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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. )

Start of the New York City Marathon

Nov 1, 2015 

At the finish line

NYCMarathon2015startjpg.jpg

NYCMarathonfinish2015jpg.jpg

Listen to this interview I did on Big Sauce Radio about my marathon running and comedy.

Watch me work on my "Bucket List" in my Youtube debut. I'm eating the first banana in my lifetime.

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

Helmets.JPG

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)

Read about the lives of fascinating people in my blog: "They Wrote Their First Line" (click here) UPDATED 05/23/16

  

                                                            Comedy Shows

 

               

 

Thurs, Mar 21     Soho Asian Restaurant

                            89 Lowell Rd.  Hudson, NH  7:30pm

Sun, Mar 31       Pinata's Mexican Restaurant

                         251 Main St.  Tewksbury, Mass  7:30pm 

  Random Thoughts About Things

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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Big Virus

It happened so fast when the time came. After 14 years of owning a computer, I got attacked by a major virus. There was no way to remove it in spite of my software scans. After a considerable amount of research, I was left with only one option. I used my restoration disc.

Things seems to be fine now. I also installed Kaspersky anti-virus software. I lost some files that I was unable to back-up. There was no other option. I hope I don't go through this again.
5:51 pm est 

Friday, February 25, 2011

How Not To Dress

I have been following the saga and drama of Lindsay Lohan as she deals with the legal system and her other personal problems.

She appears to be fighting addiction to various substances. Her parents and advisers are not helping her. In fact, they are enablers through their actions.

During her last two court appearances, she wore outfits that were rather revealing. They looked lovely on her, but were not appropriate for a courtroom setting.

Her outfits got her on the news and featured in tabloids. If the goal of her handlers is to make Lindsay draw attention, they are doing a good job.

I don't understand why someone doesn't counsel her on the appropriate clothing for court. I don't think she is doing herself any good by showing up dressed like she is going to an all-night party in Hollywood.

In my opinion, she shows a lack of respect for the judicial system. She has a right to wear whatever she wants, but I would advise her to think of her clothing decisions.
4:31 pm est 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Good-bye To Snow

Tomorrow should be quite a day with the forecast of 1-2 inches of rain. That will certainly get rid of the snow, but will cause flooding in basements and for those with leaky roofs.  On the other hand, it would yield 10-20 inches of snow if it got colder. That would make a bad situation even worse.

It will be good to see most of the snow gone when we wake up on Saturday. I think everyone has had enough of winter. Now that the days are warmer and the roads are in better shape, I don't think about using my snow shoes. The snow on the side of the road is so dirty now. Too bad we can't clean it.

During my years when I skied, I never went in warm weather. The same holds true for the snow shoes. We are less than four weeks until spring. Golf is around the corner.
1:41 pm est 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trumping Other Bids

Every time I run in Central Park in New York City, I go by the flying horse carousel. It is a big tourist attraction, although I have never been on it.

A recent story reported that Donald Trump is seeking to extend his lease on the ride. He currently pays the city $90,000 annually to operate it. In return, he charges the riders $2. It looks like a good deal for him as the carousel grosses 250,000 riders annually.

His 10 year proposal calls for annual fees growing from $250K- 350K. No doubt there will be an increase in price, but it still looks like a good deal for Trump.

He really knows how to turn a profit. He also has his sights on taking over the shuttered Tavern On the Green restaurant.
2:27 am est 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Assembled In America

I read a recent story that America still leads the world in manufacturing of goods. I find that hard to believe whenever I go to the local Walmart. It seems that they are the "China Outlet".

We often see companies that tout "Made in the U.S.A." on their product. I saw this the other day on a barrel in the laundry room where I live.

Behren Barrel Company has a large company logo on their galvanized steel barrel proudly proclaiming they are American made. I checked their website. They certainly have a lot of great products, including buckets, pails and trays. The barrel in the laundry room looks very well made.

There was once a time when we didn't need to advertise that a product was American made.  I often get skeptical because of the term "Assembled in America". I think it's a lame attempt to claim that it was manufactured here.

My golf clubs are a prime example. The head and shafts are made in China, but assembled here. Why didn't they just finish building them there and keep the cost down?
  
2:56 pm est 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Opening the Windows

One thing that is certain in life is that my apartment will never be 100% clean. I have decided to take an extreme step and clean this place as throughly as possible. I plan to wipe down everything with LYSOL.

I started by cleaning my bathtub and floor with TILEX. The instructions say to use it with ventilation. They are not kidding! It might be 20 degrees outside, but I have my windows open.

