Monthly Archives: February 2016

Getting older is not fun

Greetings, readers. I turned 50 years old this past July. Is 50 old? Not compared to someone who is 90, but I’m definitely not the physically active teenager I used to be either. I am noticing that it takes my body longer to heal and that I have a few more aches and pains when the weather turns bad. A couple of weeks ago I noticed my pinky on my right hand is starting to have a knuckle that looks like it is arthritic. That is a ouchie.

I can go two ways with this. First, I could throw in the towel, pretend my apartment complex is an old folks home, and sit and do crossword puzzles all day. My other option, and the one I am going to do when the weather gets warmer, is go for more walks to remain active, and engage myself in fun things in hopes that I can feel young. I’ve told people many times that I am never going to get old, I’m just going to get older.

One thing I’m noticing over the last ten years or so is my increase in medication. Between the ages of 16 and 40, I only had to have my seizure medication. In the last few years, a thyroid medication has been added, as well as a cholesterol drug, and generic Prilosec for my indigestion problems. I can just imagine how many pills I will be taking at 60.

I am also noticing that I don’t heal as quickly. When I was young, falling was no big deal. If I got a bruise or cut, it healed in no time. Now, if I am injured or hurt it could take days or weeks to heal.

Yes, getting older is not fun. But as many people have said over the years, you are as young as you feel. Some days I feel 100, other days I feel like I am 13 and can take on the world. Have I had my mid-life crisis yet? That is the question many men ask when they are 50. I don’t think I have and I don’t think I will. I just cannot see myself dying my hair jet-black, buying a Corvette, and look to marry a 25-year-old. Aint going to happen, folks. I’m me, and I like me. Older or not.

On a small side note, it is a beautiful sunny day today but freezing cold. I think I will take advantage of the sunshine and go for a short walk after work hours.

On Sunday it is going to be in the 50s, though raining. As I’ve told many people, I’ll take any warm day I can get my hands on. I don’t like the cold.

Until Wednesday, I hope everyone has a great weekend, do take care, and happy reading.


I took Traci to the doctors today and a busy rest of the week

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I took the day off so that I could help my girlfriend get to her doctor’s appointment. We rented a Zipcar and I was glad it wasn’t cold and snowy; cool and raining was bad enough. Traci and I left at 1PM and got home at 4.

Regular work hours resume tomorrow. One thing on the agenda is to make a list of all the topics I want or need to tell my accountant on March 2nd. One topic of conversation is the deposit for Bear Spring Camps, which must be sent in post-haste. Another is the payment of the yearly Zipcar insurance.

Also, my therapy appointment and bingo are tomorrow. I will be glad for both. Dr. JoAnn helps me get through the week, while a relaxing game of bingo ends the day on a pleasant note. On Friday, my easy day, Rebecca and I will write a blog entry and tidy up loose ends to get ready for next week.

Until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days and happy reading.


From Rebecca: Health care

Last week I was sick with what I thought at first was a cold, but turned out to be an infection. I went to the doctor’s, got antibiotics, and I feel much better now. It reminded me of how nice it is to have health care, and to be able to go to a doctor when needed.

I have had health care for periods of my adult life, but many times I have not, and my first impulse is not to call a doctor when something happens. Over time, I have developed an attitude of wait-and-see when things happen with my body. Two or three times a year, I get a lower back ache that lasts about three days and then goes away. I have chronic pain in my legs that is usually low-level and manageable, and when the pain increases above a certain level I will take some over-the-counter pain reliever until it subsides. When I didn’t have a doctor or could afford one, I learned to make do, and it became a habit.

When my cold last week didn’t get better, in fact it moved to my eyes, I still thought I would wait it out with cold medicine. My husband, Darren, urged me to go to the doctor, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I suggested he call the doctor’s office, describe my symptoms, and get their opinion. Darren called, the office said that not only did I need to come in, but that I was also highly contagious. Yikes. And they had an appointment that afternoon, if I wanted it. I said yes immediately. Turns out that I had a sinus infection and pink eye. I got antibiotics and forty-eight hours later I was no longer contagious. I got tired easily for a few days this week, but I feel much better.

