Super ultra mega-secure EFTPS enrollment

As an employer, my company Summersault is required to withhold and then turn in federal taxes from our employee paychecks.  In the past we've turned in those withheld funds by printing out a check, walking it a block down the street to the bank, and getting a receipt.

I recently took the IRS's advice and inquired into enrolling in "EFTPS" - Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.  (It's too bad they didn't call it something really cool like "Maximum Velocity Pay" or "Blue Tiger," but I guess EFTPS is at least accurate.)  The idea behind EFTPS is that it will save you time and simplify payment and filing of federal taxes.  So far, here's what the process has involved: Continue reading Super ultra mega-secure EFTPS enrollment

Do you have enough time in the day?

Support StructureRecently I've heard some people make the all-too-common assertion that they don't have enough time in the day to get done all of the things they want or need to get done.  I was reminded of an exercise I went through about a year ago, during a period when I was making similar statements, sometimes out loud, sometimes just to myself.  I wanted to do the math to see how the hours really did add up - did I have enough time in the day to do what I wanted to do, or was I actually overbooked and trying to make 1 + 1 = 3?

It's a pretty simple exercise in the end.  Make a table of all of the things you spend time on in a week, and compare that to the total hours available.  If you're over, then you have to change something.  If you're at or under the available time, then you still might need to change something to be happy, e.g. increasing the amount of time available for fun, sleep, or just relaxing.  Or you may find that you spend time exactly the way you want to!

Here's what my chart looked like, in no particular order:
Continue reading Do you have enough time in the day?

Sustainability challenges in Richmond

I recently met with a local organization involved in environmental education efforts to talk about the status of sustainability education in Richmond and Wayne County.  In preparing for that conversation, I put together a list of what I see as some of the challenges our community faces when it comes to becoming more sustainable and self-reliant: Continue reading Sustainability challenges in Richmond

The Don Bates Jr. campaign for U.S. Senate

Council MeetingRichmond, Indiana businessman Don Bates Jr. is running for election to the U.S. Senate.  It seems somewhat rare that a local person runs for national office, and as a participant in the local political blogging culture, I think that makes me obligated to comment, right?  🙂

Bates has a campaign website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a YouTube channel, so he can check the "modern candidate" requirements off the list.  The content of the website is at times confusing in its construction and full of typos and grammatical errors, and generally seems a notch below what one might expect from a national candidate.  But then again, if that's the worst you can say about a campaign, we're doing pretty well, and at least Bates is putting his views out there for examination and discussion.

On "the issues," the theme of Bates` positions seem to be (A) fight against whatever Barack Obama and other Democrats wants to do,  and (B) try to resurrect the politics, if not the physical incarnation, of former President Ronald Reagan.  I'm almost not kidding about the resurrection part: Continue reading The Don Bates Jr. campaign for U.S. Senate

12 kinds of social networking status updates

If you're new to Facebook, Twitter or some of the other social networking spaces out there, you're probably asking yourself, "what should I expect to see when it comes to the status updates that people post in these places?" Or if you're a social networking veteran, you might still be thinking, "what's my niche online?  How do I decide what to post?"

Well, you're in luck!  I really enjoy cataloging and categorizing these kinds of things, and so I've put together this list of 12 kinds of social networking status updates.

Most every status update will fall into one of these categories:

Continue reading 12 kinds of social networking status updates

Weekend Raves and Reviews

A few raves and reviews from the weekend:

On Friday night I had the opportunity to see The Punch Brothers with Chris Thile in concert at Earlham College. As with many of the artists that Earlham brings to town, I hadn't heard of them when I came in, but when I left I was craving more of their work. The event was billed as a mix of "bluegrass, gospel and klezmer," but that hardly does justice to the talent, complexity and variety the group brought to the packed auditorium.  Mandolin player and group convener Chris Thile evoked David Gray, Jeff Buckley and Dave Matthews in his vocal range, honest lyrics and child-like wonder as he danced around the stage - he made it hard not to smile and dance in my seat, and several audience members were moved to call out in praise throughout the show.  It was quite an experience, and based on the quality of the performance I saw and the group's full tour schedule, it looks like they're really going places.

Continue reading Weekend Raves and Reviews

Superbowl XLIV

Line of ScrimmageA few random thoughts on the Superbowl, quite belated in Internet Time:

After the initial total failure of my cable-less schemes for watching the Superbowl online, and the subsequent grumbling trip to an alternate viewing venue, I enjoyed watching the game. I say "enjoy" as in, "it roused the part of me that enjoys the technical aspects of physical competition and spectacle," not enjoy as in, "I really appreciate the Superbowl and what it says about the state of humanity." And I couldn't help but feel pretty dirty afterward.

Continue reading Superbowl XLIV