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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, April 30, 2012

The Lame Claim

I love going to New York City. I read the New York Post every day to keep up with the latest news and events. I enjoy studying the history of this great city.

I disagree with their claim that One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. That is a very week argument based on their rationale.

The new tower will be 1,368 feet with 104 stories. They will add a tall antenna to bring the structure to a symbolic 1,776 feet.

However, the Sears Tower in Chicago, now known as the Willis Tower is 1,451 feet with 108 stories. There is no antenna added to squeeze out a few more feet.

If NYC wants to lay claim to the tallest building, they should have added more floors. Tacking on a big antenna is a lame reason for having the tallest building. They should have an asterisk after that one.

At least, it is the tallest building in the Big Apple.
1:12 pm edt 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Off By 5mm

I have worn a size nine shoe since high school. I always try shoes on before buying them because you never know with ones made overseas. I do it all the time when I buy my NIKE running shoes.

I have been involved with a shoe testing program with NIKE since 1983. They have a large cadre of testers based on sex, age, height, weight, weekly mileage and training/racing pace.
They have not sent me any shoes for about two years. Prior to that, I tested on a fairly consistent basis. When they do a test, they look for a certain type of runner.

I received an email asking me to update my personal information. They asked me to trace the outline of my foot with socks on. They wanted the length and width measured in millimeters. I followed their instructions to get my results.

After the first measurements, I discovered that my left foot was 5mm shorter and 5mm wider than my right foot. I was shocked to see that and repeated the measurements with the same results.

I always thought my feet were the same same. I guess I was wrong. Maybe they have changed their shape and size from all of the pounding on the surfaces I have run on.
It's nothing out of the ordinary to have a change in foot structure after 43 years of running. I just wonder when the change first started to occur.
12:05 pm edt 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

No Buds For Me

When I was at the Boston Marathon Expo, I saw a booth for shake-proof, wireless earbuds. If you could dislodge them from your ears by shaking your head, they were free to keep. I didn't take them up on their offer.

I never wear ear buds. I don't like putting things in my ears. Years ago, I had a hands-free boom microphone headset for my cell phone. I enjoyed using it, but it required a plastic piece to be inserted into my ear canal. I never liked the feeling and eventually stopped using it.

I will never understand why people wear headphones while running or walking. I think it becomes a safety issue when you are unable to hear the sounds around you. 

It's a matter of preference. I tried using a SONY Walkman once, but it did nothing for me.
10:59 am edt 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Issue of Coverage

I wish the temperature would stabilize, but that is only wishful thinking. The weather is so crazy. There is such a range in temperatures. It's difficult to have the right covers on at night.

A few weeks ago, I washed my three blankets. Two have been put away until fall, but I keep the third on my bed. There are nights when I sleep wearing my sweat pants and long sleeve shirt. Sometimes, I wake up hot because of too many covers.

The blanket will stay with me for a few more weeks. You never know. I might need it on a cold night in June. I don't doubt anything when it comes to this weather.
4:57 pm edt 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Useless Ban

A local community is trying to ban the sale of water in plastic bottles. This appears to be a bit of a reach. There is no doubt that landfills across America are inundated with millions of bottles. Very few states have them covered in their bottle redemption laws. The amount of petroleum used to make them is astounding.

However, I don't agree with the ban. This is government micro-managing the lives of its people. If anything, it should be done on a state level. There doesn't appear to be too much political will for that. The bottle water industry has a very powerful lobby.

I don't see how this ban could hold up in court. If you ban water bottles, what will be next? I think communities are politically grandstanding when they take sides on an issues such as this. It's a way to get on the news for some.
5:44 pm edt 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Deal To Turn Down

You can get some great deals with coupons. A couple of months ago, I needed some razor blades. I used a coupon to buy one package and get one free. It worked out great. I now have 15 blades for the future.

I had a chance to get the same deal the other day, but decided to pass on it. My blades last an average of five months. I have enough coverage for the next 75 months. That's over six years. I'll be pushing 65 before I need any more blades.

I think I will wait until then and buy more blades when I turn 65. It will be a great birthday gift for myself. I assume Gillette will be making the razor then.
11:30 am edt 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Tank Lever

I was awake for 10 minutes this morning when the handle on my toilet snapped. After 27 years, the plastic tank lever broke at its most vulnerable spot where it connects with the handle.

