Tag Archives: comments

The Secret House, a short story

Greetings, readers. As promised, here is the short story for today’s blog entry. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think in the comments section or on Facebook.

It was 9:30 in the evening, time for Toby to go to bed. The eleven-year-old still had lots of energy and going to sleep was the last thing on his mind. He wanted to explore the secret trap door he had found in the guest room closet. Toby decided to change into his more comfortable pajamas and much lighter bedroom slippers. That way Mom and Dad might not hear him sneaking around.

After changing, Toby, with flashlight in hand, quietly snuck down the hallway of the second floor. They had moved in three weeks ago and he had still not explored all the nooks and crannies. The day before, right as his mother called him for dinner, Toby discovered the hatch door in the cupboard of the guest room closet. This is where he was headed tonight.

Toby switched on the lamp which was sitting on the chest of drawers and gently closed the guest room door. He opened the closet door quietly, grasped a pull chain, and clicked on the lightbulb. He grabbed the step stool which was sitting by his right foot and gently placed it right underneath the hatch door. What surprises would he find when he opened that hatch? He might not find anything but a dusty old attic. But Toby had to know. He pushed up on the panel and moved it over to where he could hoist himself up and get his first glimpse of the surroundings. He was amazed at what he saw.

It was a lavishly decorated bedroom. Toby’s jaw dropped. He climbed up into the room and switched his flashlight off. There was a full mirror over the dresser, a huge queen-sized bed with a maroon comforter on top and many fluffy pillows. Toby very quietly called out, “Hello?” He wasn’t expecting an answer and didn’t get one. An alarm clock, lamp, and hairbrush were on one nightstand and the other nightstand just contained a small lamp which was filling the room with light. Toby wanted desperately to open up one of the dressers, but somehow thought alarms would go off so he didn’t. As he was about to head for the hatch, he noticed that there was a doorway seeming to lead to another room. He walked through.

A large living room met Toby and this room had every conceivable piece of electronic equipment you could possibly want for entertainment. There was a 60-inch big screen TV on the wall, an expensive stereo with top brand speakers, a Foosball table, and an air hockey machine. Toby whispered to himself, “I would never have to leave here.” Toby noticed another doorway.

Stepping through, he came to the kitchen and dining room area and quickly came to the realization that he had stumbled on to an entire house. Was it really all his own? Wouldn’t that be amazing. Toby searched the refrigerator and it was well stocked with good food and snacks. He panicked. Does someone really live here? Did Toby step through a door to another dimension? Did he step into the Twilight Zone? He called out hello again and got no answer.

From the kitchen he walked to a den and noticed a door that seemed to lead outside. There was a small window by the door but Toby couldn’t see out of it. All he saw was a thick white fog. Toby unlocked the door and opened it. He was almost afraid to step out. There was absolute nothingness, white fog, as far as the eye could see. Toby very quietly closed the door and made sure to re-lock it. What might be lurking on the other side scared him. Figuring he had done enough exploring for one night, he quietly walked back through the set of rooms the way he came. He lowered himself down and found the stool with his feet. He closed the hatch door, hoping his house would be there the next time he wanted to explore it. But what was outside?

Toby used the bathroom before returning to his bedroom, just in case his parents heard footsteps. As he jumped into bed, he was surprised that only a few minutes had passed since he had changed into his pajamas. Maybe I will call this the Toby Dimension, he thought to himself as he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

There is the first of a least a few short stories that the blog will showcase. I just thought I’d try my hand at it, to limber up the creative muscles. I hope you enjoy it, and as always, Rebecca and I will see you next week, so do take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

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Facebook link on this blog

Greetings, readers. This is a short note about how my blog site works. I know many of you, my regular readers, are also friends with me on Facebook, and some of you are not. I have a link to my Facebook page on this blog site, but I know it won’t work for anyone who I am not already friends with there. I often invite people to leave comments on the blog topic of the day, either here or on Facebook. I want to acknowledge that I know the link only works for some of you. I welcome comments on either site with great appreciation.

If you are not my friend on Facebook, and you want to be, you can give me a request on Facebook and mention you know me from here, or leave me a comment below. I will be honored to accept. My Facebook name is Joseph Kockelmans.

On a different topic, this blog entry has to be short for Rebecca and I must get right to work on a pressing insurance issue. So until next week, I bid all of you a great few days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

My Summer Car help request and other topics

Greetings, readers. I know I just blogged about My Summer Car not too long ago, but it continues to bother me. In the latest update, the creator of the game added a wonderful moped (to me it looks like a dirt bike) and it is the only vehicle that I can drive with my frame-rate problem. Yes, that is my issue. Even on the crappiest settings, my frame-rates are horrendous. The van barely moves, as well as the diesel truck, and the boat won’t start, so I am forced to use the moped to get to town. That in itself was fun, I was finally able to buy things at the store, however I have no vehicle to get the items back home, as there is no basket on the moped.

I created a YouTube video approximately 5 minutes in length describing my woes of playing My Summer Car. If anybody can give me some tips or pointers on how to make the game run better, or any game with frame-rate problems, please leave your suggestions in the comment area either here or on my Facebook page. I would greatly appreciate any help.

