Tax Prep Dilemna

by on February 1st, 2018

It is that time of year again. It’s time to gather up all of those statements that have been arriving in the mail every day since Mid January. I’ve been doing my taxes myself for several years using a website called FreeTaxUSA. It is free for your federal tax return and charges about $13 to complete your state tax return.

This year I wanted to look for professional help because I had some things come up last year that were not typical for me. I did not make much money but I have a lot of 1099’s and such forms. So I made a trip to Jackson Hewett for an estimate of the cost to prepare my taxes. Although I didn’t make much money, and certainly won’t be getting a big tax deduction, it would cost $300-$400 to prepare my taxes. That’s highway robbery!! The only benefit for me for filing through Jackson Hewett is that you can get an advance on any return due you.

So, now I’m stuck with a dilemma. Do I attempt to prepare them on my own hoping that the computer software prompts me for all of the possible situations that may develop or do I pay thru the nose to have them prepared? I sure don’t want to get into any tax situation with the IRS and I don’t want to owe them money down the road.

Online Interview Trend?

by on June 16th, 2017

Now here is an interesting trend. I would say new trend, but I don’t know how long it’s been around. I recently applied for a part time job, working from home. Part of the application process is a video interview. You are sent a link in an email. It is suggested that you dress as you would for an in person interview because they can see you. You just can’t see them.

When you are ready you press the link and begin the interview. On the screen you will see questions. You take a minute to compose your response, press the button, and begin speaking to answer the question. I felt a little nervous and then felt foolish because I felt nervous. It was rather extensive, lasting an hour.

It’s interesting to think of the person on the other end whose job, perhaps, is to sit and watch these videos all day.
A second application required a much more detailed process. It was an online assessment which included percentages, vocabulary words I looked up, practice customer telephone calls and a typing test.

I hope I hear back from the company, because I would really like to work from home. Imagine, your work day taking place in your house, in your robe and slippers, with a big cup of coffee. Sweet deal!

New Years in New York and Nashville

by on January 1st, 2017

So, we stayed up late last night to celebrate the New Year. This is the first time we did not go out and join a party somewhere. We had thought about going downtown last night, but it has been cold and raining all day and that just kind of killed the mood.

Ended up watching the ball drop in New York City. Watched Beyonce with her technical problems and walk off the stage. As big a production as New Year’s Eve is, I can’t believe they had a problem with the audio. Someone should get fired over that.

The rest of the show was predictable, although it is still weird to me to know that NYC celebrates midnight a full hour before we do because we are in Central Time. So, in a way, we celebrate midnight twice – watching NYC at their midnight and then still partying for an hour so we can celebrate it again at our midnight.

Pontoon Boats for River Fun

by on September 17th, 2016

I really want a boat. There is a nice river nearby for all kinds of water fun, but a lot of people keep telling me that a boat is a hole in the water you pour money into. I don’t think that way. I look at it as an investment in living a life outside of the work, home, work, home, work, home grind.

What is the point of working if that is all you do. The time has come to get out of the house and DO something. I like to fish and so does the wife. So far we can only do that from the bank of the river and have to deal with tons of mosquitoes during the warm months. If you are on the water itself, it is so much better.

I just have to decide if I want a pontoon party style boat or a ski style boat. It has to be larger than a john boat because the wakes cause by the larger boats will swamp you on the weekends out on the river itself. I don’t want to be stuck in the back water ways and if it is larger, than we can take friends and family out with us. That right there is a great reason for a pontoon. Especially if it has all the amenities, like a BBQ grill and such. Some pontoons you can even ski behind or at least pull one of those big floats. I am thinking a pontoon might just be the way to go.

News and the World

by on June 23rd, 2016

Watching the news and seeing the insane weather and various natural disasters that have been happening with great frequency is a bit scary. I am thankful that I live in a place that has very little of any of them. The earth quakes and volcanic eruptions along the pacific rim have been really devastating, and you couldn’t pay me enough to live in any of those areas. If I had been born there, I would leave any way possible. It’s just nuts !

Add to that the storms that seem to be stronger each year or perhaps we just didn’t hear about them as much before. That is probably it now that I think about it. With the internet, we hear about so much that we never did before that it amazes and scares us when we do. The world is connected now and news travels at the speed of light it seems. No matter what happens we have it all at the tips of our fingers and the reporters have a difficult time deciding what to show us as there is so much more now to see. I definitely do not envy them their jobs.