Tag Archives: Netflix

I think I have an eating disorder

Greetings, readers. Over the last several weeks I have found myself indulging in snacks and cereal. You may ask, what’s wrong with that? Well, a normal person might enjoy a bowl of cereal; perhaps two. Recently, I will grab a box of cereal, turn on YouTube, and eat the entire box one bowl at a time. I think to myself, “You really should stop this. You’ve had enough.” But I just keep eating. This is not good.

Sometimes when I binge watched my favorite videos, or favorite TV shows on Netflix, I can put away a bag of chips or popcorn with no problem. Like I said, now I’ve graduated to family size boxes of cereal. When I am finished, I feel like a pig, the blood drains down to help with digestion, and I want to fall asleep… for hours. Luckily, I have a therapist who can help me with this problem. I shall see her in two weeks.

Not only am I gaining weight, but I am spending way too much money. The stores in downtown State College are not your usual grocery stores, so prices are higher. I like to shop downtown because it is close to where I live. If I can walk to it, I’m a happy camper. There is a Target store close by, and I do shop there often. They have a nice selection of fruit, veggies, and healthy snacks. I must learn to make a list of the good things, not the junk, and purchase wisely.

My weight is up to 206 pounds; about 8 pounds more than I want it to be. Now that the warm weather has finally arrived, I’m going to walk around the neighborhood, take some good pictures with my new digital camera, and get some exercise. Maybe I won’t even need my walker anymore. Wouldn’t that be great?

I am going to conclude this blog for today. I just looked out my window and saw some dark, threatening clouds. We have had bad thunderstorms in our area the last few days. There is a storm predicted for this afternoon. If that happens, work will have to be over so that I can turn off both the computer and the router. Until Wednesday, I wish you a pleasant rest of your weekend, stay safe if you’re in a bad weather area, pray for all who need it, and as always, happy reading. 😊

 

Top ten list of blessings in my life

Greetings, readers. Today I thought I would go upbeat with the blog entry. Recently I’ve been telling you about all the things that have been bothering me in my life, and today I thought I would go cheery. I am grateful for many, many things, even though sometimes I don’t always show it. So here is my top ten list of things for which I am grateful.

#10. My late kitty cat Keekee. [Not too long after I moved into Addison Court, I’d say less than a year, a friend of mine was moving out. She could not take the two cats she had with her and asked me if I wanted one for free. I’m glad I decided to try it, allergies notwithstanding. She was my buddy for one week short of 12 years.]

#9. Princess Josie. [This cat is completely different in demeanor than Keekee. I love her to pieces, but she is a little more rambunctious than my former furry feline.]

#8. Meals on Wheels. [Although they are not always dishes which I would consider my favorites, I do eat most of them and feel blessed to have them at such an economical price.]

#7. A place over my head. [No, it’s not the family house that we used to own, but it is two nice-sized rooms with fully functional kitchen and I enjoyed the great view from the top floor for 13 years. With the new building going up next door though, I’m going to lose most of that view.]

#6. Sentimental items from my parent’s home. [When I moved to this apartment 13 years ago or so, I vowed to take as many paintings as I could get. It gives the apartment a hint of my former home. For that I am extremely grateful. I also have my mom’s desk and a bookcase of which we make good use.]

#5. Good neighbors and friends in the building. [As in any community, there are good neighbors and neighbors you’d like to run over with your car. I’m very happy to say that I have most pleasant neighbors, with only a few exceptions. I’m a very easygoing man and can usually work around any people who cause conflict. I’m glad that so many of my neighbors are folks I am happy to call friends.]

#4. Rebecca. [Every book I’ve ever done would not be published without Rebecca. Not only is she a good friend, she is a fantastic typist and an awesome editor. In her role as personal assistant, she has kept me from missing numerous appointment. Kudos to Rebecca.]

#3. Working technology. [Yes, I do like my Steam games, and to watch movies on Netflix. Sometimes I lose myself in a fantasy world of baseball, or I’ll spend and entire evening watching James Bond pictures. I’m happy for the technology to do so, i.e. my computer and gaming system to watch Netflix and YouTube on my TV.]

#2. A great bus system. [As chance would have it, my apartment is steps away from a bus stop, where many of the buses I take stop at. Though, during the summer time, when the buses run on reduced service, I find myself having to walk downtown a few blocks to catch buses at the main stop, called the College Ave, and Allen St stop. Sure, I’d love to have my own vehicle, but this is the next best thing.]

