Tuesday, February 28, 2017
In Plane View
7:22 pm est
Back in the early 1990's,
a condo development was built in Methuen, Mass, right next to Interstate 495. The places looked very nice, but were in
the flight path of a nearby airport.
Many of the take-offs and landings passed over the roofs of the buildings. It looked like a recipe for disaster.
That came to fruition in 1999 when a plane crashed into one of the buildings.
Today, a pilot was flying a home-built plane when he crashed into one of the buildings. He was killed
on impact. A number of residents were displaced by the damage to their structure.
Why would anyone buy a place there? Everything was fine
until the planes went down. It might take another 18 years for it to happen again, but I have no doubt it will at some
Monday, February 27, 2017
Just Can't Snap
10:57 pm est
I always enjoy television commercials, but ones for banks,
financial services and insurance companies can be a bit much at times.
A major car insurer has a great one. They can't convince me that you can get into an accident, just snap a
photo on your smart phone and everything is fine with your claim.
The ad also used a soccer mom with two young daughters
as the "customers". They even showed a car on a lift in the background.
It's a great marketing strategy. I just don't believe it works, although others do.
Any damage to a car must be real small, otherwise you really
need an adjuster to look at it.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
5:38 pm est
It came as no surprise to
hear that the Cross Bronx Expressway was named the most congested road in America. That section of Interstate 95
is an absolute nightmare any hour of the day.
I have been stuck in epic traffic jams on my trips to Manhattan. It's a rare event to have a smooth
ride. There is always a breakdown or construction going on.
It convinced me several years ago to drive to Stamford, CT and take the train to Grand Central
I feel bad
for anyone who travels it on a daily basis.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Making It Easier To Lose
4:32 pm est
It looks like it's only a
matter of time before people can buy Massachusetts lottery tickets on-line. The State Treasurer will be awarding a huge
contract to design the system.
Advocates say it's the only way to sustain growth and attract new players, especially younger ones. Opponents
feel that it will hurt the corner stores that depend on the sales and foot traffic.
They are both valid points. It will also make losing dollars a lot easier. People will gamble away
money they don't have.
support the Lottery because it's a voluntary tax that returns revenue to city and towns. It doesn't take money out of my pocket.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Too Warm In February
7:19 pm est
Yesterday and today were the two warmest February days in
Boston since the beginning of record keeping in 1872. We had a high of 71 degrees.
just isn't normal and is bad for the environment. People frolic outside like it's the middle of summer.
There are stories in the news of plants sprouting up early
or blooming in other parts of the country.
I'm not a big fan of it. I prefer a traditional New England winter.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
12:56 am est
The city of Budapest made
a smart move when they decided to drop their bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Los Angeles and Paris are the
only two left. Boston dropped out last year.
One of these two cities will be the loser when they are awarded the Games. They will get to squander
billions of dollars on venues that will never be used again.
The Games are a colossal waste of money for the host city. It's easy to see why cities kept
dropping out of the competition.
put my money on Paris.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
10:46 pm est
You can always count on people doing foolish things when they take selfies. When you combine that with thin pond
ice on a day in the 50's, it can be a recipe for disaster.
Seven teens plunged through the ice in New York's Central park
as they were posing. It was such a foolish thing to do, considering the recent warm temperatures.
Why do people venture
onto ice in warm weather? It doesn't make any sense and happens all the time.
11:27 pm est
People take great responsibility when they drive a car.
Everyone should obey the rules of the road, but that doesn't happen.
There is always the one driver who needs to speed and weave across lanes without signaling.They are a
menace to the safety of others.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
A Grade For Carts
12:12 am est
I think it's a good idea for
restaurants to receive a grade based on inspections by the Board of Health or other authorized agency. They force eating places
into compliance on health standards.
Food carts are able to avoid all of this. They can be some of the worst offenders.
NYC wants to start giving them grades, but there is a great
deal of resistance.
have seen many food carts in my time in the city. The food looks really good, but I would never eat from one unless
I had no other option.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
The Hard Count
6:54 pm est
Cities should conduct a census
of their homeless population annually. The results are very revealing. So many individuals and families live in shelters
and hotel rooms paid by the state and some cities like New York.
