Wednesday, October 31, 2012
9:49 am edt
Everyone will be happy when
the election is over. The Presidential race has been out of control with almost $1 billion spent by Obama and Romney. Things
at the local level are not much better. We have been inundated with campaign mailings touting the virtues of their respective
I received yesterday summed it all up. It featured the candidate in the typical family pose with his wife and kids. It had a few endorsements from people I never heard of. He listed his experience, including that of a "successful
businessman", but I don't think you can stay in business long if you are not successful.
The most absurd was his listing of his priorities.
He wants lower taxes, less regulation, smaller government, eliminating wasteful spending and restoring fiscal discipline.
How original is this? It sounds nice, but he offers no explanation on how this will be done.
I don't think you will ever
find a candidate that wants higher taxes, more government and wasteful spending. I have always said that it takes a certain
personality profile to get into politics. I think this guy meets the criteria.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The Toughest City On Earth
1:42 pm edt
The weather people around
here must be disappointed because they cannot refer to Sandy as a hurricane. The winds never got over 70 mph. It is now called
Superstorm Sandy. That seems to be a very odd moniker.
People lost power around here. There are many branches and leaves on the ground, but we escaped
most of the damage. The same cannot be said about New York City and New Jersey. They were hit hard. I feel terrible for the
people who lost their homes during a massive inferno in Queens. The firefighters were unable to save 80 homes during the storm.
The subway took a huge hit. It could be several
days before the system is up and running again. So much of Lower Manhattan is at sea level. The water just kept rushing in.
No matter how much damage there is, the great city
of New York always comes back. Throughout is history, it has rebounded against incredible odds. Eventually, it will look like
nothing happened. That's how New York is. Never bet against it.
Monday, October 29, 2012
What Else Should We Do?
1:44 pm edt
Hurricane Sandy continues
to confront the east coast in varying degrees. I understand there are a number of public safety concerns, but some of the
local media continue to turn this into a Nanny state.
We have heard instructions not to go to the beach and stand on seawalls. Don't pick up any downed power lines. The
most important thing is to keep two hands on the steering wheel when driving.
I'm sure there are other things they could tell us. Mayor Bloomberg ordered
the evacuation of over 300,000 citizens of New York City who live in low lying areas. He didn't say where they could go.
Public transportation has been suspended
there, yet municipal employees were told to report to work today. They had the choice of walking, driving or sharing a ride.
Apparently, the mayor is not advocating the use of the city's bike lanes.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
The Unknown Storm
12:50 am edt
The week is starting with
a great unknown. What will happen with Hurricane Sandy? Will we feel its effect? it sounds like we will get a great deal of
rain and wind. Storms get more hype these days because of the 24/7 media coverage. People are tripping over each other to
cover the story.
wants to see anyone get hurt or have property damage. People need to take precautions. I need to make a routine trip to the
market later today. It should be really crazy as people stock up on supplies thinking they might never get out of the house
It will be interesting
to see what happens. You never know with things like this.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Currently The Resident
12:23 pm edt
I'm doing my part in helping
the US Post Office by getting all sorts of junk mail. It's one of the things that reduces operating costs for the system.
"Pre-sorted First-Class Mail" is the lifeline. It's a big money maker and very efficient. No forwarding or returns
are needed if the person no longer lives there.
I received one yesterday that didn't make any sense. It was from a real estate school trying
to see me on-line courses for my license renewal. They had all of the information correct. However, they had my name or "current
resident" in the address line. This works for a lot of junk mail, but if I didn't live here, the current resident might
not have a real estate license.
never mind getting junk mail, but I don't like the sytem where they use your name or "current resident". I don't
want my mail to end up in the trash.
Friday, October 26, 2012
12:47 am edt
Winter is two months away.
The temperatures have been typical of autumn. All of a sudden, the skin on my hands has become very dry and with a few cracks.
I need to start using hand lotion. I thought I would be doing this in December instead of now.
I think the cause of this is the chlorine in the
pool that I have been working out in. Sometimes, I think I should try and buy waterproof gloves. Chlorine is tough on the
are very dry. The lotion feels very soothing. It's going to be a long winter. My skin gets dry every year, especially on my
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Waiting For Sandy
5:41 pm edt
We are now waiting for Hurricane
Sandy. Nobody knows its direction over the next few days. It could hit any place on the east coast, but nobody knows when.
Today, it's striking the Bahamas with winds over
100 mph. They say it could hit southern New England. I assume 35 miles north of Boston is not considered southern.
They refer to it as a "hybrid" storm.
