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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

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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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Sunday, September 30, 2012

More Sneezes Please

 

I looked at the clock when it happened at 9:10pm. I had two huge sneezes that made my head feel so much better. I've had some type of flu for two weeks. It's almost gone, but doesn't seem to go away.

Sneezing feels so nice. I wish I could do it every day of my life, but I don't. I often go several days at times between sneezing.

I would feel so much better if I could sneeze more. That's why I never acknowledge anyone sneezing with a "bless you". I still can't figure out why people say that. It makes no sense to me. When I sneeze, feel happy for me.

9:52 pm edt 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Bad Marriage of Cars & Bikes

 

A recent story about bicycle accidents in Boston shows that this mode of transportation faces great challenges in any urban area. Many riders operate as if they were driving a car. They try to keep up with traffic and show no fear on the streets.

So far in 2012, there have been 451 bike accidents in Boston compared to 583 for all of 2011. Many feel that accidents are under counted because reports are often not filed when there are no bodily injuries.

Cambridge is a very dangerous place for bikes and cars. As a driver, you need to be so careful when opening car doors after parking. I recently had a situation where I saw the cyclist at the last second as I opened my door. He was never in any potential danger, but if I had not remembered to look behind me, I would not have seen him.

Transportation officials want to see more bikes. They certainly have a positive impact on the environment, but also impact visits to the emergency rooms around the metropolitan area.

3:19 pm edt 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Brushing It Off

 

We could all do a better job recycling. I bring my newspapers and magazines to charity bins at churches. It's easy to do because I put them in bags in the trunk of my car. Bottles and cans are another story. We have a dumpster where I live. My only option is to store the stuff and bring it to a local recycling center. I have no room for them in my apartment and don't want to keep them in my car. I end up tossing them out.

Recycling is a big industry. People are always coming up with innovative ideas. I saw one today that caused me to roll my eyes. It involved recycling the heads of toothbrushes. A couple of entrepreneurs have come up with a new design that involves a wooden or aluminium handle. Attached to it are recyclable plastic brush heads. 

They feel that too many toothbrushes are thrown into landfills. With their product, only the brush head gets tossed out or recycled. It sounds like a good idea, but who would ever buy this? They sell their product for $30 with four brush heads and one reusable handle.

Their market segment will be very small. They need people who are very environmental conscious for this to work. To me, it doesn't make any sense. If you want to save plastic, just recycle water bottles. There is much more plastic in a water bottle than in a toothbrush head.

I'm sure some investors will sink money into this venture, but in the end, they might be better off buying lottery tickets. 

10:45 am edt 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Not Bringing The Heat

 

This weekend closes out September. We enter the last quarter of the calendar. Time is moving quickly. The color of the trees changes daily. We are all making changes for the weather.

I'm in the process of putting my polo shirts away until late next spring. I'll wear one tonight, but it's only a matter of time before I switch to long sleeve shirts. I'm already using a blanket at night as well as a sweat shirt.

Once October starts, we could get a day where the heat needs to get turned on. One of those cold and raw rainy days will do the trick. I still think it will be sometime in November before I pull my storm windows down.

3:24 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hold The Fried Foods

 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has never been hesitant to be a "nanny" to the great city of New York. I'm a fan of his, but he has his own social agenda at times. He proudly talks about spending $600 million of his own money to fight smoking.

He has taken on large sugary soft drinks which he opposes because of their health implications. I agree with his latest endeavor to  prevent city hospitals from selling candy bars and sugary drinks from their vending machines. He has also wants to prohibit hospital cafeterias from selling deep fried food and is looking for more salads and whole grain breads.

This appears as more social legislation. Bloomberg makes no apologies for his advocacy of a healthy diet, but where does society draw the line? What is the role of elected officials?

Hospitals should be at the forefront for healthy eating, but they often lag behind. It seems incongruous that it took so long to eliminate smoking.

Bloomberg feels that what he is doing is right. I agree with him on many issues, but I still think the bike lanes are a real challenge for everyone. 

1:31 pm edt 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Seasonal Cleaning

 

I have an issue with chronically itchy ears. As a result, I get them cleaned out every three months. I have been doing this for over ten years. I have always gone to the same doctor to get the wax removed. It feels so much better, but the wax returns quickly.