It's a very cheap part, only $6 that I installed. I thought of calling my landlord, but it might need to wait until tomorrow.  The procedure was very simple.
It works well now. It beats lifting off the tank lid and pulling on the chain to start the process. Nobody ever wants to do that. At least, I got it fixed and learned something.
7:32 pm edt 

Monday, April 23, 2012

One For the Birds

It felt good to get back to the weight machines at my health club today. It has been almost two weeks. I cut back before the marathon and took last week off.

I was stretching on the mats when I heard a weird sound. I looked up and there was a bird flying towards the large mirrors along the wall. It looked very disoriented because it kept flying into the mirror. It must have flown in through a vent. It attracted a great deal of attention from the club members.

Before I knew it, the bird was gone. It's the first time I have seen that since I joined the club in 1993. I wonder if the bird made it out alive.
I have no idea what type it was. I don't know my birds.
5:58 pm edt 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Puddle Jumping

It's 46 degrees outside,That is so much more normal for this time of the year. We are also having a classic "April shower" today. I love days like these. They feel so relaxing. I had a hard time staying awake in my recliner while doing some reading

There are all sorts of projects I could do on a rainy day. At this point, there are a few thigs I plan to doing.

I need to clean my running from last weeks Boston Marathon. They are encrusted with dry bits of paper cups that were on the streets. Some of it is stuck on like glue. I plan to get the shoes wet and hope this stuff comes off.

I'll walk through some grass. That should start the process. If I need to go through a puddle, I plan to do it.

These shoes are finished with running. I only wore them because I was not happy with the way my new shoes were breaking in.

I donate my old shoes to a local store involved in a program that sends used shoes to Africa. I assume they make it to some Third World nation. I want to feel that way.

In the end, it's only a pair of sneakers, but I want somene to get some additional use out of them.
5:52 pm edt 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More Sneezing

It is suppose to rain on Sunday at some point. They said it will be a "southeaster" storm. I'm not sure what that means. We are scheduled for "a lot of rain" and cool temperatures. I'm certainly ok with that.

I hope this weather change will alleviate the stuffy head I have been dealing with for the last few days. My throat feels a little different for the last few days. I took a ZICAM capsule earlier. It's a great over-the-counter product to fight cold symptoms.

I sneezed a couple of times earlier. That helped me so much. I wish I could sneeze more. My head always feels better after doing it.

People don't need to say "Bless you" to me. I'm the one being thankful for sneezing.
8:36 pm edt 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Heat Or No Heat

It has been more than a week since I shut my heat off. I'm saving money by not having the pilot lit on my gas heater in my apartment. This is one of the earliest times I have ever shut it down. It didn't make any sense to have the pilots on the last week. I don't need heat right now.

I'm not sure if I can say that for the next month. It's no big deal to light the pilot again. I just wonder if I can get into May without doing it.

We are scheduled for rain on Sunday. It will be much cooler. I have my blankets ready for tonight.
10:52 pm edt 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Avoiding The Cold

It has been three days since I ran in the Boston Marathon. My recovery has been normal so far. There has been the usual stiffness and body aches, but nothing out of the ordinary. I continue to work on fluid replacement. My sleep has been interrupted by waking up from being stiff.

One thing I want to avoid is catching a cold. I seem to do this on a regular basis after running a marathon. My immune system must get weakened to a certain degree.

This morning, I woke up with a stuffy head. The temperatures have fluctuated too much around here. It was almost 90 degrees on race day. This morning, it was in the 40's when I woke up shivering.

The temperature changes can really raise havoc. I wish it could stay in one range so that we could all adjust our body temperatures. It was too warm too soon. I will continue to say that this type of weather is not healthy for people.

My short term goal is to avoid cacthing a cold from this point forward.
10:25 am edt 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Games Are Coming

Someone mentioned that it is only 100 days to the Summer Olympics in London. I was unaware of the exact amount of days left. I have a problem getting psyched for the Games. They are so commercialized. 

I think some of the ceremonies go over the top. I understand their part, but I'm not into all of the pageantry.

They have been politicized forever. Countries have their own agenda, but the games do serve a purpose. I just won't be glued to the screen. 

