Tag Archives: weather

Blog entry #700 – A heartfelt thank you to everyone

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe we’ve arrived at entry #700. I’ve blogged about many topics over the years, as has Rebecca, and I always think that I’m going to run out of topics to blog about. Then a new one presents itself, like today’s topic of losing local businesses due to on-line shopping.

This blog averages about 20 reads a day, which is not as many as a big writer like John Scalzi will get on his blog, but I am certainly happy with it. Rebecca and I are read all over the world and very proud to be. I noticed just last week we had a read from India. As I like to say on my YouTube videos, “Wowzers.”

Again, thank you so much for hanging with us these last six plus years with no end in sight. I appreciate all of you. I like sharing my thoughts and experiences with others, and having such great feedback from you.

On to the other topic, one of State College’s long-time stores, the Bon Ton, is getting ready to close. The clothing store has been around since the mid-80s. With our mall, the Nittany Mall, losing several stores recently, it has made me think just how destructive on-line buying truly is. Sure it is convenient, you whip out your credit card, find what you want, add it to the cart, pay for it, and within a few days it is at your doorstep. What could be easier? Just so you don’t call me a hypocrite, I’ll confess that I am just as guilty as you are. I’ve purchased on-line many times. What a lot of folks fail to realize is, in my opinion, that over the long run, if you shop from a store’s website, say Sears or J.C. Penney’s, and don’t give your local dollars to your local store, eventually that store will go out of business, as ours have. I see stories on Google weekly about how numerous companies are closing a number of stores nationwide. As a child, I never thought that Sears would be this close to extinction. Are there issues other than on-line buying? I’m quite certain; bad management for one. But there is no doubt that the convenience of on-line purchasing is destroying local businesses. I made a New Year’s resolution to spend my money at local stores more often, and buy less on-line. I urge everyone to do so. Then if your favorite hardware store goes out of business, you can say, “I shopped there, I did my part.”

I’m sorry if that sounded like I was ranting and raving, but just the other day I overheard two college girls talking about the Bon Ton closing and the one girl said to her friend, “But yeah, you like shop on-line all the time.” They were the like twins, every third word was like. But that pet peeve is for another blog entry.

Finally, Central PA is enjoying a three-day heat wave with temperatures in the low 60s F. I will take it. I don’t know what that corresponds to in Celsius, but I do know that you flip 61 F you get 16 C. The next several days will be in the 40s with rain … every day. Get out the boots and the rain coat. No frigid temperatures are expected however, so the down coat might be able to stay on the coat tree hook. ūüôā

Well there it is, #700. Thanks to everyone for reading the blog this long. We will have another blog entry for you tomorrow.

Take care, have a great day, and for the 700th time, 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.

From Rebecca: Is the weather cold where you are?

As Joe wrote yesterday, he is taking a personal day to get things done and I am doing the blog post today. He might do an entry himself in the next few days, depending on his energy level.

We are in a cold weather pattern in central Pennsylvania this week, and probably next week, too, with below freezing temperatures. It feels like January and February out there, so I guess our new year started early. People are going to have to bundle up for the First Night State College series of events this weekend. At least the ice sculptures¬† won’t melt this year, like they do in years when we have weather in the 40s on New Year’s Eve. I love seeing the ice sculptures in the following days, matching the designs to the organizations that commissioned them. For example, Centre Area Transportation Authority usually has a small ice replica of one of their buses outside their downtown office.

It was very cold yesterday, and for waiting at the bus stops and walking to and from working with Joe, I had all my winter weather clothes on. I had on two pairs of socks, sweatpants over my slacks, a hoodie, my coat, and gloves. I have a new coat, a bulky unwieldy heavy annoyance that I call blanket-coat. I like the length, but the pockets are an inch too low for me to really use. The best part of this garment is that it keeps me warm. I was standing at the bus stop for ten minutes on the way home with the temperature of 11 degrees F and I didn’t feel at all cold in blanket-coat. That was awesome.

For all of you who are also struggling with cold weather and snow, I hope you end each day safe, warm, and comfortable this winter. Happy New Year.

