Opinions need not be feared nor suppressed.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Swept Away flick

One of my all-time faves.

A battle of the sexes. Class warfare. And a battle of differing ideologies.


Promises, promises

With our centuries-old commissioner form of county government mere hours away from being replaced, it seems we’re replacing corruption, nepotism and indifference with tumult, chaos and rancor.

The TL link: Urban may pass on county council seat

Luzerne County Commissioner Stephen A. Urban hinted Thursday that he may not be serving on the new home rule county council.

While discussing the 2012 county budget during the last commissioner meeting, Urban said he won’t vote to give the courts more funding “if I get sworn in as a council member.”
The CV link: Final meeting features send-offs, face-offs

WILKES-BARRE - After giving farewell comments at the final Luzerne County commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioner Stephen A. Urban wouldn't say if he planned to serve on county council.
"We will find out Monday," Urban said.

Personally, I’m not buying it. The way I figure it, he’ll be at the courthouse bright and early on Monday, which would be a first for any Luzerne County commissioner ex or otherwise.

The troubling thing for me is that the voters rejected the commissioner form of government only to put one of the three commissioners in partial charge of the new form of government. Does that make any sense?

Not to me, it doesn’t.

During the transitional meetings, Urban has seemed to be the more-than-willing fly in the ointment at every single one. And because of that, here’s to hoping that he does bow out.

The new county council gets sworn-in Monday morning and then transitions into it’s first official meeting as a governing body. They need to pick the flies out of the ointment, appoint a county executive and begin to deal with the parting shot the three commissioners sent them by way of a make-believe 2012 budget.

There is sure to be plenty of the aforementioned tumult, chaos and rancor. Which is in no way an indictment on my part of those due to be sworn-in come Monday. But it seems as if there would be a helluva lot less rancor if the career politician in the group would just do as he suggested he might and walk away. We can only hope.

Either way, it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. So buckle up and pay even more attention than ever before.

I know I will.

Count on it.



Mission accomplished: 18 rounds a day for three years.

One more year, er, one more excruciating year to go.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Occupy" Legos

I bought a half-ton of Legos this month alone, but I missed this set...


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where Only Sue & I Dare

There are termites in the vent framing, you say?

No problemo. Let's have a look.

Soundtrack by Sue.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Word Police!!!

Is this, like, a politically correct thing to say?

Somebody call the increasingly rogue U.S. Justice Department and have this big meanie deported.


Disturbing fire video

The place: The Station night club, West Warwick, Rhode Island on February, 20, 2003.

100 people were killed after the on-stage pyrotechnics lit the place on fire. From the looks of the joint, it appears to be a somewhat aged wood-frame structure, not a structure you'd want to be lighting fireworks inside of.

The fire department arrives in less than five minutes, but still well too late to save much of anything or anyone. The point being, fire moves very quickly.

When the music stops, you can hear the singer say "Wow. That's not good."


Three Grandrodents video

Yeah, I know the quality sucks, so don't bother to comment on it. Just a moment in time, albeit, poorly done.

A couple of scattered thoughts on it. Surrounded by these screaming types, it's no wonder people drink.

Secondly, to the easily-led (henpecked) types, no, I do not turn off the NFL for any holiday. Not even Christmas.

Oh, and the Eagles bite!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

While visions of sugar plumbs dance in our heads...

F-18 Hornets...


Merry Christmas: Air Jordan war is over

Makes me want to buy 50 remote acres, a used double-wide, a couple of sawed-off shotguns and some vicious junkyard dogs.

All for overpriced Air Jordans? You couldn't get me to act like that unless you were offering retro high-top Converse.


Big Blue highlights

I begged for this kid last season. But, no, we wouldn't want to play a freaking rookie.

Well, this kid just put up more receiving yards in one season than any receiver in Giants history dating back to 1921. What do I know.

Big mouth? Big belly? C’mon man! Tell us what you really think. Wait for it near the end.

Fun stuff.

Merry Xmas: "...I'll punch him in the face"

Turns out, I got everything I wanted for Christmas on Christmas Eve. In one fell swoop, the New York Football Giants managed to knock both the cross-town Jets and the Philthydumpia "Dream Team" Eagles from the playoffs. Now that's what I call going ("ground & pound" on) green!

Check this reported post-game exchange between Jint's running back Brandon Jacobs and Jets' motor-mouthed coach Rexomouthus Erectus...

Running back Brandon Jacobs said he had an exchange with Ryan after the game in which the coach approached him, used an expletive and said, "Wait till we win the Super Bowl."

Added Jacobs: "And I told him I'll punch him in the face. I told him out of all these Giants players on this team you're talking to the wrong one. And that was that."

Ryan acknowledged that he and Jacobs "had a private conversation. He doesn't like me; I respect him."

Ah, yes, Merry effing Christmas.

I managed to pull off a Sprawl-Mart free Christmas, something I'm very pleased about. Yep, no pepper spray, no sneaker riots and no hanging out with bad actors for this spirited shopper. My shopping was just about limited to K-Mart, Toys R Us and good ole Boscov's.

I enjoyed a brisk downtown walkabout early yesterday afternoon. In addition to Boscov's being very busy, Valley Seafood and the soup kitchen were likewise bombed. Anywho, I carried those two over sized shopping bags all the way home only to find that one of the bags had split and three boxes of Legos had gone AWOL on me. You know, those inexpensive Legos. As if!

We had the three local grandrodents over last night. The other two will be in route from Tennessee tomorrow morning. I talked to my sister on the phone yesterday, but she devolved into a sobbing mess when the dearly departed came up. I knew way back when that she'd never progress much past the grief stage when mom went away. But I never figured on my brother adding a double dose to her painful mix. Nothing I can do to change it.

Anyway, all is as well as it can be. I'm in for a quiet day of relaxation. And I hope anyone who has the misfortune of reading this can say the same.


Friday, December 23, 2011

We all gotta duck...

When the Obama sh*t hits the fan...

Aptly brought to you by the Circle Jerks.

"Punk rock will never die, it'll just smell funny."---Francis Vincent Zappa

Here, here

All I wanted was a Coke

Missing mom and grandma during the holidays always gets me to reminiscing...

Hey Uncle Bud! Punching me around at their behest didn't help, did it?

Or did it?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

See Spot run (from Dick)

You've all seen those too-many-to-count Ad Council commercials by which the Fedrule Govmint wastes untold heaps of tax dollars on attempts at behavior modification.

Some were classics. Like Smokey the Bear. Or the Cryin' Injun. Ineffectual stuff like that.

If Smokey was effective, then why do fire investigators blame damn near every forest fire on careless smoking?

And if the entire world is so polluted that global warming is near irreversible, what did the ballin' injun really accomplish?

Did you know that the U.S. Treasury department bankrolled a commercial extolling the virtues of maintaining a good credit rating? No, I'm not making that up. Yes! The Fedrule Govmint--all $15 trillion in debt of it--has taken to lecturing the lowly likes of us about the importance of sound credit practices.

But this following video warning parents that their children may be exposed to Internet perversions takes the proverbial cake.

Yep, after having at the Internet completely unsupervised for too long, our kiddies might just start humping the puppies. This is your bloated government at work.

Yet, they claim there is nowhere in the massive budget where savings can be realized. And still others cry for even bigger government.