That's the first time we are hearing this term. The weather people are falling over each other talking about this.
You never want anyone to get hurt by these storms.
It's important to take proper precautions to ensure public safety. The media is starting to hype it up. They don't always
help the situation.
some point on Monday or Tuesday, people will start storming the food markets to strip the shelves bare.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Biggest Trophy
9:49 am edt
I stop at a little strip mall
daily to buy my newspapers. There is a karate studio next to the store. It caters to parents who want their kids to take karate.
I have mixed feelings about this activity because I occasionally see a couple of kids horsing around in the parking lot trying
to karate kick each other.
is a very serious form of martial arts and not meant to be a play activity. For kids growing up today, it's just another thing
on a long list available to them.
owner of the studio displays a few trophies in his window. He must be trying to show parents the great accomplishments of
his students. The size of the trophies is way over the top. They are the tallest and largest ones I have ever seen. I don't
understand why they need to be that big.
have stood next to the Stanley Cup which is small in comparison. It must be tough getting these into a car to bring back from
the competition. You probably need a truck to transport them.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Not The Best Outlet
2:40 pm edt
People use different terms
around the country for various things. We say brook or stream instead of creek. My GPS calls it a roundabout, but I know it
as a rotary. When I buy a sub in New York City, I always call it hero to avoid confusion.
I have lived in the same city my entire life. We refer to streets that don't connect to one
another as a "dead end". Apparently, another local community thinks this term is inappropriate. They use the term
"no outlet" and post it on a yellow traffic sign.
I wonder why they do this. Do they feel that it's politically incorrect? Is it considered
harmful for children to hear this expression? The expression "dead end" has been around forever. What will be next
on the list?
Monday, October 22, 2012
Saving The Tree
5:05 pm edt
I think the Landmarks Preservation
Commission has done an outstanding job in New York City with their efforts to preserve significant structures throughout the
five boroughs. It has not been without controversy, especially from developers who feel they are restricted by rules they
consider to be Draconian.
latest issue involves a 230 year old Copper Beech tree in Queens which has been around for over 230 years. Preservationists
feel that if the tree isn't protected, it could be cut down by the future land owners.
The request is highly unusual, but so is the tree. I believe the city should make every effort
to preserve this tree which can live up to 400 years.
I'm sure there will be those who would like to take a chain saw to it and build a strip mall
in its place. That is why the city needs the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Those Crazy Runners
5:13 pm edt
It really amazed me that some
runner could run a 2:46 marathon in flip-flops. He did it recently in Baltimore. His time was about 15 minutes slower than
his best, but I find it remarkable that he was able to run so fast. The people at Guinness are verifying it to give him a
seen many strange things in the marathon, especially in New York City where a runner ran backwards and another wore wooden
shoes. There was a guy who did it several years while wearing a rhinoceros costume that weighed 35 pounds. I had a short conversation
with him during the race and asked about the weight of it.
I have always found the distance very challenging to do. It never got any easier for me.
I don't see how people can juggle tennis balls or carry a bottle on a tray.
Nothing ever surprises me.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Need To Towel Off
2:36 pm edt
I try to have my car washed
every week. The do-it-yourself wash and rinse does a decent job, especially in the winter. Whenever it rains, I seem to get
a layer of film on the car. I was able to draw in it yesterday.
I really need to wipe it down with a towel after every wash. I didn't do it the last time.
The dirt still shows because of the car's color. I think black cars look very nice, but they are so difficult to keep clean.
There is no way to hide the dirt.
is probably the reason why guys who work for a "black car service" are always wiping their car while they wait for
their passengers. The cars look great in the city.
It must be a constant battle to keep them clean, but they do a better job than me.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Time Runs Out on NEWSWEEK
1:17 am edt
It didn't surprise me that
NEWSWEEK magazine announced that they will cease their paper edition in 2013 and become a paid on-line format. It was only
a matter of time with the change in the news cycle because of the internet. I think TIME will be the next to fold.
NEWSWEEK is taking a bold step in trying to sell
their content. Who will pay for it? I am so disappointed in TIME magazine. I have subscribed since 1966. It's a shock to compare
an issue from then to what they publish now.
I cancelled my TIME subscription back in January. I only came back because they gave me an annual
rate of $19. The magazine is so thin now and such a departure from their old format.
The days of a weekly news magazine are over. They both had a great run, along with US News
& World Report. I will cancel my subscription again if they raise my rate.
Anyone who subscribes to TIME should not pay too far in advance. I only give then another
couple of years before they cease publication.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
What Happened In The Room?