It is nice to have a medical office to call with health questions. This is a luxury to me, having someone a phone call away to answer medical questions and give me information. It is nice to have a regular doctor that I know and who knows me. It is nice to have the right medicine at the right time. And it is nice to have it covered by insurance, so I can afford to do it.

I just have to remember this the next time something happens with my health.

Who knew that flowers were so difficult?

Greetings, readers. The roses I bought for my girlfriend for Valentine’s Day did not last. I thought we did everything right, I cut off the tips of the stems and put the powder in the water, but the roses began to droop after only one day, and by the third morning Traci had to throw them away. To put it mildly, I was not a happy camper. I stopped at the florist today to find out what we had done wrong. After talking to the manager, I discovered that it was my fault.

The scissors that Traci had for me to use were not exactly the sharpest. In the process of snipping the ends of the stems, I must have pinched too hard and closed off the capillaries. Hence, no water could get to the poor flowers. I feel like such a murderer! Just kidding. Truthfully though, I do feel bad. I won’t say how much I paid for them, that is not really the point. I was upset because Traci’s flowers, which she loved, didn’t last. She told me that she had never had flowers given to her and that she was thrilled.

What to do, what to do? Traci was sad about the short-lived flowers. Rebecca and I went to the florist today to find out what had gone wrong. After some conversation with the manager, we determined that the stems were squashed and that in the future I should use a sharp knife to cut the ends. Unexpectedly, the manager replaced the flowers free of charge to make up for it, and said that new roses would be delivered to her this afternoon. That is definitely the way to keep my business. I found this extremely satisfying. By the time I come to visit her this afternoon, the new roses should already be there. A big thank you to Woodring’s Floral Gardens in State College.

One thing I must do before I go off to therapy is to arrange for someone to let the florist in the building at the right time. I just called a friend of mine and he will buzz open the security door, so thanks to Scott.

Well, that is the Thursday news going on with me. Rebecca will have a blog entry tomorrow, and I’m sure you will all enjoy that. Until then, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

Many topics to talk about, including American Truck Simulator

Greetings, readers. We are finally back. Yay! After a week of working on the blog by myself, Rebecca is here once again to help me. Obviously, I can write the blog by myself, but after all this time I just feel more comfortable with my editor friend by my side to catch any little mistakes I might make. She already caught one from my last blog entry.

Not that I’m going to title this hodgepodge whatever, but I do have several topics to touch on. So here we go.

First, I’ve been thinking about this question: Is the National Football League fixed? There have been rumors that since the early 2000s, the NFL has been “steered” in certain directions to allow the powerful teams to make the playoffs. The stronger the teams in the Super Bowl, the better the ratings. Or, at least, that is the NFL’s way of thinking. Let’s take this past Super Bowl for example. The great Peyton Manning,  perhaps the best to ever play the game, is all but certain to retire. I would have been shocked if Denver lost. Carolina quite frankly looked pathetic, though Denver’s defense did play a great game. What also makes me wonder, is that I saw part of a YouTube Top Ten List video, pointing out that the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl just months after 9/11. What are their colors? You guessed it, red, white and blue. Is this hard-core evidence that the NFL is fixed? No, but it raise my eyebrow. Add in that this team has been proven to cheat since then and the NFL has barely spanked their wrists.