Okay, on to other news. I found out that my idea for my new writing project cannot be done. Not only are the folks I was going to write it for basically finished with their productions, but the list of restrictions from the Star Trek world governed by CBS and Paramount are so ridiculously stupid that I can’t even work with them. For instance, your project can only by 15 minutes long or 2 parts for a total of 30 minutes. It has to be family friendly, so there goes any fight scenes or phaser battles, and I wouldn’t even be able to show them having a drink. Lord forbid little Johnny or Susie see the characters drinking Romulan ale. The whole thing is so frustrating.

I actually had a good idea with a strong story and subplot. I was excited about the project, and then just for giggles I wanted to see what the guidelines actually were. My excitement faded away quickly. I think I’m still going to do the project just for the writing experience. It would definitely get those writing muscles working again and boost my creativity. Will the story be able to be produced by anybody? I doubt it. Oh well, so it goes.

Okay, I’m done ranting and raving. I do have one other thing I want to share with you. Last week I had a comment in the spam filter that I deleted, but the question was close enough to a real one that I thought I’d answer it, in case I was wrong about it being from a spam bot. It asked about how I do the coding for this blog, and do I use html code. WordPress is a great host that does the work for me, even though I am using their free version. I log into my account, see a dashboard with different categories, click Add New Post, and I have a window to type the blog entry into, with easy to use features to put in a category and tags. When I am ready, I click Publish, and WordPress puts it live on my page. I would recommend WordPress.com to anyone who wants to do a blog, even if they are not tech savvy.

There’s my blog entry for today. Again, please if you would, watch that YouTube video and give me any help you can.

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

A low-key day, plus a movie

Greetings, readers. I just woke up from a nap and my eyes are killing me. Sometimes when I sleep my sinuses back up and put pressure on my eyeballs, causing pressure and blurriness. After a while, my vision goes back to normal. This phenomenon makes typing a problem to say the least, but I shall push on.

Yesterday’s entry about taking a favorite old TV show and writing an updated version of it got comments on Facebook, letting me know that two ideas I had are already in the works by other people. It figures. I told Rebecca yesterday that I will find a TV show or movie idea and reboot it and this news does not change my mind. Oh! But don’t worry, if an original idea also bonks me over my noggin’, I’ll most certainly add that to the list.

On to another topic. Today I’m finally going to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I’m really looking forward to seeing a Star Wars film without most of the characters I know, such as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I’m sure I’ll love it.

After I get home I shall call bingo, then I’ll watch a little bit of TV before going to sleep. Next Wednesday I plan on posting that top ten list I’ve been promising. 😉 So until then, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

Oh, what a day I’ve had

Greetings, readers. From the start of the morning I was behind schedule. I had a little bit of a … shall we say lower intestinal issue. That makes me an unhappy camper. By the time I was feeling better, morning errands and such had to be done later than I had planned. Hence, I asked Rebecca to meet me 45 minutes later than we normally do.

We started out doing the usual thing; checking our blog numbers from yesterday. I was very happy to see that the numbers were good. There was a comment to read too, from someone who had commented on yesterday’s post, then I replied to him, and he replied to my reply! We followed the link to his blog, and then checked out his twitter page.

After that, my stomach started gurgling and I ate my lunch. Usually I don’t eat in front of Rebecca, but when tummy talks, I listen. I am still operating on the Bear Spring Camps meal schedule, which serves the big dinner at mid-day.

Next we checked Facebook and Twitter, as we always do, and replied to people who sent me messages. After that, I needed to call Verizon to check on something about my current bill. With that done, we had just enough time for this surprise Thursday blog entry. So surprise! 🙂

Look for the 2016 Bear Spring Camps review blog post tomorrow. Continued thoughts and prayers go out to the devastated families in the floods in the south and in the fire spots on the west coast.

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

Thank you for making yesterday’s post the second highest day of views ever

Greetings, readers. Last night around 10:30 I turned on the computer to check the blog stat numbers as I usually do and I was pleasantly surprised. My average daily views range below 40. When I saw the number 112 on the screen I just about fell off my chair. I thought my mom’s tribute piece would resonate and it did. I wrote from my heart about a day that was difficult for me and you responded with love and kindness.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, my readers, not only on WordPress but also from Twitter and Facebook. The love I felt this morning, reading all the Facebook comments from folks I went to school and to camp with really made me feel comforted. And then I saw the comments from a few of you on my blog and I felt even more blessed. Mom was loved by many people and her loss has effected each one of us.

Again, thank you so much for leaving your kind words and comments and for your support.

Tomorrow I have a personal day due to a doctor’s appointment during work time, so until next Wednesday, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Ok folks, what’s the best brand of laptop today???

Greetings, readers. My ASUS computer is five and a half years old now and, although it is not in top condition, it still does everything I need it to do. The question is, for how much longer will it continue to work? It really is not considered a gaming computer, though through Steam I do play American Truck Simulator, Train Simulator, and before those, Euro Truck Simulator 2. All three titles, as you can imagine, are graphic intensive. I had to put the graphic settings on minimal just to get the games to run.

