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It’s a hodgepodge day #5

Greetings, readers. I had today’s blog topic all ready to go, and then calamity struck. For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you know I had problems with Zipcar and I almost dumped them for lack of quality service. They got a reprieve. I was also going to talk about the baseball rule changes. More about that in paragraph two. And I will also talk a little bit about my recent health scares. All of this and more in today’s blog entry.

On April 1st, my friend Smith celebrated her birthday. Traci and I wanted to do something special for her by taking her to the local dairy for a chocolate malt … her favorite. I rented the Zipcar days in advance. Everything was perfectly set up until I tried to start the car. Click, click, click and then nothing; a dead battery. Really?! I tried to call the Zipcar hotline but they were experiencing, “more calls than usual.” Knowing that Smith had to be somewhere else at noon, I didn’t waste anymore time, I called a cab, and we were quickly on our way. I was so upset that our perfect day was almost ruined, that I decided in haste to drop Zipcar. I’ve spoken to them twice on the phone since, and they have resolved this situation to my satisfaction by returned the money I paid for the car I didn’t use. I told them that I would stay with them until November when my dues came out again. At that point I would re-evaluate. I shall keep you updated on their progress or lack thereof.

While I need to do more research on all the rule changes to Major League Baseball, I do have an opinion on one of them. Mound visits used to be an integral part of a manager’s job. It was a chess match and could be quite interesting at times. Now they are putting a limit to how many times a pitching coach or manager can visit the mound. I’m not saying that I want a hundred of them per game, but boy I just wish they would leave my favorite sport alone. It was never meant to be as fast as basketball, football or hockey. To me, it seems like the MLB or the commissioner himself is trying to speed up the game in such a way that the fans feel like they are herded into the stadiums just to see how fast they can be herded back out. I shall do more research and update on a future blog entry.

This morning my body did not want to cooperate with me. I was leaving Panera after having my morning coffee as usual when my left knee buckled twice. The last time that happened I was walking, passed out, fell into Smith and gave her a concussion. This time I was able to sit down, though I felt panicky. I did not want to pass out and have to go to the hospital. Rebecca was already on the way to set up the computer and table for work, and that would have been awkward to call off. Luckily I was able to do my errand and get back without any further issue. I contacted my neurologist to get an appointment sooner than the one I already have in July. Two attacks in three months is two too many. I shall keep on top of the situation and report any updates.

There is today’s blog entry. I bid you all a wonderful day, do take care, give someone a hug, and as always, happy reading.

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Showtime in three days!!!

Greetings, readers. With only three days left before my big show on Wednesday, I have been concentrating almost all my efforts on practicing. I am pleased to announce that the show is taking shape nicely, and stands to be one of the best ever! My friend, Greg Brown, will be recording it for me. That way I’ll have something to use as uploads to Facebook and YouTube.

Would you believe I was still tinkering with the playlist as of yesterday? But I know all the KISS songs which I am performing, so it’s not that big of a deal. Seeing as how this show might be my last, I am hoping for perfection. I’ve told myself though that I won’t get too upset if I make a boo-boo.

My friend, Mike, has been practicing his halftime show diligently. He’s worked so hard, and I think the audience is going to love his efforts. Where I am performing KISS songs, Mike is doing some softer material, such as tunes from Glen Campbell, Ronnie Millsap and two numbers by the Village People. Imagine going from heavy metal to soft rock and disco! What a show it’s going to be. I’ve been asked by a few people, “Is this really your final show?” My answer… “You never know.” If I do any more public performing at Addison Court Apartments, it might be some stand-up comedy or some dramatic skits. Time will tell.

On to another topic. The Mercury has finally reached the 40s F. Thank God! I was tired of going for morning coffee, and freezing my derrière off. Luckily, our destination is only a block away. Between the temperatures rising and daylight savings time now upon us, I’m going to be much happier than I was a few weeks ago. Yay, spring is coming!

