4-26-2009 The Good Old Chick Network?

Talk about depressing. A couple of weeks ago, I agreed to work an extra Saturday because of a customer request. Itís always the same. It goes like this:

Will you do it?


The very last thing I want to do is work more often. But with visions of overtime dollars appearing before my eyes, I agreed to do the deed. Doesnít matter, though. More overtime always equals more taxes paid, and at a seemingly confiscatory rate. Whatever. Those card-carrying democrats need the freebies, I suppose.

Anyway, so Iím at the job site while the mercury keeps rising upwards. And by noon, the entire neighborhood was alive. Alive with little kids scurrying here and there. With folks doing yard work. One guy seemed to be inventorying his pool equipment, while Rock 107 blared away. Some little girls were blowing bubbles, while what had to be a proud papa videotaped the proceedings. And then it hit me.

Why in the funk did I agree to work an extra Saturday?

What was I thinking?

Another great interview over at Gort 42.

This time Gortís got Bob Sypniewski, a GOP hopeful for County Controller taking the questions.

Seems like a bright young guy. But Iím very troubled by his contention that while he recognized the ďcorruption that was going on at the courthouseĒ (his words) as a sitting member of the Assessment Board, he did not speak out for fear of being removed from the board.

Sorry, but thatís not my style. Nope. When the system reeks, itís time to walk. Ask the Friendly Ice Cream corporation about all of that. I vehemently objected to having to work under an incompetent and corrupt higher-up, but I was rebuked at every turn, and at no matter what level.

And as a result, I called the regional office and offered my three week notice. Yep, three weeks and I am out of here. The regional manager and the offending higher-up rushed to my store to try to patch things up. And over a cup of coffee, I told the regional manager Iíd rather wash dishes for five dollars an hour than to have to work for this (pointing) asshole. You keep your asshole. Iíll lose my job. But Iíll walk out of here with my integrity intact.

And so, after those three weeks passed, I was off to begin a whole other career in an industry unknown to me.

And it didnít take too long before that very same offensive higher-up was fired for embezzlement. Yeah, he was having all sorts of work done to his house and his property, and then having the district bookkeeper divvy out the costs to five or six local restaurants under his supervision.

Oh, and then four former employees sued him for sexual harassment and whatnot. Turned out, he had this rapid promotion program whereby he would pull down his zipper on the front of his trousers and female employees were on the fast track to the management training program.

Unfortunately, I was entrusted with the training of one of these girls. She was not management material. No way, no how. So, by trading sex for a management position, he did her a great, great disservice by setting her up to fail. And he wasted my time, my efforts and my available training hours.

Sorry, but you donít stay in that system and try to make it better. I squawked and squawked and squawked. And when it became blatantly obvious that nobody wanted to hear it, I walked. As I said, I walked with my integrity intact.

Anyway, check out the interview.

Again, nice job Gort.

Believe it or not, Iím still exploring my supposedly expansive number of high-speed internet options. Or re-exploring. Or some such thing.

Hereís the latest tomfoolery.

I was told that I could tap into the cityís wifi system from my personal computer here at the modest adobe. I was told itís fast, cheap and reliable. Cool.

So after Googling for an hour with nothing to show for it, I made an inquiry. Oh, so Frontier Communications operates the cityís newfangled internet thingy. Okay, cool. Iím off to the Frontier Web site.

After searching every possible electronic orifice at the Frontier site, I came to the annoying conclusion that it made nary a mention of anything as miniscule and ghastly as Wilkes-Barre. So, it was obviously time to make a phone call.

I called the 1-800 number, and I talked to someone employed by, or more likely, subcontracted to answer phones for Frontier. And it went something like this: She was speaking fluent Greek, while I was spewing broken Vietnamese. Put short, it didnít go very well.

Next I spoke to the City Administrator, who put this entire shebang together not so long ago. He sounded surprised to hear that I was having any difficulty at all, and he supplied me with the phone number of a lady at Frontier who is in charge of the cityís internet service. Cool.

I guess itís been about a week now, I left her three separate voice mail messages requesting a return call and she never called me back.

Long story made short, the City of Wilkes-Barre is wifi enabled, but how you tap into the system totally escapes me.

