Tag Archives: weather

CreateSpace.com is going bye-bye

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I were met with an interesting problem this morning when we saw that Amazon, the parent company of CreateSpace, is basically taking them over. All my books will be transferred over to Kindle Direct Publishing at some point, or I could move them over myself. This news threw us for a loop, for we really didn’t know what was going to happen. To our relief, we found out that the transfer could be done quickly and painlessly, and KDP will still publish the printed versions.

Amazon and Kindle also gives you an opportunity to advertise your books somewhere on Amazon itself. I shouted, “Yes,” gleefully. My glee was short-lived. Rebecca tried to find the price of said service, but to no avail. It was extremely difficult to find, making me think they want beaucoup bucks, which I just don’t have at the moment. Yes, it’s true, you need to spend money to make money, but funds are tight right now.

Luckily, the remainder of my business cards say Amazon on them, so I can still pass them out and use them. Thank God for small favors. Could we have done more to promote our books? Probably so, but I still have nightmares about our first and only book signing at the local Webster’s Bookstore and Café. We started with a good crowd, but by the time we were done, all the students who were studying for their tests had been driven away by our stories. By the end the only people who were left were the people who we had invited. Not good.

Enough belly aching. Finally, some cooler weather is coming tomorrow night. With my air conditioner on the fritz, you can imagine just how much I am looking forward to cooler temperatures. For those of you who know me well, no, I am not looking forward to winter, but day-time highs in the 60s F and lows in the 40s are just fine for me right now. It is supposed to be in the mid-50s and partly sunny for the Nittany Lions homecoming game against Michigan State this Saturday. I’ve been invited by my friend Nicci to go see the homecoming parade Friday evening with Traci. I hope it won’t be too cool.

We will keep you up to date, dear readers, about the progress on getting all books to Amazon/Kindle. For those of you who have Kindles, I am sure you will enjoy the reads. We will keep you abreast.

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

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Drastic measures for Four’s a Crowd

Greetings, readers. Rebecca went on-line this morning to look up local publicists. We’ve got to find a way to push the latest novel. We found one near where I live and have already emailed them. Hopefully we get a response by tomorrow. That would be encouraging. If sales of the novel would take off, I might consider continuing the writing career into 2019.

The downfall of self-publishing is just that; if you don’t know how or don’t have the funds to push the book yourself, it is just going to sit there and not sell. Sure it is gratifying to see a finished product with your name on it, but holding some cash in your hand from a sale of said book is an even bigger thrill.

I’ve been trying to keep the author of the book, Darren Taylor, in the loop as to what is happening with all the things I am trying to do. I am sure that he will agree to a local publicists meeting. We’ll have to find the time, though, when all of us are free to meet the publicist group. Wish us luck.

On a side note, rain, rain go the hell away. I say that for me as well as all the flooding victims throughout the country. It is supposed to be a sparkling sunny weekend here in State College, but I will believe that when I see it. The Penn State Nittany Lion football team has its biggest challenge of the season so far when Ohio State comes visiting. I don’t know if we can beat them, but we certainly can’t beat them in rain and mud. So how about all local folks pray for good weather for our evening White Out game.

That is today’s news. Tomorrow Rebecca and I will be back with another interesting blog topic. What do you know, we are working two days in a row. Until then, have a wonderful afternoon, take care and happy reading.

From Rebecca: I AM writing this blog entry from Joe’s old laptop

Hello, Joe’s readers. Joe’s old laptop is slower than I am used to writing on anymore, but it seems to be working just fine now that the security update is finished. It started last Thursday, and finished today when I turned the computer on again. I didn’t use the laptop in between because I wasn’t writing a blog entry until today.

Joe is having a good time in Maine and even did some swimming in the lake as it is hotter than usual up there this year. I have talked to him a couple of times while he has been gone.

