A Roller Coaster Ride


Well, here it is, everyone. By the time you read this, we will officially be in 2017. Happy new year, everyone.
2016 was definitely a roller coaster ride, wasn’t it? Whether it was all the celebrity deaths or the fact that Donald Trump has now been elected President of the United States, it was a roller coaster ride in every sense of the word. As for me, I made it through the year perfectly fine. This year marked the first year that I didn’t have to go to classes up at the college even though there was still some drama involving me getting my degree as in why I haven’t gotten it yet even though I was supposed to be done in December 2015. It turned out that there was an error on the part of the college where I was supposed to take a class that was no longer offered at the college as part of my requirements for my degree so I took another class as a substitute course. Thing was that the paperwork was never filed with the registrar’s office so I had to straighten that out. And now that I got it straightened out, I am now set to finally get my Associates Degree from Herkimer College in February. Not in time for Christmas, but in time for my birthday.
I also managed to get out to the movies more in 2016 as opposed to last year where I only saw The Force Awakens. I saw almost every major event movie with the exception of Suicide Squad. As far as the best movie of the year goes, I would have to say that Deadpool was the best movie I saw all year and the Ghostbusters reboot was the worst. The worst movie was actually a tougher call for me because it was either that or Batman vs. Superman which was another movie I was disappointed in. But as opposed to Ghostbusters, Batman vs. Superman had some redeemable qualities. And Ghostbusters I saw for free at Herkimer College so you can’t accuse me of being paid off by Sony.
2016 was a milestone for me as far as my Internet life goes. This year marked ten years since I officially started my journey into the world of social media with my first blog site on Yahoo 360. Also that year, I started my blog site on the Chester Gillette murder case to tie in with the centennial commemoration that year and I also signed up for YouTube that year even though I wouldn’t start making videos until 2008.
On the YouTube front, I was able to do more videos this year. I started out by resurrecting my hour-long format show where I talk about several things at once but I had the same problems as the last time I tried it as far as time goes and also finding stuff to talk about.  Then I tried cutting it back to half an hour and then finally going back to the weekly vlog format I did from 2010-2012. I eventually decided to start up Blackcatloner Reviews as a separate series again and I also decided to review religious movies like God’s Not Dead 2 and Old Fashioned. And I ended the year by replacing the vlog series with a podcast show that is available for free download on iTunes.
In the midst of that, I also discovered a new video sharing site called Vidme which I signed up for in October (ironically around the same time that I signed up for YouTube ten years ago.) As it turns out, my videos got more views on Vidme with each upload there than my more recent uploads on YouTube. That in addition to the crap I had to deal with, especially with the riffs on the Public Domain educational movies and I decided it was time to move on. As of a couple weeks ago, my channel has officially become verified which is pretty much the equivalent of being a YouTube partner.
So why have I decided to go back to writing? Well, I guess it has to do with the fact that I am getting older. Believe it or not, I am inching closer to 40 and I am not getting any younger. In fact, age is part of the reason why I decided to switch to podcasting. Plus, I think that writing again might be better for me because there are some things that are better told either through written word or podcast rather than video. But don’t worry, I haven’t fully abandoned video making entirely. I’m still doing the reviews show as videos plus some other things as well.
This year, I will also be hitting some milestones. In addition to me finally graduating from Herkimer College, this year marks ten years since I launched my official website which is on WordPress even though I started it on Blogger first. This year also marks twenty years since I graduated from Red Hook High School. So who knows what else will happen this year? I guess that’s part of the reason why I decided to start this new blog. So, we’ll see how this goes.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “How do you find time for all this stuff?” If it’s something you enjoy doing, you make the time.
And for the record, I didn’t see the ball drop this year so I ended up watching Taxi Driver instead. I’m normally not one for making resolutions but I probably should consider eating better. I eat out frequently but eating at McDonald’s and Burger King is kind of a necessary evil because they have free Wi-Fi. I should probably give up on online dating as well. But as far as online dating goes for me, I have had no success and no matter how much I try to quit it, it’s like an itch you can’t help but scratch. Not to mention that at my age it’s not getting any easier. Again, we’ll just see what happens.
So here’s to what I’m hoping will be another good year. And I hope to keep up this blog for as long as I can.
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2010

Well, here it is, folks. Today is officially the first day of 2010. That means 2009 has officially bit the dust as well as the last decade where I basically came of age via relocation, getting involved in a community project, and a shift towards what I hope will be a new career.

