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This site is created by Jim Laprel; avid runner, comic and blogger. See my schedule below for my latest stand-up comedy appearances. Scroll down to see my latest thoughts on various things, the New England Patriots and NFL.

"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



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


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)



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  Random Thoughts About Things

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Keeping Socks Together

I have about 30 pairs of athletic socks that I rotate on a regular basis. They are crew and ankle style. They are always part of my laundry.

I have a great system in place to ensure that each sock stays with its original mate. When I get a new pair of socks, I tag them with a laundry marker. They get their own unique pattern of black dots that can be used when I match them up after doing laundry.

I ran in the snowy slush yesterday. My feet were cold and wet when I finished. My socks finally dried out tonight, but will now have a stain that never comes out in the wash. That's ok because those two socks have been together from day one.

The system works.
8:16 pm edt 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

168 Hours

It's the first hour of "Marathon Week". Only 168 hours until race day next Sunday.
The last several hours have been a snow storm at the end of October. It effected Halloween plans for parents with young kids and everyone else who goes out on that iconic autumn night.

Plows were out on the road. Towns and cities are already spending money on snow removal. When I was out tonight, snow had to be at least three inches deep. This storm has effected the metropolitan New York City area and most of New England. I'm sure some ski resorts will open to try to get some quick cash.

There are so many factors that go into running this race. It's the same for all of us. It's so hard getting to the start of the race every year. We have no control over the weather. This will effect a marathon being run in Falmouth today.

In the end, we roll the dice with the weather. I have no idea what will happen next Sunday. It could be 70 degrees and sunny or 40 and raining.

All I can do is watch what happens.
1:09 am edt 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Getting Creamed

There are all sorts of dire weather forecasts for snow today. Halloween celebrations have been cancelled as the media raises the hype for some type of snowstorm. The last few days and nights have been quite cold.

I thought I could get into November without the weather effecting the skin on my hands. They are already dry. I have a small crack by the nail on my thumb. I started using lotion for my hands before I went to bed last night.

Autumn is not even half over and already my hands are dry. I wonder when the dry skin and itching will start on my legs. This could be a long winter.
1:21 pm edt 

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Joy of Snow

People spend their lives getting aggravated over things they have no control over, especially the weather. Last night, it snowed for the first time since last March. It was an odd sight to see on October 27th.
I was driving to a comedy show in Nashua, NH and it was coming down real fast. The snow was rather wet so it took awhile before it started to accumulate. Cars, grass and shrubs were covered with a coating. It was enough to brush off. I think they salted one of the exit ramps I took on my way home.

I was surprised to see how many people were upset about this, based on their Facebook comments. If someone really hates snow that much, they should not live around here.

Nobody likes to have their plans ruined by the weather. It's a chance you take no matter where you live. Getting upset over it won't change the situation.

I thought it was asite of beuty tonight to watch the flakes come down on a late night in October. I jsut don't think I could convince some people with those words. they don't want to hear that stuff.
1:14 am edt 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Calling the Cat Black

Halloween reminds us of the superstitions that people deal with. I really don't believe in them. I don't think it's a good idea walking under a ladder,especially if someone is using it. The number 13 is just another number to me. I'm not a big cat fan, so nothing about black cats phase me.

I saw an interesting story about the problem with homeless black cats in animal shelters. It seems that they get adopted at a lower rate than other colors. Lack of adoption can spell doom for a cat of any color.

I guess someone who is afraid of black cats should not adopt one. That is their prerogative. I just think there are too may othere things in life to be concerned about

Our insrastructure in America is crumbling so bad that it's difficult not to walk across a crack in the sidewalk.
4:14 pm edt 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Hype of Snow

The weather people are over the top today in their discussion about possible snow for tomorrow. It's the end of October. It has happened before. The conditions look right for it with some showers and a dreary look to the day.

These people live for days like this. When you forecast snow  for late October, it's a guarantee that you will get top billing for the nightly news. Even is they are wrong, they can just blame it on the weather.

