Saturday, June 30, 2012
5:22 pm edt
With this being Fourth of July weekend,
there will be fireworks the next several days. With the 4th coming next Wednesday, people are gearing up for a long celebration.
I have never been fan of fireworks. I never went out of my way to watch them. Maybe, it's because I never saw them
as a kid, but they do nothing for me now.
Unfortunately, people will be lighting them off in neighborhoods and
bothering people. You really can't do anything about it unless it gets totally out of hand.
I don't like to be
woken up by it during the night. Fireworks add nothing to the quality of life in neighborhoods.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Riders On The Streets
6:18 pm edt
The bike lane program in New York City
continues to have mixed results. The city has been very aggressive in setting up bike lanes all over Manhattan and the other
boroughs. The mixture of bikes, cars and pedestrians is not the greatest combination for safety.
first three months of this year, there were 755 bikers injured from accidents and three fatalities. These numbers are crazy
and don't make the bike program look good.
I have witnessed the riders during my trips to the city. Some
of them drive too fast and weave through traffic. Most are good. It's easy to see why there have been so many accidents.
The city with be providing more opportunities to rent bikes. More riders will be on the streets with or without helmets.
I never really gave riding in the city much of a thought. I always see the riders in Central Park. I just never thought
of renting a bike. I have no plans to do so in the future. It would be too crazy out there for me.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Good Morning Today
2:50 pm edt
There are big changes coming to the
"Today Show" with the reassignment of Anne Curry. This will be viewed as major news to many viewers, but doesn't
really mean anything to me.
I never watched the show over the years. I don't think I have seen more than
three hours of it in my life. I never watch television during the day. When I was working, I always listened to the radio while
I was getting ready at home.
I have seen about one hour of "Good Morning America". Both shows have
been around forever and are big money makers for their respective networks. I never had any interest to watch them. I still
prefer the radio when I'm at home.
I never watch the noon-time news on tv. In fact, I would rather read a newspaper
or book than sit in front of the screen.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Calling The Bulding Ugly
3:03 pm edt
A publication from California has determined
that Boston City Hall is one of the ugliest buildings in America and should be torn down, along with a host of others. This
is nothing new in recent years. Many have called for changes with the building that is viewed as cold and with a great deal
of wasted space.
I have been in the building once. No doubt that space is wasted. When it was built in the late
1960's, it won numerous architectural awards for its cutting edge design.
The concrete design is outdated,
but why should it be torn down? If that's the case, cities across America are filled with ugly buildings.
never offered any solid ideas on how to improve it. This same type of attitude was prevalent in the 1960's during the urban
It lead to the destruction of the West End and Scollay Square. There are numerous buildings
in both neighborhoods that would be preserved by today's standards. Back then, it was in vogue to tear down the old and build
People can talk forever about Boston City Hall, but the likelihood of tearing it down is slim to none.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
8:06 pm edt
I don't believe in restaurant
reviews. I don't think they really tell you anything unless the place is atrocious and a waste of money. It's always the opinion
of the writer.
a chance today to check out a new Indian luncheon buffet. I love that stuff. The restaurant had moved to a new location. I
ate there once before. I was anxious to check out their new locale.
My concerns about the place have nothing to do with the quality of the food. It was the lack
of it. They also had a very poor buffet set-up. They made you reach for items in a few instances.
You should never be scraping the bowls for the chicken.
They ran low on Nan bread. That is the ultimate example of a place with a problem. You can't run low on Nan.
I plan to go back in the future to give it one more
try. If they ever run low on food again, I'll never go back. They made no effort at replenishing some of the items. It was
2pm. The serve the buffet until 3:30. I realize they don't want to waste any food, but put some out for me.
I won't deny that I'm giving this place a second
chance because it's one of the few Indian restaurants around, but it's two strikes and out.
Monday, June 25, 2012
5:48 pm edt
A journalism professor from
my alma mater UMass sspoke to students about the importance of conducting interviews with people either in person or over
the phone. He was not an advocate of sending emails.
It's hard to believe that we have reached this point where human contact is no longer
needed to conduct a conversation. I agree with the professor's comments. Interviews should only be done in person or over
the phone. Email should be the absolute last resort.
It's fascinating to see where human interaction is going.
Years ago, websites didn't exist. Any writings of mine would have been done in a notebook that nobody would read.
The internet allows anyone to have their own forum without actually seeing or talking to others. It will continue to have
a huge impact on human communication, both in a positive and negative way.
Sometimes, I think of setting
up a Twitter account. That might be interesting, but so much of the stuff posted is nonsense.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
A Tall Story
3:07 pm edt
that time of the year for those running for political office to sendout material to voters promoting themselves. I got something
the other day that really struck me. It was a picture of a local candidate with his wife. It was obviously a staged photo,
but I think they made a mistake.
