2-7-2004 60,000 pound killer icicle

Russia doesn't conduct negotiations with terrorists -- it destroys them.--Russian President, Vladimir Putin

Damn! That's pretty strong lauguage considering that it's coming from a world leader. Thank goodness that quote didn't pass through GW's lips. If it had, some mental incontinent would be calling for his impeachment. And the Green Party stoners would be organizing another Rent-a-Mob event to protest GW's next barbecue at his ranch. And protest his choice of pens. And protest the fact that GW still breathes. Don't sweat it. Vlad said it, and he's not even being chastised for having said it.

Wifey and I must be nuts. She's no Donna Reed and I'm no Ward Cleaver, but we did our parenting tours of duty and did them to the best of our abilities. We changed those diapers. We wiped those runny noses. We kissed those boo-boos. We encouraged our kids. We supported our kids. We smacked their asses when needed. I taught them hand-to-hand basics and kick-boxing when it was time to attend grade school. I taught them the effect their education could have on their earning potential. I took the boy to the emergency room every time he lost another finger, or toe. I went to their ball games. I rode bikes with them. I was their official quarterback and official pitcher for a dozen years. Wifey cleaned up after them for way too many years. I worked the overtime.

A couple of years back we realized that our tour was getting short and we fantasized about all of the free time we'd have on our hands when the kids ventured out on their own. The possibilities seemed limitless. There's the obvious stuff like getting naked whenever we wanted, but we pictured vacations and such. My big one was I would stuff all of my music into a beat up van and we would take off for weeks at a time. Where to? It didn't even matter. We could rock out at the Grand Canyon to Rock the Casbah.

But a funny thing happened along the way to our blissful middle years that were just about to arrive. The reinforcements arrived with little warning. The next wave. The 101st Airborne Kiddie Corps. So what are wifey and I doing these days on a typical Friday night? What else? Babysitting. It's getting so crowded these days, I'm worried that we might be accused of operating a day care facility without the necessary permits. The beat up van will just have to wait.

Gage, Mason, Taylor, & Zach

The folks pushing so hard for this gay marriage nonsense are starting to rub my last nerve raw. Originally, I objected to the entire concept of same-sex marriages, but if it had come to pass, it wouldn't have phased me in the least. Y'all do whatcha gotta do, and leave me the f**k alone. I don't care if it becomes legal to marry a warm cantaloupe, I just don't want to be bothered by it after it comes to pass.

The bilge that I find so annoying is this new and heavily repeated argument that a marriage in the traditional sense is nothing more than a legal contract. What that suggests to me is that the left of center folks hoping to one day find it legal to marry each other don't have the slightest clue what a marriage is in the first place. And it's obvious that they need to tear that institution down to one day share it. I keep hearing that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. I keep hearing about rampant marital infidelity. And I keep hearing that it's just a contract. In other words, the folks crying the loudest for the right to get married needed to tear down that institution to gain access to the club. And I am sick to death of seeing every possible traditional institution in this country being systematically torn down.

Being married means sharing both the good and bad. It means being there for each other. In most cases, in includes raising little toads. Being married provides a best friend, a lover, and someone to listen to all of one's bullspit. And if you're lucky, it means growing old together.

I read recently that the life expectancy of the average gay male in this country has risen...RISEN...as of late to 44.2 years. Should I not be annoyed by having my lifestyle, including my marriage, belittled by folks who's lifestyle, chosen or otherwise, leads to premature death in most cases? Wanna marry someone of the same sex? Sell the f**king program on it's own merits. Don't go busting on my program.

How about this from today's Voice story about Parente Randolph' decision to renew it's lease in downtown Wilkes-Barre for ten years?

Jeff Ferro, Principal in Charge of the firm's Wilkes-Barre office, believes that under future city leadership the downtown area will undergo dramatic changes, returning to the vibrant city center it once was.

"Downtown Wilkes-Barre has been a Mecca for business, cultural and social activity, and to give up on it would be foolish," Ferro said.

"Parente Randolph is firmly committed to the revitalization of the downtown area. The city is gifted to have so many positive characteristics, including two colleges, a centralized business district, a beautiful river front and a Center for the Performing Arts, among others."

I know this is very foreign to most of y'all, so I'll spell it out for you. That is good news. Get used to it.

The entirety of Park 'n' Lock Central will be open for business again on Monday. More good news. Isn't it interesting that one mayor allowed it to remain closed for seven months, while another has seen to it that it reopened only one month after taking office. With each feather that Tom Leighton sticks in his goofy-looking cap, he will only further amplify the complete ineptness of the guy he replaced. This is gonna be fun.

From the e-mail inbox:

*******Hi Mark, I am interested in making a five dollar donation each to private sector dude's two daughters, if you could let me know where to send the check and who I make it out to, I will mail it off tomorrow, Thanks a bunch and have a great weekend, SXXXXX*******

Hmmm. Private Sector Dude...please advise. Give me a buzz.

Gage Andrew and his cousin Mason took advantadge of the snow cover last night after the temperature fell a bit and the slop started solidifying somewhat.

Mason & Gage

I did my duty yesterday. I wandered over to the store for a Diet Coke and the storm sewers were buried under snow. Not only was the steady rain flooding the sidewalks, it was building up on Penn avenue as well. I grabbed a shovel, headed back over there, dug out those storm sewers, and the water went swooshing down the drain. Not exactly a random act of cleanliness. More like a random act of flood control.

I consulted with one of our hose dudes last night after I discovered that a 60,000 pound killer icicle was pulling all of our utility wires earthward. The masthead is ripped free. The electrial meter is pulled loose. And all of the braces holding the electrical line have popped open. In a nutshell, there's very little holding that icicle up there at this point. If you don't see me on line tommorrow, you can assume that the side of the adobe ripped loose and crashed into the lot.


Check this out. While the kids and I were outside and staring up at our killer icicle, our police department's DARE blazer drove up the street. It's unlike the great majority of our police vehicles. It's shiny and pretty and looks as if it could pass a legitimate inspection. I wouldn't have even noticed it except for the kid's having drawn my attention to it. Basically, they had never seen it before and thought it was a fire department vehicle at first. When I told them it was a copper dude machine, they assumed it was new. Nah, not new. Just wasting away at our high schools while our patrol dudes did more with less.

I'm in a really screwey mood tonight. Somehow, I feel like some Toto.

Go ahead, laugh.