Thursday, March 31, 2011
All Hype, No Snow
12:50 am edt
It's the first hour of the final day
of March. I'm going to bed after writing this. There is a lot of hype about the weather for this day with a spring snow storm
in the forecast.
Naturally, the meteorologists all have a different view of where the accumulation will be and
what time it will start. I watched the weather at 11pm, but didn't get any clearer indication on what type of day it will
A lot can happen in 24 hours. There is one thing I'm quite certain of. I don't think the snow will amount
to anything. It can snow in April, but I think this is the last big snow hype until the end of the year.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
More Oil Please
11:11 am edt
President Obama carried on a tradition
today calling for America to reduce foreign oil imports by 30% and seek more domestic sources. He also called for increased
use of alternative energy.
Presidents have been saying this for years. It all started with Gerald Ford back in
1973 during the Arab Oil Embargo. This brought great public awareness to the problem, but we have gone back to our ways of
As long as there is foreign oil available, we will pursue it to the end of the earth. America kids
itself when we say that our foreign policy is not based on oil. Although we only import a small part of our oil from Libya,
our friends and allies depend on that source. Any disruption to their economy has a direct impact on our wallets.
The economies of nations directly impact one another in these days of the Global Village. Amerca's addiction to foreign
oil is too hard to break.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Dark On Sundays
12:45 am edt
The Boston Public Library announced
that the main branch in Copley Square will no longer be open on Sundays. This is in response to budget cuts. It was costing
$243,000 annually in overtime pay to cover Sunday operations.
The board of trustees indicated that the move was
made to avoid closing branch locations in the neighborhoods. I'm glad to see no additional closings, but the city is missing
out by shuttering one of its tourists attractions.
The library certainly had its share of visitors on Sundays,
but the move had to be made in order to avoid other closings.
I just hate to see culture become a victims of the
economy. Libraries are too important to close. They need to be accessible to everyone. They have so much to offer.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Too Many Fights
6:13 pm edt
Head injuries and
concussions are a terrible by-product of contact sports. We are hearing more about their devastating effects later on in life.
Former Boston Bruin Marty Mc Sorley provided some insight in a recent
interview. The 47 year old McSorley last played in the NHL with the Boston Bruins in 2000. He retired after 17 season when
he was suspended for hitting another player with a hockey stick which caused a Grade 3 concussion.
McSorley talked about his own problems. He said he often enters a room
with out knowing why he is there. He has memory problems and trouble seeing his face when he shaves.
He admitted his current condition might by caused by the cumulative
effects of being involved in 273 hockey fights during his career.
His long career could be attributed to his rough style of play and having
the reputation as a fighter. In the end, it might lead to early dementia and Alzheimer's disease. His condition will never
He made a good living, but was it worth it in the
Sunday, March 27, 2011
A Small Cluster
6:25 pm edt
It's been a challenge to find good and
fresh produce at the market the last few weeks. It seems to go on cycle. The zucchini and summer squash have not always looked
appetizing. The green peers have been ok as well as the asparagus, Lettuce has been hit and miss.I only buy frozen broccoli.
The tomato is another story. I like to buy the red stem-cluster, but not in a saran wrap packaging. I like to
look at the produce before I buy it.
Today, it was not an option. I picked up a package of four for $2.18. They
look ok. The last time I did this, I had to toss one out because I didn't like the way part of it looked.
know what we get in a restaurant, but if I'm doing the cooking, I want to see what I'm eating
Saturday, March 26, 2011
No Expiration Date
3:53 pm edt
Wars end between nations, but the effects
can last forever. Many countries around the world are filled with unexploded bombs and land mines.
The other day
in Poland, two children were killed by an unexploded bomb from World War II. How long was it there? What were the circumstances
that brought the bomb to its location?
This problem is especially bad in Third World nations that have been rocked
by civil wars over the years. It's often hard to believe how many wars are ongoing in the world at any given time.
We hear about Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya because we are involved, but there are so many wars that barely register because
they are in Africa or other parts of Asia.
