Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Not Ready To Bag It
4:52 pm edt
I have never bought bagged
salad and have no plans to. I think it looks awful in the store. The lettuce often has brown veins showing. The expiration
date is too long. However, it's very popular among people on the go. They find it more convenient than buying fresh produce.
It has also been blamed for a recent nationwide
outbreak of intestinal illness. The origin was traced to a place in Iowa. This won't be the last time it happens.
I find it odd that they always tell people to wash
fresh produce before eating it. Why wouldn't you wash it? I'm always shocked at people who eat grapes in the market. Nobody
really knows the handling process before it gets to the store.
Last week, I saw a woman eating an apple in the produce section. I wonder if she had the
core weighed when she got to the checkout line. It was probably never washed.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Trying For #36
10:41 am edt
I plan to run a ten mile race
in Newburyport tonight. I've been doing this one since 1972. This will be my 36th attempt there. I missed it the last two
years because of injuries. I also didn't start it three other times from being hurt and once in 1996 when I went to the Olympics
I have no idea
how this will play out. The weather looks like it will cooperate. This will be the furthest I've run since the Boston Marathon.
My longest run has been four miles leading up to the race. Hopefully, I don't have any issues with my left knee.
My strategy is to run at a very conservative pace
and see what happens the last few miles. The time will be very slow, no doubt about that. I had some fast times in the past,
but that seems like a lifetime ago.
race is really about what I can do today. The past is the past. I just want to be out there doing it. Faster is always better,
but it won't happen tonight. The goal is to feel good doing it.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Finally Backing It Up
12:15 pm edt
My Droid phone is due for
an upgrade. It's over three years old and behind the current technology. The battery drains very quickly when it's in the
camera mode. I was able to take 41 pictures at an event the other day, but my red light was on near the end.
Little did I realize how challenging it would be
to send the images to a friend. I tried to forward them through my gmail account, but they never got to the recipient. I have
no idea what happened to them.
ended up removing the SD card from the phone and burning them to a disk. I sent them three at a time as an email attachment.
They were all sent successfully, although it took longer than I expected.
One positive note is that I made a backup of over 1,000 pictures on my phone. I should have
done this a long time ago, but at least I finally did it.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Cold Water Pool
9:08 pm edt
I think my body temperature
differs from others. I don't really mind the hot weather, but I think I feel colder then the average person.
Yesterday, I spent 30 minutes in the outdoor pool
at my fitness club. I was aqua-jogging, wearing my vest in the deep end and my usual t-shirt.
I felt cold the entire time I was in the water.
The air temperature was 84 and the pool was 78. The kids couldn't get enough of the water. I was so glad to get out.
A week ago, it was in the 90's and the water was
like a bathtub. It was much different yesterday. The temperatures at night have cooled down the water a lot.
Just another sign that the end of summer is near.
It's only five weeks until Labor Day.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
9:48 pm edt
Several candidates running
for Mayor of New York City spent a night with a family in a public housing project. They all bunked in at the Lincoln Towers
in East Harlem. I'm sure the families were vetted out prior to the stays.
It's great that they brought the issue of public housing to the front. The city is landlord
to over 600,000 residents. The candidates were able to see the condition of the apartments.
Resident complained of a huge police presence. The
usual five working the project swelled to 30 and a Deputy Superintendent. It was a great photo-op for all.
I think it was political grandstanding, but at least
public housing got some attention.
I'm sure it's a lot different there tonight.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Call Not Intended
4:23 pm edt
My Doroid phone is way overdue
for an upgrade. I plan to make the move soon to a newer model. I hope whatever phone I get helps me avoid the issue of pocket
dialing people from my contact list.
other day, my phone dialed a number for one of my friends. The call lasted 5:59. It would have gone longer, but I took my
phone out of my front pocket and realized what was going on.
It's always embarrassing when it happens. About a year ago, my phone dialed someone at 10pm.
They picked up the phone and I apologized. There have been several other examples.
It's a problem for other models of phones, but never with the old fashioned flip model.
Technology creates new issues all the time.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Everyone Out of the Water
1:19 am edt
I think it was a bit premature
to say that the public can swim in the Charles River in Boston. Last week, a group of swimmers dove into the river to prove
1995, the EPA gave the river a grade of "D" for bacteria level and cleanliness. It was upgraded to a "B"
in 2011. It has met the state standards for public swimming on certain days.
