Tag Archives: YouTube

My annual Christmas Eve Light Ride tradition is in jeopardy

Greetings, readers. With Zipcar no longer an option for me, my Christmas Eve Light Ride tradition may be coming to an end. Since I was a little boy, I’ve only missed one year and that was due to an ice storm. Rebecca and I were just on the Hertz car rental site and discovered that though it would be easy and convenient (the office is down the street from me) the cost would make the one night event outrageously stupid, even by my standards. You know me, readers, I never like to cancel anything that is traditional.

This past year I have just not made that much money. My books have not been selling and my other sources of income have come in a trickle. I always tell myself that things will work out somehow, but this year I just don’t see it being economically feasible.

To rent a car for three days, they are probably closed Christmas Eve, will cost approximately $400.00, according to our research on their website. One passenger who wants to go with me said that she’ll chip in for the cost. At least one other passenger would have to do the same to make that price tag possible. Right now, dear readers, I give my traditional Christmas Eve Light Ride chances only at 20%.

Now, on Christmas Eve, the buses still run at least to a certain time. It may very well be that my friends and I will ride CATA’s W bus and let it drive us around Park Forest and surrounding areas. I will be sure to let the bus driver know that is what we are doing so he doesn’t look at us and ask if we have missed our stop. The only other alternative, which I will tell you just dawned on my this very second, is to see if anyone else made a YouTube video of the same kind of ride, or walk around their neighborhood. It’s been said that besides porn, you can find almost anything on YouTube.

On to a different topic. Guess what I’m doing tonight, dear readers? I’m going to my first Shakespearean play experience, a movie playing at the State Theatre, called A Winter’s Tale. I really don’t have a good idea what it is about, but I am intrigued because it is a Shakespearean dramedy. I am not much into Shakespeare though at my age I should be. Hell, with me being a writer, I should have been into all the classic authors. It’s ironic that I am a writer that doesn’t read other people’s material. I think I just solved my problem!

I am starting to change that. On Spotify music I found a delightful version in an audio book of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. I have seen two movie adaptations of this story and love it. It is one of my favorites … probably second to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It is read by an unnamed younger woman I’m estimating is in her late 20s to early 30s with a delightful voice and she is able to bring all the characters to life. I would love to find out her name, then go to Google images so I can take a peek at who is reading to me. So far, no such luck. It is the unabridged version of the story and I’m listening to it, as I said, through Spotify, which is now connected to my brand new Alexa. Oh, what great sound. It sounds like there is a human being right here in the room with me.

Yesterday, again on the internet news page, I saw such headlines as shootings, the stock market is tumbling, and plane crash kills nine. I stopped right there. My therapist told me to stay away from depressing news topics. I realize it is kind of hard to keep up tp date without reading the news. I would love to see a news broadcast that gives as much equal time to good honest heartwarming stories which raise peoples spirits as it does to the bad news stories which tend to depress people. I remember one time, I think I mentioned this before, I was watching a newscast on a New York channel which consisted literally of 50 minutes of bad news, a few minutes of sports, about three minutes for the weather, and then a oh, yes, by the way, nice story to close out the broadcast. I had to wait the whole hour to get the two minute final story that perked me up for the evening. Blech. Fortunately that channel is off our cable system and I don’t watch much news from any other source. Some people say I’m uneducated or not in the loop. Well, readers, I know what I know. I shan’t be bombarded with one bad news story after another. Maybe one day this world will learn that violence and revenge is not the answer. Okay, I’m done with my mini-sermon.

Well, readers, only two more blog entries with Rebecca until our nine-year stint comes to an end. 😦 But as mentioned before, my blog will stay open for you, my readers, to peruse and enjoy, and I shall strive to put a new one up either every Wednesday or every other Wednesday. I can’t lose the few steady readers I have, and I am blessed to have you.

Until next Wednesday, have a wonderful week, love one another, if you are thinking about hatred-give peace a chance, take care and happy reading.

Oopsie, I forgot, my bad

Greetings, readers. This is the first of two blog entries I will write today, for I completely failed to post one as promised this past weekend. I got so wrapped up with football and other events. For the time being my plan is to do a blog entry for Wednesdays and one to post on Sundays every week.

Unfortuanantly my writing projects have stalled again, but hope springs eternal. I’m having a dinner meeting with my co-creator to discuss project number two. I think when I take more detailed notes, I will be able to get a much better start. I tried to write the ending she wanted first, which was a tactic I used in a very successful writing project of my own many years ago. That decision failed miserably this time around. I’m going to have to pick my co-author’s brain for character traits and start at the beginning.

