Tag Archives: construction

Getting back into the groove

Greetings, readers. When vacation is over it is true that I do like to come home and get the year in between camp started. However, it seems to take me a long time to get out of what I call camp mode. That is, simply, not watching TV at night, looking at a YouTube video of a bonfire, or listening to a recording of crickets. It is a simpler way of life up there and I love it. Granted, I do pack my computer bag and go into town for coffee and internet at least once during the vacation week.

With fresh writing ideas in my mind, I’ve been jotting down notes and will soon be ready to begin one of two writing projects. I have two strong candidates but I’ve not narrowed it down yet. I take phone calls for a company part-time and that brings in a little bit of money. I don’t work very many hours yet but at least it is something. I’ll probably have to get a second job somewhere down the line. The more income for next year’s camp, the better.

On to a different topic, I just reached for my water bottle and the proverbial sword went into my shoulder. I cannot wait until September 4th; for those of you who didn’t read the last blog entry, I am having an arthroscopic procedure done to get rid of bone chips and “shave” the area around the bones of the shoulder. Thank goodness my rotator cuff is fine. You see, readers, I am allergic to pain and I think if my rotator cuff was torn, I would be screaming right now. I’m getting queasy just thinking about it. Prayers please for September 4th and beyond. There will be rehab needed.

Lastly, the building next door is growing by leaps and bounds. I have lost some of the view of the nearby Days Inn and the new apartment building is nowhere near finished. I’ve been told by two people now that it is also going to have a tower on the roof (reason unknown) so next July 4th I’ll be watching my fireworks from the parking garage across the street. Boo hiss.

As I close, prayers go out to all who were effected yesterday by all the violent storms, and for those in Pennsylvania, batten down the hatches for we are expected to get storms today.

I’m not certain if I will put up a Sunday blog entry or not, so we will say until next Wednesday, take care, have a great week, love to all, and happy reading.

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My spring cleaning begins a week from tomorrow

Greetings, readers. Yes, I have set my date of April 22nd, to begin my spring cleaning. I’m going to take this week to do lots of writing on my two projects. Work begins promptly at 9 AM tomorrow. I’ll also spend this week tweaking my spring and summer schedule, which not only includes the aforementioned, but also making plans for my trip to Maine in August.

We’ll begin with the trip to Maine. I began going to Bear Spring Camps in 1970, and have only missed three years. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this year… perhaps next, will be my last. As my monetary means run dry, I’m saving up for one last extraordinary vacation. I want it to be a cruise, but recently I’ve seen some articles about cruise ships that are making me think twice. When the time feels right, and the right deal pops up, I’m certain that the dream vacation on the sea will be a go!

With the sunrise earlier and earlier, I think it’s time that I begin getting out of bed before 6 AM. I used to wake up at 3:45 every morning, but that got a bit taxing on my body. So, I pushed it up to six. With the construction people working next door, if I worked from 4:30 until they began working at six, I could have an hour and a half of quiet and solitude for writing. Even though the jack hammers aren’t making noise anymore, trucks and concrete mixers make their own bothersome sounds. When I used to type my material, I would listen to music from the Star Wars albums. Those were quite inspirational to me, but quite impractical when using the speech recognition program. I’m certain I’ll find that happy medium.

Now for the big task! As mentioned earlier, April 22nd, will be the big day that this swamp I call my apartment gets cleaned out. Will this task be completed in one day? No way! I’m looking at a two or three-week task. You see, I can’t clean eight hours a day. With my delicate system, I have to clean for perhaps only an hour at a time, before either taking a break or stopping for the day. First up… the kitchen. That’s not in bad shape at all. I expect I can get that done in an hour or so. When it comes time to go through the mounds of junk on my two broken recliners, a.k.a. dead red and dead blue, I’ll have to have plenty of trash bags and a dust mask. The two areas of the apartment I’m dreading most are the bedroom and the walk-in closet. The back-left corner of the bedroom is one ‘storage area’, while the walk-in closet houses a lifetime of videotapes and DVDs, as well as a plethora of miscellaneous junk. I’m going to need a hand with the closet. Fear not, I shall get it done.

