ItĎs mind-boggling how much we spend on these electronic gizmos only to have them torture us as they so often do.
Three days ago, my e-mail server just blew up. And as a result, a few e-mails I was going to reprint and respond to here were lost. If you feel like it, resend them and weíll address them. My favorite was Jim McCarthyís response to my use of the term ďold cootĒ when I was assessing his long commitment to Wilkes-Barreís ongoing legislative tussles. Iím fairly certain that he understands my use of that term was done in a playful, loving way. I mean, he did offer to buy the first round, so he canít be at the back of that long line of people that want to verbally pin my ears back.
Anyway, I had to reset the LAN settings for my e-mail server, so send me something as a sort of test, will you?
If I hear Steve Corbett refer to those of us that want Americanís borders secured as being ďanti-immigrationĒ one more time, Iím going to print his picture from the WILK site and add it to the dart board, for chrissakes.
During Fridayís installment of his radio hippiefest, he referred to illegal aliens as being ďthose without proper authorization.Ē Talk about dancing around the proper term. Talk about outright refusing to call the kettle black. Talk about your basic disingenuous twaddle.
I guess if Iím startled in the middle of the night by a burglar, Iíll call 911 and tell them thereís an armed man in my parlor who lacks proper authorization. And after the cops take him into custody and arraign him, a local judge will waive his jail sentence if heís willing to pick my garden crops out back.
Oh, and he said the following after hearing from one of the organizers of the pro-Barletta rally scheduled for later today in Hazleton: ďHeís big on the immigration-I-donít-know-what issue.Ē Thatís code for, the invasion is not an issue at all.
He went on to say that the documents our founding fathers laid down do not really apply to this most pressing issue of today, but agreed with another caller that those evil-doers, the folks that want the borders sealed, should take note of what the Statue of Liberty has to tell us, you know, Give us your tired, your poor and suchlike.
Steve, with crazies dreaming of nuking America cities in the mix, the tired and poor thing has to be tweaked to maintain our security, if not our sovereignty. Oh, so what if JFK airport goes critical mass, weíve got crops to pick. And as the oft-repeated lie goes, Americans wonít pick crops. So we leave the borders wide open to anyone wanting to illegally cross over them, we enjoy cheap fruits and vegetables forevermore, and if a city or an airport turns into a glassed-over field anytime soon, well, weíll just write that off as being part of the cost of doing business. Right, Steve?
Thatís irresponsibly dangerous twaddle.
And answer me this. When six families are living in an aged home designed to house one family, a structure with one bathroom, should it also be overlooked when the occupants get to using the back yard and the tree lawns as urinals, as they so frequently do? Iím not sure what goes on in Steveís Scranton neighborhood in the Hill Section, but Iím wondering if Steve would like to justify whatís been going on in my neighborhood.
Whatís the scoop, Judge Steve? If itís okay for them, should I feel confident I wonít be arrested when I likewise get to pissing in the streets? Iím curious, and Iím waiting for an irreversibly inconsistent ruling from the one-man high court. I guess what Iím asking for is a bit more twaddle.
Iíll take a shot at his ruling.
Lets see, illegal aliens should be given tax breaks so that they can convert unused closets into half-baths, right? The Latino Urination Bill, H.R. 2525, (get it?) should be fast-tracked through Congress and expedited right to the presidentís desk for a signature.
You know, I think I just stole much of his thunder. Or bluster.
Sign up now. Time is of the essence.
And I would be totally remiss if I did not link to this story that Kayak Dude listed on his Web site. This is a real beauty. It seems that the inflatable dam that Congressman Paul Kanjorski keeps pointing to as a success story we should copy is turning out to be a prohibitively expensive bust.
Summer has finally arrived and I couldnít be happier. The problem is, the summer seems to pass us by much faster than the rest of those far less than user-friendly seasons. A recent e-mailer correctly pointed out that nothing is as important as family, and that I should consider relocating to Tennessee to be with those family members of mine that I so obviously miss.
Trust me, If I can get the entire brood to living in the same city again, I will do the previously unthinkable and bid Wilkes-Barre a final farewell. I never thought Iíd say that, but thatís where Iím currently at. Plus, in Tennessee, with itís much more temperate climate, I could spend all four seasons cavorting about in shorts. Oh joy. Bliss, you might say.
Anywho, with summer finally upon us, I wanted to remind those of you that enjoy kick-ass parties that the 18th Annual Thompson Street Block Party, scheduled for Saturday, August 11, is but weeks away. As a matter of fact, the planning is already well underway. One of the additions this year will be a one-hole miniature golf platform for the kiddies who, by the way, if under 16-years-old, attend for free.
The link above takes you to the 17th annual account, and this one takes us back to 2005 for the 16th Annual block party report. Somebody e-mailed me after reading that account and asked how I could type and such so coherently after ingesting enough alcohol to keep all of Ethiopia drunk for an entire month. You got me on all of that. I dunno.
Last year, a first-time attendee jokingly said he came just to meet the amazing grandson, Gage Andrew himself. He, like many others before him, said he watched the little guy grow up on the internet, a truly weird phenomenon for sure. And he paid him the ultimate compliment by saying he was not disappointed in the least after finally meeting him. He is a very engaging, neat little kid.
So, if a kayak trip does not appeal to you, which it should, consider attending Wilkes-Barreís longest-running block party.
On Thompson Street.
I got an e-mail from somebody last week mocking my scribbling on the internet, laughing at me for the drop-off in visitors and basically telling me to give it up already.
First of all, you never know. I might do that one day.
Secondly, from what Iíve seen here locally, there has been a precipitous drop-off in the number of people that are actively blogging. Iím not entirely sure why that is, but I know firsthand how much time it demands of those that do it. I think people just get to the point where they donít have the time or the commitment anymore.