There is no timeframe to the end of the danger from weapons left behind.
It took more than 66 years for the tragedy in Poland to happen.
This will occur again some place else. It probably
happened in Africa today, but we won't hear about it.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Not Watching It
4:42 pm edt
I have never watched mini-series on
television. I just can't commit that much time to a program. The controversial one of the Kennedy family airs this week after
being pulled from the History Channel.
There was controversy a few months ago about its historical accuracy. That
is the biggest problem I have with shows like this. How do you verify all of the facts?
I find it troubling that
the Kennedy series has a conversation between John and his brother Joe about the events involving the future president's sinking
of his PT-109 boat during World War II.
Dialogue has been created between the two brothers. Did it happen like
that word for word? Both of these men are dead. Who can verify their conversations? Was someone there with a tape recorder?
There are also several other scenes where the writers took liberty in recreating the actual events. I refuse to watch
shows like these who try to say they are a documentary.
In my opinion, if one fact is not true,
then the entire show is useless. Either say it factual or don't broadcast it.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Too Soon To Vote
9:21 am edt
One of the problems
with two year terms for public office is that it seems like candidates are always running for office. Congress has only been
in office for three months and already a local candidate is exploring his options about another run.
Decisions need to be made and money must be raised. I guess there is
never enough time, but I think it's hard to generate any excitement at this point.
It's only a matter of time before the presidential election picks up
steam. We will be inundated with crazy ads from both sides. The whole process seems to be out of control at times.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
7:09 pm edt
My three house plants are doing well.
I lost an ivy one a few months ago. I let it grow too long. It went dry and colorless almost over night.
I make it a point now to not let the leaves get old. As I look at the three plants now, they all have a lot of young leaves
and new growth.
The new leaves keep the plants alive. One will be four years old in May. I never had a plant last
I really believe that the key to keeping a plant alive is to keep cutting back the old stuff.
Monday, March 21, 2011
No New Names
12:46 pm edt
Naming public structures after someone
can always cause controversy. Years later, people have no clue what the namesake did in their life to warrant such an honor.
I have an issue when a public structure gets a name change long after it was built. The Triborough Bridge in New York
City was recently named the Robert F Kennedy Triborough Bridge. I don't see why it was changed after being built in the 1930's
and going by that moniker throughout its history.
There is a proposal to name the Queensboro Bridge after
former mayor Ed Koch. A recent poll indicated that residents are 64% against it, with only 24% voicing a positive response. The
structure is also known as the 59th Street Bridge.
I see no purpose in spending the money to update signs and publications
with a name change. If this was a recently built structure, I would have no issue with it.
Several years ago, four
new schools were built in my community. The naming process generated so much controversy that the schools ended up with
generic ones rather than offend anyone. I don't believe this is the best way to proceed, but many new residents in the
community had never heard of some of the people.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Need More Room
9:11 am edt
You can always count
on public works projects to come in way over cost and have problems after completion. No matter what the price tag is when
started, it will always be higher before its completion.
The convention center in Boston opened six years ago. The
huge facility was built with state assistance. This was critical in covering operating losses during the early years. The
center has enjoyed some degree of success, but planners are finally realizing that many conventions skip Boston because of
the lack of hotel rooms within walking distance from the center.
Boston cannot compete
with other cities in terms of rooms available. Now, analysts are calling for a hotel to be built on the site, but with some
type of state and local subsidy.
I agree that the site needs a hotel or perhaps two.
The South Boston waterfront is an awesome location and offers so much opportunity and potential.
I don't think that
public agencies should be the ones to finance and build it. The price always gets out of control. It will be another financial
Saturday, March 19, 2011
4:22 pm edt
New York City is my favorite place to
visit. I try to get there at least twice annually. I plan to run the marathon there in November.
I have over
20 books about the city. I love to study the history, culture and architecture. I recently got a book from the local library
that deals with a "street-wise" history of the city.
New York has a very rich history going back to its
early days as a Dutch settlement. It's difficult to appreciate the history because things constantly change there.