Over the last week and a half, I’ve tried to keep my creative brain moving by watching three films from the library: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Rebecca’s highly recommended film Invincible; and the classic, The African Queen. Invincible, about Vince Papale of the 1970s Philadelphia Eagles team, was a feel good story and highly inspirational. You have to love those true stories. STII is still considered the best Star Trek film. I saw in an interview, with Ricardo Montalban, that for the first two weeks of rehearsal he was reading the lines like Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island; he had to go back and watch the original series Star Trek episode “Space Seed” to get back into the character of Khan. And believe or not, The African Queen is my first Humphrey Bogart film, you can’t do better than Bogart and Hepburn.

Watching STII inspired me to go to YouTube and re-watch all of the episodes in the Star Trek fan fiction series called Star Trek Continues, which was produced by Vic Mignogna. Vic does a better William Shatner’s version of Kirk than William Shatner did. Amazing. Too bad Paramount shut them down. Their reason was copywrite infringement. I think it was because they were too good.

On to sports news, the Pittsburgh Steelers are 1-4 and barely have a pulse. Quarterback Mason Rudolph was clobbered by two of the Baltimore Ravens’ players and got knocked senseless. It didn’t help matters that he had to walk with help into the clubhouse because the cart broke down. A black mark for the Heinz Field staff.

Staying within our division, the Cleveland Browns got pummeled 31-3 by the San Francisco 49ers Monday night, thus rendering the AFC North the weakest division in the NFL. When a team is 1-4 and they still have a good chance to make the playoffs, that is a sad division.

That’s going to wrap up blog entry number one, for our weekly meeting is going to take place any minute. This entry will go live today. Entry number two will be written today and will be scheduled to go live on Sunday afternoon. Again, I apologize for my faux pau. In a week or two’s time, I shall try to find a time of day that I can pump out a Sunday entry by myself.

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

Getting back into the groove

Greetings, readers. When vacation is over it is true that I do like to come home and get the year in between camp started. However, it seems to take me a long time to get out of what I call camp mode. That is, simply, not watching TV at night, looking at a YouTube video of a bonfire, or listening to a recording of crickets. It is a simpler way of life up there and I love it. Granted, I do pack my computer bag and go into town for coffee and internet at least once during the vacation week.

With fresh writing ideas in my mind, I’ve been jotting down notes and will soon be ready to begin one of two writing projects. I have two strong candidates but I’ve not narrowed it down yet. I take phone calls for a company part-time and that brings in a little bit of money. I don’t work very many hours yet but at least it is something. I’ll probably have to get a second job somewhere down the line. The more income for next year’s camp, the better.

On to a different topic, I just reached for my water bottle and the proverbial sword went into my shoulder. I cannot wait until September 4th; for those of you who didn’t read the last blog entry, I am having an arthroscopic procedure done to get rid of bone chips and “shave” the area around the bones of the shoulder. Thank goodness my rotator cuff is fine. You see, readers, I am allergic to pain and I think if my rotator cuff was torn, I would be screaming right now. I’m getting queasy just thinking about it. Prayers please for September 4th and beyond. There will be rehab needed.

Lastly, the building next door is growing by leaps and bounds. I have lost some of the view of the nearby Days Inn and the new apartment building is nowhere near finished. I’ve been told by two people now that it is also going to have a tower on the roof (reason unknown) so next July 4th I’ll be watching my fireworks from the parking garage across the street. Boo hiss.

As I close, prayers go out to all who were effected yesterday by all the violent storms, and for those in Pennsylvania, batten down the hatches for we are expected to get storms today.

I’m not certain if I will put up a Sunday blog entry or not, so we will say until next Wednesday, take care, have a great week, love to all, and happy reading.

The Sunday Chronicle: I’m thinking about changing blog days and Ultimate Fishing Simulator

Greetings, readers. I do most certainly enjoy dictating a blog entry via Dragon speech recognition program on Sundays, but it’s turning out that Sunday is the more hectic of the two weekend days. So, I’m debating on whether or not to dictate the blog on Saturday, and set it up to publish on Sunday, or dictate and publish on Saturday. Most of you are saying, “What’s the difference?” Well…, A lot. On Sunday after church, I like to kick off the shoes, watch YouTube, take a nap, and have a light supper. I’ve been finding that if I don’t dictate the blog by 3 PM or so, I have a hard time getting it done. Something tells me that I would not be a very good 9 to 5 office worker.

