Friday, December 31, 2010
Deliver Them From Evil
10:35 am est
Cab drivers in New York City have a
dangerous job. There are many robberies and unreported assaults. The life of a livery driver is even worse.
guys drive in the outer-boroughs. They pick up fares that the yellow cabs would never think of going to. They provide a vital
service to the poor and under-served neighborhoods. They face a constant threat of robbery and violence.
announced a program where they will outfit 1,400 drivers with bullet-proof vests. They are designed to stop a bullet
from a handgun and give protection to the body area most likely to be hit by gunfire. They also provide a shield for knife
It seems incredible that it has come to this in a city historically plagued by violence in the cab industry.
These drivers go where nobody else is willing to drive to. They know every fare could be their last.
because they are at the bottom of the economic ladder. Many are immigrants who see the job as a way of a better life in America.They
want to live the American dream. They should not die or get hurt in the process.
Phoning It In
11:54 pm est
I need to get Caller I.D. on my phone
once and for all. I never had it. I usually miss calls on a daily basis. I would like to find out who is calling me. Usually,
it's one of those dumb telemarketers trying to convince me to change my credit card to a lower interest rate.
I never had Caller I.D, I somehow failed to realize that you don't need a separate box as in the past. My wall phone is about
20 years old and will need to be replaced with one the has a LED screen.
I'm not sure what I'll do with my old
phone. I won't throw it out, but it won't serve any practical purpose unless my new phone dies on me. Another item to occupy
space in a draw.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Stupid Fee Tricks
11:38 am est
The city of New York is facing an economic
crisis fueled by soaring pension costs and long term debt obligations. City leaders are looking at creative ways of raising
money. Most ideas are "nickel and dime" ones.
One of the latest being floated by the FDNY calls
for a fee ranging from $365-$490 every time a piece of fire apparatus responds to an auto accident. I find this to be a bit
Many of the department's calls are for emergency services, especially those needing EMTs. Details
have not been worked out, but is the fee waived if the auto accident includes a fire? What about gasoline spilled on the road?
I'm sure some bean counter is working out the fine details, but this is just a bad idea. What's next, charging for
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Along the Roadside
10:10 am est
New Hampshire is looking into regulating
roadside memorial displays along state roads. For years, memorials have appeared at the site of fatal auto accidents.
I think they can be done tastefully, but the state is seeking to regulate their size, appearance and length of display.
Critics have cited safety concerns in calling for their removal. The memorials often appear on private property without
the owner's consent.
I think this is a very difficult issue to deal with . In the end, neither side will be satisfied.
I think the state is weighing in on an issue that has no clear solution.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Two Different Walks of Life
5:14 pm est
We got about 15 inches of snow from
the "blizzard". I went out for a long walk at noon. It was nice to walk the neighborhood and see everything covered
Later in the afternoon, I walked to the post office and nearby market. The realities of the storm set
in. The sidewalks downtown were poorly plowed and shoveled. The footing was challenging in a few places.
the storm is over, I realize that I want to by snowshoes to do some hiking in the woods and nearby fields. I need to take
a trip to L.L. Bean to buy some for about $100.
The Snow Walk
12:14 am est
I went out for a walk when it was snowing
earlier today. We have received quite a bit of snow. I don't think the storm is as bad as they said it might be.
I'm typing this at the early hour of a new day............ It will eventually stop snowing. The sun will come out
and melt the snow.
The winter solstace has passed. Days will only get longer.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
The New Chords
10:55 am est
They say everyone should by themselves
something for Christmas. What I bought was nothing special, but it was something I needed.
I finally bought a replacement
25 foot extension cord for my phone. I also bought the wire going from my phone to the wall jack.
Both cords are
at least 15 years old and hopefully tangled. I tried to straighten them over the years. I did it a few weeks ago, but they they
didn't stay properly curled for long.
At the rate I buy these cords, I should have the new ones until I almost 70.
By then, the phone industry should change quite a bit. Maybe land lines will become a collector's item. I think they
are headed in that direction.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
The Big Hype
10:05 pm est
It's Christmas Day, but the big story
is the potential of a big snow storm starting tomorrow afternoon and going into Sunday. WBZ radio is activating their "storm
center". The meteorologists are the top billing on the news.
