Tuesday, September 30, 2014
48 Reasons To Play
10:10 am edt
A state lottery is nothing
but a voluntary tax paid by players. I'm all in favor of that. Governments have other use taxes including cigarettes, liquor
and various licenses.
Massachusetts State Lottery has a great marketing campaign. A local store featured 48 various games. People can drop down
a dollar or up to 30 of them for a chance to win the big prize. The games are all the scratch and match format.
New games are unveiled, but here is nothing new
about them. They just have different names and graphics. Players buy them regardless.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Not In This Park
4:54 pm edt
A local community wants to
build a "spray park" on their historic town common. The park was designed by the legendary Frederick Law Olmstead.
There is a deed restriction going back to 1843 which limits what can be put on the grounds.
Over the years, a baseball field has been added,
as well as bleachers and a kids playground. Apparently, they loosely met the definition of what could be included. The park is
on the National Historical Register.
believe in providing recreational opportunities for kids, but this latest idea would ruin another portion the Common.
I don't know what the solution is. They should look at another place in the city.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
The Casual Wake
9:03 pm edt
Wakes and funerals have changed
over the years. Calling hours use to be 2-4 and 7-9 for two days. Now, wakes are one day for a few hours.
I don't attend many, but I had two this weekend.
They were 5-8 and 3-6. Both were well attended. Many people dress very casual now. It struck me odd that people came in shorts
nice that they attended. I don't know where they were coming from or where they were headed.
Everyone makes their own decisions. It's so different now with how people dress.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
8:50 am edt
It's hard to believe that
it will be almost 80 degrees today. I plan to attend a football game and don't know how to dress. I'll wear long pants
because it will get cooler later on.
have a warm-up jacket and a hooded sweatshirt. I probably won't need them, but you can't put on what you don't have.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Waiting For Vandalism
5:05 pm edt
A couple of Eagle Scouts have done a commendable job at
a local park with the informational signs they made and installed. They mention the species of various trees along the walking
and running paths.
park is quite secluded. It gets no maintenance, other than by volunteers. There are indications of vandalism on a regular
I wonder how
long the signs will last. It seems like it's only a matter of time before someone destroys them. That's how some people are.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Not Digging It
6:00 pm edt
The Boston Globe does a great
job running photos of people doing ordinary things. They are inserted in various parts of the paper.
They recently had a photo of a woman using a metal
detector on a playing field in Boston. She dug a little hole with a tool when the beeper went off. The only problem was that
it was at a playground. She was digging where she shouldn't be.
I don't have an issue with metal detectors. The users need to recognize where they are and
not disturb a lawn.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Not High Speed
7:07 pm edt
I don't think anyone will
ever see a big high speed rail network in America like they have in China and Japan. Congress appropriated $11 billion back
in 2009 for a series of projects.
train must slow down in certain parts of Rhode Island on it's way to New York City. These things need to be fixed to improve
the speed of the trains.
it's pointless to construct a high speed rail system in California. They got a big slice of the financial pie for a project
that will take decades to complete. It's a great public works project if you want to create jobs.
Monday, September 22, 2014
4:32 pm edt
I bought a Samsung Galaxy
Notebook almost a year ago. It cost about $500. It has already paid for itself with the money I've saved by reading
the Boston Globe e-paper.
use to always have a stack of unread papers. I never threw them out until I skimmed the issues to see if I missed anything.
It's nice to not have all the papers around. They
now sit on my Notebook. The other day, I got a message about the storage space being used up. Apparently, the papers take
up a huge amount of the Notebook's memory, especially the Sunday issues.
I need to do a better job in keeping up with them.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
9:23 pm edt
After turning on the heat
yesterday, it's hard to believe that it was hot and humid today. Summer isn't leaving quietly.
It's a challenge to dress for these days
and nights. It's easy to throw off a blanket when it gets warm.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
The 2014 Heating SeasonStarts
8:32 pm edt
Autumn starts on Monday at
10:29pm EST. I thought I could make it through summer without turning on the gas heat I pay for, but it happened today
when the indoor temperature was 66. The humidity was also 72% in my small apartment.
I still have windows open. The outside temperature fluctuates too much this time of year.
It gets cold at night. I'm using one blanket.
