Monthly Archives: September 2016

B movies so bad that they were good

Greetings, readers. Today’s blog entry will use a slightly different format. Over the last few days I watched four movies that were so cheesy that they were good. What I’ve never done before is this: I am going to include the names of the people who uploaded the videos to the website; they are called YouTubers. In the brackets are the word for word description that each YouTuber included with the video. Then I’ll add a little bit about what this movie meant to me. In a way you could call this a top four list. So here we go.

The first movie I am going to describe is Area 407, from the year 2012, uploaded by YouTuber Mary Logan. [Her description: The terrified survivors of an airplane crash fight for their lives against a pack of monstrous, unidentified creatures in a top secret government research area on New Year’s Eve.] I’m not going to spoil this for anyone by telling you what the creatures are, but here are my thoughts on this film. First of all I love airplane movies and disaster films. When this movie began on an airplane, and then crashed with survivors, that gave it 5 stars from me right there. Soon after the survivors evacuated the plane, they heard a monstrous growl. Now, it was a race against time to find shelter and wait for morning. Little did they know, they crashed on a military base. The acting was pretty good, and it followed the airliner disaster movie blueprint. They had the heroes, the smaller child, and the grumpy man who was a pain in the rump to everybody. I love stories about area 51 and this reminded me a little bit of what might happen if an airliner really had to make an emergency landing there.

Dark Night of the Scarecrow, from 1981, uploaded by YouTuber A Touch of Evil. [American made-for-television suspense horror film directed by veteran novelist Frank De Felitta (author of Audrey Rose), from a script by J.D. Feigelson. Feigelson’s intent had been to make an independent feature, but his script was bought by CBS for television; despite this, only minor changes were made to the original screenplay] I remember watching this movie on TV, either when it first ran or when it was rerun. It’s the story about a mentally challenged man in his mid-30s who was accused of hurting a young child. SPOILER ALERT. Bubba didn’t do it. He saved the little girl from a dog attack. Anyway, the town folk tried to chase him down to kill him. Bubba runs and hides inside the scarecrow but they hunt him down anyway. The three men who killed Bubba meet terrible demises. END SPOILER ALERT. This film also has an extremely creepy last 30 seconds. I would rate this my favorite of the four films I’m talking about. Back when I first watched it, I actually hid under the covers. Even the other night, after all those years, I still had that tense feeling. I had forgotten most of the movie, so it was kind of like watching a brand new film.

Eyes in the Dark, from 2010, uploaded by Robyn Scaringi. [Secret video files just discovered on a FBI server prove that the government has been hiding unexplained disappearances in the Pacific Northwest wilderness.] This film to me was a combination of any of the films where people supposedly find videos and have big foot experiences. The film shows several groups of folks, as they are eventually hunted down by the growling creature with red eyes. About a quarter of the way through the film, the six main characters make their way to a lodge in the woods complete with hot tub and creepy caretaker. The kids find a cave with unusual markings and everything hits the fan from there. One by one, the six of them get killed by this never seen creature with red eyes. Only glimpses of red are shown through windows and car doors. This was the most B-looking movie, cheesy film of the list. I enjoyed it and the acting was fairly good. The hand-held bumping choppy camera work might have been deliberate, but it made the film look amateurish in my opinion and made me nauseous.

The Horror at 37,000 Feet, from 1973, was uploaded by The Celluloid Highway. [CBS TV Movie first aired on 13/02/1973 and featuring the mind blowing talents of William Shatner, Chuck Connors, and Roy Thinnes.] I watched this film last evening and loved it. Again, I love airplane movies and this film fascinated me. A man and wife were bringing back to the States from England a druid altar from an abbey church. The altar was haunted by spirits. I didn’t much care for the fact that the dog in the hold got frozen when the evil entity broke out of its container. Apparently if you got too close to this thing, it can freeze you to death or cause very bad frostbite injuries. Some of the passengers took actions to try to get rid of the evil that was going on in the hold, including lighting a fire, and sacrificing a little girl’s baby doll that included a lock of the woman’s hair. My favorite mistake was revealing which real-life airline they purchased the airplane from. It was supposed to be AOA airlines, but for a brief second, you can clearly read the three letters TWA. The airplane’s paint scheme was also that of Trans World Airlines. In other words they didn’t try to hide much. Even with all of my negative comments I still enjoyed this film very much. Many of the performances, included Shatner’s, were top-notch.

