Monthly Archives: February 2015

I think I hit rock bottom last night

Greetings, readers. I’m not certain whether the remnants of my illness is toying with my emotions or what, but last evening as I was watching television, I broke down and cried several times. I wasn’t sobbing, mind you, so we’ll call them junior nervous break-downs. I’ve experienced this phenomenon before but not since I’ve been on my anti-depression medicine. This leads me to two questions. One, is the dosage as strong as it should be, and two, for some reason could it have completely stopped working?

Body chemistry is bizarre and I don’t begin to claim to understand it. Maybe after a major illness it takes a week or so for regular medications to work normally again. I certainly hope so. I have an appointment with my psychologist on Monday, and I’ll be bringing a list of things to talk about so as to not forget anything.

The bedroom cleaning began yesterday and will continue at 3:00 with a hard choice made. The lamp that was my mom’s which sat on the credenza is going to be put on the swap table in the community room. It’s mildly broken and I have another lamp on the credenza now. I don’t like throwing out possessions that my parents had, as most of you know, but I have no choice. It is now or never, Dave comes Thursday.

Since getting back from the hospital on Tuesday, I am horribly behind on correspondences on Facebook and Twitter. After the blog entry goes up today, Rebecca and I will check emails and social media, leaving time to do our files back-up work as we always do on Friday.

Next Wednesday, the blog will be about one of my all time favorite shows when I was a boy. The mid-1960s Batman series. I’m watching the DVDs now, and am thoroughly enjoying them. That’s going to be a fun blog entry for me, giving my recollections and opinions on three seasons of campy fun.

Until then, take care, keep warm and dry, and happy reading.

Ouch! That nasty flu bug bit me

Greetings, readers. I am finally home from the hospital, after a two-and-a-half day stay that felt like a week. My first six hours were spent in the ER, having blood drawn and IV needles inserted. What I thought was going to happen was: I would go, get my IV fluids, feel better, and come home. If I knew the doctor was going to admit me, I would have packed my backpack with my computer and a few other niceties from home.

Sunday was a complete wash-out. Monday I felt a wee bit better. By Tuesday I knew I was ready to come home because I was getting antsy. I was back to my spunky self.

As I was lying in my hospital bed, I watched a little TV, listened to some music, but mostly I slept and used the restroom. My biggest inconvenience was that I had to ring for a nurse every single time because the IV stand had to come with me into the bathroom. The nurse had to unplug that from the wall and make sure I didn’t damage the IV connection in my arm with an abrupt movement. On Monday evening I felt strong enough to take a walk in the hallway up and back; my nurses felt that was a very good sign. One of them said that they were going to suggest that anyway. She explained that they like to get the patients up and moving sooner rather than later to avoid stiff muscles or bed sores.

On a personal note, I wish to thank Rebecca and Darren for not only visiting, but for getting me home late yesterday afternoon. I got back just in time to feed Keekee, who missed me immensely, and to prepare myself something very light to eat. I’m still taking things rather easy. Keekee was happy to see me. She seemed very hungry so I immediately gave her half a can of moist food. I never have to worry that she will starve, because I have her feeder always filled and she can nibble on that as needed, and her water dish is nearby also. This came in handy when I was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital.

I’m going to wind up this rather short blog entry because Rebecca and I have to work on a kitchen cabinet which needs to be emptied and taken down to maintenance. This morning, as if the Lord was laughing at me, I pulled the front of the drawer right off when the nails gave way. One more thing to add to my to-do list before Dave arrives in a week’s time.

Until Friday, stay healthy, best wishes if you are ill, take care and happy reading.

Bye-bye to U.S. Airways

Greetings, readers. It has been in the works now for a long time that U.S. Airways has merged with American Airlines. Earlier in our work day I was trying desperately to find the date when the U.S. Airways entity would cease to exist. So far, no luck. I believe it is March 1st of this year.

I’m very sad about losing U.S. Airways. Although I don’t fly much anymore, when Dave and his family lived on Long Island, I would fly there to visit them and always use U.S. Airways.

I’m always a big fan of paint schemes and logos. In the world of airplanes that is called a livery. I’ve always liked the tail logo of U.S. Airways with a depiction of the American flag.

In the history of U.S. Airways, I can remember when it was simply called U.S. Air. Before that, when my Dad had to fly out to a meeting somewhere, he would take the Allegheny commuter.

If you all can remember my top ten list of airlines no longer with us, we can add U.S. Airways to that list very soon.

Here’s a list of airlines I have flown on. When I was a young boy, Mom, Dad and I flew to Germany on the German airline Lufthansa. I’ve also flown on the Dutch airline KLM. Very classy. When I went to see my aunt in California, I believe my cousin Ed and I flew Delta; I’m not quite certain of that fact but it will suffice of the moment.

