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This site is created by Jim Laprel; avid runner, comic and blogger. See my schedule below for my latest stand-up comedy appearances. Scroll down to see my latest thoughts on various things, the New England Patriots and NFL.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
                          Lao-tzu Chinese philosopher ( 604-531 B.C. )

New York City Marathon

Nov 4, 2018 at the 22 mile mark 

Doing a set at Strange Brew Tavern Nov 26, 2018



Here is an interview I did with a local newspaper about my running.


My blog: "All Pats Talk". Read the latest on the three time Super Bowl Champions and the rest of the NFL. Get an "outsiders" viewpoint. (click here)



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Tues, Sept 21    Steve's Pinehust Tavern

                                   786 Boston Rd.   Billerica, Mass  7:30pm 


  Random Thoughts About Things

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time For A Trim

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.

5:13 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not In The Mail Next Year

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 $10 million.

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. 

11:10 am edt 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saving Street Lights

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.
9:15 pm edt 

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Long and Rambling Story

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.

The media 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.
6:58 pm edt 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Great Books For Sale

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.
6:03 pm edt 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Absorbing The Heat

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 sunny.

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 2011.

Time is passing way too quickly for all of us.
11:47 pm edt 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Super-sizing The Fish

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.
4:24 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Slowing Traffic

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.
10:14 am edt 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No More Music

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 of nonsense.

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.
4:36 pm edt 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cutting Against The Grain

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.
3:33 pm edt 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Checks In the Mail

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.

I'm 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.
12:50 pm edt 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Missing Tree

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 a cemetery.
5:12 pm edt 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Somewhere On the Course

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.
7:46 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blanket Coverage

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.
10:07 am edt 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Timing Is Everything

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.
1:31 pm edt 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Short and Long

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 colder.
11:19 pm edt 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Betting On The House

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 of ocean.

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.
9:25 pm edt 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Summer Is Over

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.

Today, 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.
9:41 am edt 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Here Comes The Sun

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.
I 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.
9:33 pm edt 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Not Worthy of the Metal

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?
7:53 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Good Plan From Obama

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.
10:12 am edt 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tire Sensitivity

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.
10:24 pm edt 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Running Around Today

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.

I 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.
5:02 pm edt 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Was He Thinking?

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.
7:17 pm edt 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Calm Before the Storm

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 the map.

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.
7:00 am edt 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

No Penalty For This

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.
1:01 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Storm or Nothing

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 laughs.

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.

6:42 pm edt 

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