The plan must have been to make him look taller than his wife. He was probably
standing on something to make him appear taller than he is. I have seen him in person. He is under six feet. The picture made
him appear to tower about two feet over his wife. I know his wife isn't that short.
I thought it was a very odd
photo. I'm sure it was scrutinized and reviewed before they printed copies for distribution. It was their call to make, but
I still think it looks strange. The photo makes him look about seven feet tall and a very imposing candidate.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Here Comes The Train
2:03 pm edt
New York Subway system is a great way to travel around the city. I use it a great deal when I'm there. I try to be very careful
when I'm below ground. I don't ride it after 8pm because the city is different after dark.
The MTA is conducting a public safety
campaign advising riders to stay away from the tracks. It's very common for people to step to the edge of the platform to
look down the tracks for trains. I think everyone has done it at least once.
Last year, there were 146 people
struck by trains resulting in 47 fatalities. The MTA didn't break down the number between accidental strikes and suicides,
but it comes out to one almost fatality per week and three strikes.
I knew there was a problem, but didn't realize the
extent. The numbers were no better in 2010 with 146 strikes and 47 fatalities.
At this point, the goal should be
to prevent the accidental strikes. If someone plans to jump in front of a train, there is nothing anyone can do to prevent
it. When the eight car trains come barreling into the station, they are a massive force that will clear anything in their
Friday, June 22, 2012
4:50 pm edt
It's important to be hydrated during
this heatwave. I drink water and Gatorade from bottles in my refrigerator. I drink from the bottle, but use a glass if
the container is larger than 16 ounces. One thing I never add is ice. The drinks are cold enough for me. I never use
ice cubes. In fact, I don't have any in my freezer.
Some people insist on adding ice to a drink. It's a matter
of preference. When I'm at someone's house, I usually decline ice unless I feel that it might create an awkward situation.
In that case, I add ice "socially". Sometimes it's easier to take it and keep everyone happy.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
A Nice Side Job
12:24 pm edt
There are many strange laws in the state
of Massachusetts. Apparently, the City Clerk and other designated officials in town and city halls are able to keep the fee
charged to marry couples in their office during work hours.
As a former government employee, I find this to
be a conflict of interest. I understand the law has been written to allow this, but why should employees profit from doing
their job during their normal tour of duty?
This story made the news when Boston decided to add a $15 processing
fee to the cost of getting married in the City Clerk's office. One employee made $60,000 in extra income in one year performing
this task during her regular work hours.
This is a classic case of a law being written for a special interest group.
I believe that any fee charged for a marriage should go into the town or city's general funds. Employees should not be able
to earn extra income for just doing their job.
I could see paying them if the ceremony was performed after
their shift ended, but that's not the case.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The Start of Summer
5:30 am edt
Today is the first day of summer and
the beginning of a two day heat wave. No doubt this will be hyped to death. It's summertime. It's going to get hot and humid.
That doesn't keep the media from making this into a huge story. Once it gets into the mid 90's, it becomes the headline.
There will be people complaining about the heat and wishing for cooler temperatures. They should not worry. After
today, the days start to get shorter. Pretty soon, it will be cool and they will be yearning for summer. It happens every
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Getting On the Bus
6:53 pm edt
Time passes too quickly these days.
It's a little over 19 weeks until the New York City Marathon. I have my hotel room all paid for. It's never cheap to stay
Today, I got an email from the race committee asking me to select my mode of transportation to the starting
line. The last few years, they have incorporated the Staten Island ferry into the day. I have never chosen that option. It
allows for a later departure to the starting line.
I have always taken the race buses from in front of the New
York City Public Library on Fifth Ave. It has always work out for me. At this point, I'm not interested in trying anything
new. I'll let the newcomers take the ferry.
Monday, June 18, 2012
No Match For Trucks
11:29 am edt
We are starting to see more
Smart Cars as they get more popular. They get tremendous gas mileage and are cheaper than a conventional sedan. However, they
can present some safety issues. I would not want to be driving one in a collision.
When I saw this particular car, I also noticed a couple of full-size Ford and Chevy pick-up
trucks also in the parking lot. They were so huge compared to the Smart Car. Their difference in size is scary.
If you hit one of these trucks head-on, there is
no doubt that the results would probably be fatal. Some of the American trucks are so huge. They are no match for any car,
especially a Smart Car.
I think they have their limitations in popularity.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
11:28 am edt
Motorcycle Week is wrapping up in New
Hampshire. I saw many of them during my trip to Mt Washington yesterday. Very few wore a helmet. They are not required in
Many of the bikers were from out of state where helmets are required. It appeared that many riders were glad
to remove them and have the wind blowing in their face.
