Tag Archives: Panera

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.

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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.

My new year’s resolutions 2019

Greetings, readers. I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to change in my life in 2019. The first thing that came to mind was to better my diet. That will be a slow process, but one of the things I can easily do is drink a cup of green tea at Panera every time I go. I shall get the benefits of its antioxidants and, according to WebMD, the benefits from lowing cholesterol levels and improving blood flow.

Resolution number two. I’m going to try to be kinder to strangers. New Year’s Eve day I was at Panera having a cup of coffee, trying to collect my thoughts, when I spotted a mother and three little girls. The children were all so well-behaved, I thought wouldn’t it be nice if I bought them a cookie to share? Hoping I wouldn’t come across as the older creep, I cautiously approached the mother. After the mother gratefully accepted my offer, I went to purchase the large M&M candy cookie. When I presented it to them, the children were all smiles. It felt so good to give rather than to receive. I watched the kids occasionally as they ate their lunch and sure enough they finished every bite. Then they shared their cookie.

I’m going to try to be more positive this year. I tend to be a pessimist at times and lose my cool way too easily. I shall work on that every day with meditation and therapy for anger management. It is nice that I have a therapy session this afternoon and I can start this resolution right away. Therapy really is helping so much. I am sure my doctor can continue to help me with my negativity and occasional short fuse.

I’m going to try to repay kindness to people who have shown kindness to me. Again, giving is better than receiving. I understand that when you are a little child, you love to get presents. Try giving, young children, you’ll be amazed by how good you feel.

This year, I’m planning to write at least one to two pages a day on a work project so that this time next year I’ll have a book of between 365-730 pages. Yes it is going to go very slowly. If I really get on a roll, I might even type more than that per day. I need to get that great American novel out if I have it in me.

Now for my biggest resolution. Thanks to a point-out from Rebecca, I’m going to stop bad mouthing people. Sometimes when I talk about my friends, I tend to harp on their bad points and how they irritate me on a particular day, without saying anything about their good points. I’m going to learn how to be thankful for all my friends, knowing that no one is perfect, and I sure as hell am not. I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that if you were to ask any of my friends about my bad points, the list would be about two pages long. That is why I need to change things.

What are some of your new year’s resolutions? Leave them on my Facebook page or here on this page’s comments section.

Rebecca and I are down to working one day a week now. I’m going to try to dictate a blog entry on Saturday when the work crews are not working and it is quiet, then post it for you late Saturday or Sunday.

Until then, take care, have a great day, have a blessed 2019, and happy reading.

Thinking of Bear Spring Camps on a cold day

Greetings, readers. This morning, I got up about quarter to 7:00 which is about the time I would rise at camp to get ready for breakfast. Time did not permit me this morning to go to Panera for breakfast because Rebecca was coming and I had things to do before she arrived. Even now, as I sit here looking out the window, gazing at the grey sky and knowing the temperatures are in the low 30s F, I’m thinking how nice it would be to be back in camp in August, swimming in the lake. It is a nice dream, isn’t it?

Yes, folks, I’ve always had an over active imagination. I can daydream and think about almost anything. When it is cold or snowy, my thoughts will generally turn to summer and Bear Spring Camps. Heck, it’s only a few weeks before next year’s vacation turns into this year’s vacation.

Over the years, I shot lots of video tape footage of the camp, the lake, and the people. A number of years ago I edited all that onto a tape which I called Bear Spring Camps: The Day. It was amazing how well it worked. From early with the sun coming up to going to bed at night, with all the typical activities in between, it came out perfectly. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a video you have to sit down and watch for eight hours straight. The concept was devised to cover key points in the day. The early morning lake, the going to and from meals, riding down to Belgrade Lake store, boating and fishing, the evening bonfire, etc. Unfortunately I misplaced it somewhere in the apartment, and it has been a while since I watched it.

Boy am I getting nostalgic today. It is Wednesday which I remember as turkey or ham for dinner at camp. Isn’t that embarrassing, I know that Sunday is roast chicken and always will be, but I am blanking on what Wednesday’s dinner meal really is. I really love the food there.

I can see all the wonderful pies and cakes and smell the aroma of freshly made coffee. During the afternoon and evening meals, more people are there early and the sounds of conversations blend together with everyone talking in unison, making it difficult to understand what anyone is saying. Sometimes it is even difficult to hear what the family is saying at our own table. The noise level can fluctuate that much. On Thursday evenings a singer with an acoustic guitar comes to entertain at the evening meal it is quite pleasant and folks tend to sing along.

I know I am not living in a dream land, dear readers, from my apartment window I am staring at the local Days Inn hotel and it is the middle of December. But how nice to have that five-minute vacation. Now it is time to go back to reality. I think people tend to be nicer when they are on vacation. When you have had a hard day at work, try my method, pop in a vacation video or find a loved one and go through a photo album or two. A small little respite from real life never hurt anybody.

Continued good thoughts and prayers go out to those who need it. Rebecca and I will be back tomorrow with another blog entry so stay tuned for that. I bid you a wonderful day, take care, brighten someone’s day, and happy reading.