1-14-2007 10-82 or: There’s one in every family

Someone inquired as to how I managed to come across that disabled hanger thingie I photographed hanging from my Hummer. More specifically, they wanted to know if I obtained it illegally.

Truth be told, it literally walked up to me while I was working in an intense windstorm in the Hazleton area earlier this year. And since I was working at a vacant structure flanked on both sides by shuttered structures, I figured it was a clear case of “finders keepers.”

And it’s a hoot to pull up in front of a business, hang the tag from the handlebars and then watch the confused reactions of the folks who happen to notice it. I’m silly like that and damn proud of my abject silliness. If I ever fall on really hard times, I imagine I can garner quite a few bucks for it on EBay. In this health-crazed country of ours, there are literally millions upon billions upon gazillions of people too completely lazy to walk all of 30 yards into the grocery store. I done got me a keeper.

So, I guess the answer is, no, I’m not a freaking thief like most of the rest of you. I’m just accepting and embracing my slow descent into madness.


Wifey and I attended the big company Christmas soiree last night at Convention Hall in Pittston. Well, it wasn’t all that big. I’d say we had about 30 or so attendees, but it was worth the trek. We had us some kind of jukebox gizmo that required no coins and such to operate. Oh, and a couple of floor-mounted disco balls. Ah, disco. What would have become of the world had disco not come along and saved it?

Anywho, the musical choices were far better than adequate. We played what they tell me is called Dirty Bingo, and wifey came away with two of the prizes. She won some scrap booking materials. And she won the most sought-after prize--this longish tube. And when the wrapping finally came off, she won herself a long tube filled with gumballs. Oh joy.

What, no Bazooka?

We had the always favorite open bar. We had us one of them buffet tables stocked full with dead animals and skinned fish. And, as per usual, the rolls would have to suffice. If it once walked, crawled, slithered, flew or swam--I’m not eating it. No way, Jose. Buttered rolls and fermented hops and barley would just have to do. Although, once back at the modest adobe, the midnight pizza did the trick. And, no, I did not make like the rest of you and drive with a snoot-full on. I’m not a big fan of getting a good buzz on and then waking up dazed and confused in a jail cell. I’m weird like that.

I put together a 13-plus minute slideshow of pictures I took while toiling away for my employer. I think it showed two things. It showed the in-house people what the people in the field have to endure. And it clearly showed that despite 2005 and 2006 being very tumultuous years for those employed at our local office, we still managed to produce the hoped-for figures. We’ve had a change in command due to the passing of our former leader. We’ve dealt with the retirement of a manager. We’ve had a few firings, a few promotions and a ton of new hires. We merged another local office into our office. We have a new overseas owner/partner. Our entire building is being remodeled. And, we’ve had to deal with the flooding, the closed bridges and the closed thoroughfares all over the county. It’s been a wild ride, a bumpy ride for sure. And yet, we’re still right there at the top when measured against our company’s many far-flung peers.

I think we done good. It’s been a couple of years since we last scored one of those ‘office of the year’ awards. We’re in the running for it and if we pull it out, it has to be seen as a major feather in somebody’s cap. Perhaps 40 feathers would need to be divvied out. We’ll see about all of that.

It’s funny, with Wifey slimming down as she has been, and given her proclivities for dressing like a tomboy, our daughter got the biggest kick out of Wifey buying what she called “girlie clothes” for the big party. It’s great that she’s starting to feel good about herself again. Life is tough enough without having a mirror torturing you day-in and day-out. And if you’re likewise being tortured by a mirror, get on the damn bicycle and start counting calories. Shedding unwanted pounds is much easier than you have been led to believe by the slick advertisements coming from the Elmer Gantry’ of the corporate world. All that you need is the willpower and a whole lot of sweating going on. Do it!

A big shout out has to go to both Paul and Terri Termite for working on what turned out to be a nice little get-together. Whenever you mix alcohol and your coworkers, just about anything can happen. Been there, done that, and I busted open a couple of knuckles in that mostly needless process. But, what happened last night was pleasant.

‘Til next time.

They tell me the folks from WBRE are on their way up to Lehigh Street. And, as a result, I can’t wait to take in the evening news broadcast.

From today’s Citizens’ Voice:

Woman set on fire; assault not random

An excerpt:

According to Wilkes-Barre City Police Sgt. Ralph Elick, Lehigh Street resident Maureen Sack, 45, was walking down the street when a man and a woman threw some type of lit accelerant at her.

They set my Sister-in-law on fire? I know hers is a mostly troubled existence, but I think things are (Let’s use the latest Democrat buzzword) escalating.

A bit of recent history:

Times Leader--August 16, 2006

• Amanda Kratz, South Franklin Street, told police that Maureen Sack, 44, Lehigh Street, punched her in the face several times at 11:45 p.m. Sunday. Sack was charged with harassment, police said.