Princess Josie, his cat, has been a handful today. I have been checking up on her since last Thursday, but haven’t stayed very long on those visits. Today and tomorrow I have hours to spend with her, and she is using that time. She is demanding many head rubs and a lot of attention. It made it difficult for me to do some of the file sorting I am doing with the extra hours without Joe here. I have half a trash bag of paper and envelopes to throw out and a huge envelope of paper to be shredded. Quite an achievement with Josie needing attention in the middle of the sorting.

Those of you who are regular readers know that in the past I have taken care of Joe’s late cat Keekee on this long vacation week. I will say this about Josie, she doesn’t shed as much as Keekee did. Keekee was a lot calmer and less exasperating, but I would take handfuls of fur off when petting her. (I really miss Keekee right now.) Josie is a one-year-old ball of energy who keeps jumping on the table and trying to get into my papers. She is sweet though, when she is playing hockey with a bottle lid or when she takes a rest. I’m glad I have the chance to know her.

On another topic, it stopped raining around here for a couple of days, but we got hot muggy weather instead. I felt like I was going to melt by the time I got to work today. It is forecast to rain today and tonight. I don’t know if the humidity will get better or not. On the plus side, humid and hot is normal for August in Pennsylvania. When was the last time we had a normal weather month? Maybe I should be celebrating as I slog through the seasonal heavy air.

I will have another blog entry tomorrow. Until then, as Joe writes, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

T minus one day to vacation and oh, my God, am I not ready

Greetings, readers. I am so not my mother. My mom would have had everything ready to go and sitting by the front door of the house days ago. Me, I’m still doing laundry less than a day before pull out time. Do I have my lists? Yes. And I know where everything is. I just need to gather it, pack it and put it off to one side. Ready for the bad news, readers? It looks as though I will be traveling both days in the rain. Not fun. Oh, sure, I’m going on vacation, heading to Maine, my favorite place, but traveling in good weather is always nicer and safer.

The Hertz rental car I’m going to get is a ‘Chrysler 200 or similar’. I’m praying for the Chrysler 200. I’ve driven one before and loved it. I will have my handy-dandy GPS unit with me to help the way. I also want to have the Hertz agent, if the car is equipped with it, set up my cell phone so I can make calls hands-free.

As I look around the room at all the things I’m going to take, I’m calm and content that I know where everything is. I won’t be rummaging through closets looking for a piece of equipment, such as a radio or a box of CDs.

At this moment, here comes kitty cat Josie. I am reminded about just how much I will miss her and how she will miss me. In just the first three months or so, we really have developed our daily routines. I left her for a long weekend once when I went to see my friend Dave and family, but how she will react to me being gone for more than a week, time will tell. The good news is that Rebecca will be here to feed her, give her water and treats, and to keep her company during frequent visits.

Before I know it, I will be sitting on the porch of cabin # 23 looking at the lake. According to my computer weather map, it is going to partly sunny, and 85 – 90 degrees F most days. That is a little bit hotter than usual for Maine. I’m taking my swim trunks for I do see myself going into the lake this year. I don’t like cold or cool water, so I’ve not gone in for a swim for at least three years.

Buddy Dave told me to bring the Yahtzee game because he wants to have a tournament and declare a champion and I am going to hold him to it.

Okay, I think I’ve got all the news out and into the blog. At 1:00, Rebecca will depart, I’ll meet my friend at 1:45, and pick up the car at 3:00. As you can see, this will be a hectic afternoon. I will see you in a couple of weeks. Rebecca will be in charge of the blog until I get back. So until then, take care, have a great a vacation if you are going on one at the present time, and, as always, happy reading.

All the ducks are in a row for Maine

Greetings, readers. I am extremely relieved today. Weeks ago I had procured all the hotel rooms for my trip up to Maine and back, and only needed to confirm the car rental. I also bought a baseball game ticket for the Friday evening game in Portland – Go Sea Dogs! Unless it rains, I will actually be inside Hadlock Field. I have seen it from the outside twice. This will be the first time that I hunker down Friday evening in Portland. Saturday morning, I’d better get an early start, or I will be stuck in a lot of traffic on I-95 on the way to camp. It is going to be an enjoyable vacation, I can feel it.

