Tag Archives: anniversary

Thinking about my writing career after my baseball game crashed

Greetings, readers. I awakened this morning at 4:00 as usual to do my morning routine, which consists of making coffee, checking my Facebook account, and updating the day’s goings on with the Steam video game Out of the Park Baseball 18, where I have created my version of the World Baseball League. Well, yesterday as work hours with Rebecca were ending, the computer threw a whole boatload of updates at me and this morning my game file was gone.

I want it made clear right now, I do understand that this baseball league was a game and completely fictitious, but I am still feeling a weird sense of loss because my month and a half of game playing is gone.¬†I came up with my own teams, uniforms, and logos for the caps, and even a few names for some players. I was perfecting my league. I was the league’s commissioner. And now all those hours perfecting the league are gone. I am completely in a funk. Am I going to call my therapist? No. I think I can drag myself out of this on my own.

The one thing this incident does prove is that my creativity and imagination for being a writer must still be there. That is good news because my dream of being a writer has not completely died. Although Bear Spring Camps book 3 is looking less and less likely, either a new book of blog entries or a book of my own short stories might be a plausible option. When I was in my 20s, I wanted to be a writer so bad. I could dream up anything at anytime. Then the seizures hit and as I get older it is becoming increasingly more difficult to create.

Now to update on my feet. As I mentioned before in the blog, I slipped and fell a few weeks ago and am okay except for my feet which I stand on for 5 hours every work shift. Just when I think everything is healing, I come home from work and it feels like there is an elephant sitting on them. This is almost enough to make me want to quit my job. There is only one problem; I like the income too much. It is solving a great number of problems.

Lastly, here is my plan for the rest of the day. I have an appointment this afternoon at 3:00 and dinner with a friend this evening at 7:00. Squished in between that and after dinner, I am going to try to recreate the World Baseball League on the game. Once I delete the whole file, there will be no going back. But it is most doubtful that I can get the old file to run correctly. There went a month and a half. ūüė¶ (Quick question: Does anybody know what a SQUILE file is? That is what the computer says it is missing to run the World Baseball League’s file.) I have to get to sleep no later than 11:00 if I am going to function at all at work tomorrow morning. I do not see myself getting up at 4:00am. I am a tad worried because my body does not do well when I change my daily routine. If I take my pills at a later time, sometimes they don’t work as effectively.

Well, what do you know, a two-day work week, and a happy anniversary to Rebecca on our 7 years of working together. We’ve done short stories, essays, three books, one editing of a play, and now we are working on the novel that Darren adapted from that play. As far as I know, next week will be a two-day work week also. I will need to check my schedule at my fast food job.

So until Wednesday, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

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Rebecca and I have been working together for 7 years tomorrow

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe it has been seven years already since Rebecca agreed to be my typist and editor. That job quickly morphed into personal assistant, but that is okay. The main job is writing. After almost seven years together, we have put out over 600 blog entries, three books, and part of a book (written by Rebecca’s husband Darren) based on a play I wrote before we started working together. Oh, and by the way, that book is coming soon.

Yes, we’re very excited about Four’s a Crowd. Although we still have one or two edits to go, I’ve read the project and it is awesome. You’ll love it. Very soon Rebecca is going to begin putting it into the CreateSpace formatted templet, cutting and pasting each chapter in place, and we need to write a book description, before uploading the file to the publisher. Then it will be time to order proofs and we are going to do our final edit right on the pages. Proofs are never for sale, so what the heck, let’s mark them up.

When the book comes out, I’m going to go to Webster’s bookstore across the street and ask the owner, a personal friend of mine, if she would take several copies on consignment and push them. The worst thing she could say is no. I already have a few people from Facebook who I will go out on a limb and say will be guaranteed buyers. I have one phrase for you folks: Spread the word … please.

I’m extremely excited about this project, and Darren, who had lost all hope when things were moving slowly, has renewed enthusiasm as well. I’m not going to set an exact release date, but let’s just put it in the ballpark of January or February of 2018. I think we can do it. Updates as they happen.

Finally, prayers and good wishes go out to those families affected by the California wild fires, and by Hurricane Nate. I don’t know how long those fires will burn, but from what I saw on TV, they have already ruined several wine vineyards. Expect the price of wine from California to skyrocket. Also, an R.I.P and condolences to Tom Petty, a great singer, and his grieving family and friends.

