Saturday, January 30, 2010
On Phil's Case
10:40 am est
PETA is now on the case of Punxsutawney
Phil, the little groundhog who is the subject of worldwide attention during Groundhog Day on February 2. They feel it is unfair
to keep him in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights of the day's events. They have suggested that
the organizers use a robotic stand-in.
Supporters of the day claim that Phil is treated better than the average
child in Pennsylvania. He is kept in a climate controlled room and inspected annually by the state Department of Agriculture.
There is no word as to whether Phil is scheduling a press conference or hiring an agent to address the controversy.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Can't Review the Book
2:22 pm est
J.D. Salinger, author of "The Catcher
in the Rye" died the other day. Although he had not published a book in fifty years, Salinger remained an iconic figure.
His book sold over 60 million copies and was widely read throughout the world.
He was a reclusive figure for most
of his life. Last year, he was involved in a court battle with an author who had written an unauthorized sequel to the book.
He was seeking to prevent publication.
I must admit that I feel a bit out of it. I never read his book in high
school, college or during the intervening years.
I should read it at some point, but then again, I've never read
anything by Ernest Hemingway.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Just Say No To Powerball
4:55 pm est
Powerball is coming to Massachusetts
next week. I'm not excited about another lottery game. The state said that it will generate an additional $50 Million in revenue
to be shared with cities and towns. That's the positive side. Otherwise, I think the lottery is a waste of money for those
who play it.
Powerball entices people with its huge jackpots. It's almost too much money for anyone to handle.
There are countless stories of people who have won and had their lives destroyed as a result.
There is a story
in the news today about a woman in Ohio who won $8,000 in a televised lottery game. She went out to celebrate after the taping
of the show. After she left a bar, she was struck and killed by a car.
Sure, that can happen anyone at any
time. I just don't think that I was put on this earth to win the lottery. I'll leave that for someone else. I'm happy with
the way things are.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Day the Phone Died
9:18 am est
My two year contract with Verizon
Wireless expires in April. This has been a good phone, although the first one stopped working after three months and had to
be replaced. It was covered under the warranty.
Last night, I had a freak accident with my phone. A little piece
of plastic broke off the opening hinge. The display lights up, but otherwise the phone doesn't work. There is nothing worse
than going to the phone store. It's one part of the economy that is alive and well. There is always a line no matter what
time you go there. You always get a great deal on the phone, but get ripped off on the accessories. This is a win/lose situation.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Will I Make The Switch?
12:06 am est
I got a coupon from CVS in the mail
for a free Schick Quattro Titanium Trimmer. It's a $11.99 retail value. At least that's what they say. I use a Gillette
Mach 3 Turbo. These things have names like jet engines. Hey, it's only a razor.
The shaving market is a multi-billion
dollar industry. Schick is taking a risk in giving these out. I guess it's the only way to get men to try something different.
Most of us are reluctant to switch brands. I've used Gillette most of my shaving life.
Will I make the switch?
I don't know. I still have another year's worth of blades. Anyhow, it was hard to turn down a free product.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
How Do You Fix It?
9:45 pm est
I have owned this really neat ergonomic
recliner for the last 17 years. It's called a "zero gravity" chair because it uses some of the same design NASA
incorporates in the space shuttle.
The fabric is black leather. In the past year, the leather has been splitting
at the seam. The easiest repair would be to use duck tape, but it would look rather unsightly. The cushion is too big to cover
and cannot be reversed. I wonder if there is something out there on the internet to address this problem.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Danger From the Sky
5:32 pm est
A doctor's office in Lorton, Virginia
had an unexpected visitor last Monday when a tennis-ball-sized meteorite punched a hole through the roof of their building.
The meteorite was estimated to be traveling at 220 mph when it crashed through the roof and ceiling.
strike the earth on occasion. Russia is contemplating deploying a spacecraft to knock a 885 foot asteroid off target to prevent
it from possibly slamming into the earth in 2029. According to NASA, the asteroid will not come any closer than 18,300. They
give it a 1 in 37 chance of striking.
If it does strike, it will creat one big mess with its impact.
Friday, January 22, 2010
1:14 pm est
been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables. No doctor will ever tell you to cut down on them. I just came back from shopping.
This is all for the next two days. Although I forget a couple, I ended up with 11 different fruits and veggies.
a line-up this is! I ended up with kiwi, cantaloupe, nectarines, blackberries and green grapes. On the veggie side there is
broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, summer squash, tomatoes and lettuce. I forgot my baby carrots and a granny smith
I'm a big believer in this. When I got home from doing comedy last night, I had a snack of Syrian bread
and cantaloupe. That's a lot healthier than stopping at Mickey D's and it was quite tasty.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
A Tradition Ends?
3:11 pm est
Every year on January 19
since 1949, a mysterious figure has appeared at the grave of poet Edgar Allan Poe. They always came in the dark of night and
left three roses and a half bottle of cognac at the poet's grave at a church cemetery in Baltimore.