I started the first two years of this past decade back in my old neighborhood of Tivoli where I had a job at Grand Union. Back then, that company was going bankrupt and were about to be taken over by the Stop and Shop grocery chain. At first I was uncertain as to whether or not all of the Grand Union employees would be picked up. In order to prepare for the worst, I ended up taking a side job at McDonald’s in Kingston. That didn’t work out as planned. I started there on New Year’s Day in 2001 and I only lasted about four weeks. They were bad as far as scheduling went. My last week there they had me scheduled for nine hours, which was not enough to get by.

Eventually, I didn’t have to worry about being laid off from Grand Union as Stop and Shop automatically retained all of the employees, including me. And so there I remained for about a year and a half until my family ended up relocating to Central New York, partly because of the rising costs of living down there and the amount of people that were moving up from the city after 9/11. After I moved out, it took me about a month before I got another job, which was as an overnight employee at Wal-Mart in Herkimer. And that’s where I’ve been ever since.

Not that my job took up what I’ve done during the previous decade. I moved around about a couple of times. A year after moving to the Mohawk Valley, I rented an apartment in Ilion for about a year before moving into my current house in Herkimer. And prior to moving to the area, my Internet activity was very limited to the public libraries, starting while I was still living in Tivoli and I mainly used it to stay up on the latest movies that were in development. It was a habit I later took up while I was in Ilion and when I first moved into Herkimer.

Then came my involvement in the Chester Gillette Centennial commemoration events. When I first heard about the case, I began researching the case and as a result, I created an email account and my life and career as Blackcatloner officially began. While I continued working on the case and participated in the centennial events, I began to respond to the call of the Internet as far as blogging and social networking went. Even then, I was still operating out of the public library and later at the library at HCCC for a little over a year. However it would be 2008 when my Internet career would really begin to take off.

By that year, I finally got Internet hookup at my house which meant that I can do more than just blog. I can also do videos. Very late in 2007, I became involved with YouTube and was starting to make videos at that time. I started with cat videos before doing live videos. I also added Twitter and Facebook to my online activities and before I knew it, I have found my true calling.

Anyway, as far as my outlook on this year goes, last year was basically spent soul searching in terms of both my career and my life. This year I’m hoping that this will be the year that everything finally comes together because I do deserve it.

Blackcat Friday

Well, I just made it through my eighth Black Friday without incident. No one was seriously hurt or killed (as far as I know anyway) as opposed to last year’s infamous tragedy at that Long Island Wal-Mart where an employee who was built like a pro wrestler was trampled to death by rabid customers who cared about nothing except where to get the best deals. This year, things were much more organized this year than the previous Black Fridays that I’ve worked.

But before we get to that, I just want to catch up on some things. To start off, remember when I said that I was working six days this week? Well when I came back to work this past week, I found out that the six days I had to work turned out to be 12 days straight. So that means I don’t have a day off until next Friday. A lot of that might have to do with the fact that the holiday shopping season has officially started.

And of course, Thanksgiving was yesterday. My folks came up and we had dinner at my house as opposed to the last two years where we had to go to their house. It was pretty good, despite the fact that I only got a few hours sleep yesterday. In a way, Thanksgiving here is actually easier for me because I can just leave for work at the usual time. On a normal night I usually leave for work around 9:30 pm unless I have the money to stop off at McDonald’s.

Well, as soon as I went through the hole in the fence between Wal-Mart and the high school football field, I noticed the yellow barriers in front of the store entrance. It was part of their precautions to avoid another Long Island tragedy. However, I couldn’t resist a photo op so I managed to take a picture of the barrier as you can see on the blog. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any video footage to put on YouTube, but I should be lucky that I at least got that pic out in front of the store. And so I have to make a mental note: Next year (providing I am still there), I got to figure out a way to get video footage. 