6:40 pm edt 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not Fare

The MBTA is a textbook case study of a public transportation agency that tries to serve its constituency, but loses tons of money in the process. As a result, taxpayers must subsidize the losses. Customers are effected by service cuts and delays.

A story on the news today said the agency loses a large amount of revenue from customers who don't pay for their rides. Apparently, they enter the trolley cars from the rear side doors. The operator of the car is unable to collect the fare from them. People boarding in the front pay their expected cost.

The MBTA should realize that some people will try to beat them for a ride. For many of them, money is a huge factor.The agency should realize they are not a charity and take appropriate steps to collect from everyone.
One of the problems is that passengers disembark from the rear doors. Not only do the trolleys travel slowly, they are operated very inefficiently. It will be interestng to see how they address the problem.
1:03 pm edt 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Passing of the Race

The late George Harrison sang "All Things Must Pass". He certainly had in right when talking about life. The Boston Marathon came and went today. The race for 2012 is in the books forever. It was the 40th time I have finished the race.

The temperatures were pushing 90 today. It wasn't easy for the runners out there. I went into the race with a specific plan to get me to the finish line. I finished the race in a time of 6:22. Based on the weather conditions, I thought I would do a time like that.

I have run this race since I was 18. It has been a constant in my life no matter what. It's hard to believe that it's all a memory now. Eventually, the race in 2013 will be on the horizon. You never know what might happen between now and then.

I have often told people that the hardest thing about doing this is making it to the starting line every year. There is no guarantee on that for any of us. My plan is to be there next year. I will do everything possible to get myself there.
10:57 pm edt 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Getting Ready For A New Chapter

Tomorrow is the Boston Marathon. I need to be up at 4am and leave shortly after 5. It will be a long day. The weather conditions looks pretty bad, with temperatures in the high 80's. I plan to walk and jog the course. My goal is to finish it for the 40th time.

It hard to believe that it will all be over at this point tomorrow. The race will be history. Another chapter in my running career will be written.

I have no idea how this will end. My mileage has not been great, but I was very consistent in getting out there almost every day.

It's always hard to go to bed the night before. I plan to call it a night by 10. It's never easy falling asleep. I'm sure I'll wake up several times. When the alarm goes off, it will be the start of the journey.

I have been doing this since I was 18. I never want to stop doing this, but nothing lasts forever. It never gets any easier. I plan to run the race very cautiously. The key is to finish it in one piece.
7:50 pm edt 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Not Big On the Weather

People can't seem to get enough of this warm spring weather. The temperatures for the Boston Marathon will be pushing 90 degrees. This could be a nightmare for many runners.

Dry conditions have created a huge fire hazard in wooded areas. Public drinking reservoirs are at low levels. We need rain very badly.

There is a severe weather watch for the central part of the country. Tornados have a way of ruining the lives of people in their path of destruction.

Meanwhile, there are those who think this is awesome. They have no clue of how it impacts everyone. It's nice to have sunny spring days, but this comes at a price. 

It would be pointless to try and explain this to them. They would be too busy running around in shorts and flip-flops. They just want to go to the beach in February.
4:38 pm edt 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Clueless to the Big Picture

A local high school recently had a Human Rights day where they had several speakers talking about various genocides. Included were survivors from the atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda during the early 1990's. Students expressed shock over the stories and said they were enlightened to what happened.

I think it was a good idea to educate these students, but I find it unacceptable that they had never heard of these situations. I wonder what they teach in history classes now. Obviously, there is no focus on recent current events. Very few kids read a newspaper. They get whatever news on-line.

I realize that it's not a priority for most adults. A majority of people cannot find Afghanistan or Iraq on a map. Their knowledge of American geography is pathetic. There are people who think New England is a state.

I think this lack of knowledge contributes to a culture where atrocities and genocides are condoned because people don't realize they are going on. They just need to look at the news and see what is happening.

I don't imagine any of these kids had a clue about what is going on in Sudan. That's why this stuff happens.
4:15 pm edt 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Early Reservations

I don't like to make long range plans. So many things can happen between now and then. Sometimes you have no choice for whatever reason.

This is the case for my travel plans in November to New York City for the marathon. I made my hotel reservation today. The rates have been the same since I started looking back in February. It was reaching a point where I might get shut out of a hotel if I waited much longer.

