Bridgegate was a scandal that I never really got interested in. For me it was sort of petty college prank level stuff. My reaction was more “really, this is what they’re going with?? as opposed to a reaction of “He. Must. Resign. Today.”

The Star Ledger beat the drum daily for years and that was tiresome and I would scroll past the articles. I did a lot of scrolling. Actually most articles on are worth scrolling past. But that’s another post.

So the Governor’s office had a press release noting the fact that the matter is over.

Did it derail his career and Presidential aspirations? I think they were pretty much done without it. The man can talk. I’ll give him that. He can think on his feet when confronted. But as far as getting things done and governing? I think he missed so many opportunities that we will be bearing the brunt of it for years. NJ is sliding downward. Just drive around if you don’t believe me. Not crashing, but sliding downward. He didn’t do much to arrest that.

If he had more traction in the polls he would have gotten more scrutiny on his record. The things he touted as “fixed” are in fact not fixed at all. The property tax “fix” is  nonsense. Towns just discovered that they can peel off services and bill for them separately.

He really didn’t get very much done.

What I think would have really killed his candidacy even if he survived the scrutiny was his plan to “save” Social Security by introducing means testing. So once again, if you worked and saved and were able to squirrel away enough to retire, the government would look at what you had and determine that the 15% or so percent that they withheld from you and your employer would no longer be yours anymore, and be handed to some impulsive and irresponsible person who didn’t save.

Which, as far as government behavior goes, is pretty typical.

But that is a crappy solution to the problem. A partial privatization would have fixed it without pain. A transfer of a portion of funds to an individual account where you could determine the allocation (so you had a shot to get it to get some return on investment) could have worked better. But to turn around and tell a large segment of the population they’ll get nothing and like it? Whomever his pollster was that said it would fly should have been escorted out immediately.

With his eviction off the Trump transition team, it’s not clear what’s next for him. At least I would think he won’t lose billions of dollars of his customers money trying to bolster a hare-brained investing scheme, like some people we know.






Was going to post something about the Halloween Parade but in doing yard work on the almost too-warm Sunday, I didn’t make it in time. Oh, well.

So thankfully, mercifully, finally we are done with the political season in a week. I can’t wait.

I have spent some time in the past couple days reading some of the emails on the wikileaks site. Not necessarily the ones highlighted in the media but skipping around and reading a random one here and there and in bulk. And I’ve learned a few things.

  1. John Podesta is not technologically savvy and will take the bus.
  2. They knew the private server was a wrong thing to do (it was) and everybody was using gmail instead of expected domain servers.
  3. They worried about things that I was surprised that they found important (emails discussing hours-long meetings on arcane or what I’d consider trivial topics).
  4. They really have pals in the media.
  5. Being corrupt is harder work than I thought.

Please, before I am savaged for partisan bias, note that I am not endorsing anybody or promoting anybody. And I live in New Jersey where my vote doesn’t really matter.I just thought that I’d take a look at some of the raw data dump as it is an opportunity to peek behind the curtain.

That said, in aggregate our votes do matter, especially for Cranford Board of Ed and for the Town Council. As well as the referenda.

So go vote on November 8th!


Hard to believe it has been 15 years. Today I was away in New York state and away from a computer. So I didn’t have a chance to post until now.

It also let me beg off from a “day of service” project, which I had no interest in doing. Not because I am not for performing service and being part of the community, but a “service day” on September 11th is hollow to me. A distraction or a minimization of what happened.

I don’t want to remember a day of service. I don’t want to forget this:


From My NYC Apartment Window

Coming home tonight I first noticed the lights from downtown NYC shining into the sky a little north of Poughkeepsie. A high cloud ceiling helped. And I could see them as the Thruway and Parkway bent around the curves and around the hills. And I could see them in Cranford without any trouble, provided there is a high enough spot or large enough clearing.


Taken near the Walnut Avenue School 9/11/2016

Been a fun summer, with some of it spent here in town.

With the rain at the July 4th fireworks, my thought was that they didn’t want to make the mistake that they made with the Memorial Day Parade.

Verdict: They are 0-2. We got soaked to the skin. Decent show though but unfortunate that they started early. The next night we went to Clark and had a dry and enjoyable experience. They put on a pretty long show over there and there was plenty of room. Tip: The bridge over the pond on Raritan Road by Madison Hill Road is THE viewing place for those wanting to avoid traffic. There had to be 150 people there.

We have sampled some of the new-ish restaurants. Here are some notes:

River and Rail – Nice atmosphere, meh service bordering on clueless and forgettable food. But it looks like the clientele doesn’t really care as long as they have their Margarita or Coronita in their hands. I don’t understand why the owner is upset about the renovations to the substation, you really can’t see it with the trees lining South Avenue. Maybe he’ll want to be without power for 13 days sometime in order to have the preferred aesthetic.

By the way. RIP to the 1902 trolley station on the PSEG substation property.


Ciao Bello – Doesn’t this mean “Hey Guy” in Italian? Pluses: The eggplant parmesan was floured, not breaded (breaded eggplant parm is a heavy, greasy mess and is a major minus to me when eating Italian). The service was acceptable as was the food. The personal pizza came with a mound of arugula, which was good while being a bit of a surprise for the person ordering it.

Mr. Bin Sushi – They had good quality fish which we enjoyed; they are open surprisingly late. We’ve already been back.

A couple more weeks are left, maybe we’ll hit a few more places before the hordes come back.

It has been an eternity since I posted. We are some of the few remaining here in town for the holiday, as it feels like 70% have started their annual exodus to LBI.

I am hoping to take some pictures of the Memorial Day parade provided I don’t oversleep.

Update: Memorial Day Parade was cancelled. Too bad, the rain let up in time.

Regardless, please take a few minutes to remember those who gave all for our freedom.

We’re all being asked to be nuisances to our elected representatives so they can waste some of the government’s money on us for flood control instead of some other pork project somewhere else that will be only to the benefit of the people skimming money.

So, hey, why not?

Tip: Don’t begin your letter with something like:

“Dear Impossibly Corrupt and Unethical Thieves:”

It probably won’t be considered very persuasive.

Speaking of corruption, I am continuing my Oscar boycott for yet another year. I do admit that I did read a couple of the “brutally honest” Oscar ballots in the Hollywood Reporter. I thought it amusing that all of the voters profiled hated “The Revenant”. I don’t care for Leo DiCaprio..I don’t know about you, but when he’s onscreen, I can’t help but stare at his eyebrows. They’re like a bad toupee.

Given the mild start to the winter, we are statistically bound to get something. The downside this time is that we don’t have Pathmark to go to once the shelves at ShopRite are bare. Unless we go drop some serious cash at WholeFoods.

Good Luck.