Tag Archives: Panera

Due to circumstances beyond our control …

Greetings, readers. Because of some switching over of new telephone and electrical poles behind my building, the power and internet was going to be switched off at certain intervals today. Neither Rebecca nor I wanted to walk up eight flights of stairs or, worse yet, get stuck in the elevator if the power got cut at that moment. So, hello from Panera.

Not our work place of choice, Panera will have to suffice. One of the main reasons I don’t like to work in public is all the miscellaneous noises, such as other customers talking or background music which could start blaring any moment. I promised a blog entry for today so we are going to get it done. Oh, what creatures of habit we are. I used to like working here. Now it is completely foreign to me. I much prefer sitting in my apartment chair dictating to Rebecca.

So, let’s see what else is news. Last evening at 6:00, I donned my Spikes T-shirt, cap, and sit-upon and got ready in my comfy chair in my apartment for the 7:05 start, only to suffer through a two-hour rain delay and the eventual postponement of the game. Folks, when did baseball change? In the single A short season, if the game has to be made up, they will only play seven innings. To me that is not baseball.

Unless the major leagues have switched also, single A has another weird rule. If the game goes into extra innings, the teams start with a runner on second. They are called the designated runner. The first time I experienced this was two games ago and the Auburn Doubledays fans were chanting, “That’s not baseball,” clap, clap, clap-clap-clap. As it turns out, it actually helped the Spikes win that game. I am still not a big fan of it though. I do not think it is preparing the younger players to play at the major league level. Proponents would probably tell me that we cannot tax our 17 to 20 year-olds. I can see both the pros and the cons.

The construction of the new building is coming along nicely, and I am very slowly losing my view of the Days Inn’s restaurant, Mad Mex. When the building is completed, I’m not going to have much of the view left which I enjoyed when I moved in. When I moved in 13 years ago, I had a choice of a fifth floor apartment or an eighth. I took the eighth floor apartment because of the view. All good things must come to an end, as they say.

It’s only a few weeks now until the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and the People’s Choice Festival roll into town. I’m looking forward to July and its warmer weather, but not the crowds and the humidity. I’ll probably spend some time walking around downtown, seeing what’s on offer. With everything being handcrafted, I doubt I will be able to afford any wares. My favorite part of the Arts Festival is the misting ferns. They were slightly different last year, but it was still refreshing to walk through it. I am not going to partake of the children’s water bucket dump, however.

Then, it is on to Maine a few weeks later. That boggles my mind. I can rest easy, though, as I have made all the accommodations for my motels and rental car. Now I know why my mom liked to be prepared so early, so that she could relax knowing that if anything went wrong it was on them. When I get back from Maine, I shall immediately look for gainful employment. My accountant has been gently nudging me all summer to become gainfully employed and I think it would be a good idea. My funds are depleting quickly. If I do go to camp next year, I will certainly have to have at least a part-time position. Any position I get, must be within walking distance to my apartment. No more buses at rush hour for me.

This weekend appears to be a normal one, so I should be able to put up the next new blog entry Sunday afternoon. Until then, have a good few days, take care, love one another, and happy reading.

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From Rebecca: Joe is flattened by back spasms

Greetings, Joe’s readers. When I got to work today I found Joe walking bent over and in pain. He tried to ease his back spasms by lying down for a bit, but he said he couldn’t find a comfortable position and felt like a Mexican jumping bean. Next he tried walking it off by going up and down the hallway, which seemed to help a little. This is the worst spasm he has had in years, kicking off a pain every few seconds. I hope he feels better soon. He asked me to write the post today, because he can’t sit down or focus long enough to dictate it.

When I come to work every Wednesday, I set up a card table to put his laptop on for me to use to type dictation. Joe is sitting at the table now, seeing if leaning forward in a different chair will help. So far no success. He is looking for that one magic position that will get it to stop. As we only work together one day a week now, this is really putting a crimp in today’s progress.

I am actually amazed by how much Joe can do on a day to day basis with all the physical problems he has. It keeps him from doing some things he really wants to do, like write for a few hours at a time, but he is able to do a lot of things he needs to most of the time. A day like today where he is stopped by his body is a good reminder of how well he usually does.

