State of the Site

I guess since I haven’t posted anything in three months I should probably put something up to let everyone know that I am still active even though it’s more on Instagram and Twitter than anything else. And as I write this, I am getting over a very bad cold that kept me out of work yesterday and my throat isn’t exactly 100 percent but I need to do this now.

Since I last posted (the last One Lone Cat vlog I did) I worked at my first Gem and Mineral show at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds. And then I followed that up two weeks later by working the booth at Herkimer Diamond Days. However, for some odd reason my younger nephew didn’t want to go to Diamond Days even though there was a car show as usual. I didn’t go to the car show so no video footage this year. I did have fun at both. I also took my nephews to the Herkimer County Fair again even though we didn’t do a whole lot this year due to lack of money. I wound up documenting this year’s fair on Instagram where we watched a circus and a Power Wheel demolition derby.

And when my nephews went back to Buffalo, everything slowed down because it’s fall again and as usual nothing happens in this area during the fall season that warrants a video or anything. The weather hasn’t been very good the last couple of months. It’s been rainy and it’s been very cold. However, I did start to renovate my house again. I started painting the living room, got rid of the couch in the living room which also doubled as my bed for the last year and a half and got a new chair. Right now I am in the process of replacing the living room window.

Also toward the end of the summer, I started uploading the remaining One Lone Cat vlogs and other videos that I uploaded exclusively to the site to YouTube because I was hoping to try again to regain my partnership after all the drama earlier in the year. But at the same time, I am sorry to say that One Lone Cat is on permanent hold right now because right now there really isn’t any more I can do with it without sounding repetitive. However, I do have some ideas for projects. For one thing, I’m toying with the idea of starting up the podcast. Then I also got another possible idea and that is to possibly do a sort of fanfiction where I decide to resurrect my Blackcatloner persona that takes place after I decided to transition from Blackcatloner to One Lone Cat and started uploading under my real name. Either way, it ought to be a lot of fun. Just need to get through the holidays first. Hard to believe it’s only two more weeks till Black Friday. It’s like where does the time go?

And I have an update on my weight loss: As of Wednesday I found out that I am now down to 185 pounds which means I lost over 75 pounds since April which is probably one of the biggest accomplishments I have ever done even though I haven’t worked out as much as I should have. Hopefully I can get back into that soon.

And that is pretty much the state of the site as fat as that goes. Keep your eyes peeled because soon I will be having new stuff coming.

 

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Herkimer Graduate

Well, folks. After a little over a year of waiting and a little over a year after I officially finished classes, the wait is finally over. I am happy to report that I finally got my Associates Degree in Communication Arts New Media from Herkimer College in the mail this morning. So I am now officially an alumni from Herkimer College and finally starting to move up in the world.

Twenty years ago, I never would have thought that this day would happen. I was pretty much convinced that I didn’t need college but rather rely on real world education. However, after years of working in retail and especially after getting started on the Internet, I realized that my earlier attitude toward college was actually just me overreacting.

By the time I actually decided to go back to college around 2010-2011, I had the benefit of online financial aid which did not exist when I graduated from high school in 1997 because the Internet was still in its infancy back then. And in fact, I actually did better in college than I did in high school. Sure it took me four and a half years (partly because I changed my major from Radio/TV Broadcasting to New Media and the fact that I was a part-time student because I was still on overnights at the time) and I was probably older than a majority of my peers, but I stuck to it and I probably also had the advantage of being an established Internet personality. So in short, I have my life as Blackcatloner to thank for this.

And college in turn really helped me out with my Internet career, especially with YouTube. In the two years I spent in Radio/TV Broadcasting, I learned how to edit which was something I never actually paid attention to in my first few years on YouTube. My writing was not really a problem but even that got better. In fact, that’s what sort of led me to create the Tales of the Blackcat site. But my college career was still not without its challenges, especially towards the end of my college adventure. But in the end, I graduated with a GPA of over 3.2, which again was way better than I ever did in high school because in high school, we did not have the advantage of the Internet.

Now that I finally have my degree, I can only hope that this is a start of better things for me. I guess you can say that I’m living proof that good things can happen later in life. Like I said, I never thought that I would be at this point when I was in high school where I pretty much dismissed college as a waste of time. But now, I realize that I made the right decision.

And there’s a good chance that I will be posting a new video sometime next week.

Earthquake in the CNY!

