Tag Archives: Facebook

From Rebecca: I made a change to the blog page

Hi, Joe’s readers. When we look at the number of views for the blog, Joe and I notice that each post day a lot of his views come from Facebook. The statistics page breaks down the number of views from Twitter, Facebook, and the WordPress reader. So I was a bit bummed to see a notice from WordPress that they will no longer automatically send each blog entry to post on Joe’s Facebook profile page. We both like sharing with our friends and family on Facebook, and also it cuts down on the number of views. Double bummer.

I was looking at the blog site settings to see if there was a toggle to switch back on (there isn’t) when I noticed a feature I had forgotten about. Under each individual entry is a section of sharing buttons, and Facebook is one of them. From now on, we will just use that button to share on Facebook. While I was in settings, I also saw a place to click so that these share buttons show up on the home page, under each entry. Cool! I called Joe to ask if he minded if I make this change, and he gave the okay. So I added some buttons for other places to share, and clicked the box to have the buttons on the front page, too. Please let us know how you like it, or if you don’t.

While I had Joe on the phone, he said it was hot in Maine this year and that he was having fun. He had me put the phone on speaker so he could say a few words to Princess Josie. When she heard his voice, she tilted her head and sniffed the phone. So cute.

Well, next week Joe will back here and blogging. Until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Advertisements

As they used to say on Futurama: Good news, good news everyone

Greetings, readers. The novel based on my play, Four’s a Crowd by Darren Taylor, went live for sale on Amazon.com this past Saturday. It took a few days for them to finalize something, I don’t know what it was, but now copies can be purchased by anybody. I ordered two copies for myself, and they were shipped late yesterday afternoon. I’m going to talk to a friend of mine who owns a local bookstore and see if she will take three or four copies on consignment. I think she will. She took copies of my three books, Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories, Tales from North Bay & Beyond: More Bear Spring Camps Stories, and Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, so it stands to reason she will take this book too.

I can’t believe it is late June already and my trip to Bear Spring Camps is a little over a month away. Time is flying. From what I am seeing on people’s Facebook posts, the weather and the fishing have been good. Two big thumbs up for that. I’ve made all my preparations, I’ve booked the hotel rooms and rental car for the trip up and back. The only thing left to do it wash clothes, pack, and find all the electronic gadgets and equipment that I wish to take with me. I am ahead of schedule from last year. I’ll need to get out the old checklist and update it. I’ll also need to find a few things, like my fishing rod which I did not put it back in its usual spot. Not to worry, for as my mom used to say, there is always Wal-Mart, and a half-decent Zebco rod can be purchased for around $20.

I’ll be bunking overnight in Portland Maine this year, in a Motel 6. I’m very excited to be staying by Casco Bay. I tell you, if I ever move away from State College, it would be to Portland, Maine. I would get season tickets to the Portland Sea Dogs and would be that much closer to Bear Spring Camps for summer vacation.

On to a different topic, her royal highness, Princess Josie, the kitten, has been terrorizing my furniture and my legs with her sharp claws. Thank goodness I am taking her for her first check up on July 6th. A good nail clipping is first on the list. I don’t think she will need any shots, but since I took over ownership from someone else, I think I will check with that person to make certain. Josie has been acting like a young kitten recently, being rambunctious and spending quite a while in the penalty box, stretched out and sleeping on her towel. I also give her treats if she goes in by herself. I would love that to happen more often. Ha, ha, ha.

Lastly, I survived the hottest day of the year a few days go, with temperatures near 90 degrees F and high humidity. Although I will take it over freezing to death any day, it was quite a large temperature hike in a 24 hour period. My body did not like it. I dragged that day and went to bed early that evening.

Tomorrow’s blog entry is going to be an update on my writing projects this summer. It is not going as well as I hoped, but I still have some time to get those creative juices flowing. More details tomorrow. So until then, take care, have a great day, and as always, happy reading.

God, I hate wasted mornings

Greetings, readers. Yes, I know I sound cranky again. I met Rebecca for breakfast at Panera before going to a car rental agency to get information about renting a car in August. When we got there, the office was closed with a note on the door stating the agent was making a run to the airport; neither one of us felt like waiting there for almost 30 minutes. One gigantic waste of time as we walked through tons of pollen, which is now falling off the trees and about to make me sneeze.

My accountant will be expecting this information today and I will again have to tell him that I don’t have it. I suppose that is what makes me the most angry. I have one business meeting a week and today I will not be fully prepared for it. As they say, that’s life.

