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.

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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!”

I Love You…Tube

Throughout the last few months that I have been watching YouTube, I have come across some really funny, sometimes sexy, and just plain really great videos. Since I don’t have the technological means to make videos to post on there, I am considering that as a possible career move. I have heard that quite a few people have posted some videos that actually resulted in them becoming movie and TV stars. Forget going on “Survivor” or any of those shows. All you need is a video or digital camera, Internet access, and a dream.

Among my favorite videos on YouTube are basically cat videos. There are two series on YouTube that I love very much. One show is called “The Cat Diaries” and that is about two cats that are growing up from kittenhood up. That show is just so cute and I even like the opening credits before every episode. There’s also the show, “Mean Kitty.” I really love that one. It’s about this cat that likes to eat hands and get into all kinds of mischief.

In addition to cat videos, I have come across some really good music videos; some old commercials, including the first-ever Ronald McDonald commercials from the 60’s in which Ronald actually looked like a very creepy guy; and a racy perfume ad featuring Diddy. Some of these videos actually have given me some ideas as to the videos that I want to do once I obtain the ability to make videos and put them online.

There is one video that I actually consider to be my favorite video on YouTube (and it is the first video on the playlist) is a video called “Killer Cats” and it is basically a slideshow that contains funny pictures of cats with guns and other things and set to heavy metal music. It is actually a really funny video, and I simply cannot get enough of it.

Yep, you find lots of stuff on YouTube and I should seriously consider that the latest step in my evolution as a full-fledged Internet personality. It’s something for the future.