Monday, July 07, 2008

Jay: Not the Post I’d Planned

Have to go meet a recruiter today.  The kids are crazy.

Sadie woke crying in wee hours with apparently a sinus headache.  Which happened to Valerie 24 hours before, though she’s prone to headaches and it may not have been sinus.

Henry a little while ago drank a substantial amount of Valerie’s coffee and has gone all puffy and squinty-eyed and a little rashy, but he’s also been miserable, as has Deb. and for that matter me.  People burning?  No!  Something blooming around the corner, smells like maybe honeysuckle, so strong it can be hard to sleep.

So we’re not sure how much is the coffee and how much is that.  The coffee is about 1 part coffee, some sugar and dry creamer, and 5 parts cold water.  He’s had black coffee with sugar before and not blown up, but the non-dairy creamer has dairy in it, along with whatever else, so who knows.  At least it’s not almost pure milk as it would have been before we realized Val had a problem with the milk.

Anyway, I have to go get ready to go to the Stoughton town hall for Sadie’s birth certificate to sign up for RomneyCommunistCare and decriminalize ourselves in the eyes of the state, then the recruiter in Burlington.  And other errands.

01:53 PM | BloggingFood & CookingJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoneyNewsHealth CarePoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Jay: Karma

There was some discussion of karma lately, and what it is exactly.

It’s not tens of thousands of people killed in a natural disaster because the government, of which they individually may or may not approve, forcefully annexes and treats badly a sovereign country and culture, a process of which they individually may or may not approve.

Karma is when you tell your brother’s wife that he’s old and fat, and therefore will never land another job in his life, and shortly thereafter lose your own job, facing the possibility of having to change fields, accept even lower pay, or both.

That’s the way karma works outside of activist celebrity fantasies.

03:02 AM | Job HuntingMoneyNewsStupidityNothing • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jay: Crunch Time

This is going to be a different post from the one I started the night before last, with the same title.  That one started out on the topic of needing to locate the taxes I’d done, for the partnership and personal federal, and to do the state ones and get them mailed.  I since located the partnership ones and mailed them, along with two books from Deb’s book shop.  One was an advanced computer book from my collection, so went for $17.50 at about the cheapest price available.  For us that’s real money.  When it arrives in the twice a month payout.  I also rewrote the federal to be neater, and did the state, cursing Romney over RomneyCare.  There’s now a form HC, which at 3 pages if you need the whole thing is longer than the main Form 1 at 2 pages.  I had the urge to ignore it, but you are supposed to use it to determine your personal exemption.  By running too low on money to pay the last $1300 of insurance for Deb and the kids to cover October through December, and failing to apply for subsidized coverage, we paid a penalty of $220 in extra taxes.

Anyway, that’s all done.  I have to mail those today.

Looks like the interview last week was a bust, which is fascinating in that it was a temporary gig.  Which I suspect they planned to try to get someone permanent out of, and looked accordingly.  The interview the week before was obviously a bust as well.

I have a possible something in the works with an internet marketing business.  I have someone putting in my resume for a well-paid support job that just happens to be in Lowell, so it’d be on the $25 a day commuting plan.  If I can stop worrying about money and the household long enough to chase an income just slightly harder and keep the household, something - even something great - should come pretty fast.  It’s probably a matter of keeping the balls in the air a few more weeks.

Trouble is, we’re out of time, and while some awesome people have picked up distress, we haven’t been forthcoming on just where things stand.  I’ve threatened to have a fundraising edition of Carnival of the Capitalists, even though I’m too busy trying to raise money to try to raise money.  I’ve pointed out the resume, Deb’s Etsy shop and used book shop, and my availability for side work. 

I haven’t asked for donations, apart from whatever is implicit in making the PayPal button available.  And it feels wrong to do so, much as we get annoyed by unhelpful people who dwell on the fact history ought have been different, rather than acting on (or ignoring) what is.  I could say and rue much about how we got here, but that doesn’t keep us from getting evicted.

