Friday, April 30, 2010
A Race For Money
11:20 am edt
The Kentucky Derby has been run
on the first Saturday in May for the last 135 years. Tomorrow's post time at 6:24pm will draw a huge world-wide television
audience. It's become part of the American sports schedule.
Rumors are circulating that the race may eventually
be run at night to take advantage of prime-time tv ratings. Race officials have brushed this aside, but lights were recently
installed at Churchill Downs which would allow for night racing.
It seems inevitable as advertisement revenue would
increase with a larger tv audience. Nobody ever asked the horses how they feel about it. In this day and age, it doesn't really
matter what they think or what the thoughts of traditionalists are. Money drives many decisions that are made. A horse race
in May is no exception. It might not happen next year, but the race will eventually be run at night.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
A Very Flawed Genius
2:16 pm edt
finished reading a biography of Ernest Heminway. I have always been fascinated with his life, although I never read any of
his writings. I'm not a big fan of fiction and novels. I don't care to read about a world that doesn't exist. Maybe I
will check out some of his material in the future.
Heminway's books and short stores won him rave reviews as well as a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize
for literature. It gave him wealth and a celebrity status that he embraced. He lived a very adventurous life that he chronicled
in some of his works.
He was not without his flaws. He was married four times and was estranged from his mother
for most of his adult life. He drank heavily and often exhibited obnoxious and boring behavior to his family and friends.
Much of that was overlooked because of his creative talents.
Later in life, he suffered from depression and
received shock treatments. None of that helped. In the end, he committed suicide using a shotgun. He followed the steps of
his father and two of his siblings who also met a similar fate.
Why do highly talented and creative people
have a tendency to self-destruct? Do we all have it or is it more prevelant in celebrities and well known people?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tough Questions To Ask
10:38 am edt
The NFL Draft is a very thorough process
for the players selected. Their lives and medical records are examined in great detail to find anything that could disqualify
them for being offered the enormous amounts of money they get.
A recent story involving WR Dez Bryant might
be over the top. GM Jeff Ireland of the Miami Dolphins issued an apology to Bryant after admitting to asking the player whether
or not his mother was a prostitute. Critics claimed that this was too personal in nature and inappropriate.
indication was given why the question was asked or how Bryant responded. I don't imagine there is any politically correct
way that one could ask whether your mother is a prostitute.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Doing My Part
12:35 am edt
According to a study by the conservation
group "Forest Ethics", the average American household receives over 800 pieces of junk mail annually. The national
total is over 100 billion pieces which result in the death of over 100 million trees. Over 44% of the recipients toss out
junk mail without ever opening it.
From my perspective, I must exceed the national average. I usually get at least
three pieces daily which would put me over 1,000 for the year. Today I received six. They come from an assortment of
charities and various business solicitations.
I open each one and review them. I never toss anything out. After
removing any personal identifying material, I recycle all of it. I might not save a tree, but at least I preserve a few branches.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
9:40 pm edt
Smoking is a bad habit that many people
cannot break or have no desire to do so. Many smokers toss their cigarette butts on the ground for all of us to see. I hate
it when they do it around buildings. I saw it taken to a new level today.
I was sitting in a line of three cars
at an ATM. I could smell smoke. Someone had tossed a butt and ignited some wood chips around the shrubs near the ATM.
I got out of my car and attempted to stomp out the smoldering chips, but only made it worse. There were no flames,
just some smoke. I got back into my car and did my ATM transaction.
I thought that person acted very irresponsibly
by tossing their butt out the window. What were they thinking? Smokers pollute the world around us. I don't think it really
matters to them. It's such a dirty habit that the rest of us are forced to deal with.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Nothing to L.O.L About
6:40 pm edt
I admit to being a big fan of many of
the new technologies in recent years. I think cell-phones are great. There is a role for texting and the use of Ipods
and other electronic devices. There is a negative aspect, as I think they keep people from communicating face to face. I think
there is also an issue with their use by kids.
The "American Life Project" revealed some interesting
numbers from a recent study. High school girls average 100 tests per day. The amount of teenagers with cell-phones is
75% compared to 45% in 2004. Texting is rampant among kids between the ages of 12-17, with 65% doing it daily.
are very adept with electronics, but I think all of this can impact their social skills as will as intellectual development.
In a trip to my local library today, I noticed more kids on-line than there were browsing through the stacks.
Libraries with books are starting to disappear in some cities and towns. I find this very disturbing.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Not For Breakfast Or Any Other Time
12:01 pm edt
Each of us is faced with the challenge
of eating properly daily. It's never easy as there are many ways to eat badly because of our lifestyle. I've tried to make
a lot of changes, but it's always a day to day thing.
