Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Car Wash Laws?  
Yesterday, someone died at the Stony Brook Car Wash on Rt. 22, North Plainfield. He was run over by a co-worker who was moving a van.

This is the second time in three months that there's been a car wash accident in Central Jersey (at least, that I'm aware of). On October 23, 2005 a Squeaky Clean Car Wash (Rt. 28, Middlesex) employee lost control of a Jeep Cherokee he was moving out of the car wash. It lurched across the usually very busy street, through a convenience store parking lot and a three foot concrete barrier, ending up embedded in a neighborhood house 50 yards away. Luckily, no one was hurt. According to the Middlesex police log, "Gabriel Zepeda-Hilario was charged with reckless driving and being an unlicensed driver."

Was yesterday's accident also involving an unlicensed driver? The Courier-News article didn't mentioned that, only that it was still under police investigation. Someone told me that it's not illegal for an unlicensed driver to drive a car on private property but I couldn't verify that. If that's the case, that would mean that car wash owners are not responsible for making sure that their employees have drivers' licenses (not like that verifies good driving skills, but it does help). Until I know, I'm sticking with the "you drive through yourself" carwashes.

Monday, January 23, 2006
Treasure Island Closing  
Treasure Island... a most unusual store that's no more.

This weekend, on our way to join FrenchToastGirl to see Christine Lavin's concert in Westfield (Coffee with Conscience series). Miz Lavin and her opening act David Ippolito were fantastic. Definitely good ambassadors of good folk music (you know, upbeat, funny, topical songs that you can understand). As a prefinale (her finale was twirling batons with glowsticks on the end to Sousa), she sang a song about French Toast Bread Pudding... you can guess who was very excited about that!

Anyways... back to Treasure Island. We were on Rt. 22 when I noticed that the No. Plfd. store's parking lot was full which is weird a few weeks after the after-Christmas sales. And then we noticed the big canvas sign strung up... "Store Closing" According to The Herald News, the WHOLE CHAIN is going out of business by the end of March. Yet another holder of childhood memories biting the dust :(

Friday, January 20, 2006
Les Paul Plays On  
The Courier News is featuring Jersey's own Les Paul on their podcast site... Lucky and I have been talking for the past four years regarding seeing The Master of Gee-tars play in the city. We're all not getting any younger, so maybe next month...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Dunkin Donuts Wins War  

When I was told by a customer that the Green Brook Friendly's had closed only for redecorating since the franchise was purchased back by the mother company, I was relieved... three decades of my life involve its yummy ice cream (I still miss the "Peppermint Stick" flavor circa 1974-82). That relief was shortlived when I discovered that the Brick Krispy Kreme is no more.

Sunday, we were on our way back from sledding (first time I ever went sledding... and it's in Ocean County. Who would have thought that Bayville would have more snow than "Central Jersey"?) and Lucky needed a cuppajoe, the perfect excuse for a Krispy Kreme outing. We went on Rt. 70 and saw the sad sight. A boxy building with its signage, interior and exterior stripped.

According to the Asbury Park Press, the only NJ Krispy Kreme store was closed a few weeks before Christmas. Apparently the Philadelphia area stores (I guess that includes the Brick store) weren't doing well financially.

Do Jerseyans not understand the importance of the red lit donut sign? There is such a difference between a supermarket/gas station packaged KK donut and a fresh off the presses one. Plus you can't get all the different flavors (granted the original is the best... that's why they made up our wedding cake). Oh well, I guess the t-shirts that we got 5:30 AM on opening day three years ago will be collector's items!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Codey goes home  
I'm going to miss Codey, no surprise to those who know that I voted for him. I liked most of the stuff he did... except for the no smoking in bars and raising the cigarette purchasing age to 19 (and I'm a non-smoker).

Here's his exit letter which was sent to people who have emailed him this past year.

"January 2006

Dear Friends,

Before I leave the Office of the Governor and return to the New Jersey Senate full time, I want to thank you for the confidence you have placed in me and for your understanding and support.

When I took office in November of 2004, I was scared to death. I did not know what to expect from the job or myself. Or, for that matter, what to expect from a public who had no clue who Dick Codey was. I thought of my parents who always gave me good advice. They told me: ?If you can keep your sense of humor, stay humble, be true to your principles, and do what you think is best, you?ll come out okay.? I hope my parents and their parents can look down with some satisfaction that I have at least partially re-paid the huge debt the Codey clan owes this state.

For me, I look back with dignity at the time I served and take pride in our achievements. My Administration took on some pretty difficult tasks, we made some tough choices, but in the end New Jersey is in better shape than when we got here and that is all we can ask.

I have told it like it is since the day I took over, trusting the public with truth and the options. The public can handle a lot more straight talk than people think, and they deserve more than they have been given in the past.

We improved ethics in New Jersey government by passing the toughest ban on pay to play of any state, anywhere in America. We made ethics training mandatory for every state worker, restored the Office of the Public Advocate, and created the post of
Inspector General. We banned junk food and soda from schools, and persuaded the Giants and Jets to work together to build a new stadium at no cost to New Jersey taxpayers. We cut the New Jersey budget more than anyone ever has before, and still
found the money to expand health insurance for the working poor, while finally raising a minimum wage that has lagged behind that of our neighboring states.

Our schools are safer, our budget more responsible, and our residents better off than they were thirteen months ago. We have brought a new respect and compassion for the concerns of individuals with mental illness, and have committed to, above all else, governing in a different way.

I wish all the best to the people of New Jersey. You have given me the opportunity to accomplish so much, and you, and you have opened your hearts and minds to the message my courageous wife, Mary Jo, has delivered on the stigma of
mental illness and postpartum depression. May we never again pretend the issues of mental illness do not exist in our society.

As I move forward in my public service career, I will continue to fight for what I believe to be right for the Garden State, its present, its future and its people. Thank you for standing by me as I served as your Governor ? it was an honor and a blessing.

With regards,
Richard J. Codey"

Monday, January 16, 2006
Mourning Mornings without Howard  
I tried, really I did. But David Lee Roth is no Howard Stern. Gave it a few weeks before I made my decision to stop listening, since it wasn't really fair to stop 2 days in (even though I wanted to).

I listened to How-weird and his troupe since his W-ENNNN-BC Days when Don Imus didn't look too much like the living dead, Donna Fiducia was merely a ShadowTraffic reporter and Jennifer Anniston was a Snapple girl. Watched his movie, pay-per-view specials, WOR-9 and CBS shows, not to mention E!. He's like my geeky-cool older brother (you can tell the influence that he had on my little brother :) ).

DLR just doesn't have a good personality for radio. His show is like listening to a college radio station at 3 a.m. Unfortunately, I have decided not to get Sirius... my commute is under 5 minutes, I don't even have a working radio in my car, it's just not worth the expense. So, what's going to "wake" me up in the morning? Jim Gearhart... I think you have a new listener.

The Past:
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