There is today’s blog entry. Continued prayers go out to all who need it. I bid everyone a fantastic few days. Rebecca will be back on Wednesday, and will have a new entry up by 1 PM.

Until then, do take care, love one another, be safe, and as always, happy reading.

Go away you darned polar vortex

Greetings. readers. Good morning from what feels like the arctic, though I know it is colder there. Here in central Pennsylvania we are under a wind chill advisory for this afternoon and tonight. The temperature was a balmy 4 degrees F and tonight it will be a low of -4 with a wind chill well below that. I really hate it when it gets this cold because with my seizure issues going from extreme cold to room temperature can throw me into a tizzy. I must enter whatever building I am going into and sit down for a moment to let myself acclimate to the warmer temperature.

On the plus side, this weather is fantastic for getting house work done, writing, the continuation of my new baseball gaming league, etc. Tonight if a friend of mine does not call off, I am going to dart over to Panera … only a few hundred yards away … and have an early supper. Thank goodness for my harf (my knit hat with scarf attached), thank you to Becky F’s friend or family member who knit it for me. Another plus of this cold weather is that all the diesel in the construction zone’s machines has basically turned to glue. The big gate is locked up and there are no workers working. For once I don’t need to shout to Rebecca over a blasted pile driver. I’ve been driven so crazy by that machine, any break I can get is a welcome relief.

My new Out of the Park Baseball league is down on paper. Later today I will go into the game itself and begin construction. I was thinking about doing a YouTube channel series as I play the game with a team of my choice, but so far a lack of interest from my followers is making me think twice about that idea. It takes a long time to upload a video to YouTube, and I would have to put a sign on my front door so that anyone passing in the hallway would not think that the crazy guy is talking to himself. Lol.

To end this first blog we will write today, #799, let me explain what is to come. After Rebecca and I edit this one, we shall publish, click to Facebook and make sure it comes up on Twitter, and then we will get right to work on blog entry #800! After editing and spell checking, we will set it up to go live tomorrow afternoon, not on Sunday. I wanted Rebecca to be here so that #800 was a joint effort, as the milestones have been in the past.

So there is entry #1 for the day and we’ll end it as we always do. Have a wonderful day, stay warm if you are in the arctic blast, prayers to all the people in the world who need it at this time, and as always, happy reading.

I wish I lived in a house

Greetings, readers. This morning, I was going to do a few loads of laundry. Two things prevented me from doing so. Another tenant beat me to the washing machine by minutes. And I only had change to wash and dry one load. Here are some of the advantages if I owned a house.

First of all, the laundry machine would not require coins. Second, I could do as many loads as I wanted to throughout the day. I wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting my load of laundry while, perish the thought, someone else was waiting for the machine. Another advantage of owning a home is that I would not be living downtown here next to this horrendous construction. Yes, I know construction happens in rural areas, it is just that this last month has tested my patience so much that at times I wanted to walk into their construction site and drain the diesel out of all their machinery.

I would have much more room and having to move out of this apartment would give me the opportunity to clean out once and for all and only take what I want and need with me. I don’t see this happening, because of money issues, but oh there are times when I wished I owned a home. The laundry room has hours of operation, meaning that I can’t sneak in quietly at 2:00am and wash a load of sweatshirts. It 8am to 10pm and 99.9 percent of all people here do it in those hours. Every once in a while you will find a cluck who has already begun their wash at 7:00 or 7:30 in the morning. Is that a horrendous faux pas? No, but it isn’t 8:00 either.

I’m not saying all apartment life is bad. I’m downtown near stores, bus stops, the library, and wonderful eateries. I am very thankful to have the roof over my head, a nice pet, a kick-butt TV, and a working PS3 … when it decides it wants to turn on. But make no mistake, if I ever win the lottery, I’m buying a mansion, complete with staff. Let us know in the comments what you would do if you won the lottery. Would you buy a car, house, or boat? I would give 10 percent to charity, buy my family and friends niceties that they have always wanted, and treat myself. And yes, folks, I have learned from my mistakes, I would bank the rest.