Like I said, not exactly a top ten list, but perhaps in a few months I’ll give you my thoughts and reviews on some more films I’ve viewed. Until next Wednesday, take care, enjoy your weekend, and happy reading.


A major writing idea has finally hit me

Greetings, readers. After pondering for many weeks about what personal writing project I will do, I came to a conclusion.  I was looking at an old proof copy of Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, the book with blog entries from my first of being a blogger. I realized one big mistake I made. I was charging people money to read what they could read on my site for free, with very little new content.

Last night the idea hit me: Since I love blogging, and I dare say I am fairly good at it, why not write blog entries exclusively for the new book? Does this mean I will give up writing in this space? Absolutely not. Rebecca and I will continue to blog here on WordPress on Wednesdays and Thursdays. And I/we will also create blog entries for the new book, tentatively titled Greetings, Readers 2 (subtitle to come later.)

This is the first that Rebecca has heard of the idea and I don’t know what she thinks of it. I have been told by a number of people to go with my strengths. We have been blogging for 5 years come December and we now have 550 entries. If I could create between 60 and 80 extra entries, exclusively for the book, that might be the ticket.

On a short side note, I already know what topic I will blog about tomorrow. I’ve been watching very bad B movies on YouTube recently and I will share my experiences about some of them with you tomorrow.

Please, readers, if you wish to leave a comment, suggestion, or a thumbs up or down, about my writing project idea, please do so in the comment section or on Facebook. If there is a topic you want to see me cover, here or in a new book, let me know.

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

Top ten list of Star Trek holodeck programs I would have if the technology existed

Greetings, readers. As a Star Trek fanatic and a holodeck episode lover, I started to think, just what programs I would create and save if I had use of a holodeck. In the Star Trek world, even though a person is in a small room, the concept is that holographic images are displayed and moved so that people are tricked into thinking they have unlimited space. Here’s my list in reverse order.

#10. A visit to any city I chose. [Maybe one day I would create Paris and sit to enjoy coffee in an outdoor cafe. The next day, perhaps Rome to visit the Colosseum. Or to Devils Tower in Wyoming.]

#9. Drive a car to anywhere. [Oh, what fun it would be to drive to Maine any time I wanted to.]

#8. My own baseball league with my own home team and personally designed stadium. [I could see the Pennsylvania Lumberjacks, perhaps.]

#7. A house with a virtual family. [This idea, I must admit, came to me after watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, “Real Life”, where the Doctor created the perfect family, but B’Elanna Torres thought that was too easy and changed the program. I would set it up so that I could control the weather and the type of home and furniture we had, but I would randomized how my family reacted to me day-to-day to be more realistic. I would not have the “perfect” family.]

#6. A train ride to anywhere. [I could ride an Amtrak in America, take a local in New Jersey, or hop aboard the Orient Express. Lots of intrigue and mystery there.]

#5. Take a virtual cruise. [I could set it up for any number of days I chose and for any destination. I could take a quick trip to the Bahamas, or a cruise around the world, stopping at all the wonderful ports of call. This one would have to be saved and gone back to. ]

#4. An airplane ride to anywhere. [I absolutely adore aircraft. I wish I could fly in them more often. If I only had an hour, I would take a prop pane ride from State College to Pittsburgh. If I had more time on my hands, maybe I would hop a jet and fly cross-country to California. I could sit in my virtual airplane seat, take notes, and type my stories.]

#3. To speak to any writer I chose and pick his or her brain. [I could share my limited amount of work with them and ask them to critique it. Hopefully they would be kind.]

