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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

NYCMarathon2015startjpg.jpg

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

 

      

 

 

Tues, May 21       Winner's Circle

                           211 Elm St.  Salisbury, Mass.   8pm 

 

  Random Thoughts About Things

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Not Heard From

 

I was surprised to hear of the small number of claims filed with the Boston One Fund. They have collected over $30 million and the dispersement will be very soon. Many of the 260+ victims have not stepped forward to seek some type of compensation. Are they afraid to file because they don't want to be put under a microscope?

I think the claims will be well vetted by the committee. There might be a few people looking for easy money, but they have not come forward yet.

It will be interesting to see how many people file a claim.

7:50 pm edt 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Six Weeks Later

 

I ran today for the first time in over six weeks. My case of patella tendinitis under my knee cap has finally gone to the positive side. 

My run was on dirt trails. I felt good running. The knee is about 95%. I noticed something when I walked down some stairs later on.

It will be interesting to see how it feels tomorrow. I have a physical therapy session in the morning. It has been very helpful in getting me back to running. At some point very soon, I will need to end the sessions for insurance purposes. I get 70 per year, but they need to be used wisely.

I need to continue doing the exercises. They are very helpful in getting me to run again. 

9:01 pm edt 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Bright Spot

 

I'm not a big fan of the cork-screw light bulbs. They are suppose to be very energy efficient and last so much longer.

I bought some yesterday at a store for 49 cents. According to the box, they will last 10,000 hours. I find that hard to believe. I'll be lucky if I get a couple of hundred hours out of these. At that price, they must be junk. It was worth getting a few.

6:20 pm edt 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No Time To Cruise

 

I never had a desire to go on a cruise. It's one of the last things I want to do. A story in the news today didn't help, although 17 million people take cruises annually.

The cruise industry has experienced a number of problems with their ships in recent years. It varies from loss of power, fires and even sinking with the loss of life.

Cruise ships are registered in foreign countries and fly their flags. They are not subject to U.S. laws and regulations. This can lead to a host of problems. We are seeing it now.

I'll let others take my place. I have no plans to go on a cruise.

 

9:20 pm edt 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Still Like Paper

 

Smart phones have amazing technology and applications that allow people to do so many interesting things. Sometimes, I think people depend too much on them, especially when it comes to storing records and data.

A catastrophic event such as dropping it into water can destroy the device and lose the data. It can also be operator error. I saw a good example of this today.

One of my running friends accidentally deleted two years worth of running data from his smart phone. It was a simple mistake, but it could not be corrected.

Unfortunately for him, he didn't have a back-up record on paper. That's why I don't think we will ever get ride of paper. It's still dependable, unless destroyed by fire or flood. Electronic devices still have their limitations if there is no back-up.

 

11:16 am edt 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

They Don't Play That Late

 

Cities and towns waste money every day of the week. We see it in so many different ways. Last night, I saw a great example.

It rained all day and into the evening. Around 11:45pm, I drove by some athletic fields on my way home. The little league baseball diamond was being brightly illuminated by the light towers surrounding it. It's too bad that nobody was playing at that time.

You won't find too many games being played on a rainy night after 11pm. I think the timer on the lights needs to be adjusted. Otherwise, the city can continue to waste money lighting the field when nobody is using it.

1:35 am edt 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Buck Stops In My Pocket

 

I donate to several charities. I feel good about it, but I wish they would stop sharing my name with other organizations. This causes me to be inundated with many unsolicited requests for money. They also send me writing pads, pens and numerous other trinkets. Some of it I keep, but I can only use so many address labels.

Some charities take a sympathetic approach by sending me a dollar bill along with a request for money. One organization greatly disappointed me by doing this and then having the audacity to suggest a donation amount.

I kept the dollar and tossed out their money request. I have no doubt they will do a follow-up contact. They spend over 30% of the budget on fund raising. Their mission is very noble, but there are a bunch of people making a living off of it. 

12:18 pm edt 

Friday, May 24, 2013

All Rolled Up

 

I finally got two of my blankets washed and put away in the closet until late October. They are in a plastic bag. I had to wash them on different days due to the availability of the washer and dryer in the basement.

Unfortunately, I had to air dry one of them. There is a lot of lint on the blanket. It should have gone through the dryer.

I'll wash it again in the fall. I won't be needing them now.

7:00 pm edt 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Bad Dream

 

They always say that bad ideas continue to live on. Bringing the Olympics to Boston in 2024 is a great example of people meaning well, but with bad results. There is a great financial risk for any city hosting the Olympics. It's great for tourism and the legacy of the city, but are taxpayers willing to take on the financial burden?