The swimmers had to stay in a roped off area to ensure their safety. Apparently, they were
not allowed to wade into the water because of the toxic metals and other elements of industrial waste. That alone should prohibit
people from trying to swim there.
think the river has made a great deal of progress, but it was more of a publicity stunt. One "expert" said that
the city and state should build a floating swimming pool so that people don't need to touch the layer of muck in the river
If you have a condition
like that, it's still not the time to be swimming in the Charles.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
All Hail The Yellow Cab
10:29 am edt
I only seem to ride in a taxi
cab when I'm in New York City. They can be quite adventurous with the drivers. They have been around forever and will continue
to work the streets.
smart phone application has created a new industry of ride sharing. Drivers are entrepreneurs who are are hailed through the
application and bring one or more riders to their destinations at a cheaper cost.
They are quite controversial for several reasons. They carry $1 million in liability insurance,
but are are unlicensed and not regulated by the city they do business in. They are becoming popular among tech savvy hipsters.
I have no desire to ever explore this option. I'll
take my chances with the traditional yellow cab.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
8:00 am edt
Some bad ideas in government
never go away. They keep resurfacing because some group can get attention. Citizens For Government Waste has advocated the
elimination of the paper dollar bill and the return to the use of the metal coin. They say it would save $13 billion over
the course of 30 years.
are probablty correct with their figures. It might even be more, but it's not what the American public wants. Efforts have
been made over the years to encourage the use of dollar coins, but have met with failure. People don't want to walk around
with a pocketful of metal. The US Mint spends million annually to store unused dollar coins.
The paper dollar could be eliminated, but there would be outrage from the general public.
Vending machines have been retrofitted to take paper currency. The metal coins would be very useful in some instances, but
I don't think it would work.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Not In 2016
8:26 pm edt
The projected three year traffic
disruption on the Longfellow Bridge in Boston should be interesting. It's a mammoth project over a decade in the making. The
bridge was last renovated over 50 years ago. Now it needs a renovation that will cost $250 million.
Part of the cost is caused by the incredible logistics.
They will keep half of the bridge open to traffic as well as the MBTA line and pedestrians. There will not be any outbound
traffic to Cambridge until at least this time in 2016.
Every project with a timeframe like this never gets done on time or cost. I have the feeling
that this will turn into a legendary fiasco. I just can't see this being done timely.
I'm sure within a year or two after completion, there will be flaws that need to be corrected
and cost more money.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Not Really That Cute
12:16 pm edt
Canadian geese and ducks look
cute in the water, but they foul it with their waste. That doesn't stop people from feeding them. The local drinking supply
has a nearby lawn inundated with them. There are signs warning people not to feed them, but it doesn't deter everyone.
Another nearby town had their public beach shut
down during this heat wave because of a high bacteria level caused by them. They ruin golf courses. They were also responsible
for the infamous water landing of an airliner in the Hudson River a few years ago.
What do we do with them? Animal rights activists have threatened to use themselves as human
shields during attempts to thin their flock. They reproduce like crazy. There are too many of them.
This is a great example of trying to please everyone
while keeping many unhappy. There is no easy solution to this problem.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Not On-board With Trucks
12:35 am edt
Food handling is always a
source of concern because it's not always done in the proper manner. Boston and New York City have seen the growth of the
food trucks that roam the neighborhoods and serve up some gourmet delights.
I'll admit that I have never tried one and have no intentions of doing so. There was a story
in today's paper about some trucks in Cambridge and Boston that had a problem with salmonella. Although, the trucks get inspected
on a regular basis, some have more problems than restaurants.
I also never buy food from a street vendor. Some of it looks so delicious, but I just don't
trust them for being very sanitary.
the other hand, you never know what goes on behind the scene in a restaurant.
Just Walk On Up
2:50 pm edt
I always enjoy reading about
the latest attempts by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to turn New York City into a nanny state. He has covered a variety of areas
from large sugary drinks to bike lanes.
he wants people to exercise more. I think that's a great idea. His latest involves any building undergoing renovation. If
they have an elevator, he wants the doors to the stairways to be made of glass in order to encourage people to walk up the
He walks up
five flights of stairs to his apartment on the Upper East Side. If people see the stairs, they might be more inclined to use
them according to Bloomberg. He also wants signs put up to encourage people to do so.
I can't wait to see his other ideas for his final months in office. They just keep on coming.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
A Layer Of Dust
3:48 pm edt
The parking lot behind my
apartment building is accessed by a street that has been plagued by a sink hole for years. The Public Works Dept periodically
comes by to fill it with asphalt.
ten years ago, they removed and replaced a leaking pipe which they thought caused the problem. Nothing really changed.
