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2641  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you doing with your tax refund? on: February 12, 2009, 06:32:59 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 12, 2009, 06:00:14 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 12, 2009, 04:11:16 PM

Oh, and that $500 rebate fell to $400. Your weekly paycheck is going to grow by $8 instead of $10.

So it's not a stimulus check like Bushy sent out? It's actually going to come in our paychecks each month?

Correct, they are reducing your federal tax withholding by $8 per week (last I heard) for two years. They figure it's such a small sum that everyone will spend it without even noticing, whereas you would save a lump sum or use it to pay down debt.
2642  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Roman Catholic Church reintroducing indulgences? on: February 12, 2009, 04:33:40 PM

Quote from: Razgon on February 12, 2009, 08:35:02 AM

okay, being from a protestantic country, I'm a little confused...

Do Catholics take the bible on the word, and believe in the heaven and hell thing literally? I mean, is that the preached word? Otherwise, there's no way in, eh, well, hell, this would work as I see it

No, not as actual places, but as states of grace. "Heaven" is harmony with their god, and "hell" is isolation. The pope clarified this a few years back. The rank and file, though, still believes the medieval model.
2643  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Why did obama have a list of reporters & the order in which he would call th on: February 12, 2009, 04:28:22 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 12, 2009, 02:39:12 PM

"Zero" he shall henceforth be called.

I find that to be a terrible nickname. I prefer Obamarama- though I guess that's not decidedly negative...

"Obama-lama-dingdong" has the flair you're looking for.
2644  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Here comes the snow...there goes the snow on: February 12, 2009, 04:24:44 PM
It's nice to be able to walk on the sidewalks again. I was getting really sick of walking in the street and I don't think the drivers appreciated it, either.

It's not so nice to see all of the grit and trash and dogshit that was entombed in the ice banks. We need a good hard rain. They won't sweep the streets until April if they do it at all this year.
2645  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Fed Ex or's fault... on: February 12, 2009, 04:16:36 PM

Quote from: gellar on February 11, 2009, 09:06:12 PM

I would contact the shipper.  They are more likely to get a response from FedEx and will be considerably easier to deal with.


The shipper will be able to file a damage claim and collect from FedEx. They will very likely replace your shipment for free. (I'm assuming FedEx's guarantee works the same way as UPS; I don't use FedEx but I've collected from UPS a few times). You should keep the packaging in case FedEx wants to inspect it. They almost never do.
2646  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you doing with your tax refund? on: February 12, 2009, 04:11:16 PM

Quote from: ibdoomed on February 12, 2009, 02:27:03 AM

We're going to use this years to buy a new house.

So I have another question that I might as well pose here. This 15k tax credit I'm hearing about... is that a deduction or are they actually going to give us an additional $15,000 back next year?

Buy a house? Good lord man, how much are you having overwithheld?

The stimulus package isn't finalized yet, but this morning's newspaper said that the tax deductions for home and car buyers were gutted. I don't know if that means removed completely, or just reduced to insignificance.

Oh, and that $500 rebate fell to $400. Your weekly paycheck is going to grow by $8 instead of $10.

None of this is certain until it lands on Obama's desk anyway.
2647  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: A picture of irony on: February 11, 2009, 08:50:25 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on February 11, 2009, 06:17:32 PM

I enjoy seeing Hummers in downtown cities, like Philadelphia.  Their size and restricted interior visibility make them as far from ideal for parallel parking as any vehicle I've seen on the road.   retard

My biggest issue with ginormous SUVs isn't their fuel efficiency, but with the driver's inability to negotiate parking lots and parking spaces.  If you can't park it you shouldn't be driving it.  Suburban Arizona housewives who drive 19 passenger SUVs to the local grocery drive me absolutely mad with their inherent inability to simply park their vehicle.  Things only get worse when they try to leave their parking space.    

Ironrod's Maxim: The size of the vehicle is inversely proportional to the skill of the driver.

It's a defense mechanism. The biggest SUVs are usually piloted by 90-pound women on cell phones.
2648  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: 15 Companies That Might Not Survive 2009 on: February 11, 2009, 04:44:08 PM
Can't say I'd miss a single company on that list, although we'd all miss the jobs they provide.

