All posts by josesphmkockelmans

About josesphmkockelmans

Lots of fascinating things about me to come soon.

A year to appreciate State College, and what’s up with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Greetings, readers. I am going to thoroughly enjoy this coming ‘year’ – from August until late July – in the local area I’ve known since I was a child, paying special attention to each and every holiday. I didn’t do much for Labor Day, though obviously I was aware of it. The next holiday I will take part in is Halloween. I always loved it as a child and fully intend to watch the State College Halloween parade. I missed it last year, darn it.

Before I make it sound like I am going to die next year, I’ll share with you my tentative plan. There is a possibility, which has grown stronger with each passing year, that I may move to New Jersey, close to where David and family are. Another option would be to move to California and keep my Aunt Marilyn company. Although I have many friends here in State College, PA. my desire to live out the remainder of my days in this area is waning. I just feel like I am in a rut. Every time I try to get out of it I slide right back into it. So …

I will take extra pleasure on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. The holidays have always been my favorite time of the year. I will make certain to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and I will find a Christmas Yule Log presentation somewhere (we don’t get the TV station WPIX New York anymore, darn it.) And, of course, I will find some way to obtain a vehicle to partake of my Christmas Light Ride.

Something to share with you now folks, I asked Rebecca if I was having trouble focusing on today’s blog, and she said yes, so I slapped myself; literally. It was a wee bit harder than I wanted it to be. I’ll mark that down in my book of things to tell my therapist next time.

On to something else now, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in deep trouble. With Ben Roethlisberger out for the season it is up to Mason Rudolph to step in and carry the load. He looked good in Sunday’s game, though it was a losing effort. The Seattle Seahawks were just a little bit better. Our biggest problem is our defense. It needs to firm up. Right now, it can’t stop a toy John Deere tractor. Perhaps a new defensive coordinator is in order.

Yes, folks, I’ve been watching a lot of football the first two weeks of the NFL season, and I’m shocked that the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets are each 0-2. Am I going to abandon my Pittsburgh Steelers team? Heck no. The way things are now I only see us winning 6 games or so. The upside of that is they might get better draft choices for next season. I hate to see anyone’s career end, but Ben … it might be time to pass the torch to the youngster.

Prayers go out to EVERYBODY who is facing a natural disaster or a personal challenge.

Until next Wednesday, have a great week, take care of each other, and happy reading.

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Getting back to normality

Greetings, readers. After two and a half days of lying flat on my back in the hospital, barely able to raise by right arm, I am happy to report to all that my recovery is coming along faster than I ever believed possible. I hardly have any pain, and my range of motion, believe it or not, is almost back to normal. It is hard to believe that my surgery was one week ago. How time flies.

I had a private room with a gorgeous view. It was near the helicopter pad and Life Flight did take off once while I was there. Bless the person whom they were rushing to help. The morning I left was beautifully clear and I got to see a hot air balloon fly in the sky. Although they always look beautiful, standing in a little basket is something that is not on my bucket list. I’ll just take pictures from my window.

Speaking of normality, I got back to watching Penn State football and the NFL. Boy, did the Pittsburgh Steelers lay an egg; I don’t think they have a coach that knows how to fire up a team to beat a champion caliber opponent. Saquon Barkley was one of the only New York Giants who had a good game vs. Dallas. I am an Eli Manning fan but I think his time has come and gone. The best game of the week was the first Monday Night Football game. Houston at New Orleans with the Saint’s last-second field goal. It was a true nail-biter right to the end.

One a serious note now, prayers go out to all the victims and families of Hurricane Dorian and the several mass shootings that took place during my convalescence. I’ve only ever experienced the outer fringe remnants of a hurricane-type storm, and believe me, it spooked me. I can only imagine what those poor people in the Bahamas and the Carolinas went through. My heart goes out to you.

Until next Wednesday (Sunday blog will begin soon), have a wonderful week, take care, love one another, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe’s surgery was today

Hi, Joe’s readers. Joe had surgery on his shoulder today. I haven’t talked to him directly, but I got a message from one of his friends telling me that his procedure went well. I could hear his voice in the background and he sounded good. I don’t know how long it will take for him to have use of his right arm again, but I hope it is soon. Joe will probably tell you everything about it himself next week in a blog entry.

I missed having work time with Joe, but I did have a good day otherwise. I got the chance to see my stepfather and sister for the first time in months, and had fun. It was a spur of the moment meeting, which I usually have trouble saying yes to, but everything fell into place so smoothly that I easily agreed to do it. I would not have been able to see them today if Joe and I had been working as usual, so it seemed like fate that I could be there. I’m sorry Joe had to have surgery, but I am glad I got to see two members of the family that I don’t see every week.

Well, that is all the news I’ve got. Joe will be back next Wednesday with a new blog entry. Until then, as he would write, have a good week, take care, and happy reading.

