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Thursday, February 25, 2010


The alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. this morning, playing some horrible "big hair" noise from the 80s. Michael Bolton or some such bombastic bit of nonsense. The kind of noise that gets alarm clock radios smashed to tiny bits all too often.

We had our monthly training meeting this morning, and after that was concluded, I packed up my gear and headed on home. It's been snowing since I got up, so as of this moment, it's been snowing steadily for 18 1/2 hours.

Check this picture that was taken by my future daughter-in-law at Kirby Park earlier today. That's my daughter Ebon taking the serious header at somewhere abouts 50 miles per hour. Yeah, that broken foot of hers is all healed now, so why not go and break something else, right?

Not to worry, though. Dr. Obama will take care of it.

At this juncture, I'm still using one of the spare trucks at work. An S-10 that is due for inspection in a couple of weeks. And since the tread depth on the tires is not near what it should be, I seriously doubt that I'll be heading off to the Hazleton area in the morning, as I am scheduled to do. As a rule of thumb, if the roads are tough to navigate in this area, they will be doubly tough in the higher elevations of that area.

I've left a sunny Wilkes-Barre only to arrive at a fog-bound and drizzly Hazleton more times than I care to remember. It's only a few miles away, but there are those days when it feels like it's in a different time zone. And Freeland? Don't get me going about Freeland. Jesus!

Here's one I could have predicted.

It's snowing like all hell. The snow is blowing completely sideways more often than not. The roads are getting so treacherous, the police on patrol have almost no incoming calls to deal with, and rarity of odd rarities, are probably posted up with a hot coffee in their respective patrol zones.

The voices on the radio are saying the worst is yet to come. The talking heads on the television are saying pretty much the same things, but with video. And right out of the bad, bad snowstorm playbook, 911 tones the fire department: "Report of a working structure fire...256 S. Welles Street!"

F-6: "Headquarters cleaning house."

What is it about snowstorms and structure fires? And this one is an abandoned house, which leads me to believe that some hunkered down person got bored and decided to liven things up. There's a bet you can wager at Patte's every time. If the meteorologists are sounding the bread and milk alarms, make book on a structure fire. You'll be glad you did.

Monday is the 1st official day of termite season. And if you know anything about me at all, you know that I'll be an ultra busy boy for months on end. If it's a termite problem in Luzerne County, it's mine. Overtime up the proverbial wazoo. Cuts, scrapes, bruises and the occasional lower back flare-ups. Basically, I'll be held hostage by the most fragile creatures this side of the DNC. Fragile but persistent and secretive creatures that, when left to their own devices, can destroy your biggest single investment--your home.

Fact is, I love termite work. Not sure why exactly, except to say that the investigational aspects of it invigorate me to no end. Trying to figure out how they got where they got to and how I'll put that to an abrupt halt right quick. That sort of stuff. It's not about applying materials as much as it is applying them correctly.

I have every confidence in saying that I've forgotten more about subterranean termites than anyone in this county is ever likely to know. And come Monday morning, I'll be getting to proving it all over again. Needless to say, I am ready to rock.

And I'm hunkered down. And I'm bored. And I'm obviously meandering all over the place.


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