I recently received a free sample of "Stella Dorio Breakfast
Treat Chocolate Cookies" in my food packet at the finish line of the marathon. Runners are notorious for eating
junk food. Marathon great Bill Rodgers legitimized poor nutritional habits by detailing what he ate as part of his training
I read the label on the cookie package. It actually doesn't look that bad, but the thought of eating chocolate
cookies for breakfast is very unappealing to me. In fact, I just tossed them into the trash.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
On the Course Today
2:55 pm edt
I took a trip into Brookline this morning
for an appointment with a podiatrist for a review of my plantar fasciitis.His office is located on the 23.5 mile point of
It was interesting to view the street-scape filled with traffic as opposed to the way it was on Monday. I
thought back to how my chance at breaking 6 hours boiled down to how I ran from that point to the finish line. I knew what
I had to do for a pace. It was a question of being able to do it. The best part was that when it was all on the line, I was
able to reach down and do what needed to be done.
I love driving by the 24 mile marker painted on the roadway.
It looked so inconspicuous today. The final push to the overpass at the 25 mile mark will always be memorable. That is also
the location of the iconic Citgo sign that stands out like a beacon of hope.
I have enough memories from
the run to keep me going until next year's race, although I will make a detour to New York City on November 7th for another
date with destiny.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
5:10 pm edt
It's been 48 hours since I crossed the
finish line of the marathon. I went out for two long walks today. My soreness is getting better. It's been the usual aches
in the legs with nothing out of the ordinary so far.
It was nice to walk today and see the sun and breathe fresh
air. I tried to do a few things yesterday and did some comedy at night.
While I was walking today, it was nice
to notice things I miss sometimes when I run on the same streets. One thing I noticed during my run on Monday was the painted
yellow line on the roadway. We take them for granted . For a good portion of the race, I ran a yard to the left or right of
They always appear that same color yellow, but upon closer examination, the paint is chipped in many places.
The paint can actually have bumps in it as it covers dirt and pebbles as it is laid down.
It proves a point that
in the overall scheme of things, most things have a degree of imperfection in spite of how they look on the surface.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Leave It To Comcast
6:11 pm edt
For the 4th time in the last two
years, a Comcast technician has accidentally disconnected my cable tv when servicing another account. I live in an apartment
building. The apartment next door to me is usually the cause. I have questioned the technicians in the past. The Comcast employees
blame it on the contractors for the company. No matter what, I'm without cable until tomorrow.
They offered to
come by tonight, but the window would require me to be here until 9pm. I can't do that so I'll need to wait until tomorrow.
Comcast has a monopoly where I live. There is no other choice. This is the exact reason why I will never get their
Internet service or anything else other than cable for my tv.
Monday, April 19, 2010
The Race Is Over
11:51 pm edt
Boston Marathon has come and passed. The day is almost over. It's been a great experience. The race went very well. I ran
5:58:57 and had a great finish. I was able to dig myself out of a hole when I slowed down between miles 13-17. I was very
sharp mentally and very focused.
The post race party was great with lots of good food and company. When I got home,
I did two loads of laundry. I won't need to face those dirty clothes in the morning. I think I'll have a hard time going down
stairs tomorrow as I'm already doing it sideways.
More than anything, I don't want this day to end. However, it
will and I'll get up tomorrow and get back to my regular schedule. I'll take at least a week off from running. After that,
I will start preparing for the New York City Marathon in November. Everything I do will be focused on that day. I just want
to keep this going.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The Final Hours
8:19 pm edt
It's a little past 8pm. I hope
to be in bed by 10 as I need to be up at 4:15am. I'm not sure how well I will sleep. It's never easy to sleep the night before
Everything is in place. I have all of my equipment. I keep double-checking things.
This day went by very fast. It always does.
The race will soon come and pass and become part of my running legacy. I prepare for each of these races the same every
year. Although I am trying to finish my 70th marathon, each of the races has been unique unto itself. Over the years, some
it it blurs together.
I always find it fascinating that I remember so much of the course. Over the last several
days, I have thought of very specific houses and vistas that I see along the way. There are trees and store- fronts that flash
through my mind.
It's always awesome to see the crowd out there. They really help get everyone through the
race. Without them and all of the volunteers, this event would never happen.
It's hard to end the day because
tomorrow morning becomes the point of no return.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Getting to the Last Day
10:38 pm edt
There are only 90 minutes left in this
day. It's been a very fulfilling one with lots of marathon related activities. So much of this is the same, but it never gets
old. There was the trip to Boston for the expo, parking on memorial Drive in Cambridge and the walk across the Mass Ave bridge.
I love looking at the Boston skyline.
I went to the finish line and took a few pictures. I bought
some stuff at the expo and later met up with members of the Quarter Century Club for a group photo. At one point, I counted
20 cameras taking our picture. They are such an extraordinary group of individuals. The presentation by Team Hoyt was very
emotional for the audience.
