Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal

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Eight

I remembered our eight anniversary was coming. Then yesterday, eight days later, I remembered again, surprised I had let it pass without recalling or noting it on that day. Made me think.

I also thought it was the first time I’d not publicly acknowledged the date, but it appears the last one I mentioned here was the sixth. “Serious slackers” indeed.

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This Thing IS On, If Only I’d Remember It

I am not one for resolutions on account of a mere calendar change, but that demarcation has had me fretting about my neglect of blogging. Nor am I that free to start up again in a big way, with other things needing heavy attention in the next couple weeks. But really, I wish I had an easy way to bottle the ideas as I have them, so when I do get to it, I could actually recall what I meant to write and how it felt to me at the time. I can’t even remember all the things I’ve had the urge to post.

One of them involved the realization that maintaining my premarital friendships more fully, as opposed to hardly at all, might have done me and my marriage a lot of good. Which made me wonder whether those friendships would have fit the bill.

The other that remains in my mind, queued but not as resonant as it was – though even originally it was going to need a lot of freeform thought, evolve as I wrote it, and be as much questions as ideas – is a post on what collapse looks like in practice. There’s a certain range of imagery from the post-apocalyptic fiction realm that is more hardcore, or farther along the curve, than what we would actually see, at least at first, depending on the causes and circumstances. Or are seeing, as the case may be. It gets into economics, in a way. Instead of elasticity of demand and supply, you’d have elasticity of status quo as a factor.

One of these days I’ll have to write some of this stuff. Or at least post some of the quick items that might otherwise go on social media and not stay “owned” by me.

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This is Why I Love Walmart

I remember reading The Gift of the WalMagi last year and was happy to see it republished.

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No New Coinages Under the Sun?

I hate when I coin a phrase or new word and then find it’s already out there. The latest is “all economics is personal,” for which, using the quotes, there are 3 pages of Google search results.

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Inspection Day Miracle

The spouse’s Chevy S-10 has had the service engine light on for months. One of those silly emissions-related things that cost a fortune to fix and seem designed more to support the repair industry artificially than to be necessary to us proles. At least, that’s what my nephew’s device for speaking to car computers said, and that’s usually what it is. $500 for… being able to get a valid inspection sticker for a car that has no other symptoms than conspiring to make you fail an arbitrary regulatory hurdle.

Anyway, the sticker expired at the end of September. Money was tight even to spend $29 on inspection, so you can imagine what the extortive repair would mean. I finally took it today.

I got in the truck, started it up, and… no more engine light!

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I was worried that it somehow cleared itself, and would be in the same state clearing it electronically would create. If you use a device to clear the error electronically, the computer in the car lacks enough data for the inspection computer to say that it’s working right for emissions. You fail, and have to give it a week or so to accumulate information, then get it retested. Thus if you have a rejection sticker and repair will involve resetting it, you really should get the repair done a week or more before the deadline of the rejection sticker. Otherwise you go over, even if you didn’t want (need) to.

But no… it passed! There were no other problems, and the computers had a friendly chat that resulted in much happiness on my part. Even if there is something wrong, at least we buy time.

Posted in Blogblivion, Money, Snark | 2 Comments

Parting is Such Savory Sorrow

As I posted previously, I had so much planned for the spouse’s week away visiting family. Muck out and rearrange my room. Deep clean the whole place. Go through 20-something computers, computer carcasses, etc. Maybe, just maybe, work on web site stuff and job hunting stuff, some of which interconnects.

I got part of the way through the first one. Ugh.

Almost every scrap of trash that went out last week was from my apartment. There are 5 barrels for the 3 apartments, and all were full plus, and three bags were on the ground beside them. I threw away things I can’t believe I had, and things I can’t believe I threw away. I probably still kept too much. Sometimes I try to picture what I’d be able to or required to live without if I moved out and lived in a single room, or a tent, or my car, but I have yet to allow that brutal of a purge. However, it is safe to say I should not have technical or business documentation from a 1993 job with a company that is long out of business. Just for one example.