Doing the weekend blog does afford me the opportunity to work on my editing skills, as well as trying to use words that I almost never do. Yes, I had my favorites, such as, plethora and of course, my famous ellipse. All in all though, my vocabulary is far below par with most writers. I’ve been calling myself a writer for years. It’s time I start proving it.

Before I move on to the introductory review of Ultimate Fishing Simulator, I wish to tell you about the gloriously warm and sunny weather Central Pennsylvania has been enjoying. It’s almost been too hot. I believe the hottest day was 89° F. That’s about right at the cut-off point where I start to say, “It’s too damned hot.” I’ve said many times that if I had a weather machine, I would have sunny days in the upper 70s or 80s, a light rain at night with temperatures in the 50s, and just for ambience, cold and snow during the month of December for Christmas. That’s right…, Cold only in December. 😉

Now, on to gaming. I was trying to find a fishing game on Steam, which you could play with or without an Internet connection. Fishing Planet is a wonderful game, but I won’t be able to play it at camp, for there is no Internet in the cabins. Dave suggested looking for another fishing game which was on sale. Wouldn’t you know, the summer sale was going on and I found one. I got the base game, and what they call bundles, for half off. Score! 😊

I watched YouTube videos on Ultimate Fishing Simulator, and the presenter was saying how easy it was to catch fish. Yeah…, sure. This morning, after numerous times of trying, I finally caught my first fish. I’m slowly getting the hang of it, and I’m loving it. With the bundles, I have more lakes to unlock, more rods, baits, etc. I can’t put the graphics on the highest, because my computer just won’t run the game quite smoothly enough. The game’s major advantage is that you can use it with or without an Internet connection. After I have spent several weeks seeing what all this game has to offer, I shall give you my final review.

Until Wednesday, when Rebecca returns, I bid you a wonderful rest of the day, love one another, take care, and happy reading.

Already in ‘camp mode’ & still having computer glitches

Greetings, readers. This will be another difficult entry for me to create, for my Dragon Speech Recognition software is currently not functioning. ☹ I have no clue what’s wrong. As well, other desktop icons aren’t working either; the anti-virus program to top the list. So, I can’t even check to see what’s wrong. Grr.

Well…, what is camp mode, you might ask? It is what I call my vacation before my vacation. Thanks to YouTube, I enjoy such videos as a daylight view of a rippling lake, a cozy campfire, and rain and thunder. It’s just enough to put me in the frame of mind to where if I close my eyes, I can picture myself at Bear Spring Camps.

My favorite real-life escape is to choose the campfire and listen to crickets, other insects, the fire, and my favorite, the occasional loon call. The loon is my favorite bird, and Great Pond has lots of them. I enjoy sitting on the porch in the evening, watching the lake and listening for loons.

Through videos, I can actually recreate 75% of the camp experience. Of course, I can’t recreate the people, and it’s the people who really make the place special. August 3rd, I shall be there…, and I can’t wait!

Until Wednesday morning, when Rebecca is back with us, have a great day, love everybody, and as always, happy reading.

 

I think I have an eating disorder

Greetings, readers. Over the last several weeks I have found myself indulging in snacks and cereal. You may ask, what’s wrong with that? Well, a normal person might enjoy a bowl of cereal; perhaps two. Recently, I will grab a box of cereal, turn on YouTube, and eat the entire box one bowl at a time. I think to myself, “You really should stop this. You’ve had enough.” But I just keep eating. This is not good.

Sometimes when I binge watched my favorite videos, or favorite TV shows on Netflix, I can put away a bag of chips or popcorn with no problem. Like I said, now I’ve graduated to family size boxes of cereal. When I am finished, I feel like a pig, the blood drains down to help with digestion, and I want to fall asleep… for hours. Luckily, I have a therapist who can help me with this problem. I shall see her in two weeks.

Not only am I gaining weight, but I am spending way too much money. The stores in downtown State College are not your usual grocery stores, so prices are higher. I like to shop downtown because it is close to where I live. If I can walk to it, I’m a happy camper. There is a Target store close by, and I do shop there often. They have a nice selection of fruit, veggies, and healthy snacks. I must learn to make a list of the good things, not the junk, and purchase wisely.

My weight is up to 206 pounds; about 8 pounds more than I want it to be. Now that the warm weather has finally arrived, I’m going to walk around the neighborhood, take some good pictures with my new digital camera, and get some exercise. Maybe I won’t even need my walker anymore. Wouldn’t that be great?