#1. And yes, it is in order, is that at least for now, I can still go to Bear Spring Camps. [I might have to stop after this year or perhaps after next, but I am going to milk it for all it is worth. Bear Spring Camps, and those people I have known all my life, are my truest blessings.]

There is today’s top ten list, on this cheery topic. I hope everyone enjoys it. Please pray for everyone who needs it, and if you are inclined to and can, please consider donating to a fund to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Such a tragic loss. I plan to donate some money myself.

Until this weekend, have a fantastic few days, take care of your family, enjoy good weather if you have it, and as always, happy reading.

Four good Netflix specials on the life of Jesus

Greetings, readers. I found on Netflix four wonderful documentaries The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I’m slowly making my way through them, starting with The Gospel of Matthew.  This first film is slightly over 3 hours long, and for some reason I tend to doze off towards the end of it. I’m going to have to go back this evening and watch the last 45 minutes. I’ll explain the format and tell you what I think of it so far.

The British narrator, whose name I have yet to discover, literally narrates through the entire program, because all the actors including the one who plays Jesus speak in Arabic. You hear a little of the language here and there in the background but if you don’t know Arabic you would be lost without the translator. First you see Jesus as an infant with the Three Wise Men presenting him with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but he is quickly seen at the age where he can teach. Throughout the entire film, Jesus goes from place to place, preaching and teaching his word.

He heals the sick, the lame, the blind, and even a young dead girl who had just passed away, simply by touching them. After a number of years of this, the elders in the synagogue began to question him and were trying to trick him and each and every time Jesus knew what to say and what questions to pose to them to make the teachers look like the students.

This is how this film affected me. I am what they call a lapsed Roman Catholic. I’ve not gone to mass is quite a while. I always say it is because I don’t have transportation or the weather is not nice out. The truth is I am lazy. If I really wanted to get to church, I could. With that being said, I always knew that Jesus was King of the Jews. I listened intently to the actor playing Jesus, speaking the entire time in Arabic, and it was almost upon Jesus’s death that he told his apostles to build his church and continue teaching his word. Lately I have been having some questions fly in my mind. I watched for almost three hours Jesus teaching in synagogues and almost toward the end of the film he wanted to create his own church. Why would someone who had preached for so many years in the Jewish faith, change his mind? I believe the answer is His Father told him to do so. And that statement just showed everybody just how little I read my Bible. That, dear readers, is about to change.

I’m going to read my Bible, I’m going to study religion, and sorry Mom and Dad, I’m going to let a little secret slip. We attended a Lutheran church when I was a boy. I have very fond memories of its Christmas Eve service. That church is well within walking distance from my apartment building, only three blocks away. Time will tell if I officially change my religion, but I’ve got to become closer to the Lord. Do I fear death and I am trying to get brownie points for heaven? No, I’ve wanted to become more religious for quite a while.

Please feel free to leave comments here or on my Facebook page. I shall do my best to have a new blog entry up by late Sunday afternoon. Until then, take care, have a great week, and happy reading.

Top ten list of things I hope to accomplish this autumn

Greetings, readers. I asked Rebecca to check when the last top ten list was and on what topic, it was back in April with a list of things I wanted to do this summer. Eight out of ten isn’t bad folks. So here is a list of things I want to do or continue doing in the autumn of 2018.

#10. To get it out of the way, To continue selling copies of Four’s a Crowd. [I sold seven out of eight copies while up in Maine, which was wonderful, but sales on Amazon are as of yet sporadic at best. If you purchase my book, tyvm. If you like it, pass the word on to your friends.]

#9. Find a place for everything and put everything in its place. [In an apartment slightly bigger than ten shoeboxes, to do that is difficult. But I am proud that I am trying  and that I am making progress.]

#8. Find gainful employment somewhere here downtown. [Unfortunately, I burned all my bridges at my former fast food job and I do not think they would take me back.]

#7. Continue working on a TV series pilot script. [I have two ideas in mind, both of which have hit early road blocks, but it is nothing I cannot overcome.]

#6. Find a new way to take care of my nails. [The salon I used to go to across the street is closed, and between the cost of the service and the added price of a Zipcar, the road trip to the other location in East Freedom, Pennsylvania is an unfortunate impossibility.]

#5. Try my hand at either Match.com or eHarmony.com. [I think it is time I try my hand at a relationship one last time. I’m 0-8 but I feel it’s time to give love one last shot. You never know.]

#4. Either get back to my religion, Roman Catholicism, or join another church closer to my apartment. [Long story short folks, I need more religion in my life. I am searching for some big mid-life crisis answers right now.]

