turned out to be different thanĀ I what I have been singing all these years. It is going to be an enjoyable time, but with my mild health issues, I am going to have to keep track of how I’m feeling. During performances I have gotten fatigued and a little lightheaded; I’m going to need to get some Gatorade or something of the like when I purchase some snacks for my guests.

I am expecting some friends who are on my Facebook friends list. That has never happened before but I have two very definite maybes. We will have to see.

On a side note, as far as this work week goes, Rebecca, Darren and I went to a writer’s group last night, which will free up Thursday afternoon for me for my last big day of rehearsing. The only thing I worry about is straining my voice. Obviously, I want to sound good on show day. But even at this late stage, there are a couple of songs that need work.

There will not be a blog entry on Friday. So look for us again next Wednesday. Take care, wish me luck, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

My favorite Train Simulator 2014 run

Greetings, readers. I have been enjoying this program ever since I purchased it on Steam a number of weeks back. I truly find it fascinating. As some of you might know, I go to Maine every August, so when I saw for sale the route package from Portland, Maine, I just had to have it. It cost around $30. There is enough content in it to make that money well spent.

Along with the different scenarios, my favorite run in that package is one of the standard ones. I can take a train, start at East Deering, slowly make my way down to a rotating bridge that goes over the water, continue on to the other side, and end up at either Rigby or, if I go further, Union Station. In real life, Union Station was a grand train station in or near Portland, Maine. I see from the website Maine Memory Network, that it was closed, and torn down in 1961.

Towards the end of the run, I come into a town where the railway track is literally next to the road. I have to slow my train down to a mere ten miles an hour. But on a clear sunny day, with the sound effects of the seashore, people walking about, cars going by, and quaint patio furniture scattered around the sidewalks, it makes a nice place to stop my train, reverse, and head back to the rotating bridge.

With my new daily schedule now set in concrete, I’m heading to Panera Bread by 7:15 to have my morning coffee, and that is when I train sim. After my performance next Friday, I plan to use part of the morning for writing. Right now, you might say, I am on a train simulator binge. I am exploring and seeing what all the game has to offer.

I had the option of selecting in free mode the time of day, time of year, and weather conditions. This route is fascinating early in the morning on a foggy day. That is what I ran this morning. I used an old English diesel train that was compatible with the Portland route pack. Later I switched to a steam locomotive. Most enjoyable on both counts.

Actually, I am amazed, for as a child I was never really a train buff. I always loved airplanes and buses. Perhaps the old adage is true that all little boys love trains.

Until next time, take care, enjoy the last heat wave of summer, and happy reading.

Email woes and show update

Greetings, readers. I just threw a major hissy fit in front of Rebecca after trying four times to attach a picture to an email. What should have taken someone else 5 minutes took me 15. I don’t quite understand what is going on. The email kept wanting to reset itself. I’ve never seen it do that before. Rebecca thought possibly that it timed out in the browse attachment mode. For me who has to take time to do things properly, the phrase timed-out and me don’t mesh.

Now that the email has been sent to Zipcar, I can relax and quit being a nasty bastard. I try to control my anger, but when I can’t do simple things, it makes me horribly upset. The task was to attach a photo of a gas receipt for hopeful reimbursement. We shall see. Upon calling them I learned that they sent me an email two days after my initial inquiry. It must have gone to my spam folder and I never saw it. I will keep my fingers crossed and hope that I get my money back.

Lastly, before Rebecca and I get onto other chores, my Addison Court performance is nine days away. I will ease into the show, singing the theme from The Love Boat, and end with Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.” For anyone in the State College, PA area wishing to hear some good 70s and 80s music, the show is Friday, September 12th, from 1pm to 4pm in the Arnold Addison Court apartment building. I can’t believe that it is this close to show day. I’ll be ready. If any of my blog readers do wish to attend, please let me know that you are a reader when you arrive.

Until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.