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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

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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, July 23  Winner's Circle 

                       211 Elm St.  Salisbury, Mass  8pm 

Thurs, Aug 8    Fody's Tavern

                         16 Clinton St.  Nashua, NH  8pm 

  Random Thoughts About Things

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Rail Issue

Trains were once the major mode of transportation throughout America. They still play a vital role in moving freight and passengers.
 
Every town and city has abandoned rail routes. Some are overgrown with brush while others can still be seen through it all.
 
A number of preservation groups have worked to transform abandoned routes into recreational trails. The ones I have seen are outstanding. There are so many more to work on. The legal logistics are daunting concerning ownership of the tracks and right of way.
 
I checked out a small section of a local one today that stopped being used over 30 years ago. Portions of the track have been paved over in spots. Some back yards of homes have covered them over with their lawns.
 
Plans are in place to make this stretch a recreation trial. It's easy to see why it's so difficult in some cases. This one will present many challenges. 
6:15 pm edt 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two Bad Ideas

 

I think it's a bad idea to allow horse drawn carriages on the streets of New York City. There was another accident yesterday when a horse got spooked, sped up and flipped the carriage over. The driver was slightly injured, but at least he didn't have any passengers.

These carriages should be restricted to Central Park. They are a menace when driven in the streets. The same goes for pedi-cabs. Both have a reputation for over charging passengers, especially tourists from out of town.

You couldn't pay me enought to ride in a carriage or pedi-cab. I think they are both vastly overrated. There are many ways to spend time in New York City. These are two of the worst ways.

5:06 pm edt 

Friday, September 27, 2013

All In The Numbers

Whenever we see a poll or survey, we are lead to believe that it has scientific validity based on a small population sample. There is always a margin of error factored in.
 
A recent survey indicated that 15% of Americans don't use the Internet. I think that might be a valid number, but I have concerns on how they came up with it.
 
The survey was done with 2,252 adults via landlines and mobile phones. Just about everyone who wants to access the Internet has the capability, although 8% of those not on-line wish they had access.
 
The old dial-up connection is down to 3%. I find this puzzling because there are stretches of rural America where residents don't have a broadband connection.
 
If 44% of those over 65 are not on-line, why isn't the overall figure of 15% higher. The study examined a number of demographic groups and crunched a lot of numbers. I think there is plenty of room for error in this survey.
1:07 am edt 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Totally Overgrown

 

Cemeteries are sacred places and should be treated as such. However, the level of care and maintenance can vary by who runs it. You never know with a public one or those run by private groups or churches.

There is a local cemetery that is privately run, but in total disrepair. The lawn hasn't been cut this year. It's a frequent target of vandals and illegal dumping. Volunteers are trying to clean the place up. The city has offered to maintain the portion where over 400 Civil War veterans are buried.

It's one of the older cemeteries in the city and has a rich history. Unfortunately, it ran out of money over the years and barely functions.

It will take a great deal of work just to get the place looking respectable. What happens after that? It could revert to being what it is now. Hopefully, it is moving in a positive direction. Time will tell.

11:34 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Better At Room Temperature

 

I'm making a very concerted effort to drink more water. The benefits are well know to all of us. I've been buying a case of 16 ounce bottles that end costing about 15 cents each.

I have not consumed tap water from my apartment faucets in almost 20 years.  I use it only for showers and cooking because the pipes are old.

My preference is to drink it at room temperature. It goes down easier than when it's cold. Ice cubes are never an option.

I try to keep a couple of bottles on my kitchen counter at all times.

2:12 pm edt 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Too Liberal For Me

When you buy AA-type batteries, the smallest package has four as I found out today. I bought one in spite of having six left from an 8-pack bought over a year ago. They had an expiration date of April 2016, but none of them could power a wall clock.
 
All six failed to do the job. I used two of them in my TV clicker which needed to be refreshed. I guess I need to wait until one of my other clickers can use them.
 
The clock now has a new battery and is keeping good time so far. I wonder why they failed with over two years left on them.
 
I feel the expiration dates on batteries are too liberal. The batteries should have been able to run the clock. They were just sitting in a draw. 
8:05 pm edt 

Monday, September 23, 2013

You Had To Be There

 

We all mark the years of our life by certain events. Some are personal while others are historical. The two biggest news events in my life were the assassination of President Kennedy and 9/11.