The downsides of owning a home is that you are responsible for all repairs and general upkeep, not the apartment maintenance person. If anything breaks around here, I call John. If my plumbing would go bad in my house, I would call Roto Rooter  and then open my wallet wide. There truly is no perfect world.

That’s today’s blog. We’ll be back with another one tomorrow. I bid you a fantastic day, spread love around, take care, and happy reading.

What a strange evening I had yesterday

Greetings, readers. Around 5:00 yesterday afternoon I got into one of those funky moods that comes over me now and then. So what did I do last night? I tortured myself with four and a half hours of the best of YouTube marriage proposal compilation videos and pregnancy announcement videos. Boy am I a glutton for punishment. It got me thinking about my life and where I stand right now, without a wife and kids.

Most people would watch one, maybe two, but no, I just kept hitting next video. I will admit I saw some really great marriage proposals. I also saw some pregnancy videos where the grandparents-to-be did not know that there was more than one baby about to be born. My personal favorite was when the mommy said here is your grandson, waited a few seconds and then said and here’s his brother, to which everyone in the room screamed. Rebecca had a good point when I told her about this; why would you not tell your family about a multiple birth? Some people just want to surprise their families so badly.

I purposefully stayed away from the other set of videos that tends to torture me, which are soldiers coming home and surprising their wives, girlfriends, children, parents, etc. Oh, that starts the flood, they really pull the heartstrings with me, especially when Daddy comes home to the kids.

It is now several minutes later after I took a break because of the clamoring construction crap going on outside my window. Rebecca and I will have to deal with it the best we can. She had construction by her home for about five years. My nightmare just began in July. I have approximately two years left before the building next door is completed. Hopefully the new stores slated to be in the lower half of the building will bring jobs and prosperity to our area. A couple of them are going to be clothing stores and I’m hoping that at least one store will have some kind of groceries or basic supplies. Our CVS store was in the demolished building where this new apartment complex is going to stand. I went to that CVS often for a great many things. Maybe in a couple of months it will be published in the newspaper exactly what businesses will be going in the new building.

There’s today’s blog entry. We’ll see you next week with entries on Wednesday and Thursday. I bid everyone a great weekend, stay safe, give your family members a hug, and as always, happy reading.

Top ten list of things I loath about construction sites

Greetings, readers. Yesterday when I came up with this title, I must admit I was quite upset. Perhaps loath is a bit strong. Let’s go with perturbed; I think Rebecca agrees with me on the terminology. The construction, which really got started a few months ago, does irk me. So here comes my list of the top ten things that perturb me about the next door construction site, in no proper order except number two and one.

#10. The constant rumbling noises from 7:00am until 5:00pm. [Usually these construction sites are elsewhere and I’m in a car or on a bus when I go by them. I rarely hear them. Being right next to an active construction site is much different.]

#9. The on and off beeping of the Caterpillar machinery of various types moving forwards and backwards. [Yes, dear readers, these beep when they move forward as well.]

#8. The loading of the dump trucks. [When they drop heavy boulders in an empty dump truck, the noise could rattle Pittsburgh. Yesterday I jumped out of my chair to make sure nothing had tipped over. I do know, however, the area must be cleared and the debris taken away.]

#7. A large looming crane, that I estimate is 10 stories high. [I don’t know why I have an irrational fear of that thing, it seems to be sturdily mounted into the ground, but it is about 50 to 60 yards away from my window. If anything should ever goes wrong and it falls this way, I’m on the top floor. I will be directly in its path. Not good.]

#6. When sitting by the window, if I turn to the left, I may accidentally look at welding in progress. [I probably am far enough away that it will not hurt my eyes, but as some wise person once said, you never know. So I try not to look. Believe me, once they start putting the building up, they will be wielding all day long.]

#5. Multiple machines, such as the backhoes that pick up rocks, the Caterpillar with the jack hammer attachment, and a smaller four-wheel machine to move lighter items into place, all running at the same time in a small space. [Yes, each one is incredibly important for getting this building up in two years, but when you have four of them running at one time it gets a bit much. And let us not forget, when the dump trucks and concrete trucks pull in and do their thing it adds to the chaos and annoyance.]

