Bits and pieces from the astoundingly normal life of Paul Carlisle Kletchka

Being the slave to Internet trends that I am, I’ve decided to move the blog over to Tumblr. I like the interface and some of the additional options it gives me, but mostly I’m moving because “Tumblr” has replaced “blog” in the vernacular. As with nearly everything else, I am pckletchka there, but I will use my personal address of paulcarlisle.kletchka.net to maintain some continuity. Most of the old posts have migrated over, but a few were left behind out of vanity. Everything will remain in the old locations, though, until I’m forced to take them down or the Tubez come to an end.

C’mon… Be a cool kid and join me!

Joe Amendola did what he was hired to do. He kept Jerry Sandusky out of jail as long as he could. Seven months…
Seven months of further hell for the young men who came forward, wondering how Sandusky and Amendola would smear them in the press, wondering if their names would be spread far and wide if they had to take the stand. Fear that their bravery in coming forward may have been in vain. Fear that they would again be powerless. And for those poor souls who couldn’t speak up, seven months of their alleged abuser on the news all the time – reminding them of the pain they suffered.
Seven months of anguish for our community. We’ve all been painted with this broad brush, labeled football cultists who couldn’t possibly mete out justice in this case. Let me tell you – people here yearn for justice to be served. Sandusky’s supporters who have been in court every day are the extreme exception to the rule, and they will likely pay for their loyalty to Jerry with ostracism by this community.
Sadly, the anguish won’t end with Jerry going to jail. Respected leaders in our community failed us. They failed us horribly. I foresee criminal and civil lawsuits raging for many years because of this scandal, and with every new revelation the wounds we have suffered will painfully reopen, again and again.
And through all of this, Jerry will continue to live his delusional dream that his life was about helping people. As the people of this area struggle to dig out of the wreckage from the Sandusky/Amendola slash and burn campaign that stopped at nothing to delay the inevitable conclusion of having no defense to speak of, Jerry will sit in his cell and see himself as a martyred saint.
But oh, how Jerry will cherish those last seven months of freedom. Seven months of playing with Bo out on the deck and watching the children on the playground. Seven months of constant reminders of those “precious times” he had with all of those young people, named and unnamed. Seven months of having no responsibility but that of enjoying each day as though it was his last, blowing through hundreds of thousands of dollars of his former charity’s insurance money. That charity he claims to have started to help kids, but eventually abandoned and then violated–no longer able to help anyone but Jerry by paying his legal bills because of the insurance policy he fought like hell to make sure would be enforced. How fitting.
Can I be 100% certain of all this? Of course not. Could there be a hung jury, or even an acquittal? I’d say there is a minuscule chance of that. As Jerry is taken to the courtroom to hear the verdict, perhaps the thing to look for is black vehicles outside, carrying Federal agents prepared to arrest Sandusky should he walk out of that courthouse a free man. Think of Federal charges as our insurance policy. Let us hope that we don’t have to file a claim.
And for those of you who knew about this situation and did nothing — let alone tell my wife and I as we unknowingly started a family next door to this nightmare — don’t expect my mercy or understanding. You shoulder the blame for this tragedy along with the man you protected with your silence.
This morning, as I nervously corralled the Monkey in a room where she couldn’t be seen by the Inside Edition crew filming in our street, waiting for them to leave so I could take her to school without fearing that her visage would be used in a story about our now infamous next-door neighbor, she gently held her hand out to me and said, “Daddy, I think you should wear this today.” There, on the end of her index finger, was this little sticker…

I can’t even begin to say how much I love that child…

Tonight I stood in my yard and swayed as my little boy fell asleep in my arms. Bats danced in delicately choppy flight above our heads, occasionally swooping down to feast. In the distance, I could hear the giggles of my wife and daughter amidst a serenade of crickets, frogs, and cicadas in the sunset.
One day, I will be old and tired. And I will remember that perfect little moment in time. And like tonight, tears will well up in my eyes and roll down my cheeks as I reflect upon what a lucky, lucky man I am…

I’ve always been good with animals — from small rodents up to large farm animals.  But truly, I am the Cat Whisperer…
Just tonight, our cat, June, was making a fuss and being generally unpleasant by wandering around the house and meowing with her wallpaper-peeling pay attention to me noise.  As I walked by, I picked her up, securely held her legs so she could not claw or get away, placed my lips next to her ear, and lovingly whispered…
“I’m going to kill you.  Slowly and painfully…”

As I moved her away from my face, our eyes momentarily met and mine shot lasers at her.  Frickin’ LASERS.  She let out a small yelp, lept from my arms, and ran to the basement.  She’s been a little lamb for the rest of the evening.

(Of course, I would never hurt our cat.  Nor do I condone hurting cats.  It’s humor, folks — dark humor.  And if you didn’t find it funny, please move along.)

Here’s a lovely spam/scam message that’s been making the rounds. At least Ali Mohammad (the seer, killer, saver and damager) is kind enough to thank his potential victims at the end of his message.

This is just another example of a moneymaking scam. “Gimme some money and I won’t kill you. I’ll even let you know who wanted you dead in the first place.” Even the simple headers on this message give it away. Note that the “To:” address is pretty generic and doesn’t reference a specific person. A discriminating hit man would likely send individual e-mail messages to his targets and actually address them by name instead of “DEAR VICTIM.” You know, actually illustrate that he might know as much about you as he claims by using your name. Cutting corners on contracted hit jobs is just never a good idea. And maybe, just maybe, this scammer could have been a little more original in fabricating a name. Using something that is so close to the name of one of the most famous American boxers of all time shows a real lack of imagination.

