Monday, December 31, 2007

and furthermore

So you get to deduct half your self-employed person tax from your overall income tax. I'm not complaining about the deduction, but I'm not so sure that having to pay extra taxes because you're working for yourself makes a lot of sense.

Yes, I know that I'm just paying what an employer would have had to pay, or maybe some lesser amount, but I still strongly assert that the best system would be a little friendlier to the self-employed.

Anyway, I should also admit that I enjoy doing the taxes, partly because of the puzzle, partly because I know the system-running infidels owe me a little of my money, my little no-interest stash for February, which will no doubt be used to pay off assorted items and vanish into the Black Hole of All Cash in My Life (well, except coinage).

I am sure I would feel quite a bit less fuzzy and warm if I had to go through what certain other of my comrades-in-pen have had to with death's brother-in-idiom.

Anyway, happy New Year to those among you who are there, and happy Dwindling Eve to the rest!

New Year's Eve amusement

Just the way most people gear up for a good party:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing day

I think it is cool that some people actually get today off as an official holiday. The alleged etymology of the holiday is cool - To box is to give someone a present, in the old days people gave gifts to those less fortunate, etc.

This reminds me, for some reason, of the ubiquity of going-to-market/ye-olde-towne-festivale/ren-faire music in flicks set from, say, the 9th or 10th century through, maybe, 1650. After 1650 you get a lot of harpsichord, prior to that more lute stuff. I think this broad-brush treatment stretches the limits of credulity. Surely someone played something other than that kind of diet Muzak...

When I was younger and still thought I it possible to use my education for its express purpose (i.e. to be an anthropologist instead of a journalist, even though they are damn near the same thing), I planned to study contemporary Native American culture or to study language and music. So much for that.

Maybe that's not the only reason, but I think that inclination is part of why I have an attitude about movies that use the same two or three dippy Market Music for old-timey festivals or my favorite, the transition from a battle scene to a let's-go-to-town interlude. I should probably find some at youtube to give as an example...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stop the press

Gee whiz, kids these days: Apparently some of them go to a special "pre-party" before the "real" party, just to drink! Jeepers, what will they think of next??

Well, USA Today may be a little late to the show, but at least they made it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snout barely above water

Yegods, it is busy times here in the middle of nowhere. We're switching to a cutting-edge system at the newspaper from our old-and-decrepit system, which had been in place since I worked there the first time (aka it has been there since 1999).

Ergo, I have been unusually busy. To compound the situation, the pool's closed for winter break at the alma mater.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Who is Alexa Wilkinson?

A singer/songwriter, of course. For me, a discovery for today, too:

You can also listen to her here.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tough nut to crack

Or, perhaps, nuts of friggin' steel.
Maybe this is why you have to pay extra for shelled nuts, so you don't have to buy a new nutcracker when the filbert says, "hammer time."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Eating Alarm Time...

One of the features my paper carries is called the Diet Detective, a weekly column by Charles Stuart Platkin. We don't run it every week: Some columns are much better than others. This week's is about Eating Alarm Times (maybe he's German and likes capitalizing things). Platkin calls the EAT (oh, clever clever. I just got it) a time when a person can consume an extra 300 calories, thus gaining weight.

His column is based on asking people about their EATs, and the results are pretty interesting, if for no other reason than that mine is the third-most popular. He calls it Afternoon Snack Attack, between 1 and 5 p.m. I call this period "lunch" because I eat after swimming. That seems like maybe a better plan than wolfing down a sandwich before jumping in the pool. Anyway, I do notice that when I get done swimming, I am even more ravenously hungry than usual.

By "usual" I mean almost all the time since I dropped about 25 pounds in August 2005. I also get cold more easily than I used to, but I have a pretty high tolerance for being cold, so maybe now I'm just normal. Whatever. I'm still hungry, damn it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Snow days? Pah

A brief reminder of what winter weather looks like blew away with the breeze the past couple of days. Snow fell like mad (for here), but now it is so mild I wore a T-shirt and shorts to walk the dogs. Pretty nice, really.

Penny-pincher me is always happy to see toasty weather in the "cold" season, so as to keep the gas bill down, but ex-New Hampshire resident me is sad to see the flurries flee. What can you do.