Monthly Archives: April 2019

I thought spring had sprung… and more

Greetings, readers. Here I thought spring had sprung, but Mother Nature had other plans. Today it was rainy, damp, and the high temperature was only 46°F. That’s not very warm for April 28th. I know that many years ago, we had snow in May. Yes, that can happen here in central Pennsylvania. In this college town however, when all the co-eds see the tree’s leaves turn green, they all run around half-naked. This is why half of them are sick during finals week.

That’s right, it’s finals week here at Penn State University. This Saturday and Sunday, the seniors will be graduating and moving on to their next phase of life. The undergrads get to go home for three months, before returning in late August to do it all over again. I can only imagine how loud Friday’s and Saturday’s parties are going to be.

From late morning until close, Panera Café is swarming with college kids either studying or hanging out sipping coffee. Between early May and mid-June, there is a wonderful lull in between the college students leaving, and public school children still having classes. After approximately June 10th, all hell breaks loose when the little ones are also set free for the summer.

Speaking of summer, the mid-July Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will be here before we know it. When I was younger, that was always the midpoint of summer. Yes I know that technically the summer season does not begin until June 21st, but it just seemed as though the second half of the summer went much faster than the first. Now that I’m older, I feel that way all the more. I love summer and hate winter, and my summer goes way too quickly for my liking.

Briefly, a spring cleaning update. My kitchen remains clean. Yay! I have begun work on the bathroom, which is the least dirtiest room in the apartment. All the towels were recently washed and put away, the shampoo bottle was placed on the rickety stand by the toilet, and such things as nail clippers and my comb were neatly placed at the back of the sink. Next up on the spring cleaning list of tasks is the dining room table/writing area. I am hoping that Rebecca does not think I want her to choose one phrase or the other here, because my computer lives on the dining room table. No, folks… I do not put my cereal bowl on top of my computer. That would just be asking for trouble.

Finally… and yet again… prayers go out to the families and victims of yet another senseless shooting, this time in a synagogue in San Diego, California. It’s time that state and national leaders step up to the plate and tried to put an end to this senseless violence. Maybe one day, my plea will be heard by someone who can do something about it. Before my malfunctioning computer goofs up again I’m going to close this entry, spell check it, and post it before my technology, and my patience, go splat!

Until Wednesday, have a great rest of your weekend, take care, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

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Oops. sorry about that, and belated Happy Easter

Greetings, readers. I was completely embarrassed when Rebecca texted me informing me that I had forgotten to put up the weekend blog. I said a few minor expletives, apologized to her and asked if she could put up a short blog entry on Monday. She, of course, said sure. I just knew that one of these weekends it was going to slip my mind. If it was going to happen, it was logical that Easter weekend would be it. Sunday morning I went to church, came home, went out with friends for a buffet dinner, and after all that food and two desserts, I came home and slept like a log. My “nap” lasted until 10pm. Needless to say I didn’t sleep much the rest of the night. I hope your Easter was as good as mine, with many blessings and a wonderful day spent with family.

Topic number two. The apartment cleaning. Yes, April 22nd came and went and as promised to myself, I began work on the kitchen. Ready for your funny of the day? A person starts a major cleanup project with one new trash bag in the box and no disinfectant wipes. Sure, I’m prepared. Lol. I must say, it looks a lot better. Then I walk into the living room and I see just how much I have to do. Slow and steady wins the race.

I can’t believe that Bear Spring Camps opens in less than a month. I’m already getting into my camp routine. My TV cable has Music Choice, channels dedicated to playing different genres of music. I enjoy listening to their easy listening music station, and having about an hour or so of what I call wind down time right before bed, which may include listening to crickets, loons, or a thunderstorm on Spotify. Between Music Choice, Spotify, and YouTube, I can find almost any background “white noise” choice I desire. When I am actually at camp, and I’m by myself, I like to lock the screen door and have the wooden door open, turn off the lights, and sit on my sofa, while I watch the twilight disappear into darkness. The easy listening radio station in that area of Maine disappeared long ago. So I will either listen to nature or a cassette tape on low volume. Trust me, when you spend an entire day in the sun, the breeze, as well as eating three wonderful meals a day and expending energy, you are more than ready around 9pm to wind down and call it a day.

Finally, prayers go out to the injured and families of victims from the church bombings in Sri Lanka. I said it before and I will say it again, we need to stop the madness. People must learn to get along with one another and to treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Until this weekend … I hope … have a great few days, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: It has been a while since I wrote a blog entry

Hi, Joe’s readers. Joe got caught up in Easter yesterday, and didn’t get to do his usual Sunday entry. He has begun spring cleaning today, as he wrote he would, and he asked if I would do an entry for him. I said yes, I’d be happy to put something up.

