5-8-2006 Good vibrations, hayna?

I see Mayor Tom Leighton went and held a press conference today. Now you all know why I was layin’ some Beach Boys tunes on you.

WILKES-BARRE-- The Beach Boys, it was announced this afternoon, will headline the city’s Bicentennial Concert Series this summer with a free show 4 p.m. July 3 in Kirby Park. Mayor Tom Leighton delivered the news during a Monday afternoon press conference at the park’s Martz Pavilion.

The Beach Boys to play Wilkes-Barre

I can’t help but to wonder if I affected the timing of that press conference. You see, all that I knew was that a major recording artist was supposed to be coming to Wilkes-Barre for the big bicentennial celebration. And evidenced by the impenetrable shroud of secrecy that surrounded the “I Believe” event, I figured no city employee would be talking about which major artist was coming to town. So, I simply chewed on it for a while, and the Beach Boys seemed like the obvious pick to me. They’re awesome, they’ve got tons of classics in tow, they’re family friendly and they still get out there on tour.

Saturday afternoon, while some volunteers were sprucing up Public Square as part of the citywide cleanup, somebody ruptured a water line buried beneath a mulch bed and tried flooding the town’s center. As a result, I called a certain city honcho and asked him if he had ever heard of Pennsylvania One Call--Call Before You Dig.

Smart ass, ain’t I?

I spent the last three months training two new termite technicians at work and I kept repeating the same message to the point of absurdity: If you’re not sure, don’t do it. If you’re not sure, don’t do it. If you’re not sure, don’t do it. If you’re not sure…

The point being, if you have not clearly identified where subterranean and sub-slab utility lines are, then don’t spin that drill, auger, water-cooled core bit, or what have you. Trust me, if you’ve never ruptured a gas main, you have no idea how much fun it isn’t. You can flood a home or a business by rupturing a water line, or sub-slab heating systems. You can drill through electrical conduits. Worse case, a single spark from a drill bit rupturing a gas line can get people killed. Namely, you, if you happen to be poor sap hanging on to that hammer drill at the time.

So, repeat after me: If you’re not sure, don’t do it. What I’m wondering is, what the heck were those volunteers using when they ruptured the water line? Something for the organizers of future cleanup events to consider before they get somebody blown to tiny shards.

We now return you to the smart ass routine.

Anywho, just for the fun of it, I asked the big city honcho who the secret recording artist was, and, of course, he was not talking. He offered only that it was one of the “top 5 acts of all-time, but not The Rolling Stones.” I responded immediately with “Then it’s the Beach Boys, right?” The couple of seconds of silence coming from the cheesy cell phone was answer enough for me, before he slipped and said “So…you do know.”

I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I frickin’ knew it!!!

Manic falsettos and whatnot…here we come. Now, I could get all self-centered and swear to Allah that I’ll never, ever vote for Tom Leighton again, because I wanted Cheap Trick. But he rarely listens to any of my readily-available advice, which all but proves that he’s a smart guy. Whatever. At least I get the free hat pins.

I honestly believe having the Beach Boys performing in Kirby Park on the 3rd of July is outstanding. Whoever thunk that one up done good. Real good. Does anyone still want to go on bitching about the cancellation of that retched Diamond drop event?

That’s what I thought.

The only thing I got to say about the following Citizens’ Voice story is, I was there. Well, sort of.

Man stable following stabbing

Okay, I got more to say on all of that.

As I made mention of yesterday, I actually got wifey out and about on a bicycle. As we were coming to a stop at the site of the soon-to-be stabbing, the intersection of Wyoming and Beaumont streets, we ran right up to three of those gangster wannabes that started a brawl down the street a ways a couple of weeks ago. And since the police scanner was chirping away, they slowed their already slow pace and gave me the death-stare routine. They didn’t know what to make of me. An off-duty cop, perhaps? I returned the cold, hard stare and pedaled away. I get that a lot. Fu>k them.

So, we pedaled barely the length of the next block only to have the scanner report that someone had been stabbed just seconds before and right at the intersection we had just vacated. My first thought was to double back there with my hair on fire on the Hummer, but what of wifey with the keys to the adobe buried in my rear bag? We headed across the intersection, and I called 911 just as soon as we got in the adobe. All I could offer was a description of those gangsters, but what the heck? Why not?

