2-11-2004 Who could of thunk it?

I know something about aircraft carriers for real.--John Kerry

I never understood why that quip didn't have the press asking for a bit of clarification. The guy served bravely in Vietnam, and had many a tracer round whiz past his head, but he was a river rat. He served on a PT boat. The very last time I checked, PT boats didn't have tailhooks. So, what is it exactly that he knows about aircraft carriers that Dubya, a former F-4 pilot wouldn't know? And who was it that recently landed an A-6 on the deck of a carrier?

I also do not understand how being in the Texas Air National Guard is now being equated with draft-dodging. Training accidents with fixed-wing aircraft and helos is a semi-regular occurance in the military, so how could piloting an F-4 Phantom, the heaviest fighter aircraft ever built, somehow be considered a less than dangerous endeavor? When a fighter that heavy suffers a serious malfunction, the pilot is in a bit of a pickle faster then you can say "Hanoi Jane." To suggest that anyone who ever climbed into the cockpit of an F-4 somehow didn't serve his country is at it's best foolhardy. And a PT boat skipper that thinks he's an expert on aircraft carriers is equally foolhardy.

I guess the press didn't find his carrier quip to be as perplexing as I did. Or they simply ignored it. That couldn't be. That would suggest that a bias exists.

It must be fairly easy to turn a profit in the cable television business. I was surprised to learn that MTV Networks has begun stepping up the planning for Outlet, a 24-hour network aimed at gays and lesbians. The gay population in this country has been estimated to be somewhere between 3-6% of the total population. Assuming that the great majority of straight people wouldn't be interested in viewing programming aimed at gays, isn't that a very limited target audience? If that turns a profit, I'll be courting investors for my new cable network right quick. The Barking Pumpkin Network. A 24-hour network airing Frank Zappa and nothing else. Does anybody want in?

What do we think of the proposed ordinances that would force parking lot owners to cough up some bucks to the city? I understand the need for the city to significantly increase it's revenues. And it's obvious that Tom Leighton has definately been exploring every avenue available to us. I certainly don't know all of the ins and outs of the thinking behind this proposed move, but anything that might increase the cost of parking in our downtown makes me nervous. It does. Folks I talk to from our neighboring communities whine all the time about having to pay to park in Wilkes-Barre. It doesn't phase me in the least, because downtown is where I want to be. But most folks can be very illogical whereas parking considerations are concerned. They'll visit the mall and generally pay more than they should to shop there, but cite the saving of a buck on parking as some sort of coup.

Reminds me of the chicks who drive to Tannersville to save $10 on a coat or something. Too much effort involved for my tastes. It takes me ten minutes to get to the Army/Navy store on S. Main and ease of use counts for something in my distorted world. Whatever. All I know is, increased parking fees will get 'em whining even louder.

The charges on towing sounds like a winner to me. I saw the Voice editorial today, and can't say that I agree with it as it pertains to the proposed charges to towers. Here's a snippet:

Another nuisance fee, this increase would also be passed on to people who live, work, and do business in the city.

So? So what? Park legally. It works for me. I've resided here since 1971 and received two parking tickets in all that time. One was bogus as Ed Soltis wrote me a ticket even though my meter had four minutes yet to tick off. His reasoning was that he didn't think I'd get there on time. And then he tried to walk away and leave me with the ticket. And then, he reacted badly when the four letter words flowed so easily out of my mouth. Luckily, my mom intervened and rather than being handcuffed, I got to pay for a ticket I didn't deserve.

I got the other ticket while I slept through the visit from a street sweeper. Remember those? Somehow, I misplaced that ticket, forgot all about it, and after a rather lengthy period of time had elapsed, a constable was nice enough to drop by and remind me about it. The guy was also nice enough to wait while I ran down to the bank, and when I returned-I found the guy playing Mario Brothers with my kids. Weirdness.

Why you need to know any of that is beyond me, but parking legally will keep the tow trucks away.

What if your car breaks down at an inopportune moment, or highly traveled locale? Join AAA. Done. BANG! I belong to the Allstate Motor Club, which means when our cars decide to crap out, Falzone's is called on to rescue us. From what I've seen, Falzone's is the most professional and most properly equipped tower in this area. This is the firm that the city's towing contract should have been awarded to.

In a nutshell, if you want to avoid the increased towing fees, take care of business. Park legally and join an auto club. I do realize that asking most folks to park legally is simply asking too much of them. Or stopping at red lights. Yielding when they should. Being courteous towards pedestrians. Not being belligerent to cyclists. Driving with both hands on a cell phone.

