Tag Archives: Rebecca

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 [Every book I’ve ever done would not be published without Rebecca.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.

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64 views at 10:25 AM! Wowzers

Greetings, readers. No, it is not my highest number in the blog statistics ever, but just say I am happily perplexed. 63 of the 64 recent blog views are for the blog entry Top ten list of modern conveniences. I think Rebecca put her finger on it, this has got to be a class doing research for an assignment. We checked which country these views came from and 63 were from the United States. Taiwan chimed in with one.

I’m often amused when the modern conveniences entry comes up as often as it does, but to have 63 views of it before 10:30 in the morning is incredible. My first thought was it was bots, but Rebecca pointed out that we could see a few of the search terms used and they seemed real. If they are real and there is a big class push to do a project, imagine what the numbers might be by the end of the day. It is going to take a lot to top our number one day ever, at 444 views for R.I.P. to my good friend Terry.

I know sometimes I get preoccupied with blog numbers. Most people just write their blog to get whatever they’re thinking off their chest. My brain doesn’t work that way. If I don’t feel I’m being read, my feeling get hurt … just kidding.

In the many years that we’ve done the blog, I’ve hashed and rehashed many topics, from sports to video game reviews, and a whole slew of weather reports. Some folks might find that boring, but I write what I know about. For instance, I’m not going to pretend to know every policy that President Trump has, so I won’t bad mouth his handling of Mexico or North Korea. When I do choose to write a controversal political piece, or something of the like, trust me I will do lots of research first. It helps to know what you are talking about.

As I sit here dictating this entry my mind wanders back to all those views relating to modern conveniences. This trend has been going on for many years. You would think everyone in the world would have done his or her research on modern conveniences. But no, numbers seem to be spiking. Never in my wildest dreams when I wrote that entry in 2013 did I think that would be one of the most read blog entries; it averages four views a day. One can never tell.

On to a different topic, for those of you who found my entry this past Sunday a bit dry, I was unusually distracted by visitors and phone calls, and it was only the second half of the entry when I was able to switch to my speech recognition program. I wonder how many of you can tell just when I started dictating. According to Rebecca, the ones with the speech recognition have a different flow to them. Hopefully that is a good thing. So if any of you were disappointed in Sunday’s entry, that was what the issue was. I might try dictating Sunday’s entry on Saturday evening when it is quiet. I can get it all ready to go, complete with a spell check, tags, and a category, and make it live right there and then. That is not a promise, that is just a goal. Usually I dictate better when I am alone and it is quiet. Let me know how you think this weekend’s is.

For all the people in the world who need prayers, continued prayers and support go out. To all the people using guns inappropriately and those setting arson fires, I implore you to please stop and think about if one of your loved ones was shot or was in a burning building. Just don’t do it.

Until this weekend, I bid you a great few days, love one another, take care and happy reading.

Joe’s Sunday Times. All the news which only my friends think is fit to print. :-D

Greetings, readers. This morning, Smith and I went to church with social hour afterwards. When we had our fill of hot chocolate, I had this great idea to go across the street to Target and grab the few items which I needed. Well, the ‘few items’ turned into five bags full; a major issue when we had the walker with us.

On the way home, the sun came out brightly, and the temperature rose quickly. According to my computer’s weather app, the high was going to be 61F. How I’ve longed to have warmer weather. With a high 47F yesterday and lots of wind, it was a big difference. Sometimes my fragile body doesn’t go for abrupt weather changes.

Well…, let’s see what else is news. Oh yes, The Alliance of American Football is kaput! Lol. The league lasted 8 weeks out of 10. Gee, there’s a league that didn’t even get to finish their 1st season. Umm, guys, you should have been a bit more organized. You are now the laughing-stock of pro sports. The top man wanted the NFL to officially call the AoAF their minor league. The NFL’s commissioner said no. It was just a disorganized mess.