I am going to conclude this blog for today. I just looked out my window and saw some dark, threatening clouds. We have had bad thunderstorms in our area the last few days. There is a storm predicted for this afternoon. If that happens, work will have to be over so that I can turn off both the computer and the router. Until Wednesday, I wish you a pleasant rest of your weekend, stay safe if you’re in a bad weather area, pray for all who need it, and as always, happy reading. 😊

 

Oops. sorry about that, and belated Happy Easter

Greetings, readers. I was completely embarrassed when Rebecca texted me informing me that I had forgotten to put up the weekend blog. I said a few minor expletives, apologized to her and asked if she could put up a short blog entry on Monday. She, of course, said sure. I just knew that one of these weekends it was going to slip my mind. If it was going to happen, it was logical that Easter weekend would be it. Sunday morning I went to church, came home, went out with friends for a buffet dinner, and after all that food and two desserts, I came home and slept like a log. My “nap” lasted until 10pm. Needless to say I didn’t sleep much the rest of the night. I hope your Easter was as good as mine, with many blessings and a wonderful day spent with family.

Topic number two. The apartment cleaning. Yes, April 22nd came and went and as promised to myself, I began work on the kitchen. Ready for your funny of the day? A person starts a major cleanup project with one new trash bag in the box and no disinfectant wipes. Sure, I’m prepared. Lol. I must say, it looks a lot better. Then I walk into the living room and I see just how much I have to do. Slow and steady wins the race.

I can’t believe that Bear Spring Camps opens in less than a month. I’m already getting into my camp routine. My TV cable has Music Choice, channels dedicated to playing different genres of music. I enjoy listening to their easy listening music station, and having about an hour or so of what I call wind down time right before bed, which may include listening to crickets, loons, or a thunderstorm on Spotify. Between Music Choice, Spotify, and YouTube, I can find almost any background “white noise” choice I desire. When I am actually at camp, and I’m by myself, I like to lock the screen door and have the wooden door open, turn off the lights, and sit on my sofa, while I watch the twilight disappear into darkness. The easy listening radio station in that area of Maine disappeared long ago. So I will either listen to nature or a cassette tape on low volume. Trust me, when you spend an entire day in the sun, the breeze, as well as eating three wonderful meals a day and expending energy, you are more than ready around 9pm to wind down and call it a day.

Finally, prayers go out to the injured and families of victims from the church bombings in Sri Lanka. I said it before and I will say it again, we need to stop the madness. People must learn to get along with one another and to treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Until this weekend … I hope … have a great few days, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

Top ten list of blessings in my life

Greetings, readers. Today I thought I would go upbeat with the blog entry. Recently I’ve been telling you about all the things that have been bothering me in my life, and today I thought I would go cheery. I am grateful for many, many things, even though sometimes I don’t always show it. So here is my top ten list of things for which I am grateful.

#10. My late kitty cat Keekee. [Not too long after I moved into Addison Court, I’d say less than a year, a friend of mine was moving out. She could not take the two cats she had with her and asked me if I wanted one for free. I’m glad I decided to try it, allergies notwithstanding. She was my buddy for one week short of 12 years.]

#9. Princess Josie. [This cat is completely different in demeanor than Keekee. I love her to pieces, but she is a little more rambunctious than my former furry feline.]

#8. Meals on Wheels. [Although they are not always dishes which I would consider my favorites, I do eat most of them and feel blessed to have them at such an economical price.]

#7. A place over my head. [No, it’s not the family house that we used to own, but it is two nice-sized rooms with fully functional kitchen and I enjoyed the great view from the top floor for 13 years. With the new building going up next door though, I’m going to lose most of that view.]

#6. Sentimental items from my parent’s home. [When I moved to this apartment 13 years ago or so, I vowed to take as many paintings as I could get. It gives the apartment a hint of my former home. For that I am extremely grateful. I also have my mom’s desk and a bookcase of which we make good use.]

#5. Good neighbors and friends in the building. [As in any community, there are good neighbors and neighbors you’d like to run over with your car. I’m very happy to say that I have most pleasant neighbors, with only a few exceptions. I’m a very easygoing man and can usually work around any people who cause conflict. I’m glad that so many of my neighbors are folks I am happy to call friends.]

#4. Rebecca. [Every book I’ve ever done would not be published without Rebecca. Not only is she a good friend, she is a fantastic typist and an awesome editor. In her role as personal assistant, she has kept me from missing numerous appointment. Kudos to Rebecca.]

#3. Working technology. [Yes, I do like my Steam games, and to watch movies on Netflix. Sometimes I lose myself in a fantasy world of baseball, or I’ll spend and entire evening watching James Bond pictures. I’m happy for the technology to do so, i.e. my computer and gaming system to watch Netflix and YouTube on my TV.]

