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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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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Unopened Buildings

A few years ago, the federal Bureau of Prisons decided that they needed additional facilities. Three were built, including one in Berlin, NH. It was not cheap at $276 million.
 
Whenever these facilities are built, some members of Congress line up to steer it to their district. The move to northern New Hampshire was seen as an economic boom for the area. The prison will employ 320, of which 192 will be transfers from other areas. That still leaves 128 jobs for the people in the area.

Although there is a starting age limit of 37, the jobs offer good benefits and a federal retirement plan. The people in the host communities of the other two prisons look for similar economic benefits.

However, it has not happened up to this point. The prisons never opened because the salaries for the employees were not funded in any prior budget.

Congress finally appropriated $6.5 billion for the Bureau of Prisons that includes funding for the positions.

It makes you wonder how many unused facilities there are out there.
10:35 pm est 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another Pen

Since I started paying some of my bills on-line, my volume of mail has not decreased. I keep getting all sorts of stuff from charities and groups looking for money.

Yesterday, I had a large envelope folded and squashed in my mailbox. It was from an environmental group asking me to sign a petition for the Endangered Species Act. They wanted me to send it to Senators Kerry and Brown.

I support the act and belive it does a great deal of good. I'm concerned that if I sign the petition, it will open the floodgates for even more junk mail. It's hard to keep up with what I get now.

At least I recycle of of the paper I get from this. They also sent me a pen to sign the petition. I'll add it to all of the other pens I get.

I already recylced 19 calendars for 2012.
1:24 pm est 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Plant

 

I admit that I could have done a better job watering my house plant of the last 4+ years. This plant has set all types of longevity records, but scares me at times.

I recently over-watered it to the point having mold start to grow on the soil.  I'm not sure if this plant is in it for the long run. So much of it is gone.

When I trimmed it back, I thought it would grow back faster than it has. It has been so slow, but I know that this plant will make a return.

10:15 pm est 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Where Was This?

Dreams always fascinate me. The sub-conscious mind is a marvel that we can never really understand. They say every dream means something.

This morning, I was lying in bed and then dosed off. I had a very vivid dream of being in Boston with a coupe of friends trying to get to the Orange subway line. The buildings I saw didn't match up anything I have seen in town. We got on a bus and went through a neighborhood of vacant homes. The images were so clear.

Where was this? Why was this picture so clear in my mind? I remember making a statement about the issue of homelessness in America and how people should be living in the houses.

Was this from another lifetime? It was too vivid to arbitrarily make it up.
4:06 pm est 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crazy Friday

Black Friday has become part of the Thanksgiving holiday experience. It might help the economy, but critics claim that it takes away from the "shared family experience" of the day. Many workers have no option, but to show up at their designated time.

Every year, there are stories about people being trampled when stores open.
 
Yesterday, the two craziest stories were the people who broke down the doors of a Hollister store in New York City. They proceeded to loot the store in front of employees.

The other involved the woman in a Walmart store who pepper sprayed a group of customers as they all tried to X-Box games.

What type of society do we live in when behavior gets to this point?
 
5:43 pm est 

Friday, November 25, 2011

No Way To Cut Waste

The so-called Super Committee from Congress was unable to agree on budget cuts. That is not surprising as members are greatly influenced by special interests.
 
This will trigger automatic cuts across the board for federal departments and agencies. The Pentagon will need to cut $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

Defense accounts for $926 billion in this year's budget. One proposal is to eliminate the Navy's Blue Angels precision flight team. Their annual budget is $37 million. This is the typical "nickel and dime" approach that is always made when trying to cut spending and eliminate waste.

The Blue Angels serve as a great marketing tool for the military to recruit their future members. Last year, they staged 70 performances in 35 cities. They are very popular wherever they go.

Some point out that this is a waste of money in tough economic times. The Navy looks at it as a way to enhance recruitment.

Whoever proposes the cuts will face a firestorm of protest from their constituents. Whenever Congress attempts to trim the budget, it always ends up being for something that is popular as well as useful.

Defense contracts are too closely tied to Congressional districts. Nobody in Congress is about to cut money targeted for their voters.

You will always hear that the "pain" must be shared equally, but nobody is willing to take the first step because they know the political consequences.

