Sunday, November 19, 2017

RHFactors Digest #5

It's been a while since I've done one of these type of posts. I've got a few things to share to catch you up on what's going on in "Ron's World" during the first half of November. 

I've already shared, in my last post, what I did on the first day, which got the month off to a very good start. 

 My upper respiratory issues had me down and out for the last days of October. The lingering effects, were still making me a less than 100% at the start of November, finally made going to the doctor unavoidable. 

I went to the local Urgent Care facility that's associated with my primary care doctor. Because of my symptoms this is how I looked when I sat in the "sick" waiting room. 
 I wouldn't have minded wearing a mask if I hadn't been the only one out of the half dozen people in the room wearing one. They even made me keep it on in the examination room until the doctor came in. 

After a brief examination I was prescribed an antibiotic for 10 days. It would do it's job in helping me get back to my usual self.  

Those of you who are Facebook friends have probably already seen a video about the event I am going to write about next. 

On Monday November 7, I went and stood in line to get some free tickets to an upcoming special holiday event. The give away was for the "Polar Express" event at the Historic Rail Park/ L&N Depot in Bowling Green. 

My daughter-in-law had been trying to take my granddaughter to this annual event for the last couple of years. Up until now she had never been able to get tickets. 

This year she asked me try and get them. I was more than happy to do it. But I almost messed the opportunity. 

Initially, I thought the ticket give away was at a local car dealership. At 8:30AM I was sitting in the parking lot of Jim Johnson Nissan on Scottsville Road. 
 Now I knew from what Brandi had told me in the past, this was a very popular giveaway. It started at 9AM. But as I sat in the parking lot of the dealership I didn't see any sign of other people waiting. I realize something was wrong. It turned out to be me. 

A quick look at the ticket announcement on Facebook helped me realize that I was in the wrong place. I needed to be at the rail park for the give away, not at the business that was sponsoring it. With 15 minutes before the scheduled start I was nearly 4 miles on the other side of town.  

As quickly as I could I zig zagged my way through the streets of the west side of Bowling Green. When I got to the museum, I thought my mistake had cost me the chance to complete my quest.  

The lot was full of cars including the overflow parking area. I saw the line was already outside the front door. I drove around the entire building and couldn't find a parking place. 

I drove away resolved to the fact that I was going to have to tell Brandi that I let her down. 

But as drove down Louisville Road intended on heading home, I realized I shouldn't have given up so easily. I had made a promise to get those tickets, I needed to do all I could to do just that. 

I turned around and headed back to the museum. I was lucky enough to get there just as a car was pulling out of a parking spot to the right side of the building. 

I got in line on the left side of the front door about halfway down the outside of the building. 
One of the museum's employees came buy and handed everyone a slip of paper. There was a number on the back that, after a little bit of mental math, told me that I would be able to get tickets. On the front was some information that would allow me to predetermine my preferences for available show times. 
As the line advanced, slowly but steadily, a woman with a series of papers in her hand would come around and announce which tickets had been completely distributed. For example: "Monday December 5 at 7:30 is closed" was one of her announcements.  

The line formation once inside the line was set up in the center of the room so as to spiral from the center of the lobby out.
 It moved counter clockwise until you got to the box office at which was at the 5 o'clock position. 

You then went into another room where a group of ladies sitting at some tables were giving out the tickets. 
It took me about an hour to get to that point. A gentleman was at the entrance to the ticket room helping people get yet another accurate idea of what shows remained available. 
When I got finally got up to the tables, I stood in the line all the way to the right of the picture above. The tickets I decided on were not the exact one that I had wanted but it was the closest I could get. 

When I got back to my car I decided to make one of my "Hanging With Havens" videos. 

As I mentioned, I posted it on Facebook right after I finished it. For those of you who didn't see it here's the link to it on my You Tube channel. It tells about the whole experience in about 4 minutes. 
The Polar Express Experience

Every once in a while, in life, you come across something that requires minimum investment that gives you maximum return. I'm not just talking about financial decisions either.  

Last week, while shopping at my local Sam's Club, I discovered this little craft kit. 
I immediately thought of how much my wife and my granddaughter would enjoy doing this project together. It was only $13. 

This past Saturday, as part of Aria's weekend with us, they sat at our kitchen table and, together, made the nativity scene. 