I saw those guys in action once before, and I followed them to a destination not very far away. I relayed that info to a city detective, and earlier this evening, I talked to him about this latest incident.

Wanna know what’s been pissing me off lately? These worthless druggie gangsters are running around stabbing, shooting and threatening anyone that gets in their way. The drug trade is known for fast money and big profits. But, why are they operating here in the first place? Why? Because so many of us (not me) are buying their destructive products. Where there’s demand, there’s supply. In a nutshell, we are destroying our own communities. As a general rule, the brown folks grow it, the black folks sell it and the white folks buy it.

How smart are we?

From the e-mail inbox Mark,

I'm a former resident who enjoys your site immensely.
I, too, am getting downloads on my computer when I open your site. The downloads open my itunes automatically. I can't open these downloads and they keep multiplying on my desktop. I have an Apple Powerbook. Thanks for all your efforts in letting us transplants know what's happening in Wilkes-Barre. These are exciting times for my hometown.

Keep up your good work.


Thanx. Well, now that the big Beach Boys announcement has been made, I guess I’ll do away with the Beach Boys medley and cool it with the embedded tunes until I can figure out what’s going on with all of that.

It’s funny that you mentioned “transplants,” because on any given day this ersatz site is visited by folks scattered pretty far and wide. From New Jersey to California, and from Canada to Florida, former residents of the Wilkes-Barre area typically say the same thing. They stay up on the latest in Wilkes-Barre by reading the Leader, the Voice and all of my madness.

What that suggests to me is that many of those very same folks would love nothing more than to return to the area, but, for whatever reason, cannot. I have no clue as to what’s going on in any of the cities I lived in before settling here, nor do I care. I was born in Endicott, New York and could care less if it’s still there, or even if Jimmy Carter gave it to one of those dictator‘s he‘s always cozying up to. I absolutely treasure the 3-plus years I spent roaming the hills of Derby, Connecticut as a boy, but other than visiting the step-dad in ‘04 at my brother’s request, I don’t really care what’s become of the place.

I’ve lived in Florida, Maine, numerous, numerous locations throughout Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. And yet, the only place I ever thought of as home was Wilkes-Barre. I’m not completely sure why that is, or how it came to be, but if I figure it out, you just know I’m going to tell you.

And you are on-target correct. Despite what some might mistakenly tell you, these are exciting times for our hometown.

Stay in touch.

From the e-mail inbox Mark

The last movie I saw in downtown WB?

One of the Godfather series.

Wow! Mid to late seventies, no?

That’s back when they used to card us at The Paramount. No foolin’. I remember my first cousin not shaving for a week and wearing, like, KISS boots trying to get himself in there to see something rated PG-17 and failing to even get past the doorman. Life sure sucked back them. No nasty bits of trendy ultra violence, no cursing marathons and no exposed boobies bouncing all over the screen. If it hadn’t of been for Home Box Office coming along and raping our mostly blank minds, we’d have still been worshipping Marcia Brady until we were about ready to ship off to college.


How about The Times Leader‘s endorsement of Eddie Day Pashinski in the 121st showdown? Trust me, I was not expecting that.

EDDIE DAY PASHINSKI’S an average-looking, middle-aged guy. But when he grins, his face glows with contagious enthusiasm.

During a meeting, our editorial board got a hint of the magnetism that we suspect made Pashinski a successful Greater Nanticoke Area music teacher. We can’t imagine a teenager, timid or surly, who wouldn’t sing more passionately or take on a challenging solo after seeing one of Pashinski’s disarming smiles.

Though he’s light on political experience, we think that Pashinski’s charm and passion for people could be potent weapons.

He’s our top pick among the Democratic state Representative candidates in the 121st District.

Pashinski’s assets are passion, he’s baggage-free

I said what I had to say last night, but if Ed goes really, really heavy with the door-to-door routine, don’t be surprised if another O’Donnell gets shot down in flames on election day.

Anybody ever hear of William Amesbury?

Let’s vote!

Let‘s do it!