We have a big Rite-Aid on the main intersection in our town center. Or maybe it's a Brooks. I can never remember if Brooks bought Rite-Aid or the other way around, I just know that the name changed a few months back. I suppose having that prominent building go dark would be a problem for somebody. Not the customers, though. There's a CVS a block away. 
2649  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Roman Catholic Church reintroducing indulgences? on: February 11, 2009, 04:38:13 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 11, 2009, 04:32:01 PM

In exchange for certain prayers, devotions or pilgrimages in special years, a Catholic can receive an indulgence, which reduces or erases that punishment instantly, with no formal ceremony or sacrament.

There are partial indulgences, which reduce purgatorial time by a certain number of days or years, and plenary indulgences, which eliminate all of it, until another sin is committed. You can get one for yourself, or for someone who is dead.

This is absolutely appalling.

Some pretty wacky stuff there. To an outsider, it looks as nutty as anything Scientology has dreamed up. I guess it's a pretty big profit center for the church, though, even if they technically can't be sold.
2650  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you doing with your tax refund? on: February 11, 2009, 04:30:08 PM

Quote from: kratz on February 11, 2009, 04:13:44 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 11, 2009, 01:19:48 AM

Quote from: kratz on February 10, 2009, 05:10:29 AM

Down payment on a 'new' used car for my wife, since her '97 was about to shit the bed.  Got a Subaru Forester.  I dig it.

Nice. I wish we could replace our 10-year-old Forester. If we could, I'd buy another Forester.

Heh... our 'new' one is 8 years old.  Nice though... 86K... didn't cost too much, leather... AWD is a huge plus out here where it snows and gets super cold.

Ours has 130k miles and is beat to crap. It's my wife's so it's always overflowing with trash. She is fiercely protective of her old beater and doesn't want to replace it because I'd nag her to take care of a new one. She really likes not worrying about new scratches and dents. She's religious about oil changes, though, and that's why it's still running fine. I want to replace it before it craps out, though. 
2651  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: A picture of irony on: February 11, 2009, 04:24:25 PM
No more ironic than an SUV with a "Support Our Troops" ribbon on it. Unless you consider creating job security "support".
2652  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you doing with your tax refund? on: February 11, 2009, 01:19:48 AM

Quote from: kratz on February 10, 2009, 05:10:29 AM

Down payment on a 'new' used car for my wife, since her '97 was about to shit the bed.  Got a Subaru Forester.  I dig it.

Nice. I wish we could replace our 10-year-old Forester. If we could, I'd buy another Forester.

To answer my own question: The fine for sending a 1099 late is $30 per instance. That goes up to $50 after 30 days, and $100 after 6 months. Since nobody polices this, there is effectively no penalty, and it's up to the payee to keep track of and report this income. Which means we will just guess if the form doesn't show up by April.
2653  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you doing with your tax refund? on: February 10, 2009, 03:48:21 AM
If we get anything back, we might be able to take our annual week in the Berkshires this summer. If we have to pay out, no vacation this year. I haven't even started sorting paper yet. It's too depressing.

We're still waiting on one 1099. Does anyone know what the penalty is for a payer who doesn't mail their 1099s by Jan. 31?
2654  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Support for a terminally ill friend on: February 09, 2009, 07:34:39 PM
A friend whose husband died of pancreatic cancer planned a memorial garden. Her husband helped lay it out and choose the plantings, then various friends and relatives contributed plants, statuary, decorations, etc. Now she has a pleasant, private place to remember him, surrounded by living beauty.

I guess that's not appropriate here because you're not dealing with a survivor. Might give you an idea, though.
2655  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Holy crap. I just realized it's been 10 years since I joined GoneGold. on: February 09, 2009, 05:13:13 PM
I joined Gonegold to announce that Pharaoh had gone gold. I was the producer. Wiki tells me that was Oct 31, 1999, so I guess my 10-year anniversary is still coming.
2656  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Anyone else here on Facebook? on: February 08, 2009, 05:32:28 AM
I just got a friend request from a guy I haven't seen in 25 years. He was my best friend, once. FB certainly seems to have hit some kind of critical mass among my peers lately. The bare-bones page I created 6 months ago is starting to draw attention with no effort whatsoever on my part.
2657  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: A new rome game..Grand Ages: on: February 07, 2009, 05:57:25 PM
It's a big download, 850 MB, that installs to a 1.5 gig. The installer ran fine and the game launched slowly, but without problems. Sound stuttered badly. Went into the Options and dialed the graphics down to low and turned music off. Started the tutorial.