Oh, and since this message is going to Penn State staff members, chances are the target would not be a “wealthy person.” I’m just sayin’…

Here’s the full text of the message I received:

From: “ali mohammad”
Date: 17 Jul 2010 01:50:25 -0000
To: info@box.com


I am Mr Ali Mohammad the only man seer from UAE TO KILL YOU, I am a murderer. i have been paid to kill you and by one of your friend and the date has come . my colleagues has been in your state right now keeping eye’s on everysteps you make but on my searching about your contact email information i find out that you are a wealthy person ,But since my data shows that you are innocent and I could make more profit out a double deal. then I called my client back and ask for your e-mail address. And as I write to you, now, my men are monitoring you and your every step.

Do get back to me as soon as possible if you have anything to say about this ,so that i will give YOU all their informations. I can only give you this email bcos, it is not to expose ok. reply to this email below only- (alimohammad@9.cn)




Ali Mohammad (the seer, killer, saver and damager)

I think that the next time I have business cards printed up, I’ll replace “security analyst” with “seer, killer, saver, and damager.” It’s so much more hard core…

If you know me, you probably know that over the past several months, I have rather impatiently waited for the opening of Rey Azteca, a Mexican restaurant, here in State College.  Finally, it happened.  Today.  And I was there for dinner, along with the family and two of our friends who have also waited for this day with great anticipation.
I have seen absolutely NO advertising for Rey Azteca; no official announcements for their opening; no signs in the window with an opening date; and until today, I hadn’t succeeded in finding their Web site (http://www.reyaztecarestaurant.com).  We knew they were opening today thanks to sleuthing, a newly discovered phone number, and a Yelp friend who managed to catch someone working there yesterday.  Nonetheless, PLENTY of people knew that today was the day, and when we arrived, the dining area was full, there were at least 50 people waiting in line before us, and more showing up every minute.  We were told our wait would be 15 to 20 minutes, and that was pretty accurate, which was surprising to me — I’m used to those estimates being bold-faced lies that should be multiplied by 2 or 3.
I’m going to say up front that I’m fairly certain no one at Rey Azteca was expecting such a huge turnout tonight.  It was their unadvertised first night open, and while they likely knew that a good number of people in this town have been jonesing for a decent traditional Mexican restaurant, I also think  they were completely surprised by how well word-of-mouth and social media (oh, yeah – I’ve been tweeting about it, had it on Facebook, Yelped, and entered the location on foursquare as soon as I knew the address) worked to make the place SRO tonight.  Consequently, I’m not going to harp on the service, which was a bit slow.  However, I’m sure they’ll take care of that problem, and every staff member with whom I interacted was very pleasant and accommodating.
TAKE NOTE!  REY AZTECA DOES NOT SERVE BEER OR LIQUOR.  I saw someone bring in their own 6-pack, but I don’t know if they’re totally cool with that.  If you must have alcohol with your Mexican food, call first and ask if they have a policy bout BYOB-ing.  And by the way, Pennsylvania’s liquor laws SUCK.
So…  The food.  You’re reading this because you want to know about the food, right?
Well, I’m not posting this review on Yelp because I don’t think it’s fair to judge a brand new restaurant on their first night of business.  That doesn’t mean that I was disappointed in the food, though.  The obvious comparison here is El Campesino in Altoona (http://www.elcampesino.net).  That’s been my go-to spot for good Mexican food.  And I’m going to predict right now that my days of having to drive 40 miles for my fix are over.  And not only does it have proximity working in its favor, but Rey Azteca’s prices are lower than El Campesino’s.  I ordered the vegetarian number 1 dinner – a cheese enchilada, a bean burrito, and a bean and cheese tostada.  That’s the same lineup as the vegetarian A dinner at El Campesino (my usual order), and I ordered it, in part, to provide a fair comparison.  Despite the fact that it’s a lot of food, I also made sure to order a side of rice and a side of beans (yes, I shared them) because I apparently have a hollow leg.
Rey Azteca’s menu states on the cover that they serve food that is mildly seasoned.  They do not lie.  My food was flavorful, but in no way spicy.  Even the salsa was very mild.  In central PA, that’s probably a good idea.  In future visits, I will have to inquire as to whether they have a spicier salsa available.  If they don’t, that won’t prevent me from returning, I’d just like to have a little more kick to my Mexican food.  The burrito was great, and could have been a clone of El Campesino’s bean burrito – a perfect soft flour tortilla wrapped around refried beans of just the right consistency, and the whole thing thinly coated in salsa.  The tostada?  You can’t really screw up a tostada, but what set this one apart was the guacamole.  As advertised on the Web site, it tastes homemade.  Good homemade, that is.  Don’t freak out if you go there and your guac isn’t bright green.  Freshly made guac starts changing its color quickly.  You can keep it bright green, but often at the price of mixing in more lemon juice than you really want.  This was smooth, tasty, non-lemony guac.  The enchilada was good.  It could have been better, but I could tell that its preparation had been rushed.  Again, I think this can be attributed to the unexpected turnout.  By the time our fried ice cream arrived, I was stuffed and yammering on and on about work, so I wasn’t paying very close attention.  It’s ice cream, whipped cream, honey, cinnamon, fried tortilla, and a cherry – like you can go wrong with that?
So, the bottom line for tonight’s visit:  Good, but not as good as what I’ve been able to consistently get at El Campesino.  But I’m hopeful that will change, because I saw a lot of potential.  I’m going to give the folks at Rey Azteca a few days to match their staffing to the customer load, then try again.  I am also interested to hear other people’s opinions over the next few days.  I’m happy that Rey Azteca is finally open, and I look forward to many more satisfying meals served up from their kitchen.  Go and give it a try!

El Campesino?  I kept telling you guys that we needed you to open a location in State College.  You may have just missed out on a golden opportunity, and I don’t know that this town could support another Mexican restaurant… yet.