Tag Archives: Schlow Centre Region Library

Top ten list of my favorite movies

Greetings, readers. It has been a long time since we have done a top ten list and as mentioned before my favorite movies seems to be a good topic. The choice for #1, 2, and 3 are in order, the rest are not so much. So here we go.

#10. The Village – 2004. [Bryce Dallas Howard gave a remarkable performance as Ivy Walker, the blind heroine who had to overcome her fears and travel to the town to get medicine to save her fiancée’s life.]

#9. Smokey and the Bandit – 1977. [Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, and Jerry Reed did a marvelous job in their roles respectively. This movie, as well as two others in this list, came out in the era before VHS tapes. I went to see this film 13 consecutive Friday nights in the theater. I laughed and cheered every time.]

#8. King Kong – 1976. [This is another one of these movies that I saw multiple times. This film fascinated me. This was the first film that Jessica Lange appeared in and she did very well. The special effects were above average in my opinion. Another note is that it was held over four times and was at our theatre for 56 big weeks. I saw it ten consecutive weeks.]

#7. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – 1977. [As a young teenager I was fascinated by UFOs. I loved the cast’s performances and of course I was naïve enough to actually think there was a UFO landing strip behind Devil’s Tower. I saw this film weekly all 12 weeks it was playing in town.]

#6. Green Book – 2018. [I saw this film only once during a Monday afternoon film festival with a friend. It was one of those of films that you never want to end. I loved it from the first scene to the last. It told the true story of a Black musician in the 1960s who went on tour and eventually became the victim of bigotry and racism. The scene that affected me the most was when this African-American gentlemen was told he could change and eat in the broom closet.]

#5. Star Wars: A New Hope – 1977. [Anyone who was a science-fiction buff at that time would have loved this picture. As the film starts with the now-famous line, ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …’ it leads to the feeling that anything is possible. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford give wonderful performances as well does Sir Alec Guinness.]

#4. The African Queen – 1951. [I saw this film a few weeks ago when I rented it from our public library. I had heard about it for years but had never seen it. Boy, had I missed a good one all these years. It was my first Humphrey Bogart picture and both he and the impeccable Katharine Hepburn were amazing. That is a picture that I would highly recommend to anyone and I intend to watch it again soon.]

#3. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – 1982. [Ricardo Montalban said in an interview once that he had to re-watch the original episode “Space Seed” to learn how to get back into his character. It worked. He gave a masterful performance as the villain Khan. After Star Trek: The Motion Picture was more or less a bust, the folks at Star Trek know that this second film had to be a blockbuster, and it was. I highly recommend it to anyone who has not seen it.]

#2. Cleopatra – 1963. [The 1963 version of Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor has fascinated me for years. Liz gave a stellar performance as did Rex Harrison and Richard Burton. It was the most expensive film made to that date, and if I have heard correctly, it actually lost money because of it. SPOILER ALERT: From the opening of the film to the intermission shortly after Caeser’s death is a marvelous and exciting motion picture. The film took on an entirely different feel in the second half, and I have never been able to stay awake through it. A real snoozer. I tried the entire film straight through as well as with a break; same outcome. I loved part one, didn’t really care for part two. Her performance is what ranks this movie so high.]

#1. On Golden Pond – 1981. [My favorite movie of all time, it stars Katharine Hepburn with Henry and Jane Fonda. The writer of the play On Golden Pond, Ernest Thompson has a cabin somewhere on Great Pond in Maine and it is rumored that Golden Pond and Great Pond are one and the same. The film was shot on Squam Lake in New Hampshire and it really captured the essence and beauty of Great Pond. I have seen that film probably over 100 times.]

If I ever do a part two of this favorite movies list, George C. Scott’s A Christmas Carol will certainly be on it. That is a list to think about.

There’s our list for today. Please chime in on Facebook or here in the comments section with your list. Let’s get a debate going.

I shall try extremely hard to put up a blog entry this Sunday or Monday. So until then, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

Brand new business cards were just ordered and other topics

Greetings, readers. I’m very happy to announce that for a really reasonable price I have designed and ordered brand new business cards exclusively for the novel Four’s a Crowd. I think they look really sharp and will be here by the 24th. I will be able to do some scouting around to see who wants one. We have the pertinent information on the front and a little blurb about the book on the back. I think it is just enough to get people interested. The book is for sale right now at Amazon.com for $14.99.

