March 31, 2010

The Labyrinth

Have you ever tried to do your taxes without software or an accountant. I have done it a few times, but it has been years. I figure the price for the software is more than worth the time it takes to figure it out by hand.

When I went into business, I went and hired an accountant to keep track of stuff. I went with a guy that was recommended to me, but whose price was really low.

You know that saying "You get what you pay for."? Well, I got what I paid for. Not real thorough. Cut too many corners. Ran the place like a clinic where most of the work was done by college freshmen with a high turnover.

So, this year, I don't have enough $ to pay for taxes. I have to figure it out. Plus, we are shutting down the biz. Turns out, we have a whole bunch of assets on the books that have to be disposed of. The problem is, some of those, well, most of those, should never have been listed as assets. Some of them were paper plates and snack food for the breakroom. One of them was an item that was listed as a piece of equipment that was purchased to pay a vendor (he wanted an XBOX and his wife would have stopped him if we had paid him in cash). We had entries on our books on that very day that showed we had used it to pay for services. But, somehow, they accounting clinic monkeys never noticed that it came in. At the very least, they should have asked us about it.

Anyway, so now, I have all this old stuff on the books, and more specifically in past years of tax filings, that now has to be taken care of. Into the Labyrinth of IRS tax code I go. And this one really gets bad. First he used something called Section 179 to take all the depreciation at once on this "equipment". Now, I have to figure out how to split all that out. Well, no, you can't do that. You have to sell it to your owners, and then take the cash and figure profit, after you have rolled back the Section 179 depreciation and replaced it with regular depreciation. Then, once you have converted everything to cash, then you can distribute the cash. But wait, that would be too simple. Now you have to go get Fair Market Value on everything. Well, how do you determine Fair Market Value. Well, sell it for the going rate, or find the same thing and see what the going rate is. Well, fortunately there is craigslist, or I would be forever just tracking what Fair Market Value is on all this.

Once I have my fair market value, now I have to figure out where to report it. Oh, happy joy, you can only report 4 items per form. So, I figure, probably attach a statement with the rest of the info in it, right? Wrong. You have to use multiple copies of form 4797 but I don't see anywhere to aggrigate multiple forms. Then, somehow, I have to get that amount reported as normal income, but I also have to report the whole thing (enter the statement that I couldn't use before) when I do the K-1's for each partner. But, I can't do it the same way. Anyway, when all is said and done, I have spent about 100 hours on this so far, and it will probably make about 2 dollars difference in my taxes, if any. There are so many ways to make this better. I guess it is time for another Fair Tax plug. Yeah, there will still be taxes and forms, but there would far fewer complexities to deal with. Either something is taxable, or it isn't, and it is taxable once, at purchase. Period.

Really, if you don't know about it, look it up.

March 27, 2010


I live in one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country. Not as big as New York or LA, but geographically huge with people everywhere. This particular metropolitan area doesn't have a single dominant city as it's core. There are no physical boundaries keeping it from expanding in any direction.

When we first got here, I started hearing a term that had me going "What did you say?"

What they call this place is a MetroPlex.

Yeah, as in Metropolis and Complex combined.

After having been here for some time, I have begun to really understand that this name really applies.

This morning, I did a test run to where I have an interview on Wednesday. It is about halfway across the metroplex. I drove on 9 freeways and went through 12 interchanges and15 cities. The trip took about 50 minutes one way. I never went within 10 miles of any of the centers, of which there are about 4.

When I was younger, I spent a summer in LA, well, Santa Monica, but its kind of all the same thing at that point. I didn't venture too far, and got lost only once. Since then, I have been in LA several times and usually end up on roads that I haven't been on before. Still, LA has all these little mountains and the ocean on one side and the desert on the other.

LA might be bigger right now, but this place has potential to be much bigger. I recently saw a 25 year highway plan. Lets just say, while it is nuts now, it is going to get a lot more nuts. And to think when I moved here, I was telling myself I was looking for a smaller metropolitan area.

March 26, 2010

Local Economies

I read an article about Walmart today that kind of surprised me. I have been in the anit-Walmart camp for quite a few years, but I have not been so rabid that I don't shop there. I have a brother who won't shop there if it kills him. Anyway, Walmart is a big corporation focused on it's profits and whatever effects it has on the individual, it generally doesn't care about. It really isn't all that different any other major corporation. The difference is, when it puts its stores in small towns, it decimates their economies, and puts lots of people out of work. It gives people a dead end existence, and leaves no capacity for the local economy to support itself. The small towns then are completely dependent upon large employers, most often multinational corporations such as Walmart and it's most major suppliers.

