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Posted on 2009.04.18 at 20:42
So, I've been looking at some of the retirement calculators, and here's a short transcript of how it went*

"What sort of lifestyle would you like when you retire?"

"Oh, nothing fancy. Some good loose leaf tea. Maybe watch some DVDs. Get a cat. Travel. Eat pretentious cheese. And build a fully functional underwater base for my nefarious** plans. "

"How much are you planning on saving and how much do you plan to get from social security?"

"Oh you know. A bit."

"You need approximately $5,345,234,764.24 to retire. We recommend you tone things down a bit."

"Oh fine. No underwater base. Not as much pretentious cheese. But the tea stays!"

"Still not low enough. We're not even going to tell you how far off you were if you're not even going to try."

"Right! I will wear clothing made exclusively from self tailored burlap sacks. And will eat expired cat food that's on sale."

"We'd defenestrate*** you if we had arms. Come back when you're talking sense."

So, I tried another program on another website.

"What sort of lifestyle would you like when you retire?"

"Oh, nothing fancy. Some good loose leaf tea, etc, etc."

"How much are you planning on saving and how much do you plan to get from social security?"

"Oh you know. A bit."

"Congratulations! You're on track for retirement. In fact you're saving WAY more than you need to. You really should go out and live a little."

I guess what I'm saying here is that I'm sensing a lack of consistency here.

*Dramatization. This was done by trained professionals. Kids don't try this at home
** Incidentally, I had to use spellcheck for 'Dramatization' but got 'nefarious' right away. I wonder what that says about me?
*** Defenestrate too.

Posted on 2009.03.15 at 21:45
Urgh. This last week I realized just how long it's been since I've read people's LJs or posted. I keep on thinking to myself "Oh it hasn't been that long I'll catch up later. " before I know it it's been like three months.

I'm lame. I'll do better though.

Posted on 2008.12.22 at 20:38
Ok, this may be the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. Some clever chap has created a nanocar. And to make it even better, he's also done a nanotruck that can carry stuff!

Don't mind me. I'm gonna be geekin' out about this for a while.

Posted on 2008.12.03 at 21:51
So, next weekend my schedule is getting rather full:
2 parties
1 CD release party

That's looking more normal for me.


Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Posted on 2008.12.01 at 21:00
So, this last weekend I went west to visit family. The actual visit went fine. Then I started going home. The weather was fine, not a cloud in the sky. I get to Vail, and ponder possibly stopping in for a minute or two in Vail to see what the fuss is about. But, I changed my mind.

As I'm leaving Vail at about 1 the trouble starts. Suddenly traffic stops dead. Nothing's moving. Clouds start rolling in and it starts to snow. Not a lot of snow, so surely the snow isn't what's causing the problem. It must be an accident up ahead. I never see an accident. Traffic is stopped dead because of a few flakes.

The snow continues to fall. And continues to fall. And _continues_ to fall. No snow removal equipment shows up, so it starts to accumulate a bit. Not a lot, but even a little accumulation means big trouble on a packed highway. But we're making progress, it's just REALLY slow, we're going about 5mph when we're moving.

After driving for 5 hours and getting an additional 30 miles I find out they've closed the highway. I'm stranded. I listen to the radio, it basically says "If you're going E on I-70 you're staying here for the night." They list a couple alternate routes, but I consider the chances of them closing the route pretty good. At least here I'm stranded in a decent sized town. Who knows where I'd end up if I took the other route.

This leaves me with a problem though. Being in a middling small town and trying to find a hotel when everyone else is trying to do the same thing. Everywhere I look I see "No Vacancy" signs. Finally I decide to try calling my bank to get the number of the concierge service. This of course took quite some time, as I had to convince them that they really did have such a service, etc. Finally get the number. The girl says she'll call me back if she finds something. I'm starting to pay attention to the radio when it lists various shelters for stranded people.

She calls me back and tells me
"I found a room at this one place, for $100/night. Do you want it?"
"Dear god, yes. Whatever you've got, I'll take it."

The directions they give her are really vague, "Drive down the highway until you see us" vague.

I finally find a place with a name very much like it at about the right spot. But this place has valet parking, and you don't normally see that for $100/night. But I get in line and call the front desk. I tell them the name of the place I had been given, and the name of the place I'm standing in. They tell me I'm in the right place. Well, OK then.

After an hour I get to the front of the line. I give them my confirmation number.

"Oh no"
Horror. "Oh no what?"
"You're in the wrong place. You're supposed to be at our other property about a mile further down the street. It looks like they're booked solid"

Right about now I'm expecting to hear next "And we're booked. You're screwed."

But instead I hear:
"But we've got one or two rooms left, I'll give you one and honor the price we quoted."

Shortly after that I was having pasta and a nice glass of wine in the restaurant. To give you an idea about this sort of resort . . . you know how you sometimes see a little note in the room that says something like "Please enjoy our complimentary tea and coffee"? They had a little note that said "Please enjoy our complimentary Volvo during your stay." WTF? They lend you an imported car while you're there?

I didn't get much sleep though 'cause I kept on thinking "OMG, do I need chains for tomorrow? Will it be open? Did I remember to pack a emergency shovel?" Naturally their business center was always busy, so I couldn't use the internet tubes to answer those questions. Or make a vitrolic LJ post about snow. I did call the concierge thing for my credit card again though, but it takes them _forever_ to look up stuff.

The next day it took me about twice as long as it should have to get home, but I got home fine.

The end.

Posted on 2008.12.01 at 20:20
Mountains are most inconvenient. They are clearly the dumbest idea, ever. Seriously, can't we just blow them up or something? We've got a deficit of $10^14. I'd be OK with using a trillion or so for blowing up mountains. I pay my taxes, and I say we should blow them up. Write your congressman and let's get a grass roots movement started.

And another thing. This whole "snow" thing needs to be reworked. Now I understand the need to have precipitation when the axial tilt of the hemisphere is such that your location gets less sun and the temp is down. However, can't we come up with a better delivery system than just scattering it around willy nilly? Or maybe we could just schedule it better. This whole snowing at random times thing is uncivilized. And possibly unhygenic.

Posted on 2008.11.26 at 21:58
Do you have a limited amount of wall space? But an unlimited love of The King, and Jesus?

Do we have a deal for you! Now you can have a Velvet Jesus and Elvis painting

No more need to choose!

Words . . . fail me.

Posted on 2008.11.26 at 21:47
Ya know what vaguely worries me when I see it? Those reverse mortgage commercials. They must be on all the darned time, 'cause I never watch TV so the only time I see those commercials is by accident.

I can't help but think we're seeing another financial crisis in the making. In 10 years time we'll see news reports talking about the alarming rise in foreclosures on the elderly who were talked into getting short term reverse mortgages.

You heard it here first folks!

Posted on 2008.11.15 at 10:04
Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward. - X-men

Maybe Professor X wasn't too wrong after all. Some clever chaps think organisms may be able to steer evolution. I wanna be able to fly, please.

Posted on 2008.11.04 at 21:06
Yay! I am beside myself with glee. Obama won!

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