Friday I dropped 13 small bags of clothes into a donation box. A few were from stuff the kids had, previously ready to go, but probably 10 were mine. I had a pair of size 42 jeans! I was aghast, holding them up, as they looked like something a truly obese person would wear. I briefly fit them. Now I am a 36. Sort of. A pair of Dockers I gave away didn’t fit at all, size 36. Similar pants in a 38 did fit, just, and a pair of size 40 I decided to try instead of summarily donating fit barely on the large side of nicely. A belt will keep them up and they won’t look oversized. Weird, how clothing sizes work, between types and makers. The donations were just the good stuff, and there may be more that was not looked at yet, though I hit most of it. The bad stuff essentially filled two trash bags. I threw away old favorite T-shirts that had holes. A lot of them. It was sad. But I did it!

The arrangement of my room seems good. In effect the back is bedroom and the front is office, with a bookcase partition. The front is divided into a desk for active computer use and a desk that will be for desk work or a table for working on transient computers. My own, for now, and any I might need to work on for others. I’ve tended to avoid that, given lack of space, even if my impression of lack of demand and willingness to pay anything has been mistaken. At the moment, the entire desk is piled to the ceiling with boxes of stuff to go through and store or purge. If needed, the desk could also become an additional place for someone to use a computer, though I’d prefer it not degenerate to that. Better than degenerating into a stack of computers and monitors, as is likely for now.

I still have stacks of computers and monitors in the kitchen and living room. There is not room to get them back into my room! Not really, not entirely. This is a problem. I have an inexpensive way to get rid of monitors that don’t work or are unwanted, which is most of them, but even at $5 each, that could be $50 at a time when I need $1200 extra in the next several weeks and am broke from running a deficit on groceries because the spose keeps saying she can’t afford them. I am at the point where the cash for groceries literally won’t be there for weeks, and I should not feel as apologetic as I do about it. But I digress. At least bad or unwanted old computers can be broken down and the cases and other steel parts might even be sellable as scrap metal.

Books bother me, as I consider them something precious, to keep and make space for indefinitely. Yet there are ones I will never use, and those tend to take up the most space. They also tend to be worth nothing. Turns out that not only can I see about giving them to the library, but also there is a book donation box nearby. That will help, once I can go through and organize them. Oddly enough, I’ve run into having a lack of boxes for that purpose, despite having had a seemingly endless supply. That will help the purge, but ouch.

Then there are things like suitcases. I have a couple of those that are bulky, and somehow were in my room rather than stored in a closet. Might I ever need them? Perhaps. But I have a duffel bag and other such bags that are more compact when not in use. So those may go on the side of the road or to a relative who wants them. Even if we ever went on the road with kids and all, they might need no more than their backpacks they already own for school (or will next year, in the youngest one’s case).

There are music CDs in stacking plastic holders. CDs may not be 100% obsolete in my world, but the holders can be ditched, resulting in a bit of space saved.

It’s hard, though. I get a lot of internal friction from what Harry Browne called “the previous investment trap. I spent good money on that! How can I just toss it!? Yet keeping it becomes a cost, if a psychic rather than monetary one.

At least, that’s what I keep trying to tell myself, and on that note I should get back to work…

Posted in Books, Business, Childhood, Family, Humor, Money, Music, Programming, Tech, Video, Writing | Leave a comment

Sans Nuance Yet Accurate

 

http://www.blogthings.com/whatareyourattitudestowardwomenquiz/results/?result=Modern”>Your Attitudes Toward Women Are Modern

Your attitudes toward women are no different than your attitudes toward men.
You’re a big believe of gender equality, and you’ll fight for people to be treated as individuals.

You get annoyed when women are held back from reaching their potential – even if they’re the ones holding themselves back.
You think gender should be less important than we make it. We’re all just people after all.

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Vacation

I was just thinking that I could post up a storm this week, since I am on vacation. The last post I started writing met the all too common fate of staying a draft, never finished or published, on fire as I was when I started writing it.

Anyway, the spouse-like person is in Oregon, seeing her mother for the first time in 4 and father for the first time in 7 years, and seeing the adorable new nephew. He is the first cousin on that side to my kids, the first grandchild on that side besides our kids, and the one the grandparents will actually get to see regularly.