Until next Wednesday, or until Joe puts up another entry this week, have a good week, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Snow on the ground

Where Joe and I live it started snowing last evening and stopped sometime this morning, for a total of four inches. It is the first significant amount of the season, although I know that many of you reading this got your first snow some time ago. It looks pretty while I’m sitting inside and seeing it through the window. The streets are plowed and treated, and traffic looks like it is moving normally. Darren and I have a stool on our balcony, and it looks like it is standing in a white blanket while wearing a white fluffy hat.

I have a sore throat, that is better today but still there, which is why I am writing this post from home. Yesterday, Joe gave me a handful of Cold-Eeze and the day off today to recover. I slept a little more than usual and am resting, and that has helped a lot.

I can’t think of anything else to write, so I will make this a short piece. Joe might put up another blog entry this week, if he can find the time. (He is finding that the days he works at the restaurant he comes home too tired to do anything else except watch TV and go to bed.) We will work together again next Wednesday and hopefully Thursday to bring you new blog entries.

Until then, as Joe says, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Starting the blog entry now to finish it later

Greetings, readers. Thanks to what I was sure was a head cold but seems to be allergies now, I asked Rebecca to come to the office later than usual. So we are scrambling for time before my accountant’s meeting. Oh, those busy Wednesdays. So I will dictate and Rebecca will type until it is time for said meeting, then we will save, close the computer, and finish this entry later in the morning.

First of all, condolences to the families and victims of the Texas church shooting last Sunday. We seem to have a string of senseless, violent attacks in this country; one which was declared flat-out terrorism. What is going on, and how can we get it to stop?

While we are on the subject of condolences, for all of those baseball fans out there, R.I.P. to a fantastic pitcher Roy Halladay, who died in a single engine plane crash in Florida. He was retired, but only 40 years old. Philadelphia Phillies fans must be in mourning and in a state of shock.

Speaking of sports, the other night I watched on YouTube a classic Monday Night Football game from 1978; it was the Miami Dolphins versus the Houston Oilers. It was back in the day when everyone thought Houston was going to win the Super Bowl and the entire Astrodome was full of light blue and white pom poms. It was truly a college football game atmosphere, said announcer Howard Cosell. I love YouTube, I can find almost anything on there. That game was so good, I think I will watch it again tonight … if I can see it.

Speaking thereof, yesterday at work, I lost my glasses. I put the stem of my glasses in the neck of the sweatshirt like I always do and went outside to collect the trash around the parking lot. On the ride home, I looked down at my hoodie, and lo and behold, no glasses. Crap! If they cannot be found, I will have to get a new pair from my eye doctor. There goes the money I was going to save for a PS4. I hate when I do dumb things. Rather or not this is classified as a dumb thing, I couldn’t sleep because I felt like it was. All I had to do was leave my glasses near my work station or in my bag and this would not have happened. I just wasn’t thinking.

Break now for meeting with accountant. Okay, back again.

I’ve not chatted about the weather in a while, so here’s an update. It got cold yesterday and snowed much more than anticipated. My computer weather forecast didn’t even make any mention of snow, that is how surprised I was. Today, however, my day off from my other job, it is sunny and beautiful. It looks like it is about 80 degrees, but it is probably only in the 30s. Yes, winter is coming. I must admit I like late fall more than I used to. The holiday seasons are just around the corner, and before I know it I will be watching my Thanksgiving Day Parade, having a feast, and planning what to buy folks for Christmas.

Lastly, kudos to President Trump for his trip to Asia. It seems to be at least a mild success. I’ve not seen in the news that he shot his mouth off or said anything that he’ll have to retract later. Why am I getting the distinct impression that he is getting the hang of the job? Maybe he is just a good actor.

Well, that’s the news, I think tomorrow I will take a day off to rest and do personal projects around the apartment, for I will be working on Sunday at my other job, because it is the homecoming weekend for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. They play Rutgers University. Good luck to PSU. That will be a five-day work week. Now I know that doesn’t sound too bad for most, but for a part-time employee with leg problems, it is no fun. I can put on a smile and give a good show. I really like interacting with the customers, so that gets me through.