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful day, take care, and happy reading.

Remembering my mother, Dr. Dorothy G. Kockelmans

Greetings, readers. Tomorrow marks the fourteenth anniversary of my mom’s passing. I was going to do a blog entry to mark the occasion, but realized we did this last year. That entry turned out so well, there was no need to do another one, and it is definitely worth a repeat post. That is something I hardly ever do, though WordPress has a handy¬†feature to copy an entire¬†post, tags and all.¬†It will be linked to Twitter, Facebook, and the Bear Spring Camps Facebook page. Mom, this is for you.

Thirteen years ago today my mom went to her eternal resting place

Greetings, readers. This is an emotional day for me. I lost my mom thirteen years ago this afternoon, June 15, 2003. It was Father’s Day, and Pop was having an unusually happy Father’s Day. He liked the gift I got him, and we were looking forward to a special dinner. Mom had sent me to the store to pick up an item that she had forgotten. I got the item,¬†had a quick cup of coffee at the coffee stand, and when I got back she was gone.¬†My mom was my dad’s primary caregiver, and after discovering her, I had to go and wreck his world.

My mother and I were joined at the hip. After years upon years of having things done for me and having my life made easy, I was now the one who had to help Pop and take over other responsibilities in the house. I was only 37 years old, relatively young to lose my mother, and I faced more years without her than with her.

I was indeed able to grow up that summer and I got a lot done, including helping Dad arrange home care and getting myself to Maine for the annual vacation at Bear Spring Camps. I was able to keep the same cabin and do all the same things that Mom and I would do. There was also a touching porch party in her honor which everyone who was in camp came to; only two people had prior commitments.

My mom was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1923. We moved from Pittsburgh to State College, Pennsylvania when I was three years old. Mom, a psychologist, had her private practice downtown in an office over a bank. Many a summer afternoon I spent in our car listening to the radio waiting for her to come down from work at 3:00. It quickly became a ritual. Sometimes on a Friday afternoon we would go to Burger King for milkshakes. I would usually get strawberry and she would get vanilla, her favorite flavor.

My mom was extremely independent and organized almost to a fault. Every evening she would have the preparations laid for the morning breakfast, so that all she had to do was turn on the tea kettle and oatmeal would be ready in minutes.

One thing I didn’t like about my mom was that she despised doctors and would never go to them. She died of congestive heart failure from smoking. If she had been on medication and under a doctor’s care there is a chance that she could have¬†lived a few more years. But she did things her way and she chose how she lived her life.

One of my fondest memories of my mom was the song we shared from Percy Faith called “Theme from¬†A Summer Place.” Back in the 1970s there was an easy listening radio station in Waterville, Maine. Every summer going back to camp for the evening, Mom would turn on that station and at least two or three times during those two weeks we would hear that beloved song. I currently have that song on a Spotify music playlist, and I listened to it this afternoon in her honor. I know, I know,¬†I am just sentimental that way.

Mom, I said it the day you died and I’ll say it again. Thank you for being the best mom in the world.

Here is a picture of my Mom, which we photographed in the frame, since we could not get it out without risking damage to the picture. It might be a little grainy, but you can certainly see her.

Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.
Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.

June 14, 2017 Rebecca will have a blog entry up sometime tomorrow. I am still having computer issues. There is a slight chance I will be purchasing a new computer tomorrow, and if so I might chime in myself with a small entry giving you details. Wow, perhaps a double entry day. Until soonest, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Laundry day and boy do I have a hectic schedule

Greetings, readers. At 7:58 this morning I was in the laundry room getting the first load of clothes ready to start when that room opened at 8:00. Hours are between 8AM and 10PM daily. On days that I wash my clothes, I like to get in there early and get the job done.

Our business meeting with my accountant this week will once again be earlier than usual because I work today at 3PM. I like to have time to relax, visit with Traci and have plenty of time to get to my 2:15 bus. I won’t have tons of time, but I’ll have just enough to grab a snack, a cup or two of coffee and visit with my fianc√©e.