One of the reasons this entry is so tardy is that I took an afternoon nap. Unfortunately, my naps have been getting longer these days. Yes, readers, I’m not old… just older. Today I dozed off during a football game I was watching on YouTube. Programs which used to hold my attention now no longer do. Sometimes, if I feel myself dozing off, I can stand up, open a window or something, and revive myself. If not, I will be visiting Mr. Sandman.

Lastly, prayers go out to everyone in the world who needs them. The senseless shootings, and other acts of random violence, must end. If people have the ability to hate, they have the ability to love. Let’s stop the madness.

On Wednesday, Rebecca will be back and we will put up another exciting blog entry for your enjoyment. Until then, take care, have a wonderful few days, spread love around, and as always, happy reading.

Spring Cleaning 2019

Greetings, readers. Along with the warmer temperatures and baseball season comes one of my annual chores which I dread. It’s called spring cleaning. One day in very early April when it is at least 55 or 60 degrees F, I shall open all the windows and get to work.

I’ll buy plenty of trash bags from Target and go through all my living room and bedroom junk, getting rid of things such as old papers, boxes, and empty pill bottles. Yes, Josie loves to play with those, maybe I’ll keep one or two bottles for her. I have two dead recliners in the living room, which are now being used as storage place. Oh, how ugly! Last year at this time, I think I was further along with keeping my apartment clean than I am now. I seem to have regressed. Shame on me.

Only once in my life have I ever cleaned my room from top to bottom in one shot. My mother almost fainted. When I get motivated, I can do it. My strong point in such cleaning matters is to do one area at a time and get it done. Then I must be careful that when I move on I simply don’t shift things and re-clutter the area I just did.

I’ll go from table to recliners, to the window area, making everything spotless. I might even rent a Rug Doctor. Then it will be the kitchen’s turn to be scrubbed within an inch of its life. The two areas I am dreading are the bedroom and my walk-in closet which doubles as a storage unit. This project must be done before next inspection.

I’ve been putting this chore off until spring time, but what do you know, spring arrives at 10:00 tonight. I’ve never been one to keep a tidy house/apartment, so even after I clean, the chore of keeping it such will be the main undertaking. One of these Wednesdays I might even ask Rebecca to help me out by holding the trash bag. She always seems to help me get motivated as she is excellent in her organizational skills. That’s what I need in this apartment … organization.

Prayers for everyone in New Zealand who was affected by the mosque shootings. So sad, so terribly sad. I wish people would take the advice of Ellen DeGeneres and just be kind to one another. I would like to take it one step further and end all wars for seven days; just try to get along with everyone, it might actually work. I don’t think that is going to happen, but wouldn’t it be nice. Hope springs eternal.

Until Sunday, I shall leave you with this. I am going to practice what I preached, and be kind to everyone I see today. I invite you to do the same. That’s it, from Pastor Joe.

Until Sunday, have a great few days, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

Snow Day! – part one

Greetings, readers. This entry may very well be the shortest one so far. We are having a snowstorm in Central Pennsylvania, and Rebecca called off yesterday. I don’t blame her. I would rather have her be safe, then to try to come in, slip and break a foot or ankle. As it turns out, I’m not feeling all that great today, so it is a win-win situation.

I remember how I used to feel during my schooling years when we had the occasional snow day. Mom would shout up the stairs, or come knock on my bedroom door, to give me the good news. Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and that snow day would have to be made up at the end of the year. Bah, humbug.

I’m going to be doing a lot of taking it easy today. Rebecca will come in tomorrow, and we will put up part two of this entry.

Until then take care, stay warm, love one another, 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.

Yay! Here’s #800!!!

Greetings, readers. We’ve made it to 800. As I ponder what to write about in this blog entry, I’ve been considering my life’s accomplishments and failures so far. In 53 1/2 years, I’ve written three books, co-authored one novel based on a play I wrote, and to this point have written 799 blog entries.

