Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Joy of Tax Season

Maybe it's that I'm a bit of a geek or maybe it's the thrill of getting a little money, but I LOVE filing my taxes. I just finished both our federal and state tax forms and I was pleasantly surprised that we'd actually be getting a return.
I HIGHLY recommend using Turbo Tax online. Even though it's not quite as easy as the commercials try to make it sound, it's not that bad and it's so nice being able to just answer questions to have it fill out the right forms for me. If you're interested in trying it, then you can either fill out a 1040EZ for free or you can get a 25% off discount on both the state and federal forms (just click on the "Visitor Entry" link and start the return).

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Beginning of the end of the NFL?

So everyone probably knows that today is the day of The Big Game, but one thing that a lot of people may not be aware of or may have forgotten is that the Patriots were caught cheating earlier this season and some more serious allegations have started to come out. Rather than me go into all of the details and such, I'll just refer you to a GREAT article that sums it all up rather nicely.

Obviously, I don't know what really happened, but I do know that the current story the NFL is telling just doesn't make any sense at all. The BIG problem is that sports are a complete luxury and luxuries are judged solely on quality. The true enjoyment of watching a sporting event comes from the competition and hard fought struggle between two evenly matched forces, but if one of those teams is cheating or the outcome is predetermined, then that magic is gone. Basically, I just hope that the "truth" (or something that's at least slightly believable) finally comes out of all of this so we can all go back to enjoying our football games.

Presidential Debates

So the one good thing that came from Jenni's whole sickness thing was that it gave us a chance to watch both the Democratic and Republican debates. And here's my quick thoughts on each of them.

Democratic Debate
I liked Obama a lot more than Hillary in the Democratic debate. I just can't stand Hillary's stupid laugh and it seems like she's saying "Well, Bill was a good president, so that means that I am too", and I just don't buy into that. Obviously, I'd never vote for either of them (the idea of an extra 10-15% of my paycheck being taken away just isn't appealing), but it's still good to hear both sides of the story.

Republican Debate
The surprise of this debate was how much I liked Ron Paul. There's been a pretty big buzz on the internet about him and I had been intrigued by a lot of the stuff I had heard (he's more Libertarian then Republican), but this was the first time I had really heard him speak and I was VERY impressed. With all of McCain's "straight talk" and Romney's "facts" there sure was a LOT of pointless bickering about worthless details. I liked that Ron Paul kept pointing out that McCain and Romney were arguing about policies that they both agreed on and not actually talking about the real core of the issues.

I must admit that if I had to pick between Romney and McCain that I'd pick Romney. I like how he's detailed and actually talks about specifics of what he would do changes things instead of just using buzzwords and talking generalities. Part of me wants to vote for Romney just to try and help him win against McCain, but I just like Ron Paul too much to not let my support be thrown behind him. I guess that's what's killing Romney though (he's losing a LOT of votes to Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee), so we'll just have to see what happens.