Wednesday, March 31, 2010
No Buildings Named For Me
7:02 pm edt
I just spoke to a student volunteer
from the UMass Amherst alumni telethon. I always donate because I love that place. Every time I talk to a student, I recount
my days there and how much they meant to me. I urge them to donate some day.
I've had some rather lengthy
conversations over the years. This was only about 10 minutes as I need to leave for a comedy show. They called last night
when I was walking out the door. I could have just pledged an amount, but I would rather talk to a student.
to leave a lasting impression on them about loving the place. I make sure that our conversation is one that they will
I wish I could give more. Based on the amount that I give, they will never name a building after
me. That's ok. I just wish others would give because the alumni have a poor record of donating.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Have Some Whine With The Rain
11:52 am edt
It's been raining heavy for the last
couple of days. This month has nearly set a record for rainfall. I feel really bad for people whose property has been damaged
by flooding. There is a tragedy to that, especially if someone gets hurt.
However, it drives me crazy to listen
to people whine because it's raining outside if that's the only issue. I'm not sure what their problem is. Nobody likes to
have their plans ruined by a rainy day, but what can you do? Rain is a fact of life.
Sometimes I feel llike telling
people not to worry about it because we will all die some day and the rain will be a moot point. There are people who would
love to go outside just to feel the rain on their face, but physical ailments prohibit that.
Maybe if someone complains
enough about rain during their lifetime, it will rain on their funeral. That would really tick them off.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Salad Dressing Is M.I.A
4:56 pm edt
I think it's very important to read
food labels. I do it all the time. We put enough bad food into our bodies to shorten our lives.
Fruits and vegetables
must be a staple of one's diet. I love my salad and found a very good dressing in the South Beach Diet line.
been using it for a few years. When I went to buy some the other day, it was not on the shelf. I didn't give it much thought.
I went to another store a few days later and couldn't find it there.
Someone stocking the shelf
said they were not carrying it any more. He had no additional information.
I just googled it. Apparently, they
stopped making it. I don't know why. I have not found any additional information. There must be a reason. I need to find out.
Not that it matters, but I found another low fat dressing today and will move on.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Not Everything Is Relevant For Everyone
7:21 pm edt
So many things happen, especially in
our economy. It can impact our lives greatly or be totally irrelevant. Such is the case of the increase prices for 3-D movies.
A couple of major chains announced a price increase of three dollars bringing the average ticket price to $14.50.
This has caused outrage in some circles.
This will not effect me. I've never been to a 3-D movie and have only
attended the cinema once since 1995.
I wonder if the price will rise for popcorn and soft drinks?
Saturday, March 27, 2010
They Do It Anyhow
10:39 am edt
Osama bin Laden has released an
audio tape claiming that Al-Qaeda will kill any captured Americans if Khalid Sheik Mohammed is executed after his trial for
In my opinion, this is a bit overblown for several reasons. The Obama administration still
can't decide whether to conduct the trial in a civilian court or with a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.
Justice Department has advocated for a trial in New York City in a courtroom near Ground Zero. This has been met with a firestorm
of protest out of safety concerns.
It will take a long time before the venue is decided. Once a trial is conducted,
it is assumed that he will be found guilty. If given a death sentence, he will have a long appeal process especially if this
is done through the civilian court system.
It could take years before anything happens. Execution is not a forgone
conclusion. If it happens, Americans should not be concerned with OBL's threats.
As a rule, Al-Qaeda executes captured
Americans at some point anyhow. His threat is nothing new. He is just restating one of their regular practices.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Faces In The Crowd
10:21 am edt
People pass through our lives
every day. Some we see and never know their names. They might be someone at work or perhaps at a store.
a fascination with reading obituaries. Several paragraphs summarize a person's life. Last night I read one about a woman who
died of breast cancer. Below was another one for her husband who passed away the following day. Both had photos. As I read
her husband's , I realized that he worked at a golf equipment store where I had purchased several golf clubs over the years.
I had spoken to him on numerous occasions, but only knew his name as "Dick".
He had a great knowledge
of golf equiment and displayed a great degree of passion about his work. I was in the store last week, but he was not
there. I didn't think much of it at the time. I remember not seeing him on a previous trip there.
It turns out
he was fighting a short battle against pancreatic cancer which took his life.
There are so many people and faces. Some are anonymous
to us, but everyone has a story behind their life.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Will Jose Sing?
8:54 am edt
I have never read the book by Jose Conseco
which contained allegations against numerous present and former baseball players about the use of steroids and HGH. His
accusations resulted in congressional hearings and testimony by players under oath.
