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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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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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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End of 2013

 

It's the final five hours of 2013. A new year will dawn on us. At this time next year, 2014 will be going into history.

The present eventually becomes the future and then the past. We live in the present, thinking about the past and future. 

Nobody knows what 2014 will bring. It's a mystery that will get solved before our eyes, for better or worse. 

7:36 pm est 

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year, Same Stuff

 

New Year's Eve day will bring some interesting postings to Facebook. People will be lamenting about 2013 and how things will be so different in 2014.

The new year holds the promise of a fresh opportunity to make changes. People come up with all sorts of resolutions. Health clubs will be full of people who are determined to get into shape, but that will last only a few weeks for most of them.

Those who complain about getting rid of 2013 are some of the same who complained about 2012. A new year doesn't mean things are going to change. It takes more than that.

9:02 pm est 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lack of Coverage


Cell phone technology has made amazing advances in the last ten years. Many things are common place now. However, there is still a problem with reception no matter where you are.

I was out in Amherst, Mass yesterday which is about 70 miles west of Boston. It's rural, but not in the middle of nowhere. On my way home, I attempted to have a conversation while driving through the communities near the Quabbin Reservoir.

With the way it was going, you would think I was out in Wyoming or some distant part of the world where a sattelite phone would be the best option.

Coverage will continue to get better, but there are truly times when you cannot hear me. 

 

12:45 am est 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

That Empty Feeling

 

I'm heading out to UMass today to meet up with a former classmate and attend a basketball game against Providence College. I get out there once or twice a year to watch football and basketball. It's always fun walking around the campus.

Today will be the first time I have ever been out there during semester break. It's going to feel real strange with the campus so empty of students. The team is playing very well, but I don't know how many people will be attending. 

We usually pay to eat at one of the dining commons, but that won't be an option today. I hope some of the places in the Student Union and Campus Center are open. Otherwise, we will be eating at the game. 

10:18 am est 

Friday, December 27, 2013

No Deliveries

 

UPS is facing a public relations nightmare over their inability to deliver holiday packages timely. They are blaming it on the weather in certain parts of the country and the enormous volume of packages.

Many people prefer to shop on-line. Some wait to the last minute. They share part of the blame with UPS. Everyone can blame it on the weather, but it doesn't solve the problem.

I don't like to order on-line because of issues I've had with deliveries. Whenever I use this method, I do it with great reluctance. It's not worth the aggravation it can cause.  

12:22 pm est 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The First Tree

 

There is always a big build-up to Christmas. It comes and goes so quickly just like any other event in life. Everyone handles it differently. It's not always the happiest time of year for some. 

As I drove down my street this afternoon, I saw the first Christmas tree out in the trash. It didn't take that person long to discard the tree and move on. I wonder why they took it down so fast. Why put it up in the first place? I think people do things out of habit or custom.

In the next few days, we will se many more trees out by the curb. 

7:10 pm est 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Big Plate

 

The holiday certainly promotes excessive eating and drinking. I stick to the food, but try so hard to watch what I eat. I thought I did pretty well last night. I was trying not to eat like it was the last meal of my life. Today will be another big day of food.

It's easy for anyone to overeat. I often think that if we put all the food we ate on one plate, we would be shocked. It goes down real easy.

2:24 am est 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Don't Light Up The Neighborhood

 

Holiday outdoor lighting displays are nice to look at if they are tastefully done. What do you do about people who set up behemoth shows that attract large crowds and cars?

I think some of these home owners are being selfish and inconsiderate of their neighbors. I just read a story of a home in Brooklyn, NY that is causing a big ruckus because of the pedestrian and auto traffic. The neighbors are forced to deal with it. 

You see fewer homes lighting up these days. People who set up big displays of inflatable objects are inviting vandalism. It shouldn't happen, but it does. 

3:56 pm est 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Don't Need To Bid

 

The local newspaper ran a feature story about Boston's potential bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and the use of area venues for athletic competition.

One of the basic requirements is the athletic village that can house 16,000 and a dining area for 5,000. These athletes are not staying in local college dorms. That idea is absurd.

