Tag Archives: hot weather

The Sunday Chronicle: I’m thinking about changing blog days and Ultimate Fishing Simulator

Greetings, readers. I do most certainly enjoy dictating a blog entry via Dragon speech recognition program on Sundays, but it’s turning out that Sunday is the more hectic of the two weekend days. So, I’m debating on whether or not to dictate the blog on Saturday, and set it up to publish on Sunday, or dictate and publish on Saturday. Most of you are saying, “What’s the difference?” Well…, A lot. On Sunday after church, I like to kick off the shoes, watch YouTube, take a nap, and have a light supper. I’ve been finding that if I don’t dictate the blog by 3 PM or so, I have a hard time getting it done. Something tells me that I would not be a very good 9 to 5 office worker.

Doing the weekend blog does afford me the opportunity to work on my editing skills, as well as trying to use words that I almost never do. Yes, I had my favorites, such as, plethora and of course, my famous ellipse. All in all though, my vocabulary is far below par with most writers. I’ve been calling myself a writer for years. It’s time I start proving it.

Before I move on to the introductory review of Ultimate Fishing Simulator, I wish to tell you about the gloriously warm and sunny weather Central Pennsylvania has been enjoying. It’s almost been too hot. I believe the hottest day was 89° F. That’s about right at the cut-off point where I start to say, “It’s too damned hot.” I’ve said many times that if I had a weather machine, I would have sunny days in the upper 70s or 80s, a light rain at night with temperatures in the 50s, and just for ambience, cold and snow during the month of December for Christmas. That’s right…, Cold only in December. 😉

Now, on to gaming. I was trying to find a fishing game on Steam, which you could play with or without an Internet connection. Fishing Planet is a wonderful game, but I won’t be able to play it at camp, for there is no Internet in the cabins. Dave suggested looking for another fishing game which was on sale. Wouldn’t you know, the summer sale was going on and I found one. I got the base game, and what they call bundles, for half off. Score! 😊

I watched YouTube videos on Ultimate Fishing Simulator, and the presenter was saying how easy it was to catch fish. Yeah…, sure. This morning, after numerous times of trying, I finally caught my first fish. I’m slowly getting the hang of it, and I’m loving it. With the bundles, I have more lakes to unlock, more rods, baits, etc. I can’t put the graphics on the highest, because my computer just won’t run the game quite smoothly enough. The game’s major advantage is that you can use it with or without an Internet connection. After I have spent several weeks seeing what all this game has to offer, I shall give you my final review.

Until Wednesday, when Rebecca returns, I bid you a wonderful rest of the day, love one another, take care, and happy reading.

I scored a good pair of computer speakers this morning

Greetings, readers. This morning at the corner store I spotted a very reasonably priced pair of computer speakers from a brand called Creative. I read the box and they seemed to be of good quality, so I nabbed them. Rebecca helped me unravel everything, take twisty ties and plastic off, etc., and so far I think they sound great. It will take me a little while to get used to the volume knob which seems a wee bit sensitive.

My Altec Lansing speakers, which I had for years, finally gave up on me. I had them at least 6 years, so I’d say I got my money’s worth out of them. With all the music I listen to and the gaming I do in the mornings, good laptop speakers are a must. Plus, I need them for when I give performances for the folks at Addison Court. When Rebecca leaves today, I’ll hook them up and see how the old fishing game sounds on them, followed by a rousing round of My Summer Car.

Speaking of My Summer Car, the creator has added a stove in the kitchen which if you are not careful you can start a fire and burn the house down; yet another way to die. The creator, known as ToplessGun, is a mad genius. His sole purpose in life is to invent new ways to kill you in the game. When filling your gas tank while smoking a cigarette, you can actually start a fire and blow yourself up. I was watching a YouTube video of a gamer purposely trying to do just that. Why? To see if it worked. It did, gloriously.

My all time favorite booby trap, is when you are driving along, getting ready to cross the railroad tracks and you don’t hear the train coming until it hits you. Your windshield goes red with blood and they play the “You’re dead” music to laugh at you.

Moving on to another topic, the heat wave is almost over, thank God! It’s not going to be as brutally hot today and there is a chance of a thunderstorm later. If that happens, it will definitely cool things down. I’m not saying I am looking forward to winter, mind you, but days with temperatures F in the 60s and evenings in the 40s sounds very nice right about now. We’ve had upper 80s to near 90 for a whole solid week, one of the hottest stretches for the entire summer.