No matter what, the true count can never be determined. There are many invisible people out there
who are able to avoid detection. They know where to go. Some of these are the real hard-core who refuse the help of social
at all levels should make a better effort in helping people who face this hardship.
Friday, February 17, 2017
Slower Trains Forever
7:42 pm est
High speed rail is something
that will never happen in the Northeast Corridor between Boston, New York and Washington DC. There are too many obstacles
to overcome, without even considering the financial cost.
The latest plan involves a new route through part of Rhode Island to straighten out the ride
in order to facilitate speed. It makes a lot of sense until the impact is considered.
Whenever you talk about taking property through eminent
domain, the line in the sand is drawn. Environmental impact is another can of worms.
11:26 pm est
I will never understand why people get so worked up about
snow in New England.
Saying that you hate it is such a waste of time.
Snow is so unpredictable. We might get more or nothing at all.
What type of spring will it be?
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
6:53 pm est
Every year, the New Hampshire
State legislature considers a bill to allow casino gambling. It always fails to pass, in spite of a deal deal of support.
Studies show that the state would gain $195 million in additional
revenue. Support towns would see $25.2 million.
Why don't they pass the bill? The state controls the sale of distilled alcohol. Why don't they make
some extra cash on gambling?
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Don't Ride The Ice
11:14 am est
Every year at this time, we
hear another tragic story involving snow mobiles crashing through the ice on a body of water. It doesn't matter if it's a
river, pond or lake. The results are always the same.
This time it happened at Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and resulted in the deaths of two and
injuries for two others. One person remains missing.
People put too much trust in ice. They are fooled into thinking that crossing frozen ice is a safe
thing to do. It works out fine until there is a tragedy.
Before winter is over, we will hear a story about a truck crashing through the ice. It's only a matter
Monday, February 13, 2017
11:20 am est
I went to Disney World once and would never go back. I thought
it was very overpriced and overrated. It's probably better if you do it as a family.
They just raised their prices again. It's an annual event for them. People will wait in line to pay
more money. They have very loyal fans.
Depending on the time of year, an adult single-day pass will vary between $107 and $124 at Magic
is nothing cheap about the place. I'm not concerned about the price increase because I'm one and done.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Snow Time 2017
10:20 pm est
Snow is so unpredictable.
You can go an entire winter without it, but it can happen real fast like it did twice in the last four days.
Two weeks ago, we had a huge rainstorm that dropped almost
two inches of water. That would've been 20 inches of snow.
There is a
very fine line between rain and snow.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
The Most Expensive Cup
1:05 pm est
One of the great marketing
schemes with food and beverages is to price something so high that it creates an artificial demand.
We are seeing that with a cup of coffee going for $18 at
a place in Brooklyn, NY. It has the perfect location in the neighborhood of Sunset Park, a hipster haven.
The coffee is made from Ethiopian Arabic beans and brewed
in a $7,000 machine. Drinkers rave about it.
If people are willing to spend $18 for a cup, there is money to be made. It's a great business move
and a profitable one.
Friday, February 10, 2017
The Train To Hell
12:40 pm est
I can't imagine being stuck
on train for five hours without power, heat
and working bathrooms, but that happened last night.
The Amtrak train from Washington DC to Boston left Penn
Station in New York at 2:40am this morning. Shortly after, it encountered frozen wires in the Bronx and things got bad.
Based on the comments on social media, it sounded like a total fiasco. Amtrak was horrible in their
response to customer complaints.
stuck once on a trestle for about 30 minutes in the Bronx. We were minutes from Penn Station.
You roll the dice when you take a train. You hope it gets
to its destination on time and without incident.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
1:34 pm est
My city's downtown is a great
example of paid parking gone wrong. They hired a private firm to install solar powered kiosks on several streets.
Many of our leaders thought this would produce revenue and
make parking better. They were wrong on both counts.