Topic number 2. Recently, I’ve been enjoying, on YouTube, reruns of the 1970s sitcom Maude. It is a Norman Lear spin-off of All in the Family and is it hilarious. There is one interesting thing. You would never see that show being produced new today. Maude’s husband, Walter, played by Bill Macy, is a strong-willed proud man that did not like his wife to work outside the house. Add that to the fact that he was a drinker early in the series, and you can imagine some of the arguments they got into. Maude, also strong-willed and very liberal, would also argue with all the other characters when she thought it was necessary. The only episode I did not care for and will not watch again, was the ground-breaking Maude’s abortion episode. Was it well done? Absolutely. It is just that my own personal religious beliefs made that episode a chore to watch. That is not the case with the rest of the series. Most evenings I will sit with my snack and have out-loud belly laughs. Norman Lear can do that to me every time, whether it be All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, or The Jeffersons.

Topic number 3. All I need is $100 and I will never want a car again. Today, I want to tell you about perhaps the best video game I have ever seen. It is called American Truck Simulator. People who play Euro Truck Simulator 2, and make videos for YouTube, have been talking about the new game for two years. Where is American Truck Simulator, we all said. When it came out on February 3rd, we found out why it took so long. On the up side, the level of detail on the maps is incredible. There are three trucks to choose from and you can drive in California and Nevada. Arizona will be added soon. The few people who are giving this game a thumb’s down bring up the question, after two and a half years of development, why are there only two states? My answer to them would be this: You try producing maps with those kinds of graphics, fabulous detail and clean game play, and we will see how long it takes you. How long will it take to complete the lower forty-eight? Probably about two years. Can I wait? Hell yes. This game also has the potential, if the manufacturer desires it, to include Mexico, Canada, and Alaska. All I need to do now is get a steering wheel and pedals to clamp to a table, so I have better control of the steering. The left and right arrows on the keypad make for marvelous wrecks. I must admit, I am getting better at it with the arrows, but I’m going to see if I can’t scrounge $100 together and get one of the cheaper gaming wheels. As for the most expensive one, which is $299, that is out of the question.

Lastly, a quick note about the weather. Yesterday we had snow, ice, and slush. It was not a good combination to go out in. I needed to take my girlfriend to her follow-up doctor’s appointment. Yay, us, we did not slip and fall.

Well, you are all up to date. We’ll have another new blog entry for you, possibly as early as tomorrow, though if not, then definitely on Friday. Take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

A little bit late, but congratulations to the Denver Broncos

Greetings, readers. Yes, almost a week after Peyton Manning and the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, I offer my congratulations on a job well done. The Carolina Panthers were a tough opponent, with only one loss on the season. With speculation about Peyton’s retirement, it seems fitting that Denver won the game. Now he’s on top if he wishes to hang up his cleats.

To me, the game was a bit sloppy and boring. At least we didn’t have another blowout game. If Cam Newton could have gotten the Panther’s offense going, Denver’s lead was not that huge. The real stars of the game were the players on Denver’s defense. They held the high-powered Carolina team to just 10 points. Good job Denver and better luck next year to Carolina.

Rebecca will back from illness by next Wednesday and our blog schedule will be a normal one; Wednesday and Friday. Until then, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.


Sorry about not having an entry up yesterday

Greetings, readers. An interesting week my friends are having. Rebecca is under the weather and Traci has been in the hospital. I have been visiting Traci every afternoon, trying to cheer her up. She loves it when I make her laugh.

Rebecca will be back either today or tomorrow and Traci will home this afternoon after three. Yay! 🙂 I’ll get back to my regular work next week. We’ll try to have three blog posts to make up for yesterday’s miss.

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


Strange dreams anyone???

Greetings, readers. Last night I had one of my nights of insomnia where I finally got to sleep around 4:00 in the morning. Ouch. Still wanting to do my morning routine, like a brave little trooper, I kept my alarm on set for 6:45. This meant that I had the unwanted consequence of being awakened during REM sleep. And oh, what a strange dream I was having.

The dream was a mixture of David’s family and TV characters from a multitude of shows from the 80s and 90s. The part that I remember the most was searching desperately for a young girl to tell her something. But now everyone had aged several years and, just like my memory issues in real life, I couldn’t remember this girl’s name. Here I was walking up and down some kind of outdoor area covered by white canvas, making inquires to people such as Will Smith and Lisa Bonet, as well as several members of Dave’s family. Finally someone said her name. I said, “That’s her.” I turned around and there she was, also several years older.

