Category Archives: news

Well wishes to family of local construction worker

Greetings, readers. Something was on my mind this morning and I just had to share it. I found out yesterday that there was a power outage near where I live. The local Panera Bread, across the street, went dark for half an hour. I found out later that the loss of power was caused by an unfortunate accident down the street.

A construction worker at a site nearby was electrocuted. From what we can learn in today’s local newspaper, the Centre Daily Times, he did survive. If this is incorrect, I will update this entry. The power had to turn off the power to extricate the man from the building site. He was life-flighted to a hospital.

When I learned of the severity of the situation, I admit it really distressed me. I was not certain rather that person had been killed or just seriously injured. I started to think what it would have been like if it was one of my relatives or even me. It is such a violent thing to go through and I can only imagine the long-term effects that a body would suffer after such an accident.

Again, my thoughts are with the family. If any of my local blog or Facebook readers know the family, please do let them know I am keeping them in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

Until tomorrow, take care and be well, and happy reading.

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Recent aviation news, including Malaysia flight 17

Greetings, readers. Yesterday I learned that a second Malaysia airlines flight met with a disastrous end. I wish to send condolences from both Rebecca and I to the families of the victims of both Malaysia airline tragedies. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Yesterday was also the anniversary of the downing of TWA flight 800, on July 17, 1996. I wish to send condolences to the families from this too. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

On a brighter aviation note, Rebecca told me about a women named Amelia Rose Earhart who recently completed her flight around the world; the same trip that the original Amelia Earhart began but didn’t finish when she and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared. Congratulations to both Ms. Earhart and her co-pilot Shane Jordon.

Take care, have a good weekend, and happy reading.

What is new in Joe’s world

Greetings, readers. I have a few things to discuss today. None of overwhelming importance, but I did want to put up the usual Wednesday post. Last night my buddy and I were discussing the National Football League’s Washington Redskins team, and the ever-increasing pressure to change the team name. I’m going to be putting a separate blog post up later this week or the next about sports franchises whose team names deal with Native Americans. I’m going to wait a few days so that I can do adequate research. But unlike Obama vs. Romney, this blog entry will come out.

So, let’s see. What’s on my mind. Apparently we still have no government to speak of. Republicans fighting with Democrats and vise versa. Who gets kicked in the teeth you ask? We do, that’s who. The American public. I say it is time for a bona fide strong third party. It would wake up the status quo and shake it to its core. If I had the money and experience I would start it myself.

This past Saturday night one of the most exciting Penn State football games in recent years took place, as the Nittany Lions upset the Michigan Wolverines. It was our homecoming game, and in recent years our luck at winning homecoming games has not been that stellar. I got home just in time to watch three of the four overtime periods. That game is sure to be an ESPN instant classic.

Darling kitty cat Keekee is sitting next to us as we are typing, saying Feed Me Now, Daddy. Yes, Keekee has me very well-trained. We get to work and it is d-i-n-n-e-r time. I suppose that was my fault, because a number of weeks back, I tried to train her to wait until a certain time of day for her moist food. I think I am going to re-train her to wait until the end of the day, or at the very least not during work hours.

With last week’s more-hectic-than-usual week out of the way, I can once again get down to my normal routine. I’ll be taking a look at a friend of mine’s work later this afternoon, and if I understand him correctly, he wants me to edit it. As long as the work isn’t too technical, I might be up to the task. However, around 5:00, I must get along with my own note-taking for the upcoming writing project.

Lastly, I met up with an old friend of mine at Panera. It was good to get caught up. We sat at Panera for a couple of hours rehashing old times and finding out what was news. She was showing me her new tablet complete with touchscreen, and boy was that a sharp-looking machine. She took such pride in showing me the drawings she had done. My friend Becky is an amazing artist.

Well, I’m off to feed Keekee now. I swear this cat understands English. Until soonest, take care, have a good day and happy reading.

New book is officially for sale!

Greetings, readers. My third book, published through CreateSpace.com, Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger is for sale. We worked very hard on this book and it was a pleasure for Rebecca and I to go through and find the best entries from my first year. While the creation process was different for this book than my previous two, in that we were simply compiling and then editing pieces I wrote over the course of a year for the blog. I did write new material for a select number of articles to add information needed for a new reader to understand the context or to update.