Then again, I’d rather ask individuals for help than use public assistance paid for with stolen money.  Or worse, stolen from the future, given the financing of so much of it through debt, creating a future need for inflation and/or higher taxes.  But what do I know.  I’m just a crackpot who saw the housing/credit bubble vividly starting years ago.

So yeah.  Pretty much asking now, as I prepare to mail the tax returns and then throw ourselves on the mercy of the gas & electric department to avoid having those shut off tomorrow.  When I gave them Henry’s birth certificate, which by itself should give us until August 20, they also wanted an income number.  At the time, I wasn’t sure what I’d made last year.  I would never have guessed it would be low enough for the EIC, or that rent, medical and health insurance technically took 2/3 of it.  There was enough in residual, undrawn funds that it carried us a long time in the shutdown of the business (in which mailing the tax returns yesterday is the last major act, though I’ll have stuff to handle for a while).

If blogging is a bit slow, or you see as much on other blogs as here to keep them up enough to justify their value to advertisers, it’ll be because we’re scrambling.  The ads, the selling things, the found money, the incredibly generous donations we already received, the Etsy sales - nothing to sneeze at but also in jeopardy because you have to have money for materials and shipping - and the bits of side work here and there only go so far.  The fact I tend to stock the pantry as if I’m expecting to ride out the end of civilization - or something like this bad stretch - only helps stretch things so long before real money needs to be spent on groceries and sundries again.

Of course, if we lose power, that’s the end game.  What money we do make is online.  That would trigger a total meltdown of our situation.  I don’t think that should be a problem, but we do have to start paying them Real Soon Now.  We’ve been managing to get $250 or $300 a week to the landlord, staying basically half a month to a month or so behind.  If we miss a week, game over, barring something like working with us because I just started a job and it’s all going to change.  This week we’re sketchy but should manage it.  Next week?  No idea.  I expect to do some small side work early in the week, but not likely enough.

Anyway, if you can hit the donate button, even in small amounts, that would be amazing.  Alternatively, use the address deb at neatlytangled dot com for PayPal, as hers doesn’t have a transfer limit (to get it from there to the bank) and is useful that way.  If we’ve ever entertained you through blogging, given you helpful advice, or even if you think I’m an idiot but want to keep the kids fed and off the street, perhaps it’s worth something.

Onward!  Time to take care of business.  Mail tax returns.  Deal with utility crisis.  Try to shake loose work.  Planning to add Deb’s resume to the ones online and put a “hire us” box in the sidebar where “donate” is now, soon as I get a chance.  So on.  So forth.

Thanks for helping, or even just reading and quietly not saying or doing something unhelpful, no matter what you really think.


You guys are amazing.  Not to replace individual thanks, but holy cow, we’re just blown away.

02:46 PM | BloggingBooksFor SaleBusinessFood & CookingGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoneyNewsHealth CareStupidityTotally Random • (10) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Deb: I just get so *confused* sometimes.

I mean, there was the whole Bear Stearns thing, and then I saw an article this morning about how they’re making plans to try to bail out homeowners in trouble, and I just gotta ask: when do *we* get a turn?  I mean, we looked at house prices, we looked at our bank account, and we laughed and rented because really?  Wasn’t going to happen.  Now, we’ve got credit troubles of our own, because there’s only so many bad turns your financial journey can take before it all goes to hell, but we’re not part of a recognizable electoral market segment.  So as far as I can tell, that means that it’s on us to pay for keeping the people who *are* part of one happy. 

And people wonder why I make little scoffing noises every time someone starts raphsodizing about the wonders of democracy.

03:51 PM | MoneyNewsPoliticsStupidity • (3) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jay: Obligatory Post

Actually, I didn’t have a birthday until I saw one mentioned elsewhere, so I’d planned this to be something for a “no birthdays” morning post.

