Friday, February 28, 2014
Everyone Looks The Same
1:47 pm est
A high school in Massachusetts
has decided to eliminate different colored graduation robes for boys and girls. Different colors were seen as discriminatory.
I don't agree with his decision, but that's the way of the politically correct world these days.
Things are getting out of hand. People are afraid
to do or say anything because it might offend others. All it takes these days is for one person or individual to claim foul
and the whole world gets turned upside down.
It won't be long before the terms male and female are no longer permitted.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
The Other Option
6:10 pm est
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission
awarded a provisional license to a group to operate a slot machine parlor at a race track in Plainville. They won it on a
3-2 vote. It was considered the best option. Now, we must wait for the other three resort casinos to get their licenses.
I think it's a fantasy that this will be a big economic
relief to the host communities and the state. It's doomed to failure. There will be so much competition with the two
casinos in Connecticut. The area can't support all of this gambling without impacting the lottery. We only need to look
at Atlantic City, NJ to see how many casinos have gone bankrupt.
That won't deter from these places being built. As they say, failure is an option.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
6:07 pm est
People spend large amounts
of money to look better even if it's over the top. It's happening in Brooklyn, NY where so-called hipster are paying up to
$8,500 to have facial hair implants.
Some men want the full beard look, but are unable to have it because of sparse facial hair. Implants are nothing new, but
usually take place on the top of the head. It might be a temporary trend, but you never know.
People still wear eyeglasses with non-prescription
lenses. I never understood why. At some point in their life, they will probably need the real things.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Windows Closed On DVD's
1:02 am est
is so different from Vista. I was trying to upload a DVD, but experienced all sorts of issues. I finally did some research
in my "Windows 8 For Dummies" book.
Apparently, Windows Media player doesn't play DVD's anymore. Microsoft feels that CD's and DVD's
are going by the wayside. The technology is outdated.
I posted a comment on Facebook and got some answers on how to do it. There are several programs
that I can download. I reviewed five of them. It doesn't look that easy, but I'll give it a shot.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Same Thing In Two Years
10:26 pm est
The Sochi Winter Olympics
are history. We now move on to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The same problems will be there.
People will be displaced from their homes. There
will be great cost overruns to build venues that will have no use after the Games.
Sochi was a financial debacle at $51 billion. It was meant to be a resort in the future,
but who will go there? Will it will become a white elephant?
I still have a brochure from the committee to get the Olympics to New York City in 2012.
The stadium alone would have devastated so many blocks of the West Side of Manhattan.
New York City won twice on this. They got a lot of great publicity for their effort and they
lost the bid to be the host city. They saved so much money.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Late Night Ratings
8:25 pm est
I was a fan of The Tonight
Show with Jay Leno. I thought it was a bad idea to replace him with Jimmy Fallon, but it happened. When Leno hosted his last
show, I didn't watch it. I did the same for Johnny Carson in 1992 when Leno replaced him.
initial viewer ratings for Fallon's show are very impressive, but he has benefited by NBC's expanded Olympic coverage
as a lead-in. He has rolled out an endless line of A-List guests and celebrities. There is no way he can maintain this
pace. Soon he will be on a level field with his late night competition.
There is a distinct possibility that Leno will do a guest spot on David Letterman as a way
of reconciling their long time feud.
should be some good competition for the ratings. I
would like to see where everyone is six months from now. I think Fallon's huge lead will disappear.
Friday, February 21, 2014
A Bad Idea For 2026
2:31 am est
You can always count on people
to write interesting letters to the editors of newspapers. I read one today that really sounded ridiculous concerning the
discussion of trying to hold the 2024 Summer Olympics in Boston.
The writer recommended that this idea be scrapped and refocused on having the Winter Games
here in 2026. They cited the numerous hockey rinks in the area as well as the close proximity to the White Mountains.
They made it sound so simple. There is still the
problem of the Olympic Village for the athletes unless they want to use local college dorms during the semester break. I guess
Fenway Park could become the Olympic Stadium.
A bigger reason they said was that the Games would coincide with the 250th anniversary of American
independence. I don't think that would clinch the deal.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Less Energy Than Others
11:19 am est
I got a report from National
Grid which compared my electricity use for the last two month with my neighbors. They also did a twelve month comparison.
The report showed that I consistently used less
than others. That doesn't surprise me because I live alone and try not to waste electricity.
I disagree with one of its key features. It
said that I used 58% less annually than my neighbors and saved $396. The numbers are correct, but there was no savings.
