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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

NYC2018.jpg

JELComedy112618.jpg

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)

 

  

                                                            Comedy Shows

 

 

 

Thurs, Sept 26    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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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Morning Sounds

Spring really brings out the chirping birds in the morning. They are like an alarm clock. I don't know my species of birds well, but there is one who sounds like the beeping sound of a truck backing up.

It's amazing when you see how small these birds are and how much noise they can make. They can really turn up the volume in proportion to their size. If they were people, there sound would be deafening.
10:23 am edt 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Teeing It Up

The marathon came and went. It's in the rear-view mirror as we wrap up April. Spring is definitely here. The flowers and trees continue to change on a daily basis.

I'm going golfing for the first time this season. It's a beautiful day out there. In all likelihood, I will overdress. I think it's too soon for shorts. I also think I need something more than a polo shirt.

In the end, I will probably realize I have too much on. It's 73 degrees. I still plan to pack a warm-up jacket. It might get colder as the day goes on.
1:00 pm edt 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Heat Is Off

There are signs of spring all around us. Flowers are sprouting through the ground. The buds of leaves are appearing on trees. I'm starting to realize that I can dress lighter when I run.

I shut the heat off in my apartment today. I turned the gas pilot off on the heater. Right now, the indoor temperature is showing 82. That seems a bit high.

The pilot threw off some heat. Maybe this place will cool off a bit. I hope I don't turn the heat on again until autumn. Sometimes we get those cold, raw rainy days in May and June when a little heat is needed. We shall see.
3:44 pm edt 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Too Many Checked Out

I know that I will never read all of the books I want to read in my lifetime. My local library has an excellent selection. I just realized that I need to renew three books I never opened since I checked them out three weeks ago.

I currently have eight items on loan. I need to return two that I have finished. I hope I can go there without taking out any more books. 

I am building up a backlog of stuff that I will never get to. I wish I could read faster. That would help solve part of the problem.
10:16 am edt 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Overbuying

I think you can definitely purchase too much of one item in the interest of saving money. We always hear of the "buy get one free" specials that are out there.

I recently needed to buy one AA battery for a wall clock. Nobody sells just one battery. I bought a package of 10 on sale and got another one free. After replacing the battery of my clock, I was left with 19.

That will last me to a point where these batteries might lose their shelf life. This will be a good test. I'm all set for AA's for a long time. It's the AAA's that I have none of.
9:51 pm edt 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

One Food - Two Contests

We always hear about "inclusion". Nobody can ever be left out. Every special interest group needs to be accommodated in the sense of fairness. We see it everywhere.

It just happened to the hot dog eating contest at Coney Island on the 4th of July. There will now be a separate division for women. I think this is a good idea. Until now, women competed against men.

This seems unfair right up front. Ironically, one of the female competitors at Coney Island holds numerous world records for other foods done in contests against men. She only weighs 105 pounds.
5:04 pm edt 

Friday, April 22, 2011

If He Builds It

Donald Trump has been making a broad range of statements on various topics as he toys with running against President Obama. He recently called out the White House for not having a formal ballroom to hold state dinners and receptions.

He criticized the standard practice of setting up a tent on the White House lawn. He said the country deserved a dginified venue to conduct these affairs.

He claims he could build a facility for $100 million. That seems rather expensive. He didn't get into details. He threw it out there to see what the reaction would be.

I think he felt safe in making his statement because he knows this thing will never get built.
8:47 am edt 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

China 24x7

 

I bought the "Expandable Cabinet Shelf" at Walmart today for the low price of $7.24. It was made in China which kept the cost down. This might have been sold in Home Depot or Lowe's, but it would have cost a lot more.

Products nade in China are so much cheaper when they are sold here. They seem to own the American market. It is so hard to compete with them.

China is our biggest trading partner, although we have a great trade deficit with them.

We import too many Chinese goods to ever have any trade balance. It won't happen in my life.

 

 

 

 

11:56 pm edt 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pears From China

Products from China seem to be all around us. We only need to look at Walmart which I call the "China Outlet".
 
The Boston Marathon is no exception to the rule. I received a nice warm-up jacket for doing some volunteering a week before the race.  It still had the price tag of $65. Since it came from Indonesia, the people making it must have been paid poorly and worked long hours. The retail markup must be off the chart.

The finish line refreshments included "Dole Diced Pears". They were vacumm sealed in a platic cup. No refrigeration needed. I can only imagine how long they had been around for.

The pears were from China and were packaged in Thailand. One would think that we could have been given American grown pears, but I assume they were too expensive.

No wonder we have such a large trade deficit.
3:39 pm edt 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Two Fields, Two Cities

As I ran the Boston Marathon course today, I could not help but notice the striking contrasts between the two courses. The Boston Marathon goes through some affluent towns while New York can get quite gritty.

As I ran through Wellesley, I was struck by the condition of one of their baseball fields. It had brick dugouts with arched windows that reminded me of Camden Yard. There is a group of ballfields in Queens that are all asphalt. There are no dugouts. It's also very dangerous to slide.

