Monthly Archives: April 2015

Worried about a possible neurological problem

Greetings, readers. Last night, for the second time in about a week, I had a startling and unsettling thing happen to me. Both times I was almost asleep when I felt what I can only describe as a gun shot go off inside my head. No pain or pressure with it, just a loud bang. Both times it jolted me awake. I sat up, I looked around, and I told myself it must have been a car or truck’s backfire. But you know what? I don’t think it was. I must go back to the fact that it felt internal. I know the brain can do very strange things. But can it give me the sensation of a shot? I’m not so sure.

As some of you know, I’m on quite a bit of medication for seizures, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this a new side effect of some kind. If it happens again, I’m going to contact my neurologist and see what he has to say about it. I’ve always been the kind of person throughout my life to over-react to almost everything. However, as I understand it, one of the symptoms before either a stroke or a brain hemorrhage is pain in the head followed by this kind of exploding sound. This hypochondriac is gong to keep his finger on the problem.

This concludes this Thursday blog entry, because Rebecca and I have phone calls to make and then I’m going to continue to compile more entries from the blog for the new book.

Until tomorrow, take care, enjoy your day, and happy reading.


I’ve been enjoying old school football games lately

Greetings, readers. I must say thank you so much to YouTube’s members. Over the past month I have been happily enjoying watching many college and NFL football games in their entirety and without commercials. The 1984 Orange Bowl comes to mind as one of my favorites, as well as many of the Oklahoma versus Texas Red River Shootout Games, played in Dallas in the Cotton Bowl. Every year, these two teams flip-flop being the home team, for this stadium is half-way between the university cities. People come from all over the country the state fair and this football game, which has been played for over a hundred years.

On the professional side, I’ve watched the Freezer Bowl, the San Diego Chargers versus the Cincinnati Bangles, in the early 80s. The temperature that day in Cincinnati was below zero and the wind chill made it feel far worse than that. Still the stadium was packed. Those were football fans.

I’ve also enjoyed a number of old Super Bowls. The one I watched most recently was the Minnesota Vikings versus the Miami Dolphins. A couple of these wonderful videos are played in stadiums that no longer exist. I think that is why I like them. I didn’t realize until recently just how old school I am. I love old cars, old shows, old everything. It’s funny; I like my technology, I think I would die without my PS3, but something keeps calling me back to those good old days.

Back in the 70s and early 80s, the North American Soccer League, or NASL, was rather popular. I found some games from that league and enjoyed them immensely. My dad taught me to love soccer, or football as it is called in the rest of the world.

Lastly, if you were a United States Football League fan, there are tons of games to choose from. Popular teams with the most videos are the two-time champions Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars, the New Jersey Generals, and the Michigan Panthers. No, play was not as good as in the NFL, but I loved it. The league folded after only three seasons. There is talk of it making a comeback one day. It was supposed to begin two years ago; it keeps being delayed. I don’t see that as a good sign of organization. If any of my readers just happened to be associated with the new USFL, I have two words for you: Please don’t. It would probably fail faster than the first league did.

There are many other things on YouTube besides sports that I enjoy and I will fill you in on those in a future entry. Until Friday, take care, enjoy the warmer weather, and happy reading.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Greetings, readers. An interesting thing happened to me last evening at the weekly church dinner. I don’t go to it very often, but I really enjoy the spaghetti dinner with all the fixings. I met someone there who I can honestly say gave me such an emotional high that I had to come home and analyze what happened. Let me explain.

While trying to find a table to sit at, I happened to come upon a very sweet lady. Her name is Rose. Now, I don’t talk to people confidently the first time I meet them. I’m either nervous or flustered. But with Rose, it felt like all the shields came down and I could talk to her as though I had known her for years. She went to sit at her table and I sat at my table. I conversed with my friend Terry, my good friend from my apartment building, while we ate. I finished before he did and I took my plates up to the dirty dishes bin. I just happened to see this dazzling young lady again. As chance would have it, with my memory issue that I call oatmeal brain, I was fully ready to admit that I had forgotten her name. To my surprise, and I must admit to my delight, she told me that she had forgotten mine. This gave me an opportunity to ask for hers again. After she told me – I was in the process of shaking her hand and was gently holding it – I said, “I know how I am going to remember your name. You are as pretty as a rose.” Unless I totally misread her facial expression, I think she was impressed. Again, I’m not dashing or debonair with strangers of the opposite gender, but every once in a while I can be.

