Friday, July 31, 2015

In the "I can't believe it" department

Can you believe it?  After all we've learned and after all we see on TV, there are still people leaving children and pets locked in closed-up cars on hot summer days.

I just saw a piece on morning news of a car getting broken into by concerned people who saw children locked in it.  Emergency rescue people measured the interior temperature at over 115 degrees.

The children were treated and will be OK.  Other pets and children are not so fortunate.

How can people be so stupid?  Well, that's the topic for yet another blog........

Monday, July 27, 2015

50 years...and counting

This past weekend we attended a 50th wedding anniversary for some friends of our in New Jersey. It was a fun time and we had an opportunity to visit with a lot of people we hadn't seen before.

Such an occasion naturally inspires one to reflect on what it must be like to be married for 50 years.  We're going to be celebrating our 48th in a couple of months so we're close enough to know and quite simply it comes down to the adage of "thick and thin", for better or worse, sickness and health, etc, etc.  Throw in some love and determination and I think you have it.

There's no question about it.  Fewer and fewer people are hitting that 50 year mark these days.  The biggest reason I've observed is fairly obvious-one of the couples has died.  But aside from that, the 'thin' and 'worse' parts of the bargain are often more than many people can take so they call it quits.  This represents a big change from years ago.  At that time many people were more likely to tolerate situations that today's couples would abandon.

There are many reasons for this seeming lack of commitment.  Economic factors are a very big part of the equation but I believe another very large reason is that women have changed the way they look at themselves.  They are no longer as dependent and submissive as their mothers and grand mothers.  Most women today are self reliant, independent and confident.  They aren't afraid to sever bonds they find unacceptable. 

Just a theory.  As for us?  We're looking forward to that big 5-0.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Word About Sportsmanship

I just saw on the Newtown Bee's Facebook page a preview of an upcoming piece to appear in this week's paper.  It's about an incident that recently took place in the Babe Ruth baseball league.  The Babe Ruth baseball league consists of 12 and 13 year old boys.  It is a travel league and it is considered to be made up of premiere players.

Basically what happened was the Newtown team was playing a Norwalk team.  The Norwalk pitcher was struggling and he unintentionally hit a couple of Newtown batters.  Pretty much everyone agrees it was in fact unintentional but the Newtown players sitting on the bench became very verbally abusive with a number of extremely inappropriate remarks having been made.  The Newtown coach apparently made no effort to correct his team's poor behavior.

An investigation was conducted, apologies to the Norwalk players and coaches were issued and I believe at least one of the Newtown coaches was either reprimanded or dismissed or both.  I'm not clear on that detail.

The point here is the unfortunate behavior of the Newtown players.  If they didn't learn common manners from their parents, then at the very least where were the coaches?  By not immediately correcting the situation, they gave their tacit approval of their actions.  Not a good situation.  What's worse is I seem to hear more and more about such incidents, locally and throughout the nation.

I am happy to report that when watching my grand children's games (baseball and soccer for ages 6 through 11 or 12) I have never witnessed such behavior.  Their coaches have been excellent in that they realize that sportsmanship is more important than anything else.  

Where it seems to break down is when the kids get a little older.  That's very unfortunate.  Very often I blame the coaches.  A coach has to know much more than the skills involved in his/her particular sport.  He/she must also be an effective leader of children.  The two things go hand in hand.  One is not enough without the other.  But the other side of it is, where are the parents?  Why aren't they appalled at such unacceptable behavior?  Is winning that important to them?  I think that's sad.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Donald Trump sure is making a lot of headlines these days.  Of course that's exactly what he wants but putting that aside, let's review. 

First he manages to offend every person of Hispanic descent  in the world which may or may not bother most people.  But then he really hits a nerve by making the remark about John McCain only being famous because he was captured and held by North Viet Nam.

I do not defend people entering the country illegally nor do I defend John McCain's warped politics.  But what I do take offense to is the notion that all Mexicans who are in this country are here because they're the dregs of Mexican society and Mexico doesn't want them.  I also take offense at someone criticizing John McCain-or anyone else-who has served his/her country.

First, I strongly believe that the over whelming majority of  Mexicans who enter this country illegally have no wish to do us harm.  They want work, pure and simple and they're finding it in the form of jobs no one else will do.

Second, when Trump disparages McCain he is by default dissing all veterans.  Not a smart move, Donald. 

We all know Trump has absolutely no chance of being the president next year or any other year.  To me he's simply a little comic relief in what is becoming a very dreary political period-except he's not really all that funny. 

One thing I am pleasantly surprised at is the uproar over Trump's remarks from the 200 other republicans officially running.  At least they're feigning a degree of decency for which they are  not really known.  