Until next time, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

It’s going to be a hectic few weeks

Greetings, readers. Until further notice, Rebecca and I are going to have a different work schedule. She will come in on Wednesdays as usual, and we will write the blog entry, check the mail, and have the weekly meeting with my accountant. For the next two to three weeks, quite possibly, I will have work shifts at my job on Thursdays, in addition to my regular shifts on Fridays and Saturdays. My poor aching feet! This means that Rebecca will be working from home and doing that day’s blog entry. It’s not an ideal situation for my creative writing, but we can make do.

I’m kind of in a dark place right now emotionally, but that never lasts very long. I feel myself slipping into a rut, then every other Friday I see my pay come into my bank account and all is right with the world again. In the next few days I am going to sit down, re-prioritize a few things, and get back to my happy place.

Today is the last day of our Indian Summer, thank goodness. Today’s high is 86 degrees fahrenheit and tomorrow might not even reach 70. Yes, I will admit it, it is going to feel so good. I know I tend to talk about the weather too much here in the blog, but 86 degrees in late September is a bit much. President Trump, are you sure you don’t want to change your mind about climate change?

After work hours today, I have to do a quick load of laundry and go visit my friend Traci at the hospital. The poor dear broke her ankle yesterday. It was not exactly the birthday present she was hoping for. After that is home to bed to get ready for job work shifts Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

I enjoyed the football games this past weekend, with one notable exception. I want to speak briefly about the trend in sports with players failing to show respect for our National Anthem. Before I get to that, let me mention my biggest pet peeve about the whole thing. I’m going to say it once and once only: Black players talk about their race; are we not all of the human race? I do believe they are referring to their ethnicity. I am the same race as all other people: Black, Asian, Latino, etc., but a different ethnic background. There I have now scratched the chalkboard with my nails. I hope in the future people will learn not to mix up these two terms. Now back to the games this weekend. For a couple of hundred years or so at sporting events there had never been a problem that I know of with putting your hand over your heart for the National Anthem, why should there be a problem now?

After I dictated the paragraph above, Rebecca and I got into a discussion to answer my question. She talked about the reason that the original player, Colin Kaepernick, began to take a knee during the National Anthem, to protest black people getting killed by the police and not getting justice in the courts for it. I didn’t know that. She acknowledged that this weekend many of the people on the fields taking a knee or linking arms were protesting being told to give up first amendment rights by the President, or having him tell the NFL who to fire. Which she knows is also a worthy cause. Though she also hoped that the linked arms were also a message to black people that the NFL supports their rights, too. It was a good discussion. Here is my take on it.

Although I agree with the right to protest, I am just afraid that this might mushroom into something where people putting their hands over their hearts will be the exception rather than the norm. Personally, I’ve not gone to many live games, but the few I have, I’ve either placed my hand over my heart or saluted the flag. The flag of the United States means a lot to me. Even though I never lost a family member to war, I know that the military protects those freedoms that sometimes I take for granted. The flag represents those freedoms.

Okay, I’m done ranting now. For tomorrow’s blog post, Rebecca is going to go back into the archives to pick a good entry that hasn’t been viewed much and share it again. I will be back next Wednesday with a new post. We will get back to our regular two-day work week as soon as possible.

Finally, prayers and good wishes go out to the people in Puerto Rico and the other Caribbean islands who have been so devastated by Hurricane Maria. Also to the folks in the Everglades and all the victims of the recent storm activity. This also includes the people in Mexico still recovering from the earthquake and aftershocks.

Until tomorrow for Rebecca and next week for me, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

My last blog entry until I get back from camp

Greetings, readers. I am dictating the last blog of my year, I measure a year from vacation to vacation, as I sip a Coors Light. I spent most of the morning doing loads of laundry which will be packed in a day or two. I’m trying desperately to keep up with my tasks so I don’t get behind on what I need to do. A week from today I will be leaving and trust me, this week is going to go fast. Between having Rebecca here for two days of work next week and four work shifts at my fast food job, I’m not going to have a lot of time to do other things. My feet will be hurting and I will be quite tired. Rest and sleep will be #1 priorities on the down-time list.