Last week, a contractor dug a shallow trench to
replace a gas main. The street has been filled with dust since then. It gets all over my car. I recently had it washed, but
the dust quickly covered it again.
hope the contractor cleans the dirt up soon, but I'm not sure when it will happen. I'm hesitant to have my car washed because
the wind will just blow the dust back over it.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
5:54 pm edt
A car is the worst investment
you can make. Even a new one goes down in value as soon as you leave the dealership. All you can hope for is to keep your
operating expenses down.
I was never into luxury. I have a 2013 Toyota Corolla that is a well made and dependable car.
People with money to burn go to great excess when
it comes cars. Rock icon Eric Clapton recently spent $4.75 million on a custom-made Ferrari. It might hold it's value since
it was made for a celebrity.
do you drive a car like this? It's too fast for the city. Parking must be a nightmare. You would need to hire a security guard
just to watch it.
people spend that much money for a car, it's only a matter of time before they become bored with it.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Water Not Needed
9:32 pm edt
On this date in 1969, America
watched as Apollo 11 began its journey to the moon. It was an epic story caught up in the time of the Viet Nam war and all
of the other social issues of the time. I remember watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon about 3am. It was the biggest
event in the world.
we need to depend upon the Russians to get our astronauts to the International Space Station. The whole idea of space exploration
has been lost on a generation. People don't even know about the Space Station.
It was in the news today because of a water leak in the suit of one of the astronauts while
he did a walk outside. He had over 1.5 litres of water in his suit.
NASA is very puzzled. It takes a problem to make the news.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Turning The Page Slowly
4:28 pm edt
I wish I could read faster.
There are so many books I would like to read. I had four checked out from the library, but now it's only two.
I tried to renew one of them, but there was another
patron waiting for it. A decision was made to return another. I read a great review on it, but it didn't impress me when I
thumbed through it.
of the books I'm reading now is over 300 pages with small print. It's an interesting book, but I can't renew it any more.
The challenge is on to finish it before July 29th.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Rushing The Season
6:16 pm edt
It's only seven weeks until
Labor Day. The temperatures will be cooler. People can stop complaining about the heat and humidity. Eventually, they will
bellyache about the cold and snow. It never ends.
Already, we are seeing back-to-school sales at some of the major retailers. They are rushing the season,
but they need to generate some sales.
won't be long before October brings us the pre-holiday nonsense. It gets earlier every year.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
An Issue of Color
12:26 am edt
The other day, I saw a Facebook
posting that wondered why there are not any cars that are yellow or purple. You never see them. The most logical reason is
that the auto makers made a decision not to use those colors.
That appears to be the case. I researched the most popular colors for new cars. They included
white (23%), black (18%), silver (16%) and grey (12%). Purple wasn't even listed. Less than 1% of the cars were yellow.
Car designs are done with a great deal of thought.
Focus groups are usually held to determine what the consumer favors. They don't want gaudy colors.
The person who made the comment would probably
purchase a yellow or purple car, but they would be in a minority. It's all about sales.
A Trip To The Park
3:20 pm edt
Two members of Congress have
proposed a bill to turn a portion of the moon into a National Historical Park. Their proposed Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy
Act would protect the area where US astronauts walked over 40 years ago from commercial development.
This sounds like a noble idea, but no single country
owns the moon. It would establish a very interesting legal precedent. I support the bill, but have reservations about its
ability to be held up in court.
has been to the moon in almost 40 years. At some point, China will get there. When that happens, it will present many legal
If they ever
turn it into a park, it will be under-funded like the rest of the National Park System.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Fighting City Hall
8:34 pm edt
The local City
Council approved a plan back in 2011 to allow private rental of the City Hall auditorium.
A local theatre group has complained
about the excessive cost to rent it for a three night production. They cited the daily rental of $427 for the room and custodian
costs of $800 per night.
Nobody who rents the room should ever expect to get a waiver on the custodial costs or rental fees. Maybe the rental
fee could be lowered, but the whole point was to earn some money for the city by using a city asset.
The other costs are fixed. The group was whining
about the police and firefighter details. They even thought that one of the groups might do it for free. I don't think so.
The costs are such that you need to have a
pretty expensive ticket and sell it out to make it worthwhile to rent. The city should not subsidize the cost of renting the
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Not Burning Today
5:18 pm edt
Last week, I took a walk along
the beach and got quite a sunburn on my face in spite of being out there for only one hour. It was a very hazy day and I didn't
another walk today, but wore a hat and sunblock. It made a huge difference because I have no redness on my face.
