Category Archives: Uncategorized

Things in my world today, November 30, 2017

Greetings, readers. A bizarre thing happened last afternoon and evening that I wish to share with you in case any of you know what it might be and can give me advice in the comment section. I woke up from a nap to find both my hips and lower back stiff as a board. Occasionally I would have a sharp pain on one or both sides. It did not keep me from walking down to my appointment, though I was uncomfortable. Later, when I was watching television, I got a knife jab in my right side that made me consider going to the E.R.

I woke up in the middle of the night to find that the pain was almost gone, much to my relief. I don’t remember making a false move or lifting anything heavy, but obviously I strained something. Thank goodness this morning the pain is gone. I still wish I knew what it was and will it come back. Now on to other news.

Rebecca, Darren, and I are proofreading our copies of Four’s a Crowd. I’ve already found one scene that there is going to be head-butting about. It involves the female lead character saying a word I’m not comfortable with. The question is, with Darren the author of the novel, and me the author of the play it is based on, who should get the final say? Hopefully we can compromise.

More news. My Beatles sing along show is tomorrow, but at 3:30pm, not 1:00. There was a slight mix-up in the entertainment schedule and my show will start after the country line dancers are finished. It should make for a wonderful day’s entertainment. I will be singing along to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl CD, and my friend Mike Weaver will be singing a few Christmas carols while I take a break between my two sets. I’m a tad worried that Mike and I have not had a practice session yet, but we’re not professions and if a clunker is made, it is okay. I’m sure folks will love the show.

It will be very odd not to go to my other job tomorrow and I do thank my manager Savannah for giving me the day off to do the show. I will work at my fast food job on Saturday, probably have off Sunday, and return to my regular schedule next week.

After Rebecca and I are finished with this blog entry, I am going to go on the Zipcar website and reserve a vehicle for the my Christmas Eve Light Ride. This year I want to book early to make sure I get a vehicle. I believe my other job will be closed that evening, so a work shift should not get in the way.

On a sadder note, I was in a bit of a funk yesterday when I learned about NBC’s Matt Lauer being fired for sexual misconduct. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has lost its shine for me now. He was the co-host of it for many years and that team was part of my special day. I watched part of it at David’s this year and have it set in my YouTube queue to watch anytime, but will probably not watch it after this. Next year it will be Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and ?. If the allegations are true, Matt Lauer deserves to be locked up. I guess you never know about people. It is getting harder and harder to trust anyone in this world, but with my jolly personality, I shall try.

Lastly, I’ll be doing my show tomorrow and most likely be doing my own write-up about it for a blog post. Rebecca is unable to attend and if memory serves this will be the first show she has missed since we began working together. I just know that I am going to criticize my every mistake as most artists do. I promise I won’t be too hard on myself and cut myself some slack.

Until next week, which should be a two-day work week for us, have a wonderful weekend, take care, wish me luck on my show, and, as always, happy reading.

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Sneezin’ season again and other news

Greetings, readers. Oh boy have my allergies gone crazy the last few days. Yes, I love the spring and summer warmth, along with its green trees and grass; the only downside is the pollen. I have been an allergic mess for three days now. The air conditioning in my apartment and in restaurants help quite a lot. If my attacks get worse though, I’ll have to get some generic allergy medication at the drug store.

When I was a child, my allergies seemed to get the better of me from the middle of April, when everything bloomed, until the middle of November, when the leaves finally fell off the trees. That didn’t keep me indoors though. I just put plenty of tissues in my pocket and made the best of it while I played.

On to other news. I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday which went well. Just one of my blood test numbers was elevated, so one of my meds was switched out. “Down you bad cholesterol you!” 🙂 Speaking of my meds, I’m behind in taking them today.