I’m not sure what to write about that isn’t the weather (really nice yesterday and today), politics (does anyone else think that the media/congress should be focusing more on the Russia interference with our elections and government, as well as what Trump and Co knew or did), or health (my knees are sore or painful a lot this last month.) Joe and I are trying to pick different topics for the blog, other than the same ones. That’s why for the last post he did a list of his blessings.

It is a reminder to me of my blessings. My husband, my mother-in-law, my sisters and their children, all my parents, my books, my library, my television shows/movies, my technology, and the health and mobility I do have. I have struggles and problems, but I am so lucky, too.

Joe and I will be back at work on Wednesday, and then he will dictate another blog entry for you. Until then, have a good week, may you be safe and comfortable at the end of your day, and happy reading.

Top ten list of blessings in my life

Greetings, readers. Today I thought I would go upbeat with the blog entry. Recently I’ve been telling you about all the things that have been bothering me in my life, and today I thought I would go cheery. I am grateful for many, many things, even though sometimes I don’t always show it. So here is my top ten list of things for which I am grateful.

#10. My late kitty cat Keekee. [Not too long after I moved into Addison Court, I’d say less than a year, a friend of mine was moving out. She could not take the two cats she had with her and asked me if I wanted one for free. I’m glad I decided to try it, allergies notwithstanding. She was my buddy for one week short of 12 years.]

#9. Princess Josie. [This cat is completely different in demeanor than Keekee. I love her to pieces, but she is a little more rambunctious than my former furry feline.]

#8. Meals on Wheels. [Although they are not always dishes which I would consider my favorites, I do eat most of them and feel blessed to have them at such an economical price.]

#7. A place over my head. [No, it’s not the family house that we used to own, but it is two nice-sized rooms with fully functional kitchen and I enjoyed the great view from the top floor for 13 years. With the new building going up next door though, I’m going to lose most of that view.]

#6. Sentimental items from my parent’s home. [When I moved to this apartment 13 years ago or so, I vowed to take as many paintings as I could get. It gives the apartment a hint of my former home. For that I am extremely grateful. I also have my mom’s desk and a bookcase of which we make good use.]

#5. Good neighbors and friends in the building. [As in any community, there are good neighbors and neighbors you’d like to run over with your car. I’m very happy to say that I have most pleasant neighbors, with only a few exceptions. I’m a very easygoing man and can usually work around any people who cause conflict. I’m glad that so many of my neighbors are folks I am happy to call friends.]

#4. Rebecca. [Every book I’ve ever done would not be published without Rebecca. Not only is she a good friend, she is a fantastic typist and an awesome editor. In her role as personal assistant, she has kept me from missing numerous appointment. Kudos to Rebecca.]

#3. Working technology. [Yes, I do like my Steam games, and to watch movies on Netflix. Sometimes I lose myself in a fantasy world of baseball, or I’ll spend and entire evening watching James Bond pictures. I’m happy for the technology to do so, i.e. my computer and gaming system to watch Netflix and YouTube on my TV.]

#2. A great bus system. [As chance would have it, my apartment is steps away from a bus stop, where many of the buses I take stop at. Though, during the summer time, when the buses run on reduced service, I find myself having to walk downtown a few blocks to catch buses at the main stop, called the College Ave, and Allen St stop. Sure, I’d love to have my own vehicle, but this is the next best thing.]

#1. And yes, it is in order, is that at least for now, I can still go to Bear Spring Camps. [I might have to stop after this year or perhaps after next, but I am going to milk it for all it is worth. Bear Spring Camps, and those people I have known all my life, are my truest blessings.]

There is today’s top ten list, on this cheery topic. I hope everyone enjoys it. Please pray for everyone who needs it, and if you are inclined to and can, please consider donating to a fund to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Such a tragic loss. I plan to donate some money myself.

Until this weekend, have a fantastic few days, take care of your family, enjoy good weather if you have it, and as always, happy reading.

My spring cleaning begins a week from tomorrow

Greetings, readers. Yes, I have set my date of April 22nd, to begin my spring cleaning. I’m going to take this week to do lots of writing on my two projects. Work begins promptly at 9 AM tomorrow. I’ll also spend this week tweaking my spring and summer schedule, which not only includes the aforementioned, but also making plans for my trip to Maine in August.