As time passes, fewer people will have been around for those events. You would need to be at least 80 to remember Pearl Harbor Day. Nobody under 55 has a recollection of the events on November 22, 1963 when JFK was killed.

Last Saturday was the 75th anniversary of a Category 3 hurricane that tore through New England killing almost 600 people. The list is short for those who remember that one.

Very few kids in grades K-12 have any recollection of 9/11. They would need to be at least 15.

The events in the world happen daily. Some day, there won't be anyone around who was alive on 9/11.

 

 

3:02 pm edt 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Adding To The Loss

While watching the NFL today, I noticed commercials by the U.S. Postal Service. They were the warm and fuzzy type that showed a few of the faces behind the USPS.
 
Days are tough for them. Mail delivery is a fraction of what it use to be. They are running a $15.9 billion deficit this fiscal year. It will only get worse in future years. The agency is spiraling out of control. Congress is unable to reign it in because of its powerful union and clout.
 
I wonder what the television networks are charging to broadcast their commercials. They don't give it away. It's not cheap, but if you're losing $15.9 billion, you might as well run a few "pat ourselves on the back" commercials. It's only money. 
5:20 pm edt 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

No Interest

 

Earning interest on checking and savings accounts is something from the past. When I was younger, you could earn 5% on a savings account.

My bank sent me an update on their interest rates. Less than $2,500 in a checking account will earn 0%. Many people don't even have that much and live check to check. Having up to $250,000 will earn the customer 0.05%.

People can ht the jackpot if they have over that amount. An account of 250G's will earn a whopping 0.10%. That should make the rich richer.

8:06 am edt 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Don't Bet On It

 

We are destined to have casinos in Massachusetts. The  financial numbers we hear are so optimistic and unrealistic. Does Boston need a casino? Should it be approved by the residents of the city or by those who live in East Boston?

If all three casinos open as well as the slot parlor, there will be too much competition for the finite amount of gambling dollars. 

What is the over and under for when they get built? How long will it be before one of them has a financial  problem?

9:51 pm edt 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

No Card Needed

 

Printed material found in libraries might become extinct in 20 years if current trends continue. Nobody can really predict how technology will evolve of over that time. We have seen the Internet grow from nothing to where it is now over that same amount of time.

San Antonio, Texas just opened its "BiblioTech Library". It features 10,000 free e-books for patrons as well as 600 e-readers, 48 computer stations, 10 laptops and 12 tablets.

Is this the future of public libraries? I hate to see the day when books are no longer printed. I think the day will come in the future when printed books are rare. How soon will it be? A lot depends on technology and what people embrace.

4:29 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

More Pages To Print

 

I've had my printer for seven years now. It seems like people spend more on ink cartridges than on the actual printer. I finally replaced my back cartridge. I kept bypassing the low ink indicator until the printer finally shut down.

When I bought my new cartridge at Staples, I decided to try the "high capacity" one.  When I got home and removed it from the packaging, I thought they had sold me the wrong one. Upon closer examination, I never knew my printer was designed to take such a wide cartridge. The slot for the black cartridge is extra wide.

Everything is working fine. When will one of my three other cartrdiges need to be replaced?

11:03 am edt 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Staying 65

 

Massachusetts is one of 11 states that still has a maximum speed limit of 65 mph on interstate highways. A bill before the legislature is trying to change the speed to 70 mph on certain parts of the Mass Turnpike, I-91 and I-95.

Most states have limits of 70 or 75. A section of a road in Texas allows for up to 85. I think it's a bad idea. People drive too fast as it is. Almost everyone goes 10 mph over the speed limit. Raising it would increase many vehicle speeds to 85. Motor vehicle accidents would get much worse. 

People need to slow down on the highway. A limit of 65 keeps people at 75. It's safer for everyone.

 

4:45 pm edt 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lousy Coverage

 

I didn't like the media's coverage about the mice problem in the Massachusetts State House building. Numerous outlets tried to put a humorous spin on the issue.

There is nothing funny about a rodent problem.They can greatly effect the quality of life for many people. In this case, the problem was caused by legislators leaving food in their desks. It drew the mice to a food source.

