Friday, January 31, 2014
Cruising To Nowhere
1:54 pm est
I never had the desire to
go on a cruise ship. They say there are a lot of things to do, but it looks like it's mostly eating and drinking. I also don't
like any type of motion rides. I think it would be awful to be out there in stormy weather.
There was a story in the news about one of the Royal Caribbean ships that was forced to return
to port several days early after a few hundred people got sick. This seems to be occurring more frequently.
What caused this to happen? Is the food handling
any different on a ship? I can understand an isolated case, but this is too often.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
They Last Over One Month
3:42 pm est
Fast food is part of the American
lifestyle. The choices are almost unlimited. Some people want to spend as little time as possible preparing meals, but
there are some bad choices out there.
Yesterday, I saw packages of hard boiled eggs without the shells. They cost $2.99 for six. The label
would scare anyone away. They were vacumm sealed, but contained several preservatives. The shelf life was almost a month.
They need to be refrigerated.
I can't imagine the circumstances where you would eat them. If you don't have time to boil an egg for three
minutes, your life is too hectic.
11:41 pm est
Atlanta and many other southern
cities were paralyzed by the recent 2.5 inches of snow. It's not a big deal up north, but would be catastrophic in warmer
bad decisions were made about the storm around Atlanta. It should never happen, but it did.
It's hard to guess the weather. They will blame
it on that.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
All For $24
4:57 pm est
a long process for the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It's scheduled to open this spring. There was a great deal of controversy on
its funding. Apparently, it will need to charge a $24 admission fee to cover its $60 million annual operating budget.
I find the price to be outrageous. It's much too
expensive, especially for a family. I can only imagine the salaries being paid to some of the top officials. The $60
million annual cost will probably increase over the years, causing the admission fee to go up.
I plan to visit the place the next time I'm in the
city, but I think it's way overpriced.
Monday, January 27, 2014
All In The Car
10:13 pm est
I get a kick out of people
who say they want to drive a Lamborghini. What does that really mean? That car or any other is so expensive. It's the
worst investment you could ever make unless you had money to throw away.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Name That Dorm
7:12 pm est
It gets very controversial
whenever a public building needs to be named. Everyone has an opinion on who should get the honor or why someone shouldn't.
UMass Amherst had a building boom in the 60's and
70's. The buildings were usually named after state politicians or people associated with the school. That made a lot of sense,
but I'm sure some politicians lobbied for certain individuals.
Four new dormitories were recently built. They are beautiful buildings in contrast to the
drab concrete of so many others.
took the easy way out by naming them after species of trees. They are Linden, Maple , Oak and Elm. It keeps things
politically correct. It was probably a good idea to do it. I'm sure there would have been a great deal of controversy
in bestowing the honor on anyone.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Clean For The Moment
4:10 pm est
One of the
hardest things to do in the winter is to keep my car clean. I finally took it to the car wash today to get the salt off.
I didn't want to do it during the recent cold spell because the locks have frozen up in the past.
The car looked real nice after it was done, but
it would only last a moment until I got out on the street.
Keeping a car clean in the winter is a bit like removing the sand from the rug by my
door. I could vacuum every day, but it would only last until I walk through the door again with more sand on my shoes.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Not An Option
5:14 pm est
The New Hampshire state legislature
is considering a bill that will allow voters to select "None of the above" as an option when they vote in elections.
The sponsor of the bill feels that it will send a message to the candidates that they will be held accountable by the
think this idea has much merit. Some of the best people never run for public office. It becomes a burden on one's life and
family. It takes a certain personality to put up with running for office.
If voters don't like the candidates, they will leave their choice blank or write in another
name. The law won't serve any purpose and is just another way of pandering to the public.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Waiting For Another Flood
6:23 pm est
It will be a long time before
the NYC/NJ metropolitan area recovers from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. It's been 15 months and the subways are still not
all back running.
MTA just received $880 million from the federal government to do repairs on tunnels when they got flooded. It will take
another year before things get squared away.
