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the ramblings of me


finding work … finding frustration … finding worth … finding purpose …

so i got that job years ago … the.most.toxic.place.ever.

there was good. got back to working. resparked skills. but such toxicity. it was destroying me. my mind.

heard of a few coworkers that got jobs at a place that was WICKED close to home! so i applied, and i got it.

it’s really fun. learning. coding. FINALLY. since i graduated, i’ve never officially been in more of a development role. sql, ssis packages, ssrs reports, and then .. i got visual studio 2013 and have been writing internal web stuff in asp.net and c# — serious fun. helps for my sanity. i leave work happy. thankful.

demons still stalk my mind … but at least, at work, there’s happy, there’s purpose, there’s fulfillment, there’s someone else.

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


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.

Resurrection weekend

TimesLeader front page

funny how so many things seem to have happened around this weekend in the last several years.

3 years ago … (i think?) our church got a new pastor
2 years ago … i became unemployed and was able to throw myself into supportive ministry roles
1 year ago … our new pastor bailed on us, and ran away (in a pretty ackward way)

and here i am today …  what’s next on the horizon? probably a job. i still love knitting. i’d rather not have to get a job job, but would really rather be a foster parent or something. i have a few job opportunities in the fire, so maybe something. praying God makes clear the door/path that He’s opening for me.

summer’s almost here .. 2nd year of UC

so here it is … we’re full swing (finally) into spring … tho it seems a bit of a hot spring. this summer is looking to be an amazing (and potentially frightening)

the youth group is planning a mission trip to a Navajo Indian reservation. i’m going to be one of the parentals driving. gonna hafta get a cdl to drive the bus we bought (yay!! 22 passenger!!)

the trip involves us going to the creation museum for the day, then out to the grand canyon for a river ride, then to the reservation — it *think* it’s in new mexico. the kids will run a VBS for a younger kids summer camp (jr and below) — then we high tail it back.

oh, did i mention the day we leave is the day i’m supposed to be driving back from kalamazoo?? errrrrr

am i sorry i don’t have a job? heck no! just the opposite … i’m completely thankful!

bye bye godaddy

finally got twh’s registration away from godaddy … did you know, if you miss renewing a domain — they want to charge you like 150 bucks to “restore” the domain? thankfully this didn’t happen to me, but it did happen to my BFF. We tried to re-register/transfer the domain away — but no go, somehow the domain got snatched up — even while it was in godaddy’s hostage period … hmmmm … they’re such liars.

i love 123ehost.com, they’re great. and cheap. – AND – if a domain expires while you’re not looking, you can just ‘renew’ … no sick hijack fees. oh, and they don’t have offensive commercials. why do you need boobs to sell domain names? really? c’mon …

i wanna win!

snagit came out with a version for the mac! they have a contest .. and baby, I WANNA IN!


phone phone phone

okay .. so frontier got the boot after we switched to digital phone service thru our cable company. but .. BUTTTT .. since we got our 3g micro cell, which also works off our cable modem .. i don’t see the point.

my STUPID DUMB phones (land line phones) are only a year or two old, and already the batteries can’t hold their charge anymore.

sooo .. i can 1.) buy new phones … or 2.) turn the land line off

i now get full bars in my house .. so what’s the point? if the cable goes down .. either way i have no phone …

so yeah, i think it’s time to ditch the landline. everyone have our cell #’s?

so much for unlimited

Just got a letter from Fronteir — our phone service provider

Ironically, their slogan is “Welcome to the NEW Frontier” …

Dear Michael Conner,

Frontier is focused on providing the best possible Digital Phone Unlimited Nationwide Calling experience across our entire customer base. We provide long distance at a value price, as part of your Digital Phone service. Over the past three months, your long distance usage has consistently averaged over 3,500 minutes per month and is in violation of our Terms and Conditions of service.

Our terms and conditions state that customers with usage inconsistent with normal residential voice applications and usage patterns may be required to either select another Frontier long distance plan that charges for all long distance calls, or to cancel service. Only a very small percentage of our average residential customers use more than 1,000 minutes per month, and your use is more than three times this amount.

We would like to provide you with the option of keeping your Unlimited Nationwide calling at a rate plan that is more suited to your needs. Please call us at 1-877-273-0512 Monday thru Friday 8am – 5pm EST within 15 business days of the date of this letter to discuss your options. If we do not hear from you within this timeframe, we regret to say that, your “1+” long distance service will be automatically blocked.

We would very much like to keep you as a Frontier long distance customer and hope that you will contact us at 1-877-273-0512 at your earliest convenience.

Frontier Communications

So much for unlimited long distance eh? There should be a law .. maybe there is. Bait and switch? Unlimited — with limits. You see the same thing on hosting plans (unlimited space, unlimited bandwith) and cell phone plans … unlimited .. WITH LIMITS.

I thought it was funny that in this official letter .. they used the slang word “thru” (Monday thru Friday)

The funny thing is, since I was laid off .. I’m home so less frequently, and my phone usage HAS to be a 10th of what it used to be.

Oh, how I’d love to sue them. Or something!

I know one thing we’re NOT going to do! We’re NOT going to call Frontier and try to negotiate … nope nope .. we’re calling AT&T and SWITCHING!

It’s just a shame I live in such a crappy area that I can’t change my local provider as well.

All of you Frontier customers … I say SWITCH! No more unfair deceptive practices. “We the People” of this county are SICK AND TIRED of being lied to, deceived, and made to be pawns of businesses and our governments giant plot to extort as much money from each and every person as possible!!!

Frontier .. here’s what I say to you … NOT ONE RED CENT!

monday monday??

okay, so, now that i’m unemployed, and Resurrection Weekend is over (aka Easter) — what am I going to do with my time?

i’m reaching out … praying … asking for divine inspiration. so far, it’s been focusing on the Passion Play — which is now over. The set went down today … it was so sad. Our last luncheon together. Within 3 hours .. almost all evidence of the Passion Play is gone. Year after year, I’m amazed at how each year is better and better. This year was by far the best.

this week this week … well, i have no real idea .. other than going up to help David with his campaign (madeiraforcongress.com) — using my skills in whatever way they’re needed … be it computer related, or my supreme skills stuffing envelopes .. no job too big, no job too small. tho, i think i’m enjoying the small little jobs more 😉

next on the agenda … church website overhaul. i need to make parts easier for ministry leaders to update on their own. joomla is too complicated. sure it’s powerful .. but it’s a pain and not easy for non-geekified folk like me. i really think i need a team. i need some good direction too .. maybe i can get some time at the next leadership meeting.

and, of course … i need to go to nc to see my bestest friend …. and i need to take the boy child (okay .. man .. man child) to IL and WI to see friends and family. there’s a lot more i’d like to do … God, and money willing