That’s today’s blog entry. As most of my Facebook followers know, my performance is on Wednesday, so Rebecca and I will be back with you with a new entry on Thursday. Until then, I bid all of you a wonderful weekend, be kind to your loved ones, take care and happy reading.

 

One week to go before what could be my final musical performance

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe I only have one week to go until the big day, my KISS tribute show in the Addison Court apartment’s community room. I had two months, I blinked and sneezed and all that time went away. Seven days is not much time when you’ve only had two full-scale rehearsals, one of which was ruined by an argument with an outside party. I’m going to practice in my room this afternoon and I hope to have at least one more full-scale rehearsal down in the community room; possibly this weekend. With the aid of a lot of prayers, and some 5 Hour Energy shots, combined with lots of agua, I think I can pull it off.

I’ve had to be very careful in selecting my playlist. The song “Take Me” almost had to go, for its first two lines are, “Put your hand in my pocket and grab onto my rocket.”  Yes, I want to imitate my favorite band, but I also don’t want to embarrass any of my friends of the female gender. This is why I did not include songs such as, “Love Gun,” and “Rocket Ride.” I think I’ve selected a very good playlist, with most of KISS’s famous standards well represented. From “Strutter” to “Detroit Rock City”, from “Calling Dr. Love” to “Rock and Roll All Nite,” I think I have chosen the ultimate assortment.

After we publish today’s blog entry and have our weekly meeting, Rebecca and I are going to Amazon to find some stage props, in the form of posters. I think it will help the audience who don’t know KISS well to see an image of whom I am portraying. If I can find four posters or T-shirts for a decent price, I’m going to make the purchase. When we get on the site, I’ll have to hunt for a good deal. If not, I’ll dig out my old record albums and use those.

I’m 53 years old now, with an aching right shoulder, bad hips and feet. But hell, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are in their late 60s. If they can do it, so can I. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

There’s our blog entry for today. I shall post another new one on Sunday; on a brighter topic than last weekend. Rebecca and I will be back on Thursday. If my show turns out well and is recorded I intend to put it on either my Facebook page, YouTube, or both. Wouldn’t it be a gas if one of the members of KISS somehow saw this tribute? That would be awesome! 😉

Until Sunday, have a great week and early weekend, bundle up if you are in the cold, spread love around, and as always happy reading.

My banking woes of the last two weeks

Greetings, readers. For obvious reasons the following will be in general terms. I don’t think any blogger should go into that much detail about their finances. It is, however, the topic of the day.

About a week and a half ago, my bank’s fraud line called me and wanted to go over a few charges. “Panera?,” they asked. “Yes.” “The corner store?” “Absolutely.” “Some company I’ve never even heard of before?” “Um, no.” Put on the parking brake right there. After figuring out that my debit card had been compromised, we quickly closed it and I was issued a new one. Of course, that didn’t arrive until after 3-5 business days had gone by. So, for quite a while everything I bought was either on my credit card or was cash. That is why my credit card bill this month is about $100 more than it usually is. Ouch.

The bank’s fraud team member was very helpful, as was the representative at the bank, whom Rebecca and I talked to this morning. All issues are now fixed and secure again. That’s the way I like it.

I’ve decided that for the next several months I am going to look at my on-line banking statement regularly to make certain that I do not get compromised again. I don’t think I will, because my debit card and info has been switched over.

I know I’m not the only one to have suffered card fraud but I still felt embarrassed. I don’t remember making a purchase but in this day and age when hackers and fraudsters are all around, who knows who got in and did their nasty deeds.

I feel confident that the issue has been solved, but I blame my naiveté for this incident. Maybe my pop-up blocker wasn’t on. Some afternoon when I have nothing to do, I’ll go into all my major websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., and see what’s what on the settings page.

On a side note, I read this morning that the next polar vortex-like event is due to hit in early March. Freezing cold temperatures may reach Georgia and Florida. If it does, so much for the citrus crop. I can see it now, a glass of orange juice at McDonald’s $5, a jug at the grocery store $8. That is probably an exaggeration, but you get my point.