Not so cool after all.

Was I not the guy who said, fu>k the fu>king school board!?

Yeah, as I recall it, that was none other than me.

As of yesterday, I could not even begin to tell you who might have been running for the school board other than Christine Katsock. And the only reason I was aware of her candidacy was because of those freaking annoying stickers theyíve been applying to the front page of the Citizensí Voice of late. And whatís up with that?

The mother/daughter murder tandem plead guilty, and smack dab in the middle of the photo of the momís face taken during her perp walk is this stupid sticker. What? Címon man! Was she crying? Was she snickering? Did she look somewhat sorry or remorseful? Iíll never know. Iíll never know because stickers are not easily removed from the delicate pages of a newspaper.

ChristineÖyou are annoying me to all hell!

Anyway, back to yesterday.

I got that extra job done, ran home, took a shower, cracked a cold one and then decided to terrorize three of my grandsons with a pair of handcuffs. Well, that is, two of them had fun, and only one of them was privy to any terror. Perhaps Iíll try water-boarding him the next time he sleeps over. Makes sense to me, being that I got my new voter I.D. card signifying that I am now a republican. The way they spin it, republicans are for torture, while democrats are not. What the lefties donít realize is, putting up with all of their social engineering and the resulting unintended consequences is torturous enough for most of us traditionalists.


But I digress.

Back to yesterday.

After the torture and the like, I settled in for a marathon, another epic game of Sid Meierís Civilization on the PC. Civilization is awesome. Itís like Sim City, but you get to go to war over food, oil, religions, trade agreements, trade embargoes and all that sort of good stuff. In other words, itís just like real life, plus you literally get to rewrite history. The only drawback is that you can start a new game, get totally engrossed in it and then notice that a week has just passed you by.

So, Iím sitting here rattling sabers at the Roman Empire, lining our shared border with newly trained horse archers, when I get this knock on the front door. Who the fu>k is this? Iím trying to wage war here, kiddies.

And standing on the front porch was none other than Harry Haas, a candidate for Wilkes-Barre Area School Director. No fooliní. The same Harry Haas who once ran for mayor, although, he had to correct me as I incorrectly remembered him running for city council. Heís shooting for a seat on the school board?

After most of that race eked back into my brain, I told him that I liked him and I would have voted for him, except for the one fact that I wanted Tom Leighton to replace Tom McGroarty. And once we got to that point where he realized I was the guy behind this Web site, he said he remembered me writing some nice things about him and his candidacy back then.

And why wouldnít I? Whatís not to like? Heís young, heís bright, heís well-spoken and heís invested in his city? Heís also a teacher in the Dallas School District, and he said a lot of the right things whereas educating our kids was concerned.

And rather than recounting them all here, take a peek at his campaign site.

Why not break with our corrupt past by electing someone who has one eye on the present and the other on our kidís futures?

For the first time ever, I actually want to vote in a school board race. As a matter of fact, with scandals erupting practically everywhere we look, why not elect Christine Katsock, too?

The wonders never cease.

A shakeup at City Hall?

Not long ago, it came to pass that we would reduce the City Council from seven members to five. And as a result of that historic process, one veteran councilman decided against seeking another term, two veteran members were ousted and two political neophytes joined the legislative body.

In my mind, thatís quite the upheaval. It was not the upheaval the republicans posing as activists had in mind when they championed the effort to shrink the size of council and elect those members by districts rather than by a city-wide vote as was done in the past, but an upheaval of epic proportions nonetheless. Still, the result was that we had an all-democrat council. Same as it always was.

But from what Iím hearing, we might be in for another jolt of upheaval, although, not of the massive variety as was recently the case.

First of all, Iím told that City Controller Bernard Mengeringhausen (type that 3 times fast and see if itís misspelled) is set to retire. And Iím also told that current council person (politically correct gender neutral crap) Kathy Kane has designs on replacing him. While itís still early yet and she may not run for controller, if she were to, that would deliver yet another political neophyte to the council chambers. That is, assuming that council veteran, Jim McCarthy, has permanently hung up his legislative cleats.