Within a year, probably less than that, the time will come for the old laptop to be replaced. My accountant understands this and I’m sure will budget some money for that purchase. I would like to get a laptop that has a better graphics card, so I can truly enjoy the full beauty of these simulators. Also, for our writing projects, the word processing system must be easy to use. I know that Windows 10 … or whatever version is the newest … has a touch screen option. That sounds like fun, but after a couple of days I will probably want to switch that option off, if I can.

What brand to buy, what brand to buy? Years ago I owned a Toshiba which was very good; I had that until I lost it during a bus trip. About six months ago, I went to Best Buy for a preliminary look-see and saw brands such as Acer, HP, Toshiba, ASUS, and others. I’ll be honest with you folks, this computer has been a Sherman tank. I want my next computer to last as long as this one has. The two obvious choices would be ASUS or Toshiba; the brands I have had and I know last a long time. Again, I must stay within my budget for said purchase. I cannot go out and buy a $3,000 desktop or $1,500 laptop.

If anyone has recently purchased a computer they are happy with, please share your story here or on my Facebook page. Also, please chime in with your suggestions and experiences.

As stated yesterday, this will be the last blog entry until next Wednesday, for my Beatles sing-a-long show is tomorrow. Rebecca and I will be doing that tomorrow. I bid you a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. Video segments or pictures of all my shows to come soonest.

What my blog means to me

Greetings, readers. Rebecca actually came up with the idea of doing a blog, and it was a good one. I’ve been writing my blog now since December 2012, with 254 entries. I must tell you though, that when I first began, I didn’t have a clue as to what I would be writing about. I thought to myself, surely my day isn’t important enough that people would want to read about it. But lo and behold, people were and still are. I love technology when it works.

The blog entry which has received the most views is Remembering my father, Professor Joseph J. Kockelmans. When it first came out I had an idea that it might be a biggie, but even I am shocked to see that it averages a view per day. Wow! Oddly enough, the Top ten list of modern conveniences gets viewed several times a week. At first that was a head scratcher, but with my blog available worldwide, I think people want to check out what I consider to be modern conveniences. Also, an entry that is viewed regularly is the Top ten list of Air Crash Investigation stories. I believe this coincides with when actual air crashes happen and people use those search terms and my entry must come up.

What does the blog actually mean to me? It means self-expression. It allows me to say hey world, this is what I think today … whether it is important or not. To this day I’ve never had a commenter writer in and say how stupid the blog entry was, so I must be pleasing people. Granted, I only get a non-spam comment once in a blue moon, so it is a three-star banner day when it does happen. Again, I must admit when Rebecca suggested this to me I thought dear Lord, this is going to be a disaster. However, three words can sum it all up. Oh, what fun. I can honestly say, I don’t know if I will ever close down the blog. We’ve averaged two blogs a week. That might slow down at some point, but as for closing it, I don’t think so.

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

Technology … Grrr 3

Greetings, readers. OMG! It took Rebecca and I about an hour to download one photo from my cell phone to my computer so that it could be sent via email to my dear Godmother. This technological task probably would have taken a ten year-old two minutes. After several trials and errors, we were able to successfully complete the task.

For my dear Godmother’s birthday

This prompted today’s blog entry. Today, technology did not win but it came damn close. I was literally five seconds away from throwing phone and computer against the office wall. Do I need anger management??? Perhaps just a deep breath.

After the photo was sent and the cord was unplugged from the computer, my phone began talking to me as it does so often when I hit a button by accident. This slim-line Verizon has buttons on three sides which makes it difficult for someone with bad dexterity to avoid hitting a button at the wrong time. My contract, I do believe, will be over either this August or next for this particular phone. When it is time for an upgrade, I will definitely get a more Joe-friendly model.

On a lighter note, but also dealing with today’s topic, last week I went to take a cute picture of Keekee the kitty cat, but hit the button too early and took a picture of my shoe. Ok, ok, that actually gave me a chuckle. Now that I have vented a few paragraphs, I feel better.

As a p.s., not relating to this topic, I do hope that more readers will chime in from time to time with comments and questions about past blog posts. Rebecca and I will do our best to reply. Until next time, take care and happy reading.

I’m new here so please….

Hi readers. I am having a little bit of trouble sorting through my spam folder. Some of the comments are obviously spam (filled with gibberish for example) and those are easy. Some look like real comments, but when I click on the website link it takes me to a business website (like for an online bank) or to one in another language. They might be real, or they might be spam. I’m having a lot of trouble telling.

If you write a comment on my blog, and you don’t see it show up in a day or two, it might have shown up as spam and I deleted it. Please try again, and put either your first name or my name in the body of the comment so I know a person wrote it. You could also add a specific detail from the blog post you are commenting on, to let me know it is real and to give me more feedback on my writing.

I want to have a community of people reading and responding to my blog posts. I will be responding personally in the comments when the opportunity comes up. I just need to figure out this spam vs. real people thing.