The last few weeks I’ve gotten religiously nostalgic. This past Sunday I attended a church my parents and I went to when I was a youth. It felt strange but good. It was like going home again. I also found a Bible on the internet which can either be read or listened to, and it is free. What an amazing concept. As I mentioned in blog #799 I am having dinner with a friend, who is quite religious and I am looking forward to having an in-depth discussion on the Lord and prayer.

I feel blessed to have so many good friends around me. A very nice lady down the hall, Smith, sometimes cooks for me. There are very generous people in town, such as businesses and churches. The businesses sometimes offer fantastic deals, and at least two churches I know of have weekly dinners for no cost, but they’ll, “Gladly accept a donation.” Rebecca has been a marvelous friend, helping me with my writing for eight years. She has been invaluable, helping with editing, writing, keeping appointments straight, and the like.

I have always been a nostalgic person. When I left my childhood home for the final time, after the sale of it had been finalized, I took paintings with me that are hung proudly in this apartment. Other people can have my beat up organ, my old stereo, my 1980s Zenith color TV after everything go cleared out, but they were not going to get their paws on five certain paintings. Call me sentimental if you want to, but that is just me.

Painting that was in my parent’s home

 

A very important memory from my parent’s home

 

Where do we go from here, from #800? Well, I hope to blog for a very long time. I would love to reach #1,000. Rebecca and I have figured out that is about two years’ worth of work at two entries a week. I think we can do it. Sure I would love to see the views per day go up, but I take pleasure in writing, getting my thoughts down, and giving you nice folks something to enjoy.

As I close #800, and I’ve said this in the past on these milestone blog entries, thank you so much for sticking with us. If you like what you read, tell your friends. Here is the direct url to the blog’s home page. Here’s to many, many more blog entries. If any of you have some ideas you would like me to blog about, please leave a comment in the comment section, on my Facebook, or on my Twitter page.

Until next Wednesday, have a wonderful weekend, please stay warm, enjoy, and happy reading. Yay for #800! 🙂

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.

It’s holiday time again :-)

Greetings, readers. In just a few hours one of my favorite days will begin. I love Thanksgiving because it has a number of traditions I took part in as a kid and I continue to do to this day.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day. I’ll get up fairly early, have my morning coffee and take my meds, and get ready to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Then, a relatively new tradition, if I’m at home, I’m invited out to dinner with Traci and her family. Some years I’m invited to my best friend, David’s, house to take part in their celebration. That is always enjoyable, because I either go by Zipcar or Megabus and make a weekend of it.

After I get back from Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, I will watch what is left of any football games, and take a nap. After I wake up, I will turn on Spotify music and play my hand-selected Christmas Trax. I’d have to say of all the songs I have on that playlist, Earth Kitt’s Santa Baby is my favorite. I performed that at my last show; it was a hit. Please, if you have Spotify, find me, follow me, and subscribe to that playlist, or any playlists of mine you wish.

To me, the Christmas season, even though it might start earlier or later for other people, was always from Thanksgiving morning until the day after New Year’s. At home as a child, I would watch my parents put up the tree, most years a live tree, decorate it and plug the lights in; it was so much fun to watch it come alive, as I used to say. There are holiday parades and bowl games during this part of the year, the town is decorated with pretty lights and lit wreaths and a big Christmas tree, and yes, even those first snow storms are pretty. Once the car tires get into it and turn the snow black, well you can have it. Black snow might be the ugliest sight in the world.

I always get a tiny bit depressed on January 2nd. Some people in my building will already be taking down their holiday decorations and the season will be over. What’s left is three months of trees with no leaves, grass that does not look green, snow, cold, and wind. Oh joy, oh bliss. And yes, readers, I am being sarcastic.

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I will let you know what I am thankful for. I am thankful to have a roof over my head and that it is downtown close to many places I need to go, such as shopping and bus stops. I’m also thankful for my many friends and people I call family. I am especially thankful for Rebecca who has been my trusted friend, typist and editor for all these years. In the last year or two she has actually graduated to a title of personal assistant.

