2-7-2006 Wifey speaks

I switched over to this high-speed cable internet muckity-muck about a month ago and I’ve been having on-again, off-again problems while trying to respond to the various and sundry e-mails I receive on a daily basis. It seems as if the tech support boys finally got the bedeviling snafu corrected, so while I must apologize for any perceived snubs on my part, I meant no such disrespect.

I received an e-mail from an intern at a local radio station in which she inquired as to whether or not I’d be up for an on-air interview about my propensity for spewing lunacy on the internet. I tried to reply to her request, but the e-mail outbox was still in a major funk at that point. Anyway, I got to thinking about doing the radio bit in a pair of boxer shorts. Yeah, I’d have to go out and buy me a pair to pull off such a stunt, but I think it’d be interesting to see if the interviewer would dare to list my paltry attire for the listening audience. Then again, I think it’s interesting to watch ants and termites fight to the death, so consider the deranged source.

I linked to the city’s community survey on the main page, which leads you to a PDF file. If you click on the following link it will lead you to an online survey that you can complete and then e-mail to city hall with one keystroke. If you happen to reside in this city, you really should complete the survey and send it along. Why not? Everybody likes to express their opinion of what the city needs and the city is now inviting you to do as much. Let it rip.

Community Survey

I printed a copy of the survey, handed it to wifey and told her to take a whack at it. She started micro-analyzing the thing to death, so I told her to do exactly what the thing was asking her to do: Document the goings-on as they pertain to your neighborhood. Forget the Heights. Forget South Wilkes-Barre. The survey is asking you about the current state of affairs in good ole’ Nord End. So she filled the thing out and I didn’t even grade it.

We agreed on the following questions:

The upkeep of the homes on your street: Most homes are:

***Are very well kept.

My street is normally quiet and peaceful.


I feel safe walking in my neighborhood.


Crime is not normally a problem on my street.


We do feel safe in our end of town, but it should be noted that I am a firm believer in the Boy Scout Motto: Be prepared. The thing is, this entire area has got way too many people hopelessly addicted to drugs. And when they desperately need a fix to feel good again, they are capable of almost any illegal act.

Another thing I prepare for is the dangerous dogs that run loose all too often. I’ve had our aged pooch out for a stroll too many times when we encountered Pit Bulls or Rotwiellers running loose and itching for a fight. It’s a tough spot to be in when two dogs start ripping each other to shreds and you‘re supposed to return home with one of them fully intact. I’ve been lucky so far. I’ve never been injured, but I came damn close on two occasions.

I took a walk to Oh Yes yesterday afternoon and some asshole on Hollenback Street had his Rotweiller on a leash, but still allowed the fu>king thing to jump up and down all over my person. He kept repeating “He’s not dangerous. He’s not dangerous.” Really? Sez who? You?. But why is it that you think it’s somehow acceptable for your dog to be trying to nip at the end of my nose? My hands were in my pockets, but I had one hand on a blade and the other on a baton. If that dog had as much as scratched me, the area car was gonna be dispatched to our location right quick. This is an on-going problem in Wilkes-Barre. No matter what city council might lead you to believe, they can’t legislate away idiocy, and they can’t legislate away piss-poor parenting.

Wifey’s answers concerning everything from garbage collection to yard waste to recycling were all “adequate, satisfactory,” or “somewhat satisfactory.” I see no reason to take issue with any of that. We put the stuff on the curb and somebody comes and whisks it away. Rocket science this ain’t and it works the way it was intended to. I guess.

As far as Outdoor Recreational Facilities are concerned, wifey rated them as being inadequate and provided the following comments:

Playgrounds for children should be well kept and monitored. Just like they were when we were kids.

I totally agree, but I’m not sure how we can make that happen in an era when most communities are grappling with how to rob Peter to pay Paul and not end up being an Act 47 distressed city. One problem we have is the fact that Wilkes-Barre has a helluva lotta far-flung playgrounds that need to be maintained and monitored. If they were consolidated to some degree, maybe we could afford to adequately maintain and monitor all of them, but the residents in the affected neighborhoods would cry foul if a single playground were proposed for elimination. You’d have the tired “What are we paying taxes for?” complaints splashed all over the pages of our two newspapers faster than that playground could be obliterated by graffiti after dark. Needless to say, the playground dilemma does not provide us with many options for a quick fix.

We have two playgrounds easily within walking distance, but wifey will not take the grandkids to either one of them despite the constant requests from the kiddies to do so. In a nutshell, she’s afraid to. She is concerned for the safety of our little ones. With that said, I regularly take the rodents to both of the playgrounds in question, but I can understand her concerns.

Both of these playgrounds are neatly displayed alongside basketball courts. And both basketball courts are frequented by black and Latino youths who go well out of their way to give one the impression that they are gang-bangers. Their dress, their language and the way they carry themselves suggest to the untrained eye that they are anti-social, if not downright dangerous to be within close proximity of. They talk the menacing talk, but for the most part they are no more dangerous than the white kids sporting the very worse that the rap and hip-hop culture have to offer. These days, everybody seems to want to look like a non-conformist gangster. And it scares some of the older white women who feel vulnerable while within their midst.

I’m not worried about those kids at all, but I do find myself biting my lip when exposed to them for more than five minutes. Should my grandkids be exposed to a non-stop F-bomb assault while toiling away on the sliding board? Is that acceptable to anyone other than the self-centered ignorant kids shooting hoops? Should I confront them only to end up in the Times Leader’s ever-expanding Police Blotters?