3:04 pm edt
I have been following a murder
trial in New York City that occurred in a luxury mid-town hotel. It was a very violent murder between two people who knew
each other. The testimony has been quite graphic. The room was a horror scene according to testimony.
I always wonder what the hotel does with a room
like this. Did they clean it up after the murder and rent it out immediately? After the investigators were done, I assume
the management was ready to put the room back into circulation.
When you stay at a hotel, you never know what might have happened to someone in the room.
Many of the hotels I stay at in New York City were built in the 1930's. There are so many stories in the rooms.
I have lived in the same apartment for 36 years.
The building was constructed in the 1920's. Who lived in my apartment before me? Why did they move out? There are at least
50 years of stories from my place before I started living there.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Had No Feeling For It
11:05 am edt
I missed all of the earthquake
excitement last night. I was in Somerville and never felt a thing. The first I heard of it was from reports on the radio.
Apparently, it was felt around here. Facebook was flooded with postings almost all at once.
Back in 1998, I experienced an earthquake while
in Mammoth Lake, California. It woke me from my sleep in my hotel room. There was a loud vibrating noise that sounded like
someone was using a jack hammer. It was around the same magnitude as the one last night.
I would hate to be around a big one. It would not be fun.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
3:25 pm edt
Everyone deals with stress
in their own way. Some do it better than others. Facebook certainly provides a forum for people to rant about anything.
I saw a posting today that didn't make it any sense.
This person is always upset about something. They seem to be having a very bad day. It was plain to see that her rant was
directed a few specific individuals.
wonder why people use this forum to express their emotions. They obviously feel safe in doing so. I'm sure her issue will
get resolved, but it's only a matter of time before something else sets her off.
Some of her stuff is actually entertaining. It's too bad she takes herself so seriously because
nobody else does.
Monday, October 15, 2012
8:56 pm edt
I still have a pre-paid calling
plan for a flip-phone. It's now up to 17 hours of calling time. I bought it to carry during marathons. It's less bulky than
my Droid phone. I have always been concerned about exposing my Droid to water during the race. The flip is perfect for what
I need. I protect it with a sandwich bag inside a small clip belt.
What makes this phone special is the metal casing. Everything is plastic now. Back in 2008,
I upgraded it to a smaller flip. The guy at the Verizon store referred to it as a "tank". I ended up snapping that
upgraded phone accidentally while playing with it at a comedy show. That's how I ended up with the Droid.
I never wanted to get rid of the "tank"
which I bougt back in 2005. It might be considered primitive by today's standards. So much has changed in cell phones and
Sunday, October 14, 2012
No Time For Safety
11:15 am edt
My bank sent me a very slick
brochure about their Rewards Program. If I spend a small fortune, I will get enough points to probably qualify for a gas card.
department didn't miss a thing when they put this together. All of the people shown are young, slim and appear to be full
of life. Nobody is old, fat and decrepit. The family scenes look like one big happy moment. Even the group of golfers are
putting on a green that is surrounded by the biggest bunkers I have never seen on a golf course.
One thing that sticks out is the young couple riding
a scooter. They seem to be zipping along, with the guy driving and the woman on the back with her arms wrapped around his
waist. They look like the epitome of youth and vitality, but one thing is missing. I thought the bank would be more "politically
correct" because neither of them are wearing a helmet.
Apparently, the bank doesn't believe in rider safety. I'm sure a great deal of thought was
put into the decision about wearing a helmet or not. They probably felt a helmet would ruin their message about their program.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Those Rich People
6:15 pm edt
The federal government announced
a trillion dollar deficit for the fourth consecutive fiscal year. The term billion almost doesn't have a meaning anymore.
It's hard to imagine how long it would take to spend a billion dollars.
Forbes magazine publishes a yearly list of the top 400 wealthiest Americans. Bill Gates at
$66 billion and Warren Buffet at $46 billion always lead the list. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC comes in 10th with $25 billion.
A recent story of Red Sox owner John Henry indicated that he is 311th with a total of $1.5 billion.
I wonder if the people at the top look down on
someone who is worth only $1.5 billion. They probably thnk that anyone worth $500 million is a loser.
Wealth like this is hard to comprehend.
Friday, October 12, 2012
SpaceX Makes History
5:11 pm edt
I have always been a big supporter
of NASA and space exploration. I was very disappointed to see the space shuttles retired. We now depend on paying the Russians
to let our astronauts fly to the International Space Station.
This week was very special as the SpaceXDragon made a trip to the space station and dropped
of 1,000 pounds of supplies. What made it historic was that SpaceX is a private company under contract to NASA.
