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2801  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: There is no life on Mars on: March 04, 2009, 05:54:04 PM

Quote from: hepcat on March 04, 2009, 04:31:59 PM

With the cast they had, I would imagine it was a pretty expensive show.  I was going to hate this since I really enjoyed the BBC version, but everyone I know says that it's quite good.  I'll have to netflix the dvd set when it comes out.

Cast, sets, extras, costumes...recreating 1973 can't have been cheap, especially the exterior shots. They really did nail it accurately.
2802  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: It's Tax Time! on: March 04, 2009, 04:30:08 PM

Quote from: gellar on March 04, 2009, 05:12:31 AM

Quote from: gellar on January 29, 2009, 03:02:40 AM

Quote from: The Grue on January 29, 2009, 02:48:51 AM

I really need to adjust my withholdings, but am always too lazy to do it.  I always get back 6K from the government each year.

I say the same thing... except  I tend to OWE the government that much each year.


Holy fuckin shit... I actually got a small refund this year.



Nice. Our return is in my wife's court now, where it will undoubtedly languish until at least April 10...whereupon we'll file for the automatic 6-month extension. Happens every damned year. Yesterday my lazy BIL said for the third time that he's mailing me his mother's paperwork "today."
2803  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: There is no life on Mars on: March 04, 2009, 04:24:44 PM
Does the BBC's Life On Mars not exist on DVD, or does Netflix just not have it? I'd like to check out the original after the US version ends.
2804  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: There is no life on Mars on: March 04, 2009, 03:35:55 AM
Crap. I watched only four shows: Lost, Life on Mars, Sarah Chronicles, and Pushing Daisies.

Two down, one scheduled to end, and I've heard that Sarah Chronicles is on the ropes, too.

Before Lost started, I went at least 10 years without watching any tv shows at all. I will probably just stick with DVDs after it ends. Definitely a good time to cancel the cable tv. 
2805  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Which old PC Game Developer would you bring back? on: March 03, 2009, 04:13:03 PM
Microprose published most of my favorite games back in the day.

I greatly enjoyed all of the SSI gold box games.

EA had some classics, too, before they went Borg. Starflight, Archon, Seven Cities of Gold....

Together, I think those three companies siphoned all the leisure time from my 30s.
2806  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Mega Snowstorm for the Northeast - Here it comes! on: March 03, 2009, 02:46:31 AM
I like having four distinct seasons. I even like one or two good blizzards a year. Winter just hangs on for too long. I put up with it because I love the northwoods in the summertime. We have beautiful autumns here. But by the time February settles in I'm thoroughly sick of being cold, I'm sick of shoveling, I'm sick of being indoors all the time, I'm sick of artificial heat. I want to put in my garden and wash the salt off my car.

I ought to live on the latitude of Kentucky-Tennessee-North Carolina. Either that, or global warming needs to pick up the pace enough to bring that climate up here.
2807  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Awww damn accident on: March 02, 2009, 11:03:44 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on March 02, 2009, 09:32:29 PM

I thought fleeing the scene of a crime was a no- nonsense real deal crime.

Maybe they wave it if you come back in a timely way?

Naw, they forgive you if you were too drunk to think clearly.
2808  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's proposed 2010 budget juices carriers for more cash on: March 02, 2009, 05:18:08 PM
Willie Sutton robbed banks "because that's where the money is."
2809  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Mega Snowstorm for the Northeast - Here it comes! on: March 02, 2009, 05:15:09 PM
After two solid hours of shoveling I got both walks and most of the driveway done, including the dreaded plowed-in part by the street. This is about a foot of very heavy snow with a frozen compacted layer on the bottom. As I was leaning on my shovel waiting to recover some strength, a pickup truck drove up. An Irish guy opened his window and introduced himself as the owner of all the plows and front end loaders that are out working our neighborhood today. His crews were caught up and, for a mere $20, could take care of those last 10 feet of driveway for me.


So about 50 feet of driveway are finally clear and we can get one of the cars out. I need to shovel the remaining 20 feet to free the other car this afternoon, after I've had lunch and a little time to rest up. I hope this is the last storm of this year. I'm too old for this.
2810  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: California Plan: Make Money by Legalizing Marijuana on: March 02, 2009, 02:57:02 PM

Quote from: Arclight on March 02, 2009, 11:20:23 AM

If they don't sell top grade pot when they legalize it, you will still have a black market for the good stuff.

Its doable, but they better not scrimp on the quality.