Despite the organization, Black Friday was still Black Friday, meaning loads and loads of chaos. And as usual, I planned to go home for lunch to do my Internet thing, but even if I could get out, it would have taken more time for me to get back in with the growing crowds. So I ended up eating my second Thanksgiving dinner of the night. Pizza came a little later. Pizza had always been a Black Friday tradition for as long as I can remember. Even though I haven’t worked the Friday night after Black Friday in four years, it is nice to know that some things never change.

Now that I got Thanksgiving and Black Friday out of the way, now all I need to do is get through the next seven days being that I am scheduled to work all weekend. However, by next Friday, my schedule will be back to normal. Hopefully this will be all be worth it in the end. After all, ’tis the season.

Getting a Clue or The Butler Did It

I know that I have been posting more than usual lately. Maybe it’s a sign of guilt over how I’ve been neglecting this blog in favor of my other online activities, including YouTube and Twitter. Those apps on Facebook and Myspace didn’t really help too much either, or maybe it is because I’ve overcome my very long case of blogger’s block and decided to take up the blog again. It is like what I said before, it’s time to get back to my roots.

Anyway, last night I went out to the latest play by the Ilion Little Theater Club, which is a musical based on one of the most popular board games of all time: “Clue.” In this case, the play was a musical and it has been very popular with Mohawk Valley residents. In fact the first three shows last week were sold out and they had added an extra show because of the enormous popularity. It was also an interactive game in which the audience could take part, as though they were actually playing the board game. And I actually do have a confession to make: I have never played Clue the board game before, even though I have seen the movie they did back in the 80’s. The only time I play board games is Monopoly and that’s only when it is at McDonald’s.

Anyway, back to Clue. The theater also distributed sheets in which the audience could guess who the murderer is, where the murder took place,and what weapon was used based on a series of clues provided by Mr. Boddy, the victim. The night I went, it was revealed that it was Colonel Mustard who killed Mr. Boddy in the lounge with the lead pipe. However, that is not the actual ending of the play. Remember it is an interactive stage production so the suspects could change with each performance. I played along and I ended up getting the room where the murder was committed. 

Okay, so I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but at least one out of three ain’t bad. 

So anyway, like the week before, it was a packed house so I was lucky to get in when I did. The show was a lot of fun and I recommend to anyone in the Mohawk Valley area to go see this play. It is running again tonight and the extra show is Sunday afternoon in which two bucks will be taken off your admission if you bring a non-perishable food item which will go to a local food pantry. Just in time for Thanksgiving because after all, charity’s always nice.

And so I end this latest installment. So now I got some more things to worry about this week, like Thanksgiving and of course Black Friday (as in how I am going to get footage of Black Friday at work out and then put it on YouTube). Plus I got an extra day of work too.

Let There Be Internet

Hello, everyone. I have just hit another big milestone in the road of life. The other day, I have finally got internet installed at my house. That means that soon I will be operating my whole Internet empire without having to leave the house every morning. Not that I won’t miss it, but I won’t have to worry about hiking up the hill to go to HCCC and I can operate Myspace without any problems, like a No-Myspace rule.

And the good times just keep on coming. I have also received as a belated birthday present from my sister and brother-in-law a new digital camcorder and it works really good. As soon as I am fully internet-ready, there’s a very strong possibility that I will be posting some real videos on there soon.

I didn’t do the Heart Run this year partly because the weather was bad and that something else came up, specifically another Gillette event. This time, it was in Barnes and Noble in New Hartford. It was my first time in there and it was really nice in there. I should probably go back sometime.

In closing, I sure have come a long way since November 2005 when I first set up my email address on Yahoo, therefore giving birth to Blackcatloner. Every day, it seems like I am making leaps and bounds in the technology department and like McDonald’s, “I’m lovin’ it!”