Rodents have been around that building for ages. They can exterminate them, but they eventually come back. I have no room for rodents at any time. They need to do a better job with their elimination. Monitoring needs to be better.

8:27 pm edt 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Your Name Here

Local, state and federal government all have numerous examples of wasteful spending. When budget cuts are made, it's usually for a program that has a purpose or positive impact.
 
A few years ago, the Massachusetts RMV stopped sending out reminder notices for driver license renewals. People were left on their own to keep abreast of the expiration date. Naturally, many people forgot and were driving around on expired licenses.
 
The RMV is bringing back the renewal notices. Their elimination saved the state $1 million annually, a small sum in the overall scheme of things. They have partnered with a private company which will cover the cost in return for allowing advertisement on the renewal notice.
 
I think this is a good idea as long as it's in good taste and appropriate. However, where do you draw the line? It's like selling the naming rights for train and bus stops. What is appropriate and who defines it?
 
11:22 am edt 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Is It Too Soon To Expire?

 

Two years ago, I bought a package of eight AA batteries with a "best by" date of Jan 2016. I have four left and recently installed one in a wall clock in my living room. After one day, I noticed it lost about 20 minutes of time. I replaced it with another one and had the same problem.

It's pointless to keep using them in the clock. However, I won't toss them out. They can still power a flashlight, clicker or some other home item. The clock was the real test of their viability.

I never trust expiration dates, especially on food. I think they are too generous. This was a great example.

12:37 pm edt 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Not That EZ

 

I'm getting closer to getting an EZ Pass transponder when travelling toll roads after my latest journey through New Hampshire.

The traffic was light, but there was a ten car backup at the cash-only lanes. I sat and watched as numerous cars whizzed by me as I waited to pay my $2 toll.

They will never eliminate the cash lanes, but I need to get with the times and get a transponder. If traffic was heavy, I would have been waiting for a long time.

12:32 am edt 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wait Until 10 PM

 

It looks like the weather people will be salivating on the evening news. The hot and humid weather has created a "Severe Thunderstorm Watch" for most of Massachusetts. It's not a warning, but a watch. I'm not sure what the difference is other than the probability of it happening.

I hope we don't get any severe weather. It's important to know about it, especially if people have outdoor plans. It seems like we are getting more of these notices about the weather.

I get a kick out of when they give the exact time for the notice to expire. Apparently, everything will be ok after 10 pm. It might get dicey at 9:55pm. By10:05, everything will be fine.

2:17 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back To The 90's

 

Another hot and humid day was inevitable. Summer is over in 10 days, but isn't leaving quietly. We were teased by a July type of day. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. Temperatures will plunge and get back into the 60's by Saturday.

It's hot in my apartment right now. The fan is trying to circulate the air. Windows have been wide open for a couple of months.

It's only a matter of time before they start to get closed. I almost felt like using a blanket the other night. The season is definitely changing. 

 

5:53 pm edt 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Another Two Years of Use

 

Batteries last for different amounts of time depending on their use. I just replaced the one in my living room wall clock. It was installed it on April 23, 2011. I know this because I wrote it down.

This battery lasted almost two years and five months. It sounds like I got a lot of life out of it. In the last few days, my clock lost about 20 minutes. I knew it was time for a change.

If this battery has the same amount of life, it will bring me into 2016.

5:30 pm edt 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Not TIME Now

 

I still have a subscription to TIME magazine. It's nothing like it was years ago. There are fewer pages and more pictures and graphics, but they gave me a great deal for $20 annually.

My subscription expires next April. That means another seven months of issues. They are already sending me notices to renew. I think it's much too early for that.

They will continue to bother me until I make a decision. I have no intentions on renewing early. In fact, if I let my subscrition expire, they will probably offer me a better deal to get me back.

It's too bad they can't inprove the quality of the publication.

11:16 am edt 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Nice Sun Burn

 

I'll never understand why I didn't put sunscreen on at the football game yesterday. My face got burned. It has a nice red look, but that's not good. I was out in the sun today and used lotion.

We need to respect sunlight. It can destroy our skin while giving us color. I never had this issue when I was a kid.