These mandatory budget cuts sholw produce some great political theater.
9:54 am est 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Paying For Their Ads

There is way too much hype associated with Black Friday. I would never go to a store at 4am for anything. I feel bad for employees who are forced to work those crazy hours because some executives in a board room thought those hours would be good for the company's bottom line.

When I bought my newspapers today, I was shocked to see how big they were. There were so many circulars from different stores. That's ok. I just pull the out and recycle them.

I thought it was rather sleazy that the papers charged the same price as they do on Sunday. The format was no different than a weekday. The papers were stuffed with ads and we were forced to pay for them. They know that people will buy the paper today for the fliers. I just don't believe that they needed to make the customer pay for them. What a ripoff!
10:39 am est 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Them Backs

Most professional sports teams raise their ticket prices during the off-season. It's inevitable as the salaries of players continue to spiral out of control.

The New York Yankees announced a series of price increases for their "cheaper" seats, especially the bleachers.

I find it very puzzling that a stadium which cost over $1 billion to build, would have bench style seats in some sections.

The stadium was built at a cost that exceeded all estimations. However, once the price got over $1 billion, what difference would it have made if they spent another $10 or 20 million to put backs on those seats?
 
If fans are going to pay outrageous prices for a seat, it should at least have a back on it. Bench style seats should only be in museum displays.
 
12:58 pm est 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Down With the Windows

 

It's obvious that winter is on our doorstep just by looking at the trees and feeling the temperature. All of my summer and fall stuff has been put away. The sweaters have come out. I have been using my heat and burning up money doing so.

Today, I finally pulled my storm windows down. I waited to the end, but it was cold in my bedroom last night. I sleep with the heat off because I hate a warm and stuffy room.

I have a window in my living room about ten inches wide. I never pull down that storm one because I want to get some fresh air in my apartment. Circulating the air can be a real challenge in the winter. It's very easy for it to get stale without opening the window periodically.

 

6:17 pm est 

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's All About the Toes

I'm going to Gillette Stadium for the football game tonight between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. Temperatures should be in the 40's with a low in the 30's. I plan to dress in a number of layers.

Once the sun goes down, it seems a lot colder. Hopefully, there is no wind. We are lucking out with the weather as rain is in the forecast in the next day or so.

The key is to keep the feet warm. Once the toes get cold, it's all over. My insulated socks should do the trick. I don't drink alcohol at games. I'll need to stay warm the "natural" way.
1:47 pm est 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Changing of the Blade

Nothing in this world lasts forever. I proved that with my razor blade after using it for five months and six days. I decided to change it. It still had some life in it, but was not shaving as close as it once did.

I started using this blade on June 8th. I almost made it into December. It was a long run. I think I can do better with this new blade.

I want to be shaving with this on the first day of spring. I should use it when I prepare for the Boston Marathon. That would be in five months.

These are Gillette Quatro blades made in America. They make a long lasting product.
10:57 pm est 

Big Time Move

I went to a football game at UMass Amherst today. I met up with a friend from my days there. It was the last game of the season and the final game in the stadium for at least five years as the team moves to Gillette Stadium.

Playing home games there is part of their bid to play Division 1-A football. It's a big change for everyone. The games at Gillette will draw alumnae from the greater Boston area. Students will get buses from Amherst. The real losers are the loyal fan base out in western Mass.

The crowd in Amherst has a lot of people from the area who enjoy college football at a reasonable price. The team needs to play in Gillette in order to meet a stadium size requirement of Division 1-A.

I'm in favor of this move to "big time" football. It's way for the school to get exposure. At the same time, they can never compromise their academic mission.
11:04 pm est 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some Bright Ideas From Readers

With more newspapers moving to on-line editions, their format is also changing. Even the hard copy editions encourage readers to provide comments on stories by going to the paper's website.

Recently, the Loews store in my community closed on short notice. City officials are looking for a retailer to fill the space. In these economic times, that might prove to be a big challenge.

The article solicited reader's comments on the story. Everyone agrees that the space should be filled, but some of the suggestions were a little off base.
 
Barnes and Noble was mentioned, but retail book stores are becoming dinosaurs across the country.

