Monday, January 30, 2012


Interesting to watch the political campaign season on the Republican side as the contenders vie for the Republican nomination for the right to make their case in the next election versus President Obama. Lately, Newt Gingrich has been calling Mitt Romney a "Massachusetts Moderate" as if this is an epithet or a badge of dishonor. Even more recently, Gingrich has been calling Romney a "liberal". Words of course do have meaning and "conservative, liberal, moderate, radical,neo-con, socialist," all have different connotations and different politicians try to define themselves and their contenders with labels that they best feel help themselves as being portrayed as a "good guy" and labeling their opponents as the less desirable"bad guys".

Followers of the Buddhist philosophy learn that the Buddha advocated a lifestyle of moderation and to follow "the middle path" which means one should not try to get too attached to anything as far as personal possessions, emotions, everyday human dramas, as existence is temporary and transitory in nature. For the Buddha, moderation is a goal and an admirable attitude not a negative lifestyle.

I believe either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich would be preferable as the next president over four more years of President Obama. The question to be answered between Ronmey and Gingrich is whether at this juncture America needs a competent turn around expert with both private sector and public sector experience or a bright "big idea" person who is supremely confident in his own abilities but has some personal "baggage" in his past.

 Personally, I think America currently needs a "fixer" like Harvey Keitel in the movie "Pulp Fiction" where his character was called in after John Travolta's character accidentally shot someone in a car and splattered blood and brains all over the back seat. Harvey's character came in, took charge of the situation, and fixed the bloody mess. Mitt Romney can come in and attempt to fix the "bloody mess" that Obama has left with the fifteen TRILLION and counting national debt and try to get the government back on a more sound financial path.

Newt Gingrich, with his grandiose ideas and visions for change would be great IF we didn't have a government that is WAY out of control and there was money available for space stations on the Moon . A space station on the Moon would be "far out" but not what we currently need. Similar to a patient in the hospital under intensive care; first you have to stabilize the vital signs before you can consider whether this patient can start training for a triathlon.

As far as being a "Massachusetts moderate", Mitt Romney has roots in Michigan and homes in New Hampshire and California. Massachusetts was the birthplace of the American revolutionary patriots who started the cause of liberty from England. Newt Gingrich has his roots in Georgia and is now a Washington D.C. insider, a "Georgia Government Guy".

Mitt Romney currently has the most "independent support" and will not be labeled as a  " neo-con far right extremist" by the Democrats to the extent that Newt Gingrich will. Yes, Mitt Romney has voted as a Democrat in his past but so did another person admired by most Republicans; Ronald Reagan. America is said to be a "center-right" country as far as the majority political philosophy. To me, Mitt Ronmey seems to have the "moderate" temperament and the business experience to fix the current bloody mess which is the federal government.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

North Truro view of Pilgrim Monument

Here is a photo of Provincetown and the Pilgrim Monument taken from a North  Truro beach this January with a "zoom" lens. It is somewhat amazing that the "zoom" feature can bring things to appear closer to you than they really are.

The Pilgrim Monument was built in 1910 to commemorate the Pilgrims landing in Provincetown on November 21, 1620 and the signing of the "Mayflower Compact" which provided for a rudimentary form of democracy for this new colony. The monument itself is patterned after a clock tower known as "Palazzo Publico" as found in Siena, Italy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cape Cod Bay North Truro

Inspected a home yesterday built on piers in North Truro across the street from Cape Cod Bay where the land is "skinny" and the big Truro Dunes were in back of the home. According to the National Seashore Center in Eastham some time in the future the Cape Cod Bay water and the Atlantic Ocean water will meet. This photo was taken right before a few snow flurries started to arrive.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Turkey Joints"

Hey, thanks Cheryl and Mike for the "Turkey Joints". Cheryl is my brother Steve's mother-in law and has been giving me and my brothers & sisters "turkey joints" for Christmas over the past few years.