If it were up to me, I’d move those basketball courts as far away from the playgrounds as possible. We don’t mix cocky 15-year-olds and impressionable 5-years-olds together for the purposes of educating them, and for obvious reasons. So why would we meld those two age groups together at the local playground when they are as close as they’ll ever get to being completely unsupervised? In my special secret place, teenagers and toddlers need separate recreational facilities. Like I said, we’re not trying to design a better solid booster rocket with this survey of ours.

I think the most interesting of all the questions was the one asking the residents to rate the current state of our emergency services. Be it police protection, fire protection, or ambulance service; would you rate them as being satisfactory, somewhat satisfactory, or unsatisfactory? Wifey rated all three as being satisfactory, but in the follow-up question If you found any of the above services less than satisfactory, would you be willing to support higher taxes to improve the level of services? she circled “Yes.”

With crime being on the rise in most of our communities these days, she’d be willing to support a tax increase only if it resulted in the hiring of even more police officers. I couldn’t agree more. Instead of six patrol cars in five zones, give us eight, or nine in five zones. Give us as many as the taxpayers can support short of forcing them to resort to eating dog food croquettes. In response to the recent shootings, the consensus among the most shell-shocked residents seems to be the need for an increased police presence. If that’s truly the case, will they vote in favor of a tax increase to accomplish as much? Fascinating. They can continue to rage against the perceived political machine, or they opt for enhanced public safety. Put up or shut up time. Cops don’t grow on trees and neither do revenues, so it’s a decision time of sorts. I can’t wait to see the final tabulations.

Do you have any desire or plans to move out of the city in the future?

Wifey circled “uncertain.”

Whoa! I wasn’t aware of that. I thought we were here for the long haul. Then again, that probably has less to do with current affairs as it does with our uncertainty as to where all of our kids and grandkids might flock to one day. You see, wifey cannot be separated from her offspring and their offspring. If they moved to Lower Muckovia, I’m fairly certain she’d be studying the Muckovian dialect and pestering me to pack up all of my CDs. Well, all except the 130 or so Zappa LPs and CDs. You see, she likes her immediate family and wants them in her day-to-day life. And I’m totally on board with all of that. How do you say bikeabout in Muckovian?

Bicigglebahn, yah?

Whatever. The city is offering the residents the chance to provide some direct input sans much effort and I think everyone should take advantage of such a rare opportunity. And if that’s not enough of a vehicle for ya, you can send whatever comments you see fit to send to cityhall@wilkes-barre.pa.us

Drop ‘em a line. They are inviting you to do so, so rather than bitching through the overgrown hedgerow to the next-door neighbor, let ‘em know what you think. I always do and they haven’t had me tarred and feathered just yet.

Would you be willing to support higher taxes to have Wilkes-Barre’s internet raconteurs tarred and feathered on Public Square?

Your responses will be kept in the strictest of confidences.

How do I get a job like this?

International Commission of Inquiry On Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration

Jeez, that ought to get the apoplectic Bush-haters to freaking out once again as they so frequently do.

Crimes against humanity? How melodramatic. Iraq is a crime against humanity. Afghanistan is a crime against humanity. Kyoto was a crime perpetrated against humanity. Nationalist sentiments coming from an American president are certainly a crime against humanity. Hailing from Texas is somehow a crime against humanity.

But the government-inflicted massacres at both Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas were not crimes against humanity. The Oklahoma City bombing cover-up was not a crime against humanity. (Google Jayna Davis) Flight 800 fell from the skies in two pieces because it’s fuel tanks were bone-dry (?) and that cover-up was not a crime against humanity. The bombing of a pill factory in Africa was not a crime against humanity. Hitting the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia with a laser-guided bomb was not a crime against humanity. Running away from lawless Somalia was not a crime against humanity. Paying the likes of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein lip service was not a crime against humanity. Virtually ignoring the ‘93 attack on The World Trade Center was not a crime against humanity. Halving our military in eight short years was not a crime against humanity. And ignoring the well-publicized genocide in Rwanda was not a crime against humanity.

Gotcha. Only Republicans can be found guilty of crimes against humanity. What a bunch of fu>king partisan maroons!

Somebody send that link to Chia Kev at wilknewsradio,com. I’m sure he’ll quote from it like it’s the new New Testament.

What a farce.

I guess this was an off-day. Actually, most of what this guy did easily qualified as an off-day.

An endless supply of talent plus an endless supply of narcotics equals less than stellar results. It’s a shame what this guy did to himself. A trail of outstanding music should have followed him throughout the ‘70s, and maybe even into the ‘80s. Bummer. A self-inflicted bummer.

Die young, stay pretty.

Jimi Hendrix


Hmmm. How tough are rapidly aging Toyota pickup trucks?

Do I freaking care?

From the e-mail inbox Mark

Your super bowl post proves that you are beyond help. And that is what makes you a must read. You are living proof that crazy people who are smart are much more interesting than sane people that try to sound smart.

I’m crushing your head.

Figure that one out

Um…thanks. I think.

Mick Ronson is calling to me. I’m thinking “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” at maximum volume. After that, maybe a high-decibel “Width of a Circle” undertaking. Being crazy ain’t all that bad. It works for me.

'Cause I'd rather stay here
With all the madmen
Than perish with the sad men roaming free
And I'd rather play here
With all the madmen
For I'm quite content
They're all as sane as me

Zane, Zane, Zane

Ouvre le Chien

(Bowie--All the Madmen)

PS--No more Bill Scranton for Governor. I guess we're stuck with the former wide receiver.