Monthly Archives: January 2015

(For my Facebook friend) In the blink of an eye

Greetings, readers. I’m going to have to be careful with today’s blog entry for it deals with a friend of mine, who was a caregiver for my late Godmother. My friend suffered a great tragedy; a devastating house fire and the loss of everything she held dear. Part of her loss was her four beloved dogs. Since hearing about this, I have been greatly affected.

When I read on Facebook about my friend’s loss, I couldn’t help but wonder how I would feel if that happened to me. My apartment has so many sprinklers in it that any fire would be quickly extinguished, but still if anything were to happen to my dear kitty cat Keekee I know I would be destroyed. I’ve found myself unplugging  and turning things off before I leave my apartment and making certain that nothing could catch fire. As the days have gone by, this compulsion has become a little bit less, though I am still keenly aware of it.

After I read over my friend’s Facebook posts, I typed her a private message with the usual, “If there is anything I can do, please call.” Even though my intentions are good, it seems to me to be a lame statement. How could I possibly fix anything for her? I’m not a carpenter, I can’t build her a new house, and I don’t have the money to buy her a new puppy. Actually, I think she would be offended if I did.

I’ve read the comments that people have left for her and I’m seeing tons of love and support from everybody. I’m hoping that makes her long journey back a little shorter and a little easier. To you my friend, and you know who you are, my heart goes out to you. Get a hold of me for anything you need day or night. My Godmother knew three of the dogs lost, and I know in my heart that she is caring for them right now in Heaven.

Yes, readers, your life can change in the blink of an eye. I’m sure a lot of us don’t think about that every day. In time the wounds and scars on my friend with heal and I will become less sensitive to my current anxieties.

Next week, look forward to a top ten list and possibly a From Rebecca post. Until then, have a good weekend, stay out of the snow, take care, and happy reading.

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Beautiful sunny day and my weekend plans, including the Super Bowl

Greetings, readers. This is today’s blog entry take two. I’m waiting on someone’s permission to write on a sad event that happened to her and my feelings about it. I was going to write it today but then realized it was inappropriate to do so without her knowledge and consent. So here is the back up plan.

After eight plus inches of snow in a couple of days, I was pleasantly surprised to wake up to a beautiful sunny morning today. I’m always much happier when it is sunny with blue skies. This afternoon I have very little to do but I will enjoy a walk to the bank, perhaps a light snack out, and then back to the apartment. Upon getting back it will be time for Keekee’s dinner and a few chores to tidy up the apartment. Then the rest of the day is mine. I think I’ll continue to search YouTube for ambiance videos and then play some PS3 baseball.

My weekend plans are as follows. I’ll be getting back to D&D gaming on Saturday; we were snowed out last week. My character Catrana and her partner Tessara will battle the evil monsters once again. It really is a fun way to spend an afternoon.

When Sunday rolls around, I have two choices. If the weather holds, Darren has asked me to come over and watch the Super Bowl with him. Wouldn’t you know though, we are expecting another big snow storm. If that happens, I’ll watch the game in the apartment building’s community room, where friends of mine are throwing a party. There’s a slight dilemma in our building right now, no names used here, but if I attend the Super Bowl party here at home, I’m going to help clean up.

I’m going to be rooting wholeheartedly for the Seattle Seahawks. The whole Deflategate thing has me so annoyed that even though I vacation in New England and love their other sports teams, I will not root for the New England Patriots until steps are taken to straighten that franchise out. I don’t know if that means a change of coach, owner, quarterback, ball boy or all of the above, but a small fine just won’t cut it for me. My office manager told me she heard that only $2,500 would be the penalty. Unbelievable! What I am looking for is the fine of half a million dollars and loss of draft choices. If it’s true that 11 out of 12 footballs were under-inflated, in my eyes they cheated to get into the Super Bowl. Shame on them.

Readers, please feel free to chime in with your opinions in the comments. I would love to hear them. Until Friday, take care, dig out of the snow if you are in it. Be well, and happy reading.