Why do you think the government would be the supplier? This is a huge private enterprise opportunity. The tobacco companies will dominate the mass market with a a few big standardized brands (the equivalent of Bud Light/Miller Lite), leaving boutique growers to serve niche markets. They will compete not just on strength, but on flavor and character, too. There's a lot of variation between strains.
2811  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Mega Snowstorm for the Northeast - Here it comes! on: March 02, 2009, 02:45:50 PM
We got more than I thought we would, and I am just minutes away from going out to shovel it. Again. It's not the snowiest winter we've ever had, but it's worse than normal and I'm older than I was the last time. If prosperity ever returns, I am buying a snowblower.  

Well. We're less than a week away from Daylight Savings Time, so spring must be here, right?
2812  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: California Plan: Make Money by Legalizing Marijuana on: March 02, 2009, 03:29:26 AM
We're the ones going 10 mph under the limit with our windshield wipers and emergency flashers on. We wouldn't be driving at all if we didn't need Doritos.
2813  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Mega Snowstorm for the Northeast - Here it comes! on: March 02, 2009, 03:19:44 AM
Of course Boston is already paralyzed. Two hours before the first flake falls everything has been canceled and the streets are deserted. As we always do when snow threatens, the Bride and I went out to dinner. Sure enough, the restaurant was empty. Our fellow citizens are afraid to venture out.

Our forecast is for 6-12" of snow mixed with sleet and freezing rain...just a typical slopstorm. I suppose I should plan on shoveling again tomorrow morning.
2814  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: In need of a cough suppressant. One that works. on: March 02, 2009, 03:10:06 AM
OTC cough suppressants have been proven ineffective across the board. It's a wonder they're still sold. Menthol cough drops can provide momentary relief. But the only thing that really works is good old codeine. Last I heard, you could still buy it in Canada.

Assuming you don't have access to Canada, try this: Make a cup of tea. Put a dollop of cream, a squirt of lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey, and a shot of whiskey in it. Then drink the tea and go to bed. You'll quit coughing long enough to get to sleep.

(edit) Or, based on kathode's post, make hot chocolate instead of tea. Probably want to leave out the lemon though.  Tongue
2815  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I want Richard Garriott's life. on: March 01, 2009, 04:11:53 PM

Quote from: baelthazar on March 01, 2009, 11:40:42 AM

But I wonder if he is retired now. He dropped out with nCSoft and retreated to his <above ground> lair with the only news being that he was going into space, not that he was planning his next "big project" in gaming.

I read somewhere that his little jaunt to the ISS cost pretty much his entire fortune, so unless he's at that rarefied level where money is completely divorced from work, he must be planning something -- very probably incorporating his spaceflight experience.
2816  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: California Plan: Make Money by Legalizing Marijuana on: February 26, 2009, 10:04:01 PM

Quote from: Scuzz on February 26, 2009, 09:51:05 PM

the Fed's and even local governments still make busts or refuse to allow state implementation because of the Fed's ability to cut funds from oneprogram or another.

Obama is expected to call off the dogs, as he promised to do multiple times while campaigning.

2817  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: California Plan: Make Money by Legalizing Marijuana on: February 26, 2009, 04:50:29 PM

Quote from: Scuzz on February 26, 2009, 04:27:55 PM

Am i missing something here? Pot is illegal Federally, therefore it doesn't matter what the state does it can't make it legal.

Who's going to enforce the federal prohibition?
2818  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Green Lantern: The Movie on: February 26, 2009, 02:15:30 AM
I only dimly remember Green Lantern comics. He was pretty marginal when I was a kid. Refresh my memory...what was his schtick? Besides having a green lantern, I mean.
2819  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama to Halve Deficit in 4 years? on: February 24, 2009, 11:53:18 PM

Quote from: Two Sheds on February 24, 2009, 10:50:52 PM

I'm going to go against the prevailing pessimism and snark and say that I consider this entirely possible, and see no reason why it cannot be done. And so far, Obama has given me no reason to believe he won't get it done.

Also, I never hoped for Bush to fail. I wanted him to succeed and I wanted everything to get better. Those things just didn't tend to happen. Pointing out his failures and criticizing his decisions is not the same as hoping for failure.

+1. Although skeptical from the start about his character and acumen, I gave Bush the benefit of the doubt until it became clearly foolish to do so. And I have great hope for the Obama administration. I hope that his abilities match his ambitions. This goal is only impossible if the economy fails to come back.

2820  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: California Plan: Make Money by Legalizing Marijuana on: February 24, 2009, 09:20:04 PM
It's about time.