There’s today’s blog entry, I shall post one again on Sunday, as I have been doing. Until then, enjoy the rest of your week, stay warm if you can, love one another, and as always happy reading.

Last evening, full scale reheasals for my show did NOT go as planned

Greetings, readers. Last evening, my friend Mike and I began full-scale rehearsals for the March 13th show. It did not go as planned. Mike knew exactly what he wanted to do with his songs, and performed them quite well. As for me… well, let’s just say I have to build up my stamina. I was only two songs into my ten-song first set, and I was huffing and puffing. That’s not good. I would say my stamina meter is at 10%. Can you say, “Five Hour Energy?”

I don’t like drinking those types of products, but I might have to. If tonight’s rehearsal doesn’t go any better, I’m either going to have to cut down my playlist, or sit down to do the whole show. To me, that would be a wimp-out, but there might not be any other way if I truly want to perform as KISS would perform.

Yes, I am doing a KISS show, possibly complete with war paint in my own design. I am the mimic, and if I decide to go all out, I would have a white face, a black M, black lips and fingernails. I am 53 years old now, and I am intending for this show to be my last. If I do any other type of performing, it might be stand-up comedy or a dramatic skit. Time will tell.

Both my sets are approximately 45 minutes long, while Mike’s halftime show is roughly 30 minutes. I’m going to ask him to add a few more songs, to give me more of a break. Yes, dear readers, I am getting older. Notice I didn’t say old. 😉 I’ll never say I’m old.

I have a couple of errands to do today in the afternoon, and a friend of mine is coming to visit at 5 PM, so I really can’t rehearse the way I want to until the evening. I have to hope that the community room is free to use. If other folks are playing cards, well they got there first, and I’m out of luck.

I would greatly appreciate any good thoughts and energy you can throw my way for the next few weeks, and especially, the day of the show. I’m planning to video this show and put it up either on Facebook or YouTube. Maybe the members of KISS will somehow see it. Wouldn’t that be cool?

There is today’s blog entry. Until Wednesday, stay warm if you’re going to be in the windy part of the country; 40 to 60 mile an hour winds here today. Also, please pray for one another, take care and as always, happy reading.

Snow Day – part two

Greetings, readers. What a miserable weather day we had yesterday. The snow began approximately 7:30 in the morning, just as our entourage was leaving for morning coffee. I told Smith and Traci, “It hasn’t started yet, let’s try to go over.” We were just getting out the front door of the apartment building when we saw the first flakes. The sidewalk that we use to get to Panera is always salted well, so I knew we weren’t going to have a problem there. But after an hour of coffee and conversation, I saw that the snow had already began to lay thick on the ground. The three of us made a quick but safe retreat to home. There I remained for the rest of the day.

It is supposed to get to 41 degrees F today. If it does I might slide down the hill to the corner store and pick up some extra cereal and milk. Meals on Wheels did not deliver yesterday, and I don’t blame them. In the afternoon the roads went from crunchy snow and, “Oh, we can manage,” to freezing rain and the entire town shutting down. Even Penn State called off classes. When this town shuts down, it shuts down. I had time to get caught up with the new season of One Day at a Time.

This blog entry today almost did not happen. I was doing my morning routine of Facebook, etc, when some kind of error message popped up on the screen, wanting my phone number or some personal information to verify something about Microsoft. I’m not that naïve. I restarted the computer and so far that message has not popped up again. Later on I am going to run a full virus scan. Oh, yes, with modern technology comes these vicious problems. I doubt that error message was actually from Microsoft. I’m older and wiser now and don’t believe everything I see … just most things.

Before I close, I wish to share that I have narrowed my choice of churches to two. The church to which Smith belongs, the State College Presbyterian Church, or the church my parents and I used to attend when I was a child, Grace Lutheran Church. Both are on Beaver Avenue, within easy walking distance. Since I don’t have my own car I can’t take myself where I really want to go, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. The bus I would need does not run on Sundays, and a cab or Zipcar would take a bite out of the wallet. Walking is free. I am leaning towards joining the Presbyterian Church. Sorry Mom and Dad, I hope you won’t be too disappointed. Yes, even though they are both in heaven, it is still very important to me what they think and that they are not disappointed in me.