Gives new meaning to the phrase, See Spot run.


Chiefie's bonanza?

Are bloggers journalists?

Another question might be, since so many "journalists" have taken to blogging, are they still considered journalists protected by the "shield" laws?

A $2.5 Million Libel Judgment Brings the Question: Are Bloggers Journalists?

The excerpt:

‘Bloggers Beware’

That was the headline on a conservative blog following a $2.5 million judgment this month against blogger Crystal Cox in a defamation case tried in federal court in Oregon. It’s a case followed closely in both the blogosphere and in the traditional media, as it highlights the proliferation of blogging, the blurring of lines between journalists and bloggers and more libel cases born out of blog posts.

“There are a lot of malicious people out there,” says Bruce Johnson, a Seattle attorney with Davis Wright Tremaine and author of Washington state’s current Shield Law. “You’re not going to be able to get rid of them all. They will continue to basically write graffiti on the bathroom wall, and in this case, the Internet provides the bathroom wall,” says Johnson.
On a much more local note…


The excerpt:

Conclusion After carefully reviewing all of the material, it is my strong opinion that the following are true:

1) The Chief has had an adulterous affair with Catherine Meehan
2) The Chief drinks alcoholically (Word is you can't call him after 9 pm)
3) The Chief has been an adulterer and a serial cheater much of his life.
3) The Chief has been applying a "ring of protection" around Catherine's drug house
4) The Mayor has refused to respond to complaints made about this house.
5) Chief Dessoye has been using Catherine Meehan as his drug source (likely opiates/heroin).

Good luck with that.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Walk...

...to Gas Stock.

'Member that?


A response to a comment followed by circumlocuting and then some.

Gort said...

This Youtube access must be a new venture for you sir.

No, fact is, my ages-old pissing match with Verizon which had me banned to the muddied killing fields of dial-up has come to a screeching halt. I'm loyal to a fault, but it's become obvious that Verizon views it's DSL landline customers much the the same way health care professionals view lepers.

I have a new DSL provider, I'm having some fun with some long-lost videos but, let us not forget that I was the first local blogger to embed a YouTube video, as well as the first local blogger to embed a video featuring original content. While I may not give a hoot about being cutting-edge these days, remember, there was a time when most of you were playing catch-up. In fact, all of you were bringing up the electronic rear-guard.

Check this video I posted after first-ever blogger soiree held at Mark's Pub.


After the video, I posted a couple of pictures of the particpants. And I was quickly castigated by those very same participants for daring to reveal their identities. You see, it never occurred to me that those who would ramble on electronically, and those who would likeise gather in public would object to being outed. But some did object. So I deleted said video and said pictures.

Look, I apologize if my output of late has been boring. I never thought of any of it as being boring, but I've been punched in the head a couple of hundred times too many.

In Washington, a charlatan is leading us to financial ruin.

In Harrisburg, a new governor is leading us to dried-out watery tributaries as a way of filling his campaign coffers.   

In Wilkes-Barre, an anorexic-looking Santa and her clueless elves think council meetings should be reduced to tired circus stunts.

In the local blog-a-rama, what once was the ultimate in citizen activism has now morphed into being the endless pursuit of celebrity.

Y'all can think whatever you want, but I see or feel no shame for retreating to the relative safety of great musical performances gone by.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mick Ronson

Oh, and that David Blowie guy, too.

Believe it or not, Mick Ronson once played at the Kings College gym, while helping to front Ian Hunter's reformed Mott the Hoople.

I'd say that makes the Kings gym hallowed ground.

At least, I'd say.

Phantom of the Park


The Fab Four

The Rutles...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New York Dolls give birth to punk

Freaked, I did.

Blondie goes Goldfinger

One of my favorite movies of all time is Goldfinger, the gold standard of James Bond Movies.

I watched it for the first time in the cheap seats positioned directly in front of the Sandy Beach drive-in screen shortly after it was released, and I've watched it every chance I've gotten ever since then.

In my mind, Sean Connery was James Bond, and all of those who came after him were not worthy.

But that Goldfinger theme, that haunting theme as it was, has never once escaped from my limitless musical conscience.

Hubba, hubba!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sparks: All you ever think about is sex

This ancient video is unique.

By the way, Sparks was always fun.

After seeing it again after all these years, I'm thinking this is what a Wilkes-Barre City Council meeting would be like if the hapless but, beaten back insurgents ultimately persisted and had their way.


Paul WIlliams: The Hell of It

From the 1974 cult non-classic "Phantom of the Paradise."

I don't know about y'all, but I love it.

Monday, December 12, 2011


The long and loud version of...535 jackasses plus two.


Sunday, December 11, 2011


Who knew?

The next LT?

It'll never happen.


Moment of Clarity

Necessary reading for the Occupussies who think I should pay for their, ahem, "education." 

Moment of Clarity

The website www.payscale.com lists the median starting pay and median mid-career pay for 125 common bachelor degrees. Petroleum engineers start at $97,000 while elementary education majors start at $29,000. No wonder the world’s social scientists hate big oil.
High school seniors, pay attention here - the top-paying bachelor degrees in order are: petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, aerospace engineering, computer engineering, physics, applied mathematics, computer science, and nuclear engineering.

And the worst-paying degrees in order are: child and family studies, social work, elementary education, culinary arts, special education, recreation and leisure studies, physical education, public health, theology, and art. The various ethnic and gender studies majors are not even listed separately as there is no market for them.

Going on to graduate school will not fix a low-paying degree choice, either. According to Forbes Magazine, the worst master’s degrees for employment (job availability and pay) in order are: music, history, divinity, English, psychology, social work, library science, counseling, education, and chemistry.

So if your goal is to get the best return on your investment in post-secondary education, then start out taking your math and science foundations at a two-year college and then transfer to the cheapest four-year college that offers a degree in Petroleum Engineering. You will spend less than $30,000 for a credential that carries a $97,000 median starting pay. Ask a business major (#58) to explain ROI to you.
You are what you made it. Now suck on it.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Stigma? What Stigma?

Private Sector?

Jobs? Self-reliance? Dogged individualism? Toughness? Freedom?

Antiquated concepts, all!

Vote for me. I'll put Ramen noodles and government surplus horse meat in every Rent-A-Center supplied pot.

Sign up today!

Wilkes-Barre Racing

Take a look.

Wilkes-Barre Racing


Take the Tour


Thursday, December 8, 2011

EPA: Oops! Don't drink the water

Go frickin' figure.

From USAToday.com: EPA: Fracking may cause groundwater pollution

The excerpt:
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday for the first time that fracking — a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells — may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution.
But remember, the gas-drilling outfits are good, good neighbors throwing good money to local charities and for event sponsorships.


Drawdown through Kuwait

'Bout time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Warning: Language

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wall Street on Trial

Dead-on accurate...

The latest video from Andrew Klavan on the Occutards

Welcome to Obama World, where nobody does anything and everybody is entitled to something.

Romney? Gingrich? Paul? Doesn't matter when PeeWee Herman would make for a dramatic upgrade.

Sez me.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Aged papers

When Grandma passed away quite unexpectedly (at least to me), we found while rooting through her most personal of things that she had saved a copy of the Times Leader (or Times Record...I forget) dated December 8, 1941. At that time, that yellowed newspaper was 39-years-old.