Anytime you can get a substantial number of citizens to happily fork over extra tax dollars, you should seriously consider doing it. Think how much higher our property taxes would be if not for all the yahoos lining up for lottery tickets.

Obviously, you'd need to set the price high enough to make it worth everyone's while and discourage overconsumption, yet low enough to take the profit out of the black market. I don't know what it retails for these days but I imagine that $100 an ounce would be a bargain. That's what, about $2 per joint? Last time I bought any it was more than double that.

I read that Obama's ordered the feds to stop persecuting sellers in the 13 states that have legalized medical marijuana, so it's only a matter of time before recreational use is widely legalized, too. How long do you suppose prohibition will hang on in backwards states?
2821  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is this new bug that's going around? on: February 24, 2009, 05:05:37 PM
My doctor friend calls it "the lung crud." A similar virus goes around every year at this time, although the particulars vary from year to year.

We've been able to avoid it because we don't have children, or work with anybody who does.
2822  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Most disturbing movie you've seen? on: February 23, 2009, 06:36:18 PM
Leaving Adam Sandler movies out of it, "Man Bites Dog" is the first thing that came to mind. "Jesus Camp" was awfully scary, too.
2823  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama to Halve Deficit in 4 years? on: February 23, 2009, 03:12:33 PM

Quote from: Mookee on February 23, 2009, 01:33:59 PM

Quote from: Arkon on February 23, 2009, 09:36:10 AM

I love how raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000 is considered taxing the rich....


There are quite a few places in the United States that given the cost of living that is barely getting by.

There is no where in the US where 250k is barely getting by. The average salary in Manhattan isn't even close to that.

Somebody making $250,000 has a different idea of what "barely getting by" means than does someone making $50,000. If you earn that kind of money and you're actually struggling to afford basic necessities, then you're doing it wrong.
2824  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What kinds of interests make you a "nerd" or "dork"? Why? on: February 23, 2009, 04:12:05 AM
Where do dweebs fit into this?
2825  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama to Halve Deficit in 4 years? on: February 22, 2009, 07:35:53 PM
Here's the kernel:

Obama inherited a deficit for 2009 of about $1.2 trillion, which will rise to more than $1.5 trillion, given initial spending from his just-enacted stimulus package. His budget blueprint for the 2010 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, will include a 10-year projection showing the annual deficit declining to $533 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, the last year of his term, officials said.

Measured against the size of the economy, that would mean a reduction from a deficit equal to more than 10 percent of gross domestic product - larger than any deficit since World War II - to 3 percent, which is the level that economists generally consider sustainable. Obama will project deficits at about that level through 2019, aides said.


As difficult as cutting the deficits will be, much of the reduction by the end of his term will simply reflect an end to spending from the two-year stimulus package and - assuming the economy recovers - higher tax revenues and lower expenditures for safety net programs like unemployment compensation.


Obama will inflate his challenge by forsaking several gimmicks that the Bush administration used to make deficits look smaller. He will include war costs in the budget; Bush did not.

2826  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What kinds of interests make you a "nerd" or "dork"? Why? on: February 22, 2009, 07:24:50 PM
Jaddison's definitions loosely validate the way I use those words. In the hierarchy of social misfits, geeks > nerds > dorks.
2827  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What kinds of interests make you a "nerd" or "dork"? Why? on: February 22, 2009, 05:17:35 PM
Geeks are unusually intelligent and/or imaginative. Nerds are merely out of step with the herd. A dork...well, I would apply that to someone of below average intelligence, although it's not a term I use often. That's my naming convention, anyway.
2828  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama to Halve Deficit in 4 years? on: February 22, 2009, 05:33:49 AM
Most of the savings would come from spending less on the war in Iraq, raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000 a year and streamlining government

A and B are straightforward. Every politician promises C, but none deliver. Government is too much like whack-a-mole.
2829  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Apparently we're a nation of cowards now on: February 22, 2009, 05:29:35 AM
This cartoon fails because it's trying to evoke "monkey" sayings. Chimps are apes. Apes are not monkeys. It's as if somebody who wanted to "bug" me drew a spider. Spiders aren't bugs, so you wouldn't get it. Chimps aren't monkeys, so I didn't get it.


2830  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Political Quiz on: February 21, 2009, 03:47:28 PM
Hey, our first authoritarian! I was beginning to wonder.