This evening, I went a pasta dinner with my running club that I have attended since
1993. So much of this stuff is repetitive, but I love every minute of it.
The clock is ticking down to Sunday,
the day before the race. It's a time for final thoughts and anticipation of what should be an extraordinary day on Monday.
As great as this is, I feel very bad for runners coming in from Europe who might miss the race because their flights
are being effected by the volcano in Iceland.
It takes so much just to get to the starting line. So many
things can happen to impact the race. Who would have thought that a dormant volcano would erupt for the first time since 1821?
This is why I always tell people that anything after getting to the starting line is a bonus. You can never take it
for granted that you will be there the next time. Any race could be your last.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Give It Up Larry
11:20 am edt
CNN's talk-man Larry King, 76, just
filed for divorce for the 8th time. His 13 year marriage to his 7th wife, age 50, appears to be over. She holds the
record for the longest marriage to King. They have two kids, ages 11 and 9.
Larry has a long history of marriage
and divorce including one wife who he divorced in 1962, re-married in 1967 and divorced again in 1972.
no pre-nuptial agreement. Under California law, she is entitled to half of his $144 million. He plans to fight for custody
of his kids.
After all this time, one would think that Mr. King should give up marraige. Some things are not meant
to be. At least he has a reason to keep working. Hopefully, for the sake of his kids, he will be around for their high school
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Sign Me Up
3:08 pm edt
It's going to be a long baseball season.
Hopefully, the Red Sox will make it to the post-season in October. A lot can happen between now and then. Jordans Furniture
store has a promotional contest again this season. After July 15, if a Sox player hits the ball on their sign in deep center
field at Fenway Park, any purchases made by consumers between now and then will be free.
Any of these contests
are closely studied for risk purposes and insurance is taken out. Jordans has never disclosed the cost, but it can be quite
expensive. The contest is for the second half of the season and only for home games. The location of the sign would require
a monstrous blast from one of the sluggers. It could happen.
The goal of the insurance company is for no player
to succeed. I have a better idea. Jordans should have run a similar spot for the Boston Marathon. If I run under five hours,
all purchases going back to last year's race would be free. No insurance would be required as there is no likelihood of me
breaking five hours. They could have signed me for cheap money. It's their loss.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Reality Check on Monday
2:54 pm edt
I just received a group email
message from a runner who will be missing the Boston Marathon after 40 years. He appears to be quite ill. For many years,
I have never taken this race for granted as I get ready to run on Monday. It's a major accomplishment just to get to the starting
line annually. I use to get dissapointed when I ran slower than I expected. In retrospect, this was very lame on my part.
Every race has the potential to be my last. I don't know when this will end, but I'll do everthing to keep it going.
The runner mentioned above has an issue that is difficult to overcome. Everyone runs with soft tissue, muscle and bone issues.
That is an accepted part of doing this activity. Assuming nothing is broken, you can usually get through the race.
Once your organs and body systems betray you, it's all over. It can happen to any one of us. As the gospel said: you never
know the day or the hour.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
A Change At Night
1:39 pm edt
Change happens whether we want
it or not. I don't always embrace it. I often feel comfortable with the status quo. Some things are out of our control and
there is no choice.
Last night, I was watching the Tonight Show. Band leader, Kevin Eubanks confirmed the rumor
that he is leaving the show after 18 years with Jay Leno. I always enjoyed his banter with Leno. They were a great match.
He knew when to make a comment. It was always funny.
Someone will replace him. The name has not been released.
The show will go on. I remember when Johnny Carson left in 1992. I felt so bad that I couldn't watch his last show, but 18
years later I'm still enjoying his replacement. It worked out for me in the end.
I hope whoever replaces Kevin
will make me laugh as much as he did. He added a lot to the show.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Hard To Picture
5:54 pm edt
I was at Walmart today
and noticed something interesting in their photo department. You can have your favorite photo put on a huge tapestry. This
thing was big. It's a good way to preserve a special memory. I noticed they were using the photo of a G.I. killed in the Middle
East. It didn't say whether it was Iraq or Afghanistan or give details of how he died.
I assume his family allows
Walmart to use his image. I made a note of his name and tried to find some information about him on-line, bt with no luck.
I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. It's a tragedy that this young man died whether it was in combat or a
non-related incident. It just looks a little cheesy, especially considering it's at Walmart.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
No Focus On the Problem
4:55 pm edt
The Moscow subway system was the recent
victim of a terrorist attack. As a result, the New York subway system was flooded with police officers. They even had machine-gun
toting officers on a number of trains. This is a great way to reduce muggings and bad behavior, but does little to stop a
terrorist act. What type of terrorist would try to attack a heavily armed train? Bag searches are also useless as one would
just need to go to another station where searches are not being done.
