Monday, January 23, 2017

RHFactors 2017 Digest #1

It's been a couple of days since my last post so it's time to share a few things I've been up to lately.

This is a picture of me from last year, getting ready to record myself playing the ukulele. I've been playing ever since I taught myself some of the basics back in 2013. But over the last year or so, I realized that there were some things that I want to learn but i need someone with a little more experience to help. I tried to watch some tutorials on You Tube but they really didn't help. 

So two weeks ago I started taking ukulele lessons at the Guitar Academy in Bowling Green. I am really enjoying the lessons and learning some new techniques as well. 

My first lesson was more of an evaluation of my abilities. I played some of my favorite songs and showed her some of the ones I have trouble with. This helped to define the course of future lessons. 

I also took my ukulele song book with me, which has quite a few songs with chord charts. My teacher was impressed with all the songs. She offered to give me a free month of lessons if I made her copies of the songs she wanted. That works for me. I'll keep y'all up to date on my progress. 

It's been a while since I've posted anything to do with Lego. Over the Christmas holiday I built my favorite kit from all of 2016. It was a motorized Christmas train. It's the first time I've ever used the option of adding power to any of my builds. Here's a video of the Lego Holiday Train. 
With the geek community's anticipation of the release of the Lego Batman movie next month, Lego released a special Batman Movie mini-figure set the first week of this year. 

On January 3rd, I went to the Lego store to get some of the blind bags in anticipation of the "seek & find" mini-figure method of collecting a set. I have become quite good at it over the last couple of years and it's a lot of fun. I can look at the pictures of the figures in the set and by feeling the outside of the blind bags open a complete set. I've gotten to where I only open 3 or 4 duplicates. 

I walked into the Lego store and asked one of the employees where I could find the new mini-figures and what the per person purchase was. 

He asked me if I was looking for a complete set. I told him that was my plan. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a yellow Lego shopping bag with blind bags in it. "Here's one" he said smiling. I was totally surprised.  

I didn't have to go through the random opening game. I would have a complete set and no doubles. Can't beat that. Here's a picture of the complete Batman Movie mini-figure set. 

Last week I posted about the fun night I had at the Nashville Predators game on January 10. I mentioned in that post that I purchased a #9 Forsberg t-shirt. That's just part of my NHL t-shirt collection. I just got these this month.

The New York Islanders were my favorite team when I was growing up. Back in the early 80s when they were winning the Stanley Cup. I really like their color scheme and team logo. 

The San Jose Sharks were in the Stanley Cup finals last year but lost. I really like their team colors, especially their teal uniforms.

Then of course my favorite NHL team now, the Preds and favorite player #9 Fhilp Forsberg.

I am a reader. I love reading books on my Kindle Fire and listening to audio books on my I-Pod. I also still enjoy reading printed books. This past Thursday night I had an evening that included all three experiences. 

Our local county library sponsored a evening with Jim Morris aka former WWF professional wrestler, Hillbilly Jim. 
Mr. Morris (or "Hillbilly" as he's also known to his fans") is a proud resident of near by Bowling Green and the subject of a biography written by local Kentucky author, Gary P. West.
Mr. West has written books that specialize on places of interest throughout the Bluegrass state. Check out his author's page on

I read Hillbilly Jim's biography in late 2016. I picked up a copy last October at another of Jim's public appearances. 

When I heard about that he was going to be at the Bob Kirby branch of the library, I marked it on my calendar. It was the first time I'd ever gone to hear someone talk about their book having already read it. 

It was a dark and stormy night (no really it was) so I got to the library about half an hour early. There was already a couple dozen people there. All of the front row seats were already taken. I found one on the end of the aisle of the 4th row of the right side of the room. 

I had about 20 minutes to wait for the program to start and I didn't recognize anybody I could talk to. So I got out my phone and opened the Kindle app. I brought up the book I'd been reading, off and on, for the last few months. It was a 
a behind the scenes account of the 1980s kids show, "Pee Wee's Playhouse". 
I'll write more about this book once I've finished with it. The point here is that I as I was sitting waiting to hear more about a book I'd already read, I was reading a digital copy of another book. 

Gary P. West introduced the local celebrity and Jim began to talk about his life, his career, and the people he has met throughout both. 
Here's a short video clip in which Jim explains that he realized early that he needed to something different in his life in order to happy.  

 He talked a lot about time spent with his friend, Andre The Giant. His story about having dinner with him in France that turned out to be outrageously expensive was probably the most entertaining one. 

After about 45 minutes Jim asked for questions from the audience. I asked him one. During his time in the WWF which wrestler's success surprised him and whose failure puzzled him? 

He said he was surprised by the success of Jim Hellwig, who was a WWF phenom as "The Ultimate Warrior" because no one in the wrestler's locker room liked him. His answer about a failed career was former Canadian weight lifter, Tom Macgee. Jim remarked, that Macgee's career started out on the right path. But then, all though he didn't know why,  Vince Mcmahon just seemed to sour on him. Magee only lasted a year in the WWF. 

After the conclusion of the event, I was going to try and get a short interview with Jim recorded on my new digital recorder. But the line of fans that were waiting to get their books sign was rather long and I didn't want to stay too late. So I left the library and headed home. 

My third book encounter of the night came in yet another digital format. On the way home, I listened to part of a novel, recommended to me by my nephew, Bobby, during visit last summer. It's called "Ready Player One." 
It's about a treasure hunt in a virtual reality world known as the "OASIS". The audio version is read by actor Will Wheaton. 

I had just started the book on the ride home that night. As I'm writing this post, I'm about 3 hours into it. I'm really enjoying it. If you are into video games and nostalgic about pop culture of the 1980s I highly recommend it. 

An in person talk, a digital device, and an audio version on my I-pod those were my 3 different book experiences in the same night. What a great time it is to be a reader. 

So there you have several of the things that I've been up to lately: Ukulele lessons, building and collecting Lego, and enjoying books on various platforms. 

One last thing before I wrap up this post. I want to thank you for faithfully reading my blog. Since the start of the year I've had more than 550 page views. That takes me to within 600 of my goal of 50,000 overall. I appreciate your help with this goal. It looks like I'll be reaching it a lot faster than I thought I would. That's a good thing and means I'll just have to raise the bar on that particular goal for this year. 

Once I do reach that 50K, I'll show my appreciation with my first ever RHFactors blog give away. Keep reading for details when that happens.  

Hope you were entertained by my first "digest" post of 2017. In an effort to provide you with new and interesting content , there may be a few more of these, throughout this year. Be sure to check back again soon for yet another post on my quest to reach 1000 in 2017.

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