#3. Continue working with my cat, Princess Josie. [I am making progress at teaching her certain things, but she still does things I don’t want her to do, like nipping. She is so different from Keekee, and I am still adjusting to the changes. I need to get some things she needs, like chew toys, while still training her away from bad behavior. I love her so much, and it is a completely blessing to have her here at home.]

#2. With the help of my therapist, learn to become stronger at setting personal boundaries. [I’ve always had a problem saying no to people, and it has bitten me more than once. I must learn to say no, and no means no.]

#1. Upgrade to a refurbished PS4 so I can get back to watching my Netflix and YouTube on my big screen TV. [Again, this will take money and money is tight right now. I might put this on my Christmas list as a gift to myself.]

There you have the list, in no particular order. Tomorrow we’ll be back with another stimulating blog entry. So take care, stay cool, thank God this heat wave is almost over, 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.

I am a genius – Lol

Greetings, readers. I told Rebecca yesterday that I had completely lost one of my gaming files, and an entire baseball league on Out of the Park Baseball 19 was gone forever. Then I remembered, I still have the link to last year’s version. Could it still be there? What do you know, it was. So I re-imported it. Everything is as it was.

I just love it when I do things like that because usually my gaffes are permanent. For example, if I had taken my time and made a thorough of list of everything I wanted to take from Mom and Dad’s house before it was sold, I would have taken a few more things, such as Grandma’s tea service. Obviously I couldn’t have taken everything, but I did not get everything I wanted. I did take some paintings that mean a lot to me.

This morning I tried to see if I could get my dead PS3 to work, with no such luck. The verdict is in, it is officially dead-dead. The Zipcars are finally back in town and I’m soon going to have to go to the gaming store and check on prices for a refurbished PS4. My only issue with setting it up is getting the log-in page filled in again, to give me access to games and other sites such as Netflix and YouTube. It was on auto-fill with a very old and now unused email account. I remember the email account address because I would see it every time I logged in, but the password … that is another story. Hopefully it is the one I used for other sites at that time.

I finally decided on what writing project I am going to do for the summer. I am going to work on a Charlie’s Angels fanfic film script, based on the original series. I know the characters very well and that will help. I just need to open the flood gates and get the creativity flowing. It is going to be tons of fun. Will it make money? Probably not. But who knows?

We’re down under 70 days before camp and all preparations are made except the rental car. I hope to rectify that tomorrow. I am going down to the office and speak to the gentleman directly. I am even going so far as to make an appointment for a specific time.

Lastly, my heart goes out to all the folks in Hawaii who are having their lives ruined by the volcano that continues to spew lava and ash everywhere. A neighbor of mine told me yesterday a good friend of his watched his lush mansion get totally destroyed in a very short time. I can’t even imagine that kind of devastation. Many prayers and good thoughts to you.

That’s the news for today. Rebecca and I will be back next week on Wednesday with another fun and exciting entry. So until then, enjoy your weekend, take care, and as always happy reading.

From Rebecca: Time alone in the apartment

Joe is writing alone today while I write this post from home, and my husband Darren had an appointment this morning, so I had a few hours by myself in the apartment. Because of our schedules, this is an unusual luxury for me. The whole place is mine!

I got up, took a shower, made coffee, and ate cereal as normal. Then I spent the rest of the time watching shows that Darren doesn’t like. First I enjoyed Father Brown on Netflix streaming and then I watched The View on ABC. I haven’t been able to watch The View much in a decade or so, though I have watched it off and on since it began in 1997. Where we live, it is broadcast opposite The Price is Right, which both Daren and I love, so that is what we usually watch together – with the exception of a segment or so when he is in the shower.

It is a little embarrassing that my ideal plan for time alone is watching television, but there you go. Darren and I have shows that we both like and watch together, but we also have shows that one of us likes and the other one doesn’t. I go to bed a couple of hours after Darren, and that is when I usually watch stuff that he absolutely doesn’t like. Darren gets up a couple of hours before me and he can watch stuff I really don’t like, though he has time alone in the apartment when I am at work or on Sunday afternoons. It is a system that works for us, for the most part.

On another subject, I met Joe’s new cat Princess Josie yesterday. She is bigger than I thought she’d be for some reason, though obviously still a kitten. She took a great interest in my shoes, and in my armpit – in a way that reminded me of Keekee because she did the same thing. PJ also tried to get on the work table we set up with the laptop on it, but we had to stop her; that is a habit we don’t want her to get into, in case she accidently erases a day’s work with one paw on the keyboard.