They assembled, painted, and applied stickers.
It took them about an hour to get it all done. They were proud of their finished creation. 
I was so pleased to see them work together.  Not only did they create a new display for our living room for Christmas...
...there will always be a reminder of the day they did it.  
Far as I'm concerned, that memory is an investment that's priceless. 

On Thursday, the 16th, for the second time this year, I went to my granddaughter's school to have lunch with her. This time it was in celebration of Thanksgiving. 

Paula couldn't go this time so I was Aria's guest along with her mom and one of her mom's closest friends, Brittany. 

The experience was a little different than the last time but it was still fun. Aria was happy we were there. 

After we finished lunch, Brandi and Brittany had to leave. Like last time, I went with Aria back to her classroom for a few minutes. 

When we got there she gave me this Thanksgiving themed art work she made. 
Also, like the last time, she wanted me to stay with her for a while. But the teacher really didn't have anything planned. Shortly after we were back in the room, Ms. Wilson, distributed papers to the children for a class activity. 

It was at that point that I said "good-bye" to Aria. She handled me leaving a lot better than she did the first time. 

So there you have a few of the memorable things that have happened so far in November. 

Before I go I want to give you a bit of a "sneak peek" into what one of my next posts is going to feature. 

Although I write about Lego quite often; I haven't devoted an entire post to it since early this year. But this picture gives you a glimpse of the most interesting project of the year. 

 I'll share more in that future post. 

In case I don't get the chance to write again before the holiday, I want to wish you and all my blog readers a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Remember a heart that is full of thankfulness and gratitude is one which can also accomodate happiness. God Bless.   

Lego Christmas builds

Monday, November 13, 2017

Last Days Of October-Part 3

This 3rd and final installment in this series is going to be about a pair of experiences that just might point me in the right direction for the future. 

They both happened in the same place and technically, and just one of them happened in October. The other one was on the first day of November; but close enough.

On Saturday, October 21st, my nephew, Bobby, and I drove to East Nashville to the Watkins Park section. Our destination being the Third Coast Comedy Club. 

It's located inside the building that used to be the home of Marathon Motor Works; an early 20th century automobile manufacturer. 
I last visited this area 5 years ago in 2012. That's when I sought out the newly opened Antique Archaeology store. Here's a link to my post about that day. 
Pickin & Grinnin Part 1

The building has been repurposed as an entertainment and retail venue. 
The Third Coast Comedy Club is one of many businesses there. It is the one place in Nashville that focuses mainly on improv comedy. 

But on this day, improv was not the reason we were there. Rik Roberts, a comedian and podcaster and another podcaster, David Hooper were co-hosting a seminar on starting a successful podcast.   
The seminar was a combination of informational lecture segments by David and improvisational games for the purposes of "brain storming" as a group, facilitated by Rik. 

The event lasted from 10AM to about 4PM. At the conclusion of the day; a group picture was taken. Bobby and I are on the left.
There was a lot of information given but it was mostly for those who had already had an established podcast. There was some great tips and plans on how to take it to the next level. That applied to most of the people who were there. I met and talked with a few of them. 

However, meeting with the podcasters and hearing them talk about their programs motivated me to get serious about launching one of my own. It also got my nephew thinking about starting one of his own as well. 

But determining just what my podcast should be still has me conflicted. It's something I need to work out. I may write more about the specifics of that in a future post. Just to see what you, my potential listeners, think. 

One of the benefits of attending the "Big Podcast" seminar the 3rd Saturday in October was I got a free pass to an event 2 weeks later. 

On Wednesday, November 1st, I went back to the Third Coast Comedy Club to attend a night of stand up headlined by Rik Roberts. 

Rik has become a friend over the last couple of years. His podcast has both entertained and taught me a lot about stand up comedy.

As a supporter of his podcast through Patreon, I wanted to show additional support by attending this show. It was being recorded and will be released next Spring as Rik's next CD.  

I got there about half an hour before the show started. I sat and had a soft drink in the bar area. 
They were still in a bit of a "Halloween" mode because they were projecting an episode of the "Twilight Zone" onto the wall. 
I met a guy named "Matt" who was the show runner for the club. He asked for my ticket and then stamped the back of my hand. This allowed me go get into the showroom. 
I talked with him a bit about my interest in improv and how I saw this new club as a potentially useful resource. 

I mentioned my experience with the improv group at Western Kentucky University a couple of years ago. As it turned out he was a WKU alumni and used to be part of that group. 

I talked to Rik and he introduced me to a couple of people who were there from Ohio to be a part of the audience. 