#2. A day at the beach. [Imagine the warmth, the sand, the smell of salt in the sea breeze, and of course, the ocean. I could spend hours in this program.]

#1. Recreate a day at Bear Spring Camps anytime I chose. [I would have a few scenarios in this program with different kinds of weather, different times of the year, and, of course, the people I know from real-life Bear Spring, as well as computer generated fictional families. You would hardly ever get me out of that program.]

Honorable mention: Camping in a tent. [I’ve never gone camping in a tent before, but if there was one big enough that I wouldn’t feel claustrophobic in, it would appeal to me. To hear the crickets at night and have my campfire going would be soothing and peaceful. I love nature, especially crickets and the sound of birds.]

There’s my list. I hope you enjoy. Whether you are a Star Trek fan or not, please do chime in with your list, either here or in Facebook.

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

Has the Penn State football team turned the corner?

Greetings, readers. The Penn State football team has begun its 2016 season with a 2-1 record, with wins over Kent State and Temple, while losing to Pennsylvania foe Pittsburgh. The last two seasons were both 6 wins and 6 losses; not great by Penn State standards. With the sanctions from the Jerry Sandusky scandal over with, Penn State has had their full number of recruits to build the team up. Next season should be coach Franklin’s best since being hired in 2014, with the team hopefully winning at least 8 games this season. I’d be more than happy with that.

It’s very hard to build up a school’s sport’s program after sanctions. Some schools can do it in just a few years, while other teams take much longer. I’m sure it depends on the head coach and the recruiters. Also, the crime and penalty must factor in the rebuilding time. The fewer the sanctions, the shorter time it should take for a team to bounce back to prominence.

Penn State fans were spoiled. For decades we enjoyed 10 win seasons almost every year. When I was young, the question was not whether Penn State would go to a bowl game, but rather, which one. We might not be excellent every season, but I feel that good ol’ Penn State pride has weathered this storm, and that fans can see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel in Penn State’s history.

On a side note, the first anniversary of Traci and me being a couple is this Saturday, the 24th. Yay us! I am so happy that she and I are together. 🙂

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

Top ten list of my favorite TV shows

Greetings, readers. Over my lifetime I have enjoyed many television programs from the 1970s right through the 90s. Though I have watched a few episodes of Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and Mike and Molly, I just don’t get into network programing nearly as much as I used to. I have much more to do, and outlets such as Netflix streaming and YouTube give me all the entertainment I need. TV shows, movies, and even concerts are there on offer. Here’s a top ten list of my favorite TV shows. I’ll try to put them in order.

#10. Family Matters. [A very nice family show with the geeky boy next door whose wonderful catch phrase was, “Did I do that?” You got to love Steve Urkel.]

#9. Fresh Prince of Bel Air. [I’ve been a big fan of Will Smith, mostly from his movies, but this show was exceptional. The young boy from Philly who got sent to Bel Air to live with the rich aunt and uncle. Wouldn’t that be nice. As a side note, this is also one of my girlfriend’s favorites.]

#8. Maude. [This was Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan’s first TV venture together. I laughed with them in Maude, as well as in their later series The Golden Girls with Betty White and Estelle Getty.]

#7. The Love Boat. [All aboard on Captain Stubing’s love boat. I watched it each and every week for years. The first few seasons were from the port of L.A. down to Mexico and back. A whole cruise shown in an hour. In later seasons, guest stars got to fall in love while traveling to exotic and rare destinations.]

#6. Full House. Fuller House. [Now we are starting to get to my really favorite shows. I watched every episode of Full House and taped them all when they were on reruns. Danny, Uncle Jesse and Joey helped guide the three girls through topics such as sharing a room, their first loves, and in a very poignant episode, where was their daddy during the San Francisco earthquake. It’s spin-off, Fuller House, which premiered last year on Netflix, picks up with D.J. Fuller widowed with three boys. The whole cast, except the Olsen twins, took part. As far as I know, there will be a second season. I can’t wait.]

