Thursday, February 28, 2013
Not Real News
10:50 am est
The local television news
coverage leaves a lot to be desired. So much of it is fluff and not really news. The Boston stations don't usually devote
too much time to national and world stories. They leave it for the networks. They
are becoming more like tabloid journalism.
was so typical of today's media to devote time to the coverage of the new contestants for "Dancing With The Stars".
For some reason, this is considered news worthy. I'm sure there are people who were waiting to hear this. People don't want
to hear the real news. It's too difficult for some to deal with.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Not Faking With Bacon
11:59 am est
People on Facebook seem to
have a love affair with bacon. I don't get it. I never eat the stuff. I probably have it once a year in a BLT. I've never
bought any at the market or cooked it myself.
It seems to have a cult-like following among younger people. I never understood the fascination about
it. When you see it in the store, it doesn't look like the healthiest meal. I ate it when I was younger, but it was always
dripping with grease.
this point, I can't see buying it. It's not at the top of the list for health foods. I guess I missed the boat on this one.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Getting Her Wish
6:41 pm est
We are scheduled for another
snow storm tomorrow. Around here, there appears to be 1-3 inches in the forecast. Central New Hampshire
could get up to a foot. Meanwhile, people continue to whine about how much it has snowed this winter. Don't they realize it's
winter in New England? However, it's a waste of time to argue that point.
I saw an interesting story that would silence some people. A six year old girl from Florida
suffering from cancer always wanted to see snow and build a snowman. The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted her request. She traveled
to Maine, built a snowman and had a ride in a sleigh. It's something she will always remember.
Too bad others couldn't share her excitement, but
that's how people are at times.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Can't Pitcher It
4:09 pm est
March 12th will be a very
interesting day in New York City. That is when the city's ban on soft drinks larger than 16 ounces takes effect. Mayor Michael
Bloomberg has taken the drastic step to address the obesity epidemic that faces America.
However, I think this policy is misguided. It exempts the national chain stores from the
regulation, but focuses on the corner bodegas. I find it very odd that pizza deliveries can no longer
include 2-liter bottles of soda. The solution is to buy six, 12 ounce cans for probably double the price. Parents will no
longer be able to purchase soda by the pitcher when at parties for their kids.
This is one of Mayor Bloombergs's pet projects.
He has been relentless in trying to turn NYC into a "Nanny State". Since this will be his final year in office,
I wonder if these guidelines will get repealed upon his departure. I don't think that this was one of his best ideas.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
This Edition of the Storm
7:20 pm est
The big storm that was predicted
never showed up. Many plans and events were cancelled or rescheduled. A local 5k road race will now be held on April 14th,
the day before the Boston Marathon.
was mostly slush where I live, certainly not enough to plow. Central Massachusetts got hit pretty hard. Overall, it was less
hype went into this storm, starting last Wednesday. The 24/7 wall of media coverage makes these events
bigger than they really are. It will be interesting to see the post-storm discussion. I'm sure there will be second guessing
about the decision to change plans and events.
You never know with storms. We might have another one later this week.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
More Tickets, Please
12:01 pm est
I never play the state lottery
or buy scratch tickets. I think it's a waste of money. The lottery is marketed to the public as a way of living out your dreams
with a big jackpot of cash. It doesn't interest me, but I support the option for others to play it.
In fact, I'm glad to see others involved because
it's another form of a voluntary tax that not all of us pay. States have all sorts of these user taxes include those levied
on alcohol, cigarettes, gasoline and a host of other items covered by luxury and excise taxes. We all pay some or all of these.
A member of the Massachusetts legislature has proposed
a new $2 scratch ticket whose proceeds would be dedicated to paying for snow removal for local cities and towns. The recent
storms have devastated the snow budgets throughout the state.
People who buy the tickets would be subsidizing the cost incurred by the cities and towns.
This is a great idea rather than raising taxes. No matter how many games the Lottery Commission introduces, the players continue
to line up and spend their money.
does a great job manipulating taxes without people knowing it. The federal government does it too with the gasoline tax. It
helps to fund road improvements in every state.
That's one of the reasons why I support casino gambling. Whoever walks through those doors will be
paying a tax that others won't be paying. We need to thank them for carrying more of the tax burden.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Taking A Head Count
12:25 am est
Minnesota canceled it's moose
hunting season the other day because of a sudden drop in their population in the northern part of the sate. Researchers want
to determine why the herd has decreased 35% from last year and 53% since 2010.
