So, any bets on whether I'm missing something?  I've just finished our 2009 taxes, tentatively, since we'll have a bit more income and expenses, and I didn't add in a couple other numbers that will be easier to calculate later.  But, thanks to all the new credits, we have a refund due, and we haven't even paid our 4th quarter estimate yet!

And, we're looking at a new record - under two hours to figure out the taxes.

Posted by Jon Daley on December 14, 2009, 6:45 pm | Read 2500 times | Comments (0)
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I mentioned our new wood stove previously, and asked some of you for recommendations, but never got around to writing about it here.  We've had it for a couple months, and it has been great!  We ended up buying an Englander 13-NCI. I don't remember what the 13 stands for, but 12 is the smallest size I've seen.  The "NC" means it doesn't have a catalytic converter, and the "I" means an insert, as opposed to a free standing stove.  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on December 8, 2009, 5:45 pm | Read 86482 times | Comments (1)
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Last year, we were the only people on our street without outside Christmas decorations, and most neighbors had nice decorations, and so I wanted to not be the dark house on the street, so we looked around for something appropriate.  (no animated Santas, etc.)  Though, I did see this picture after deciding what we were going to get.Funny picture of (presumably untrue) story about one guy's decorations.

I could be up for that, and we have a good commuting road that would be ideal for it.  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on December 8, 2009, 5:31 pm | Read 5924 times | Comments (2)
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We have had the joy of testing out various mouse trap products over the last year with varying degrees of success.

Our goals are, in priority order:

  1. Get rid of the mice from inside our house, or at least from inside our silverware drawers
  2. Protect the kids' fingers from getting smashed by the traps
  3. Easy to maintain
  4. Humane (mousane?) removal

 (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on December 8, 2009, 5:14 pm | Read 51455 times | Comments (4)
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I was searching for Noah's first word on our blog (I found his first signed word: please, but I couldn't find his first spoken word) because Faith has started talking a little, and I don't know exactly what her first word is, probably "hi".  But, today, she has repeatedly said, "tada" when putting a bit of a puzzle together.

While searching for that, I came across an old post where I had posted some word problems for you to solve.  And today, I have another:What method is the best (considering cost) for purifying a drinking water system that occasionally gets coliform bacteria in it?  Your answer should be expressed in terms of:  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on October 15, 2009, 1:22 pm | Read 38667 times | Comments (7)
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We are in the process of moving to a new filename format for our pictures, simpy using the timestamp from the camera, rather than manually typing in ordering numbers, etc.  And that postponed the publishing of our pictures for a couple months, but I finally spent the time today to get it all setup.  The RSS feed for our pictures was a little strange, so if you normally see our pictures that way, you may or may not have seen all of them appropriately.

You can click here to see the most recent pictures.

And I see that most of our Maggie P pictures are not in the RSS feed - not sure why that is - probably due to too many pictures.  Probably the best way to not miss any pictures at this point is to check out the "all chronologically" folder.

Posted by Jon Daley on September 21, 2009, 5:14 pm | Read 3548 times | Comments (1)
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I got an email last night from someone who was looking up contact information for one of my customers: Piexx Company. She was wondering if someone was trying to scam her.  The way the scam works is that someone says they are a hiring agency for some company and posts a job offer for a data entry position where you can work at home, and they interview and you get the job.  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on September 17, 2009, 8:51 am | Read 224475 times | Comments (44)
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There are various reasons why I don't think Obama's healthcare (or any federal healthcare program) is a good idea, but today happened across an Associated Press story that talks about how less and less members of his own party support his ideas, and that he is losing support across the board.

The title of the article is about health care protections, but doesn't include something I guess you could call a "protection" and that is about the cost of premiums.  I can offer someone a plan today that offers the same "protections" that Obama is assuring us we'll have - you can keep your health plan as long as you pay the premiums in full, and I'll even throw in his out-of-pocket maximums (note, every plan I've looked at in the last 12 months (approximately 100 different plans from 15 different providers) all included out-of-pocket maximums).  I'll admit, the troublesome part about the insurance I'll sell you today is that the premium is pretty steep... :)

A company down the road from us has a billboard that has various comments posted on it from time to time, some political, some not.  The current one (or at least the last time I noticed it) says, "How's that Obama thing working out for you?"

 

Posted by Jon Daley on July 29, 2009, 9:52 am | Read 4269 times | Comments (2)
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Heather remarked at dinner tonight (at the Olive Garden - thanks Wightmans, we've got 7 more dinners at this rate to celebrate our anniversary) that we are a rich family: we now own two cars and two houses.  I did realize that some people spend more on their cars than we spent on our first house, but nevertheless, we have been blessed financially.

Our new vehicle is a 1997 Oldsmobile Silhouette van in near perfect condition - the seller is more meticulous and pays more attention to details than I do, if you can believe that. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on June 23, 2009, 8:21 pm | Read 11686 times | Comments (6)
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I keep forgetting to post this.  A friend who currently lives in China wrote:

It has been interesting to hear some of my former students express excitement and intrigue about the presidency of Barack Obama. The reason it has captured their attention is because it proves to them that the US truly is a democratic republic. The government of China often down plays American democracy, insisting that, in reality, only a few families have any power (Kennedys, Bushs, Clintons, etc.), and so the election of an ethnic minority, relatively unknown just five years ago, to President of the United State has proven to my students the US really is a democracy, contrary to what they are often taught.

 

Posted by Jon Daley on June 18, 2009, 2:15 pm | Read 2873 times | Comments (3)
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Tom asked for some statistics for his blog, and I figured I might as well look them up for mine while I was at it.  I am not particularly surprised by the results, so perhaps not worth posting, but in case anyone thought the world was interested about our kids... (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on May 29, 2009, 2:46 pm | Read 1936 times | Comments (2)
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I've noticed the "kids" at church (in quotes, since folks are quite sure where to place me, the "adults" say I'm a kid, and the "kids" say I'm adult (I think primarily since I'm married and have kids of my own)) hug more than I am used to, and I had internally wondered a couple times if it was a culture thing (e.g. confined to our church) or if it was a larger generational thing(More)

Posted by Jon Daley on May 29, 2009, 10:44 am | Read 3218 times | Comments (4)
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I guess I fail the test, since I answered "no" to both questions, though I suppose Brad Andresen from college (the one who always said of me, "You're more liberal than you think you are.") would be happy to hear that I'd be more likely to think it alright to slap my dad in a skit than to worry about touching a faucet.

Posted by Jon Daley on May 29, 2009, 10:39 am | Read 13123 times | Comments (11)
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Would you send your nine-year-old on a New York City subway by himself?  Would you send him on a horse from Oklahoma to New Mexico and back by way of the deserts of Texas - taking his five-year-old brother along? (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on April 23, 2009, 7:21 am | Read 15083 times | Comments (3)
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If you start a pot boiling at 9:55PM (knowing that you will be up for a while) to hard boil eggs for the following day and don't set a timer, how long will it take before you go back to the kitchen to turn off the stove? (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on April 19, 2009, 10:54 pm | Read 5784 times | Comments (4)
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