Before I go though, I must tell you about one of the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time. On the street corner I saw a young boy and his mom. The boy was about four years old. He had a toy guitar and a small bucket. He was playing and singing to earn a few bucks. I asked him what he wanted and he told me that it was some kind of dinosaur toy. His mom told him that if he wanted this toy, he’d better think of a way to pay for it. Now, I’m not certain if this was his idea to play of the street corner, or hers, but it was adorable and I gave him a couple of bucks. Two thumbs up, little guy. 😉

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

 

Had to brace for the mini-storm

Greetings, readers. I’ll get this first statement out-of-the-way right now. I hate freezing rain! Ok, I don’t think anyone likes it. Nobody goes around saying, “Yeah, my car will have zero traction today and I’ll probably wreck!” My problem isn’t driving, it’s walking. I just have to look at a freezing sidewalk, and down on my butt I go. One big disadvantage of Cerebral Palsy; terrible balance.

Well, yesterday the weatherman… I mean meteorologist predicted a small coating of freezing rain. That was enough to make me run to the store and load up on a few supplies that both KeeKee and I needed. She needed moist food, and I was very low on milk, bread and munchies. Must have my munchies for TV time.

By late afternoon, the temperature will be warm enough so that I can do my few errands. I’ve banking to do, which couldn’t be done yesterday; President’s Day. After posting this entry, I’ll go do that, get some java somewhere and get home pronto.

Until quite soon, take care, stay warm and happy reading.

 

Top ten list of things gone by the wayside

Greetings, readers. I was thinking the other day of things from my childhood, and before, that are no longer around. This is a top ten list, again in no particular order.

#10. Electric trolley cars. [I’m not certain if every major city has done away with these or not, I just know I have not seen one since I was a little boy in Pittsburgh.]

#9. Small, fast-moving lines at major airports. [9/11 saw to that.]

#8. Big American cars. [When I was entering my early teenage years, the big boats, as they were called, were just going out of style.]

#7. Not needing a passport on cruise ships to visit places such as the Caribbean.

#6. Most cookie cutter stadiums. [The three examples that come to mind are Three River Stadium in Pittsburgh, Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia, and Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.]

#5. Penny arcades. Or in my era, quarter arcades. [Oh, the day of going to the arcades and playing games like Galaga and Air Hockey.]

#4. Antiquated gaming systems. [Atari and Nintendo have given way to Sony’s PS3 and the Xbox 360, but in their day the original home gaming systems very effectively put the quarter arcades out of business.]

#3. Movie rental places. [The convenience of watch-at-home options, such as Netflix or Blockbuster.com, ended the days of going to the video store, hoping that the title you wanted to watch was still on the shelf.]

#2. Cheap gas. [Gone forever are the days when gas was 25 cents per gallon. Even a dollar a gallon would be welcomed.]

#1. Smaller sports leagues. [Both the National Football League and Major League Baseball in particular, have expanded to too many teams, and the talent got stretched. And yes, that is the technical term. Players who should be playing at a minor league level are now playing at the major league level. The overall product suffers.]

Next week, we’ll get back to you with more entertaining blog entries. Until then, have a great weekend, stay safe and warm, and happy reading.

Top ten places that I have visited in my lifetime

Greetings, readers. This is a top ten list of cities I have visited in my 40+ years of life. When I was younger, my family and I traveled throughout the United States and the world. I was lucky enough to see many beautiful cities. Here are my top ten.

#10 Washington, D.C. Twenty or thirty years ago my mother, father, and I traveled to Washington, D.C. because my father had to give a lecture at Georgetown University. While Pop, as I called him, taught, Mom and I went to the museums, walked past the White House, and drove past the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Very, very, impressive.

#9 Amsterdam, Holland. Though it is a modern city now, my family and I didn’t have to travel very far to see those wonderful windmills. As an added bonus, we were there when the tulips were in full bloom.

#8 The Caribbean. Georgia, my wife at the time, and I took a wonderful ten-day cruise in 2005. We visited Labadee, Haiti; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Ocho Rios Jamaica; and Freeport, Bahamas.

#7 Waterville, Maine. This is the town that is prominent in my two books, and is the nearest big town to Bear Spring Camps, my wonderful vacation spot of 40 years.

#6 Gottlieben, Switzerland. The Drakensberg Castle, a wonderful castle hotel on the banks of the Rhine River, provided my family and me a wonderful vacation when I was a child.

#5 Los Angeles, California. I was there three times in my life so far. Twice to visit my Aunt Marilyn and once to visit my then mother-in-law. All three trips were wonderful.