#5. Charlie’s Angels. [When this show aired in 1976, I was 11 going on 12. Young, beautiful women in skimpy outfits or bikinis. Yes, I’m going to like it, shoot me. For any real Charlie’s Angels fan, I’m sure you’ll agree that most of their stories were good ones and well written. And let’s not forget David Doyle as Bosley and John Forsythe as the voice of Charlie. Two excellent actors.]

#4. Star Trek. ST: The Next Generation. ST: Deep Space Nine. ST: Voyager. ST: Enterprise. [Well, the secret is out; I am a Trekkie. I love the whole idea of the almost perfect future universe. I adore holodeck episodes; the idea that you can walk into a room and it becomes anything you wish fascinates me to no end. To be honest, I did not watch every episode of Enterprise, but most Trek fans did like it.]

#3. Cagney and Lacey. [A wonderful police drama in the 1980s about two women police detectives dealing with not only their jobs but their home lives. Mary Beth’s husband Harvey was a wonderful character and magnificently played by John Karlen. On a down note, midway through the series, Christine Cagney got a love interest, but for some unknown reason the writers made him an almost exact duplicate of Harvey. This did not go down well with me. This series dealt not only with police issues, but with Christine’s loss of her father and her own alcoholism, as well as the brilliantly written two-part episode dealing with Mary Beth’s breast cancer. If there was a down side to this series, it was the lackluster series finale. Apparently CBS didn’t know if it was being renewed or not, so the women were instructed by LT. Samuels to paint the ladies’ room. If they didn’t get promoted to the major cases squad, they would have a, “freshly painted bathroom to come back to.”]

#2. Reba. [This is a series I watched with my girlfriend Traci in reruns. I had heard about it but never watched it when it had its first run. The show deals with a divorced woman devotedly religious, played by Reba McEntire, as she struggles to make ends meet, fights with her ex-husband and his new wife, and loves and cares for her kids. The show is set in Houston, Texas, and in the early years, son-in-law Van plays high school and then college football. For a brief period, he turns pro, but an injury ends his career. That allows Reba and Van to partner up in a real-estate venture. Actress Scarlett Pomers dealt with an eating disorder fairly late in the series and missed a season. She triumphantly returned in the final season.]

#1. M.A.S.H. [The is quite possibly my favorite show of all time. I watched it religiously in prime time and in reruns as a teenager. For a half hour each night, I would picture myself there in Korea with all my friends; Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J. and all the rest. My favorite episode, which according to Loretta Swit changed the series, was called Comrades in Arms. Hawkeye and Margaret were sent to another M.A.S.H. unit, their jeep breaks down and they have to hide. When shelling of the hut they are hiding in starts near the end of part one, they embrace and seem to fall in love, though that is a misunderstanding. At the end of part two, they are not a couple, but the dynamics of the characters changed for the rest of the series.]

Well, there is my list. As usual, please chime in with your top ten list in the comments if you wish. Have a great Friday and weekend, take care, and happy reading.

I’m getting into controversy today

Greetings, readers. I was going to write a blog entry this morning about how upset I am with CBS and Paramount’s decision to clamp down on Star Trek fan fiction films and episodes. I still need to do a little more research into the guidelines that they have set up. So far I am not impressed. I do understand that Star Trek is the intellectual property of Paramount and CBS. However I am a firm believer that any non-profit fan fiction production is simply a love letter to the series, and really will not hurt the new show coming out in 2017. Could I be wrong? Most definitely. To me though, if I owned a song or film and someone honored me with a tribute, I would be flattered as long as they weren’t making a gazillion dollars off me. As I understand it, fan fic films make little or no money. It is all for the love of the series.

My topic today will be about how disgusted I am with the political onslaught the American people have to put up with until voting day in November. Let’s go over the main candidates. First is Hillary Clinton. There is speculation at this moment about her health concerns. Some folks would have you think she is dying. The truth is that she has a case of pneumonia and will most likely be fine.

