I absolutely brought Weapon X to the Northwest Territory

The customs agent did not find my “I’m bringing him home” answer to why he Weapon X strapped to my pack. I was asked to pull over for a full search. Canada, you truly are America’s hat.

Weapon X, aka Wolverine, aka Logan, aka James Howlett was given to me by a fellow Wolverine fanatic with the promise that I would give him a good life.   So here he is, riding shotgun to Alaska……no doubt, a good life.

We rode for a solid 12 hours today and covered over 500 miles of some of the prettiest riding I have seen.    Coming out the flat farms of North Dakota left a bland taste in my eye.  However as we rolled into Montana and the landscaped began to change into the backdrop of the northern Rockies a second wind of excitement hit.   Weaving around bends, up and down hills, seldom seeing other vehicles.  Yes there were the things we were looking for.

Due to a large country breakfast at a truck stop where we daringly tried chicken gizzards the night before we drove knowing full well we had full stomachs and could eat light for the day.

Other than the ominous sign of my dad hitting a red squirrel everything else felt good.  I am so impressed with the middle of America.   In the Northeast there is no doubt it feels like the epicenter of the country, the nerve center.  However as you flow away from it and the land changes you begin to feel the difference around you.   Things slow down, people are nicer, you are plugged into the veins of the country and you can feel the giant slow pulsing of our nations heart getting closer and closer.

The land rolls out before you like a giant rug being unfurled and you have nothing to do but ride the wave of the land until it breaks.

Toward the end of the day we crashed through some menacing thunderstorms on the mountain passes, which made it all the more interesting.

So we are in Missoula Montana, heading through Idaho, into Washington, then Oregon, back up to Washington for the night.   We need to dip into Oregon to add it to the list of states we have written in.

I am sorry for the flow, and poorness of this entry but I am tired.   Out of it and most likely ready for bed…….or as Tim just stated, my creativity juices aren’t flowing.

Beautiful scenery to a road?

Turn down the speakers for these. Just some excerpts from the motorcycle trip to Alaska. I think we were on a road at one point.

Some of the ride was pure beauty…

Some of the ride was, well this…

A supercell at bear tooth pass, one of the most dangerous and windy roads in the US. We drove until it turned to hail. I could hair them pinging off my helmet. Crouch low but caught one in the cheek, all I could to stay upright.

From Wikipedia:

The Beartooth Highway is the section of U.S. Route 212 between Red Lodge, Montana andCooke City, Montana. It traces a series of steep zigzags and switchbacks, along theMontanaWyoming border to the 10,947 fthigh Beartooth Pass. The approximate elevation rise is from 5,200 ft to 8,000 ft  in 12 mi  in the most daring landscapes.

 

Found my Doppelganger Dog. Wife Vetoed it.

Sweet, Gentle English Bulldog Needs Patient, Loving Home (Philadelphia)



Hello. I am looking for a GREAT home for the AMAZING, female English Bulldog I am fostering.A little background information – I rescued Ruby from an SPCA I used to volunteer at in December. She was in rough shape – ear mites, urinary tract infection, infected tail pocket, Seasonal Flank Alopecia… It was questionable if she had ever had a bath or her nails clipped. The full time staff suspected she had been crated her entire life and used in a puppy mill. They also began to worry as to whether Ruby was adoptable. I spent a few hours with Ruby in the shelter that day and knew I had to foster her. Her sweet, loving disposition won me over in a matter of minutes. I am not exaggerating when I say that she is one of the greatest dogs I have ever met. In a matter of months, Ruby was all fixed up – spayed, groomed, housebroken, sunned, socialized… And now she’s ready to find her forever home!

The details – Ruby is a 5 year old, 60 pound SWEETHEART. She is kind, gentle, and extremely affectionate. She gets along well with other neutered dogs, cats and children. She does not do well with unaltered males. I also wouldn’t recommend her to a home with very small children, only because she sometimes doesn’t realize her size when she’s playing and being affectionate. With firm, yet gentle training though, I think she could master a little self-control. Ruby also has those great, though sometimes taxing bulldog traits. She can be stubborn, a touch lazy and she loves, loves, loves to eat. It’s very important to keep in mind that Ruby was raised in an abusive environment. She doesn’t like raised voices or noisy surroundings. She gets scared easily and would do best in a quiet neighborhood. It’s also important for me to mention that she would strongly prefer not to have a flight of stairs to walk up and down everyday. After all, bulldog legs are short! A couple of stairs are just fine though. Even better if they lead to some grass she could sun herself on.

