Now that we’ve basically found all the gold at the end of the rainbow, dropkicked a few leprechauns and consumed all the slime that gathers at the top of the pot where the corned beef boils, it’s time to reflect on the true meaning of this celebration.
Just who was this St. Patrick dude anyway?
Well, to be brief, St. Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland. However, the Irish, being a proud people, didn’t take kindly to being patronized. So they took ol’ St. Patrick and threw him in a hole with serpents.
By the way, it is then that St. Patrick uttered those famous, biblical words, “Why did it have to be snakes?”
But ol’ St. Patrick was wily one, he was. He managed to climb out of the hole, rent a U-Haul truck, load it up and drive the snakes out of Ireland. He then dumped them in poor old Scotland, where the men wear skirts and blow into what looks like a wheezing octopus.
But the Irish were elated. So elated that they rounded up all the beef in the land and inexplicably rubbed corn all over it. Later on, this tradition was changed to using A-1.
Every year about this time, I begin to get my tax documents in order. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to file my taxes just as much as the next guy, but I have no desire to go to a white-collar penitentiary. I mean, being a “winter”, white just washes me out.
Unfortunately, I have no innate sense of organization. Receipts, 1099s (what are those, anyway?), etc. are scattered among the square footage where I live. I’ve been meaning to try the tracking system my friend Kyle uses: he has facsimiles of all of his receipts tattooed somewhere on his body. No only did he never lose a deduction, but after 5 years he actually found a well-paying job at a circus sideshow. Man, that Kyle was something.
In any event, it takes the better part of a weekend, but eventually I manage to find all the necessary paperwork. But then comes the hard part. Deciding what is a legal deduction and what is not.
For example, I read that dustbunnies are not considered dependents. Therefore, the vacuum you use to suck them up cannot be considered housing expenses for them. I’m joking. I never vacuum. But apparently, children are considered dependents, no matter how young they are when you force them get a job in a sweatshop and make them contribute to the funding of my media room.
Here’s a tricky one. If you travel from one job to another job, the ensuing mileage is tax-deductible. However, if you travel from one job to the unemployment office to pick up your ill-gotten benefits check, the mileage is not. I find that to be rather arbitrary, although experience has taught me that IRS agents generally are not interested in hearing my opinions on such matters.
Recently I found out that you can actually file your entire tax return online. When I investigated, I discovered that the web site was rather user-friendly with the glaring omission of a “Sorry to bother you. Nevermind.” button next to the “Submit Tax Return” button. Perhaps, like my media room, the site is still under construction.
This week at Today’s Lifehacks, we tell you how to…
1. Upgrade your living space just by moving.
2. Create a comfortable sofa bed out of nothing but IKEA allen wrenches.
3. Pick perfectly ripe fruit (and then elude the angry guy who owns the garden).
4. Put aside only $0.00005 a day and have an extra $16 on your deathbed.
5. Create the perfect 4-point list.
Read more after the break - - - >
This Morning on Flickr.
For all you Mac users (and both of you Linux users), this is the Windows 7 Taskbar tray. The red, circled icon indicates the Windows 7 Action Center.
So, I guess if you’re not using Windows…
You’re just not an action man.
One of my family’s most unusual traditions (and we have more than a few; who can forget “The Unfurling Of The New Toilet Paper Roll”?) is our annual celebration of Daylight Savings.
I believe the ceremony has pagan roots, that group of funsters who wore robes and invented Christmas trees. Things have changed since then. Our robes are now fuzzy, with pictures of Hello Kitty on them. Well, at least mine does. My daughter’s has skulls on hers. But I digress.
Anyway, around 2:34am (give or take a few), I wake up the family from their Standard Time slumber and have them don their fuzzy robes. Then we light candles and form a sleepy processional downstairs to the kitchen. After the last small fire on the floor is extinguished, we make our way to the microwave oven—containing the only clock in the house that is not self-adjusting.
At that point comes “The Reckoning”, otherwise known as the argument as to which direction we alter the clock. Is it 1 hour ahead? Is 1 hour back? Typically, we compromise and set the clock 1/2 hour in some direction or another and then we go back asleep, assuring that we never get to our next appointment at the appropriate time.
Tradition. It’s what forms the family backbone. And possibly the family spinal fluid as well. Which is yucky but equally important, according to most medical experts.
One of the benefits of having a blog at that other site is the free statistical analyses they provide. For example, according to the graphic above, my blog over at that other site had 1 view today from a person who was simultaneously in both the continental US and Alaska.
Which makes him or her a really, really fast reader of my blog at that other site.
There is a large gathering of strangely garbed men at the Vatican with one thing on their minds: choosing the next leader of the Catholic religion. And each of them talks about how they themselves are unworthy of the position. As you can imagine, this makes choosing the next Pope a very difficult task. Someone needs to step forward. And now someone has.
I am officially announcing my candidacy to be the next Pope. Now I fully expect some Einstein to point out the obvious: “But you’re not Catholic. You’re not even Christian.” And yes, that is true. But this is the 22nd Century; you can not discriminate against an applicant merely on the basis of faith. At least that’s what some lawyer once told me in a hotel lobby Men’s Room.
So now with that little matter of my Judaism out of the way (and remember, the Pope often wears a yalmulke in his casual moments), it’s time to look at the important stuff; that is, what would make me not a good Pope, but a real bitchin’ Pope.
First, a Pope has to be a good guy. I’m a good guy. Some of my friends go as far to say that I’m a GREAT guy, so I easily pass that test. Second, a good Pope has to be conservative. I conserve a lot of things: I conserve electricity by shutting off lights when I leave the room. I conserve water by only showering on days that have an ‘H’ in them. You get the idea.
And lastly, a Pope has to look good in a hat. And not just any hat, mind you, but a tall, pointy hat. Now let me tell you, I have a head built for pointy hats. No really, the top of my skull actually comes for a point thanks to a childhood “accident” involving a small amount of spilled extra virgin olive oil and a flight of stairs. But that’s a story for another time.
So, a shout out to all you Cardinals out there. I believe that the choice is clear. Let’s get some smoke going up that chimney quickly so that you can get back to the important business of resuming Spring Training and readying yourselves for baseball season. Amen.
What is it that turns a meek, middle-aged man into a screaming banshee? If you said discovering that you have no clean underwear for work that day, you are only half-right.
It’s back spasms.
And as it happens, I got a real good set of them delivered to me this morning by Spasm Santa himself.
Spasms are more fun than regular pain because, after a while, pain gets boring. “How do you feel?” “It hurts.” Spasms keeps you guessing. “How do you feel?” “Why pretty good, thanks for askAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!”
Here are some things you should never try to do when you have a back spasm:
1. Lay down on the floor right where you have the spasm. You think this would be a good idea, but you will die there because you will never be able to get up.
2. Sneeze. This will be the last thing you ever do. Also pity the poor soul who happens to be standing near you. The forensic team will talk about this one for years.
3. Juggle knives. Or torches. Or puppies. Clean up in Aisle 6!
However, there is one good thing about having back spasms. Muscle relaxers! Just take 2 of these every 4 hours and glyppph forz brabeetlwizzzzz.