Saturday, January 31, 2009

Finished Filing My 2009 Income Taxes!

God almighty, I hate it when I have to pay both the federal and state government!

The double whammy!

It sucks.

If I had the money I'd dump some last minute 2008 contributions into my IRA to reduce my 2008 AGI, but I have to buy a car for my daughter in the coming weeks, and I can't afford to do both.

One thing that took me by surprise this year is that the Child Tax Credit ends in the year in which your child turns seventeen. That's a thousand dollars right there in the IRS column - argh. I would have thought the credit would have extended to age eighteen.

We have to support our children to that age, and they get much more expensive to support as they get older, so why does the credit end at sixteen? Probably some damned Republican lawmaker at work. I can hear him now, "Gotta get em' into the army. We don't want to coddle the little bastards".

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lizard May Live To 200

I find this astonishing. I just read an article on about a 110 year old lizard which may live to age 200.

Some creatures live much longer than humans do. Certainly this fact shows that there must be a way to extend the human lifespan well beyond the limited 120 years that very few ever realize.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again, we're very short lived creatures struggling against all odds to survive as a species. By the time we as individuals mature enough to have gathered some wisdom along comes the grim reaper to harvest us away. Is there any wonder why our societies are such violent, and sex obsessed affairs, or why we act as beast concerned mainly with territory, and reproduction?

Reduce the world population, advance technology, extend lifespan, increase the standard of living, create a planetary society, and colonize space - this is the way for the human species to survive. Otherwise we're just waiting around long enough to either destroy ourselves, or to be destroyed by a comet or asteroid.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No Central Heat Tonight

As I was sick today I stayed in bed, and kept under the covers. When my wife got home from work she immediately noticed that the temperature in the house had dropped to 63 degrees, and asked me to get out of bed to check the central heating unit.

We've had someone over tonight to look at it, but the part won't be in until the morning, and so tonight we'll be using some space heaters to keep the place warm.

The one I have in the master bedroom is doing a great job keeping the room just at the right temperature - not too hot, not too cold, but I wonder about some of the other rooms in the house.

I wonder about the cats. I guess they'll be o.k. Then again, maybe we better make sure they're in a warm bedroom tonight.

Been Sick For Several Days

Monday I was feeling mighty tired, so tired in fact that I knew I was coming down with something. I warned everyone at work not to come too close to me as I didn't want to give them what I had - even though I wasn't sure what I had - or if it would get worse.

Early Tuesday morning I awoke in bed in the middle of the night and realized I had a sore throat. I then fell back to sleep. When I awoke later I found that my sore throat had spread into one of my ears.

When my alarm went off later that morning I realized I was too sick to come into work, and so I called in sick. I slept Tuesday morning away, and upon waking in the afternoon I immediately realized that the infection had moved into my nasal passages. I couldn't breath through my nose at all.

With each breath I took through my mouth my throat became drier, and drier, and the pain became worse, and worse.

I also felt very tired, and so I slept, and slept.

I took some OTC antihistamines, a decongestant, Tylenol, and some Fluticasone Propionate.

I finally got up, and made myself a sandwich and some hot chicken soup, and watched a little television just before sunset.

I then went back to bed, and watched some television, and fell asleep.

This morning I woke to much the same tiredness, and chills I had had on Tuesday morning, and I carefully thought about whether it would be worth my trying to make it into work.

My employer may give us sick days, but they sure as hell don't want us to use them. After you take even a fairly conservative number of sick days you can forget about getting a larger raise.

And so there I was this morning still quite sick, agonizing over whether I wanted to get well, or get a pay raise.

I decided that my health was more important.

What with the economy I seriously doubt I'll be getting a raise anyway, so I called in my second day in a row.

I had an old friend who worked at LRS, and he told me long ago that LRS doesn't have sick days. They don't record a sick day at all, because they just don't want you coming in sick, and making other people sick.

That's the way it was at my last employer, but the one I have now essentially discourages people from taking sick days, which is a form of encouraging sick people to come to work and spread their diseases to the rest of the staff. Save a few hundred dollars here, and cost the company thousands in lost productivity I always say.

I'm glad I stayed home, because my sore throat is gone, and my ear feels clear of any infection. I have some nasal congestion and drip, and it's causing me to cough a great deal. But other than some residual weakness, and some sadness over my loss of a pay raise I feel able to go back to work - missing only two days.

Oh yes, I have one minor gripe - my ribs - I've been coughing so bad that I pulled a muscle, and whenever I cough I have to brace myself because the pain is intense and sharp.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blago On Larry King Tonight

Oh please give us a break Governor Blago-bitch. You were a crook before, you're a crook now, and an appearance on CNN's Larry King show won't win over anyone's hearts and minds.

I wonder if the State of Illinois will be in any way paying for you to appear.

Now for those who don't know what I'm talking about - my state's governor has been under criminal investigation for years. During the course of that investigation, the prosecutor, who had federal court approved wiretaps installed in our good governor's office recorded the governor saying he was trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat which Barack Obama had just vacated.

And this charge is just the tip of the iceberg.

The whole process of the Governor's disposal is dragging on in what seems like slow motion, and now we must witness this egomaniac cast his spin on the Larry King show.

It's just adding insult upon injury to the people of the state of Illinois.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Buying A Car Soon In Central Illinois

Been searching the Internet for interesting auto deals. Going to buy a used car to replace the Cavalier my daughter used to drive. A cab driver totaled this car right in our own driveway.

So now I'm spending hours reading about specific makes and models, and eventually will start taking some test drives.

One disturbing detail which I noticed while searching the inventory of used car lots is that in many of the photographs on these car dealer's websites the photos were taken when green leaves were still on the trees in the background.

Many of these cars are just not selling - especially the minivans - I wonder why?

Could it be the fear that gasoline prices will eventually head back up when the global recession begins to lift?

Or could it be the credit crunch?

Or both?

Probably both - which makes me nervous about buying another car.

email jp






Wired News: Top Stories