Both Rebecca and I are proud of this new book. It’s 146 pages filled with fun and interesting blog posts from late December 2011 to December 2012. Also, as a side note, this is my first book with pictures in it. One from my book signing and three of how I decorated my place for Christmas time. It will take about a week for the book to be on the Amazon site, so for now it is only available in my eStore. The url is: https://www.createspace.com/3678800 and the price is $8.99 plus shipping.

After we ordered the first proof, we noticed some problems with about seven of the entries. The print looked very faded, as if CreateSpace had toner issues when they printed it. We emailed their customer service department, and they sent a free copy of the proof. We saw that the second copy had the same problems as the first, so the problem was on our end. We arranged for CreateSpace to call us, and they gave us some suggestions, but they didn’t really solve the problem. I was facing a deadline to get books before my trip to Maine, so I approved the proof and put the book on sale last Friday, but at a lower price until we could solve the problem. Then yesterday, Rebecca changed from where she cut and pasted the entries in question, and it seemed to solve the problem. I resubmitted the interior file to CreateSpace, they approved it today, and we looked at the (free) digital proof together. We noticed that it solved the problem for some of the entries, but not for all. Three or four entries still appear fainter on the page than all the others. That is better than last week, so I approved the proof again, and the book is for sale, still at the lower price.

As I wrote in earlier posts, the blog entry that gets the most views is Remembering my father, Professor Joseph J. Kockelmans, from March 23, 2012. As of today, the total number of views for it is 291. Absolutely, that entry is in the book.

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

Chris Rosenblum CDT article about my memorial lip sync show

Greetings, readers. This is the write up by Mr. Chris Rosenblum of the Centre Daily Times newspaper concerning my memorial show for my late friend Erin Beish. It was an incredibly enjoyable experience and most rewarding. I’m certain that she would have been pleased. Erin always wanted to see KISS but it just wasn’t to be.

This was the first time ever in my lip syncing air guitar “career” that I went all the way by including make-up and black fingernail polish. What follows is the reporter’s actual article from the on-line late Saturday night CDT. What is included is the two-minute video promo of me talking. The photos did not transfer to this blog entry, so you will have to follow the links to see the work of Nabil K. Mark.

Update: 10/11/13 – We just discovered today that these links to the CDT pages do not go to the video or article. Update: 8/26/16 – We removed the links to the CDT pages since they did not go to the content anymore.

Chris Rosenblum | Tribute sealed with a little Kiss

Published: June 15, 2013/

By Chris Rosenblum —crosenbl@centredaily.com

Joe Kockelmans rocked out, his invisible guitar slung low on his hips.

Black and white makeup covered his face like the members of his favorite band, Kiss. His fingernails shone black, the same color of his Kiss T-shirt.

No longer was he a mild-mannered 48-year-old writer.

He was Ace Frehley, lead guitarist, slamming out the solo to “I Stole Your Love” in the community room of the Arnold Addison Court apartment building in State College.

He was a grieving friend remembering a lost soulmate.

He was the Mimic.

That’s his alter ego, his stage persona for the air guitar, lip-syncing performances he’s been doing since childhood. He loves rock, but mild cerebral palsy keeps him from playing real guitars and drums.

For his latest show, he wore a black M on his face, Kiss-style, not for himself.

He did it for Erin.

Erin Beish, an Arnold Addison Court neighbor of his, died in May from cancer at only 34. Also a diehard Kiss fan, she always wanted to see a concert but never had the chance.

Kockelmans, in her memory, filled in the best he could.

“I’m going to give her spirit a show that she would be proud of,” he said the day before his performance.

He chose 18 songs for two sets and downloaded them to his laptop. Studying Kiss concert videos, he picked up mannerisms of original members Frehley, bassist Gene Simmons, rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley and drummer Peter Criss, as well as musicians from later lineups.

In a backroom of Panera Bread downtown, his second home, he rehearsed for weeks. He shaved off his beard.

On the big day, a friend at a salon painted his face. About a dozen friends from the building gathered in the community room. Kockelmans arranged his laptop and two tiny speakers on a table in front.

Then it was showtime.

His audience wasn’t treated to spurting blood or pyrotechnics — just good, clean, rock ’n’ roll theatrics.

