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This site is created by Jim Laprel; avid runner, comic and blogger. See my schedule below for my latest comedy appearances. Click on my blogs to see my latest thoughts on the New England Patriots and the NFL, as well as other aspects of life.

"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

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

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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)

 

  

                                                            Comedy Shows

 

 

 

Tues, Oct 15      Winner's Circle

                           211 Elm St.  Salisbury, Mass.  8pm 

Thurs, Oct 17   Strange Brew Tavern 

                         16 Market St.  Manchester, NH  9pm

Thurs, Nov 21   Soho Restaurant

                          89 Lowell Rd.. Hudson, NH   7:30pm 

  Random Thoughts About Things

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Cooking the Numbers

The producer of the movie "Avatar" announced that sequels will be released in 2014 and 2015. I have not seen the flick and have no plans to see it in the future.

It has the highest grossing box office sales in history. To me, this is a meaningless claim. Considering what a ticket costs, this is no major accomplishment. What really counts is how many seats are sold. Why don't they release that number?

When "Gone With the Wind" first came out, it was considered the most successful movie in history. Tickets cost 10 cents. When I saw it in 1969, I think it cost $3.

The same holds true for sporting events and concerts. Tickets are so expensive that it causes sales numbers to get skewed.

Inflation can make the numbers look better, but it's all about buying power.

 
10:46 am est 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Casual Sunday

I went to a memorial mass today for my brother at church we went to all of our lives. I thought I would dress up with slacks, white shirt and a tie with my long black overcoat.

Based on what I saw, I must have looked out of place. It's very casual now; more so than ever. It seems like nobody dresses up for anything these days.

In the course of my work career, I went from wearing a tie to taking it off because I looked like a dork. The place went casual every day for management and employees.

I guess I should have read the memo about this being Casual Sunday. I'll keep it in mind for the future.
5:30 pm est 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Marching Has Stopped

Politicians are famous for cutting programs and then blaming others when thinks don't work according to plan. The local school committee is a great example of that.

They recently grilled the music director of the high school to determine why there is no longer a marching band. The school offers a jazz band and instrument ensemble, but not the traditional  band of years past

Several years ago, they cut the positions of music teachers in the middle schools. That ended the feeder system for the high school band. In years past, the band would have 80 members. Now there are less than 20.

Marching bands are a thing of the past. Our local high school has very poor attendance at the game by students and fans. There is not much interest in supporting a marching band. 

I thought the committee members were grandstanding with some of their comments. If they were that concerned about the band, they should not have eliminated the middle school positions.

You can support for the arts, but you still need to show the money.
9:33 pm est 

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Cursed Machine.


I heard a story the other day on the radio about a 62 year old man who was killed while riding a snowmobile in New Hampshire. He struck a rock, went off the trail and hit a tree. The story ended after that.

When I read the same story in the newspaper, there was a sad twist . Five years ago, his 19 year old son was killed while riding the same machine. He fell through the ice on Lake Winnipesaukee and drowned. The snowmobile was recovered and repaired.

It seems hard to believe that the same machine would kill a father and his son. They both died doing something they really enjoyed. I'm sure it meant a lot to the father to ride the vehicle that had such a special place in his son's life.

I wonder if anyone will ever ride it again after two fatal mishaps.

5:16 pm est 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Little Bit Late

The Food and Drug Administration announced the voluntary recall of some bagged salad products marketed under several different brand names in the Northeast.

There might be some bacterial contamination in the products produced on January 4th. The FDA said the salad bags had an expiration date of January 15th.

I wonder why they are announcing this now. Who would eat bagged salad that is already 12 days past its expiration date? I think that would definitely make you sick.

I never buy the stuff. I think it's ridiculous to buy salad with a shelf life of eleven days. How fresh is it after one week?
 
5:06 pm est 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Time With the Shoes

I recently bought a pair of snow shoes and finally tried them out yesterday. I thought of buying them in previous years, but there was never that much snow on the ground.

The snow cover is the highest I've seen in many years. The cold weather has kept it from melting. There has been no rain.

I went to a local park and walked some trails for about one hour. I think it makes a huge difference when there is so much snow on the ground. All of the brush was covered. Trails were packed down by snow mobiles.

I enjoyed my hike and got a decent workout. I think it would have been a lot different if the snow cover was only a few inches. You need a lot of snow to set the tone. If I keep doing this, I will eventually be walking on trails that have bare spots.

It's probably much different when the temperatures are warm and the snow is slushy.

12:14 pm est 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Don't Email Him

I'm a big fan of Boston's mayor, Thomas Menino. He enjoys a great approval rating among his constituency. After being in office for 18 years, there are grumblings about his current state of health. He has been forced to work out of his home because of recent knee surgery.