#4. Dust on parked cars. [I currently don’t own my vehicle, but I’m sure that the folks that park downstairs got lots of dust in the late summer months when the bulldozer was destroying the old brick building that stood in the lot for many decades.]

#3. Mud, gunk, and snow. [So far I have seen multiple construction workers walking in pure mud, sifting through wet rocks with God knows what on them, and yes, they have already had to take a snow day the day central Pennsylvania got almost a foot of snow. They are certainly going to have fun when Mother Nature decides not to cooperate.]

#2. The lack of my beloved store that used to be next door. [Since I moved into Addison Court apartments, until the beginning of this year, we had a beautiful CVS store, one without a pharmacy in it, in the brick building next door. Two floors of apartments were on top of that. Those poor kids had to be either paid to move elsewhere or their leases were simply not renewed; probably the latter. Now I have to walk farther to a small Target store, or hop a bus and go to the Wal-Mart. It’s definitely not as convenient as having something next door. Now for the good news. When the building is completed, supposedly we will have two floors of stores and five floors of apartments for students and “young executives.” I hope to possibly be able to take advantage of one of these stores.]

#1. The all-day-long jack hammer. [For the last two days, the jack hammer began at 7:00am and did not stop until quitting time. I had to play loud music or have some other kind of white noise as background because the noise of the jack hammer was beginning to make my brain go wonky. They have been using the jack hammer for a few weeks, but only recently has it bothered me this much. Our office manager has heard that the jack hammer part of the construction may be over soon. Yay! We’ll see.]

Well, there is my list. If you wish, please drop me a Facebook note or write in the comment section things you hate about construction. Rebecca and I will be back next Wednesday; wouldn’t you know it will already be December. We’ll have another exciting blog entry for you to enjoy then. I have a couple of ideas in mind, however if major world news is in the forefront, that might take precedence. Have a great weekend, give your family a hug, take care, and, as always, happy reading.

Feeling better about myself and my new Keurig came

Greetings, readers. The other week I was horribly depressed as a lot of my regular readers could probably tell. Today, with a slightly better diet and a few sunny days, my mood is much better. Granted, my comfy blue recliner broke in half, and I spilled half a bottle of Coke on the carpet, but other than that, this week has unfolded nicely.

I had been fiddling with X-Plane 11 and I’ve actually found a way that I can make it run satisfactorily. I don’t think I am piloting the plane the way I am supposed to, for instance I don’t file a flight plan because I don’t know how to do that anyway, but at least I am not crashing it anymore. Yay, team. This morning, I got to my cruise altitude of 28,000 feet in a Boeing 737-800 and had blue skies ahead of me. This made me feel wonderful. I had the settings set to an early morning flight and the sun, which was behind the aircraft, was casting a shadow on the control panel. This was my first opportunity to use what they call sunglasses mode. From the view menu, you can select such things as sunglasses, which simply dims the picture, or night vision goggles, if you are flying one of the fighter aircrafts with weapons. By the way, that one I have not tried yet. Who knows, one day I might take one of the fighters, armed with a bomb, and blow up an empty field just to see how it works. It will be nice to see an explosion where I haven’t crashed first.

On to other news, as mentioned in the title, I got my new Keurig today. My old one went kablooey because of the hard water coming out of my faucet. I’m going to use bottled water for this one or pick up a faucet filter attachment. This should keep the new Keurig running much longer than the old one did. I am very pleased that it looks and functions exactly like the old one. This means I know how to use it already, though I will still keep the instruction booklet. I have a special drawer in my kitchen for such pamphlets. I have half a box of K-Cups, which should still be usable, and it is going to be so nice to enjoy making something other than instant coffee. I remember back in the 1970s, when I had to make instant coffee I didn’t like it because the taste was horrible. Today, it is actually pretty good, especially Maxwell House or Folgers.

Next Wednesday I will have a therapy session and I am happy to note that I have been in a much better mood and I am sure she will notice the change. I did take her advice on a couple of things, though I did not talk to my doctor about upping my anti-depression meds. If my depression declines again, I will call the doctor and take that avenue.