Some might say, "So, what is that problem with that? It is just capitalism at work." Well, the problem is that it ties these small economies to the downs of the global economy. Due to the nature of multinational corporations, the end production workers and the towns they live in do not benefit from the ups of the global economy, but they are the first to feel the effects of the downs. In the past, if one local economy was badly affected by some economic or environmental event or condition, the effect was limited in its scope. A local economy that was well run and whose participants were wise and careful could almost always ride the ups and downs of larger economic cycles, with the exception of extreme events of nature.

Now, all of our economies are tied to each other to such an extent, that it is almost impossible to run a local economy well enough to be not hammered when the global economy turns bad. It doesn't matter how well the local businesses are run, and how good the decisions made by the local participants are, the bad decisions made by individuals and groups in other locations ultimately lead to the natural consequences of bad decisions and drag the whole economy down, including those of well run localities. Talk about killing incentive for making good business decisions. Take your quick profit now and run. It encourages us all to be unethical and immoral.

Enter Walmart. Well, I guess I should say, Re-enter Walmart. They have this program that is encouraging local production of certain types of produce. Not that produce and food is the core of a local economy, but it has always been a vital component. Now Walmart has learned they can get better goods going to the local economy for things. Not everything mind you, but as much as makes business sense. I realize this is a fragile step in the right direction, and could easily be undone, but encouraging nonetheless.

Ok, here is the thing and a piece of advice to Walmart. Take this approach further. Take a little time to develop the means for a small community to produce a much larger percentage of what they consume. I am not just talking food. This could mean textiles, toys, electronics, tools, personal products. Once you figure out the basic components for local production of each class of goods, don't just push your way into all the towns, co-venture. Take a page from the Leavitt Group of insurance companies. They have tons of insurance agencies, each one operated locally, with policies and support from the parent company, but with a significant, albeit minority, ownership stake by the local operators. Just think Walmart, you could be the primary owners of the majority of production companies in the whole world. The local economies would be much more resilient against outside economic conditions. And, to say the least, your profit would come out smelling like roses, year in and year out. Pretty hard to beat that.

March 25, 2010

Political incompetence

This morning, my wife showed me an article that talked about Obama being a fascist. That linked to a lot of other articles about claims of fascism by political activists of all stripes. (Sorry, but I am not linking to a bunch of pointless name-calling.) I read enough of those to get really disgusted with the political activists in both our major parties. The republicans are rabid over what the democrats are doing and vice-versa. This president or that president was really the ones who are to blame. I did read one article that made sense for about half of it, until they unveiled their own political agenda. The sad thing is, that this seems to be highly representative of the mindset of the politically active. In conversations with the not so politically active, people are getting depressed. It isn't that they don't want to be involved. They do. But who do you vote for or support when all your options are repulsive. There are no political parties that don't carry major poison pills that are just too bitter to swallow.

I thought about it and have come up with a few points that to most of the people I have talked to, seem to be pretty common among the lay folk.
  1. We don't want government to focus on what the corporations, unions, or lobbyists want. We do want them to make laws that make our lives better.
  2. We don't want government to run our lives for us, that isn't better. We do want them to give us options to live they way we see fit.
  3. We don't want government solve all our problems. And we certainly don't need them creating more problems for us. We do want them to give us the power and ability to address the problems we have more effectively, but the decision of how and if we do so should be up to us.
  4. American interests are the things that are important to all Americans, not a few privileged Americans.
  5. We want our freedoms protected, not so much from others exercising their freedoms, but from those who would take our freedoms from us, and government (of all levels) is likely to be guilty of that than anyone else.
  6. We don't want to be treated like we are stupid. We are not. Just because we are not rabid and joined to one extremist party or another does not mean we don't understand what is going on. It means we have other priorities in life, and don't want what is going on to interfere with our other priorities.
  7. We are generally willing to have government help those in need of help, but not at the expense of pushing a lot of us into that same category.
  8. Apart from fulfilling some basic responsibilities (paying taxes, serving on juries, serving in the military in time of war), if someone wants to just be left alone, then we (first meaning the government, and second meaning the people) should leave them alone.
I am sure I could go on, and I know that not everyone would agree with each of these items in their entirety, but we the people would sure like to be treated like the government was there to serve us, instead of control us. This applies to the democrats and the republicans alike. For that matter, it also applies to the libertarian and constitution parties as well. There is no party that I feel like I can support wholeheartedly, or even halfheartedly. Every time I vote, I feel like I have to plug my nose. I hope for the founding of a party that really espouses principles that don't make me feel like I have to sell my soul to support, but for now, I guess I will have to keep plugging my nose.