I was sad but not surprised Amanda Overmeyer was executed last night.  Kristy Lee Cook is one lucky country-twanged long-legged hot blond in a short dress.  I might prefer to see Amanda to her if I were attending one of the concerts, but I won’t be, it’s not that strong a preference, and this means, as I noted, Kristy needs the performance of her life next week.  Though a couple others flopping sufficiently might be enough, if she’s adequate and being cute.

I was shocked that Carly was in the bottom three.  She was too good for that, so there has to be some combination of the controversy sucking away votes, people thinking she’s safe, her support not being as strong as I might have thought, or David Archuletta’s lopsided vote totals sucking the oxygen out of the room and making funny things happen with the rest of the totals.  Face it, unless there’s enough controversy, backlash, or something, Achoo is the winner and this is a race for second through fourth now.

Today I have to call the nice lady at the hospital whose sole job is to line people up with insurance if they lack it.  Because this Republican Socialism thing, it won’t add bureaucracy at all.  Probably about the time we’re squared away with free insurance for the poor, I’ll land a job that includes it.

I’ve been meaning to do a giant fundraising edition of Carnival of the Capitalists.  It might be worth a few hours of that to fetch a little grocery money or even an additional week of rent and make me think people actually appreciated my efforts all these years.  Which I know they did, and not just the few who have expressed an interest in still seeing it or helping.  I’ve been told I should emphasize it and look for business development work, or something like that.  That may be gotten to soon, before it becomes moot.  I’ve been accumulating links for it.

And yeah, fundraiser notwithstanding, you are always welcome to use the PayPal tipjar button, now more than ever.  Or use the address for Deb’s, which is actually better, deb at neatlytangled dot com.

It’s so cute.  Valerie has taken to putting a mitten on a foot, like a very heavy sock.  She just had me put a shoe on the other foot.  She loves to change clothes and play dress-up.

Speaking of money, there’s nothing like going to the store with $16 available, needing diapers and groceries, and being focused on eliminating certain things from the diet.

Although we think we have a good idea what is going on with Henry, and what the allergic reaction was about.  That and the idea that food proteins consumed by the mother survice intact in breast milk appears to be bogus, if you research it sufficiently.

Still, the discovery that corn, usually corn syrup, is in almost everything was rather startling and something we’d like to start avoiding.  It’s also shocking that companies would put known likely allergens in some of the earliest foods one would feed a baby, thinks you buy because they are safe.  I’m also wondering about my own levels of food sensitivities, which are not the same as allergies, for which I once tested negative.

I am not only down 29 lbs from my high plateau and 39 lbs from my absolute high (and annoyed it hasn’t budged further for a few days), but also thinner than the current weight would imply.  I went from 42 required to falling off to 40 fitting comfortably to 40 wanting to fall off.  Which means some of the tighter pants in that size I have somewhere should fit.

This was supposed to be quick.

The job hunting proceeds apace, subject to excitement and interruption and confusion and mild sickness and such.  I have to make a list and follow it today.  I’ve been doing a lot of networking-related activity.

Okay, I can’t remember anything else I might have intended to say.  I need to get to the actual stuff to be done, starting with an announcement about CotC and link to the resume over at Bizosphere.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jay: Big Cuba Begets Big Sugar Begets Big Corn

Since we unofficially had added corn to the list of possible allergy suspects and Deb was initially supposed to be avoiding the allergen possibilities, that led to some label reading and the dismay at almost everything being made of corn syrup.  As I said, ADM must be proud.

What doesn’t have corn mostly has wheat.  The baby’s oatmeal that’s an introductory food that’s supposed to be utterly pure and safe contains wheat.  It didn’t used to, which was partly why that was our preferred brand, but apparently that came with the fancy new packaging.

What I pointed out to Deb, in our discussion of Big Corn, and their having the ethanol farce now so they could dispense with the corn syrup nonsense, is that the corn syrup thing is partly a reaction to Big Sugar.  Most people don’t realize the extent of sugar protectionism in this country.

In turn, what’s a huge sugar producer?  Cuba.  Who are some of the domestic sugar producers?  Cuban ex-pats.  How did all the Castro administrations and associated congresses respond to Cuba being a gulag and to the vote buying of the Cuban-Americans?  By fruitlessly restraining trade, topping it off with extra protection for domestic sugar.

