Tag Archives: spring

I thought spring had sprung… and more

Greetings, readers. Here I thought spring had sprung, but Mother Nature had other plans. Today it was rainy, damp, and the high temperature was only 46°F. That’s not very warm for April 28th. I know that many years ago, we had snow in May. Yes, that can happen here in central Pennsylvania. In this college town however, when all the co-eds see the tree’s leaves turn green, they all run around half-naked. This is why half of them are sick during finals week.

That’s right, it’s finals week here at Penn State University. This Saturday and Sunday, the seniors will be graduating and moving on to their next phase of life. The undergrads get to go home for three months, before returning in late August to do it all over again. I can only imagine how loud Friday’s and Saturday’s parties are going to be.

From late morning until close, Panera Café is swarming with college kids either studying or hanging out sipping coffee. Between early May and mid-June, there is a wonderful lull in between the college students leaving, and public school children still having classes. After approximately June 10th, all hell breaks loose when the little ones are also set free for the summer.

Speaking of summer, the mid-July Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will be here before we know it. When I was younger, that was always the midpoint of summer. Yes I know that technically the summer season does not begin until June 21st, but it just seemed as though the second half of the summer went much faster than the first. Now that I’m older, I feel that way all the more. I love summer and hate winter, and my summer goes way too quickly for my liking.

Briefly, a spring cleaning update. My kitchen remains clean. Yay! I have begun work on the bathroom, which is the least dirtiest room in the apartment. All the towels were recently washed and put away, the shampoo bottle was placed on the rickety stand by the toilet, and such things as nail clippers and my comb were neatly placed at the back of the sink. Next up on the spring cleaning list of tasks is the dining room table/writing area. I am hoping that Rebecca does not think I want her to choose one phrase or the other here, because my computer lives on the dining room table. No, folks… I do not put my cereal bowl on top of my computer. That would just be asking for trouble.

Finally… and yet again… prayers go out to the families and victims of yet another senseless shooting, this time in a synagogue in San Diego, California. It’s time that state and national leaders step up to the plate and tried to put an end to this senseless violence. Maybe one day, my plea will be heard by someone who can do something about it. Before my malfunctioning computer goofs up again I’m going to close this entry, spell check it, and post it before my technology, and my patience, go splat!

Until Wednesday, have a great rest of your weekend, take care, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

My spring cleaning begins a week from tomorrow

Greetings, readers. Yes, I have set my date of April 22nd, to begin my spring cleaning. I’m going to take this week to do lots of writing on my two projects. Work begins promptly at 9 AM tomorrow. I’ll also spend this week tweaking my spring and summer schedule, which not only includes the aforementioned, but also making plans for my trip to Maine in August.

We’ll begin with the trip to Maine. I began going to Bear Spring Camps in 1970, and have only missed three years. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this year… perhaps next, will be my last. As my monetary means run dry, I’m saving up for one last extraordinary vacation. I want it to be a cruise, but recently I’ve seen some articles about cruise ships that are making me think twice. When the time feels right, and the right deal pops up, I’m certain that the dream vacation on the sea will be a go!

With the sunrise earlier and earlier, I think it’s time that I begin getting out of bed before 6 AM. I used to wake up at 3:45 every morning, but that got a bit taxing on my body. So, I pushed it up to six. With the construction people working next door, if I worked from 4:30 until they began working at six, I could have an hour and a half of quiet and solitude for writing. Even though the jack hammers aren’t making noise anymore, trucks and concrete mixers make their own bothersome sounds. When I used to type my material, I would listen to music from the Star Wars albums. Those were quite inspirational to me, but quite impractical when using the speech recognition program. I’m certain I’ll find that happy medium.

Now for the big task! As mentioned earlier, April 22nd, will be the big day that this swamp I call my apartment gets cleaned out. Will this task be completed in one day? No way! I’m looking at a two or three-week task. You see, I can’t clean eight hours a day. With my delicate system, I have to clean for perhaps only an hour at a time, before either taking a break or stopping for the day. First up… the kitchen. That’s not in bad shape at all. I expect I can get that done in an hour or so. When it comes time to go through the mounds of junk on my two broken recliners, a.k.a. dead red and dead blue, I’ll have to have plenty of trash bags and a dust mask. The two areas of the apartment I’m dreading most are the bedroom and the walk-in closet. The back-left corner of the bedroom is one ‘storage area’, while the walk-in closet houses a lifetime of videotapes and DVDs, as well as a plethora of miscellaneous junk. I’m going to need a hand with the closet. Fear not, I shall get it done.

