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2841  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?
2842  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.
2843  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.

2844  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?
2845  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.
2846  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.
2847  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.
2848  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?
2849  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.

2850  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.
2851  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.
2852  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.
2853  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.


2854  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.
2855  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.

2856  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
2857  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.
2858  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.
2859  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.
2860  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.
2861  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.
2862  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?
2863  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.
2864  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.
2865  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Presidents Day, pick your favorite on: February 16, 2009, 07:00:55 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about the historians' ratings.

The story gives the top 5 and bottom 5, with only a few references to everyone in between.

After Lincoln, the academics rated George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harry Truman as the best leaders overall. The same five received top spots in the 2000 survey, although Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt swapped spots this year.

Rated worst overall were James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, William Henry Harrison, and Warren G. Harding.
2866  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: REDESIGN STATUS UPDATE on: February 14, 2009, 04:31:16 PM

Quote from: th'FOOL on February 13, 2009, 11:00:30 PM

feel free to ask questions or pile on scorn as you see fit Tongue

Is this going to be on the test?
2867  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you doing with your tax refund? on: February 13, 2009, 07:01:52 PM
Thanks to this thread's guilt-instilling properties, I am going to start working on our taxes this afternoon. I suspect that we're going to owe money.
2868  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Roman Catholic Church reintroducing indulgences? on: February 13, 2009, 03:46:29 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 12, 2009, 09:44:55 PM

Being a Christian revolves around one belief, as I stated earlier.  The rest are denominational differences.

I was taught that a Christian must believe in the literal truth of Jesus's death and physical resurrection and ascension. That central miracle makes Christianity a religion, rather than a philosophy. Anybody who believes in it is a Christian. Anybody who does not, is not.

This simple definition helped me see at a very young age that I am not a Christian.
2869  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you doing with your tax refund? on: February 13, 2009, 03:35:19 PM

Quote from: Laner on February 13, 2009, 01:58:59 AM

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.

That seems completely pointless.  Or am I missing something?

The idea is that everybody will spend it because it's beneath notice. If you give people lump sums, they do dumb things like save or invest them.

Those of us who don't get paychecks will find a refundable credit on our 2009 tax returns.
2870  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Joss Whedons Dollhouse starts Friday on: February 13, 2009, 03:28:41 PM
I hope it's not any good. I already have too many TV shows to keep up with. Glad to hear that Sarah Chronicle is coming back, though. 
2871  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.
2872  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.
2873  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.
2874  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.
2875  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.
2876  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.
2877  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.
2878  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. 
2879  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.
2880  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. 
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