Thursday, September 30, 2010
Time For A Trim
5:13 pm edt
Landscaping adds value to any
property. When I run, I often look at homes, particularly their shrubbery and condition of the property. I see many of the
same houses because I usually run the same routes.
Some houses let their shrubs get overgrown which cause parts
of the house disappear from view. Today, I ran by a house that had all of its shrubs removed. They had obscured the front
of the house for decades. I was wondering if there was a new owner. The house looks so much better now. It has a lot of nice
features that were hidden from view.
Shrubs are a lot of work. It's easy to see why people neglect them, but they
look so much better when trimmed properly.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Not In The Mail Next Year
11:10 am edt
The federal government often makes
decisions that are foolish attempts to save small amounts of money. The IRS has decided not to mail tax forms to Americans
in January. Their rationale is based on the amount of taxpayers who file electronically every year. They said it will save
I'm all for saving money, but what about informing the public of their legal obligation to file a
tax return? Non-compliance is usually around 17% annually. I think more people will fail to file and claim ignorance
of the law.
Overall, the government could do a better job in collecting taxes and ensuring everyone files. It would
go a long ways to help reduce the deficit.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Saving Street Lights
9:15 pm edt
My home town is not exempt from the
financial problems that are happening all across the cities and towns of America. Everyone is looking for "creative"
ways for the government to save money.
Someone thought it would be good idea to shut off local street lights. They
are not needed "they" said.
No citizen of sound mind would tell the city to to shut their
street light off. This makes no sense.
My city has 4,400 street lights. They want to turn off 669 to save $64,000
on an annual $700,000 budget. The public is not happy about this. People want street lights. It makes everyone feel safer
in these crazy times.
If a city cannot afford to pay for street lights, it has some real bigger financial
problems that will not end well.
Monday, September 27, 2010
The Long and Rambling Story
6:58 pm edt
There was a story about a young man
who committed suicide last week at Harvard University in front of a group of visitors to the campus. It was a sad story and
was quickly forgotten in the news cycle.
Apparently, he left behind a 1,900 page manifesto on his website prior
to the final act of his life. He made arrangements to keep the website up and running after his death.
referred to it as a "rambling" diatribe on a variety of topics. I checked out his site . It certainly was everything
the media said it was.
It's deeply indexed and has over 1,300 footnotes of explanation. I wonder how long
it took to write. Some of it just doesn't make any sense. I wonder what type of mental illness he suffered from. I'm sure
he felt his writing was very coherent.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Great Books For Sale
6:03 pm edt
I have always enjoyed books. I have
a huge personal library which is much too big for my apartment. I visited my local library today for one of their quarterly
used book sales. Everything is donated from patrons of the library. There are so many great books to choose from.
They charge $3 to fill a bag of books. I thought of not going today because I end up buying so much stuff. I went for the
last 30 minutes and managed to overflow the bag. I have no idea where I will put all of it.
I'm looking forward
to checking out my newest titles. There is never enough time in a day to do everything you want to do.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Absorbing The Heat
11:47 pm edt
They say dark clothing absorbs more
heat. I proved that today when I played golf with friends. We had a 1:45pm tee time on a day when it was in high 80's and
I started to sweat right from the start. I felt rather hot. I left the course at the end of the day with
a salt stain on my polo shirt. I wore khaki shorts. It was quite warm.
I hope I hydrated to the proper level
during the day. I'm not sure if I did.
Today was the 2nd day of autumn.The days can be hot. A lot will happen between
now and the end of autumn for all of us. This part of the year seems to go by so fast.
At the mid-point
of autumn, I will run the New York City Marathon. The end of fall is Christmas week and the start of the New Year
Time is passing way too quickly for all of us.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Super-sizing The Fish
4:24 pm edt
Since last year, I've made an effort
to eat more fish besides canned tuna and salmon. I buy fresh haddock a few times a week. It rarely has a bone.
Getting ocean fresh salmon can be challenging because much is farm grown these days.The farms are rather controversial
with a mixed review as to their "food safety".
The FDA will be holding hearings to address
the eating of genetically altered salmon.The fish are ready for market, but have no federal approval to verify their safety.
I'm not wild about genetically altered foods. A comparison photo of regular salmon and the genetically altered one
is enough to make anyone have second thoughts about the potential hazards of eating this stuff.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
10:14 am edt
I thought I would get to the show on
time last night until I came across a long line of cars stalled in front of me. It looked like they were backed up for
at least one mile. There was nothing to do, but sit and move forward very slowly.
I was expecting to see a big
accident. When I finally got there, it was just someone sitting in their car in the breakdown lane. There was no accident,
just the infamous "curiosity factor".
It's getting more dangerous for cars to be in the breakdown lane.
I got into a small fender bender a few years ago because of a similar situation. It was a three car chain reaction caused
by a situation where everyone was tailgating on each other.
Some guy was changing a tire and everyone had to slow
down to look at them.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
No More Music
4:36 pm edt
A local high school is involved in a
controversy with their students because of a potential ban on iPods and MP3 players. They already gave up on banning cell
phones. Every kid has a phone. Parents want them to have one. You can't win that battle, but music players are another story.