Comparing me to my neighbors doesn't mean anything,
especially if they have a family with kids. It makes sense that they would use more energy than me.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The Earth & Sun
2:09 pm est
I'm never surprised by the
lack of knowledge of some people. There are basic facts in life that everyone should know, but it doesn't always happen.
According to a 2012 poll of 2,200 adults conducted
by the National Science Foundation, 26% did not realize that the Earth revolves around the sun. How did they not know that?
Why is that figure so high? Is anything taught in school these days?
It's easy to see why America is slipping behind the rest of the world. It will only get worse.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
The Final 31
9:17 pm est
We got 8-10 inches of snow
around here. It's no big deal for me. Snow never bothered me even when I was working. I use to look forward to a possible
early dismissal or having the building closed for the day.
All of this snow could have been rain. It's all a matter of a few degrees at times. We
have seen that in prior winters. Spring is in 31 days. March could be horrible for snow. You never know, but there is nothing
you can do about it.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Call, Don't Text
5:11 pm est
I saw a public service ad
from Toyota about teen drivers and texting. It mentioned the types of text messages that the girl in the ad sent.
There was a tag line indicating that she didn't send any while driving.
I did the math and counted over 25,000 texts for
the year. Is this a typical teen? That averages out to about 80 per day. It seems excessive. It's only an ad, but I'm
skeptical about its truthfulness.
kids make phone calls anymore?
11:14 pm est
People need to get a grip
on the weather. It's February in New England and it could still snow before the first day of spring. You never know.
I think there is some type of global weather change
that is hard to quantify. We are living it. I believe our environment is polluted and we must do something about it. Nobody
has the answer.
is so much more to do.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
The Local 400
12:01 pm est
The USDA creates a great deal
of confusion for the consumer with their definition of organic and natural food. It's not as clear as it should be. It gets
worse with locally grown stuff.
government uses an arbitrary distance of 400 miles to be considered local. I always thought it was closer than that. Most
people would not consider a farm 400 miles away to be local, but the government does. If they wanted to make it 600 miles,
like the consumer is buying from the farm stand on the outskirts of town.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Going For 5th Place
12:10 pm est
Spelling Bees have been around
forever. I participated in one in the 8th grade, but was eliminated on my first word when I spelled "subscription"
incorrectly. Kids kept trying to spell words until one student won the contest for grades 5-8.
A recent local contest was so typical for today.
Prizes were given for each grade, but they went down to 5th place. Why did they give an award for coming in 5th? I'm surprised
they didn't call everyone a winner. Kids are not allowed to experience defeat and learn from that.
Parents would be outraged if their precious one
was not declared a winner.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Fixing The Settings
7:03 pm est
Windows 8 can be a challenge
at times. My computer got attacked by some type of Adware that disabled my browser. It was difficult to diagnose at first
because I was confused over the fact that my apps were working.
I spent two hours on the problem before resolving it. I thought I could figure it out on
my own, but I was wrong. Maybe, I should have researched it sooner.
It's always exciting when you start fooling around with your computer settings.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Name That Station
10:02 am est
public structure is always controversial, especially if it has been around for a long time. We saw that with the Queensboro
Bridge in Manhattan when they renamed it after former Mayor Ed Koch. The Triborough Bridge makes no sense as the Robert F
Kennedy Triborough Bridge.
can now add South Station in Boston to the list. The building and site has experienced a rich history since it opened
in 1899. It will now have the moniker of the Michael S Dukakis Transportation Center at South Station.
Dukakis continues to be a big advocate of public
transportation and should have something named in his honor, but not South Station. After 115 years, a new name is not needed.
It's too cumbersome and will never be used unless they want to confuse people and call it the Dukakis Center.
Names should be short and to the point. At least
they didn't try to sell the naming rights. That would have been even more lame.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Can't Wait Until July
12:51 pm est
It remains to be seen if we
get the foot of snow predicted on Thursday. The Mass Highway Department has done a great disservice to their plowing contractors
by not paying them for work done. Most of them have only been paid through December.
The state budgeted $43 million for snow removal, but has already spent $61 million. The money
will need to be part of a supplemental budget. In prior years, some contractors were not paid until July. You can't blame
them for dropping the state and seeking work with private property owners. The state treats them poorly.
Contractors have salaries and expenses to pay. They
can't run a successful business this way.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Oak Town Bridge
10:37 pm est
It was very
dishearteing to hear of the problems with the $6.5 billion Oakland Bay Bridge. For that much money, it should have been done
right, but it wasn't.
said the bridge was built to last for 150 years, but water has seaped into some areas where it should not be. Is there damage?
They need to fix it real fast.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
9:44 pm est
We have about
eight inches of snow on the ground from the recent storm. The temperature has been cold. Snow isn't melting, but it's only
forty days until spring.