It's great that the city got the money, but the same thing could happen again with another major storm.
Flood prevention measures have not been taken by the city.
The weather forecasters said it was a once in a century storm, but we don't seem to have
normal weather patterns these days. It could happen again this year.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
They Really Need Assurance
2:45 pm est
seems like a risky proposition considering the high divorce rate. At least half of them fail. Now, there is insurance for
those who plan to wed. It covers extreme weather, illness and a change of heart.
I can see getting coverage for weather and illness, but it must be a real bummer when your
future spouse decides they want no part of you in the future. I wonder how often this happens.
It must occur enough for companies to offer insurance
and make money from it. Couples need assurance from each other.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Bill's Horse Power
2:10 am est
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio
frequently mentioned during his campaign that he would eliminate the horse drawn carriages in Central park and replace them
with antique cars.
recent poll showed that 66% of the residents favor keeping the horses while only 28% want the cars. What will he do now? Will
he flip and support the carriages in light of the overwhelming support from the public?
I have no problem with keeping the horses within the confines of Central Park. They
don't belong on the streets with cars and traffic. There have been a number of occasions in the past where the horses have
become spooked while in the streets, resulting in accidents. The antique car idea just doesn't make any sense.
Politicians often waiver when the numbers don't
work in their favor. Let's see what happens here.
Monday, January 20, 2014
6:15 pm est
Politicians will try to use
kids to their advantage when it comes to their own agenda. I don't believe in doing this. It happened in Boston the other
There was an organized
march of 2nd graders from Chinatown to Boston City Hall to protest the lack of a library in their neighborhood.
Chinatown is the only Boston neighborhood without
such a facility. They had one, but it was torn down in the 1960's to make way for the Mass Pike.
They deserve a library for everyone living
there. It's wrong that they are the only ones without a facility for learning and reading.
I don't know if the march did any good. There are no plans at this point to build anything,
but it should happen.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
I'm The Current Resident
12:09 pm est
I get a great deal of unsolicited
junk mail involving catalogues and requests from charities. I could spend the rest of my life trying to stop it and not be
successful at it.
especially resent catalogues sent in my name or "Current Resident". They are telling me that they just
want to get their material in someone's hands. It doesn't matter if it's me or not.
That type of stuff always goes to my recycling pile. They could care less about me.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Stay At Five
11:35 am est
districts can face challenges that are different than those in the suburbs. One out in western Massachusetts covers
an area of 250 square miles. Most of the students take a bus to school with trips that can take up to one hour.
Officials are considering going to a four day schedule
to reduce transportation costs and time on the buses. I think this is bad idea that should be scrapped.
Kids are only in school for 180 days. America
is behind many nations when it comes to education. A longer school day would not work for kids who already spend two
hours daily on their bus.
is no solution that will make the parents happy and meet the state requirements for time in the classroom. Some school districts
are even bigger than this one.
Friday, January 17, 2014
All In 140 Characters Or Less
3:25 pm est
There was a good example in
the news today about the problems with social media. A teenage girl found an arm on a beach in Queens, NY. It was thought
to be from the body of a 14 year old autistic boy, missing since October. She posted a comment on Twitter before calling her mother and dialing 911.
I wonder if she posed for a "selfie"
with it. I hope her comments did not exceed the 140 characters allowed by Twitter.
Have we become so desensitized that people comment on social media before alerting authorities
when human remains are found?
Second Best Movie
11:13 pm est
The 2014 Oscar nominations
are out again. I think nine movies nominated for "Best Picture" are too many. That goes the same for Best Actor
and Actress which have five each.
nominations mean big publicity and ticket sales for the movies. Everyone wants to be nominated, but I think it's watered down.
Why don't they give a runner-up for best picture?
This is so typical of the world today where everyone needs to be a winner and nobody can lose.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Three Too Many
10:01 pm est
I have followed the long process
of awarding casino gambling licences in Massachusetts. It's all about three casinos and one slot parlor.