Ruby’s ideal forever household should have a lot of time to spend with her. Her diet will need to be monitored. She will need 2 short walks around the block daily. She will need to be bathed twice a month. She will need her tail pocket cleaned out every other day. You should also have the means to take her to the vet, should the need arise. As any experienced bulldog owner will tell you, this is a necessity. She also absolutely requires air conditioning in the summer. After all her puppy making, she wants someone to treat her like a princess. In return, she will charm you with the cutest face you have ever seen. She will lavish you with kisses and cuddles, flirt with strangers and make you laugh at her ridiculousness. Plus, you will never have to sleep alone again!

So once more, Ruby is a 5 year old, 60 lb. spayed, female English Bulldog. She is up to date on all of her shots. She is micro-chipped and has a life-time license in Pennsylvania. I have all of this documentation for her new household, along, with her collar, leash and few other items.

Serious inquiries only please. Please provide detailed information about yourself with your reply. I want to know why and how you will provide the best possible home for Ruby. I will not reply to short, nondescript emails, as I am very busy. Additionally, I require a vet reference from the right home and a rehousing fee.

I love fucking with the PPA.

My initial email to the PPA

I am contacting you as a concerned citizen of Philadelphia.  I have received quite a few tickets from the PPA.  Admittedly some were my fault.   But two of the tickets were for being in a no parking zone while unloading materials from my car.  I did not leave the car unattended but the PPA officer said that “no parking means no parking” and that those signs are there for a reason, the safety of the citizens.  I did not argue with him because I agree, safety should be priority number 1.

Now I do understand this and paid hundreds of dollars for my mistake.  However I feel I am owed a refund.  This afternoon I found an unattended PPA car parked illegally.  Now at first I let it slide because I thought maybe the PPA officer was gathering information about a possible serial parking offender.  I can understand that sometimes you need to break the law to uphold the law, I mean, I have seen Batman.   However I was annoyed because when I went into the deli where the car was parked I found a PPA employee waiting for his lunch.  Not only that but the sandwich he ordered was so specific in its construction that I had to wait more than 10 minutes for my simple order to be placed.  I am a simple man with a short lunch break and I had already spent 8 minutes searching for a legal parking spot.

Now he was not parked illegally to better do his job, no, he was taking advantage of his PPA status to illegally park so he could order a complex sandwich on his lunch break.  I understand his pain, because I often circle the block  desperately searching for a legal parking space to frequent my favorite hoagie spot, however every time I want to park behind that no parking sign in front of the deli I remember the safety of citizens is priority number 1 and continue my circling.

If our parking authority begins parking illegally I am worried about the ramifications to this fine city.  I have seen this happen before, first a few PPA employees park illegally and the next thing you know we have a full scale riot on our hands.  Now I don’t know about you, but my apartment is street level and while I have bars on my windows I do not think they will hold off an angry mob for long.   Citizens will fall into a state of anarchy when they see those entrusted to protect us through proper parking breaking the very rules they enforce.  Ask yourself, do you want to be responsible for the destruction of Philadelphia?

I have enclosed a photo of the offense for your records.  I will also be distributing this through the various forms of social media and of course to the producers of “Parking Wars”.  I am sure they will be interested in it as well.  If I have learned anything from reality TV it’s that the producers of the shows want to be as accurate and truthful as possible.

Now I am not looking to be paid off, remember I am a law-abiding citizen.  I only want the amount I was charged for doing the same thing your employee did.  The total of the two tickets was 178.00 (it was actually more because the payment was late, but that was my fault, not yours).

Sincerely,

Franco

Law-abiding citizen

Master Parallel Parker

No response so I emailed again…

Ms. O’Connor,

I am highly disappointed.  Six days ago I sent an email which went unanswered.  I understand you are busy, but I feel waiting almost six days for a response is appropriate.  Even Jesus only waited three days.  Are you saying you are twice as good as Jesus?  However I strive to be like him on  a daily basis so I am going to practice forgiveness.    I included the email below in case you have forgotten the questions I asked.   I wish I could say the Philadelphia Inquirer took as long as you but they did not.  They were overly excited to discuss the illegal activities of the PPA, it seems you guys have made a lot of enemies out there.   I could almost hear the salivation in the reporter’s words on the voicemail she left me.

