Tuesday, January 31, 2017
The Rate Issue
6:54 pm est
High school graduation rates
are a joke. Their numbers are often inflated by school systems that push students through. It looks bad on the administration
if the rate isn't high. It doesn't matter if they are not proficient in subject matter.
It gets worse in some urban areas. One school in the Bronx blows
their horn about a 76% rate. They never talk about the 96% who fail to meet the readiness standards for community college.
It becomes someone else's problem.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Sears Nears The End
7:00 pm est
There comes a point with any
business where they can no longer sustain losing money. Sears is reaching that point.
They were once the iconic retailer in America, but are
on life support right now. They burnt through $1.6 billion last year and will lose another $1.8 billion in 2017. These
losses are not sustainable.
sold their Craftsman label and need to do something with their ownership of Kmart. They keep losing money no matter
what they do. It's only a matter of time before the company dies.
Train or Car?
11:39 pm est
If Interstate Rt 11 ever gets built between Phoenix
and Las Vegas, now is the time. There will be infrastructure money available soon from the Trump administration.
There is no doubt that the cost will spiral out of control. There are advocates for a rail corridor
along the way. That will drive up the cost, but it's a great idea.
Why can't they do both at he same time without it becoming a financial fiasco?
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Trying To Look Good
11:13 pm est
Politicians always know when
to grandstand. One local state representative voted against a pay raise for themselves. They claimed that calls from
constituents helped to make their decision.
They got some positive coverage in the newspaper and looked good in the eyes of the voters.
This was just a charade. The pay raise has enough votes
to override a veto by the Governor. They will all get their money. It was an easy way for this rep to look good.
Friday, January 27, 2017
The No Train
11:47 pm est
All of a sudden there is a realization that here is an interest in having an interstate
highway between Phoenix and Las Vegas. It's about 385 miles.
Will a highway ever be built? There are those out there who advocate high-speed trains. I don't think
it will happen in my life.
they will start the road ten years from now.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Don't Stain It
10:49 pm est
My neighborhood has many stately old Victorian homes. The
owners face a huge challenge and expense to maintain them. Many have been turned into multi-family dwellings over the years.
One huge house recently had its clapboards replaced with shingles. It was probably cheaper, but at
least it wasn't vinyl siding. They have ruined the look of the house. It still has not been stained or painted.
The house has a long history and will outlast all of us.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
10:07 pm est
I thought it was a little condescending for someone to post
on Facebook about whether any people still wash dishes by hand. This person just assumes that everyone can afford a dishwasher
or even has the space for one.
My apartment doesn't have enough room in the pantry.
I've been doing them by hand my entire life. If you don't let them build up, it's not that big of a deal.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Dollars For Building
9:22 pm est
I'm a big believer in federally
funded infrastructure projects as a way to create jobs and rebuild America. It doesn't matter who is in office.
Two big projects could get those federal dollars. They are certainly both needed in the region.
Maybe the eternal job of expanding Rt 93 from the Massachusetts
border to Manchester could finally get completed. This has taken forever because it's being built in segments due to funding.
The MBTA Green Line expansion into Medford is ready to go. This is the perfect job to draw billions
of dollars into the regional economy. The projected cost will never be realized.
Monday, January 23, 2017
Better Bus Time
6:44 pm est
There is no disagreement that the MBTA provides poor subway
and bus service in the greater Boston area. The agency is drowning in financial debt and criticism from its riders.
Public transportation advocates unveiled a plan to make
buses more attractive to riders.
This idea is silly. If they want to do anything, the buses should arrive on schedule 100% of the time, instead of the current
Buses are often
seen as the only means of transportation for some. They don't need to look better. They just need to arrive timely for their
Sunday, January 22, 2017
The Expensive Dome
6:23 pm est
professional sports teams threaten to leave their cities if politicians don't pay for overpriced arenas and stadiums.
The last NFL game was played in the Georgia Dome today. It had a short life of only 25 years before
the new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium opens at the end of the summer.
