Monthly Archives: December 2014

My condolences for another airplane disaster

Greetings, readers. My condolences to the families of those lost on AirAsia flight QZ8501.

I haven’t read up on this much, as I have been busy in the last week with the holidays. However, I am very interested in what happened, especially what went wrong, and I will do research soon.

That area of the world has seen a lot of tragedy this last year, and not only do my prayers go out to them, but I am sending prayers that no more airplane losses take place in this region of the world.

Until Friday, take care, stay safe, and have a happy New Year.


2014 in review WordPress report

Greetings, readers. The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. We look forward to this report every year. It gives us a lot of information about which topics are hot and which ones are not. I’m having tons of fun writing this blog for you my readers and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. So stay tuned for 2015.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

And on the 14th day, God gave us sunshine

Greetings, readers. Yes, it has been a full two weeks since that glowing orange ball and blue sky has appeared. Two weeks of clouds and rain. OMG. I was fighting depression every way I knew how. But even though a few clouds are beginning to make their way back, this morning was beautiful and it was a most welcome sight.

I hope all my readers had a wonderful Christmas. I know I did. I enjoyed probably the best Christmas Eve light ride outing since my parents passed away. Christmas day was restful, filled with Christmas tunes and a wonderful dinner at a local church. I really couldn’t have asked for more. Keekee got extra treats and somehow I think she knew that it was a special day. I think she can sense when I’m emotional, happy or angry. I know that when I’m upset she stays closer to me.

The weekend will be slightly different. Rebecca and Darren have family visiting, so our usual Dungeons and Dragons gaming day will be postponed a week. Even though I love the game, the postponement is fine with me. The Penn State football team is playing in the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday afternoon and I am excited about seeing them play in Yankee Stadium.

I am taking a rare road trip on Monday and Tuesday to Pittsburgh with my cousin Ed. The Penn State men’s basketball team is playing a couple of games in a tournament there. Cousin Ed is treating me to it. I’m sure Keekee will be fine overnight, since she has done well in the past with just a few checkups from Rebecca when I go to Maine for a week.

When I get back on Tuesday, I’m going to take down my Christmas lights and put all the decorations back in the closet where they go. I could wait until after New Year’s, but I’m noticing already that light bulbs are beginning to burn out. I’ve had these strands a number of years now, and if our drug store is still there next year, I may need to purchase two new boxes. Time will tell.

Here’s wishing everyone a great weekend, and safe and happy plans for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Rebecca and I will be working Wednesday and Friday next week, taking New Year’s Day off. After that, our work schedule should get back to normal. Until Wednesday, enjoy, take care, and happy reading.

Christmas Eve 2014

Greetings, readers. I am very excited that tonight I get to do my Christmas Eve Light Ride. I have a Zipcar on reserve that I will pick up, and then use to drive through the neighboring communities to see what beautiful decorations people have put up for Christmas. I will use most of the same route that I have enjoyed since childhood when my parents started this tradition.

There were some years when, due to circumstances, I wasn’t able to do my light ride, and I missed it a lot. A couple of years I had to do it by bus, which was not the same at all. It wasn’t the same route, and one time a bus driver actually asked me if I had missed my stop because he thought I had been on the bus too long. That was embarrassing. The next year I told the bus driver when I got on what I was doing, and that worked better. But I still prefer to have my own wheels.

The weather has been cloudy for almost two straight weeks, and mist and precipitation are in the forecast for this evening. However, the temperature is supposed to be above freezing. As long as it isn’t icy, I don’t care what the weather is doing tonight – I am taking part in my tradition.

I am all ready to go for Christmas. Decorations are up, I have purchased for everyone, and I have been filled with Christmas music. Yesterday, I heard Eartha Kitt’s version of “Santa Baby” for the first time this season. I can’t believe it took this long. Thank you, Music Unlimited.

Keekee has extra special treats bought for her as her gift. Everyone knows I spoil her rotten. She and I will spend a nice day together tomorrow and at 6:00 I shall be off to a local church dinner. I, of course, will be thinking of the family, especially Godmother. It is the first Christmas without her.

I’m off to Pittsburgh on Monday for an overnight trip to see the Penn State men’s basketball team play a couple of games. Poor Keekee will have to keep herself company until I get back late on Tuesday. Then, I am looking forward to the parades and big bowl games on New Year’s Day. My favorite is the Rose Bowl.

Rebecca and I will have work next week Wednesday and Friday. So readers, have a wonderful holiday season, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and we’ll see you next week. Take care and happy reading.

