Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Well-Fed Blogger

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending two events of quite differing natures, united only in their ability to give me a full belly. I am getting too old to keep doing this! My body retains everything that I eat and drink. If I could limit myself to one small meal a day, preferably comprised of a small glass of water, I would lose much excess poundage. But food was not the sole attraction of either gathering.

After scarfing down a breakfast of bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, home fries, and bagels, I listened to a talk given by Marlene Tobin, the Pennsylvania State Director of Americans For Fair Taxation. I was worried that this was going to be a dry, boring lecture heavy on economics that was going to put me back to sleep. I need not have concerned myself. This lady truly believes in completely changing the way that the federal government collects taxes by replacing the income tax with a sales tax -- in other words, a constitutionally appropriate excise tax. Anyone who needs the details can visit either the PA web site or the national web site, both linked above. I learned two things about my tax status during Marlene's talk: that I am either just above or just below the poverty line for a family of six; and that I would not be falling so deeply into debt if we had been living with the Fair Tax plan instead of the current Income Tax system. She also compared the Fair Tax with the Flat Tax. The Flat Tax would be IRS lite; the Fair Tax would be IRS gone! I know which one I would prefer.

Back at home, I couldn't get the NARN streaming feed on my computer, and my frustration with that teamed with the 90 degree heat to make me fall asleep for a while. My house has no air conditioning, and my bedroom window fan -- the nice new one that I just bought the other day because I expected it to be an improvement over the one that broke down -- does not work very well unless you are situated directly in front of it. It isn't a cool-me-down fan, it's a room circulation fan. By the end of summer, I expect to have three fans of various sorts in every room. My electricity provider is going to love me.

After a nice June shower around 6 PM, things finally began to cool down, and I prepared to venture forth for my evening's entertainment. One of my all-time favorite music acts, Deep Purple, was in town to play at something called "Rib America Music and Food Festival". When you find out that your favorite band is playing at a ribfest, it is usually a sign that they ought to pack it up. Not so in this case. I enjoyed the whole 90 minute set that the band played, even standing on my feet the whole time. This was the cheapest concert that I have ever been to; general admission was $5, and the venue was a fifteen minute trolley ride from my neighborhood. I did spend a bit on the food vendors. There were about a half-dozen visiting barbecue specialists to choose from; I decided to go with something called Texas Thunder because it had the shortest line. Niiiiice ribs. In the interest of enjoying some variety, I wandered over to the Quaker Steak and Lube kiosk for some hot wings. To my shame and embarrassment, I must confess that I have never been to their restaurant in Mercer County, nor to any of their satellite locations. The wings were great, so I may need to make plans to go back for more. By now I was getting thirsty so I did something that I almost never get to do anymore: I had a beer. In fact, I even had another one. I needed that. God Bless the low price of admission; at regular concert prices, I would never have been able to afford food and drink.

I capped off the evening by helping my little daughter finish off some leftover pizza, then I took a nice nap in the cool nighttime air on the front porch. I dreamt of trying to get out of a parking garage that was covered in what seemed to be the aftermath of a particularly icy snowfall. Why did I dream this? It isn't that cool outside.

Life just doesn't get any better. Except of course when the weather is cool, the beer is free, and the IRS is abolished.

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