And All The Leaves Must Fall

Some of the fall scenery that Central New York is famous for.

Here we are. I am now heading into week 2 of my vacation from work. And so far things have been uneventful, except for the fact that the weather over the weekend has been really beautiful. So beautiful that I finally managed to go outside and see some of the beautiful fall scenery that Central New York is famous for. I even managed to film some footage for the new episode of The Adventures of Blackcatloner this week on blip.tv.

Sunday afternoon (which was known as 10/10/10), I managed to hike on a trail alongside the Erie Canal on the Mohawk side of the canal. The trail actually starts at the old Fort Herkimer Church and goes all the way to the Movac Ambulance Dispatch Center in Mohawk near the canal bridge. I saw people attempting to draw hearts on the gravel portion of the trail and I saw a canal tour boat go by. One of the things I wanted to do ever since I started doing YouTube videos was to go on a boat ride on the Erie Canal to film a video. However just like the previous years, things fell through and I ended up not going. Hopefully next summer, I will be able to follow through on that.

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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.

‘Tis the Season

Well it’s that time of year again. Inches of snow falling on the ground, covering the roads and sidewalks so bad that people who use the sidewalks are forced to walk on the roads putting them at risk at either getting hit by a car or getting hit by a plow. Frigid winds blowing snow everywhere making visibility impossible. Temperatures hovering in the 20’s or lower degree range Fahrenheit. All this happened this past week, a clear sign that Old Man Winter has reared his ugly head at last.

This type of weather is one of the reasons why I hate living in New York and want to trade it in for warmer pastures, most notably California and Florida. Hell, I’d even trade it in for Australia because I hear summer is starting down there. Of course that is if I can afford to travel, which I can’t because the economy here in the States as everyone knows sucks.

But other than the awful winter weather we had this past week, things are good more or less. As expected, my 11-day stretch at work last week translated into a big paycheck which also included holiday pay. That is good, but still doesn’t change much. Still looking for a new job and still considering going to college because I need to try and advance my career on the Internet. I heard that HCCC has a really good broadcasting education program up there. I know people who are in the TV and radio industry who graduated from HCCC so that’s something I should definitely look into.

Anyway, today I am planning to do some Christmas shopping today, even though I already have finished Christmas shopping for my two nephews. Probably going to end up going to Wal-Mart today like I usually do. Hopefully it won’t be as crowded today as it was on Black Friday. Usually two weeks before Christmas is perhaps the best time to go shopping. Last minute shopping can be just as bad as it is on Black Friday.

And as far as my Christmas plans go, I do have some good news. In addition to not working on Christmas Eve because that is usually when Wal-Mart closes, I am also not working on Christmas being that it falls on a Friday, one of my normal days off from work. It is the first time since I started working at Wal-Mart in which I didn’t have to go into work and I am really excited about that. We were invited to go down to my brother’s house in Staatsburg for Christmas this year. Usually we have it at my house but this year is going to be different. Plus I haven’t been back to the ol’ Hudson Valley in over six years so it should be pretty good to see how things have changed since I moved off to Central New York.

Since Christmas and New Year’s usually fall on the same day of the week a week apart, there is also a good chance I will also be off on New Year’s Day (also a Friday this year.) However, I am trying to get a personal day off from work on New Year’s Eve primarily because I do not want to celebrate the start of 2010 at work. I do hope that I get it. Celebrating at work is clearly not the way to kick off the New Year, especially since I have such high hopes for this New Year.

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.