He maintains his hands-on approach through conference calls and meetings at his home. He continues to resist any attempt to get him to use email. He also hates voice-mail.

I understand his point, but he really needs to embrace email in this age. I know none of his predecessors ever had access to the technology, but it's a different time now. 

He approaches his job with a great degree of passion. I think he would be doing himself a favor if he at least gave it a trial. Just don't send him any attachments to open.
10:38 am est 

Monday, January 24, 2011

More Dumb Poll Questions

WBZ radio runs a daily poll about various issues. I always find the results interesting. Some people must have a lot of time on their hands to dial the station's number and express their opinion on voice mail.

Today's question is a real winner: "What gets you more angry, sub-zero temperatures or a blizzard"?

I understand the dangers from cold temperatures and blizzard conditions, but in my opinion, it doesn't do any good to get angry over it. We can't control the weather. It's a waste of time and mental energy to express anger over something that is totally out of our hands.

This poll question is as stupid as a recent one which asked listeners whether Tom Brady looks good in long hair. Who really cares?
12:58 pm est 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Olympic-sized Waste

The 2012 Olympics in London are more than 18 months away and there is already a great deal of controversy around the stadium.

The 80,000 seat facility will be finished at a cost of $853 million. Nobody can decide on its use after the games. It will be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as track and field.

Some soccer teams have proposed demolishing it completely and building a soccer facility without the running track. Others want to downsize it to 60,000.
 
In London's original Olympic proposal, they advocated keeping the track as part of a showcase facility for the sport.

No matter what decision is made, it will be another example of how much money is spent by the host city for an event than has dubious economic impact.

New York City was one of the cities that "lost" out on the hosting of the 2012 games. Plans would have leveled 20 blocks on the west side of Manhattan. In retrospect, the city was a winner.
3:00 pm est 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Burning the Files

My DROID phone has been very useful, especially the voice recorder application which I use to tape my comedy sets. Until today, I have been frustrated in my efforts to download them to my desktop and burn them to a CD.

I was always able to download the files successfully, but they never had any sound. After about an hour of playing around, I identified the problem. It was a matter of switching my audio player.

So far, I have been able to burn three files to a CD. I have around 90 left. I have most of my sets after April of last year on my DROID. If anything happens to my phone, they are history. Now that I know what I'm doing, I can get it done.

On the other hand, I accidentally deleted my most recent set. There was no way of getting it back since I deleted it from my DROID.

Hopefully, I can keep the mistakes to a minimum.
 
5:14 pm est 

Friday, January 21, 2011

TIME To Call a Bluff

I have been unhappy with my TIME magazine subscription for the last few years. I've been reading it since 1966. It's changed dramatically over the years, especially with the growth of the Internet and 24/7 news coverage.

I decided to let my subscription run out. I wrote "canceled" on my latest statement. Today, I got one of those ridiculous letters telling me that I only have two issues left. They don't want to have my service interrupted.

I appreciate their thought, but not at their asking price. If they want me back, I need a much better subscription rate. I'm ready to walk. I tried this a few years ago with another magazine. After a few weeks, they made me a better offer.

I still like the magazine. However, it's overpriced and with fewer pages than in the past. The ball is in their court now.
12:50 am est 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Band Played On

Every year when I run the New York City Marathon, I see the band from Bishop Loughlin High School playing music at the 8 mile mark in Brooklyn. They have a huge amount of musicians. Many of the band alumnae join them that day to keep the music going. They perform a very stirring rendition of "Rocky" and "New York New York". They only play those two songs for hours on end.

As we run up Lafayette Ave, the crowd is deep on both sides of the street. I always look around at the stately brownstones that line the street. In recent years, the neighborhood has undergone gentrification, but the high-rise housing projects are still there.

As I read the New York Post this morning, a story jumped out at me. Last Friday night, a gunman opened fire as a fans left a Loughlin basketball game against one of their arch rivals. Five youths were shot, but none of them had life threatening injuries.

Since nobody died, this story has a happy ending. That might not be the case the next time, given the state of senseless urban violence.
 
Over the years, I've always wondered what happened to the band members as they got older. The school has been around for over 100 years. The band has a great tradition with the marathon. I look forward to seeing them when I run there in November.
2:06 pm est 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow Running

I went running during yesterday's snow storm. My street was plowed. I ran up and down the street for 30 minutes. There were no cars to deal with. It was not slippery. I never thought it was a bad decision.

Today is much different. We had an ice storm last night. I went out last night around 6pm to throw some trash in the dumpster. It was a challenge to get back inside because it was so slippery.