How excited can you get when you say "partly cloudy" or "partly sunny". This is their type of day. This is their moment.
4:02 pm edt 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Technical Debate

No matter what we buy for electronics, eventually it gets old and out of date. I used a 10 year old digital camera to take pictures at my high school reunion. I think the camera batteries were a little weak. The pictures did not come out as well as I thought they would.

I should have used my camera phone, but sometimes it gets awkward to work with. If you let someone take your picture, it goes into a sleep mode after about 20 seconds causing the user to look at me with bewilderment. I walk over to turn it back on.

If I had to do it again, I would have just used my camera phone.
6:51 pm edt 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Going Dry

Major League Baseball officials announced that they plan to investigate the allegations of Boston Red Sox players drinking alcohol in the clubhouse and dugout during games. They are also considering whether to ban it in all clubhouses.

It seems rather bizarre that MLB is even dealing with this issue. Very few workplaces allow the consumption of alcohol beverages on the premises. It's a no-brainer to go with a dry clubhouse. Baseball needs to clean up its image. The steroid and HGH scandals have not helped.

Maybe they will look into banning chewing tobacco during the games. Its the only sport that allows it. There is nothing worse than a camera shot of a player or coach spitting tobacco juice. It sends a terrible message.
12:12 pm edt 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Bad Driver

A few months ago, my desk top computer got attacked by a virus. The only solution was to do a reinstall and wipe out my hard drive. I did what I had to do. I lost some pictures and a few other files, but the computer runs better now.

I tried to view some pictures from a memory stick, but nothing was happening. I ended up spending about two hours between the help link and restarting the system. It still was not reading the stick. I tried to connect the camera directly, but still nothing.

I have a problem with the "drivers". It seems like all of a sudden, the driver isn't compitable with Windows VISTA. I'm ok with that, but I can't find any update that works.

I'll try again tomorrow. Sometimes you can spend too much time on this stuff and end up confusing yourself more.
7:54 pm edt 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Getting Charged Up

I use my cell phone for most of the pictures I take. I have over 500 in the phone's memory. I need to download them to a disc before I lose them if in case something happens to my phone.

I plan to use my SONY camera tonight at my class reunion. I bought some new rechargable batteries today. The others are several years old. They still hold a charge, but not very long. I had some problems in the past.

I'm charging the new ones up. It takes quite a while. Now, I just need to ensure that my memory card has enough room. I think I'll take an extra one with me. I can still use my phone as a back-up.

We have come a long ways from the days of the Kodak Instamatic and 35mm film.
3:16 pm edt 

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Not Spam

It's hard enough to keep track of all the emails we receive, but we must assume that we get the ones we need. I routinely check my spam file and found one that was important. I had been waiting for it.

I think it became spam because the subject field was correct, but the sender's address was a bunch of garbled letters. I have no idea what might have caused this to occur.

I'm glad I corrected this particular problem, but wonder when and if they might happen again.

It seems impossible to eliminate spam. Someone could get very rich if they came up with a fool-proof system.
1:51 am edt 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Season For the Jacket

The weather continues to go to extremes. It was cold and rainy yesterday and should be in the 70's today. Last night, I wore a long sleeve shirt and a jacket for my trip to Cambridge to do comedy.

It was 55 degrees with a chill in the air. I had not worn my jacket since back in the spring. I was able to determine that I last wore it on May 19th. That was the night I went to a Red Sox game on a cool spring night.

The ticket stub was still in my pocket from the game. I'll be seeing a lot of that jacket before I start wearing the heavy one for the winter.

There is no turning back to warmer weather, although I still have not turned on my heat. That will be next.
12:57 am edt 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Forget the Cape

Much has been written and said about the demise of the 2011 season for the Boston Red Sox. There has been much finger pointing and allegations tossed around between team officals and the players about what happened.

got a kick out of reading the letters to the editor the other day. Some cited the usual issues such as overpaid players with guaranteed contracts. One person offered their simplistic view.

