Monthly Archives: February 2019

My banking woes of the last two weeks

Greetings, readers. For obvious reasons the following will be in general terms. I don’t think any blogger should go into that much detail about their finances. It is, however, the topic of the day.

About a week and a half ago, my bank’s fraud line called me and wanted to go over a few charges. “Panera?,” they asked. “Yes.” “The corner store?” “Absolutely.” “Some company I’ve never even heard of before?” “Um, no.” Put on the parking brake right there. After figuring out that my debit card had been compromised, we quickly closed it and I was issued a new one. Of course, that didn’t arrive until after 3-5 business days had gone by. So, for quite a while everything I bought was either on my credit card or was cash. That is why my credit card bill this month is about $100 more than it usually is. Ouch.

The bank’s fraud team member was very helpful, as was the representative at the bank, whom Rebecca and I talked to this morning. All issues are now fixed and secure again. That’s the way I like it.

I’ve decided that for the next several months I am going to look at my on-line banking statement regularly to make certain that I do not get compromised again. I don’t think I will, because my debit card and info has been switched over.

I know I’m not the only one to have suffered card fraud but I still felt embarrassed. I don’t remember making a purchase but in this day and age when hackers and fraudsters are all around, who knows who got in and did their nasty deeds.

I feel confident that the issue has been solved, but I blame my naiveté for this incident. Maybe my pop-up blocker wasn’t on. Some afternoon when I have nothing to do, I’ll go into all my major websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., and see what’s what on the settings page.

On a side note, I read this morning that the next polar vortex-like event is due to hit in early March. Freezing cold temperatures may reach Georgia and Florida. If it does, so much for the citrus crop. I can see it now, a glass of orange juice at McDonald’s $5, a jug at the grocery store $8. That is probably an exaggeration, but you get my point.

There’s today’s blog entry, I shall post one again on Sunday, as I have been doing. Until then, enjoy the rest of your week, stay warm if you can, love one another, and as always happy reading.

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Last evening, full scale reheasals for my show did NOT go as planned

Greetings, readers. Last evening, my friend Mike and I began full-scale rehearsals for the March 13th show. It did not go as planned. Mike knew exactly what he wanted to do with his songs, and performed them quite well. As for me… well, let’s just say I have to build up my stamina. I was only two songs into my ten-song first set, and I was huffing and puffing. That’s not good. I would say my stamina meter is at 10%. Can you say, “Five Hour Energy?”

I don’t like drinking those types of products, but I might have to. If tonight’s rehearsal doesn’t go any better, I’m either going to have to cut down my playlist, or sit down to do the whole show. To me, that would be a wimp-out, but there might not be any other way if I truly want to perform as KISS would perform.

Yes, I am doing a KISS show, possibly complete with war paint in my own design. I am the mimic, and if I decide to go all out, I would have a white face, a black M, black lips and fingernails. I am 53 years old now, and I am intending for this show to be my last. If I do any other type of performing, it might be stand-up comedy or a dramatic skit. Time will tell.

Both my sets are approximately 45 minutes long, while Mike’s halftime show is roughly 30 minutes. I’m going to ask him to add a few more songs, to give me more of a break. Yes, dear readers, I am getting older. Notice I didn’t say old. 😉 I’ll never say I’m old.

I have a couple of errands to do today in the afternoon, and a friend of mine is coming to visit at 5 PM, so I really can’t rehearse the way I want to until the evening. I have to hope that the community room is free to use. If other folks are playing cards, well they got there first, and I’m out of luck.

I would greatly appreciate any good thoughts and energy you can throw my way for the next few weeks, and especially, the day of the show. I’m planning to video this show and put it up either on Facebook or YouTube. Maybe the members of KISS will somehow see it. Wouldn’t that be cool?

There is today’s blog entry. Until Wednesday, stay warm if you’re going to be in the windy part of the country; 40 to 60 mile an hour winds here today. Also, please pray for one another, take care and as always, happy reading.

Snow Day – part two

Greetings, readers. What a miserable weather day we had yesterday. The snow began approximately 7:30 in the morning, just as our entourage was leaving for morning coffee. I told Smith and Traci, “It hasn’t started yet, let’s try to go over.” We were just getting out the front door of the apartment building when we saw the first flakes. The sidewalk that we use to get to Panera is always salted well, so I knew we weren’t going to have a problem there. But after an hour of coffee and conversation, I saw that the snow had already began to lay thick on the ground. The three of us made a quick but safe retreat to home. There I remained for the rest of the day.