Soon it was time to go into the showroom and find a seat. 
I sat in the last chair on the 2nd row from the front. 

The show was very funny. Rik had a pair of comics warm the audience up. Both of them have been guests on the School of Laughs podcast. Also I've seen them perform at Zanies before; so I was familiar with their style. 

Johnny W. opened up the show; doing about 15 minutes. I like his style. 
Brian Bates is a guy who uses a lot of self deprecating humor. His being a single guy in his 40s lends itself to a lot of good material. 
He reminds me of a little of the character of "Stewart" on the Big Bang Theory. He did about 15 minutes as well. 

Rik came on stage and did about 45 minutes. His act was some new stuff and some I'd heard him do before. But it was all very funny. 

At the end of his act he picked up his guitar and did his song about having a good time with a rental car. 

For his closing number he asked for a volunteer from the audience to come up and help him. The crowd was being a little shy. I put my hand up and he chose me. 

Once I got up on stage he asked my name and what I did. I told him "I am Ron and I am a ventriloquist." 

He asked if I wanted to do a little demonstration with him playing the guitar. I said "sure". We practiced the timing of my squeezing his neck and him moving his mouth. 

Having mentioned Johnny Cash in his act earlier he decided on the song "Folsom Prison Blues". 

In my best ventriloquist Johnny Cash impersonation voice I sang the first verse using the correct lyrics. 

When it came to the 2nd verse I decided that 
I would improvise and make up something. So that's when I sang:

I'm singing bout Folsom Prison
Someone is moving my mouth
The only place you'll see this stuff
In here in the deep south 

After we sang the chorus and gave a big finish. We got a lot of applause. 

It had been over a year and a half since I had gotten that kind of reaction for doing ventriloquism. It felt really good. 

Next, Rik had me sing a part of a song called "I'm Just A Guy". I was familiar with it because I had seen him do it at Zanies a few months earlier.

Based on what I had seen the volunteer do back then I decided that my part where I sang "guy guy I'm just a guy" needed to be done in as low a voice as possible. 

So when my part came I gave it my deepest effort. It worked better than normal because I still congested from my cold issue. The crowd loved us and we got a lot of applause.

After the show I got some really good comments from a few people on my ventriloquism. It was really encouraging. 

Over the last few month, I had become convinced that being a ventriloquist was never going to be more than a hobby for me going forward. 

I actually haven't picked up a puppet for practice or public performance in quite a while. 

Other than playing with my granddaughter, my puppets have been locked up in their case for more than a year and a half. 

The satisfaction I got just from my short improvised performance in front of that relatively small crowd that night has me rethinking the idea of becoming a performing ventriloquist, once again.   

If I decide to give that another try there are quite a few "path choices" I have to make. But it's something I'm going to focus on for the rest of the year. 

So there you have my two recent experiences in Nashville. Both of them have served as catalysts in motivating me and steering me toward what I want to do in life over the next few years. 

I'm going to take remaining few weeks of this year to decide what exactly I'm going to do and make a fresh start in 2018. 

As far as the Third Coast Comedy Club is concerned, I will probably go back there for a night of entertainment in the near future. 

Another reason to go back is the excellent improv classes they offer. That has always been an interest of mine. 

This wraps up my series about the last days of October. Now it's on to writing about the last two months of 2017. 

In my next post, I will tell you about the entire experience getting tickets to that holiday special event that I mentioned in my last post. 

Thanks for coming by to read what's going on with me. Til next time, God Bless. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What Does It Say About "Us"?

I try not to be political or controversial when I write on this blog but the tragic events over the last month or so throughout our country sparked a question in my mind. I need to ask it and I will later in this post. Let me give you a little background as to how I came to this query. 

First, I consider myself naturally paranoid. Not in the sense that I think someone is after me or anything like that. But in the sense that I am always considering, if not preparing, for the worst case scenario. 

Whenever I am in a public place, such as the movies, in a theater, church or an arena, I always make sure I know where the exits are. I plan out in my mind what I would do if I needed to get out in an emergency. It's just something I've done all my life. It's just part of my personality. 

When I say "emergency" I mean a fire, gas leak, earthquake, tornado, or some other "incidental" or "accidental" event. Something that requires a quick but calm and orderly exit. 

 Of course, the odds of something happening while I am in a public place are low but not impossible. 

