12-7-2008 Vapor Footprint or: The end may be near

Since our economic universe is imploding all around us and we seem utterly powerless to stop it, let’s skip that gibberish and talk football.

Ladies, this is your final warning. It’s time to run for the cover of QVC. On my mark, three…two…one…

You were warned.

So, it turns out that while Brett Favre may be the king of the frozen tundra--purported to be at his level best when the mercury dips near and especially below zero--he sucks in a steady drizzle and a sleight wind.

You figure it out.

While he may be the aging legend, there’s no doubt that there’s a new strong-armed gunslinger in town, one Jay Cutler.

This just in: New York state law requires mandatory prison time for carrying a loaded, unregistered handgun.


This one got me to thinking.

If Distraxico, Disasterixo, or whatever the funk his stupid-assed name is; is spirited off to prison, I hope he does his time in Leavenworth. Leavenworth, because, teamed up with Michael Vick, the Guards vs. Convicts Bowl a la ‘The Longest Yard’ is going to be a blowout in favor of the convicts.

And now, with O.J. Simpson (the man oblivious to karma and it’s potential implications) about to join the list of pro football players in the hoosegow, we’ve got superstars at nearly all of the “skill” positions. Damn.

As a matter of fact, with a few more of these pampered NFL prima donnas shipped off to prison, we might be able to start the very first fantasy football prison league. We’ll all be famous. But remember, it was my idea in the first place.

Although, Plax, better known in this household as “That asshole,” might end up being put on probation. You know the deal, celebrities get a slap on the wrist no matter what they do, while average slobs like us get an all-expenses-paid trip to death row. Oh, and a free last meal. Good eats, I’m told. Makes an execution almost worth the trip. Hmmm.

Anyway, in that case, Plaxico getting the usual celebrity slap on the wrist, I’m thinking that both he and Donovan McNabb just might lead the Detroit Lions back to respectability one day.

The Detroit Lions? Respectable? In my lifetime? Wow, that borders on science fiction. Or, the surreal going full-blown sublime on us. Whatever.

Actually, I wanted the Giants to dump Plax in 2005, when he obviously quit on them during a playoff loss to Carolina. He just quit. He was running, like, 8-year routes at half speed and then just coming to an abrupt stop without even looking back at Eli Manning. He was pouting. Ah, poor, poor Plaxico has yet another self-imposed bug up his sorry, sorry ass.

That fothermucking sockcucker!

Getting back to fantasy football, my “two seasons within a single season” saga rolls on. Six in a row that way and then seven in a row the other way. Streaky, ain’t I?

Still, I’m in the playoffs and some five hours from game time.

You know you’re screwed, perhaps even cursed, when Derrick Mason scores a touchdown against you. Yep, Derrick Mason…that Derrick Mason. 400 catches per year and no touchdowns Derrick Mason. That freaking guy. I got to wondering if he could even remember the last time he somehow screwed up, tripped forward and scored a touchdown by accident. This touchdown of his, it must have felt like something he had done during a previous life.


I don’t know which one of these pricks is sticking all of those rusted pins through my tiny voodoo doll likeness, but it’s obviously working. It’s no wonder the three ribs I broke in 2004 have been aching me of late. Well, I didn’t break those ribs, per se. Actually, a little girl hurtling through red lights at warp speed with her cell phone stuck to her face broke my ribs.

As for this voodoo nonsense, I will appeal to the league commissioner for a clear ruling on this sort of malarkey.

Scott, is voodoo allowed in fantasy football?

I await your ruling.

This is a good one. You’re expecting 4 million people to attend the big inauguration show, so why not turn it into Mardi Gras?

Crowd control? Ah, who needs crowd control when there’s revenue to be had?

Police Union Fears Inaugural Chaos

The D.C. police department is ramping up security for inauguration week, when as many as four million people are expected to celebrate the swearing-in of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president.

The celebration could get rowdy after the city council passed "emergency" legislation allowing bars to stay open 24 hours and to serve alcohol until 5 a.m. from Jan. 17 to Jan. 21.

Nearly 100 law enforcement agencies will deploy an additional 4,000 officers to help D.C. police in the days leading up to the inauguration.