#4 New York City, New York. Though I’ve never been there on New Year’s Eve – I want to be though at least once in my life – when I did visit the city, the sheer size and complexity made me take it in like a little boy looking at a lit-up Christmas tree. I was completely in awe. And yes, we did see the World Trade Center towers.

#3 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was born there but moved to my current locale when I was three years old. Only having visited it a handful of times, I just know its general layout. It is a beautiful small city.

#2 Amarillo, Texas. My wife at the time, Georgia, and I were traveling across country when her truck broke down in Amarillo. We spent a couple of nights there and were amazed of not only the beauty of the city but the hospitality of the people.

#1 Rome, Italy. I was lucky enough to visit it twice in my lifetime. The churches, the Coliseum, and the Vatican make a trip to Rome a truly once in a lifetime experience. I highly recommend it.

Until tomorrow, when we put our third blog entry for the week up, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten things we said as little kids : )

Greetings, readers. With a hard week of creation coming up, I’ve decided to post a quick top 10 list. Do you remember these little gems from childhood?

#10: “Are we there yet?” When I was a young boy, that’s why my mother broke up our 612 mile trip to Maine into three days of travel.

#9: “I’m telling mommy on you!”

#8: “Do I have to eat all my vegetables?” I wasn’t a picky eater, but some of my friends were.

#7: “Could you help me with my book report? It’s due tomorrow!” Lol. I did this one quite a lot.

#6: “But I took a bath last week.”

#5: “Oopsie…, I broke it.”

#4: “Just ten more minutes of TV, please!” Luckily my favorite shows were on in the early evening. ; )

#3: “Mommy or daddy, there’s a monster under the bed!” By late at night, I was meaner than any monster.

#2: “My invisible friend broke it.” I only used that one once. The punishment was more for the fib than for the thing that I did wrong.

#1: “You’re not the boss of me!” Even though I never said it personally, I had a neighbor for a while whose sister said it to him all the time.

If possible we shall drop another blog entry in but as mentioned, creation must take precedence this week.

: ) #100!!! : )

Greetings, readers. As today’s rather straightforward title implies, this is the 100th blog entry since I began in late December last year. I might not have the tremendous following like writers such as Wil Wheaton, Carrie Vaughn or John Scalzi, but I am only ten months into the blog.

I am most pleased and proud that people have continued to find my writing through search engines on almost every topic I have written about, including the Air Florida crash, the United States Football League, and my father, Professor Joseph John Kockelmans. WordPress has a stats page that I use which shows how many people view each blog post for each day. I especially like the feature that shows how many hits from each country in the world I receive. I have received hits from Russia, Romania, Mexico, Canada, and many other countries, but most of my hits are from the USA.

As most of you know by now, I have tried to stay away from politics or anything controversial. On rare occasions when something has made me good and angry, I will chime out in full force. I was going to write an entry about Romney v. Obama but I think I will wait until after the first couple of debates. Did I mention I loathe talking about politics? I always seem to be wrong.

One of the saddest moments to come along in the Penn State University world in many years was the news about the goings-on of Jerry Sandusky. The trial is over, the football season has begun under Coach Bill O’Brien and the football and academic year is moving forward. Good riddance Mr. Sandusky. I had written a piece titled Tribute to Joseph Vincent Paterno which had to be amended slightly, but I felt to delete it would be inappropriate. The man and his family did so much for this community for so many years.

On the lighter side of my blogging experience were several top ten lists, entries about my cat Keekee, news about my books, as well as a few entries from Rebecca while I was away on holidays or long weekends. {From Rebecca: I have enjoyed doing entries in the blog. Thank you, Joe, for the opportunity to do that.}

Now for ideas yet to come. I’m going to keep all my readers up-to-date on precious kitty-cat, with more pictures of her. Also, I will open up myself more and explore more deeply what makes me tick, and share it with you. This year I felt as though I wanted to be liked. Now it’s time to cut and bleed onto the page and push the envelope, as they say.

With my book signing at Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe this Friday, the work schedule for the week has been altered slightly. Look for another blog entry on Friday, or if not, definitely next Wednesday. Here’s to #101 and beyond.

