Sunday, December 25, 2005

December 25, 2005

Folks, this is not a Christmas tale for kids..

Santa did not stop by the 6100 block of Cooper Avenue in Queens last night. Instead, paramedics, firefighters, and police officers from the 104 Precinct huddled around the small white house. They were summoned because of a large man named Kenneth Gromwaldt in the living room. Despite the paramedics' best efforts, Kenneth (or Kenny, as the house knew him) was pronounced dead at 9:30PM. He was 47 years of age.

The police questioned the landlord, Shanik, about the deceased. Shanik remarked that Kenny had a sister named Geraldine from Middle Village. Kenny had a few side jobs moving furniture. He had asthma and a blood clot in one of his legs. He also had a voracious appetite for drugs, including angel dust, heroin, xanax, methadone, and marijuana.

On the preceding night (December 23), Kenny went to his neighbor Dorby's room. Dorby sometimes assisted in Kenny's pharamceutical pursuits. But this time, Kenny downed Dorby's bottle of xanax and her methadone without her consent. She shooed him away, and he passed out on the kitchen table. Hours later, Kenny stumbled from the kitchen to the living room, where he spent the last 21 hours of his life.

Shanik, Dorby, and the other residents of the small white rooming house were in shock when the paramedics announced they could not revive Kenny. Dorby blamed herself for Kenny's death. One of the paramedics gave her Kenny's tiny address book, and she started calling the names listed on the book. One of them, Pete, was Kenny's boss from the moving jobs. He hung up on her when she told him that Kenny was dead. The police never noticed the address book. If they had, they could have gotten the names and phone numbers of at least 4 drug dealers.

So much for a well paying job. So much for 47 years of life. So much for good humor- all gone because of some pills and chemicals. To those who think using and abusing illegal drugs is fun and harmless, go to the morgue or Potters' Field in the Bronx. That's where your harmless fun takes you.

Friday, December 23, 2005

December 23, 2005

Well, the year is almost over. I managed to go through 3 vehicles (the Taurus died in early October). I survived the transit strike- which pretty much cost me my job because I had no way to get to work.

Supposedly, the members of Box Office Poison are fans of this blog because I mentioned them in an earlier post- and because I told my sister about their song "Inconsiderate". "Inconsiderate" was written by their bassist Jon Koza (a teacher at South Shore HS in Canarsie) about his rude, violent, gang colors wearing students. The chorus describes the students in vulgarities best hurled at Al Qaeda terrorists and transit strikers. Outside of "Inconsiderate" and "Ding Dong", most of Box Office Poison's songs are fairly clean. And that's about all the mention I'll give them until Jon Koza and the Catepano brothers cough up money for the Netscaper113 car fund.

When my father was alive, he used to send Christmas letters to his friends and relatives. My mother's relatives used to complain about the morbid, negative tone of the letters- until I wrote the family letters for 1995 and 1996. As horrifically commercial and non-religious as Christmas has become, I think the Catholic Church should move the holiday closer in the year to its historical occurance (September) and end the madness that takes up most of November and December now.

I'll try writing a year-end blog when I'm in a more festive mood.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

October 1, 2005 (or is it 1935?)

Greetings, again. Again I find some reason to post here, this time for marking what would have been my father's 70th birthday. My father, Donald G. Clarke, was born on this date in 1935 in Jacksonville, Florida. He spent 20 years in the Air Force (during which time he married my mother, and was stationed in France, Vietnam, several places in Texas, and New Jersey).

My father was a bit of an eccentric. He was very detail and goal oriented. He was also stubborn, anti-religious (which is surpising considering how devoutly Catholic my mother was), somewhat bigoted (especially against Vietnamese). He was into computers early in his Air Force career, and made a living selling computers for retailers such as Radio Shack, Dillard's, and Office Max after he retired from the military. He was one of the early users of the internet- operating an online bulletin board to keep touch with his international friends in the 1980s. He later used Compuserve, Prodigy, and AOL before the ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) made him unable to use a computer. I'm sure if Google or Blogger had been around when he was alive, he would have used them.

Despite his computer genius, living with him (compounded with being a Yankee/Westerner forced to live in his retirement home of Memphis, Tennessee) was extremely difficult, and I moved away right after I graduated from high school. He did live to see his granddaughter Allie; but he never lived to see his grandson Jamie, his daughter's first marriage fall apart, his son's descent into bankruptcy and poverty and depression, or the events of 9/11 that occurred 5 miles from his son's 2001 residence. But in his lifetime, he never got to know his great-aunt Sarah, who died in 1966 10 miles from where he was stationed in Ohio, or his Uncle Milton (his father's unknown-until-2001 half-brother), or his grandmother Jeanette (whose family I discovered over the internet in the last 5 years).