——————-

Joe got his back to calm down at least enough to try to dictate a few paragraphs.

Hi, readers. Thanks to Rebecca for getting this one started. It took two Aleve and a big swig of NyQuil to calm this spasm down. This was probably the worst back spasm in a couple of years. If I only knew what I did to make it start. I was just sitting at Panera taking my meds. Yes, my body has a mind of its own. Like Rebecca said though, most days I can get by with no problem.

Something else is weighing on my mind, which unfortunately I cannot disclose at this moment, but suffice it to say that prayers are needed for a good friend of mine on a couple of levels. Prayers for her would be much appreciated. Tyvm.

We have enjoyed several beautiful mornings in a row; a little unusual for State Cloudy, Pennsylvania. I’ve heard the forecast calls for rain overnight and tomorrow morning, but I will take every nice morning I can get.

Traci’s sister Roni is scheduled to meet us tomorrow morning at 7:00 for coffee at Panera. Hopefully it will not be downpouring then. Friend Smith will also be there and is eagerly looking forward to meeting Roni. It should be a very pleasant gathering.

Well, there is today’s blog entry. Again, thanks to Rebecca for getting it started, and you will be happy to know that finally at 11am the back spasm seems to be over. Thank God!

I’ll dictate another entry on Sunday, so until then, have a wonderful few days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

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.

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.

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.

I am very nervous about my appointment with my doctor tomorrow

Greetings, readers. Tomorrow at 12:30 PM, I have a doctor’s appointment which I have been apprehensive about for days. Oddly enough, I requested this test after I passed out and knocked my friend over like a bowling pin. It’s called an EEG test. I shall have many electrodes glued on to my head before lying down on this narrow bed and having all sorts of noises and lights bombarding my senses. I distinctly remember the last time I had this test, because the strobe light effect almost set off a seizure. This is something I am praying does not happen to me. I have had a few grand mal seizures in my lifetime, and the prospect of another one makes my stomach turn.

On the positive side, I will be allowed to have breakfast and take my morning meds. The downside of the morning is that I am not allowed to have any caffeine. I always have at least one cup of regular coffee to jumpstart the battery. I shall go over and have breakfast at Panera as usual, and have decaf coffee and a vanilla iced cinnamon roll. I can always count on those yummy pastries to put me in a good mood if I’m going to have a tough day.

On the downside of this test…, besides having glue in my hair, is that I was specifically instructed not to get my full allotment of sleep. It is suggested in the instruction paper for me to only have half of what I usually get. So, I’ll go to bed around 11 or 11:30 this evening, and wake up around 5 AM. That certainly is not my eight hours of beauty rest. Lol.

Even though I am dreading this test tomorrow, I know it must be done. We must ascertain why I passed out approximately two weeks ago. By Wednesday, I hope to have the results so that we can share them with you in our next blog entry. It is suppertime on this Sunday evening, and I am soon going to Panera to get something to eat with my last cup of regular coffee for a day and a half. 😦 Please everyone, think good thoughts for me tomorrow afternoon. It will be most appreciated.

Until Wednesday, when Rebecca is back to type and help me edit, take care as always, have a great rest of your weekend, love one another 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 …

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.

Arg! Oh what a terrible morning I had #2

Greetings, readers. For the last few months I’ve enjoyed a set morning routine. It involves going to Panera with my friends Smith and Traci for coffee, breakfast, and conversation. It is a wonderful way to start the day and I now look forward to it every morning that it’s possible to do. I had plans to go this morning but a back spasm said no. My back going out is one of the most frustrating health issues that I have to deal with, because I literally have to turn out all the lights, take two Aleve, and go back to bed. I let my body reset.

To my happy surprise, when I laid down, the back spasm almost instantly ceased. Friend Smith had already gone back to her apartment and I didn’t feel like knocking on her door and saying what the heck, let’s try it. I took a nap for about an hour, setting my alarm for 9:15, just enough time to get dressed again before Rebecca came. I didn’t have any breakfast food in the house and the only regular coffee I have is instant. So I had to pretend that my new box of K-Cups was not decaf. I also missed out on my delicious papaya green tea which I get every morning along with my coffee to hydrate myself. Yes, readers, I am trying to take better care of myself.