One option is to ban them from the classroom, but allow them in study halls. Does anyone even study any more? Some
kids said they study better when they listen to music. It's all about multi-tasking, according to them. That is all a bunch
Students should study when they have a free periods. They have plenty of time to listen to music
once they leave school. It's easy to see why America is losing the education battle to so many other countries.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Cutting Against The Grain
3:33 pm edt
I always thought the goal of high school
sports was for participation from students. Not every team has a junior varsity squad, but I never heard of cutting kids from
the cross country team.
This happened at a local high school. Runners must meet a qualifying standard for each
year. I find that unreasonable and against common sense. Cross country is a low budget sport. The biggest cost is coaching
and transportation. Why would you cut kids from a team? They could be late developers.
I wonder if I would have
made the cut or been on the bubble.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Checks In the Mail
12:50 pm edt
I don't pay bills on-line, although
I should give it some thought. I have one bill direct debited because of a monthly surcharge if paid by check.
not sure why I don't use on-line more. I just ordered checks from my bank. It costs $39.05 or about $.26 per check. It now
costs me about $.70 to pay a bill.
I write about 12 checks per month. I should at least look at paying my utilities
on-line. That would be a start.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Missing Tree
5:12 pm edt
Sometimes, I run in a cemetery near
my home. I believe they are hallowed grounds and should not be a venue for recreation. I wonder what people think when they
see me running. Little do they know I always run by my father's grave.
It's a well maintained place with
beautiful trees. Recently, one of their biggest maple tree was cut down. It was in a very prominent spot. I always saw it.
A few months ago, several limbs were cut down. I could see the tree had a great deal of rot in it. I just never
thought they would cut it down. They removed the stump.
You would never know there was a tree there. I wonder
if another one will be planted in its place. It will never grow that big in my lifetime.
Even trees die in
Friday, September 17, 2010
Somewhere On the Course
7:46 pm edt
I had a great time playing golf
with some friends today. I played well, but made mistakes. I also managed to lose a cover for one of my hybrid irons. It's
not big deal, but more of a matter of principle.
I routinely check to see if I have all of my equipment as I play.
I remember taking the cover off to tee off on a par 3. I hit a shot that took a really bad bounce. I didn't put the cover
back on properly because of my frustration with the shot. I didn't discover it missing until halfway through the next hole.
A lot of times, stuff gets turned in. I'll call tomorrow, but that's not the point. I was just careless and not paying
attention. I did the same thing two years ago and lost another cover.
On the other hand, one of the guys in my
group lost his putter after the 12th hole. He never found it. He had to putt with his driver. We could have lent him one
of ours, but he was the only lefty in the group.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
10:07 am edt
It got quite chilly last night. I slept
using only a sheet. It's time to get at least one blanket ready. During the winter I use three, but I'll start with one now.
I just threw it in the washer. It will be on my bed tonight. The other day I mentioned to someone that I had removed
my air conditioner. They questioned why in lieu of the fact that we might get more warm weather.
We will have some
warm days, but I see no chance of needing the A/C. In another few weeks, I'll be turning my heat on.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Timing Is Everything
1:31 pm edt
Things can happen at any moment. You
always hear the expression "it was not your time". It seems like an overused cliche, but it rings true.
I was running today on a street that I've traversed in my neighborhood for the last 34 years. All of a sudden, I heard a
crashing noise. I turned around and a utility pole had fallen down on the street in a tangled mass of wires. I had passed
the spot about five seconds earlier.
That was really weird. I've run by that spot so many times. You can't
worry about every step you take, but you never know when you might take your last one.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Short and Long
11:19 pm edt
Fall will be here next week. There isn't
much time left to wear polo shirts when I go out to do comedy. I wore one tonight, but also had a windbreaker.
There will be nights that are warm, but it's only going to get colder in the end. I don't see myself going out
at night without some type of jacket.
When I got home tonight, I closed one of my windows because it was getting
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Betting On The House
9:25 pm edt
We can all be stubborn at times. There
are many reasons to be like that. Sometimes, it's the wrong decision. It might take a long time to find that out.
A local home owner decided to rebuild their house on the same lot after losing their previous domicile to the waves
It's on a barrier island that has suffered severe beach erosion for the last 50 years. Things continue
to get worse. The Army Corp of Engineers plans to drop tons of sand to rebuild the beach.
How long will it
last? Is 10 years good enough? Do you build a house and lose it 40 years from now to the ocean?
I can understand
how they feel about their home and living there. I fully support that. I just don't think it's a great idea to rebuild there.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Summer Is Over
9:41 am edt
There are still 10 days left to summer,
but it's basically over. We will still have warm days and maybe "Indian Summer" at some point.
my air conditioner will be removed from my bedroom window and stored away until next year. I will be able to get more fresh
air in my rooms
We might have some hot days, but I don't see any need for A/C. I'll take my chances on it being
hot. I can always turn on the fan.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Here Comes The Sun
9:33 pm edt
I was watching the "Stand Up 2
Cancer" fund raiser tonight. Cancer awareness is so critical. It can strike us at any time. It doesn't matter who you
are. The results are always different among individuals. There are so many great success stories, but not everyone makes
it. There are thing we can do things to prevent cancer.
