Dresses and skirts for sale. Mostly in size Small. Make me an offer (plus $6 S&H, less if you want a few); payment via PayPal preferred. More photos are available on request. If no offers in a couple days, I'll list on eBay or Etsy (for the handmade/vintage ones).  Photos and descriptions herein )
In November, Massachusetts ballots will have the question "should we repeal the state income tax." The supporters say it will give each citizen back an average of $3,600. For everyone else, consider that the income tax represents 37% of the state budget, or $12 billion. I urge all Massachusetts citizens to vote NO on this question (Question 1, and it will be on the back of the ballot with the presidents on the front). To this end, I'm going to post some reasons why you should vote against Question 1.

The reason of the day:

"The state could fire all 67,000 state employees - every prison guard and college teacher - and still have to find another $7 billion." --The Boston Globe
What is it?

This time I'm looking for the three paragraph synopsis. The three four sentence synopsis I got about it this weekend is as follows:

Money goes from the person to a fund and *then* to the health insurance company. People don't sue doctors at all. It saves you money. It's better than the current system and has no drawbacks whatsoever.

I have no clue if that synopsis is true or not. It certainly seems to me that sentences 2-4 do NOT necessarily follow from sentence 1, which is what people were trying to convince me of. So: explain.

Edit: People also appear to be claiming that SPHC is identical to universal health care, and it's my understanding that the two are orthogonal (independent) concepts.


Mar. 31st, 2008 09:58 pm
Today I picked up three $2-bills. I saw them in the lunch lady's cash drawer Friday but didn't have any spare money on me. I'd forgotten them by lunch today but when I saw them again and realized I had the spare cash I traded them in. When I started examining them I saw that they were printed in 2003, immediately prompting me to suspect they were fake (but at only a loss of $6 I figured it was worth it for the entertainment). Upon further examination I saw they had the red and blue little strings in them, and the printing was remarkably good. And two of them the numbers are sequential. When I got home I looked up online and it turns out that there was a printing of two dollar bills in 2003, so it appears these really are legit.

I wonder how someone came across three of them, and why they spent them. And why the US doesn't really circulate $2's - both the EU and UK use two-coins, 2-euro-cent and 2-Euro coins, and 2-British-cent and 2-Pound coins, are all in general circulation.

One of my Mystery Hunt team partners agrees with me that finding a forgery might've been even more interesting than finding a legit bill. I used Where's George? to confirm the years and serial numbers - these are legit numbers on my bills, so I accept that they are real.


Mar. 4th, 2008 11:56 am
Well, payoff. As of tomorrow's payment, I'm done with my car loan! Hooray!
Here's an update on just how free they are. Turns out you can't send in a state one for free anywhere.

1040NOW.NET - $17.95 state
Online Taxes @ OLT.com - $7.95 state
H&R Block's TaxCut Free File - $29.95 for state
eSmartTax By Liberty Tax Service - $9.95 state
ezTaxReturn.com - $19.95 for State
Free TaxACT - $13.95 for state
CitizenTax - $12.88 state
Tax$imple-Deluxe Version - $7.95 state

Tax$imple and OLT have the same lowest price for printing/efiling state returns. OLT looks prettier and appears to have more guarantees, so I think I'm going w/ them.


Feb. 17th, 2008 10:58 pm
Anyone have experience using any of the following for free online tax filing?

Online Taxes @ OLT.com
H&R Block's TaxCut Free File
eSmartTax By Liberty Tax Service
Free TaxACT
Tax$imple - Deluxe Version


Dec. 5th, 2007 07:52 am
Aw man, now I want a bazillion of these buttons/magnets. [livejournal.com profile] amavia, there's a line of piggies!
asterroc: (Astro - H-alpha)
It's a spherical cow!

At $38 and more than a foot approximately 42 centimeters in diameter, that's approxmiately 0.7¢/cm3! A total bargain!

And now some people are laughing, and other people haven't taken physics. I am *so* cross-posting this to [livejournal.com profile] physics.
asterroc: (Gabriel - Sleepy)
Whee! I figured out how to set the heat so it'll turn up to 62ºF when we're awake and home, and back down to 60ºF when we're out or asleep. 62ºF has been tolerable while I'm awake and home. Should I turn it colder while we're out, or while we're asleep? I'm also checking on bird lists how cold they think I can turn it down to and have Gabe ok, I'm just looking for what people think is ok for humans.