It is supposed to get to 41 degrees F today. If it does I might slide down the hill to the corner store and pick up some extra cereal and milk. Meals on Wheels did not deliver yesterday, and I don’t blame them. In the afternoon the roads went from crunchy snow and, “Oh, we can manage,” to freezing rain and the entire town shutting down. Even Penn State called off classes. When this town shuts down, it shuts down. I had time to get caught up with the new season of One Day at a Time.

This blog entry today almost did not happen. I was doing my morning routine of Facebook, etc, when some kind of error message popped up on the screen, wanting my phone number or some personal information to verify something about Microsoft. I’m not that naïve. I restarted the computer and so far that message has not popped up again. Later on I am going to run a full virus scan. Oh, yes, with modern technology comes these vicious problems. I doubt that error message was actually from Microsoft. I’m older and wiser now and don’t believe everything I see … just most things.

Before I close, I wish to share that I have narrowed my choice of churches to two. The church to which Smith belongs, the State College Presbyterian Church, or the church my parents and I used to attend when I was a child, Grace Lutheran Church. Both are on Beaver Avenue, within easy walking distance. Since I don’t have my own car I can’t take myself where I really want to go, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. The bus I would need does not run on Sundays, and a cab or Zipcar would take a bite out of the wallet. Walking is free. I am leaning towards joining the Presbyterian Church. Sorry Mom and Dad, I hope you won’t be too disappointed. Yes, even though they are both in heaven, it is still very important to me what they think and that they are not disappointed in me.

There’s part two of the blog entry. I’m going to have a brand new one up on Sunday and weather permitting Rebecca will be back on Wednesday of next week instead of Thursday. We have an errand to run that morning so I am probably going to dictate Wednesday’s blog so we can quickly edit it and post it when we get back.

I wish all of you a great day, go somewhere warm if you can, and bundle up if you can’t. As always, enjoy and happy reading.

Snow Day! – part one

Greetings, readers. This entry may very well be the shortest one so far. We are having a snowstorm in Central Pennsylvania, and Rebecca called off yesterday. I don’t blame her. I would rather have her be safe, then to try to come in, slip and break a foot or ankle. As it turns out, I’m not feeling all that great today, so it is a win-win situation.

I remember how I used to feel during my schooling years when we had the occasional snow day. Mom would shout up the stairs, or come knock on my bedroom door, to give me the good news. Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and that snow day would have to be made up at the end of the year. Bah, humbug.

I’m going to be doing a lot of taking it easy today. Rebecca will come in tomorrow, and we will put up part two of this entry.

Until then take care, stay warm, love one another, and happy reading.

I am very nervous about my appointment with my doctor tomorrow

Greetings, readers. Tomorrow at 12:30 PM, I have a doctor’s appointment which I have been apprehensive about for days. Oddly enough, I requested this test after I passed out and knocked my friend over like a bowling pin. It’s called an EEG test. I shall have many electrodes glued on to my head before lying down on this narrow bed and having all sorts of noises and lights bombarding my senses. I distinctly remember the last time I had this test, because the strobe light effect almost set off a seizure. This is something I am praying does not happen to me. I have had a few grand mal seizures in my lifetime, and the prospect of another one makes my stomach turn.

On the positive side, I will be allowed to have breakfast and take my morning meds. The downside of the morning is that I am not allowed to have any caffeine. I always have at least one cup of regular coffee to jumpstart the battery. I shall go over and have breakfast at Panera as usual, and have decaf coffee and a vanilla iced cinnamon roll. I can always count on those yummy pastries to put me in a good mood if I’m going to have a tough day.

On the downside of this test…, besides having glue in my hair, is that I was specifically instructed not to get my full allotment of sleep. It is suggested in the instruction paper for me to only have half of what I usually get. So, I’ll go to bed around 11 or 11:30 this evening, and wake up around 5 AM. That certainly is not my eight hours of beauty rest. Lol.

Even though I am dreading this test tomorrow, I know it must be done. We must ascertain why I passed out approximately two weeks ago. By Wednesday, I hope to have the results so that we can share them with you in our next blog entry. It is suppertime on this Sunday evening, and I am soon going to Panera to get something to eat with my last cup of regular coffee for a day and a half. 😦 Please everyone, think good thoughts for me tomorrow afternoon. It will be most appreciated.