Although tomorrow is Sunday, I would bet there will
be a big run at the supermarkets tomorrow to buy bread and milk. People somehow think that they are going to be stranded
The hype is beginning. They upgraded it to a blizzard. We are in the snow line. Of course, it could
also change. If it got warmer, it could be rain.
At this point tomorrow night, it could be snowing 3-4 inches per
hour. I'll believe it when I see it.This should be fun.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Saying It Right
12:30 am est
It's so tough these days to say
"Merry Christmas". Nobody wants to offend anyone. We live in the age of political correctness.
love getting emails and cards from people I know. Some businesses go over the top with their greeting.
got an email card from TD Ameritrade. I've traded some stocks through them. My account has lost money over the years.
They didn't address that issue, but they did wish me; "the joys of the holiday season".
you offend anyone with a line like that?
The Black Glove
11:48 pm est
I was out shopping today and one of
my stops was at a golf and running store. I bought a new golf glove for next season. Just about every model of glove is white.
It's hard to find them in black.
I got a left-handed one, but the store doesn't carry right-handed in black.
After speaking to the manger, he found them in a catalogue and said he could do a special order. I told
him to order two gloves.
They usually last at least one season. I'm all set now through 2012.
Monday, December 20, 2010
11:47 pm est
It snowed today for the first time.
It was a little over one inch. Naturally, all hell broke loose around here with traffic jams and fender benders. People were
having mental meltdowns over it.
My former place of employment use to get chaotic on a day like this . People wanted
to leave early. I don't blame them. Nobody wants to get stuck out on the highway in a big traffic jam. On the other hand,
they need to get a grip on things.There are a lot of things worse than snow.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
The Longest Week
12:44 am est
With the sudden death of my brother,
this has been the worst week of my life. The tribute to his life was something I will always remember.
and him both died young of heart disease. Is it hereditary? I'm not sure, but I must admit it doesn't look good at times.
I will live the rest of my life knowing that the Grim Reaper has me in his sights. He will get me at some point. I
just don't know when. I will do everything humanly possible to win the battle, but it's one that nobody can win.
We all waste so much time in our life. We all need to make the most of the time left.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
A Giant Step
6:53 pm est
Although it got light coverage by the
media, I was very impressed with the successful launch of the first private space craft.
With only two more space
shuttle flights scheduled, NASA is looking to the private sector to ferry supplies to the International Space Station. Eventually
it will shuttle astronauts to the station.
The rocket and capsule were the pride of Space Exploration Technologies
(SPACE-X). The mission was considered a great success as the craft orbited the earth three times before splashing down in
the ocean. It also completed a series of maneuvers critical to any space flight.
It proved that the private sector
is able to launch capsules and now provides a viable alternative for NASA.
Friday, December 10, 2010
3:56 pm est
The holiday season is suppose to promote
good will and charitable acts. In Titusville, FL, one man carried it to an extreme the other day.
While he was
in a convenience store, a customer suddenly dropped to the floor. He performed CPR, assisted the para-medics when they arrived
and provided comfort to the man's wife.
At the same time, he decided to walk away with her purse. Why would someone
perform a life saving act and then commit a crime? Did he need money that badly? It would be interesting to hear his story.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
No Claws For Me
12:05 pm est
The other day, I cracked open a lobster
for only the third time in my life. I've always thought this crustacean was over-rated.
I enjoy lobster rolls,
but think it's a hassle to break the shell and dig out the meat. I ended up wasting a big part of the lobster. I would
have been better off with a roll.
It's also very messy. I can't see the point of eating food that requires a bib.
It might be a long time before I have another one. I don't plan to partake of any twin lobster specials in the future.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Need More Juice
11:01 am est
I have been very pleased so far with
my DROID phone made by Motorola. It has a lot of useful applications. It's great to be able to access the Internet at
There are things that could be improved, particularly the life of the battery. It drains fast when
using the browser. It's made worse by cold weather.
When I was at the football game the other night, it was on
"low" for most of the night. It got tired of looking at the red warning light.