The article cited the Merrimack River for rowing events and Salisbury Beach for volleyball. Some of the rural roads could be used for cycling.

The writer also interviewed a few members from the committee formed to determine whether submitting a bid is a viable option.

This thing will unfold over the next year or two. I don't think it will happen.  

 

10:26 pm est 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

More Sunlight

 

Tomorrow marks two days until Christmas and one week until the end of 2013. It happened so fast. I remember a year ago when the potential of 2013 was unlimited. Now, the year is almost over.

We will get 2014 soon. It comes in with unlimited potential. That's how the future is, but it will eventually crash back to reality.

We just experienced the Winter Solstice. Days are getting longer until June 21st.

There is nothing wrong with that.  

9:24 pm est 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

How Many On The Streets?

 

I don't think any city can have a true count of their homeless population. There are many individuals and families in shelters and transitional housing who can be accounted for. The missing link is the number of people out on the street. 

No city can ever give an accurate count of how many sleep in parks, cars, under bridges, abandoned buildings and anywhere else. 

Boston conducted its 34th annual homeless count the other night. I commend them for doing that. They counted 6,992 in shelters and 193 on the street. 

I think the street figure is very weak. There are many more than that. It's tough to find some people. It's winter and they don't sleep out in the open.

It's also a good idea politically to keep the numbers down.

 

 

10:05 pm est 

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Big Spill

 

They say that accidents can be prevented, but sometimes they just happen no matter what we do. I saw it this morning when I opened a new box of Kashi cereal.

After I poured some into a bowl, I thought I placed the opened box on the counter, but it was only partially there. It proceeded to tip over and spill cereal onto the floor.

I watched it for a split second before I grabbed the box. I lost about a third of it because it came out so fast. The worst part was the moment of realization that the accident was happening. 

It was only cereal, but some situations can become catastrophic with horrible results and there is nothing you can do for that moment. 

11:25 am est 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

They Might Never Build It

 

There are several groups who want a monument built to honor those whose gave their life in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Raising the money and designing has become the least of the problem.

The Commemorative Works Act of 1986 was passed by Congress to address future memorials in Washington D.C. One of the stipulations was the conflict must be over for at least ten years. American troops might by stationed in Afghanistan for another decade.

A bigger issue becomes who should be recognized. Over 6,000 Americans have been killed in the conflicts, but should this monument be one to honor all those killed in the War On Terror?

Do they include those who died during Operation Desert Storm in 1991? What about the 19 GI's killed in the 1997 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia? The 241 marines killed in the 1983 suicide attack in Beirut, Lebanon should be recognized.

There are many bureaucratic issues to resolve. At this point, Congress will need to ammend the law if they ever want to build a monument because the War On Terror will never end. 

 

5:01 pm est 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Playing Games Again


I'm not a fan of the Olympic Games whether they are the winter or summer. In several weeks, we will be forced to deal with them again. Russia will be absorbing the astronomical cost of staging the Games.

The US Olympic Committee looks foolish again after taking a lot of heat previously for having American athletes wear clothing made in China. They said it would not happen again.

Meanwhile, they are trying to raise funds by selling mittens in red, white and blue that say "Go USA". They are cute and all that, but in the end, from China. 

If they were made in America, they would probably cost two or three times more. 

1:11 pm est 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Free Means Not Paying

 

Facebook has grown exponentially many times over. It's still free for the users. However, people complain because they see ads on their news-feed. They feel it should be uncluttered.

They are also being shortsighted. Facebook is free because of the ads. The company is in business to make money. They are not running a charity. The same people probably complain about commercials on television. They need to get a better understanding of how things work. 

11:28 am est 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Signs of Selfishness


I commend a local community for their efforts to regulate the use of outdoor signs to advertise yard sales and other events. They have popped up all over the place. I find them very unsightly and a form of visual pollution. 

People have no problem stapling signs to utility poles and leaving them there for someone else to remove. I especially find commercial signs to be offensive. One local store thinks it's a good idea to advertise their sales wherever they see fit.

I think these signs are a form of selfishness, especially when they are placed on public property. Nobody has a right to staple signs to utility poles. Non-profits try to bend the rules because they feel they can.