Ambient nature sounds have come to my rescue

Greetings, readers. Thanks again to YouTube. Last night and this morning I discovered a plethora of wonderfully soothing videos to watch. My favorite is a four-hour video of a rain storm, complete with thunder. Some of my favorites came from two people whose YouTube handles are TexasHighDef and YogaDuke. As I was going through all the choices, I came upon someone with the YouTube handle 8 Hours Of, who makes videos, most eight hours in length, of such sounds as airport background noise and microwave sounds. I actually laughed out loud as I listened to about two minutes of his eight-hour video of cat purring. I turned that one off quickly because Keekee ran out into the living room thinking I had brought home a new cat. You should have seen the look on her face.

I typed in the search words ambient with Star Trek and came up with some doozies. I can now enjoy twelve full hours of engine noise from the U.S.S. Enterprise D, from Star Trek: Next Generation. Also available are crew quarters, Ten-Forward, and the bridge from both Next Generation and the original series. Very cool.

Back to nature. Before Rebecca arrived, I had on the rainstorm video. It did precisely what it said it would do; I began to get sleepy and had to turn it off. It and videos like it will be wonderful for nap time.

Over the weekend, I’m planning to sit down and really search this category, and compile myself a wide variety of soothing background noise videos. I almost feel like I have a Star Trek holodeck. Isn’t technology wonderful? I would be here for six hours if I tried to list everyone whose videos I’ve taken a look at. So one big generic thanks goes out to everybody.

As a person who struggles with stress and depression I have found myself a wonderful way to alleviate the daily ailments that can get to me. I’m not going to get rid of my therapist or my anti-depression medicine just yet. But so far YouTube is free; that’s the ticket.

Lastly, Rebecca told me that we might have snow tomorrow for gaming day. That may throw a monkey wrench in the plans. After this blog post gets put up, I plan to check the weather on my computer to see exactly what’s coming. If the word ice is mentioned, all plans will be shelved.

I bid you a good weekend, be safe, take care, and happy reading.

Star Trek Continues is a great series

Greetings, readers. YouTube is so wonderful. Last evening I stumbled on to a web-series created by a gentleman named Vic Mignogna, who is obviously a fan of the original Star Trek. I found three full-length episodes, based on Gene Roddenberry’s old show.

The first story, “Pilgrim of Eternity,” was a sequel for the original series episode “Who Mourns for Adonis?” The greek god Apollo (played by the same actor, Michael Forest, who played the role in the original) comes back as a dying old man and asks for help from Captain Kirk and the crew. As time goes on, he can’t help but to want to be worshipped again. The captain and crew, of course, can’t stand for this.

The second episode, called “Lolani”, is about a beautiful Orion slave girl who comes aboard the Enterprise and longs to be free. Her villainous owner is played by the famous actor Lou Ferrigno, known most notably for playing the incredible Hulk in the 1970s.

“Fairest of them All” is the third episode which goes back to the mirror universe and is a continuation of the “Mirror, Mirror” episode in the original series. Mr. Spock goes against his captain, along with several others, to save the Terran empire.

Now, for my personal opinions. One of the actors I recognized was the former co-star of Mythbusters Grant Imahara who did a very good job playing Mr. Sulu. All the performances were extremely well done, especially that of Vic Mignogna as Captain Kirk, who was also the series producer. Mr Scott was played by Chris Doohan, the son of the original cast member James Doohan. Not only were all three of these episodes extremely well done in every facet, writing, acting, and production, but either they re-created all the sets perfectly, or were able to use the 1960s show’s sets. In all three episodes not once did I say to myself, “Oh, that looks amateurish.”

I’m going to link the website here so that you, my readers, can check it out. It is called Star Trek Continues, and this link will get you to the index page. I certainly hope that they make more episodes, but I fear that they are finished. I invite you to find this episodes through the link or on YouTube. Any fan of the classic Star Trek will be happily surprised and pleased.

It is a winter wonderland here in central Pennsylvania, so in closing I wish you all to be safe, warm, I wish you a good day, and as always, happy reading.

Update 1/22/15: Since I posted this entry yesterday, I found out about the Kickstarter program that the creators of Star Trek Continues have to raise money to make more episodes. Yay, at least two more episodes! They set a goal for $100,000 to be met by February 16, 2015, and as of this update they have $86,770 in pledges. I’m very impressed. Next week, I will pledge what I can, for I definitely wish to be part of this endeavour, even if it is in a small way. I looked up Star Trek Continues on Twitter, and I plan to make contact with them there to say I love what they are doing.

