Feb 28, 2014

Taxes: done

I have done my own taxes as long as I've been paying them. Ten or twelve years of that was using TurboTax with good results. 

This year I started punching data into it and it choked. New York wouldn't finish without Missouri data and vice-versa. After a couple hours of swearing at it I closed the windows and went to bed. The next morning I called the accountant a coworker had recommended. 

We had our appointment this morning. We had all the paperwork she needed, she found a deduction I hadn't known about, and in 45 minutes all our taxes were done and e-filed. Cost was about fifty bucks more than TT would have run and worth every penny.

Sizable refund from Feds, small from MO, and we owe NY a couple bills. Not bad overall. And it's done. 
Sorry for the lack of content. Real life has intruded. Stay tuned. Or not. 

Feb 19, 2014

Bug season

I've been seeing various reports on the Book of Face about people down with the crud. BRM and Wing are both down with something.

My partner at work was out all last week and is expecting to be out all this week with what I'm presuming is the flu.

One of the forums I frequent had this post (paraphrased):
Last week was our anniversary. Wife wasn't feeling great, so I took the kids out so she could have some quiet time.
Next afternoon she was complaining of chest pain and difficulty breathing, so I took her to the ER.
She was dead the next afternoon. Flu plus staph.
Let me re-emphasize that:
 She was dead the next afternoon.

A husband is without his wife, children are without their mother, because of flu.

Last week we had a working-age adult patient who complained of "flu symptoms" for a few days and was found unresponsive/pulseless. That family is now doing funeral planning.

In 1918, the "Spanish" flu had an estimated 10-20% mortality rate. With modern medicine, we've cut mortality rates dramatically, but influenza is still killing otherwise healthy adults.

I missed my flu shot this year, and I'm really regretting it. I've been healthy so far (knock on wood), and I hope it continues. I really hope my partner was smart enough to call in early enough to keep me healthy.

If you share a work space, wash your hands regularly and use antiseptic wipes regularly. (I wipe down my entire console at the beginning of every shift and sometimes mid-shift.) If you're coming down with something, stay home.

Take care of yourselves. Rest, fluids, etc.

Feb 11, 2014

Silver trinket

I've been playing around with a few ideas of silver that can be handed to a friend, or a waitperson, or put in a stocking, etc. An acquaintance makes "dime cards" that have a 90% dime sandwiched in, and I liked the idea but didn't want to use dimes... or at least not exclusively dimes. Thus, this has been created:

The QR code simply goes to the Kitco spot price chart.

These were zipped out on our inkjet printer and I'm not entirely thrilled with the resolution/pixelation. Some tweaking needed, and maybe printing on a color laser setup.

That said, I'd like to sell the first few if anyone is interested. I've got supplies for four, I'm keeping at least one, and then ... buying more silver to put in cards. I vaguely intend to try 1g and 1/10oz rounds or bars as well.

The three that are available ... I'd like $10/ea for them, mailed in the US. That basically covers the silver and laminating sleeves and postage. Yes, they're a little rough. But you get the privilege of saying "these are the first!" And I'll do something nice for you in the future.

Drop me a note if you're interested.