If I could have afforded it, I’d have taken the kids and brought the whole gang there for a visit, but that is some distant dream. The only reason she could go is her brother flying her there and her family covering everything. Instead, I took seven days off from work. Which I’d have done anyway, but thankfully at least five of them will be paid. Only 3.5 hours a day, versus the 4.5 hours I’ve been averaging at current volume.

Just before she left, I finally finished the offer in compromise for the IRS and offer in settlement for the state, to get the tax debt squared away and stop the collection actions. Which, I just learned Sunday, included the state snatching our security deposit right out of the landlord’s bank. I will have to pay that back to them over the next few months, which will stress what would otherwise have been financial relief. I’ve been having about $250 a month taken out of my pay toward federal debt, over a fifth of my income. The state chimed in, too, bringing the total up to about $267 over the year, more since they started just a few months ago. Between the state adding to the burden and costs of groceries getting completely out of hand, and the fact that we will need a car within a year, tops, it had to change. I’ve been capped at $209 a week net. $125 is rent. $10 is car insurance. $10 is gas. I seldom spend less than $20 at a time for groceries anymore, shop multiple times a week, usually stopping for what we need on my way home from work, and can easily drop $100 a week, even with the other parent also contributing to groceries and sundries. In the past few months, it stopped computing. There is more hope of being able to add income, with 2 of the 3 kids in school, but we’ll see.

The best thing that tax settlement does for me is relieve stress. If there were no additional money, if it required paying installments equal to what I’ve been, it would still be less variable, random, and, frankly, point-of-a-gun in feel. Be easier to manage money, too, when I can go back to having a checking account without it being siezed.

But I digress.

All this time off, right? And done with the tax paperwork, which totaled probably 150 pages of stuff – almost $18 to mail, so no need to focus on that. No zombie effect of the crazy hours. It’s just a vacation, so not frantic the way it’d be had our babysitting situation thrown me out of work, as could happen any time. Tons of time!

I have at least 22 computers and computer carcasses to go through to see what is what, what works and is worth keeping or not, fixing or not, etc. I have a bunch of monitors, some dead, some working, mostly obsolete in any case, and need to figure out which need to go and how to dispose of them. I have old parts and could stand to test those, too. Might even have enough to build a computer better than most of the aforementioned, but need to actually work them.

I have massive house cleaning to do. The deeper the better. And it’s amazing the laundry, once you have a bunch of blankets to wash.

Most of all, and related to the computers, since some of them have been taking up space there, completely purging everything out of and rearranging my room. It was originally my office, though it never did well at being that alone. I ended up with too much general household stored there. And not enough office-like, potentially income producing purpose to it, of course. In a way, I had it arranged with office/cave at the back end, and the rest of the room for whatever. I had a desk against the back wall, a space, then a desk the other way, with the back of a large bookcase behing it. The bookcase was what you’d see on walking into the room, like a privacy wall. The spousal unit hated it. Eventually she got me to rearrange it. At the time, I was job hunting as well as attempting the apparent impossibility of drumming up new self-employed computer work. I paused that, thinking aspects of her idea for how to arrange things had merit, and eager to purge a lot of the general household stuff as the plan seemed to entail. The big closet would be my parts, software, spare computers I wasn’t using, tools, etc. I got that all set up so I could step or reach into the closet and get stuff off of shelves.

The big bookcase went away, to the room the kids were in. Two desks make an L, with one against the wall and the other with its back facing the door. I’m completely open to the doorway. It was nice, on one level, having floor space opened up, and having it feel roomy. I was not sure I ever liked it as much, though, but I wanted to make her happy, and was thrilled about using the closet for computer stuff.

A couple weeks passed, I was mostly done, then it was urgent that I stop and get back to trying to make money. Which, yeah, important. What I found out then, though, was that there was no plan for the general household stuff I’d removed from the closet or planned in large part to get out of the rest of the room. I had to stuff the closet hurriedly, perfectly organized at the back but blocked at the front to the point of a cartoon caricature. Instead of making it easier to conduct computer-related work and keep track of the stuff, it froze the stuff in place. I was left unhappy, and never stopped being unhappy about the entire incident or the way my office ended up. I’ve felt like I was frozen in time, unable to proceed from there, and not readily able to change it.