We’ll begin with the trip to Maine. I began going to Bear Spring Camps in 1970, and have only missed three years. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this year… perhaps next, will be my last. As my monetary means run dry, I’m saving up for one last extraordinary vacation. I want it to be a cruise, but recently I’ve seen some articles about cruise ships that are making me think twice. When the time feels right, and the right deal pops up, I’m certain that the dream vacation on the sea will be a go!

With the sunrise earlier and earlier, I think it’s time that I begin getting out of bed before 6 AM. I used to wake up at 3:45 every morning, but that got a bit taxing on my body. So, I pushed it up to six. With the construction people working next door, if I worked from 4:30 until they began working at six, I could have an hour and a half of quiet and solitude for writing. Even though the jack hammers aren’t making noise anymore, trucks and concrete mixers make their own bothersome sounds. When I used to type my material, I would listen to music from the Star Wars albums. Those were quite inspirational to me, but quite impractical when using the speech recognition program. I’m certain I’ll find that happy medium.

Now for the big task! As mentioned earlier, April 22nd, will be the big day that this swamp I call my apartment gets cleaned out. Will this task be completed in one day? No way! I’m looking at a two or three-week task. You see, I can’t clean eight hours a day. With my delicate system, I have to clean for perhaps only an hour at a time, before either taking a break or stopping for the day. First up… the kitchen. That’s not in bad shape at all. I expect I can get that done in an hour or so. When it comes time to go through the mounds of junk on my two broken recliners, a.k.a. dead red and dead blue, I’ll have to have plenty of trash bags and a dust mask. The two areas of the apartment I’m dreading most are the bedroom and the walk-in closet. The back-left corner of the bedroom is one ‘storage area’, while the walk-in closet houses a lifetime of videotapes and DVDs, as well as a plethora of miscellaneous junk. I’m going to need a hand with the closet. Fear not, I shall get it done.

There is today’s blog entry. Continued prayers go out to all who need it. I bid everyone a fantastic few days. Rebecca will be back on Wednesday, and will have a new entry up by 1 PM.

Until then, do take care, love one another, be safe, and as always, happy reading.

64 views at 10:25 AM! Wowzers

Greetings, readers. No, it is not my highest number in the blog statistics ever, but just say I am happily perplexed. 63 of the 64 recent blog views are for the blog entry Top ten list of modern conveniences. I think Rebecca put her finger on it, this has got to be a class doing research for an assignment. We checked which country these views came from and 63 were from the United States. Taiwan chimed in with one.

I’m often amused when the modern conveniences entry comes up as often as it does, but to have 63 views of it before 10:30 in the morning is incredible. My first thought was it was bots, but Rebecca pointed out that we could see a few of the search terms used and they seemed real. If they are real and there is a big class push to do a project, imagine what the numbers might be by the end of the day. It is going to take a lot to top our number one day ever, at 444 views for R.I.P. to my good friend Terry.

I know sometimes I get preoccupied with blog numbers. Most people just write their blog to get whatever they’re thinking off their chest. My brain doesn’t work that way. If I don’t feel I’m being read, my feeling get hurt … just kidding.

In the many years that we’ve done the blog, I’ve hashed and rehashed many topics, from sports to video game reviews, and a whole slew of weather reports. Some folks might find that boring, but I write what I know about. For instance, I’m not going to pretend to know every policy that President Trump has, so I won’t bad mouth his handling of Mexico or North Korea. When I do choose to write a controversal political piece, or something of the like, trust me I will do lots of research first. It helps to know what you are talking about.

As I sit here dictating this entry my mind wanders back to all those views relating to modern conveniences. This trend has been going on for many years. You would think everyone in the world would have done his or her research on modern conveniences. But no, numbers seem to be spiking. Never in my wildest dreams when I wrote that entry in 2013 did I think that would be one of the most read blog entries; it averages four views a day. One can never tell.

On to a different topic, for those of you who found my entry this past Sunday a bit dry, I was unusually distracted by visitors and phone calls, and it was only the second half of the entry when I was able to switch to my speech recognition program. I wonder how many of you can tell just when I started dictating. According to Rebecca, the ones with the speech recognition have a different flow to them. Hopefully that is a good thing. So if any of you were disappointed in Sunday’s entry, that was what the issue was. I might try dictating Sunday’s entry on Saturday evening when it is quiet. I can get it all ready to go, complete with a spell check, tags, and a category, and make it live right there and then. That is not a promise, that is just a goal. Usually I dictate better when I am alone and it is quiet. Let me know how you think this weekend’s is.