I wanted it. So did my Mom. And that turned out to be the only thing she not only laid claim to, but that she had taken from the abode after Gram's funeral.

After my Mom passed away at age 49, I took possession of that aged newspaper, which was then 47-years old. Much like her mom before her, my mom saved a newspaper from what she considered to be the seminal moment of her lifetime, a Times Leader dated November 23, 1963.

Even though I was a 5-year-old in kindergarten, I remember the day Kennedy was assassinated simply because my mom stared at the reports on the TV and cried all day long. And simply put, I wanted to watch some Bowery Boys, Little Rascals, or Mighty Mouse.

And while I still have the Pearl Harbor and JFK newspapers, I've added a copy of the Challenger disaster print reporting, as well as the papers from 9-11. Oh, and that Pearl Harbor paper is now 70-years-old.

When I was a sprat, we would kill marauding make-believe "Japs" in the back yard. All these years later, I've got no quarrel with any of them. But I've still got that newspaper. Weird.


Herman Cain's 'Ode to Pizza'

Don't quit your day job.

Oh, that's right. He already did.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's been all downhill since...

Since FZ moved on.

Girl, you thought he was a man but...

The greatest?



Ah, Patty.

Patty. Yum, yum.

If only.



Made me move past Chicago's brass.


Home Rule austerity

Now that the voters of Luzerne County have gone and replaced their three red ink-stained commissioners with a home rule government, now the soon-to-be-departed commissioners are pitching cutbacks, layoffs and a quasi balanced budget.

Yes, with upwards of 18% of the operating budget devoted to debt service payments, with revenues shrinking and costs soaring, this budgetary cycle is no different than those that preceded it.

But, now that home rule is but days away from taking effect, now…now our commissioners are dead-set against more property tax increases, additional bond debt or the selling of county properties.

Nope. Now that the voters have given the commissioners an unceremonious heave-ho, now the commissioners have embraced sabotage as a form of fiscal responsibility.

Subterfuge, baby.

So the Feds are investigating City Vest’s mishandling of the $6 million the County had loaned to it.

$6 million was spent with little to show for it, the hulking Hotel Sterling is waiting on a wrecking ball and irate people are demanding answers. And while that’s all well and good and such, I expect that the grand jury will find no evidence of malfeasance.

Incompetence? Sure. Criminality? I doubt it.

Sure, I’ve heard all of the incessant rumblings on WILK…the rumors, the second-hand stories and the regurgitated suspicions. But here’s the scoop, you oft-enraged conspiracy theorists…

Try as you may, you cannot will the next round of corruption arrests and the like. There’s either corruption afoot, or there isn’t. And the tired attempts to create corruption out of thin air are starting to get very old.

Tear it down and move on to the next less than evidential right-to-know nugget.

Now that UGI has announced that natural gas rates will be reduced by 9%, do you suppose that the great majority of the anti-fracking noise will be muted?


No, he’s not a ‘tax and spend’ liberal. He’s a spend, spend and spend liberal.

What do you think of a guy who won’t post his name or his picture on his site, but he will post a picture of one of the mayor’s kids?

Time for some more horrendous hits on 'defenseless receivers.'


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Benzene? It can't happen here

From ProPublica.com…

Company Backs out of $45 Million Deal to Buy Troubled Wyoming Gas Field

A deal to sell a controversial central Wyoming natural gas field has fallen apart amidst allegations that drilling there has caused water pollution.
Texas-based Legacy Resources backed out of a $45 million deal to buy the field near Pavillion, Wyom., from EnCana last week, soon after the Environmental Protection Agency said it had detected cancer-causing benzene at 50 times the level safe for humans and other carcinogenic pollutants during its latest round of sampling.
The cancelled sale could signal difficulty for companies trying to turn over aging gas fields if there are environmental or health concerns related to their operations.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Scranton speech

So, President Soreto brought the fleet of jets, the fleet of vehicles, the mobile hospital and the division-strength compliment of Secret Service types in to Scranton and spoke to the adoring government employees and hard-core union wastes for a whopping 25 minutes. That's it?

Wow! What did that briefest of brief campaign stops cost the treasury?

Here's the text of his speech as I heard it on WILK...

People are hurting. And it's the fault of the GOP and the rich. I wanted to create jobs. But the GOP and the rich are blocking me. I want to cut your taxes. But the GOP and the rich won't let me. I can deliver you to utopia by tonight, but some people are not paying their fair share.

Okay, I was paraphrasing, but only a bit.

My favorite chortle came when he said, "We don't give up, we get back up!" to a roar from the crowd.

What I would say to him is, Barry, give it up so that America can climb back up.

With no record of achievement to run on, expect a steady of dose of the obfuscation and the class warfare until he's trounced next November.

What a pretender. What a charlatan.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Iran not backing down

Get ready, this is just the beginning of a much wider, much more encompassing conflict.

Iranian Students Storm British Embassy in Tehran

Student protesters loyal to the Iranian government stormed the British Embassy in Tehran and its residential compound on Tuesday, in a coordinated attack that underscored the volatile and unpredictable nature of Iran's politics both at home and abroad.
The raid, which Britain said caused significant damage to its property, was the most serious security breach of a diplomatic site in Iran since the takeover of the U.S. embassy in 1979.
Live television footage from Iran's state broadcaster showed angry mobs climbing on a wall of the British Embassy building in downtown Tehran and two young men attempting to break the lock on the iron gate of the compound. Demonstrators took down the Union Jack flag and raised Iran's, Iranian news media reported.

NEPA Blogs: Worth the ether they are printed on

First off, I finally relented by dumping dial-up in favor of the latest high-speed, 21 billion jigg-a-watt techno muckity muck.

Secondly, I went to PAHomePage.com (WBRE) and watched every available episode of NEPA Blogs’ “Blog of the Week”. And that’s when it occurred to me that, despite what some local radio talk show host might be saying to the contrary, we’ve got some pretty talented people occupying an electronic booth in the local blog scene. We really, really do.

Somehow, Gort, Michele and D.B. Harold have built NEPA Blogs into a weekly television show. A brief television show, but a television show nonetheless. Plus, there’s some sort of radio tie-in I know nothing about.

Speaking of Gort, he just snaps his magic fingers and politicians of practically every stripe are flying in to town to hang out at the BlogFest events.

He and The Yonk once made an appearance on WILK’s Sunday morning Pennsylvania affairs show (the name escapes me) with Rusty Steele. And they were once both regulars on WILK’s election day coverage until one of it’s self-important hosts decided that bloggers that were invited to appear needed to be berated and belittled on the air.

The Yonk stills makes occasional appearances on WILK, as well as appearing on Hazleton’s WYLN TV political shows.

Joe Valenti’s blog is mentioned every now and again on WILK, as well as in local print stories.

Fireman Dan proved beyond doubt that the Hotel Sterling is beyond repair.

Kayak Dude went toe-to-toe with our long-entrenched congressman over the debatable deflatable dam and defeated him. Nicest guy I know, but a motivated hard-ass when annoyed. Oh, and he proved that the quickest route from Point A to GasFest was a 14-mile meandering line.

Christ! Even a single-issue local blogger scored wall-to-wall television and print coverage by objecting to a manger.

If I’m forgetting someone, some movement or some event, please report to the back of the long line of mostly cowardly folks that want a piece of me.