What do I want?

No, this isn't a Christmas list type entry. The title refers to an ongoing deeply contemplative personal experience that I, and hopefully everybody else, constantly undergo. It isn't that I don't have interests, but the question can be better expounded by asking "What is truly the highest priority for me in my life?" or "What is most important to me?"

I have spent several weeks changing my focus in my job search, not because my career goals are different, or that I am different in any specific way, or even that what I what is different. I have just been evaluating whether the approach I have been taking and the kinds of jobs I have been applying for are really what I want to be looking for. I have concluded that perhaps the kinds of jobs I have been looking for would not be most conducive to what I really want most.

So, I have started applying for jobs that are a little less stress oriented. Not that I couldn't do the director type positions. I have done them in the past and in my opinion, done very well at them. But, what I really want is a job that I don't have to carry with me 24/7. I want to come home at night, and not worry about anything at work until I get there the next day. I have quite a fair amount of experience developing data centered applications and web sites. I have found a few jobs looking for someone to do that sort of thing. I had a phone interview with one yesterday, that I really hope I get.

I only have 2 requirements that would keep me at a job and not looking elsewhere. The first is that I get paid well enough that I am not living paycheck to paycheck. That isn't so hard. I don't have an expensive lifestyle. I like simple things. I don't go to movies or expensive restaurants. My idea of a nice evening is going for a walk or playing a game (boardgames usually) with my kids or going to the park. My second requirement is that I am treated fairly and with respect so that I feel truly appreciated. If those are met, what would be the point of looking elsewhere. I would have what I needed from my job, and be able to have time away from the job to do other things that I want to do.

What then would I do with the rest of my time. Well, I want to spend some real quality time with my kids before they get too much older. I want to start taking better care of my health. I want to do more reading for fun, and not so much technical stuff. And of course, being a hopelessly addicted technologist and tinkerer, I would continue to work on new stuff. Websites, programs, inventions, etc. Not that I expect any great big wonderful thing to come from my tinkering, but you never know where the next big thing might come from.

March 18, 2010

Health debacle

"News Flash! Our health care system is broken, even though it is the best in the world!" Um.... I am not even going to try to make sense out of that. I did have a thought though (read the scenario and then I will tell). There is all this talk about fixing health care, but all the talk is just about insurance. I haven't had insurance for 4 years. I can't afford it. I have 2 back surgeries in my medical background and a bad case of acid reflux and my wife has had surgery to remove a dermoid tumor and an ovary and then had 2 miscarriages that required hospital stays. They want more than I make each month for personal insurance coverage for my family. My only hope is to get on a group plan, which means I have to work for someone else, or grow my business large enough to where I don't ruin the plan for everyone, which would be somewhere upwards of 30 employees. Right now, it is just me. So, I don't seem to be able to get insurance, but soon, if obamacare passes, I will be a criminal because I don't have insurance. What a dumb idea.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Ok, here is a solution for you. Take all "business" or "employer" group plans, and roll them all into a really big group. Everyone pays the same for the same coverage. Now, make different coverage levels that specify a dollar amount of coverage per specific treatment. Now, since the government is completely obsessed with the idea of them fixing health care, provide a government overload coverage plan, and anyone diagnosed with specific (very costly) problems, can opt into the government meddlesome program which will pay beyond the standard insurance coverage, but will also make sure everything billed for was actually done, and you have the information from someone that isn't writing out the bills to you or the program. They can go ape with that program.

Another thing, all insurance need to meet the same standard. Once they all meet the same standards, all insurance should be available to anyone. All providers should be automatically prohibited from being an insurance provider and vice-versa, to prevent the obvious conflict of interest there. The accountants who bill for stuff should be liable for fraud if they bill for something that wasn't documented, and if someone documents something that didn't happen, that is fraud. Lastly, a new standard for medical malpractice needs to be set and eliminate the ridiculous lawsuit payouts that have completely destroyed the old fashioned notion that a doctor is there to help people first. With our modern system, it seems that the accountants have made the doctors help themselves to our money more than help us to get healed. Of course, if that wasn't bad enough, the vampires ... um, I mean ... lawyers ... well, they then pick the doctors pockets. So little of health care seems to be about health anymore. Too bad we can't take money out of health care altogether.

