Tag Archives: Music Unlimited

Christmas Eve 2014

Greetings, readers. I am very excited that tonight I get to do my Christmas Eve Light Ride. I have a Zipcar on reserve that I will pick up, and then use to drive through the neighboring communities to see what beautiful decorations people have put up for Christmas. I will use most of the same route that I have enjoyed since childhood when my parents started this tradition.

There were some years when, due to circumstances, I wasn’t able to do my light ride, and I missed it a lot. A couple of years I had to do it by bus, which was not the same at all. It wasn’t the same route, and one time a bus driver actually asked me if I had missed my stop because he thought I had been on the bus too long. That was embarrassing. The next year I told the bus driver when I got on what I was doing, and that worked better. But I still prefer to have my own wheels.

The weather has been cloudy for almost two straight weeks, and mist and precipitation are in the forecast for this evening. However, the temperature is supposed to be above freezing. As long as it isn’t icy, I don’t care what the weather is doing tonight – I am taking part in my tradition.

I am all ready to go for Christmas. Decorations are up, I have purchased for everyone, and I have been filled with Christmas music. Yesterday, I heard Eartha Kitt’s version of “Santa Baby” for the first time this season. I can’t believe it took this long. Thank you, Music Unlimited.

Keekee has extra special treats bought for her as her gift. Everyone knows I spoil her rotten. She and I will spend a nice day together tomorrow and at 6:00 I shall be off to a local church dinner. I, of course, will be thinking of the family, especially Godmother. It is the first Christmas without her.

I’m off to Pittsburgh on Monday for an overnight trip to see the Penn State men’s basketball team play a couple of games. Poor Keekee will have to keep herself company until I get back late on Tuesday. Then, I am looking forward to the parades and big bowl games on New Year’s Day. My favorite is the Rose Bowl.

Rebecca and I will have work next week Wednesday and Friday. So readers, have a wonderful holiday season, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and we’ll see you next week. Take care and happy reading.

The ultimate in technology grrr day

Greetings, readers. I am dictating this blog entry while gritting my teeth. My alarm went off this morning at 6:45 and I turned on my laptop by 7:15. I was going to enjoy a morning of Train Simulator 15. Ha ha ha.

After coffee was made and I had my comfy seat arranged just the way I wanted it, I activated the game. The error message read something like: Missing start application. Right there I knew my whole morning was screwed. After fiddling with it for ten to fifteen minutes, I decided to play some music on my PS3 using Music Unlimited, go back to my laptop and uninstall said game. It shouldn’t take long to reload and I will have it running by 9:00. Ha ha ha.

By 10:15, I was still struggling to get the program to run. With no one else in the room, I actually said out loud to the computer, “Eight stories is a long way down.” Yes, readers, I talk to myself when I’m angry.

By 11:15, I had to leave the apartment to get some brunch and meet Rebecca. I shall try one more time to re-install the game this afternoon after work hours. Most of you, I’m sure, are thinking, “Well, what’s he complaining about?” But my days and weeks are very rigidly scheduled. Afternoon is writing and creation. Evening is filled with activities with friends or getting caught up with Netflix, so my mornings are slated for personal computer time. After almost four hours today with nothing but troubleshooting, I threw my hands up in the air and said, “I’ll try this again later.” As my pop would have said, “So it goes.”

While waiting for Rebecca at Panera this morning, I almost grabbed a newspaper and read my horoscope. I would have laughed if it had said stay in bed, for today is going to be a terrible day.

Okay, I’m done ranting now. For this weekend, Saturday will be my usual Dungeons and Dragons day with Rebecca and Darren, and Sunday will be filled with watching football and having someone come to help keep up the apartment. So I wish you all a good weekend, do stay warm if it is cold outside, and happy reading.

The importance of music in my life

Greetings, readers. Yesterday, on three hours sleep, I tried to get as much editing done on the project as I could. As it turned out, I had to turn it over to Rebecca and basically pass out. That actually worked well, she said, for Rebecca was quickly scanning through the draft from top to bottom to find numbers, such as times of day, in digits or spelled out, so we could make everything consistent in the book. All times in digits, numbers under a hundred spelled out. Mostly a one person job.

Now on to today’s topic. There is an on-line service which I subscribe to through my PS3, called Music Unlimited. Here, you can search for songs or artists, and boy, have I found some “blasts from my past.” Music has always been a humongous part of my life. As a child, with my parents, traveling in Europe, I remember my old black cassette recorder and playing a tape of German folk songs, one of which was called, “Mein Gott, Walther.” It was recorded live in what sounded like a coffee house or small bar. Just a handful of people. Though I know little German, to me it was still funny because everyone else was laughing hysterically.

Around the age of ten or so, which would make it 1975, I did like the Jackson 5. I owned at least six or seven of their albums. Now I was, and still am, the kind of person who will select an album or a tape and play it for a week or two and then switch. Jackson 5 songs such as “Goin’ Back to Indiana,” “Dancing Machine,” and “Skywriter” were big favorites of mine. I was ten, my voice hadn’t cracked yet, and I could hit the notes.

Also that year my friend and next door neighbor hooked me on a group called KISS. Alive! and Hotter Than Hell were two of my early favorite albums from the band.

Although most songs that I have equated to different times in my life have been pleasant, some songs such as “Forever,” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” were girlfriend songs. Usually when one breaks up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, not only does the song lose its special meaning, but also may be emotionally difficult to listen to. As the years pass, however, wounds heal and there really are only a handful of songs which I cannot listen to. I would say perhaps five total.

Thanks to Music Unlimited, I have found such American classics as the Kiki Dee Band’s “I’ve Got the Music in Me,” “Yell Help” from Elton John, and some classical favorites such as Mozart’s “Symphony No. 29,” and “Symphony No. 33.”

Christmas music is especially important to me. When I would go to Christmas Eve service with Mom and Dad as a child, I would always delight in singing “Joy to the World,” “The First Noel,” “Hark! The Harold Angels Sing,” and “Silent Night.” When the Christmas service was almost over the very last hymn was “Silent Night, Holy Night.” One of my most cherished childhood memories was of the lights dimming in the church, everyone taking their candles and lighting them and singing that beautiful song. I was always afraid that I was going to drip wax on myself, scream, drop the candle, and set the church on fire. Luckily that never happened. When the song was over and the lights would come up again, it would be midnight and Christmas morning.

Yes, music has played a big part in my life. From associating Bach and Mozart to my father, early KISS to my early childhood, or music on the jukebox list on my favorite PlayStation game, I’m always eager to make a connection to tunes.