I have my credit card set up to debit my balance from my checking account every month. I hate to pay for this seven months ahead of time, but there isn't much choice. This is costly enough without paying a finance charge. There is nothing cheap about traveling to New York City.
11:17 am edt 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wearing Out Together

A couple of years ago, I bought twelve pairs of NIKE athletic socks. I use them for running and casual wear. Each pair was worn and washed a couple of hundred times.

In recent days, I have noticed that many of them are developing small holes. Last night, I took a pair out of the rotation because of a hole in the area for my big toe. Another pair also had a problem.

Many of these socks will not make it through the summer. I have a marking sytem to match them up with their mates. Some socks will be getting a new partner.

This seems like the natural evolution for socks. First, they come fresh out of the bag. They get worn and washed. The cycle is repeated so often that eventually you get "thread fatigue", resulting in small holes.

The holes get bigger to the point where the sock gets taken out of circulation. It gets one last use as a cleaning rag. It looks like my  rag supply will be growing soon.
10:13 am edt 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Paper Forever

It has always been my opinion that tax laws are written by the rich and for the rich. The Internal Revenue Code is very complex. It fills thousands of pages with provisions for many special interests.
So many people need assistance in preparing their annual tax return. This provides job security for accountants and tax preparers.

More people continue to final electronically. There are numerous software programs out there to assist people. I still prepare my own forms the old fashion way. First, I do a rough version on blank forms from the local library.

Then I go to the IRS website and download their version of the form. I enter my numbers, save the form and print it out. They are ready to be mailed today.

I plan to stop filing paper tax returns when they no longer allow it. Until then, I'll keep mailing in my paper tax forms. It might be old-school, but I prefer to do it that way.
10:26 am edt 

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Driest Town

There are many ways you can describe Rockport, Mass. It's charming, quaint, bucolic and on the water with their shops and restaurants. Until five years ago, liquor was not sold in the town. Eateries were unable to serve their patrons a drink.

In this day and age, you need to accommodate everyone.  The town meeting approved the sale only to patrons in restaurants. If a citizen wanted to purchase alcohol for personal use, they needed to leave town.

This practice is so outdated and a throwback to the Puritan era and "Blue Laws" which tried to regulate social behavior.

The town must decide whether they want to allow the sale in grocery stores. That seems like a no-brainer. The only problem is the town has no grocery store, no place to buy food on a retail basis.

As a sort of enticement, town officials feel that thy could lure a market to town if they allowed the sale of booze.

All of a sudden the tables turned. They can't have it both ways. On the other hand, Rockport needs to move into the social mainstream of 2012.

6:31 pm edt 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Lottery Wins

The Massachusetts State Lottery  announced that they had a profit of $888 million last year. This was a few million from their best year. All of this money is returned to the cities and towns of Massachusetts. Since 1972, the lottery has returned $19 billion.

Lotteries can be controversial. In a way, they are nothing more than a users' tax. The only ones that pay are the players. I rarely buy a ticket so my impact is minimal.

Critics say that many players are paying a tax they can't afford. It's their right to make their own decisions. Let them play if they want to.

I remember one time reading a critic who said "all the state does with the lottery is make money for the state". I thought that was the whole idea. At this point, they are doing a very good job at it.
8:55 pm edt 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saving Files

I'm one of those people who does their taxes in April. I was working on them today. I realized that I needed to look at my 2010 form. I though I knew where it was. I searched all over, but could not find it.

I have been doing some cleaning, but wondered where I could have placed it. I went out to do an errand, thinking that I might remember where I put it.

I searched a file cabinet that I had not looked at. I realized that I had placed several files there back in the summer.

It's good to have it, but I must admit that I spent about 90 minutes looking for it. I found a bunch of other things before I found it.
7:37 pm edt 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Up On the Roof

There are many ways of making a living that can involve risk and potential danger. I spent my career at a desk and later in a cubicle. The physical danger was largely confined to potential office accidents.

One of the most dangerous professions must be roofers. I have been watching a crew for the last week as they rip off the old shingles and replace them. The house is a classic American Four Square with a very steep roof and dormers.

The workers negotiate the ladders and roof as if they were on the ground. Just looking at their staging makes me nervous. I can't imagine climbing those ladders and doing their job, but it seems like second nature to them.