For those of you who read yesterday’s blog – great view numbers by the way – I did locate my Take-to-Maine list and have begun to set a few things aside. I’ve also been in contact with my employer to make certain of what days and hours I work. I may need to ask off for the day before I leave; things might get too hectic around here.

What else is news with me? Well, I’ll share something with you. I am a huge fan of On Golden Pond. I had an idea for a sequel and wrote to one of the movie’s co-stars to test the waters of interest. To my happy surprise, Doug McKeon (young Billy Ray) wrote back to me. He told me that Ernest Thompson, who wrote the play, would have to be contacted before any work could be produced from my project. Even if I could not get permission from Mr. Thompson to use his characters, I still might work on the project just for fun and practice anyway when I get home. You never know what it might lead to.

I know I talk about the weather a lot, but after two beautifully cooler days, the humidity is back and it is forecast to rain in the early evening. I’ll have to bring my hoodie with me to work because I don’t want to stand at the bus stop this evening and wait unprotected. I certainly don’t want to get a cold right before vacation. That would be dreadful. My work shift today is 3pm to 8pm. I do love my job but believe me at the end of the shift my feet are ready to go home and be put up.

There is a little bit of a lull in town now, in between the arts festivals and the beginning of the college football season which begins in late August. If my sources are correct, the first four out of five games are at home. That is where I will be able to see if I am cut out to work the register at my job.

Next Wednesday I will be here but I will be doing last-minute chores. The blog will be written by Rebecca and if I’m here at the appropriate time, I will help edit it. I would like to take this opportunity right now to once again thank all of my readers for reading me and enjoying my blog over the past year. Trust me, this ride is nowhere near over.

Until soonest, take care, have a great couple of weeks, and happy reading.

Yesterday’s blog entry numbers, and second week at my new job

Greetings, readers. The blog statistics numbers for yesterday, where I wrote about my Virtual Bear Spring Camps idea, were quite high and pleasing. We finished the day with 85 views, with 52 just from yesterday’s blog entry. Love it, love it, love it! That got me to thinking.

Perhaps I should follow up on this idea of producing a video or DVD of a full day’s activities at Bear Spring Camps through my younger self’s eyes. But how to fund it. I’m not a rich man, so I would have to go by way of either Kickstarter or GoFundMe. I’m going to do research on both of them today. I’ve never owned a business¬†by¬†myself before, so that venture would have to be taken one small step at a time. Don’t expect to see Joe’s Virtual Vacation tomorrow.

Another thing going on in my life right now is that I just finished my second week working at a popular fast food chain. I’m getting faster at certain tasks, but I still have many issues. As my boss and my co-workers say, proficiency will come in time. The good thing is that everybody likes me and thinks I am doing well. My job currently is to give people their food at the pick-up window. With my weak left side, I am finding it a challenge to put the cup lids on the drink cups. We are not allowed to hand people their beverages without a lid. I would be so much faster if I could¬†say, “Here’s your drink and your lid, put it on yourself.” But of course you can’t do that. I literally have to have a cup lid help-buddy. That’s very frustrating and makes me feel like I can’t do the job. I do not want to be a hinderance to the fast flow of the well-oiled machine.¬†I’m off today and tomorrow and we will see where they put me when I go back to work on Saturday afternoon. I work from 5pm to 10pm.

Finally, it is still a little bit cool here for June 1st, but I’ve heard warmer weather is on the way. With warmer weather comes those afternoon thunderstorms which can be detrimental to the pick up window job. Yesterday I had something blow directly in my eye from outside. That brought serving coke, coffee, and burgers to a stand-still. You can’t have the pretty lady think that you are winking at her while handing her food, and it would be even worse if it were a guy. LOL.