But after the terrorist attack on 9/11/01 the world changed. The possibility of having to get out of a public place as fast as possible for a much more dangerous and urgent reason was introduced into the equation. While the threat had increased it was still somewhat remote because the likely perpetrator of an attack was a radical religious individual from foreign countries.  

But over the last couple of years even more has changed. The frequency and location of the deadly attacks and the type of people behind them has expanded. More and more often people with extreme mental or emotional problems are driven to diabolical acts of evil. Individuals who live in this country are radicalized through the propaganda of Isis on the internet convinced to take deadly action with the promise of "great reward". Domestic attackers are, unfortunately, becoming more and more common.   

The possibility that something could happen in your town or where you go is higher now than ever. 

How many people attending a concert in Las Vegas, riding on a New York City bike path, or attending a worship service in a small Texas town thought anything would happen while they were there? 

I've written all of that to write about this. 

Yesterday, I found myself in a public place, in this case a museum, with a lot of individuals crowded into one relatively small place. 

It was a very pleasant experience and I will write about it in an upcoming post soon. 

But there was one short moment during my time there, I must mention. About an hour into my wait in line I took this picture. 
It does not encompass the entire room but it does convey the fact that there was a lot of people in a relatively small space. 

At the time the only accessible entrance/exit to that room was through this door. The one I had come through about 30 minutes earlier. 

With the tragedy of the mass shooting in the Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas still fresh in my mind and the emotion of it still churning in my gut, I looked around at the adults and the children in that small room. 

A wave of paranoia shot through me and some chilling questions came into my mind. What if someone came in and started shooting? What would I do? Who would I save? Would I just look to get out of there or would I try and help people?

I did my best to calm down and get my anxiety under control by telling myself that I would do what I could to save/help the children first and then the adults. Then I took a deep breath and came back to reality.  

The sad thing is that those questions and the thought that sparked them are no longer that irrational for an average citizen of this country to consider when in a public place. 

These days, court houses, public schools, college campuses government buildings, corporate offices, all have security measures, procedures, and protocols in place to protect, employees and students as much as possible in what has now become known as "an active shooter" situation. 

My question to you is what does the fact that people have to think about this kind of stuff on a daily basis now say about us as a country? As a society? What are the answers? 

This not just one issue. The problem covers multiple areas including: gun control, mental health, treatment of military veterans, pop culture, social media, public education and a whole lot more. 

I ask again, what do you think about this whole issue? I have put up a Facebook post advising everyone about this post. Put your comments and or answers to my questions in the comment section of that post. Or feel free to send me an email:

So there you have it. Not my usual blog post. But I just had to ask the questions behind the experience. 

In my next post I will get back to my usual writing style, I promise. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to this one. God Bless.    

Monday, November 6, 2017

Last Days Of October-Part 2

This post features a pair of events from the last week of the month of October: Halloween & Hockey. 

Halloween wasn't a big deal for me this year but it was for some members of my family. It started on the weekend that my PA family was visiting. 

Based on an idea my wife saw online, Paula, Aria and Teejai dipped some small pumpkins in nail polish floating on top of water to decorate these pumpkins. 

They also painted some in traditional Jack-o-Lantern design.
 The weekend before Halloween, James, Brandi, and Aria made some fancy designs of their own. 
On the Friday before the 31st there were a couple of special Halloween events. My granddaughter got to wear a costume to school for the first time. 
My wife made her own costume and put on her own make up to dress as a scarecrow to participate in the celebration with her co-workers at her office. 

In the afternoon her company held a "trick or treat" event for the employees' families. Brandi brought the grandkids to see their Nana and get some candy. 
BTW, here's what the little guy looked like in with his costume on completely and he's not very happy about it. 
On the actual day of Halloween, things were pretty quiet for me. I drove through my little town during the hours of trick or treat. The streets were crowded with costumed candy collectors. I don't know for sure but I'm pretty certain there were more people walking from house to house than there are residents in the grove. 

Because we are a little off the beaten path of Main Street nobody knocked at our door again this year. We didn't have much candy to begin with; so we only have a little left over. 

So for me, Halloween this year was a little pedestrian. I didn't dress up or even take my usual stroll through the grove to enjoy everyone having fun. 

I did do one Halloween type thing the on Sunday the 29th. As has become a tradition my son, Michael, and I went to see the newest offering in the "Saw" horror films. This 8th offering, "Jigsaw" is not anywhere near the best in the series. 

