Monday, September 06, 2010


We are still digging out after The Attack of the Plastic Bins 2010. We can see most of the carpet now and the bicycles are no longer sitting in the living room, but we still have a ways to go. Today we hope to at least get everything out of the bins and into piles so we know what we have to find room for. We did end up renting a storage space for our empty bins; the closets here are just too small and there isn't any storage space on-site. That was something we had budgeted for when we chose this place, so no big deal. It would have been nice to not have to do that, but we are still ahead of the game money-wise. In any case, we continue with the Great Shrinking we started in 2006. Progress has been slow with occasional reversals, but we're getting there.

Given the distractions, I haven't been keeping up with the news much lately; I assume that the systematic dismantling of the constitution continues, and the stock market is still dithering around where it was ten years ago, and unemployment is officially still 10% with the real percentage being double that, and both commercial and residential real estate continue to spiral downwards, and the politicians and media talking-heads insist it isn't all that bad and all I need to do is quit whinging and go buy some socks made in China.


I think I'm set for employment for the 2010 tax season. I'll continue to look around for something more permanent, but that will keep me busy for at least a few months. I did find out that the IRS is now charging for PTIN numbers. I assume this is yet-another step towards full-blown licensing of tax preparers. Inevitable, I suppose given that you need a license to braid hair or hold a road sign. I had hoped to strike out on my own this tax season, but the timing of the move screwed that up for this year. There is always next year.

Debbie's job is going OK; the company has what I'll charitably call a few odd quirks, but her first paycheck had a bit of a surprise in the form of extra money, so it's not all bad. She now has a permanent desk and is working with real clients, although she has mostly been cleaning up messes left by recently-departed employees and itinerary changes from the cruise lines. Like our apartment, the job may end up being temporary, but for now it's money and it's close by.

I realized this morning after looking at the site stats for the first time in several weeks that I skipped annoying my readers for a couple months. With all the time spent on the road and moving, we only had 14 posts in August, so I was surprised that August had 271 visits vs. the 206 for July (which had 23 posts). I expected August to be somewhat inflated from our own visits (harder to exclude them when accessing the internet from hotel rooms) as well as a single post which got a great deal of one-time traffic from a link I left at the Archdruid Report. But even taking those into consideration, August traffic held up surprisingly well under the neglect.

Google continues to be nice to us by sending around 15% of our visitors. People coming here seem obsessed with flatulent unicorns and scams run by Paolo Soleri (the architect behind Arcosanti). We didn't get our usual quotient of humorous/disturbing search phrases, but we did get "post bypass surgery cognitive dysfunction". So the next time a friend or family member says they did some internet research on your medical condition, do understand that they'll likely be quoting from someplace like this.

Not much has changed on the operating system front with two-thirds of visitors still running Windows XP. Vista was a distant second (14%), Mac in third (11%) and Win 7 in fourth (8%). Given the collapse in the retail PC market, I expect more of the same for at least the rest of 2010. Browsers are a bit more interesting as users fragment over a increasing number of browsers and versions. MSIE 8.0 is still top dog, accounting for just over one-third of visits, followed by Firefox 3.6 (27%). The rest of the visits are more-or-less evenly spread over a baker's dozen of other browsers and/or versions.

And that's probably enough rambling for a day or two. As we continue to empty bins and try to find a home for everything, keep an eye out for some great deals on Craigslist!

PS: Debbie wants me to let everyone know that for the second day in a row, I walked out the door with my shirt on inside out. The heat must be getting to me.

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