12-27-2003 Bike About


They (Americans) should prepare...their coffins, hospitals and graves. The coming days will be full of surprises and great events which will make them a historic example. Osama bin Laden has vowed to launch a back-breaking attack on the US by February.--Some al Queada crazy as quoted by al-Majalla, a London-based Arab magazine.

Somebody had better call the United Nations and seek their permission to defend ourselves.

"Instead of being a sensitive, sensible ex-mayor, he wants to go out on a sour note. But I'm not surprised, it's pure and simple politics."--Kathy Kane reacting to the Diamond Drop cancellation in today's Voice.

Go out on a sour note? And so he shall. His decision to deep-six the event does smack of his being childish. Council okayed the overtime for it and then he turns around and cancels it. You've all seen the gross amounts of overtime the DPW guys have earned after being listed in the Leader. Our McFearless leader never seemed concerned about controlling the amount of overtime hours before. But now, now, in his very last week as the consumate God, now he wants to limit overtime? Whatever. The f**king usual coming out of Wilkes-Barre: Needless silliness. What are we looking at carrying over into 2004? Wasn't it $6.3 million in red ink barring any further surprises? How much does the Diamond Drop cost us to stage anyway? $2,500? $5,000? It's not as if saving that chump change is going to have any affect on next week's recond breaking Tax Anticipation Note. Again, whatever. The "Doing less with more red ink" tour has just about run it's painful course.

I read that SAYSO today about possibly facing 2004 without a city calendar and my thought was "Who gives a flying farg?" When John Bergold was in charge of the recycling program, the city was recognized by the state as having an exemplary program in place. Then he moved on. I don't deal with the garbage or the recycling. Wifey takes care of that sh*t. I can't help wondering just what the heck happened since Bergold moved on? The curbside program seems to have grown since and it seems as if the more it grew, the harder it became to make it all happen on time and at a resonable cost. Maybe it needs to be scaled back some.

At one time, I understood the program. Recyclables on Monday and garbage on Tuesday. You shouldn't need a calendar to follow that program. Then newspapers were added to the schedule. And cardboard. And phone books. And yard waste. And our so-called clutter. And then the city scheduled hazardous household waste drop-off dates. The city was now collecting paint, motor oil, paint thinners, insecticides, flammable produts, and other household chemicals. I'm surprised that latex condom pick-ups were never added to the schedule, for Christ's sake. So, then we needed a calendar to keep track of all of this nonsense, despite the fact that the numerous pick-ups were advertised in the newspapers practically seven days a week.

Our soon to be ex-mayor kept telling us this was a win-win situation and that all of this was somehow saving the city money, but for the life of me-I don't see how. The city can do whatever it wants to, but in 2004 this adobe will be adopting it's own schedule. Recycables on Monday and everything else is going into a blue bag on Tuesday. F**k all y'all. This curbside orgy is a bunch of nonsense already. Newspapers? Into the blue bag. Yard waste? Which was never before picked-up since man first crawled from the muck-into the blue bag. Print one less calender this year. We won't be needing one. What a bunch of rubbish!

This is an adobe in transition. Two of the three kids have moved out. One bedroom became Gage's weekend bedroom. All of my numerous toys are going to be positioned in one room and one room only. My son needs to move the remainder of his stuff from the basement and the Wilkes-Barre Raceway, a state-of-the-art H.O. car race track will begin operations. We'll have G-Plus, AFX, and ThunderJet categories, so replace those old brushes, scuff-up those slicks and oil those armatures. The King of H.O. car racing awaits you. And don't be stupid, I'll be checking for extra armature windings.

Any-farging-way, to create my playroom, we need to lose a living room set. Peace wanted it for her basement den, but changed her mind due to Gage's always growing piles of toys. Marque went and bought a new living room set at Boscov's for his pad. The set we want to lose contains a large couch, a chair, a rocker, two end tables and a coffee table. They are colonial styled, built to last and in really excellent shape. If anyone is interested, please contact me. I'd hate to have to offer it to Salvation Army and then wonder forever which drug house it ended up in.


From the e-mail inbox:

********Mark,

I must disagree with you on the Diamond drop. It was a boon for the city albeit on one night of the year. It got a lot of people out and downtown -together- residents, college kids, folks from outside the city. I know of no one other that you that didn't like it. In fact I know people from Miami who were here last year and loved it. Its a great night out and kinda fun too. I actually think that McScrooge canceled it because it's his way of getting back at us all for being fired.

