Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The Recording of Nothing
1:13 am edt
My Droid phone has a lot of great and
free applications. I really like the voice recorder. I use it to capture the audio of my comedy performances. The voice
quality could be better, but it serves the purpose.
On my way home last night from doing 11 minutes at The Grog,
I listened to my set. It's always helpful to do that. We can all learn a great deal.
Apparently, I never exited
the application properly and proceeded to keep the voice recorder running for 1:24. It got all of the sounds in my right front
pocket for 84 minutes. I never bothered to listen before deletion.
I recently deleted several blank photos
that were taken in my pocket by my camera while in the camera application.
Sometimes with these Droid phones, we
think that we exit the application, but we really never do.
I can only say positive things about this phone. On
the other hand, the battery could be a lot better.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Glad It Was a Mistake
9:59 am edt
Companies are very creative in their
apologies when something happens to effect their customers. I'm not sure what British Airways can do to correct a situation
that occurred during a flight from London to Hong Kong last week.
There was a sudden announcement warning
passengers to brace themselves for an emergency landing in the ocean. That must have been terrifying for those involved. The
crew quickly informed everyone that it was all a mistake and things were ok.
I wonder what British Airways will
do for their customers. They should give them a free flight as that is probably the only way some of them will board a British
Airways plane in the future.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Ahead of the Crowd
10:02 am edt
Some people like to be the first to
get in line at an event. They get there very early and wait. Before the doors open, there can be a lot of people hanging around.
Everyone wants to be the first. I don't feel that way.
I needed to have some blood drawn today at a clinic. It
opened at 7:30. The last time I went, there was a bottle-neck at the start. I decided to wait until 9. It worked out perfect.
There was nobody waiting. I sat for about one minute before they called my name.
I never had a chance to read
any of my newspaper. That's ok with me. I would rather read it at home. By going later, I actually saved myself a lot of time.
Friday, August 27, 2010
The Very Last Drop
10:03 pm edt
It seems like the warning light for
low toner has been showing up on my printer forever. Cartridges are not cheap. This piece of equipment takes four of
them. I think the manufacturers make all of their money selling toner cartridges. They probably break even on the cost of
The other day, my printer flashed a warning saying that it was inoperable because of the empty black
toner cartridge. I felt good about this as I had finally gotten the very last bit of toner from the cartridge.
It was time to spend $29 for another cartridge. Another one of my color ones is getting pretty low. I'll do the same thing
and wait until it won't print any more.
On the other hand, I could probably save myself some aggravation if I just
went out and bought another cartridge. I'll need it sooner or later.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Empire Fights Back
11:12 am edt
The skyline of New York City is constantly
changing. Buildings have a lifespan to them. The City Council has approved plans to build a skyscraper 900 feet from the Empire
State Building that will be only 34 feet shorter than the iconic structure.
The owners of the Empirehave fought
the proposal because they feel it will interfere with the sight lines of its tenants and spoil the view for the tourists from
They are correct in their argument. It's a shame that the proposed tower could not be built
in another part of the city. What I find troublesome is the plan will result in the demolition of the Hotel Pennsylvania
built during the Art Deco era. Apparently, the New York City Landmarks Commission does not feel the hotel has any architectural
significance worth saving.
I don't understand how they arrived at that conclusion. Perhaps the building isn't old
enough. The city has lost so many great buildings over the years. No structure is safe unless protected by the Landmarks Commission
or in a historical district.
One of the amazing things about New York City is that it is constantly being built
and will never be finished.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The Dirty Habit
7:59 pm edt
Cigarette smokers can always be counted
on to discard their butts on sidewalks and public spaces all around us. It's a dirty habit that people either can't break
or don't want to.
Yesterday, I noticed that some smoker had emptied their car ashtray at the entrance to the cemetery
where my father is buried. That seems so disrespectful to see a large pile of butts on the ground.
Who was this
person? Why did they do this? Couldn't they wait until they got to a barrel. Did they think that the problem was over once
they discarded their butts?
It's the same when people throw them out the window. I guess they figure, out of sight,
out of mind. They are so wrong, but I don't think they care.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
5:45 pm edt
It's a miracle that 33 miners in Chile
were found to be alive after being trapped underground for 17 days. They continue to remain entombed 2,200 feet down.
Contact was made after rescuers drilled a series of probing holes in an attempt to find them. A camera was lowered
down the hole.
The miners seems to be holding up. They are in a safe room, but without food and have resorted
to drinking ground water.
Rescuers say that it might be until December before they can drill hole to the miners.
They have already stayed underground longer than any victims who came out alive. Another three months is unacceptable. They
will never survive that long.
The government of Chile must reach out and request help from other nations. The U.S.
has a lot of drilling equipment that could do the job faster.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Cleaning the Screen
2:29 pm edt
I enjoy my Android smart phone. It has
some amazing technology, including the touch screen. One thing I've noticed is that the screen gets covered with a thin film
of skin oil on a regular basis. I need to wipe it with lens cleaner daily.
