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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Fringeville #174: More Rambling Tidbits

More blabbering about nuttin...

The lazyass dog behaves differently around me than he does the womenfolk of the house.

When I come in from anywhere (work, the mailbox, a grocery run) he does the following: runs to me, sniffs my breath when I bend over to greet him, then paces by the door. Here is the translation from dog to English:

“You’re home. Let me see if you’ve been eating something and holding out on me (*sniff, sniff, sniff*). Glad you’re here. Now take me out to pee and poop.”

He might have eaten thirty seconds before I got home, or watered the landscape and left a monument for the flies, but that’s how I’m greeted whenever I walk through the door.

In the morning, when the womenfolk feed him, he just gobbles it down.

If I feed him breakfast, he won’t eat unless I stand by the oven and drink my coffee while he loads the poop engine for when I get home.

I guess this is dog love. I guess. Or he’s just screwing with me. Yeah, that’s it. It’s a Pavlov thing in reverse and he never tires of it.

* * *
About this time a year ago I gave my notice at Lackawanna County, where I rode off into the sunset on my own volition as the best intentioned but most inept assistant ever to serve a County Commissioner.

Why did I leave? Because, for one thing, it’s at least as important to know what you don’t do well as what you do very well. Financially, a stupid thing to do. Yet overall the soundest decision I’ve made in a long, long, time. Zero regrets.

* * *
I am ending the year with no political party attached to my name. Zero regrets over that, too.

* * *
Winter is here. I have stories to write. I've a bottle of toasted caramel whiskey as my muse, and I know how to use it. In moderation, of course, because I need to be able to find the keyboard.

Whiskey may clash ever so slightly with my boob-making-anti-cancer med, but frankly, Dr. Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.

* * *
There are still things broken in my life I cannot fix. Somehow this weekend, I will find the will and joy within me to ring in Christmas. Because I’ve done zip, zero, nada so far

* * *
Be good to each other. 

* * *

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fringeville #173: Some Songs Whisper to me, and Some Cry in Anguish…

My Father's House

Be good to each other.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fringeville #172: Quick Hitters…

Fast moving ado about nuttin

Since I’m reliving my childhood, I am going to make Ritty Dum Ditty for dinner one night. There will be pics.

* * *
The only thing keeping me going is church on Sunday. If I get to church, it gives me just enough juice to get me through the week.

* * *
This Roy Moore fiasco: It’s not some political scheme by Democrats/liberals. Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates. Allegations are flying against everyone from politicians to media bigwigs …even Mr. Sulu. This is just getting started.

* * *
Penn State and offensive line issues: why does this sound so familiar? Patience. This is the piece that takes the longest to upgrade.

* * *

My dog is an idiot. He’s gifted in some regards (he can smell beef jerky from 500 yards) but dumber than a box of rocks. Love him to death.

 * * *
I didn’t think a damned foot could hurt so much for no reason other than aging. I’m sure going up and down the cellar steps a couple of hundred times a few weeks ago had nothing to do with it.

* * *

It may be possible one day to create an artificial universe. An actual baby universe which will inflate and fill a cosmos and may one day even have life like ours. I’m not sure if they’ll have their own Miracle Mets or Boris Yeltsin, but it’s an amazing idea.

But it begs the question: is it possible God was someone in a lab coat in an alternate universe? I think not. Only God could come up with the Aardvark. Or those Mets.

* * *
I have rejected most of what I have done for the last twenty years as a failed experiment. But I do not reject the people I’ve met and been active with. Never the people. They are all that matter.

* * *
Be good to each other.

* * *

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fringeville #171: Well there’s a first time…and other random bits.

It’s Veteran’s Day. Please take a moment to say a prayer of thanks to those who serve, now and in the past. If you’re not the praying type simply be thankful and find a way to express it.

* * *
Well, there’s a first time for everything.
I posted what follows on my Facebook pages yesterday because it was an uplifting experience in a time of great angst, both personally and for many of us in the social and political climate that exists today:

...It's one thing, and an important thing, when a candidate comes to your door and asks for support.

It's another when one shows up after the election to thank you for supporting him.

It just doesn't happen. They may call. They may write a note. That's terrific, truly. But they don't knock after winning, in my experience. Until tonight, that is, when PJ Biscontini showed up at my door in the freezing cold to thank me for supporting him in his run for Plains Township Commissioner.

We talked quite a while and with each passing, freezing cold minute, I was more impressed.

Does America still produce great young people? Well, this young man is your proof. There are great things in store for him one day. I never voted for anyone other than a Republican once I was elected to County Committee. I believe, as my good friend Renita Fennick taught me, you either belong to something or you don't. I did, and I did so passionately.