This is one of my first attempts to try to stir the pot for this new book. I’m sure I’ll come up with other ideas as well. Darren is doing his part in spreading the word as he can when he and Rebecca are shopping or doing other errands. My motto is, every person you tell, could tell another person and the ball could get rolling that way. It is said that word of mouth is the best way to advertise.

There is a book fair at our local arts festival this weekend. Depending on hot it is outside, I might get to the book fair. I’m not one to stand out in the heat too long. I do plan on offering the library a copy or two for their collection. I forget whether they have a local author’s section, but if so that is where it would go. I cannot say enough about this book and how pleased I am on how it turned out. Darren’s work enhanced my story and made the novel complete, while retaining the true essence of my play, Kimberly.

On to something different, I found out yesterday, after the blog entry was posted, that the TV show LA to Vegas has been cancelled. Boo-hoo. Granted it was not the best show in the world, but if you wanted 22 minutes of a good laugh, it did nicely. I guess I’m going to have to find another show to watch, for I don’t think that On Demand keeps cancelled shows on for very long.

Speaking of TV shows, I’ve also been watching Gotham and the reincarnation of the The X-Files. Until the end of September, all seasons are On Demand. I used to watch The X-Files re-runs years ago and was really into it, and then as usual other shows came along. I ended my viewing evening with a couple of episodes of 9-1-1. I found out something extremely interesting during one of the episodes. A dumb-butt guy pilot dude thought it would be romantic to propose to his girl-friend by faking an on-plane emergency while having her read the handbook. Half-way through she got to the proposal part and went into what looked like a heart attack. When they got on the ground and paramedics arrived, it just so happened that said character was taking a medication that I am on, that causes heart palpitations, which I had. How cool is that? I am going to re-watch that episode, write down the name of that drug, and if I am still on it, get off it if at all possible.

Okay, there is my all over the place blog entry today. I enjoy writing these multi-topic blog entries now and then. I’m still trying to come up with a good idea for a top ten list, which I promise will be before I go to camp. Until next Wednesday, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

Three copies of our new book are headed to the local bookstore today

Greetings, readers. Yesterday afternoon a box arrived at my door containing three copies of Four’s a Crowd. As soon as we are done editing and posting this blog entry, Rebecca and I are going to mosey across the street to Webster’s Bookstore and Café. The owner has let me sell my books on consignment there before and one of her employees said that they would take three copies of Darren and my new book. I am hoping we will get a sale or two from that bookstore. That would be awesome. [Update, later this same day: We left two copies of the novel at Webster’s Bookstore and Café. If those sell out, more copies can be ordered. They were very nice to us.]

Next week, Rebecca and I are going to ponder ways to locally push the book. I know a couple of people in my building who belong to book clubs. If I can talk someone into choosing our book for the club, perhaps every member would purchase a copy. That would be awesome! There is also the local library, where we will ask them to put a copy in circulation. At this point I am trying anything I can to get the word out there. In my opinion, Four’s a Crowd is a winner and would be a good read for anyone. There is a little bit of mild violence, cuss words, and sexual innuendo, but nothing too outrageous. I wouldn’t recommend it for little kids, but I would for any adult.

Now briefly on to other news. I am mentally making plans for the rest of the summer and beyond. I am getting advice from all fronts of what I should do and it is only confusing me more. My feet and legs have responded to the summer off to rest but not as much as I hoped.

Next week one of things that Rebecca and I must do is make contact with the family overseas and other family friends. I tend to be lax in that area. Sometimes I think my cousin Wino (pronounced Wee-no) has given up on me.

Lastly, a welcome and thank you to any new readers who are checking out the blog for the first time. We love our readers and treasure you. I hope each and every one of you finds something that you like. Please chime in with comments if you have a topic you would like us to cover. Bear in mind, I don’t blog on politics much; for me that is a sticky wicket.

Well there you have it folks, today’s entry. Rebecca and I will be taking off work next Wednesday, the Fourth of July. Rebecca will put a blog entry up that day, and we will be back together working on Thursday. So until then, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Schlow Centre Region Library revisited

Greetings, Joe’s readers. Back in October of 2013 I wrote a post on libraries and Schlow Centre Region Library. I said a lot of good things in that one, so here is the link you can follow if you want to read it too. Since I wrote it I got faster internet at home and stopped using the library for their computers and internet, but I still go there once or twice a week to check out books and CDs. It is still one of my favorite places in the world.