The agency has been hounded for years to cut the
cost of space travel. Many questioned why we needed to have manned flights just to restock the station.
SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contact with NASA for
12 resupply flights. This is the future. NASA has gotten out of the business of doing everything on their own. They have challenged
the private sector to come up with a craft that could travel to the space station. It finally happened this week.
I look forward to seeing more flights and the potential
of the partnership between NASA and the private sector.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Don't Wait Until 2030
6:02 pm edt
You can always count on some
government agency to release a study that you can't understand how they take themselves seriously.
Bureaucrats make a career of doing the footwork
for government. They don't always believe in what they are doing, but in the end, they need to provide the numbers and the
reasons why to their bosses.
Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation set 2030 as a goal to increase by three times, the amount of commuters who travel
by bike, bus, train or walk to work.
is a very admirable goal, especially from an environmental viewpoint, but how can you ever measure the level of success? If
people want economic growth in jobs, there will be more commuters going to work.
Our transportation system is designed for the automobile. Public transportation in this country
leaves a lot to desire. Rapid transit doesn't live up to its name.
In my own career, I could have taken a train to work. I would first need to drive, walk or
bike 1.5 miles to the train station, adhere to their posted schedule and cover the final distance of 2.5 miles on my own.
For anyone to do this, it wouldn't be worth the
hassle unless there was no alternative. I think planners miss that point. The suburbs of this country have changed the way
we live and commute. People travel great distances daily to work. They need to get there using whatever way works best for
them. Sometimes, their choices are limited.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Polo Season Over
5:36 pm edt
I washed the last of my polo
shirts and put them away until next spring. I don't think the weather will be warm enough for them, especially at night. I'm
going out this evening and will wear a long sleeve shirt.
I ran today wearing sweat pants, warm-up jacket and long sleeve t-shirt. That will be my
attire for the next several months. As it gets colder, I'll be adding more layers. Once I wear my hooded sweat shirt while
running, then I know that winter is around the corner.
We can kids ourselves about Indian summer. We will have warm days in November, but it's time
to get ready for winter. My snow shovel is in a basement storage bin, but I never took my scraper out of my car. It's only
a matter of time before I need to scrape the windshield.
Thanksgiving is only six weeks away.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
4:22 pm edt
Many art museums around the
world have been swept up in the controversy involving works of art stolen by Nazi Germany during World War II. There are an
estimated 600,000 pieces that were looted from museums and private homes throughout Europe. Many of them found a home in some
of the best known museums in the world.
recent years, there has been a movement to return some of them to their rightful owners. Some museums have complied, but others
have filed lawsuits to tie things up.
As horrible as the looting by the Nazi regime was, museums have historically built their collections
through acquisitions under shady circumstances. Most of the artifacts from the Egyptian pyramids were stolen back in the 1800's.
Armies throughout history have looted homes and museums. This doesn't make it right.
I have no solution to this problem. Native Americans have fought universities for years to
have skeletons and artifacts returned to them. We can't solve the problem in America. We can tell others what we want them
to do, but in the end, we have a problem here that is a long way from being resolved.
Monday, October 8, 2012
One More Round, Please
10:00 pm edt
It was great to play golf
today with some former co-workers and golf league members. It was Columbus Day and nice autumn weather.
The course was very crowded. It took us three hours
plus to play the front nine. That is way too long. We were able to play the back in two hours, but it was still a very long
I wonder how many
more times I will play this year, maybe one or two. The season is getting shorter. There is less daylight on the course after
The weather becomes
a big factor. We had threatening clouds all day, but it never rained. It was in the 50's, but nice.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Barriers Along The Way
4:07 pm edt
Sound barriers along interstate
highways serve a very useful purpose for the neighborhoods effected. They are very expensive, often costing $1 million per
mile, but they also destroy the view of the landscape. Many are built as a result of a politician advocating for their constituents.
It doesn't always make sense where they are put up.
The ride into Boston via Rt 93 is a classic example. A neighborhood in the upscale town of Andover
has been fighting for them for years. They are finally being built because the abutters are complaining about the noise. I
don't doubt there is a noise issue, but these houses have a pretty wide buffer zone of fully grown trees.
There are other towns along the way that have houses
much closer to the highway, but they have no barriers. When you drive south of Boston, it gets worse. Houses are almost on
top of the road. Who is advocatng for them?
Like most things in life, money matters. The affluent towns get them instead of the poorer ones. I
see this especially when I drive to New York City. The wealthy suburbs of Connecticut have some of them, but once you get
into the city limits, they are nonexistent. I wonder why.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Cooking With Gas
2:02 pm edt
I never owned a microwave
oven until a couple of years ago. I still don't use it much other than reheating a slice of pizza or some leftovers.
