Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Links Are So Expensive
6:35 pm edt
A rail link between
North ands South Stations in Boston has been discussed forever. It makes so much sense to connect the two train terminals.
There was a rally in Boston the other day to support this endeavor. Some politicians showed up to
get attention. Everyone was on the same page.
The biggest issue is the cost. Estimates vary from $12-21.5 billion The Kennedy School of Government projected
it to be $4-6 billion back in 2017.
really knows the final cost. That is one of the biggest obstacles to get it funded and started.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Just Standing In The Road
11:01 pm edt
As I drove home from Newburyport tonight around 9pm, I never
expected to encounter a deer standing in the middle of the road.
I had plenty of time to blast my horn, but it didn't move at first.
Eventually, it ran into the woods. It was large and would have caused a lot of damage if anyone struck
Monday, July 29, 2019
Building Too Big
9:32 pm edt
New York City builds
gigantic structures. It has spread to the other boroughs, especially Queens and Brooklyn.
There is a proposal to build a 1.15 million square foot building in Queens. It would be twelve stories
and occupy four parcels of land.
worst part of this would be the elimination of many small businesses and housing units. This doesn't sound like the best plan
for the neighborhood.
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Just Start Walking
12:48 am edt
People hate to exercise for a number of reasons. They
spend endless amounts of money on gym memberships they don't use.
A person on Facebook was having an open discussion on whether he should quit his $10 monthly gym
membership. He can't decide on what to do for a workout.
If that's the case, maybe he should take a break and try walking. Whatever he is doing now is not
working. Walking might be a good option.
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Waiting In The Wrong Queue
11:41 am edt
Over a month ago, I ordered
a book on line from my library's regional catalogue. I was placed in a queue until my number came up the other day.
I was looking forward to the text until I realized I ordered
the audio version by mistake. It never left the library with me.
After I got home, I reordered the paper version and was placed in the queue again. I'm not sure how
long it will take now.
Friday, July 26, 2019
Table For 30
10:50 pm edt
When casino gambling was approved it included a dedicated
slot parlor which ended up as Plainridge. They were the first to open three years ago.
They would like to add 30 table games and another 250 slot machines. They cited the competition from
two casinos in Rhode Island 10 and 21 miles away. Boston Encore will have a long term impact.
How far will they get with this? There is only so much gambling revenue out there.
Thursday, July 25, 2019
No Good Escape
11:19 am edt
A Boston television
station did a great story about the hazards posed by a number of fire escapes on apartment buildings. Mandatory inspections
are way behind schedule.
The story featured buildings that showed broken bricks and
loose support brackets. They all looked very unsafe.
Something needs to be done to address this. Many people hang out on fire escapes in spite of the potential
danger. A tragedy could happen at any time.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
10:32 pm edt
Back in 1998 a younger man put a note in a plastic bottle
and tossed it into the ocean in Maine.
21 years, it washed ashore in Scotland where the finder used the contact information to reach out.
With technology and social media, the had an on line reunion.
It's an interesting story with a plastic bottle taking 21 years to travel 3,000 miles in the currents
of the Atlantic.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Birds Not The Cause
11:42 am edt
People do foolish things when it comes to wildlife. They feed animals and birds and wonder why they
have a problem.
A beach in New Jersey has a big issue with seagulls who
have become fearless of people because of their constant feeding.
Everyone thought it was cute at first, but now the birds are snatching food from children and buzzing everyone
in search of more treats.
Town officials are trying to figure out what to do. The
easiest solution would be not to feed the birds or leave food behind. Good luck with that.
Beach visitors will continue to feed them and discard food. They created the problem.
Monday, July 22, 2019
5:52 pm edt
Hot-air balloons are
so irresponsible and unpredictable. Whenever they have a problem, they just land wherever they can.
It happened again yesterday in a nearby town when the pilot realized that they could not make it
to their destination. It came down in a large field without incident.
People romanticize them, probably from watching the Wizard of Oz. They are very colorful, but they need more
You couldn't pay me enough money to go up in one.
Sunday, July 21, 2019
That Crazy Index
11:29 pm edt
The heat wave continues
for a large part of the country. The forecast is for cooler temperatures.
All we hear about is the Heat index and the "real feel" temperatures. The weather people are getting
all the attention.
When I went running this afternoon, it was 95 degrees with
a "real feel" of 103. There was also a breeze of 11 mph.