Anyway, after repeatedly hearing on WILK that blogs are not worth the ether they are printed on, I see things quite differently. As in, it’s undeniable that we’ve got some talent out here in the vast electronic wastelands.


Gov Christie unloads on the do-nothing prez


The truth hurts, Barry.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Syria: Libya Part II?

While the U.S, Israel, France, England and other NATO countries are conducting joint air force maneuvers in advance of an attack on Iran's hardened nuclear facilities, there is another lingering fire about to be doused with gasoline.

Israel, Jordan and Turkey all have their forces on a state of very high alert because of some serious saber-rattling on the part of Syria. Israel has already forward-deployed some of it's armor. Syria has been systematically killing it's own citizens who want a change of direction for their country. Oh, and Syria, as well as Russia rightly suspects that the U.S., NATO and Turkey are contemplating an Arab Spring sequel to the Libyan intervention.

The Russians, Syria's biggest military ally, have anchored three warships off the coast of Libya as a show of support. In addition, Russia's one and only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov is currently in route to Syrian waters.

Within days, the super carrier USS George H.W. Bush, 5 guided missile destroyers and 3 guided missile cruisers will all be posted just outside Syria's territorial borders at sea.

Folks, this one is a very problematic powder keg.

Many Americans freaked over Dubya's nation building. But this Arab Spring meddling at Oblahblah's behest is going to backfire on us in the worst of ways, and for decades to come. Egypt is coming unglued after our meddling. Libya will quickly follow suit. And if we push this short-sighted meddling as foreign policy into Syria, we're going to have high-velocity ordnance flying in every which direction with Russian warships sitting right in the middle of the sh*tstorm.

President Barry Soreto does not know what the hell he's doing, and Vladimir Putin is not a man he should be playing brinkmanship with. Anyway, this fast-developing showdown should worry you.


Reminds me of the Eagles' season

Then again, it reminds me of the big, bad insurgency to topple Mayor Leighton.

LiveLeak.com - Escalator was not created for all!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

NFL factoid #1

Football factoid time...

The much-maligned, oft-mocked and always belittled Bible-thumping Denver Broncos' QB Tim Tebow now has more NFL wins under his belt than does that flailing "Dream Team" from Philthydumpia.

I love it.

Bye, Andy. Buh-bye.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Day 2004

Turns out, thanks to a heads-up from a family member, I do have a Thanksgiving scribbling to share (or re-share) with all of you unsuspecting victims.

From Wilkes-Barre Online, November 25, 2004:

Road trip!

My brother and I took a ride to Connecticut yesterday. Well, for the purposes of this exercise, let's identify him as being my step-brother. Us step-siblings have never used that "step" word. We grew up together and suffered through all sorts of struggles together, so we never thought of each other as "step" anything.

Anywhooey, my step-dad is getting on in years and can no longer handle his pick-up truck that he described as being "very, very high." He told my brother he'd sign it over to him for one dollar if we'd make the trip to Ansonia, where he now resides. So we loaded up the car, and we headed to Ansonia.

Step-dad, Leo, and my mom separated so many times, I could navigate the trip from Connecticut to Wilkes-Barre, or vice versa, around the time I was eight years-old. And that was before Route 84 was anywhere near being completed. My job was to get us from Thompson Street to Woodlawn Street, and point out the nifty landmarks of historical importance that had anything to do with our family way back when. It was a fun trip for the both of us.

It was a straight shot other than one bathroom/gasoline stop in Newburgh, New York. I stopped there on purpose so that Ray could take a gander at Stewart Air Force base. He was amazed. He had never seen a C-130 before, or a fighter jet screaming overhead, for that matter. We hit some miniatured "gas 'n' go" type mini-mart so popular in that neck of the woods. Ray pumped the gas, and I headed inside to visit the inattentive Pakistani f**k behind the counter. I quickly realized that TastyKakes were not on these shelves and grabbed two boxes of "Mike 'n' Ikes" for Gage Andrew. I approached the counter and it started. I remember this circle-jerk, foreigner bullspit all too well from my trucking days.

F**k: "You pay for gaz."
MC: "No, he's (pointing outside) paying for the gas."
F**k: "Gaz hass be paid."
MC: (Pointing again) "He's paying for the gas. I'm paying for the candy."
F**k: "Gaz. Who pay gaz?"
MC: "HE IS!"
F**k: "Gaz separit?"
MC: "Yeah. Gas separate. He's got the gas."
F**k: "He pay gaz?"
MC: "He's paying for the f**king gas, you f**king idiot!!! Do you see how f**king big he is? Do you want me to tell him you don't f**king trust him? Do you? You f**kin' f**k?"
F**k: "Tree dollah plez."

And with that, the guy waiting patiently behind me started laughing.

And the moral of this very brief story? Sometimes you just gotta go "Serpico" on these immigrant numbnuts. Sez me.

Ray paid for the gas and we bid numbnuts adieu. We motored across the Newburgh Bridge, and before you know it, we were being welcomed to Connecticut by a sign. I did notice that the weigh station at Danbury was closed. Where in the hell was that when I was truckin' through here every week? You'll never run across a more overzealous bunch that the Connecticut DOT. Whatever, man.

Traffic in the Danbury area was slowed to a crawl, but we eventually came across our exit and shot down Route 34 towards the old stomping grounds. With each passing mile, another near forgotten memory came eeking back into my mind from somewhere. We passed Zoar Beach, which was the site of my first ever serious injury requiring immediate medical attention. And we rolled past Indian Wells State Park on the opposite shore where my sister learned to swim one sunny afternoon circa 1968, or so.

This is a very weird story.

She was deathly afraid of large bodies of water, and no matter how they tried; Leo and my mom could not teach her to swim. At the time, this kinda twerked me off. I remember all too well when I first learned how to swim. Leo took me to the farthest point of the dock at Sandy Beach and tossed me into Harveys Lake. Swim or drown, boy! Step-dad's tend to go much easier on their "real" kids. Trust me on this.

So we were swimming and cooking out at Indian Wells some 35 years ago, and my sister would not even get her foot wet without carrying on like she had been repeatedly stabbed. Out of nowhere came this twenty-something guy, he somehow befriended her, and then took her in his arms and headed out into the river. Both Leo and my mom looked on intently, but they were not concerned in the least. Back in the sixties, pedophilia hadn't been invented just yet. It took the muscle-bound guy a couple of hours, but he stuck to it and had my sister swimming on her own. Her proud parents were more than appreciative and buried the guy in gooey verbal niceties. As dusk neared, we packed up the car, waved goodbye to the kind stranger and headed home.

Two days later, or thereabouts, I wandered into the house looking for a drink of water and found my mom crying while staring at a copy of the local newspaper, The Evening Sentinel. In a weird twist of fate, the kindest of strangers that finally taught Suzie to swim that day had drowned in those very same waters after we had gone home. That's not the kind of thing one ever forgets.

Finally, we arrived in downtown Derby. Ya'll remember going to a thriving downtown Wilkes-Barre with mom, or grandma, and so do I. But being that my boyhood years were split between two cities, I also remember what a bustling place downtown Derby was years ago. To say that it is a shell of it's former self would be giving it way too much credit. It's devastated. It's delapidated. It is beyond any possible repair. It's depressing. It's depressing to pass all of those crumbling buildings and remember all of the good times we had there so many years ago. Downtown Derby needs to be bulldozed, while the Home Depots and the Wal-Marts of the world have sprung up within spitting distance.