Well, let us see what else is going on. For those of you who like the new Roseanne series, I am sure you know that it was cancelled. I was never a big Roseanne fan, and after learning about all of her racist tweets, I am less of one. I congratulate ABC for having the courage to cancel their top hit. I will admit, I used to watch the re-runs of the original series where the kids were young … and yes, I did laugh. It was funny.

I am now able to share news with my readers, some of whom are family. This past weekend I took a trip down to New Jersey and attended my Goddaughter’s gender reveal party. Ashley is going to have a baby boy. Her husband Derek was elated. He so wanted a boy to carry on the family name. I am super excited and cannot wait until their little bundle of joy is born.  I wonder how their daughter Riven will react. She’s probably too young to have a preference of sibling gender, she’s only 16 months old.

Lastly, if any of my readers could leave me a comment here or on Facebook about what I am about to share, I will be grateful. On said trip to New Jersey, I took a Megabus. I think it is a wonderful service. For one dollar you can even choose the seat you want. But I am wondering why they still claim on the side of their buses that you can go somewhere for a dollar. My round trip was significantly more than that. Perhaps you have to book months in advance. I’ll go on the website and tinker around with it. Again, if anyone knows the answer, please share.

That’s all the news for today. Both Rebecca and I bid you a great day, take care and until tomorrow, happy reading.

My summer off is busier than expected so far

Greetings, readers. So far, in this early summer off, about the only thing that has kept to plan is me resting my feet. I wanted to have about 100 pages written by now. Lol, there’s a chuckle for ya. Between appointments and daily errands, my first two weeks off have flown right by with not much getting done.

It’s making me angry. I so wanted to have a schedule in place to write, write, write. It seems though that every time I get ready, I either receive a phone call, text, or am reminded of an upcoming appointment that day. There is a small part of me that wants to hang a sign on the apartment door reading Don’t Bother Me Until September. Of course, I can’t do that; I can’t be that anti-social.

This morning as I was trying to wake up, I checked my Facebook, email, and Twitter and then discovered the computer was running slowly. A page popped up in big red letters claiming I had a virus. It was probably a scam, but I stopped what I was doing and ran my virus checker anyway. There went 20 minutes. Luckily, all seems to be fine.

Today is kind of an odd day. After work hours with Rebecca, my accountant and I have a meeting to go to, which could take the better part of the afternoon. Do you see my problem with productivity, readers?

On to other news, I heard that the Hawaii volcano is erupting again. I don’t know how serious it is but hopefully everyone will be alright. I saw pictures last week of the devastation with homes and cars ablaze. Let’s face it, when you live on an island, you really don’t have anywhere to run. Also this morning I saw a blurb about a minor earthquake during a major league baseball game. It didn’t mention anything about deaths, so it was probably a minor quake. Again, hopefully everyone is okay.

An R.I.P. goes out to a great actress, Margot Kidder, who passed away at age 69. She was far too young, if you ask me. She played Lois Lane in the movies with Christopher Reeve as Superman.

Lastly, Rebecca’s husband Darren’s book, Four’s a Crowd, which is based on my play Kimberly, is almost ready to publish. We will go live for sale in a week or two on CreateSpace.com, and then it will be available on Amazon. Darren has worked hard on it, and I worked hard on the play. We are both very proud of the final outcome and we think it is going to be a winner. Hopefully it puts us on the writing map. Keep your fingers crossed.

There is our entry for today. Rebecca and I will be back tomorrow with a new blog entry, possibly another short story. I won’t say for certain. I’m trying to get out of the habit of promising things I don’t deliver. So until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

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.

My health, what is the worst that can happen? My heart could go splat

Greetings, readers. An incident happened yesterday afternoon which has seriously made me reconsider what is going on in my life right now. I am now making it publicly known that I am having some minor heart issues. At least I hope they are minor. I was sent home early yesterday from my fast food job because my irregular heartbeat would not calm itself. I am glad I am getting it checked tomorrow.

While I am at the doctor’s Thursday afternoon, Rebecca will be putting up the blog from home. I am taking off tomorrow completely to rest before my stress test. Let me explain the current phenomena. The heart goes wrong when I’m stressed, when I’m tired, or quite often after I sit down from an activity. The fluttering sensation lasts about 5 to 15 seconds and then goes away. If anybody can give me information about what this might be, please leave a comment in the comment section or catch me on my Facebook page. Any info would be most helpful.