For all the people in the world who need prayers, continued prayers and support go out. To all the people using guns inappropriately and those setting arson fires, I implore you to please stop and think about if one of your loved ones was shot or was in a burning building. Just don’t do it.

Until this weekend, I bid you a great few days, love one another, take care and happy reading.

Joe’s Sunday Times. All the news which only my friends think is fit to print. :-D

Greetings, readers. This morning, Smith and I went to church with social hour afterwards. When we had our fill of hot chocolate, I had this great idea to go across the street to Target and grab the few items which I needed. Well, the ‘few items’ turned into five bags full; a major issue when we had the walker with us.

On the way home, the sun came out brightly, and the temperature rose quickly. According to my computer’s weather app, the high was going to be 61F. How I’ve longed to have warmer weather. With a high 47F yesterday and lots of wind, it was a big difference. Sometimes my fragile body doesn’t go for abrupt weather changes.

Well…, let’s see what else is news. Oh yes, The Alliance of American Football is kaput! Lol. The league lasted 8 weeks out of 10. Gee, there’s a league that didn’t even get to finish their 1st season. Umm, guys, you should have been a bit more organized. You are now the laughing-stock of pro sports. The top man wanted the NFL to officially call the AoAF their minor league. The NFL’s commissioner said no. It was just a disorganized mess.

One of the reasons this entry is so tardy is that I took an afternoon nap. Unfortunately, my naps have been getting longer these days. Yes, readers, I’m not old… just older. Today I dozed off during a football game I was watching on YouTube. Programs which used to hold my attention now no longer do. Sometimes, if I feel myself dozing off, I can stand up, open a window or something, and revive myself. If not, I will be visiting Mr. Sandman.

Lastly, prayers go out to everyone in the world who needs them. The senseless shootings, and other acts of random violence, must end. If people have the ability to hate, they have the ability to love. Let’s stop the madness.

On Wednesday, Rebecca will be back and we will put up another exciting blog entry for your enjoyment. Until then, take care, have a wonderful few days, spread love around, and as always, happy reading.

It’s a hodgepodge day #5

Greetings, readers. I had today’s blog topic all ready to go, and then calamity struck. For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you know I had problems with Zipcar and I almost dumped them for lack of quality service. They got a reprieve. I was also going to talk about the baseball rule changes. More about that in paragraph two. And I will also talk a little bit about my recent health scares. All of this and more in today’s blog entry.

On April 1st, my friend Smith celebrated her birthday. Traci and I wanted to do something special for her by taking her to the local dairy for a chocolate malt … her favorite. I rented the Zipcar days in advance. Everything was perfectly set up until I tried to start the car. Click, click, click and then nothing; a dead battery. Really?! I tried to call the Zipcar hotline but they were experiencing, “more calls than usual.” Knowing that Smith had to be somewhere else at noon, I didn’t waste anymore time, I called a cab, and we were quickly on our way. I was so upset that our perfect day was almost ruined, that I decided in haste to drop Zipcar. I’ve spoken to them twice on the phone since, and they have resolved this situation to my satisfaction by returned the money I paid for the car I didn’t use. I told them that I would stay with them until November when my dues came out again. At that point I would re-evaluate. I shall keep you updated on their progress or lack thereof.

While I need to do more research on all the rule changes to Major League Baseball, I do have an opinion on one of them. Mound visits used to be an integral part of a manager’s job. It was a chess match and could be quite interesting at times. Now they are putting a limit to how many times a pitching coach or manager can visit the mound. I’m not saying that I want a hundred of them per game, but boy I just wish they would leave my favorite sport alone. It was never meant to be as fast as basketball, football or hockey. To me, it seems like the MLB or the commissioner himself is trying to speed up the game in such a way that the fans feel like they are herded into the stadiums just to see how fast they can be herded back out. I shall do more research and update on a future blog entry.

This morning my body did not want to cooperate with me. I was leaving Panera after having my morning coffee as usual when my left knee buckled twice. The last time that happened I was walking, passed out, fell into Smith and gave her a concussion. This time I was able to sit down, though I felt panicky. I did not want to pass out and have to go to the hospital. Rebecca was already on the way to set up the computer and table for work, and that would have been awkward to call off. Luckily I was able to do my errand and get back without any further issue. I contacted my neurologist to get an appointment sooner than the one I already have in July. Two attacks in three months is two too many. I shall keep on top of the situation and report any updates.

There is today’s blog entry. I bid you all a wonderful day, do take care, give someone a hug, and as always, happy reading.