Why am I so upset about losing U.S. Airways? Point #1: It’s been around for most of my lifetime. #2: I almost always used it. #3 and most important: With the loss of airlines due to mergers, eventually I fear that we will be left with a precious handful, and prices will continue to skyrocket. I don’t think the airline industry is in danger of going out of business, but I always thought that more competition is better than less.

So I bid an old friend, U.S. Airways, a fond farewell.

Until next week, pray for warmer weather, take care and happy reading.

P.S. Feel free to chime in with a list of airlines you’ve used.

Self hypnosis, anybody?

Greetings, readers. I’ve been very busy on YouTube the last couple of days, checking out different people’s self-hypnosis videos. I like what I see. Obviously, I’m not trying to make myself act like a chicken. I’m trying to use it for relaxation, memory enhancement, and relief of closed chakras. A year or so ago, my massage therapist had to retire and by now my chakras are as closed as they are going to get. It makes me feel lethargic, cranky, and depressed. When they open, I feel much more energetic, happier, and I’ll bet you my work productivity will greatly increase.

I even found a video that supposedly can turn you into a magnet for the opposite gender. This one I will have to watch and stay awake for to believe. There might be something to it, so as with most things, I will view it with an open mind.

In the last two or three weeks, my state of mind has been either depression or something I can not put a label to. I seem happy enough, but I just don’t have the energy to do anything. Not only is my writing suffering but my early to bed early to rise routine has shifted about an hour later each way. That is partly because the weather is so frigid here in Pennsylvania that I just don’t feel like going out to Panera at 7 in the morning. I do miss the usual morning crowd. I always enjoy greeting them as I would the folks at Bear Spring Camps.

I think this afternoon, after work hours, I’ll spend some time seeing what videos various YouTube channels have to offer. I’m a little bit leery of it because I’ve never hypnotized myself before. So readers, keep your fingers crossed. If you don’t hear from me on Friday, you will know I have turned myself into Keekee’s cat.

On a side note, our local library here in State College, Schlow Centre Region Library, had major damage due to the severe cold. Flooding was the result of one sprinkler pipe bursting, leading to several hundred thousand dollars in destroyed books, clean up of water damage and mold prevention. Schlow will be closed until at least this Sunday. I don’t want to sound selfish, but my books were in the section that got it the worst. We just found out via their website that two of my three books were destroyed. I have other copies here to give them if they want; no big deal.

Until Friday, take care, please be careful, happy reading, and stay warm; a major cold front is dropping down from Canada.

I’m trying a new writing method

Greetings, readers. For most of my writing career, I must admit I type by the seat of my pants. I’ll turn on my computer or open up the tablet of paper and write down the first thing that comes to mind. Obviously I make it a good starting point. After I have those paragraphs written, I say to myself, “Okay, what next?” You’ve now just read my equation for all of my miserable fails. Without purpose and direction, my projects never seem to get completed.

Here’s my solution, thanks to Rebecca. She told me that I should write a detailed outline for my web-series script project. Detail it point by point, so not only can I see where I am but also where I am going, and I can check off each part after it is completed. Not a bad idea. After the blog today, with what time we have left, we are going to brainstorm ideas for the project.

I know I always have problems when I write, so I’ll call this an issue. The issue I’m having is that everything has been done in the world of Star Trek. Planets have exploded, ships have disappeared, and colonist have wound up dead upon Captain Kirk’s arrival. We must come up with an idea that is fresh, or at the very least an old idea with a new twist.

I’m doing this project so that I can finish it and then see if one of two Star Trek based web-series’ will take it. I know all the old school characters by heart, and although I won’t call the project easy, it sure will be lots of fun.

I don’t really have a time frame for this, because I have a couple of other things on my plate as well, such as next month’s performance. I have a feeling that when I really dive into this project, everything else is going to go to hell and I will immerse myself in the world of Star Trek.

If this project works, I might contact somebody to do a Next Generation or even Voyager script, if there is a fan-based production of either one of those.

Until next Wednesday, stay warm, take care, live long and prosper, and happy reading.

Change to blog side features

Greetings, readers. When I changed the theme for the blog a few weeks back, I failed to see that the tabs for the other blog pages weren’t visible. This has been corrected, thanks to Rebecca. They are now on the right hand side of the homepage under the search box, or for some of you it is on the bottom of this page with the rest of the widgets.

As you can see on the site, there is now a link to the About page, My books for Sale, Performance Pictures that are from my shows, and the Picture Gallery which includes photographs of my father and Keekee.

Thank you to all my readers. Take care and have a great day.