Top ten list of my favorite commercials

Greetings, readers. I find that almost all of my favorite commercials are from the 1970s, when I was a kid watching television. I have seen a number of these more recently on YouTube. I thought I would share them with you today. These are in no particular order.

#10. From the 70s, McDonald’s commercial with Ronald McDonald, the Cheeseburglar, the Grimace, Captain Crook, and a number of children, taking pictures saying cheeseburger instead of cheese.

#9. The ad for the 1975 Mercury Cougar XR7 starring Farrah Fawcett and a live cougar.

#8. The classic Lite Bright toy from Hasbro.

#7. The classic Betty Crocker Easy Bake Oven.

#6. Kenner SSP Racers.

#5. Another McDonald’s ad with the jingle listing out all the ingredients to a Big Mac.

#4. Mennen Skin Bracer aftershave ad with a slap and the tagline, “Thanks, I needed that.”

#3. Dunkin’ Donuts set of ads from the 80s with a baker saying, “Time to make the donuts.”

#2. The classic game Connect Four from Milton Bradley.

#1. The classic game Battleship from Milton Bradley with the line, “You sank my battleship!”

Okay folks, I just had a blast from the past and I enjoyed it. Thanks to Rebecca for looking up the videos on YouTube to get the names right. These ads were so long ago. In the comments section, please feel free to leave your favorite ads in a message. Let’s get a thread going.

Until next week, take care, stay warm, have a great weekend and happy reading.

Mud

Greetings, readers. As I’ve mentioned before, there are times in my life when I feel like I’m stuck in the mud. I just can’t get into a complete morning ’til evening routine. It is true that my morning routine is pretty well established, but once noon-time rolls around, all bets are off. I only work with Rebecca Wednesday through Friday. The weekend, Monday and Tuesday are my opportunities to write, clean the apartment, and have some me time. What I must do if I am going to continue to be a writer is take advantage of the early week and actually write.

I’ve sat at the computer before with a word document open, but no great ideas seem to take form. One time I started a short story, and the next day I edited it and realized it was total crap. I’ve been told by Rebecca never to throw any writing away, but sometimes I just cannot help myself. I know it’s garbage because what I read looked and felt forced. When I know that my writing is forced, the only place it can be put is the clunker file.

Another reason I think I’m stuck in the mud happened just last week. Rebecca was reading out loud a story I had dictated a year or two ago and I thought to myself, boy this is pretty good. Then to my shock I realized I can’t write like that anymore. Yes, my medications have been proven to dampen my brain to keep my seizures in check. I’m almost positive that this is what is affecting my creativity. I’ve got a dilemma. Obviously I don’t want seizures, but I don’t want what I call oatmeal brain either.

Between now and early March, when my best friend is coming for a visit, I’m going to tinker around with daily schedules and routines for writing. After his visit, hopefully with that routine in place, I’m going to begin to write with a vengeance. I want to have something to show for the year before camp time rolls around in August.

Lastly, you could say the cold weather is stuck in the mud, too. We’ve been having an arctic blast for a couple of weeks. The strange thing is I’m getting used to it. As long as there is no snow or ice, I suppose I can handle it.

Until Friday, keep warm, good luck with all of your endeavors, and, as always, happy reading.

Time seems to be going so fast

Greetings, readers. Here it is another Friday. These weeks and months go by so quickly. Seems like I just got back from camp not that long ago and yet Ryan Seacrest just dropped the ball last week. We went from summer 2014 to New Year’s Eve in one paragraph.

I’ve experienced this phenomenon for many years now. It seems the older I get, the faster time seems to go. I have no idea why that is. When I was in school, I was sometimes teased by kids, which I disliked. Also, I never found school fun, so time dragged. Now I can do basically anything I want and days and weeks fly by. I’m going to be looking up on the internet to see if a scientist has some theory on this.

