3-10-2004 If it were up to me...

Let me tell you, we've just begun to fight. We're going to keep pounding. These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen. It's scary.--John Kerry, responding to accusations that he is a flip-flop expert

First it was liars. Now they're crooked. Those dastardly Republicans. Those Republicans are in bed with those "Benedict Arnold CEOs" that are out-sourcing all of our jobs away. Do a quick study on Kerry's wifes Heinz empire. The Benedict Heinz empire consists of 79 manufacturing plants, 57 of which are located outside of the United States. Oops! I don't think he wanted us to know that.

I met a guy today who supports John Kerry as completely as I completely loathe Tom McGroarty's performance as our king. I made him aware of the fact that we were at the exact opposite ends of the political spectrum. He repeated that oft-repeated jazz about Bush being the worst president in the history of our country. I asked him how Dubya stacks up against our 20th president and he advised me that he didn't know who our 20th prez was. So, we've established the fact that he doesn't know what the f**k he's talking about. That was fairly easy.

His two major gripes with Bush are that he supposedly lied about Iraq, and the "horrible state of the economy." (?) He yammered on about the lack of good paying jobs and pointed out that he's been out of work for months now after being laid-off. I suggested that he obtain a Commercial Drivers License since the trucking industry is 1: Short on drivers, and 2: The earning potential for truckers is almost limitless. He responded by telling me that he didn't want to drive a big rig for a living. Well, then f**k off and stay poor, dipshit.

How many of you can actually say that you like your job? How many of you pictured yourselves doing something of greater importance, or something way sexier when you were but a struggling young dork, or dorkess? What did you want to be when you were a kid? A cop? An astronaut? A fireman? A soldier? The little kid from Connecticut who single-handedly snuffed out Godzilla's life with a Crossman? Did any of us dream of managing a Wawa? Did any of us fantasize about spending an entire day in a crawl space? Did anyone get a stiffy at the thought of living alone with a citizens band radio? I think not. But...in our ever-changing economy, we do what we gotta do. We adapt. We learn new skills when possible. And we gravitate towards the jobs that actually pay a decent wage.

Some of us won't. Some of us can't adapt. Some of us won't show enough initiative to take care of business. Some of us foolishly think that electing someone from somewhere far, far away will result in a great paying job falling to them out of the sky. Some of us are dolts. You know, much like the I hate Bushies.

Do you want to drive a big rig? Probably not. Would you do it if it were the only available opportunity to make some serious, serious bucks? Probably.

Some of the first questions I was asked when I applied for the position of Termite Technician at Ehrlich were: Are you computer literate? Do you have a vaild CDL? Will you submit to drug testing? Are you afraid to get dirty? Real dirty. My responses were yes, yes, yes, and no. What do we think that Kerry supporters answers to those very same questions would be? I'm thinking he'd go 1 for 4, possibly even 0 for 4. Are you versatile? Have you got numerous skills and qualities an employer can utilize? Is your physical and mental stamina above average? NO! And it's all George Bush' fault!

Even if John Kerry wins the election come November, some folks are in for a rude awakening.

U.S. KIAs in Iraq since the start of the war. The stats were compiled by Lunaville.org.

Mar. 2003 - 65
Apr. 2003 - 73
May 2003 - 37
June 2003 - 30
July 2003 - 47
Aug. 2003 - 35
Sept. 2003 - 31
Oct. 2003 - 42
Nov. 2003 - 82
Dec. 2003 - 40
Jan. 2004 - 47
Feb. 2004 - 20
Mar. 2004 - 5 [Though Mar. 9]

Note the encouraging numbers for February and March 2004. I hope that downward trend continues. I really do get a kick out of the Democrats that keep saying this war has gone horribly wrong somehow. We invaded a country of 25 million that ten years ago possessed the fourth largest standing military on the entire planet. We invaded Iraq and we have occupied it for an entire year, and in the process lost 554 soldiers, mostly due to acts of terrorism and not direct combat. Sorry kiddies but, that is an exemplary achievement. General Patton himself would be envious of such an undertaking.

I see the Times Leader actually editorialized about our downtown canopy. Y'all know where I stand. I love it and I always did. If it were up to me, we'd be adding on to it. If it were up to me, Cheap Trick would be playing on the Square this Summer. If it were up to me, Zappa would be ringing out very loudly from our canopy's speaker system. And some of you implored me to seek a council seat? You freakin' goofs.

Anyway, the canopy debate continues. From the e-mail inbox:


I disagree with your feelings about the canopy. It's ugly, ugly, and ugly. It's big, it's red and it's covered with bird sh*t. I don't care about the people waiting for busses. What did the bus people do before the canopy was built? That red eyesore should be ripped down as soon as possible and sent to the landfill asap. If you want a mall go to a mall.

Anti Canopy Dude*******

A new self-annoited "Dude?" It's not that easy, fellar. Ya' gotta get in touch with Private Sector Dude and fill out an application before official "Dude" status will be bestowed upon your canopy hating self.