I want this understood right now before we go any further. I have not gone on to any websites for the front running candidates. Former Secretary Clinton is a Democrat and her opponent Donald Trump is running as the Republican candidate. Gary Johnson and his running mate are the Libertarian candidates who, I feel, have zero chance of obtaining the presidency.

I don’t particularly like Hillary Clinton. I don’t know why. Maybe it is because of all the accusations against her all these years. Maybe it is because she comes across as a cold woman. She and her husband have been in trouble since Arkansas. Rebecca has explained to me before what she knows about the scandals and accusations against Hillary Clinton, but I just can’t shake the feeling that she did something wrong and got away with it. Is anybody perfect? Of course not. Everybody has faults, but when you are running for president they are always magnified. I do like some things about Mrs. Clinton. She is highly educated with way more foreign policy experience than Donald Trump. She might not be as powerful a speaker as her opponent, but she can back up her claims.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, comes across to me as a pompous, arrogant ass. He is a racist, a bigot, and on at least one occasion, made fun of a handicapped person. That is when he lost any hope of my vote. Even though my handicap is mild, I will not support anyone who makes fun of a physically challenged person, for political gain or to prove a point.

Mr. Trump’s idea to build a wall between Mexico and the United States and have the Mexicans pay for it, is, quite frankly, absurd. Do I want illegal aliens taking our jobs? No. But there must be a better way than duplicating the Great Wall of China. To be perfectly honest with you readers, I did watch a couple of his speeches on YouTube, and I’ll give you that he is a rousing speaker. But that is it. I don’t think any one of his policies would work. Now let’s go into his economics. Multiple casinos – bankrupt. Trump Airlines – failed. A lot of his business ventures have gone belly up. I don’t know what makes him think that he is qualified at all at being our president. Here is another point for you. Does Donald Trump have any foreign policy experience? I would wager no. If Mr. Trump squeezed through by some miracle to win the White House, he will have to have advisors on top of advisors. And as is shown many times on news clips, Donald Trump likes to talk, not listen. Donald Trump would make George W. Bush look like a great president. With Donald Trump’s big mouth, we just might get into another war. One we might not be able to win.

Do we really have a great choice for president this time around? I suppose Hillary Clinton is the lessor of two evils. And her foreign policy experience is a plus. As long as the Clinton’s can keep their noses clean for four to eight years, we might be okay. If Donald Trump wins, I might be blogging from Canada. Ha ha.

This might not be my greatest blog entry ever, as I don’t go into politics often. I did want to put my two cents in about the major candidates. You may be wondering who I am going to vote for. Quite honestly, I’m not certain yet. Could it be Bernie Sanders? Possibly. Could it be Hillary Clinton? More than likely. Will it be Donald Trump? ROTFL. Definitely not.

One thing I do know is that the mud-slinging from this election has gone on way too long. It is the reason I rarely watch TV anymore.

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

I’ve been a dreamcatcher lately

Greetings, readers. Three out of the last four nights I have found myself experiencing very vivid, sometimes disturbing dreams. Is it unusual for me to dream? No, not at all. However, most of my dreams are short flashes of imagery or a short story. I usually don’t remember much of them. These last dreams have been detailed, long and disturbing. The first night the dream left off at a point and the next night it continued from that point. I think that is the first time that has ever happened to me. I don’t have nightmares, dreams with vampires, monsters, or murder, but these are as close as I wish to come to them.

I don’t want to go into specifics, but suffice it to say that the first two dreams dealt directly with tragedy and death. They freaked me out. Last night’s cinematic debacle dealt with an old love, jealousy and hurt feelings, with two natural disasters thrown in; a tornado followed by an earthquake. Why am I having these kinds of dreams, when I usually dream about such happy things, like family outings and Maine vacations?

My therapist will probably say that I’m working through some hidden feelings of dread or anger. As far as I know, I’m not angry at anybody, nor am I afraid of losing anyone. Therapy is tomorrow and I plan to bring my notepad with me with all the highlights … or lowlights … of the last few evenings.