You never realize how much oil you have
on your index finger. After a lot of use, the screen looks quite messy. I don't think the engineers will ever design a screen
that is not effected by skin oils. If they do, it will be an amazing accomplishment and worthy of all sorts of awards.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Indoor Is Better
1:50 pm edt
I did a comedy show last Friday night at an outdoor restaurant in Laconia, NH. I did almost
17 minutes which was the longest of my career. We had about 35 people in the audience for a place that holds about 80.
In retrospect, I thnk comedy works much better inside a club. I had never performed outdoors. For some reason, the
audience was silent for all of us. There were very few laughs for any of the five comics.
I was invited to come
back next year. The restaurant is only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. I'll go back, but I think the results will
still be the same.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Another Four Months
7:15 am edt
Today is a fresh start for another four
months. I just put a new blade in my Gillette razor. They usually last that long. I started using my old one right before
I ran the Boston Marathon in April.
At this rate, the new blade will last until sometime in December. I'll start
to notice it wearing down before Thanksgiving. At least I'll be going into the holiday season with a new blade.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Book Em Danno
10:21 am edt
People are violated when their homes
are broken into. Police in Billings, Montana have solved a string of 21 break-ins over a three week period. The method of
entry was usually by climbing through a screen window or breaking a screen door. Each time, refrigerators and freezers
The crimes ended when one home owner had a confrontation in his kitchen with the perpetrator. Apparently,
a black bear was the one to blame. He was caught with a refrigerator open and eating a pizza. Victims reported only
There was no indication whether an arrest was made, but the break-ins have stopped.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Sailing To Danger
11:17 am edt
I never had kids, but I think parents over-manage all aspects of their kids lives. Every kid
is involved in supervised activities. Kids learn at an early age that we should not keep score in soccer games and everyone
should get a trophy.
This is in contrast to the story of fourteen year old Laura Dekker of the Netherlands. Her
parents won a legal battle against the Dutch child protection services. She has since departed on her solo sailing voyage
around the world.
A lawsuit was filed last year as her parents attempted to allow her to start her journey at the
age of 13. Authorities felt this was too irresponsible for a person her age.
She is expected to be gone for one
year and voiced no concerns of being by herself, personal safety or the possibility of pirate attacks.
like this can be potentially fatal at any age. I wonder how much of this is being done on her own. I'm sure her parents are
really pushing her.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Tales From the City - 2
12:27 am edt
New York City is trying to become
more bicycle friendly with the addition of bike lanes on some of the avenues and cross streets. It's an interesting idea that
has potential to alleviate traffic congestion.
Bikers need to ride more responsibly. I'm not sure what is
more dangerous; running in Central Park or trying to keep an eye out for bikes when crossing the street.
Park, riders must stay in a counter-clock motion. That's a good idea keeping everyone going the same way, but they ride excessively
fast. As a runner, you need to know where they are at all times.
Perhaps the craziest thing I saw was the fool
who was keeping up with traffic on 5th Ave while riding between cars. I hope he has good medical insurance. That's a dangerous
way to live. It looked like an accident waiting to happen.
Monday, August 16, 2010
1:40 pm edt
I was impressed by a story of a 79 year
old man who celebrated his birthday by riding a roller coaster 90 times over the course of six hours. This also gave him 4,000
rides for his lifetime. He said it took 60 years to do it.
On the other hand, I have two rides to my credit.
My first came when I was 17 on an old wooden coaster at an amusement park. I was too afraid to scream.
last ride came at Space Mountain at Disney World in 1982. After that one, I vowed I would never set foot on another one. It
has been 28 years and counting. I don't like motion rides.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Tales from The City - 1
10:27 pm edt
I got home a few hours ago after spending
three nights in New York City. It's my favorite place. I just wish it didn't cost so much. It's so outrageous and discouraging
to think how much money you can spend there.
There are many great stories in the city. As I drove down Rt
95 into the Bronx, I saw that an overhead highway sign had been tagged by some graffiti artists.
I don't understand
how this crew could have done this. It must have been at 3am with no traffic. How could anybody climb to that spot?
You see that on the side of buildings. Do these guys rappel down to do this? They go though great extremes to express themselves
by vandalizing property.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Saving a Nail
10:21 pm edt
Whenever I run, I need to be aware of the
road in front of me. Streets in America are filled with cracks and need repair. It always amazes me to see all of the leaves
and sand on some streets.
I have stopped to pick up coins as well as pliers and wrenches. I found a brass
padlock that I was able to get a key for.
If I see a nail, I determine what I should do with it. Sometimes, I kick
them off to the gutter. I have knocked a few into storms drains. and picked up a few to carry to the next barrel.
Yesterday, I found a roofing nail. Those are always fatal to tires. I was glad I was able to take it off the street and
keep someone from getting a flat tire.
As soon as I saw it, I knew I could put it to use. I carried it home
and pounded it into a beam with my old hammer.
Some of my marathon medals now hang from it.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Don't Do As the Romans Do
6:53 pm edt
The Italian government has major financial
problems. In an effort to raise $33 million for restoration work on the Roman Colosseum, they decided to get rather creative.
