Tag Archives: central Pennsylvania

This heat wave is enough to make me hate hot weather, and that is saying something

Greetings, readers. A very happy, hot Wednesday to you from here in Central Pennsylvania. We are in the grips of a late summer heat wave with temperatures approaching 90 degrees with very high humidity. My air conditioner up on this top floor doesn’t like it. I’m not expecting it to be an icebox in here, but according to my little thermometer, it is 81 degrees F in our office. I have even tried using my fan to blow the cold air. It works a little bit, but not much.

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a hot weather person. I’m starting to change my mind. Do I want sub-zero and ten inches of snow and ice? No. But 70s during the day and upper 40s at night would be lovely right now.

Knowing me, I’ll be bitching come winter, wanting the heat of summer time back. It is human nature to want what we don’t have. I’ve noticed that in other people and especially in me. This weather pattern is an excellent example of this.

This heat wave, I think, has affected the health of my good friend and payee. Today was what we call pay everything day, which happens on the last Wednesday of every month. Today, he stopped by briefly, handed me the checks, and was on his way to the ER. I wish him well. I would not be surprised if this heat wave has something to do with him feeling poorly. When I see him next week, I will ask him how is feeling.

While Rebecca and I swelter here in the heat of the office, today is the day I have to make my decision of which entertainment service I am dropping. I picked up Hulu and Sirius XM music on their free month trials at the beginning of August, but quickly came to the conclusion that I cannot afford Spotify, Netflix, Sirius XM, and Hulu. One has to go, at least temporarily. It was a difficult choice, but I’ve decided to drop Hulu. Hopefully at some point when I have more money saved up I can pick it up again. It is well worth it.

Lastly, Rebecca and I will be working tomorrow, albeit an abbreviated day, for I have an appointment later in the morning. I must apologize for not clicking that Facebook button under last week’s post for a few days. I’m still getting used to that. The beauty of having Rebecca here is that we can publish and click the button at the same time. No fuss, no muss, no forgetting.

So until tomorrow, take care, stay cool in the heat, have a good day, and happy reading.

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Easing into my summer schedule and other tidbits

Greetings, readers. Hello from central Pennsylvania on a gorgeous spring day. There is nary a cloud in the sky and today’s high temperature is expected to be in the upper 70s F. I’ll take it. I got through my graduation weekend work shifts and now I’m off for summer. My feet are already saying thank you.

Even though I have several errands to do this week, I am weaving in my brand new summer schedule. I have my new wake up time, my time for errands, and time for writing. It just so happens that this particular week all my errands are during writing time hours. Most of these errands must get done, so until tomorrow afternoon after my dentist appointment, I’m going with a revised version of said summer schedule.

The next few weeks are going to be quite busy. On days Rebecca and I work together, I will be making plans and preparations for this year’s voyage to Maine. I always try to call ahead early to make my reservations at hotels for the trip up and back. One year I could not stay in Waterville, Maine because there was a big conference in Augusta. All the hotel rooms were taken. I think the closest I could get was just outside Augusta. I remember last year the hotel I stayed at would not accept cash. How odd, I thought. This world is really truly going plastic. I had to drive to a Wal-Mart, put my money on a Wal-Mart gift card, and use it at the hotel, which accepted it as payment. The joys of travel.

Besides making the hotel reservations, quite soon I have to procure the rental car. There is some doubt as to whether I’ll be able to get one this year, so right after this blog entry is posted, I’m going to call and find out exactly what is needed.

On to other news. Princess Josie is adjusting to her new home and has really taken over the place. She is a rambunctious little thing and full of energy. She is learning to jump. This morning I came out of the bathroom and startled her so badly she jumped halfway up the door jamb and grabbed on with all fours. I’ve never seen a cat do that, ever. She’s a strong kitten.

Before closing, I wish to offer prayers and condolences to all those in Hawaii who had their lives altered so badly by the lava flow. I always feel terrible when tragic events like this take place in the world. This planet is not stable by any stretch of the imagination and catastrophes are bound to happen from time to time.

Tomorrow I have a morning appointment with the dentist, so Rebecca will be putting up the blog entry. The two of us will be back hard at it next Wednesday. Until then, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

A small apology and top ten list of my summer plans

Greetings, readers. Before we begin the top ten list for today, I must apologize for not having the short story ready that I mentioned in yesterday’s entry. I wanted to use my voice recognition program while I sat at the computer with my coffee and breakfast. Wouldn’t you know, my back decided to choose this morning to go out. Back to bed I had to go with all lights off. What a pain in the grass. I’ll definitely try to post the short story either over the weekend or next Wednesday.

