Monday, April 19, 2010

Tax-time blues ain't so bad

I've been away from the blog for a while, due mainly to not having anything I wanted to share, and also being low on creative energy. My work has been draining my batteries for a change, which is good. This week should afford me renewed blogging time and energy, as I'm in a training class that gives frequent breaks, and has frequent problems sharing desktops and application servers with remote students.

So Liberty got laid off, which has so far not had a dramatic impact on us. She gets to spend more time with Scout and her mom, and has been pretty relaxed at home. I no longer get my two nights per week alone with Scout, which I have mixed feelings about. Liberty is also stumbling through the beauracracy of Job & Family Services again to attempt to get unemployment benefits. They seem to be using the fact that she is in school to avoid paying benefits, so she's in the process of job hunting.

My work may also be going into the laying off business pretty soon. (news article) That would put us in an interesting position after a few months, namely being hobos. Or selling off all our garage and basement crap on ebay while scrambling for new jobs.

Tax season was pretty bad, but not life-altering. I owed more money than I got in my annual bonus, and had been unable to save up for the IRS because of the extra financial burdens I've talked about in previous posts. So I made a deal to pay what I could up front, and pay up in full (plus a modest penalty) within 120 days. So no playing for a while, but no debtor's prison either. So it goes.

Liberty and I now have something we haven't had for some time: Saturdays together with neither of us working. In lieu of going crazy with our newfound free day together with buying shoes, eating at the Fish Market, and other pamperings a doting husband would like to do with his wife, we decided to go hiking down in Hocking Hills, and brought along a picnic lunch. Here I am doing my best Atlas impression at the hard to access top of Cedar Falls:

We spent the day dodging the self-important tourists and their litterbug children, in search of good scenery that didn't include people. After tooling around the Ash Cave area for a while, we made the slow trek back to Columbus, stopping at side-roads on the way back, and stumbling onto one of the locks connecting the Hocking River to the Hocking Canal. The one we found was Lock #12, the "Sheep Pen Lock". Odd name. I have a couple photos of it at home I'll add to this post tonight.

Today I'm in training class at New Horizons (which is why I can't get to my photos on my laptop or Facebook), and it's tolerable. The subject matter this time around is Enterprise Java Beans, which so far I'm finding more engaging that C# .net that I took here in 2007. EJB, like most coding technologies, seems equal parts propaganda and legitimately filling a need. But, so far so good, which I can't say about most tech pushed on me. More updates as the week progresses.

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