Friend David’s visit is less than a month away

Greetings, readers. It’s been a least a couple of years since my best friend Dave has come up to State College to visit me for a long weekend. He’ll be here from Thursday, March 5th through that following Monday, and the two brothers will have some good old-fashioned bonding time. It has been way too long. In Maine, at Bear Spring Camps, he is always busy with the family doing this or that, and usually only visits me in the evening time. On this occasion we will have a good solid four days.

Along with the general catching up, there are a few private topics I want to discuss. Some discussions are easier to have face to face rather than in a Facebook message or than in a phone call. After our four days, I’m sure that Dave and I will be back on the same page.

The rest of the time we’re going to be doing a lot of PS3 baseball and movie and television watching. I have a feeling that Netflix will be running until the wee hours of the morning. I think Dave likes shows such as Emergency, Dragnet, and Adam 12. If not, I’m sure we can find some action/adventure movies that we will both be entertained by. One of his personal favorites, I shall let you know, is Despicable Me. When Dave is on vacation or a long weekend, he likes to laugh, so movies such as this, and clean stand-up comedy, are our go-to choices.

Although I can’t tell you exactly what my surprise is going to be, I hope Dave comes by Megabus. I have a little treat for him which I’m sure he’ll find quite comical. It stems from a few years back.

As far as where we will be eating, I’m sure we will have some meals here at the apartment, but I fear that Panera and the Diner will be our second and third homes. I keep forgetting that there is a Subway sandwich shop right near-by and of course we can always order pizza. I don’t think we’ll starve.

Now to the biggest problem. With Dave’s visit three weeks away, I still need to clean out the bedroom. I got a good start on it a couple of months ago but then things went awry. Although I have managed to keep the rest of the place pretty tidy, I’m afraid the bedroom will require the old chuck ‘n duck system. Throw things in trash bags and get them out of here.

Lastly, I’m not sure how Keekee will react to Dave. She doesn’t tend to do well with people she hasn’t seen in a while. If she hisses at him, which is a big no-no, she’ll get the compressed air can blown her way. I don’t do it directly on her because that would be cruel, but she hates the sound enough to know that said behavior is not acceptable. It’s always been my experience that after 30 or 40 minutes, Keekee warms up to Dave and everything is okay. With animals, who knows, she might smell the scent of Dave’s dog or cat. Keekee can’t talk to us and tell us what is on her mind; if she could we would be in Hollywood.

Until Friday, bundle up because it’s going to get cold. Take care and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Top ten list about being in a marriage

Last Wednesday, Joe posted a top ten list on being a bachelor and today I am following it up with a list about being married. My list is more about observations than about likes and dislikes. In no particular order, here is my list.

#10. Sharing responsibilities. My husband and I split up some chores and alternate doing others. Darren takes care of anything to do with the car, which he drives more than I do, so I don’t even think about checking the fluids or the tire pressure. I take care of getting cards and/or gifts for holidays and birthdays and he just has to sign them. Other chores, like taking out the garbage and recycling, we either do together or alternate; Darren did the vacuuming the other day when I was at work. Sometimes neither of us will be in the mood to do the dishes, so they will pile up until one of us looks at the sink and thinks, holy cow that can’t wait another minute, and then does them.

#9. Companionship. We both have someone to talk to when we get home. Darren and I share how our days went, and we have someone who cares to listen when things go wrong. There is someone to celebrate good news with.

#8. Sometimes I don’t have enough time alone in the apartment. When no one else is there, I can control everything in the environment, including the television channel, light level, if a fan is on or off, and I can follow a thought all the way to the end without being interrupted. It is nice. I do get a few hours of time alone in the living room at night since Darren goes to bed before I do and that helps a lot.

#7. Expanding horizons. I have experienced television shows, films, and books that Darren introduced me to that I would never have chosen on my own. Some are too violent for my taste and I am getting really tired of shows with dark lighting, government conspiracies, and/or dystopian world views. Some I do enjoy, like The Walking Dead and Constantine. Darren also introduced me to role-playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons, that I love playing. My life is richer because I am sharing it with someone with different tastes.

#6. Tendency to cocoon. It happens that both of us like to be home and settled in for the day by 6:00 in the evening and we are rarely out past then. This means that we don’t see a lot of other people or events that might broaden our life activities. I see almost every member of my immediate family on Sundays, and I love having that time with them, as I also enjoy my time with my mother-in-law every Tuesday. But I don’t seem to have much time to give my family outside of those days, partially because I am so content to be home half-way through my waking hours.