Until just a short time ago, I still had not nailed down the rental car. The agents and I were playing phone tag. Finally, this morning, I got a hold of the person I was trying to talk to all along, and he confirmed that there would not be a problem, and that I would definitely have a vehicle August 1st. Now all my i’s are dotted and my t’s are crossed and it should be a stress free vacation … and let’s face it, to be stress free is why you go on vacation in the first place.

On to the next topic, I’ve been getting into the X-Files lately. Boy is that a strange series, yet I’m drawn to it. All seasons will be On Demand until late September. I have no idea where they will be going after that. I don’t have enough money to cough up to buy all 11 seasons, so for now On Demand, Hulu and other such viewing choices will have to do. The first season wasn’t too bad. I’m currently watching the second season; it is much creepier. I am also as a writer learning how characters meet in episode one, and by the middle of the second season, Dana Scully, usually very strong and in control of herself at all times, lets her guard down enough to trust Fox Mulder in a vulnerable moment where she broke down in tears and needed a hug. I won’t be able to watch all the episodes before leaving on vacation, so I think I will skip around to different seasons so I can get an overview. It should be interesting.

Lastly, ouch – I whacked my small toe on a box. It’s not broken, but I think I did stove it pretty good. I have the feeling it is going to be tender for a few days. That will teach me not to clean my room.

As I sign off, I hope that those of you in any flooded areas are well. We had torrential rain here yesterday in State College, Pennsylvania. Today, so far, not so bad, though more storms are expected. Please keep your fingers crossed that I will not be sitting in the cabin in Maine during a week of rainy weather.

I’ve got a doctor’s appointment in the morning, but Rebecca will put up tomorrow’s blog entry and I am quite certain it will be a good one. Until next Wednesday for me, take care, enjoy, and happy reading.

New kitten finally came out to play

Greetings, readers. Last Friday my new kitten arrived and for the first three days and nights all I did was hear her. She would come out in the cover of darkness, use her cat box, and eat a little something. This is the only way I knew she was okay and hadn’t died of shock from moving into her new home. On Monday, my friend Tasha from work, who gave me the kitten, came over to my place and bridged the gap between scared kitten and new owner. Once Princess Josie was placed on me, and I pet her and gave her the first little kiss on the head, all has been right with the world since.

Princess Josie has been very active, exploring her new world. Yes, she gets into a little mischief now and then, but the pink crate, which was also given to me by Tasha and her mother, is a perfect time-out penalty box. It has been most effective. (While I was taking a phone call just now, Rebecca was wrestling with P.J., trying to keep her off the work table and computer. P.J. in now sitting in said penalty box. Don’t worry, readers, I will not give the cat a complex.)

Here is a picture that Tasha took on her phone of me and the new kitten. I must say, she is very photogenic.

Joe and his new cat Princess Josie

Notice her pretty brown eyes. I believe she is Bengal or a Bengal mix. At only nine months old, I’m sure to have many great years with her, filled with love, affection, and cuteness.

On to other topics, I’ll be taking a personal day tomorrow, to try out my new summer writing schedule which goes into effect in about two weeks. I’ll be working my fast food job through the Penn State graduation weekend and I will go back right before the students return in mid to late August. Also … finally the warmer weather has arrived. Though not hot by any means, it is at least warm. I can dig it. When I can go to work in my hoodie and leave the down coat behind, I’m a happy camper.

Lastly, this is my therapy week, I’ll see my therapist later today as a matter of fact. I’m going to make certain to bring my computer with me to show off the picture of her royal highness, Princess Josie.

Before closing, I just have to end with a funny for the day. I was watching YouTube videos of funny fails and I saw a little two-year-old girl happy and smiling while her daddy was flipping the channels behind her. All of the sudden he stopped on the news channel with President Trump talking. The little girl turns around, looks at the President, starts to cry and says, “No, no, no.” I laughed so much.

Tomorrow Rebecca will either have a new entry or a re-post for you, and we will be back together next Wednesday. I hope you all have a great day, take care, 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.

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. 🙂

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.