6-13-2006 Speaka da englais

Under my tutelageÖ you could lose as much weight as you want and just as fast as you want. Forget about all of that en vogue low-fat claptrap. Thatís a foolís game sure to disappoint in the end. You wanna lose some serious weight? Count calories and exercise like all hell. BANG! Done.

Wifey has been on the Dr. Zorcong program for four weeks now and has lost fifteen pounds. And, being that she pedaled a hard 7 miles on the bike yesterday afternoon, Iím quite certain sheíll be pleased when Wednesday morning arrives and she does the weekly weigh-in. Thatís 25 miles in three days.

We did a quick 2 miles through the city yesterday and then we rode over the Market Street bridge, hooked a left onto the dike and made our way down to Olmstead Trail in what many folks call Fag Forest. The trail runs from the bridge all the way to Larksville, or somewhere thereabouts. Once you pass under the Black Diamond bridge, the trails are heavily used by dirt bike riders and get much, much wider. On this day, the ďHonda Trails,Ē as they used to be known, were a messy mud bog, so we didnít venture too far past the Black Diamond. In fact, I just got done hosing down the bikes.

While we were checking out the ancient ruins of the zoo and such, she asked me why we kept encountering guys wandering through the heavily wooded area all by their lonesome. I told her about the widely-known Fag Forest moniker and she was repulsed by the mere thought of men wandering through such a bucolic place in search of spontaneous sex with complete strangers sporting the same plumbing. I concurred, but told her to think of it as a sort of MySpace.com only with trees and mosquitoes. Whatís the difference? Besides, there was nothing to fear since we were armed to the hilt.

Anyway, instead of riding on dikes or streets, wifey was made to pedal through the mud, the puddles, the uneven terrain and quite a few hills along the way. At the conclusion of this ride, she said her legs felt a bit unsteady under her. Good.

As most of you know, I commute to work by way of a bicycle. Itís an 8-mile round trip every single day. I ride when it rains. I ride when it snows. I ride when itís brutally hot. And I ride when itís cold. In other words, I donít use the weather as an excuse to skip the daily exercise routine. I have cold weather gear. I have a poncho. And I have shorts and tank tops. While so many others are trying to blame McDonaldís for our growing obesity problem, Iím exercising.

With that said, I typically hear the same stuff over and over again. The first is that Iím crazy to be biking as much as I do. And the other is when people get to asking me how I manage to stay so thin. Amazingly, both of those come from the same people on occasion. Iím nuts to bike, but how do I stay so thin?

A guy at work approached me one morning as I was opening my bike bags and asked me how old I was? When I told him my age he said: ďWhat the fu>k is wrong with you? Why donít you act your age?Ē

What? Am I supposed to be out of shape and unable to see my toes by a certain birthday? Is it really so completely weird to want to stay in shape? Iím not afraid of growing old and gray. What scares me is being a plump lump that needs assistance just getting of the frickiní couch. I donít want to be a lump. I want to be lean and mean. Well, mostly lean. The mean phase began to wane long ago.

With the price of gas, er, modern living in general being what it is, I canít believe that more people arenít embracing bicycling as a way to get to and from work. The cost is negligible, if not nonexistent. Bicycling is far less stressful than driving on most days. Actually, my ride home from work is quite relaxing while I typically wind down mentally. With some experience, itís a heckuva lot less dangerous than most people would believe. Plus, if thatís not enough, you stay thin despite being able to eat and drink as much as you want. If you faithfully commute by bicycle, youíll never need to diet. Not even once.

Some cities are very bicycle friendly. Some cities go well out of their way to encourage itís residents to cycle, and some cities even have cycling coordinators. There are bike paths, bike lanes, and some cities even have special traffic lights that make it easier and safer for cars and bikes to share the road. Some cities provide for bicycle parking areas throughout their downtowns. Some have modified parking meters that double as bike parking racks. Still others have covered bicycle parking pavilions in centralized and highly visible locations to discourage theft.

This city is somewhat bicycle friendly only because itís mostly flat. Then again, the only mention of bicycles coming from any of our elected officials was to limit their use in our downtown. And if that thinking isnít antiquated enough, the huge bike rack in front of police headquarters has turned up missing. The most secure location to lock your bike up is no more. Progressive we ainít.

The thing is, if the city did what they could to make Wilkes-Barre a lot more user friendly for the purposes of bicycling and then trumpeted that fact, maybe people would get with the program in increasing numbers. Wanna lose weight? Wanna buy less gasoline? Wanna see less vehicular traffic in the downtown? Buy a bike and ride it no matter what.