Ultimately, I ended up sleeping in the same room, rendering it really weird. I boxed and stored most of my books so there would be shelf space for other things, including my clothes, but my clothes still ended up mostly a pile in the corner. I couldn’t hang much of what clothes might be hangable, since the closet was too stuffed. It still is, though less so.

What I need is to get rid of more stuff from the room, and make it function as a place for sleep and some clothes, but also for computers to work at, as I am now, and have a place to work on computers, which currently has to be done with some finagling at the kitchen table. Everything has to be rethought and streamlined. Some stuff has to be tossed. There is stuff belonging to the spouse, which needs to go in her room. There are years worth of filing of paperwork in file drawers I have not been able to access.

My current idea is to make a sleep area at the back of the room, either along the back wall or along the side wall, similar to the way I had a more private office work area originally. I’ll probably move bookcases that have been in the same spot for 6 years and put a table-like desk there, empty, as a work surface for computers only transiently. I’ll try to get down to one computer desk and a table for a printer, dismantling one desk, or giving it to the kids in trade for the one I expect to take back. They will be getting a traditional desk, at some point, so may not have room for a full-sized computer desk anyway. We’ll see, but there may be furniture shed along the way.

So back to the point. I feel like today and the next three won’t be enough! Which is why I am spending way too much time typing verbosely…

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Storing Cilantro

This year I attempted to grow some herbs, of which the most successful was cilantro. Which at this point is flowering prolifically, in an attempt to become coriander. I started the stuff inside, then planted it in front of my building, for lack of a better place, in not very good soil, in a sunny location. Cilantro thrived, relatively, and a basil plant survived but is tiny. The basil I want to transplant into a pot for the winter. I may do that with cilantro, but it’s kind of tall. In fact, it seemed to have gotten tall and flowered over producing nice leaves, so more of the leaves look feathery than I might have expected.

I don’t have a lot of use for it, in any event. I’ve used a little already. It’s so strong, it goes a long way. I would never have gotten interested, but one time I tried fish tacos. The cilantro on those was so good, I figured I had missed something. My previous experience with it was a jar of dry, part of a big spice set I was giving years ago. The cilantro may as well have been dried grass clippings. No scent. No discernable flavor effect on food. Apparently it is particularly prone to lose flavor when dried. Or so I learned when I searched for info on drying it, finding that freezing is recommended as an alternative.

This morning I picked one stalk, the only one not flowering, brought it in, and trimmed the leaves/small stems off the stalk to freeze. We’ll see what happens, but hey, the same thing has come in handy with onions. Perhaps I’ll do another plant dried, just to see what happens, and let one go to seed – if it can before the frost – to get coriander. I grew coriander once, in my teens, before I’d ever heard of cilantro or been aware anything but the seeds could be eaten. I had no use for it beyond it was an herb and I planted an herb garden. I decided I wasn’t keen on coriander at the time, based on the smell of the seeds and how the scent clung to my hands.

Anyway, in the future I am more likely to buy herbs already started, since it was sketchy starting them from seed. If I do plant seeds, I’ll toss them in the ground outside, see what happens and not expect much, rather than undergoing what proved to be a devastating transplanting process.

I love the idea of fresh basil, but the thing I want the most is fresh rosemary. That sprouted reluctantly, but did not survive. I’ll eventually just buy some in a pot, cutting to the chase.

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Sama on the Aftermath

I couldn’t agree more with Rob Sama and what we have lost. I keep forgetting the Deep Capture angle, which is fascinating and all too plausible. Rolling back the police state is imperative. A pack, not a herd should be the prevailing attitude.

Finally, as I keep thinking I need to blog about, I cannot agree more about Gary Johnson as the candidate who gives us a chance to set everything right. This is why he is so profoundly muted by all aspects of the powers that be.

