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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Road Apples, #14

Cat Chair
I've pretty much decided to get rid of the "cat chair" in my office area. Sorry guys. I'll get a garbage bag or two, a new blade for my recriprocating saw and before you know it, the chair will be bagged up and ready for the trash. It will be nice to have the room.

I hate doing my taxes, but I hate the idea of paying someone to do them even more. It just doesn't seem right...taxes shouldn't be so complicated that you have to pay a professional to do complete them for you. Now these days I buy software for my taxes, but in years past I have filled out the 1040 long form, by hand. I know, glutton for punishmnet.

Wells Fargo Bash Cancelled
Article here. This is worth reading, if for no other reason than the fact that some folks still just don't get it. Don't get what? The days of big perks are hopefully ending. The idea of a 12 night company paid vacation is disgusting in "normal" time; in this environment it's almost criminal.

Dubuque Is Lovely In February
I have a four day trip planned to Dubuque, Iowa week after next. Among other things, I have performance appraisals to conduct. I'm just hoping that the weather cooperates. Nothing stinks more than traveling on company business during bad weather.

Tuition, Tuition, Tuition
I have my third installment on Kate's tuition due soon. The actual date is February 16th, but I'm probably going to transfer the money over the weekend. This is a $1,375.96 headache that I will be glad to rid of; once this is paid, I'm off the hook until sometime around August-ish.

Natural Gas Exploration
I hear commercials from natural gas producers who are interested in exploiting gas reserves that are found in shale deposits in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Now forgive me if I (and others) are somewhat skeptical, but this area suffered through a hundred years of deep anthracite coal mining, and you can still see the scars. In fact, there was a mine subsidence about a half mile from here earlier in the week. So you will forgive me if I don't give anyone a blank check when it comes to energy exploration. Exploring for natural gas in shale requires tremendous amounts of water, water which comes back contaminated. We already have a problem in this area with mine water run-off polluting streams. Sure, some folks may make some money off of this, and I'm glad for them, but that should not be at the expense of environmental damage that could harm others. Nope, no blank checks.

According to the local "wacky morning weather guy", there is a major change in the Jet Stream that will mean slightly warmer than average temperatures, starting on Friday. I could not be happier. It's been a brutal winter so far for temperatures, with the average temperature in being something like 8 degrees less than normal. However, this is what I love about the climate where I live; just when you really can't stand the weather any more, the season starts to change.

Daschle Withdraws
Former Senator Tom Daschle withdrew as a nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. The reasons all center around tax problems....specific to this case was something having to do with not paying taxes on the value of certain services provided to the former Senator. Two thoughts:
1. The tax code is far too excuse for non-compliance, but still, the code is too complicated.
2. This position needs to be filled. Healthcare in this country is incredibly sick (it's the "Best System in the World"...if money is no option).

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