Stay tuned.  There's a LOT more to come. Ugh!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Good diet and plenty of exercise. That's all you need to do.

I just saw yet another TV ad for a miracle diet that promised the user massive weight loss with little if any effort. 

All these things are of course scams.  I do confess however that I did try a modified diet plan with great success.  It was the South Beach diet and its main feature is its emphasis on drastically reduced carbs.  I didn't follow every detail of the plan.  I simply shifted my diet from high carb foods to high protein foods and vegetables.  This for me was more than a diet.  It was a life style change.  On top of that I combined it with an exercise program. 

As a result of all of this I lost weight, lowered my fasting glucose levels and have more energy.  All desirable things.

Exercise is a very important component to any plan so in the interest of being fully informed here's a list of some popular foods and the amount of exercise needed to burn the calories they provide. Caution: It's depressing!

Slice of pizza with peperoni-285 calories
Run 3 miles
285 pushups
1425 situps

Bagel w/cheese-320 calories
1600 situps
Run 3 miles
320 pushups

Slice of bacon-43 calories
Run half a mile
215 situps
43 pushups

Donut-195 calories
975 situps
195 pushups
Run 2 miles

McDonald's double cheeseburger-437 calories
437 pushups
Run 4 miles
2185 situps

Glass of beer-150 calories
150 pushups
Run 1.5 miles
150 pushups

Chocolate shake-356 calories
356 pushups
Run 3.5 miles
1780 situps

1 tic-tac-1.9 calories
2 pushups
9.5 situps
Run 100 feet

There's more but you get the idea.  Bon Appetit

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Should we legalize marijuana?

I've been following a discussion on Facebook for some time.  It's a controversial topic that is making its way around the country with some states already having acted on it.  The issue is the legalization of marijuana.

Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska have already legalized its use for recreational purposes with limits as to how much a person may possess.  Many other states, including Connecticut,  have legalized medical marijuana.

The majority of the people in the discussion I've been following support the legalization of recreational marijuana in CT.  The reasons many of them cite are that it would increase badly needed tax revenues to the state.  Plus,  since cigarettes and alcohol are legal, why not?

For the record I oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana.  First, to suggest it would have  a significant impact on tax revenues is absurd.  We are not a state full of pot smokers.  Second, to justify it because alcohol and cigarettes is legal is equally absurd.  Alcohol is not addictive.  Certainly it is abused routinely but it is not addictive.  Drinking alcohol does not make a person an alcoholic.  There are other reasons for that.

Smoking cigarettes is in fact addictive but it does not have the mind-altering qualities of marijuana.  In addition enough is now known about the health risks of smoking that any reasonable adult would certainly choose not to do it.

The point is the jury is still out regarding whether or not marijuana leads to more serious drug use.  It definitely impairs judgement and it is definitely addictive.  Those are reason enough for me. 

Now, on that note, I do strongly believe it should be decriminalized.  That is, instead of sending a person to prison with murderers and rapists for smoking a little pot, there should be other ways to deal with the issue.  Treating a pothead like a hardened criminal is just as ridiculous as simply legalizing its use. 

Opposing views are invited.  I would be willing to  post a person's opinion as a guest blogger on this site. 


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Home Again

We just returned from a one week trip to Dreams Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  With the exception of food poisoning for Sandi and me, it was a great trip. 

Traveling with our family is always fun.  It is very often a new and exciting adventure for grand children.  In this case Brooke and Courtney thoroughly enjoyed it.

As far as the country of Dominican Republic is concerned it is very typical of all Caribbean countries.  The resort areas are beautiful and luxurious.  Outside of that there's a great deal of poverty with occasional nice vacation residences.

The staff at the resort was in my view exceptional.  They were competent and polite. 

There were a couple of downsides to the whole thing.  Travel days were marked by waiting, waiting, waiting in long lines and the returning flight was delayed.  Also, in terms of the resort itself there was a large contingent of young adults who drank too much and tended to be quite rowdy. Fortunately it was possible to distance ourselves from them. Finally, the beach was basically of no use.  There was a serious algae problem that prevented its use.  Fortunately the pool area was very large so we could enjoy that.

The food poisoning mentioned earlier was probably from some shrimp we had eaten the night before.  It didn't prevent us from having a good time but it wasn't fun either.  At least we took great pains to drink only bottled water.  The resort made sure there was an ample supply of that.

Now it's back to the routine.  It will probably be a long time before we take another trip like this since we do have the condo in Naples.

To see some good pictures go to and click on the photo gallery link at the top of the page.