Posted in Economics, Politics, RealityBucket, Snark | Leave a comment

Jobs

It occurs to me that my policy posts have been somewhat peripheral to what matters so far. I’d started a post on the debt ceiling a few days before the deadline, which while not of this policy series was related enough, but the family interrupted me. That all fell out pretty logically, anyway.

As for jobs, it is neither a function nor a capability of the President or government more generally, discounting hiring directly by same, to “create jobs.” Just. Not. However, the powers that be can easily get in the way and stifle creation of jobs, or destroy existing jobs. Thus the short version of what to do is “get out of the way.”

Hmmm… This may be too much, since it touches on most if not all economic policy.

Cut regulation. Deeply. In particular some of the latest and craziest. In particular on the smallest and newest enterprises we want to bloom.

Let housing finish bottoming out so the rubble can clear and, even if it remains not immediate, construction can exist again.

To the extent that public infrastructure construction and maintenance continues in the world that is rather than the world as it ought to be, make sure funds actually go, and logically, into that as fully as needed. There is, after all, a direct tax funding it. If that’s not actually going there, it should. While we’re at it, cut out things like union preferences that make it cost more than it might otherwise. Look at privatization in the longer term.

Cut or eliminate capital gains and/or corporate income tax and/or double taxation of dividends. I’d say capital gains and dividends, since we tax individuals and the concept of corporate personhood exists. Make sure depreciation is favorable to investment, if it still matters from an income tax basis.

Cut or eliminate the minimum wage. Eliminate favorable treatment of unions and unionization efforts.

Unemployment benefits shouldn’t go on forever. Couple them with more and better incentives to learn new skills or become self-employed.

Encourage telecommuting, home-based business, individuals as contractors, non-corporate cooperative ventures and virtual organizations. For instance, your first some amount of profit from being self-employed being exempt from self-employment tax, which is a painful disincentive and gets the unwary in trouble.

Create or encourage special economic zones in particularly troubled areas.

No more bailouts. Ventures fail or succeed on their own. No more government ownership interest in businesses.

Austerity budget that pays down debt and releases capital to commercial application.

Repeal Obamacare… duh. Repeal Sarbox and Dodd-Frank, knee jerk responses and the latter from an absurd source in the first place. Thoughtfully replace them only to the extent it might be necessary.

No crony capitalism. Much of what people who cringe at capitalism think of as “capitalism” is not at all. We’ve had two administrations where that was a scourge. Continuing this administration or electing either of the most likely alternatives does not promise to change that.

I’m sure I could go on, and be more specific. The thing is, creating more jobs is as easy as creating greater certainty. Even in onerous regulatory and tax conditions, certainty would help tremendously.

Posted in Business, Economics, Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Space

The Obama administration is actually on the right track regarding space policy. It’s the only such thing I know of that he’s right on, and there’s no internally consistent logic on which the position is predicated. It’s just weird. But I’d go beyond that. If this were not merely a hypothetical policy post in my “King of the Forest” series, I’d have much to say. Like that I see space as the next “bubble,” for instance, but what a bubble. Or maybe not “bubble” so much as “explosive area of economic and human growth.” But I digress.

In an ideal world, NASA wouldn’t exist, and would never have existed. In a world based on the reality we have, NASA needs to go back to its roots and leave the routine to the private sector. In that halfway state, NASA can play a role in encouraging private industry and infrastructure development by being a customer, R&D, that sort of thing. The function of NASA is not to fund the payroll of an army of government employees and to pursue projects that ensure that continues. Nor is it to develop industry in one part or another of the country. Nor is it to provide work to contractors in selected congressional districts. Nor is it to provide corporate welfare to selected major contractors.

I would pursue policies including but not limited to tax advantages for launch and other space companies, making the government a customer where appropriate, funding or encouraging specific “X-Prize” types of goal-based incentives, creating or encouraging space infrastructure shades of airports, roads, fueling stations and Coast Guard. Any licensing or permissions or oversight should be minimal and as streamlined as possible. In an ideal world, there would be none of that, but it exists, and might arguably be needed under the framework we live in. Just… tone it down as far as possible.