I quickly decided that the game is unplayable on my old P4-2.66 with 2 gig RAM. Uninstalled. I don't know what I was thinking. All I can tell you is that this game is not friendly for old systems.

2658  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: A new rome game..Grand Ages: on: February 06, 2009, 11:12:56 PM
I don't know when I'll get around to playing it, but I'm downloading now. I'm something of a citybuilder aficionado...I don't like RTS, though.
2659  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Fences, by Stardock on: February 06, 2009, 11:04:42 PM
I like it. Four groups cover everything -- Programs, Documents, Internet, and Games. Nice and neat.
2660  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Fences, by Stardock on: February 06, 2009, 06:35:06 PM
I don't have very many icons on my desktop, but I'm an organization freak so I'm trying it out anyway. My wife is the one who could really benefit from this; her desktop is always cluttered chaos.
2661  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: February 06, 2009, 03:15:48 PM
As soon as we saw those frenchies in that raft, I knew they were returning to the crazy french chick. I was disappointed that they couldn't use Mira Furlan to play her young self, but I suppose that would have been too big a stretch. I wonder if she will be back.
2662  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Joe Cocker explained!! on: February 04, 2009, 11:12:28 PM
 nod I'll have what he's having, please.
2663  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm all for gov't agencies saving money, but this is ridiculous. on: February 03, 2009, 11:28:05 PM

Quote from: gellar on February 03, 2009, 07:54:19 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on February 03, 2009, 05:36:12 PM

Quote from: cheeba on February 03, 2009, 09:32:31 AM

Quote from: Alefroth on February 03, 2009, 12:46:48 AM

They are proof that you have paid for the service of having an envelope or parcel delivered from one part of the country to another. They are sticky on one side, and have different values. It's a pretty cool system.
Huh. Didn't know people still did that.

Are you serious?  I pay medical bills through the mail all the time.

Same... I don't think hospitals give you much of an option other than to pay by mail.


I routinely pay my MIL's medical bills with online billpay. Maybe the bank sends out paper checks. 

I only use stamps for my property taxes and quarterly estimated tax payments, and for the very rare check payment to an individual. I'll bet I don't go through 20 stamps in a year.
2664  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Does anybody really think these bailouts will work?... on: February 03, 2009, 11:21:06 PM

Quote from: Scuzz on February 03, 2009, 10:22:50 PM

$600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

Priuses or Hondas?


$850 million for Amtrak.

Ah, they wouldn't be Republicans if they weren't taking a shot at Amtrak.
2665  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: It's Tax Time! on: February 02, 2009, 07:03:12 PM
I have resolved to start filling in our CPA's questionnaire tomorrow -- or at least to do my filing, so that I can start on that. My wife's 1099s haven't even started arriving yet, and I won't get my K-1 until the CPA finishes my corporate returns. Once those pieces are in place my wife needs to spend a day sorting her records and filling in her expenses. Making most of her freelance income disappear is a long, tortuous process...complicated this year by the transition into unemployment -- starting her job search, prodding her freelance clients, filing for unemployment, and exploring health insurance alternatives. The good news is that we might be poor enough to qualify for a state COBRA subsidy.

My goal is to have it figured out by March 15 if the CPA and the wife both cooperate. That would give us a month to come up with any payment due. Maybe I'll warm up this week by doing my MIL's taxes, if her lazy son will ever bestir himself to send me her paperwork.
2666  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Here comes the snow on: February 02, 2009, 06:49:08 PM
Last I heard was 4-8" of the heavy wet variety. Oh well. I'm actually going to leave my car out of the garage tonight to let nature wash off the top layer of road grime.
2667  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm all for gov't agencies saving money, but this is ridiculous. on: February 01, 2009, 06:33:47 PM

Quote from: jblank on February 01, 2009, 12:51:14 AM

Quote from: morlac on January 31, 2009, 03:45:24 PM

Quote from: jblank on January 28, 2009, 09:36:31 PM

Massive deficits could force the post office to cut out one day of mail delivery, the postmaster general told Congress on Wednesday, in asking lawmakers to lift the requirement that the agency deliver mail six days a week.
If the change happens, that doesn't necessarily mean an end to Saturday mail delivery. Previous post office studies have looked at the possibility of skipping some other day when mail flow is light, such as Tuesday.