"Turkey Joints" are a unique candy made seasonally at Nora's Candy Shop in Rome, New York since 1919. The "Turkey joint" bone marrow consists of chocolate and Brazil nuts covered by ribbon candy and made from a secret formula and old time process.  I find I like the taste of these turkey joints a lot better than the turkey joint bones found on the Thanksgiving turkey as turkey bones are hard to chew and tough to digest.

So, when in Rome (NY) do what the Romans do; chew on some delicious Nora's Candy "Turkey Joints"! (available on their website, too!')

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Barnstable Airport Terminal

I flew to Nantucket on 1/11/12 from this new Barnstable Airport Terminal in Hyannis. The terminal has been open for about a month now and replaces the old one story brick terminal. They have a fancy new floor cleaning machine that looks like a "mini Zamboni" where a person stands up on the machine and zips around cleaning the floor. I told the machine operator to practice up and maybe he could graduate to cleaning the ice at the Boston Bruin games.

I picked the perfect day to fly to Nantucket as the weather was in the 40's with no wind. The next few days after the wind picked up to 50 mile an hour gusts with snow showers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Fired Up"

Interesting to see all the "brouhaha" over Mitt Romney's comment recently that he "likes firing people". What Romney meant was that he likes to have a choice in services provided and if in the case of health insurance for example there is a better company out there that is more efficient and provides better health coverage at a lower price then you should "fire" your current expensive inefficient company and hire the more efficient less costly insurance company.

How many of us as consumers in making rational decisions "fire" products, goods, services, when we find another similar product that provides the same or greater value as the product that we used to use because the new product is an improvement over the previous product and/or costs less than the product we used to use? For example, Westfield Massachusetts used to be known as "Whip City" as a lot of buggy whips were produced there before the rise of the automobile as a replacement for horses as a mode of personal transportation. People who bought cars in effect were "firing"  their horses and also "firing" the buggy whip makers as you don't need a whip to motivate a car to move. If you are into whipping yourself as some religious people  do as a form of  penance and devotion to their God; or if you like to be whipped by other people and/or whip other people as part of your sado/masochistic desires then you can still use your buggy whip I suppose. But, for the most part a lot of buggy whip manufacturers suffered a loss of business and had to "fire" many of their employees.

In a capitalistic system not every business succeeds. Those people who start businesses that fail go out of business because the marketplace decides that either the good or service produced is not needed or that someone else is able to produce the same or better good or service at a better price and quality. Every day each of us "fires" many producers of goods or services with our choices of what we each buy as if you buy one item you are at the same time "firing" every other item that  you didn't buy. This "election" with each of us spending the money we have takes place every day in the marketplace.

The goal of capitalism is to allocate as efficiently as possible the allocation of capital (money), labor (workers), materials, and land. The marketplace should determine the winners and losers of the competing products and services. The efficient producers of goods and services succeed and the inefficient producers in time will fail unless they get their "act together" and become more competitive through product improvements, innovation, better service, better quality, and better design.

It is unfortunate that some politicians such as Newt Gingrich, Barack Obama, and Rick Perry don't seem to understand how capitalism works and get "fired up" over Mitt Romney's recent comment. Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and to some extent Rick Santorum seem to understand that the capitalistic marketplace is a good means of allocating goods and services. Similar to pruning a tree with some dead branches; sometimes you have to get rid of the "deadwood" in a company to make a company better able to compete in the marketplace.

Friday, January 6, 2012

"The Battle for Independents"

The primary season is under way on the Republican side to determine who is the best candidate to "dethrone" our current "Supreme leader" who thinks that he is above the Constitution and is trying to expand his power over the populace with his "government knows best " attitude.

Now, given the fact that "nobody is  perfect" including all of the current Republican candidates for the 2012 nomination for president; to me, the next Republican nominee should be the candidate that is perceived as the most likely to defeat President Obama. Yes, I'm an" ABO" person myself (Anybody But Obama) but the next election will be determined by the "non-enrolled " Independent voter.  President Obama should get the "Moocher vote" ( People who rely on government subsidies and free money ) as well as the "Union Vote" and the "Identity Political vote" ( People who vote based on skin color). The percentage of the vote of these previously mentioned groups is approximately 42%.