One of the things that concerns me is your reply was simply for my license plate number.  When I asked if you could provide me with assurance that I would not be unfairly targeted once this information was acquired you did not respond.  Let me share an anecdote.   When I was a child I stole a GI Joe action figure from my friend.   The character was Zartan and it would actually change colors when exposed to sunlight.  Now don’t take this the wrong way, I understand Zartan is a mercenary and worked for the Cobra Commander but he changed colors!! To a child color changing ability usurped loyalty to the enemy.   Regardless I swiped the toy and when my parents asked where I got him.  I decided to just not answer.  No matter how many times they asked I just ignored them.  Then my dad said “Son, when someone asks if you are guilty of something answer them,because your silence will only incriminate you“.

Just as a reminder if I were to ignore your notices I would get a larger one in the mail and then eventually you would boot my car.  Now I cannot do either of these to you, but you will continue to receive notices about the unfair PPA practices from me.   And like your unasnwered violations, they will increase.

Have a blessed day,

Franco

Law-abiding Citizen

Master Parallel Parker.

The PPA’s response to me….

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 10:54:24 -0500
From: CO’Connor@philapark.org
To: Franco

Dear Franco:

 May I have your plate number, so that I may review your tickets.  No Parking Any time gives the citizen a time limit, once they exceed that limit they are issued a ticket.  A ticket is not issued immediately, so that citizens may unload in residential areas.  The same rule applies to MG tags.

 

Sincerely,

 Corinne O’Connor

Director of On-Street

 

My response to her…

Ms. O’Connor,
I appreciate you getting back to me.   However I have a few questions.  I would love to just hand over my plate number but I had to sleep on it first.  I was plagued with dreams of being targeted by the PPA, constant tickets at every turn, tickets in such abdundance my windshield would flex and break under the weight of all of them.  I finally awoke in the midst of a nightmare where I was drowning in a sea of blue and white envelopes that said VIOLATION across them.  The vision still haunts me.

1.  What is the exact time limit a citizen is alloted in a No Parking Anytime zone?  I was not aware of this because I was told those zones on the corners were to allow buses and trucks ample turning radius.   If a car was there blocking that turning radius it would completely stop traffic.   Just so I know for future reference, how long is it legal to stop the flow of traffic?

2. I was not unloading in a residential area.  I am in a band and we have shows all over the city.    Sure it is a lot of work outside of my already hectic schedule and the music genre isn’t my cup of tea, but I don’t mind doing these things to make the dreams of our youth come true.  The ticket was issued when I was unloading music equipment for one of these shows.

3. I am not sure what an MG tag is, you will have to explain.  But lets say you are referring to the PPA employee car.   First he was not in a residential area, he was illegally parked in front of a store front where he could have been blocking the turn radius of buses and trucks.  Second, I hope your employees don’t use city vehicles to run personal or non-PPA related errands.  I pay high taxes on my meager wages and to think they are being used in a manner like this is very unsettling.   When I want to leave work for lunch I am not allowed to take our school bus or one of our vans to lunch or run errands.

Lastly, I look forward to your response to these questions.  The Inquirer enjoyed the picture and requested I call them to talk.   However I told them I wanted to wait on your responses because I would hate to see the PPA shed in an unkind light.  I will not respond to them until I get the full details from you.

As for my plate number, one of the tickets was on an older plate that I no longer have and was out of state from when I first moved here.  But the other one was received this June on my current plate.  Also, I want an assurance, in writing that I will not be unfairly targeted by the PPA if I do give my plate number.

Sincerely,

Franco
Law-abiding Citizen
Master Parallel Parker

And on the 230th day he rose.

I was up into the wee hours of the morning lost in text and reading, falling in and out of sleep, not wanting to finally admit defeat and go to bed.   So as the sun came up I finally surrendered and went to sleep.    A few hours later Aqila’s voice had a strange excitement as I heard her calling form the living room.  Still hazy from sleep I couldn’t tell if I was dreaming or not, but as her voice got louder and her delightful squeals came closer I knew something was afoot.

“Look, Look, who it is! Meatball!!!”   It took  me a minute to remember who Meatball was and before it could register she was showing me a little turtle in her hand.   “Holy shit” I thought, it couldn’t be.

You see Meatball went missing at the end of last summer when the cats began coming around.   His container was outside and the cats knocked the lid off and we had assumed Meatball was a casualty.   Aqila claims she saw Lamar our cat watching a spot in the yard with intense interest, she then saw a slight rustle in the leaves and went out to investigate.  Sure enough little Meatball was moving about.   How he survived the cat attack I do not know, but even more impressive is how he survived the freezing cold and snowy winter that ensued.   He was not in a pond, must have had to burrow deep and then go into a complete metabolic shutdown to survive the winter.  Yet here he is.