The Department of Natural Resources did their annual aerial survey of the state to reach
their conclusions. I have no doubt that there might be a problem, but how accurate can their survey be?
Minnesota is a very large state with a great deal
of area for moose to live. I never understood how they count any form of wildlife. Eagles are probably located in certain
areas, but moose roam around. How do they know they are not counting the same animals twice?
It's not as if they can freeze all the moose into
position for a few hours to do their count.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
The New Cat In Town
2:30 pm est
I don't think on-line polls
are valid. People can vote as often as they wish. We see it happen when fans vote for all-star teams
in professional sports.
same thing happened recently when the makers of the MONOPOLY game decided to ask the public which token should be removed
from the game and replaced by one from a list of eight.
Although the tokens have changed over the years, some have been around
forever including the iron and the dog.
The new competition included a robot, diamond ring, helicopter and guitar. None of these could compete with the cat who blew
away the competition by getting 31% of the vote for new tokens.
The iron has been eliminated. I guess people don't iron as much as they did in the past because
the "wrinkled look" is fashionable these days.
The cat lovers came out in droves. They are very passionate about their favorite pet. Nothing
could compete with them. It also helps when you can vote as often as you want.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
2:47 pm est
Keeping track of my daily
running mileage is something I've done since I was in high school. I have several journals which have been
filled over the years.
in 2006, I bought a book that would provide me with 150 months of records. Each month has it's own page. Although the journal
is 300 pages, I don't write on the back of them.
The book can store over 12 years of records. I just passed the halfway point.
I have enough pages left to carry me past my 65th birthday.
That seems so far down the road. The goal is to get there and be running.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The Black Hole of Russia
5:07 pm est
The cost of hosting the Olympic
Games continues to spiral out of control. Beijing spent $51 billion for the 2012 Summer Games. The 2014
Winter Games will be held in Russia in the small resort town of Sochi, located in the Caucasus Mountains near the Black Sea.
So far, the cost is four times over budget with
a $51 billion price tag and counting. Back in 2010, Vancouver spent "only" $6 billion. A great deal of the cost
for Sochi has been for infrastructure and athletic venues. They needed major improvements on roads,
bridges, tunnels and the local airport. There was also the small issue of needing to build 20,000 hotel rooms for visitors.
Host counties always feel they will recover the
cost over the long term. They cite how Sochi will become a tourist and convention destination long after the Games are over.
They are probably right on that, but it will take a long time.
I will always say that New York City was the big winner when they lost their bid to host
the 2012 Summer Games. In addition to the enormous cost, it would have destroyed a good portion of the West side of Manhattan
between 34th and 42nd Streets.
Proponents of urban renewal would have been rubbing their hands together, but plans like that change the character of the
city by eliminating neighborhoods where people live and work.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Mixing With Others
2:52 pm est
I tried eating spinach over
the years with varying degrees of success. I love spinach pie and escarole soup. Previous times, I found it to be very bland when I steamed some and tried it as a side dish.
Yesterday, I steamed some again while mixing it with broccoli and cauliflower.
It was delicious. I plan to eat more in the future. In fact, it will be one of the items I keep in the fridge.
For now, I'll be buying the frozen leaves. That
worked well for me. The goal is to try the fresh leaves at some point.
Many vegetables taste better when mixed with others. However, I'm not ready to say that about
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Let's Ruin The View
12:30 am est
I think billboards along the
side of the road ruin the landscape. There is nothing appealing to me about them. They are a blight in every instance. It's
even worse for those large video displays. They are a safety hazard because they try to say too much in their message.
The worst example was on display the other night
in New Hampshire. The video board faced drivers coming off an exit ramp. The screen display changed several times in a matter
matters worse, it was for a mortgage and loan company. The final screen shot contained all of the legal mumbo-jumbo that you
see for ads of this nature. Nobody could possibly read it.
Video boards should be illegal. There is nothing positive about them.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
11:22 am est
It's not a secret that women
sports struggle in popularity compared to men. Title IX has attempted to level the playing field in terms of funding and teams
at the high school and college level. Girls basketball has a hard core following, but doesn't pack the gyms like the boys
a box score for a couple of local teams. It must have been a struggle to sit through the game. It featured two teams with
records of 2-19 and 3-14. It was a battle for last place in their league. The halftime score was 10-5 and the final was 25-21.
Fans like to see offense
at any level. It makes the game more exciting. It certainly didn't happen here.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Put Down The Bottle
9:49 pm est
The University of Vermont
in Burlington has joined 20 other colleges in banning the sale of bottled water on campus. They can still ply the students
with sugary soft drinks, but water has been banished.