It will never work. The developers are promising
too much money to the host communities. Revenue projections are too optimistic. I don't think the region can support all this
gambling. People have a finite amount of money to play with.
I want these places to succeed and do well. It's really nice to have a short drive to a casino,
but this plan is too ambitious.
There are only so many gambling dollars before you start effecting the Massachusetts State Lottery
and all those games.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
When Is It A Discount?
7:15 pm est
It's easy to get suspicious
about discounts and sales. Businesses don't make it a practice to give money away and decrease their profits.
The Market Basket chain took everyone by surprise
when they announced a 4% discount on virtually all items through the end of 2014. What business can survive by cutting 4%
of their revenue? There must be a gimmick.
the stores increase their prices incrementally to recapture the 4%? I wouldn't doubt that because they are not runing
Monday, January 13, 2014
Jackets For All
9:35 pm est
There was a nice feeling of
spring in the air tonight when I went out to mail a bill. It was 47 degrees. I was warm in my LL Bean jacket, but felt very
me to see guys walking around without a jacket on. One guy was in a t-shirt. I would get so sick if I did that. Another guy
came out of a fitness club with his head wet. That would be the worst thing I could ever do.
Maybe that's why I never mind the heat and humidity
in the summer. My body never gets effected by the heat. It's the cold air that bothers me.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Just Another Update
10:06 pm est
I'm happy with my Samsung
Galaxy Notebook that I bought three months ago. I also got a "Dummies" book to help out. There is so much to know.
I just completed a systemic update that prompted me when
I brought the system up. Doing the update was the prudent thing to do. Hopefully, there is no virus in this stuff.
Nobody can tell you really tell you all about the update. You do them because it seems
like the right thing to do.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Another Vortex On Deck
7:35 pm est
in a polar vortex earlier this week, we now have temperatures in the 50's with wind and rain. We are scheduled for another
polar vortex early next week.
warming has been debated to no end. Temperatures seem to be on the rise. That has been documented, but why do we have such
extremes in the weather? We are seeing that all over the country.
I think we have effected the environment to the point that things are out of balance. I don't
know what the solution is. We continue to spew toxins into the air and water.
We won't be around in fifty years, but I wonder what the future holds for weather conditions.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Story By Chris
12:12 pm est
New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie was seen as one of the leading contenders for the Republican nomination for President in 2016. The last few days
might change his life forever.
went to great extremes yesterday to distance himself from the scandal involving some of his staff members who made the
unconscionable decision to seek political revenge on the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, NJ by closing one of the lanes
on a ramp to the George Washington Bridge. The resulting traffic delays caused a major problem for the residents and
impacted 911 response time.
has already fired staff members and apologized to the mayor and residents of Fort Lee, but it might be too late
to stop the damage.
path to the White House may have been altered if the story continues to stay in the news. One of his staff members already
pleaded the Fifth when questioned by a legislative committee over the incident. A federal investigation is alo underway.
Christie has denied any involvement, but might
not survive politically if there was any hint of involvement on his part.
It will be interesting to see how this story plays out over the next few weeks.
Only he knows the truth, whatever it is.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
For The Birds
5:14 pm est
Some of the "odd"
stories in the news are very interesting. A guy from Cambridge, Mass just set the record of sighting the most species of birds
in a year when he finished the year with 749.
I don't know birds at all and could only identify about a dozen, but this guy went the extra mile
to set the record.
schedule would make anyone dizzy. During his quest, he spent 195 nights away from home. He had 177 airline flights involving
193,758 miles and 56 airports. He also drove 51,758 miles in rental cars. Naturally, there was water travel involved. He did
147 hours over the course of 15 days.
With an effort like that, he deserved the record.
