Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Universe is a Prankster

So today I finally decided that it's been more than long enough since I applied for my Enrolled Agent status with the IRS. I called the Enrolled Agent hotline this morning and the first thing I hear is a recording stating that everyone with a March 31 renewal date has had their existing license extended indefinitely due to the IRS being backed up processing renewals. That sounded hopeful. When I did the "press one to speak with a representative" thing, instead of being put into a queue I was dumped into some anonymous IRS drone's voice mail. Not expecting that, I managed to mumble some barely coherent message as to why I was calling. Not that it mattered; a couple hours later, I walked down to our mailbox to find this:

Sweet. If I had procrastinated just a whee bit longer, I could have saved myself a phone call. Now I get to make a second call telling whoever, "Never mind!" I also like how it is a violation of federal law for me to use the word "certified" when I describe myself, but not only did the IRS send me a "certificate" that I am required, by that same law, to have on display, the certificate says that it is to "certify" that I am enrolled to practice before the IRS. Nothing like having the right hand clueless as to what the left hand is up to.

In less happy news, I got a phone call a couple days ago from my parents to let me know that one of my "mom's" from the church I grew up in passed away. She's been in severe pain for years, and at the last, she was essentially kept in a coma with pain meds. But it's over now; rest in peace Aretha. And I'm sure the donuts are fantastic and are served all cut up into small pieces.

In other news, it is a near-certainty that we will be moving. We made an offer on a new place that we were sure would be rejected. It wasn't. So the next few months are going to be busy while we figure out what to pack, what to toss, what to sell and what to give away. The new place will be significantly smaller that our current place, so we need to do some serious downsizing once again. I'm OK with that; we can never have too little stuff. The nice thing is we will finally be in a place that we own instead of rent, so we can make changes. We'll also have a small patch of dirt we can play in for the first time since 2006. It's nothing fantastic and will likely end up in the Gulf of Mexico the next time a hurricane blows through, but if we can make it for two years and a bit without a major catastrophe, we'll be ahead of the rent-vs.-own game. In addition, it has the distinct advantage of not being anywhere near here. Nothing is final until two weeks from now, so there is still plenty of time for monkeys and wrenches to go flying, but at least the finish line is in sight.

Things will likely remain quiet here until we get settled.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


The five most spectacular surfing wipeouts from the past year:

Gnarly, dude.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

More Bulldogs

What is it with bulldogs and boards?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lucky Friday the Thirteenth

Friday the Thirteenth falls on a Friday this month. We got word today that one obstacle to our move is now out of the way. Only 99 more to go.

Enjoy your paraskevidekatriaphobia.


We're currently on pause, like a DVD while everyone takes a pee-pee break. There are a couple things I need to work on over the next few days, but pretty much everything is just on hold waiting for the word to be given whether we jump or stay. Whenever we get into this situation, it's always a weird place to be. I want to do stuff, get started, but started doing what exactly? So I'm making bread.

Earlier this week, I ran across this excerpt from one of Dr. King's later sermons:

The full sermon is here:

The entire speech is relevant to our current situation as the World's Incompetent Empire, but there is a special part in there that Evangelical Christians, who have been in the forefront screaming for the blood of our "enemies", need to pay particular attention to.

If we ever needed a Dr. King, it's today. Instead we have the ungrammatical burblings of convicted rapist Mike Tyson calling for the assassination of George Zimmerman. If this is the best spokesperson the "black community" can come up with, then its members shouldn't be surprised to find themselves swept into history's dustbin.

Well, it's time to punch down my bread dough. Later.

Friday, April 06, 2012

George Carlin Speaks Truth

I miss George Carlin. Here he nails what the American Dream really is:

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Crisis Week

Monday was an interesting day at work. For no apparent reason, two grown men decided to go at each other right in the middle of the library. When I came out of the stacks after hearing several f-bombs at high volume, I saw one of the librarians, who is about four-foot nothing and maybe 80 pounds if you dunked her in water fully clothed, standing between two 6-foot-plus men standing toe-to-toe with one pulling back his fist. I accelerated to warp, got between them and had one moving to the door and the other sitting down in about 10 seconds. After escorting the one I already had moving to his car and making sure he drove off, I went back in and made sure Asshat #2 was sitting quietly. (Oddly, he was; probably had something to do with me telling him that if I came back in and he wasn't sitting quietly, he would find himself skipping across the parking lot on his backside.) Then I went back to shelving books. No big. Just another day in central Florida. Then the cop shows up. Then the backup cop shows up. Somehow in the few seconds it took to end the fracus, ten people called 911 to report a fight in the library. So I did my blab with the first cop, which wasn't much other than telling him I got one of the guys to his car and by the time he left, he was apologizing and shaking my hand, and the other guy was playing innocent. The cop gave me a knowing look: I'm sure he hears that a lot. "I didn't do nutin'!" Anyway, he grilled the other guy for about ten minutes, then walked him out to his car to make sure the other guy wasn't waiting in the parking lot. Then the cop and the librarian had to do a bunch of paperwork. And in less than 45 minutes, it was like nothing had happened.

Except my co-workers going on and on about what a great job I did and how I saved the librarian and wasn't I scared the guy had a gun and how authoritative I was, yada yada yada. When I was talking to Debbie about it while we were making dinner Monday night, I told her that by the time I came in for my next shift on Thursday, they'd have me flying around the library in spandex and a cape. And the world really isn't ready for me in spandex. Or a cape.

Anyway, our other bit of drama this week was with my Yahoo e-mail account that I've had practically since there was Yahoo Mail. The first sign of trouble was when I logged into my account yesterday morning to find over 100 e-mail messages when I normally have only one or two. They were all bounce-backs from bad e-mail addresses hanging out in my address book. Ruh roh. The bounce-back's contained nothing but a link to a web page on a domain that looked suspiciously like a Russian porn site/phishing scam site. Double ruh roh. Then I started getting e-mails from people wanting to know why I was sending out spam. Mega ruh roh.

At least I could get into my account, so I was pretty sure They hadn't accessed it; usually the first thing They do is change the password. But after burning out my retinas looking at headers, it looks like they were able to somehow grab my address book from outside my account, and send out e-mails with the headers spoofed to make the e-mail appear at first glance to come from inside my account. None of that is particularly difficult if someone were to find a back door into the Yahoo Mail system. I changed my password, deleted my address book, then delete deleted the deleted addresses from the special do-you-really-want-to-delete-these folder, forwarded any important saved messages to a different e-mail account, deleted every e-mail and folder, then purged the Trash and Spam folders. So far today, nothing more seems to have gone out. If this doesn't fix it, I'll just delete the account, although I'll have to spend the next couple weeks finding and changing every web site that uses that address for a contact or, worse, a user ID. (A practice which should, in my ever-so-humble opinion, be banned from the internet.)

So other than all that, not much going on. We did some very preliminary research into our possible move that may or may not happen. We got a lot done, but we really don't have much more in the way of definite plans than we did a couple weeks ago. A lot of pieces need to fall just right for this to happen; otherwise, we're just staying in our dark little ghetto apartment.

An Italian town has banned death. "Unfortunately, two elderly citizens disobeyed." Yea, that will happen. Gotta keep an eye on those old people.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS; clever, right?) bill is sitting on Obama's desk. At least one group of people are excited by the prospects this bill will open up: con men.

[Ex-con man Mark L. Morze] says he’s baffled that President Barack Obama plans to sign a law today that amounts to an open invitation for fraud. “I wish legislators would consult with people like me before they write something like this,” he says, sounding dead serious about the offer. “I could tell them, ‘I know what your intent was with this wording, but we can get around it so easily, it cracks me up.”’

Yea, really cracks me up too. The safest place for the average person's money remains a coffee can buried under the house.

The Trayvon Martin case continues to be a hot topic with the no-nothing talking heads and our no-nothing president. From where I sit, it looks to me as if no one will be happy until downtown Sanford is looted and burned. Not that I care; we have no stake in anything here, and if the worst happens, we can be gone in a matter of hours. The nice thing about living like a tumbleweed is that we never have substantial roots. A former cop has probably the most rational summary of the whole mess I've seen to date if you want real information about the case.

Well, I need to get ready for another exciting day of shelving books and bouncing asshats.