There’s today’s entry. We hope you all enjoy. Rebecca and I will be here tomorrow with another blog entry, that I will call The top ten list of things I loath about construction sites. The new building going in next door already has their foundation fairly set, but I’m going to have to endure two years of listening to all sorts of loud, abrasive noises.

We’ll see you tomorrow. I bid you a good day, stay warm if you are in the frigid air, take care and happy reading.

Overhauling the apartment and me

Greetings, readers. Oh how tired I am this morning. I have decided to get my butt out of my chair and actually give this apartment a good spring cleaning a few months early. I’ve talked about it many times and even Rebecca giggles at me now, for she knows that I either won’t do it or can’t maintain the change. This time I am hellbent on doing so.

With Rebecca’s help before the blog entry time we cleaned off the desk and trashed lots of useless stuff. It looks a heck of a lot better already. Is it perfection? Not yet. But I still have big plans. Another big thing we are doing and still will be doing is shredding papers and the election mailers. I had tons of those. With the election now over, hopefully that will stop. The madness of the mailers must stop.

I am concentrating on one room at a time, because it is extremely easy for me to become overwhelmed. When I think of my bedroom, I scream, go into a panic attack, sit down and watch TV for six hours. Suffice it to say that room is my storage unit. That room may require outside help. What an embarrassment that would be. If I chose Molly Maids, or other such services, I would have to make sure to have all my laundry and unmentionables stashed away ahead of time. Then we would be able to plow through the boxes and throw the stuff out. My big problem in the bedroom, is that I am not physically strong enough to lift and toss out heavy boxes. It is true that I would want to go through everything one box at a time, but I am to the point now where I know what is staying and what is going.

I’m trying to concentrate on this blog today, as the construction demons are making their hideous noises next door. We tried to insert a picture of the construction site for you last time around but it got saved to cyberspace, for it was no where on my computer. The cheap digital camera we used has never worked correctly, so it was no big surprise that the attempt to save to the pictures folder didn’t work.

It is a beautiful semi-warm day here. Very nice for central Pennsylvania in November. We will see how long it lasts. I have a feeling I will be back in my down coat by the weekend. Speaking of the weekend, I’ll watch Penn State lose – um play – Wisconsin at noon. It should be a good game if we play well. That is the key. We are already Bowl eligible with six victories, but I don’t want this team to go to the pee-in-toilet bowl. I hate to say it, but maybe it is time for a change in the coaching staff. I like Coach Franklin, but it seems like he can’t motivate his team out of wet paper bag. The Pittsburgh Steelers play tomorrow night, so I’ll have to choose carefully on Sunday. Perhaps the Eagles will be on.

Lastly, continued prayers go out to all the victims and families who need prayers right now. Troubled times don’t pass in mere days. Sometimes they linger. We will continue to pray for you.

Rebecca and I will be back tomorrow with another blog entry, perhaps dealing with yesterday’s election, perhaps not. You know me, I hate blogging about politics. But one thing I can guarantee you of, it will be an interesting blog topic. So until tomorrow, take care, prayers, have a great day, and happy reading.

The verdict is still out on Nuance Dragon voice recognition program

Greetings, readers. I have tried the brand-newest version of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition program, which the creators call a solution. So far I like it. It’s obviously the same product only better. A couple of months ago, The Nuance company sent me a notice that they are discontinuing my version of the solution, and gave me a choice about what I wanted to do. I could continue to use my current version, number 13, without tech support and updates or I could actually purchase the newest version, number 15, at a big discount. I chose the latter. For a hundred six dollars and some cents I could own a three hundred-dollar product. I said yes, please.

I’ve tried it out a few times already and there are a few improvements I’ve noticed right off the bat. For starters, it did not have to relearn my voice. I believe when I was installing 15, it learned from the previous version before replacing it. That is awesome. I just wish when I am creating a new blog entry in the new post screen on my WordPress dashboard, that I could dictate with the voice recognition program. I still have to dictate in a word program then cut and paste it if Rebecca is not here. That is not that hard to do, but it is an extra step.

