Thursday, September 08, 2011

One Down; Two to Go

I managed to get through the first section of the SEE covering individual taxes. The best part of the whole thing was the security; I thought for a minute I was going to have to take the test bare-asss nekkid. I had to surrender my drivers license, then empty my pockets of everything else and lock it in a little gym locker. I couldn't even wear a watch. I followed the lady who had my drivers license into the next room where my license was checked against the name on my registration, scrutinized under ultra-violet light, then checked a second time against the name on my registration. I had to stand on a tape mark on the floor, turn all my pockets inside out, get wanded front and back, and sign in and time-stamp my signature. I was issued a calculator, two #2 pencils and an eight-page booklet of scratch paper with the top third of every page filled with a heading informing me in 36-point bold type that it was an official piece of scratch paper, then was led into the test room. The mini-cubicle I took the test in was monitored and recorded in video and audio. I had to leave my drivers license on the desk while I took the test so the person watching the video could be sure I was at the correct computer. When I was done with the test, I turned in my pencils, scratch paper, calculator and drivers license. My letter certifying that I had passed the test was printed, checked against my drivers license, signed, dated, and raised-seal stamped by the monitor, then handed to me along with my license. After retrieving all my stuff from the little gym locker, I was allowed to leave. Missile silos have looser security. Holy. Crap.

The next test will be even more fun to prepare for; it covers partnerships, all three flavors of corporation, estates, etc., which I haven't done anything with since I worked in public accounting back in the 1980's. But before I dive into all that, I need to spend the next couple days getting ready for our cruise. I doubt Debbie will let me take my flash cards on the cruise with us, so it looks like I get a 10-day break from taxes.

We had a bit of a scare last night. While we were in the middle of watching the latest episode of Misfits, the computer did an emergency shut down and wouldn't fully reboot. It is an HP, so I wouldn't have been surprised if it had suffered a catastrophic hardware failure after a mere three years. I already had to replace the video card when it was less than a year old, and I thought that may be the problem again this time. When I could coax a bit of life out of it, the blue screen that flashed by as it powered itself back off had a bit about an invalid video mode or some such. It was late, I wasn't really in the mood, and I didn't have the brain power left after three days of non-stop tax code, so I left everything powered off and went to bed. Today when I came back from my test, I tore the whole thing to pieces and started cleaning out the major dust bunnies. And I do mean major. The heat sink on the CPU was completely clogged with gunk. I just cleaned everything the last time we moved, so Florida must have really gunky air for it to be that bad already. Bottom line is that after a thorough de-gunking and re-assembly, it seems to be working fine. Dodged that bullet. For now.

When I logged into Blogger today, I was greeted with a message asking if I would like to try the new, "lightweight" and "clean" version of Blogger. Because I enjoy pain, I agreed. I guess "lightweight" and "clean" are now synonyms for "butt ugly" and "grossly obtuse". I can only hope that it looks and works better on an iPad, because for the rest of us that still use old-fashioned PC's, it sucks dead bunnies. The good news is that I can switch back to the old interface, at least until They force me to use the "new and improved" one. What would be nice is if instead of wasting resources wrecking what works, maybe Google could fix the problem with the editor tossing the cursor randomly around the text in response to the cursor keys. In the process of fixing what wasn't broken about two years ago, that bug was introduced and has been a "feature" of the text editor ever since.

Well, brain is mush, so off to bed.


Debbie said...

Damn straight -- I told Ric he had to leave his tax test prep at home or it might just happen to fly over the railing while at sea! This cruise is just for plain and simple rest/relaxation and fun.

Though, TS Maria looks like she might be making our ride pretty rocky and maybe delay our port stop(s) in the Bahamas next week.

Debbie said...

Congrats on passing your first test, bubby!

Anonymous said...

can go thru such high security and come out on top. Celebrate your achievement with a cruise to the Bahamas !!!! Oh that's right U R already going there :) Have fun and I'll talk 2 U 2 when U get back.