Keeping in line with the weather topic, thoughts and prayers go out to the flood victims in the South and the Gulf Coast. I know that New Orleans was bracing for another flood; I hope all the levees held. To me this hurricane season can’t be over fast enough. I’ve never been in one, but I have felt the remnants of a hurricane as a lingering passing storm moving through Pennsylvania. That is as close as I want to come, thank you. So if you are down South, please be safe.

There is today’s blog. Rebecca and I will be with you again next week. We both bid you a wonderful weekend, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As they used to say on Futurama: 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.

From Rebecca: I feel blessed

Yesterday was a really good day for me. It didn’t rain while I was on the way home, as I had expected, I had a good annual performance review at my other job, I briefly spent some time at one of my favorite places, the library, and Joe called while I was hanging out with Keekee at his place. The stifling heat and humidity was awful, as it has been so much of this month, but that was the worst part of the day. (Joe said that it is hot in Maine too, so my vision of him sitting on his porch with cooling breezes coming off the lake was false. Bummer.) Last night was the best though. I sat in the living room with my husband, me on the laptop while Darren and I watched a pre-season football game. Go Eagles. He loves football. We are very lucky to have air conditioning, so we were comfortable.

As I wrote before, I have had some long days lately. A family member was having a health crisis, and it took a lot of our time suddenly. That person is better now, and we are all getting a chance to rest. It turns out that Darren and I do not respond well to chaos. I did find a few moments of grace in the middle of it though. We once got a perfect parking place at the hospital during the day, which is not easy as the lots fill up with people scheduled for tests. We felt very lucky that day. Another time, we had a huge storm, with pouring rain, while we were getting ready to take our family member to an appointment. By the time we had to leave, the rain had stopped. So blessed.

Joe will be back next week with more blog posts. Until then, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Very long day

It is almost midnight and I am finally able to get to the blog entry for today, Wednesday. I had a couple of ideas for blog topics, but they aren’t ready and it has been too long a day for me to do either of them now anyway. In many ways, things worked out so smoothly today that I thanked my guardian angels for the help. In others ways – like a two-hour thunderstorm that made it necessary to have our internet router unplugged – things had to wait for better timing. Looking back, it was a very good day, but this post is way later than usual.

Joe’s cat Keekee was doing fine when I visited with her this afternoon. She was not as clingy or needy today as I expected her to be, though she did want my attention and head rubs. She was also shedding a lot, though a little less than in the past. All in all she does not like when Joe is away, but she is doing better this year.

I haven’t talked to Joe in a few days, but I heard from someone who did talk to him this week that he is fine and enjoying himself at camp. The weather was so hot and stifling in State College today, that I enjoy the idea of being by a lake in Maine. I am glad that Joe was and I hope it was a great day for him.

If it works out, I might write Friday’s blog entry tomorrow and schedule it to post on Friday afternoon. If you see it pop up during the afternoon on Friday, you will know that my plan succeeded. As Joe would write: Until next time have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

A heat wave in central Pennsylvania

Greetings, readers. For the first time in a number of weeks, the mercury is going to push past 90 degrees farenheit, and the humidity is atrocious. I’m not really complaining, because I froze my tailbone off this past winter. The last few days were in the low 80s with low humidity. Almost springlike. Then someone decided to turn up a thermostat. They could have done it a little more gradually.

In the springtime we had a lot of rain. Recently, not so much. Perhaps a passing thunderstorm, only lasting 15 to 20 minutes. This is quite normal for central Pennsylvania for this time of year. Knock on wood, we usually don’t get tornados because this area is too mountainous. We do get the strong storms with flash flooding.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the weather in Maine recently. This last week was a washout for campers. I’ll be arriving at Bear Spring on the 8th of August. Hopefully all that rain does its thing and moves on. I’m hoping for sunny and warmer so I can go boating, fishing, and swimming. The beauty about camp, though, is if it rains or it is cool, you can read a good book or play a game of Yahtzee while sitting in front of the fireplace.