For the last several years, I have scheduled my appointment to coincide with the change of the season. My last appointment was two days before the start of summer. Prior to that, I was in there for the beginning of spring.

My next appointment is the week before Christmas. It's not that far away. It's hard to believe that it could be a cold and stormy day when that date comes around. It was such a lovely autumn day today. The trees are turning color and the temperature was in the 70's.

I can only geuss what the weather will be like one week before Christmas. 

2:42 pm edt 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Money Tree

 

Once we get into October, we will get inundated with ads for the holiday season. It gets earlier every year with no break from it.

I just saw an ad in the New York Post directed towards wholesalers who wish to buy Christmas trees in bulk. The Douglas Fur ones cost $14 each. If you add in transportation costs, it's easy to see why trees go for $40-50. Everyone needs to make a buck along the way. They don't do it for their health.

I was surprised to see that the growers only get $14 per tree. Their profit margin is very thin when you consider the years it takes for a tree grow to the correct height. I'm sure the growers deal in high volume, but I don't think they make that much of a profit.

9:07 pm edt 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

No Jacket Left Behind

 

We all make mistakes. The only thing you can hope for is to learn from them. Some mistakes have drastic repercussions. Others have no impact on our life.

I never like to make mistakes, but they happen no matter what. The other day I left a warm-up jacket at a place where I was getting some physical therapy for a couple of running injuries. I wore it because the morning was rather cool.

I was there for 90 minutes of treatment. I perspired a little while doing some exercises. Maybe it effected my memory about my jacket.

The thing that bothers me is that I walked past the coat rack on my way out the door, but never looked for my jacket. I knew I left it there later that evening when I started to look for it in my apartment.

I called the office. They held it for me so I could get it the next day. I felt rather foolish when I walked in because the receptionist recognized me and started to look for my chart. I had to tell her that I was the guy who left his jacket behind.

Now that it's getting colder, I'll never leave anything behind until late next spring.

6:51 pm edt 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kicking Soccer

 

I've been up for a couple of hours on this Saturday morning and already heard a few references about soccer games today. It seems like every kid plays. It's a game that doesn't require much equipment or skill by those who play. Every community has a field that is filled with parents and kids on a Saturday morning.

This whole thing cracks me up. Kids play soccer because their parents decided that for them. Kids don't make that decision. You never hear a five year old kid say that they want to play the game. Parents use it also for social reasons. They see their friends and neighbors at the games.

As kids get older, fewer play the game. By the time they get to middle school, the only ones who are still playing are those whose  parents continue to believe that their kid will get a scholarship or make a travel team.

Soccer is the primary sport in every country except America. Nobody here plays it when they get older except in adult recreation leagues. Those players are very passionate, but they are far and few.

Professional soccer has been around here for a long time. It has a very small, but solid fan base. It can't compete with baseball, football, basketball and hockey for popularity.

Today is the day when parents live vicariously through their kids. If their kid scores a goal, we will be forced to hear about how their little one is the greatest athlete in the world.

10:40 am edt 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Probably Wouldn't Work Today

 

Government at all levels is unable to create any jobs for the unemployed. The federal government has spent untold billions in "stimulus" funds, but few jobs have been created. Most of the money has gone to states and communities to save jobs. This was nothing more than a bailout in most instances.

It would be so easy to create jobs just by hiring people to pick up trash along the streets, parks, rivers and beaches. Whenever I go for a walk, I see trash everywhere. The beaches and river banks are in horrible shape. I can't believe all of the stuff that washes up on the shore daily.

There was a recent cleanup by volunteers along the banks of the Merrimack River. During one day, they removed over 200 car tires and fished out seven cars that had been submerged.

Apparently, an initiative like this would never work because an administrative bureaucracy would need to be created. It would probably become top-heavy with people stumbling over each other trying to define their own purpose.

There would also be those who would fake injuries from picking up trash and seek disability benefits. In retrospect, it must have been a miracle that programs such as the WPA or CCC were able to employ the millions that they did back during the Great Depression of the 1930's

8:56 am edt 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Up In Smoke

 

The local city council passed an ordinance which prohibits the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and smoking in private social clubs. It never made sense to me that pharmacies sell cigarettes. It seems so contradictory to their mission of trying to keep people healthy, but they sell almost anything these days.