No matter what type of regulations they propose, local officials will need to monitor them. Enforcement is a difficult task because it takes resources away from something else. 

10:18 am est 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Almost Winter

 

We got about 10 inches of snow yesterday. Winter is definitely here. The roads could have been plowed better, but we hear that every year. It was rather chaotic where I live because what do you do with 32 cars in a parking lot?

Winter will officially be here next Saturday. What will it be like? Will we get a lot of snow? Maybe this was the only snow of the season, but I doubt it. Winters have been getting stranger around here. We will probably have a day in January when it gets up to 60 and then snow a few days later. 

 

10:27 pm est 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

400 Million Lame Stories

 

I wish somebody had won the $400 million MegaMillions lottery jackpot last night. Instead, it will roll over and get bigger. 

The local newspaper found it newsworthy to go out an interview buyers of the tickets to see what they would do if they won the money. Who really cares about their thoughts? So many of these people already have plans on how they would spend the money. 

Someone needs to tell them that they need to win the money first. Don't get ahead of yourself. I never buy tickets. I think the lottery is a waste of time and a ripoff.

On the other hand, it's another form of a voluntary tax paid for by the users. States raise millions through the lottery. It takes the burden off of those who don't play.

We need these folks to keep on paying that tax for us.

11:33 am est 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Put The Phone Down

 

Cell phones are a part of life, but not always in a positive way. We are forced to listen to the conversations of other people. Some talk too loud or are obnoxious.

The FCC is studying a proposal to allow fliers to talk on their phones once the airplane is above 10,000 feet. A recent poll showed that 52% are against it compared to 39% who want to talk.

I think it would be a bad idea to allow the use of phones. When people are flying, they are already being held captive in a small area. They should not have to listen to the conversations of others. There are many fliers who feel that they are important and cannot wait to land. I'm sure they can justify their reasons for wanting the ban lifted.

The FCC should keep its current policy and continue the ban. 

 

1:29 am est 

Time For The Storm Windows

 

The final week of autumn is coming up. We are expecting 6-9 inches of snow on Saturday night going into Sunday. The first snow will start a panic rush to the market to get bread and milk. People will be driving crazy. 

It was 14 degrees when I got home tonight. I need to pull my storm windows down. I've been procrastinating, but the time has come. It's going to be cold when I do it. I'll try and be quick. 

11:50 pm est 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fees = Taxes

 

New Hampshire likes to brag about not having any personal state income tax. Instead, they have all sorts of user fees that are nothing more than a tax. Local residents also pay very high property taxes. 

Residents who launch kayaks or row boats will now be hit with a $10 annual fee that will go to the Fish & Game Department. The state funds the agency, but it has a yearly deficit. Rather than make it up with revenue, the state will extract money from people who use the ponds, lakes and rivers for recreational purposes.

User fees are taxes. New Hampshire also charges people to drive on their roads. The state runs the liquor industry with their stores. They are all taxes.

Eventually, the state will cave in and have some type of personal income tax. It's only a matter of time.  

5:34 pm est 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Bad Ad

 

The Massachusetts State Lottery should be embarrassed by their latest holiday ad on the radio. In an effort to push season ticket sales their ad said, "It's not the thought that counts, it's all about getting the right gift."

I find this to be in poor taste. There are enough things wrong with the holiday season. People buy and give all sorts of useless stuff. It's their choice. That won't change. 

It's wrong to have a state agency say such nonsense on the radio. They need to do better. 

5:23 pm est 

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Sign Of The Season

 

I woke up to the sound of a plow grinding the pavement to move very little snow. I brushed it off my car. It's the first snow of the season. Winter is here.

We have no idea how this season will play out. Will we get a blizzard or no snow at all? Maybe, we will get torrential rain storms because of the rising temperatures. 

We have no idea what might happen. At least the days will get longer soon. 

 

10:57 pm est 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Piercing Issue

 

Many feel that there are too many government rules and regulations. What should be done on a federal, state and local level?

There is a bill before the Massachusetts legislature to have the state regulate the tattoo and body piercing industry. Currently, it is controlled by the local Board of Health. The state would set consistent standards for licensing and training, as well as various health requirements.