If you think downtown Wilkes-Barre has problems, you really need to see what has happened to Derby's downtown. Is anybody up for a road trip? I'll be your navigator. Well, for a nominal fee. Seriously. We didn't stop for pics, but to put things in perspective, consider the difference between a burned-out Yugo and a brand new Hummer. That's what we're talking about here. It's awful. And after seeing that wreckage, trust me, Wilkes-Barre's downtown offers much to build upon. We're in better shape than we knew.

I just had to drop by the old homestead and take a picture. While my mom was doing battle with Leo for years on end, we moved all over the place. But there was one adobe where we settled in for a few years, and during that relative time of tranquility, I was never happier as a boy. Whenever I harken back to my days at 124 Direnzio Heights, I remember how great that feeling of normality felt like. And it was good to know that Godzilla had spared the place after I escaped to Pennsylvania under the cover of darkness.

So we made this trip to Ansonia to pick up my brother's free truck. But the one thing Ray has learned over the years is that his dad is a bit goofy at times. I knew as much long before Ray was even born. And I've got the scars to prove it. Ray's biggest fear was that we'd drive all the way to Ansonia only to learn that the truck was in need of being crushed. And soon. His dad promised him that this truck was a keeper, but Ray had his doubts.

And as we pulled up in front of the senior high-rise where Leo now resides, we were confronted by a thoroughly beaten pick-up truck that looked as if Iraqi insurgents wouldn't waste an IED on it. It was a bondo-bomb for sure and it was leaning to one side.

Ray gave me that look that I know all too well that signals that someone was about to get hurt. And as always, when he is just about ready to explode and end someone's life, his neck begins to twitch. I reassured him. I told him that couldn't possibly be the truck Leo was talking about, and I crossed my fingers. If it was the truck in question, there was no doubt in my mind we were only minutes away from meeting most of the Ansonia police department.

Ray parked the car, we crossed the street and Leo appeared at the front door. I swallowed hard as I climbed the steps. As we neared the front door, Leo swung it open, pointed to a monster truck down the street a ways, and said, "What do you think?" Whew! No skirmishes with the cops on this monsoon of a day. Whew!

Turns out, the truck is a gem. A 1982 Ford F-250 with a four-barrel carburetor, and a newly rebuilt engine. It's got tires bigger than John Goodman, gigantic orange springs and metal steps leading up to the nosebleed seats in the cab. It's got a new cap, a Radio Shack CB and a narly car stereo. Leo had the keys in hand and gave us a quick tour. Ray looked as much relieved as he did happy.

 I, of course, was really happy for Ray, but equally happy for Leo. I didn't travel back to Connecticut (back in time if you will) just to live through yet another ugly family incident after all of these years had passed. Ray more than approved of the monster truck and we headed indoors for a bit of paperwork.

And believe it or not, Leo pissed me off as soon as we entered the building. We encountered a rowdy bunch of senior chickies and Leo set about introducing us to them. He referred to Ray as being his son, and he referred to me as his step-son. I really didn't understand the need to make that distinction at this late stage of the game.

Wouldn't it have been much cooler on his part to just refer to the both of us as being his sons? Nah, many years ago, he made it crystal clear to me by the way he treated me that I was not his son. I guess some people can't turn it off no matter how much they are mellowed out by the aging process. Always the idiot, bastard step-kid. No matter what.

The strange thing is, I lived with the guy for a decade, and his son never did. I was thirteen years-old when they finally divorced, and his son was a newborn baby. The closest thing he ever had to an actual son was me. Yet, he pretends that the son he never knew at all is his proudest accomplishment in life.

He never watched this kid open a single Christmas present. He never sang "Happy Birthday" to him. He never accompanied him to the emergency room when he scraped himself up. Early on, he contested the obvious fact that this kid was even his. This is my son? Spare me. A free truck doesn't make up for a kid having to grow up without a father.

Luckily, with the onslaught of old age comes the ability to bite one's normally flapping lips. They took care of their paperwork exchange and I spied the scene from afar. Right where Leo always made me feel I belonged.

It was abject stupidity on my part to even think that seeing the rapidly aging step-dad again would be neat. I don't know what I was thinking, but it doesn't matter in the least. I see this weary old man, the man that used to terrorize me and my mom, as a failed man. He wasn't there for his "real" two children much younger than me when they needed him the most, and now, years later, he tries to make things right by passing out a few goodies.

But way back when, forty years ago, he had the chance to do right by someone who called him "Dad," and he failed miserably.

We eventually said our goodbyes and we rolled that bitchin' monster truck all the way back to Pennsylvania.

And today just happens to be Thanksgiving '04. This is not a holiday I normally get too excited about. I don't eat turkey, and I could do with a little less Dallas Cowboys, thank you very much.

But I am feeling pretty good about myself this year after visiting the old homestead for the very last time. Wifey's got all sorts of tantalizing foodstuffs in and on top of the stove. She's got the pumpkin pies ready to roll. Cheesecake up the wazoo. And the makings of a lot of mixed drinks to boot. I've got wifey here at the adobe. I've got the kids on the way to the adobe. And I've got the grandkids on the way to the adobe.

And Leo?

He'll spend Thanksgiving alone with his Lucky Strikes.

He has no idea how bad he screwed up.

Have a good one.



Somebody objected to my brief recounting of the 1980 Thanksgiving day beating I inflicted upon my brother-in-law.

First of all, know that it was pretty savage. Real ugly. I had one knee on his chest, one knee on the turf and I was flailing away on his head. I had to be dragged off of him.

But also know that after what I went through as a kid, I saw myself as my equally orphaned little brother's one and only protector. And being 5' 11' when I blew out 14 candles certainly didn't work to temper my auto-hostility issues.

When Ray was small, if you messed with him in any way, you then had to deal with me. And after he grew to be abnormally large as well as physically gifted and then some, if you messed with me, you then had to deal with Ray.

I was not going to see history repeated on my troubled watch, and Ray grew to be loyal to a fault. I think that's what it used to mean to be brothers...having each other's backs no matter what.

These days, the two of us would likely be shipped off to the hoosegow for being so violently heterosexual, or some such convoluted metrosexual, new-age gibberish. So be it. Screw it. If you haven't noticed, the new, more progressive ways of doing things are rushing us to the proverbial precipice. And fast.

But back in the black-and-white day, if you wanted a piece of Ray, you had to deal with Mark. And if you wanted a piece of Mark, Ray came a stompin'.

And for any or all of that, neither of us would ever offer any apologies.


Video Flapdoodle

Wilkes-Barre, June 1972...

But wait! There's more.
Go to YouTube.com and search for "coalcrakers."

If you were kicking around Wilkes-Barre in those days, you'll be glad you did.


Ebon's first

Ebon's first ever attempt at an apple pie.

Not too shabby.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Feast Day

While I am not much of a meat-eater, I hope the lot of you enjoy your turkey and the associated commercial trimmings.

As for me, I have no profundities to offer about this holiday. Well, there was 1980, when I beat the hell out of my brother-in-law before the turkey was carved. Uh, I'll spare you the grotesque details, except to say that my knuckles were kind of sore the next day.

Anywho, all I have to offer today is a link to another site: Don't Be Frackin' Crazy, direct from the Stroudsburg area.