And there are those, very many, in fact, that should have never bothered in the first place. We recently had this electronic dust-up in which an upstart blogger, overly critical of everyone involved in the local political seen, was practically outed as being a financial deadbeat by a political candidate/businessman he was criticizing. And rather than having his identity disclosed, and his penchant for not paying his bills exposed, he ran away from his own blog.
Címon Walter. Tell us his name.
Then weíve got these blogs that are factually vapid, blogs that dry up and blow away almost as quick as they first appeared out of nowhere. Lots, in fact. We even have a local blog whoís anonymous ownerís only point seems to be railing against my blog. ďBlog vs. BlogĒ as I once called it. It was amusing for a couple of weeks, but what it lacks is interesting content, and any frequency in posting. Thing is, it probably never should have appeared at all.
Another problem is that people that read blogs take the ones that are written anonymously far less seriously than the ones where the ownerís attach their names to their words. Some do it anonymously, but very responsibly. But still many others have launched into libelous and slanderous attacks without ever attaching a name to their scurrilous claptrap. And while they may be entertaining for a fortnight, nobody takes that sort of unfair nonsense very seriously for too long and eventually tunes all of that out. And if nobody is reading it, thereís no point in writing much more of it.
The following blogs that touch upon politics, life, baseball and what have you are the only ones that I read faithfully.
Lu Lac Political Letter
Things at Kings
These authors can be very opinionated at times, and sometimes I vociferously disagree with what they have to say on certain issues, or some of those that can help to shape said issues. With that said, Iím probably the most opinionated idiot out here in cyberspace, so who am I to judge them?
Then again, it is amusing reading about how Carpenter Bees are terrorizing one of our local authors.
A few of them have said that my earlier efforts were their inspiration, so, with the local blogosphere literally drying up right before our eyes as it has of late, Iím wondering where they are at after having written on the internet for a couple of years now. Are you guys just as motivated--as driven--as you once were, or are you considering pulling the plug, as so many others have done of late. Is the passion beginning to wane?
Is blogging still important to you? Or not?
As far as Iím concerned, mine has. With that said, my original motivation was trying to slay a local political dragon, and to that end, I was ultimately successful. And after that came to pass, I still felt obliged to post my thoughts, but they were never as deliberately single-minded in their purpose as they originally were. With the one-man crusade behind me, I kept on going without really knowing why. Iím much more long-winded than any of my local internet peers. And during my heyday, no one was even remotely as prolific as I was. But with that juggernaut of a political crusade behind me, Iíve obviously scaled it back. I no longer feel the need to write each and every day. I donít snap near as many pictures as I once did. And I think a big reason for much of that is, with that aforementioned political battle won, I believe Wilkes-Barre is finally right where I wanted it to beÖin capable and responsible hands.
Unlike the most dedicated of my peers, over the years, Iíve invested a lot of money in this internet oasis of mine, and sometimes I wonder why I keep on with the financial outlays and such. Lately, much unlike the past, I write when I feel like writing, and not because I feel compelled to write so as to keep the traffic count high. Thing is, if you feel compelled to write every day no matter what, that is going to lead you down the path to uninteresting mediocrity. Iíve seen many other bloggers make that fatal mistake. To develop a sizable following, you need content, content and even more content. But if said content is boring, your following will run away from you screaming.
I honestly feel that when average citizens start bringing up legitimate political issues of a localized nature on the internet, that is a healthy undertaking. Very, very many have told me they read three things every morning: the Times Leader, the Citizensí Voice and good/bad ole Wilkes-Barre Online. And while that both pleases me and makes me feel that what I originally endeavored to do was a helpful thing in some way, I feel less motivated about it, and I wonder what it would be like it there were no alternatives to the local press.
While Iíve been feeling less prolific of late, Iíve invited others to join me and turn this oasis of mine into a cavalcade of voices instead of the one-man show that it is, with no takers. And that disappoints me. Wouldnít it be totally awesome to dial up this site every day and be spoon-fed a wide variety of local opinions? Wouldnít a local super blog be the end-all as far as an alternative to the local pres is concerned?
If I tire of all of this and pull the plug, would you be happy, or would you have preferred that it still appear, albeit, in a vastly different form? I guess what Iím asking is, does the local internet still matter? Do you want it or not?
Iím still amazed by the fact that my brotherís funeral was all completely abuzz with trying to figure out how my nondescript brother, a kid that never even thought of registering to vote, knew the Mayor of Wilkes-Barre. I didnít know it at the time, but wifey told me that many hearts were all aflutter with that one. Yes, very many in attendance were impressed that Rayís passing would attract such a high-profile local luminary.
How did Ray know the Mayor of Wilkes-Barre?
Weíll probably never know.
With RayĎs passing, I feel obligated out of loyalty to him to spend more time with his shell-shocked 9-year-old son, Mason. And yesterday, I did just that. You know the routineÖBikeabout!
Yep, we rode down to Around Town Bicycles, bought him a bike helmet and off we went. A mile into this adventure, he thanked me for having him along, you know, exploring the big scary city and such.
But when we arrived at the benches on the dike overlooking Gordon Avenue, he sat there guzzling water, sweating profusely and promising to weigh himself when he got home. Um, maybe I overdid it on his first time out, heyna? I tend to do that a lot, although, without meaning to.
What Iím curious about is whether heíll what to do it again or not. If heís serious about losing weight and not repeating a couple of serious mistakes his father made along the way, heíll be bugging me to explore that big scary city all over again. I can only hope.
Either way, Iím trying to do the brotherly love thing, even though my brother is no longer here to know about it. The thing is, I hope he knows, somehow, that Iím doing it.