12-1-2005 My new shrink

I spent a huge chunk of this past Sunday alongside a local blogger watching the Eagles stink-up-the-place. And trust me, the Eagles did stink. But the Packers stunk even more. Then again, the Jints had the Seahawks dead-to-rights, not one, but three times, and took a loss only after their placekicker went Private Idaho on them for a spell. No Biggie. We'll clip their wings come playoff time.

It should be noted that FOX TV decided to televise two last-place teams slogging it out rather than treating all of us to two first-place teams banging away at each other. I guess that decision came from much smarter boneheads than the scatterbrained lot of us. The best I can figure is that outcome probabilities do not play into who gets to play on television and who doesn't. Maybe FOX just sucks. Who knows? Certainly not me. According to my newly self-appointed head shrink, I "have a serious passive aggressive thing going on," I was "ignored in high school," and I'm "forever pissed off at the world..." So pay me no mind. And keep your toddler's fingers far away from my mouth when it gets to frothing real horror show-like. Grrrr...

Why did they do that to me in gym class??? BOO! HOO! FUNKING! HOO!

Anywho, back to hangin' with the local blogger dude and all that followed. Well, we covered a helluva lot of ground in four short hours despite having much to endlessly differ and quivel about. And yet, we didn't try to choke each other. Not even once. And we didn't need a single caged unit up here on Thompson Street. Now, if you can't get me to punching wildly while discussing politics over a few dozen beers, well, so much for my "slow simmering rage below a non-descript exterior." And dig this: Blogger Dude worked on Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign, and nothing annoys me more than the mere mention of Jimmy Carter's name. But still, no cages, no 10-94s turned 10-47s, and no 10-43 calls. No, just two 10-82s blathering away.

Ranting bloggers may be anonymous or they may give their name, but try and get them into a serious discussion and they’ll either hem and haw their way out of it..or just plain ignore you.--My self-appointed shrink again

Um...just agree with her. Humor her.

The Carter thing did not end up in thirty sutures being needed, and I'm fairly certain that Blogger Dude probably thinks I'm slightly mad for supporting Dubya. But, the point is, while I can't speak for him, I think he'd be fine with doing such a foolhearty thing again. And that's without the Stockholm Syndrome factoring into it at all.

In fact, maybe we should invite a few more local bloggers next time around.

Trust me, I love a lively discussion of the issues of the day, but the thing is--rarely does any lively discussion--any serious tit-for-tat debating--go on from 6-9 am at our only local talk radio station. Nope. It's Bush sucks and if you dare to differ--you're history right after Kevin let's an insult fly. And if you're a Christian, Kev becomes uncontrollable even for his immediate superior. Further proof that he's a far, far, far-left conscript. Be they Santorum, Dubya, or the dear, sweet old lady calling in from Dunmore--Christians sink lower than the scummiest (is that a word?) of the pond scums.

I recently spent a full twelve-hour day at a customer's house. My day started with an intense interior inspection that quickly revealed the guy was a huge John Kerry supporter, as well as a union honcho fairly high on the political pecking order. So, I was thinking we'd talk football or Hollywood hussies if he chose to follow me around all day. As it turned out, he shadowed my every move all day long. And I don't blame him at all. Fact is, what I do for a living is mighty expensive.

The hammer-drill was spinning for a couple of hours, but once the noise died down, the homeowner had a question for me. He wanted to know who I had voted for in the '04 presidential election. Rutro!!! So much for hitting it off and all. Was it time for me to tell him he had to get out of the basement for his own safety? Probably. But instead, I told him I voted for Bush and the day-long debate ensued. In all honesty, I thought he was gonna get all hostile and whatnot, but he was really cool and we chuckled as much as we debated. In his opinion, I was not a knuckle-dragger, or a lowly drooler. Much the to contrary, while he vociferously disagreed with much that I had to say, he seemed to be enjoying having someone to have at it with. It worked for me.

Those insane Bush supporters are everywhere. More dangerous folks in need of a part-time shrink. Heyna?

Andrew Sullivan is a real blogger?

Only an annoyed elitist would dare to venture such an affront to our intelligence. You're talking one guy, one opinion. F>ck f>cking Andrew Sullivan! He blogs for profit, and he's yet to escape from his self-imposed partisan myopia. Much like my new shrink.

I'd rather swill a few with that local dude that screams "Liberal!!!" every time his paperboy misses the front porch entirely. And maybe we'll add to the mix that local guy who never once met a Democrat candidate he wouldn't volunteer to help oust some evil Republican. Let's be honest here, we're no match for those ultra-savvy talk show hosts that so enjoy "debate" and "conversation" ("What a jerk!"--Kevin Lynn, 11-30-2005), but we have a real good excuse--the junior varsity cheerleaders laughed at us.