But outside of the war on terrorism and several computer upgrades, not much has changed since he died in 1995. He thought 2000 and the following years would be drastically different from the 20th Century. But so far, I don't think they are.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

September 10, 2005

Well, tomorrow is the 4 year anniversary of those terrorist attacks Downtown. And back on August 29, an even bigger disaster hit the Central Gulf Coast.

I'm still trying to forget what happened 4 years ago. At the time, I lived about 5 miles downwind of the Twin Towers. I was unemployed at the time, and thanks to the attacks, my least favorite media outlet (NBC-4) got knocked off the air for about two months. I got a security guard job at a site in Staten Island which overhired security after one of their employees was suspected of being linked to Al Qaeda. Like most of my jobs since I moved to New York, that security job last only a few months.

About two weeks ago, a Category 4 hurricane named Katrina hit the Gulf Coast around Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The storm was huge- causing major damage from Hammond, LA, to Mobile, AL. Most of the damage was on the eastern side of the storm, which is why my sister's residence in Denham Springs, LA, saw far less damage than eastern areas such as Mobile and Biloxi, MS, that were further from the eyewall than Denham Springs. (And yes, my sister and her family escpaed the storm unharmed. Don't send her any money since she'll probably waste it on booze or cigarettes.)

Some disasters just aren't that preventable. Katrina would have still caused a lot of damage because it was an act of nature, not an act of war. But a lot of the deaths from Katrina were preventable. There was hardly any warning for 9/11 before that plane hit the North Tower. There was advance warning for Katrina- at least two days warning from the Weather Channel- and a Hurricane Warning that stretched from Morgan City, LA to the AL/FL border. Most of New Orleans evacuated, but approximately 100,000 people didn't leave the area. Instead of working in advance to evacuate the poorer residents to locations such as Shreveport and Montgomery, the city government opened a shelter of last resort (appoximately 18 hours before the hurricane hit) that only accomodated 10,000.

And now the blame game begins- when they're still evacuating hurricane survivors. Some blame the President, as if he had the authority to re-route a hurricane or to (legally) override the Louisiana authorities. Others blame the New Orleans and Lousiana officials. But it's over, it's done with- now all we can do is to aid the survivors and bury the dead (which according to recent reports looks like it will be less than the 10,000 feared dead originally).

At least with 9/11, there was someone responsible for that carnage- a Wahabist psychopath and terrorist icon by the name of Osama Bin Laden. He even bragged on videotape how the attack went "better than expected". And this psycho wants to do even worse. Recent US actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have hampered his ability to strike the US again. Unfortunately they have not captured Bin Laden. Until then, I can always dream of dragging him by his beard and feeding him to a bunch of hungry piranhas.

And to totally get off topic from the previous discussion, there are piranha feeding videos available for free on the internet- a couple featuring live rats. Now animal rights wackos say those videos are cruel. Hello- piranhas have got to eat, and live rats are considered a delicacy to those fish. And there is a Siamese Fighting Fish called the betta- whose fights the animal rights wackos want to outlaw. I have owned bettas before, and when a male betta sees another male betta, their first instinct is to plume up and attack. (Try putting a mirror in front of a male betta and you will get the same reaction from the fish. I guess this also means there is no such thing as a gay betta.) Male roosters have the urge to attack each other too- yet 48 states have made allowing roosters to attack each other (in a popular-in-other-countries sport called cockfighting) a crime. Only in Louisiana and parts of New Mexico can you legally allow roosters to fight. Other things the animal rights wackos have outlawed are bullfighting, horse meat, and dog meat. This country could save millions by turning over the dogs that the shelters plan to kill over to butchers. Either way, the dogs die- but by using them as food, people actually benefit from dead canines. If you look at the wackos' anti-dogmeat sites, you'll see their true objective: the criminalization of any type of meat eating. Yet these hypocrites see no problems with injecting deadly chemicals into a condemned animal at a shelter, or worse, with the wanton slaughter of human fetuses that occurs daily in the guise of legalized abortion. You know our system is messed up when dogs and lobsters and mice have a greater right to life than the unborn or brain damaged or suicidal humans.

So petition your legislatures to allow dog meat, bullfighting, and cockfighting. Help those hurricane victims any way you can. Pause for a moment of silence at 8:46AM EDT tomorrow. And to all piranha owners with tanks of 2000 gallons or greater- do the world a favor and start feeding your fish members of Al Qaeda or ALF/ELF/PETA.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

August 14, 2005

Maybe I got too religious in the last (February) blog, so I'll try not to offend the non-Catholics out there in this one- except to remind Catholics that tomorrow is the Feast of the Assumption. Since it is on a Monday this year, it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. I'll probably be ushering at tomorrow night's 7:30 PM Mass, though.

Now onto other things:

This summer is too damn hot. So far it is the third hottest summer in NYC history. I don't have air-conditioning, so that means I have been sleep deprived lately. Some people do not adapt well to 90+ degree heat. It is one of the numerous reasons I moved out of Tennessee right after high school (although at least there I had air conditioning). And if these temperatures were effecting Memphis right now, they'd be happy to have a summer with much fewer than their normal 60+ 90 degree days. (NYC has had 20 so far, if you count today.)