If she were to run for controller, this would provide yet another opportunity for the republicans to finally seat a member of council. Then again, despite the swirling corruption scandals, thereís still no shortage of people who owe their jobs and what have you to the Democratic Party here in Luzerne County, and Wilkes-Barre as well. So, the odds against a republican being elected to anything in Wilkes-Barre as still very long.

If she were to run and win the controller job, and if the republicans fail to grab her seat, at the very least, weíd have yet another newbie on council. And would we then find that our Junior Council has more legislative experience than the actual City Council?

Stay tuned, kiddies.

Personally speaking, I cannot wait until those 150 or so surveillance cameras are perched all over the city. Unlike the apoplectic conspiracy theorists, and unlike the oft-frothing dolts that see Orwellian motivations behind almost everything law enforcement endeavors to do, Iím good with putting those extra sets of eyes all over the place.

Cameras seen as a deterrent

Wilkes-Barreís network is still in the planning stages. Engineers toured the city this past week to determine optimal camera placements and officials have said it will cover the downtown business district, parking garages, parks and neighborhoods.

The $2 million system is being paid for by a pair of state grants funded by a tax on slot machine revenues at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

The network will include at least 150 cameras and will be monitored around the clock by a private security firm. Some cameras will be obvious, while others will be hidden.

ďItís not just the film in the camera thatís important. Itís the deterrent factor they provide,Ē Dessoye said. ďItís not just the big, wide picture of a crime, but itís often the additional evidence you pick up from it.Ē

City officials have said they expect it to be operational in about six months.

And I also canít wait until some hapless cretin gets himself filmed and then subsequently arrested after spraying paint all over new playground amenities. Crack me up, that will. And I want cameras installed where the homeless usually congregate. I want a camera set on the mother of all idiot magnets, our very own soup kitchen. I want one in that urine-smelling dumping ground, that courtyard behind the Penn Ave. Murray Complex. And I want a camera spying on Wilkes-Barreís favorite drinking spotÖunder the South Street Bridge at the railroad tracks.

ďA camera is one piece of the puzzle. Itís a tool for police to help in all the aspects of prevention and investigation,Ē said City Administrator J.J. Murphy. ďBut itís only one piece. You still need the good police work done with that picture.Ē

I want all of the usual hiding places spied on, and then the creepy crawlers will have to ply their always suspect trades under the light of day, or at least, under a streetlight. When you turn the lights on, the roaches will scatter. And I think itís high time we see this homeless nonsense as exactly what it is, idiocy and criminality shrouded and protected by the do-gooders who profit from the idiocy. Itís time to start scattering the roaches.

And being that Ruthís Place--a 24/7 homeless shelter--is but is a month away from relocating to directly behind this modest adobe, Iím actually researching these do-it-yourself infrared camera systems. What Iím learning is, they are relatively inexpensive, and very, very user-friendly. Neat.

So, before listening to too much of this 1984-inspired claptrap, ask the whining conspiracy nut balls if theyíd rather be the victim of a crime with or without a video record of it. Ask them, in their heart of hearts, ask them if they honestly believe that the City of Wilkes-Barre wants to spy on them, or if the City wants to make their day just a bit safer.

As for me, videotape me all you like. In my case, if something bad were to happen, the video would merely prove that whatever horrible thing I did was done in self-defense. Oh, and, that juvenile nincompoop constantly throwing the bird at the cameras? Yeah, that would probably be me.

Not my fault, though. Iím a juvenile trapped in a manís body. And since weíre all victims these days, I say my condition is the fault of a society that failed me. A bit more creative than blaming everything on my parents, no? Whatever.

Remember now, smile for the cameras.

One other thing.

As far as the overcrowded judicial race goes, Iím ignoring the names, the experience and the political pedigrees. Iím going to vote for the chicks. Yep, no more good old boy network. Elect the chicks, hope that Anne Lokuta gets herself reinstated, and then weíll have us a fledgling ĎGood Old Chick Network.í Is that even possible, the Good Old Chick Network?

It couldnít be any worse than what we have now, could it?

Suddenly, I feel a bike ride coming on. I love when it gets good and hot, when just about everybody else stays indoors, when they retreat en masse to the safety of their air conditioning and the streets are then mine.