Why shouldn’t Big Corn step in and profit from it?


12:46 PM | BusinessFood & CookingKidsMedicalMoneyNewsPoliticsStupidity • (1) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Deb: Spitzer, again.

I guess I like to live dangerously, posting news from actual newspapers and all.  Like the NYT.

Anyway, I said all I really had to say about the thing, and then he said it better.

05:57 PM | NewsPoliticsStupidity • (1) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jay: Still Excited

About the Spitzer thing, but it’s interesting to see the AP spinning those pedals back as vigorously as they can.

How do you recover from this, even if you don’t get charged, even if you don’t resign?  The sheer vehemence of the pleasure so many people derived from it tells you something about accumulated reputation.

12:35 PM | NewsPoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jay: Eliot Spitzer

I know I’m supposed to avoid writing about news items, but I just want to say that I am absolutely thrilled at the Eliot Spitzer news.  Usually I am one to be sympathetic when someone is having a Worst Day Ever, but it seldom gets so appropriate or seems so like karma in action.

It’s a bit odd that he hasn’t resigned.

Which one should not have to do merely for hiring a prostitute, mind you, as that should be completely legal.  But it’s not, and he’s built a career on persecuting not only things like this, but things that aren’t even illegal.  Which is talented, yet repulsively corrupt.

Now off to make supper and tweak the resume the rest of the way, so I can send it out the door.


See Radley Balko.

08:13 PM | BusinessNewsPoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: DST is Evil

I really hate daylight savings time.

People who call a clearly wrong number repeatedly aren’t so cool either.  And if they aren’t calling the wrong number, and somehow have an almost entirely private number for a reason, even though they are in an exchange where I know nobody and know of nobody who could possibly know me or be connected enough to have been given the number, there is no reason not to leave a voicemail.  I just can’t imagine who would be calling my cell from Blackstone.

Trying to force it and being frazzled from the time change weren’t the way to get the resume I am working on the rest of the way done, so there’s a bit more to do this morning.  Then it’ll go to practically everyone I know and to job sites and whatnot.

I’m downright spaced out from odd and minimal sleep, and I think mine was awesome compared to Deb’s.  At least the girls seem to have slept mostly okay (still sleeping), except one crying incident from Valerie, which seemed to be because she was uncovered and was cold.  She asked not to wear a diaper overnight for the first time, so I thought maybe the crying was because she’d wet, or needed to go and was holding it an refusing, but apparently not.  She finished training before Sadie and has already gotten up dry some days, so she may do just as well as Sadie has been doing.

I did some casual looking up of what some of my more antique books are fetching online.  That ranges from next to nothing to as much as $202, without a lot of rhyme or reason.  The oldest is from 1849 and isn’t worth much.

I’d not be looking to sell it, but the Preston Ellis book on family history and descendants of William Ellis of Biddeford is on eBay for $37.50, and can be had newly printed for $70 and change.  I paid $30 Canadian for mine in, I believe, 1993.  Speaking of which, I realized last week that this is one of the every five years when there tends to be a family reunion.  Whether I ever go to another of those and hang around not knowing anybody and being shy, I’d love ti visit PEI and Nova Scotia again.  This will be ten years since the last time.  It’s sad that it’s going to be so hard to do, even when there’s money and transportation and time.  Passports to go to Canada make me not want to go just on principle.

Anyway, time to get on with the day…


Valerie made it through the night, and a long one at that.  Yay Valerie!

11:55 AM | BooksJob HuntingKidsNewsStupidityTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Jay: Hallefuckinlujah!

Romney dropping out.


And celebration aside, he did the right thing and for classy, strategic reasons.