Another gripe has to do with gas prices. Gas is up to $2.63 in this neighborhood. I filled up at the Hess on Cypress and Cooper on Friday, which was at $2.57 on Friday evening but up to $2.63 by Saturday morning. My Taurus gets better mileage than my old V8 Caprice did, but still, $26 to fill up half a tank? I am pretty active now on the sites (screen name there also Netscaper113).

And finally, I discovered sites that make the loony left go absolutely bonkers. Some people don't have a sense of humor. My psychotical liberal former roommate Lynda Kreger went haywire when I suggested that people give me money so I can use the services of on her. First of all, is not for real, and its creators admitted as much on a recent CBS Evening News profile earlier this summer. Thanks to the psycho whining to Delphi, my internet forum got deleted- even though death threats posted against me and my sister on that forum in 1999 and 2000 got nary a peep from Delphi. Maybe I should create a "live or die" website for Lynda- but then I'd pocket the money and move to Mexico and this (bleep) who was twice fired by the NYC Department of Education (it's hard to fire a teacher once in this system, but firing her twice proves she's a major threat to kids everywhere) would still be roaming the Brooklyn streets pissing off countless others with her rampages and threats to give "doggie lithium" to her neighbor's dog. And last time I checked, the original hire-a-killer site was down.

The threat of made only one liberal go bonkers that I know of. A much more successful (and hilarious) website appeared last February to numerous animal rights wacko protests. I am talking of Supposedly, this guy wants $50K in rabbit upkeep or else he will cook his rabbit Toby using one of the recipes on his site. The fact that the site's owner threatened to cook Toby on NBC News (the most unethical news organization out there) should have proven right away that this was another spoof. My initial reactions to the site were "funny" and "why the hell didn't I come up with this site first?". Copycat sites have come since then, including (where a woman wants to eat her saved Pepperidge Farms goldfish), (where's owner is supposedly outed), and, which encourages people to not donate and to enjoy eating rabbits. Thanks to these sites, I now know why Bugs Bunny didn't want to be turned into hassenpheffer in that 1950s cartoon.

Another animal wacko's nightmare is the long-running . The Bonsai Kitten site is funny as hell, but people are claiming it's abuse to glue kittens' butts shut and to stuff them in glass boxes. That's certainly more humane than what certain restaurants do to cats or what most liberals propose doing to the unborn in this country, but the fact that a joke website is so popular just ticks them off. I'm sure they'd love . At least that site comes with a disclaimer- and recipes.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

February 26, 2005

Somewhere out there, throughout the vast infoglut of cyberspace, is this blog. Who knows who will see this, or who will respond to it? I guess if they like what I have to write.. or if they want to laugh at my messed up mental state.

But anyone would be a little messed up if they were unemployed. I lost my last job when I lost my transportation there. For 9 months, all was fine at the warehouse in Nassau County. And then on February 2, my 1988 Chevrolet Caprice died, just off of Mineola Avenue. Since public transportation is nonexistant in that part of Nassau (and because a round trip by taxi from where I lived would cost $100 a day), I was forced to leave the job.

Three days later, I purchased (with borrowed money) a 1990 Chevrolet G20 van. The van lasted two days before meeting the same fate as my Caprice. And to add insult to injury, the van died in front of the junkyard that purchased my Caprice. I used the money the junkyard gave me for the Caprice to tow the van back to the dealer. But the dealer is refusing to refund me the money. That means I am out $800 and stuck paying insurance on a van without a working engine (thanks to the dealer holding on to my license plates).

But other people have problems, too. The Pope is in a hospital in Rome because of the flu. Now he may not speak again for a while, if ever. And yet despite the breathing tube, the Parkinson's, and the complications being in your 80s can add to those conditions, the Pope still treads on. Few people alive right now can imagine what Pope John Paul II is going through. Fewer still can understand why he is still willing to hold on to the papacy after all his health problems. But then the first Pope, St. Peter, had a chance to escape certain death in the mid 60s A.D. But he turned around (after seeing a vision of Christ) and headed back to Rome, and was crucified- upside down. Now that was sacrifice.

Sacrifice is a scary word to most people. While most people don't have to sacrifice their lives anymore, they are afraid to lose something important. The Pope has lost his voice. Millions of people in South Asia have lost their homes due to the tsunami last December (which did claim a quarter of a million lives). Dozens of people have lost their homes in Southern California due to the mudslides. It kind of makes giving up meat on Fridays (one of the Lenten obligations for Catholics) seem trivial, doesn't it? It even makes losing one job and two vehicles seem trivial.

If any of the preceding drivel made any sense, you can comment on it, or let me know if I should keep this thing going. After all, I should get another vehicle and another job sometime, and a little conversation, or criticism, or prayer, never hurt anyone.