12-24-2003 Merry Christmas, heyna?

Well, this is it. Gage Andrew is currently taking a nap, but he knows tonight is the big night. Due to his always increasing workload, Santa was forced to deliver our gifts early this year and we'll be opening them tonight. Christmas with a two and a half year-old boy. I haven't done this in quite some time and it's sure to be a swell time for all. Wifey is blasting her Time-Life four disc set, The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas. Trust me on this, if you do not own this collection, you are missing out on the greatest compilation of Christmas music ever assembled. Trust me. Buy it. The oven is filled with all sorts of food and we're waiting for a few stragglers before getting on with things here at the adobe.

For me, this Christmas is also special because it marks the passage of the dark era for Wilkes-Barre and it's residents. We all know the deal. This city has been going backwards for eight years and there's no need to keep verbally beating on the handfull of folks responsible for it's near demise. In a few short days, they will no longer be in charge of anything in this city. As a matter of fact, very soon after Christmas 2003 is but a recent memory, Tom Leighton will be announcing who he has chosen to assist him in bringing some normalcy back to this troubled place. That also means that some folks are about to lose their jobs, but if they have any conscience at all, they should completely understand why.

Some of you have advised me to scale-back my full support of Tom Leighton just in case he falls on his face. I have to tell you that I never wavered in my belief that he is the right man at the right time to lead this city back from the brink. I know full well that we're likely to suffer some more bad news before good news becomes a regular occurence in this city, but I ask you to remain patient, get involved in some small way, and start telling folks that we're on our back. Just in case you're still skeptical, Wilkes-Barre is poised and ready for the big comeback. Deal with it. I do realize that we've collectively become accustomed to nothing but bad news and painful embarrassment, but in the coming months we're going to have to adapt to accepting good news. Included in Tom Leighton's 2004 budget will be enough funding to hire four full-time counselors who will be standing at the ready and willing to help us learn how to deal with good news. It's going to be touch-and-go there for awhile, but I'm confident that the residents of this city will in time learn how to feel good about their city again.

Sorry, man. This internet fool finds himself gorged with optimism right about now and I am looking forward to what awaits us in 2004. Let's get it on!

Scott and I did some last minute shopping at Boscov's and I couldn't help chuckling at the thought of frustrated shoppers bordering on rage near those big boxes up on the hill. Save your freaking pennies if you must, I still prefer the ease of use that Boscov's provides us with. If we want businesses to locate in Wilkes-Barre and stay for any length of time, we need to support them. Please try to remember that when those empty storefronts start slowly filling up next year. It's a fairly easy program to follow. If you live in Wilkes-Barre, then shop in Wilkes-Barre.

Hey, I even did a good thing being that it's Christmas Eve and all. While trying to enjoy a smoke in front of what used to be our Wendy's, some guy started badgering me about trying his product. I don't know what the muck he was selling, but he was wandering about with a zipper bag filled with tiny bottles. Apparently, he didn't understand what "I'm not interested" meant and he kept hounding me. Although, he did fully understand what "I'm not f**king interested" delivered in a much sterner tone meant. Believe it or not, he then started yelling at me with "It wouldn't hurt you to support a f**king brother." At that point, I had one hand on my baton and my gaze was directed solely on him. Finally, he had my full attention. Luckily for him, my legendary temper is not what it once was, and I would prefer to not share with you what I said to him next. He wandered away towards the next unsuspecting victim and Scott and I then discussed how much saner I have become during my twilight years.

Me do good. It's Christmas and I did not toss that fool bleeding into the street just as an LCTA bus was zooming by. Merry Christmas from what little that remains of downtown Wilkes-Barre.

He's ready to rip

I was sitting here this morning, minding my business and reading about all of the folks that feel the need to detonate explosives hidden in their jock straps and all of a sudden my name comes shooting out of my imported AM radio. How in the muck did that happen? Sue Henry was talking about the state's contest to find a new state motto and I was enjoying listening to the entries. Pennsylvania: Where Buick meets Bambi. Not too shabby, heyna? I could do this. How about Pennsylvania: It beats jamming your penis into a bald-faced hornet's nest. No? Okay, how about Pennsylvania: Somebody has to be ranked 50th. Well? No? Ah, to heck with all of you's. Anyway, some boob called WILK and proposed Pennsylvania: The home of Wilkes-Barre Online. My daughter, Peace, just about fell on the floor with that one.