If any reader wishes to share his or her dreams with us, please do so in the comment section or on my Facebook page. Well, there it is. Rebecca will here shortly and we’ll edit this entry and post it.

Until next week, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading. Oh … pleasant dreams!   😉

Morning allergies, go away, come back another day.

Greetings, readers. Right now as the leaves are beginning to fall off the trees, my allergies have certainly started to kick up. It also could be that kitty cat Keekee sleeps next to me in my recliner chair. But the first few hours of my day are a sneezy disaster.

No matter what time I seem to get up, which is anywhere in between 5:00 and 7:00, the first thing I do is sneeze. Sometimes I’ll take a spritz of nasal spray, but usually I have to let it run its course. Mornings are my computer and writing time so it does get a bit frustrating when I am trying to concentrate on what I’m doing while being plagued by sneezing and a runny nose. With every passing hour though it does get better. I’m having a cleaning person come in to help tidy up in a couple of weeks and she will systematically get this place in order. Good-bye dust! I think my allergies will be much better after that.

I’ve always been prone to allergies. I can remember some spring and fall days when I was a child, being absolutely miserable. I tried the allergy medicine of the time and I remember it helping a little bit but not completely. I don’t know where I got my allergies from, for neither Mom nor Dad seemed to be a sufferer.

For those of you who know me, I am not giving up Keekee though there are times when she sheds dramatically. Luckily for me, I’m in Maine at that time, and am spared the worst of it. I love my little girl, and would rather wear a dust mask then to give her away at this stage of her life. There are always allergy shots and other drastic measures. It will depend on if my allergies get worse or not.

On a side note, KISS came to the Bryce Jordan Center this past week, and I held firm in my decision to save money by not going, as much I wanted to. The money for the ticket can be better spent elsewhere. It is a shame, since it will probably be the last time they come to State College. Thanks to someone who uploads videos to YouTube, to my great surprise the entire show is there in multiple segments. How nice. I won’t have to miss it after all. The only downer, that person started their recording half-way through the first song … which just happens to be my favorite. What can you do?

Until tomorrow morning, enjoy your day, take care, love one another, and happy reading.

I’m already challenged by my Amish writing project

Greetings, readers. My personal writing project about the Amish took a kick in the belly yesterday when I discovered a TV series on YouTube dealing with exactly what I wanted to write about. I must learn to not let that deter me. I need to just write what I am going to write, tell my story, and worry about all other details later. If it is meant to work out, it will.

I was going to keep this a secret, but my idea was to tell a story about an Amish family which is dealing with either a haunting or a poltergeist. I was so proud of myself, I thought I had come up with something original. Ha ha. I discovered a series called Amish Haunting and thought, so much for my idea. What to do, what to do. I decided not to let that deter me. If I am going to be a writer, I have to get over or get around the first huddle, instead of stopping in front of it.

I could barely sleep last night thinking about how I will gather the knowledge needed to do my project. A place that is relatively close to where I live is called the Amish Village. It is in Lancaster, PA. I’m seriously considering renting a Zipcar next Friday and taking Traci for a day trip. Yes, it would be an expense, but it might be worth it to have my questions answered by an actual Amish person. My big question is, would they allow a paranormal team with their high-tech equipment to come into their home to investigate? Another question is, what is the usual response from the Amish community and church to paranormal activity?

As usual when I begin writing projects, I can’t seem to get them going. I always jump ahead of myself and either see problems that are still down the line, or I’m not certain how to proceed if an issue crops up. I’m very good at writing the beginnings, and what I want the cover to look like, but not so good at writing the book. I vow to change that.

I shall keep next Friday open in case I do decide to take that day trip. If nothing else it will be fun and educational. If I hit pay dirt I shall have the answers I seek. I must be prepared, however, to understand if the Amish don’t wish to speak about such things.

Until next Wednesday, I bid you a fantastic weekend, take care, and as always, happy reading.