December 6th, 2016

#5399: Optimism?

A couple of days ago--I now do not remember when, exactly, it was--I found myself eagerly anticipating Christmas.

I don't get excited about upcoming things the way I used to. I can't remember the last time I was excited that Christmas was coming this early; Mrs. Fungus frequently chides me for not having any enthusiasm, when in fact my ability to anticipate pleasant things is simply more asymptotic than hers: I do not get excited until we're on the cusp of the event.

This year has been pretty craptastic. We were unable to attend the annual $Small_Town_Christmas_Parade, due to work, and because we both work weekends our holiday schedules are pretty cruddy. Add to this the fact that the time off request I submitted in August for the week between Christmas and New Year's seems to have vanished into the ether, and the piles of other asininity swirling around our lives, there doesn't seem to be much to look forward to.

Yet in the hurricane's eye of all the worries assailing me, there is this core of irrepressible joy, the likes of which I have not felt this far out from the holiday since I was perhaps twelve. There is only one possible source for it.

I just don't know why I'm the one who's getting it.

Maybe I am getting it because I need it, and don't realize how badly needed it is. Maybe it's just a gentle reminder that the Grinch cannot, in fact, steal Christmas, no matter how hard he tries; no matter how much he wants to ruin the holiday, no matter what he does, the Whos down in Whoville will still gather in the center of town and hold hands and sing the joy in their hearts, because there is much to be joyful for in a world where God loves you.

In pondering this I keep coming back to the revelation that people who are thankful for what they have tend to be much happier than those who are not. And sometimes it's a vanishingly tiny thing that makes the difference. The other morning I--already wrapped up in my troubles as I drove to work--had forgotten that the Jeep was low on gas and needed fueling, and was just about to make the last turn before the highway, when beep! the low fuel warning light went on and the Jeep called my attention to it with a single second's worth of 1 kHz tone. Just as I was passing the gas station, and soon enough to remind me to turn.

A moment of happiness that fractured the clouds around me and let the light in.

If it had waited until I was on the highway, I would have been slightly inconvenienced by the need to pull off at an oasis and tank up. I would have paid a few cents more per gallon. It would not have ruined my day nor would it have made me late for work. I couldn't run out of gas in the distance I'd have to drive. But that little beep from the dashboard chose that exact moment to occur, coincidentally just as I was about to drive past my preferred gas station, in time to change course, where I have a loyalty card which saves me a few cents per gallon. A tiny coincidence that totally changed my outlook on the day.

My day was still hard: a long day full of dealing with people, some of whom act like drunks with debilitating brain injuries. A hundred stupidities, a myriad of tiny cuts, the need to take half a tab of Xanax to keep the stress-related anxiety at bay. Both Sunday and Monday were pretty bad days (Sunday was the worst of the two) and my weekend promises to be full of chores and errands. Last night I stopped and got gyros for my wife and I; we ate dinner and had intended to retire shortly thereafter, but then found ourselves engrossed in The Pianist and ended up watching the entire movie. I woke up at 6 AM when her work phone made a noise.

And here I sit in quiet joy. Christmas is coming.

#5400: Please do. Please do.

If all Democrat voters stopped paying their income taxes because Hillary lost the election it would be epic. Do you know why it would be epic?

It would be epic because if a demographic of that magnitude stopped paying taxes, the feds would be unable to do anything about enforcing the income tax. Seriously: how do you try tens of millions of people per year for tax evasion? It would represent the immediate nullification of the income tax. It would be like a single cop enforcing the 55 MPH limit on a busy superhighway at rush hour: the IRS could punish some small percentage of people, but the number of people punished for tax evasion would be dwarfed to insignificance by the people they simply could not prosecute.

If all 65 million Hillary voters stopped paying their income tax, it would starve the federal government, and we might actually go back to being free again.

It won't happen, though. It can't. Do you know why?

Withholding.

Right now, most people in the country are employed by others, and those others are required by federal law to withhold income taxes from paychecks. In fact, there are several taxes which must be withheld, some of which are illegal to itemize for the employee. When you file your income tax form on April 15th and you get a chunk of money back, you're not getting free money; that's your money which the government was able to use for free. You were forced, under penalty of law, to make an interest-free loan to the government. Anyone who receives a wage or a salary is subject to withholding. You can minimize the amount withheld but you can't eliminate it entirely.

Not filing a 1040 just means you haven't documented your income. The government's already collected the taxes.

And so, this makes this effort into more Democrat butthurtedness. That's all.

* * *

Speaking of lefty butthurtedness, big clothing designer cancels massive holiday party, complete with sexual harassment, because Hillary didn't win.

First comment asks why male homosexuals get a pass when putting nude male bodies on display? Because gays are a protected class, that's why, and heterosexual men are not.

* * *

Another thought prompted by the comments there: the same people who hurled the epithet "baby killer!" at GIs returning from Vietnam are the ones who most strongly support abortion-on-demand, AKA the killing of babies.

* * *

Conservatives warned Harry Reid about changing the confirmation rules to gut the filibuster. When you want to change something to suit your present needs, you had better consider the unintended consequences. Such as: "How will this rule affect my party if we're in the minority?"

Other hand: thanks, Democrats, for gutting the confirmation rules for us. We promised you this day would come.

* * *

Running errands today, went to the parts store to recycle some oil and get a new washer pump for the Jeep.



Well, for crying out loud: if the rear washer pump works, I could just swap that into the place occupied by the front washer pump. Wish I'd seen this video before I bought the part. Consolation: the rear probably won't last much longer anyway, assuming it works, which I don't even know. And it's not even $20 for the part, and they had it in stock. So, intercourse it.

Incidentally: Jeep, WTF, there wasn't enough room in the engine compartment? It had to go inside the fender?

That's a task for tomorrow, though. I didn't get moving soon enough, and I had a list of tasks to attend to, so oh well.

* * *

Gyros taste so very very good, even reheated. Pity about the onion and garlic breath.