The ruling on the private clubs is an interesting legal issue that has been upheld in the court system. I have done comedy shows at private clubs. When I got home, my clothes wreaked of tobacco odor and my eyes were like slits. Most social clubs appear to exist to give their members a haven to smoke, drink and sometimes gamble.

I support the right of people to smoke, but in many cases, innocent people must inhale second hand smoke. At my former place of employment, I was forced to inhale it for over twenty years. I was so glad when they outlawed it in federal buildings.

Smoking is a terrible addiction that many fight against. People have a right to engage in self-destructive behavior. That is their choice as long as they don't impact others.

This is an issue that will never have a solution that will make everyone happy.

2:00 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My First Case

 

I don't believe in getting a flu shot. Many pharmacies are offering them now. My last one was over 30 years ago. I got very sick after getting it. I vowed to never do it again.

I must admit that I am puzzled by the sudden onset of whatever I have now. I have experienced a stuffy head, runny nose and body aches for the last few days. Hopefully, this ends by the end of the week.

The nights have been cooler. It's hard to dress for the weather. I seem to get something like this every year. I don't know if a flu shot would prevent this. It's too close to the marathon to get one now.

Sometimes, I think about doing it, but now I will need to wait until late in November.

11:17 am edt 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Taken By The Cleaners

 

We often hear the term "organic" used too loosely around food products. Farmers make claims that their produce is organic, but in many cases, it's a stretch to really say that.

I went to the dry cleaners today to drop off a shirt. In the window was a neon sign that said they do "organic dry cleaning". I have no clue what that means. Most people, including myself, have no understanding of the dry cleaning process other than a lot of bad chemicals are used.

Am I suppose to feel good that my shirt will be organically cleaned? Without fully understanding the process, it would be wrong on my part to jump on the bandwagon for organic cleaning.

Next, they will come up with biodegradable hangers to try to make customers feel better.

12:14 pm edt 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Keep On Driving

 

It's "Car Free Week" in Massachusetts. Politicians are falling over each other trying to get on the band wagon. The goal is to have people take public transportation, join a car-pool or find some other alternative way to get to work.

They have good intentions. There are too many cars on the road with only one occupant, but I think this is just a bunch of nonsense. Most people need to ride by themselves.

My former place of employment was about 17 miles from where I live. A bicycle would have been impractical even on the back roads. I gave a few people a ride once and vowed I would never do it again as I didn't enjoy their conversation or company.

Public transportation was an option, but it would have turned a 20 minute commute to over one hour.

I'm sure we will hear some good sound bites from politicians about this. It's so easy to jump on the pile. In the end, we will all keep driving to work or use whatever method we have available.

9:44 am edt 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saying No To Sushi

 

Price increases on products are only relevant to the consumer when they purchase that particular item. If you don't use something, it doesn't really impact you that much. That is the case for me with sushi.

Apparently, sushi prices are up nation-wide, especially for shrimp and rice rolls. They have seen price increases from 10-25% in various urban areas.

I have never tried sushi and have no plans to do so in the future. It's never been on my radar. I just don't believe in eating things that are uncooked. People have been eating it forever, but you won't see me in the line.

8:36 am edt 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

That Scratchy Feeling

 

For the second consecutive day, I woke up with a stuffy head and scratchy throat. This happens every year around this time. The changing of the season is always a challenge for me. Last night, I had some temporary relief when I sneezed a couple of times. I wish I could right now.

I don't know why this happens. The nights are cooler. Sometimes, I wake up feeling cold, but they say you can't get sick from feeling cold. I will always dispute that.

Later this morning, I'll go buy some ZICAM tablets. They seem to help, but I hope this feeling doesn't linger.

8:00 am edt 

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Heavy Bag

 

Whenever I golf, I always prefer to walk. When you play in a charity outing, everyone rides in a cart. I'm ok with that.

A golf bag isn't that heavy to carry, but can feel otherwise if it's not properly balanced on your shoulder.

Today, I decided to rent a push cart for $5. I use to have a pull cart that I bought at a flee market at Quincy Market for $3 back in 1973. I used it until 1983. I was playing so poorly back then that I decided to carry my clubs which I've done it for the last 29 years.