I have only had one motorcycle ride in my life. I don't
ever plan to get on one again. I believe in wearing a helmet. It makes a lot of sense.
had four fatalities yesterday. Each accident was different. Would a helmet have made a difference? That's hard to say,
but you stand a better chance if you wear one.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Facing It Today
8:02 pm edt
I ran in the race today up Mt Washington.
I like to think that I plan these things thoroughly. I'm always concerned about overlooking something. I prepare for any type
of weather and bring a lot of stuff I don't end up using.
The race went very well for me. I felt good throughout
the time I was on the mountain, but I'm quite disappointed that I forget to bring my sunscreen. My face got quite a burn.
This is how you cause problems for yourself.
I made a mental note last night to pack it and still forgot.
I should keep some in my car, but it's too late for today. I was smart enough tonight to put some moisturizing lotion on my
face. I got some great color today, but this was no way to do it. This is a great way to cause skin damage and more problems.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Bessie Doesn't Live Here
8:40 pm edt
I belong to the National Trust For Historic
Preservation. For $15 annually, I get their monthly magazine which keeps me updated on historic preservation issues. I also
get solicitations from them, usually involving some type of boat cruise.
Today, I got one for "The Treasures
of The Mississippi & The Gulf Coast", but I have no interest to go on a twelve day cruise on a ship with 138 cabins.
It struck me odd that it was not addressed to me correctly. They had the correct last name, but the first name
was Ms Bessie. Was this some type of marketing ploy related to Southern hospitality? Isn't Bessie a stereotypical Southern
name? They never did this before. I found it rather odd.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Great For the Shower
5:39 pm edt
I read an article about Flip Flops becoming
acceptable at work and other places. Many people wear them in public. You see them everywhere. I have never worn them outside
as an adult. I don't like walking in them, but use them all the time in the shower and bathroom.
two pairs that I replace periodically when the bottoms get smoother. It's best to buy them this time of year. Stores tend
to have fewer in the winter months.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Reasons Not To Buy
12:21 am edt
Condo ownership can be a good
deal assuming there are no major repairs to be done to the building. Assessments can be very painful financially. I have been
seeing a good example of that at a place I run by on a daily basis.
The units are in a former nursing home built in the early 1960's. It was converted to about
ten units back in 2003. I attended the open-house back then to look at them. They looked very nice in the renovated building.
Since then, it must be a nightmare for the owners. Last year, the entire roof was replaced after only nine years.
Over the last couple of weeks, workers have excavated around the concrete foundation down to the footing. It appears that
the building has a problem with water in the basement. The lawn has all been ripped up.
It looks like a very expensive
job. I'm sure the owners are being hit hard with an assessment. At this point, they probably wished they never bought
Stories like this keep me from having an interest in ever buying one.
Timing Was Everything
2:41 pm edt
I think there is some truth about fate
in our life. Today was a good example for me. I encountered someone who I had not seen in over ten years. He moved away to
Arizona back in 2003 andwas visiting here for a few days to see his kids and grandchildren. I was out for a run when
he drove by. He pulled over and we talked for about five minutes.
I was running a little later than I had planned.
Procrastination does that to you. If I had left my place five minutes earlier, I never would have seen him. The same goes
for him. It was a real "chance encounter".
Monday, June 11, 2012
Little Things Cause Big Problems
11:46 am edt
Mistakes happen, but sometimes they
have huge consequences. A freezer malfunctioned at MaClean Hospital containing 150 human brains for Autism research.
The remains are no longer useful. Scientists fear it might set research back ten years.
How did this happen? Was
there a back-up device to ensure uninterrupted power? This seems bizarre in this day and age. It could happen again somewhere
I'm sure an investigation will be conducted. In the end, it will probably be something simple that
caused the catastrophe. Two weeks ago, a US Navy submarine suffered extensive damage from a fire while in dry-dock because
of a malfunction with an industrial vacuum cleaner.
It's always the litle things that get you.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
11:59 pm edt
I always enjoy shopping for groceries.
The new Market Basket store is so awesome. It is also very cold when you go inside to shop. It was in the 80's today, but
so cold in the store. I just wanted to get out after going in.
I was in there yesterday and wore a huge sweat shirt
on a hot day. Those places are so cold.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Passing of the Battery
10:09 pm edt
I have thought of upgrading my Droid
phone after three years of use. It's slow compared to other phones I see. I got a little closer today when the battery died.
Naturally, the Verizon store doesn't carry it because they no longer make that model of the phone.
on-line. I assume the problem is with the battery since it will no longer hold a charge. I'm using an old flip-phone that
I have as a back-up.
It has become more imperative to download all of the audio-files I have on my Droid.
They cannot be transferred if I upgrade. I should have done that a long time ago, but I procrastinated. Now, the phone doesn't
Friday, June 8, 2012
The Drastic Cut
11:41 am edt
It was a drastic step to take against
one of my house plants, but it was either that or toss it out. All of the leaves were drooping. The plant had no sign of life.