#2. A great bus system. [As chance would have it, my apartment is steps away from a bus stop, where many of the buses I take stop at. Though, during the summer time, when the buses run on reduced service, I find myself having to walk downtown a few blocks to catch buses at the main stop, called the College Ave, and Allen St stop. Sure, I’d love to have my own vehicle, but this is the next best thing.]

#1. And yes, it is in order, is that at least for now, I can still go to Bear Spring Camps. [I might have to stop after this year or perhaps after next, but I am going to milk it for all it is worth. Bear Spring Camps, and those people I have known all my life, are my truest blessings.]

There is today’s top ten list, on this cheery topic. I hope everyone enjoys it. Please pray for everyone who needs it, and if you are inclined to and can, please consider donating to a fund to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Such a tragic loss. I plan to donate some money myself.

Until this weekend, have a fantastic few days, take care of your family, enjoy good weather if you have it, and as always, happy reading.

Showtime in three days!!!

Greetings, readers. With only three days left before my big show on Wednesday, I have been concentrating almost all my efforts on practicing. I am pleased to announce that the show is taking shape nicely, and stands to be one of the best ever! My friend, Greg Brown, will be recording it for me. That way I’ll have something to use as uploads to Facebook and YouTube.

Would you believe I was still tinkering with the playlist as of yesterday? But I know all the KISS songs which I am performing, so it’s not that big of a deal. Seeing as how this show might be my last, I am hoping for perfection. I’ve told myself though that I won’t get too upset if I make a boo-boo.

My friend, Mike, has been practicing his halftime show diligently. He’s worked so hard, and I think the audience is going to love his efforts. Where I am performing KISS songs, Mike is doing some softer material, such as tunes from Glen Campbell, Ronnie Millsap and two numbers by the Village People. Imagine going from heavy metal to soft rock and disco! What a show it’s going to be. I’ve been asked by a few people, “Is this really your final show?” My answer… “You never know.” If I do any more public performing at Addison Court Apartments, it might be some stand-up comedy or some dramatic skits. Time will tell.

On to another topic. The Mercury has finally reached the 40s F. Thank God! I was tired of going for morning coffee, and freezing my derrière off. Luckily, our destination is only a block away. Between the temperatures rising and daylight savings time now upon us, I’m going to be much happier than I was a few weeks ago. Yay, spring is coming!

That’s today’s blog entry. As most of my Facebook followers know, my performance is on Wednesday, so Rebecca and I will be back with you with a new entry on Thursday. Until then, I bid all of you a wonderful weekend, be kind to your loved ones, take care and happy reading.

 

One week to go before what could be my final musical performance

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe I only have one week to go until the big day, my KISS tribute show in the Addison Court apartment’s community room. I had two months, I blinked and sneezed and all that time went away. Seven days is not much time when you’ve only had two full-scale rehearsals, one of which was ruined by an argument with an outside party. I’m going to practice in my room this afternoon and I hope to have at least one more full-scale rehearsal down in the community room; possibly this weekend. With the aid of a lot of prayers, and some 5 Hour Energy shots, combined with lots of agua, I think I can pull it off.

I’ve had to be very careful in selecting my playlist. The song “Take Me” almost had to go, for its first two lines are, “Put your hand in my pocket and grab onto my rocket.”  Yes, I want to imitate my favorite band, but I also don’t want to embarrass any of my friends of the female gender. This is why I did not include songs such as, “Love Gun,” and “Rocket Ride.” I think I’ve selected a very good playlist, with most of KISS’s famous standards well represented. From “Strutter” to “Detroit Rock City”, from “Calling Dr. Love” to “Rock and Roll All Nite,” I think I have chosen the ultimate assortment.

After we publish today’s blog entry and have our weekly meeting, Rebecca and I are going to Amazon to find some stage props, in the form of posters. I think it will help the audience who don’t know KISS well to see an image of whom I am portraying. If I can find four posters or T-shirts for a decent price, I’m going to make the purchase. When we get on the site, I’ll have to hunt for a good deal. If not, I’ll dig out my old record albums and use those.

I’m 53 years old now, with an aching right shoulder, bad hips and feet. But hell, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are in their late 60s. If they can do it, so can I. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

There’s our blog entry for today. I shall post another new one on Sunday; on a brighter topic than last weekend. Rebecca and I will be back on Thursday. If my show turns out well and is recorded I intend to put it on either my Facebook page, YouTube, or both. Wouldn’t it be a gas if one of the members of KISS somehow saw this tribute? That would be awesome! 😉

Until Sunday, have a great week and early weekend, bundle up if you are in the cold, spread love around, and as always happy reading.