But some police officials fear that won't be enough.

Is there anyone at any level of government who makes any sense anymore?


And then we‘ve got this one, courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency. More effing knuckleheads. Or should I say, more government at work.

Proposed fee on smelly cows, hogs angers farmers

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – For farmers, this stinks: Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could start costing them money if a federal proposal to charge fees for air-polluting animals becomes law.

Farmers so far are turning their noses up at the notion, which is one of several put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases emitted by belching and flatulence amounts to air pollution.

"This is one of the most ridiculous things the federal government has tried to do," said Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, an outspoken opponent of the proposal.

It would require farms or ranches with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog.

And there you have it, flatulence taxes. Break wind, pay the freight. And all in the name of this Global Warming ruse.

That’s hardly leaving a carbon footprint, cutting the cheese and all. So I figure we’ll have to call this a “vapor footprint.” An ambient footprint at best, but according to those huddled geniuses in government, a footprint nonetheless.

Idiots all.

It’s getting to the point where we ought to slap across the face those so continually prone to worrying about greenhouse gases, those that have made the irrational conversion from spewing logic to repeating the new, popular illogic, those who fall prey to the Pavlov-like conditioning the media provides them with.

Follow me here, I’m not promoting violence so much as I’m suggesting that some people just need to be snapped out of it and soon. And what quicker way is there than to bitch-slap the lot of them?

I dunno. I’m kind of new at this running the world stuff. Then again, that’s exactly why I should be put in charge of damn near everything. Because I don’t come from the government.

And who could argue with that?

I still say blogging is slowly but surely on it’s way out. It’s not waning as much as it’s just getting old. And it’s starting to smell funny, too.

Take the local scene for example. A year ago or so, it would take me the better part of an hour to wade my way through all of the localized musings. Hell, there were those days when it’d take me a spell just to read all of the anti-Cour, anti-Wilkes-Barre Online ranting and raving. Ah, the good old days.

These days, it takes me all of ten minutes to surf the non-expansiveness of the local blog scene. Much like Sugar Notch, if you blink, you just might miss it. And there are those who will tell you that’s a good thing.

Perhaps I’m partly to blame. I’m not near as prolific as I once was, let alone, not nearly as acerbic and annoying. At one point, it seemed as if half of the localized anonymous swill sprung up as a result of my once tireless efforts. That is to say, sites popped up so as to attempt to debunk me and mine. Fools that they were.

We once had the sites authored by the would-be candidates for elected office parading around as concerned activists. The very same people who mistakenly thought that by changing the methods of voting in the city, they’d finally get themselves invited to what has been a Democrats only affair.

We’ve always had political sites appearing just before an upcoming election, only to suffer sudden and catastrophic electronic deaths right after said elections. Those seem to be fewer and farer between of late. Good riddance.

We’ve still got a few local sites that are very active. There’s a couple that stick with the strict ideological bent, separated from the rest of us by the self-imposed partisan divide. There’s a local historian. There’s the local stained glass window museum. There’s a site that lists all of the conspiracy theories the deranged author currently gives credence to. In other words, all of them.

There are those clinging to this newfound adventure, this Obama as Hitler bit. There are those sticking with the tired but more popular foray, the Bush as Hitler routine. There’s a guy who protects his river from those environmental Hitlers. And there’s even a guy who sees Paul Kanjorski as Hitler. Still, though, it’s all getting kind of stale. Not really sure why, but that’s how it appears to me.

Perhaps we should forestall the political stuff and replace it all with some whimsical stylings. Maybe if we self-cudgeled our brains, we could come up with some truly unique stuff.

You know, like how we don’t want to live in a world where it’s illegal to strafe cats with BBs. Or we could openly yearn for the good old days when Mom muttered something akin to “That’s nice, Dear” after we apprised her of the number of innocent squirrels we had shot in the woods that day.

We could reminisce about how we had once sent a woodpecker skyward with a single M-80. Or how a third-stick will vaporize cinder blocks and get the neighbors to inspecting their aluminum siding for damage in an instant. Or how we once locked an unsuspecting Susan Pond in the old grain silo. Oh, and how she had to climb all of 75 feet up and then 75 feet back down to escape.

