Category Archives: life

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.

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.

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.

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. 😦

The Sunday Chronicle: I’m thinking about changing blog days and Ultimate Fishing Simulator

Greetings, readers. I do most certainly enjoy dictating a blog entry via Dragon speech recognition program on Sundays, but it’s turning out that Sunday is the more hectic of the two weekend days. So, I’m debating on whether or not to dictate the blog on Saturday, and set it up to publish on Sunday, or dictate and publish on Saturday. Most of you are saying, “What’s the difference?” Well…, A lot. On Sunday after church, I like to kick off the shoes, watch YouTube, take a nap, and have a light supper. I’ve been finding that if I don’t dictate the blog by 3 PM or so, I have a hard time getting it done. Something tells me that I would not be a very good 9 to 5 office worker.

Doing the weekend blog does afford me the opportunity to work on my editing skills, as well as trying to use words that I almost never do. Yes, I had my favorites, such as, plethora and of course, my famous ellipse. All in all though, my vocabulary is far below par with most writers. I’ve been calling myself a writer for years. It’s time I start proving it.

Before I move on to the introductory review of Ultimate Fishing Simulator, I wish to tell you about the gloriously warm and sunny weather Central Pennsylvania has been enjoying. It’s almost been too hot. I believe the hottest day was 89° F. That’s about right at the cut-off point where I start to say, “It’s too damned hot.” I’ve said many times that if I had a weather machine, I would have sunny days in the upper 70s or 80s, a light rain at night with temperatures in the 50s, and just for ambience, cold and snow during the month of December for Christmas. That’s right…, Cold only in December. 😉

Now, on to gaming. I was trying to find a fishing game on Steam, which you could play with or without an Internet connection. Fishing Planet is a wonderful game, but I won’t be able to play it at camp, for there is no Internet in the cabins. Dave suggested looking for another fishing game which was on sale. Wouldn’t you know, the summer sale was going on and I found one. I got the base game, and what they call bundles, for half off. Score! 😊

I watched YouTube videos on Ultimate Fishing Simulator, and the presenter was saying how easy it was to catch fish. Yeah…, sure. This morning, after numerous times of trying, I finally caught my first fish. I’m slowly getting the hang of it, and I’m loving it. With the bundles, I have more lakes to unlock, more rods, baits, etc. I can’t put the graphics on the highest, because my computer just won’t run the game quite smoothly enough. The game’s major advantage is that you can use it with or without an Internet connection. After I have spent several weeks seeing what all this game has to offer, I shall give you my final review.

Until Wednesday, when Rebecca returns, I bid you a wonderful rest of the day, love one another, take care, and happy reading.

I’ve seen a glowing orange ball recently. Wow!

Greetings, readers. For the last several days, Central Pennsylvania has enjoyed either completely clear weather conditions or it has been partly cloudy. This is highly unusual. State College has the third highest amount of cloudy days per year, behind Portland, Oregon and one other metropolis. It has been so beautiful out recently I’ve taken walks, snapped photos of nature, and last night enjoyed a minor league baseball game.

We are technically into summer now and I should expect some nice weather after a long cold winter and a cool wet spring. You’re never quite certain whether the hot weather is here to stay a while or if you are being teased. According to my computer’s weather app, we are going to have temperatures in the lower to mid 80s all week with mostly sunny conditions. Oh, boy, will I take that. The State College Spikes will have gorgeous weather for their weeklong home stand.

If I had a car, I would most definitely put my camera in my travel bag and drive around to some rural areas and get some good pictures. I suppose I could do that on the Tussey Mountain bus or other such route. When I got this digital camera several weeks ago, who knew I would be snapping pictures of flowers, churches, etc. I was hoping to find a way to empty said camera onto my computer but apparently it is just old enough that the cord I need is no longer made. Looks like it is going to have to be Amazon to the rescue. I will not buy anything electronic from Ebay. I’ve been burned badly.

On to another topic, I cannot wait for Friday to come. I have an orthopedic appointment to see what is going on with this hurting shoulder of mine. I can’t believe it is already time for my second cortisone shot. Personally, I think they misdiagnosed me and I have a pinched nerve instead of arthritis. But, they are the experts. By Friday afternoon, I’ll have some more answers, and believe me I am writing down questions. Being informed is always a good thing.

This Sunday I might attend the State College Spikes game. It starts at 6:05 in the evening, so I should be able to put up a blog entry if I do it early Sunday afternoon. If not … look for it Monday morning. I know I’m not as good an editor as Rebecca is, but I do my best.

Until then, have a great few days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

I’m coming out of retirement to perform at 3dots!

Greetings, readers. My playlist is set for my short performance at 3dots. That is a relatively new hotspot in town where folks can come to look at art, enjoy the seating area while enjoying their brought lunch, but most cool of all, a place to listen to music by local artists. My friend Smith introduced me to 3dots a little over a month ago, and I love it! I love it so much that I’ve decided to come out of retirement, say the heck with the aching shoulder, and do one more show.

The lunchtime performances are exactly that; between noon and 1 PM. I had to whittle my Spotify music playlist by three songs. The show is titled, The Beatles KISSed. Now you might be asking yourself why I would dare commit that sacrilege by performing KISS songs during the Beatles show? The answer is simple; I love both bands. That’s all it boils down to.

3dots is on the corner of Beaver Avenue and Pugh Street. My performance is not until mid-to-late August, and when I have an actual date, I will let you know here in the blog. All my local readers are invited to join and cheer me on. Bring your lunch or a snack, and enjoy yourselves.