Until Wednesday, when Rebecca is back to type and help me edit, take care as always, have a great rest of your weekend, love one another and happy reading.

A disruption to my daily routine and first impressions of the Alliance of American Football

Greetings, readers. The last two mornings had weather conditions such that the Three Musketeers (Smith, Traci, and I) could not go to Panera for our now ritualistic morning coffee. Aren’t humans creatures of habit? I felt cheated that I didn’t have my time with my friends. And I know for a fact that Smith and Traci felt the same way. Smith says that she loves to get out of the apartment building at least twice a day if she can. We couldn’t go this morning because the sidewalks were a sheet of ice. Yesterday we had 4 inches of snow followed by freezing rain. Not a good combination. Schools were closed and functions around town were cancelled. It’s not very often that I stay in my apartment the entire day. I was completely lethargic and went to bed at 8:30. To my surprise I slept pretty much through the night, and had a bizarre dream about my mother. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t call her on her cell phone. I kept asking my dad for the right number. When I woke up it dawned on my why I couldn’t call her in the dream; my mother is deceased, as is my dad. As happens quite a lot in dreams, you attempt to do things or make contact with loved ones and fail. I honestly believe the reason I couldn’t contact my mom is because she was deceased. If any readers have any other plausible explanations, please do leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

On to another topic now. On YouTube, I watched parts of two footballs games, from the first week of the brand new Alliance of American Football (AAF). I watched part of the Atlanta Legends at Orlando Apollos game. The Atlanta team was not very good; they got blown out 40 – 6. Then I watched the San Diego Fleet at San Antonio Commanders game. It was not a packed house at the Alamodome, but I would say it was a good crowd for the first game of a new league. The San Antonio Commanders are the first professional football team in that city since the United States Football League’s San Antonio Gunslingers were there for one dreadful season in the early 80s.

The AAF has a few rule differences from the National Football League (NFL). One is they have no kickoffs. The ball is spotted on the 25 yard line for the team who wins the coin toss. They do, however, have punts and field goals. Another rule difference I like is that after every touchdown they have to go for a 2-point conversion.

With limited practice time and only one exhibition game per team, the offensive lines have not gelled yet. I’m sure these teams will get a lot better. One week down and nine to go in the ten week regular season. This league starts one week after the NFL’s Super Bowl and their championship game will be in late April. Just in time for folks to switch over to baseball. That’s what I like the most. I am not a fan of basketball or hockey. I don’t hate those sports, but I’ve never gotten into watching them full-time.

I shall enjoy getting to know these teams while watching them on TNT and the NFL network. In April, after their championship game, I shall give you a final review/update on this fledgling league.

There’s today’s blog entry. Everyone please pray for warmer weather. I’m tired of the cold and winter. Rebecca and I bid you a good day. Take care, and as always, happy reading.

P.S. New blog entry on Sunday. Until then …

Getting over the depression of hurting another person

Greetings, readers. This past Tuesday my friend and I were walking along, minding our own business, when I passed out. I fell forward, knocking her over and injuring her. Most of that morning and afternoon in the emergency room is a blur now, but it didn’t take long for the guilt I know I shouldn’t have to set in. Smith has told me numerous times that it was an accident, and that she does not blame me. Oh, what a good friend I have.

It’s now Sunday afternoon and most of the guilt is gone. I really felt terrible when she told me that she did indeed receive her second concussion. She still was not quite over the one she suffered 18 months ago. I just hope that she doesn’t suffer any more memory issues. My memory is not what it used to be, so I can relate to Smith’s frustration. She tells Traci and me that her, “….memory used to be my strong point. Not anymore.”

It’s a little more than an hour later than it was when I stopped for a supper break.

Listening to Smith tell me that friends of hers would come to her when they couldn’t remember something breaks my heart every time. It got me to wondering just how many concussions I have suffered over the years. To my surprise… and horror, I count three. Yikes!

The first one was during the summer, during my elementary school years. I was probably ten or eleven. I was riding my bike in the circle in my former neighborhood, when my feet slipped off the pedals. I was heading right for the curb and struck it. The bike stopped and I didn’t. I went up over the handlebars, landing head first in the grass. I can honestly say I know what amnesia feels like, because when I got up and looked at my own house, I didn’t know it was my house. I had no clue for about five seconds. To say that it freaked me out would be an understatement.