Now for the top ten list of things I’m going to do this summer. As I mentioned before, I have been granted the three months off from my fast food job beginning right after the Penn State graduation weekend. These are the things I am going to try very hard to accomplish before the end of August. Here we go.

#10. Take walks and get in better shape. [Even though I am not overweight, I have been having heart problems, and more exercise in the fresh air is always good for everybody. I think I can handle two loops around the block.]

#9. Not watch as much TV or YouTube videos. [When I’m in Maine, I do not have a TV. I’m very limited to my entertainment and I actually like it that way. I think for the summer, I’m going to imagine that I am in a woodland cabin by the lake. I think that will reduce stress and allow me to do a lot of writing.]

#8. Clean out my walk-in hall closet. [I’m going to need some help for this one, but I know where I can get it. This poor walk-in closet is my third, fourth, and fifth room. I’ll leave how much stuff is in it to your imagination. Lots of stuff I have in there I wish to keep, unfortunately not all of it is going to make the cut. I must trim it down by half.]

#7. Take back my bedroom. [Oh, dear readers, I’ve been trying to do this one for years. I take three steps forward, and slide five steps back. Keeping it nice is a never-ending process. With time off from my fast food job though, and with family coming in June, I should have plenty of time and motivation to get it at least company acceptable.]

#6. Eat better. [I found a couple of places within walking distance that serves healthy food. There is a Chinese restaurant close to where I live, and I think that all those vegetables can give me all the vitamins and minerals I am lacking. Also, The Corner Room at the bottom of the hill serves complete dinners. Man cannot live by ice cream and blueberry muffins alone. Lol.]

#5. Write short stories. [As mentioned yesterday, I have several story ideas on all four burners. I just need to turn up the heat and get them cooking. Again, the proper amount of uninterrupted time and relaxed atmosphere should do the trick in providing a writing frame of mind. The voice recognition program will help a lot too.]

#4. Train the new kitty. [This one goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. Tomorrow a new chapter of my life begins as kitty cat Princess Josie comes home. Of course KeeKee will always be remembered and loved, but I need a new support animal, and I think P.J. will fit the bill just fine. Of course, I’ll have to show her where the litter box is and teach her what she can and cannot scratch. Everything I don’t want chewed my first day out of the apartment will have to be put in the bedroom with the door closed.]

#3. Rest my feet and knees. [As I’ve told my co-workers, I’m not trying to be a wimp here, but I think these three months off will do wonders for my feet and knees. I’ll gladly trade-off a sore behind if it means plenty of pages written.]

#2. Get Four’s a Crowd published and selling. [This is a project that has been going on for several years and we are one proof away, I think, from having it ready to click for sale on CreateSpace.com. We have to find a way to publicize it though, I don’t want this new book to falter and drown like¬†my books have.]

#1. Go to Maine. [I am reserved my cabin and am obviously planning to go to Bear Spring Camps again this summer. My week away from central Pennsylvania will recharge my batteries and get me ready for another year. It always seems to do that.]

Well there you have it, the top ten list of things I will do this summer. I’d like to thank everybody for the 21 views of yesterday’s post. Very encouraging. I hope you all continue to enjoy the blog. Until next week, I bid you a wonderful weekend, take care, and happy reading.

UPDATE: September 5, 2018: To my surprise I actually accomplished eight out of ten. That is a happy surprise to me. It also gives an idea for a blog entry for today. ūüôā

Blog entry #700 – A heartfelt thank you to everyone

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe we’ve arrived at entry #700. I’ve blogged about many topics over the years, as has Rebecca, and I always think that I’m going to run out of topics to blog about. Then a new one presents itself, like today’s topic of losing local businesses due to on-line shopping.

This blog averages about 20 reads a day, which is not as many as a big writer like John Scalzi will get on his blog, but I am certainly happy with it. Rebecca and I are read all over the world and very proud to be. I noticed just last week we had a read from India. As I like to say on my YouTube videos, “Wowzers.”

Again, thank you so much for hanging with us these last six plus years with no end in sight. I appreciate all of you. I like sharing my thoughts and experiences with others, and having such great feedback from you.

