Opinions need not be feared nor suppressed.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Intemperate thoughts

My new toy.

No, a copy, not a real Fender Strat. Although, I do have the real deal lying around here somewhere.

Many thanks to our lovely model, Boyzilla.

Meet my new pet...Normie the Beetle.

If we taxed women a plug nickel every time they posted pictures of their stupid cats on social media outlets, we would have no national debt, a zircon-encrusted stairway to heaven and a dozen or so thriving cities all across the face of Mars.

Face it, insects are cool. And save for when air rifles are a part of the equation, cats just flat out suck.

So, Barry Oblahblah...let's get that goll-danged cat photo tax enacted like pronto.

There ought to be a city ordinance banning these freak shows, these estate sales. Truck it to an auction house. Or truck it to the landfill. But don't invite every resident of Incest Creek not on death row to my front door.

For an entire day, an entire street is held hostage while the trailer park escapees come by the millions in search of trinkets priced at 75 cents and less.

According to the newspaper, the sale was to begin at 9 o'clock in the morning. Yet, an hour and a half before that published time, I had creepy crawlers in my driveway straining to peek inside of windows.

Being kind of, sort of grown up at my advanced age, I resisted the burning urge to stomp on out there and go all sh*tstorm on them. These days, intense death stares are still legal near as I can tell.


Anyways, that's all I got.


Buck it!

This is what happens when experienced paddlers assist a kayaker who unexpectedly went for a dip.

Get the paddler to shore. Stabilize and then right the boat. And then pump the water out of said boat.

But when the experienced paddler abandons the novice paddlers, then they lose their car keys and cell phones.

Buck the fu>k up.


RiverFest Outtakes

Keep firing.

There's a keeper in there somewhere.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sums up my mood



Bummed or: Profit Makes Perfect?

They canned my boss earlier today.

They, being the mid-level corporate types who are most likely equally caught between a rock and a hard corporate profits place. They said his position was being "eliminated."


Thanks to the inept, er, the incompetent “stewardship” of the U.S. economy for almost five long years now, this is Amerika: doing more with less. And then still less and less and less.

The thing that has me bummed is that this now former boss of mine hired me fresh out of Percy A. Brown & Co.: Foods of Distinction, when I was a sullen and mean-spirited teenager who could cook like none others his age, but who needed to be shaped and molded and reminded and twisted so as to not end up on skid row or even worse.

Basically, he took a cocky, foul-mouthed, overly aggressive, long-haired borderline thug who could cook as if nitro-boosted and taught him not only how to make nice with other human beings, but how to impersonate one and better yet…how to get away with it.

Spanning more than three decades and two successful careers, I have spent more time with him than I spent with either of my grandparents, my mother, and, obviously, than with my father. And just few years shy of the time I had with my little brother.

He taught me that people could and still do communicate without F-bombs comprising the great majority of a single sentence. He taught me that fists were not really the ultimate solution to every vexing problem. And he, along with his then management protégé, taught me over some time that being somewhat “polished” was not unmanly.

So, in lieu of some adult-like parlance, the following goes out to him…

Piss…Sh*t…Corruption…Snot…Fourteen assh*les tied in a knot!


And, no, once again, I could not have handled it differently. The cops scraped him up off of the tarmac, stuck him in an ambulance and followed him to the emergency room.

 Who knew what the Sunday Independent would have to say about it?

Me? I lost another dress shirt, a jigger of blood and a K-Mart tie.

Long may you run, dude.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lindsay coming to WNEP?

If WNEP refuses to hire Lindsay Nadrich, I'm gonna make off with Joe Snedeker's road bike.

And if there's anyone qualified enough to kidnap a bicycle in NEPA, I'm it.

WARNING: Mother Superior would not approve of the content of this video.


Monday, June 24, 2013

R-Fest pics

From the trusty Kodak...

Got lots more.


2013 Wyoming Valley RiverFest

As far as kayaking is concerned, I’ll admit to being somewhat pampered.
That is to say, while I can keep pace with most anyone I’ve shared the Susquehanna river with, I have yet to paddle in anything smaller than Iowa-class boats---WWII-era battleships---which displace 46,000 tons of water and could move at 30 knots before becoming floating museum pieces.

Learning curve...Iowa-class dreadnaughts: Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin & New Jersey.

Steady as she goes? Yep. And plenty stable two. No surprise swims for Markie. Markie likes stable.

The point being, the U.S.S. Dude, our usual choice of boats for this annual event was replaced this year by the even larger U.S.S. Lego (nod to Mrs. Kayak Dude)…a boat comprised of sections that can be easily assembled and disassembled in the field, and can haul anywhere from two people to 100 people. Nope, no foolin’. A 100-man kayak. Those dragon boats have got nothing on us, just you wait and see.