Enjoy the feast. I'll be glued to the NFL today.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

W-B Republicans: They huff and they puff and they get blown away

With the election done and gone, a few incendiary thoughts.

Now that the mayoral scrum in this city has been decided, it’s good to see that a certain county commissioner has stopped slinging accusatory arrows at Mayor Tom Leighton over the impending fate of the Hotel Sterling and has decided that the county should rightfully take the lead on the demolition funding.

So a hearty pat on the head goes out to the little fella.

As far as that supposedly hotly-contested mayoral race is concerned, is there an actual Republican party in this city? I mean, like, do they have semi regular meetings and funding sources and business cards and everything? Seriously, is there an official Wilkes-Barre Republican party apparatus in place?

Because I have to say, when you look at the ill-qualified and ill-prepared candidates that keep getting stoned year-in and year-out in this city, and when you see the threadbare campaign coffers and even the garishly painted homemade yard signs, it sure doesn’t seem as if there’s much of an organization.

And if there is an organization in place, what does it do other than firing off phalanxes of right-to-know requests?

And who’s responsible for the amateurish and ill-conceived “Take Back City Hall” cards that were distributed at the polling places on election day?

On the front side, just below the list of city Repugnicans seeking elected office it says, “Be sure to vote for all electing just one won’t get it done!” Or, vote a straight party ticket.

But on the flip slide, the condescension, the self-importance and the lecturing begins with “Its time to vote for the person not the party.” Nothing totally contradictory going on there. Nope. Pure genius.

So, you can’t even publish a stinkin’ poll card that makes sense, but you want me to put you and yours in charge? Fat chance, fathead.

Face it, you're no Renita.

Whoa! And those folks over at Betsy’s Vote4Betsy Facebook election page are of the unhinged variety. It's obvious that this area is woefully short on doctors specializing in shock therapy. Let me see….oh, yeah, try this from one of the asylum escapees...

As it was told on Moonbats4Betsy, the FBI assigned a field agent to take down Tom Leighton, but according to one of Betsy’s followers, Leighton “turned him.”

He turned him? What, did they drag him up to the DPW building and water-board the dude until he promised to vote a straight Democrat ticket? What are you going to do when the loonies get to creating their lunacy? Scream? Run like hell?

Oh, and this one is a classic direct from the guy who specializes in slander as well as illegal parking. According to this guy, our chief of police is having an affair with a heroin addict and is also protecting her drug house.

Here’s the cut, copy and paste, his words not mine:

“Show up at City Council Thursday (5:30-6pm). Some vey big news will be announced. If you care about corruption and institutional silence... then show your support.
On the docket: Aldulterous sex scandal with Dessoye and heroin addict and protection of drug house.”

Oh, baby! Andrew Staub will go all carpel tunnel on his note pad when this slanderous bomb drops in public!

Anyway, to the Repuglicans and Independents of Wilkes-Barre I say, y’all gotta do better than this. Because if this is all you got, you ain’t got nothin‘ at all.

Sez me, Markie…a registered Republican.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The changed faces of W-B City Council

Three newcomers.

District A: George Brown (new to council)

District B: Tony George (new to council, former chief of police)

District C: Maureen Lavelle (new to council)

District D: Bill Barrett

District E: Mike Merritt


Tom Leighton...56%

Unofficial numbers just in....

Tom Leighton...3,765

Lisa Cope...2,244

Betsy Summers...717

A majority, not the predicted plurality.

There's no reason to flee.


Voter #14 in Nord End

I voted at 7:11 AM. I was voter #14, which suggests a brisk early pace. There were more poll workers than usual, so I got nailed with a bevy of cards.

This one listed below brought on a welcome chortle.

Hate me if you must, but, collectively, this bunch couldn't operate a Slinkie without assistance.

I did it. I frickin' did it. I voted for a 29-year-old district attorney. Screw it. If she's over matched, dump her four years from now. But there was no way I was buying into Musto's well-worn pitch on WILK's Corbett show some nights back.

You know the tired spiel. When it came to Kids-for-Cash, nobody knew nothing, nobody saw nothing, no one suspected anything, no one said anything and not a soul wondered to themselves about anything being seriously amiss with our juvenile court lynchings. Nobody.

Really? Spare me.

Mayor? You know who I voted for, the only candidate who has already provided Wilkes-Barre some capable leadership.

Controller? Kathy Kane has the experience to hit the ground running.

District council? Mike Merritt is low-key, but engaged.

Ah, and Luzerne County Council? This is an eclectic crew, but the crew I picked.

Rick Morelli DEM
Kathy Dobash REP
Harry Haas REP
Ed Brominski DEM
Bible Buck American Independent Party (?)
Tim Mullen LIB
Mike Lacey LIB

That's it, a total of seven. But seven that would probably never settle into some newer version of a good-old-boy network.

Wilkes-Barre Area school mis-director? I voted for one candidate and one candidate only, John Quinn. I know his fiery faults, but I always liked the guy. Even if I did pull the wing nut out of his podium and watch him helplessly crash face-first to the floor in front of the entire class. Statute of limitations?

Luzerne County judges? I went chick, chick and chick: Gelb, Mirabito and Rogers.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Election Eve or: time for some coin flips

It's election day eve, and I still cannot get up to 11 people I would vote for to serve as our first ever Luzerne County Council.

Harry Haas is a must. Rick Morelli, having served on both the study commission and the transitional committee, seems to be a no-brainer. I will vote for Bible Buck simply because he'd drive everyone crazy with his penchant for quoting scripture.

Blessed are they who do not touch Markie or any of his stuff.

I will vote for Tim Mullen. Ed Brominski adds a unique perspective, being a former commissioner and all. Ill-prepare as she seems, Kathy Dobash also seems to mean well. But after that, I might be reduced to a series of flips of my Boy Scout "good deed" coin.

Since I reside in the Nord End, I can only vote for one city council type, a ridiculous setup. As a registered GOPer, I will vote for the Dem, Mike Merritt. Of the three mayoral candidates, only one of them has even an iota of a freaking clue--Tom Leighton. So, again, the nod goes to the Dem.

County judges? You got me, man. I've tried, but what do I really know about any of these people? I'll pick somebody, I suppose.

This DA thing has me confused. I told myself that I could not vote for a candidate who looks and sounds like a high school senior. But after hearing the sitting DA on WILK's Corbett show a few days ago, I told myself I could not vote for her either. Uh, when all else fails, vote against the incumbents in Corruption County.

That's all I've got for tonight, but check out this eye-opening post about how the role's have reversed in Wilkes-Barre's long-running newspaper war. I never thunk of it like that.

Right to Gripe: Setting the Record Straight


Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween uptick

Who said Halloween was dead, dying, decaying or starting to smell funny?
In 2009, Wifey reported less than 30 trick-or-treaters. Last year, she was pleased to report 41 visitors in search of goodies. This year, 51.

L to R: Avery, Jeremy & Zachary
These three goofs, brothers by the way, are my grandrodents. They reside here in Wilkes-Barre. They attend Wilkes-Barre Area schools. And they aimlessly wander Wilkes-Barre with their insane grandfather, i.e., me.

Even though they are unaware of such important matters, what they desperately need going forward is capable leadership from someone who knows what the, ahem, what the heck they are talking about.

