12-21-2004 Christmas wishes

Great running into you the other day. Lucky kids! By the way, what's on Grandpa's wish list for Santa? I know-Fender autographed by Robin Zander and crew…lots of luck. Dream Police….

To hear the papers and the hoi polloi tell it, you would think the city is crashing down. Every where I look I see positive things happening. And unlike the former Mayor, it sounds as if the money is in place and backing the projects. Imagine that. Idea-Collaboration-Funding-Project. Does that make sense? Yep. Much better than: Announcement to everyone in the world-Napkin design-More announcements-Hire contactors-Announcement-Begin work-Announcement-Money, what money?-Blame council.

"Wilkes-Barre-where good news is bad news." I wish folks would get over losing their council bids, losing their mayoral bid, losing their dog catcher bid, their chief cook bid, their bid bid, and whatever other bids they launched. The city is moving on with or without them and they just look silly. As the construction goes up around them, as people start hitting the square for some shopping and eats, they will look even sillier. But hey, Charlie doesn't need to be the only downtown entertainment. Walt will look just as good standing next to him handing out his "Reduced salaries and benefits for elected officials" fliers or whatever other hot topic that crosses his last remaining brain cell. Quick Charlie…give him a belt of that Mad Dog. It's cold out there! Imagine how much further along the city would be if these seemingly tireless folks would put half their energy into pushing the city forward rather than trying to tear it down. Optimism anyone? Hello? Is there anybody out there? Wait I just had a Roger Waters flashback.

And don't be frettin' none about Bernie Kerik. Remember, Bush lied. Bernie is just another nobody hired by Bush, a known liar. I mean, if there was a Liberal in the White House, Kerik would be hailed as a hero and the fact that he had two-count 'em two lovers, would have increased his popularity and the media babes would be lining up for this guy. Don't mind the spellin' none either…jus' mo' proof dat Kev's research extends to the end of his hands and no further. Trouble is his hands are probably wrapped around some adult beverage and some good stuff he picked up from Kurt. I have become…comfortably numb. Guitar solo Mark.

How about them Steelers? How about them Dolphins? Yeehaw. Big Ben is doing just enough. He was outplayed by Eli and the NY football Giants finally did a good job of protecting him (for the first time this season). I think both these young guys will be stars of the future.

Hope everyone has a blessed holiday season. Remember: Luke 2
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Keep the Faith.
Private Sector Dude.

DUDE!...it was good running into you too. Although, it's hard to believe we found ourselves hangin' out and yappin' away in the freakin' doll aisles at Toys R Us. The divorced moms provided some decent scenery though.

It's funny that you happened to mention a Fender. Despite everything, I promised myself that I would pick that thing up during my extended winter vacation and have at it. I'm currently working on a heavy metal cover version of a Hazel O'Connor love ballad from the 1980 punk rock film Breaking Glass. It's kind of like Debbie Boone meets Def Leppard sans the glitzy production.

It's so true that the negative ninnies are way, way off base. The difference between Tom McGroarty and Tom Leighton is easily recognizable, but the usual suspects act as if nothing at all has changed since January 2004. I'll stick to my guns, or my words from way back when: The adults have assumed control. One mayor ran around fencing off properties that had collapsed, while the other fences off properties about to rise from the ashes. But...he earns too much money. You tell me, man. I'm not sporting an extra chromosome as so many others seem to be.

I got a ton of shopping in today. My first stop was in downtown Wilkes-Barre. I made my rounds, dropped a bundle of money at Boscov's and ended up right where I always end up: At Joe Nardone's Gallery of Sound.

You know, it's the rare day when I get any credit, and it's true that my maturation process was severely retarded by any number of factors. But I do deserve credit for staring down my addiction and beating it. I waltzed on in there, spent a quick hundred bucks...and not one of them was spent on me. I'm suddenly sweating. And shaking. Hold on. Gotta get me a pill.

Okay, then. Whew! I'm all gooder now.

Anyblooey, as I was headed toward the Antracite the translucent looking handle of my grossly overweight Boscov's shopping bag started stretching right before my eyes. Rutro! So I called the adobe only to learn that nary a motor vehicle was currently staged there. Double Rutro! Philanthropy at Christmas time is wonderful and all, but I really didn't feel like leaving a trail of goodies from the downtown all the way back to Nord End.

So I wrapped what was left of the bag's handle around my now purple fingertips and quickened the pace. As I cut through the East garage, one of the big guns exiting city hall asked me if I needed a lift due North. Affirmative? should be your first guess on this one. And there it is: The Miracle on Thompson Street. Greg Barrouk single-handedly saved Christmas '04 at this tidy, but unspectacular adobe. And he didn't even hit me up for some gas money.

And you know me. Those nuns may have beaten the freakin' flesh off of my knuckles on most days, but nothing they did way back when could have ever resulted in me quoting the Bible and whatnot. I tend to remember little of what I'm not interested in. Ask the teachers that put up with me at Coughlin. Alegbra II? D-plus. Geometry? D. French III? C-minus. Poetry, folk and rock? A. Get this one. Go fargin' figure, heyna? Political Science? A.

Anyways, the only thing even remotely resembling a Biblical quote that ever eeked out of me was something I used to repeat to my kids over and over as they were growing up together. Don't even ask me where this came from. I don't remember. I'm positive it's not from Jesus Christ Superstar.

Blessed are they who clean-up.