We---Kayak Dude, Zach and I---put in at the Apple Tree launch up Harding/Falls way and paddled to the festival at Nesbitt Park in Wilkes-Barre. Zach, all of 9-years old, is a six-time RiverFest veteran. I have earned 10 service bars and Don can top that. While we’ve pretty much seen it all, it’s still a unique adventure every year being that the river level varies each and every year. Seriously, it’s not the same trip every time out.

While the number of participants seemed to be about the same as in past years, this year’s group had to be the slowest paddlers I have run across while on the river. Despite the annoyingly steady headwind, and despite the fact that I was clearly sporting a work-related shoulder bruise that caused me moderate discomfort while paddling, we passed much of this grouping as if they were stuck in the muck that most non-paddlers believe the river to be. Perhaps that headwind bothered them more than it annoyed us.

Far from being a tree hugger, every year I pass the junction with the acid-mine drainage-laden Lackawanna River, and every year I pass the Butler Mine Tunnel spewing only Allah knows what chemical cocktail, and every year I studiously spy that gargantuan combined sewage outflow behind Cooper’s Seafood at Pittston, and every year I wonder why we have to waste our revenues on godforsaken places like Syria and Afghanistan and Iraq and Timbuk-frickin-tu…meanwhile, we cannot find the monies necessary to exclude the pollutants from our own waterways and thereby enhance our own quality of life. Every year I paddle this stretch, and every year the D.C. folks (holding my nose) that once begged for a vote and won an election sicken me to no end.

We can give aid to obvious Jihadists in Syria, but we cannot clean our own river. Not even…wait for it…not even…“for the children.“ I cannot and will not feature that.

They told us what we needed was a $14 million dam. They told us what we needed was a $24 million
riverfront amenity. They told us there would be untold numbers of tourists and unimaginable development and previously unheard of numbers of jobs created. Turns out, all that we needed all along was those damaging pollutants eliminated from our local waterway.

If you dam it, they will come? If you put lipstick on it, they will come? Incorrect! If you clean it, they will come!

So, when some smooth-talking politician-in-the-making flashes those obligatory pearly whites, firmly shakes your hand, kisses the closest baby and then launches into the next pie-in-the-sky promise of pork whereas the Susquehanna is concerned, tell them to get their head out of the combined sewage outflow.

Tell them we want our river restored to what it once was: a clean, vibrant and free-flowing jewel.

No more acid mine drainage. No more Butler Mine tunnels. No more combined sewage outflows. No more asphalt replacing virgin forests. And no more Anthracite Era II…no more hydro fracturing of the water tables below us. In short, no more.

It’s simple. And I sooo like simplicity.

If you clean it, the tourists and the development and the jobs are likely to follow. But most importantly, the-then life-sustaining river would become a beehive of recreating for all who call this backwards county home.

End quasi tree-hugger rant.

Don, as always, thanks for having us. ‘Til next we set out for Dinosaur Island.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Letter from my father

I finally realized why my scanner/copier was being a pain...the USB cord was mangled.

Anyway, I went and bought me a new one. And as I had promised my daughter Peace down south there a ways, I am publishing the letter my father sent to me back in March.

In case you missed it, I was separated from my father when I was three-years-old. The last time I laid eyes on him was in a Florida courthouse in April of 1961. He was in handcuffs and my mother was in tears. After we flew to Wilkes-Barre to live at my grandmother's house on Madison Street, I never saw him again, never heard from him again and never, ever had a clue about what had become of him.

But thanks to Google alerts I had set-up and a few phone calls to Alsea, Oregon, I know his whereabouts, swapped an email or two with his partner, and then the following letter appeared in our snail mailbox. Holding it in my hand was kind of surreal. After fifty years of wondering, it was as if a ghost had come out of the shadows.

In a bit of irony, even though he had no part in my upbringing after that courthouse exchange, he helped to shape me as I swore I would never abandon any offspring I managed to help in creating. And thanks to the evil step-fathers, I never took an interest in beating the tar out of said kids.

A local reporter approached me about turning this overdue get-together into a Father's Day newspaper story, but he never got back to me after that initial conversation. Oh well.

Anywho, Peace, you put more work into finding him than even I did, so, enjoy.

Page 1:

More later.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Edward Snowden

"It'll be turn-key tyranny."

Dubya's got nothing on Barry whereas trampling on freedom and privacy while supposedly providing security is concerned.

The "architecture of oppression."


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Luckiest Generation?

I've got plenty of cool scars, but somehow I made it!


Friday, June 7, 2013

2 weeks 'til RiverFest 2013

2013 Wyoming Valley River Fest @ Wilkes-Barre: June 21, 22 & 23.

RiverFest 2012: Courtesy of WNEP

Rent a boat…

Endless Mountain Outfitters

Kayak The River

Park at Nesbitt Park, jump on the shuttle bus to the boat launch and join us.

Oh, and expect to meet a few, uh, a few “characters.”


Thursday, June 6, 2013

69 years

The following is a no-sh*t dramatization...

Thank your lucky stars that the accident of your birth would come many years later.