Both were funded by the state-run Georgia World Congress Center Authority. They have the ability to sell bonds
to fund the construction.
It will get a great deal of use, especially for conventions
and other events. It will create economic growth for the Atlanta area.
In the end, it was not privately funded. The taxpayers are on the hook in a worst case financial scenario.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
4:14 pm est
I have a goal with Blue Cross to lose ten pounds by June
1st. This is proving to be difficult. Weight goes on very easily, but comes off much slower.
In the end, it's all about eating properly. I feel I do
a good job at that. With me, it's more about portion size.
I'm going out tonight to a dinner party. I will try to have self-control over how much I eat.
Friday, January 20, 2017
A Trip In The Past
1:09 pm est
After watching the Presidential
Inauguration, it reminded that that I have not been to Washington DC since 1998. Prior to that, it was for a few days in 1988.
Much has changed in the city. There are many new monuments
and museums. It's a great place to visit. I should get back there at some point. I just don't know when.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
10:11 pm est
I read an interesting article about whether kids should
turn in their cell phone when they enter the classroom.
They are a big distraction. Every student has one these days. It's an issue that needs to be dealt with, but nearly impossible
to implement a policy that pleases everyone.
We live in a world where everything is so instantaneous. Nothing can wait until the end of class.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
6:28 pm est
Some people will do anything to get on the news. We live in a world where everyone has an opportunity for their fifteen minutes of fame.
The Guinness Book of World Records is filled with people
who went to extremes to get their name included. Some of it is rather strange.
It probably won't qualify
as a record, but one guy recently ran a marathon in England with a life-sized teddy bear strapped to his back.
his goal because I read about it in the New York Post.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
A Date With November 5th
1:08 pm est
Life is like a train that rumbles down the tracks. It stops
for nobody. Time passes too quickly. We measure time by events in our life.
Today, I entered the 2017 New York City Marathon on November 5th. A lot will happen between now and
then. Winter, spring and summer will pass halfway into autumn.
I have been fortunate to finish the race every year since 1978. It was cancelled in 2012 because
of Hurricane Sandy.
You never know what might happen.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Too Young To Skate
5:53 pm est
I think it's good that kids
get involved in sports. However, some parents carry it to a great extreme. They think their kid will either be in the Olympics or
make it to the pros. They live their life through them, but they are only kidding themselves.
A friend on Facebook posted pictures of her son at
a hockey clinic for skating lessons. He is two years and nine months old. Many thought it was so cute.
I personally believe that this is much too young for anyone
to start a sport. He will have no memory of doing this. I remember my fourth birthday, but only a few things prior to that.
The kid can't even tell his parents whether or not he wants to do this.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Who Hates It More?
6:19 pm est
My apartment building has
two washers and dryers in the basement. They get a lot of business from the tenants.
There is nothing worse than having to take someone's clothes
out of the washer because they left them there too long. I've seen people leave them overnight.
I hate touching wet laundry belonging to someone
else. I'm very careful about monitoring my load because I don't want anyone removing my stuff.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Doesn't Make Cents
8:13 pm est
Periodically, we hear stories
about the possible demise of the penny. They cost two cents to make. People hoard them, rather than cash them in at a bank.
We all have them.
don't think it will happen if it ever does. Pennies are made from zinc. There is a very heavy lobbying effort in Congress by
the zinc industry.
will be around for the foreseeable future.
Friday, January 13, 2017
The Ice Decision
7:17 pm est
Predicting weather can be
very uncertain. On the news tonight, it was obvious that the Midwest will get hit by a monster ice storm. It's a question
The NFL has
gone out on the limb and changed the time of the playoff game in Kansas City from 1pm to 8:15pm. They are gambling that
the storm will strike much earlier and allow time for the proper treatment of the roads.
It's all being done for the reason of public safety. It
makes a lot of sense. NBC will be broadcasting the game. They are probably happy because it will dominate the evening
Thursday, January 12, 2017
No More Staples
10:35 am est
Over 500 Staples retail stores
will no longer be providing shipping services for the US Postal Service. I think it's a good move for the USPS and their
postal labor union fought this from the start. They felt it was taking work and jobs away from the agency. Staples finally realized
that it wasn't worth the hassle.