March 17, 2010


I have been working on taxes. Did you know that our tax system is a mess. Ok, well, to be fair, it is way worse than a mess. It is impossible. I have been trying to figure out some obscure tax code machinations that my former accountant did with my corporate books. They don't match what I have in my copy of my books.

I complicated it by not having the software to get into my books with me. My brother and former partner had it. He didn't use it, so I am not sure why he had it, but it is probably just one of those oversights that occurred when we split stuff up in a hurry.

Anyway, I have been doing my taxes. I am late I just found out. That means I am going to be fined. And then, since I am going to be fined, I am going to be charged interest. 5% a month. Wow, I wish I could make 5% a month on anything. Once I have the company taxes done (the company that is no more), then I can do my personal taxes.

Did you know that the Senate Majority Leader says that paying taxes is voluntary. My understanding of voluntary means that I don't have to if I don't want to. My understanding of tax law is that you have to or you go to jail. I guess by the same logic, not killing people is voluntary too. What a crock.

About five or six years ago, I heard of The Fair Tax. I know, you think, taxes are not fair. Some pay more than others, and some benefit more than others, and there is no way to truly level the playing field. However, this idea has a lot going for it. They make a lot of claims that might be too optimistic, but much of it is simple math. I don't think it is a perfect system, and there are quite a few tweaks and modifications I would propose for it to make it more fair and less burdensome to everybody, but compared to our current system, it would be way better.


I predict that there will someday arise a whole class of integrator websites. What I mean by an integrator website is a site that addresses a specific market or class of websites, and pulls all the major ones out there into a single place, while making sure that the content providing sites are still benefited by actions done on the site.

An example of this would be a Job search integrator. It would integrate with all the big job search sites out there. It would also integrate with as many major employment providers and major corporations as it could. It would need to have some kind of supporting niche that it either provides or that it advertises for, like resume building, technical training, or certification providers (in order to provide revenue). It would have to be well designed so that the sites that contribute to it (or that it grabs data from) are not disadvantaged by it, and even are promoted by it. It would need tools so that one resume experience there would populate and extend to all the contributing companies, so and would both get updated at the same time.

Other types of sites for which this could happen are shopping sites (Amazon kind of has already started this), social networking sites, blogs, software code sites, product review sites, deal sites, etc. I think when these sites are fully functional, they will make life a little (or a lot) easier for those of us who just want to live life. I can see some sites refuse to use the integrators, but only those who want you to be their captive customer.

Needed: Idea Marketplace

In case you haven't noticed it, Marketplaces are the latest Next Big Thing. I am not sure, but I think the latest trend started with the iPhone App Store, but has quickly picked up pace, inspiring the Android market place, and half a dozen or so other ripoff clones. Then a few people decided to take it a little further, and make other marketplace sites. One of the latest is the Google App Marketplace.

The concept is simple enough. Provide a single place where both sellers and buyers can get together to buy and sell software. Ok, sounds a lot like eBay, but for non-tangibles. One of the keys to making these marketplaces is specialization, which is why eBay isn't included as the the start of this latest thing. eBay was for old junk, but these marketplaces are where you go for specific things you can't get elsewhere, or, at least, stuff that isn't readily available elsewhere.

While it is true that you can get iPhone apps elsewhere, there are barriers to entry (you have to void your warranty by jailbreaking your phone). The upside is that the store and it's almost exclusive nature brings a large number of buyers together, and that just about anyone who can program can put together an app and get it on there. The down side is that you don't control all the terms. If you are willing to play by the rules of the marketplace operators, you can benefit considerably.

What I would like to see is a marketplace for ideas. Well, not exactly, cause there are lots of people with ideas that could flood the place with junk. Finding quality ideas amidst all that junk would make it in-effective. Another problem is, how do you sell your ideas without telling the buyer what your idea is before he pays for it.

