5-12-2005 June 17, 2001

It is official. According to the doctors, just a few days before we all get around to mutilating totally innocent Christmas wrapping paper again...I will be a Pop pop once again. The due date has been set at December the 14th. How many is that now? Oh yeah. This will be my fourth grand-rodent. Okay, my fourth grandkid. And I'm thrilled.

You know, I spent years upon years making sure that my pre-teens and then my teens would never end up needing any sort of ultrasounds. And apparently, my iron-fisted rule got the lot of them into their early twenties with nary a newborn baby in tow. I didn't want them to, quote, "ruin their lives" by having a baby way too early. I feared that a pregnancy would limit the vast array of options laid out before them. I hoped that they'd attend a college somewhere, but I also knew that a college degree is vastly over-rated in most cases. I guess I just wanted them to escape their teen years totally unscathed by the utter stupidity and complete lack of foresight that encapsulates being a teenager. And we made it. We did it. Whoo-ah!

And then what seemed like a fortnight passed and I suddenly had grandkids popping out of every nook, cranny, crack and crevice previously unseen by the naked eye. What the freak happened? If rodents keep appearing at this rate, within a few years, I'm gonna need some streets shut down by the cops to enjoy a couple of weekend bikeabouts.

488: 565, they're coming down Penn Ave. Shut down North Street at Penn Ave.

565: 10-4.

580: 580 to 565: The one with the training wheels is lagging behind. When they pass Beaumont, I'll bring up the rear.

565: 10-4. 565 to 488: What about that 10-80 call on Park Ave.? Shouldn't I break off and back up...

512: (interrupts) 10-10!!! I'm 10-17 from headquarters to Park Ave. You stay with the bikeabout. It'll pass by within an hour or so.

565: 10-4, L-T.

And there we have it. Yet another addition to the family. Gage Andrew was the trailblazer. Taylor Kate followed somewhat soon afterwards. Zachary Bryce is still trying to figure out how to keep those "older" kids off of his favorite Matchboxes. And now girls (?) names such as, Remi, and Zowie, are being bandied about. Another girl would be perfectly fine with this Pop Pop, but I'd prefer another boy so that I'd be able to man one side of a baseball diamond, provided that I'm the official pitcher. Then again, my daughter Ebon was a key player on a Little League championship team. A claim that eluded her older brother during his mostly gut-wrenching years of striving for, but never reaching that very same goal he set for himself. Another girl?

Fine! I'll put her at third base and bark at her until she fires the ball across the diamond much like a cannon would. And I don't wanna hear any guff about bad hops hitting her in the mouth. So she bleeds a little bit. Who cares as long as she recovers and throws the runner out? And I don't expect wifey to lodge anymore complaints about teaching a young girl to spike opposing players, as I had to endure about ten years ago. And if she happens to jam the lead foot of a sliding baserunner and said baserunner flops very badly and injures themselves; I'm not gonna listen to any further bilge about turning a budding fair maiden into a mean-spirited jock ruffian. And yes, I will shame her unmercifully if a pitch bounces off of her shoulder and causes her to shed even a single tear to the offending pitcher's delight. Bruises? Black-and-blue marks? Badges of honor, girlie. Display them proudly. And I will expect her to congratulate her pitcher each time an opposing hitter cries like a freakin' baby after getting plunked by a fastball. And if she doesn't run like the wind every single time she makes contact, I'll be climbing up her backside in a heartbeat.

And she had better ignore her coach's constant reminders to not swing at any pitch unless it's a textbook perfect strike. Wanna lead the league in bases on balls? That's what the wimpiest of the boys do! Get the goddam bat off of your shoulder and get it through the strike zone at the speed of light!!! Attack, attack, attack!!! What? Your coach wants you to get a walk and then wait for a passed ball? Wrong! Get it off of your shoulder! Go to hacking! Drill the ball, or strike out swinging! Let those boys know that they messed with the wrong chickie! Stare 'em down! Make sure the gum wad deforming your cheek is much bigger than theirs! Get 'em to wondering why they can't get over on an otherwise attractive female in a traditionally male-dominated arena! No! Don't choke up! That's for girls! And don't tell your grandmother that your mouth was bleeding after that head-first slide! Buck up!

