Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009!

Though it's a whopping 27 degrees outside, with proper layering of my clothes I took a reasonably long ride today to welcome the new year. I went out with the car first to see if the roads seemed traversable. For the most part they did except for icy areas along the curbs in some spots and in places where gravelly salt had built up in the centers of the driving lanes. The streets were practically deserted so I took it slow and had a very good time.

I headed downtown and the Irem Temple mosque made a nice background for this shot even though not much of the scooter made it into the picture because I wanted to get the minarets in the photo.

Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre was like a ghost town. It wasn't surprising not to see any shoppers with the stores being closed, but I expected to see a few skate boarders defying the temperatures and taking advantage of the lack of pedestrian traffic to show off for each other. They make me laugh, but I half admire the little punks who keep taking their falls and getting back onto their boards to fall yet again while seeming to expect miracles to kick in at any moment and keep them on their feet. If I'd had to fall and remount that many times to learn how to ride the scooter, I'd have given it up within a week.

On the other side of the river I passed Abe's Hot Dogs. It's peculiar that here in the valley there are two businesses each trading as "Abe's Hot Dogs." The other Abe's is at the south end of Wilkes-Barre's downtown. The owners are unrelated to each other and the restaurants are not affiliated with each other at all, yet they have the same name. There are no lawsuits of one against the other. No fights for the exclusive right to the name. I think it speaks of a kinder, gentler time when we didn't have to take every last thing to court and could all get along much better than we often seem to now.

If the closed gate hadn't stopped me the icy road surface would have turned me around when I tried getting to one of the county parks I like to visit when it's warmer out. The county budget is in a shambles these days with talks of lay offs, interruptions of services, and closings of facilities. I can't quite figure out why almost every other form of government has its checks and balances with legislators, jurists, and executives, yet county government around here has nothing more than three persons, (a majority of two member of one political party and a dissenter from the other party whose job seems to be to disagree with the other two on all matters) who decide everything and seem to do it very poorly.

Doing my best Nanook of the North impersonation I snap one last picture before heading back to the ranch. The edge of my mask gives me the appearance of having a walrus kind of mustache. Back in the warmth of the house perhaps it's time to start practicing to twirl a beach ball on the tip of my nose. It'll give me something to do when it's warm again. Then again, when it warms up, I think I'll just go scootin' and leave that beach ball spinning to the pros.

May all who visit here be blessed in 2009 with good health, happiness, love, true joy, and enough contentment to last well into old age!


R.G. said...

Very much enjoyed your first post of 2009. I wanted to take a ride the first day of this new year but with a steady downpour and a high wind warning hear in the Portland area, well...I guess I wimped out. Liked the beach ball reference. Had fun picturing that.

Paul said...

Hey! glad you could join us other crazy folk out here in the cold! Those are some beautiful pics you took.