Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Followed a fire truck into the grocery parking lot the other day. It was one of the big ones where there's a guy whose job it is to steer the back wheels. It was super cool but even better was the effect it had on little kids who were thrilled to see the big rig roll in. They stopped in their tracks, tugged at their parents' hands, and waved at the firemen.

Nobody waves at an accountant. Little kids waved at me when I drove my Z3 but I think it had to do more with the car.

My house is a mess and it's dark outside when my alarm clock goes off. I would blame the mess on the remaining days of Tax Season Part II but it might have a little something to do with laziness. Why clean when I could, say, find a nearby brewery? And, I could probably get away with sleeping in if it weren't for those pesky tax returns that need to get finished.

If it wasn't for my birthday and a trip to Hawaii that awaits me in about a week, I would just call October off. Alas, work awaits me know. I wonder if I'll remember how to goof off when it's all over?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Make America Great Again!

... and bring back common sense!

I just got a check in the mail for 17 cents from my insurance company. I have no idea why. I was thinking about using it to make my grocery list. Instead, I think I'll send it back to them. See if someone's head explodes.

I used to have a bus pass for King County Metro. I go there often enough that it made sense for me to have one with a small pre-paid balance. I had used it up all up about year ago so went online and loaded another $10 to the card. Just a few weeks ago I went to use the card and was informed there was no balance on it.

I looked into it and found my credit card had been charged the $10 so I asked King County Metro where it went and found out they have a Use-It-Or-Lose it policy. If I don't use the card within 60 days of loading money to it, they just keep it for themselves. But, just for me, they would re-apply the $10 - provided, of course, I use it in the next 60 days.

I don't live there, I explained. Was there another way to activate the card? Sure, they advised. I could also go to a retail location where Metro cards are purchased or reloaded. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of buying it online? Not only that, I don't live there.

Could the money be refunded? Why, yes, we can refund that. The fee for that, however is $10.

I have another bus card for where I live which, until recently, was on a bus line. This was quite handy especially since I sold my car. I can get to almost anywhere I need to go on foot or by bicycle but every once in a while it was nice to be able to take the 5-minute bus ride into town. So, I bought a pre-paid card for Clark County as well.

This system worked well until the first of September when the route that went by my place was discontinued. Now a 5-minute ride is a 30-40 minute journey. I don't suppose they'll refund the unused balance of the card.  Maybe I'll donate it somewhere. Along with a check for $0.17.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This, somehow, strikes me as funny.

New tax on Chicago residents will fund pension shortfall - CNN Money
" Chicago residents and businesses will face a new tax on their water and sewage usage next year to help shore up a pension fund for municipal employees. " 

Push Ups for a Cause

I'm doing 22 push-ups for 22 days and posting about it on Facebook. It's one of those "viral" internet things designed to raise awareness, in this case, of the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day. This is an important issue of which we need to be aware. It's sad and it's shameful that so many are unable to get the help they need. This is true not only for our veterans but also for the 96 other people -  civilians - who commit suicide each day.

According a report by the Office of Suicide Prevention, an average of 19 Veterans died per day by suicide in 2001. This number increased slightly from 2001 to a high of 21 per day in 2010, with a subsequent decrease to 20 per day in 2011 and remaining stable since that time. In contrast, the average number of civilian adults who died by suicide each day has increased steadily from 62 per day in 2001 to 93 per day in 2014. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
The Office of Suicide Prevention also reports the risk for suicide was 21 percent higher among Veterans when compared with U.S. civilian adults in 2014. This calculation takes into account statistical adjustments that I am not prepared to discuss. The point, however, isn't to minimize the significance of veteran suicide with statistics - or push-ups. The point is veteran suicide needs to be part of a larger discussion because suicide affects us all.