Wellesley made it a point to post a sign that mentioned that no public water is used to water the fields.
 The fields in Queens require no water.
11:47 pm edt 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Wrong Lady

 

Bad decisions get made at all levels of government. Sometimes, it's hard to understand how they get made. The U.S. Postal Service is a great example.

They recently announced a new "forever" stamp featuring a picture of the head-shot of the Statue of Liberty. Over 3 billion stamps were printed.

Apparently, the image of Lady Liberty is not from the statue in New York Harbor, but rather from a fake one at the New York-New York Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.

The image on the stamp has more clearly defined facial features such as eyes, eyebrows and eyelids. The hair is different between the two ladies.

The situation is referred to as a "mistake" in a press release, but someone must have known about the images during the design approval process. I don't think it's a big deal, but I wonder why they didn't feel comfortable using the real statue. It had been used on more than 20 previous stamps.

 

 

10:00 am edt 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Time In The City

It was a great day to be in Boston today. I never spend enough time there. I went to the Marathon Expo. I parked in Cambridge by M.I.T and had a 20 minute walk to the Hynes Auditorium. The walk across the Mass Ave Bridge was very cold and windy.

The Back Bay is so beautiful in the spring. The buildings are so stately with their contrast in architectural styles.

I will plan to spend more afternoons in the city. The only problem is that time goes by so fast now. Weekends come and go. Every day just evaporates. When I was working, days would drag by. Now that I'm retired and doing what I want, life is going by too fast.
10:32 pm edt 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Almost There

It's hard to believe that it's late Friday evening into Marathon weekend. This race will come and go so quickly. Monday is so close.

You wait so long for this race, but it's right here now. I'm looking forward to the chance to do this. It's never gets any easier. I have no idea how this will turn out.

This is what I want to be doing right now. I keep trying to do this year to year. I want it to last forever, but I know it never will.
10:03 pm edt 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Need To Build It
 
Washington D.C. is a great place to visit. Every American should go there at some point. There are monuments to everything. Many of them are quite inspirational. I would like to see the recently built one for World War II. There are plans for future monuments to prior Presidents and various causes.

One monument severly lacking is for World War I. It appears that most new monuments get built because they have advocates for their group. Unfortunately, there are no longer any survivors of the was. There are no veteran groups with enough clout to pick up the cause and get it built.

Periodically, we hear calls for a monument, but nothing is happening to remember a war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. This is just wrong.
12:07 pm edt 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It Took No Time

A trip to the phone store at the local mall can always be an exercise in waiting. I needed to go there to update a contract I have on a second cell phone. I use a pre-paid one year plan for a phone I take with me sometimes when I run or go to the beach.

I was expecting this to take quite a bit of time, in site of going there late in the morning. I was totally shocked when it took less than five minutes. The technician was very helpful. All it took was telling him what I wanted and taking out my credit card.

There are not too many things in life that are this simple.
2:36 pm edt 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Moving the Trains

There is a railroad bridge crossing the Merrimack River in Haverhill that needs to be replaced. It's about 90 years old and considered at the end of its functional life. Trains are forced to a crawl over the span to reduce vibration.

Everyone agrees that the span should be at the top of the list for replacement. How will the construction be done? A temporary span isn't feasible. The bridge is on the route of Amtrak's Downeaster train and carries a great deal of freight traffic.

This should prove to be quite an engineering challenge to keep the trains moving during construction. Nobody has said how this will be done.
11:18 pm edt 

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Trip Down The Lane

 

Tonight, I drove to Newburyport to do comedy. The city has a great bike lane going down High Street. They have a dedicated lane on both sides of the street and still accommodate on-street parking.

I have not been on a bike since 1989. I'm not in a rush to ride now. The bike lane was too close to the auto traffic, in my opinion. I would not feel comfortable riding in a lane like that. I know everyone else does.

The bike lane caused quite a controversy when it was opened up a few years ago. Now the lanes need to be repainted. The white lines look really bad. It's not good for tourism.

 

 

11:34 pm edt 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Comic Strips Keep On

The Sunday newspaper will eventually disappear. Fewer copies are being sold because it costs too much to buy it. I enjoy my newspapers. I buy the Globe, Eagle Tribune and New York Post every day.

The Sunday Boston Globe recently changed its comic strip part. Not too many people read this stuff nowadays. The panels are smaller and laid out differently. It looks like they saved a page of paper at the cost of appearance.

It doesn't matter. I still enjoy reading the strips. They are very creative and funny.
11:20 pm edt 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Let It Register

 

I belong to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Anyone can join for $25 annually. I believe in keeping old buildings and structures that define our culture. The organization works hand in hand with the National Historical Register.

Recently, a group in my community said that they wanted to add their structure to the register. It was a mansion built in 1820 which underwent major changes in 1911. Another floor was added and a three story brick addition was attached to hold a function hall and office space. The building has needed repairs for many years. It's not an eyesore, but could be headed that way.