We could write about that unique sound a bowling ball absconded from Stanton Lanes makes when it impacts upon an engine block moving at some whereabouts 35-miles-per-hour. Or how the stealing of and the drinking of a case of Gibbons does not a juvenile delinquent make. How the sliding of lit smoke bombs through mail slots does not a juvenile delinquent make, unless one gets caught in the act. Or what we did the first time a grown man suggested we get naked with him, and how the statute of limitations must have run out on that by now. We hope.

We could recant the education that it was to bathe with one’s 9-year-old cousin, a cousin, by the way, with completely different plumbing attached. Or how about the joy that was placing coins on the track in anticipation of the next bullet train whizzing by? You know, those tracks we were warned to stay away from. Or fishing balls out of the roaring water treatment plant intake whirlpool. Your first fistfight with an obnoxious teacher? How fishing with small explosives is much more efficient and much more rewarding than fishing with some fishing pole? How, in the old days, cops couldn’t run for sh*t.

Come to think of it, perhaps we’ve covered most of that sort of tomfoolery. Perhaps there’s nothing left to say but Obama is Hitler, but still not as bad as that ex-Hitler Bush.

I dunno.

We’ll think of something.

This here latest news from Wilkes-Barre is proof positive that you could do much worse by residing somewhere else.

W-B’s ’09 budget remains uncertain

What we have here is a budgetary dilemma. We’ve got a mayor will not deficit spend no matter what. And a city council that will reflexively reject any proposed increases in taxes or fees. And trust me, that’s a good thing.

Want some contrast? Okay, look at our woeful county government’s elected “leaders.” These people are to profligate spending, to deficit spending, what serial rapists are to being hopelessly addicted. These people spend and spend and spend. And then, when it’s apparent (every fiscal year) that they’ve seriously overspent and grossly under budgeted, well, then they tell us they need to borrow and borrow and borrow to make up for the nonstop excess spending. Trust me, that’s not a good thing.

So, supposedly, we’re in a budgetary standstill. He says balance the budget at all costs. And they’re saying balance it a different way. And what’s not to like when the end result is a balanced budget?

Sure, nobody wants to see any increases at all. Especially with the economy crashing down all around us. Then again, we live in a city, county and state that cannot take on more long-term debt. Rather, we live where reducing the annual debt service payments ought to be the order of the day. Somebody somewhere once referred to this as austerity. Or as Mayor Tom Leighton has called it, running “lean and mean.”

But there does come a point when running too lean becomes mean to and for the residents. There’s a fine balance that needs to be arrived at. And I’m happy to read that every option is being explored. He says protecting the bottom line is of the utmost importance. And while they agree with that assessment, they want to protect it while protecting our wallets just a little more.

And near as I can tell, that’s not only prudent fiscal management, that’s responsible leadership. They can disagree, argue, say means things to each other, and maybe even toss stuff at each other. But at the end of the day, all that matters to me is protecting that bottom line, staying out of the red, holding the line on confiscatory taxation and arriving at the most logical, most workable solution.

Economically speaking, while the entire world is blowing up, Wilkes-Barre is not blowing up. The truth is, we’ve been doing this dreaded austerity thing for five years now. We were ahead of the curve all along. And who knew?

Who knew?

I did, that’s who.

This is it. My first ever fantasy football league playoff game. The wild card match up.

I went 7-7 last year, tied for a playoff spot, but lost the tiebreaker and was sent packing.

This year, I eked my way in, and I’m feeling really good about carrying players based on their playoff match ups, even though it meant losing during the latter stages of the season.

Last year I did everything I could think of to make the playoffs. But in retrospect, had I made it, my pairings would have led to a quick exit from the playoffs anyway. But this year, I took a different approach. This year I wanted in, but only if I had a legitimate chance at winning after getting in.

And as far as I’m concerned, I’m not only in, I’ve got a better than average shot at the inning the entire shebang and taking home that fat check. He shall see.

Either which way, I have to go and watch the latest injury updates roll on in.

Wish me luck.


The Submarines - You, Me, and the Bourgeoisie (3:23)