I decided to cut the leaves off to the stems.
It remains to be seen what will happen. The last time I tried this,
the plant eventually ended up in the trash. I wonder what caused the leaves to wilt.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Course of the Rain
9:00 pm edt
I never listen to the "Five Day
Forecast". It's so hard to predict weather. When I went golfing today, the clouds were huge and puffy. There was some dark
grey threatening sky, but it looked ok.
About one hour into our round, the sky darkened very quickly and there
was a rumble of thunder. It was raining before then, but once the thunder came, they blew the horn and forced all players
to return to the shelter of the clubhouse. That is always a good idea.
They opened the course again after 55 minutes.
I remember saying "I think we will make it", but I was wrong. After the 14th hole, I had great doubt because
the sky was so dark. We teed off on the 16th, but the sky opened up. We decided to call it a day as the rain didn't look like
it would let up soon.
They gave us a rain prorated rain check for $10. I bet the next time we go back there, they
won't have the special they had today.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Those Leaf Blowers
11:40 pm edt
I have no problem with leaf blowers.
I have had the opportunity to use one to blow leaves. They do such a great job.
Recently, a Boston suburb wanted
to eliminate their use between May 15th and October 15th. I don't understand why.
They make noise, but I
never thought it was that loud. My biggest issue with leaf blowers was whether they blew lawn clippings out into the street.
I have a real problem with that.
When it comes to leaves, what is the best way to remove them?
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Pulling Up the Blanket
12:34 pm edt
When we had the warm days back in March
and April, I predicted that we would get cold temperatures in June. Those days are here. Last night it was around 50 degrees.
It was cold and raw with the drizzle.
When I went to bed, I wore sweat pants and a long sleeve t-shirt. I also
pulled a blanket out of the draw. I thought I was done with blankets until at least September. I guess I was wrong.
The cool temperatures will be with us for the next few days. I wasn't ready to go to the beach in March, but I'm ready now.
I just don't know when the weather will cooperate.
It probably won't be for another couple of weeks at this point.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Saving the Plant
11:01 am edt
It seem like a good idea for my plant.
In the last week, the leaves shriveled up and were drooping. I thought it needed more sunlight. I placed the plant on a windowsill
in my bathroom.
Earlier this week, the weather was warm and sunny. Things were headed in the right direction.
Unfortunately, the plant was exposed to the cool temeratures of the last few days. When I examined it today, it looked
bad. I trimmed a few leaves and placed it back in my living room.
The next few days will be very crucial for the
plant's survival. I'm not sure what will happen at this point.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Even On a Cloudy Day
4:55 pm edt
Most people don't wear any type of sun
screen to protect their skin. I count myself among them. I'm very good at applying it when I play golf, but just can't remember
when I run.
Today was a good example. I ran a 5k race with the temperatures in the 50's and a little drizzle. I
would never think to use it on a day like today.
However, after showering and shaving, I noticed my face was wind-burned.
The skin looks a bit irritated. I need to start putting some cream on. I have some good stuff with a moisturizer. It would
be a smart thing to do.
I saw a dermatologist a few days ago for a regular exam. He said the same thing. I don't
know why this is so difficult to do.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Fearless On Bicycles
3:18 pm edt
There was a fatal bicycle accident last
night in Boston. It was a terrible tragedy for a woman who was struck by a bus before she crashed.
I was in Boston
and Cambridge two evenings this week. They were both warm and beautiful nights. Cyclists were out in full force, even after
I saw numerous male and female cyclists riding without helmets and reflectors. Cambridge and Boston both
have bike lanes, but they still compete with cars. I parked my car on Mass Ave in Cambridge and almost didn't see a cyclist
when I opened my door to get out.
Cyclists are careful overall, but there are some who really push the envelope.
They ride as if they were a car trying to keep up with the traffic.
Bikes are here to stay. More dedicated
lanes are being created for them.They need to coexist with cars, but that can be a real challenge at times.
think I would ever be brave enough to ride a bike in the city at night. Some people have no option, but it's a tough way to
get around at times.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Boozing On Prom Night
4:59 pm edt
High school proms are very important
to those who attend them. However, the cost has spiraled out of control for an evening of fun.
Over the years,
great steps have been taken to ensure kids are not killed as a result of drinking and driving. Some schools resort to controlling
the entire night with their after-prom party.
Every year you read a story of a school that has a mandatory breathalyser
test for all who attend. Some say it's a way to protect the kids. However, some of them will enlist in the military and could
end up in Iraq and Afghanistan by this time next year.
I'm all in favor of safety, but if you need to administer
a mandatory breathalyser to everyone, why even have the event. It just doesn't seem like the whole thing is worth it.