They are abandoning the Red Sox and will follow Cape Cod League baseball next year. This league is highly competitive and features some of the best college baseball players in the country. Many players view it as a showcase of their talents to Major League scouts.

However, it's still amateur baseball. When Chatham plays Harwich, it doe snot generate the same hype as when the Yankees are in town. Baseball is baseball, but I will stick with the tarnished product that we have here in Boston.

Things go in cycles. Nobody makes a big deal of anything when you win. When things start to go bad, people desert one another. The craziness will subside and we will look towards the hope that springs eternal with a new baseball season. The Yankees are in town next April.
1:47 am edt 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Closing the Store

Some national retailers build stores too close to one another. The competition inevitably results in one of them closing. The local Lowe's Home Improvement store is closing after only a couple of years. The company has another store less than ten miles away. There are also two Home Depot stores in the immediate area.

How much home improvement work is going on at any given time? We have three Walmarts within a ten mile radius. We can't forget the two cinema multi-plexes within four miles of each other.

Economic competition is great, but there are only so many dollars to go round. The closing of the local Lowe's store resulted in the loss of sixty jobs.
For a corporation that has 1,700 stores, it's just a drop in the bucket. They call it the "closing of under-performing assets
3:09 pm edt 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Watch That Feed

State Fairs are very popular around the country. They have much to offer to families and fans. In recent years, there has been controversy with the pumpkin growing contest. Some have not adhered to the rules about feeding and caring for their produce.

At the Cloroado State Fair, the "grand champion" goat was disqualified after tetsing positive for an unapproved food additive. The owners claimed the feed must have been tampered with.

Officials were trying to question the goat, but at last report, he was not talking.
7:25 pm edt 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wiping It Down

When I traded my Toyota Corolla, I decided to change the color from silver to black. I think black looks sharp on a car. I guess it goes back to my days of seeing the "Black Car Service" in New York City and Boston. The cars are always Buicks or Lincolns and very shiny.

I learned that black shows dirt very easily. I took my car to the do-it-yourself car wash today. From this point on, I will wipe the car down with a towel.

After the car air dried, a lot of the dirt was still showing. It looks like I never washed it. This winter should be very interesting when it comes to keeping the car clean.
3:40 pm edt 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Starting To Lean


The recent east coast earthquake did damage to a number of structures including the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral. Both had falling pieces of stone which will need to be replaced at great financial cost. The "experts" will need to do a comprehensive study before they can come up with a repair estimate.

Another problem is emerging in London, England where the iconic "Big Ben" clock tower has begun to lean slightly. It's "only" O.26 degrees, but that is not normal when a structure starts to lean.

The 315 foot tower was built in 1859 and has a long way to surpass the leaning Tower of Pisa which tilts at four degrees.

You could probably blame Big Ben's problem on the contractor who built the thing. On the other hand, they did it without power tools and heavy equipment. It would have been an engineering marvel in its time.

4:13 pm edt 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Keeping the Land-line

Every month when I get my bill for my land-line phone, I wonder why I still have it. I make all of my toll calls on my cell phone. I'm paying $59 monthly for a phone to make local calls, voice mail, call waiting and caller-ID.

I think it's difficultly to walk away from a scenario we have known for our entire life. Everyone always had a land-line. I go back to the days of sharing a line via the "party-line system". When I was a kid, we always had our own line because my father was a firefighter.

My phone number has been with me for 36 years. It becomes part of your identity. If I dropped it, would all of the robo-calls and tele-marketers call me on my cell phone? I don't get any of that nonsense currently.

For now, I'll keep paying the bill, but realize that I'm paying $720 annualy for being part of a bygone era.

3:57 pm edt 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not Sure What It Is

It's hard to determine if I have is a cold or seasonal allergy. The temperature has fluctuated too much in the past week. I have a very stuffy head and a dry cough. My throat is ok, but it's a little red.