At eight o’clock this evening I’ll get off work and have two days off. ūüôā It will be a chance to rest my feet and get a few odds and ends done around the apartment. I need to do some vacuuming and some light dusting. The two big jobs I’m putting off are the hall closet and my bedroom. They’re next.

I’m getting some help with the hall closet in a couple of weeks. The bedroom I will tackle myself. I want to get the bedroom done as soon as possible so that I can once again enjoy my bed. The key is to do a little bit each day.

The hectic pace of my new life schedule so far has not taken a toll on me. Besides aching feet, I actually enjoy going out, working, and being a productive member of society. My writing career might be in the back seat right now, but it is definitely staying in the car. One of these days I’m going to write a play or screenplay about living here in Addison Court. Of course all names would be changed for privacy reasons.

Lastly, next week will be the fourteenth anniversary of the passing of my mom. I am going to do a remembrance blog in her honor and link it to Facebook, including the Bear Spring Camps page which is for the place she went and enjoyed herself for so many years.

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

We began blogging 5 years ago on Thursday!

Greetings, readers. I got a notice on my WordPress.com page that I have been blogging, with¬†Rebecca’s help, for¬†five years now. Wow! Time sure does fly. With almost 600 entries completed, we’ve no end in sight.¬†We have blogged on a variety of topics, from¬†plane crashes to R.I.P.s to reviews of video games and everything in between. Are we going to keep going? Of course!¬† ūüôā

I’ve said before that I¬†try¬†to stay away from blogging about politics. This coming year, I might take a stab at it. I’ve always been shy about sharing my political opinion, until this year around the election. In years past, people have told me that my candidate was the wrong choice, or that my beliefs were incorrect; I shouldn’t believe this, I should believe that instead. Every four years I get a headache so terrible I feel my head will explode. Well, I have opinions and I can stand by them. I can write about them in this forum.

Other topics that we’ll be blogging about will include what’s going on in the news and¬†R.I.Ps to famous actors, actresses, singers and other people of note.¬† Rebecca also suggested that perhaps I blog about other episodes of the show¬†Air Crash Investigation that I have watched and particularly enjoyed. The¬†original entry, Top¬†ten list of Air Crash Investigation¬†stories,¬†is still the one that has¬†the most views of all the other blog posts put together.¬†The post I did after that¬†on one of the episodes, The Air Crash Investigation episode on The Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team crash,¬†also gets regular views. The entry, In memory of Air Florida Flight 90, is very popular, too. I know I have a morbid fascination with airplane wrecks, so I will try not to choose this topic to often.

No matter what topics I write about, I look forward to another year of sharing them with you. I am grateful that you take the time to read my words, and that some of you respond with your own thoughts in the comments.

Before I go, I want to wish Rebecca well. She’s been¬†a tad under the weather. I’m happy to say that she is doing much better and will be back with us next week.¬† I shall put up another blog entry either tomorrow or Friday.¬† Until then, take care, have a great day and as always, happy reading.

Has the Penn State football team turned the corner?

Greetings, readers. The Penn State football team has begun its 2016 season with a 2-1 record, with wins over Kent State and Temple, while losing to Pennsylvania foe Pittsburgh. The last two seasons were both 6 wins and 6 losses; not great by Penn State standards. With the sanctions from the Jerry Sandusky scandal over with, Penn State has had their full number of recruits to build the team up. Next season should be coach Franklin’s best since being hired in 2014, with the team hopefully winning at least 8 games this season. I’d be more than happy with that.

It’s very hard to build up a school’s sport’s program after sanctions. Some schools can do it in just a few years, while other teams take much longer. I’m sure it depends on the head coach and the recruiters. Also, the crime and penalty must factor in¬†the rebuilding time. The fewer the sanctions, the shorter time it should take for a team to bounce back to prominence.

Penn State fans were spoiled. For decades we enjoyed 10 win seasons almost every year. When I was young, the question was not whether Penn State would go to a bowl game, but rather, which one. We might not be excellent every season, but I feel that good ol’ Penn State pride has weathered this storm, and that fans can see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel in Penn State’s history.

