Finishing my tax return today, I was reminded yet again that Massachusetts has a voluntary tax rate of 5.85%. The mandatory tax rate is 5.3%. TurboTax sez “The new tax rate is strictly voluntary and will increase your tax. Most people answer `No’ here.” Yup.
Last night’s “Reliving History: Fantasy Camps” show on the History Channel featured a segment on some inventive New Yorkers who have started an abduction service. Evidently, some people will pay a gang of complete strangers to kidnap them and hold them for hours or days, complete with rough handling, verbal abuse and head games. Naturally, the entire experience is videotaped. Let me be clear – this is something you pay to have done to yourself, not to someone you love or hate. And I thought that people who go to the Citadel are crazy!
The one customer interviewed on the show professed to be motivated by the desire to test his limits and find out if he could “take it.” I understand this need, but this seems like a frivolous and pointless way to fulfill it. “I survived a staged kidnapping” strikes me as not much of an accomplishment compared to “I ran a marathon” or one of the more “usual” challenges that people engage in when they find insufficient challenge in their routine activities. Maybe some people will learn something about themselves by paying to have themselves kidnapped, but I can’t imagine what…other than that they might like it enough to do it more than once.
…of a white St. Patrick’s Day?
That’s right! We didn’t get snow for Christmas 2003 but Mother Nature left a nice 4″ blanket on the driveway for St. Patrick’s Day 2004. I suppose that some of you living at higher elevation don’t think that snow in March is a big deal. After experiencing a January that was colder than Mars, I’ve about had it.
Tonight, Andrew pointed to my sweatshirt and said “letters!” We proceeded to have a speak-n-spell session where he pointed to a letter and I said its name. To balance out that stellar achievement, he’s become afraid of being sucked down the bathtub drain. It took both of us to get him in the tub tonight – one to hold the drain plug and the other to coax him in.
I’m going to miss this when he grows up, right?
Update May 2007: This entry is out-of-date, for current info, please go here.
Over the last several weeks I’ve noticed that yet another web ad delivery mode has crept into some of the technology websites I read (such as 2cpu). The sites in question have certain words in the text of an article printed in constrating colors with double underlines. Hovering the mouse pointer over the words brings up tool-tip-type ads for products related to the underlined word. At first I thought maybe my browser was doing it of its own accord, but that turned out not to be the case.
Andrew turned two on Friday, and we had a small party for him on Saturday. Truth be told, any operation involving a toddler and his doting parents can’t really be characterized as “small.” We made a Nemo birthday cake and invited a few friends (ranging in age from nine months to three years) to help us eat it. My boss has a rule that birthday parties should involve no more than n+2 kids total, where n is the guest of honor’s age. We exceeded it by one, but the youngest guest wasn’t very mobile so we didn’t have too much trouble.
Of course there’s a video, too…here’s the short version (3.0 MB, Windows format). Stills will follow as soon as we get the film developed. Yup, we’re still using paleo-cameras.
Update: Video now available in QuickTime (4.0MB)