Is this a good idea? I think it is, but other don't feel the same way. There is a concern about possible blood borne diseases caused by unregulated practitioners. At this point, it becomes a public health issue. 

Not all rules and regulations are bad. Some are for the good of all.  

10:20 pm est 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Holiday For Thieves

 

Many people prefer to shop on-line during the holiday season. I rarely do it because it's a hassle to have packages delivered where I live.

This time of year brings a spike in the amount of items stolen from the doorsteps of homes. I don't know why people allow deliveries without a signature. Leaving stuff on your steps is an open invitation to thieves. It happens every year. It doesn't matter that it's the holiday season.

People go shopping and leave things in their cars. Thieves prey on them. It truly is the holiday season for them. It never changes.  

11:43 am est 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Price Is High


Many people in the arts live a life just above the poverty line. They don't always get paid what they are worth. Some celebrities generate more income after their death.

The great Norman Rockwell had many of his paintings on the Saturday Evening Post. He was paid on a commission basis. One of his originals, "Saying Grace", was just sold at an auction for $46 million. It set a record for an American painting.

Too bad Rockwell isn't around to see this. When he did the painting, he was paid $3,500 by the Post. I'm sure he thought it was a lot of money at the time.

3:08 pm est 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

No Parking Their Butts

 

The Boston City Council passed a local ordinance that will prohibit smoking in all city parks. Mayor Menino is expected to sign the bill. 

Many see it as another example of government trying to control the lives of people. I definitely see their point, but think litter is a bigger problem than the actual smell of smoke.

People are so careless when smoking. There are cigarette butts all over the ground if there are smokers around. They think nothing of throwing them out their car window while in a line of traffic. Beaches are littered with discarded ones from people who bury them in the sand, only to get exposed at low tide.

Nobody wants to breathe smoke from others, but the trash issue is a big problem. 

 

12:11 pm est 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Losing The Edge

 

It's a sorry state of affairs for NASA when astronauts need to hitch a ride to the International Space Station aboard a Russian rocket. NASA pays big money for the taxi service. It will be years before Americans fly their own crafts. 

There was a time when America dominated in space. The retirement of the space shuttle fleet brought it to a screeching halt. China just launched a rocket that will land a robotic rover on the moon. They have an aggressive plan to build their own space station. 

India launched a mission to Mars recently. Last Sunday, the craft left the Earth's orbit and set its trajectory towards Mars to land a rover there.

It's a shame that the US last sent men to the moon in 1972. The Russians sent a rover there in 1976. The Chinese will probably send men to the moon before we do. It's no longer important for NASA to go there.

There is so much to gain with space travel. In addition to providing jobs, it also stimulates research and technology. We have gained so many benefits over the years.  

1:14 am est 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bagging It


You can always count on government to over-reach in trying to manage more aspects of life. Brookline, Mass will join a list of communities that prohibit the use of plastic bags and polystyrene containers by retail stores and restaurants. 

There is no doubt that these products stay in landfills forever and often become trash along the streets. Many retailers and restaurants have tried alternatives, but most people prefer plastic and polystyrene.

I think actions like this are nothing but an attempt to garner attention and pander to the public. It's the same for communities that prohibit the sale of water in plastic bottles.

Recycling is the answer. It needs to be more user-friendly. Prohibiting the use of these products is one more way that government micro-manages all aspects of life. 

11:55 am est 

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Clock Always Moves


It's hard to believe that New Year's Eve is four weeeks from tomorrow night. We will be in a new month and new year. January is the heart of winter. February rates way up there, but there is always the hope that is March. 

The Boston Marathon is 19 weeks from today. That too shall come and pass. Everything seems to go by so fast. Time passes way too quickly.

Get ready for the post-holiday sales.

8:16 pm est 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Paper-Free Paper

 

I downloaded a copy of today's Boston Globe to my Samsung Notebook. I recently bought a monthly e-subscription for $4. This one paper will pay for December. The Globe has a pretty friendly format for reading the paper. I'll see if it's easy to work with.

I love my newspapers, but they are costly. If I download enough of them, the Notebook will get paid for in savings. 

10:49 am est 


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