Tomorrow is back to Dungeons and Dragons gaming day and I’m looking forward to that. Last week’s gaming day was called off for a variety of reasons, so I’ll enjoy getting back in to playing my character Catrana, who is a half-elf ranger, for those of you who know the game. I think I liked my other character Donaar, a dragon-born paladin, just a bit better. I really felt I knew him and his made-up family.

Last night I did a variety of gaming projects, including Madden football and the Sims 3. While doing so, since the games are easy, I thought about when is the perfect time of day to write creatively. Rebecca suggested Mondays and/or Tuesdays, which are days I usually don’t schedule much. I think she is on to something there. Instead of doing my early morning train or airplane simulator I can suck it up and say that on these days I write, and the rest of the week I can continue writing or play games. Anything to break the creative road block. Do I have the 500 page doorstop novel in me? I doubt it. But a few more short story books? Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

Finally, Central Pennsylvania is in the deep freeze. According to the weather site on my computer, tonight’s low could be -1 degrees. Now that is frosty, folks. So bundle up, here’s to a great weekend, and happy reading.

Is Hell cold?

Greetings, readers. The sun is currently out but the temperature is about 15 degrees. Tonight’s low will be a frosty 5 degrees. Earlier on we briefly had a snow squall with whiteout conditions. Mother Nature decided to get angry.

This morning as I was having my breakfast at Panera I overheard a couple of women discussing the weather. One of them said, “It is cold as Hell.” That got me thinking. From what I have learned in church, Hell is not cold. It is such an odd expression; I’ve used it myself many times. As I understand the stories, Hell’s a place where the Devil lives and flames are all around. Does this sound cold to you, readers? It doesn’t to me. I have no idea of the origin of the phrase. If any of you know, please leave it in the comment section.

Quickly on to other news. Now that the holidays are over, I will be taking down my decorations tonight, vacuuming and dusting, and getting my living room back in order. Since it will be so frigid this evening, I am going to treat myself to a can of soup for dinner. I did that the other day in the microwave oven, and though it is dying, it was still up to the task. Eventually, I’m going to throw away my oversize bowls and cups along with that old microwave and get some new things in the apartment. I’ve lived here at Addison Court for about 9 years but don’t really feel like this is my home. It has the feeling of a roof over my head, a place to keep me dry and warm, but I find myself saying to people, “I’m going to go back to my apartment now,” instead of, “I’m going home.” Cleaning out the old and buying a few new things, I think, will solve that problem. I want my little apartment to feel like home. I want to be proud of it when I have people over for a visit – not embarrassed by it.

Well, folks, since today was our meeting day with my accountant, time’s running short and we have just enough time to edit this entry. So until Friday, take care, stay warm, and happy reading.

Of my simulated life and my real life

Greetings, readers. Since Christmas Day, I have been on my laptop computer playing the Sims 3 Deluxe game. I’m not sure exactly why the game is so addictive, but every time I start playing it I just have to continue. One more click, one more command, just five more minutes. Next thing I know an hour has gone by.

I saw that the Sims 4 is either out already or coming out soon. As you all know, computer games of any kind strive for improvements and realism. I’m certain that Sims 4 will be no different.

Last night I created a character, an adult, and I tried to make him just like me. I added a little grey hair on his head, some grey in his black mustache and chose personality traits close to my own; including absent-mindedness. I had to laugh at how close he is to my true life personality.

My gaming habits worry me though. I seem to be losing myself in not only Dungeons and Dragons, but my three simulator games. I’m going to talk to my therapist and even heed Rebecca’s advice to volunteer somewhere, or perhaps even get a part-time job. I need to feel useful.

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Day. I certainly did. I partook of the local church’s dinner which was quite good. In the future, however, I will pass on the sauerkraut. It was yummy but it didn’t agree with my system. My favorite was the brown sugar candied yams. I could have walked into the kitchen and dove into the pot. LOL.

Lastly, I’m having company this Sunday for tea and snacks. How English! I was going to use my Grandmother’s tea service but I don’t want to drop and break anything so we use mugs. Perhaps another time. I don’t generally entertain in my small apartment but my living room area and kitchen are clean enough to have visitors. Yay me. I am actually sticking to one of last year’s resolutions. Slow progress, but progress.

Until next week, when Rebecca and I will work a full three day week, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.