Monthly Archives: November 2014

Happy day after Thanksgiving

Greetings, readers. Another Thanksgiving has come and gone and I am happy to say that I did my new routine. That consisted of sleeping in just a little, making coffee at home, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and then I walked down to a local diner and had a wonderful turkey dinner. The meal came complete with all the trimmings, several kinds of pie to choose from, and delicious coffee. All the proceeds went to a charity so I tipped well. The servers and other staff were mostly volunteers; I’m sure it felt good to give of themselves.

After dinner I was planning to watch the afternoon football games. Well, whatever it is that is in turkey that makes you tired said, “Joe it is time for a nap.” I didn’t fight it and dosed off from 3:00 to 6:00. I am happy to report that it did not infer with my sleep cycle as I was fearing it would. When I woke up from my nap, I had some eggnog, broke out the Christmas lights, and decorated the apartment. I plan to put some pictures of the decorations in the picture gallery soon.

Keekee was treated to extra treats throughout the day and I did my best to let her know that it was a special occasion.

Another thing I did yesterday was make and receive phone calls to friends and family. I heard from my Aunt Marilyn, friend David, and a great friend Sue whom I know from Bear Spring Camps.

As I always do when I have a day off, I thought today was Wednesday. No, it is only Friday. That’s okay though because I am planning a restful evening and a leisurely weekend which will include D&D gaming.

On a personal opinion note, something I’ve never really done before, boo hiss and bah humbug to K-Mart; as I understand it they forced all their employees to work on Thanksgiving day and threatened to fire them if they did not comply. To me, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Easter should be days set aside to be with family and loved ones.

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


From Rebecca: Thanksgiving and my mom Betty Lee

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, the holiday where we celebrate the gathering of Pilgrims and Native Americans to give thanks for friendship and abundance. Traditionally we celebrate it with a big meal that we eat with as many family members as possible, where we say what we are thankful for, and then after the meal we fall asleep will watching football on television. The holiday is about family, tradition, gratitude, and food.

It was one of my mother’s favorite holidays. Betty Lee was big on counting your blessings, but she also really loved that every few years her birthday was the same day as Thanksgiving. Last Sunday I had conversations about her with my father and with my sisters. She passed away almost four years ago, and we are thinking about her a lot. We aren’t going to be all together this year, instead we are having small gatherings in our own homes. I never realized how much she and my step-father did to get us together for the holidays and birthdays until she passed away. Without her calling with the time, place, and expectation to be there for family get-togethers, we just don’t get many of them arranged anymore. We do see and talk to each other a lot, so that is good. Maybe the big meal together is more for families that are far apart from one another. We are blessed to live as close as we do. We are not as close as we would like to be my step-father, but we try to keep in touch as much as we can.

My mom and step-father, when they were still in good health, loved going places and talking to people. In restaurants they knew the servers and managers, in banks they knew the tellers, and in grocery stores they knew many of the cashiers. They really liked knowing about other people and had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. If someone had trouble and needed help, my mom and step-father would give that help if they could. Mom loved keeping in contact with people on the internet, especially Facebook. My sister Marjorie has inherited these traits. She also likes keeping up with a wide circle of friends on the internet. When I go to restaurants with her, she knows all the servers and managers. They stop by the table for a minute on the way by to chat with her and she cares about many of them. At one place, she is such friends with a few of the servers that for a while she was giving them rides to and from work when they had trouble with transportation. Mom would be so proud of Marjorie.

Mom also spent her life exploring her spiritual path, inner truth, and how to live her faith. She sometimes explored paths that were different from those her family, and sometimes society, were following, like A Course in Miracles. She followed her own sense of inner right and wrong, while accepting that others had different views. My sister Jennifer also explores her inner spiritual truth and how to live her faith. She participates in her church and struggles with how to follow her path and God’s plan for her. Her father, mother, and sisters are not a part of her church and that faith, but she is true to herself by choosing to be there. She also uses her artistic skills to help others who are in pain because of tragic loss. Mom would be so proud of Jennifer.

I am not sure what I share with Mom, other a love of books, but I know that her life on earth flows through us and with us into the world. I am so thankful that she was my mom. It is one of the things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving, along with my dad, sisters, step-father, nephews, niece, brother-in-law, husband, mother-in-law, my friend Joe, and my other friends. Mom was a big believer in going around the Thanksgiving meal table and saying our list of what we are thankful for each year.

I know there are people who do not celebrate Thanksgiving the same way, and see it in light of the eventual oppression of the Native people of this land by the European people. I am aware that the Natives got the short end of every deal they made with the people and nation that followed the help that tribe gave the Pilgrims that first pivotal year. But I love the spirit of two different groups gathering together to celebrate friendship, generosity, and achievement. The Pilgrims had lost so many in the ocean crossing and the first devastating winter. Then, with help, they learned to live off the land and grow crops in their new home. They had food and skills to go into another winter from a better position. In gratitude, they invited their teachers to a feast, to celebrate having an abundance to share. We honor that meal with our holiday.