I'm going out shortly to do an errand. It does not look like a day for running outdoors. The view out the window is not good.
10:07 am est 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Plant Closing

I have four house plants. One is almost four years old and looking great. The others are younger and were doing fine until last week.

One of my ivy plants looks to be in bad shape and may not make it. I'm not sure what happened. All of the plants get house light, but no direct sun. That never seem to matter until now.

The leaves of the ivy plant are very limp. I don't want to toss it out, but it doesn't look good. Maybe I should have cut it back more often. I won't give up until it's over, but I should think about finding a replacement.
11:32 am est 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wasting Paper To Save Trees

I guess I'm suppose to feel special now that I have been selected by the Arbor Day Foundation to participate in the 2011 Massachusetts Tree Survey. The cover letter mentions that I will receive "four free gifts with a donation of $10 or more". How are they free if I need to donate?

The survey has 18 questions. Not only is my name and address on the survey, but I also get a special survey identification number. So much for anonymity. They even threw in some address labels.

One thing that surprised me is the amount of paper they sent to me in this solicitation. Trees were sacrificed just to send out this request to save trees. Something doesn't make sense here.

I will recycle all of their paperwork. If I reply to this survey , they will sell my name to every charity related to the environment. I get so much junk mail now as it is. I think I get stuff from almost every environmental cause known to mankind because I donate to a few.

10:45 am est 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Band of Bad Ideas

Scientist and researchers do some "interesting" things when it comes to nature. They think nothing of disturbing an eagle's nest to examine the eggs or to put a band around the ankle of the young chicks.

They may have gone overboard when it comes to a study of penguins. A group has been studying the birds for 10 years using a small band attached to their flipper. They found that the banded birds have a shorter life span and reproduce at a lower rate.

Some theorize the band causes a drag on the bird trying to swim. They say the banded birds look older and more haggard than unbanded ones.

The whole idea of banding them was to examine migration patterns related to global warming. As a result, the study data might be inaccurate. It also raises the ethical question of whether birds and wildlife should be banded.

It does look odd when you see a picture of a coyote or bear wearing a collar. I understand the purpose for doing this, but it reminds me of the expression during the war in Viet Nam: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it".
11:40 am est 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Seaching For a Space

One of the things in life that gives me satisfaction is getting a free parking space or a meter that can be fed with a reasonable amount of coins.

Last night, I went to Nashua to do comedy. With all of the snow, I knew parking was going to be tough. The usual spots with the meters were unavailable due to the narrowing of the road. There is also a small municipal lot which is always filled. I decided to check it out since there were not many options other than parking on the street further away.

As I drove through the lot, someone was getting ready to leave. I got the space and had a short walk to the show.

On the other hand, when I got home at mid-night, there were no spaces in the parking lot behind my apartment building. I ended up on the street. There was no other option. I'm not keen about parking on the street, especially with all of the snow still on the ground.

The car was in one piece this morning when I went outside. You never know when you are going to get a space or end up on the street.
 It's like a roll of the dice.
1:32 pm est 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's All About the Bread

I think veggie burgers get a bad rap for being low on taste. Every time I have one, they have been delicious. Even Burger King has a decent veggie burger.

I bought some yesterday at the market. I microwaved one and had it on whole wheat bread. It just didn't taste the same. Years ago, I had one on a bulkie roll during one of my trips to California. It tasted awesome.

I'm not sure what Burger King does to dress up their version, but the one I had last night was like eating cardboard.

Maybe in the end, a good sandwich is all about the bread. I'll keep working on this.
5:58 pm est 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Catching No Break

You always wonder why some things happen the way they do. We often cross the line with fate. Things happen that surprise us.

I was washing dishes today when I dropped a dinner plate on the floor. I did the same thing last month and shattered the plate into many pieces. This time there was a loud crash, but no damage to the plate. I don't know why it didn't break.

If I tried it again, the results might not be favorable. This plate is definitely on borrowed time. I'll try to be more careful, but you never know what might happen.
2:53 pm est 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not Made In China

I was shopping at Walmart the other day to purchase some products made in China. Walmart keeps their prices low because everything is made overseas these days. It seems like you can't find any American made products.

I bought a pair of Wrangler jeans. I was surprised to see they are not made in China. Instead they are made in Haiti. The label on the Wranglers points out that they are made with American fabric.

It's a start. If they were made here, they would have cost $39.99 instead of the $14.99 I paid. American companies like the cheap foreign labor. Pointing out the fabric is American-made is quite lame on their part.
2:49 pm est 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Lame Storm

Here we go again with another snow storm in the forecast for Wednesday. The one over the weekend was a joke. We were suppose to get up to six inches, but it was just a dusting. This one calls for 6-12 inches starting tomorrow night and going into Wednesday.