Overall, it did a good job. I'm glad the LYSOL will be a lot more user friendly to work with. I don't think I could have worked around this stuff for a living.
6:14 pm est 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Day The Toaster Died

They always say that most accidents happen at home. They can be a very freak occurrence. I certainly had one yesterday with my toaster.

I was trying to clean my counter top. I had just finished the dishes and still had a sink full of water. Somehow, I knocked my toaster into the sink. I quickly pulled it out as the water continued to drip from it.

Several hours later, I tested it to see if it stilled worked. One of the coils no longer glows. There was also a strange smell coming from it. I took a pair of scissors and cut the cord to ensure that I would never use it again.

Toasters are one of those items that seem to last forever. I have lived here for 35 years and only had three. I wonder how long this next one will last.
12:30 pm est 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

So Close Together

On this day in 1945, the invasion of Iwo Jima started. Before the day was ended, 30,000 Marines would land on the beach. Their goal was to claim the island being defended by 18,000 Japanese soldiers.

When the seige ended on March 26th, only 216 of the enemy force would be taken prisoner. America paid a huge toll with 6,822 killed and 19,217 wounded.

My father's naval ship was involved in combat support. They fired their guns at the island. Meanwhile, my father's brother was aboard another naval vessel getting ready to storm the beach. He would later be wounded in the first waive.

Ironically, both brothers were almost 10,000 miles away from home, but they didn't realize that their ships were just miles apart in the Pacific Ocean.
12:18 pm est 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Crossing the Equator

On this day in 1943, my father was serving in the US Navy during World War II. His ship, the USS Massachusetts, had crossed through the Panama canal and was headed towards the eventual epic naval battles in the Pacific Theatre.

That day was special for many sailors as it would be the first time they would cross the Equator. This is an event that is deep in tradition. It's a bit like a hell night at a college fraternity. Rank didn't matter as crew members went from being "Polliwogs" to "Shellbacks".

This would have been a fun day aboard the ship. It was three days before my father's 22nd birthday. I wonder what thoughts went through his head. I wonder if he knew what awaited him over the next 30 months as his ship would be involved in some of the worst naval battles of the war.
1:04 pm est 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feeling Like George

I thought it would be a good idea to wash the three blankets on my bed. I did them back in November, but I figured that they must get dusty. Everything else in my residence picks up dust.

There is a laundry room in the basement where I live. It has two washers and dryers that cost $1.25 to use. I put my blankets in and added my five quarters into their appropriate slots.

I pushed the bar and the coins fell into the container. After I hit "start", nothing happened. I checked the plug and the other connections.

I moved everything to the other dryer which worked. My blankets are clean and dry, but I still hate it when a vending machine or anything else rips you off.

There is no recourse. I could check with my landlord, but I would feel like a dope asking for my $1.25 back.

I can see why George Costanza went nutty in the Seinfeld episode when they were at the car dealership and he didn't get his Twixt candy bar.
4:02 pm est 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No Interest In Billing Fees

Finance charges can doom a person to being in debt forever. That's why I'm so glad my car insurance does not have a finance charge.

I looked at my statement and saw no financial charge. I did notice a fee of $9.10 for the billing cycle. It looks and smells like a finance charge, but in reality it's a "billing fee".

The statement show a 1.25% monthly percentage rate on the unpaid balance. It also mentions an annual fee of 15%.

This "billing fee" is starting to sound like a finance charge to me. They wouldn't be that disingenuous, would they?

No wonder my local agent sends me a calendar at the end of the year. What a company!
12:19 am est 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Primer For Losing Jobs

President Obama has called upon businesses to do more in creating jobs. He makes it sound so simple with his fiery rhetoric.

After reading a story, it's easy to see why companies fold up shop and move overseas where costs are much cheaper.

One business in Massachusetts wanted to add a clerical position at a salary of $40,000. Hidden costs include $12,500 for the employer's share of family health coverage, $3,060 for Social Security/Medicare, $897 for Unemployment insurance and $560 for Workers' Compensation insurance.

After looking at these numbers, it's very easy to see why so many jobs are going overseas. Unlike the government sector, private businesses need to make a profit in order to stay in business. They cannot run on deficit spending.
9:30 am est 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just Say No to Surveys

I received two phone calls today so far. Both were solicitations to participate in public opinion surveys.

I have no desire to participate today or any other time. Once I give my opinion over the phone, I am no longer anonymous. That holds the same for the paper surveys I get from Political Action Committees and environmental groups.