I know that pessimism is a bad trait but last evening I could not help but think of all the bad things that could go wrong in the coming weeks. What is the doctor going to say? What is the stress test going to show? I’m so paranoid, I’m going to pack an overnight bag in case the doctor sends me right to the hospital. For those of you who want a chuckle, yes, I was a boy scout for one day and remember their motto is always be prepared.

I also began to do an overview of my life last evening, starting from an early age and going right on up through the years. I had a happy childhood, and high school was fine, then things started to go wrong. Because of my disability that no one in my family wanted to address, myself included, I did not graduate from Penn State University. I failed. Later on I got married. That didn’t work either. I failed. My writing career is not that much to speak of, less the blog and a few small completed works. I won’t call that a failure, but I’m not paying the rent with my royalties. I’m sure you can see the pattern here.

I also started to think about my time at Bear Spring Camps. Oh, the joyous childhood memories I have with Mr. Greco, Dave, and everyone who has camped there over the years. I consider them all my family. With this season’s camp week approaching in a few months, last night I asked myself just how many more years do I think I’ll be able to go? As a naïve youngster, I thought I would go until the day I died. Well, this camp season might be it for me. Perhaps not. But I don’t see myself going for another 25 years. Either health or lack of money will prevent that.

Yes, readers, times change, people’s health deteriorates, and the carefree happiness of youth turns into the hard reality of adulthood. I will have some of the test results by the end of tomorrow. With all the information in, I will be able to make a plan about staying at my job or having to give it up to take care of my health issue. I hope not, I actually love my job.

Well, this macabre entry has gone on long enough. I’ll close on a cheerful note. Views of my gaming channel videos have improved slightly. Rebecca told me this morning that I need to add my full name to the tags, as it will make it easier for people to find said videos in a YouTube search of just my name. Thank you very much to Rebecca.

Rebecca will chime in tomorrow and we’ll both be back as usual next Wednesday. Until then, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

On schedule for me today

Greetings, readers. I believe this is the second blog entry I have dictated via the speech recognition program. I’m on a slightly different schedule this morning, so I asked Rebecca to meet me at Panera Café and a little later than usual. Earlier on, I did some splendid work on my major writing project, also using said voice recognition program. I love it! It’s almost like acting; so fun.

I was up at 3:45 this morning, as usual, and began my day by making coffee, looking at Facebook, and doing a little virtual fishing on Steam’s Fishing Planet. With the new patch that came in yesterday via an update – a major update – the game plays so much better. The creators bettered the physics, I think improved the graphics, and added a Photoshop feature where you can take a picture with your humongous prize catch. It’s about three notches below Star Trek’s hollow deck.

This afternoon, I have an appointment at 3:30. It should not take more than an hour. After that, I’m planning on a light supper followed by more work on my writing project. I am really getting into the story now. As you all know, dear readers, it’s been forever since I’ve been in creation mode. If I am to take time off from my fast food job this summer to rest my feet, I must find some way to perhaps generate income through my writing. I don’t wish to just sit around for three or four months and just do nothing. Yes, one does get very used to that paycheck every two weeks, doesn’t one?

I still have an early bedtime this evening for tomorrow is a work day at the fast food job. I need to get plenty of sleep and rest my feet. When, or if, I am going to tell my manager I would like the summer off is still up in the air. My swollen feet are saying, “Go for it!” My wallet is saying, “Don’t you dare.” Right now, I’d say my decision is 50-50. I will know by early May.

Well, there you have it. I know this wasn’t the longest entry in the world, but it is what’s current in my life today. I bid all of you a great weekend, stay safe, take care and as always, happy reading.

I have decided to make gaming videos on YouTube

Greetings, readers. As we approach blog entry 700, I wondered if there was another way or medium I could use to be creative. The answer came to me a few days ago. I’ve watched many videos on YouTube of people playing various video games. Fishing Planet is a big one, as are the two truck simulators. I have most of those games downloaded on Steam and with a new app I got for free, I can now record videos. You can’t see my face, but that’s okay.

I have five videos up so far and have my very first subscriber. My channel, The JMK Gaming Channel, is up and running. I have three videos up of me playing the game Fishing Planet and two of Train Simulator 17. I’m impressed on how remarkably smooth my narration is; I’ve only stuttered a couple of times. Well what do you know, I have another forum on multimedia to show off my talents.