I know, it's highly probable that my mom accidentally ingested some burate dope while pregnant with me. But I don't plan on killing anyone, stealing from anyone, or stuping anybody's wife. So, the way I figure it, I've got at least a thirty-seventy chance when I arrive at the zircon-encrusted gates. Well, maybe.

Whatever. I do admire your deep faith. There are times when I wish that I could do that.

And the N.Y. Jints? Here's the way I see it. The Jints have more guys on the disabled list than al Queada has chuckleheaded martyrs. But...but...the Eagles lost one frickin' player and their fans are all flocking off to church in a big, big hurry. Sorry, goobers. Prayer can't help you now. Dare I say it?

Maybe next year.

Check this out. This is frightening to some degree. Or at least it should be. This is what I do in the morning before the tea snaps me out of my funk:

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 09:38 EST

Loosely Associated Press

Emergency evacuation of North Pole denied by administration officials

According to an informed Pentagon chaplain, speaking on condition of anonimity, two gigantic C-17 Air Force Globemaster cargo planes based at Ice Station Zebra, Alaska, are in route to the North Pole at the request of Santa Enterprises Inc. as part of an emergency evacuation of Santa Claus and his entire North Pole staff.

Santa Inc. spokesman, Toby Swickles, when contacted at his corporate office in East North Pole, denied that any sort of evacuation was underway and claimed Santa has going over last minute details before heading South on Christmas Eve. It should be noted that Swickles donated $2,000 to the Bush campaign and has been mentioned as the possible successor to Bush's mountain bike mechanic.

North Pole Star reporter, Tomas P. Rick, when contacted aboard the Coast Guard Cutter U.S.S. Skylar also in route to the North Pole could not comment on the situation at the North Pole, but he did report that the Island of Misfit Toys was evacuated overnight after soaring temperatures caused the massive Arianna ice ridge to break free putting it on a direct collision course with Misfit Island.

No one close to the situation would comment on weather Santa's yearly flight was in jeopardy of being cancelled, but satellite photos of the sprawling warehouse complex at Santa Inc. revealed that some sort of large vehicle, possibly a sled, appeared to be palletized on the company docks.

Contacted at his home in Los Fruitcake, the famed author and global warming researcher, Dr. Blow H. Ard, charged that the Bush administration's scandalous claims that global warming was a complete myth based solely on junk science was directly responsible for the rising temperatures and rising ocean levels at the North Pole.

"Not only has this administration turned it's back on Kyoto, it also continues to deny the very existance of Heat Meiser," he said. "If the North Pole is destroyed by shifting ice shelves as I have previously predicted, the Bush administration will have to explain to the American people why Christmas didn't happen on it's watch."

"This is the worst Christmas in the last 50 years," he went on to say.

White House spokesman, Robert Quentin DeNameland, scoffed at Dr. Ard's assertions and claimed that the president was closely monitoring the situation from his Crawford, Texas BMX track/ranch.

Director of Homeland Security, Tupper Kippling, admitted that there was an ongoing military sealift in that theater of operations, but claimed that the initial reports of an emergency were the "confused rantings of factually-challenged enviro-weenies." He did point out that if the North Pole was indeed in danger of being destroyed, terrorism could not be ruled out as the cause.

Contacted at his special forces-styled compound in Alta Lispa, Idaho, Michael Moore railed against what he called "Bush's far-right neocon conspiracy" to ruin Christmas and use it as justification to invade Canada.

"The chicken hawks are going to fill tens of thousands of body bags all for the rights to some peewee league hockey phenoms," he fumed.

"I feel a new documentary coming on. No. Wait. That's the refried beans omelette kicking in. This is gonna be gross," he added before abrupty ending the cell phone call.

Herbie, a retired Santa elf and DNC Chairman hopeful, did not return calls for comment.



Yup. I know. The guys in the white suits have been put on stand-by by 911. Even worse yet, I fired off a copy of this gibberish to WILK. Don't ask me why. I just did it. After sending it down the electronic line, I read the thing for myself and started wondering if Sue Henry was going to hire a bodyguard after taking a gander at this. I knew she couldn't read it on the air, but I sent it just the same.

Based solely on the "Wilkes-Barre Air Rescue" April Fools Day, 2002 debacle, it's possible that some other talk show host might have printed that out and went to hacking with it, but it's not quite that easy to fool the "Franchise." Drat!!!

But it'd probably fool somebody. Maybe I'll e-mail it to news outlets all over America and the blue states too. And then we'll just sit here sipping "high octane egg nog" and waiting to see if, Aaron Brown, that overly pompous dorkster at CNN, runs with it. If it's deemed to be Anti-Bush, it's got a better than average chance of turning into a national news story.

Four more days,...kiddies. This is really gonna be fun. At three and a half years old, this is the very first Christmas where Gage Andrew understands the program. Chubby guy, red suit, sled, reindeers, chimney, presents...and he is ready to rock.

Going in, I never could have predicted how awesome it would be to have a slew of little ones to make special things happen for. And around the time I actually realized I was blessed, the little ones went and grew up on me. Brats.

And forever reason, I'm getting a second chance to watch a slew of little ones grow up. Am I thankful? You betcha I am.

Three more shopping days. Do yourself proud. No road rage and no sighing out loud while wallowing at the tail end of long lines at the cash register. Try some patience, some civility and some common courtesy.

Civility is the lubricant of society.