Sunburn happens before you know it. My burn never
bothered me, but my forehead started to peel. The sun can do damage real fast. We all need to be aware of that and remember
to take preventative measures. I just didn't do it last week.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Flying High and Slow
6:08 pm edt
Most advances in technology
take time to evolve. We have seen that in the last 20 years with personal computers. Now, it's happening with solar powered
One is making
the final leg of a cross country flight. The plane is powered by 11,000 solar cells and can fly at 30,000 feet. Unfortunately,
it has a top speed of only 45 mph. The speed of the aircraft is a big hindrance for commercial application.
It will take time to get the plane to go faster.
Once that happens, we should see more use of them. However, I think it's a long way off.
Monday, July 8, 2013
The Vanguard of the Village
8:28 pm edt
One of the groups I follow
on Facebook is the Greenwich Village Society For Historic Preservation. They post a great deal of information about
what is going on in the Village regarding new developments, landmark status and preservation.
They have played a key role in monitoring the plans
by NYU to build 2.5 million square feet of new space. The school has needs, but they are building in a Historic District where
height and density need to be closely examined.
They had an interesting post about the transfer of air rights above the commercial piers in Hudson
River Park. It was a last minute bill in the State House that could lead to bigger buildings along the river.
NYC is always being built. It's a constant change
of new buildings.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
9:21 pm edt
The traffic reports were horrible
today with several delays that stretched up to 30 miles. With the exception of the Cape, all were caused by slowing down to
have a problem with paying a toll on a bridge or tunnel, especially if they are not part of the Nation Defense Highway System.
When President Eisenhower
got it going back in the 1950's, it was never expected to be a toll road. It has happened in many states. They use it as a
source of revenue.
traffic today was exacerbated by having a toll system in place. It does not help the public.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Where's The Meat?
9:08 pm edt
I enjoy eating lobster rolls.
They are very tasty. My last one was over a year ago. Lobster is always over-priced.
I've eaten it out of the shell four times in my life. I find that to be over-rated. It makes
a mess and you never get that much meat. It's a lot of work for a small return. I never had my first lobster until I was 25.
The wholesale price of lobster has bottomed out
this season. Many of the boat owners are barely breaking even.
The price of lobsters in the tank has come down in price, but the lobster roll is still
over-priced and too small.
Friday, July 5, 2013
The Little Scooter
9:30 pm edt
I would never ride one of
those gas powered scooters, especially at night. I saw two people doing that earlier. They were riding against the traffic
on the sidewalk.
looked like a dangerous thing to be doing either on the street or sidewalk. They had tail lights, but they would have been
taking a risk by riding in the road with the traffic.
They also didn't have a helmet on.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
From 34th to 42nd
5:59 pm edt
I'm glad to see that New York
City turned down a request from aerialist Nik Wallenda to walk 4,000 feet on a high wire from the Chrysler Building to the
Empire State Building. It would have caused a great disruption on the streets below.
The city never embraced this idea from the start. Wallenda did his recent walks across Niagara
Falls and the Grand Canyon before a live television audience. This never would have worked out.
Was this some type of publicity stunt? He must have
known he would never get approval from city officials.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
No Crackers Please
8:20 pm edt
Here were are on another evening
before the 4th of July. It's only a matter of time before people start setting of fire works. It happens every year in my
neighborhood. It very irritating, especially at 3am.
I never understood the fascination with them. I've never purchased any and only lit two firecrackers
in my lifetime. It doesn't do anything for me.
People have been watching the public displays forever. You won't catch me there or watching them
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
6:36 pm edt
Former NBA great Dennis Rodman
announced that he should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his trip to North Korea and meeting with its controversial leader.
His trip drew a great deal of criticism and was considered quite inappropriate.
He will never get the award, but I thought his trip did some good. He did not represent this
country, but he plans another trip this summer. It might do some good. You never know.
Monday, July 1, 2013
The Halfway Point
1:41 pm edt
It's hard to believe that
we are at the halfway point for 2013. The hot and humid days of the summer are ahead. They too will come and pass. We will
transition into autumn and winter. That's the cycle of the seasons around here.
I never had the desire to live in a climate that has one continuous season. Warm weather
is nice, but I can't imagine it during the winter months. It gets up to 80 degrees in L.A. on New Year's Day. That seems
so strange, but many of those people have never seen a snow storm.
People complain about the weather no matter which season it is. They waste too much time
on something they have no control over. There is nothing you can do about it. You might as well enjoy it.