05:29 PM | MassachusettsMedicalMoneyNewsPoliticsStupidity • (1) CommentsPermalink

Friday, February 01, 2008

Jay: Lightening Up

Apart from any other consideration, like needing money that badly, we’re looking at lightening up on “stuff” by selling some of it off.  That way if we do change states (if not spins or flavors), we’ll have less to move, or to shed at the last minute.  Whether we move will depend in part on whether RomneyCare or something like it goes national, and on the economics of it all.  Obviously we have to bootstrap back up to where we could even think about moving.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking it might be worth offering any given thing in question via the blog(s) first, for “things we’d ship” items.

Thoughts?  On the whole ‘selling things off” exercise in general?

We’re looking at Amazon for book sales.  eBay seems like something we might prefer to avoid, but we may wind up there.  I understand Craigslist might be ideal for larger and more locally targeted items.  Then again, it has wild west elements as well.  It’s kind of disgusting to look through it at people offering computer work at unsustainable rates that range from below market down to barely above free.

Listing stuff here doesn’t get the traffic it might elsewhere, but it would be satisfying to give our smaller community first crack.

08:56 PM | BusinessGeekeryMassachusettsMoneyNewsHealth CareStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jay: Welcome, Blank

The company that owns the hospital where we had all three kids has bought the medical practice we have used for several years, rebranding both with the parent name.

There was once a computer company locally that used the same generic name, so that is what I think of when I see it.

There was no warning.  Reportedly 15 of the doctors are leaving for a different practice.  In suspiciously close timing with this, our own doctor sent us notices to reschedule every appointment that falls next month.  While it’s doubtful he’s leaving, as he practically runs the place, it would appear he’s taking at least two weeks off.

Being insurance outlaws and Just That Broke, the only one we’re actually concerned with rescheduling is the baby’s, as shots are involved.  We’ve also been talking about changing doctors, going back and forth between attachment to the one we have, and annoyance.  Which is in part due to the increasingly bureaucratic nature of the large practice.  Which the merger obviously feeds.

The other day we received patient cards, one for each of us, each under separate cover.  That also served as the announcement of the merger.

The cards are blank.

They are for accessing medical records for each of us, so any office or hospital in their network of them can identify us and pull up our records.  Presumably they contain an embedded RFID chip or something, which made me entertain “let’s put Mr. Hamster in the microwave” thoughts.

But they’re blank.  Five cards to keep track of, and they have no way for us to identify which is which without working out a way to label them ourselves.

That just seems weird, after going to all that trouble to make everything electronic and theoretically efficient, and to issue the cards.

03:12 PM | BusinessMassachusettsMedicalNewsHealth CarePoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jay: What a Gas

So now I remember…

In my travels yesterday, I stopped to fill the tank on the truck.  For which I also bought wiper blades, as one is shredding.  Mounting them is another thing to be done today.

Middleboro has an incredibly stupid regulation, as I’ve mentioned before, whereby all cars must pull through the gas pumps in the same direction.  At least at self-serve stations.  That means 90% of the gas gets sold on one side of the pump, and there can be a line, while the other side stands vacant.

I’d been thinking that the hoses are pretty long, and all the more likely to be so to counteract the regulatory nonsense.  I’d been thinking the truck isn’t that wide, and the bed is lower than the roof of a typical car.  So I’d been thinking that I ought to be able to pump wrong-sided.

I tried it.  Their hoses are amazingly short.  It was all I could do to reach.  Then the funny angle apparently disabled the automatic shutoff, so I ended up with gas splurting out all over my hand and onto my shoe.  Doh!  Of the $41.79 to fill it, probably it should have stopped not later than $41.  Yay.

Lesson learned.  I use the other side every time, even if it means waiting in line.

05:42 PM | CarsMoneyNewsStupidity • (1) CommentsPermalink

Monday, December 31, 2007

Deb: Thanks, Mitt Romney!

I was going to put a post here, but I thought better of it.  Let’s just say that I don’t tolerate any talk about how he’s presidential material.

Happy New Year, anyway.

10:02 PM | Job HuntingMassachusettsNewsHealth CarePoliticsStupidity • (0) CommentsPermalink
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