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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fringeville Edition #44, December 04 2011

Random Fringebits

I’m going to do this every once in a while. I’m just going to post a bunch of blurbs, little snippets of things that have crossed my mind. Most, but not all, are recent trains of thought. (Recent might mean yesterday, twenty minutes ago or at some time since my last post). But occasionally there will be something that’s been floating around in my head for months which I just haven’t had time to do anything with. We’ll start with one of those…

My brother Bill lives in New Hampshire. He’s hard to define, politically, but he’s a hell of a lot of fun to argue politics with. Sometimes it gets so intense that people who don’t know us will think we’re on the verge of blows. They rush up to us to calm us down, and we just laugh at them.

Bill says a lot of wild things, but occasionally he nails something dead on.

He told me a few months back about a conversation with a friend of his who is a full-fledged, drinking-the-coolaide, questions-nothing-the-Democrat-leadership-says liberal. His friend was railing about how the rich need to be hammered with taxes.

“Look,” Bill told his friend, “I’m never going to be rich. Neither are you. But you know what the rich have, other than money, that you and I will never have?”

“What?” came the reply.

Mobility. Tax them and they’ll leave.”

His friend had nothing to say.

But I remembered Bill's story when I read this story recently about a tax exodus in New Jersey.  And this story.  And this one, as well, in case anyone things I’m making this stuff up.

I’m reminded of George Harrison’s lyrics:

If five percent appears too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me…

The song was written after George Harrison discovered a 95% supertax was sucking away most of his earnings.

There was an exodus of talent and wealth from United Kingdom back in the 1960’s. When the taxman squeezed too hard, those affected used the one tool in their arsenal that most of us don’t have, and that my brother nailed with one word: Mobility.

* * *

I went to Church today. Why is that a big deal? Because I love Church. It starts me off on a positive note. But I haven’t gone in weeks.

Tracing it back, I stopped going shortly before my job went over the side.

I went today because I was part of the Mass; otherwise I probably would have bagged it again. That’s a pretty crappy reason to go to Church: Simply out of a sense of obligation.

But going today was the best thing I could have done.

During Mass, I realized that I stopped going because I felt somehow that I didn’t deserve to be there. As if God would look down disapprovingly and smite me because I was out of a job. As if Jesus would turn his back on me because I was piking it. Not pulling my weight. Turning into a layabout.

And then it struck me: God doesn’t care about any of that. He was just disappointed I hadn’t been by to visit in a while.

So I think the answer is MORE Church. Not less. I think it’s time to start hitting those weekday morning Masses.

* * *

I’ve lost much of my enthusiasm for college football.  It’s not because of the Penn State scandal: My interest has been waning for years. The mess in State College just brought things to a head.

My disaffection began with the advent of the BCS. They call it a Bowl Championship Series. Which is, of course, an outright lie. It is neither a series nor a championship. It is the anointing of a champion by computers which put two teams in a game. Winner takes all! Let's call this steaming pile what it is: A Bogus Championship Swindle.

Years ago I stopped paying attention to college football after Penn State's season ended. Why? The BCS killed the massive New Year’s Day bowl-fest I grew up with.

Remember those days?

Remember waiting till all the bowls were played to learn what team was really number one? 

And who really knew after the dust settled? After all, there often wasn't a clear-cut champion.

But those New Year's games meant many good-spirited arguments back and forth over frothy beverages at corner bars all across America. Those verbal tussles lasted until at least spring football practice.

Now crowning a "champion" involves a string of unrelated bowls across several days, culminating in a dubious championship game.

I've pretty much stopped caring altogether.

Yes, I'll watch a game if there' s nothing better to do. But these days there usually is something better to do. Case in point: last night was the inaugural Big Ten championship game. You’d think I’d be at least marginally interested.

Instead, I watched It’s a Wonderful Life. And then I played the Game of Life boardgame (remember that one?) until nearly 1AM with my family. 

You know what?  It was the most relaxing evening I’ve had in years.

* * *

My weight’s creeping up. Moving in exactly the wrong direction. I’ve been trying to figure out why. I really haven’t been eating any more. That 175 goal by Christmas is a pipedream. I’m at 195.

The culprit?

I’m not walking enough. I realize now just how much walking I did at work. It’s a warehouse, and that means walking a lot. It also meant climbing the #$%^ stairs to the mezzanine or Transportation offices. I hated those stairs (my knees are shot). I love walking UPHILL when I’m outdoors. But I hate steps.

I’ll modify the goal: 190 pounds of Jimbo by Santa’s visit.

Treadmill: Get ready for some abuse.

* * *

The Yonk is offline for a bit. Here’s his note from LuLac

Dear LuLac Readers:
I will be away for a few days getting some medical attention. Hopefully this procedure will fix some long standing health issues. We’ll be back as soon as I am cleared by my medical team or when the nurses get tired of my lame presence.
Wish me luck and if you are so inclined, say a prayer or two.

Get back to work soon, Yonk. The Blogosphere ain’t the same without you!

"Yes Doctor Jimbo. A dozen wings, two Abe's dogs and a can of Tab nightly for Mr. Yonki. Got it!"

* * *