A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that my mother-in-law might enjoy audio books and I wondered over to that section. Sure enough, Schlow has a large collection to choose from, including a lot of the J.D. Robb series that we both read. I knew about this section before, but until I was looking into them I didn’t appreciate it. It impressed on me one of best features of libraries, that they offer so many different resources and we might not need them for years, but when we do want something, there it is.

The upper level of Schlow contains the audio books, CDs, large print books, young adult novels, graphic novels, books for sale, public computers, helpful staff, non-fiction books, fiction books, a wide range of newspapers and magazines available to read, tables and chairs, two rooms with doors that close to use – one includes materials for crafts, and desks with plugs for people with laptops or who want space to study. The lower level contains the children’s section with computers, fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, helpful staff, graphic novels, and games. Thinking about it, I am amazed by the variety.

Last year, I was looking at books on a return cart and picked up the first novel in an unusual series, Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham. The main character, Fiona Griffiths, has a rare mental condition that she struggles with to do her job on the police force in the U.K. I would never have found this series without seeing it at Schlow. I wanted to read more of these books, so I looked him up in the catalogue, and the library only had the first one. So I did an interlibrary loan request for the second book in the series once I looked up the title (my first time doing an ILL) and waited about a month for it to come in. When I picked up the book, I noticed it had Schlow Centre Region Library identification on it, and looking through it I realized it had the signs of being a print-on-demand book. They might not have been able to find a copy in other libraries. I realized that Schlow bought the book to fill my request and to put in their collection. Wow. I know at least one other person read the first one because it was on the return cart, so I hope that my request helps someone else read the second book, and now the third book. I want to read the rest of the series, but knowing that Schlow would buy the book instead of borrow it, I waited a few months before requesting the third one, and will wait a few months before asking for the fourth one. There are six books in the series and I would feel guilty asking for so much of their resources in a short period of time. I don’t have the space on my shelves or the money to buy the series on my own.

I had already noticed some books on the shelves that looked like print-on-demand (Joe’s books from CreateSpace are print-on-demand so I know the specific look of the back page) and was impressed by the many ways that the library supports all these industries in publishing and entertainment. Yes, we the public use it for free, but the library bought it all. That is a lot of money going into the world, and libraries are constantly having to raise that money – from government sources, from selling books and items donated to them or off their shelves, from local fund drives, from business donations, and from patron donations. They also need to keep the lights on and pay the staff. It makes me proud that I donate two dollars a week; I couldn’t afford to give Schlow a hundred dollars in one go, but by the end of the year my two dollars adds up to that. They do some much for me and the community.

I want to close with one paragraph from my October 2013 post, which sums up what I want to share about libraries in general.

Libraries do so much for people. They are sources of information on government agencies, how technologies work, and they have manuals, non-fiction works, plus entertainment materials too. Often the local history archives for the area are in a reference section. They can provide a meeting place for organizations, and often put on events of interest, in a community room. The staff is usually able to assist people in finding information, on databases and websites, as well as navigate through the library system. They have newspapers and magazines available to read on-site, which may be especially helpful to someone looking for a job who cannot afford to buy a newspaper every day. I don’t know about other libraries, but I know that Schlow has made free downloads of ebooks available to patrons, something that costs the library a bite out of their budget for each e-book copy. On top of all that, they provide the latest books by popular authors, sometimes with multiple copies for books with long waiting lists, so that more people can read them sooner. They provide older books too, including the classics. Many people discover authors new to them in the stacks. The libraries have photocopier machines at either the same prices or cheaper than other places. They might also have printing available from the public computers, perhaps with a small fee to off-set the paper and ink costs. A community without a library within an easy visiting distance is poor in ways beyond money.

Joe will be back next Wednesday with a new blog entry. Until then, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Ugly day outside

Greetings, Joe’s readers. It is a snowy, rainy, icy mess outside, though I am surprised that the few cars I can see on the road outside my window are moving okay. Joe and I are not working together today, because of the bad weather. Pennsylvania had a storm overnight that is continuing all day, as those of you who live in this state already know. Northern PA was forecast to got more snow, southern PA to got more ice, and central PA, where Joe and I live, got a mix of snow and rain. Yesterday, authorities asked anybody who could stay off the roads today to do so. A lot of people still have to get out and about, but for the rest of us it is a Snow Day! No school, no work, stay home all day!