It's time to take my quilt to the cleaners to get it ready for the cold weather ahead.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Surfing In Europe
12:32 pm edt
Some people are very well
traveled to all corners of the world. They often try to limit their expenses by staying in hostels and cheap hotels.
Now, there is a website devoted to "couch
surfing". It allows travelers to connect with hosts who are willing to take a stranger into their home and let them sleep
wrote a very interesting story about her experiences while traveling through Europe.
It's not for everyone. I couldn't do it because I would be too paranoid to stay with
strangers in a foreign country. It seems to work out for many people, but they must be very trusting and adventurous.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
The Big Vote
5:06 pm edt
This is a big day for Great
Britain. Scottish people will vote whether to establish their independence as a separate country. It's a historic step
for both sides. The voter turnout is expected to be big with almost 97% going to the polls.
I wonder what the outcome will be. This story has flown under the radar. I expect the Scottish
people will maintain the stats quo, but you never know.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Could Be the Track's End
4:47 pm edt
What will happen to Suffolk
Downs after the race track lost out on a bid for a casino license? The horse racing industry has been on life support in recent
years. The casino was seen as the only viable option to keep the place open.
Horse racing has an issue with demographics. The patrons at Suffolk are very loyal, but also
rather old. Young people don't go to the race track except on special occasions like the Kentucky Derby.
A local commentator called on the track owners to
find a creative solution to keep the venue open. This guy is living in a dream world. What does he expect the owners
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Still Have The Ballot Question
9:18 pm edt
It was rather ironic to see
the closing of the fourth casino in Atlantic City this year while the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarded a gambling
license to Steve Wynn. He will spend around $1billion to create a gambling destination.
It has great potential to draw from the metropolitan
Boston area. Can they keep a steady flow of people through the doors and not just the curious ones checking the place
will be awarded for the Springfield area. The slots parlor in Plainville is under construction, in spite of the a November
ballot question to ban casinos.
these places draw dollars away from the Mass Lottery? There are only so many gambling dollars out there. I think it's
a hard industry to grow.
casino in Everett won't open for at least four years. There is a little issue of the site being contaminated by industrial
waste. It will need some expensive environmental cleaning.
What will it be like in ten years?
Monday, September 15, 2014
Bad Breakfast Habits
10:27 am edt
There is a lot of strange
stuff on Facebook. I always get a kick out of people who post about their poor eating habits for breakfast. Proper nutrition
is a challenge for all of us, but not a priority for many.
I could never eat cookies or cake in the morning. The same goes for ice cream. People
do it without any concern for their health.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
10:01 pm edt
As a rule,
I never answer my phone unless I know who is calling. We all get too many "800" calls. They are so useless. I think
"Private Number" is equally obnoxious.
I received one this afternoon before I sat down for lunch. I made a decision to answer
it and see what was going on with these calls.
It was a reminder for my dental appointment on Tuesday. They always do this. It's a good
business practice for their patients.
office must use a private service to make these calls. Otherwise, their number would show up on Caller ID.
It's very easy to miss calls that you need to get.
Friday, September 12, 2014
The Short Story
6:03 am edt
Summer is down to its last
nine days and only a matter of time before I put my short sleeve shirts away for another year.
I have plans to go golfing today. It might
get up to 70 degrees. It's hard to decide whether to wear shorts. I would rather be warm than cold. It looks like a day
for long pants. I'll bring my shorts, but doubt if I'll wear them.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
13 and Counting
12:15 am edt
Today is the 13 year anniversary
of the 9/11 attacks. Will anything happen today? The world is so crazy right now with various groups looking to attack America.
So much has happened since 2001. We are living in a different time.
Americans have less freedom than they did before the attacks. We all lost in the end. It's
hard to determine what the future looks like.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
4:37 pm edt
Yesterday was the primary
election in Massachusetts. Only five of thirteen contests on my ballot had any opposition. Incumbents just walked right to
the finals in November. A few had no opposition from the other parties.
The voter turnout was dismal. Most communities reported less than 20% of the eligible voters
bothered to cast a ballot. I voted at the local library.
People complain about career politicians, but nobody wants to run for public office. I think
it takes a certain personality profile to get into politics. It can get very nasty. Most people don't want any part of it.