If reality is truly participatory and none of us are observers in that reality, why is it that my new shrink thinks she's the only one participating, if not, the only one observing? I mean, if bloggers are some sort of retarded subculture worthy only of scorn emanating from the psychocultural warriors that abruptly hang up on those that dare to disagree with their utter brillance by autopoesis, then I'm here to tell you that I'd prefer being labeled a bitter, lonely transient to being one of those more intelligent folks given to bouts of anaphylactic shock whenever their abject superiority is brought into question. Then again, they're probably but the next on-air mini-stroke away from themselves being reduced to a lonely, bitter life of blogging in the darkest corner of the basement. And remember, they needed to spend years in those expensive halls of higher learning just to be able to one day clearly express their mostly dubious opinions. Some of us can do likewise despite having spurned that expensive and mostly needless indoctrination.

We've got the dreaded Dallas Cowpokes invading Giant's (not Jet's) Stadium this coming Sunday. Gort! Would you care to explain to me Jimmy Carter's redeeming presidential qualities? Wanna throw a few more back? I'm always good to go. But be forewarned, I've got a lot of unresolved issues (so they tell me) simmering just beneath this non-descript exterior of mine. Don't hold me responsible if I bite off one of your eyebrows and add it to my growing collection. It's not my fault. I was ignored in high school, and that's why I've skinned alive damn near every squirrel I've ever come across when no one was looking. Whew! Oh yeah, and we can watch the football game. Lemme know.

"It’s so rehearsed, so unnatural."--Shrink Chickie


Listen to little Miss Control Freak, little Miss Show Prep tell it.

Speaking of The Morning Pravda, excuse me, WILK, this news blurb of their's caught my ear as soon as found my way down the stairs this morning:


A 52 year old Dunmore man was killed on the job in the Poconos Wednesday. Michael Mashurak Jr. was drilling a hole for a fence-post at the Sanofi-Pasteur plant in Monroe County when the tool dug into a hidden weed barrier, which wrapped around the drill and snagged Mashurak, pulling him into the machine.

Funkin' A!

I know what I do for a living doesn't look like much to the untrained observer, but I've studied more during the last decade than most PHDs have. For the most part, my always on-going training has to do with environmental and liability concerns. But iffin' you're gonna attach a powerful motor to anything that spins, safety is just as big a concern even though it too often gets put on the back burner of the folks operating said equipment.

If you remember correctly, a few years back a ways, a teenager was killed while operating a large dough mixer in a local bakery. The dough hook spun, the apron string became entangled and the phone in the coroner's office got to ringing. When I was that kid's age, I was lucky to be surrounded by professionals that stressed the importance of safety while operating anything attached to a narly motor. Leo Smith immediately comes to mind.

The exact year escapes me now, but I once stood right next to my Uncle Bill while he stuffed countless pounds of celery into a giant of a industrial food processor the likes of which I have never seen since. All I remember was that we were arguing about something or other when I heard two sickening noises. Thump. Thump. And then he let out a scream and treated me to the bloody stump that his hand had become in something short of an instant. And thanks entirely to that shocking incident, I never once shoved my hand anywhere near the intake shute of that scary machine. Nah, it was much slower, but I used that pusher thingie from that point on.

These days, I play with hammer drills and augers that don't look like much, but I understand what can easily go wrong right before the machine gets to shredding the person operating it. And being the senior person in my field of expertise at my place of employment, I am quite often put in the position of training newbies out there in the field. They always seem to pay some attention to detail except where my oft-repeated safety warnings are concerned. Hidden weed barriers? Soil covers? Vapor barriers? Sub-slab gas lines? Oil lines covered by a less than a quarter inch of Sakrete? Be serious! How could a sheet of burlap or some 12-mill plastic buried under mulch be any sort of threat to my well-being? As evidenced by what WILK reported this morning, they can be a serious threat to your well-being. And then some.

I'm sorry if I'm boring you to death, but I do have a point. These days, expensive do-dads are readily affordable at the various and sundry Home Depots of the world, and lots of folks have gotten to doing some rather invasive home improvement projects of late. Plus, you can head off to the local rent-all center and easily rent yourselves some very powerful motor-driven devices. Base-mounted, or hand-held Core drills suddenly popped into my head.

The thing is, it's really cool and all to do it yourself and save a ton of money in the process. But understand that when the motor gets to spinning real fast like, a simple draw-string hanging too far out of one side of your hoodie can end your life in an instant. It's that simple, and it happens way, way too fast to do anything about it.