What a busy day we’re having, and I nailed my 3 Dots performance

Greetings, readers. Between getting ready for next week’s shoulder surgery – complete with its follow up appointments – and other office goings on – such a meeting with my accountant – it has one heck of a busy day. As it just so happens, today is also what we call pay everything day. That means checks for rent, Rebecca, and other such end of the month expenses. Usually Rebecca and I are done with the blog by now, but we are just starting it at 12:07.

Speaking of the blog, while I am in the hospital overnight next week, Rebecca will take care of the mid-week blog entry. I’m certain it will be a great one. When I come back from having my shoulder worked on and can use that arm and hand to type, I plan to get back to the second entry of the week, probably on a Monday since Sunday Football is back. So look for that within a few weeks.

Well, my performance at 3 Dots (the local artists hangout) was a smashing success. I sung a set of Beatles songs, and a set of KISS. It was extremely unfortunate that the weather did not cooperate. The pouring rain kept the attendance very low. But the folks who were there loved it. Also, it gave me the opportunity to show my work ethic that whether I’m playing in front of 200 people or 2, I gave the same all-out performance. The entire show was captured on video and at some point I might put it up here on the blog or my Facebook page.

You know me, readers, I love to talk about the weather. This early morning was beautiful. A cloudless sunny day. Now some white puffy clouds are appearing and I don’t know if that means rain tonight or not. For those of you who were or are still in the path of Hurricane Dorian, my prayers go out to you.

Please send prayers my way for a successful arthroscopic procedure next Wednesday. Rebecca will have a blog post for that day, and I’ll be back with you the following Wednesday with a blog entry. Until then, have a good week, take care, and as always happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe at 3 Dots on Wednesday

Joe and I are working next Thursday instead of Wednesday, so the next blog entry will be on Thursday. Joe is performing music on Wednesday, August 28, noon to 1:00, at 3 Dots, a new place in downtown State College. If you are in the area of Beaver Ave and South Pugh Street at that time and would like to see him sing, the performance is free and you can bring a lunch to enjoy with the show.

So, until next Thursday, have a good week, take care of each other, and happy reading.

Getting back into the groove

Greetings, readers. When vacation is over it is true that I do like to come home and get the year in between camp started. However, it seems to take me a long time to get out of what I call camp mode. That is, simply, not watching TV at night, looking at a YouTube video of a bonfire, or listening to a recording of crickets. It is a simpler way of life up there and I love it. Granted, I do pack my computer bag and go into town for coffee and internet at least once during the vacation week.

With fresh writing ideas in my mind, I’ve been jotting down notes and will soon be ready to begin one of two writing projects. I have two strong candidates but I’ve not narrowed it down yet. I take phone calls for a company part-time and that brings in a little bit of money. I don’t work very many hours yet but at least it is something. I’ll probably have to get a second job somewhere down the line. The more income for next year’s camp, the better.

On to a different topic, I just reached for my water bottle and the proverbial sword went into my shoulder. I cannot wait until September 4th; for those of you who didn’t read the last blog entry, I am having an arthroscopic procedure done to get rid of bone chips and “shave” the area around the bones of the shoulder. Thank goodness my rotator cuff is fine. You see, readers, I am allergic to pain and I think if my rotator cuff was torn, I would be screaming right now. I’m getting queasy just thinking about it. Prayers please for September 4th and beyond. There will be rehab needed.

Lastly, the building next door is growing by leaps and bounds. I have lost some of the view of the nearby Days Inn and the new apartment building is nowhere near finished. I’ve been told by two people now that it is also going to have a tower on the roof (reason unknown) so next July 4th I’ll be watching my fireworks from the parking garage across the street. Boo hiss.

As I close, prayers go out to all who were effected yesterday by all the violent storms, and for those in Pennsylvania, batten down the hatches for we are expected to get storms today.

I’m not certain if I will put up a Sunday blog entry or not, so we will say until next Wednesday, take care, have a great week, love to all, and happy reading.

Bear Spring Camps 2019 was a smashing success

Greeting, readers. I know it is before August 21st, but I just had to tell you about the wonderful experience I had this week. From Saturday the 3rd until early Thursday morning of my vacation, central Maine enjoyed what I would consider perfect weather. Hot days with lower humidity (warm enough for swimming) and evenings in the mid-50s. That’s what I call perfect weather. The family and I enjoyed bonfires and story swapping. Let’s get into some of the details of the trip.

My rental car was a Hyundai Santa Fe. It was a gorgeous buggy. As I say every year, I loved it so much I could have married it. Yes, the cost was a bit extravagant (I could have saved money with a mid-sized Sedan), but I made good use of all of the space in the way-back. My arthritic right shoulder made the trip a wee bit less comfortable than usual; thank goodness for Aleve, it certainly does the trick. On a side note, I’ll be having an arthroscopic procedure on that shoulder on September 4th which should alleviate most or all of the pain.