Roger Clemons has been investigated
about giving false statements. Canseco has always maintained that his friend Clemons was not a user.
On April 8th,
their worlds will meet when Canseco testifies before a federal grand jury which is looking into whether Clemons
lied to Congress. The stakes are now raised. The moments of truth is coming for both men.
If Canseco tries to protect
his friend by committing perjury, he will go down also. This is going to get interesting.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
A New Distinction For A Place
8:09 am edt
The Boston Marathon is less than
four weeks away. It will be here and gone before I know it. One memory that always comes back to me is when I travel on any
part of the course. In fact, I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow at an office in Brookline that is located at the 23.5
Last night, I did comedy at a bar located on Chesnut Hill in Brighton. It's at the 22.5 mile mark. It's
at a very distinctive part of the couse as it transitions from Commonwealth Ave to Beacon St. There is a set of trolley tracks
to cross over. Once you get on Beacon St, it's the final stretch of the run.
Over the course of my 38 years in
the race, that section of the race has been a scene of great highs and lows for me because of it's location. For the rest
of my marathon career, it will hold a special honor of being the only spot along the course where I ever did comedy. I'll
never forget it.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
What About Freedom of Speech and Press?
10:10 am edt
I finished reading two very well written
books by former CIA Officers talking about their exploits in leading teams of agents into Afghanistan after 9/11. These extraordinarily
brave men put their lives on the line, along with U.S. Special Forces, to help the Northern Alliance fight the Taliban in
the early stages of the war.
Both men signed confidentiality agreements during their employment with the CIA and knew that their published
work would be subject to review and censorship by the agency. Both authors went to great extremes to protect the identity
of the agents by using aliases for them.
One of the authors, Gary Bersten, published his book "Jawbreaker"
while still in litigation with the CIA. As a result, the 300+ pages contain numerous redacted sections. The author pointed
out that some of this material has appeared in other forms of the media.
The reader is left to wonder what is contained
in the missing portions. Sometimes it doesn't appear that the material would be that sensitive, considering what is detailed
in other chapters.
I think the author knew
what his limitations were before he published his book and perhaps the government is being too heavy-handed. Only time
will tell how his litigation works out.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
America's Worst Show
10:08 am edt
Reality TV shows seem to have no boundaries.
Tonight will see the premier of "America's Worst Drivers" on the Travel Channel. The show was filmed in eight major
U.S. cities and focuses on the poor driving habits of the "contestants".
I think it's in poor taste to
have a show focus on bad driving with the idea that this is entertainment. People don't take driving seriously enough, especailly
those who text while operating.
Everyone who operates a car has the chance of injuring themselves or others while
doing so. To make light of poor driver is way over the top.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
The Sandman Appears
4:37 pm edt
Heavy rains have caused flooding in
communities across the country. In Fargo, North Dakota, the overflowing Red River was threatening the city. Residents and
volunteers gathered together to fill over one million sandbags to keep the river back. So far it's working.
question is: what do you do with one million bags of sand after the emergency ends?
Friday, March 19, 2010
5:15 pm edt
I believe that people who spray graffiti
on public and private property should be prosecuted through the court system. These people have no regard for the property
rights of others. They display their selfishness by thinking that everyone wants to see their "art".
must admit that I am puzzled how some of it gets done. Looking at some buildings, it appears that these perpetrators must
repel down to reach their canvass. How else would it be done?
Yesterday, I saw some graffiti on a local bridge.
How did they get there to do their thing? Physicals skills like this would be useful in the Army.
Some of the tagging
is very creative. It's too bad they don't pursue their artistic talent in a more meaningful manner. A few of these vandals
actually have some talent.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Nobody Expected This Ending
11:29 pm edt
I know that life can change any moment.
You never know when it's your last day on earth. Such was the case of a 38 year old father of two who was killed while jogging
on the beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
He was struck from behind by a small airplane gliding to an emergency
landing on the beach. For some reason he never heard the aircraft approach. The pilot said his view was obstructed by oil
on the windshield.
It was such a strange tragedy. I'm sure the victim never thought that his run on the beach would
be his final one as he walked out the door.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Always Worth More In Death
1:36 pm edt
There is an old saying that people
are worth more when they are dead than when alive. Such is the case with the legendary Michael Jackson.
announced an agreement with Sony Music that might be worth up to $200 million over the next several years.
left behind a huge library of unreleased music and video. Why he never released the material himself is rather complex. Jackson
was alleged to suffer from financial problems during the last years of his life. Even at a reduced price, the proceeds would
have allowed Jackson to continue spending money into oblivion.