I just got a phone call from the woman who cuts my hair. We wanted to change my appointment from Wednesday to tomorrow. She asked me if I had been listening to the forecast. I didn't want to sound like a jerk, so I went along with her because she sounded quite concerned.

In the end, there will be another rush at the super markets from people who thnk they are going to get stranded for days without hope. This is so crazy.
10:18 am est 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shaving Time

I bought a package of eight razor blades yesterday. Each blade lasts about four months. In fact, my most recent one was from early August.

Back then, I wondered what would happen in my life over the next few months. The New York City Marathon was still in the future. I certainly had some big changes!

This package of blades should last about 32 months. This will take me into 2013. I wonder if I will still have one blade left when I turn 60 on November 25, 2013. It seems like a long way off. The key is to get to that point.
4:03 pm est 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Not On the List

The Whaling Museum in New Bedford has an action packed weekend scheduled. They are doing their 15th annual public reading of Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick".

I must admit that I have never read the book or seen the movie. In fact, I can't offer any intelligent comment about the book. Doe he get the whale in the end? What happens to the main character?

Maybe I should read the Cliff Notes or get the summary on Wikipedia. Otherwise, I have no clue what I'm talking about.
 
It's not on my reading list now or any time in the future.
1:30 pm est 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Toll Is Not Good

I have no problem paying a toll to travel on a bridge or through a tunnel. Most of these structures were built under a legislative authority with the accompanying bureaucratic structure to raise money through tolls.

I have a problem with paying a toll to travel any mile of the Interstate Highway System; also known as the National Defense Highway System as sponsored by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.

States have worked with the Federal Highway Administration to circumvent the process and initiate tolls. We do it in Massachusetts with the Turnpike Authority operating Rt 90.

You can't travel to Florida without paying tolls on  Route 95. I think this goes against the spirit of the creation of the interstate highway system.

I must admit that I am totally puzzled why the state of New Hampshire charges a toll on the Spaulding Turnpike which is only a "state highway".

It's only 50 cents, but it seems like another tax to me.
11:41 pm est 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Snow Watch

Whenever you hear the word "snow", everyone around here looks up. Tonight, the word is official on the 11PM weather forecast.

Late Friday afternoon, we will get snow "less than six inches" going into early Saturday.They seem to be certain on the snow depth. They also said it would be getting colder.

I guess we are on another snow watch. The market might get crowded tomorrow. Everyone needs their milk.
11:21 pm est 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No Watching For Me

I always hear a dumb ad for Tourneau watches on the radio. Their tag line is: "A watch can say a lot about you".

After stopping in their store today at the mall, I think it says that you want to waste a lot of money on a high end watch that only tells time.

I checked out the store for laughs. I didn't get far as a sales associate swarmed over me. They must have thought I wanted to make a statement by blowing a fortune on a piece of men's jewelry.

Maybe they should focus their marketing on professional athletes and celebrities that spend their money frivolously.
 
When Charlie Sheen had his hotel meltdown a few weeks ago in New York City, he reported a $50,000 watch missing. He didn't make a big deal of it. It was reported that his watch collection is worth over $5 million.
 

It looks like his watches say a lot about him. He is an overpaid celebrity who acts like a jerk and gets away with it.
6:23 pm est 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dollars For Einstein

The estate of Albert Einstein is involved in a legal suit over the use of his likeness in a series of "Heroes in History" facial masks.

When Einstein died in 1956, he left his personal papers and literary rights to Hebrew University. Lawyers for the school insist that Einstein's facial image is included as part of his  "intellectual property" over which they have control.

Einstein's image is used in a broad range of print ads and endorsements. Last year, his estate earned $10 million in royalties.

This pales in comparison to the second place finish of Elvis Presley ($60 million) and Michael Jackson ($275 million).

I'm sure Einstein would be shocked over the income of his estate. Too bad it wasn't like that when he was alive.
5:50 pm est 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Battle of Mildew

It's a battle you can't win, but rather one that you can only hope for a stalemate. Such is life with bathroom mold and mildew.

After six months, my shower curtain liner is being replaced. I buy cheap ones for $7 at Walmart. It takes about this amount of time before they show the infamous mildew stains and some mold spots.

Almost as bad, is the struggle against soap stains in the bathtub. I use TILEX in an effort to keep up with it. For a few days it looks good, but the soap stains come back.

I think I will leave this earth without my bathtub ever being completely clean in spite of my efforts.
10:15 am est 


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