The schools, a lot of businesses, and  Schlow Centre Region Library are closed for the day, adding to the feeling of a shared community experience and a holiday. Although there are a lot of people who still had to go for important commitments or to go to work, and they didn’t get to share the holiday. I know that I could have gone to work today if I chose to do so, since the bus system is still working. (A big shout out to the drivers and staff of CATA – Centre Area Transportation Authority – for always getting me to and from work no matter how bad the weather is. The bus might be running late, depending on the conditions, but it always comes. In fact, their buses are running today.) And I have better balance when walking than Joe, who really cannot go out in snow and ice because he might fall and injure himself, so I could have made it to his apartment to work. Joe arranged for me to stay home today, to not have to slog through the cold, snow and icy slush, and I am grateful to be able to sit in a warm room, snug with my legs in a blanket, typing this on my home computer.

I decided to stay home last Sunday too, instead of visit my family as usual. We had a snow storm that day which gave us about three inches of snow, and now I am home during this one. I am wondering if I am getting more timid as I get older. As long as it was snow and not ice, three inches didn’t intimidate me before, even when it was falling while I drove. Although, looking back, I did drive in some bad road conditions when I was younger. There were a few times I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to the bottom of a certain hill and stop safely. Age is supposed to give us wisdom, but maybe that is what shutting down options looks like. We decide not to eat a super hot pepper and now we are wise because we didn’t burn our mouth like a foolish young person. Put like that, refusing to try new things looks noble, doesn’t it? It is true that older bodies don’t heal damage as fast, and a fall can take us out for days instead of hours. Maybe being careful is wisdom.

I hope you are all warm and comfortable, if not right now than by the end of your day. Joe and I will be working in the same room tomorrow, and he will have a new blog entry up. Until then, take care, have a safe day, and happy reading.

New daily schedule is progressing nicely

Greetings, readers. I am very happy to tell you that my new daily routine is almost set. I’ve been told that it takes about three weeks to make something a habit, so I have about a week left. I’ve awakened at six the last few mornings and want to eventually have five AM be my new, permanent wake up time.

Rebecca will be here at 9:45 today; our new work start time. Work hours will be in the mornings from now on. I can’t wait until the time comes where I can get up, get ready and have pages typed before Rebecca arrives. Then she can become more my editor instead of my primary typist.

I’ve been studying the Amish lately. I’ll be writing a story dealing with that culture. With six books out from the local library, I’ve plenty of research material for my secondary writing project. It’s going to be so much fun. Bear Spring Camps book three is still going to be our primary project.

On a side note, KISS came to State College last night. As I said, I did not attend the concert. Money was a bit tight, and I have seen them live three times. I will admit, I almost broke down and tried to get tickets, but I held firm. I wouldn’t have been able to hear straight for a couple of days. If they ever return before they retire, I’ll go see them. 🙂

That’s all the news for today. Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day and happy reading.

 

Keeping active with possible job, writing, and Traci

Greetings, readers. As I continue my search for gainful employment, I’m still hoping that my first choice will pan out. As I mentioned, there are other opportunities out there, but Panera Bread is ideal. I would love to work there. It is near my apartment building, I know and like all the folks who work there, and it is, as I call it, on the flat. Meaning that I don’t have to go down any of the hilly streets of State College during the winter time.

If all else fails, I will volunteer my time at the library, which will at least get me out of the apartment. As my friends have told me, something is sure to come up. Until then, we have the writing project for the new camp book and I have a personal writing project that I just got research materials for from the library.

Also, big news, September 24th will mark the one year anniversary for my girlfriend Traci and me. I can’t believe it has been 11 months. Time has flown and our relationship is progressing slowly, yet steadily. I’m quite pleased with the situation. She has already met and loves David and family, and we hope to go for Thanksgiving again this year. Are wedding bells in the future? Time will tell and we shall see. There are a few huddles we need to get over.

A blog entry, which will be upcoming in September, will deal with my plans for our anniversary. There is a really nice restaurant downtown which we were planning to go to last Valentine’s Day. Traci wound up in the hospital and we never did make it for Valentine’s dinner. I think I will make reservations at the Tavern restaurant. More on that during that future blog entry.

Well, there you have it for today. Our new work hours begin next Wednesday with blog entries on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Wish us luck on that. Until next week, have a splendid weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: I feel blessed

Yesterday was a really good day for me. It didn’t rain while I was on the way home, as I had expected, I had a good annual performance review at my other job, I briefly spent some time at one of my favorite places, the library, and Joe called while I was hanging out with Keekee at his place. The stifling heat and humidity was awful, as it has been so much of this month, but that was the worst part of the day. (Joe said that it is hot in Maine too, so my vision of him sitting on his porch with cooling breezes coming off the lake was false. Bummer.) Last night was the best though. I sat in the living room with my husband, me on the laptop while Darren and I watched a pre-season football game. Go Eagles. He loves football. We are very lucky to have air conditioning, so we were comfortable.