Now, I am unaffiliated. An island of one. I take each person as I find them, and if they measure up I will vote for them not because they do or don't belong to a party... but because they are the best person for the job. PJ is the first Democrat I have voted for in a long, long time.

Keep your eye on PJ. He loves Plains, professes to have no higher ambitions, but fate has a funny way of tapping the talents of the best of us. You've heard this before, and it's a cliché, but it's also true: This guy's going places.

* * *

I am reading A Life In Parts by Bryan Cranston, a birthday present by Popki. It is a surprisingly good read (I am not one for celebrity books) and it has managed to stir a lot of old memories of my childhood. Some good. Some probably forgotten for good reason. He paints his life in a series of small snippets …scenes, if you will …and I am enjoying it immensely.

* * *

The Harvey Weinstein story has opened the floodgates. Every day another powerful person stands accused of anything from sexual harassment to sexual assault. It’s become the shark attack story of 2017, with one critical difference: The sharks aren’t along isolated stretches of beach here and there being sensationalized by the media. No, not one bit.

These damned sharks are everywhere. It’s going to get worse, because America is a gigantic beach for these particular predators.

Our sexuality is complicated because the drive to procreate is deeply instilled within us. Keeping the species going is kind of important. Most of us learn to master or at the very least control our sexuality. But for others, especially when power …political, economic or career …is involved, a beast is unleashed.

Yes, we all flirt, some just a little bit, and some quite a lot. Most of the time it is harmless, and we pretty much stick to the rules. A man compliments an attractive lady on her dress, and perhaps smiles just a few seconds longer than usual. A woman leans in close and lightly touches a man’s arm during conversation. But the game has rules, and most people instinctively adhere to them. We don’t wag our genitals at the opposite sex as a display of power or force ourselves on others.

Those transgressions are no problem for powerful sharks. What they do is indefensible. The sharks aren’t just the rich, powerful and famous we read about each day. There are probably some in every community. Perhaps this will be a watershed moment when predatory behavior becomes intolerable. One can hope. Our very nature, however, makes this a problem for all generations. I don’t know what the solution is, but perhaps a start is recognizing that we’ve lost our way. We are flirting with total hedonism, where anything goes and personal responsibility no longer exists.  We can hope that we’re turning a corner. Again, one can hope. I’m not ready to give up on us. I hope you’re not, either.

* * *

The NFL kneeling thing.

I fully support the player’s rights to kneel during the anthem. I also fully support the choice of those offended to boycott the NFL if they see fit. It’s America. Have at it.

If I ran the NFL, I’d have seen this coming after last year. I’d have simply reworked the pregame festivities a mite. The players would come out after the anthem.

Simple solutions seem to escape the NFL Commissioner, but it is his League to run as he sees fit. He’s stuck for the rest of this season, but the damage has been done. Everyone is losing here.

I understand what the players involved are trying to do. But you don’t build widespread support for a cause by alienating large chunks of the population. You find a way to get everyone behind you. It’s a hell of a lot harder. It’s not flashy. But it works.

I remember when drunk driving was something that was accepted as part of the way things were. When we were kids, we used to shout “Happy Jack! Happy Jack!” whenever our parents ended up behind a drunk driver.

I also remember driving home one night in the late 70’s/early 80's and coming around a bend in Kingston Township to find a car blocking both lanes of the road. A man was passed out behind the wheel and his car, still running, was resting, unscratched, against the guard rail. I knocked on a nearby door and asked a man who opened his second floor window to call the police. When they arrived, they thought it was funny. (I think they knew the guy.)

As they put him in the cruiser (one officer to drive him home, the other to drive his car) I realized my car battery had died. I’d left the lights on so anyone coming around the curve had some warning that there was an issue. When I asked for a jump, I got some grief from one of the officers who grumbled while he helped me get my car going again. I never forgot that. I was the pain in the ass and the guy bombed behind the wheel of his car was a source of amusement (who got a ride home and a free car drop-off).

Hey, he was just a Happy Jack.

Things started to change when a California mother, Cari Lightner, lost her daughter to a drunk driver who hit her 13-year old and left her dead at the scene. The driver was a repeat DUI hit and run offender.

This devastated mother started Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Over time, society’s views on driving impaired shifted dramatically. The days of the police being the designated driver for a DUI are, I believe, long, long behind us.

That’s how it’s done, folks. When you see something drastically wrong, you work hard to bring everyone on board. Unify, don’t divide. That’s the lesson that isn’t being heeded. That’s what the NFL players need to do.

* * *

I’ve prattled enough.

Be good to each other.

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