So if you are in the United States and participate in Thanksgiving, may you have a good meal and great company. If you don’t celebrate the holiday, may you still have many blessings to give thanks for this year. Happy Thanksgiving.

Crazy day after yesterday’s technology problems

Greetings, readers. I’m not quite certain what happened with my computer yesterday, but it was very slow going. I don’t think it was a virus because my anti-virus checker didn’t find one. However, the two separate scans needed to solve the issue took most of the work day. My computer runs terribly slow when the virus checker is active.

As for today, Rebecca and I are going to work on the website dealing with my health insurance. We obviously couldn’t do that with a computer that might have had a virus. I figure that this job will take a good chunk of our work day today. This is why I am typing in the blog entry. Rebecca will edit it when she arrives, which will save time.

To be honest, I didn’t get the computer working correctly until an hour or more after Rebecca left yesterday. It’s a good thing that it wasn’t our back-up-files day because neither one of us wanted to put our flash drives into the funky acting computer. I am confident that all issues have been taken care of. As we work today, time will tell if my computer is still running slow or if we will be able to use it for work as needed.

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

Hawaii Five-O classic ’68 to ’79

Greetings, readers. As a binge TV watcher, the latest show that I have been enjoying is the classic Hawaii Five-O. The way I have been enjoying it recently is that I will watch one episode per season. Watching it that way makes it very easy to see how much Jack Lord aged during those years. Hawaii Five-O was one of my favorite programs along with The Waltons and M.A.S.H when I was youth. Here are my thumbs up and thumbs downs for this series, classic Hawaii Five-O.

In 1968, when the series began, the 30-something Jack Lord had a look and feel of a James Bond. Everyone wore short hair, thin ties, and polished shoes. Steve McGarrett was the super cop, the head of the fictitious state police. To me the first season was hysterically funny although the series was a drama. Characters Chin Ho, Kono, and Dan Williams, when asked if they knew anything about the case, would always reply something to the effect that they had no new information. This would leave super-cop McGarrett to be the one who figures out the crime. After a season or so of this, thank goodness, CBS decided to change the format slightly. The other characters added more and didn’t appear so stupid. Steve McGarrett, however, remained the one who always cracked the case.

In the early years, when I was a youth, Steve McGarrett had a wonderful black car, a 1968 Mercury Park Lane Brougham. From season 8 to season 12, his classic car was replaced with a new model. I liked the old one better. I read on the internet that a car collector purchased the original Hawaii Five-O Mercury. I wish I was that person; I would love to own that car.

At the end of season 10, Kam Fong, who played Chin Ho Kelly, wished to leave, so his character was killed off. That made me very upset because I liked him, yet it gave Jack Lord the opportunity to shine with his acting skills, as his character swore to Danno that he would not rest until he caught the killer of his friend. James MacArthur, who played Danno, hung around for one more year. No mention was ever said about where he went or what happened to him. For their final season, season 12, three new characters were created; Lori Wilson, the first female character to join the team, the Hawaiian strong man who played Truck, and Danny’s replacement, Kimo. I have to be honest, book him Kimo didn’t have the same ring as McGarrett’s catch phrase book him Danno.

Two quirks I have with the series; one minor and one major. The minor one I believe took place in season 9 where the Hawaii Five-O team was magically transported to a different building. I believe this was because the Iolani Palace was being renovated in real life. The major one, which makes me chuckle every time I see it, happens in the later seasons during car chases. One scene McGarrett will be driving his new Mercury Marquis, then the next scene he’ll whiz by in his old car, and back and forth it will go. Obviously the editors didn’t care; to them a black car with McGarrett in it was fine. When you have seen the episodes as many times as I have you can forget storylines and pick up little details like this. To them cutting and slicing was probably being cost-effective, to me I call that bad editing.

I did give the new Hawaii Five-O that started about 4 seasons ago a trial run. Although it is still on the air, I don’t watch it. To me there will only be one Hawaii Five-O, what Netflix streaming calls Hawaii Five-O (1968) Classic .

That’s our post for today. Feel free to chime in with your favorite shows in the comments, and for my friends on Facebook and Twitter, leave a comment on there if you wish. So have a good day, bundle up if you are in the deep freeze, take care and happy reading.

Top ten list of favorite holidays

Greetings, readers. Today’s top ten list, as you can see by the title, is my favorite holidays. So here they are and one through five are in order.