There is today’s blog entry. Continued prayers go out to all who need it. I bid everyone a fantastic few days. Rebecca will be back on Wednesday, and will have a new entry up by 1 PM.

Until then, do take care, love one another, be safe, and as always, happy reading.

Hodgepodge day and review of new Lost in Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think spring has finally sprung

Greetings, readers. I actually have my window open today and was running the air conditioner earlier. These are two classic signs that spring is here. I live on the top floor of my apartment building and have a great view. It is so nice to see the trees blooming again, for one of my favorite colors is green. I love green grass and bushes and of course the tall trees. The only bad thing about being a spring and summer person are that my allergies kick up from time to time.

Yesterday we hit 81 degrees F, which was only two degrees off the all time record. Okay, maybe we went from late winter right into summer. But that won’t last, the temperature is supposed to drop into the 60s tomorrow. I can handle the cool and the rain, for I know it is just a short matter of time before warm days are here to stay until October.

A quick update about my fiancé Traci. She is in the hospital right now, so your good thoughts and prayers would certainly be appreciated. I feel confident that the doctors can solve the issue within a couple of days, and that she will be home again as soon as possible. I have been up to visit every day since she went in, and will be up there again today and tomorrow. It’s just not the same around the apartment building without her. One of my favorite times of the day is to visit at her place and listen to relaxing music. We’ll get back to that soon enough.

When Traci gets home and gets her strength back, I intend for us take nice walks together, and neither of us likes to walk in cold weather. We are also big fans of having days with more hours of daylight.

To finish up this blog entry, I’ve been fighting with the game My Summer Car and have concluded that my laptop simply can’t run it. What a shame. To buy a new laptop for one game would be absurd. I promised myself, my accountant, and Rebecca that we would use the current laptop until it died. I guess my gaming experience with My Summer Car will have to wait.

I’ll be visited Traci in the hospital tomorrow, so Rebecca will write the Thursday blog entry, and then I will edit and post it when I have a chance. I’m not sure what time that will be, but it will be tomorrow. Rebecca doesn’t know the topic yet, but I have faith in her.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

I am looking forward to spring and summer

Greetings, readers. Although here in central Pennsylvania this winter has not been severe by any means, I am looking forward to spring and summer. I am a warm weather person and always will be. Here are just a few of the things that I am looking forward to in the next five months.

First, baseball season begins in April. Although the 162 game season can get a little tedious to watch every day, I love opening day, the first few weeks of the season, and the playoffs. I will be glad to watch the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies once again.

At the end of May is the start of the summer season. The swimming pools open, and my favorite race to watch, the Indianapolis 500, takes place Memorial Day weekend.

In June, is Father’s Day, and that holds a bittersweet memory for me, for my mother passed away on Father’s Day 2003. I always mark the occasion by going to the gravesite to put flowers down and spend time with both of my parents – my father passed in 2008. As a child, June also meant the end of school. I would savor every minute between June 10th and early September. Can you tell I didn’t like school very much?

July is my birthday month, and even today I will treat myself to something special, like going for an ice cream or by going to a restaurant that I rarely go to. One year it was Meyer Dairy, which reminded me a lot of those wonderful evenings at Rummel’s Ice Cream Shop in Maine.

Speaking of Maine, in August is my usual trek up north for a week of fishing, boating, and sometimes swimming. It has to be a really hot day for me to jump in the lake.

Also in mid-July is the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. I have fun walking through the cool mist fern display which really feels good on a hot humid July day.

Before you know it, it is mid-August again and summer is winding down. I wait all year for these five months and boy they sure do go quickly.