I get a kick out of the paper surveys when they attempt to identify you by a code to ensure privacy.

I don't think so. I'll let someone else give their opinion.
7:37 pm est 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Boots On the Team

LL Bean makes great products and stands behind them with a return guarantee, no matter how long you own them.

I bought a pair of Gortex hiking boots two years ago. After one year, the Vibram outer-soles were showing significant wear. At the end of last winter, I thought about getting them resoled.

Today, I went to the Burlington store and bought another pair. Unfortunately, they no longer make my model. That happens a lot with them.

This is a tremendous shoe that performed so well at football games in cold weather and my recent venture into snow shoeing

I need two pairs of boots as they always get wet when I go out into the snow. I wonder if these soles will wear any better. I could be thinking about their poor wear a year from now.

We shall see. I hope these new ones work out as I like them right from the start.
9:04 pm est 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Little Bit Too Close

There has been a two foot snow cover on the ground for over two weeks. I don't have any major issues with that. In fact, it inspired me to try out my snowshoes.

I do have a problem with the narrow streets and high snow banks that obscure the view of traffic when entering an intersection.

Everyone has probably experienced a close call when trying to make a turn. Today was a bit too close for my comfort. I don't know how I dodged this one.

I hope my luck doesn't run out soon. I pay attention and stay alert, but driving is very challenging for everyone these days.
4:36 pm est 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ready For Display

I always wonder what happens to items recovered by insurance companies during settlements. The company owns the damaged goods, but what do they do with them?
 
Such is the case with the remains of Flight1549, the US Airways aircraft that Captain Chesley Sullenberger ditched into the Huson River on January 15, 2009.

The Charlotte based Carolinas Aviation Museum has expressed interest in displaying the remains of the Airbus A320. 

Ironically, the doomed flight was bound for Charlotte before it crashed into the river.
 

Once the plane is displayed, I'm sure the t-shirts, key chains, plastic models and whatever else can be sold, will follow.
12:12 pm est 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Little Train That Can't

Whenever the federal government talks about spending money on a program over a long period, it's going to end up costing far more. During the State of the Union Address, President Obama spoke of his desire to increase high-speed rail service.

He is now proposing spending $53 billion over the next six years on various rail projects. Vice-president Joe Biden is a big advocate of the Northeast Corridor. He claims to have taken almost 8,000 round trips from Delaware to Washington D.C. during his political career.

Biden would like to get 17,000 miles of track upgraded so that trains could travel 220 m.p.h. The U.S. High Speed Rail Association said the plan would cost $600 billion over the next 20 years. If that is today's cost, one can only imagine the price tag in 20 years.

It looks like any work will be done in piece-meal. Anyone who has taken AMTRAK from Boston to New York can testify that rail travel in this part of the country leaves a lot to be desired. At times you feel you are taking the "local" with all of the stops along the way.

The speed of the train is painful at times as it chugs its way to the Big Apple. It's a comfortable ride, but so slow.

1:06 am est 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Exploring the Neighborhood
The roads have been made narrow by the huge piles of snow that continue to linger. I attempted to run to the post office yesterday. That was a bad decision as I was confined to slush covered sidewalks. It was also dangerous to be on the road.

I had a better idea today. I confined my running to the streets in my neighborhood. They get little traffic and the surface was scraped down to the pavement.

Whenever I saw a car coming, I had plenty of time to move to the side. I was able to run for 30 minutes. This should work out fine until things get back to normal.
 
Although I have lived in my place for almost 35 years, I ran down a street I had only driven on once before. We certainly get use to living our life in a pattern. It's tough to deviate.
3:12 pm est 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Booking It Now

I don't like to make plans too far ahead. I have always felt like that. You never know what might happen in the future, but sometimes you have no choice.

I booked a room in New York City for the marathon in November. That's another nine months away. I got a "reasonable" deal on-line, but they charge your credit card right away. I would rather pay for this in November, but that's not an option.

A lot can happen between now and then. At least I won't have a hotel bill to pay after the race. I just need to get to the starting line, run the race and return home.

12:12 pm est 

Monday, February 7, 2011

The 10 Week Countdown

People continue to complain about the endless amount of snow on the streets. They should realize that spring is right around the corner in less than six weeks.

That means the Boston Marathon is on deck. Ten weeks from today is the race. At this point in ten weeks, I should be finished with the race and relaxing.

I have always considered this period to be the most critical training time for the race. Considering recent developments, this time is very critical.