One legislator wants to introduce a bill that would spend $2-3 million on a feasibility study. The application to the Olympic Committee must be privately funded according to their rules, but would cost at least $10 million. Boston is one of 34 cities being solicited by the US Olympic Committee for a possible bid.

My primary reason for opposing this is the lack of needed infrastructure and venues. The public transit system in Boston is a joke and could never be upgraded in time. Regional colleges have a number of arenas which could be used, but additional ones would need to be built. Nobody has a velodrome for cycling. Boston also has a severe shortage of hotel rooms that would be needed for tourists.

If they could bring the Olympics to the city without using public money, I would vote for it right now. I just don't see that happening.

 

2:06 pm edt 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Not Making The Cut

 

I admit that I like to do things on a regular basis. I believe in being organized. Sometimes, it can get carried to an extreme.

I get my hair cut every five weeks. It's usually on a Wednesday at 1pm. There is little deviation from that because I make the appointment five weeks in advance.

When I was last there, I agreed to show up at 10am this morning. I keep track of my schedule in a notebook. Naturally, I wrote it down as 1pm. I just discovered my error and called the shop. I only found out because I looked at the appointment card.

Sometimes, we think we have a good system in place, but it doesn't always work perfectly. The card clearly stated 10am, but I wrote it down incorrectly. 

12:15 pm edt 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Circumstances of Pomp

 

This is the time of year for graduations. It's a joyous time for the individuals and their families. The time honored tradition has not changed much over the years, especially some of the boring speeches that everyone needs to listen to.

I wish graduates would act a bit more dignified. I realize that it can be boring, but they should eliminate the beach balls and some of the other boorish antics. It takes away from the dignity of the ceremony.

We have grown so accustomed to it that one of the local newspapers gave prominent coverage to a student blowing bubbles. I realize that this is considered to be cute, but why do they waste time showing pictures like this? They should also ban some of the ridiculous signs that graduates carry or write on their caps.

It doesn't rally matter what my thoughts are. It will continue next year and for years to come. On another note, why do we need a ceremony when a kid graduates from day care?

3:54 pm edt 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Those Who Complain

 

People who complain about the weather need to get a life. There is nothing anyone can ever do about the weather. I've seen complaints on Facebook because the temperature has been in the 50's on a beautiful spring day. What do they want? I guess it should be  beach weather for them 365 days a year. Maybe they need to move to a warmer climate.

Those who complain should look at the news and see the devastation caused by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. Some people lost everything and there will be deaths.

I'm sure the people who complain won't watch the news because they will find it depressing. We don't want anything to ruin their day.

6:22 pm edt 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Too Much To Win

 

So far the winner of the $600+ million lottery jackpot has not come forward. The ticket was sold in Florida. Was it to an individual or a group? When will they reveal themselves? I'm sure the news has turned their world upside down.

I hope it' s group of people who buy tickets jointly. That is too much money for one person to win. If it's one person, I feel sorry for them. Their life will never be the same, for better or worse. It will be the ultimate upheaval. Even if it's a group of ten, that's $60 million for each before taxes. It's a life changer for all.

We will see the story develop over the next several days. The winner is writing the next chapter of their life. Unfortunately, many lottery winners have sad tales of what the money did to them.

5:38 pm edt 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Boring Activity

 

Parents never cease to amaze me with the crazy amount of supervised activities they get their kids involved in. When it comes to sports, they think their special one will either get a college scholarship or make the Olympics.

A story in the local paper showed the extent that some parents will go. Kids are now doing fencing with a local program. It looks to be quite popular. Naturally, the parents are deeply involved.

Do they seriously believe their kid will pursue this activity when they become an adult? I think they see it as a possible way to get to the Olympics. Either that or they think they might remake the "Zorro" television series and  they want their kid to be at the front of the line for the auditions.

12:11 pm edt 

Friday, May 17, 2013

No More Cupcakes

 

I get a kick out of the cupcake controversy facing New Hampshire public schools. Apparently, those in charge want to adhere to the federal healthy food guidelines by eliminating cupcake celebrations for individual birthdays. It would be done monthly, resulting in fewer sweets for the kids.

Naturally, there are parents and others who feel that this is over the top. They don't want to lump all of the birthdays together. They want their child to be recognized for being special.

Why do we even need to celebrate birthdays in school? Don't they get enough parties? We never did it when I was a kid. How long has this been going on? I think it's so lame to interrupt the day and bring out the sweets.

Kids need to study more in school. There is enough of goof-off time with field trips and all of the other things that have nothing to do with learning.

It's easy to see why Amercia is falling so far behind the rest of the world in education.

 

12:56 pm edt 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's All Fiction

 

The local library held their quarterly book sale this week. I stopped by today and found several books that interested me. I look for history, biographies, current events, travel and sports. The selection was quite impressive.