I just took a ZICAM tablet. This stuff works pretty good, but not as well as their nose swabs. That was a great product, by they had to take off the market after a couple of deaths.

There is some danger in almost anything we take over the counter. Cough syrup can be bad in excessive amounts.

I seem to go through this every year around this time. It's one of my annual rituals where I get sick, but I'm not sure of the cause.
3:06 pm edt 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Walkway to Nowhere

Just because something is in the news, it doesn't mean that the facts of the story are correct. It's difficult for the reader to check for accuracy unless they know the facts themselves.

I heard a story the other day that made me think. A number of bridges have been put on a fast track for permit approval to cut down the planning delays and create jobs. The are part of the Economic Stimulus and include a local bridge on an interstate highway crossing a river.

The story said the bridge will be reconstructed to include more travel and  breakdown lanes. That made a lot of sense. The story went on to say that the bridge would include a pedestrian walkway and bike lane.
That doesn't make any sense. I'm familiar with the bridge. It's not meant to be a promenade for pedestrians. Some other bridge on the list must be doing that. I don't even know how you would get to the walkway.

This won't be the last story reported incorrectly. 
9:51 pm edt 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Scenic Ride

The weather was beautiful yesterday with temperatures in the mid 80's. Columbus Day brought a lot of people out on the roads. I was playing golf in the Portsmouth, NH area and faced the decision of either taking Rt 95 through the toll plaza or getting on Rt 1 to get home.

Traffic reports indicated a long delay at the toll booths. I always find it outrageous that they back up traffic just to collect a $2 toll.

I decided to take the "scenic" Rt 1. It was stop and go all the way because of the traffic lights. It actually took about 20 minutes longer than sitting in traffic on Rt 95.

The only consolation is that I avoided the toll and saved $2. I also got to witness a slice of Americana with Rt 1. The road is a great example of haphazard commercial development with no attention paid to architectural styles

11:53 am edt 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Steal at $21 Million

I always enjoy reading the real estate section of the New York Post. Housing prices are so astronomical in the city. I don't know how people can afford to live there. It's hard to believe that people pay the prices for some of those places whether it is buying or renting.

A recent co-op owned by the late Brooks Astor finally sold after cutting the sales price by over 50%. It went for $21 million, down from the asking price of $46 million.

The unit is a duplex locate on the 15th & 16th floor of a landmark building on Park Ave. With five bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, six terraces, five fire places, and a view of Central Park, it had a lot to offer to the buyers.

Apparently the place needs a lot of work and updating. That's why the price dropped to $21 million. It's a fixer-upper, but has a lot of potential.
5:48 pm edt 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Down the Drain

It seems inevitable that a bathtub drain gets clogged with hair and soap. My tub has not drained in two hours. I just poured some Liquid Plumber into the tub water. This stuff usually works quite well, but I'll need to give it another dosage. Last year, I went through two bottles before the water flowed properly.

They must have some product on one of those infomercials that does a better job. They seem to have something for every situation.

8:00 pm edt 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dodging the Heat

They say you can never catch a cold from being cold, but I woke up with a stuffy head this morning. I was cold while sleeping in spite of using a blanket. I have not turned on my heat yet. The weather calls for temperatures in the 80's this weekend with it reaching 85 on Sunday.

Right now, it's 64 degress in my living room. That still feels a bit chilly. I'm trying so hard not to turn on the heat, but if I don't do it tonight, I'm sure I will at some point next week.

It's the same for my polo shirts. The long sleeves are coming out very soon.
3:57 pm edt 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

At the Root of the Problem


Poison ivy is very difficult to get rid of. It keeps coming back every year even after it's sprayed with a weed killer. The only was to eradicate the stuff is to pull it up by its roots.

This was the action taken along a sidewalk that I run on periodically. Walkers have complained for years about its overgrowth during the summer. It grows over a guardrail and breaches the sidewalk. I'm always careful when I run by it, out of fear that I will brush up against it. I catch it very easily.