The city is about to break ground on that huge intermodal garage. Why not provide a spot where bicyclists can secure their wheels? Put one of those video monitors on the bikes so we can enjoy a movie without worrying about our bikes being stolen. And how about replacing the monster bike rack in front of the police headquarters? How about putting one in the middle of the square? We already have the surveillance cameras in place. If we want more vehicular traffic and less bicycling, removing the bike racks ought to get it done.

Is it nuts for a city to encourage itís residents to embrace bicycling?

All I know is, when wifey fits in her prom dress again real soon like, donít be bothering me with requests for my secret weight loss regimen. Sheís counting calories and trying to keep up with me and my bike. Sheís literally pedaling her ass off.

All that one needs is the motivation.

Olmstead Trail

Just when I thunk IĎd heard it all, the Times Leader reports that there is a conspiracy theory afoot whereas investing in this city is concerned.

Heís building on W-B

Jim Casey is basically an all-in-one real estate broker, landlord, contractor, financier and accountant. He runs a business of buying dilapidated downtown buildings, just like this one on Main Street, rehabbing them and then selling or renting the properties.

But behind the businessman exterior is a bit of an economic conspiracy theorist and a guerilla fighter in a housing war. With every renovation, rental and sale, he fights what he sees as a political effort to keep the city from becoming a thriving, popular and attractive place by manipulating the supply of housing.

He believes the local powers that be, such as lawyers, politicians and businessmen, funnel businesses, development and consumer spending to suburban outlets they control. They keep it out of the city by creating what he calls ďthe boogeyman,Ē a perception that crime and squalor pervade the city. And they keep the city housing market weak by creating subsidized public housing, which deters contractors from creating middle-class rentals downtown.

ďPeople are sheep,Ē he said. ďI live in Wilkes-Barre. Thereís no enemy here.Ē

Not a problem. Have the code enforcement guys round up all of the lawyers, politicians and businessmen and then have the DPW guys convert them into asphalt with a slightly red tint to it.

The boogeyman doesnít live here anymore.


Is it possible? Could Dr. Joe Leonardi actually send Congressman Paul Kanjorski packing? More importantly, could he get my lower back to behaving from here on out?

Leonardi for Congress

Stay tuned. Or better yet, get involved.

From The Standard-Speaker: For those of you that donít get out of the house none too much, the Speaker comes out of Hazleton. Thatís due south of here. In Luzerne County. Right near that really big chestnut tree. Never mind. Just read the danged article.

Mayor proposes official language

Rutro! Seems to me that his new plan is not all-encompassing in every manner possible. In other oft-repeated leftist words, heís a hateful hatemonger, heís mean-spirited and heís a vicious bigot. Or in still other words, heís chucking any ill-conceived consensus in favor of leadership. You know, what they elected him to do.

This story first appeared yesterday and I couldnít believe that it received nary a mention on WILK until this morning. Predictably, Chia Kev didnít like it and hereís a few of his hyperventilated blurbs:

ďItís exclusionary.Ē

ďThis is jingoism. Thatís all it is.Ē

ďItís so small-minded. Itís so small time.Ē

Iíll give him credit for being consistent. Whenever enforcement of any kind comes about, or is ultimately proposed; Chia Kev reacts as if his gonads were just set afire. The cops fire their weapons and Kev tells us thatís wrong. The cops pull over a driver who flaunts the traffic laws and Kev tells us they only pull over young people. The cops arrest a pot user and Kev tells us all drugs should be legalized. The mayor of Hazleton seeks to stem the tide of illegal aliens into his city and Kev accuses him of having a small mind. That same mayor wants the newer residents to learn to assimilate into our society and Kev starts insulting callers who agree with that approach.

First of all, if immigrants, legal or otherwise, refuse to learn at least some rudimentary English, they are limiting their opportunities. Straight up. Even a spineless dolt like Kevin canít deny that. Secondly, without any English at their disposal they are risking peoples lives when first responders are suddenly called into the mix. How could I even begin to tell some poor lady who canít speak the language that the CEO could help her pay her utility bills? Kevin, take your ACLU bullsh*t, roll it up, light it with a special sulfur-based preparation and smoke it out behind the sports bar.

See, as a nation, most of us donít get through the day speaking French, German or any of the Soviet-inspired fu>kmata they taught you in college. You want directions to Turkey Hill that are easy to follow? You ask in English. You really want to help the cops find the guy who beat the snot out of your kid? Do it in English. Your abdomen feels like itís about to explode, but the doctors have no clue as to what youíre saying? Try English.