New York is constantly evolving. Buildings go up and others come down. In my years of going there, I'm amazed at the many
changes I have witnessed.
I look forward to going there again. I wish it was closer for a day trip. Unfortunately,
the city costs a fortune to visit. It's worth every penny, but it's never a bargain.
Friday, March 18, 2011
12:19 am edt
It's always hard to compare people
and situations from different time periods. People have a tendency to like the things they are familiar with. It's hard to
rate something if you were never there or never saw it.
I know Ted Williams was a great baseball player, but I
never saw him play or some of the other greats from the 1950's.
A recent poll was conducted among New Yorkers to determine their favorite athlete.
Derek Jeter topped it at 14%. He surpassed the likes of Babe Ruth 11%, Joe DiMaggio 4%, Mickey Mantle 4% and Joe Namath 4%.
All of these men were great athletes in their time. None of them have played for almost 40 years.
People are familiar
with Derek Jeter. I think that's why they chose him. There are not that many people around who remember seeing Ruth and DiMaggio
These polls are like trying to determine the greatest movie of all time or the greatest president.
Most people who respond will look at their own time period. I was born when Dwight Eisenhower first became president.
As great as he might have been, I have no recollection of those days.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
No Madness For Me
1:50 pm edt
Not only is today, St Patrick's Day,
but it's also the start of March Madness. Games are being played this afternoon. All around the country, there are people
watching and listening to see how their brackets get effected.
I must admit that I have never filled out a basketball
bracket. I have no plans to do so in the future. This whole March Madness thing has passed me by. I'm just not into it.
I don't follow college basketball very closely, except for UMass. All of this hype is a creation of the media. In
the end, it's a huge cash cow and all about the money.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Around the World For Help
6:14 pm edt
When I got home last night, I was unable
to connect to the Internet. The problem appeared to be isolated with my modem.
I made the dreaded call to the call
site today, located in a foreign country. After going through an endless amount of prompts and menus, I finally spoke to a
person with a heavy foreign accent.
I must say that this person did an outstanding job in helping me. There was
one moment when I had a hard time understanding her instructions, but I prevailed.
After about 45 minutes, my problem
was resolved with my modem which needed to be reconfigured. In spite of the amount of time it took to resolve the problem,
she did an outstanding job. If I have a problem in the future, I hope I get someone as good as her.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
4:23 pm edt
The price of gas and heating oil has
increased dramatically in the last couple of weeks. Nobody seems to know where the limit is. People are upset at oil companies
because they will show enormous quarterly profits when the numbers are released.
I was shocked when I went to the
market yesterday and tried to buy fresh haddock. The price usually varies from $4.99-$6.99 per pound. That is to be expected
during the winter. However, I thought the price of $11.99 was unreasonable. The previously frozen stuff was $4.99. No reason
was given for the steep hike in price.
I decided to buy some fresh pollack which was $3.99 per pound. It's a fish
that don't hear much about. You never see it on the menu in restaurants. I wonder why. It was very tasty.
Monday, March 14, 2011
3:29 pm edt
Spring is one week away. The recent
rain has washed away most of the snow. Unfortunately, a horrible mess has been left behind. Every street is covered with sand
While I was running today, it was hard not to notice all of the litter. There were cans, bottles, paper
and even some clothing.
The city does not have the resources to clean all of the streets. Once the warm weather
arrives, it will look worse than it does now.
Maybe we need one last snowfall to cover it all up and make it disappear,
if only temporarily.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Change Might Be Coming
5:52 pm edt
The two year anniversary for this website
will be next Sunday. I often think about changing the look. I have added some new pictures, but ultimately they get old after
time. It's important to keep the content of any site updated.
I write to this blog daily about a variety of different
things. I get thoughts and then write them down here. It's a good way to keep my writing skills sharp.
was designed from software which I purchased from the Internet domain registrar. It has limitations in layout and appearance
due to its templated format. I might try something new.
