Category Archives: RIPs

Starting the blog entry now to finish it later

Greetings, readers. Thanks to what I was sure was a head cold but seems to be allergies now, I asked Rebecca to come to the office later than usual. So we are scrambling for time before my accountant’s meeting. Oh, those busy Wednesdays. So I will dictate and Rebecca will type until it is time for said meeting, then we will save, close the computer, and finish this entry later in the morning.

First of all, condolences to the families and victims of the Texas church shooting last Sunday. We seem to have a string of senseless, violent attacks in this country; one which was declared flat-out terrorism. What is going on, and how can we get it to stop?

While we are on the subject of condolences, for all of those baseball fans out there, R.I.P. to a fantastic pitcher Roy Halladay, who died in a single engine plane crash in Florida. He was retired, but only 40 years old. Philadelphia Phillies fans must be in mourning and in a state of shock.

Speaking of sports, the other night I watched on YouTube a classic Monday Night Football game from 1978; it was the Miami Dolphins versus the Houston Oilers. It was back in the day when everyone thought Houston was going to win the Super Bowl and the entire Astrodome was full of light blue and white pom poms. It was truly a college football game atmosphere, said announcer Howard Cosell. I love YouTube, I can find almost anything on there. That game was so good, I think I will watch it again tonight … if I can see it.

Speaking thereof, yesterday at work, I lost my glasses. I put the stem of my glasses in the neck of the sweatshirt like I always do and went outside to collect the trash around the parking lot. On the ride home, I looked down at my hoodie, and lo and behold, no glasses. Crap! If they cannot be found, I will have to get a new pair from my eye doctor. There goes the money I was going to save for a PS4. I hate when I do dumb things. Rather or not this is classified as a dumb thing, I couldn’t sleep because I felt like it was. All I had to do was leave my glasses near my work station or in my bag and this would not have happened. I just wasn’t thinking.

Break now for meeting with accountant. Okay, back again.

I’ve not chatted about the weather in a while, so here’s an update. It got cold yesterday and snowed much more than anticipated. My computer weather forecast didn’t even make any mention of snow, that is how surprised I was. Today, however, my day off from my other job, it is sunny and beautiful. It looks like it is about 80 degrees, but it is probably only in the 30s. Yes, winter is coming. I must admit I like late fall more than I used to. The holiday seasons are just around the corner, and before I know it I will be watching my Thanksgiving Day Parade, having a feast, and planning what to buy folks for Christmas.

Lastly, kudos to President Trump for his trip to Asia. It seems to be at least a mild success. I’ve not seen in the news that he shot his mouth off or said anything that he’ll have to retract later. Why am I getting the distinct impression that he is getting the hang of the job? Maybe he is just a good actor.

Well, that’s the news, I think tomorrow I will take a day off to rest and do personal projects around the apartment, for I will be working on Sunday at my other job, because it is the homecoming weekend for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. They play Rutgers University. Good luck to PSU. That will be a five-day work week. Now I know that doesn’t sound too bad for most, but for a part-time employee with leg problems, it is no fun. I can put on a smile and give a good show. I really like interacting with the customers, so that gets me through.

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

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I can’t be here today so I am sharing an older blog post with you

Greetings, readers. As I wrote yesterday, I am at my job today, so Rebecca picked out a blog post from my second full year of blogging to re-post. She looked for one that has not showed up in our stats since the year it was written and that she thinks is good enough to be seen again. She chose one that she said was heartfelt and might appeal to many readers. When she mentioned it to me yesterday, I thought it was a good choice, too. So here it is, I hope you like it. I will be back with a new entry next Wednesday.

R.I.P to legendary sportscaster Pat Summerall

April 17, 2013

Greetings, readers. Yesterday word went out that Pat Summerall died at age 82. I loved listening to him broadcast games, with Tom Brookshier, and later with John Madden. I will miss his voice.

Pat Summerall was a sports broadcaster from 1962, when CBS hired him, to 2011 when he did pre-game coverage for the Cotton Bowl.

He played football from 1952 until 1961 for the Detroit Lions, the Chicago Cardinals, and the New York Giants. The following year CBS picked him up and he began his broadcast career including a record 16 Superbowl broadcasts.

Personally, even though I knew that he was a football player in the 50s and 60s, my earliest recollection was watching a weekly show called This Week in Pro Football. He and his partner Tom Brookshier would recap the games from the previous week. I enjoyed their narration style, the slow motion instant replay, and certainly that NFL films soundtrack playing while they showed the clips. That show ran from the late 60s through the 70s, according to Wikipedia. Pat and Mr. Brookshier also played themselves in the famous 1977 movie Black Sunday, in which terrorists plotted to crash the Goodyear blimp into the Orange Bowl stadium during Superbowl X.

