Showing posts from February, 2009

No Internet Taxes

Letter to: Senator Bennet, Senator Udall, Representative Lamborn,
Monday, February 23, 2009

RE: Oppose legislation to enact the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement

Senator Michael F. Bennet
U.S. Senate
702 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 205100001

Senator Mark Udall
U.S. Senate
B40E Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 205100001

Representative Doug Lamborn
U.S. House of Representatives
437 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 205150001

As your constituent and one of the 82 million registered eBay users in the US, I'm asking you not to impose any new sales tax laws on the Internet.

The Supreme Court decided in 1992 that retailers are required to collect sales taxes from in-state customers, but not from customers who live out-of-state. This decision was made because it would be difficult for any business, but especially a small business, to collect sales taxes for the thousands of tax jurisdictions in the 45 states with sales taxes.

Small business sellers using the Inter…

Leaving Memphis

Today was a good day in Memphis. It started with sleeping in, a quick workout for me, then a fabulous brunch at Owen Brennan'sacross the street. Perhaps the best brunch we've had. We were joined by our boss and Shram & his fiance. There was nothing on the buffet line that wasn't excellent. Some standouts: biscuits & beef tip and mushroom gravy, shrimp, oysters on the half shell, eggs Benedict, grits, smoked trout, Petit Fours, eclairs, bananas foster, and mimosa's. I can't believe we waited this whole time to get over there. I've seriously been full all day. The restaurant was authentic New Orleans (without the trash) with great decor and even a small jazz trio near the front door.

After a nap, we went over to the comic shop, where I picked up KOTOR #38, Terminator Salvation 1 (movie prequel), and Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #1. The new artist for KOTOR, Dean Zachary, will be signing at Comics & Collectibleson Wed, but we will be long gone. So I…
Things are gradually getting better...Safe Lite came and fixed LA's window today (all out of pocket expense; too low for our deductible). She's glad to turn in her PT Cruiser tomorrow to Enterprise--which for all appearances seems to be the most inefficiently run company around.

I called on the CRV today. It will be ready after a 50-60 mile test drive tomorrow. I'm stuck in a Pontiac G5. It was black before I worked in eastern Arkansas today. After last night's rain, most roads were a muddy mess. There were a few times I just had to speed up, close my eyes, and pray I didn't get stuck. I miss the CRV, especially since I left my GPS's (the one not stolen) charge cable and mount in there.

Schlafly's lager pale ale was a little too heavy for my tastes, though initially I did like it. By the end of the bottle, I was ready for it to be done. Tonight I tried Yazoo's Pale Ale, and while not very hoppy, still was a better pale ale I've had in a while…

Shitty Memphis (Pardon My French)

So our time in Memphis has been pretty crap-tastic. This week the Honda's misfire issue became a problem, and after taking it to the shop, found out that the compression is bad and could be a leaking head gasket. Translation: needs new used engine. So its in the shop today getting another engine which will be tested and will have a 6 month warranty.

I was out to grab my CDs from Laura's car to put in my rental, when low and behold, someone did a smash-and-grab on the passenger window for the $200 GPS unit. Our morning is shot. And we have to rent one more car for another day. All our work is an hour away, and its already 930am. We have to have all our work done by Monday, so it looks like a 7 day work-week is coming our way, thankfully we have the work to cover the engine and window...which we just got tinted. Toni, our boss, bless his soul, is going to cover the GPS for us...which we just bought the map update for.

We cannot wait to get out of this shit hole.

Long Day

Nothing like an 11 hour work day to cap off the week, huh?

Lots of work left to do, and the blinking 'check engine' light on the Honda has finally materialized into a problem; a really rough idle. The diagnostic tool says 3 cylinders are misfiring. So it could be a catastrophic problem or just incompatible spark plugs. Monday I'll buy some genuine Honda plugs and see if that fixes it, otherwise the shop will have one week to fix the CR-V before we head to Louisville. I don't think I should drive it 4 more weeks and then back home before getting it looked at, that's how bad its getting.

Our little motley crew ate downtown last night at Rendezvous. Definately a dive. You have to go down an alley and down some stairs to get there. The style of ribs wasn't our favorite (we prefer smoked), but they were excellent ribs, dry rubbed and charcoaled. They weren't fall-off-the-bone, but still very tender and juicy. We'll try somewhere else or hit Cozy Corner before …
Not much of a weekend here in Memphis, due to my cold. We got out a little in our immediate area, but have yet to visit Beale St or get any bar-b-que.
In my neverending quest for good beer, I tried Abita's Amber and was not impressed. It wasn't bad, but not great. However, I did find a good pale ale, Kona's Fire Rock. I only saw it at one store in Greensboro, and doubt I'll ever see it again, but I would recommend it. I like a good pale ale, but one that's not too hoppy. Dogfish Head's 60 minute is way too bitter; I'd almost hate to try their 90 minute. So far my favorite is Boulevard's Pale Ale, but you can only get it in the mid-west, so my national favorite is from Sierra Nevada. Due to a limited selection at the liquor store, I got Dogfish's Indian Brown Ale, but find it too caramel/coffee tinted. That same store did have a 750 mL of Rogue's Double Dead Guy Ale, a Silver Medalist at the 2008 World Beer Championships, bought in part because …
Yeah, its been a solid week since my last that time we finished off the last of our 53 surveys (7 were doubles) and got them all written up over the weekend.
We did manage to have some fun, or at least attempt, as we took in the latest Ann Hathaway movie, Rachel Getting Married, based on strong reviews and nominations for Ms Hathaway. Although she gave a strong performance, the movie itself was not enjoyable. Independent for Independent sake is not a good thing, and neither was the extreme pretentiousness found throughout. The best part of the movie was when they told the musicians to shut up. The entire thing was way too long composed of scenes that were way too long...dancing, wedding toasts, meltdowns. No wonder Hathaway's character tried to kill herself; I'd completely understand with all that pressure to be Indie.
On a much more amusing note, Austin Texas was recently invaded by zombies:

We made the 11 hour drive to Memphis on Monday, battling snow through half…