On a side note, the first anniversary of Traci and¬†me¬†being a couple¬†is this Saturday, the 24th. Yay us! I am so happy that she and I are together. ūüôā

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

Keeping active with possible job, writing, and Traci

Greetings, readers. As I continue my search for gainful employment, I’m still hoping that my first choice will pan out. As I mentioned, there are other opportunities out there, but Panera Bread¬†is ideal. I would love to work there. It is near my apartment building, I know and like all the folks¬†who work there, and it is, as I call it, on the flat. Meaning that I don’t have to go down any of the hilly streets of State College during the winter time.

If all else fails, I will volunteer my time at the library, which will at least get me out of the apartment. As my friends have told me, something is sure to come up. Until then, we have the writing project for the new camp book and I have a personal writing project that I just got research materials for from the library.

Also, big news, September 24th will mark the one year anniversary for my girlfriend Traci and me. I can’t believe it has been 11 months. Time has flown and our relationship is progressing slowly, yet steadily. I’m quite pleased with the situation. She has already met and loves David and family, and we hope to go for Thanksgiving again this year. Are wedding bells in the future? Time will tell and we shall see. There are a few huddles we need to get over.

A blog entry, which will be upcoming in September, will deal with my plans for our anniversary. There is a really nice restaurant downtown which we were planning to go to last Valentine’s Day. Traci wound up in the hospital and we never did make it for Valentine’s dinner. I think I will make reservations at the Tavern restaurant. More on that during that future¬†blog entry.

Well, there you have it for today. Our new work hours begin next Wednesday with blog entries on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Wish us luck on that. Until next week, have a splendid weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Thirteen years ago today my mom went to her eternal resting place

Greetings, readers. This is an emotional day for me. I lost my mom thirteen years ago this afternoon, June 15, 2003. It was Father’s Day, and Pop was having an unusually happy Father’s Day. He liked the gift I got him, and we were looking forward to a special dinner. Mom had sent me to the store to pick up an item that she had forgotten. I got the item,¬†had a quick cup of coffee at the coffee stand, and when I got back she was gone.¬†My mom was my dad’s primary caregiver, and after discovering her, I had to go and wreck his world.

My mother and I were joined at the hip. After years upon years of having things done for me and having my life made easy, I was now the one who had to help Pop and take over other responsibilities in the house. I was only 37 years old, relatively young to lose my mother, and I faced more years without her than with her.

I was indeed able to grow up that summer and I got a lot done, including helping Dad arrange home care and getting myself to Maine for the annual vacation at Bear Spring Camps. I was able to keep the same cabin and do all the same things that Mom and I would do. There was also a touching porch party in her honor which everyone who was in camp came to; only two people had prior commitments.

My mom was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1923. We moved from Pittsburgh to State College, Pennsylvania when I was three years old. Mom, a psychologist, had her private practice downtown in an office over a bank. Many a summer afternoon I spent in our car listening to the radio waiting for her to come down from work at 3:00. It quickly became a ritual. Sometimes on a Friday afternoon we would go to Burger King for milkshakes. I would usually get strawberry and she would get vanilla, her favorite flavor.

My mom was extremely independent and organized almost to a fault. Every evening she would have the preparations laid for the morning breakfast, so that all she had to do was turn on the tea kettle and oatmeal would be ready in minutes.

One thing I didn’t like about my mom was that she despised doctors and would never go to them. She died of congestive heart failure from smoking. If she had been on medication and under a doctor’s care there is a chance that she could have¬†lived a few more years. But she did things her way and she chose how she lived her life.

One of my fondest memories of my mom was the song we shared from Percy Faith called “Theme from¬†A Summer Place.” Back in the 1970s there was an easy listening radio station in Waterville, Maine. Every summer going back to camp for the evening, Mom would turn on that station and at least two or three times during those two weeks we would hear that beloved song. I currently have that song on a Spotify music playlist, and I listened to it this afternoon in her honor. I know, I know,¬†I am just sentimental that way.

Mom, I said it the day you died and I’ll say it again. Thank you for being the best mom in the world.

Here is a picture of my Mom, which we photographed in the frame, since we could not get it out without risking damage to the picture. It might be a little grainy, but you can certainly see her.

Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.
Picture of a picture of Mom from the 1990s, as far as I can guess on the year.