As a matter of fact its rather mediocre. While it keeps you guessing as to the who's doing the killing and how there aren't any real cringe worthy cutting edge moments (pun intended). 

While I spent most of the movie confounded as to how somethings were possible (hint: don't go too far off the rails in trying to guess ahead) there is an "Aha"moment when you realize just how you've been fooled. 

I left the movie feeling like I do when I figure out a magic trick after I've seen it; entertained and a bit foolish for ignoring the obvious. 

If you are a fan of the "Saw" movies you'll want to see this one cause it's the link to the next phase of the franchise. 

However, I recommend you save yourself some money. Wait until the home video comes out early next year, make popcorn in your microwave and enjoy the movie in the comfort of your own home.  

I did have one additional Halloween experience when I went to my first 2017-18 season Predators hockey game in Nashville. 

It was the night of their Halloween celebration. They had a separate ticketed trick or treat event before the game and handed out replica paper goalie masks to the kids as they entered the arena.  

The last Preds game I saw in April of last season was against my 2nd favorite team, The New York Islanders.   
The Metropolitan division team were making their only trip into Nashville early in the season.  

Being sick had caused me to miss a couple things I was excited about earlier in the week. Now that I was feeling better, I knew I had to go to the hockey game or I'd regret it all hockey season. I bought my ticket through the Ticketmaster app on my phone about 7 hours before puck drop.  

The combination of the Predators local popularity and their success last season has resulted in a a significant increase in ticket prices for the 17-18 campaign. 

For me, a fan who usually buys single game tickets, the additional cost means only being able to afford seats in the 300 section of the arena instead of the 200. I'm okay with this. I think the price point is a little high but you do get a great experience for the money.  

I arrived in downtown Nashville about 5:30. I learned from my experience last season that if I get there early enough, I have a good chance of getting a handicapped spot in the parking garage adjacent to the arena without having to pay. That saves me $20.  

I got a free spot on the 2nd level just across from the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

After getting through security I took the elevator to the upper level. That was something I hadn't done all last season. As I explained I had chosen a seat in the part of the arena known as the "upper bowl". 

My seat was in section 309 Row F Seat 1. I bought this seat because it was the last aisle seat I could find in the entire upper half of the arena. I was so surprised when I got to my seat.  Turned out they were really good. Here was my view. 
I might have been near the top of the arena but I was right at center ice, almost even with the center line; the best place to watch a game. 

When the players came out to the warm up I realized this was probably the best seat I've ever had to see the Preds. 

Here's some video of the players warm ups. 
The Predator's mascot is a anthropomorphic saber toothed gray cat, named "Gnash." 

During most home games he emerges from an opening in one end of the ice, runs down to the first blue line on the ice and then slides on his knees to almost the other goal line. 

Other times he rides an ATV around the ice. But on this particular night he got to the ice in a very daring and dangerous way. Here's a link to my You Tube video of his arrival.  
Look Up In The Sky!!! It's Gnash!!!!

A week before the game, In an article in their magazine, ESPN, named the Predators the #1 overall franchise in Sports. Rather than try and explain what that means, here's a link to the article. 
ESPN The Magazine: Preds are #1 Sports Franchise

I have visual proof of what the writer of that article is referring to in regard to connecting with the fans. 

Here's is a link to a You Tube video that shows the enthusiasm of the crowd and clearly demonstrates their devotion to their hockey club. 
Predators' Starting Lineup

After the singing of the National Anthem...
...the teams lined up for the faceoff. 
The Predators won the opening draw. As it turned out it would be one of the few things they won all night. 

After their win in Chicago the night before the Preds were a little off their game from the start of this one. They made mistakes, missed passes, coughed up the puck and drew 5 penalties which resulted in 3 Islanders power play goals.

John Tavares, who didn't even play the last time I saw these 2 teams play, scored 3 goals in a row (aka a natural hat trick) in the 3rd period. The Predators lost. 
Of course I was a little disappointed but I did get to see my favorite Predator, Filip Foresberg, score a goal and one of the best players on my 2nd favorite team score a hat trick. 

The last half of October had a lot going on. I have shared a lot of it with you in these two posts. 

But I've got one more series post to write about a pair of events. One was in October and the other happened on the 1st of November. They have really gotten me thinking about what I want to do in the coming year. I will share everything with you next time. Thanks for coming by and reading the RH Factors blog. 