I am most thankful for Tasha, my former co-worker at my fast-food job, and her mother for providing me with a wonderful kitty cat. Princess Josie has become most affectionate and loving. We are really getting to know each other’s habits, and believe me she knows that when I wake up, it is time for her breakfast. She’ll make a mad dash for the kitchen. So again, thank you Tasha and mom.

If anyone would like to, please leave in the comments below or on Facebook what you are thankful for. I would love to compare notes. As always, I wish everyone a safe holiday if traveling, give your family members plenty of hugs, and as always, happy reading.

The verdict is still out on Nuance Dragon voice recognition program

Greetings, readers. I have tried the brand-newest version of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition program, which the creators call a solution. So far I like it. It’s obviously the same product only better. A couple of months ago, The Nuance company sent me a notice that they are discontinuing my version of the solution, and gave me a choice about what I wanted to do. I could continue to use my current version, number 13, without tech support and updates or I could actually purchase the newest version, number 15, at a big discount. I chose the latter. For a hundred six dollars and some cents I could own a three hundred-dollar product. I said yes, please.

I’ve tried it out a few times already and there are a few improvements I’ve noticed right off the bat. For starters, it did not have to relearn my voice. I believe when I was installing 15, it learned from the previous version before replacing it. That is awesome. I just wish when I am creating a new blog entry in the new post screen on my WordPress dashboard, that I could dictate with the voice recognition program. I still have to dictate in a word program then cut and paste it if Rebecca is not here. That is not that hard to do, but it is an extra step.

The one thing that I did that I actually regret – and it goes to show how impatient I can be – I downloaded the digital copy instead of ordering a disk through the mail. Somewhere in the downloaded content, I’m sure, is the instruction booklet with all the commands and other information about what’s new in the product. I’m quite certain I’ll find it somewhere.

The following paragraph has spoilers for the novel Four’s a Crowd, the book Darren Taylor wrote based on my play Kimberly. If you haven’t read the book yet but want to, you can skip the next paragraph. It is a fantastic novel.

Yesterday Rebecca and I were doing some research on a major health issue for the elderly. My new writing project very well could be either a brand new play or TV pilot script, Five’s a Family, based on Four’s a Crowd. The timeline would be approximately five to eight years from the end of the novel where Kimberly gave birth to Emily Alice. I would want the child to be old enough to interact and be an integral part of the family instead of just sitting there and being cute. The issue is can Alice still have the health to be living in the house as one of the main characters, or would she have to be in a nursing home, only seen once in a while. After a little more research, I will know what I can and cannot do plausibly.

And welcome back to anyone who didn’t read the previous paragraph. Both Rebecca and I seem to be unusually distracted today. Distraction number one is the multitude of construction noises from next door. Number two is my rather naughty kitty cat, Princess Josie. And number three is stopping to find the right words for the blog entry, which are not coming as easily as usual, so we have to keep stopping to find the right words and phrases for a clear meaning. But, we trudge through. Yes, we did have a moment there where we had to re-word almost the whole previous paragraph. We were almost finished with it, when Rebecca pointed out what a major spoiler it was. Oops, can’t do that. That is why she makes the big bucks. She catches things way before I do. Could I edit my own blog? Sure. Would it be edited as well? I don’t think so.

As I begin to wind this blog post down, Josie has finally located a comfy spot. Now she settles down. Haha. I guess it is a comedy of errors today. As I’m trying to dictate the next sentence, the jack hammer outside is wreaking havoc with my concentration. The construction progress of said seven-story building will take at least a year or more. When it is completed, I fear I will have no pretty view left. I took this eighth story apartment for the view. Dang it.

There is today’s entry. We’ll be back next Wednesday with more written goodies. Take care, have a wonderful weekend, give someone you love a hug, and happy reading.