I have the ability to make a copy of this site for playing
around with design changes. After all of the problems I encountered getting this site running, I'm a little leery of changes.
I'll try and loosen up as this site starts its third year.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
5:45 pm est
We turn the clocks ahead tonight. It's
that time of the year again. I could add a few more cliches to this, but I won't.
Public safety officials always
remind the public that they should take this opportunity to change the battery in their smoke detector. It makes perfect sense
to do this. I need to go out and buy a battery.
It's interesting to note that the Daylight Saving Time periods
differ in length. As a result, this battery only has four months and two weeks of wear. When we do this again in November,
the new battery will be seven months and three weeks old.
I hope the battery isn't running on empty by then.
Friday, March 11, 2011
12:08 pm est
I'm not a fan of the Iditarod Sled Dog
Race taking place this week in Alaska. The annual tradition has 63 mushers and over 1,000 dogs racing from Anchorage to Nome.
The race covers 1,000 miles with teams often forced to cover 100 miles daily on a frozen course in sub-zero temperatures.
I realize these dogs are bred for this type of activity, but we never hear the horror stories of the injured dogs
who are forced to be put down.
I wouldn't mind if every dog made it through the race and got a nice treat at the
end, but the reality is a torture test for all of the dogs involved.
Injuries are a part of any athletic endeavor,
but it should not result in death. Even for a dog.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Messing With Tradition
12:32 am est
Sometimes changes need to
be made. In the case of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the changes will have a huge impact.
Due to scheduled road construction in Times Square,
the parade route will be changed from 7th Avenue to 6th Avenue in 2012 and 2013.
The new route is only a block away, but will have
a huge impact for the viewers. Along the current route, there are over 7,000 hotel rooms, many with a view of the street.
By moving the parade over to 6th Ave, the route will pass through a canyon of office buildings with less than half of the
now, there appears to be a huge disconnect between Macy's and the Times Square Alliance which represents the businesses along
is a chance the switch might become permanent. In light of the slow pace of public works projects, the parade might end up
going down 6th Ave in 2014.
Hopefully, the construction work in Times Square will move quicker than the work being done on the new Second Avenue subway
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
What a Twit
2:11 pm est
Every celebrity seems to post
things on Twitter whether or not they make sense. Charlie Sheen set a record for gaining 1 million followers the fastest.
Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has jumped on the bandwagon. He started about a year ago and now has 100,000 followers.
He usually rants about America or makes some bizarre prediction. He calls his postings "reflections" and has done
Given the fact that he is 84, I wonder if he is the one who presses the keys. Does he prefer
the sliding keyboard or the touch screen? Maybe he is old school and does it from his desktop or laptop .
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
8:10 pm est
I happened to watch a few minutes of
a cooking demonstration on a tv show earlier today. It was a Mardi Gras theme. The chef fried some Jumbo Cajun Shrimp.
He used cooking oil, getting it real hot before taking a stick of butter and tossing it into the pan. It melted as
fast as he stirred. It was done before you knew it. Naturally, the tv people raved about it.
I hope the Food Police
didn't hear about this. What a huge amount of fat, especially the "bad" type. We don't want that around here.
Stuff like this is never good for you. It tastes awesome and makes us feel nice, but it's not exactly "healthy".
It's such a challenge to eat healthy every day. It's something that can only be one day at a time. One meal at a time.
Monday, March 7, 2011
What Really Happened?
5:03 pm est
I was at a doctor's office
today having some elective heart tests including an echo-cardiogram and a nuclear stress test. I see the doctor twice a year
and recently discussed having these tests.
Every time I go there, I'm amazed at the age and physical condition of the patients in the waiting
room. It's kind of a sad commentary on the aging process. It doesn't always look pretty as we get older.
As I was finishing, I heard some commotion, but
didn't think much of it. As I went to the elevator, I saw one of the nurses waiting. All of a sudden, the doors opened and
the EMT's came through.
Apparently, one of the patients had an issue. I have no idea what it was, but some of those people didn't look good.