On my walk home, I knew I wasn’t in love, but for the first time I understood the feeling that people have when they do experience love at first sight. I was on an emotional high. I could not stop thinking about this absolutely gorgeous woman. Am I going to the church dinner next week? You better believe it. In my current situation, I think the best thing I can hope for is a very good friend. For one thing, I’m not going to take for granted that she would be interested in me, although there is only one way to find out. For another thing, with my financial situation the way it is, I just don’t see marriage in my future.

Now I know what you are thinking. I just met her and I’m mentioning marriage in my blog the next day. Readers, you have to understand. I have very vivid imaginative daydreams. Whatever this friendship develops into, if anything, is going to be a very slow process. Over the years, I’ve scared women by going too quickly and lost others by not going fast enough. As I told Rebecca earlier today, even if I get a good friend out of this, as a social media companion or a Panera coffee buddy, that’s okay by me. There is always room for one more friend.

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

I defeated the computer!

Greetings, readers. Welcome to this rare Thursday blog entry. I thought I would share with you what happened this morning. I started off at my usual 6:45 wake up time, which I’ve been trying to hold to. I washed up and made coffee and was planning to put four or five videos from YouTube to my Facebook page. That would consist of me singing the songs, typing in the information, up-loading the video to YouTube, and then when it was finished being processed it could be transferred to Facebook. That was the plan.

At 7:30, I turned on my computer and was going to spend the morning singing and enjoying myself, knowing that friends and family on Facebook had been waiting to see a few of these videos. They are selections of songs from my previous show, which I perform in my apartment sitting down, for people who couldn’t make my show. I have what I call morning throat. Because my allergies don’t drain very well at night my voice sounds like a scratchy old bear. With coffee and water, I got that part of the dilemma cleared up by 8:30. Then I had computer issues.

First, Spotify music would not open, and once it did, YouTube malfunctioned half-way through my first recording. Once the technical problems were solved, you would think I had it made. But no. I then became hopelessly tongue-tied and forgot the words of the song. Back to Spotify I went to activate the lyrics; thank goodness for that function.

Finally, at 11:25, I was able to put one video up on Facebook. I was actually considering calling Rebecca to change our meeting plans. But it wasn’t necessary. I won out over the computer.

On Friday, along with a possible other topic, I’ll let you readers in on a minor dilemma of mine, which is me learning how to make ends meet until next Wednesday. Mr. Silver-Spoon Kid still has a lot to learn.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

The search for my identity

Greetings, readers. As far back as I can remember, I would wonder what it would be like to be somebody else. Many possibilities crossed my mind. One day I wanted to be my father. Another time it would be my friend, Dave, who always had all the answers and was super athletic. Heck, I even wondered what it would be like to be a female version of myself. Perhaps this is normal. Perhaps it isn’t. I found that when I was with other people, I knew my role in the group and I knew better who I was. I think this stems from low self-esteem.

I’ve spoken to my psychologist. Apparently I must work on liking myself more. That’s the key, I guess. I think that’s also why I do not have a girlfriend currently. If you don’t like or love yourself, how can you expect others to like or love you?

I’ve made strides with a lot of my personal demons. My apartment is cleaner, trash goes out and dishes get done. The biggest successes I’ve had are a big improvement on my hoarding issue and being able to get onto a sleep schedule which is much healthier for me.

Now, an embarrassing tidbit. When I was nine or so, I carried a brown folder to school. It contained all my homework and such. A joke I made, which didn’t go down very well, was that I was Jim Rockford and my folder was the Rockford files. Luckily only a small group of people got wind of that one. I look back now and think oh my God, how dumb was that?

With help now, I shall continue working on my strengths and kick my weakness in the butt. Time will tell if I truly find myself and become comfortable with the man that I have become.

Until Friday, take care, enjoy your day and happy reading.

Final review for MLB15 The Show

Greetings, readers. I have had MLB15 The Show long enough now to give you my final review of this fantastic game. First off, the graphics, even on the PS3 version, are even better. Players and coaches look more life-like. Another touch that I really enjoy is that you can earn points to purchase items such as brand names for your bats and gloves and different items to make your players perform better. This is especially handy in RTTS (road to the show) mode. This is where you take a created player through the minor leagues and enjoy his career as he advances, hopefully to the major league level.

I was a little disappointed that in the PS3 version some of the goodies were not included in the game. Hence the $20 discount on the price. The PS4 version has 20 new stadiums to play in. I was very upset not to see any new stadiums in my version. I can live with it, I only paid $40 rather than $60. Very soon, probably in the fall, I am going to have to upgrade my system. Then my jaw will drop at the ultra-realism.