Incident number two was in junior high school. The school day was over and we were heading to our lockers in the commons area. I felt someone’s foot tangle with mine, and the next instant I knew, I was lying down on a teacher’s desk. When my mom got me home, she told me to rest up and report any unusual symptoms. I told her that my head pounded when I bent over. We immediately went to the emergency room.

Concussion number three was many years later during a bowling outing in Maine. Friend Dave and I were getting set to do battle, and after choosing my ball, I did not clear the ball rack. The top of my head cracked the underneath section of the beverage bar, and I can honestly say that I saw stars. Dave and I should’ve stopped bowling right there, but we were young teenagers who thought nothing could hurt us. Every time I bent down to bowl, my head hurt. Needless to say, we only bowled one game that evening. We were going to make it a best two out of three. Buddy Dave checked on me periodically throughout the night. I was oblivious to the fact that you are not supposed to let a concussion victim sleep for more than two hours at a time without awaking them. They might not wake up!

Having said all this, I know full well that my elderly friend Smith needed a second concussion like a kick in the teeth. You should’ve seen her when I apologized. She told me exactly what I thought she would say. Smith told me that it was not my fault, that I had no control over it and that she was glad that I was okay. We do look out for one another. Smith, Traci and I will continue to watch out for one another, for we are the self-proclaimed Three Musketeers.

Until Wednesday, enjoy the rest of your weekend and early week. Rebecca and I will be here to post the next entry Wednesday afternoon. Until then take care, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

OUCH! I HURT!

Greetings, readers. Yesterday at 7:15 my friend Smith and I went for morning coffee as per usual. We were on the way home from coffee and errands when the unlikely happened. I passed out, fell right into her, knocking her over, and the ambulance was called, setting in motion the seven and a half hours away from home. Both of us were treated at the ER for our minor bumps and bruises. That I expected. What I didn’t expect, since we came in together, was that it took almost all day for either one of us to find out any info on the other. I guess you can chalk that up to the HIPAA law. Needless to say, she was just as worried about me as I was about her.

Around 2:00 or so we got discharged and by some miracle the first bus we needed was arriving just as we walked out the front door. It was one of the first things that went right all day. Then we transferred to a bus called the White Loop, which dropped us off near our front door. I came home, turned on some TV, sat down, and slept through three people knocking on my door. I was exhausted. I felt bad about that, but as many people have told me, I must have needed the rest.

I ate a light supper, took my first dose of antibiotic for a slight sinus infection, which is the only thing that they found wrong in my blood work, and was in bed by 8:30. Sitting down was not fun, even on the mattress … and still isn’t. Once I laid down on either side, no problem, I slept fine. The two big injuries for me are my hurt backside, and my pride. My friend walked away with a few bruises. She has already had one concussion in her life, and I was so afraid that number two would have been caused by me. I feeling a little bit sore today, but I am sitting on a comfy pillow given to me by Smith.

With that out of the way, I shall talk briefly about the not so super Super Bowl. It was the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever, with the final score 13-3 Patriots. The third year Rams starting quarterback, Jared Goff, looked quite frankly scared to death on the sidelines. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great young quarterback, but when it came to the big game, his knees were a-shakin’. The Rams defense was stellar, holding New England to a mere 13 points. If it had been any other game, people might have called it a classic. I’d be willing to bet you though, that most people want to see high scoring Super Bowls.

Even though I watched this game, I found myself dozing off a couple of times. Not even the broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, whom I like a lot, could save this snoozer. I would love to see what the TV ratings were. I doubt that they were very high.

Reflecting on the Super Bowl and sports in general, I ask myself this question: Are all of the final games of a sports season that boring? Absolutely not. Back in the Chicago Bulls heyday, they had wonderfully exciting championship playoff series’. The same can be said in the NBA years ago when the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers duked it out many times. Football is too punishing of a sport to do this, but I wish that instead of having a Super Bowl game, they would play for the best two out of three. Just in case that a team has an off day, they would have at least one more chance to equalize.

To the Patriots’ fans, congratulation. To the Ram’s fans, I know you will be a powerhouse for a number of years yet. Don’t give up on quarterback Goff.

Until Sunday when I will put up another dictated blog entry via the voice recognition program, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.