The main point is not to spend on space, but to get out of the way. Let there be an industry. Let there be optimism, excitement, jobs, profit, investment and spinoffs.

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King of the Forest: TSA

One of the next things to come right to mind if I were in charge is what to do about the TSA and airline security. “Nothing” would be a better answer than the security theater and harassment we have now.

So. I would abolish the TSA, or work toward making it so – the ever present caveat here – and “replace it” with something more abstract yet natural. First, duh, secure cockpit doors. Second, the mentality of “a pack, not a herd” among passengers and crews. Self-defense is primary. Why disourage it? That’s exactly what we do now.

Finally, who should be primarily responsible for security and liability to the extent screening and filtering is valid and useful? The airlines and airports themselves. It’s an extension of the concept of strict liability, and I hadn’t considered it until I started composing this post, which would otherwise have stopped at the first points. Details? Not offhand. But if Logan and the airlines shared part of the liability for the results of a hijacking, wouldn’t they have incentive to get it right, balanced by their incentive to please the customers and generate business? Which should, of course, be as unfettered and subject to market forces as possible. A thought, in any event, beyond the part most of us know is needed.

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King of the Forest: Somaliland

This will seem entirely out of left field, and not in keeping with the more pressing economic side of this exercise. However, the first thing that came to mind for a post on what I would do if thrust into charge of the country is recognizing the independent nation status of Somaliland.

Now, what this may mean is directing the state department to pursue whatever it takes to make this possible, yada yada, if I am not in a position to simply make it so. It’s a matter of the bully pulpit, talking it up, setting the tone, taking the lead.

I can’t see why this hasn’t happened already. It’s a natural, historic division of Somalia, and there is no reason we should care what Somalia thinks. That I know of or can imagine. Perhaps there isn’t a major strategic interest, yet I can’t believe there would be no strategic benefit.

More later, on things other than foreign policy.

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Executive Orders

I have in mind a series of “if I were king of the forest” posts, touting what I would do if I were suddenly in charge. That is, President.

Naturally you have to work somewhat within what exists, and cannot wave a wand and transform us into a libertarian paradise. However, just what can be done, how quickly, how easily, and in what manner? Much of it is always a matter of leadership. Or not even that, but tone, though setting tone is part of being a leader.

Thus I have been wondering just how far I could go with executive orders. It wasn’t clear from my few minutes of research. It also strikes me as potential overreach, and a matter as much of what the other branches would let you get away with as what is theoretically the limit. As I believe we have seen already.

Beyond that, how much can be done by directive to agency heads, and by strategic appointment of the right cabinet members and others to support and push the agenda. Surprisingly much, I would suspect. Congress may control the budget – except the large parts they have placed out of their own control, on autopilot – but that doesn’t mean the funds must be spent.

Thoughts? What are the limits and possibilities?

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Meta

As you can see, I have done a great job blogging regularly, even slacking on birthdays. I’m currently torn over the idea of all things in one place and only in one place, versus the attempt to have all things but copy them to topical blogs, or having topical blogs and not to worry about all thinkgs in one place. For that matter, Deb even brought up the idea of joint blogging again. I feel like that and reconcilliation would sort of go together, but not sure I am eager even to go back to that for other reasons. If I did, I’d be tempted to bring back Accidental Verbosity. I was never keen on retiring it in the first place, no matter how cool Blogblivion was as a domain name, and no matter how awesome my final post at AV was.

I keep saying things on Facebook that I could or should say here. Or elaborate on here. There they own it and it’s private, as some things should certainly be. Here it’s completely public. At least until I or someone else creates the open FB alternative that would socialnetworkize blogs.

How hard is it to fire up Blogdesk and post what funny thing the kids did, or how great the food was at Rob Sama’s annual pig roast Independence Day party, or whatever. Not. Hard.

One thing that makes me feel defeated is that we developed an income stream from blogs, some active at the time, then increasingly inactive, so I got used to blogging for money. But this place and many of mine are new enough not to be marketable yet, and most of our sites, some fabored domains and topics, have been shut out and would need to be replaced entirely, despite having Page Rank. Though in one case a site lost all PR for no apparently reason and has never recovered.

