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Batter Up

 

Saturday night we took my girlfriend’s kids to see the Bridgeport Bluefish, a nearby minor league team. It was Scout Night and after the game there had fireworks and then we camped in the outfield.

It was a cool and blustery night, but that didn’t stop the kids from running around well past midnight.

We had to be out of there by 7 a.m. Sunday morning, Father’s Day.

Several parents said happy father’s day to me and I wished them a good day too – I’m 53 and it’s the first time anyone has wished me a Happy Father’s Day. It felt strange, but if you’re hanging out with the Boy Scouts you’re either a parent or a perv—best to be mistaken for a parent than the latter.

Afterward, I took Mary and her two boys to a diner for breakfast.

At some point the little one said, “Sometimes people think you’re my Dad.”

“Sometimes people think you’re my Dad,” I volleyed back.

He smiled and dug into his pancakes.… Read the rest


To Drink or Not to Drink — Who Makes the decision?

Everybody knows big sugary drinks make big, unhealthy people. But do we need government mandating soda sizes?

Why shouldn’t ‘We the People’ have the freedom to choose SuperSize?

Nobody wants to be obese. Most people don’t want to die young either. So why do we make such unhealthy choices?

I’m all for freedom of choice, but marketers use advanced tools to maximize the impact of advertising and packaging. The days of Don Draper working up late-night creative based on intuition is long gone. Everything is tested and retested using advanced monitoring devices to determine heart rate, pupil dilation, breathing. Nothing is left to chance.

Is it any wonder people act against their best interest, defying health warnings as if they’re Zombies?

Although I prefer government to stay out of such matters, the People are at a disadvantage.
Marketers are always one step ahead: product placement in TV and Film, sponsoring our favorite musical and sporting events, even supporting our favorite charities—and each expenditure is quantified, evaluated and refined to maximize impact on our behavior.

Michael Bloomberg knows this better than anyone and he has certainly benefited from such corporate success, but he also realizes a fat, sick population is a … Read the rest


The Have-Nots Are Down to Their Last Not

The train into Manhattan was ten minutes late the other day and to my surprise, a few people started talking. This was noteworthy because these people take the same train every day at the same time and stand in the same place each morning and sit roughly in the same area, and yet conversation is rare.
Perhaps because the weather was warm and there was nothing else to do, a few commiserated over how poor the Metro North service has become.

One gentleman, dressed in a custom-tailored Italian suit said, “Metro North has the money to fix these lines, but all the money goes to pensions. They’ve got to break those contracts.”

I’m sure rail workers have fabulous pensions and benefits, but it’s difficult work and dangerous: every couple of years someone dies on those tracks. When I think of Metro North issues, pensions don’t jump out as the reason for old trains, rickety tracks and delays. But no doubt pensions are a problem for lots of public operations, including Metro North.

I was tempted to jump in as these banker types bemoaned the wealth of these working folks, as if they were making millions illegally through insider trading. What … Read the rest


Insects Love Global Warming

The unusually warm winter was a Godsend after last year’s heavy snowfall and biting cold, but no good turn comes without a price. This spring has seen more bugs than ever, and word is, this summer could be like the days of the Locust, literally, we’re talking Biblical proportions.

It already started at my house. Over the weekend I had a burst of carpenter ants, hundreds and hundreds in the bedroom skylight. I used RAID to knock them out, but they came back the next day, so I called a professional.

According to the exterminator, the chemicals he uses are much less toxic than RAID. He said RAID is nasty stuff and contains wax, and so when you breathe it in, it sticks to your lungs.

He has a gel that goes on like caulk and it is designed to attract the ants like food so that they’ll come out, eat and then go back to the nest and share. Then the chemical kicks in and wipes them all out – nasty stuff.

RAID kills on contact but often the nest is twenty feet from where you’re seeing them so you never get to the center of the problem.

There … Read the rest