October, 2012

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I miss people

Job interview today …. In about 12 hours ….

i miss people.

too holed up.

i think i especially miss the teens and being involved with youth group. they’re an amazing group of kids.

does anyone miss me?

The IRS really REALLY sucks

irs1

Several years ago (March 30, 2010) I was laid off from IBM after 13 years. We were strapped hard in credit card debt (our own fault) & student loans. The separation package from IBM was very good. Very very good.

We had a plan, we talked with a *supposed* financial expert at our church (mistake #1) and decided we would use the severance package, my (slim) 401k, and my pension (mistakes #2, & #3) to negotiate with and pay off the credit card debit so that we could afford to live on one income.

We paid the extra taxes *they said* on the 401k and pension (THEY LIE .. they wanted SO much more at tax filing time!) and started calling the credit card companies. This was where we really (thought) we made out great. We called them, told them I lost my job, and would like to settle our debt. All banks (except for evil Bank of America) made a deal with us; some chopping our debt by like 70%! As long as we paid it immediately. So we did, closed out the accounts, and felt pretty damn great. And life went on. (and we stopped paying BOA, mutha-frickas)

So yeah, tax time came around, and we paid out the rear — still paying .. 2 years later, we’re still paying them … 400 bucks a month. It’s crippling.

BUT THEN …. just the other day … we get this letter from the IRS. They are informing us that we owe 2,100 MORE from our 2010 return. WHAT?? We went to a CPA! Long story short, the CPA says we paid what they said we didn’t, and he’d take care of it (I hope!)

But … what was it?? Are you ready for this?!?!?

If a credit card company FORGIVES YOU DEBT — you OWE TAXES on that NON-EXISTENT MONEY!

Are you KIDDING ME?!?!?! What? Do they view it as a ‘gift’?

In what world (well, besides OURS) does it make sense that you owe taxes on money that you neither earned nor were given? It’s fantasy money! But HEY, good ole Uncle Sam has to step in and decide that if I somehow benefit from any type of financial transaction … they must benefit MORE. Bastards. MUTHA-FRICKAHS!

I think if our president really wanted to help people that were laid off in this ‘great recession’ — they would’ve instituted emergency measures to remove the tax penalties on closing out retirement accounts when people lost their job.

We did this so we could SAVE OUR HOUSE.

So, in hindsight .. we should’ve

  1. talked to a real financial person – my church failed me hard on that one
  2. not cashed out retirement
  3. FILED BANKRUPTCY! OH my GOD! We would be no worse off had we done that, we would’ve been BETTER off — as my severance could’ve gone to student loans
  4. Oh, and going back MORE in hindsight, we should not have taken the ‘gradual increase’ in student loan payments after we graduated. 10 years later, I STILL owe the SAME PRINCIPLE! I had NO IDEA.

I should’ve been smashing my head into a wall long ago.

LLOTN – web hosting #2 – “free domain name” with hosting

free

Lots and lots of hosting providers offer a ‘free domain name’ when you host with them — and while initially that seems cool — hey, save yourself 5-25 bucks a year (p.s. DO NOT pay 25 bucks a year for ANY domain name! that’s just CRAZY TALK)

So why not, right? what’s the big deal? Every penny counts right?

Here’s a few things that have actually happened to me:

  1. after the first year of hosting, the host provider somehow did not renew domain name
    ::result:: by the time we realized it, not only had the domain name not been renewed, but it had been stolen and parked
  2. at some time the host provider was not working out, and we needed to move a domain to another provider (this was for someone I set up a site for) – the client didn’t realize there was a tie. Domain renewal came up, and he was notified, but he didn’t want hosting — this specific host did not offer domain only!
    ::result:: while waiting for either a) the provider to respond to repeaded requests for domain renewal or b) the domain to be released for re-purchase, it it had been stolen and parked

So, my “Lesson Learned” here — sometimes it’s worth a few extra bucks for peace of mind. Keep your bread in the bread box, and your meat in the fridge. And don’t forget to check your apple barrel for bad apples — cuz one bad one can ruin the whole bunch.

okay, yeah, that sounded hokey … but I really do have peace of mind having all my domains in one spot. No more “wow, this one gives you the domain for 5 bucks for the first year – then charges 15 or more later — no, sorry … 123ehost.com straight up fees, easy management, I love it (and NO, I get no kickback, don’t work for them, I just love how easy they are to work with) — OH, and .. I haven’t even used their hosting services, just domain name management.

coming up next — “Renewal by mail” SCAM!