I can’t believe that camp time is almost upon me again. This year went by so quickly. I longed for summer and its wonderful warmth, and here summertime is 2/3 complete. Not too long after I get back from Maine, the Penn State fall semester will be beginning, as well as college football. That time of year always brings cooler temperatures and changing colors on the leaves of the trees. I hate to say it, but in about 9 weeks, we will definitely begin to see a change in the daytime high temperatures. Where did my summer go? 😦

On Friday, we’ll have another blog entry for you, on a yet unknown topic. Until then, have a great couple of days, take care, and happy reading.

Joey is cranky

Greetings, readers. When I was a little boy and things weren’t quite going my way, my mom would ask me, “Is Joey cranky?” That really got under my skin and I remember that phrase to this day.

This morning I was up before 7:00, and as I was feeding Keekee, I could already tell that my allergies were going to be a pain in the ass. I had plans to be reading Four’s a Crowd no later than 9:00. That way I’d have some food and coffee in me along with my medication and I could concentrate. My allergies said ha ha, we’re not cooperating.

By 10:30, I was so exasperated that I could not get my morning reading done before I had to leave to meet Rebecca, that I closed the computer, said a few choice phrases, and went to my recliner to put my head back. By the time I had to leave my apartment, my allergy attack was over.

Why does this make me cranky? Well, with Darren waiting for the project to be read, I am kind of in the hot seat to get it done. And, basically, I wasted three hours this morning. This evening I will put my ‘do not disturb’ sign on my door and read my chapters then. If it is my turn to call bingo, oh well, I will make sure to do it next week. I can’t accommodate everybody.

I’m also a little bit cranky because of a news story I read this morning. I read that in Overton Texas this past Monday a police officer shut down the lemonade stand of two little girls because they did not have a permit. Their objective was to earn enough money to get their dad a Father’s Day gift. Perhaps technically lemonade stands are illegal, but I’ve seen them all over my town, and I can’t believe that this police officer had nothing better to do crime-wise than to bust two little girls. Thumbs down on that one.

However, this makes me think that if I ever do decide to have an outdoor air guitar performance, I’d better look into all the technicalities. Luckily, our municipal building is right next door.

One bright note, it is a rather hot but sunny day here. To me it feels like the real first day of summer. Rain is expected later and we do need it. So let it rain, let it rain, let it rain. Ha ha.

I’m thinking of having a top ten list for my next blog entry which will either be tomorrow or on Wednesday. Until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Mid-July means arts and crafts

Greetings, readers. This Friday’s blog entry begins by talking a little bit more about the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. It has been going on as long as I can remember and attracts hundreds of thousands of people a year. For local businesses in the downtown area it is an economic boost. A store owner once told me that he relies on Arts Festival week and the home football games of Penn State to keep his business going until the holiday shopping season.

I’ve walked down Allen Street only a couple of times so far this year but have seen many, many people enjoying the music, the good food, and the sidewalk sales. My favorite thing to do, which helps on a hot day like this, is to walk through a man-made area with ferns and shrubbery while a gentle cool mist comes down from a hose over top. It is so refreshing. The little children enjoy the water-dumping machine. Buckets fill with water, get too heavy, and tip over on the waiting children. Gleeful screams and laughter can be heard all day long from this area. I remember about five years ago when State College was having a rather nasty heat wave, I emptied my pockets and walked under the water buckets clothes and all; it felt so good.

For serious Arts Festival folks, the sales booths go up the Penn State campus, almost to Pattee Library, and wander around to some of the side streets of campus and downtown. At specific venues there are live music events as well. It can be a daunting day out if it is hot and humid; but people shouldn’t worry, because there are always bottled water and lemonade stands. Artists create wood sculptures, they make leather goods, and many people either paint or sketch. People come from near and far for the variety of artists. The festival is so big each year and there are only so many slots to fill. Many artists come back as many years as they can.

There’s also a festival called the People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts out in Boalsburg PA, not far from here. It was started several years ago by local artists who couldn’t get a spot at the one downtown. They run simultaneously and as far as I know both are attended well. I’ve personally not been to the one in Boalsburg because it is hard for me to get out there and the one here in town in almost at my front door.

As for Rebecca and I, next week will be a regular work week, complete with two blog entries. We are giving much thought to the upcoming 300th blog post. Both of us want to make it something special.

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