This entry is the 488th one I’ve written and published on this blog. As we approach it, I guarantee you, my readers, that #500 will be a spectacular entry. The topic has not been chosen yet, but I can promise you that I will not just be talking about the weather. Until next Wednesday, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Stop the world, I want to get off, #2

Greetings, readers. I should be a happy man. I have a girlfriend who loves me, a roof over my head, adequate food, and good friends and family. So why do I feel so depressed? As I’ve said before, my therapist is going to have a lot to do tomorrow.

Without going into all the details, most of which are private, the weekend was not what I was expecting it to be. Situations arose which needed my attention and there was no getting around it. By the time Saturday night came along, I was so worn out that all I wanted to do on Sunday was sleep. And that is exactly what I did. Monday and yesterday, I desperately wanted to continue writing, but just couldn’t. And, of course, the more I couldn’t, the more depressed I started to feel. I have absolutely nothing on the agenda for early this evening, and I am going to write new pages come hell or high water. Tomorrow is chock-full-of-everything day, so the more I get written tonight the better off I’ll feel.

I began talking with Traci and other friends about the possibility of my medicine dosage being too strong to take in the morning. I’m fine for the first few hours, and then I’m just a zombie. Show me the way to the bed. I’m going to ask my neurologist what would be the best way to split my dosage to be in the morning and in the evening. Obviously there are two answers to that question. Just go ahead and do that, or just stagger the second dose little by little until I get it to the evening. My main concern is throwing my body off schedule by changing my dosage too quickly and having a seizure. That would not be good.

On the weather front, no pun intended, ha ha, this morning when I looked out the window, it was pouring down rain. So I feed Kitty cat, did my usual email/Facebook/ Twitter thing, and went back to sleep. Again, I had several hours to write and just didn’t. Is the end of my writing career near? I would not go so far as to say that. But I got a slap-in-the-face chuckle when I saw that my total royalties for 2015 from my Kindle version of my books was a whopping 70 cents. You don’t need to look at that twice, we’ll type it again for you. 70 cents. That certainly isn’t going to pay the rent, now is it?

Now something that will cheer me up a bit. My favorite sports season, baseball, begins with spring training in about a month. That means that warmer weather is about two months from now. Even though we haven’t had tons of snow, the gloomy cold weather always depresses me.

Finally, and this is a major step for me, if my depression does not get better by the end of this month, I am going to talk to my accountant about seeking a stronger method of dealing with it. I don’t exactly know what that might be, but I have a couple of things in mind. One being a short hospital stay for 2 or 3 days where I can get care and counseling as needed. Or perhaps something as simple as an increase of my anti-depression dose, or a different med all together. Something has got to give.

So please, throw good thoughts my way, and I’ll keep you up to date on what is going on around here.

Until Friday, enjoy your couple of days, take care and happy reading.

Top ten list of things I like about myself, to stave off depression

Greetings, readers. Two nights ago, I was suffering from a terrible bout of acute depression. Last night was better and today I am my cheerful self. I am very happy to report this. I’ve decided that this top ten list will describe my positive qualities; I can think about them when I’m down.

#10. I’m a caring person. [Sometimes I go out on a limb and be what a friend used to call too nice. Can a human being actually care too much???]

#9. I try not to gossip. [Gossip leads to drama and there is enough drama in my apartment building. Because of this drama, I tend to stay in this apartment more than I should, but that’s okay.]

#8. I am a very young at heart 49-year-old. [Most of the time I still feel like a big kid.]

#7. I am a hopelessly old-fashioned romantic. [This one is a double-edged sword. When I think about how romantic I can be, I remember that at this moment I don’t have a girl-friend. Oops.]

#6. I try to be as independent as I can. [However, I’m not afraid to ask for help when I need it. I think some people would be.]

#5. When I do drive the Zipcars, I am a very safe driver. [Driving gives me back some control and independence that I’ve lost in recent years.]

#4. I am usually optimistic and have a never say die attitude. [When Dave and I would be playing sports when we were kids, he would tell me how much he admired the fact that I just never gave up. When you are losing 42 to nothing, most people would.]

#3. I am keeping my apartment clean to a better degree. [My bedroom is three-quarters finished and surprisingly the worse area is now the living room, which unfortunately doubles as our office.]