Several grocers were mentioned. That was an interesting idea, but there are three markets in town and another few nearby.

Any of the big box stores are made of basic construction. They serve their purpose, but it's easier to tear them down and use the land for something else.
4:56 pm est 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nobody Gives It Away

Many national retailers use some type of card to give their customers reward or bonus points after making purchases. I have a card with CVS that I have used quite successfully. I often get a coupon for 20% off any purchases over $20. It's a way for the store to get you to spend money. I'm ok with that since I make a number of purchases there.

I recently had a problem with my razor and was forced to by a new one. Naturally, CVS did not have any coupons or discounts available for my purchase. I bought a couple of other item resulting in a $26 purchase.

Today, I got an email from CVS informing me that I could save 20% on any purchases by he end of 11/19. That leaves a little over two days to take advantage of the savings.

I plan to use it to stock up on a couple of items. If I had it yesterday, I would have spent more money. I have a rewards card from my VISA account. If I spend about $10,000, I will qualify for some item that I don't want in the first place. I might also get a gas card if I'm lucky.
3:42 pm est 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finally A Decsion Made

Life is full of procrastination. We are all guilty of it. Sometimes, it takes forever to finally make a decision.

Today, I finally changed my primary care physician. I have been talking about it for a long time. I was not satisfied with the one I have now. He was not thorough enough in his exams, but that's a whole other story.

Finding another doctor is a challenge. You just end up calling someone randomly. The person I found has a back ground in sports medicine. That intrigued me, but I know nothing else about this guy.

I wanted to make a follow-up appointment for the episode of gout I  had back in the summer. When I called his office, his receptionist said I would need to wait until after Christmas for an appointment. After pleading my case she "found" a spot for me on November 29th.

I have no idea how this relationship will work out. I was at the point where I had to do something and get another doctor. I'll see how it goes.
4:09 pm est 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Tale of My Two Schools

I donate to UMass Amherst. It's a great school. I loved going there. I have so many UMass t-shirts, a few glasses and cups, sweat shirts,  polo shirts, ball caps, but no jacket.

I always donate when I get called by the student telethon. I enjoy talking to the students and share my love and passion for the school and my time there.

I also received a Master's degree from Suffolk University where I went part time at night for 3 1/2 years. It was a long process, but worth it in the end. I will always have it and be part of the Suffolk University family.

They called me tonight to donate money. I talked to the student for about 20 moniutes about my time there. I mentioned about UMass and all the stuff I have from there, but I only have a Suffolk ball cap and coffee mug. I never  had a t-shirt.

It's only been 32 years since I left the place. Maybe I will get a shirt. The last time I went to their store, I bought the hat and cup, but their shirts were lousy. They need to get a better grey athletic t-shirt.
 
I'll try it one more time.
10:40 pm est 

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Controversial Test

A controversial study has recommended that children between the ages of 9 and 11 be screened for elevated rates of cholesterol. Many adults had elevated levels when they were younger.
 
Critics point out that those with high levels might be placed on medications instead of addressing the problem through diet and exercise.

Childhood obesity is at record levels. People eat too many fast food meals. The problem is starting at an early age.

I think the idea to screen has a lot of positive points. Children need to be taught the importance of proper nutrition and exercise. I would hate to see any kid put on medication unless the readings were extremely high.

Medications help control the problem, but do not address the root cause.
6:10 pm est 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Don't Call Back

I accidentally turned down the volume of the ring tone on my phone. I missed a call by a couple of seconds. Although the number's name  did not come up on Caller ID, it looked familiar. I called the number back.

That was a bad idea. It was from a public research firm that keeps calling me . I miss most of the calls and hang up if I answer them.

The fact that I called back gives them an indication that it's ok to keep calling me. I need to be more careful on this stuff. I expect more calls.
7:43 pm est 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Kernal Digs In

Pop corn is healthy for you as long as butter and salt are not added. I only have it on rare occasions as something always seems to get stuck under my gums. I'm very careful when I chew it, using only my front teeth.

I had some at a restaurant last night. Everything was going well until I chewed a little past one of my canine teeth. I immediately got a piece stuck under my gums.

I finally was able to remove it when I got home. It didn't come out that easily. I guess I'll stay away from it for a while. I always say that, but end up eating some when the opportunity presents itself.