USPS loses at least $5 billion annually. That's a whole other issue. We need a strong postal service in America.
Outsourcing services is not the best way to do ensure that.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Talking To The Driver
1:55 pm est
Only 4% of the cab drivers
in New York City were born in the USA. The others come from 167 different countries.
Mayor Bill DeBlasio recently signed a bill eliminating any type of test for English proficiency.
Is this a good idea? Cab drivers make a big impression on
visitors to the city. I have taken numerous rides in cabs. I engaged them in conversation. The drivers I encountered always
knew enough to get by.
not sure if this is an issue.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
The Annual Fools
7:28 pm est
It's the same story every
winter. Foolish people walk onto the ice and fall through. Rescuers respond and save them from drowning.
It ends up the news. Things never change. You can't convince
people to stay off the ice. The season for solid ice around here is very short.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
The Charging Bench
6:25 pm est
They built a beautiful boardwalk along the Merrimack River in
Haverhill. It should draw a lot of people. The city installed a solar bench, funded by a $3,800 grant.
The bench will allow people to recharge their phones and
tablets. Hopefully, it doesn't become a victim to vandals. The place will be under camera surveillance, but that won't stop
Storm of Today
11:09 pm est
This was a very strange snow storm. It was nothing as weather two
days ago, but turned into something.
got about six inches where I live, but it felt a lot worse with the wind and cold. Other parts of Massachusetts got so much
It's always fun to have a snow storm. It might be all
gone with the next rain storm or maybe we will get a blizzard if it's cold enough.
You never know.
Friday, January 6, 2017
A Tip On The Q
12:45 pm est
I like to read health and
nutritional tips on Facebook and other websites. There is a lot of useful information.
One thing that made me laugh was the one that said to never use a Q-tip to clean your ears.
I can testify that it's the worst thing you can ever do. When I was 19 at UMass, I had
a problem with ear wax. I used one to clean my ears. It ended up compacting the wax and made it bad enough that
I had to visit the infirmary.
The nurse cleaned my ears out. The amount of wax
was incredible. It was hard to believe I could have that much.
That was the last time I ever put anything in my ear.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
No Competition Means Expense
8:45 pm est
My local newspaper had a great commentary about the monopoly
that Comcast has over our community. They are the only deal in town when it comes to television. If you want to watch
anything, you need to have it and pay their high prices.
They also have a monopoly on high speed internet. I refuse to buy from them. Instead, I have a much slower
DSL connection through Verizon.
this day and age, I will never understand why they continue to be the only one in town. There should be competition and choices.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Maybe See You In May
7:32 pm est
It didn't surprise me to see so many cars in the parking
lot at my gym today. Many are trying to follow their New Year's resolution to get into shape and lose weight.
I hope they are still going there three months from now.
The place is like this every year. People have the best intentions, but motivation is difficult for some. It needs to be important
to them for it to work.
The 30 Year Ride
11:03 pm est
has a very ambitious plan to upgrade the Northeast Corridor. Many improvements are expected. We will finally have high-speed
trains between Boston, NYC and Washington DC.
One problem is the cost, pegged at $120 billion. It will never come in at that price. The biggest
issue is that it will take place over 30 years. That is too long and doesn't make any sense.
It remains to be seen if this ever gets off the ground.
Monday, January 2, 2017
The New Train
11:19 pm est
I'm glad to see the Second
Avenue Subway finally open in New York City after almost 100 years of planning and procrastination. The final price
may never be determined although they say it's $4.5 billion.
It was long overdue. The three stations at 96th, 72nd, and 62nd will drive up the prices of real
estate in the neighborhood.
a very exciting time.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
10:06 pm est
It really looks like my Samsung
Notebook 10.1 is so outdated after buying it three years ago. That's a lifetime in the world of computer devices.
This Notebook was so awesome when I bought it. I'm beginning
to think it's behind my problems with the Boston Globe epaper.