Then, Sue Henry has to go and make matters worse by saying nice things about me. I sorely miss the days when practically everyone hated me. That was a fun time. My daily e-mail was an adventure for sure. I think I screwed-up by putting my picture on the site and mentioning that I was gainfully employed. Once I did that, the daily, speculative insults about my appearance and my lack of employment dried-up almost overnight. I miss that. What better way to start the day than by reading insults from people that supported the biggest loser ever to manage this town? Even if I was bald, over-weight, ignorant, unemployed, bitter, and ravaged by a rare anal disease, at least I'd still be proud enough to state that I wasn't stupid enough to put a "McGroarty for Mayor" sign anywhere near my sorry ass. But I digress...as per usual.

Sue went on to call me "The Johnathon Swift of NEPA," which puts me at a huge disadvantadge. Wasn't he a serial rapist or something? Didn't he travel from one end to the other of some golf course known as Little Putts and have at it real nasty like? This isn't fair. I went to Coughlin. How the hell am I supposed to know who Johnathon Swift is? At Coughlin, we were taught all of the important things like where the capitol of India is and how many people live in China and how to conjugate verbs in Francais. Johnathon Swift? Those could be fighting words for all I know. Sorry, but my Poetry, Folk and Rock class never got around to literary classics. Nope. My taxpayer funded, federally mandated public education was more concerned with exploring David Bowie's "The Width of a Circle." That's a true story that I'll save for another day. When Mick Ronson is wailing away on his Les Paul and that passes as being schooled, is it any wonder that the decline of America is well underway? Did I just digress again? What else is new?

Wait! It gets worse. Then the same boob that called Sue sent me this e-mail attachment.

Worse yet, he sent it to Sue and Wilkes-Barre Online was mentioned once again on WILK. Argh!!!!

Dearest Sue, please know that I was not involved in any way. I do not stoop to shameless self-promotion. I type things and take pictures. And if anyone finds those things amusing, so be it. SNAKE did this all on his own. SNAKE is SNAKE and he's crazier than I am. Well...I did pass that attachment along to the governor's office. Whatever.

Love ya' Sue. Keep it coming.

Is there a nicer person in all of NEPA? I doubt it.

From the e-mail inbox. LOFL

*******Is it too much to ask? TAKE MY NEWSPAPERS, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is it not enough that the gutters are lined with gunk, telephone books still lay at the curbs, garbage is not picked up on time? Either take the recycling or discontinue the program!! I put the recycling out, I take the recycling back, I put it out, take it back. In addition, in true form of "daring to care", we are cleaning up the newspapers which are blowing around our neighborhood. Enough is Enough!!!

ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS................... OUR NEWSPAPERS PICKED UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!********

Crack me up why dontcha?

The apples don't fall too far from the tree. That's what they tell us.

Kennedys and Ramones. The perfect Xmas

Gage's new Ramone's shirt was given to him for Christmas by a Wilkes-Barre Police Officer. To be completely honest, I'm getting very tired of having to protect the identities of the people that are employed by the city that also happen to interact with me. It's really getting old. Why should a guy who protected his country by serving in the military, protected the residents of his city by wearing the badge and carrying the guns, and being injured while on-duty and spending one of his most recent Christmas' undergoing surgery be afraid to be associated with me in any way? Why? It pains me to continue playing this game when what I should be doing is telling you about one of the most outstanding people living among us.

Are our cops really just a bunch of slugs that eat donuts all day and don't really give a hoot about the city? Not on your life! The great majority of them are folks that want the same things that we want. A clean, quiet and safe city. And a few of them enjoy muscle cars, the Ramones and spending some significant time with their toddlers. The folks that are so often demonized on the SAYSO pages are the folks that deserve it the least. That much I'm sure of after having met so many of them. Ready? Whatever!

How many more days until the sun shines on this city again? How many more days until I can post the pictures of toddlers, who's fathers don't support the current mayor? Is the insanity really about to end?

Can Gage Andrew and A.J. pose for pictures at the local playground in the near future without getting anyone employed by the city in deep, deep trouble? Methinks so, and I'm looking forward to one day being able to tell you who I was talking to without having to do XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX to them.

Gage Andrew and A.J.

Stay tuned.