Joe left me a voicemail message earlier, saying that he has written a lot today with the voice recognition program. He also remembered that he might have promised a short story for his blog readers as yesterday’s entry, did I remember that too? I looked up last Thursday’s post, and sure enough he did promise that. Joe does like to finish a post with a promise for next week’s content, and then by the time the next week is here he has another topic in mind. Oh, well. The short story, based on a dream Joe once had, is written and might need one edit, so it will be posted here one day soon. Stay tuned.

Next Wednesday Joe will be back with a blog post. Until then, as he would say, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Hodgepodge day and review of new Lost in Space

Greetings, readers. Much to talk to you about today. First of all, I have asked for and been granted time off from my fast food job for the summer. I talked to my manager two days ago and she okayed it. I’ll be off from May 7th until the third week of August. I asked Savannah if I will have a job to come back to after all that time. She smiled and said of course. That gave me a good feeling inside. I must still be a valued employee (I say modestly.)

What will I do with this time off you might ask. I’m going to sit my behind in a chair and write, write, write. I have three or four ideas on the board already and am anxious to flush them out and start the first drafts. My days will go something like this: Get up early, have my coffee while I wake up slowly, do some computer fishing on Fishing Planet, and after breakfast put on the thinking cap, as my dad used to say, and begin writing.

For tomorrow’s blog entry, if possible, I will try something new. I have an idea for a short story based on a recurring dream of mine. I’m going to relay that dream to you and have that be the blog entry for tomorrow. I think you will find it fascinating.

Switching gears, what happened to my summertime? We had 82 degrees F four days ago, and yesterday looking out the restaurant window, we had snow squalls and wind. Welcome to central Pennsylvania in April. Luckily I was able to get back up to my apartment from the bus stop without slipping or sliding. Low 50s are forecast for today. That’s better than a high of 25 I’ll tell you; I think we just got spoiled. Heck, even the crocuses were up.

On to another topic on this hodgepodge day. I watched all ten episodes of the Netflix reboot of Lost in Space. I went into it expecting it to be horrible. It is fantastic. Most of it was shot on location in the Vancouver area, which provided stunning scenery. I was also most impressed with the development of the characters. They stayed much closer to Irwin Allen’s original family idea than the 1998 film, except that John and Maureen started out distant and almost divorced; they grew closer as the season went on. Penny, Will, and Judy were right on the mark, and I was happy to see that Judy was a doctor, not just blonde eye candy as in the 1960’s series.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know what happens next, skip this paragraph. At the end of the last episode, Jupiter 2 is pulled through the black hole and comes out in a completely different alien solar system. They are now truly lost in space . . . which does lead me to believe there will be a season 2. END OF SPOILERS.

When I first saw the trailer on Netflix for a reboot of Lost in Space, I thought to myself, oh boy, that will be a 2 out of 10 at best. My final score for season 1: a solid 8 out of 10. If you liked the series in the 60s, you’ll like this. Check it out on Netflix streaming.

Update after publication today: Also heartfelt condolences go out to the Bush family on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush. She was a wonderful lady, and she will be missed by the world.

That’s my news for today. As stated before, tomorrow will be a short story as the blog entry. I think you will like the change of pace. Until then, take care, think spring, and as always, happy reading.

I’ve been watching Star Trek: Enterprise on Netflix recently

Greetings, readers. Over the past several weeks, I have been watching and thoroughly enjoying Star Trek: Enterprise. It was not one of the more successful Star Trek spinoffs, but it did have a cult following. The series ran for four seasons and ended in a unique way. More about that later.

The show depicts the Federation and the world of Star Trek approximately 100 years before James T. Kirk and the iconic Enterprise NCC-1701. Jonathan Archer is the captain of the NX-01, the first warp five starship. He is played by actor Scott Bakula, of Quantum Leap fame.

I am currently one episode away from being finished with the second season. So, I’ve watched about half the series and am loving every minute of it. If I had to make one observation of something about the series which doesn’t quite make sense it would be this …  most of the technological gizmos that the crew carries around with them, such as phase pistols and scanners, look more modern than what Kirk, Spock, and McCoy used. I realize I’m being picky, but this is supposed to be 100 years in the past. McCoy had a lit-up salt shaker as his medical scanner.

In the last episode, (spoiler alert below) we see Commander Riker and Counselor Troi on the Enterpirse D, just as if it were an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Riker was studying something about the end of Archer’s mission and the final episode of the series was supposedly a holodeck simulation. It was cool to see the characters Riker and Troi again and even a voice splice-in of Commander Data. Although Riker never interacted with Archer’s crew directly, he did observe such things as Chief Engineer Trip’s noble sacrifice to save the ship and Captain Archer’s final speech at Star Fleet Headquarters. The last scene of the series was Riker and Troi shutting down the holodeck program and going back on duty aboard Picard’s ship.