After that, I would watch Pat and Tom broadcast a couple more seasons of NFL games before new partner John Madden came in. Summerall and Madden were the team to beat as broadcasters go for many, many years.

Pat Summerall also broadcast golf tournaments. As I am not a golf fan, I did not partake.

On a side note, as with many famous people, he did voice overs for shows. He did an episode of the Simpsons with his partner John Madden.

I would put Mr. Summerall’s voice right up there with my all time favorites: Dick Enberg, who still broadcasts San Diego Padres baseball games, and the late Curt Gowdy.

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

I love my life, but not today

Greetings, readers. It has been a very frustrating morning but the worst is over. A simple task which should have taken five minutes took nearly an hour. Here’s how it all went down.

I noticed this morning that I needed to call the pharmacy and order a few prescriptions. The first three weren’t a problem. My one seizure med was the one that hit the snag. They said I had already picked that one up last week. Where was it? I had lost it somewhere. We went through four months of empty pharmacy bags and receipts and it wasn’t here. Panic time. I opened my bag with the current med bottles to confirm I didn’t have it, and there it was. Phew. But then I couldn’t remember the name of the med I did need to order. I know I take four seizure meds and after all this time their names should be burned into my brain. One of them wasn’t. Poor Rebecca had to sit here while we went through empty bags looking for that one empty ‘script bottle. Oh, joy, oh, bliss. Yes, she calls herself my assistant, but I think today she went over and above the call of duty. Thanks go to Rebecca. I got the name of the med and was able to order it from the pharmacy. My usual system of putting newly purchased meds in the current meds bag and of making a mental note for which meds are low and need to be called in that day, has worked perfectly for me for a long time, but today it failed.

We did get the problem sorted out and this afternoon I can pick up my new ‘scripts. But dang blast it, it really makes me nuts when the simplest of tasks takes way longer than it should. I know, I know, this happens to everybody from time to time, it just seems like it happens to me more than it should.

After about 40 minutes of what I would call a waste, we were able to begin my blog entry for the day. I was going to blog on a completely different topic, a RIP for my friend and neighbor Rita. I may still do that topic next week, especially if I can get her daughter’s permission to use Rita’s full name.

My friend’s death has hit me harder than I ever expected. Because of a language barrier (she was Russian) we did not have long conversations, though she did speak some English. It was more or less the daily pleasantries that we could exchange while passing in the hallways or outside the building. I think the suddenness of her death is what is effecting me the most. She is here one minute and gone mere hours later. It has made me think of my own mortality, not that I think I will die tomorrow, but it does point out that one never knows. We can be gone in the blink of an eye.

Rebecca and I will be in the office next week as usual on Wednesday and Thursday with two more interesting blog entries. If I get permission from Rita’s daughter to go into more detail, I shall on Wednesday. If not, I’ll choose another topic.

Finally, the Penn State Nittany Lion football team gave a valiant effort in the Rose Bowl but came up just short against the University of Southern California. This was the highest scoring Rose Bowl in history and the most exciting one that I have ever seen. Kudos to both teams on a great season.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

R.I.P to my good friend Terry

Greetings, readers. It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know of the passing of my neighbor across the hall. Terry Stuart was a kind and gentle soul, always with a smile. He loved to play the piano, he laughed at my jokes, and enjoyed old movies.

I knew Terry for several years. Quite often he would come over and ask for help about a computer problem and I would be more than glad to lend a hand and solve it if I could. The last issue he had was with his printer; the problem was it kept printing the same page over and over. I never could figure that one out. That is where it gets funny. You always think you have more time to help people. But as Rebecca would say, Terry’s contract ran out.

I know all of our existences are finite, but somehow we always think we have more time to get things done. We really don’t know. Only the Lord does.

I shall miss my good friend Terry very much. During coffee hours he would often play the piano in the community room. I thought about asking our office manager to tape up a photograph of Terry, which I would give her, on the piano and she agreed.

Terry played the piano, sang, and read his own poetry at my performances. He performed during one of my Beatles shows, as one of the three Bedbugs who backed me up, on December 14, 2012. He played the piano and read a poem at my KISS show on December 20, 2013. Rebecca wrote about the Beatles show and the KISS show in these entries. I have a couple of pictures from his performances that I can share at the bottom.

It is a good thing that I had therapy yesterday. Among other topics I talked about, I talked about Terry quite a bit. I don’t like death, it scares me. Even though I believe in heaven and the afterlife, I still don’t feel like dying just yet.

I guess I’ll never really know what happened to Terry, my good friend, but this building, Addison Court, will be a lonelier place without him. Terry, I bid you a wonderful eternal rest. You were a good friend and I wish I had taken you to Maine two years ago. You would have loved it and the people would have loved you. Rest in peace, my friend.