There’s part two of the blog entry. I’m going to have a brand new one up on Sunday and weather permitting Rebecca will be back on Wednesday of next week instead of Thursday. We have an errand to run that morning so I am probably going to dictate Wednesday’s blog so we can quickly edit it and post it when we get back.

I wish all of you a great day, go somewhere warm if you can, and bundle up if you can’t. As always, enjoy and happy reading.

A disruption to my daily routine and first impressions of the Alliance of American Football

Greetings, readers. The last two mornings had weather conditions such that the Three Musketeers (Smith, Traci, and I) could not go to Panera for our now ritualistic morning coffee. Aren’t humans creatures of habit? I felt cheated that I didn’t have my time with my friends. And I know for a fact that Smith and Traci felt the same way. Smith says that she loves to get out of the apartment building at least twice a day if she can. We couldn’t go this morning because the sidewalks were a sheet of ice. Yesterday we had 4 inches of snow followed by freezing rain. Not a good combination. Schools were closed and functions around town were cancelled. It’s not very often that I stay in my apartment the entire day. I was completely lethargic and went to bed at 8:30. To my surprise I slept pretty much through the night, and had a bizarre dream about my mother. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t call her on her cell phone. I kept asking my dad for the right number. When I woke up it dawned on my why I couldn’t call her in the dream; my mother is deceased, as is my dad. As happens quite a lot in dreams, you attempt to do things or make contact with loved ones and fail. I honestly believe the reason I couldn’t contact my mom is because she was deceased. If any readers have any other plausible explanations, please do leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

On to another topic now. On YouTube, I watched parts of two footballs games, from the first week of the brand new Alliance of American Football (AAF). I watched part of the Atlanta Legends at Orlando Apollos game. The Atlanta team was not very good; they got blown out 40 – 6. Then I watched the San Diego Fleet at San Antonio Commanders game. It was not a packed house at the Alamodome, but I would say it was a good crowd for the first game of a new league. The San Antonio Commanders are the first professional football team in that city since the United States Football League’s San Antonio Gunslingers were there for one dreadful season in the early 80s.

The AAF has a few rule differences from the National Football League (NFL). One is they have no kickoffs. The ball is spotted on the 25 yard line for the team who wins the coin toss. They do, however, have punts and field goals. Another rule difference I like is that after every touchdown they have to go for a 2-point conversion.

With limited practice time and only one exhibition game per team, the offensive lines have not gelled yet. I’m sure these teams will get a lot better. One week down and nine to go in the ten week regular season. This league starts one week after the NFL’s Super Bowl and their championship game will be in late April. Just in time for folks to switch over to baseball. That’s what I like the most. I am not a fan of basketball or hockey. I don’t hate those sports, but I’ve never gotten into watching them full-time.

I shall enjoy getting to know these teams while watching them on TNT and the NFL network. In April, after their championship game, I shall give you a final review/update on this fledgling league.

There’s today’s blog entry. Everyone please pray for warmer weather. I’m tired of the cold and winter. Rebecca and I bid you a good day. Take care, and as always, happy reading.

P.S. New blog entry on Sunday. Until then …

Yay! Here’s #800!!!

Greetings, readers. We’ve made it to 800. As I ponder what to write about in this blog entry, I’ve been considering my life’s accomplishments and failures so far. In 53 1/2 years, I’ve written three books, co-authored one novel based on a play I wrote, and to this point have written 799 blog entries.

The last few weeks I’ve gotten religiously nostalgic. This past Sunday I attended a church my parents and I went to when I was a youth. It felt strange but good. It was like going home again. I also found a Bible on the internet which can either be read or listened to, and it is free. What an amazing concept. As I mentioned in blog #799 I am having dinner with a friend, who is quite religious and I am looking forward to having an in-depth discussion on the Lord and prayer.