I heard about a potential snow storm on Friday. The weather guy was talking about the "computer model" giving us
about nine inches at some point.
never listen to five day forecasts. They are so useless most of the time. One in awhile, they get it right.
Maybe it will be the Valentine's Day Blizzard of
2014. Who knows?
Saturday, February 8, 2014
No More Smoke
12:58 am est
I think it was a good idea
for CVS to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in their 7,600 pharmacies across America. It was so incongruous
that a company in the health business would sell such a deadly product.
CVS is trying to become more than just a pharmacy. They are emerging as a health
care provider by giving flu shots and having walk-in clinics. Their mission was so incompatible with tobacco
The company will
take a hit in their bottom line. They will lose $2 billion in revenue from their overall sales of $123 billion.
Other pharmacy chains are reviewing their policies
about tobacco, but taking no immediate action. They realize that people also buy other items when they come in to purchase
always be about the bottom line.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Half Is Still Big
2:18 pm est
The latest skyscraper proposal
in New York City will probably never get built because it sounds too ambitious. It involves a 1,800 foot tower of 108
floors at the Hudson Yard project. That part of the city is seeing an incredible real estate boom and redevelopment of the
former train yard.
projects often get scaled back. This looks like one of them. If they cut it in half, it's still a 900 foot tall building.
That would be more manageable and realistic, but you never know with the Big Apple.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
8:22 pm est
take trips on cruise ships seem to be very loyal. Rates seem to be pretty good for what you get. I have no desire to ever
I got a brochure
in the mail today about an 11 day cruise on the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. The ship was very small and
could only carry 130 people in 65 rooms.
average per person rate comes out to about $9,000. That would be about $1.2 million in revenue for the trip if it filled
It would be interesting
to see the balance sheet on this. There must be a pretty small profit margin after you pay all of the expenses, but in the
end, they make money.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Bad Idea #2
5:34 pm est
At what point does a dream
become a ridiculous idea? I think the proposal to have the Olympics in Boston is absurd. Now, we have another bright idea.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft wants to
have the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. This is wrong for so many reasons.
Boston would be a great host city, but still lacks the necessary number of first class hotel
The public transportation
system is a joke. On game days, there is one train on a single track that transport fans from Boston. Route 1 would be
come the ultimate nightmare for cars and buses.
Everyone is jumping on the cold weather Super Bowl band wagon. It was almost 50 degrees at game time
last Sunday. The next day, the New York City area got eight inches of snow. The NFL dodged a big bullet with the weather.
Robert Kraft might wield enough clout in the
NFL to get the game here.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
All In The Name
3:13 pm est
plans to build a satellite campus building in downtown Haverhill. It's an exciting time as the revitalization will make a
huge impact. The project has been named Harbor Place.
It's a catchy moniker and has a nice ring to it. The only problem is that there is no
harbor. The building will be on the river, but it's 20 miles from the ocean. It implies that we live near the ocean, but we
is no law saying that there must be truth in a name. This is really stretching it.
Monday, February 3, 2014
2:16 pm est
It's so typical to see shoddy
work on a public works project. A two mile section of a local state highway was reconstructed at a cost of $15 million over
a three year period. The new sidewalks included utility poles relocated in the middle of them.
A historic house had a brick sidewalk out front.
It had been there for over 100 years. The bricks were in great shape, but the sidewalk was buckling. It needed to be
replaced for safety reasons.
contractor used cheap bricks to cut costs. Less than six months later, the bricks are chipping and cracking. They will never
last 100 years. They will probably need to be replaced in another year or two. That doesn't surprise me.
Sunday, February 2, 2014
The Reluctant Fans
5:19 pm est
I read a great article by
a female writer who wrote about "how to fake your way through the Super Bowl". It was a guide for the person who
is not a fan of the game and wants to be part of the day's activities.
The Super Bowl is one of the big events in the world's media today. It will draw a
world-wide audience. However, everyone is not a fan of football. People feel they need to be part of it or risk being ostracized
at work or with their friends.
Nobody should feel this way. People should not watch the game unless they want to. Most people will
watch it to conform. I think it's wrong. That's why I never attend a Super Bowl party or watch it with others. I enjoy watching
it at home by myself.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Back in 68
10:17 am est
Back in 1968,
this started as a normal day. I saw my parents before I went off to school. A few hours later, my father was dead of a sudden
heart attack. He never knew what hit him.
I often wonder if he had any symptoms. Things were different back then when it came to cardiac care. It might
have been different for him in this day and age. Nobody really knows. Every case is different.
You never know what the day might bring.