Capable leadership? Knowledge? Well, I guess that leaves the warring parties, er , the two challengers to the incumbent mayor out of the mix.

Sez me.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday morning one-liners

1. The NFC Eastern division is home to 11 Super Bowl trophies, none of which are in Philthydumpia.

2. While a financially obliterated Scranton disappears into the ground a la Carrie White, WILK’s talk jocks continue to badmouth Wilkes-Barre at every opportunity.

3. Is Wilkes-Barre poised to lose it’s two-newspaper status? I sure hope not.

4. After reading and listening intently for months on end, I can’t come up with 11 county council candidates that seem worthy of a vote.

5. Big upset on election day? Try Maureen Lavelle for city council.

6. With societal decay being what it is---being surrounded by circus tent freaks, dope-infested welfare cheats and the invading, bedraggled hordes with the fake IDs---I find my long-suppressed auto-hostility issues creeping back into the mix.

7. Despite the valiant and somewhat fruitful efforts of my daughter Peace, I have finally accepted the fact that I will never meet my father.

8. To the apologists and bashers: Point a gun, any gun, at a police officer and you will be shot. Bummer.

9. No names, but what does it tell you when the vast, vast majority of a candidate’s yard signs are displayed on public properties?

10. We’re finally leaving Iraq? Good! Now let’s get our people the hell out of hell. Er, Afghanistan.


A cautionary tale

They keep playing this election ad on WILK in which one of the challengers to Wilkes-Barre’s mayor claims that we need to stop electing the same politicians who “created this mess.”

My initial thought? Honey, we did as much way back in November of 2003.

She also said some presumptive and insulting thing about voting for the person, not the party. As a registered republican, I will be voting for the democrat who steered us clear of the Sargasso Sea that is Act 47.

The following Scranton Times editorial is a must-read if you’re at all uncertain about where Wilkes-Barre was in 2003, and where it very easily could have gone.

Chris Kelly: Act 47 ruling rips map of recovery plan from city's hands

At the mayoral debate, one of the challengers was surprised to learn that the mayor of this city regularly interacts with the bond insurers and suchlike on Wall Street. Sadly, she said something vague about having the so-called “finance department” deal with that.

The other challenger has repeatedly promised to cut our taxes to the tune of $9 million in lost revenues. Imagine what Wilkes-Barre would be reduced to if our operating budget was slashed from some $35 million to $26 million. Or, rather than imagining, read that Scranton Times piece one more time.

We can hem and haw about the cost of a home security system, but we haven’t had to discuss Act 47, municipal bankruptcy, bond ratings or red ink since January of 2004 when firm financial stewardship came to Wilkes-Barre.

No elected official should go unchallenged on election day. And, as Wilkes-Barre residents, we'd have owed a debt of gratitude to both our republican challenger and our third party challenger if it were not for the FOIA smear campaign somehow passing as campaigning.

But with all due respect, it is this resident’s firm opinion that neither of them are even remotely qualified or knowledgeable enough to lead this city during these tumultuous financial times.


Friday, October 28, 2011

From the email inbox

How is my favorite termite inspector? I am asking for your help in getting the word out on this. HELP. Thanks.

NMA Pennsylvania Alert: Act Now to Stop Red-Light Camera Expansion

Dear Pennsylvania Member,
Red-light cameras may be coming to a city near you, now that the Pennsylvania Senate has approved SB595. The bill authorizes the spread of red-light cameras to 19 cities, including Pittsburgh, Scranton and Harrisburg.
The measure is moving quickly to the House, and we need swift action to stop it. One Pennsylvania member who's very active on this issue urges others to take the following steps:

Contact not only your House member, but the entire House membership to tell them their vote affects you directly.

If you can't speak to the member, ask for their chief of staff or legislative director.

Be patient and polite and voice your concerns to whomever will listen.

The National Motorists Association categorically opposes red-light cameras and other automated traffic enforcement systems. (Learn more about the NMA's arguments against red-light cameras here.)
Philadelphia is the only city in the state currently using red-light cameras. With your help we can keep it that way.
John Bowman

National Motorists Association

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WBPD: Luzerne County's finest

Yesterday, two Wilkes-Barre police officers as well as a Luzerne County sheriff's deputy faced what no law enforcement officer wants to face: having to brandish and then discharge a firearm. Yet, they saw their duty and they did it.

I know many of these people we take for granted on most days are former members of the military. And some were decorated members, or members of special forces units and the like.

While many in Wilkes-Barre may not perceive a gunfight to be of any special signifigance in this oft-troubling era dominated by societal decay and high-profile crimes, I see the sacrifice that is doing what some were once sworn to do, no matter how brief and potentially life-altering as it may have been as proof that some of us still believe in ideals, standards, mottos and a greater good.

On my honor...

Or dare I continue...For God and country.

Here, here!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sophists on the march

Another day, another laughable political stunt here in Wilkes-Barre…

From The Times Leader: Council candidate files complaints against mayor, former administrator

The excerpt: WILKES-BARRE - City council candidate Linda Urban filed private criminal complaints against city Mayor Tom Leighton and his former administrator, J.J. Murphy, regarding the installation of security systems at their homes in 2004.
The complaint against Leighton alleges he committed misappropriation of public funds by an elected official and the complaint against Murphy alleges he committed "theft and possibly larceny," Urban said today.
How about if we charge somebody for wasting the time of a district magistrate and a district attorney?

You know, if the half a dozen or so insurgents keep it up at this dizzying pace, it’s going to backfire on them. After screaming “corruption” for one hundred days on end, it’d sure be helpful to their flagging credibility if they actually had proof of some corruption.

During mayoral candidate Lisa Cope’s most recent appearance on WILK’s Corbett, she said, “…we’ve been working hard to expose the corruption, and we’ve proven it.”

Really? Uh, proven what exactly?

So what’s on tap for tomorrow? Wilkes-Barre activist claims Tom Leighton kicked his three-legged puppy? Probably.

What we have going on here is overkill gone overzealous gone full-blown overbearing. And the backlash is building while the majority of registered voters in this city realize that the two pretenders to the throne are simply unacceptable.

Food for thought: If galaxies were to collide and the nightmare scenario actually played out whereas the Crime Watch leaps from behind their drawn curtains and captures Wilkes-Barre by force, how in the hell does a police officer's wife negotiate a new police contract? No conflict of interest there. No cries of corruption with that.

I'd bet those who would be the sophist kings never thought of that.


Saturday, October 15, 2011



Somebody affiliated with the overzealous Wilkes-Barre insurgency had better take a break from stalking and smearing the locals and get after this interloping sumbitch in a big way...

Downtown Wilkes-Barre Becomes A Destination – Kings And Wilkes Play Large Roll

What??? The downtown??? We hate the downtown!!!

So say the folks who mistakenly think they can fix whatever it is that they nebulously claim they would fix in our neighborhoods without the income the recently revived downtown generates.

Downtown Wilkes-Barre? A destination? It doesn't fit the narrative written by those who would preside over the final destruction of Wilkes-Barre.

Hurry up! Somebody get after this guy for daring to point out facts. Somebody should smear him. Or sue him. Or ram him with a wrecker. Something!

Welcome to the big W-B, well-meaning blogger, where abject idiocy passes as the opposition. Where abject idiocy poses as the future.