A big flaw, which I hope can be fixed with a patch, is that the font size is way too small for me to see, even with my glasses. It seems to me that someone made a bad decision when writing the programming and the wrong font size was used. I have a 22 inch screen and I find it very difficult to see what button produces each pitch. Also, I have trouble reading the players names and stats. This has never been an issue before. If anyone knows of a patch or a way to increase the font size please chime in in the comments section.

Now for the scores, no pun intended. Gameplay: 9 out of 10. It took me a little while to find out where all the toggles were to have certain players be on automatic. With my bad hands, I cannot play the outfield. I’ve tried, I just don’t have the coordination.

Ease of batting: 10 out of 10. There are several levels, including dynamic, which I find fascinating. It is where the computer pitcher learns what you swing at. This makes the player constantly have to adjust to what the A.I. (artificial intelligence) pitcher is doing. Very realistic.

Stadiums: 10 out of 10. Still beautiful as always, and in more detail, even in my version.

Play-by-play: 10 out of 10. With over 17,000 new lines of dialog, San Diego Studio has vastly improved the play-by-play and the color commentary. Yay, finally.

Playing modes: 9 out of 10. All the same modes are still here, such as Season, Franchise, and Road to the Show. Nothing new has been added here that I can see, but what is here is excellent.

Finally, the crowds at the ballpark: Only a 7 out of 10 here. Unfortunately it is still the same 300 or so characters spread throughout the stands. This is one of the many areas where the PS4 version excels.

Finally tally: Overall, a very respectable 9.16 out of 10.

This is the final review of this game on the PS3. Next year it will only be available for PS4. By then, I hope to be in bigger and greener ballparks. Ha ha.

Until Wednesday, have a great weekend, enjoy the weather if it is good, take care and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe performed the Beatles last week

Joe gave another of his shows last Friday, April 10, 2015 in the community room of Addison Court, and it was a good one. He did air guitar and air drums to some of the songs and sang all of them. His playlist was mostly early to mid Beatles music, with a few songs from other artists included. Joe started the show with a disclaimer to the audience; he used a music service called Spotify which does not own the rights to the original Beatles music, but does have a cover band called the Coverbeats. He said that the Coverbeats are a good band that sound enough like the Beatles for the show to work, and I agree. I could not tell the difference during the show.

Joe started the music with a tribute to the veterans in the audience by playing the “Star Spangled Banner.” In a spontaneous moment, when the anthem began, all dozen of us stood up and put our hands over our hearts, for the duration of the song. Joe followed the anthem with the sound of fighter jets flying overhead. He finished the tribute with a song called “Real American,” also known as the Hulk Hogan theme.

Joe had a different format this time, where he performed three songs at a time then took a minute to catch his breath and introduce the next three songs. I think it worked very well and kept the show moving a bit faster than in the past.

His first trio of Beatles songs was “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Should Have Known Better.” The performer chose a mix of well-known as well as lessor-known songs from the Beatles. Selections in the first half included “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “We Can Work it Out,” “If I Fell,” and “Boys.” He finished the set with the trio “Come Together,” “Slow Down,” and “Roll Over Beethoven.”

Joe had invited a few friends from outside the building to come, and a couple did arrive during the break between sets. Joe had put a few songs on the playlist that he would do for friends who showed up, so the second set began with two of those. “The Love Boat theme” and “Billie Jean” got people back from the break for the rest of the show.

Then the first trio of the second set was “Love Me Do,” “Eight Days a Week,” and “A Hard Day’s Night.” Other songs included “Ticket to Ride,” “Act Naturally,” “Twist and Shout,” and “She Loves You.” Joe included a song that meant a lot to him, “Yesterday.” He had played it in a tribute concert for a friend who had passed away, and he performed it in this show again in her honor. Many of the people in the audience remembered this late friend, and were touched by the song. He closed the show with the trio “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” and “St. Pepper’s {reprise}.”

Halfway through the first set, we in the audience started singing along and dancing in our seats. Joe was happy for the participation. Joe performed to ten to fifteen people. Though some came and left as they had to, most stayed.

Joe, as usual, gave the show his all. He didn’t have as much time as usual to practice for this show, due to some unforeseen events that took some of his time in the previous two months, and he did look really tired by the end of the concert. But he made it through to the end, drumming, strumming, and singing to the last note.