In all likelihood, I will go in this race poorly prepared. That has never stopped me in the past. Whatever I do between now and then, will be on the positive side.
7:22 pm est 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Losing the Space Race
NASA is struggling to get its final two launches of the space shuttles off the ground. The fleet will be retired by the end of the year. We will be depending on the Russians to ferry our astronauts back and forth to the International Space Station.The replacement vehicle for the shuttle is years away.

Meanwhile, China has ambitious space projects which will yield them big results. They launched their first astronaut in 2003 and plan to send an unmanned rover to the moon in 2012 or 2013 with the eventual goal in 2020 of a manned mission there.

They are also developing their own global navigation system that will rival America's GPS. The Chinese don't want to rely on American technology and are prepared to do their own thing.

The U.S. just sits back and watches as China surpasses America in this technology.The dismantling of our space program will come back to haunt us some day.
4:06 pm est 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What Would Poe Say?

Cities all across America are looking at drastic budget cuts. Some reductions don't make any sense in the big picture.

The city of Baltimore has always boasted of its connection to the legendary Edgar Allen Poe. Since 1979, the city has run the Poe House and Museum at a yearly cost of $80,000. The city has announced that the place will close in 2012 if it doesn't become self sufficient.

The budget pays for one employee, utilities and any other supplies. This whole idea seems rather short-sighted. The city markets itself with its connection to Poe. Even their NFL team is known as the "Ravens".

Poe lived there with relatives from 1832-1835. This was before he became a successful writer. He moved out of the city, but later died there and was buried.

The city needs to find a creative way to fund the museum or set up a partnership with some corporation or other organization. Once you start closing down tourist spots, the city no longer becomes a destination for anyone.
5:15 pm est 

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Altruistic Bank

Banks like to run ads that portray them to be some type of altruistic organization. They make absurd claims at time. Banking giant HSBC is no exception to the rule.

They have an ad that claims there is $1.6 billion hidden down the backs of sofa in America. How did they come up with this amount? If there are 100,000,000 households in the US, that would come down to $16 in each sofa. There are not that many households, so the $16 is really higher.

This claim makes no sense. I have found a couple of quarters on the floor or under my car seat, but that's a far cry from $16.

The ad claims that our sofas are holding enough money to change our lives. The bank says they have been helping customers for over 145 to uncover opportunities in the most unexpected places.

Everyone has spare change in their house, but not enough to alter one's life one way or the other.
7:49 pm est 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hold the Furniture and Shopping Carts

I support moves that protect the environment, especially those involving clean air and water. There is a very controversial item right now because of all of the recent snowfall. Communities are being overwhelmed at their snow dumps. There is no place left to put it.

The city of Boston wants to get a waiver from the E.P.A. that would allow them to dump snow into Boston harbor. This action has created an outrage from environmental groups. They fear contaminants will be mixed in with the snow.

It should be pointed out that during extreme rain storms, partially treated waste water gets released in Boston harbor. It happened once last year. I think this stuff is worse than dirty snow being dumped.

I don't think the snow will have a great impact. One "expert" insisted that the snow be "clean". I guess that means no cans, bottles, shopping carts or abandoned cars.
 
I think they also meant to include all of the furniture left behind on the streets of South Boston used to claim shoveled out parking spaces.
9:51 am est 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Need George Jetson

Yesterday, I got one of those robo-calls from the mayor of Haverhill requesting public assistance with this recent amount of snow.

He decided to change the even-odd system of on-street parking back to odd. If that wasn't bad enough, he requested that cars be removed from the streets to assist in snow removal.

I think it's a great idea, but most people who park on the street have no other place to put their car. The parking lot where I live has already lost several spaces due to snow piles. I had to leave my car on the street one night last week because the lot was full.

Where are these cars suppose to go? We can't be like George Jetson. He use to ride to work in his capsule and then press a button which would collapse the vehicle into a small brief case.
 
It's not that easy.
11:58 am est 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

His Last Hour

My father died on this day in 1968 of a sudden heart attack at the age of 46. He was a very healthy person. He had no symptoms, although he had a stressful job as a firefighter. I saw him two hours earlier that day before I left the house to catch the bus for high school.

He died at 9am at another firefighter's house after stopping there for morning coffee. He walked through the door, grabbed his chest and was dead on the spot.

I often wonder what he thought of in that final hour of his life. How was he feeling? Did he have any symptoms at that moment? As he exited his car and walked to the front door, did he feel or sense anything? He left our house and never came back.

I often think of that when I leave my home. I always want to make it back, but that is not promised to any of us.

6:06 pm est 


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