 Rather than constantly raising rates, they need to address other problems they have, like long lines (who is the genius at the PO that thought it was a good idea to make customers go to the main windows to buy stamps), employees going on breaks when there are 10+ people waiting in line, and the piss poor customer service we taxpayers get there.

Just buy your stamps at the grocery store, it's painless.

I don't go to the grocery store, but because of our substantial shipping from eBay, I have to frequent the P.O. a time or two a week.

Don't they have an Automated Postal Center machine? Clerks are there for the clueless and for people with complex shipping problems.

Our carrier is friendly and does a fine job. Lately I've been using carrier pickup for my shipping, saving myself a daily drive to the P.O. The desk clerks there are all 60+ years old and working in endangered jobs. They are generally competent, but slow and surly. I only deal with them when I need to ship Express and international packages.
2668  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: "This site may harm your computer" - Say what? on: January 31, 2009, 03:21:56 PM
All better now. Must be a new feature isn't ready for prime time. Somebody's face must be red.

EDIT: I just noticed that I posted this in PC Gaming. Boy, is my face red.  icon_lol
2669  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / "This site may harm your computer" - Say what? on: January 31, 2009, 03:09:18 PM
I just googled "AARP insurance". Every single listing for at least three pages in has a link that says "This site may harm your computer." Clicking that link brings up a 502 server error. Clicking on the site link itself ( has got to be safe, right?) brings up a malware warning page. Tried a different search; same results.

2670  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Life on Mars(US) radio on: January 30, 2009, 05:13:26 AM
1973 was one of the best years of my life. I was 16. I had a job, a car, a motorcycle, a series of girlfriends, plenty of drugs, and no responsibilities at all. This was my soundtrack.
2671  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Life on show you may not be watching on: January 30, 2009, 05:10:30 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 30, 2009, 05:02:58 AM

and it looks like it's back, but now it's on Wednesdays after Lost.

Perfect slot, since Lost is the only other show that I watch. I need to watch this week's episode again. It was one, but I was not paying attention last night.
2672  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon shipping mechanics on: January 30, 2009, 02:51:06 AM

Quote from: Destructor on January 30, 2009, 01:13:26 AM

There's one in Phoenix? Then why don't I ever get my stuff quickly when I order it from them via el-cheapo shipping?

Read my post. What you order determines where it comes from. Amazon does only a fraction of their own shipping.
2673  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OO off line for a short time on: January 30, 2009, 02:48:29 AM

Quote from: Sarkus on January 30, 2009, 02:02:41 AM

It's just that this kind of thing seems all to common with OO anymore, even though I admit that by "all to common" I mean in comparison to other game sites that have virtually no downtime of this nature.  I freely admit my expectation levels have been raised pretty high as a result.

I thought they had made some kind of reforms after the OOtage to get past that early-90s amateur thing. Every time this happens, they lose a few more lurkers.
2674  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Does anybody really think these bailouts will work?... on: January 29, 2009, 09:58:25 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on January 29, 2009, 09:15:39 PM

that means jobs and that means widespread tax cuts. 

That's a leap of faith that not everybody is going to make with you.
2675  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon shipping mechanics on: January 29, 2009, 09:28:58 PM
A company as big as Amazon has some of its own warehouse facilities, and uses some dropshippers (manufacturers who ship directly to consumers), and probably uses third-party fulfillment centers, too. On top of that, independent companies that sell under the Amazon umbrella have their own fulfillment solutions, too. With their super-saver shipping, they're probably looking for the bulk-rate carrier that's nearest to you. If you order three different items, they're likely to come from three different sources. 