Show day is one day away

Greetings, readers. April 10th will be here tomorrow, and boy did it come quickly. I remember beginning to put this show together almost two months ago, knowing that I would have plenty of time to be ready. Well, I’ll be honest, I’m ready but not as much as I would like to be. A lot of things which were out of my control happened, including an illness and brief hospital stay. No set backs were major, but there seemed to be many minor ones.

The play list will consist of thirty early to mid Beatles songs, with three or four extra numbers which were requested by friends coming in to see the show. One of them is Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning.” OMG. I’m going to sing back up vocals and pray. It’s not a bad song, but I would have needed at least six months of prep time. The other highlight is the opening show tribute to the U.S. veterans living here in my apartment building. I’ve loaded up the “Star Spangled Banner” from the Poltergeist soundtrack album, followed by a sound effect of a jet fighter flying overhead. That’s for ambiance and chuckles. Then I shall tie in Rick Derringer’s “Real American”, also known as the Hulk Hogan theme.

Two songs which got eliminated from the playlist were “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. Hopefully my local friends will be able to attend, especially high school friend Lisa, who told me she may be able to record it for me. If it turns out well, I shall put segments on YouTube and Twitter.

After Rebecca leaves work today, my afternoon and evening will be spent practicing and enjoying MLB15 The Show. Mostly practicing. Next week, we will be getting back to our usual three-day work week and expect my final report on the video game in Wednesday’s blog entry.

Until next week, have a good weekend, wish me luck with my show, and happy reading.

Rebecca and I are back at it.

Greetings, readers. After a week of rest and recuperation, the writing team is hard at it again. It certainly feels good to have Rebecca back with me, because, I must say, I don’t think that my two blog entries were edited quite as well without her. But I didn’t want to go a week and a half without a new entry.

Viewing numbers are up. This pleases both of us. So far it seems like we’ve had a gazillion hits on the Air Crash Investigation episodes entries. Certainly that is a hot topic around the world these days. As I might have mentioned before, another biggie is my top ten list of modern conveniences. It is good for a chuckle every time we see it in the stats, because we both figure it has to be part of a school assignment, unless other people are simply fascinated by what I consider modern conveniences to be.

My performance is coming up this Friday afternoon at my apartment building, so Rebecca and I will write another blog entry tomorrow. That way we will keep our two per week average. Writing the blog is always fun but sometimes I will admit I make it up on the fly. Very rarely do I have a topic in mind before Rebecca arrives for work.

I’m in the process of trying out the new video game MLB15 The Show. I must admit for the first time ever I’m slightly disappointed. This is the final version for the PS3 and the game did not come with all the goodies I was expecting it to. It finally might be time for me to trade in and upgrade to the PS4. Other big expenditures, such as Keekee’s vet bill, might put that back a month or two. I give the game an 8 out of 10 just for the increased amount of dialog in the play-by-play alone. It was much needed in previous versions to keep the game from being repetitive. The one thing that is driving me nuts about the new game is the small font size on the screen. I have to go up to the television screen to read it. Soon I will give my final review on the game as I always do.

Lastly – and fear not regular readers – I had a very bad day last Monday and that night was a complete wash-out emotionally. I had just come from my therapist and was feeling wonderful, then I had an incident where someone said something that insulted me. She had the best of intentions and didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but it struck a sour chord. I will certainly have plenty to talk about next Monday. But as usual, I didn’t stay down for long.

Until tomorrow, enjoy the warmer weather, take care and happy reading.

A Saturday evening post…., er, blog entry

Greetings, readers. So sorry I didn’t get the entry up yesterday, but I was still a tad sick. Today I am much better. Rebecca was also on the rebound the last time we spoke, so I can only assume she’ll be back on Wednesday. This is the second time in a row that I’ve been sick a week or so before one of my performances. Better to be stuffed up and throaty now than next Friday.

On a gaming note I have two pieces of news. First, D&D gaming will resume next Saturday, which I’m looking forward to. Secondly, my one video game I purchase every year, MLB15 The Show is out. Some of the goodies are not in the PS3 version, though I’ve heard through websites that for the $20 deduction in price, it’s still a better game than last year. I’d heard that there would be more stadiums to use. Well, not in the PS3 version. I’m going to have to head on over to YouTube and watch videos to see all of the improvements. The one thing I’m not fond of is that the display [score on the screen, ball and strike count etc] is noticeably smaller this year. It’s quite hard for me to see. Guess I’ll just have to get used to it.

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