The biggest amount was for fiction and mysteries. There were several tables filled with them. I never read that type of stuff so I bypassed it.

All of the books are donated by library patrons. It proves two things. Fiction and mysteries are very popular among readers. They also appear to be the type of books that people donate, rather than holding on to them.

 

5:41 pm edt 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Vote By All

 

If Boston wants a casino at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, the entire city should vote on it. The present law allows for either the city or just the effected ward to make the final decision. This part of the law was written for Boston and other large cities.

East Boston is almost a separate town in many instances because of its geographic isolation from the rest.

I believe the entire community should be involved, not just the effected neighborhood. This could have a profound effect on the $1 billion proposal. Currently, 66% of the residents feel the entire city should decide, compared to 27% leaving the option to East Boston.

City services will be effected in many ways. There will be  big economic impact to East Boston as well as the rest of the city. That's a good enough reason for everyone to have a vote.

 

 

2:56 pm edt 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Making It Up

 

Many people pump up and embellish their resume. They claim to be truthful when stretching the facts. Others just lie about what they have accomplished.

A local educator is in hot water for claiming an award they never received. In many instances, the facts are difficult to verify unless someone wants to spend the time checking.

I recently heard of a local guy who talked about his experience in college sports. I never knew he was involved with athletics. I checked out the team on his school's website. They had a chronological roster of everyone who has ever played. I didn't see his name there.

Was it an honest omission by the school or did he just make up the story? He is the only one who knows. People sometimes tell stories that even they believe after enough time. If someone wants to make things up, they can usually get away with it.

4:06 pm edt 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Taking It To The Cleaners

 

It's that time of the year to make the switch to warmer weather. I need to take the snow shovel and ice scraper out of the trunk of my car. The winter jacket will be dropped off at the cleaners. I will also start bringing my sweaters. I think I'm all done with them until next fall. I'll hold onto a couple until the end of May, but I don't think I'll be wearing one after that.

I have a Rubbermaid container full of my polo shirts. They all need to be washed to get the wrinkles out. I'm not in a rush yet. It's still too early to wear short sleeves. However, the day is coming.

5:53 pm edt 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

We Make Soap

 

I bought a new electric can opener yesterday from the China Outlet, also known as Walmart. They have the best prices for everything because very little of it is made in the USA. My Black & Decker product was no exception.

It's made in China and imported through a Mexican company. That's how they can they sell it for $12. Walmart is making money on this. I assume the import company is some type of subsidiary. I wonder how much they pay the workers in the factory.

Many American companies outsource their manufacturing to China. It would be nice to buy American made products, but you would never great it for $12.

I also bought a large jug of AJAX dish detergent and eight bars of DIAL soap. Apparently, Walmart sells a few products made here even if it's only soap.

12:48 pm edt 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Not So Special

 

I have never been a big fan of youth sports. It's more about the parents than the kids. I recently saw some photos of a local boys baseball team. It's one of those traveling AAU squads. They were playing a team from a town about 60 miles from here.

Why do they need to travel that far? Parents think their kids are special and have then talent to make to to the Major Leagues or get a college baseball scholarship.

It's not only baseball, but all other sports including basketball, soccer, softball, swimming and hockey. It's not enough for their kid to play in the local league. They need to be part of the "travel team". Parents need to get a reality check. Their kid isn't special, won't be getting a scholarship and certainly won't be paying professional sports.

10:31 am edt 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dressing Too Much

 

I'm leaving soon for the Red Sox game tonight. The weather forecast is mixed. There could be a shower at some point. The temperature looks to be in the high 50's.

No matter what, I'll probably be dressed wrong for the evening. I'm taking a jacket and a hooded sweatshirt. I tmight be too much, but I have a tendency to overdress.

As the saying goes, you can't take it off if you don't have it.

4:17 pm edt 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Striking Out At The Game

 

It must be a challenge for teachers to keep the interest of their students on beautiful spring days. There are so many distractions to deal with.

The education system in this country leaves a lot to be desired at times. We have been dumbing down curriculum for years to allow students to graduate.

One of the biggest waste of time is any field trip. Just about all of them have no educational value. It's a real stretch for most of them.

I would like to now the benefit of taking kids to a minor league baseball game. I'm sure someone could come up with some a dubious educational benefit, but they could never convince me. 

It's easy to see why we are falling behind so many other countries when it comes to education.

2:16 pm edt 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Not Fixing The Hole Thing

 

The local city hall has a number to call to report pot holes in the streets. It recently garnered a great deal of attention because a local merchant donated a gift card for one of the lucky callers. It was nice of them to do, but the program could be run better.