Now on to some other characters. T’Pol is the Vulcan science officer. She is played by Jolene Blalock. I must admit dear readers, but at first, I did not like this character. She’s grown on me though. To me she’s a Vulcan who is trying to act like Voyager’s Seven of Nine. Blalock does a wonderful job, but her voice is just a little too sexy in my opinion.

Next is the chief engineer, Charles Tucker III, who goes by ‘Trip’. At first, I couldn’t figure that one out, but then it hit me. Trip is for triple and triple is the third. Got it. He is played by Conner Trinneer. Trip is from Florida and has that slight southern accent. In the series, his sister is killed during a vicious attack on Earth. Trip is the do-gooder of the series and usually ends up getting in trouble for it. During one episode, there was a character who had no rights and was treated like a pet. He took interest in her, taught her to read, to enjoy music and other interests. It was against that species’ wishes, so of course the Captain reprimanded ‘Trip’ and for a while the Captain was quite disappointed in his officer.

I would have to say though that my favorite character is the doctor, Phlox. He is a Denobulan. That’s easy for me to say. He is extremely positive, very friendly, and does his very best to save all his patients. Whether it’s the actor, John Billingsley’s regular way of speaking or not, Phlox has a very whimsical cadence and distinct diction. Charming, yet strong, he is one of the biggest heroes of the series to me. During one episode where the crew was being invaded by aliens which were basically wisps of smoke, Phlox was able to save the ship from being taken over, and in turn save the crew.

I don’t have enough time to give you a synopsis of every character, so I suggest if you have Netflix, check it out for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. Journey along with the crew of the Enterprise NX-01. You will get a brief glimpse into not only the beginning of Starfleet and the Federation, but enemies such as the Klingons and even the Borg. After you have watched the entire series, I’m quite certain that you will want to start again and boldly go where no one has gone before.

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

P.S. I was happy that the Eagles won the Super Bowl, but all the local Eagle’s fans kept me up Sunday night until close to 2:00 in the morning. Not good.

From Rebecca: Our Souls at Night

There is a new film on Netflix streaming that I have been watching in parts for the last week and finished today, called Our Souls at Night. It stars Jane Fonda as Addie Moore and Robert Redford as Louis Waters. It is a gentle slow-moving story of two people connecting to one another after decades of living in the same town. It is based on a book by Kent Haruf, which I see our local library has in its collection.

Our Souls at Night starts with two lonely people who have trouble sleeping at night, until Addie knocks on Louis’s door and asks him over to sleep in her bed. She isn’t proposing sex, just that they talk and keep each other company in order to fall asleep. He needs some time to think about it, but then agrees. It is awkward at first, but as they eat dinner together and lie down in the same bed, they begin to talk about the events of their lives and the choices they made. They become friends and companions. The town starts to gossip about them, and they brave it out. Partway through the film Addie’s grandson Jamie arrives to stay with her, played by Iain Armitage (the actor who now plays Sheldon Cooper in Young Sheldon on CBS). Having Jamie living there changes and adds to the relationship developing between Louis and Addie.

There is not much action in this movie, just the two main characters interacting with each other and other people. The big actions in the story come from decisions contemplated and emotional risks taken. There are no shouting matches, smashed dishes, or dramatic reveals. Just mature adults in relationships with the various people in their lives doing the best they can. By the end of the film, they have both faced mistakes from their pasts, and worked to make the damage better. The performances by Robert Redford and Jane Fonda are strong, understated, and good, from the first awkward pauses to the last comfortable conversation.

I plan to recommend this film for Joe, given his love of On Golden Pond. The films are very different, but they do both have as a plot point an older couple taking care of a boy for a while. In On Golden Pond, Jane Fonda played a character leaving the boy with her parents, and in Our Souls at Night, she plays the mother agreeing to take care of the child. I think Joe would appreciate having the same actress portray two sides of the same event.

I know not everyone has subscribed to Netflix’s streaming service. My thoughts on the various streaming services and the shows that some people have access to but not others might be a good blog topic for another day. But for now, if you do happen to have access to this film, I do recommend it for anyone who enjoys a gentle film about a developing relationship between two mature adults.

Until next Wednesday and a blog entry from Joe, I hope you are comfortable in whatever weather you have, take care, and happy reading.