They will allow sponsors to erect 8 foot tall advertisements around the outside base of the Colosseum. Sponsors will
be allowed to give exclusive tours and their logo will be printed on the tickets sold to tourists.
will be allowed inside the arena, at least not yet. If they really wanted to do something creative, but absurd, they could
sell the naming rights to a .com company.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
10:56 pm edt
I have been checking the wear on my
running shoes on a regular basis. The right shoe has excessive wear on the outer-sole by the big toe. It has eroded to
the mid-sole. The shoes need to be replaced as I get training for the New york City Marathon.
I don't know why
the shoes wore down the way they did. I shuffle a lot when I run and probably contributed to their demise. I don't have that
many miles on them.
What really concerns me is how the outer-sole holds out. Three months from now, I
might be in the same situation right before the marathon. I should probably buy two pairs.
Either I'm causing
these shoes to wear out faster or the materials are of cheaper quality. It might be a bit of both.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
8:40 pm edt
I spent about 30 minutes today with
Piper, my brother's family dog. I stopped by to "let her out". She spent most of her time smelling the ground. Her
nose was in a constant state of twitching and sniffing.
I'll never understand how dogs are so smart. How does
Piper know to run to a window and the jump up to the sill to see me get in my car?
Why did she get really
upset when we were outside after she saw a parent walking a child through the neighborhood wearing a "balloon hat"?
Dogs can't talk to you , but sometimes it seems like the "line of communication" is better with them
Friday, August 6, 2010
Removing the Old
9:32 pm edt
I have four house plants where
I live. They continue to thrive in spite of my efforts. One of them is four years old and was a table centerpiece at
my brother's retirement party.
I have always trimmed some of the older leaves from this plant. They get brown at
the tips. It's a positive thing for the plant when I cut them.
Tonight, there is so much new growth. The plant
looks very healthy and young. These new leaves will eventually grow big and get old. I might need to trim them eventually.
That's assuming this plant keeps holding on.
I never had a plant last this long. As they say, this is uncharted
Thursday, August 5, 2010
5:55 pm edt
It sounds like a cliche, but a penny
doesn't get much these days. Add them together and they can mount up to some cash.
It always cracks me up to see
the penny tins at store counters. People often throw nickels and dimes in. Some people can't be bothered with keeping change
in their pocket. Many times, they throw them in the parking lot. I picked up four today.
be at the point where I can walk by free money on the street. I have not cashed in my pennies in for a long time, but
when I do, it will be extra money for me.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Too Many Angles
9:30 pm edt
The Little League World series played
in Williamsport, Pennsylvania is a huge television event broadcast by ESPN with great ratings.
I have my own issues
with organized sports for kids.This is based on my childhood experience of little league baseball and observations throughout
I never watch the tournament and have no plans to. ESPN announced plans to expand their instant replay
coverage for the second year.
I knew they had it, but it strikes me odd that they will now have the ability to
look at the play from 12 different camera angles!
When will they be using the blimp?
In the end, it's
suppose to be a kid's game.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The Corn Lottery
6:36 pm edt
One good thing about the summer is the
availability of fresh produce from roadside stands. The season is short, less than three months. I got some really good items
yesterday, including corn.
The problem with buying corn is that you can never see what it looks like unless you
strip the husk off. This was at a farm, so I was less inclined to start pulling the ears apart like I do at the market.
I'm always concerned about getting "cow corn". Once I take a bite of that stuff, I toss it out.
looked small which was a good sign. I bought three and brought them home with my other stuff. As I stripped the layers
of husk, I was dismayed to see that only two of the three were worth eating. The third ear was looked like it had never matured.
The two that I ate were excellent.
Buying corn is a lot like buying a lootery ticket. You don't always get a winner,
but when you win, the taste is outstanding.
Monday, August 2, 2010
No Time to Spare
5:18 pm edt
I did some aqua-jogging in the pool at the fitness club I belong to.
For once, the conditions were good. There were very few kids
getting in the way. It was nice to have a good sized area to myself.
One of the reasons it was like this was the
fact that it was overcast and in the 70's. That seem to keep a lot of families away.
Just as I got out of the pool,
there was a rumble of thunder. The lifeguard blew the whistle and cleared the pool. I could not have cut it any closer.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
The 14 week Journey
8:43 am edt
Today is August 1. That means summer
is fading fast. Cooler temperatures are ahead. It also means that the New York City Marathon is 14 weeks from today. It seems
like I just ran the Boston Marathon, but a journey to the Big Apple is on the doorstep.
The next 14 weeks will
pass quickly as it always does. I hope my training can pick up. That is a big variable. Staying healthy and injury-free is
critical. You never know how it will work out. Nothing is guaranteed with the race.
As I get older, I realize that
getting to the starting line is a major accomplishment. We all have our goals and dreams, but mine have been tempered over
the years. I don't like to dwell on what I have done in the past. I will never run that fast again no matter what I do.
It's all about this year and standing on the Verranzano Bridge on November 7th.