I think they welcome working outside and not being confined to an office. I can't imagine these guys changing to a cubicle life.
6:57 pm edt 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Small Town Living

I never had a desire to live in a rural area or small town. I was in Milford, NH the other night when I heard the sound of a loud horn. It must have been for the volunteer fire department.
I would hate to have my home on fire and then wait while the firefighters drove to the fire house. They are dedicated people and do their best, but the results can be rather disastrous. Time is so important when your house is burning.

I also never wanted my mailbox outside on the street. In some instances, they are clustered and the home owner needs to cross the street to get their mail. Boxes like these are an open invitation to vandals to destroy them or to steal mail.
Rural areas looks nice during the daylight, but at night they get so dark that it gets a bit creepy. I would have a hard time falling asleep at night with all of the sounds outside.
4:34 pm edt 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Expensive News

If the price of gasoline increased by 33% overnight, there would be outrage from the public. The same would hold true for some other consumer goods.

When I bought the Boston Globe on Monday, the price had increased from $1.50 to $2. That is way out of line. They are charging the new price outside of the Boston metropolitan area. They can blame the cost of fuel, but a 33% price increase is too much.

I prefer to buy the paper at the store because home delivery isn't feasible where I live. The Globe, like most newspapers, has seen its sales drop over the last few years. More people are going on-line for their news.

For the cost of the paper in a year, I could buy an Ipad and a newspaper on-line subscription. I prefer to read the paper in its present form. I don't want to read it on-line. I think it would take a lot more time. However, when I look at the cost, I need to give it some thought.

For six days, the paper will cost $12, with another $4 on Sunday. That comes out to $832 over the year. This is getting crazy.
1:15 am edt 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The New Shoes

Running shoes seem to have a short life to them. The outer-soles wear rather poorly. NIKE makes them like that to ensure that customers replace them on a regular basis.

Last summer, I bought two pairs of shoes. I wore the first ones in the New York City Marathon. I continued training with them through the winter.

I finally decided that I need to wear my second pair in the Boston Marathon. Shoes get broken in pretty easily these days. They will take a beating during the race as my running gets reduced to a shuffle. I drag my feet along the pavement which increases the wear.

I plan to use this pair into the summer. I'll pick up another pair and wear them in New York in November. It's a cycle that I repeat every year.

Fortunately, the store I buy my shoes from has a program to recycle them. They send them to Third World nations. That is so much better than throwing them out. I'm one of those people that doesn't toss out things.

One day last year, I brought in about 15 pairs to get recycled. The clerk in the store thought I only had a couple.
11:30 am edt 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Application For Hysteria

You never see kids walking to school. Everyone seems to ride the bus. They don't even wait at the bus stop without a parent present. Today, I saw a bus pick up a kid on a side street. The bus stopped in front of the house and the mother watched her child board it.

There are crazy stories out there about parental kidnappings. There are people who want to harm children, but parents can get to the point where they don't let their kids do anything.

There is a commercial on the radio about a phone application that gives updated Amber Alerts. It attempts to create a sense of hysteria on behalf of parents.

In this commercial , there is a voice over painting a scene where a mother is at a playground with her child. She turns her head for a moment and someone takes the child. It happened in a matter of seconds.

This scenario seems rather extreme. I have no doubt that kids get abducted at playgrounds, but this scenario is so over the top that you have to question why the mother is bringing her child to a place like this.

If it's that bad, they should never go there. The playground seems more dangerous that some cities in the Middel East.
2:47 pm edt 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Seeing the Changes

New technology is changing our lives so quickly. Kids growing up are seeing things that we could only imagine. Some are very simple.

I was reading the cartoon strip today called "The Family Circus". One of the kids was lamenting about their mother having to lick postage stamps when she was younger.

Some kids have no recollection of those types of stamps. I think self-adhering stamps are a great improvement. The glue on the old one always tasted terrible, but we thought nothing of licking them.

I wonder what types of changes we will see in the future. I should stop by the Verizon store and check out their new phones. My DROID is two years old and so outdated. It's hard to believe that it was over the top two years ago. Showing someone a picture takes forever.

I could buy a new phone today and it too will be outdated down the road. That's how it goes these days.
1:05 pm edt 

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