#5. Sharing the bed. My husband and I are pretty smug about something we started doing soon after we started living together. We each have our own blankets, so if I am cooler and want a second blanket while he is warmer and need to just have on a sheet, then we don’t have to bother the other one with our choice. I get another blanket and he takes one off. So that is good. We highly recommend it to anyone. We do have to stick to our side of the bed and that is where it gets tricky sometimes. I come to bed later than Darren and he gets up earlier than I do, and sometimes he is a little bit on my side of the bed when I come in. I just scootch in and he wakes up enough to shift over. In the mornings, I will wake up just enough to see if he is still in the bed, and then stretch out if he is out. The other morning, I rolled over half asleep thinking he was out of bed and bonked his hip with my knee. Oops. He didn’t wake up right away, but he got up shortly after that – and then I fell asleep again because that is how much I care when I am still sleepy.

#4. Keeping on schedule. Joe said today that living with someone (married) would help him stay on a schedule. I don’t usually think about that aspect, but he is right. Darren and I have our routines when we first get up, when we are ready to leave to go somewhere, when we eat, and when we go to bed; I just realized that over the years we have arranged things so that we match schedules to accommodate each other.

#3. Having a sounding board. This ties in a little with companionship. Being married means having someone listen when we are upset, ranting, or telling a story. Sometimes this means listening to the same rant about the same issue more than once over the years, and still encouraging the spouse to get it off his/her chest. There is a cartoon that one of us saw one time – I don’t know the artist or the source and I will have to paraphrase the captions- where an old couple is talking and the captions are, “We’ve had this conversation before.” “We have been married for 50 years, we’ve had every conversation before.” Darren and I quote this all the time, because even after just 10 years of marriage it is already so true.

#2. Grocery shopping together. It has worked out for the last few years that we can go to the grocery store together once a week and that is good. We usually get the same stuff week to week, but a few items are different. Darren writes up the list for us. We don’t eat every meal together and most of the time we don’t cook for each other. Darren does cook one meal a week for both of us, and every once in a while I try my hand at something. By the end of the grocery shopping, we know what the main meals are going to be for the next week.

#1. Physical closeness. This includes sex, but also casual touching outside the bedroom. When we are sitting next to each other, like when we are watching television, it won’t be long before our arms touch, or one of us puts a hand on a knee. Often when I am standing next to him, even in public, I will kiss his shoulder or we will hold hands. It is so natural for us. Contact in the bedroom is important too. Our spouse is the only one we can do sexual things with, and by now we know each other very well. We are struggling with how to keep it fresh and exciting, but it is nice to know that we are with someone we know and trust so well.

I feel very lucky to have found my partner for life. We are well matched, and that is the key to everything.

Prayers go out to families

Greetings, readers. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of the TransAsia Airways flight GE235, which crashed on Wednesday, 2/4/2015. Never having lost a friend or relative in a plane crash, I can only imagine your pain right now. For this flight and the other air disasters in Asia these recent months, the world is with you.

Until tomorrow, take care, stay safe, and happy reading.

Top ten list of what I like and dislike about being a bachelor

Greetings, readers. Today’s top ten list is a pro and con mixture of what I’ve experienced being single. Being a bachelor or bachelorette has its advantages and disadvantages. Expect for number one, none of these is in any particular order.

#10. I can play video games whenever I want to. Thumbs up.

#9. I can take a nap whenever I want to. Thumbs up.

#8. I have to do the household chores by myself. Thumbs down. [I do have a housecleaning helper come in twice a month. Having a small place is hard to maintain because stuff piles up quickly.]

#7. I can practice for my performances whenever I want to. Thumbs up.

#6. I need to have Rebecca cat-sit Keekee when I go on vacation. A mild thumbs down.

#5. Unless I talk to the walls, no conversations. I don’t entertain very often. It truly is only me. Thumbs down. [I have no one to share the events of my day, good or bad, and if I am in a crisis I have no one to discuss it with.]

#4. I don’t get into arguments, because I don’t have a significant other. Thumbs up. [Not that I’m argumentative, but differences in opinion do come up between people.]

#3. Since I’m not a bar-goer, I don’t meet a lot of women. Hence, no sex life. Thumbs down. [Of, course it would be nice to have a permanent partner, but at this point I’m beginning to think the Lord has other plans for me. Too bad.]

#2. Because I like to munch while I watch TV, and also because I can’t cook, my diet and health have paid a price. Thumbs down. [I am crusinely challenged. To me cooking is burning water. Thank goodness for the occasional microwave dinner.]

#1. Valentine’s Day. [For many years now, this has been the loneliest day of the year for me. I have no one to give flowers or candy to, or take out to dinner. Maybe one year.]

Well, that’s the list of my top ten things I like and dislike about being a bachelor. If you want to, please chime in with your list. On Friday, Rebecca will have a top ten list of likes and dislikes about being married.

Take care, have a great couple of days, don’t work too hard digging out of the snow, and happy reading.