I feel blessed to have so many good friends around me. A very nice lady down the hall, Smith, sometimes cooks for me. There are very generous people in town, such as businesses and churches. The businesses sometimes offer fantastic deals, and at least two churches I know of have weekly dinners for no cost, but they’ll, “Gladly accept a donation.” Rebecca has been a marvelous friend, helping me with my writing for eight years. She has been invaluable, helping with editing, writing, keeping appointments straight, and the like.

I have always been a nostalgic person. When I left my childhood home for the final time, after the sale of it had been finalized, I took paintings with me that are hung proudly in this apartment. Other people can have my beat up organ, my old stereo, my 1980s Zenith color TV after everything go cleared out, but they were not going to get their paws on five certain paintings. Call me sentimental if you want to, but that is just me.

Painting that was in my parent’s home

 

A very important memory from my parent’s home

 

Where do we go from here, from #800? Well, I hope to blog for a very long time. I would love to reach #1,000. Rebecca and I have figured out that is about two years’ worth of work at two entries a week. I think we can do it. Sure I would love to see the views per day go up, but I take pleasure in writing, getting my thoughts down, and giving you nice folks something to enjoy.

As I close #800, and I’ve said this in the past on these milestone blog entries, thank you so much for sticking with us. If you like what you read, tell your friends. Here is the direct url to the blog’s home page. Here’s to many, many more blog entries. If any of you have some ideas you would like me to blog about, please leave a comment in the comment section, on my Facebook, or on my Twitter page.

Until next Wednesday, have a wonderful weekend, please stay warm, enjoy, and happy reading. Yay for #800! 🙂

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.

A great morning and a fun, creative evening ahead

Greetings, readers. This morning I decided to go back to a church which my mom, dad and I attended when I was young. I left my apartment at 9:45 AM for the 10:30 service. The moment I walked into Grace Lutheran church, I felt as though I had traveled back in time. I was amazed at how little the inner church had stayed the same. I last went to a service there in 1982, so there were bound to be a few changes, but overall it was still the church I remembered and loved.

A beautiful moment happened about five minutes before the service was set to begin. The snow showers ceased and the sun shone through. It was like a sign that everything was right in the universe, and I was home. Now, I’m a Roman Catholic, but my church is too far away from me. I don’t have a car, and taking a taxi or Uber would drain my bank account quickly. I know that’s a terrible reason not to go to my church, but for now anyway, I am seeking one within walking distance of my apartment.

I must be honest, readers. I have not had much religion in my life for many years. As I believe I said in the last blog entry, that’s about to change. Last evening, I tried to read some of the Bible. Yes, I did say tried, because even with my reading glasses, the print was very difficult to bring into focus. It was frustrating, but I read for about 45 minutes. It’s a start.

Now on to the fun evening ahead. As almost all my readers know by now, I love sports simulation games. And Out of the Park Baseball 19, the best baseball simulation I’ve ever seen, provides me an opportunity to set up my own fictitious league. I’m going to do that this evening. I don’t know which cities, which team names or how many divisions, but I do know it’s going to be wonderfully fun setting it all up. The one league I have going, the United States Baseball League is currently in its off-season. I am mirroring it with the real world major league baseball. I’m going to create another league to fill in during MLB’s off-season. I think about 100 games should do it. It’s going to be a blast.

Now here’s a question for you all. Please leave comments here in the comments section below, or on my Facebook page. I have a YouTube channel all set up to record and post gaming videos. If I end up creating a Pittsburgh or Philadelphia team [very highly likely] would anyone be interested in watching these videos with my commentary in the background. I will have to share the commentary booth with the game’s play-by-play announcer, who I call, Com Puter. Mr. Puter is a bit dry, but he does call a good game. I think it would be real fun to make videos and link the URL to Facebook. I hope to get many positive responses.

That’s all for this blog entry. Rebecca and I will be back on Wednesday to type two entries, for I believe that the second one will be number 800! So until then, have a great weekend, pray for all who need it, take care and happy reading.