"The bus people?" You make it sound as if they should be bussed off to a camp somewhere. Poorer folks prefer to be dry, much like we do. Name me something, anything, in downtown Wilkes-Barre that the pigeons don't dive domb on a daily basis. If you pretend to know me at all, you'd have to know that I'd stick my mutated member in a food processor before I'd be caught dead in any mall. Call me hopelessly old-fashioned. Accuse me of not being able to deal with what has become of yet another small town downtown surrounded by malls and national predatory retailers. I wanna wander through MY bustling downtown, much like I did when I was too young to cross a street by myself. I wanna treat my grandkids to the same things my grandma treated me to. I wanna create some downtown Wilkes-Barre memories for them, just as my grandma did for me. And I wanna do those things under a big red canopy.

More on Wilkes-Barre's Red Monster from the e-mail inbox:


The guys over here at the CXXXXXX have been enjoying the ongoing debate over the canopy issues expressed by yourself and the email commenters. It seems everyone has the opinion that they need to be improved, but "exactly how" is the question. Most of us on the lXXXXXXXX committee are leaning towards recommending a period style or "historic" lighting standards for most of downtown. That style just does not fit with the canopy, so we may be going for a more modern complementary style on the first half of South Main.

(pie throwing comments deleted)

You might want to give a little plug on your site for the other downtown businesses offering festivities during the St. Patty's day parade. Lowe's restaurant has decided to open for the event and Nicole over at Cafe' Rouge has received permission to rope off a over 21section of Mid Town Village to have live bands perform throughout the day. Top that off with a $15- all you can eat and drink within the ropes and you'll know where I'll be. Something about drinking beer outside makes it taste so much better. Also don't forget one of our North Main Street anchor's - Senuna's. They're sure to be a place to stop by as well.

On a different note, keep your eyes open for an upcoming open house for the Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre, AKA the Woolworth's building. We're going to open the facility to highlight it's reuse to the community. The event will be open to the public. It is definitely the most unique office space anywhere in Northeast PA.

Thanks and keep up the excellent work.*******

Dude, it killed me to delete the pie throwing references. That was some amusing bunk. Like I've said before, I'm no urban planner or anything. I still gaze up at that massive hulk we call The Sterling Hotel and think to myself, "No way!" But I remember the original selling point when the canopy was first erected. That it provided what the malls provided to a much smaller degree. Namely, protection from the elements. And it works. And it can be a selling point yet again, if it remains standing after all of the experts have their say.

20 ounces of chocolate pudding mixed into a still frozen quart of 6% will produce one monsterous cream pie the likes of which you have not seen since Franklin's closed it's doors forever in 1990. Shoot! There's a trade secret down the drain! Anyway, trust me, you guys don't want none of that stuffed into your nostrils.

Some lady walked into a Sprawl-Mart down south and tried to pass off a novelty $1,000,000 bill. Either she's as dumb as a freakin' termite infested stump, or she thought the average Sprawl-Mart employee was as dumb as a stump. The usually mentally challenged Feds are going to charge her with counterfeiting but, she didn't produce the gag bill in the first place. Maybe they should charge her with something they can actually prove in court. Screw a council seat. Maybe I'll run for district attorney, or attorney general.

Whatever. I'll never understand why anyone without an access card would want to be seen in Access Card Heaven in the first place. $1.39 is just too much to pay for a tube of Aim? We gotta go mix it up with the dullards of the world who are hopelessly addicted to China R Us to save a couple of pennies? You can count me out. Permanently. I visited our local China-Mart when it first opened and I found myself being rammed on the back of my ankle with carts pushed by folks that seemed drawn, almost subliminally called, by that bouncing Smiley face rolling back the prices on import garbage with a life expectancy shorter than that of your garden variety slug. How long do we really believe a $39.99 television, or a $29.99 microwave is going to last? Once again, whatever.

Now check this e-mail. I'm thinking Cabbage Patch Dolls at Zayre's circa 1981, or somewhere thereabouts.

********I know you hate Wal-Mart but you should hang out there just for the show.

I was there today since I am unemployed... People were hanging out in the front area of the store for employees to drop piles of merchandise out. They are marking certain things way down. The employees just come out with a cart full of merchandise and people dive! It is hilarious. I was there today and they threw out toliet seats for $3.00 people were running grabbing handfulls of them. I just stood there and laughed my butt off the entire time and how these people were!!!! In fact I stood there about an hour watching!*******

A $3.00 toilet seat? If anyone got in my way there would have been hell to pay. Why do I shop at Sprawl-Mart? I like the low, low mentality. Sorry. I meant to say the low, low Bejing prices. Scary.

Hey. I got a scoop for ya. Yeah, I still do that on occasion now that the forces of evil in Wilkes-Barre have been vanquished and sent off to collect unemployment.

I visited City Hall today and as it turns out, recycling calendars are now available to those of us that call Wilkes-Barre our home. Being that the city is trying to get itself back on sound financial footing, the calendars will not be delivered to any home unless they are requested first. Remember, we're broke. Any-freaking-way, just call 822-1663, request your recycling calendar, and it will be delivered to your home pronto. There's no need to thank me.

Call it direct. Call it collect. But call it today!

I have to turn this thingy off and relax. My hamstrings are tighter than most of those girls who's pictures I see on this here internet.