Sorry there Chia, but having a common language really, really, really is a good idea from an operational sense. Forgot the overarching societal issues.

I know you want this country homogenized and absorbed into your long-sought one-world dystopian commune, but you jaded, aged, Marxist-inspired 60s burnouts had your chance and completely blew it. Face it. Itís been all downhill since Woodstock. Janis Joplin sucked. Country Joe was a pussy. Jimi Hendrixí music has aged about as well as Charles Manson has. You were all scarred for life by a war you did not come within 8,000 miles of. And prolonged drug use is not a sign of enlightenment.

In a country with 300 million very diverse inhabitants, wanting a common language is exclusionary???

More knee-jerk, frustrated commie bullspit from the aging hippies.

Speaka da englais!!!

More ruins

A Leadership Wilkes-Barre video? I guess you really can find anything on the internet.

From the e-mail inbox Hey Mark. How is the internet 'newspaper' idea coming along? I know the thought is in its infancy but still a damn good idea. If we loose the Leader weeze are in big trouble, as no other outlet will provide the news we need to know. There was a time that The Sue Henry Show ... WILK ... was a decent place to get the scoop, but lately that has turned into "The Sue Henry Catholic Power Hour" [ or an extension of Kings College Radio]. Keep us informed. Also, how about a hint as to a good [out of the box] scanner that would pick up all local police, etc. Keep up da good work. johnny

The scanner? Get one at Radio Shack, or seek out a Uniden. They all work great.

As far as Sueís show goes, I donít think she overdoes it whereas religion is concerned. The subject does come up now and again, but consider the current goings-on. Islam is on the march all over the world. Plus, in this country, weíre rapidly approaching the point when the secularists will call for some Democrats to introduce legislation allowing us to throw Christians to the lions all over again. Although, itíll meet some stiff resistance from the animal rights loonies. Feeding religious Americans to lions would be overly abusive to those lions, wouldnít it? How about if we just ban religion all together and mandate that all Americans pray to the gods of income redistribution? The Church of Present Day Democrats, if you will.

Admittedly, when the subject is religion in any form, my eyes gloss over and my attention wanders. But people of faith do not turn my stomach as is the case with so many other Americans. Then again, itís her show and her interests and beliefs would have to play into the mix sooner or later. Heyna? You want the right, you tune in Sue. You want commie dogma swill, you listen to Chia Kev. You want something closer to the center on most mornings, thereís Nancy.

I caught her show on WRKC aboutÖum, say a month ago and she was spinning all kinds of new wave, punk and some alternative stuff. She made nary a mention of religion, so Iím not sure what you might be alluding to other than that flap with the banned guy who spun all kinds of vitriolic, half-baked, out of context ďBush ate my childrenĒ political cesspool tomfoolery. Then again, who better to run the entire world than a school crossing guard.

I dunno, but it seems to me that the only problem with religion these days is that it deals in moral absolutes. Itís too judgmental in an age when no one can stand being judged because weĎve been incrementally trained to believe that deviancy, taboos, boorish behavior, addictions and whatnot should be embraced. So why is everyone so quick to judge the religious folks? Call me clueless, but it kind of smacks of the guilt-ridden trying to outlaw the judge.

Ah, the internet 'newspaper' idea. Well, Iíd like to relegate this site to the recycle bin and create a whole new site with multiple writers appearing on a very regular basis. Like, on a cyclical schedule or something. My posts tend to be much longer than those of your average blogger, but if a blogger were to post on this new site once or twice a week at most, I imagine theyíd be much longer and well thought-out. Political affiliation or ideal logy is not really a concern. Just interesting content.

Although, I made mention of this idea of mine and no one contacted me about it. So, I guess itís a moot point without some more contributors. Guess youíre stuck with me until I decide to pull the plug. I used to like it when Private Sector Dude posted on this site. It made for a wider array of subject matter. He followed Penn State and I didnít. Heís a man of faith and Iím not sure about any of that sort of stuff. He travels the world over and Iím typically content too explore but one valley. Just picture a local site with three, or four, maybe five different contributors. I think itíd be awesome, but I drink too much.

If anyone has any interest in pooling our ďtalents,Ē drop me a line. If not, Iíll still be typing away, but for how much longer Iím not certain. Fact is, I want to kick back just a tad.

Lemme know.

Wading pool