But hey its my opinion.********

The Diamond Drop would not be my cup of tea no matter who the mayor happened to be. With that said, if folks really like it, I hope it's resurrected next year. I hope it is, provided that the city ends fiscal year 2004 in the black. It became apparent to me just about four years ago that the city was in trouble. It became even more apparent soon after that that we were spending money we didn't have, despite what Mayor McSmokeScreen was saying all along. With things being what they were, there's no way I'd ever hoot and hollar at midnight with any mayor that was basically screwing us over.

If Tom Leighton had Hip Hop acts on the Square every Saturday night that drew huge crowds, I'd skip them too. But if the city could afford to do so, you'd never hear me bitch about crowds assembling in the city's downtown. I might have to show up now and again and comment afterwards about their lack of talent though. The Mayor's Diamond Drops may have been nifty and all, but he didn't have the money to pay for them and in my mind, that made them into a joke. Then again, his misadventures reduced the city to being the recipient of a stream of unending jokes.

I've spent the last few years bicycling past the eyesores, the Steam Heat nightmare, the Sterling, the rotting trains, the broken glass, the pot holes, the wires protruding from the sidewalks and the petrified muck in our gutters. Long before I ever built any web sites, I started looking at the condition of my city and feeling nothing but disgust and disdain for the all-knowing one was that presiding over it's rather quick and disturbing decline. I found his New Year's shindig a bit galling when we didn't have enough cops or working street lights to guarantee our safety on any other of the 364 nights of the year. Oh, but on New Year's Eve, mayor McTom did a great job? To hell with that bullspit!

If the city can finally balance it's books again, then by all means drop the diamond. If the city can take care of business 365 days a year, please raise some hell on the Square next year at this time. I'm not a killjoy. And I think the money that was spent on events such as Diamond Drops could have been money well spent, providing that we actually had that money in the first place. Whatever, heyna? We're all entitled to our opinions and we should be free to express them no matter what Hitlery Clintonista thinks. I can tell you this. You won't catch me partying with any mayor unless they are a proven, successful mayor. Therein lies a major hint as to why the Diamond Drops have remained anathema to this cat.

If 2004 turns into the morale boost that I think it's going to be, maybe I'll see ya' at the Diamond Drop next year. That is, providing there's no Hip Hop music within earshot. I'm calling SAYSO tomorrow.

Why doesn't that Tom Leighton take a 50% pay cut and get Cheap Trick to appear at the Diamond Drops?


The weather today was perfect for a Bike About. I didn't even need to wear any winter gear either. I wandered through the downtown, most of South Wilkes-Barre and turned around at the new Carey Avenue bridge. There's more evidence that our curbside programs are spinning out of control. We pick-up the yard waste and then store it indefinately in a pristine neighborhood.

More garbage

I'm getting used to seeing this nonsense on our streets, but that doesn't mean I'm not still angered by it. Carey ave. looks like sh*t.

More garbage


Some unfortunate guy committed suicide in our downtown sometime last night or this morning. What a sad thing to have occur during the brief holiday season. We really do forget how good we have it. What a bummer.

This pic taken on Gildersleeve st. says all that needs to be said.

Lemme guess. That's council's fault?

Another reason the city looks like dung is the abundance of idiots that think nothing of throwing their garbage anywhere they wish to. Beer bottles here. Clothes there. Food wrappers over there. If caught littering to this degree, the cops should be allowed to stuff these clowns into the back of a cruiser, drive them to Picture Rocks and throw them out on the side of a deserted road somewhere. Ever wonder what happened to Crazy Kevin? Now you know. Oh, and they should kick them a few times. And confiscate their generic cigarettes too.

More garbage

So, this is it. The staffing decisions for the city's next administration have been made and the letters are in the mail. This ought to be interesting and it's just the beginning. Some tough decisions will need to be made and very soon. There are plenty of rumors swirling right now as layoffs, cutbacks, and concessions have been mentioned. No matter what happens, we need to remember why some of those things might be necessary. They might actually be necessary to correct the series of gross financial mistakes made by the out-going administration. The coming weeks are probably going to be upsetting for some employed by the city. It's a damn shame that things have gotten to this point. This is where some good people might end up getting hurt and that sucks that anyone might have to pay the price for someone else's complete ineptitude.

There's one guy in particular that ought to lay very, very low after January 5th. I think he knows it too.

We shall see.

CYA