Well, the most unusual thing happened yesterday afternoon when I was supposed to be in bed asleep. It was about a quarter to two in the afternoon when I woke up to this sudden vibrating noise and motion. I didn’t know what it was or even where it was coming from. At first, I thought it was the ceiling fan downstairs and that I either left it on by accident or my brother-in-law came home then. But then again it wouldn’t cause the whole house to vibrate. It didn’t last very long and I ended up going back to bed.

It wasn’t until after I got up to have dinner and go to work that I found out via WKTV’s Facebook status that they had been receiving calls about an earthquake. I was like, “An earthquake? In Central New York?”

Why I thought that was because that while earthquakes do happen in New York state, they happen very rarely as opposed to say, California where they’re slightly more common. What I felt yesterday afternoon was the aftershocks of an earthquake that originated in Canada and the aftershocks of that quake affected both northern and central New York areas. Thankfully, the quake didn’t do any damage. It only measured 5.5 on the Richter scale. So no major catastrophe here, folks. No “USA for CNY” song necessary.

And so I have officially experienced my first earthquake. My only regret is that I probably should have turned on the video camera when the vibrations hit. Oh, well. I’m sure there will be other quakes.

A Historic Flood

The Herkimer County Historical Society’s new exhibit on the 1910 Herkimer Flood.

As you may have guessed by now, I have decided to take yet another week off from producing another episode of my web series this week because once again, I believe in quality and it’s like some advice I got from a recent YouTube video from AngryAussie: “If you don’t have anything to say or do when you are getting ready to do a video, don’t do the video.” It’s clearly good advice. Plus I have a set rule regarding the series that each video I do for the series has to be no less than five minutes long, but again since I am not a YouTube partner, it still can’t be over ten minutes. That’s a rule I still think YouTube should change since not everyone uploads copyrighted content.

So for this week, I am going to do a little blog that might end up being a little history lesson about the history of the village of Herkimer in light of the fact that this past Wednesday, the Historical Society unveiled their latest exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the great Herkimer Flood of 1910 that left one person dead and about a million dollars (by 1910 figures) in property damage.

It all started February 28, 1910 after the area had a fairly decent winter and the weather had started to melt some of the ice and snow. That combined with a heavy rain caused ice to jam up the West Canada Creek, causing water from there to flood into a Hydraulic Canal that existed in Herkimer at that time and was the source of the town’s power. As a result, the water overflowed from the canal into the town.

Many of the streets as well as the railroad tracks were buried under two to three feet of water which made the streets impassable except by boat or canoe. Basements of houses were buried under 6 to 7 feet of water. Many homes were destroyed. Businesses were flooded and the local newspaper, the Herkimer Telegram was shut down. The electric trolleys were shut down and replaced with horses. And as I said before, only one person was killed after being hit by a flying piece of ice while railroad workers were trying to use dynamite to blow up a huge chunk of ice that was blocking the railroad tracks.

A 1910 photo of a horse-drawn trolley that operated during the Herkimer flood.

The flood also attracted curious people from all around, even though the crowds that came for the flood were not as big as the crowds that came to Herkimer for Chester Gillette’s murder trial four years earlier in which the crowds contained people from as far as New York City. One man even made money by conducting tours of a house that was tipped on its side by the flood.

All in all, this is one of the big examples of how a community came together and overcame a natural disaster which is to date, the worst natural disaster ever to affect the village of Herkimer. The flood only lasted for five days and by March 5, the flood waters started to recede. Only 200 houses survived the flood and many of those houses are still here to this day. Of course Herkimer and its surrounding areas would go on to have many more floods, the most recent one being in Dolgeville four years ago. However none of them were as bad as the one in 1910.

And this centennial commemoration could not have come at a better time especially when another major disaster is affecting the country and of course I am talking about the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

Ironically, when I was going to a presentation on this at the Historical Society Wednesday night, it was starting to pour outside and I was caught in it. However, luckily I was right at the Historical Society when the rain really started coming down. Thankfully, there was no flooding.

So there you go. Another historic event that happened in Herkimer brought to you courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Blackcatloner.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Ilion Little Theater Club

I mysteriously end up getting transported back in time to Ancient Rome where I become involved a world filled with swords, sandals, Roman soldiers, beautiful dancing girls (one of whom happens to carry a whip?!) and break out in song at will.

Sounds bizarre to a regular person, right? For me, it’s just another day at the office.

Well, not quite. Actually in this vlog, I reveal one of the Mohawk Valley’s best-kept secrets: The Ilion Little Theater Club, located in Ilion, NY which is a hop, skip and a jump from Herkimer, where I live. The Ancient Rome settings that I mentioned above was their cover of the Sondheim musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”