I understand the hysteria about the impact of plastic water bottles on the environment, but
other drinks also contribute to the waste problem.
There is not doubt that bottled water is the biggest offender. The school sold 362,088
bottles 2007. Coca Cola is the vendor of soft drinks and water. They contribute $500,000 annually for the right to sell on
campus. This amount will decrease with the new policy.
Colleges have always been the hotbed for social issues. Plastic bottles certainly impact
the environment. It just seems heavy handed to outlaw them and take away the freedom of choice in what to purchase.
In a perfect world, every bottle would get recycled.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
11:47 am est
Things can happen at any moment
for better or worse. That was the case yesterday when I got into my car. The indicator light for my tires showed low pressure
in one of them. I got out to look and noticed a nail in the left front one. The tire looked low, but
I was able to drive less than a mile to a gas station.
The owner of the place was very gracious and interrupted his work to fix it. He pulled out
a one inch nail and inserted a plug. The cost was $12, but I gave him $20 and thanked him so much.
I lucked out on this one, but it might work out
the same in the future. It could have been much worse.
I think life is always one step away from disaster. We all dodge bullets every day. Many
times, it's just a matter of inconvenience. Other times, your life can change forever without notice.
I think fate plays a big role in our
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Cruising To Nowhere
10:50 am est
A recent story about a disabled
cruise ship is another reason why I never had a desire to be on one. If the ship gets into trouble, you are in the middle
of nowhere. The boat in question lost its power and running water. That included the ability to flush toilets.
The cruise line is giving passengers a compensation
package for future travel. That would satisfy many, but not me.
They certainly seem to have their loyal passengers. I know people
who go on a cruise annually and absolutely love it.
I'm sure every cruise has reluctant passengers because of their family and friends. I think it would
be too confining and boring. I have no desire to sit around the pool all day and drink. There is way too much food available
for consumption. Every passenger puts on about five pounds when they travel.
I don't see myself doing one of these in my lifetime.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
10:14 am est
The recent storm gave us almost
30 inches of snow, the most in recent years. Streets are narrow and slippery. I live on a hill, so it's easy for drivers to
get stuck on the ice. Once this happens, people seem to lose all logic.
That was the case yesterday when a driver spun their wheels for about 15 minutes before
they dislodged themselves. It's a good thing they did because they probably wore all of the rubber off their tires and overheated
a right and wrong way to get freed from ice. Some people have no clue and feel that racing their engine will get them on their
way.They are probably the same ones who drive around without a shovel or ice scraper in their car.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Souped Up Soup
5:03 pm est
I love tomato soup,
especially after being outside on a cold day. I had a cup at lunch along with a tuna fish sandwich. This time, I decided to
steam some broccoli and cauliflower florets and mix them together.
The result was awesome. They added a great deal to the flavor of the soup.
I used the frozen ones which tasted the same to me as the fresh stuff.
In the future, I think I might add some additional veggies such as carrot
tips and chopped green peppers. I don't know why I didn't try this earlier.
When I was a kid, the only way I would eat
tomato soup was if I crushed a stack of Saltine crackers and created a mush with the soup. I've come a long ways to this point.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
The Hard Copy
5:02 pm est
I enjoy reading three newspapers
daily. It's time well spent for me. However, there is always the cost to consider. I could buy a nice tablet computer for
the amount I spend annually on papers. I've been reluctant to try the on-line edition because I think it would take longer
storm caused me to miss the local paper for two days. The publisher offered a free two day trial to the public because of
it. I just went through yesterday's and the Sunday edition.
It might have taken me less time than normal
because I was fussier about what I read. The on-line edition gives a two page preview, but you need to click the article to
read it. I found it less efficient than having the paper in my hands.
I'm glad I had the opportunity to check out the
on-line edition. However, I'm more undecided about what to do. It's much easier to read the hard copy, but the cost is starting
to bother me. For now, I think I'll take the easy way out and not do anything.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
The Plan Changer
6:22 pm est
I think the blizzard showed
how unpredictable life can become. I had plans to be out at UMass today for a basketball game and had a comedy show scheduled
for tomorrow, but the weather caused both events to be canceled.
A week ago, there was no thought
of this storm. Talk began early in the week and a 48 hour period of hype was created before we got hit hard.