I'll admit that I like the push cart. I would use it again. In fact, I might look around for a used one.

I might have carried my golf bag for the last time. 

9:19 pm edt 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Big Bang

 

On the other side of town, there is a gun club which has been there for many years. In recent years, homes have encroached on the edge of it. It's not a good combination. The neighborhood can get very noisy on weekends with the sound of gunshots filling the air. It certainly disturbs the peace.

Recently, neighborhoods have found stray bullets in their yards. The are outraged and rightfully so. It must be tough to buy an expensive house in an upscale neighborhood and have this.

The gun club has met with the effected neighbors and tried to deflect all criticism.They claim they have a system in place to catch stray bullets. It will be interesting to see what the ultimate resolution will be.

Neither the gun club or houses are going away any time soon.

4:39 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Anyone For Spam?

 

Spam is part of the whole email and internet process. I can never figure out how I get some of this stuff. I try to check my spam file on a routine basis to see if anything fell through the cracks.

When I checked it today, I saw something that I should have received in my in-box. I corrected the situation, but I wonder if I have missed others in the past.

I guess I need to be more vigilant in the future. You never want to miss something important. I would like to know why this didn't make it to my in-box.

It's one of those things that I'll never have an answer for.

1:30 pm edt 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer Has Left The Building

 

Last night was the turning point of the summer. When I went out, I wore a warm-up jacket. It felt so chilly when I got home. It was 53 degrees.

When I went to bed, I didn't turn on my fans for the first time in a couple of months. I wrapped a sheet around me to stay warm. I woke up a couple of times because it was chilly.

This morning, I put on a long sleeve jersey because the temperature in my apartment was 68. In a few more weeks, I might need to turn on the heat.

Summer is over in ten days, but it really ended last night. We could get some warm days that send people to the beach, but it's time to say farewell to the last days of summer.

It was a great ride, but here comes autumn.

7:42 am edt 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Disrespecting The Victims

 

With the 11 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks tomorrow, it's a sin that the museum at Ground Zero has not opened yet. Government agencies continue to haggle over the $60 million in operating costs. Whenever they throw out a money figure, you know it will be much more in the end. Government estimates are never correct.

The problem is that this has been going on for the last few years. The New York Port Authority controls the site and has been unwilling to agree to any compromise. Meanwhile, the public is deprived of seeing the full memorial.

They currently have an exhibition of artifacts at the 9/11 Visitor's Center. I took a tour of it last year. If it doesn't bring tears to your eyes, you must be void emotion.

It's a shame that this problem drags on. It's very typical of government.

 

10:08 am edt 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Crummy Job

 

I like to think that eating a seven grain whole wheat bread is a good thing to do. I like to toast it, especially for breakfast and with burgers.

The bread always leaves a lot of crumbs in the tray inside the toaster. I empty it every few days. I'm always surprised in the amount of crumbs, especially tonight. I washed them down the drain after sweeping them into the sink.

The bread I eat seems to be a tight fit in the toaster. I think some of it gets shaved off when the slices go down.

 

8:07 pm edt 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Falling From The Trees

 

With only two weeks left in summer, we still have warm and humid temperatures here the last few days. The forecast is for cooler weather the next few days, but the signs of autumn are here. I have seen a few dead leaves on trees. It happens very slowly, but quickly gathers momentum until we see all of the bright colors and eventually bare trees.

I always know it's that time of the year when the tree at the bottom of my street starts to drop all of its chestnuts. There was a bunch of them today in the gutter. There brownish color has never changed.

One of the things I like to do is to kick one along the street before I come to a side street that has a long downhill. There are never any cars so I don't mind kicking it and watching it roll down the street. I like to watch how far it gets before it heads towards the curb and stops. It never really gets that far.

In a couple of weeks there will be so many chestnuts on the ground that they will be run over and crushed by cars as the drivers looks for a parking space. Then I know autumn is really here.

 

4:58 pm edt 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spending It Back

 

Every city and town wants to get their share of state funds. Some get a bigger piece of the pie. There are so many program funds that towns and cities compete for. School construction is very competitive.