Times Leader--August 18, 2006

Maureen Sack, 45, reported Thursday a window at her Lehigh Street residence was damaged.

Times Leader--August 16, 2006

Maureen Sack, 44, Lehigh Street, told police she was shot three times with a pellet gun while walking in the area of 200 Park Ave. at midnight Tuesday.

They can’t all be unrelated, completely random acts, can they be?

I’m wondering what the perpetrators of this frightening crime will be charged with once they are apprehended. They just upped and set someone ablaze? I don’t really care what Maureen may have done to motivate them, that’s a pretty serious undertaking. Is that, like, attempted homicide? Or, is it more along the lines of aggravated assault? It sure as hell isn’t a misdemeanor. It can’t result in an incident report being filed. There’s absolutely no denying that my Sister-in-law has some serious behavioral flaws, but the last I checked, burning people was a pretty serious offense.

Think back to the last time you set someone on fire. What did they charge you with? Cruelty to humans? Whew. I dunno, but I can’t wait to see the video. I’m betting they’ll have to bleep out half of what she has to say, but Wifey’s not so sure. Again, I dunno. It’s just that it’s so frustrating and beyond disturbing to watch someone go from being an attractive young lady with her entire, boundless life ahead of her turning into what she has become. Some people are just beyond help. Some people got cheated when they were still developing in the womb. They say there’s one in every family. Man, I hope that isn’t true.

More histrionics:

Times Leader--December 30, 2004

WILKES-BARRE - Police arrested a man they say shot his ex-girlfriend at her home in Miners Mills section Wednesday afternoon. Maureen Sack, 41, entered the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center emergency room shortly before 4:30 p.m. and told the staff she was shot, said a Luzerne County 911 supervisor who didn't want to be named. The staff called 911 to notify police a shooting occurred in the 1300 block of North Washington Street, the supervisor said.

And then there’s my take on all of that tomfoolery: A 10-80 in the family

After revisiting my post and rereading all of that, I think I got it wrong. We don’t have a loose 10-80 in this family. What we’ve got is a loose 10-82. If you’re not up on police codes, think straight jackets and padded rooms. And how are we supposed to get her the help she so obviously needs if she’s not even remotely interested in helping herself?

I tell you, it’s enough to make you want to torch the puppies.

I‘m thoroughly enjoying this total idiocy I’m seeing on the local internet whereby every vehicle our local leaders employ to spur economic investment in this city is being portrayed as proof of corruption. It seems we’ve got more than one 10-82 on the loose in this city.

There is this utter sophistry of thought that goes something like this. Well, if we’d just hire a few more cops, fix the potholes and sweep the streets--economic investment would just start growing on the diseased trees at the river’s edge. That is so much speciousness, it’s hard to imagine anyone actually admitting to believing it.

In a city with a long-dysfunctional downtown, abandoned buildings all over the place, a challenged infrastructure, declining revenues, overdue debts and reverse-gentrification going on no matter which direction you might look…all that we need to do to spur serious economic investment in this city is to increase city services? This is the absolute best that the lunatic fringe constantly sniping from life’s periphery has to offer? Street sweepers? That is unconscionably ridiculous in it’s breathtakingly upsetting simplemindedness.

Why should I spend $10 million of my hard-earned money in Wilkes-Barre? Um, because you’ve got a few more cops, a few street sweepers and a few truckloads of hot patch? You’re cocktailing your opiates now, right? It’s really that simple?

Know what, if your testicles were brains, I’d say you were long, long, long overdue for a chemical castration.

I used to think that this sort of furtive posturing came only from those forever reduced to seeking the nonexistent insurgency vote they so feverishly fertilize. Apparently, being hopelessly myopic, if not totally clueless is not strictly limited to those pretenders to the throne who fancy themselves as one day being put in charge of the entire shebang. Your nonsensical writhing about is starting to be painful to watch. And as your inane ramblings and disrespectful mutterings apply to kick-starting a long troubled urban setting, you are a hell-bent, but misplaced fruit fly begging for that long overdue swatter. You see, when the private sector has no interest at all, it behooves the public sector to spur that long overdue economic investment all by it‘s lonesome.

I see 14 movies screens and you see corruption. I see an eyesore being transformed and you see corruption. I see the Cumberland Building, a building that has been abandoned since Tom Leighton was a gangly paperboy, being turned into new apartments in a downtown short on indigenous residents and you see corruption. I see rotting trees about to be replaced by new seedlings and you see corruption. I see a new bus center going up and you see corruption. I see an exciting new amenity being added to the city’s watery edge and you cling to the negativity that defines your meager existence by mocking our elected folk because of it. I see progress and you see whatever it is that the purposely feebleminded typically see. I guess it all depends on one’s outlook on life. I’m happy with all that this life provides me with and you’re falling somewhat short of that.

They say there’s one in every family. Man, I hope that isn’t true.