I was looking at the instruction manual today for
cooking a baked potato. I usually cook them in my gas oven, but I want to microwave one. It will be interesting to see how
it comes out. I want it to be cooked throughout and not partially done. I didn't realize that the skin needs to be pierced
manual has cooking times for a number of items, including chicken and fish. I can't imagine cooking this way. I'll stick to
my gas stove. I had a hamburger for lunch and used my broiler. My veggies were also steamed on the stove top.
I must have been one of the last people in America
to buy a microwave. On the other hand, I never owned a color tv until I was 32. I only bought it to improve my football viewing.
The teams all looked the same in black and white.
Friday, October 5, 2012
The Reckless Skater
1:12 am edt
I was in Boston last night.
I never mind driving around there, although you need to be very careful with all of the people randomly crossing the street.
I didn't see as many bikes as I usually do in Cambridge, but one thing really caught my eye.
There was a guy on roller blades who was trying to keep up with the traffic by City Hall.
We passed each other a few times until he crossed the street at a red light and disappeared down the street.
It was obvious that he was a good skater and wore
a helmet on his head, but I thought he was acting a bit reckless at times. He really can't be blading on the sidewalk, but
trying to go with the flow of traffic was a bit much.
The people who roller blade with the traffic in New York City make this guy look responsible.
They are all accidents waiting to happen.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Don't Sweat The Rain
7:21 am edt
This is the third day of fog
and drizzle. It's no big deal to me. I can understand people being concerned if they have outdoor plans directly impacted
by the weather, but why get upset if they are just going to work or staying inside. They have no control of the weather.
People update their status on Facebook by whining
about the weather. What does this accomplish other than venting? Nobody really cares how you feel. People on radio and television
don't help by making this sound like we are in some type of prolonged struggle against great adversity.
If people complain about the weather, they will
complain about almost anything. They will be the first to moan about the snow when it starts to fall. There are things to
be concerned about in life, but I don't think the weather is one of them.
I have plans to golf on Monday. If it rains, we won't play. There is nothing I can ever do
to change that no matter how I feel.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Don't Need A Lexus
11:02 am edt
I enjoy most commercials on
radio and television. I admire the creativity in them. There are some I don't like. Sometimes, it's an irritating jingle like
1-800Cars4kids or a few banks that blow their horn about how much they care for their customers.
I heard one the other day that I really disliked.
It was an adult asking kids what they want to be when they grow up. Naturally, you heard them mention doctor, teacher and
several other occupations. One kid said "I want to be a Lexus owner".
I find this message to be indicative of many things that are wrong in society today. Too
much emphasis is placed on material things. The message implies that life would be better off if you owned a Lexus. I could
care less if I ever owned a Lexus, Mercedes or any other luxury car.
A car is the worst investment out there. Once you drive it away, it decreases in value. I
don't want to hang out with people who put so much emphasis on an object like a car. They are very shallow if they aspire
to a luxury car.
unfortunate that the media continues to send distorted messages, but in the end, it's all about money.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Running With The Dogs
3:30 pm edt
I usually read the column
about pets in the Sunday New York Post. The most recent one was about running with your dog.
The writer appeared to endorse it based on the breed. He mentioned that some wouldn't be
able to do it. A run of 3-4 miles was the recommended distance. There was one instance of a Jack Russell who ran 22 miles
with its owner on a regular basis.
article implied that running like this is good for dogs. I totally disagree. There is no doubt that we have a nation of fat
and overweight dogs. They don't get enough exercise or play, but I don't think this type of running is good for a dog over
the course of years due to potential muscle and skeletal issues.
One of the most important things in running is to listen to your body. A dog can't tell you
how they feel physically.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Shaving To The End
9:36 am edt
I shave with a Gillette Mach
3 Turbo. It sounds very fancy, but it's only a razor with a name thought up by the marketing department. The blades last a
long time. Several years ago, I decided to keep track of when I changed blades.
I started using my current one on May 15th. My record is 5 months and 14 days of use. To
break that mark, I will need to keep shaving until October 29th, a few days before the New York City Marathon.
Back on May 15th, I thought about this. I wondered
if I would still be shaving into October, but here we are now. I must admit that it doesn't shave as close. I need more strokes
than before, especially under my chin.
final month will be a real challenge. In looking at my records, most of the blades last for almost five months. I have a current
inventory of 14 blades. That should keep me shaving for almost another six years. There is no need to buy any on sale at this