04/17/2001

Wow… How’d that happen!? I got my taxes in the mail yesterday at about 6:30. Business at the post office was brisk, but I only had to wait in line for about five minutes. I didn’t trust that I was putting the right info on the scales, and taxes are the very last thing in the world I want returned to me because of insufficient postage. It was a good thing I did, because I’d have been a few cents short on both envelopes.

This was a red-letter year in two regards. One, this was the first time in a number of years that I filed on April 15, without filing Form 4868 to get the automatic three-month extension. Second, this was the first time since age 19 that I got a refund. That was a nice surprise, because the past three years, tax time totally wiped out my bank account. I lost a lot of money writing last year (I wasn’t kidding when I said writing became a very expensive hobby), but this year I found out having a totally unprofitable business can really help at tax time.

I’ve got a big backlog on mail. I’ll answer the unanswered stuff tonight.

Office pranks. Steve DeLassus called me over the weekend, partly to find out what was going on with Daynotes.com and partly to gloat. His hobby seems to be egging on one of his coworkers, named Ben. Courtesy of Steve, I know more about Ben than I know about George Washington, but Ben’s most recent thing has been striking up a friendship with an old flame from junior high. Ben insists the goal is platonic. The story Steve tells me suggests otherwise–you don’t start thinking about moving across the state so you can be closer to a friend. Closer to an ummfriend, maybe, but not a regular old friend.

Well, Ben made one of his pilgrimages to Kansas City thw weekend before last, so Steve decided to have a little fun with him. On Sunday, Steve hopped onto Napster looking for some good porn groove. So he keyed in the word “porn” and looked at the results. He found a track called “Love Muscle.” Promising. He downloaded it, along with a boatload of other tunes, and gave them a listen. “Love Muscle” had a good kitschy ’70s groove to it. So he called Ben’s place, knowing full well that Ben won’t be home, waited for the answering machine to pick up, then at the beep, he held the receiver to his PC’s speakers and gave Ben a nice minute and a half of porn groove. Then he hung up, called me, and gloated about his latest exploit. I’d sigh and say something like, “Ah, youth,” except Steve’s older than me.

Well, Ben got home, called his wanna-be ummfriend in Kansas City, and while on the phone with her, listened to his messages. I guess Steve’s serenade amused him. “You gotta hear this,” he said, and held the phone up so she could hear it. She laughed. “Oh, you gotta get him an apple pie.”

So Steve came in to work on Monday to find a warm apple pie with a hole in the middle sitting on his desk.

Now for something that actually is useful… I found this (unfortunately abandoned) Basic for Windows and Linux: http://www.basicguru.com/abc/rapidq/ It’s very Qbasic like, and makes it easy to incorporate GUI elements. Check it out if you have any interest in that sort of thing.

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