Which makes me think that if money is harder to come by and it doesn’t matter, all the more reason to pick a site and just unleash everything. And let FB be where people who don’t want to see radical (to them) political or social opinion know a more filtered me.

We’ll see. Kids are clamoring…

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Happy Birthday

To my second oldest niece, Brittany, who is 23 today.

Posted in Birthdays, Divine Hamster | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday

To “Cate8,” who is 48 today.

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Inported

I am going to allow my solojay.com domain to expire, and have imported the entire content here. That may result in some older posts looking a bit weird or having odd references, if they reference the old site they wer on. Not going to go through and check them all – just didn’t want to lose the whole thing, for all most of it was digests from Twitter, when I partook routinely. I may do that with some other blogs that I am not eliminating but that I intend to grab posts from, just to expedite it. A shame that Expression Engine can’t be imported, though, since that’s such a large amount of it.

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More Allergies?

As is well known, Henry has allergies to bananas, dairy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, and when he was very young was sensitive to salicylates, azo dyes, and some aspect of screen printed ink on many of my T-shirts. He is gradually easing on the egg and milk fronts, in that he can eat foods into which those have been baked or cooked thoroughly, and can eat foods which have been fried in butter, or that contain butter or sour cream cooked into them.

The girls never had evidence worth noting tht they might have allergies. Until now.

Valerie had classic allergy symptoms after eating a peach, skin included, and getting the juice on her skin. She had also drank “peach punch,” a favorite juice we sometimes buy the kids when it’s on sale for a dollar per half gallon, but I discount that as a direct factor, with reason. Turns out that onset of peach allergy can be a symptom of the onset of birch pollen allergy, naturally manifesting in the spring, and common in our neck of the woods. Processed, peaches or peach juice might not trigger that the same way a raw peach, skin and all, could be expected to, or so I gather.

It has been several months since we needed Benadryl for Henry – approaching a year, perhaps. It took a solid dose of it – initially I gave her a lighter dose based on what I remembered giving Henry when he was younger – but that and washing thoroughly cleared it up. A bit slowly. She had hives all over her belly, was extremely itchy, was red around her mouth, and had one eye get red and puff up almost closed.

I called the doctor’s office and they lined up a prompt appointment with the allergist. Early next week will be busy! Sunday there’s a beach get-together the kids and I are going to, centered around a friend visiting from Oregon. Monday Valerie has two sessions of evaluations at the kindergarten, seeing just what help she may need with school and how she should be placed. Then we have a brief get-together with someone I haven’t seen since 1976, visiting from Minnesota.

On Tuesday afternoon it’s Valerie’s allergy testing. Should be interesting, since she’ll get a battery of them, and they are notorious for showing allergies that have never been seen to exist in actual practice. Like my grandniece with the peanut allergy that isn’t. Which I suspect may be true with Henry, since that’s the one thing he never showed signs of at all. In his case we won’t take chances, though.

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Happy Birthday

To my manager, Jasmine, who is 24 today.

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Happy Birthday

To blogger Pejman Yousefzadeh.

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Happy Birthday

To Bill Hobbs.

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Happy Birthday

To blogger Bill Quick.

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Happy Birthday

To attorney Jennifer (Harrington) Galego.

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Happy Birthday

To blogger Martin Lindeskog.

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Happy Birthday

T0 blogger Andrea Harris.

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Forms Misqueue

So I am attempting to fill out IRS forms 433-A, 656 and 656-A, and part of the way through some of the basics, I open 656-B, which is not a form, but a booklet. However, it incorporates copies of the first two of forms, so you can largely complete the process under one PDF. Same difference, right?

Well, perhaps they have updated things in the weeks since I downloaded these, but the forms in the the booklet were updated March 2011, where only the 656 was in standalone form. The 433-A was updated January 2008.

This leaves me concerned that the 656-A standalone form was last updated February 2007…

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Happy Anniversary

What’s the appropriate gift for a 13th? Luck, perhaps? It’s been a big 13 years for my oldest nephew and his wife. Congratulations!

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