He said he didn't get serious about the process until April and could have identified 1,000 species if he started earlier.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Not A Rosey Future
12:46 am est
The Boston Globe recently
had a great review of the architecture in Boston that happened during the 20 year tenure of Mayor Thomas Menino. It's always
a challenge to evaluate buildings in terms of their beauty and how they fit in their surroundings.
I didn't agree with all of the comments, but there
was one that we could all agree on. The author mentioned that the Rose Kennedy Greenway does not generate the same buzz as
New York City's High Line Park. That is a huge under statement.
The Kennedy Geenway is a work in progress and has a long way to go. It's still a barren strip
of concrete, with some grass, taking the place of the old elevated Southeast Expressway. The city has been trying to make
it more pedestrian friendly. They will be be adding a carousel this year to attract more families.
The High Line Park is a destination for tourists
and city dwellers. I have been there several times and marvel over the job done. The Kennedy Greenway isn't a "must see"
for anyone and probably won't be in the future.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Great Venue, Lousy Seats
5:13 pm est
The owners of the Boston Red
Sox made a good move when they welcomed outdoor hockey to Fenway Park. They have hosted several games between area colleges
as well as high schools. Everyone seems to be happy, as well as Boston residents who were able to participate in a free skate.
Anyone who attended the games must have been enthralled
by the unique venue to watch the game. However, it appears that many of the seats had bad sight lines. Most of the seats
were behind the goals, with many of them far away.
The cold temperatures were the same as for a football playoff game. The fans just had lousy seats
at Fenway Park. I think most who attended wanted to say they were there.
Monday, January 6, 2014
A Snow Free Roof
11:39 am est
One of the better ideas I
had recently was to by a "snow broom" with a telescopic handle. It was only $9 at Home Depot. I don't know why I
didn't buy one of these earlier. It's perfect for getting snow of the roof of my car. It's a lot better than a regular brush.
I will no longer be driving one of those cars with
snow on it. We've all done that.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
A Falling Tree In The Woods
4:15 pm est
Everything looks different in the winter after a snow storm.
I took a snowshoe hike through the woods at a local park yesterday. I was by myself, but in the stillness of the woods, you
could hear everything.
trees made a very eerie sound as they creaked in the wind. The sound of snow blowing could also be heard, but very quietly.
I came upon a giant tree which had been toppled over years
ago. I'm not sure how long it's been there, but I've seen it the last four years of snowshoe hikes.
When this fell tree in the woods, someone might not have
been there to hear it. However, it made a huge impact as it took several smaller trees with it and impaled itself
on another one. It never made it to the ground.
It must have been a very windy moment.
Friday, January 3, 2014
Even The Kitchen Sink
9:40 pm est
I tried to use COMET cleanser
on my stainless steel kitchen sink, but it didn't work very well. It probably doesn't help that the sink is at least 50+ years
old. I tried a BRILLO pad in the past with similar results.
Apparently, stainless steel doesn't mean forever. I can't get 50+ years of stains off the
sink and make it look new. That will never happen.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
First Storm of 2014
10:22 pm est
The so-called blizzard has been very localized.
We got about nine inches of "fluffy" snow. The media likes that expression, but the snow is so light in weight.
It might get worse tonight. The current temperature
is 20 degrees. I can't get over how light the snow is to brush off my car and to shovel.
They said it would be a long storm and go into Friday
morning, but that remains to be seen as well as the final snow total.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
The Ride to Extinction
6:27 pm est
Now that Bill DeBlasio has
been inaugurated as mayor of New York City, I wonder if he will keep his campaign pledge to get rid of the horse drawn carriages
in Central Park.
complain that the horses are abused and over worked. I have read reports that seem to contradict each other.
I have never taken a ride in one and have no
plans to ever do so. They are outrageously priced for the amount of time you get. I have a bigger concern about their
be kept within the confines of Central Park. There is no place for them on the city streets. They are a hazard to themselves
and traffic. I would be too nervous to ride in one. They should never have allowed them outside the park in the
there is a story in the news about a horse getting spooked in traffic. It's only a matter of time before someone gets