I've noticed the
effect of cold weather before. Motorola needs to address this at some point. On the other hand, at least it recharges very
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Smoke Gets In Your Clothes
5:31 pm est
It was a very cold last night at the
Patriots and Jets game at Gillette Stadium with a temperature of 27 degrees and gusty winds.
I was tailgating under
a tent that had a propane heater. It was working out great unitl the wind blew the tent over. We were left exposed to
the elements in the parking lot.
The propane heater was a help. Other fans had grills going and some had fire pits.
I was dressed very heavily for the game and was comfortable once I got inside the stadium.
When I got home, I was
amazed at how badly my clothes smelled of smoke. I had to wash everything. I need to take my LL Bean parker to the cleaners.
It smells so bad that I brought it out to the trunk of my car until I drop it off tomorrow.
What a difference from when I attended a
pre-season practice back in August when the temperature was in the high 80's .
Monday, December 6, 2010
One Chance For The Socks
12:07 pm est
I'm heading down to Gillette Stadium
for tonight's Patriots and Jets football game. It is a huge contest with big playoff implications. It's also going to be very
cold and windy. The group I'm going with will be there five hours before kickoff. I think I have enough warm clothing with
The most critical point will be the warmth of my feet. When I went to the Ravens playoff game last January,
everything was ok except for my feet. My toes got numb from the cold.
I recently bought some "Smartwool Mountaineering"
socks at Eastern Mountain Sports. They come with a guarantee of a refund if not satisfied.
If my feet get
cold tonight, I plan to send these socks back for a refund. This is a big test for them. If they fail, they are out of here.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Nailing the Space
6:28 pm est
You never know when fate crosses your
path. I was running in a five person relay race today. At one of the exchange points, we got out of a vehicle to watch our
team's next handoff.
As we walked back to the car, I noticed that the space next to us had a 4 inch nail lying
on the pavement.
I picked it up and remarked. "I did one thing good today. I saved someone from getting a
nail in their tire".
It was only later that I thought that the mail could have effected our vehicle
if we had chosen the space next to us in a huge parking lot. One space made all of the difference.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
The Puzzle of NYC
12:05 pm est
never assembled a large jigsaw puzzle by myself. I have a real challenge now after my recent purchase of a 3-D puzzle of New
It has over 700 pieces. It allows a recreation of four different time-lines for the construction of
the Manhattan skyline for the years 1812, 1931, 1973 and 2013.
The first plan is to build the landscape of 530
pieces, followed by the island with 44 pieces. The last part is to manipulate the 126 skyscraper pieces.
mentions "2000+ educational facts". I'm not sure how many there are above and beyind the initial 2,000. Do they
mean there might by 2,030 facts?
The 2013 skyline includes the new World Trade Center. It might take me until
2013 to finish this.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Dealing With Cold
5:39 pm est
During a show last night, one one
the comics mentioned he had a cold. I should know better this time of year about all of the germs on the mic and with shaking
hands with people.
When I woke up this morning, I had a slightly stuffy head. I had a great workout with a 4.2
mile run with a friend.
Several hours later, I'm still a bit stuffed up. I hope it's not due to the dust in my
residence. I fight a losing battle to stay ahead of it.
I took an extra Vitamin C tablet and did a nose spray.
Sometimes, I think it's a miracle that I have not had a cold yet.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
All of the Issues
7:07 pm est
I have been a subscriber to National
Geographic magazine since 1963. I've saved all of the back issues. That's 47 years and 564 magazines. I've also picked up
about another 100 issues over the years. I think it's an outstanding publication.
I just purchased a 6-DVD set
of the entire magazine collection going back to 1888. The contents boasts over 1,400 issues, 200,000 photos and 8,000 articles.
It might take me the rest of my life to get through it all.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Good Old Bill
10:44 am est
I recently found a Mercury-head silver dime in my change. Yesterday,
I got a 1935 "silver certificate" dollar bill. These have been out of circulation since the start of 1964.
The back side was very faded and the edges looked like they had been eaten by moths. Where was this bill over the years?
It must have been hoarded by someone. If it had been in circulation, it would have been removed by a financial institution
Someone re-introduced it to the money flow. I must have been one of the first people to receive
it in change. Due to it's condition, it does not have extra value, but it was pretty unique to stumble across something like