#2. As instilled in me by my parents, I am polite to my elders. [No matter what happens in the apartment building where lots of elderly people live, I will not lose my temper with my elders in their presence. That is just not how I was raised.]

#1. Even though I don’t have any of my own, I am excellent with children. [When I joined David’s family many years ago as Uncle Joey, all the nieces and nephews came to love me as though I was truly one of the family. Now that they have children of their own, it’s happening all over again. I am truly blessed.]

{Special from Rebecca. Joe is a very good friend. He is loyal, thoughtful, and accepting. If you are one of his friends, you are a lucky person indeed. When we were in high school I was a mess, and projected a vibe of leave me alone. One day Joe sat down next to me and started talking, as if I was open and approachable. So I responded as if I was. And then a friendship began. I am blessed to have him in my life.}

Well, there they are. I hope that some people can look at this, and if not get inspired, at least get a smile out of it. Until next week, have a good weekend, happy first day of spring, and happy reading.

Working with my aching back. Grr.

Greetings, readers. Hello from my recliner chair. If you just got finished reading Keekee’s entry, you will already know that I am flat on my back from a back spasm. We shall push on and do this post anyway.

First off, it is a gorgeous, warm, sunny day; the first hot day of the year. It was quite warm yesterday also, and some of the graduating Penn State students were out and about doing what they call the bar tours. It was a zoo by 3:30 in the afternoon. I came home from my errand, and I had the TV and air conditioning on in the evening, which blocked out the downtown noise. I do understand these college seniors are celebrating being done with four years of school. So I am patient and lenient around this time in May. All other weekends when this goes on – not so much.

Continuing with the late spring theme, it seemed like all of a sudden those bare trees that had appeared dead, sprang to life overnight, and it is green and gorgeous outside. Leaves are budding, grass is growing, and what little bit of rain we have received is making the planted flowers grow. Penn State University does take pride in planting flowers to make the University Park campus look great during the spring and summer.

On to my weekend plans. First off, happy Mother’s Day to all on Sunday. I will be going to gaming day on Saturday, and driving to the cemetery to visit Mom on Sunday, probably with flowers in hand. It has been quite a while since I have visited the grave, which has been more of a transportation issue than anything else. I wrecked my own car in ’08, but the Zipcars have been a great substitute.

My Pittsburgh Penguins are playing their second round series in the NHL playoffs versus the New York Rangers. Though I don’t watch hockey every time it is on TV, I do like to keep up with the Penguins when they make the playoffs. A number of years ago I was at a sports bar when they won a multi-overtime game with a truly fantastic shot. The crowd erupted, both at the arena and at the bar. So let’s go, Pens!

Well, I’m going to wrap up this blog entry today, take some aspirin, and get this back whipped into shape. I have doctors appointments over the next couple of weeks and I will bring my concerns about my back to them. It might be time for me to wear a brace. Who knows what has been going on with my spine with my sclerosis. Oh, as the comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham says, poliosis.

Until next time, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading from Rebecca, Keekee, and me.

The ultimate test of my patience: PlayStation network

Greetings, readers. My second Christmas, i.e. the release date for the video game MLB14 The Show, is a day late. Let me explain. For only the second time ever, I decided to purchase the game from the PlayStation store on-line instead of buying the game on disc at the store. No big deal, right? When I purchased it two days before its release date, I was told I would have to wait until after midnight on April 1st to begin the actual download. I had no problem with that. What I did have a problem with is the PlayStation network going down for maintenance on a day when millions of baseball fans are more than likely trying to download this game. OMG!

Finally, at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, I was able to start what I thought would be a three to four-hour download process. Nearly 24 hours later, the download reads 98% done. I will be livid if this game really isn’t downloading at all. Usually I don’t leave my modem and other equipment on overnight but I had to or the process would have been interrupted. Perhaps someone can tell me: do downloads take longer if more people are trying to do the same thing at the same time? All I know is, the money has been taken out of my bank account and I’m just anxious to get what I paid for.

Today’s blog entry was going to be about how great this game is. Unfortunately that is going to have to be done on Friday. So, let’s get you up to date on other things.