I hope things work out for whoever it was.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
7:48 pm est
I went to the library yesterday to pick up a book I found from their on-line catalogue. I
already have two different books that I'm reading now. One needs to be renewed.
Before I left, I picked up two others. I now have five checked out on my card. In the end,
I'll probably need to renew one of them.
have so many books at home that I want to read. I only read history, biographies, current events and general interest. I have
no desire to read novels or any form of fiction.
I know that I will never read everything that I want to. I have several that are on my priority
list. I should stop adding to the pile and read what I have.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Stopping For the Coin
11:34 am est
You see those trays in convenience
stores that say "Leave a Penny, Take a Penny". Some people don't want to be bothered with change in their pocket.
I have no problem using their pennies to round out my payment.
Everyone has pennies and change at home. Sometimes, it's a matter of bringing it down to
the bank to be counted. It's money in your pocket in the end.
I was buying my newspapers the other day and needed a quarter or another dollar bill to complete
the transaction. Someone had left a quarter and dime in the penny tray. I took the quarter and gave it to the clerk to pay
is so hard to earn at times. I don't know why people don't want to keep their change. I recently saw a kid take his pennies
from a clerk and throw them into the parking lot. They must either be rich or have no concept of trying to earn a living.
As a rule, I
will stop to pick up pennies. Nobody is ever too wealthy to walk by change on the street.
Friday, March 4, 2011
All Wired Up
6:21 pm est
I'm having a few elective cardiac
tests over the next few days. I got fitted for a Holter monitor at 3pm today. I need to wear it for 24 hours. It measures
electrical activity in the heart. It's a diagnostic tool for heart arrhythmia.
I have eight electrodes attached
to my chest as well as a monitor I'm wearing on my hip. I need to record various physical activities in a diary. I won't run
with it as the sweat could cause the electrodes to become loose.
Tomorrow, I plan to take a long walk. The connections
should be ok. My biggest concern is not disturbing anything while I sleep. I'm contemplating sleeping in my recliner tonight.
After going all of this, I don't want to compromise the test in any way.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
11:46 am est
A story in the Boston Globe
indicated that food is being served in public school cafeterias a long time after the expiration date. I find this to
never know what happens in kitchens of restaurants or other public venues. We need to trust in food handling and preparation.
I went to breakfast this morning and the silverware
was set on the table. It should have been resting on a napkin, not the Petri Dish that the table is.
I have an obsession with expiration dates and the
look of food. I routinely pour milk down the drain a few days before it expires because it no longer passes the "sniff"
buy fresh produce or fruit if I don't like how it looks. I won't purchase "manager's special" in the meat department
because that stuff has been around so long.
Critics claim that the expiration dates are guidelines for freshness and taste. Leave it to the USDA
to say that they are only "guidelines" and food can be kept longer on the shelves and frozen almost indefinitely.
I dispute all
of this. I won't freeze meat longer than a month. We often have no control on what goes on behind the scene, but I just find
the age of the food in question to be totally unacceptable.
Expiration dates are put there for a reason. Some claim it's just another way of the government
gaining control of our lives. I think the dates are important for public safety.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
3:47 pm est
After 13 years, my health
insurance company has decided to send me a new membership card. It arrived with out any explanation.
It contains a few phone numbers for various benefits.
It looks nice compared to the old one which looked its age. I don't know why they didn't give a reason for replacing it. Will
I need to wait another 13 years?
In eight years, I'll go on Medicare. I guess I'll get a new one then.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Last Book
4:04 pm est
Many things are becoming a
footnote of the past. Some are due to changes in technology. Such is the case with the All American telephone book.
Today, I saw a guy delivering them to homes in my
neighborhood. I expect to have one today or tomorrow. I only use it on rare occasions. Business numbers can be found
I guess we
will have them as long as people have land lines. I intend to keep my land line until they take it away. It becomes rather
expensive, but remains a good back-up if something happens to the cell phone provider.
Pretty soon, phone books and house phones wil go
the same route as other forms of outdated technology and items.