On to the other topic, one of State College’s long-time stores, the Bon Ton, is getting ready to close. The clothing store has been around since the mid-80s. With our mall, the Nittany Mall, losing several stores recently, it has made me think just how destructive on-line buying truly is. Sure it is convenient, you whip out your credit card, find what you want, add it to the cart, pay for it, and within a few days it is at your doorstep. What could be easier? Just so you don’t call me a hypocrite, I’ll confess that I am just as guilty as you are. I’ve purchased on-line many times. What a lot of folks fail to realize is, in my opinion, that over the long run, if you shop from a store’s website, say Sears or J.C. Penney’s, and don’t give your local dollars to your local store, eventually that store will go out of business, as ours have. I see stories on Google weekly about how numerous companies are closing a number of stores nationwide. As a child, I never thought that Sears would be this close to extinction. Are there issues other than on-line buying? I’m quite certain; bad management for one. But there is no doubt that the convenience of on-line purchasing is destroying local businesses. I made a New Year’s resolution to spend my money at local stores more often, and buy less on-line. I urge everyone to do so. Then if your favorite hardware store goes out of business, you can say, “I shopped there, I did my part.”

I’m sorry if that sounded like I was ranting and raving, but just the other day I overheard two college girls talking about the Bon Ton closing and the one girl said to her friend, “But yeah, you like shop on-line all the time.” They were the like twins, every third word was like. But that pet peeve is for another blog entry.

Finally, Central PA is enjoying a three-day heat wave with temperatures in the low 60s F. I will take it. I don’t know what that corresponds to in Celsius, but I do know that you flip 61 F you get 16 C. The next several days will be in the 40s with rain … every day. Get out the boots and the rain coat. No frigid temperatures are expected however, so the down coat might be able to stay on the coat tree hook. ūüôā

Well there it is, #700. Thanks to everyone for reading the blog this long. We will have another blog entry for you tomorrow.

Take care, have a great day, and for the 700th time, happy reading.

From Rebecca: Is the weather cold where you are?

As Joe wrote yesterday, he is taking a personal day to get things done and I am doing the blog post today. He might do an entry himself in the next few days, depending on his energy level.

We are in a cold weather pattern in central Pennsylvania this week, and probably next week, too, with below freezing temperatures. It feels like January and February out there, so I guess our new year started early. People are going to have to bundle up for the First Night State College series of events this weekend. At least the ice sculptures¬† won’t melt this year, like they do in years when we have weather in the 40s on New Year’s Eve. I love seeing the ice sculptures in the following days, matching the designs to the organizations that commissioned them. For example, Centre Area Transportation Authority usually has a small ice replica of one of their buses outside their downtown office.

It was very cold yesterday, and for waiting at the bus stops and walking to and from working with Joe, I had all my winter weather clothes on. I had on two pairs of socks, sweatpants over my slacks, a hoodie, my coat, and gloves. I have a new coat, a bulky unwieldy heavy annoyance that I call blanket-coat. I like the length, but the pockets are an inch too low for me to really use. The best part of this garment is that it keeps me warm. I was standing at the bus stop for ten minutes on the way home with the temperature of 11 degrees F and I didn’t feel at all cold in blanket-coat. That was awesome.

For all of you who are also struggling with cold weather and snow, I hope you end each day safe, warm, and comfortable this winter. Happy New Year.

Until next Wednesday, or until Joe puts up another entry this week, have a good week, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: The eclipse last Monday

As most people in the world know, last Monday, August 21, 2017, the moon passed in front of the sun for a total eclipse. The path went over the United States and a lot of people went to places where they could experience the totality, some traveling for hours or even all day. Other areas not under the direct line got a partial eclipse. A lot of excitement built for the day. For weeks people on TV and the internet talked about it, and gave the same advice to not look at the sun without special glasses, to avoid eye damage and blindness.

I didn’t get special glasses or make a pinhole viewer, so I made sure not to look up at the sun during the partial eclipse that we got here in central Pennsylvania. I did see it get dim outside, and the light turned a strange yellow for a few minutes. Then it was back to normal again. Still kind of cool to join in with other people even that little bit.