The best tool is video surveillance. Unfortunately,
only half of the system's 4,313 cameras are working. This was evident recently when two men were stabbed to death aboard a
train. The station camera was not working.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority needs to get these cameras working
and not spend their time issuing press releases talking about the problem.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Saving the Village
3:10 pm edt
I drove by the golf course where I have played in a league for the last 31
years. It recently got sold and the buyer plans to build 50 homes in a cluster setting.
The course will remain
as 18 holes, but will be an ongoing construction project over the next few years. He has already cut down over 200 trees.
Two of the hole have no tee boxes as a result of heavy equipment cutting a road across one of the fairways.
is an industrial sized dumpster next to the club house which will be torn down. I can't see how the back nine holes can be
played as a par 36 as two of the fairways have been partially destroyed.
In retrospect, it's great to see that
the course will remain. Originally, it was going to eliminated as part of a bigger development.
It's tough to see
the place such a mess. It reminds me of the saying during the war in Viet Nam: "We had to destroy the village in order
to save it".
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Earl & Tiger
2:55 pm edt
Nike is running an ad during the
Masters golf tournament in which Earl Woods, the late father of Tiger, apparently speaks from the grave. It's a weird ad where
Earl asks his son what he has learned. It's an apparent reference to the sex scandal that his rocked Tiger's career.
I find this ad disturbing and offensive for a couple of reasons. Nike has an entire golf product line tied to the success
of Tiger. His public image has taken a big hit. He has attempted to repair it with a series of lame press conferences and
Tiger is the trough that feeds the finances of golf. The sport needs him. The television networks need
him. He has brought big money to the sport.
Earl Woods had his own issues as a husband and father. It was well
known that he cheated on Tiger's mother, who was Earl's second wife. You never heard anything about his three adult
children from his first marriage.
To me, that man has no credibility. It's just a sorry attempt to repair
the image of Tiger.
Like father, like son. What pair!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Return To Sender
2:10 pm edt
I donate money to charities. I
feel good about it. I focus on the two colleges I attended, veterans, environmental causes and public safety. It adds up at
the end of the year. I do it because I want to.
However, I wish my name didn't get sold to every charity out there.
I get stuff from many groups, including every disease known to mankind and Save the (fill in the blank). I have thousands
of address labels that I have shredded in addition to pens, writing pads and even some crappy t-shirts.
has stepped over the line. This is the second time I need to go to the post office to pick up their stuff because the envelope
is too big for my mailbox. I will try a new strategy and write "refused" on the envelope. Hopefully, it will stop
them. I'm not overly optimistic.
Once I die, I don't think this stuff will ever stop coming. I'm going to
leave a real mess behind. That fact alone, motivates me to live as long as I can.
Monday, April 5, 2010
When Do You Retire?
11:52 pm edt
Supreme Court Justice John Stevens
has "hinted" that he might retire before the end of President Obama's term. This would allow the President to appoint
a liberal judge to the high court.
Justice Stevens has served 34 years on the bench. He was appointed by President
Ford in 1975 and will turn 90 in a few weeks. He has certainly lived along and productive life. It's amazing that he continues
to carry out his duties in such a critical job. His position grants lifetime tenure. He has certainly carried it to an
I guess when you are 90 years old it's hard to plan for retirement.You never want to see anyone die
on the job, but when do you leave? That's a question we all face in our careers. Justice Stevens was just starting as a justice
when I left my career at a similar age. It's hard to picture what 34 years from now will be like. It's hard to imagine being
here. I guess you never know.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Playing While Clueless
11:58 pm edt
I've been to casinos a bunch of times,
but never played craps until today. I admit that I had no clue of what I was doing. I made safe bets and ended up not losing
any money. I played for two hours which got me a lot of action.
I just went to a website that discusses how to
play. For some reason, I find it very difficult to understand the rules. It can't be that difficult. The game has been around
forever. I always enjoyed watching it. The next time I go to Mohegan Sun, this will be my game.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Need A Long Cord
8:33 pm edt
Electric cars made by Nissan and General
Motors will be making their debut in show-rooms soon. Both cars vary in the distance they can travel on a single charge, but
it's under 100 miles. A backup gasoline engine gets a few hundred miles more.
Both cars can be re-charged in eight
hours using a conventional 110-volt outlet. A 220-volt one can cut it down to three hours.
They make it sound like
it's recharging your cell phone. My car is parked out back in a lot. I'm on the second floor. I would need an extension cord
of a few hundred feet to re-charge the battery. I would also need to worry about my neighbors tripping over the cord.
Other than that, it sounds like a good idea. I just won't try to drive to Florida.