That’s our news for today. As always, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

More plans for this summer

Greetings, readers. Last week I blogged about my plans for a restful summer and those plans are still in place. However, a dose of reality set in and if I am going to get married next year I had better get myself a job, and perhaps further my education. I am currently looking at Southern New Hampshire University on-line. I have seen and heard some good things about it. The only bug-a-boo would be the overall cost.

I looked at Southern New Hampshire University about a year or so ago and it was not a good fit then. But I have found a major/course of study in creative writing with emphasis on script writing. Right up my alley. If the school experience doesn’t break my bank, I think this would be well worth it. Not only would it flex my muscles and get me writing things other than the blog, but it might very well prepare me to be able to work in the television industry. That would be awesome.

The other big news is that I got myself an application for a local eatery and I’m going for it. I was not going to get a job until after I got back from camp, but if I could get hired, I could begin earning money right away. Although the wedding reception will not be extravagant, it will not be cheap either. We need, “money, money, money¬†… money.”

It is sunny and warm in central Pennsylvania; something I’ve been¬†waiting a long time¬†for. I am definitely a late spring and summer person. Here in State College we¬†expect a high temperature¬†of 87-89 F. degrees. Three days ago we were struggling to break 55. What a difference. If I had my way, with Joe’s weather’s machine, I would have bright¬†sunny days with white puffy clouds, some showers at night to keep everything green and looking beautiful, and snow on the ground around the winter holiday time. Obviously, no such machine exists. Bah humbug.

Lastly, I’ve got a doctor’s appointment right after work tomorrow, but we should have time to put a blog entry up before I have to go. I’ve had pain in my head for almost two weeks now. It is not crippling, just damn annoying. Please wish me luck on finding out what this is.

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

Oh, what a storm we had

Greetings, readers. In central Pennsylvania this past Monday evening we had a one of the worst thunderstorms I’ve experienced in a long time. The clouds grew dark, the wind whipped up to past 50 miles an hour, and there was a torrential downpour. At its worst, the rain was coming down sideways. I was certainly glad that I was inside.

We had known about the coming storm all day and I caught many people throughout the morning checking out the weather apps on their¬†smartphones to keep track of the impending storm.¬†These folks wanted to get all their chores done and get home. I was with Traci at a doctor’s appointment and luckily, though it was windy, the rain waited until we got home.

Around 6pm the rains came. The power in my building flickered, went off for 30 seconds, and came back on. People in my building were lucky. Others around the area, such as Rebecca and Darren, not so much; they lost power for almost 3 hours. Some folks in the outlying areas had to wait until the next morning for their power to be restored, and in other areas, according to the Centre Daily Times,¬†it might still be off until later today. Rebersburg, PA. got a¬†F1 tornado.¬†¬†Many trees and power lines blew down. A friend of mine who is a CATA¬†bus driver told me that her daughter lost all the big trees in her back yard. I remember as a child how much I loved our big old trees¬†at my house. I would have been devastated if a storm blew them all down. The bus driver also told me about her eerie ride home after work where all the businesses and street lights were dark where she lived. Years ago in a different power outage, I drove in the same conditions¬†and it was strange. I had arrived at Denny’s just after the lights went out and¬†I¬†had to go back home without the aid of¬†street and traffic lights; the intersections¬†had been¬†extremely dangerous.

After the rain the cooler temperatures rolled in and it is going to remain cool all week. Now I’m not complaining, but it is May. We should be in the 60s and 70, not in the upper 40 and mid 50s. This blogger is not very happy. But as I told the bus driver last evening, Mother Nature is fickle and can do anything she wants, we have no control over it.

Briefly, I saw a diagram on the Weather Channel depicting that the cool temperatures will be with us all week. There will a stalled low pressure system over our area because a high pressure system in the Atlantic ocean is not letting the weather system move off the East coast. Cool and rainy, not good unless you are a flower. Lol.

Switching gears, I’m taking a personal day tomorrow and Rebecca has agreed to post a From Rebecca entry for me,¬†which I am sure will be a good one. Please look forward to that tomorrow. Take care, and until next week, happy reading.