Let’s see what else is going on today. For the third straight day, we have sunny weather! For this region, that’s almost a record. State College did not get its nickname, State Cloudy for nothing. This area of Pennsylvania is third in the country in most cloudy days per year. That’s not exactly good for someone suffering from mild depression. What can you do? There is one thing I can do. Later on, I am going to take my digital camera, walk around the area…, perhaps on campus, and take some pictures. If I do, I’ll go around 4 PM. It won’t be quite as warm, and the sunlight could be just right for certain natures shot. Yes readers, I like taking pictures of nature. 😉

I have a very busy week planned. Tomorrow, I have to go to the dentist. Boo! Rebecca comes in to work on Wednesday, and that’s great. 😊 Then on Friday, I have an appointment with my orthopedist to see if we can’t get this right shoulder pain under control. I think rain is coming tomorrow, because my shoulder is killing me today. ☹

That’s today’s blog entry. Until Wednesday, I wish all of you a great few days, love one another, take care, and as always, happy reading.

Due to circumstances beyond our control …

Greetings, readers. Because of some switching over of new telephone and electrical poles behind my building, the power and internet was going to be switched off at certain intervals today. Neither Rebecca nor I wanted to walk up eight flights of stairs or, worse yet, get stuck in the elevator if the power got cut at that moment. So, hello from Panera.

Not our work place of choice, Panera will have to suffice. One of the main reasons I don’t like to work in public is all the miscellaneous noises, such as other customers talking or background music which could start blaring any moment. I promised a blog entry for today so we are going to get it done. Oh, what creatures of habit we are. I used to like working here. Now it is completely foreign to me. I much prefer sitting in my apartment chair dictating to Rebecca.

So, let’s see what else is news. Last evening at 6:00, I donned my Spikes T-shirt, cap, and sit-upon and got ready in my comfy chair in my apartment for the 7:05 start, only to suffer through a two-hour rain delay and the eventual postponement of the game. Folks, when did baseball change? In the single A short season, if the game has to be made up, they will only play seven innings. To me that is not baseball.

Unless the major leagues have switched also, single A has another weird rule. If the game goes into extra innings, the teams start with a runner on second. They are called the designated runner. The first time I experienced this was two games ago and the Auburn Doubledays fans were chanting, “That’s not baseball,” clap, clap, clap-clap-clap. As it turns out, it actually helped the Spikes win that game. I am still not a big fan of it though. I do not think it is preparing the younger players to play at the major league level. Proponents would probably tell me that we cannot tax our 17 to 20 year-olds. I can see both the pros and the cons.

The construction of the new building is coming along nicely, and I am very slowly losing my view of the Days Inn’s restaurant, Mad Mex. When the building is completed, I’m not going to have much of the view left which I enjoyed when I moved in. When I moved in 13 years ago, I had a choice of a fifth floor apartment or an eighth. I took the eighth floor apartment because of the view. All good things must come to an end, as they say.

It’s only a few weeks now until the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and the People’s Choice Festival roll into town. I’m looking forward to July and its warmer weather, but not the crowds and the humidity. I’ll probably spend some time walking around downtown, seeing what’s on offer. With everything being handcrafted, I doubt I will be able to afford any wares. My favorite part of the Arts Festival is the misting ferns. They were slightly different last year, but it was still refreshing to walk through it. I am not going to partake of the children’s water bucket dump, however.

Then, it is on to Maine a few weeks later. That boggles my mind. I can rest easy, though, as I have made all the accommodations for my motels and rental car. Now I know why my mom liked to be prepared so early, so that she could relax knowing that if anything went wrong it was on them. When I get back from Maine, I shall immediately look for gainful employment. My accountant has been gently nudging me all summer to become gainfully employed and I think it would be a good idea. My funds are depleting quickly. If I do go to camp next year, I will certainly have to have at least a part-time position. Any position I get, must be within walking distance to my apartment. No more buses at rush hour for me.

This weekend appears to be a normal one, so I should be able to put up the next new blog entry Sunday afternoon. Until then, have a good few days, take care, love one another, and happy reading.

Go Spikes Go!!! :-D

Greetings, readers. I’m very sorry that I did not post a blog entry yesterday. I was feeling extremely drained, both emotionally and physically. Here where I live, we have had several days of rain in a row. This is not good for me, because I suffer from depression. Even though it is overcast, chilly, and looks like it could rain at any moment, my mood is much better today. So, I thought I would put up this blog post to let you know what’s been going on in my life the last few days.

My friends, Traci and Smith, accompanied me to a State College Spikes baseball game a few nights ago. We are the single-A, short season team for the St. Louis Cardinals. There are only 33 home games in the whole season. I purchased what is called a Flex Book; 14 tickets, which can be used at any time. The price was reasonable, so I jumped at it. Traci, Smith, and I went to a game the other night against the Williamsport Crosscutters. Yes…, That is one word. I looked it up.

The game we went to was in honor of Josiah Viera. He was a young teenager who suffered from a rare genetic disease called Progeria. The genetic disorder causes children to age rapidly, and die young. For a number of seasons, he was the inspirational leader in the Spikes clubhouse and dugout. On opening night, the team retired his number on the jersey, number 10, which he had worn so proudly.

I am going to have lots of fun this season going to several games. I love it when they have fireworks after the game. If any of you live in a town or city that has been minor-league baseball team, please share it with me on my Facebook page, or in the comments section.

SPECIAL NOTE: Due to an appointment which cannot be changed, I have asked Rebecca to come in and work on Thursday this week, instead of Wednesday. So until then, I bid you a great few days, take care, love one another, and as always, happy reading.