#10. Valentine’s Day [I used to love this holiday, but with my luck with the opposite gender not being so good, this holiday has slipped way down on my list.]

#9. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day [When Mom and Dad were alive, I would get them nice gifts and sometimes I would buy Mom flowers. Now that they are both gone, I visit their gravesites on those days.]

#8. Memorial Day [As a kid I loved Memorial Day for on that weekend the Indianapolis 500 race would be on TV. It is one of my favorite sporting events. Also this holiday meant the end of the school year was soon approaching and summer time would soon begin.]

#7. Labor Day [This is the day where the workers of the United States are honored, and when I was a kid it meant the end of summer and school would begin the next day.]

#6. St. Patrick’s Day [It is an Irish holiday and the tradition is that everyone should dress up with some green in their outfit. I always enjoyed doing this. A couple of years ago I plumb forgot and was teased, though in fun, by my friends at Panera Cafe. I also enjoy the holiday because green just happens to be one of my favorite colors.]

#5. 4th of July [When I was living at home, I would always watch the New York Macy’s 4th of July fireworks, which was shown on a New York TV station that our cable company picked up. I watched it for at least a decade before they went with alternate programing. Now, kitty cat Keekee and I watch our local fireworks from the living room window on the top floor of my apartment building. The window faces Beaver Stadium where the fireworks are shown.]

#4. Easter [In my youth I enjoyed getting all dressed up in my Sunday best for church. Later when I officially became Catholic, I enjoyed getting palms on Palm Sunday and attending midnight Mass on Easter Eve. Many good memories with Mom and Dad over those years.]

#3. Thanksgiving [Another one of my biggies. As a family oriented person, I always enjoyed holidays such as Thanksgiving where the family got together, watched parades, football, and eat that delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings. This year I am going to watch my parade as usual and partake of the Thanksgiving meal served at one of the local diners. I did that last year and found the day quite satisfying.]

#2. New Year’s Day [New Year’s Eve and Day go together for me. I would always watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, drink some champagne with Mom and Dad on the stroke of midnight. On the day itself, one of my favorite things to do was watch the Cotton bowl game on New Year’s morning. After a day of football and making New Year’s resolutions, the holiday season draws to a close.]

#1. Christmas [My all time favorite holiday. Even as a small child, I knew Mom and Dad bought the presents but I still believed in Santa Claus. I always enjoyed watching Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a wonderful story told be Burl Ives in that version. In recent years, I concentrate more on the meaning of Christmas, buying myself only a small present perhaps, but I do decorate my tiny apartment. Watching such classics as A Christmas Carol, and TV channel 11’s Yule Log, are must dos, along with plenty of egg nog in between Christmas and New Year’s Day.]

Well, there they are. Most of them are in order. As always please feel free to chime in with your list. Add it on Facebook if you wish. I know that people of other faiths and in other countries celebrate different holidays, and feel free to share about those too.

As always, have a good day and weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Week off yielded good results

Greetings, readers. Yes, Rebecca and I are back at it after a week off. I felt I needed it to get some personal things in order. Overall, I would say that the week off was a success. I took the figurative bulldozer to my bedroom and struck bed. I must admit that after three years of sleeping in a recliner, climbing into a comfy clean bed felt good. Now, I know that I am doing things that an early teenager should be doing. Well, guess what, I started my training late.

Rebecca told me this, and she is correct, that having specific goals is the key. To say that I am going to clean my room at some point is all well and good, but to say I’m going to have my place presentable for company around Christmas time is a stronger goal with more motivation. I must always remember, however, with my health ailments, I can only do it a little at a time. I must choose my battles.

Since returning from camp the second week of August, I have successfully changed my sleeping schedule, made good progress on my apartment, passed my inspection, and have taken steps to deal with my depression. I would give the last three months a B grade for my objectives. Rebecca told me many times that I have said in the past I’m going to do something and it never gets done, or stays done. This time I am happy to report not only am I surprising her, I am also surprising myself.

On a very brief side note, cold weather is here in central Pennsylvania. The storm that came over Alaska and came through the mid-west, is here tonight. Yesterday’s high: a pleasant 61; tonight’s overnight low: a frosty 30. I am glad that I will be inside. Last night, a bus driver told me about something she heard, which I had not heard about yet: a phenomenon called flash freezing, where the temperature can drop 10 to 20 degrees within minutes. I’m not sure about that short amount of time, but perhaps in a half hour. She said that might happen here, but luckily it didn’t. I shall continue to enjoy all the sunny days I can get, even if they are cold, for sunny days with blue sky lifts my feelings of depression.

Okay folks, I’m done babbling. This coming Friday look for a top ten list, and a From Rebecca in the near future. So, until Friday stay warm, be happy, take care and happy reading.