Why did Howard Dean crash and burn like no other front-runner before him?

Is pregancy known to be contagious? It seems like every time I turn over a rock another grandkid pops out. Now, I have come to learn that my sister is gonna be a grandmama in September. I talked to my niece today and she's all upset because her boyfriend dropped her like a hot potato. Having grown-up fatherless, I told her to forget about him and just concentrate on what she needs to do for herself and her new bestest buddy. The way I see it, it doesn't matter if you only have one parent so long as that one parent is a good parent.

Due date: September 22. Here we go again.

*******Hey Mark...I have a chainsaw, if you feel like making your glacier shorter, just let me know, and I'll bring 'er up for you.

On a more serious note. I don't know if you've seen this website yet, but I think it deserves a reeeal CLOSE look.

I was in Vietnam and you weren't!!!

Let the viewers know what a traitor he really is.

And let PSD know that it's official...AMY FREAKING RULES!!!

Copper Dude*******

And there it is...AMY FREAKING RULES!!! I thought about going out on the front roof and hacking at the killer icicle, but I was advised by one of our hose dudes that if the power line became frayed and was making contact with the icicle, the icicle could light me up like a Diamond Drop. Having the crawl space dwellar job I have which almost always includes electricity and some sort of muck, I fully understand the conductivity of water, but I never knew that ice could conduct electricity as well. To make a long story short, if you've got a killer icicle growing around your power line, be real careful about screwing around with it. I might have just saved someone's life. Cool.

What's going on all of a sudden? We've being offered wireless internet services in our downtown. We've got a couple of new businesses coming to our downtown soon. The folks at Parente Randolph have renewed their lease and are optimistic about our near future. The CYC has booked some big time swimming events that will fill our local hotels. Now some dude wants to bring a massive soccer tournament to Kirby Park later this year. We haven't gotten around to fixing anything yet, or building anything yet, but Wilkes-Barre seems to be much more in demand as of late.

The Times Leader reported yesterday that a deal to build a theater on the Percy's site is but weeks away. This idea of building a theater in downtown Wilkes-Barre has been more of a cruel joke than anything of a positive nature, but if we're to believe Steve Barrouk, I may actually be able to watch Alien 5 right here in Wilkes-Barre next year. That tiny picture in the Leader showing a building where now sits only an empty lot looks better to me than any scantily dressed hottie. Mr. Mayor. Mr. Barrouk. Mr. Anderson. I eagerly await the overdue good news that'll prove that we've finally turned the corner. Get it done. Bring it on.

14 screens? 2,665 seats? The last thing I need right now is Viagra.

I honestly believe that Ed Rendell will see to it that the Labor & Industry building will be built on S. Washington street. He promised iniatives to help our smaller cities and I doubt that there is a smallish city in Pennsylvania that needs more help than this one does. What better place is there to make good on one of his campaign promises? I recently asked a certain mayor if this was a done deal and I was told that when I see bricks, it's a done deal. That's not the answer I wanted, but I admire the fact that he won't make promises unless he's sure he can deliver on them. As I said along, it'd be nice to have a cautious mayor for a change.

Should I not be bursting with excitement right now? A theater is on the way? The call center might be filled by a firm presently in the Hanover Industrial Park? The feds are gonna cough up some money for new street lights? The Sterling Hotel might really have a future afterall? We might see the new Labor & Industry building in our downtown? The Steam Heat building might be turned into a major asset? The riverfront remodeling is but months away? A strip mall on S. Main? We'll have a River Landing museum? The shiny, new Woolworth's building is getting close. "Slots for Tots" in Plains? A few new businesses are going to start popping up in our downtown soon. The Downtown Residents folks are bringing new benches and garbage cans to the Square. Residents, businesses, and the college kids alike are volunteering to help keep the city looking clean. We recently found our lost street sweepers.

No, man. I'm not doing drugs! Things are finally looking up for Wilkes-Barre. Where once only bad news was the expected daily 'norm, now we've got multiple reasons to be upbeat if not downright excited about our prospects. No longer will we have to look away and mumble barely audibly when people we meet ask us where we live. Cheer up. Buck the f**k up! Let's go! We live in Wilkes-Barre and that might actually be something to be proud of again and soon no less.

Honest to goodness progress. Who could of thunk it?

The Leighton supporters. That's who.