New Cage!

Sep. 22nd, 2007 10:29 pm
I finally got Everyone's Favorite CageTM! It took me probably a little more than a half hour to construct. If you're buying one, do print out the directions to put it together, as the only "directions" included are a couple diagrams of the finished product. It comes as a 2'x2'x4" box that weigh 57 lbs. If you have only one person, it's best to construct the stand first, then the cage on the floor, and then wait for a friend to come over to help you put it onto the stand. Building it on the stand requires a second person to hold it for you. I built the cage on the floor, then struggled to lift it onto a coffee table, and then struggled to lift it from there to the stand. You'll need a couple screwdrivers and a wrench - and it's a good thing they included spare nuts and bolts for the stand, b/c a few of them had spilled out onto the porch and I'm sure more were lost earlier in shipping too, but there were still a few spares.

Gabe was a little freaked when I started rolling it around, and uncomfortable when I put her atop it, but she's remarkably adaptable and settled in quickly.

Photos! )

x-posted to my journal, [livejournal.com profile] parrot_lovers and [livejournal.com profile] cockatiels
There's this Federal Prime Interest Rate sorta thing. And the Feds change it. And somehow it makes all other interest rates change and whether people can get mortgages and stuff.


New Cage

Sep. 15th, 2007 10:51 am
asterroc: (Gabriel - Sleepy)
I'm going to buy Everyone's Favorite CageTM finally. What color should I get?

[Poll #1055750]

Comment if you need more space. Funny that a new awesome huge cage costs only $119, while the heated perch I'm also going to get costs a whopping $42.
Seems I'm not the only one who hates United.
If you have ever been employed by Johns Hopkins University, or been a patient at the JHU Hospital, there is a chance that personally identifying info about you has been stolen. Nine backup tapes containing the info were "misplaced" en route to being further backed up, and their best guess is that a trash collector picked them up, but they're not sure. The tapes included employees' SS#, birth date, and direct deposit info (where applicable), and patients' demographics.

If you were a student who was not employed by JHU, including nerd campers, you do not have to worry.

More info from JHU here. They also have a page w/ links to the three credit reporting bureaus, where you can get your free yearly credit report, and you can also ask them to put a fraud alert on your account - this will make it harder for both illegitimate people AND yourself to do anything. I'm going to do it.
Tax tips from CNN, including various deductions.

My friend Steven the Singing CPA recommended
Since your income was low (no offense intended), you most likely qualify for VITA (Volunteers in Tax Assistance). This is a federal program where volunteers prepare your taxes for you for free. Call 800-829-1040 to find out where the nearest VITA center is to where you live.

Note to Self: do it!


Feb. 7th, 2007 07:44 am
If I didn't already have the VHS of it, I'd totally be buying the 25th anniversary DVD right now.
asterroc: (doll)
Man I'm freezing. My house does ok w/o the gas heater on down to 24ºF outside. At and under 24ºF, I'm cold even w/ a sweater on unless I get my landlord to turn the gas heater on. Last year the gas heater cost me roughly $200/month, even when I turned it down as far as possible, so since this year's been warm I've put it off as long as possible. Now, I'm leaving for the weekend tomorrow, so despite it being 21ºF out now with a low of 18º, I don't want to drag my landlord down to turn it on. I've got two radiator-style space heaters running in my bedroom (on different circuits since there's one that can't take a heater at all before tripping and requiring a call to my landlord and a trip to the basement, and I doubt any of the circuits can take two heaters), and my bedroom's been brought up to a toasty 68ºF. But the rest of the house is frigid at around 64ºF. Man, what a difference a few degrees makes.

And yes I'm being sarcastic about 68º being toasty. I'm not actually comfortable unless it's 72º, but at 68º my fingers aren't numb and I can type normally, and Gabe's feet are warm and he's not tucking one up to conserve heat so I know he's warm enough. (At 64º not only are my fingers numb, but my toes in comfy slippers too, and my nose. And I died once in DotA b/c I didn't move the mouse fast enough.)
I went sight-seeing thru Midtown yesterday. Man, am I tired! I'm not used to walking that much. Most of my photos came out slightly blurry b/c I didn't bother with a tripod, but here's a couple anyway.

po-hotos! )

I also bought myself some pretty funky shoes (scroll down a full screen). I'd tried on some even funkier ones back in Turkey-month w/ JT, but those weren't shaped quite right for my feet.



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