Of the 41 kiosks, 8 are not working and will need to be hard-wired at the expense of the city.
It has been one problem after another.
They don't want employees of businesses taking up the spaces. There is also a nearby commuter train station.
The whole situation is a mess. They need to revisit this
entire plan because it's not working.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Not Just For Airplanes
6:19 pm est
You learn something new every
day. I never knew what "Airplane Mode" did on my phone. I assume it was to be used when flying. Little did I know
that if you activate it, no calls, texts or emails will come in.
Last night, I was doing comedy and a guy did a rap song with music provided from his phone.
The music came to an abrupt end when he got a phone call from his family.
He apologized to the audience for not putting his phone on "Airplane Mode". I asked him
about it after. He explained it all to me.
I never knew about that.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
11:50 am est
It's good to see that the Texas Historical Commission has
declared the Houston Astrodome as a landmark. After being vacant for 18 years, it will have a new life as a convention enter
and a parking garage.
place had become obsolete once the nearby NRG Stadium was built. It faced the wrecking ball and was never going to be a sports
it opened in 1965, it was dubbed "The 8th Wonder of the World". It was the first domed sports facility.
It ushered in the era of stadium construction in many American cities.
The Astrodome will live again for years to come.
Monday, February 6, 2017
The Techno Car
9:14 pm est
I can't believe the amount
of technology in my new 2017 Toyota Corolla. Cars have used Black Boxes for a number of years to record driver data. This
car takes it to a new level.
There is a camera in the front hood to monitor crossing
over travel lanes.
It takes a skilled technician to work on the car. The
owner's manual in almost 600 pages. There are things I really need to know.
I finally got my radio stations set up properly
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Shortage of Fat
10:40 am est
I don't understand what all
the hype is about bacon. People talk like it's the greatest food on earth. It's popularity is off the chart.
I can't remember the last time I had it. It's nothing but
meat attached to fat. No doctor would ever tell you to consume more bacon, especially with its saturated fat content.
However, there is a borderline bacon shortage in this country.
The 17.8 million pounds on stock is the lowest since 1957.
Will they need to ration it soon? If they do, someone can have my share. I have never bought bacon
at the market.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Don't Remind Me
10:26 am est
People are too dependent on
their cell phones and other devices. I love all the technology, but still do many things the old way. I can't see putting my
entire life into a device.
is an app for everything. Some of it gets way over the top. People can't do anything on their own. Facebook dominates too
saw a reminder from them to make sure I had snacks for the Super Bowl. What do they want me to eat? I don't need a reminder
from them. I can make my own decisions.
Friday, February 3, 2017
2017 Toyota Corolla
10:09 pm est
I traded in my 2015 Toyota
Corolla for a 2017 model. This is my sixth one. It's a great car. I felt I got a good deal.
It's always difficult to state the exact cost. There
is the basic sticker price, but also several fees added on. State sales tax is always a hidden cost. Dealer
prep is a ripoff. You can't do anything about it.
The best hope is that you walk away feeling good about it.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Pets Can't Say
4:24 pm est
Pets are very special to their
owners. They are like family in many instances. People go to great extremes and expense to care and keep them alive.
I read a sad story of one owner whose dog just underwent
its fourth round of chemotherapy. I applaud them for their dedication and care, but is this the best thing for the dog?
Unfortunately, the pet can never say how they feel.
Do they really want to keep it going? They are like people in many ways.
Sometimes, the treatment is worse than the illness. At least a human can share their feelings.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Sign of The Shirt
1:15 pm est
Professional sports teams
provide fun and excitement to their fans, but are also a business that exists to make money. You can't run a team as
The NBA has decided to allow teams to partner with corporations and add a sponsor logo to the front of
their uniform shirts. The Boston Celtics chose General Electric. They will also become the team's tech partner in a deal worth millions.
European soccer players and NASCAR are billboards in motion. Some of it gets unsightly,
but there are dollars to be made.
Hopefully, the NBA doesn't get out of control. The NFL, MLB and the
NHL are closely watching.