Singing sometimes, lip-syncing other tunes, the Mimic furiously strummed as he shifted from Frehley to Stanley in midsong. He shook his shoulders and head, strutted, nodded, grimaced and glared. One minute, he pointed skyward and then the next, he wagged a finger at his audience or, after slashing power chords, raised his fist.

During some numbers, he switched to drums, laying down a crunching back beat, rolling fills and riding a cymbal.

He even showed some tongue, a Kiss staple.

Of course, no concert would be complete without song introductions.

“Some people like to have a little wine. Some people like to have a little beer,” the Mimic said, playing to the arena. “Some people like a little something harder. And some people like a little …”

And he kicked into “Cold Gin.”

Before “Nothin’ to Lose,” he offered a dedication.

“Some of these songs I chose just because I like them. Some of them are just great Kiss songs,” he said before explaining his next selection.

“Because to me, it signified what Erin had to go through to fight her cancer. She had everything to gain, and she just put up one hell of a fight.”

To applause, he added: “She had everything to gain … and nothing to lose.”

Two more songs honored his friend directly.

Opening his second set, the Mimic sat and gently sung his only non-Kiss song, “Yesterday.” Six months before to the day, he had rehearsed it in front of her for a Beatles show he and friends were doing.

“Why she had to go, I don’t know,” he sang.

Then came the classic “Beth,” only with a twist.

“Sister, sweetheart, this is for you,” he said. “It’s called ‘Erin’ today. If they want to sue me, go ahead.”

Rock ’n’ roll is hard work, and the Mimic needed a few breathers. During one, a boy in the audience came up, curious about the middle-aged guy in makeup. Like a pro, the Mimic gave him a few minutes.

“I’m Joe — usually,” he said. “Today, I’m the Mimic. I know I can’t sing. I know I’m all over the place, but, hey, I’m trying.”

Toward the end, the tribute began taking its toll. His solos grew less frenetic. He stalked the stage more slowly.

But he rallied for the anthem “Rock ’n’ Roll All Night,” waving his arms and urging his audience, in true arena fashion, to sing the chorus.

After a rousing “I Love It Loud,” he closed the performance with the showstopper “Detroit Rock City.”

He pulled out all the stops: a hip-shaking, head-tilting, tongue-extending song from the heart to a fan dearly missed.

“We love you, Erin,” the Mimic sang.

He windmilled a chord.

“Thank you so much, Addison Court,” he said.

With a last resounding strum and the time-honored two-fingered rock salute, he said goodnight to State College.

“Thank you.”

Chris Rosenblum can be reached at 231-4620. Follow him on Twitter@CRosenblumNews.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2013/06/15/3654857/chris-rosenblum-tribute-sealed.html#storylink=cpy

To all my readers

Greetings, readers. Just a one paragraph message to all my readers & followers in the path of Tropical Storm Sandy or Hurricane Sandy… I’m not sure which it is now… PLEASE stay safe. I am in my little, dry apartment. There is some water at the front entrance, but not much. The bad thing is that it’s been raining and blowing here in central Pennsylvania since morning, and the actual storm hasn’t even gotten close to us yet! : ( Everyone, do take care. We’ll be back with more posts a.s.a.p.

Finally, cool air!

Greetings, readers. The second heat wave of the season has abated. Thank goodness. This comes from a warm weather lover. According to my computer, however, in a couple of days we should be hitting the upper 80s once again. I suppose that’s ok, but please just don’t give us mid-90s with high humidity. My poor apartment’s air conditioning unit can’t handle it.

Today has the feel of a mid-September day. Cool breeze, overcast and misty, and it reminds me of what my mother used to call a good land day, when we would be at the lake in Maine. Good day for shopping, she would say.

Speaking of Maine, I will be gone the first half of August. Within the week, writing assistant, Rebecca, and I will be making a decision on whether or not to either re-post past entries, or to have her post a few new ones with her choice of topic. Rebecca is up on current events and no doubt will come up with interesting things to say.

To finish off today’s shorter blog post, I am keeping my ear open for any news on the Penn State scandal/Freeh report/NCAA penalty decision. I, being a Penn State football fan all my life, am extremely interested in what the final decision will be. I have a sneaking suspicion that the NCAA will come down on us rather hard; as they should. This university and this town will be reeling from these events for years to come. Until Wednesday, take care and happy reading.