She didn’t look the same; I could barely tell it was her. The kicker was that she doesn’t exist in my real life, but in the dream I knew her and we were really good friends. We had either worked on a project together, or we had been in a relationship at some point. That detail was a bit fuzzy. And as chance would have it, before I could conclude this dream, my alarm awakened me.

So let’s try to analyse. I was searching for someone desperately, could be my parents, or the circumstances I had as a child. The outdoor covered area probably represents that I am still safe today, even though sometimes I still feel lost. David and family are there, as the anchoring figures, so that little Joey won’t feel afraid or alone. Who the famous actors and actresses were … well, that is where the dream gets you. There is always some part of the dream that makes absolutely no sense.

I think I did pretty well analysing my dream. Dr. Sigmund Freud would be proud. Please, readers, if you wish to tell me about you recent dreams and what you think they mean, drop a note at Facebook or in this blog’s comment section.

Rebecca will have a blog entry either Wednesday or Friday, and I’ll have one ready for the other day.

Until then, take care, have a great weekend, hope your team wins the Super Bowl, and happy reading.

Stop the world, I want to get off, #2

Greetings, readers. I should be a happy man. I have a girlfriend who loves me, a roof over my head, adequate food, and good friends and family. So why do I feel so depressed? As I’ve said before, my therapist is going to have a lot to do tomorrow.

Without going into all the details, most of which are private, the weekend was not what I was expecting it to be. Situations arose which needed my attention and there was no getting around it. By the time Saturday night came along, I was so worn out that all I wanted to do on Sunday was sleep. And that is exactly what I did. Monday and yesterday, I desperately wanted to continue writing, but just couldn’t. And, of course, the more I couldn’t, the more depressed I started to feel. I have absolutely nothing on the agenda for early this evening, and I am going to write new pages come hell or high water. Tomorrow is chock-full-of-everything day, so the more I get written tonight the better off I’ll feel.

I began talking with Traci and other friends about the possibility of my medicine dosage being too strong to take in the morning. I’m fine for the first few hours, and then I’m just a zombie. Show me the way to the bed. I’m going to ask my neurologist what would be the best way to split my dosage to be in the morning and in the evening. Obviously there are two answers to that question. Just go ahead and do that, or just stagger the second dose little by little until I get it to the evening. My main concern is throwing my body off schedule by changing my dosage too quickly and having a seizure. That would not be good.

On the weather front, no pun intended, ha ha, this morning when I looked out the window, it was pouring down rain. So I feed Kitty cat, did my usual email/Facebook/ Twitter thing, and went back to sleep. Again, I had several hours to write and just didn’t. Is the end of my writing career near? I would not go so far as to say that. But I got a slap-in-the-face chuckle when I saw that my total royalties for 2015 from my Kindle version of my books was a whopping 70 cents. You don’t need to look at that twice, we’ll type it again for you. 70 cents. That certainly isn’t going to pay the rent, now is it?

Now something that will cheer me up a bit. My favorite sports season, baseball, begins with spring training in about a month. That means that warmer weather is about two months from now. Even though we haven’t had tons of snow, the gloomy cold weather always depresses me.

Finally, and this is a major step for me, if my depression does not get better by the end of this month, I am going to talk to my accountant about seeking a stronger method of dealing with it. I don’t exactly know what that might be, but I have a couple of things in mind. One being a short hospital stay for 2 or 3 days where I can get care and counseling as needed. Or perhaps something as simple as an increase of my anti-depression dose, or a different med all together. Something has got to give.

So please, throw good thoughts my way, and I’ll keep you up to date on what is going on around here.

Until Friday, enjoy your couple of days, take care and happy reading.