It just didn't feel that bad for the 30 minutes I was out there. I drank a lot of fluid after.
The key to running on days like today is to know your limitations.
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Lights Out Tonight
9:20 pm edt
We have not seen 100 degrees for several years, but we had
it today. I never found it that uncomfortable.
There was a big power outage after 8pm for about 90 minutes. It came back on before the projected time.
I expected something like this might happen. The reason was not given, but people were using too
much of it.
Friday, July 19, 2019
Surviving The Falls
11:44 pm edt
Niagara Falls has been the place of an estimated 5,000 suicides
since they started keeping track. Every year at least 20-40 people decide to end their life by going over the edge.
Last week, a man survived a 188 foot plunge over the Horseshoe Falls. He was found sitting on some
rocks with only a few injuries.
did he do it without protection or a life jacket? It must not have been his time.
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Throwing Food Away
5:17 pm edt
It's crazy to think that a third of the world's food gets
wasted for a variety of reasons.
starts in the home where people throw out food on a regular basis. Restaurants dispose of anything not eaten. Stores routinely
purge their shelves after certain dates. Some foods cannot get another life according to regulations.
This problem has been going on forever and doesn't look to be changing soon.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Don't Bother Wildlife
11:27 pm edt
People continue to do
stupid things around wildlife. They try to get close to bears and wonder why they react the way they do.
They continue to swim in the ocean off Cape Cod, in spite of sharks prowling the waters looking for
food among the thousands of seals who live there.
Chicago was fixated the last week over a five foot alligator hanging out in a public park before it was captured.
Everything is fine until someone gets hurt or killed. Even that doesn't stop people from making bad
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
The State Is Winning
9:00 pm edt
Now that the Boston
Encore casino has opened, the battle lines for revenue have been drawn for the regional sites.
Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods in Connecticut have seen continued downward receipts. MGM Grand in Springfield
had a $500 million projection at the end of three years of operations, but will be lucky to see $300 million.
Encore opened the first week with $16.8 million, while Springfield had $20 million for the entire
month of June. Plainridge with slots only, continues to see stagnant revenue.
The state is getting their cut no matter what happens, but what will it look like in three years.
Monday, July 15, 2019
Too Low or Too High
6:17 am edt
Fire trucks cost a fortune these days. Cities and towns
usually have them custom built to their specifications.
A local town ordered a $1 million ladder truck with specific guidelines, especially the height due to a low
overpass in the community.
When it was delivered, officials discovered that it was too high by five inches to fit under a local
The manufacturer said they built it correctly, but it won't
fit. The fire department said it could change the tires and lower the truck by three inches, but that won't solve the problem.
Both sides agree that the truck will fit, but what will they do to see that it happens?
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Is It Printer Time?
3:12 pm edt
My HP printer decided to stop printing pages suddenly. I
already had several done when it produced blank pages.
My four toner cartridges are new and filled to the top. After about one hour of trouble shooting, I think
I will take a break and look at it again later.
After 14 years, it might be time to move on. I have probably paid for it at least four times over with the
amount I have spent on ink.
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Can't Sell Their Business
12:08 pm edt
It was a nice story
when it first appeared in the newspaper. An area luncheonette was being sold after 30 years of ownership by a couple who wanted
to close a chapter in their life.
had plans to sell their house, buy an RV and tour the country after never having a vacation. Local residents were happy that
the breakfast place would continue as a focal point in town.
Everything was going great until the potential new owners discovered that they would need to invest another
$200,000 to bring the business up to current health and business codes. The previous owners were grandfathered.
The deal has fallen through and the original owners are back to square one. They plan to keep ownership
and have trusted employees run the business. It will probably work out, at least for the short term.
Unfortunately, they might never be able to sell the business and walk away with cash in their pocket.
Their lives were tied to the place.
are happy that a beloved eating place will continue to serve breakfast, but it sounds like the owners will lose a lot
of money on the deal with no way to remedy it.
Friday, July 12, 2019
Most Don't Last Five Years
9:30 pm edt
New York City public schools are out of control
due to the relaxation of discipline and rules. It makes education so difficult for the teachers and students who want to learn.
Over the last ten years, there has been a huge problem with the retention of teachers. It's
a sad commentary on the system when 41% of them don't last more than five years.
You can't build a good education system with inexperience in the classroom. It doesn't look like it
will change in the future.