I was interested enough to watch the coverage the network stations had on. They had correspondents in several towns on the totality line and would show what they experienced as the eclipse moved from west to east. I switched channels a bit, but mainly watched the NBC and ABC folks. The viewing audience and I watched people react to the sky turning dim, then dark, as they witnessed the moon move in front of the sun, obscure it, and then pop a ball of light from one side as the moon moved on to reveal the sun. I enjoyed watching the process, over and over, from each location. It looked magnificent.

There was a lot said and written about this event bringing people together for something other than anger, and it does seem like our nation put down its usual problems for one day to share in an amazing natural phenomenon. Something awesome and awe inspiring.

As Joe says, until next Wednesday, take care, have a great week, and happy reading.

More plans for this summer

Greetings, readers. Last week I blogged about my plans for a restful summer and those plans are still in place. However, a dose of reality set in and if I am going to get married next year I had better get myself a job, and perhaps further my education. I am currently looking at Southern New Hampshire University on-line. I have seen and heard some good things about it. The only bug-a-boo would be the overall cost.

I looked at Southern New Hampshire University about a year or so ago and it was not a good fit then. But I have found a major/course of study in creative writing with emphasis on script writing. Right up my alley. If the school experience doesn’t break my bank, I think this would be well worth it. Not only would it flex my muscles and get me writing things other than the blog, but it might very well prepare me to be able to work in the television industry. That would be awesome.

The other big news is that I got myself an application for a local eatery and I’m going for it. I was not going to get a job until after I got back from camp, but if I could get hired, I could begin earning money right away. Although the wedding reception will not be extravagant, it will not be cheap either. We need, “money, money, money¬†… money.”

It is sunny and warm in central Pennsylvania; something I’ve been¬†waiting a long time¬†for. I am definitely a late spring and summer person. Here in State College we¬†expect a high temperature¬†of 87-89 F. degrees. Three days ago we were struggling to break 55. What a difference. If I had my way, with Joe’s weather’s machine, I would have bright¬†sunny days with white puffy clouds, some showers at night to keep everything green and looking beautiful, and snow on the ground around the winter holiday time. Obviously, no such machine exists. Bah humbug.

Lastly, I’ve got a doctor’s appointment right after work tomorrow, but we should have time to put a blog entry up before I have to go. I’ve had pain in my head for almost two weeks now. It is not crippling, just damn annoying. Please wish me luck on finding out what this is.

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

Oh, what a storm we had

Greetings, readers. In central Pennsylvania this past Monday evening we had a one of the worst thunderstorms I’ve experienced in a long time. The clouds grew dark, the wind whipped up to past 50 miles an hour, and there was a torrential downpour. At its worst, the rain was coming down sideways. I was certainly glad that I was inside.

We had known about the coming storm all day and I caught many people throughout the morning checking out the weather apps on their¬†smartphones to keep track of the impending storm.¬†These folks wanted to get all their chores done and get home. I was with Traci at a doctor’s appointment and luckily, though it was windy, the rain waited until we got home.

Around 6pm the rains came. The power in my building flickered, went off for 30 seconds, and came back on. People in my building were lucky. Others around the area, such as Rebecca and Darren, not so much; they lost power for almost 3 hours. Some folks in the outlying areas had to wait until the next morning for their power to be restored, and in other areas, according to the Centre Daily Times,¬†it might still be off until later today. Rebersburg, PA. got a¬†F1 tornado.¬†¬†Many trees and power lines blew down. A friend of mine who is a CATA¬†bus driver told me that her daughter lost all the big trees in her back yard. I remember as a child how much I loved our big old trees¬†at my house. I would have been devastated if a storm blew them all down. The bus driver also told me about her eerie ride home after work where all the businesses and street lights were dark where she lived. Years ago in a different power outage, I drove in the same conditions¬†and it was strange. I had arrived at Denny’s just after the lights went out and¬†I¬†had to go back home without the aid of¬†street and traffic lights; the intersections¬†had been¬†extremely dangerous.

After the rain the cooler temperatures rolled in and it is going to remain cool all week. Now I’m not complaining, but it is May. We should be in the 60s and 70, not in the upper 40 and mid 50s. This blogger is not very happy. But as I told the bus driver last evening, Mother Nature is fickle and can do anything she wants, we have no control over it.

Briefly, I saw a diagram on the Weather Channel depicting that the cool temperatures will be with us all week. There will a stalled low pressure system over our area because a high pressure system in the Atlantic ocean is not letting the weather system move off the East coast. Cool and rainy, not good unless you are a flower. Lol.