When I play Fishing Planet, I can actually imagine myself in Maine holding that rod. The ambiance of birds, insects, and a slight breeze makes the game incredibly realistic. You’re not in a speed boat, you are just standing on the bank or bridge, depending on your location on the map. I’ve always loved Train Simulator and the Portland, Maine run is my favorite scenario. My favorite game is Out of the Park Baseball 18 … and I’ve already pre-ordered OotP 19. I am in control of the completely fictitious Canadian Baseball League. I am the general manager of the Winnipeg Bluebirds. I raced through season one just to get a little history in the league and this second season so far I played every game. My team was one game away from winning it all last season. This season, with all of our injuries, I doubt we will make the playoffs. Within a week or so, I’ll be starting a series on the gaming channel for Out of the Park Baseball. Viewers will have to excuse me if I am 8/10ths of the way through the season; we will just pick it up from there. And season three will be a blast.

Other games I am going to play on my channel will be Fernbus Simulator with a coach bus driving anywhere in Germany, and Plague Inc. where I literally get to destroy the planet’s population. That one is a kind of a weird game, folks. A few months ago I also bought for cheap a game called House Party. The sole objective is to find the woman who you want to do it with and do it. It has one feature that will have Rebecca either laughing hysterically or rolling her eyes – this game, if you push the right button, you will hear the guy’s zipper unzip and you will see him pleasuring himself. That is when I stopped playing the game. I’m old school and things like that should be kept private. One cool thing about that game, however, is behind the young lady’s house is a big back yard with a fire pit which is very beautiful to look at.

With this blog entry being posted on my Facebook page and my Twitter page, some might say this is an advertisement for my gaming channel. I don’t think so, but I am going to link to the Bear Spring Camps page to let my friends there know that Fishing Planet, a remarkably realistic simulator, will be featured often.

Next Wednesday will be the 700th blog post. That is unbelievable to me. I want to thank everyone who has read us over the years and invite you all to stick around for the next 100.

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

From Rebecca: Re-post about school friends and Facebook

As I wrote yesterday, I am re-posting an entry from Joe’s third year of blogging. I had a lot to choose from, including a few From Rebecca entries that I liked. Going through the year, I saw that early 2014 was really cold with a lot of snow, that Joe discovered Train Simulator on Steam, and wrote a lot about sports and his childhood.

I picked this entry to re-post because I think most of us can relate to time passing so fast since high school, and using Facebook to keep us in touch with people we met way back then. And in touch with people we met since then, too.

Joe will be back with an entry next Wednesday. Until then, enjoy this blast from the past.

Catching up with school friends

October 10, 2014

Greetings, readers. Although I will never consider myself old, I had a strange incident happen yesterday. I was communicating on Facebook with a friend of mine who I always visualize as that teen-age kid I went to school with. When she was telling me about her poor health, I remembered, oh, yes, she is almost 50 years old, just like I am. We aren’t those young kids anymore.

My knees creak, my neck hurts, and sometimes I can’t get to sleep for love nor money. And as far as running, heck some days I can barely jog across the street. Yes, even though I consider myself young at heart, I am a middle-aged person. I must remember this.

Facebook gives me an opportunity to keep in touch with many of my friends from school. It’s so strange that I always think of them, no matter who they are, as the kids I used to know. I think that is because we don’t go out and party together, I don’t go to the school reunions, we just don’t hang out. So those visions from the past are all I have.  I wouldn’t trade the memories of those early years for all the world.

It’s funny. When I was in junior high and high school, I didn’t think I had many friends. Now I can go through the yearbook, looking at all the pictures, and I smile knowing that I had many more friends than I thought. Up to this point I really have had a good life.

This brings me to an idea. Maybe sometime this spring or early summer, after the snow melts, I am going to see if a group of my school friends would like to meet somewhere and hang out for an afternoon or evening. Perhaps we can book a hall or a hotel’s dining room. That would be cool. As a lot of you know, I dwell in the past. I think it would be a good thing for me to see my friends, swap stories, and get re-acquainted.

Switching gears, over the last few days, I’ve had some time to think about my recent obsession with simulation games and “playing” in general. My mom, the psychologist, probably would have told me that I am trying to go back to my childhood where life was perfect, my problems were taken care of for me, my friend David was there to play with, and TV shows and sports were there to be enjoyed. That’s my opinion. This Monday, I will see what my therapist will say.

Until next Wednesday, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. I am very happy to see the recent upsurge in the viewing of my performance pictures and my book page.

Thinking about my writing career after my baseball game crashed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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