Whoo-hoot we got a book sale

Greetings, readers. I stopped over at Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe and talked to the owner about any recent sales of my books. I was happily surprised to learn that we did indeed have one sale of Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, my first blog book. I say first blog book, because a second one is in the planning stages. This news has my weekend off to a great start.

After ten straight days of cloudy weather, we are finally seeing slits of blue sky and the reflection of sunshine off some buildings. I was beginning to forget what that big, orange, glowing ball looked like. And yes, my depression was taking a hit. On the way up to work from Webster’s, I chatted with a lady in the building, and at the end of the conversation she told me what a wonderful attitude I had. So, I suppose, even if I’m a bit depressed on the outside, I must be projecting being happy on the outside.

As far as today and the weekend plans go, after our blog entry is posted, I’m going to try to dictate to Rebecca a short story for the final camp book. Either from scratch, or we will work from one that is already in a folder. Tomorrow is our usual Dungeons and Dragons day, and on Sunday I have been invited to a pre-holiday dinner. How wonderful it will be to get a complete and delicious meal. Being a depressed bachelor, my diet is not what it should be.

The holidays are coming up, as we all know, and my place is as decorated as it is going to be. I will be taking my Christmas Eve light ride, watching parades, ball games, and the Christmas Mass from Rome, and doing other traditional holiday things that I have done since childhood. For the past year or so, I’ve felt an overwhelming urge to get back to my roots and be who I was, not who I am now. I almost feel like I want to start over again – now there’s something to talk to my psychologist about.

Here’s wishing everybody a good last week of holiday preparations and shopping. I don’t bake cookies but I’m sure that there will be some delicious dessert at the holiday meal. I am getting my fill of eggnog; I love it but sometimes the spices in it don’t like me too much. Thank goodness for Prilosec.

Until Wednesday, have a great weekend, stay warm, and happy reading.

Possible problems with WordPress

Greetings, readers. This morning, Rebecca’s sister sent me a Facebook message, alerting me to a possible problem with WordPress dealing with hackers, malware, and a plug-in that I don’t use. Before we began today, Rebecca looked over the site and read linked articles. She deems it safe to use today, as far she can tell. The problem seems to be with a plug-in called Slider Revolution, which we don’t use. So this blog entry will not be on the topic which I had planned,  but it will be more or less a test for what happens after we hit the publish button.

As all of you have read in my technology grrr pieces, I’ve become deathly afraid when I hear such words as hacking, malware, or viruses. My Asus laptop is over five years old, and like Muhammad Ali, it is towards the end of its career. One good punch could put it down for the count.

What is going on with WordPress is something that I don’t think my AVG anti-virus could catch. I believe it is an internal issue with a third-party site connected to WordPress. After we spell check, add a category and tags, we will post this test entry and if all goes well I will have an extra special one for you on Friday.

Until then, take care, think sunshine if you are in a cloudy area, and happy reading.

The ultimate in technology grrr day

Greetings, readers. I am dictating this blog entry while gritting my teeth. My alarm went off this morning at 6:45 and I turned on my laptop by 7:15. I was going to enjoy a morning of Train Simulator 15. Ha ha ha.

After coffee was made and I had my comfy seat arranged just the way I wanted it, I activated the game. The error message read something like: Missing start application. Right there I knew my whole morning was screwed. After fiddling with it for ten to fifteen minutes, I decided to play some music on my PS3 using Music Unlimited, go back to my laptop and uninstall said game. It shouldn’t take long to reload and I will have it running by 9:00. Ha ha ha.

By 10:15, I was still struggling to get the program to run. With no one else in the room, I actually said out loud to the computer, “Eight stories is a long way down.” Yes, readers, I talk to myself when I’m angry.

By 11:15, I had to leave the apartment to get some brunch and meet Rebecca. I shall try one more time to re-install the game this afternoon after work hours. Most of you, I’m sure, are thinking, “Well, what’s he complaining about?” But my days and weeks are very rigidly scheduled. Afternoon is writing and creation. Evening is filled with activities with friends or getting caught up with Netflix, so my mornings are slated for personal computer time. After almost four hours today with nothing but troubleshooting, I threw my hands up in the air and said, “I’ll try this again later.” As my pop would have said, “So it goes.”

While waiting for Rebecca at Panera this morning, I almost grabbed a newspaper and read my horoscope. I would have laughed if it had said stay in bed, for today is going to be a terrible day.

Okay, I’m done ranting now. For this weekend, Saturday will be my usual Dungeons and Dragons day with Rebecca and Darren, and Sunday will be filled with watching football and having someone come to help keep up the apartment. So I wish you all a good weekend, do stay warm if it is cold outside, and happy reading.

Money money money … money!