I saw a picture of the building as it appeared back in the 1800's. It looks nothing like the one today. It's hard to believe they are the same structure.

I support any group that wants to save old buildings. I would like to see what they propose for changes. It will take a great deal of money and effort to get this place looking like it did once. When the renovations were done 90 years ago, the building was considered state of the art. I can't say that holds true now.

6:27 pm edt 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Not Drinking To It

Medical studies are often contradictory. Researchers can get results in either direction. I saw a strange story about the effects of beer and hydration after exercise.

A study at Grenada University in Spain examined two groups that did a workout in a 104 degree temperature. One group got water and the other beer.
 
The researchers said the beer bubbles quenched thirst better and also provided carbohydrates to restore energy levels.

I totally disagree with the results. I never drink beer after running or working out. I would rather have Gatorade or soda.

I'm sure the results will be embraced by beer drinkers, but I think the study was flawed.
  
5:55 pm edt 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Sugar Police

I believe there is a purpose for government regulations, especially when it comes to food and product safety. There are many things done to protect the consumer. It makes sense to have building codes to prevent haphazard construction.

In recent years, there has been criticism that we have entered a "nanny state" with government trying to control too many aspects of our lives.

I think the recent executive order signed by Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston is a great example. He has banned the sale of drinks on public property that contain sugar. Everyone recognizes that America has a problem with obesity, starting with our youth.

This ban includes sales during athletic contests. Players will not be able to buy Gatorade. I think this is very heavy handed. Everyone needs to eat healthier, but I don't think this is the way to go.

What will be the next step?
2:38 pm edt 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Budget Woes

It looks like the federal budget crisis will come down to the final hours. Congress has been unable to agree on a temporary spending plan. This crisis is nothing new. As a former federal employee, I remember this from the 1980's. It has become a tradition that happens much too often.

As much as people yell and scream about this, it will happen again in the future. The tradition will live on.
7:42 pm edt 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No Weather Concerns Yet

I don't believe in long range weather forecasts. They always give the five day one on the daily news. They can be wrong in most cases. I saw one today that gave one for the Boston Marathon in 13 days.

They said it would be cool, cloudy and occassional showers. They might be right, but who knows. I think it's a waste of time to be even concerned about it at this point. That is too far in the future to accurately predict.

I will pay attention five days before the race, but that has its limitations. The weather can influence a lot of the race day preparation, especially for running apparel. I just think it's too early to be concerned about at this point.
12:30 pm edt 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Things Left Undone

We always hear the cliche about death and taxes being the only two certain things in life. I would like to add dirty dishes and laundry to that list.

I had a great dinner last night, but woke up to a pile of pans, dishes and glasses in the sink. It's hard to believe what one person leaves behind them.

The same holds for my laundry. I have a big load of whites that need to be done. I'm building another of darks, A few dress shirts are waiting their turn.

It seems like one big cycle at time. I still have some socks that need to be matched up and put away.

10:01 am edt 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Greenhouse

I always enjoy the delicious  cluster-stem tomatoes from Mexico. They are so tasty, especially when marinated. Today, I bought some "Greenhouse" tomatoes from Canada.They are very tasty and so healthy for us.

In this global economy, stuff comes from every place. Last night, my Kiwi Fruit was from Italy. Nothing comes from America any more.

Food handling is so important for all of us. 
11:05 pm edt 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Seeing the Sky

 

It has been almost eleven years since, my last plane trip. I would be considered a "nervous flier". This happened for several reasons, especially turbulence. The recent episode of a flight of Southwest Airlines doesn't make it any better.

A Boeing 737-300 developed a gash it the top of the fuselage at an altitude of 34,000 feet. Passengers could see the sky through the two foot long opening. The pilot dropped 25,000 feet in five minutes before making an emergency landing.

Southwest is taking its 170 planes of that model out of service for inspections. Officials are looking to see if metal fatigue was involved.

So many of the planes in the sky are getting up there in years. The U.S. military is flying stuff from the 1960's. Eventually, you end up with problems. I just don't want to be on one of those flights. It must have been horrible for the passengers.

8:08 pm edt 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Clarence Meets the Droid

As I was getting into my car today, I encountered a man who started talking rag-time to me. He asked if I had ever heard of "Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion". Although he sounded rather intoxicated, he was impressed when I said the show was on Sunday nights back in 1965.

I got into my car and drove to a store. While in the parking lot, I did a voice search on Google using my Droid phone. I forgot that "Clarence" was a movie made in 1965. A spin-off television show called "Daktari" ran from 1966-1969. I remember the movie and show although I didn't watch either.

Under normal circumastances, I could have pulled out my Droid phone when I encountered the guy and done a quick search on the Internet. However, this person was very drunk. He didn't appear to be potentially harmful, but I was shocked when he said he was 51. He looked much older.

I wonder how the rest of his day went. Based on his state of drunkenness, I don't think he was not going to make it into the evening without passing out.
3:56 pm edt 


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