Think before you spin, kiddies.

That's all I'm sayin.

Now that my first ever internet safety lesson has been concluded, let's visit a snippet of what Gort had to say on his blog recently.

We don't need no stinking Arena

Remember the big fight over building the Arena. A group calling it self Taxes No! With the help of a few local radio talk show hosts led the opposition against it. The issue was if Luzerne County should guarantee a bond issue to finance the construction of the building. If the venture failed homeowners would have been on the hook for about fifteen bucks each to pay off the bonds. The forward thinking people of Arena Yes headed by State Rep. Kevin Blaum argued it was a risk worth taking. The Commissioners (cowards) at the time wouldn't take a position and punted the issue to a referendum. The question lost by the slimmist of margins and it was time for Plan B. A few months after that vote the slimeballs (commissioners) raised property taxes by 25% and not a peep was heard out of the Arena opponents who billed themselves as fiscal watchdogs.

Then Plan B kicked in, we got a great facility that has been a runaway success and has spurred development all around it. The building has about 3000 less seats than if it was properly financed but as someone (link disabled) pointed out to me, it was probably a good thing that the Commissioners don't have a say in running the place. It would have turned into another patronage cow for the politicians instead of being run in the professional way that it is.

Needless to say, I was that "someone." Whatever. That was probably when Brett Favre called a time-out. Or something.

But when I read the comments posted in response to his thoughts, I got pissed-off all over again. Take a gander at this:

Doctor RXXX said...

I once commented about that. The people are affraid of change. The same hypocrites against the ARENA wrote editorials and called TALKBACK 16 about how come they couldn't get Neil Diamond Tickets.

Such is the nature of the Wyoming Valley! Not to mention how the advent of the arena comepletely changed our region.

With no due respect, it's not quite that simple. Sure, WILK's Fred Williams had the senior citizens in this county mobilized and ready to vote against any arena being built during their watch. And, yes, in a county where the opening of an Olive Garden was hailed as a sure-fire sign of forward-looking progress, the envisioning of an ultra-successful venue the likes of which we've become accustomed to was heretofore seen as some sort of perverted science fiction not to be taken seriously. But to say that "the people were affraid [sic] of change" is to suggest that the author of such words was once lobbying fast and furious for that project to go forward. Methinks not. The fact is, hindsight is 20/20.

And while the senior citizens were hoodwinked into voting en masse against such a venue, many of us younger folks that voted against it were not afraid of change, quite the contrary, and we were certainly not hypocrites in any general sense of the word. I really hate to correct your illogic, but what we were ultimately afraid of was Tom Makowski and Tom Pizano managing any aspect of such a massively costly and heretofore unimaginable endeavor. And for that matter, we were equally afraid of what those who might one day follow in their expensive footsteps might turn that arena into. And whether you want to believe it after the fact or not--we were right.

Kevin Blaum eventually stepped up to the plate in a monsterous way and Wilkes-Barre Township quickly became the most successful township in this county totally lacking any modicum of sound leadership. And the arena--whatever corporate name it has these days--is a success story the likes of which Culm County has never seen. It could have had 12,000 seats had the referendum question passed when voted on way back when. But the fact that it was built minus one-third of it's originally intended capacity is the real success story that has yet to be told.

It may be leaner and meaner than we'd like it to be, but the Luzerne County Commissioners (whomever they may be at any given point in time) are not in charge of any aspect of it's operation. And it continues to show a profit and significant enhancements have been added since the day it first opened for business.

That's the real success story behind the oft-promoted success story.

Afraid of change?

No way, Jose. You couldn't be more completely wrong if you set about deliberately trying to be completely wrong.

The arena continues to boom only because we, the voters, removed the incompetant folks from the eventual equation, and Kevin Blaum stepped up to fill the obvious leadership void.

Neil Diamond???

I KNOW he's not talking about me.

I just got the call yesterday that I am indeed going to the Kirby Center on Tuesday night to listen to General Colin Powell speak. I'm not entirely sure who I'll be sitting with, but I'm hoping to be rubbing elbows with someone who knows first-hand what it's all about to selflessly serve one's country.

Call me what you will, but I really don't want to miss this rarest of chances to listen to a great American gab at will in a very relaxed setting. And make no mistake about it--Colin Powell is a truly GREAT American!

And according to those learned health professionals, I'm gonna have another grandkid added to the family mix in the next four days or so.

I'm thinking that I might need a bigger, more elongated bicycle.


P.S.--It's fire season, kiddies.

Cool it with the space heaters and the cheezy extension cords.