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wednesday, january 28, 2009

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this day in . . .
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i did our taxes today.

oh my!

yes, that's a very good oh my. a much bigger oh my than i'm used to seeing. i guess the one good thing about an absolutely crappy year economically is that you can get a lot of oh my for what little job you had.

or something like that.

anyway, obviously quite a bit will have to go to the utility mess to get us caught up. i'm tired of the stress, and with the new job possibility opening up for saxy (more on that later), we just might be able to get on the payment plan if we can get everything caught up.

but, assuming the government doesn't correct me too much, that would still leave us with at least $2500.


as i said, oh my!

there are a lot of things we've been talking about taking care of, but there's only one thing i've been trying to get for the past 6 years or so: a laptop. now, i'd really like a really nice laptop, but, well, am more willing to go much less extravagant (as in fairly cheap) for several reasons. for one, some of the programs i run i either cannot afford or do not want to upgrade to a version that will work on xp or vista. for example, paint shop pro. i am very happy with my current version and am not at all interested in (nor do i have the time for) the learning curve the most recent version would require. for my current version, the highest o.s. i can go on a machine is win2000. and, yes, i would love to upgrade my dinosaur to win2000, but that won't help with some of the issues that a laptop will, the main one being near my son when he comes home from school, and still being able to work. as we get more incoming at lilley press, the more my 4 hours a day doesn't work. a laptop will give me the mobility i need to be able to keep an eye on him and still be able to do my work.

which means the dream machine i was thinking about a year or two ago is not only way over priced for us (around $2300), but also now way over powered. oh it would have been perfect a few years back when they were loading win2000 on the new machines, but not now with vista. but i don't need such a powerhouse for writing and editing.

so we're talking about picking up a less dreamy, but much more appropriate for the needs $800 machine from costco. i'd still keep the desktop for the non-writing related stuff, so i won't be out my non-vista compatible programs, but i'd have the mobility that would work so much better for me now.

which kind of takes us to this new position in crap company for saxy. they need a dispatcher. as usual, the hours would suck, but at least he'd be making better money. problem is, he'll probably need to be able to load some software on one of our internet capable machines. his xp monster is not internet capable. we could make it internet capable, but it is slow as molasses in winter and would frustrate the hell out of him. not a good thing when he's already sure the job will be at least as frustrating as driving has been. my machine, on the other hand, is connected, but 4 o.s.s too old and might not take the software (there's a lot of stuff i can't upgrade anymore even for free because of the o.s. issue).

now, we both agree this new position will probably be the best way to go. even if he gets $500/week, that's what he was earning when doing construction, and currently $150 more per week than he's getting now (especially since they are doing everything they can, from cutting the calls/miles to not counting things listed, to keep the driver checks down to the salary of $350/week). he's actually hoping it will pay more than that since he'll be on call weekends and nights. i doubt it will be too much more than that, but, regardless, more than he's making now is something to be jumped on, pretty much.

which brings us back to the machines and the software, and the fact that i don't share very well when it comes to my machines (the more users you have on a machine, the more likely it will get screwed up; i get pretty pissy when my machines get screwed up). so we're talking about getting him a cheap laptop for the job. and since they will likely be wireless ready, setting up a wireless network, taking my monster and figuring out how to get it to work on a wireless network, then dumping our home phone entirely. that would take $125 out of the utility costs. now, we know some of that would be offset by the cost of the wireless connection, but i doubt it would be $125. as for his old, slow as molasses machine, we could give that to jewel who has complained about not having a computer to get online. granted, she'll complain about the monster being slow, but at least she'll be able to get online....

and two $800 lappies and a wireless network might still leave us money for other things like...clothes. everyone in the house needs clothes. or something.

really, right now all we're doing is talking. for one, the i.r.s. could "revise" us out of a lot more than i'm currently guessing might get adjusted on the return (last year, i think they adjusted us by $500 or so, but i think that was also the year mcat really screwed us on who got paid what and made it look like we earned more than we did). secondly, as we all know when i've had similar entries in the past, things have a tendency to change or fly out of control even before the money gets here. this may be my chance to get a laptop, but there are other things we've been talking about taking care of, and other things that may end up moving up from "would be nice to take care of" to "must be taken care of yesterday". happens. a lot. especially with us, it seems. so i'm trying not to hold my breath and hope too much for it (but, um, yea, i'm sure you've figured that battle's already lost, right?), but at least this year it was a serious discussion rather than a passing comment of "oh, i could get a laptop this year maybe" followed by a grunt of agreement that generally means "unlikely".

so, even if we're just talking, and looking at how a wireless set up might actually save us a little money, it would be really nice if the stars aligned just right and the i.r.s. didn't need to adjust anything, and the outrageous $1700 max to catch up would be enough, and, well, you know.

it just would be nice to get beyond just talking for once.


word of the moment: presentiment

a feeling that something will or is about to happen : premonition


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