Thursday, July 11, 2019
A Card For All Reasons
12:56 pm edt
greeting card industry continues to look for more ways to celebrate events and create more cards. They have one for almost
The other day, I saw one to send to a child when they lose
their first tooth. This seems like a bit much, but people are buying them.
There is a "National Day" for many different things. It's only a matter of time before the industry
tries to monetize them with cards.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
They Resort To Deception
12:20 pm edt
Lawsuits are filed over
almost anything, but it's good to see the legal challenge over "resort fees" charged by hotel chains.
This is a very deceptive practice by them, especially for on-line bookings. It's bad enough that
the advertised price doesn't include the various taxes, but the "resort fee" is always found at the last minute
before booking the room.
Last year, I had to pay one of $140 for a four night stay
in New York City. I didn't get any benefit from it.
The fee is just find another way to charge more for the room.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
The Toll of Bikes
10:14 pm edt
New York City is determined to put more bicycles on the
streets in spite of the danger they pose to riders and everyone else.
The other day, the 15th cyclist died so far this year after they were hit by a truck. The fatality rate is
doubled over last year. Seven have died in Brooklyn.
It's a worthy cause to reduce cars on the streets, but they are a lethal combination in city traffic.
In my trips to the city, I have witnessed dangerous operation
by many cyclists. Some have no regard for their own safety or for others.
Monday, July 8, 2019
It's All Bull
8:19 pm edt
Las Vegas bookmakers
should issue odds on the number of people who will be injured this week in the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
Yesterday was the first day of the festival and 50 were wounded by the bulls. Since 1910 when records
were first kept, at least 16 have died from injuries.
The festival was immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel, "The Sun Also Rises". It continues
to be a huge tourist attraction, generating tons of money for the region.
That's probably why it still happens in this day and age.
Sunday, July 7, 2019
Too Much Water
10:37 pm edt
I enjoyed watching the 4th of July hot dog eating contest
at Coney Island. ESPN does a great job on their broadcast with interesting stories of the competitors.
The participants place a great deal of stress on their bodies with the amount of food they consume
in training and competition. It's not a natural thing to do.
The craziest thing I heard was the practice of drinking three gallons of water in 90 seconds to expand their
stomach. This seems like such a foolish and dangerous thing to do for a number of reasons.
Saturday, July 6, 2019
The Food Is Too Expensive
7:04 pm edt
I visited the new $2.6
billion Encore Boston Casino last night. I'm not a gambler, but I wanted to see what the hype was all about.
When you walk around inside and outside the property, it's easy to see how the cost spiraled out
of control. No detail was left out.
bottom line is that it's just another casino with no cheap places to eat. They really need to do a better job in providing
better deals on the food. People will want to bring their own sandwiches if it doesn't change.
Friday, July 5, 2019
5:05 pm edt
I don't think cars should be allowed on beaches. It's a
tragedy waiting to happen.
are eleven states that welcome autos and sunbathers.
Accidents have happened, but there is no national tracking system of beach situations.
No matter how many there are, they can be prevented through legislative action.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
5:06 pm edt
It was inevitable that
there would be another major earthquake in California. It happened today with a magnitude of 6.4.
After-shocks have been going on and there could be even a bigger one tomorrow.
It was amazing to see video coverage of things moving around in homes. A number of them caught on
Nobody was expecting this when they woke up today on the
4th of July.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
11:18 pm edt
It's the night before the 4th of July, but I have no interest
in fireworks. It does nothing for me.
a great tradition and all that, but they make too much noise and have no regard for the rights of others.
The noise hasn't been bad so far this evening. It gets sporadic. Hopefully, people don't go
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
11:32 pm edt
So many sidewalks are
crumbling throughout my neighborhood. Granite curbing has sunk to street level over the years.
Part of my street is getting new concrete sidewalks. Granite curbing is being reset. It will look very nice
It's a shame that every street can't be like this.
Monday, July 1, 2019
A Very Expensive Train
1:33 pm edt
Any public works project involving transportation is destined
to take forever and cost way more than expected.
The 1.5 mile AirTrain for LaGuardia Airport in Queens, NY is already two years behind schedule. It
was originally estimated to cost $450 million, but that is now $2.05 billion.
The federal government still needs to conduct a two year environmental impact study. With the clock
ticking, there is no way this project will be built at that cost. The final price tag can only be speculated.