When he did
not appear this year by 5:30AM, a group of witnesses concluded that the individual may have passed away. He was able to elude
identity for 60 years. In this age of people seeking media attention, nobody has ever stepped forward to claim their
role in this.
Who was this person? Why did they do this? What was it about Poe that motivated them to do this?
The answer may never be know, much like the cause of death of Poe in 1849 at the age of 40. It was thought that he suffered
from alcoholism, depression and a variety of other ailments.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The Shining Light
3:03 pm est
At a firehouse in Livermore, California
there is a light bulb that has burned continuously for 109 years. It's been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Although it only illuminates 4 watts, it has become legendary and now has its own website and webcam. It was originally installed
in 1901 and was shut down twice momentarily when electrical service was upgraded in the building.
It was made by
Shelby Electric Company based in Ohio, but now out of business. Its low wattage and hand-blown filamint is credited with keeping
it alive .
Ironically, Shelby Electric was a competitor with Thomas Edison, the man credited with inventing the
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Who Will Win?
2:25 pm est
The special election to replace the
vacancy caused by the death of Senator Kennedy has certainly been hotly contested. It has drawn national attention. Although
it has been snowing all day, a heavy turnout is expected. I voted this morning and a poll worker mentioned that it had
Many of us have been inundated with pre-recorded calls from both campaigns. It has been aggravating
at times, no doubt about that. I was thinking that people and Iraq and Afghanistan can face death in some cases by voting
during their elections.
Iran and China allow no dissent as do many other countries. Although our system and politicians
certainly have their flaws, the most dangerous thing on this election day is the weather.
There are no soldiers
coming to our homes and dragging us out into the street for a public beating or execution because we decided to vote.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Don't Call Me
11:37 am est
Like most voters in this state,
I have been repeatedly called by the senate campaigns of Scott Brown and Martha Coakley. The election is tomorrow. Thankfully,
it will be over soon. My phone has been ringing off the hook with recorded calls. In recent days, Presidents Obama and Clinton
have called, as well as Vicki Kennedy, Scott Brown, Curt Schilling and a few others.
Neither one of these candidates
excite me. I feel like I should vote for the one who violates my privacy the least.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Time Finally Stopped
4:25 pm est
owned my Timex Ironman sportswatch for at least ten years. The battery lasts for about a year. It costs $10 to replace it
at a jewelers. I always have them do it as I destroyed a watch trying to replace one. About every 18 months, the watch band
breaks and needs to be replaced. For a $75 watch, I have put at least $150 into it.
I always know when the
battery is getting weaker. The display starts to disappear. I brought it to the jewelers today. He pronounced it dead to my
surprise. He tried to reset the internal mechanism, but it's over after 10 years. He even said "sorry".
I've been thinking about getting a new watch. Now, I will be forced to.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Late Night Nonsense
10:57 am est
NBC has a mess on its hands with their
late night comedy line-up. I thought it was a bad idea to move Jay Leno from his 11:30pm slot and put Conan O'Brien there.
Leno's 10pm show has been a disappointment. I've watched it a few times, but didn't like it other than his monologue. I never
cared for Conan's show. I tried watching David Letterman, but he was always my 2nd choice after Leno.
to move Leno back to 11:35 for a 30 minute show and putting Conan at 12:05 isn't keeping anyone happy. I'm not sure how this
will all play out, but I wish they never made any changes.
You always hear that change is good. There is some truth
to that, but I think NBC should have kept a winning line-up in place. If they were afraid to lose Conan to another network,
that is a risk they needed to take.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
5:24 pm est
It's been 48 hours since I attended
the devastating loss by the Patriots to the Ravens which ended the season for them. I finally had to do something about an
issue that was bothering me. There was no alternative, but to take my jacket to the cleaners.
I attended the game
with a large group that tailgated big-time with lot's of food cooked over the grill. When I got home Sunday night, my
jacket wreaked of smoke. I thought it might get better, but nothing changed.
The part that bothered me about taking
it to the cleaners was that I had it done three weeks ago. I thought I could get the entire winter out of it, but I was wrong.
What I should have done was wear another jacket that could have been thrown in the wash.
Oh well, another
lesson learned the hard way.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Getting It Right Next Time
10:32 am est
I thought I did everything right at
the Patriots-Ravens game yesterday. It was a very cold day. I was dressed in multiple layers. I was never cold except for
I need to go back to the drawing board. I had on my LL Bean insulated boots and two pairs of socks; one
cotton and one wool. I started out ok , but standing on the cold pavement in the parking lot while tailgating got to me fast.
I was constantly tapping my feet on the ground hoping to warm them up.
I thought things would get better as I walked
into the stadium. The walking made them warmer, but it didn't last long. The crowd stood for the entire game. Maybe because
it was so cold. I kept moving my feet. They got to a point where they were ok, but I was glad when the game ended.