If an Idea Marketplace were to work, it would have to entice and protect both buyer and seller. For it to entice buyers, the ideas would have to be more than vague notions. They would be more like complete business plans with complete product specification documents. We are talking about quite a bit of work required before the idea would be allowed on the site. There would be a submission process, with the marketplace ensuring completeness and viability (similar to what Ventureworthy tries to do). There would obviously need to be categories and search tools to make finding the right idea very easy. This would also protect the buyers, because they would be getting a well developed concept that would then be more easily developed.

The enticement to the seller is that the buyers are there. In order to protect the seller, the buyer would be able to limit access to specific information, and maybe there would be some kind of agreement not to steal ideas from the system (this last idea would be a tough sell for those in the market to buy ideas). Once the buyer was interested in an idea, they could schedule a pitch/introduction/demo much like VC's do now. The pitch would of course be the same kind of thing that those seeking venture capital already do, with perhaps, slightly more robust media content using the marketplace tools.

I have no idea how to go about initiating such an idea. It would almost need a bunch of VC's and Angel Investors to get together to promote it. The trick in operating it is in maintaining quality in terms of complete idea packages. They would need to have a lot of tutorial material to demonstrate how to make sure your idea is complete. The system would also need to have some kind of negotiation system built right in, that would allow complex investment/purchase agreements (with multiple investors getting different levels of ownership and control). If any of you want to start something like this, or if there is one that I don't know about, let me know. I would love to use it.

March 11, 2010

Looking for work in the Modern Era

I am out of work. I know, a lot of people are. It is pretty tough out there. It isn't that there aren't any jobs, but that there are so many applicants for each job. Today I got word from a guy from church that is hiring an entry level or barely above that desktop support person. The top of the payscale is about $32K. Not the worst pay for entry level, but they want entry level that knows what they are doing with Windows, Linux, servers, MSSQL, and a fair number of other things. That doesn't sound like entry level to me. Well, with my experience, he said he could put me at the top of the pile, even though he knows I wouldn't be planning to stick around for that pay level. He expects I will eventually find something that pays about 3 times that. The real point, then he told me, is it will only take him about 2 months to get through the resumes he has received already. This job has been open like a week.

Now, I typically wouldn't be even considering anything entry level or desktop support, or anywhere even close to that. With well more than a decade of IT management experience, I should be applying for IT Director positions, and I have been. But in 6 months of looking, I have had 1 interview, ... by a recruiter. I suppose part of the problem is that my experience is so broad, and companies are looking for silo'ed people. The other part of the problem is that there are sooooo many people looking for work. 2 months of resume sifting. Man, and you though desktop support was rough.

We need some kind of system that integrates jobs openings into a single mega system and really closely matches the skills and backgrounds of those looking for work. Yeah, I know, lots of recruiters have automated systems out there. I have tried most of them, and they really don't come even close to what is needed. Not sure how such a thing would be created. It would have to have meta data on the meta data, and granular focus on everything, and then somehow still be able to come up with a good selection of matches. I have more ideas, but I don't need to build a better job search system right now. What I need is a job that pays actual money.

212 Catapult

Warning: Shameless Product Review

Ok, I really hadn't planned on doing product reviews, but this one really deserves it, because it is awesome. The product is called Catapult by 212 LLC. Disclamer: Two of the four partners were former business associates and clients of mine. Another was a former employee. I really can't be completely un-biased here, but this thing is still awesome.

Now let me underwhelm you. It is a media player. But, it is way more than a media player. It allows you to play all sorts of media, track who it gets sent to, who uses it, and in general get statistics on usage way beyond anything else out there that I have encountered. It also allows you to specify specific calls to action, and add supporting documents and links to related material. The bit-rate on whatever media you have added to it can also be adjusted.

All in all, it provides a very good media viewing experience, and can be tailored even to those with slower connections. The downside is that it doesn't help you make your videos or other media. You still have to have some talent with that. I will be testing it out in the next few weeks or months as I am seeking a new job. I look forward to being able to see the statistics of who is viewing my resume and so forth. Not only can I see that it is being viewed, but I can see exactly who is viewing it.

Very powerful. In the right hands, this could really do wonders. Of course, that is where that other required talent comes in. Once I get my Catapult resume promotion sequence set up, I will probably put a link on here so you can see it. Now, I just have to figure out what kind of media experience I want my users to have.

Blog Rules

So, while contemplating starting a blog, I had decided that I wanted this blog to deliver short, succinct, thoughtful messages on a variety of topics which are seemingly constantly percolating in my brain. In doing so, I kind of came up with some rules to help me in this endeavor.