Driving into camp that first day is always a pleasurable experience. “I made it again, good for me,” I said to myself. 612 miles up and 612 miles back; quite a feat for someone who has probably driven 50 miles or less the whole rest of the year.

After unloading the car I found my digital camera bag and started taking pictures. I already had photos from Casco Bay near Portland on my camera, including one with the swing bridge. Here are a couple of them.

 

 

Bunch of boat in Casco Bay 2019

 

More coming in the next blog entry.

Lastly let me tell you about the fantastic fishing day we had. The Monday morning I was there, the family and I went out and happened to stop the pontoon boat over a gigantic school of white perch. I am not making this up, we caught 70 fish. We kept 12 in the basket and the rest of the morning was catch and release. It was the best day of fishing I have ever experienced. Nephew Cole even caught a pike.

 

More camp goings on in the blog entry next Wednesday. Until then, have a great week, take care of each other, and as always, happy reading.

From Rebecca: Short note while Joe is away

I had a different subject picked out for a blog entry while Joe is away at Bear Spring Camps, but it has been a long day and all I have energy for is a quick update.

Joe is having a good time at camp, after having a couple of mishaps on the way there. Those of you who follow him on Facebook already know he got into a couple of traffic jams, and had a back spasm on the morning before he arrived at camp. The joys of Wifi in restaurants let him communicate in almost real time, before entering a sparse internet zone at camp.

I was with Joe’s cat, Princess Josie, today and she is doing well. She snuggled against me a few times during my visit and I got to pet her a bit. She didn’t shed as much as Keekee used to every year while Joe was away, but Josie did shed a little more than usual. My theory is that Joe’s daily interactions with his cat just naturally thins her coat and it builds up when he is gone. Anyway, we spent some time together and it was good.

I’m not sure if the next blog entry will be next week or the week after that. Until then, as Joe would say, have a good week, take care of yourself and your loved ones, and happy reading.

T – 1 day

Greetings, readers. Here’s a quick blog entry just to let you know that Rebecca and I are still breathing. I am leaving for my annual trek to Bear Spring Camps tomorrow morning. I don’t know if she will post a new entry while I am gone or not, I shall leave that up to her.

Yesterday was my kitty cat Princess Josie’s second birthday. That post got many likes on Facebook. I have a rather cute picture of me and Josie when she was a small kitten, approximately a week after I got her. I can’t believe she is two already. How time flies.

Joe and his new cat Princess Josie

I’ve been running around like a chicken with a head cut off trying to get ready for camp. I hope to be out of here and on the road between 7:30 and 8:00 tomorrow morning. I had been leaving at 10am, but that got me to the Danbury, Connecticut rush hour on interstate 84, and I do not wish to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic again. I will be stopping at Southington, CT, slightly past Hartford, for the fifth straight year. It’s a nice Motel 6 with a Denny’s right next door and a gas station. How’s that for convenience.

Already I’ve been in a blind panic trying to figure out how much money I need to save in the bank account to cover the final expense of the rental car. As most of you know, rental agencies put a ‘hold’ on the car, but don’t charge you the amount until you bring it back. God forbid you get into a horrible accident and have to pay for the car. I am knocking on wood as we speak. Lol.

Again, I’ll leave a From Rebecca option up to her and we will resume regular Wednesday entries on August 21st … which just happens to be my mother’s birthday.

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

P.S. Construction update. I have already lost half my gorgeous view. 😦

Surprise, surprise

Greetings, readers. I know, I said we weren’t going to have a blog entry until late August, but a few things have changed. I might be returning in late August to my former fast food job. Book sales are stagnant and much more income is needed. That is not a hint to buy my books, but …

I had a wonderful idea for a writing project until I realized I would be plagiarizing part of it. My story is based on the video game Ultimate Fishing Simulator. It was going to be about a group of people at Betty Lake in Colorado; the first level lake in the game. I was going to use said scenery from the game as my mind’s eye inspiration as I wrote. If I decided to put my characters in the game, that could turn out to be a plagiarism sticky wicket. As a lot of you know for movies or plays fictitious settings are usually chosen, unless it is based on a true story. This project is certainly not off the back burner, for Rebecca and I have already begun to develop some characters.

However, the project I am going to start this afternoon for sheer practice of course, is a complete Batman television show script circa 1966. I know this could only be posted on some fan fiction website, but it would be super practice for starting and completing a project. I own all three seasons of that series and have been binge watching them lately. I know all the characters, what they would say and what they wouldn’t say. I think I will chose the Penguin as my foe, who was so brilliantly portrayed by Burgess Meredith. This is a project that I could easily work on at camp on a rainy day or in the evening. I would love it so much that it wouldn’t feel like work to me. It is going to be tons of bat-fun.

Until next time, probably sooner than later, wish me luck on my project, take care, and remember, same bat-time

same bat-channel

and oh yes … happy reading.