Sunday, September 30, 2012
More Sneezes Please
9:52 pm edt
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.
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.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
The Bad Marriage of Cars & Bikes
3:19 pm edt
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.
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.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Brushing It Off
10:45 am edt
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.
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.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Not Bringing The Heat
3:24 pm edt
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.
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.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Hold The Fried Foods
1:31 pm edt
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.
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.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
2:42 pm edt
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.
can only geuss what the weather will be like one week before Christmas.
Monday, September 24, 2012
The Money Tree
9:07 pm edt
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.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
No Jacket Left Behind
6:51 pm edt
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
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.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
10:40 am edt
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.
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.
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.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Probably Wouldn't Work Today
8:56 am edt
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.
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.
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
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Up In Smoke
2:00 pm edt
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
My First Case
11:17 am edt
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.
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.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Taken By The Cleaners
12:14 pm edt
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.
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.
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.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Keep On Driving
9:44 am edt
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.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Saying No To Sushi
8:36 am edt
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.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
That Scratchy Feeling
8:00 am edt
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
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.
this morning, I'll go buy some ZICAM tablets. They seem to help, but I hope this feeling doesn't linger.
Friday, September 14, 2012
The Heavy Bag
9:19 pm edt
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.
have carried my golf bag for the last time.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
The Big Bang
4:39 pm edt
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.
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
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Anyone For Spam?
1:30 pm edt
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.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Summer Has Left The Building
7:42 am edt
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
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
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.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Disrespecting The Victims
10:08 am edt
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.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
A Crummy Job
8:07 pm edt
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.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Falling From The Trees
4:58 pm edt
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.
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.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Spending It Back
5:51 pm edt
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
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
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.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
9:23 pm edt
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.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
The Expensive House
4:51 pm edt
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.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
5:53 pm edt
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.
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.
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.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Going To The Tracks
7:09 pm edt
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.
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.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
A Marathon Lie
8:52 am edt
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
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.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
9:42 am edt
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.