Until next week, have a good weekend, give your loved ones a hug and enjoy them, and happy reading.

Terry Stuart playing piano and singing Christmas carols at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart playing piano and singing Christmas carols at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

Terry Stuart reading a Christmas poem which he wrote, The Christmas Star, at my KISS show, December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart reading a Christmas poem which he wrote, The Christmas Star, at my KISS show, December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

Terry Stuart at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

R.I.P. to Al Bennett Sr.

Greetings, readers. It is a very sad morning that I am struggling through. This morning when I checked my Facebook page I learned of the passing of a very dear friend, Mr. Al Bennett Sr. Mr. Bennett was a Bear Spring Camper from my mom’s generation and I do believe I have known him since I was 5 years old. To lose somebody that you have known that long takes time to get over. For Mr. Bennett, who was a member of that special Bear Spring Camps family, dealing with his death will take me a little bit longer than usual.

As a child and teenager, I would always see Mr. Bennett on the grass near the beach, sitting in his porch chair, doing a jigsaw puzzle on his card table. That picture in my mind will be with me forever.

The entire Bennett family is warm and wonderful, and Mr. Bennett, the patriarch of the family, epitomized that. He and his wife, Jean, would always greet me with a warm smile and a cheerful hello at the main house while we waited for meal time to begin. He would ask me how my fishing trips were, and what all I would be doing that afternoon. He, like all the campers, genuinely cared.

In the era of Bear Spring Camps happy hours, the Bennetts could throw one with the best of them. They rented the biggest cabin Bear Spring Camps had to offer and there was plenty of room for everyone to enjoy their cocktail and snacks.

What will I miss most about Mr. Bennett? I will miss his warmth, his generosity, his humor, and the genuine love he felt for everyone, not only in his family, but also in his Bear Spring Camps family. Rest in peace, Mr. Bennett. Say hi to my mom and dad for me. And get to work on that big jigsaw puzzle in the sky.

Until next week, have a great weekend, happy 4th of July, and happy reading.

R.I.P to the Great Muhammad Ali

Greetings, readers. Last Friday, June 3, 2016, we lost my all time favorite boxer, the Great Muhammad Ali. Although I am not a huge fan of boxing, I did watch a lot of his fights on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. With Howard Cosell and later Jim McKay at the announcer’s table, it was a pleasure to watch the boxer work his magic. I watched many fights against George Foreman and Joe Frazier, and enjoyed all of them. When Muhammad Ali entered the ring, you knew he was the center of attention. The ring came to life. I’m sure most of his opponents knew that they didn’t stand a chance of victory.

I have an option, readers: to give you a biographical rundown of his career, or to tell you what he meant to me. I chose the latter, with a smattering of the former.

Muhammad Ali won his first heavyweight title under his given name Cassius Clay on February 25, 1964 over then champ Sonny Liston. It was considered an upset. 1964 was one year before I was born. I really didn’t know of Muhammad Ali until I was the age of 8 or so. His career was past its prime, though I was still able to enjoy a good number of his fights. Now with YouTube, I can find any one of them if I look hard enough.

Cassius Clay Jr., for religious reasons, changed his name to Cassius X, and soon after that became Muhammad Ali. After finding Islam, he decided that fighting in the Vietnam War was wrong and he wouldn’t do it. We are linking the article from the USA Today where we confirmed the facts for this blog entry so you can dig deeper if you wish to.

A sad moment for me, I must admit, was at the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in 1994 in Atlanta, when he was handed the torch to light the Olympic flame. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the mighty boxer struggled with his hands but lit the torch. He was too proud to quit. I almost cried because I could see how much effort it took for him to accomplish his task. Whether that disease ran in his family or was the result of too many blows to the head, I do not know.

Muhammad Ali, you made me enjoy boxing, you gave it style and class, and you stood up for what you believed in. You will be missed by millions. Rest in peace.

Until next Wednesday, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.

R.I.P. to the victims of EgyptAir flight 804

Greetings, readers. Today I am sad to have to blog about another air crash in the world. This past Wednesday night, an Airbus A320 took off from Paris, France headed to Cairo, Egypt with 56 passengers and ten crew members. They never made it. Somewhere over the Mediterranean sea the aircraft either exploded due to a terrorist attack, or suffered a catastrophic failure at cruising altitude. I can only imagine what those souls went through in their last moments of their lives.

I have re-watched a number of episodes of Air Crash Investigation in the last couple of days, especially the episodes dealing with Malaysia Air flight 370 and Air France flight 447. Those two incidents are examples of crashes that take many years to find an explanation.