My teeth were certainly well flossed when I went to bed.
1:59 am est 

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Horn Section

New York City has done a lot to address "quality of life" issues. That started with cracking down on street crimes and homeless people. In my years of going there, I have noticed the change.

They recently announced an ordinance that would fine cab drivers $350 for blowing their horn unnecessarily. This is a huge problem 24 hours a day. Now, they are only allowed to use their horn to prevent an accident. It's used too often when traffic gets stalled.

Last year, I had a room facing Times Square. It seems like I heard the horns all night. It never stopped. They city allows for discretion on the enforcement. All cab drivers have received notice that fines could be given out.

Hopefully, this helps the problem. Now if they could only address the problem of loose excavation plates and manhole covers. Street are always being dug up and having those gigantic steel plates covered over the hole. Often, they never get properly secured and make a rattling noise every time a car travels over them. The same for the manhole covers.  I guess it's all part of being in New York City.
2:39 pm est 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

That Stuffy Feeling

I made it through the marathon without any physical issues. I have been tired for the last few days. It probably didn't help that I stayed an extra day in New York and walked myself ragged trying to squeeze the last moment out of my time there.

When I awoke on Monday morning, my hotel room was very hot and dry. I had no control over the heat. My head was very stuffy after that and my nose has been runny.

I now it's not a cold or allergy, but the dry heat really effected my sinuses. The way I feel today reminds me of why I never get a flu shot after running the marathon. I think it would make things worse.
2:18 pm est 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fastest Time Ever

Whenever I drive to New York City, it's a guess as to how long it will take. I usually stop two or three times to get out of the car. It's too far of a drive to do without a break.

When I drove last week, it took me 5:09. Anything under five hours is great time for me. I took the Triborough Bridge instead of the Cross-Bronx Expressway. It involved a $6.50 toll, but the expressway was a huge traffic jam. Back in August, I spent over one hour to travel about four miles.

When I departed yesterday, I made my best time ever. It took 4:05. Very few trips have taken less than five hours.

The key was the lack of traffic backups. I took the Cross-Bronx Expressway. I never saw it flow so smoothly as I headed north. The traffic headed to the George Washington Bridge was a nightmare in the other direction.
 
It flowed smoothly all the way home. It was a very unique ride that might take a long time to replicate.
2:27 pm est 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

So Outdated

This website has been up for over 2 1/2 years. I try to write every day. There is nothing worse than a website that has old and outdated content. This site does not have a lot of bells and whistles as far as graphics and color. I'm more concerned about the topics I write about.

I must admit that I am really behind the times with some technology. I just own a desk top pc. Therefore, I can't update this website when I'm out of town. I just returned today after five days from New York City where I ran the marathon.

I used my DROID phone to check my email and Facebook, but you really can't update a website using a smart phone.

I need to seriously think about getting a laptop or something that has portability and large enough to view.

I don't travel that often, but I could have written some interesting thoughts about my time in New York City if I had a laptop.

Life is full of missed opportunities and decisions not made. Maybe, I will address this situation at some point when I travel again.
10:00 pm est 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Don't Cry For Kim

Kim Kardashian and her husband Kris Humphries announced they are ending their marriage after only 72 days. Many fans are expressing shock that it is over so soon. It looked like a "fairy tale" wedding at first.

What her fans got was a charade scripted for her reality show on E! Network. The wedding cost $10 million, but the couple received almost all services for free. They also were paid another $17 million for two television specials about their wedding.

Fans can't see through this nonsense. Kim is laughing all the way to the bank. I'm not sure what the finanancial split was with her husband, but she played everyone to be a fool and made a bundle of money.

She just can't try this again. People are wise to her act. When you make $17 million, it's time to try something else.
10:53 pm edt 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Problem With the Server

When I came back from my run today, I had no connection to the internet. I thought it was on my end. I kept checking my DSL connections. I kept getting error messages when I tried to login. Further research showed it might be a server problem.

I finally called my internet provider. I got a recorded message about a serve problem in the area. When I got home tonight, I was back on-line.

I wonder what happened. Was it related to the storm? It's probably one of those things about the internet that we will never know.
10:20 pm edt 


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