I don't believe in term limitations. Some people get entrenched to the point where nobody
can beat them. I think every office holder can be defeated if the right candidate decides to run.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
The Pay To Leave Program
3:29 pm edt
city in America has a homeless population. They are often hard to count because some choose to live on the street. The ones
who reside in shelters are counted, but the real total is hard to determine.
New York City has found a creative way to deal with their problem. On any given day, there
are about 50,000 people living in shelters and housing provided by the city. There is a program that gives people a
one-way ticket to places where they have family they can live with.
So far this year, the city has paid 1,412 homeless people to leave the Big Apple. This program
has been going on for years. In 2013, the Bloomberg administration paid for 2,208 tickets and sent people to
places as far away as Paris and South Africa.
Critics say this just shuffles the problem to another city. They are right in many aspects. The homeless
problem has been around forever and will never go away. Before the construction of Central Park in the late 1860's, the area
was a shanty town for squatters.
Monday, September 8, 2014
11:49 pm edt
It was interesting to see
the great rain storms in Arizona. They had a flash flood in some places. How does that happen? It was such
a big rainfall for a dry place.
Arizona gets very little water from the sky. This was too much at once.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Too Young To Run
12:17 am edt
I just read a story about
a runner who completed a 26.2 mile marathon on all seven continents. This is not unusual except for the fact that he is 11
years and 5 months old.
started his quest when he was nine by running one in Antarctica. The entire story is ridiculous. He did it with the encouragement
of his grandfather.
think he is too young to be running marathons. He claims to love running, but adults are the ones pushing him. I'm
surprised he didn't get hurt doing it.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Question of Thunder
10:47 am edt
Thunderstorms are in the forecast
for late this afternoon and going into the early evening. This is the same time that I'll be at Gillette Stadium for a football
game between UMass and Colorado.
been to many games, especially in cold weather. It rained a few times, but we never had thunder. It will be interesting to
see what happens. The weather people are usually wrong.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Clear Cut Time
2:48 pm edt
Nobody ever wants to see trees
cut down. However, there comes a time when a forest starts to die because of excessive growth and tree disease. It happened
at a local park where I run.
strand of hemlocks about 70 years old was cut down because of an insect infestation. Some people were outraged over the
final look. It was a huge change. I thought it looked good because that part of the forest was dead and received no sunlight.
New trees are already growing.
there is a plan to harvest trees in another park area. The mayor has requested input from concerned citizens. I'm not
sure what they can offer. That part of the part is like a dense jungle. It gets so thick that nothing can grow. It needs
to be thinned out.
people won't be happy when they see the final product, but it needs to be done.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
10:54 am edt
The great museums of the world
are filled with artifacts that never go on display and become forgotten. Their acquisition is often under murky circumstances.
A 6,5000 year old skeleton was found in a storage room at
the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Museum. Archaeologists found it in southern Iraq around 1930, but it stayed in a
closet for decades without any type of document. Researchers believe the bones belonged to a 50 year old man from 5500 to
plans to display it, but this is a great example of poor record keeping and disregard for items in their collection. It aso
shows that many artifacts were plundered from countries over the last few centuries.
Just about every institution is guilty of it.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
10:02 pm edt
I think people have a
strange expectation of what the weather should be like as we go through autumn. There could be another 90 degree day
in September, but I wouldn't count on it.
likes warm days this time of year. They will end soon.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
5:13 pm edt
a single-engine plane crash yesterday that killed the pilot and passenger. It developed problems after take-off and fell to
always hear about the safety of commercial air travel, but general aviation is another story. Last year, over 450 people
died in small plane crashes.
have not flown since 2000. It was always on a commercial airline. I have no desire to ever take a flight on a small plane.
It won't happen.
Monday, September 1, 2014
7:46 pm edt
is buried with her family in a Boston Archdiocese Cemetery on the other side of town. The limited grounds crew does their
best to keep the place looking good, but it shows signs of neglect. It's mostly crabgrass that gets burned by the sun.
The main entrance has two brick posts that are on
the verge of falling apart. They need some serious cement work and will probably fall down before they get repaired.
I was shocked today when I went here and saw a lovely
black rod-iron archway. It looks really nice.
Why didn't this happen years ago?