When I ran by today, it looked like the roots had been ripped up along most of the sidewalk. I wonder who did it. Did they use a special tool or protective clothing?

I wonder if it was done by the inmates from a local correctional institution. They do all sorts of work around the city for free. It gives them a chance to get outside. They pick up litter along Rt 495.

If they did the work on the poison ivy, I hope they wore some type of protection to avoid getting it. Nobody deserves to get it on their skin. It can can get messy itchy.

I hope I never get it again. 


7:31 pm edt 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Nothing Gets Fixed Timely

The infrastructure of cities and towns has been neglected so long that issues are only addressed after problems result.

Yesterday, several communities were victims of flash floods caused by blocked storm drains in the streets. Up to six inches of rain fell in a short time overwhelming the system.

I have often seen many storm drains buried to street level with sand and leaves. Water flows right over the drains.
When I was a teen ager, I had a summer job for the local highway department. Our role was to shovel the sand from the drains. Many of them are at least five feet deep, but can't perform their job if the drain pipe is clogged.

I never see anyone cleaning them unless there is a problem. Nothing is ever done as a form of prevention. Public structures and roads are never repaired on any type of schedule. Money could be saved if spent to prevent problems from getting bigger, but that is not how it works in the real world. We wait for the bridge to begin crumbling before we decide to fix or replace it.

One community had the same flooding problem on several occasions the last few years. Officials keep calling for something to be done, but it won't be the last time they get flooded.
11:55 am edt 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Keeping It Cool

There was a news report today about kids bringing their brown bag lunches to school. There is a concern that perishable foods are not being kept at the proper temperature. This can lead to all sorts of health issues.

When I was a kid , there was no such thing as refrigerating your lunch. I kept meat sandwiches in my brown bag for up to four hours before consuming them. Nothing was kept cool for the kids. Although it was not a good idea, I never got sick.

I'm a fanatic about food handling now. You never know what goes on behind the scene. I still think people leave food out for too long without proper care.

I look back to the time when I was 23 and brought a tuna fish sandwich to work on a hot summer day. I kept the sandwich in my desk for about five hours. I think the mayonnaise went bad because I got quite sick.

I learned my lession from that day forward and began a life of obsession about proper food care.
3:49 pm edt 

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Difference In Pay

There is an old expression that crime does not pay. They are right when it comes to the salaries of police officers. A local community received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund the salary of an officer for three years. After that time, the town will be required to pick up the costs.

The office will be paid $18.35 per hour or about $38,000 annually. When compared to the salary of a baseball player, this would come out to about $6 million over the course of a 162 game season.

A guy like Derek Jeter makes $38,000 over the course of three innings whether he plays or not. There is always a huge disparity in what people earn for their work.
11:57 am edt 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Record Updating

It never surprises me what I get for junk mail. It comes from all sources. Even my former employer seem to have partnered with financial planners to get my name out there.

The other day I received a solicitation from a financial service company urging me to attend a seminar to see my latest benefits if I were to enter into retirement.

I'm all set for now. Someone failed to notify the company that I have almost three years into the process. If they could only take my name off the list, that would be better. I remember them doing the same thing last year.

It seems like once you are on a mailing list, you never get off it.

11:18 am edt 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cutting Costs in the Empire State

Governments at all levels are cutting back on services to save money. New York City recently furloughed 75% of the workers involved with rodent control. Now, the rat problem is out of control. They say there are four rats for every person in NYC. That would be around 32 million of the furry creatures.

The State of New York has eliminated all eye exams for a driving license. It will certainly save a lot of money and makes the renewal process so much easier, but I totally disagree with this decision.
At some point people should have their vision tested. Elderly will complain they are being singled out, but it only makes common sense.
I would have everyone tested at some point, although it would be at a great financial cost. Some states might start to follow the lead of New York.
5:33 pm edt 

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