My score lined up very closely with Nelson Mandela. Not bad company to be in, but I wonder how they got Nelson to take their quiz.
2831  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Expecting Snow...Need Suggestions on Supplies on: February 21, 2009, 03:39:57 PM
For some reason Bostonians always strip the grocery stores of bread and milk when snow is forecast. We call a prediction of 6+ inches "a two-loafer". Stocking up on perishables has never made any sense to me, but apparently it's been the tradition here since the fabled Blizzard of 78.

Being of hardy Michigan stock, my wife and I always go out to a restaurant during snowstorms. While our fellow citizens cower indoors, eating milktoast, we travel roads devoid of traffic to our choice of empty restaurants.

2832  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Political Quiz on: February 20, 2009, 06:10:28 PM
Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -4.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.21
2833  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: February 20, 2009, 06:00:42 PM
I was afraid they were going to spend the whole season getting the castaways back to the island, so I was very pleased that they did it so quickly. I'm also confident that the writers are in control of their story.
2834  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Where would you live? on: February 20, 2009, 04:12:19 PM
St Maarten -- the Dutch side of the island. Or possibly Tortola if I felt more adventurous/less civilized.
2835  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: It's Tax Time! on: February 20, 2009, 04:05:29 PM
I put a couple more hours into reaching the end of the template yesterday. I'll give it a careful going-over this afternoon, and then turf to the wife. My part took 5 hours. It will take the Bride about that long to neutralize most of her 1099 income and slay the self-employment tax.

I'm cautiously optimistic because our income went down again last year while estimated tax payments and major deductions both went up. I've gone from fearing a big bill to hoping for a small refund.
2836  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New Season of Futurama Coming? on: February 19, 2009, 03:36:21 AM
I could never really get into that show. I enjoyed the occasional episode (like CeeKay said), but a lot of the jokes went right past me and the last one that I saw (Benders Game maybe?) was especially obscure and self-referential.
2837  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I hate cable TV on: February 17, 2009, 11:23:58 PM
We get digital cable, about 20 HD channels, and a dual-tuner DVR for $70 per month. We rarely watch any cable stations so it's a tempting target, except that I bought a TV with no tuner to save $500 on the purchase. It can't get broadcast stations without an external tuner. No cable/satellite, no TV.  

We also pay $45 a month for internet and $60 for a landline phone, or $175 altogether. I could get a bundle from the cable company for $110 -- which is a promo rate for one year that doesn't include HD programming, the dual DVR, or any taxes and fees. Hidden charges make the savings too trivial to justify the disruption of losing the Earthlink email addresses we've had since 1997, and the ability to send and receive faxes over our copper phone line. With two home businesses, we need a real fax machine, not some lame e-fax thing.

Of course, if the unemployment lasts more than a few months we will probably have to junk the cable. We could still use the TV to watch DVDs, which is 90% of its function anyway. Can't give up the DSL or fax, though.
2838  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you doing with your tax refund? on: February 17, 2009, 11:06:28 PM
OK, today I finally excavated my desk, did my sorting and filing, nagged my BIL (again) for his mother's paperwork, and completed the first section of our CPA's questionnaire. That took about 90 minutes, and now the deck is finally cleared for the hard part.

Our withholding is nearly impossible to calculate because my wife's 1099 income is highly variable, and because I don't know my K-1 results until mid-December. So it comes down to how well I guess at the 1040-ES payments, how good my wife is at finding deductions, and whether she hid any income from me during the year. We got killed in 2007 because she received and spent a big "profit sharing" check that she didn't know was actually retirement money, and because my company accidentally turned a profit instead of showing a tidy little loss. You can't take deductions against K-1 income, but you don't have to pay payroll taxes on it, either.

It's tricky. I always strive for break-even, but with so many variables I can be off by several thousand dollars. I made aggressive estimated tax payments in 08, but my profit was double what I expected. On the plus side, we had some fat new deductions like home equity interest and a new computer.

Now that my wife's unemployed, though, owing $thousands again this April would be a disaster. See why I'm avoiding this?
2839  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you doing with your tax refund? on: February 17, 2009, 07:28:48 PM
Thanks to this thread's ever-increasing guilt-inducing properties, I am going to start on our taxes this afternoon.
2840  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Coffee Addiction on: February 17, 2009, 04:48:08 PM
Medical wisdom about coffee has its ups and downs. Lately, coffee is considered the new health food. Caffeine addiction is easily broken if you ever have a compelling reason to endure 2-3 days of headaches and lethargy. There is no compelling evidence that it's a bad thing, unless you're of the opinion that any addiction is a weakness.
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