I'm sure there will be litigation over the next
several years among his family concerning how to divide the money. It will keep lawyers gainfully employed.
appears headed to join the likes of Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe and others who live up to the saying: dying
was a great career move financially.
Monday, March 15, 2010
How To Waste Money
11:53 pm edt
The federal government will never be
accused of spending taxpayer money wisely. One goal of any contract expenditure should be to keep Americans working. This
was not the case with a recent contract awarded by the State Department of $5.4 millionto buy new crystal glassware for American
embassies around the world. Apparently, the existing glassware is not good enough for state dinners.
of the bid appears to have violated some of the the contract rules by sub-contracting most of the work to a company in Sweden.
In fact, the Swedish company will be also be adding the Seal of the United States to each glass.
jobs overseas should come as no surprise. I recently bought some small American flags at Walmart. Naturally, they were made
Sunday, March 14, 2010
A Boring Old Arguement
1:08 pm edt
My local paper has a "Sound
Off" column where callers can complain about any issue. Most comments are nonsense, but many are amusing.
called the other day to lament about the "good old days". There is nothing wrong with reminiscing. Our life is the
sum of our experiences.
This person droned on about how great it was when it cost two cents to mail a letter and
the postman delivered twice daily. Sure, that was nice, but it's never going to happen again.
If you want
to go back to those days, you also have to go back to an era when medical care wasn't like it is today. You can also
have polio and other illnesses which were rampant and debilitating.
People tend to remember only the good
aspects. I'm not so sure that life was simpler back then. Life is constantly changing. It's nice to reflect on the past, but
the world moves forward, with or without us.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Bad Start to A Long Journey
11:52 am est
Last Wednesday, a jet leaving Newark
Airport and bound for a 16 hour journey to Hong Kong struck a flock of Canadian Geese in the first minutes of the flight.
The plane was only 300 off the ground when 10 of the birds were sucked into one of the engines.
Over the next 90
minutes, the pilots did a series on maneuvers to dump the load of jet fuel before making an emergency landing back at Newark.
The incident caused another 24 hour delay for the passengers and extended their already lengthy itinerary.
they finally got to Hong Kong, they must have had a great answer to that famous question: How was your flight?
Friday, March 12, 2010
Not Made For Live TV
12:32 am est
Harry Smith, co-anchor of "The
Early Morning Show", was scheduled to have a colonoscopy done yesterday on live television. I must admit that I
had no desire to watch it. I had the procedure done last summer.
This is National Colo-rectal Cancer Awareness
Month. Everyone over the age of 50 should have it done. I put it off for five years due to abnormal worry and paranoia. This
was not a good reason.
CBS anchor Katie Couric had a taped procedure shown back in 2000. News reports said that
she would be with Smith "as he prepares for the operation". I hope they don't mean that literally. Anyone who has
had this done knows the preparation is not fun. I would not want to do this on live television no matter how much they paid
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Not a Know-It-All
10:16 am est
There is a lot of news today on the
internet about the death of actor Corey Haim from an apparent drug overdose. I must admit that I've never heard of him
or his 1987 vampire movie "The Lost Boys". He also starred with Cory Feldman in the reality tv show, "The
I am clueless to all of this. This proves my point that nobody can know everything about pop
culture. It's a good thing that I heard about his stuff. At least I know something now. I'll refrain from making any comments
during any future discussions if someone brings it up.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
2:24 pm est
I don't understand my decision-making process. I know fish is good for me. It's very high in Omega-3's. There is always the
issue of mercury, but no food is perfect. I enjoy haddock fillets, but need to eat more fish.
I eat tuna fish on
a regular basis. It's my meal of choice whenever I go out to do comedy at night. The other day, I finally purchased a can
of Alaskan pink salmon fillet and had it for lunch. This was such an awesome sandwich. I had it on whole grain bread, fat-free
mayo, tomato slices and carrot sticks. I plan to stock up on it during my next trip to the market.
all about decisions not made and missed opportunities. I'm glad I finally decided to enjoy salmon sandwiches. This will be
the start of a long relationship.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Not Undecided About Answering
9:01 am est
If my phone rings, I answer it. I don't
screen calls, but tele-marketers call at the worst times. It doesn't matter to them when they disturb you. As a rule, I hang
up as soon as I find out who they are. You would think they wouldn't bother you on a Sunday afternoon.