Absolute 5-star, gold banner day

Greetings, readers. : )  I am pleased as punch to announce not only that my new book, Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, is out but that my first box of stock arrived at my door. Writing assistant, Rebecca, and I now have thirty books to distribute to friends and retailers. This, my second book, was completed in nine months. I am extremely proud of this. Even though the book’s length is not that of War and Peace.

After this blog post today, Rebecca and I will go over to our two local retailers. After that, we will be visiting a few friends who showed interest in the book.

I am also happy to announce that on CreateSpace I had my first sale of the new book yesterday. It is off and running!

Over the weekend, I thought long and hard about what I call the summer project … even though summer is half gone already. I’m going to begin to write a series of children’s books and during the weekend I flushed out the outline for the first book, tentatively titled Pilot Dan. Book number two in that series is slated to be called Doctor Dana.

Tomorrow look forward to another top ten list blog post. I’ll think of a goodie. Until then, have a good day and happy reading.

Warmth is here! : )

Greetings, readers. Yes, late spring has finally arrived here in State College, PA. The last two days, those of us who enjoy warm weather have been treated to mid-70s temperatures with moderate humidity – not low by any means, but not stifling either. I have been waiting for this weather for several months. As much as I like snow for Christmas, I live for spring and summer.

Now on to news. My first book, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, went on sale on Kindle yesterday afternoon. I’m trying yet another way to generate some sales and get the book in more readers’ hands. After this blog post entry is finished, I shall begin editing the final story left to be worked on for book 2, Tales From North Bay and Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories. I am most pleased with the progress that Rebecca and I have made over the last two months. This project is way ahead of schedule. : )

I saw on the Yahoo! sports page today that the great Yankees closer, Mariano Rivera, suffered an injury that could end his career – torn right knee ACL. He is one of my favorite Yankees, and I do hope that he can at least attempt a come back next year.

Now, readers, for any of you who play or know anything about MLB 12 The Show, what is the cloud? One of the options on one of the menus reads that I can save something to the cloud. I’m still trying to determine what that is. Any ideas would be appreciated.

On to news about Keekee. She is learning more English words. The other day I was talking on my phone and just happened to mention the words, chicken and giblets. Keekee, when she heard me say the name of her din-din, dashed from her bed and proceeded to the kitchen. That is where her food bowl is. OMG. This cat is learning more words by the day. Such a nice companion to come home to and take care of. She also knows when I am low and does her best to cheer me up by cuddling close, purring, and acting cute.

Finally, as of 3:00 this afternoon, Rebecca and I will have finished our first week of reduced hours. So far so good. I made a schedule to keep to and that seems to be working very well. I shall keep you updated as to when camp book 2 gets to the next stage. I wish you all a great weekend and happy reading.

Good news about Keekee and other stuff

Greetings everyone. So sorry I’ve not blogged in a few days but I’ve just now recovered from the weekend, though it was fun.

I got some very good news about my kitty cat Keekee. Very soon she will have to go in for some dental work which shall be quite expensive, but the vet’s office has agreed to a payment plan rather than one lump sum. My budget says thank you.

Keekee is doing very well, despite having bad gums and needing six teeth removed. My vet told me that it happens to this particular breed of cat. Other than that, she is a quite healthy 5-year-old. I hope to very soon put a picture of her up on my blog for all of you to see. I have to learn how to do this first, however.

When my friend was here this weekend, I believe that Keekee smelled his cat, because she hissed at him a number of times. It was either that or he made a sudden move which she did not like; she hates sudden movements.

Briefly onto something else, I have another dentist appointment for myself today and I don’t wish to go. Though I like my dentist very much, I hate all the instruments wedged in my mouth – such as the saliva sucker. I suppose it’s better than drooling on myself.

Last week I mentioned writing about the late Joe Paterno. I did not forget. I shall attempt to do it tomorrow. I think I would like to jot down some notes first.

Lastly today, I must rant and rave for a few moments about my 12 round fight with technology. I won … but not until the twelfth round. Sometimes I hate computers. Machines are supposed to assist man, not defeat him. Not to go into too much detail, but let’s just say this blog post should have been up an hour ago. Until next time readers, take care and have a good day.