It reminded me of Superstorm Sandy. I was making
plans to run the New York City Marathon when the storm hit five days before the race. Who would have thought that the race
would ever get canceled?
just proves that you can make plans in life, but you're never there until you are there. Anything can happen. We have little
control over some situations.
Friday, February 8, 2013
The Cold Fact
12:51 am est
It's the first hour of Friday,
but today is special. We are due to get a blizzard that has been crowned with every possible cliche. We have heard the words
epic and historic. Accumulations around here could be almost two feet.
Who knows what will happen? It should start around noon and get worse into the evening. The
media has certainly created a great deal of hype. People have stripped the shelves bare at the market.
It sounds like this will be a memorable day. I hope
everyone stays safe, but there will be fatalities from the storm. We can laugh and joke about doing stuff and having a storm
party, but the reality is that some people will die.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
The Big Break
4:31 pm est
I often run through a cemetery
in my neighborhood. The other day, I saw a huge fallen limb on the ground from an evergreen. It knocked a gravestone off its
base. The limb was about 10 inches in diameter and must have snapped like a twig during the heavy winds
of last week.
on top of the stone until yesterday. The limb is gone and the stone has been repaired. If the family drove by, it would look
like nothing happened.
the tree now has a big scar where the branch broke. Workers were not about to climb the tree with a chain saw and make a cut
flush with the trunk. It will probably stay like that for years to come.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The Best Chance
1:31 am est
If we are going to get any
snow this winter, it looks like Friday might be the best chance. The weather people have been giddy all day about the possibility
of getting a major snow storm. They are talking about 10-20 inches in some places.
Naturally, they use disclaimer words such as "possibility", "probable"
and my favorite "it all depends how the computer model works".
These people can never be wrong. They have cried wolf to get everyone's attention. If they
are correct, the weather will get the top billing on all of the local television coverage. They live
for this moment. Everyone wants to hear the weather report. When you get one like this, it becomes their moment in the spotlight.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Vote For Me, Me, Me
5:59 pm est
I don't support any contest
where the candidates encourage people to vote for them on-line. It becomes nothing but a popularity contest. It's all about
how well someone markets themselves or their business.
I see it all the time on Facebook. A businessman I know has been relentless with his encouragement
of his Facebook friends to vote for his business. I can see why he won the last two years because he never stops. He
is such a self-promoter.
ironic thing is that he doesn't even live around here so he is asking for votes from people who will never use his service.
So much for a fair contest
Monday, February 4, 2013
The Bare Ground
2:32 pm est
It's starting to look like
we won't get any more snow this winter. The weather people hype the smallest event. It seems like we get one or two inches
and that's all. The thought of snowshoeing never enters my head with bare ground. I could head up north, but it doesn't feel
like winter with temperatures the way they are.
I used my snowshoes only once last year when we got about six inches. You need a lot more on the ground
to make it worthwhile. It's hard to believe that we had so much of it at this time two years ago.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Almost The Biggest Event
6:20 pm est
I'll be watching the Super
Bowl by myself in the comfort of my living room. I'm not into the party side of the game. I realize
that it's one of the biggest days of the year for stuff like that, but I have no interest.
I was at a Super Bowl party about 25 years ago and said never again. I don't mind the yelling
and screaming, but some of the comments show a complete lack of knowledge and respect for the game. If they knew the history,
they would never say anything so crazy.
game is marketed towards the casual fan. So many people in the world will be watching. Other than the finals of the World
Cup in soccer, it's the biggest event.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Trying Something New
7:12 pm est
Last June, I ate the first
banana in my lifetime. I never liked their taste or smell. They are so healthy and nutritious. You always see them on the
list of healthy foods.
thought of eating another, but never made any effort to do so. Today, I was in the market and saw the "baby bananas".
I bought a bunch. I think I'll try mixing one in with yogurt. Maybe, I can hide their taste. I have no idea what to expect.
On a positive note,
I only paid 67 cents. I don't have that much invested financially if I end up tossing them out.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Death of an Icon
5:09 pm est
New York City lost an icon
today with the death of former Mayor Ed Koch. The former three term leader of the Big Apple will always
be remembered for steering the city through its tough financial times in the late 1970's.
When I first started to run the New York City Marathon
in 1978, he was the guy in the big office. He had a larger than life presence over the city. His twelve year tenure came to
an end when he was defeated by David Denkins.
New York City is always evolving. Buildings come and go as well as politicians. Nothing lasts forever,
but Ed Koch was a bright star during his time. He had many positive effects on the city. I'll miss hearing his comments on
any topic presented to him.