Or as Ebon's T-shirt proudly proclaims: "Real chicks play fast pitch."

So, what do you think? Should I wish for another granddaughter? Or should I hope for another boy and not have to drive him near as hard?

Judging by the very first e-mail I opened this morning, that block party pic I posted yesterday really caused a serious hissy fit out there in Anonymityville. I was going to post it tonight, but decided against it. Basically, any moron can type a couple dozen F-bombs interrupted by words that would get the folks in the trailer parks clamoring for a fistfight.

And being somewhat beat tonight, I decided to answer the numbnutted verbiage I recieved with a few dated pictures. They say a picture says a thousand words, so lemme know how many words these pics rate.

Long before I decided that I needed a digital camera, I took this pic with some cheezy Fuji, and had the pics developed at the Rite Aid on Northampton Street.

The date? June 24, 2001.

June 24, 2001

Progress as Promised. Ah, how utterly stupid the McGroarty apologist should feel right about now.

The following pictures were taken one week prior to the "Progress as Promised" pic on June 17, 2001.

Get this, I posted some new pics on the L&I Building, and Theater complex pictoral history sites of mine today. Basically, the very latest from the construction zones. The weird thing is, if you look at those pics taken and posted earlier today, and then eyeball the following pics; you'd think they were taken a couple of weeks apart. But sadly, these pictures were taken four years apart.

What they demonstrate is how completely stuck in the mud the most grandiose of McG's projects eventually became, and simultaneously, how stuck in the mud Wilkes-Barre's supposedly increasing fortunes had become for what would be the painful and immediate future. McG's Cineplex (Holeplex) site is now the Labor & Industry Building site.

June 17, 2001

June 17, 2001

And, yes, it's way too late to retract one of the dumbest of the dumb f>ck e-mails I've received since I started all of this internet tomfoolery.

Now here's a couple of pics I took, again, on June 17, 2001. This time the pics were meant to document the construction of McG's Intermodel (Intermuckel) bus complex. And again, what they ended up documenting was that what McG started rarely got anywhere near finished. And once again, these pics look as if they predate the pics taken today by mere weeks.

McG's failed bus complex site is the very same site where a 14-screen theater complex is now being rapidly constructed while we--the unwashed hoi polloi--continue to argue amongst ourselves as how to properly manage this recently, but no longer disspirited city.

June 17, 2001

June 17, 2001

From the e-mail inbox Mark,

That Leighton picure. I was there when that was taken. That was one kick ass party. A to Z. Abba to Zappa. You sure do rock out. You know I'll be coming back for more as long as I'm invited.

I know the deal: PARTY ON!


DUDE!!! Women to the left, women to the right... (finish that one all by your lonesome)

Ahem...anyway, if some of you must persist with the attacks on Tom Leighton, that is your constitutional right as a taxpaying resident of this long floundering city. And if need be, you can keep sending those semi-coherent e-mail darts my way. I could really give a flying f>ck what anyone, that's anyone, thinks of me. But I really think the mayoral dude is getting beat up where he ought not be getting beat up.

The folks clamoring for his head seem to be upset the most by his frequent use of the politically unwise word "No." If we don't have it, he won't spend it. And if we can't do it by yesterday, he's not going to do the politically expedient thing by caving into pressure, while ignoring that bottom line that he, himself promised to protect.

And yet, while the usual "publicity whore" suspects cry foul with every escaping breath, the long-failed projects that epitomized this city's complete ineptitude are slowly but surely coming to fruition under his frugal, forward-thinking and surprisingly, oft-criticized leadership.

We ought to be praising his efforts at nearly every turn. But...I did party with him a couple of times, so my once sought-after opinion no longer counts. Guilty as charged, right?


Pictures don't lie, kiddies.