1. Entries must be short. They must fit on one normal sized emag page, kind of basing the length on the typical length of articles I usually read from places like InfoWorld.

2. They must be focused on a single topic. Often, my thought processes bridge huge gaps between subjects, which while being real connections, tend to being abstract in spades.

3. They must offer some kind of new or original contribution to the overall discussion of the topic. I know, this blog isn't part of any big blogging universe per se', but I eventually hope to have people read this and to participate, even in some small way in the global conversations always taking place.

4. They must not be emotionally driven. Emotion does not often lend itself to clear and easily communicated concepts. I can be just as emotional as the next person, but when I am, for some reason, I don't communicate as clearly and often get exactly the opposite response from what I am hoping for. Therefore, no emotional rants.

Ok, so those were my rules, with some addition rationale behind them. So, how have I done. Well, my first real post was Non Processes. So, lets see how I did. It wasn't short. Strike one. It meandered and jumped from one topic and back again. Strike Two. The must offer some kind of new or original contribution. Well, sort-of. It was there, but I would challenge anyone to pick it out. So, really, that one was a foul ball, but with 2 strikes, it doesn't count. Ok, Rule number 4. The must not be emotionally driven. Believe it or not, it was. I tried to make it not sound emotional, and even tried to convince myself it wasn't, but it was. Strike 3.

Since my first real post struck out, I would have to say, I am not off to a very good start. This post is getting pretty long already. If you see me breaking my rules, call me on it. My comments are always open to anyone, but I do moderate them, so, be professional or at least polite about it.

March 10, 2010

Non processes

Some years back, I worked at a public agency that was attached to a public university. The university implemented a new education based ERP that while having tons of features, and tons of capability, and so on and so forth, it really created a drag on a lot of processes, like purchasing and ordering, and all sorts of institutionalized policies that should have only been applied in specific cases and not across the board. Over time, I suppose they did start getting the rougher edges cleaned up and functioning a little better, but I left before it really became usable like it was supposedly going to be. One thing it did try to do, although doing an awful job of it, is try to make sure the chain of command was followed on things like purchasing.

Compare this to another experiences I have had, where companies didn't have anything in place, and in order to do something, individuals had to take specific initiative to get things done. I suppose it works better to just do it manually in situations when you have a small staff, and everyone knows everyone else, and all the major aspects of the company budgets can be kept in the heads of one or two finance types. The problem then becomes individuals taking specific initiative. If they don't want it bad enough, it doesn't happen. Even if their higher ups want it, but not badly enough to make sure that specific initiative is had by those in the trenches, it still wont happen. The solution would seem to be some sort of ERP solution.

However, ERP solutions are ridiculously expensive, painful, clunky and awkward on their best days, and extremely costly to support in both time and money. I have seen very large fortune 500 companies with very large staffs assigned to supporting SAP or Oracle or other ERP implementations that seem to have no end of problems with them. A complex solution to a complex problem, that seems to breed yet more complex problems. But hey, I hear your ERP vendors have more complex solutions to those complex problems. They are only [insert a six or seven figure number] and will only cost [insert an even bigger number] to support.

There is a better way. I haven't seen anyone really hit this one out of the ballpark, but Infoworld had a good write-up on it a while back. I guess one of the major questions is whether not having an automated process or even having a non process is better than an expensive or poorly implemented automated process. I have recently run into a troublesome non-process. A good automated process, or even partially automated process would be very helpful about now. All the big ERP solutions are not even remotely solutions in this case, and it wouldn't be up to me, but a good low cost process automation tool would be really nice for these guys, even if it is too late for me to benefit.

Picky titles

So, my first title was "I shook my head and something fell out" but then, a few people complained that it seemed as if it was my brains that fell out. Well, yeah, that is kind of the tongue in cheek joke that is implied, but what really fell out of my head are the ideas and words in the posts of the blog. So, I changed the title. I think it still works, a little more literal, less tongue in cheek, and not as funny in my opinion, but it is what it is.

Biting the bullet.

I have finally given in. I have a blog. And, just like thousands of other blogs out there, I talking about my blog as my blog's first entry. This isn't really my first blog. My first one was built by me and hosted in a place that had no links to it and was only intermittently available, even if you knew where to look. I hope those who read all the way back to the first entry have found what fell out of my head useful in some way.