Some of the other things I do to help my diet is eat more oatmeal. Also at the McLanahan’s corner store pre-packaged cups of fresh fruit on one side of the display with sandwiches and salads on the other side are for offer. I helped myself to a few containers of delicious watermelon. Also to aid in my efforts to eat better I am definitely considering getting Meals on Wheels again. They are not the greatest, but most of them have some veggies in them. I am not a big believer in these protein shakes that supplement your diet, for I have no idea how many chemicals they have in them.

Smith is trying to get me to drink more water, which I must admit I am not a big fan of. She is impressed that I am drinking Panera’s cold papaya green tea. Occasionally I’ll mix it up and have their lemonade. Both are healthy and good hydrating beverages. Now readers, get ready for the shocker. I’m seriously contemplating giving up coffee completely. I think I am starting to lose the taste for it. I never thought I’d say that, but I fear it’s true. Perhaps I’ll just cut way back.

When spring rolls around the last thing I will add to my new health regimen is walk, walk, walk. Because of my lack of exercise, and because of standing in one place at my fast food job for a year, I have a little arthritis in my hips, making that morning trek to Panera a bit stiff. If I do a lot of walking in the warmer months, I’m hoping that some of that stiffness can be alleviated. If it is tight muscles, that’s fine. If arthritis has come to stay, that is a completely different story. I have to use a walker for our morning coffee excursion. Later in the day, everything loosens up and I am back to my own self. For all my younger readers out there, I’m just kidding, but don’t get old. It’s no fun.

There is today’s blog entry. I will put up another blog entry mid-day on Sunday. I apologize that last Sunday’s was put up so late in the day, but it was a very hectic Sunday. I’m sure you can all relate. I’ve heard that snow storms are coming across the country, so please stay safe, don’t drive in it if you don’t have to, and until Sunday, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

What the heck haven’t we talked about?

Greetings, readers. As we approach our 800th blog entry, Rebecca and I are beginning to become stuck in the mud for new blog topics. This is sad to me. I hoped to go on forever. Am I telling you I am shutting down? Perish the thought. But I’m not going to bore you with construction updates, weather forecasts, my failing writing career, or daily trips to Panera. It will soon be time to go outside the box and push the envelope.

I promised myself that I would not blog about politics, but I might have to break that promise. Rebecca and I spent an hour today discussing how much we both dislike President Trump and the current partial government shutdown. Heaven forbid that it takes years to resolve. Rebecca keeps going on about the GOP in Congress needing to grow a spine and stand up to their leader. I agree. People are getting hurt by the shutdown, mostly federal workers who are not deemed necessary to pay. Some people even had to postpone giving their children Christmas gifts. With the change of power in the House of Representatives but not quite in the Senate, change will not be as quick as it could have been. A new bill will have to be written, passed in the House and Senate, more than likely vetoed by President Trump, and when the Congress overturns the veto, the government can open up again.

What really angered me the other day, is when I read on the Microsoft Edge start page that high-ranking government officials, “gladly accepted their $10,000 a year raise.” I just love it that they can take their money and run while some federal workers have to do without.

I know I have friends, family, and other readers on opposite sides of the political coin, and I do not wish to offend any of them. This may be a sticky wicket. But when I am talking about the government shutdown for an hour and then trying to come up with a blog topic that seems less offensive, none of the alternatives seem to be as pertinent.

Other topics we could discuss are all the senseless mass shootings, or careless folks starting wild fires. Children who play with matches or someone who tosses a cigarette out in the wilderness need to be set down and spoken to of the dangers of dry brush. Now I know things like lightning strikes can be causes so it is not always the human factor involved. After blog #800, I’ll see just how large I can grow my grapefruits and will begin to go outside my comfort zone and blog on other topics such as conspiracy theories, the government, alternative lifestyles, and other so-called taboo subjects. We’ll see how that goes. Lol.

I’m going to try to put a blog entry up this weekend. Rebecca caught a couple of editing blunders in the entry I did last Sunday, and we fixed them this morning. I promise I will try to be more thorough in my editing this time around. Until then, take care, be safe, spread love around if you can, and, as always, happy reading.