Switching gears, I’m taking a personal day tomorrow and Rebecca has agreed to post a From Rebecca entry for me,¬†which I am sure will be a good one. Please look forward to that tomorrow. Take care, and until next week, happy reading.

Learning to cope with my clinical depression

Greetings, readers. It is a mostly sunny day here in Central Pennsylvania and that is helping my overall mood. I must admit though that over the weekend I was in a funk. I’m big on re-examining my life, wondering what changes I could have made¬†so that¬†things would have turned out better. I’ve got to stop doing this. I told Rebecca this morning I feel like I am not living, I’m simply existing.

Do I laugh when I am with people? Of course. I go out to my appointments, visit Traci, and do all the things I need to do during the day. In other words, I can function. The evening and night-time though are a different story. When it gets dark outside, so does my mood.

I was watching YouTube videos of a most sad topic and as I have done in the past, I kept clicking next video. I was doing research for a possible blog post on the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent conspiracy theories by watching a couple of movies and the footage from¬†CNN¬†from the day of the attack.¬†By the time midnight rolled around, I knew I had to get to sleep, but I didn’t want to. I turned out all the lights and just laid there with my eyes open. I didn’t want to dream, I didn’t want to sleep, I just kept thinking about all those people in those towers whose lives were snuffed out for no good reason at all.

On Monday, I did lots of flight simulation, looking at the clear blue sky at 39,000 feet. After that, I finished off the first reading of Darren’s novel. In a few days I will start my fine-tooth comb¬†reading of it, and then we will turn it over to Rebecca for one final check over. When that is done, Four’s a Crowd will be complete. Thumbs up.

I guess what I am really trying to say in this blog entry is that I need to begin to live, and not just exist. As my regular readers know, I love to go back and reminisce about when life was good. I’ve got news for you folks. Any day you wake up alive is a good day. If you don’t believe me, try waking up dead. I have a couple of ideas I am going to try out¬†to help me, one of which is chakra energy¬†work or yoga, and the other is inspirational books or audio tapes.

My kitty cat is nuzzling me right now, saying it’s time for dinner, so I think I will conclude this entry here, and let you know we will have another one for you tomorrow, most likely a top ten list.

So until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

I had a very strange dream about my best friend last night

Greetings, readers. A very bizarre incident took place early this morning as I was sleeping. I have been known to dream and remember a good portion of them. But this dream, about my best friend, Dave Trost, was not only extremely vivid but also quite unsettling. I wouldn’t call it a nightmare, but it sure wasn’t fun.

Dave and I were in a terrible fight and the friendship was ending. We had both, “had enough,” and were giving back to one another the gifts and other things that we had exchanged over the years. As I lay sleeping, I actually remember wanting this scenario to be over. Where ever we were – it was not my apartment or my parents’ house – I just wanted to leave. Luckily around that time kitty-cat Keekee came to the rescue and woke me up.

About 11:00 this morning, still worried about this dream, I texted David and asked him if he was okay, fully expecting him to tell me that everything was fine and that I was over-reacting to whatever it was. Lo and behold, he called me back and told me that he also had a dream, where he was run over by a local bus from my area (where he used to live.) He was not killed, but we were together in his dream and I was quite upset. That is where the hair on the back of my neck stood up, when I realized that both of our dreams were quite negative and seemed connected. I know that twins sometimes get these dreams when one of them is in trouble, but I think buddy-and-brother David and I are on that same wave length. Most intriguing.

What does all this mean? Well, he is obviously okay, so perhaps I was psychically picking up bad vibrations from his dream. Who knows? I have these bizarre and disturbing dreams about once or twice a year. Hopefully this one about Dave will the only disturbing dream I have for a good six months. I’ve been told that conversations sometimes spark dreams, but I hadn’t talked to David in over a week. I guess that is what really made the dream unusual. Dave said he was going to keep an eye on it and let me know if he has any other dreams.

That is the big news for today. I have my therapy session tomorrow and the dream will be discussed first. I’m sure the doctor will have plenty to talk to me about to help me understand it.

On a side note, it is gorgeous weather here in central PA, mostly sunny with a high of 70 degrees. In early March, I will take every day like that I can get.

More than likely, there will be a from Rebecca blog entry on Friday. Until then, we both bid you a great couple of days, take care, and, as always, happy reading.