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Last Days Of October-Part 1

Hey There Everybody. Welcome to November. I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe Halloween. It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted so let's catch up a bit. Here are some of the things packed into the last two weeks of October. 

On the 19th my grandson turned 1 year old.
As has become a tradition with his sister, his mom made him birthday pancakes. 
He also got his first hair cut. 
He was so calm and cool about it; acting like he's been there before. Here's what he looked like afterwards.
As I mentioned in my last post, some of my family who live in Pennsylvania came to Kentucky for an autumn visit. It was wonderful to see them for the third time this year. The main reason for their 2nd sojourn of the year to the Bluegrass State will be shared in a bit. 

When they visited back in April, my family brought along an extra "player" along; my niece Teejai's friend. For this trip they brought someone a little younger. TeeJai's God daughter, Aaniya. She's a little cutie, just a couple of months older than my grandson. Here's a picture of the two of them together. 

Although I didn't take many pictures of my family while they were visiting I'd like to share a couple of my favorites. First there's my brother-in-law, Gene. It's one that captures the humor and whimsy with which he enjoys life. 
This 2nd picture is my niece, TeeJai. I don't know if she even knows that I took this picture. But based on the silly filters she adds to her Snapchat selfies, I don't think she'll mind me posting it. 
The family arrived on the evening of Thursday the 19th. On Friday we stayed around my house watching movies and just visiting. On Saturday most of the family went to Jackson's Orchard.

My Nephew, Bobby and I went to Nashville for the day. We attended a seminar that helped me learn more about an idea I've wanted to follow through with for a long time. I will write about that in a future post. 

Saturday evening all of us went to my son's house for dinner. James enjoys having people over to his house. He grilled burgers and hot dogs. Although I was tired from the long day in Tennessee it was a good time. 

What was not a good time was watching the first innings of game 7 of the American League Championship Series. The Yankees had taken a lead in the series with a 3 game sweep at home earlier in the week. The Astros won game 6 to force a final "winner take all" game. The Yanks didn't do very well in this game. They got down 4-0 early and never recovered. Neither did I. 

My typical "depression" about the Yankees losing in the playoffs took over about halfway on the drive home from James & Brandi's house. Don't worry it's something that happens every time the Yankees season ends, especially if they get into the playoffs and lose. 

It starts of as a strong disappointment but gradually gets better; lasting until the end of the World Series.

I did have a sports related distraction that eased my "post season depression" this year. I'll write more about that in part 2 of this series.  

On Sunday of my family's visit, it was time for the big event of the weekend: Gabriel's 1st birthday party. 

Once again, my daughter-in-law and team of party planners, a small but very creative group of her friends and family members, came through. They set up a wonderful event with a lumberjack theme. 

A small lunch consisting a choice between chili or potato soup was delicious. 

Of course, the birthday boy got the chance to have his cake...
...and eat it too. 
The young man really enjoyed getting messy. But it wasn't the last time he'd do it on the day of his party. 

Later that evening he would chow down on the dinner I made for the family. 

On Monday morning, the 23rd, after a nice breakfast at a local "mom & pop" restaurant, the PA family (as all us Kentucky kin folk affectionately call them) headed home.

That afternoon, for the first time, I picked up Aria at school. Her mom had taken her brother for his 1 year check up. So it was Papa's turn to take her home.   

I took her to her house and we spent some time alone. I taught her a game I've played with kids ever since my nieces were little. It's called "The French Fry game", but you can play it with any for or snack you can eat one at a time. In this case it was Doritos chips. 

With the busyness of the 4-day weekend behind me the cold and sinus issues I'd been having for a couple of days had the chance to take hold of me.

For the rest of the week I really didn't do much except stay home, take cold medicine, and sleep.  

I did manage to finish listening to the audio book version of the auto biography of astronaut Mike Massimino. 
Before seeing him talking about his book on Good Morning America last year, I only knew Mr. Massimino from playing one of the astronauts who flew with Howard Walowitz on "The Big Bang Theory" five years ago. 
The size of this man's accomplishments compared to mine is like the difference between the earth and the sun. He's done so much in his life. He is truly one of this country's greatest examples of determination and dedication. But he's, for the most part, an overlooked modern hero. If you are looking for an interesting perspective of the post Apollo phase of the US space program I highly recommend this book. 

That's going to do it for this initial entry in this post series. I have a few more things to share with you from the final days of October 2017 coming up. So keep an eye on your FB feed. I'll let you know when I've posted more. Til Then, take care.