A pot hole at the bottom of my street was recently "repaired". I bet the patch is gone in a few weeks. They did a lousy job with the asphalt. It looks like they just threw it down and didn't compress it. In fact, they partially covered the top of a water main.

Most pot holes are never repaired properly and get bigger the next time around.

4:27 pm edt 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Here's To Another 5,000

 

This website had it's 5,000th visit today. It's been four years and a month to get to this point. I could do a lot more to promote my website, but that's not my thing.

I enjoy writing to my blogs. It's all about trying to express some thoughts on things that interest me. I like to cover a wide range of topics. There are so many things to write about. I like to think that that my writing shows some degree of creativity.

I wonder how long it will take to get to 10,000th visit. 

 

8:06 pm edt 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

No More Chickens

 

It's often difficult for communities to balance the rights of property owners with their neighbors. Zoning regulations address many issues, but not all. More towns and cities are now allowing home owners to keep chickens in their backyards. I don't think this is always a good idea.

A local community is attempting to join the list. The presently allow residents to keep at least three hens if they own three or more acres. Some residents want the acre limit dropped. Their proposal would allow as many as six hens regardless of the amount of acres. Those who own more than three acres could have three hens for each acre.

Anyone who opposes the hens hears the argument that dogs make more noise. They are probably right on that. Are hens messier than dogs? That's also a point of discussion.

Is it wrong to think that if you allow hens, what will be next? Should you be allowed to keep a domestic pig on your property? What about abandoned cars?

When do the rights of property owners start to interfere with the quality of life of others? It's a difficult question to answer.

10:56 am edt 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

It Started With This Book

 

One book can have a profound influence on a person's life. It doesn't matter when it happens. In my case, it was in the 5th grade when I read a biography of Lou Gehrig, the Hall of Fame baseball player who played for the New York Yankees before he succumbed to a disease named after him.

I was amazed at his dedication to play every game throughout his career. He never missed one no matter what happened. He was always there for his team.

I knew this was the way to live my life. When I started my running career, I decided to run the Boston Marathon after high school. I have never missed a start since 1972.

In 1978, I also started running the New York City Marathon because I love the city so much. Gehrig's book contributed to it. He was born on the Upper West Side of NYC and attended Columbia University.

As the years went on, I thought about this book and its effect on me. I was talking about it recently with a friend. She found it on ebay and sent me the information. I purchased a copy last week for $10.

It was printed in 1949 and is the same book I read at Nettle School during the 1963-64 school year.

I plan to read it and take a journey back to where it all began for me.

 

 

11:24 am edt 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Not All Will Grow Up

 

My local city is entering its third construction season of the road improvements for South Main st. The project involved new water mains, sewer improvements, sidewalk reconstruction and repaving. It has turned into a fiasco, in some instances, with utility poles being placed in the middle of new sidewalks.

The project seems to be entering its final phase with the planting of over 100 trees. I applaud this move, but wonder how many will survive. Most have been placed on the edge of private property. Who will water them when we go weeks without rain?

This should be quite a scene to watch. Not all of the trees will survive. Some will be vandalized. I bet that in two years, at least twenty of them will no longer be around.

10:35 am edt 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

No Heavy Riders

 

The bike sharing program in New York City has not been without controversy. Once it begins, it will inundate the streets of Manhattan with more riders who are careless and disobey traffic laws. It's becoming an ongoing battle between cyclists, pedestrians and autos.

Another new controversy has come up. Apparently, riders who weigh over 260 pounds will not be allowed to rent the bikes. This is sure to cause a firestorm of protest and claims of discrimination.

I'm not sure how they arrived at the weight of 260 pounds as being the maximum. Either way, it's sure to probably end up in court.

 

 

10:30 pm edt 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bodies In The Seats

 

I fully support anyone who pursues higher education. Colleges have developed alternative methods to get their curriculum to students. Many offer on-line courses that allow students to set their own schedule.

After reading a story about the College of America, I have trouble supporting their program. Fortunately for the school, the U.S. Department of Education has approved them for financial aid. That's one of the biggest hurdles for any institution.

The College of America has a unique format. Rather than traditional courses, they offer "competency based education". They feel they have what employers are looking for. Their curriculum challenges students on their writing ability, presentation skills, and whether they can put a spreadsheet together.

These are all important, but what about the traditional arts and sciences that have been the staple of American colleges and universities? For years, we have been dumbing down higher education to accommodate students. Schools realize that they need bodies in the seats in order to survive long-term. They do everything possible to retain their students.

The College of America does not grant undergraduate degrees yet. I don't see how they could. To me, they are a glorified vocational school trying to sell themselves as a college.

8:03 am edt 


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