I think I'll see what LL Bean has for insulated socks. I need to get this right the next time.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Cold Game
6:21 am est
It's a little after 6am. It's dark and
7 degrees outside. The high is expected to be 26. I'm heading down to Gillette Stadium for the NFL playoff game between the
New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. It's going to be real cold. I have my layers of clothes ready.
a lille breakfast, I'll start to get dressed. Hopefully, I have it right. The key will be to keep the fingers and toes warm.
Although I ran 7 miles yesterday, I was dressed for it and was always moving. This will be several hours of not moving
around. Here we go.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
He Was a Winner
1:35 am est
I've certainly met a lot of people in
the course of my life. Sometimes I wonder what happened to certain ones. Back in 1976, I was a substitute teacher at a local
high school. One of the teachers there was a friendly guy who I spoke to on a number of occasions. In fact, I borrowed a book
from him which I never returned.
After the school year ended, I switched to another school system before ending
my subbing and beginning my federal career in 1977. He retired several years ago from the school system.
Today,I was reading a story about a person who won $1M on a scratch ticket from the Mass. State Lottery. I saw a picture
him and his name jumped out at me. It was the same guy who I borrowed the book from in 1976. He is 73 now. His kids are
grown and he has grandchildren.
I guess it's better late than never when it comes to winning $1m.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Quite a Contest
5:55 pm est
The ESPN Zone in New York City was
be the site of the 3rd annual Ultimate Couch Potato Competition this week. The contest rules are simple. The winner is the
man or woman who is able to sit in a recliner without falling asleep or getting up. They get a bathroom break every 8 hours
and unlimited food, tv, and soda.
Two time winner Stan Friedman was defending his title after winning the
first two competitions. He lasted 19 hrs and 48 minutes in 2008 and did an incredible 29 hours last year! He claims to study
the art of bladder control. One contestant remarked that he had to quit last year after 5 hours because of bathroom needs.
The winner was Jorge Cruz who last 48 hours, 15 minutes and 1 second. The runner-up lasted 45 hours, 5 minutes and
The winner received a $1,000 gift card for a tv, new recliner and free cable for a year.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
They Call It Something Else Here
10:42 am est
It's known as a traffic rotary
in this part of the country. A lot of traffic intersections are being re-designed to eliminate them. Some feel that they increase
the likelihood of accidents. They can be a challenge to navigate.
I was out last night driving to Portsmouth, NH.
There was a rotary off the exit. The voice on my GPS referred to it as a "roundabout". This lead me to believe that
that the GPS voice was be programmed in California.That was the first place where I heard a rotary referred to as a roundabout
other than London.
For a moment I thought I should be looking for Trafalgar Square or Piccadilly Circus.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
2:43 pm est
Can't Boycott It
2:42 pm est
In the local paper, a reader expressed
outrage that shrimp is imported to this country. A lot of shell fish is imported as farway as Viet Nam. They indicated that
they would boycott all foreign foods in the future. If that's the case, I should toss out the fruit I just bought.
I have kiwi from Italy, cantalope from Guatamala and green grapes from Peru. Even my asparagus is from Mexico. It's
naive to think that America doesn't import food. That person will be going on one unique diet.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Not the Biggest Story
8:45 am est
I never like "reader polls".
People come up with some real crazy answers. My local newspaper asked readers what they thought was the biggest story of 2009.
One reader said the "balloon boy" topped everything. They said the"nation breathed a collective sigh
of relief" when authorities found the balloon to be empty.
This story was given life by the boy's parents
who were both aspiring for a reality tv show. It was a hoax that they almost pulled off.
With all of the things
going on it the world, this story was nothing but a farce. The cable networks picked it up as they do with car chases
on a California freeway.
I never breathed a sigh of relief.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Accuracy is Important
10:04 am est
think it's important to be correct in what we say and do. We are not always right, but I think we should strive for accuracy.
Sometimes it is simple. It doesn't take a lot of effort.
That's why it bugged me when I found my comedy schedule
on this website was not accurate. I was adding four shows last week. Three are in Salisbury and one in Nashua. I ended
up putting the Nashua show in Salisbury. It's no big deal. but I reviewed it before publishing the update.
get made. I just want to eliminate as many as possible. I'm not sure why I didn't catch my it.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Accessories Are Extra
11:13 am est
I recently received
a Garmin GPS as a holiday gift. It's a great thing to have. Now, I won't get lost going to comedy shows. They have really
come down in price in the past year. You can get one for under $100.
As cheap as they are, the cost is in the accessories.
The have their own specific USB cable to connect to a pc for updates of maps. It's an item you must have in oder to keep the
I've tried two Walmarts and they have been sold out. The cable can be purchased on-line for $18.
I might as well get the protective case for $19. Anything else?
They could never keep the price down if they put
all of these useful items in the box. Smart marketing on their part.