Have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten best bad films I know

Greetings, readers.

This is a list of my personal top ten best bad films I know. It’s sad to say that I do like most of these. An honorable mention to this list is Liz Taylor’s Cleopatra. The four-hour and three minutes multimillion dollar extravaganza that was so expensive to make that there was no way it could ever make a profit. I loved it until intermission. Then, in my opinion, it got boring as hell.

10. Barbarella

9. Fire in the Sky

8. The Herbie the Love Bug series. [Although they were cute]

7. Groundhog Day  [I liked it the first two times the day happened and then I just wanted to punch the tv screen.]

6. Rocky 5 [Yo, Adrian. I didn’t even fight in this one.]

5. The Mist [I think this was a recent remake of the 1980s the Fog by John Carpenter.]

4. Airport ’79 the Concord [Awful special effects]

3. The Ghost in a Teeny Bikini [As an indication of my naivetĂ©, I actually couldn’t tell if the sex scenes were real or faked.]

2. Godzilla vs. Mothra … or any of the Godzilla movies for that matter.

1. Freefall Flight 174 [Even though I loved it]

I shall be leaving for a long weekend tomorrow. Next week will be our 100th post. It’s going to have to be well planned out and something of substance. I promise you readers I shall not let you down. Until then, take care and happy reading.

From Rebecca: 50 First Dates

I love the 2004 movie 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. It is the story of a man who falls for a woman with short-term memory loss who never remembers him the next day. All the actors, especially Sandler and Barrymore, produce great performances. I found the characters believable and I liked spending time with them. The film has a lot of humor as well as romance.

When we first met Lucy, she doesn’t know that she is re-living the same day, the last day she has in her memory. Her father Marlin, played by Blake Clark, and her brother, played by Sean Astin, are also trapped in the same day so that they can help her be happy. Every night they reset the stage for her. Then comes Henry, who wants to spend time with her, and has an idea to make a new way. And it worked. He set them free to a new life. And then some complications set in.

*SPOILER ALERT* Part of why I love this movie so much is that the solution at the end with her waking up to a video, husband and child is that they were able to come up with a system that works without magically curing her. She still has the same condition, but they found a way to work with it and be together. *END SPOILERS*

I also love Sandler and Barrymore in The Wedding Singer, and may write about that another day. But for heartwarming, I love 50 First Dates.

A number of things to report today

Greetings, readers. Thanks to Rebecca’s intelligent nephew, who suggested Firefox to help us with our computer woes, my computer seems to be working much better. So thumbs up to him. The first problem we were trying to alleviate was a quite annoying word-underlining pop-up ad dilemma. This has been plaguing us for a number of weeks now and seemed to be getting worse. Firefox has cleared that problem up, but caused  a typing lag while Rebecca was typing in today’s blog entry. So we finished it in Internet Explorer.

This week we also had a problem with a search tab that was suddenly attached to the window we had open, and would not go away. We finally found the correct program to uninstall in the add/delete programs section of the control panel. A very minor thing, but a pain in the butt none the less.

One of the solutions for us to try to fix these problems was to clear the cache and cookies. The password for one of my programs got lost in the shuffle and I had that one on auto-save. I was afraid that I would have to start from scratch with that website. But it turned out that the password stayed intact. Whoo-hoot!

Now onto other things. A number of weeks ago we added two tabs/pages to my blog site. One is titled Books and includes the book cover photos and short blurbs for my two books. The second tab is called Gallery and has various photos from my past; paintings from my parents house, two pictures of my old boat, and one of Keekee my kitty cat.

Kindle conversion for my second book, Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, due to a mistake of my own, will take longer than I had anticipated. What I did was, I thought that I could get it ready myself and have it up on Kindle on the release date that I had chosen. Well, it looked like shit! So I had to unpublish it and we had to have CreateSpace do it. It will take two to three extra weeks. Boo hoo. The book is still available on my e-store and at Amazon, as well as at local stores Appalachian Outdoors and Websters Bookstore and Cafe.

At the end of the work day today, Rebecca will be doing all of the usual end of the week paperwork, including backing up everything we’ve done for the week on thumb drives. This is our Friday 2:45 ritual. Until next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.