I was eating
lunch yesterday when I got a call. I had a perky receptionist on the other end who congratulated me for being selected to
participate in a Gallup Poll. I'm suppose to feel flattered that they honored me by interrupting my lunch.
I heard the words "Gallup Poll", I hung up. They don't need me. They should get somene else who wants to participate.
By interrupting my lunch, my answeres might be skewed in some other direction.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
No Oscars For Me Tonight
4:27 pm est
I'm a fan of the arts. I spend
a lot of time and effort in an attempt at stand-up comedy. I have a major weakness with movies. I never go to the cinema.
I have only been once since 1995. That's not a great record, but it doesn't really matter to me.
With that in mind,
I have no plans to watch the Oscars tonight. It's a show that will command a huge audience around the world. I'm not into
watching people walk down the red carpet. In addition, I have not seen any of the movies. In fact, I can only name a couple
that are in contention. I know "Avatar" is up for a slew of awards, but I have very limited knowledge after
I also think it's rediculous that the nominations go 10 deep in some categories, including best picture.
Let's make this like kid's sports and give everyone an Oscar. There should be no winners or losers.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
A Fatal Call
2:25 pm est
No doubt there is a great deal of dissension
in America about various political and economic issues facing us. We are inundated with 24/7 coverage of every issue
imaginable. American can spew rhetoric of any nature whether it is true or not. It gets a bit overwhelming sometimes.
Contrast this to North Korea where the state new agency announced that a factory worker was publicly executed by a
firing squad for using an "illegal" cell phone to divulge the price of rice and other information on living conditions
to a friend who had defected to South Korea.
Mobile phones are tightly controlled in North Korea and used over
a state run network. Citizens often make illegal calls using a network in China. Those doing so face the risk of death.
I don't imagine they allow talk radio or Facebook over there.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Keep The Suit
10:39 am est
All parties thought they had an agreement
over what to do with the suit worn by O.J. Simpson the day he was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.
It was offered to the Smithsonian Institute for their collection.
Fred Goldman, father of Ron, has an ongoing civil
case against O.J. seeking to collect a $34 million wrongful death judgement against him. The suit was in possession of a Nevada
memorabilia collector. All three parties were claiming ownership.
It turns out that the Smithsonian has no desire
to display the suit. It was thanks, but no thanks. This isn't a first for them. They also tunred down the offer to display
the infamous dress worn by Monica Lewinsky.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
A Bad Thinking Parent
9:50 am est
Sometimes, parents bring their kids
to work when they have child care issues. It's not a good thing to do in many circumstances. The FAA relieved a veteran
air traffic controller of his duties after he let his eight year old son clear planes for take-off. The child put on the headset
and can be heard giving pilots a verbal clearance to depart.
He may have been under supervision, but I find this
totally unacceptable. The control room is no place for a child. What was this parent thinking? He could have endangered the
lives of everyone on the plane. I'm sure he thought it was harmless and did it with good intent.
In the end, he
will probably file a grievance with his union and be cleared of any wrong doing. That's how we work in this country.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
10:17 am est
It was great to see Jay Leno back in
his old time slot at 11:30. I don't know why NBC ever thought Conan O'Brien would generate greater ratings than Jay. They
waited five years to pull this off. In the end, both shows failed and it cost NBC over $40 million for severance packages
for Conan and his staff.
I wonder who made the initial decsion five years ago. Are they still with NBC? Did they
get an award for having such a bright idea?
I never caught on with Conan. Letterman was not an option. All is back
Tiger's Next Shoe To Drop?
11:30 pm est
Tiger Woods has been taking a public
relations beating in recent weeks. Gatorade just dropped him following the steps of Gillette and Accenture. His latest situation
could really be a disaster.
His name has been linked to Dr. Anthny Galea, a Canadian doctor accused of selling
unapproved drugs including Actovegan.
He allegedly treated Tiger during his rehab from knee surgery. Dr. Galea
is not licensed to practice in the U.S. He is known for using a blood-spinning technique using platlet-rich plasma therapy
with a goal to increase healing.
The FBI recently questioned NY Mets shortstop Jose Reyes over his connectyion
to Dr. Galea. Several other professional athletes will face questioning as well as subpoenas from a grand jury.
Will this include Tiger? Nobody knows at this point, but Dr. Galea has also been linked to HGH. Tiger has emphatically denied
any use of HGH, but there is a direct link to Tiger and Dr. Galea.
This is going to get quite interesting.