Another short week for us, so if there is no blog entry tomorrow, I’ll try to put one up on the weekend. Until soonest, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

I hate online applications

Greetings, readers. As I continue my search for gainful employment, I have found out that most job applications are now done online. Without mentioning the name of the business, I am going to fill you in on what Rebecca and I just did this last hour. It was a frustrating experience.

After typing in name, address, social security number, etc, we got to the never-ending (we are still not done – we quit to do a blog entry) pre-application section. Yes, you read correctly. Before getting to the application section. After 52 minutes, we still haven’t reached the actual application part with education history, job history, and references sections. With time needed to do today’s blog, we were forced to click the “save now” button. I’m glad they had that option; some business’ websites don’t.

Another issue I had today was that I felt some of the questions to be non-pertinent to the job, as well as none of their business. I kept waiting for the what is your religion question. (Joke. I actually know that is illegal to ask). I’m going to have to finish the application this evening because even though it says I have two months to complete it, I doubt the job will be around that long.

The one thing the application did do was make me take a good hard look at myself. I kept asking, should I be completely truthful or click the answer I think they are looking for? The one that will get me the job. I decided for mostly the truthful answers. I will admit a couple of questions were so obvious, I couldn’t resist. Of course, they want me to like to multi-task, which I’ll be honest, I’m not the greatest at. Though I suppose I could learn. Rebecca was particularly bothered by a section on which adjective described me best at work, with choices that did not match, like Content or Cheerful. As she burst out with, those are not mutually exclusive, you can be cheerful because you are content. She was not content or cheerful about it.

Two questions have popped into my brain about this job. First, do I really want it? Well, I do need the extra money right now since I am having trouble making my monthly budget. But I might not be quick enough to keep up the pace there. Second, do I think I’m going to get the job? No. I didn’t take tests well in college, and I consider these long application sections very test-like. I probably will bomb it. But time will tell.

On a quick side-note, yesterday was the six-month anniversary of my girlfriend Traci and me being together. A lot of our friends chimed in on Facebook with likes and thumbs-ups.

This blog entry is #494. Not that many to go before the magic 500. I think I will discuss my most read topics, such as Air Crash Investigation stories, the blog entry about my father, and From Rebecca: A little bit in a hurry.

So there you have it. Another week’s blog entries are in the books. Have a great weekend, take care, and, as always, happy reading.

Another hodgepodge day

Greetings, readers. It is a partly sunny Friday afternoon, but it is cold outside. I’m glad to see the blue sky here and there, but I could do without that wind. As I get ready to make my weekend plans, there is something I want to do with someone at 3:00, and when I get home I intend to write. My new short story is going well and I am psyched about that. This morning for the first time in a long time I actually felt like I was in that zone that I love to be in. It is as though I am seeing what I am writing as if it was a movie.

To another topic, my blog entry from yesterday was well received – no negative comments. I understand that I could have taken a shovel and bashed the hell out of Donald Trump, but I chose to play it a little bit safe and that is okay for now. I will see how I feel about that as the general election gets closer. Am I going to write blog entries about Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, the frontrunners in the Democratic party? Not as of this moment, but you never know.

In cool news, I noticed on Facebook that today is Alan Alda’s 80th birthday, so happy birthday to him. M*A*S*H was one of my favorite shows. Also, I saw yesterday on Facebook that the DeLorean car company is going to resume production for the first time since 1982. Thumbs up to that.

Yesterday also marked the 30th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. I have watched many documentaries dealing with that disaster and if NASA had listened to the expert who said it was too cold to launch, those wonderful folks would still be alive. We’ll chalk that up to another tragedy that didn’t have to happen.

Finally, in this hodgepodge blog entry, I can’t believe that pitchers and catchers report to spring training a month from now. It seems like the Kansas City Royals just walked off the field after winning the World Series. It is true I guess that baseball has the shortest off-season, so I shouldn’t be surprised. It would not amaze me if in 10 or 20 years baseball was played year-round in the United States in a brand new league. There are plenty of domes and stadiums down south and out west to make a second baseball league a viable prospect in cities that don’t have major league teams now.

Well, there you have it, these are my thoughts on my day. We’ll be back next week with at least two new blog entries. Until then, have a fantastic weekend, take care and happy reading.