Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Geography, English, and Miss Teen South Carolina.

Why not? After all, I took the SATs 3 times.

Why give this girl such a hard time? She's 18, she's on national TV, and she's probably a little nervous. Besides... I can understand why she misunderstood the question. I was surprised to hear that 1 in 5 Americans couldn't find the United States on a map. I'd like to know where that statistic came from (try this). Lauren Caitlin Upton referenced that sentiment when she stated that she and all of her friends knew where the US was on a map.

On the other hand, I work with some people that couldn't find their own @$$ with both hands and a flashlight.

It's not your phone...

...it has our logo on it.
I can understand that it may be illegal to sell plans to hack the iPhone. But can you really sue a kid for figuring out how to unlock it?
It's his iPhone. He bought it (or rather, it was given to him). Regardless... He owns it. It's not illegal for him to drop the phone on the sidewalk. It's not illegal for him to receive an e-mail with a virus (though, it may be illegal to send that virus). Why is it illegal for him to crack the case? Why is it illegal for him to fiddle with the insides?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Completion of Yesterday's Project.

8. Thursday Thirteen was left incomplete.
9. ...So easy, even Will Smith can do it.
10. Jen's out!
11. Hard time for Lionel's little girl.
12. I'll try to finish this later...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Thursday Thirteen

1. Go big or go home.
2. Dave, what happened, man?
3. You can't let dogs fight... that's cruel. But, you can kill them softly.
4. Congrats, Nilay! (I hope I got the right link).
5. If anyone has a Rocklahoma t-shirt... I have a buyer.
6. Sudoku got you down? Try this.
7. Got a family member in another time zone? Don't do math... use this to find out if it's too late to call.
8. Hey, it's only 3:00. I'll add more later.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This sounds like a cool idea. Fechr.com (pronounced "Feature") links to one blog each day. It's like a "Random Blog Button", but every visitor of that day gets to the same blog. What a way to increase hits that day (and if you're blog's any good, maybe you can retain some of those readers).

Why I'm not Baptist...

I read this, and I don't know what to say. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

I wonder what my mom thinks about this.

1. My mom is the wage earner in my parent's house. She's a minister. (I'll bet that got Jerry Falwell rolling in his grave).
2. My dad is the one cooking dinner most nights.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Parent Hacks

I just found this site and it's got some great information! It gives you parenting tips to keep your kids safe, clean, and having fun. Some are easy and quick, like the posting explaining how to turn a hotel air conditioner into a humidifier using a bath towel. Some are great safety ideas, like directing you to a site to order custom wristbands. The author commented that her children's wristbands listed her cell phone number. When they are found by a security guard or employee after wandering off in a mall or amusement park, the adult can call mom or dad and reunite them with the lost (and most likely crying) child.
I'll definately keep reading this blog.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

756 & the I.R.S.

In the fifth inning at AT&T park in San Fransisco on August 7th, 2007 Washington National's pitcher Mike Bacsik took a ball that was worth less than $13 and threw it 60.5 feet into Barry Bond's strike-zone. With one swing of the bat, the ball appreciated 4.6 million percent as it flew over the outfield fence.
Yahoo!NEWS recently reported that the IRS had notified Matt Murphy that the ball he caught in San Francisco will be considered taxable income. That means that Murphy could face a tax bill of 35% of a reasonable estimate of the value of Bond's HR ball. If that's $600k then Murphy may be expected to shell out $210k even if he retains the ball as memorabilia instead of selling it!
Matt Murphy - who until that point was a college student from New York who simply stopped by the ballpark during a layover on his way to Australia - has suffered a bloody nose, was escorted from the stands with a security detail fit for any high ranking political figure, had his name printed next to Barry Bonds in every sports page across the country, and was escalated into the highest tax bracket.
Here's the rub. Matt Murphy, who is apparently a Met's fan (which - in my opinion - is much better than being a Giants fan) has to make a decision about the ball (if he hasn't already).
If he sells the ball for $600,000 (which is the figure I keep reading in news articles) then he'll have the $210,000 required for his tax bill. However, he will no longer retain that particular part of MLB history.
If he decides that he's a true baseball fan and would like to keep the part of history in which he participated (even if it's only a minor role) he would have to find $210,000 for Uncle Sam's piece of the pie. To Uncle Sam I say, "Boo!"
Below, I've listed a few options that I thought of. Please, keep in mind that while I've filled out tax returns (and enjoy doing so) my income is much lower, and I've never held an asset near the value of this particular piece.

1. Sell the ball to his buddy Amir for $100 and pay the tax on that amount. I know that $100 may not be a reasonable value as far as the IRS is concerned, but it's worth a shot.
2. Donate the ball to Cooperstown or the San Francisco Giants organization and write-off the gift. Hope that your picture will make it somewhere near the display case. I don't think you can write off a $600,000 gift, but again - it's worth a shot.
3. Donate the ball to the Matt Murphy Foundation of Memorabilia. Same argument, different donation target.
4. Sell the ball and keep $390,000 after taxes (to ensure that you are still in good standing with other baseball fans, you could always buy season tickets in the Shea Stadium suites for the next decade).
5. Hope that a federal investigator can find definitive evidence of steroid use on Barry Bond's part and wait for the value of the ball to slip below the water-level in Covey Cove.
6. Send me the ball, and let me deal with the headaches it provides.
Whatever he choses, congratulations to Matt Murphy and good luck with your 15 minutes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

529 Savings Plans

I try to keep alot of personal information out of my blog (here's why). But it's time to let you in on a little bit about what's happening in my world. I have two baby girls (15 months and 1 month). I won't share any information about growth and development, but I will discuss college (argh!).
I know my girls will be smart. I hope that the Mrs. and I can raise them well enough to be determined. Full scholarships will be well praised in my house-hold. However, it's still a good idea to plan.
I found this article on a blog called fivecentnickel. It is a fantastic explanation of some research into 529 college savings plans.
Keep in mind that the discussion of state tax benefits is only reviewed in brief. Since I live and work in Texas, I'm not particularly concerned with state tax benefits, as Texas does not have a state income tax.
Have you done research on this subject? Are you currently saving for college? What are your thoughts or comments? Please, let me know.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Blog Postings.

I had a friend comment that I had not posted on my blog recently. It opened my eyes to the fact that many more people may read my blog than I was initially aware. I thought I'd make some comments regarding the current state of society and some general statements and critiques.

1. My heart goes out to the families affected by the recent tragedy in Minnesota.
2. Congratulations to Tom Glavine for his 300th win. An MLB milestone not steeped in steroid accusations is certainly a breath of fresh air.
3. If Tommy Gavin does what he considered at the end of the most recent episode of Rescue Me I'm done watching that show.
4. I'm reading a long article entitled "I've Got Nothing To Hide" and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy by Daniel J. Solove. When I'm done, I'll summarize it and state some thoughts. Look for that soon.
5. With the first draft pick in my Fantasy Dog Fighting league - I chose Michael Vick.
6. I hope Jen gets evicted next.

Feel free to comment. Let me know what happened recently that raised your heart-rate or made you grimmace.