Friday, October 14, 2011

All we need now is the bearded-lady

And they wondered aloud as to why I--the Wilkes-Barre resident who forgot more about how a city of this size operates and suchwhat than the current crop of insurgents will ever know--stopped attending council meetings. Why? I point to the following redundancy on parade...

Citizens' Voice: Circus atmosphere at W-B council meeting

Sorry and all, but the best clowns in this town come only once a year by train and then march themselves and their bevy of elephants up to the shiny arena on the asphalt-covered hill. Last I checked, this particular circus has been perpetrated upon Wilkes-Barre far too many times by the same old tired clowns.

Ah, but with the lazy local media enabling the greatest clown show on earth, the show will most certainly go on.

A talent-starved three-ring circus? That somehow passes as a campaign?



The orchestrated smear mushes on

 You know, it's one thing for the hapless dozen or so insurgents in Wilkes-Barre to defame an elected official over and over again, but it's a whole other legal thing when you start calling a now-private resident a liar in print.

From some obscure site called Wilkes-Barre Online--1-15-2008: J.J. Murphy interview

Go ahead. Meet Wilkes-Barre's newest election season villain.

Assuming for a moment that the alleged stalking or harassing was really going on when the home security system was installed at taxpayer expense, my first thought was that the system would be a legitimate need for a guy with a wife and a crew of small daughters who is prone to overseas military deployments.

Yep. "Must be me" file again. Apparently, I don't see eye-to-eye with the patients that escaped the padded rooms.

I know J.J. Murphy. J.J. is good people through-and-through. And anyone who tells you otherwise is not fit to serve in an elected office, nor are they even remotely believable when they wax not-so-poetically on any other subject.

Them's my thoughts.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another election, another...

Another nod goes to Fireman Dan on this link…

What we have going on is a rapidly approaching election neatly coinciding with the sudden emergence of yet another incendiary, inflammatory, name-calling blogger inane enough to mistakenly believe that a new blog with absolutely no following at all could alter the course of local history in a few short weeks.

The link: Wake Up Wilkes-Barre!

Seriously, this predictable malarkey plays out as if by rote with every turn of the election season calendar. Another election, another short-lived, fire-breathing blogger.


The big difference in this case is that the accusatory claptrap seriously devoid of any actual documentation is coming from one of the direct players in said election, from the campaign manager of one of the candidates.

And even though the site itself is more ill-conceived and ill-prepared than is the so-called candidacy of the author’s candidate, going forward, it’s even more ill-advised if said author ever hopes to be taken seriously as a local political player.

In reiteration, another election, another short-lived, fire-breathing blogger. What else is new?

If I actually tagged my posts, I’d tag this one as a soon-to-be “defunct blog” and “political graveyard.” Perhaps even a “political suicide.”

If what you really want is astute political analysis of the local variety, stick with the trusted mainstays such as Gort and Yonki. Oh, yeah, and myself when I have one of those rare moments of clarity.

Wake up W-B!!!

Yeah, whatever.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Next up: Utica Shale?

I have to tell you, after doing some necessary reading, I’m convinced that those gas-drilling rigs are here to stay.

Welcome to Pennsyltexas, kiddies!

From what I can discern, while Utica shale lies under the Marcellus shale and Black River shale lies even deeper yet, once the Marcellus deposits are tapped out, with the infrastructure already in place, the logical next step is to go after the more lucrative Utica shale. Right?

A couple of links:

New Gas Plays Hold Promise

Utica Shale - The Natural Gas Giant Below the Marcellus?

It might be time to get on down to LCCC and enroll in the Commercial Driver License courses.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Only in Wilkes-Barre

I read yesterday’s Times Leader blurb “Protest against mayor” with stunned bemusement, and then moved on to the real news. As I have been known to say to Wifey, only in Wilkes-Barre.

With no due respect to the ad-hoc gaggle of “protestors,” calls for the mayor to resign does not a mayoral campaign make. In fact, save for the calls to WILK’s Sue Henry, a couple of lot cleanups and the impromptu City Hall protests, the mayor’s two challengers seem intent on allowing the so-called scandals to bring the mayor down come election day.

It seems as if everybody and their red-headed step-sisters have submitted FOIA requests on every conceivable subject, but still, all they’ve unearthed is the old news that is the summer hires issue.

If you’re one of those who sees the mayor caught up in a swirling vortex of scandal, what would be your alternative: The candidate who claims to be too intimidated to wage a campaign, or the one who thinks we can do away with taxes?

I do not care what the coalition of self-aggrandizing “activists” may believe, if you vote against the demonstrated capable leadership, you will be voting for one of two wild cards who have yet to matriculate any semblance of a clear and concise understanding of the intricacies of managing a third class city. None.

Sez me.

This dust-up over the Coal Street project had me shaking my head again.

What will undoubtedly be the most amazing entrance to a city throughout all of northeast PA is somehow a bad thing in this city. The thing is, this town seems to be filled with disaffected malcontents.

No matter what projects have been proposed or constructed, they have brought nothing but moaning and caterwauling and outright anger.

What does that downtown theater draw? 600,000 visitors a year? Remember when the negative ninnies opined with abject certainty that it would be a profound failure? I do.

A splash pool? Oh, what a crime against humanity. The horror. The horror.

Ice rink? Won’t work.

New playgrounds? New basketball courts? Big deal.

A new neighborhood rising from the ashes of the Courtright Murray complex? So, so, so what!

752 additional parking spaces were added dead center in the middle of the downtown. Busses as well as taxis were eliminated from the Public Square. And somehow, there’s been nonstop grumbling about that, as evidenced by yesterday’s inept letter to the Leader’s editors.

Yet, throughout the entirety of my life I have been told that there was not enough available parking in downtown Wilkes-Barre. It must be me.

I’ve heard many a miscreant complain about the new riverfront amenities; there’s not enough this, they should have done that, blah, blah, freaking blah. I suppose those inaccessible weed-covered banks were preferable. Got me, man.

Now they’re grumbling about the proposed River Street makeover, by which we would no longer be taking our lives in our hands by trying to access said riverfront. Nope, they don’t like it and they don’t want it.

See, if the traffic is restricted and thereby slowed on River Street, drivers might actually be forced to drive at the posted speed limits while they text. And nobody wants that.

And the Coal street residents claiming they knew absolutely nothing of this gargantuan project right at their thresholds? That’s pure bullspit.

PENNDOT announces these meetings, see. And at these meetings they have charts and maps and graphs and artist’s renderings and engineers and so on and so forth. And by attending these meetings long before any ground is broken, residents can learn what is about to affect their lives and properties.

But if they’re too completely lazy, apathetic or stupid to attend these well-publicized meetings, then they are later reduced to bitching at their elected leaders when progress finally arrives by way of a bulldozer.

I’d go with lazy. With a sprinkling of stupidity.

Speaking of campaigns, has anyone seen anyone out campaigning? The election is less than a month away, and I am yet to meet anyone out pressing the flesh. I thought we had this historic county election afoot. Oh, and the insurgency in Wilkes-Barre.

So far, I’ve gotten a Leighton door hanger and a Ceppa business card stuck alongside my mailbox. That’s it.
Personally, I love mixing it up with those who would be kings. I’m not your average Wilkes-Barre voter. That is, I pay attention to a bit more than my commingling schedule.

Silly, ain’t I.