The one thing that I did that I actually regret – and it goes to show how impatient I can be – I downloaded the digital copy instead of ordering a disk through the mail. Somewhere in the downloaded content, I’m sure, is the instruction booklet with all the commands and other information about what’s new in the product. I’m quite certain I’ll find it somewhere.

The following paragraph has spoilers for the novel Four’s a Crowd, the book Darren Taylor wrote based on my play Kimberly. If you haven’t read the book yet but want to, you can skip the next paragraph. It is a fantastic novel.

Yesterday Rebecca and I were doing some research on a major health issue for the elderly. My new writing project very well could be either a brand new play or TV pilot script, Five’s a Family, based on Four’s a Crowd. The timeline would be approximately five to eight years from the end of the novel where Kimberly gave birth to Emily Alice. I would want the child to be old enough to interact and be an integral part of the family instead of just sitting there and being cute. The issue is can Alice still have the health to be living in the house as one of the main characters, or would she have to be in a nursing home, only seen once in a while. After a little more research, I will know what I can and cannot do plausibly.

And welcome back to anyone who didn’t read the previous paragraph. Both Rebecca and I seem to be unusually distracted today. Distraction number one is the multitude of construction noises from next door. Number two is my rather naughty kitty cat, Princess Josie. And number three is stopping to find the right words for the blog entry, which are not coming as easily as usual, so we have to keep stopping to find the right words and phrases for a clear meaning. But, we trudge through. Yes, we did have a moment there where we had to re-word almost the whole previous paragraph. We were almost finished with it, when Rebecca pointed out what a major spoiler it was. Oops, can’t do that. That is why she makes the big bucks. She catches things way before I do. Could I edit my own blog? Sure. Would it be edited as well? I don’t think so.

As I begin to wind this blog post down, Josie has finally located a comfy spot. Now she settles down. Haha. I guess it is a comedy of errors today. As I’m trying to dictate the next sentence, the jack hammer outside is wreaking havoc with my concentration. The construction progress of said seven-story building will take at least a year or more. When it is completed, I fear I will have no pretty view left. I took this eighth story apartment for the view. Dang it.

There is today’s entry. We’ll be back next Wednesday with more written goodies. Take care, have a wonderful weekend, give someone you love a hug, and happy reading.

Goodbye old brick building next door

Greetings, readers. I’m feeling a bit sad today because a very old building, which I thought would stand forever, has been completely torn down. During my lifetime, the old brick building next door to Addison Court Apartments was a Weis supermarket, and later a CVS pharmacy. When I was a small boy, my grandmother used to get her hair done in a salon in the back of the building on the first floor. Oh, what vivid memories.

I’m not exactly certain of the building’s complete history, but I have some recollection of it either being a furniture store or another supermarket before it became Weis. I’m going back into my brain for memories around the year 1975, so some details will of course be sketchy.

This morning I watched the bulldozer mash up the last bits of rubble and put them into big piles. A while later, two dump trucks arrived and debris was loaded on, one truck at a time. Truck A would take off and dump its load somewhere, while truck B was loaded with more debris. This is going to be an endless chain of events throughout the day. When all the pieces of rubble have been cleared, the next step is for the construction workers to come in and begin digging – probably with jack hammers – to get down to the proper depth to build the new parking garage. In the old brick building’s place will be a brand-new, seven-story apartment building for students and ‘young executives’.

I don’t know how much of my wonderful view I’m going to lose. The old brick building was only three stories tall, with apartments on floors two and three. I took the eighth-floor apartment because I loved the view. Well … we’ll see how much of it is left when the new building is complete. I know that my town has quickly become a small metropolis, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. One major high-rise downtown has already gone up, with a sister building set to be built right across the street from it. Oh joy, oh bliss. I’m certain it will be several months before the new building is complete. I’m praying the building will not have balconies. Can you just imagine how loud it will be, and the school semester parties the kids will have? Oh brother!

I shall keep you up-to-date on the progress of the new building, and let you know if there will be any businesses on the ground floor. I’m certain the building will be modern and beautiful, but to me, nothing can replace an old brick building which was part of my childhood.

Until next Wednesday, I bid you a great weekend, do take care, and as always, happy reading.