I have just begun to look into farming out order fulfillment. The options are bewildering (although very few apply to a tiny company like me). Storage charges, packing charges, materials charges, daily minimums, returns gets expensive quickly.
2676  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm all for gov't agencies saving money, but this is ridiculous. on: January 29, 2009, 07:57:36 PM

Quote from: DragonFyre on January 29, 2009, 06:17:48 PM

They're better off cutting down to five days a week, but removing Saturday from their list of days that they deliver. Saturday delivery doesn't make sense since most businesses are closed, and most homes don't really care unless they're getting a netflix disc in the mail.  nod

They should also stop printing so many 'collectable' stamps that very few people really care about. (not stop entirely - just reduce the number they put out) They can't be making enough money off of that.

Actually, commemoratives are a big profit center. Collectors buy them in sheets and then don't use them. 

I used to collect stamps when I was a kid. So many thousands of clever and artistic designs over the centuries, all made for such a tiny canvas...
2677  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm all for gov't agencies saving money, but this is ridiculous. on: January 29, 2009, 03:34:20 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on January 29, 2009, 02:48:01 PM

Between the stamp machine and the automated postal center I couldn't even tell you what anyone working at my post office looks like. I haven't waited in line at the post office in years.

I do 50% of my mailing thru Click-n-Ship, 49% thru Endicia, and 1% at the APC. I only have to deal with humans when somebody buys Express Mail, because the delivery guarantee is only valid if the package is handed to a clerk.

USPS has been threatening to suspend Saturday delivery for as long as I can remember. In ancient times they delivered twice a day, seven days a week, but technology has taken most of the urgency out of paper mail since then. From my perspective as a business shipper, Saturday delivery is the chief advantage of Express Mail over UPS Next-Day.
2678  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Just got laid. Off that is. on: January 29, 2009, 06:24:45 AM

Quote from: Blackjack on January 28, 2009, 08:45:35 PM

I was commiserating by e-mail with a subscriber to the trade newsletter I edit. She was suddenly laid off, and this Friday is her last day so she was canceling her subscription. Here's some of what she shared with me:
Most of these major companies are cutting back, laying off or eliminating contracts. Times are really tough right now all over for everyone. Here today gone tomorrow. That's how it's happening for a lot of individuals. They go to work on Monday & when Friday comes they learn the worst, no job anymore.

It has happen to me a few time's since 1998. So I'm used to the drill. Here we go again. It's a way of life now. Unemployment at the end of a very good job until another comes along.
The world economy is pretty crazy right now. I'm 43 and have never seen anything like this aside from maybe a few months in 2002 post-9/11 and post-dotcom bust.

+1, except I'm 51, and I hereby declare this economy worse than Jimmy Carter's Arab Oil Embargo and stagflation, the previous post-Depression standard for desperate times. The shit is seriously hitting the fan, folks. May we all land on our feet somehow.
2679  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: It's Tax Time! on: January 29, 2009, 05:43:47 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on January 29, 2009, 04:02:02 AM

I did my taxes a couple weekends ago right after I got my W-2s.  I came out nearly even, paid $56 in federal and got a whole $8 back in state. 

I wouldn't mind a stimulus check in a few months either.

Nice. Our situation fluctuates too much, with two home businesses and a real job. 1099s, K-1 income...yeesh. Most of our lives are deductible, but the paperwork is a bitch, and it comes down to how well I manage the 1040-ES payments. I should do my MIL's returns pretty soon for warmup.

My wife lost her job today, leaving 0 jobs between us. If we owe Unc Sam a few $thousand in April, like we did last year, we will be destroyed. I really need break-even or better this year. I wish they were talking about stimulus checks instead of a $10/week giveback. What good is $10 less withheld if you don't have a paycheck?
2680  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Budweiser: King of Beers or Cow Pee in a Bottle? on: January 29, 2009, 05:30:02 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on January 29, 2009, 04:30:39 AM

Quote from: pr0ner on January 29, 2009, 01:39:41 AM


Just because your ability to function isn't lessened after 5 beers doesn't mean your blood alcohol level is any less. stirthepot

I didn't say it was.  I merely stated that some handle higher quantities of beer better than others.  5 beers impact me different than sissypants.  Regardless of whether we may have the same blood alcohol level.  But what does it matter? 

PeteRock's blood alcohol content matters greatly if I am planning to drink PeteRock's blood. Currently, I am not.
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