There is a big incidence of skin cancer all across America.
So much can be prevented by using sun block. I never use it when I run, but try to when I play golf.
did a lousy job at it today when it comes to preventing skin cancer or damage to the skin. I was playing a round of golf with
a friend. It was 4+ hours in the sun. The temperature was in the 60's, so I wore long pants. The only thing exposed was my
face and arms. I went without sun block for three hours before I put it on.
Days like today give you
a sense of false security because we think the sun cannot damage our skin today. We are only kidding ourselves. I managed
to "toast" part of my face. I got a lot of color.
I don't know why I never applied the sun block earlier.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Not Worthy of the Metal
7:53 pm edt
Recently, there seems to be a rampant
amount of theft of copper wire and manhole covers in my city. It's all sold at local salvage yards for the on-going
price of scrap metal.
Constructions sites are open and unguarded all over the place. It's easy to steal the stuff.
Many of the thefts are by "drug addicts". I think it's a real problem that is getting out of control.
What about the scrap metal dealers?. How do you bring a bunch of manhole covers without attracting attention? They are closing
their eyes to the problem in the interest of keeping their business going.
People rip plaques from buildings
and bring them to salvage yards. How do they not know that this stuff is stolen?
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
A Good Plan From Obama
10:12 am edt
I believe in President Obama's economic
stimulus program to a large degree. In many instances, it is nothing but a bailout for communities and states unable to pay
the wages of certain employees.
Obama unveiled a plan to spend $50 billion on road repair and other infrastructure
improvements. You don't need to go far to see how our roads and bridges are crumbling. We could spend this amount every year
and never get everything fixed.
The plan has a lot of hurdles to overcome as Republican say it does nothing other
than add to the deficit. I disagree. This work needs to get done. There is so much to do.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
10:24 pm edt
New cars sold in America have tire pressure
sensors that send a warning light message to the driver when tire pressure gets below acceptable standards.
Tire pressure can be effected by temperature. Last Sunday night, it got down to 43 degrees. One of my tire lost three pounds
of pressure which turned the warning light on.
Everything seems ok after paying $1 in quarters to fill my right
front tire with three pounds of air. So far the lights remains off.
At what point can I feel I don't have a nail
in my tire? I've had two in the 20 months I've had the car.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Running Around Today
5:02 pm edt
I ran a 15.5 mile race today. It's something
I've done every year since 1983 other than when I missed it in 2003 because of a stress fracture in my foot.
realize I will never be as fast as I was at one time. It's an eye opener to see how slow I run now, but I'm very
happy that I'm still out there and able to do this. It means a lot to me.
So many people I know have stopped running.
Injuries finish many careers. I've battle a bunch of issues over the years. They take a toll on one's performance, but I have
always made it back so far.
I might be running slower, but my passion, focus and dedication for what I'm trying
to do is better than it ever was.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
What Was He Thinking?
7:17 pm edt
A 22 year old man in New York City
survived a 40 story suicide try when he landed on the roof of a parked car. He suffered broken legs and a lung injury. Doctors
believe the car's roof cushioned his impact and minimized his body's injuries.
Meanwhile, the car's owner took
a lot of public criticism because she complained about the damage to her car. People thought she was insensitive to the fact
that her car saved the man's life. She voiced concern over who would pay her $500 deductible on her Dodge Charger.
What was this guy thinking after he realized he failed in an effort to end his life? He must have thought he would have
been successful. I wonder what will do after he recovers. I'm sure he will talk to Oprah.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Calm Before the Storm
7:00 am edt
Hopefully, all of the Hurricane Earl
hype will pass soon. The storm is due late this evening. We have a 12pm tee time for 18 holes of golf. It's one of my annual
golf outings with some friends.
According to all of the "experts", we should be ok as we will be off
the course by 5pm. It should not be a problem. Some have downgraded the storm. We are on the infamous "line" on
I'm getting some stuff together for the day. I still plan to take my sunglasses and sunblock as well as
my umbrella. This should be interesting.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
No Penalty For This
1:01 pm edt
The "rough" is always
considered a "hazard" in the rules of golf. We don't always get out on our first effort.
A golfer at
the Shady Canyon Golf Course in Irvine, California got more than he bargained for. When he swung his club, it struck a rock
which ignited a 12 acre blaze on the course. It took 150 firefighters to put it out.
No charges were filed but
it was unclear if he made a good shot out of the rough.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Storm or Nothing
6:42 pm edt
At this moment, it's official. We
are in a "tropical storm watch" for the next 48 hours. Things can change quickly, but I'm watching NBC news right
now and looking at their "storm models".
They even mentioned the Merrimack River on their wall map.
Things might not happen around here until 2pm on Friday. If that's the case, I should be able to complete a round of golf
with some friends. We do this every year at this time and have a cookout at one of their homes. We have a lot of food and
The course in New Hampshire is right on the line for either having a tropical storm/hurricane or just a
windy day. If I need to take my umbrella, it might not be a good day out there.