They also compete for money to repair roads and sidewalks. It's been happening in my neighborhood. A major street at the bottom of mine had its old asphat ripped up. For a few days, there were numerous raised manhole covers to dodge.

The job appears to be finished. I went out for a walk today to check it out. This pavement won't last long. I don't think they used the roller long enough.

It's only a matter of time before one of the utility company opens up and road and does a lousy job sealing their patch. It happens all the time.

5:51 pm edt 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Those Bladers

 

People who roller-blade always look like they are having a good time. I guess you need to be a bit reckless to do it. Nobody wears a helmet or pads. If they fall, they pay the price. It doesn't seem to bother them.

I encountered two bladers earlier this evening. They were on both sides of the street. I was concerned about passing them. One of them finally went up on the sidewalk.

They are so irresponsible at times. They think they own the street.

There's nothing you can do about it. Police can never get to these guys because they move around so fast. I just wish they wouldn't skate down the middle of the street. That's not asking too much.

 

9:23 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Expensive House

 

I'm not a big advocate of taxpayer funded stadiums and arenas. They cost too much and become money losers. The city of Allen, Texas with a population of 87,000 had no problem approving long term bonds for a $60 million stadium for high school football.

With a capacity of 18,000, it looks like it belongs on a college campus. There is a monstrous weight room and fitness center.

It might sound extravagant to us, but high school football in Texas is like the passion for the Red Sox around here. The stadium will get a great deal of use. Everyone seems to be happy with it. The players will certainly play their home games in a palace. It's a great spot for post-season games.

So far, this might have actually been a good idea, but only time will tell.

 

4:51 pm edt 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mail Call

 

You can always count on getting a lot of mail after a holiday. Today was no exception with 14 pieces. I'm doing my part to keep the postal system alive with all of my junk mail.

I received two catalogues which I'll recycle. I also got my electric bill and a health newsletter. Otherwise, the other 10 pieces were all nonsense.

Three pieces were from political candidates, including one guy I never heard of. I'll go through it all. I'll recycle the greeting cards because I would never send one of those to anyone. I always keep the envelopes, although I probably have several hundred now in all shapes and sizes.

I should be receiving some more 2013 calendars. I already recycled 12 of them. The organizations all wanted money and sent a follow-up letter wondering if I received their calendar. This stuff will never stop.

5:53 pm edt 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Going To The Tracks

 

The MTA in New York City reported that 147 people were struck by their trains in 2011, resulting in 48 deaths. It would never be a great day to be struck by a subway train. They come roaring into the station. The track pit is very uninviting. It's a horrible way to commit suicide.

A story in the New York Post told about  man who was walking with two canes and accidentally fell onto the tracks. Somehow, he avoided the third rail and rolled into a small recessed area.

It's a good thing he did because a train entered the station right away. Half of the first car rolled past him. He was under the train, but alive.

That man had a good ending to his story. He lives for another day. He won't be the last person to have a seizure or accidentally trip and fall onto the tracks. The numbers rise and fall over the years, but the trains do claim lives one way the other. 

7:09 pm edt 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Marathon Lie

 

Politicians lie all the time. It's a way of life for them. They distort the facts and pander to the voters. They lie about creating jobs, eliminating waste, reducing the deficit and holding government more responsible. They will say anything to get votes and win the election.

I was very outraged to hear the lie from Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan about his marthon run back in 1990. He said he ran the race in 2:50. This was a complete lie. His time was actually over four hours. 

Why did he lie about this? Was he ashamed to run over four hours? His previously stated time of 2:50 would put him in the top 10% of marathoners whereas four hours makes him an average jogger. There is nothing wrong with running four hours.

His lie about his marathon says a great deal about his character. What else will he lie about? I'm not sure which is worse; the distortion of facts by politicians or a gullible uninformed public that believes anything told to them.

8:52 am edt 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1

 

Today is September 1st and Labor Day weekend. It's the unofficial end of the summer which went by too fast. I remember going to the beach back on the first day of summer.

It's only nine weeks until the New York City Marathon. The weeks will go by quickly. Once the race is over, we will be on the door step for Thanksgiving and then the Holidays.

The year is rushing by. I wish I could slow it down, but I can't. Time passes too quickly and we all get a day older. 

9:42 am edt 


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