11:33 pm edt 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

South To North

 

I never lost that feeling of excitement of seeing the Boston skyline  while driving south on Rt 93. My first road trip was to Boston after I got my license back in 1970. It was always a thrill to park at Leechmere or go directly to Harvard Square.

You first catch a glimpse of the skyline driving south through Medford. The Pru and Hancock Towers always stood apart and framed it.

Driving through Boston on the former Southeast Expressway was a great way to see part of the city. Now, it's all underground.

Today, I had a chance to approach the city from the south after I left a football game at Gillette Stadium. I made the decision to go north through the city via Rt 93, rather than take Rt 95 to Rts 3 and 495.

You see so much more of the skyline coming from the south. The ride up the Expressway is a litany of places I've heard on traffic reports forever: East Milton Square, Neponset, Granite Ave, Morrissey Blvd, the Zipper Lane and so many others.

Seeing it from the south never gets old. I prefer to take that route if the traffic flow allows it. You never know.

7:59 pm edt 

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Calendar & Thermometer

 

There are still two weeks left to the summer with some warm beach days coming up. However, they will be far and few. Nights are also getting cooler as the temperatures drop into the 40's.

I took a jacket with me last night when I went out. I needed it, especially on the way home. I even put the car's heater on. Hopefully, it wil be a few more weeks before I turn the heat on in my apartment.

Summer isn't over according to the calendar, but the thermometer says otherwise.

10:49 am edt 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Breaking Glass

 

You never know when glass is going to break. I have several souvenir glasses that I've broken over the years when I dropped them while doing my dishes. In some instances they shattered. Other times, I was able to pick them up and wash them again.

Today, I dropped a new jar of pickles on the floor. They fell about four feet, but nothing broke. The only thing that happened was the lid was loosened and some juice got on the floor. If I tried that again, it would probably shatter.

It's all about the angle of contact with the surface. Sometimes, it works out fine, but not always.

5:25 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Big Cat

 

People try to keep exotic animals as pets. It works fine when they are young and small, but many outgrow their residence. Some owners bring their pets to shelters while others just discard them to the street or wherever is convenient.

A bobcat recently appeared on Cape Cod. They have not been seen there since the late 1700's. How did it get there? Did it cross one of the bridges or swim across the canal? In all likelihood, someone had it as a pet until they realized they couldn't take care of it any longer.

It must now fend for itself. It will be forced to interact with the public which could have disastrous results for the animal. There is also the issue of dodging cars.

I'll never understand why people keep pets like this. They are cute when they are young, but eventually the owners can no longer take care of them. The animal gets punished because of this.

 

10:45 am edt 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Staying Up Two Nights

 

There were many impressive things about the historic 110 mile swim of Diana Nyad from Cuba to the Florida Keys. The 64 year old completed the grueling feat on her fifth career attempt.

Her 35 member support team was critical to her success. They fended off sharks as Nyad swam without a protective cage. They were there to provide nourishment and water.

I was most impressed by her ability to complete it over the course of 53 hours without any sleep. The longest I've ever been awake was about 30 hours. I was ready for bed by then. To swim for 53 hours without a break is a remarkable accomplishment.

2:43 pm edt 

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Unimpressive Car

 

I drove and repaired crappy cars until my first new one when I turned 40. Cars are such a bad investment. They lose money from day one.

I never understood why people drive sports car. If you have disposable income, that's one thing. Some people go into great debt to drive a fancy or souped up car. Why?

As I drove on Rt 213 the other day, a low riding sports car was weaving in and out of traffic.  It was a menace to the road. The car also had loud exhaust which kept backfiring.

It didn't do anything for me. It was so obnoxious. The car must cost the owner a small fortune to stay on the road. I hope he is able to afford it.

I'm glad it's not me. 

8:25 pm edt 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

40 Mile Weather

 

The weather people on television and radio like to use the term "pop-up" showers or storms. We hear it all the time. They say there is a "slight chance" to cover themselves.

We had a "pop-up" today. It's been sunny here all day, but they had torrential rain and flooded roads 40 miles from here. Rt 95 got impassible under one overpass. The Red Sox game had a rain delay, but never a drop of rain here.

Weather is very unpredictable, especially small storms like this. We were close, but it was a very concentrated one.

4:58 pm edt 


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