Although I don’t sit down for hours and watch news, I have been trying to keep tabs on Malaysia Airlines flight 370, praying that someday very soon searchers will find something. Obviously that aircraft or bits thereof is somewhere. With all the high-tech satellite and other gadgetry, I am shocked that this plane has not been found yet. Granted, parts of the Indian Ocean are quite deep, but I must have missed my guess because I thought we had technology to pinpoint anything anywhere if we wanted to. Time will tell and I will keep my fingers crossed for closure for their loved ones.

Closer to home, yesterday was our first truly beautiful warm spring day. Almost 60 degrees, light wind, and abundant sunshine. I will happily take many more of those kinds of days. Rain, however, is in our forecast tomorrow. According to my friend Jim, the water table is down, so I guess we do need it after all.

Lastly, Keekee is being such a good girl. She has quickly learned when it is her feeding time, so as not to bother daddy during work hours. Also, the phrases she has learned, such as treats and milk, show that I am the proud papa of one very smart cat. I often wondered what would happen if I tried to bring a second animal into the apartment. On many occasions, Keekee has reminded me in her own way that this is her house and I am just allowed to live here. Somehow I don’t think Keekee would be too happy with another four-pawed animal running around the place. This is her apartment. All hail Queen Keekee.

On Friday, I will report on MLB14 The Show … I hope. And soon it will be time for another top ten list. Until Friday, have a great day, enjoy springtime, take care and happy reading.

UPDATE: Finally after twenty-one and a half hours, I thought MLB14 The Show had successfully downloaded, but when I tried the install process an error message came on the screen saying that the data may be corrupt. I’m currently re-trying the install process in the hopes that I get lucky, but I fear I will have to do one of two things. One, uninstall the game and begin the download process all over again. Or two, call the Sony 800 number, ask for a refund, and when the money is redeposited in my bank account, go to Best Buy and buy a copy of the game on disc. Blog post on Friday on the game is now pending.

SECOND UPDATE: 4/4/14: Sorry to have to inform you that the download of MLB14 The Show from the PlayStation store turned out to be a permanently corrupt file. After talking with a tech person, we agreed the best thing to do was to cancel my order and either try again at a later date or buy a physical copy. So, expect my yearly review on the MLB baseball series ASAP.

Boy, do I have spring fever

Greetings, readers. First off, good job to Rebecca for the great blog entry from the other day. It got lots of hits, as hers tend to do. Two thumbs up.

Now, oh boy, am I waiting for spring time. To put it politely, I am tired of freezing a certain section of my body off every time I walk across the street for a cup of coffee. I don’t know if I have hyperactivity or not, but when I am at home, I want to go for coffee, and twenty minutes after I get there, I’m thinking about all the reasons why I want to hurry and get back home. Welcome to my world.

Going to and from my various local errands this past winter was very uncomfortable for me. I have made my broken-down coat last as many years as I can. It is going to be tossed away when spring time hits. Next winter I will go to the Goodwill store and purchase its replacement.

I have already decided what I am going to do this spring and summer. First, I’m going to do a lot more walking. I no longer have my massage therapist who kept me healthy and feeling good. So every warm sunny morning, before it gets too hot in the day, I will devise a route and walk it – say four times a week. I would also like to think that I could partake of some kind of sporting activity. That may have to end up being bowling, because after all these years, if I would try softball or basketball I think I would fall on my face and pass out.

Another thing I want to do this spring and summer on Fridays here in State College is go to the local farmer’s market and purchase healthier, fresh food and have a better diet. I will have more energy and my risk for diseases later in life will be less. I am going to now share with you, my readers, my basic diet. Tortilla chips, ice cream, marshmallows, occasionally a tall cup of grape juice, and my only real nutritious food of the day, a real fruit wild blueberry muffin with my morning coffee. Yes, indeed, I do need to eat better and soon.

Lastly, while the weather is going to be better this summer, I hope to visit family members. That is always achieved more easily when the weather makes traveling safer, with no snow or ice. There are a number of people who I would like to visit and get caught up with, and I really can’t wait to do it. I have been sitting in this small apartment way too long. One of these years I still hope to move to either the Carolinas or Florida. Whether that will really happen or not is debatable.

Until next time, have a great weekend, take care, think spring, and happy reading.