In the case of Malaysia 370, searchers are still looking for the aircraft. Every once in a great while, a piece of that airplane will wash up on shore on islands by Australia. The plane must be somewhere on the ocean floor near that area. The only problem is that body of water is humongous. Eventually they will find the aircraft, I’m sure. In the case of Air France 447, that plane has been found and the cause of the crash was figured out to be mechanical failure followed by human error. It was a painstaking process which took years. I’m sure that when Malaysia 370 is found, its cause will also be determined.

If there is any silver lining to this latest tragedy, it might be this. Pieces of EgyptAir 804 have been found, according to this New York Times article, and hopefully for the families of the victims, answers will come soon. With answers comes closure. My heart goes out to the families of victims from all of the air crashes I have mentioned in this entry.

Next week should be a regular work week with at least two blog posts. Until then, do take care, hug your loved ones, and happy reading.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m going to forgo the KISS concert

Greetings, readers. The other week, I saw on the electronic billboard outside the Bryce Jordan Center that my favorite band KISS is coming to do a concert in August. At first, I got happy heart palpitations. But after thinking about it for a while, I realized that being a person who has not made budget in six months, there was no way I could realistically expect to save up for a ticket.

I have seen my band in the past. They came to State College in 1996, 1998, and either 2000 or 2001. So if I miss them this year, I will not cry in my beard.

KISS has been my band since 1975. You would think that the urge to go to the concert would overwhelm me and that I would have to get a ticket. So far, not so. I will admit I do suffer from impulse shopping, so I was happy to see that I was able to resist the urge to stop the bus, run up to the ticket counter, buy a ticket, and get back on the bus. Maybe KISS really isn’t the band for a 50-year-old after all.

I think another reason why my interest is low is that none of my friends are big KISS fans. If there were three or four of us who could chip in the money for the really good seats, and make a party evening out of it, that would be one thing. Instead, I would be going alone, for my girlfriend does not like the band, and I would also have to worry about such things as the noise level and blinking stage lights setting off a seizure.

Time will tell if I will call the ticket office just to see how cheap the cheap seats are, but I really do believe that I will not be going to this show. For me, a KISS fan who has every album and most CDs, I call that a budget victory. One battle won, many more battles to go. 🙂

R.I.Ps go out to former WWE wrestler/manager Chyna (real name Joan Laurer) and of course, to pop music star Prince. You will both be missed.

Until next week, I wish everybody a fantastic weekend, take care, and happy reading.

R.I.P.s and short blog entry today because of illness

Greetings, readers. Just a quick hello today in what is going to be a short blog entry. Rebecca is again under the weather and I think she will be glad if I cut her loose early today. Couple that with the fact that I just got back from an eye exam and my eyes are blurry from the drops and we have a heck of a mess.

A quick R.I.P goes out to two of my favorite TV personalities: James Noble who played the governor on Benson, and also the talented Patty Duke. They were two of my favorites. My sympathies go out to their families.

As far as Friday goes, there will be a blog entry as usual. If Rebecca is here that’s great, and if not, I’ll have to wing it.

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

Getting back to my daily routine after being sick

Greetings, readers. I was going to do a top ten list today, but because I was under the weather since the end of last week, I did not have time to prepare one. I always like to think about my top ten lists, to get them just so. From New Year’s Eve until literally this morning, all I wanted to do was sleep. I had to force myself to check my Facebook page and keep up my correspondences.

Although some white puffy clouds are rolling in now, it’s been a bright sunny day. The wonderful 62 degree weather was replaced with temperatures in the mid-thirties, and night-time lows in the single digits. It took awhile, but winter has finally arrived. Yuk.

Now, for something funny. I woke up at 5:15 this morning trying to force myself to get into my morning routine for Wednesdays. My get-up-and-go got up and went, and after feeding Keekee, I quickly went back to bed. When the alarm went off two hours later, she went and sat by her plate, looked at me as if to say, aren’t you forgetting something? I had to explain to the poor darling that she had already had her breakfast. I did give a little extra milk and that made her happy. Yes, Daddy is wrapped around Keekee’s little paw, and she knows it.

Tomorrow I am definitely getting back to my early morning routine and it shall consist of reading over three possible writing ideas and getting to work on one of them. The time for the wheels to be stuck in the mud is over. I know, I know, I’ve said that before, but I feel like a worthless lump and something has to give soon. More topics to discuss with my therapist, I’d say.

Tomorrow Rebecca will be coming in and I might just have that top ten list ready for editing. If not, you will definitely see it Friday.

Take care, enjoy the sunshine if you have it, and even though it is a few days late, R.I.P to actor Wayne Rogers. We will miss you, Trapper John from M*A*S*H.