Running around Thursday


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3Doodler pictures coming. Just need to transfer them from my phone to my computer. Which isn’t hard in fact it is incredibly easy it just takes about 3 seconds and I haven’t had that in several weeks. Between taxes and job and working out I am swamped right now. I guess its good to be busy.

I’ve been thinking about the culture of collaboration for awhile now. Check my non-family blog for a deeper dive into that topic.

This weekend I am going to convert two last boxes from my old lab into virtual machines. They have a couple of installed programs I would like to capture then I am going to flatten the boxes and repurpose them.

Hopefully the new snow hitting the Midwest decides to veer North rather than traverse across the country.

Lots to do on a Thursday. To friends and family in Indiana I hope all of you dig out!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Taxes, Kindle and a day…


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I personally hate taxes. I’ve been doing them for the past four weekends. This weekend the earliest date I can file moves out to Feb 6. This year is better than last year (a net loss of 5 grand between the two). This year I am actually breakeven/a little ahead between State and Federal combined taxes. So that works out. But I HATE DOING TAXES.

My feeling on taxes has moved very far to the right. I believe a graduated flat tax would in the end be a more effective system. No deductions just pay the flat tax in your income bracket. Based on the various numbers put together (and allowing for a more liberal view supporting those who don’t make as much) if you start the scale at 2%, and move it through the various income ranks to 25% maximum with no deductions of any kind you can effectively support those with less and tax everyone else fairly.

It will never happen, but it would be a better system.

There is something to be said for sitting near a roaring fire, with a dog lavishing you with love. After a long week and of course completing the required walk, Dylan spent the rest of the day making sure I knew I was loved. Sometimes that is all you need to make a long week go away.

I finally bought the Divinity of Dogs as an Audible Book today. (I’ve mentioned before but once again The Kindle is bar none the best reading device on the market. From books, to magazines to Audible it does it all).

I suspect once I start listening I will start crying. So I put extra Kleenex on the shopping list for this week.

For those who emailed about the Maryland Mall shooting yesterday – its about an hour from us. But to my mom and the other folks that emailed, thank you for your concern.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

The tax man cometh…


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I am dreading next weekend. I’ve always started my taxes the last week in December. It takes 3 weeks and most years we get a small amount back (although last year we owed a large amount so I guess there is a balance). I am not a huge fan of taxes overall. It takes a long time and then in the end you feel like you should have used an accountant.

The really sad thing? I argued for tax reform as a topic in debate club in 1979. I have to say its not better it’s a lot worse. It used to take me between 3 and 4 full weekends. Now it still takes 3 or 4 full weekends and a lot of time during the year. Now I spend hours each month (1-2) organizing my receipts with the Neat Desk. it’s a great piece of technology. But the time required continues to grow.

Part of my problem is I don’t like the program from Intuit to manage charitable donations so I have to do a double conversion. The other problem is that there are just so many different things you have to worry about now with taxes. Oh well…

Only one missing thing left from the move. I just can’t seem to locate it. Its not anything critical and I suspect a sustained search would probably find it. But for now, I am just going to be frustrated.

Thanks to everyone who posted in various areas, called or emailed me a birthday greeting yesterday. Over 100 in total and frankly all of them were welcomed and enjoyed!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

There has to be a better way


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Struggling to get moving today. Not sure why.

I am loving the online Bill Pay from Bank of America. I am down to writing two checks per month. By the end of next month I will have direct deposit on two of the remaining checks and things will be both hunky and dory.

Still disputing with Noah’s properties. All we would like is a formal apology. That they could have done a better job repairing the unit we were leasing from them. No money, just an apology. Why is that so hard for people?

I am approaching my last business trip of the year (middle of the month). There was a time in my career when I was traveling all the time and I would be approaching the last two months of business travel (November and December). Now I am approaching my 3rd and last business trip of the year. It really does make a difference to be off the road.

Time to get rolling

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Please note the NO TRESPASSING SIGN on MY MOBILE DEVICE!


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Taxes underway – without a house to take mortgage interest off my taxes this is going to be a painful year. Anyone know what countries don’t have income taxes? (THIS IS A JOKE)

I’ve noticed lately that a couple of earnings reports (Facebook and Google) talk about the upcoming issues that advertisers have with mobile devices. Not as much screen to sell their wares on.

Hum…

Listen guys, we’ve put up with full screen television ads for years. My screen real estate on my mobile devices is another story completely. First off I don’t buy something unless I have a compelling need (sometimes by the way that compelling need can be the gee wow factor but not very often). I have a limited amount of space on my computer, tablet and smart phone screens. Very limited in fact and I am not sure that the impact of you taking over that screen is me suddenly deciding to change my buying patterns.

In fact I think it actually may have a negative impact. My screenestate is small. My desire to be influenced by ads on a mobile device is small. Sure there are things friends send me that I check out. But that is normally in a chat or email. Seldom do my friends take over my screen and force me to view something they have made. Sometimes they send me great pictures but I choose to open the picture and view it. Yes you will argue that in fact I choose to go to the web site but if I do I am looking for something. If I use a free service (like the storage service Box) I am willing while using the free service to have images and ads on my screen because there is something in it for me.

Perhaps that is the reality of the new screenestate process. If you give me something I need, I will let you be on my mobile screen. If you don’t then please note the no trespassing sign on my mobile device.

This land is my land. This land is your land. But my freaking mobile screen is my freaking mobile screen. I will invite you on it if you have value for me.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

The state of Indiana has issues…


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I decided to clean out my basement office area. Its cleaner than it ever was in Greenwood, and I am not actually cleaning the office, simply selling things on ebay that I am no longer using. I find over the years that you collect lots of things that you end up not using after a time. So I am going to clean out the basement.

So if there is anything I have that you are coveting, check ebay it may be for sale.

The state of Indiana says I owe taxes, even though my employer paid them an extra 3000 (tax error on the companies fault that I didn’t catch until January). I find that amazing over all. Over the many years I’ve lived in Indiana I have to say they have the worst tax system. Property taxes were high, income taxes low but the reality of their system is no matter what they take forever.

Of course I am fighting it, they sent a letter with 1/2 of the table filled out, saying I owed taxes. The funny thing is that in the end, their table actually showed me owing 200 dollars. But in the letter is said I owed 3.000 dollars. I sent it back asking them if the tax owed, minus the tax paid was 200, how di I owe them 3000? I suspect they have an issue in their system.

I guess in the long run its good to be out of Indiana. We shall see when it comes time for a full year of Maryland taxes.

.doc

A few post taxes done random thoughts…


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Taxes done, 1 mailed (because well the state is behind the times) the other two filed electronically.  Sent the other via US express mail hopefully its two day delivery promise nets me a refund faster.

Yesterday while walking I was taking some pictures. Mostly of things that interested me and that I wanted to review later. I do that sometimes because well, when you can use the GPS settings to determine where you were it makes finding the things you missed the first time interesting.  For whatever reasons yesterday a tree intrigued me. It was standing all alone in a field of grass and I don’t know why but I found that interesting.

Last night was our first everyone there family dinner this week. We’ve had a couple of other nearly everyone there meals but it was nice to have a sit down and talk as a family meal.

time to get rolling

.doc