Greetings, readers. Have you ever had one of those weeks where money just seems to fly out of your wallet? I’m experiencing one of those weeks right now. Christmas is right around the corner and I have some people to shop for. I’m also going to treat myself to one Christmas gift this year. That’s not the big issue. Some unexpectedly high bills have come in, putting a slight damper on my holiday mood.

Yesterday I went to the dentist. Although it was a painless and relatively pleasant experience, as dentist visits go, the bill was much higher than I was expecting it to be. It is enough to make me never eat sweets ever again.

Speaking of that one Christmas gift I’m going to treat myself to, it’s either going to be a trade in and upgrade of my gaming system, or a Keurig coffee maker so I don’t have to spend as much money at Panera. For the gaming system trade, I would imagine I would have to shell out $200 to $300. For the coffee maker, probably $125 for the version with the water reservoir. Right now the Keurig is in the lead.

I’m definitely getting into the Christmas season mood. This morning I listened to Christmas music on Pandora while waiting for Rebecca to come to work. I know that it seems that money is leaking out of my wallet, but it is that time of year, and I’ve already told my accountant and Rebecca that in the next month or so I will rein in my expenditures if I can. Well, how about that, another goal set. I will be pleased to keep you up to date on my progress.

Lastly, I passed my latest inspection yesterday with flying colors.

That is the news from here. Rebecca and I will have a new blog entry for you on Friday. Take care, stay warm, enjoy life, and happy reading.

Top ten list of my top ten lists

Greetings, readers. Rebecca had an idea that I just loved; to do a top ten list of our top ten lists to date. Here they are in order. You can click on the titles to link to the original blog entry. Enjoy.

#10. Top ten list of my favorite football helmet logos

#9. Top ten list of my favorite TV theme songs [In my last performance, the theme to The Love Boat was the show opener.]

#8. Top ten list of great M.A.S.H. episodes [It was truly hard to choose only ten. M.A.S.H. was such a great show; truly top quality TV.]

#7. Top ten list of favorite holidays

#6. Top ten list of favorite television show finales

#5. Top ten list of places I want to visit or revisit

#4. Top ten list of MLB or NFL stadiums gone by [I wished I could have lived in the era when Forbes Field in Pittsburgh and Shibe Park in Philadelphia were in their heyday. I definitely would have gone to games there.]

#3. Top ten list of ways to get inspired

#2. Top ten list of airlines no longer with us [I never thought that TWA, Eastern, or Pan Am would ever go out of business.]

#1. Top ten list of Air Crash Investigation stories [This topic continues to be one of the hottest on the blog and this is the entry with the most views.]

Honorable mention: Top ten list of modern conveniences [This one is a funny one. Every week with few exceptions it shows up in the views stats. Neither of us have any idea why this is so popular. For all we know, a teacher might be using this as part of a homework assignment.]

There you have them, in order. Chime in with yours if you wish to, here or on Facebook. Until next Wednesday, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

Are we alone in the universe?

Greetings, readers. I have often asked myself this question. Recently on Netflix streaming I watched a show called Unsealed: Alien Files, which was on the one hand very interesting, but on the other hand it seemed to be made up. Episode topics included the men in black, and alien hot spots such as L.A., Texas, and even Washington D.C. The episode I laughed through was the one talking about Adolf Hitler using U.F.O. technologies. Yeah, right.

If the fuhrer actually processed U.F.O. technology, this would the United States of Deutschland; the man would have won World War II. After I got done laughing, I had to rewind at least three minutes of the show to listen to it again.

Being Roman Catholic, I do believe in things such as the afterlife, spirits, and that God created heaven and earth. I am just stating that as my fact, I’m not trying to ram that down your throat; I would like that understood. Most of me wants to believe that in all vast space with its galaxies upon galaxies, that intelligent life must exist elsewhere. Rather or not I will see it, that is another question. The only things I’ve seen flying around in my lifetime are airplanes and birds.

Back when I was a teenager I was fascinated by the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I went to see that at the theater seven consecutive Friday nights. I think a lot of people wonder if we are alone. And when this series talks about the government conspiracies and the things they are supposedly hiding, it makes me wonder all the more.

On the final episode of the series, it only ran one year, they talked about our government launching people to start a small colony on Mars before the year 2020. I always thought that earth was the only habitable planet in our solar system. But I suppose with the advancements in technology, some sort of atmospheric dome or something of the like could be build. Time will tell.

Do I really want to see a grey or reptilian being? Half of me says sure, come on in, let’s have a cup of coffee. The other half of me would be positively scared to death.

On Friday, I’m going to have a top ten list ready for you. So until then, take care, have a great couple of days, look up to the skies if you believe, and happy reading.