The Republican Nominee will receive the majority of the small business owner vote, a majority of the white male vote, and the majority of people who favor a more limited government and feel that "Big Government" is not the answer to every real and perceived problem and who feel that government on the federal level has gone too far and is too big.Yes, even today, some people do feel that capitalism, liberty, and freedom are ideas worth supporting.

The "Unenrolled" voter tends to vote "the person not the party" and can swing each election depending upon the candidates and the current political environment found with each election cycle.

Currently to me, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be the best announced Republican candidate for the presidency based upon polling results showing Romney being the strongest candidate in head to head match-ups versus Obama and receives the most independent support. Romney has the most real world business experience of any current candidate, can speak even without a teleprompter in coherent sentences, has experience as a "turnaround specialist" with reviving a floundering Salt lake City Olympic Committee and governmental experience as a former governor of Massachusetts. Is Romney the "perfect candidate"? No, but in my opinion he is far more qualified than Obama or any of the other current Republican Candidates. Some Republican voters express the view that Romney is not "Conservative enough" and threaten to" sit on their hands" and not vote, or vote for a third party candidate or write-in some other candidate; all of these actions would be in effect a vote for Obama.

The Independent voter will hold the key to the 2012 election. Unless and/or until another Republican candidate can show greater or at least equal support as Mitt Romney currently enjoys with the independent voter; Mitt Romney is the current best candidate to be the Republican nominee.

Monday, January 2, 2012

"Pepe's Pizza"

Outside "Pepe's" Pizza of New Haven located on Wooster Street prior to entering for my first pizza from this famous pizzeria. I wonder how many pizzas have been served here at this original location since 1925. It is rare for many eating establishments to survive for over 80 years serving the same original recipe.

"Brick Oven Pizza"

Here's a photo of the massive coal fired brick pizza oven found at "Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana" in New Haven. Note the huge (approximately 14 foot) pizza tool used to place the pizzas in the back of the oven which was built in 1936.

"Pizza Lover"

Here's a picture of one of the "pizza lovers" found at "Frank Pepe Pizzaria Napoletana" located on Wooster Street in New Haven. "Pepe's" is known for its white clam pizza and I can't tell if this person got any white stains on his shirt or apron but he sure seems to be enjoying himself as did I when my pizza arrived at the table.

"Red and White Pepe's Pizza"

Here's a photo of a "red and white" medium pizza that I ate on January 1st, 2012 at "The Original Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana" located at 157 Wooster Street in New Haven, Connecticut. "Pepe's" was established in 1925 and features a massive coal fired pizza oven. This pizza above is comprised of the "white clam" pizza made with fresh shucked clams, grated cheese, garlic and oregano; and the tomato and cheese pizza with fresh garlic.

I had heard of "Pepe's" Pizza and "Sally's" pizza for over thirty years from my days at the University of Connecticut as a student in the mid-70's when some friends of mine used to drive approximately 100 miles round trip to New Haven and back just for these famous Wooster Street pizzas. I never made the trip back then but finally tried my first Pepe's Pizza. I liked it.

New Haven Inauguration 1/1/2012

I was invited to the 10th term inauguration ceremony for New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr., City Clerk Ron Smith, and the 2012 Board of Alderman held Sunday New Year's Day at Career High School. I attended the ceremony with my University of Connecticut roommate Jack as John and his wife Kathy are also UCONN friends from the mid 70's when we all lived in South Campus.

Mayor John is now the longest serving in New Haven history and addressed the auditorium crowd on the importance of  the role of education in preparing the young people of the City of New Haven for the future of   New Haven, State of Connecticut and the Nation as a whole. John stressed that an educated workforce is necessary to meet the challenges of an ever changing future work environment and investing in human capital and training is paramount to creating and sustaining the City of New Haven as a vibrant and attractive place to live.