As I wrote before, I have had some long days lately. A family member was having a health crisis, and it took a lot of our time suddenly. That person is better now, and we are all getting a chance to rest. It turns out that Darren and I do not respond well to chaos. I did find a few moments of grace in the middle of it though. We once got a perfect parking place at the hospital during the day, which is not easy as the lots fill up with people scheduled for tests. We felt very lucky that day. Another time, we had a huge storm, with pouring rain, while we were getting ready to take our family member to an appointment. By the time we had to leave, the rain had stopped. So blessed.

Joe will be back next week with more blog posts. Until then, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Blogging from home while Joe is away

Joe is on his vacation trip. He is traveling up to Maine with David Trost and family, after staying overnight with them. I saw on Facebook today that at about noon he had written on his wall that he was at the Trost house with David, and was looking forward to being at Bear Spring Camps tomorrow. Even though he has to do a lot of work to get ready for it, as regular readers know, this trip is the highlight of his year.

I went by Joe’s today to feed his cat Keekee and keep her company. Joe, if you are reading this, she is doing fine and misses you. She wanted some extra petting from me, but she was not as clingy as she will be next week.

In past years I would be writing this report on the public computers at Schlow Centre Region Library. Now, I have high-speed internet in my home, so I can do things like write this blog entry from my own sofa. I can take my time and be more relaxed. Unfortunately, it does mean that the entries are written and published a little later in the day than usual. Sorry about that. Also, it is a little weird writing the post on a different machine than Joe’s computer, which I am used to, but I’m getting the hang of it. I still love Schlow library and still go there for other reasons. As I wrote in a previous blog post, it is one of my favorite places.

Having internet in my home is fun, but a bit distracting sometimes too. When I was on a computer four times a week, for a couple of hours at a time, I had a list and order of sites I visited and the amount of time I could be on them. I was constantly watching the clock, picking and choosing content I wanted to read. Now I can spend all day on it if I wanted to, though I haven’t. The other night I spent an hour and a half on Twitter, which was entertaining, but strange. I might want guidelines with this new power.

I’ll write again on Wednesday, half way through Joe’s week in Maine! As he would say, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

I brought my girlfriend into the 21 century

Greetings, readers. My girlfriend, Traci, and I are getting along splendidly. I’m enjoying every minute of it. When she told me last week that she didn’t have a computer, I realized that, unless she visited the library often, she probably wasn’t on social media. I was correct. I asked her if she would like some help getting an email account started and getting on Facebook. She thought that would be a good idea but wondered how she would check Facebook every day. I told her that we would check it together from my computer. I got a big smile.

The first thing I had to do was take the information she had written down and create an email account for her. Once that was completed, I had to log out of my Facebook account and create one for her. I had completely forgotten how strange Facebook’s opening page is when someone is just starting out. No news feeds, just a lot of questions and friend suggestions.

I invited her sister Roni to be her Facebook friend and she accepted within five seconds. Either Roni was on the computer at that moment or she had it set up to automatically accept anyone. Then, from her account, I sent myself a friend request, popped over to my account, and accepted it. She now has two friends and a whole bunch of David’s family waiting for requests.

I must admit I feel strange doing too much with her account without her being in the room. So I think tomorrow, when my schedule is less hectic, we will sit down in the community room and work on it. I will show her the ins and outs of Facebook and Mail.com.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to purchase Traci a computer of her own, so for her own privacy sake and mine, I will probably have to teach her how to explore email and Facebook on one of the library’s computers.

Traci is a lot like I am, she knows what she knows but neither of us knows everything. Since I’ve been working with a computer with Rebecca for five years, it won’t be that much of a difficulty to get Traci up to speed, at least on the basics. In no time, I’m sure I’ll have her checking her email, seeing everything Facebook has to offer, and maybe later I’ll get her involved on Twitter. Traci, welcome to the internet.

Until Friday, when I’ll have a top ten list for you, have a great couple of days, take care, and happy reading. P.S. Thoughts and prayers go out to the people in the Carolinas and surrounding areas that were so badly flooded.