White Collar WTF

Paranoia - it's not just for breakfast anymore

I've had an income since I was 17 or so (not counting mowing lawns), so I've also had income taxes for going on a quarter-century now. In that time, I don't think I've ever actually had to pay income tax. I mean, I think there were one or two years where I owed state taxes, but I always received a federal refund that more than compensated.

Despite that, every year I get paranoid, put off filing, and generally get the shakes while clicking through my income tax returns, even though every year it turns out that no, in fact, I won't have to send the government every cent I have and have to scrabble through loose change to buy food for my cat. Go figure.

This year is yet another triumph, and now I can scratch taxes off the list of things to stress about. Leaving moving, finding a job and buying a car, but I'll take the progress where I can get it.
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Leverage - age of the geek

Truly, we live in the Age of the Geek. . .

Saw an ad in the Pentagon Metro station for some military contractor that apparently manufactures an electronic communication and intelligence network for the military.

Name of the contractor? Palantir.

I'm so amused. Wonder if they had to pay royalties to Tolkien's estate?
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Fortunately, there was room at the inn...

Came home to North Carolina to visit my family, only to discover for the first time in the last three decades or so, there was forecast heavy (well, heavy for here) snow for eastern NC for Christmas. Contemplating the idea of being snowed in with my family, I promptly took the coward's way out and ran for the hills. Or Chapel Hill, at any rate.

Now, of course, there is no snow, at least as of yet. But I am safe, fed, not broiling to death in Jacksonville, and neither tears nor blood among my family had to be shed. Gonna count it as a win, listen to the Hogfather audiobook and knit like the wind. Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thoughts on watching Tron Legacy (mildly spoilery)

(1) My, Olivia Wilde sure is pretty.

(2) This really would make a cool video game.

(3) I sorta wish they'd let Bruce Boxleitner chew more scenery.

(4) They let Jeff Bridges chew quite enough scenery, thank you very much.

(5) Overall, I enjoyed it (although I seem to have been in the minority in my audience that did so).
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My high school English professor, reading the Grinch



In this case, to a group of small children (probably the children (or even grandchildren, scary)) of my fellow alums. But he read it to all of us as students, too, and I think we all had that same look of rapture on our faces as teenagers as the small children do. God, I missed that.

For the record? Dr. Jon Miller, NCSSM, is an amazing human being and the best teacher I ever had.


I was just thinking that despite its lack of many of the things I loved about the original series, the new "Nikita" was beginning to grow on me (unlike SG:U, which has finally lost me, but that's a different story) when tonight's episode brought me Broots, the nervous, twitchy computer genius from "The Pretender," playing a nervous, twitchy computer genius. Play to your strengths, Brootsy!

...damn, this show gets any better and I'm gonna have to find icons for it.

Wintuk rocks! and other observations from an evening in New York

1. Wintuk really does rock. I'd heard one negative review from someone who didn't like it as much as the other Cirque shows, but I must respectfully disagree. Because the venue is considerably smaller than most Cirque shows, there were limits on things like aerial acts. But the energy of the show was amazing, there were the normal number of "that is just not humanly possible" moments, and the ending was fabulous.

2. Company was great, too!

3. The Hotel Pennsylvania is tiny, poorly lit, you can't reach the hvac controls because the TV stand is in the way, and for the amount they charge, you'd think the damn remote control would work.

4. That said, it is remarkably convenient to get off Amtrak, walk across the street to the hotel, and then walk back across the street to Madison Square Garden.

5. I have achieved Tim Horton's! ... and, I don't quite get what all the fuss is about. *shrug*

Most productive two weeks in years. . .

Whee!  Just got back from the magical fiber tour of the Great White North.  Spent three days at the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat, at Lake Lawn Resort in Delevan, Wisconsin.  Took the Bast Fibers class from Stephanie Gaustad, learning how to spin flax, ramie and hemp.  Very, very educational.  Still working on how to use a distaff, but did manage to spin a bit of credible flax.  Bought a whole lot of fiber (including flax) at the wonderful Spinner's Market, which was very cool. 

Flew back home just long enough to repack, rent a car and drive up to the Mannings in Pennsylvania, to take the week-long Beginning Weaving class.  Also incredibly educational.  Got to weave on four different floor looms (a LeClerc, a Gilmore, a Schacht, and a Glimakra), weaving dish towels, a sampler, and a Noro scarf.  God, that was fun.  Made a scarf out of a ball and a half of Noro in just over 24 hours, that would have taken me weeks to knit and block.  Granted, I'm a really slow knitter, but even so, weaving is incredibly fast when you have someone like Tom Knisely showing you how.  Also snagged a fair bit of yarn and toys from their store, although I managed to keep the shopping frenzy to a minimum.  Sadly, now I want to buy another loom.  Have told myself that that can be my prize for finding a new job.  

Now back to the spinning wheel - one of my fellow weaving students wove her scarf out of handspun, and I was impressed with how it came out.  Now, of course, I want to try.  Fun!
Daniel But I CAN!

Not with a bang. . .

but who cares, we'll take it.  Apparently, Florida has announced that the State will not be appealing the appeals court decision that overturned Florida's ban on gay and lesbian adoption.  Which effectively means the court's decision is final, and the ban is no more. 

Not as dramatic as decisions allowing same-sex marriage or halting DADT, perhaps, but satisfying.  I found the Florida ban aggravating in its sheer stupidity, and I'm glad it's gone.