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A retelling of my life in DC and all the stupid ass sh!t I get myself into...

Friday Friday Friday...

This past weekend, I decided it was time to free my inner red-neck. The result... Monster Jam! Big monster trucks jumping and crushing, dirt bike free style jumping, & atv quad racing. This was quite an experience since I hadn't been to one of these events since I was 8. The one thing I managed to remember, BRING EAR PLUGS! Those trucks are loud as hell and I was sitting not a few rows from where they were staged up. When I was younger I was sooooo in awe of this whole show, but I think having it indoors in this small venue really took away from some of the trucks being able to go faster or jump farther. If that's not the case and 6 trucks sitting side by side waiting to crush a few cars one or two at a time is all the show is, then I think they might need to step it up. I'm gonna blame it on lack of space though.

I don't know if DC received this show as well as other area's of the country or even took it as seriously. For many around here, it was just something neat to watch but I get the feeling that other shows the audience really get into the drama of who is winning and the rivalries b/t the drivers. I'm still confused what happened with all the booing for the ATV driver and him calling the attendee's stupid. It really resembled some ads I've seen for WWE wrestling.

In an unrelated comment... I honestly felt bad for the cars. What a horrible way to die. I know, they've all been gutted and there are no interiors or glass or electronics or gas tanks or engines or anything... but still. That's a little sad. Let's see the monster trucks crush each other! I'd go see that for sure.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 2:30 PM, ,

Tax Shenanigans

For those of you that didn't know, the state of NC is starting to hurt for money right now. Pretty soon, they are gonna be in a Californiaesque situation if they aren't careful. The combination solid influx of the Hispanic population that doesn't file taxes, the out sourcing of textiles & furniture, and the increasing laws against tobacco thus reducing smokers is putting the whole state in a world of hurt. For these and many other reasons, the NC Revenue Service is basically looking anywhere they can to pinch a dollar.

What does this have to do with me you ask? Well, many years ago I couldn't afford to pay my tax bill in full. I got onto a payment plan and paid monthly over the course of... well, too long. My final payment was in 2005 when my account was paid in full and closed.

Fast forward to last month. Turns out some lazy a$$hole neglected to check the "Account Paid in Full" box. As a result, they charged me a penalty for the first year. Then interest on that penalty, and another penalty in the following year. Interest on that penalty and another the following year... you get the idea. I was never notified about this until all of a sudden, my checking account is VERY light due to a couple of strange charges that the bank is not allowed to dispute. Basically, they (NC Revenue Service) waited until I wouldn't have time to dispute these charges (you know, the whole 7 years thing?) and billed me for everything for my convenience. Thanks! That's very sweet of you.

Luckily for me (and sad for you), I am OCD and keep nasty records. After a little research and trial/error I got on the phone with someone at the Revenue Service that was fluent in English and told them the date and time that I paid this last tax bill. They apologized and released my money very shortly there after. Annoying? Yes. But glad I was able to get that corrected quickly.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 10:38 AM, ,

Financial Advisor

In two days, I'm going to see a financial analyst. I'm not super excited, but I know it's good for me. Kind of like the financial equivalent of going to the dentist perhaps. Can you tell I'm not excited? Here's what I think he'll tell me:

I keep thinking about a financial show on MSNBC where people call in and ask if they can buy something. Be it a car, or an investment property or a puppy. Personally, I think these people are a little nuts. How on earth do they expect folks to have that much cash on hand? I shouldn't have to have $50k in my savings account to be able to justify buying a candy bar! Perhaps a little irrational, but that's where my head is when thinking about this topic.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 2:36 PM, ,

The Mix

Well, there's no fooling myself. I'm soooooo far out of the mix, I have no clue what day it is. Esp. since my old circle moves/changes so rapidly. Asking questions to the folks I keep in touch with yields names I don't know and situations I wasn't a part of. I'm using this down time to get plenty of rest to get over that damned flu I had, and to really shape up my credit. I mean, I do hope to buy a house one of these days and this breather (financial or otherwise) is long over due. If I do get back to hanging out, I wonder if I'll even know anyone by then?


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 4:50 PM, ,

The Damned Flu

It happens every year. Not always at the same time, but once a year I get sick as a dog. You know the kind, layed out in your PJ's growing a beard to rival Paul Bunyan's! This year, it got me right around MLK weekend and it was the full blown flu. I generally refuse flu shots b/c the only time I took a flu shot, I got the damned flu. What happened this year?? It's all good, glad I got it out of my system and now the rest of the year can be clear sailing! I think I even shed a few pounds since I wasn't really eating, just sleeping/reading/vegging for a few days.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 9:28 AM, ,

My Lazy Birthday

This birthday isn't a major mile stone, more like just another year. As such, I figured taking it easy was the way to go. I had already worked many extra hours earlier in the week so taking the day off was no sweat and no leave burned. The plan was simple, sleep in and then spend the day playing video games in my PJ's! Just to make sure I would be tired enough to sleep in, I stayed up entirely too late watching an old show I rediscovered on Netflix called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I actually stayed up watching long enough to hear my upstairs neighbor fall up the stairs!

In the morning, wide awake! Damn. I know, I'll count sheep... 1... 2... and next thing I know it's 11:30! That's more like it. After a nice day of sleeping in, my mom stopped by with Chinese junk food for lunch to truly make me feel like a bum! The entire day was spent on the couch watching assorted shows on the DVR or Netflix. The evening is a small get together at a local bar on the Orange line where I've been known to have a few pints & enjoy a burger. For my birthday, I did just that & finished it off with a little Karaoke down the street. The miss got a darn tasty cake, despite me asking her several times not to do so. All in all, a very relaxing day followed by a fun night.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 10:57 AM, ,

2010 in Breif

2010 was a big year for me in a lot of ways. A lot of firsts and many, many changes. Where to begin... well, a girl I started dating moved in with me, then we got engaged and finally towards the end of the year married in Vegas! That was pretty huge. In addition, my previous roommate moved out and started up on his own in a one bedroom which I think was good for him.

The Jeep had a busy year with about the biggest snow storm the city had ever seen and then the whole tire/suspension fiasco with NTB. All in all, it's much bigger now with many new goodies including suspension set up, sway bar disconnects, new lighting, new front bumper, new speakers, new winch... you get the idea. Oh yeah, and it's paid off! It deff had a good year!

This year, I went on my first ever Cruise. And wouldn't you know it... our boat broke down in the middle of the water! That won't turn me off from cruise ships, but that will sure as hell turn me off from Carnival cruise lines. Thanks but no thanks. If I don't show up, You guys keep all my money. But if you don't deliver, you still keep my money? That doesn't seem fair. On the travel front, I only went on one ski trip but I did get to play in Vegas for a week which was fun. My previous job sent to the exotic destinations of Cleveland and Indy a few times. Woot.

Helping the consumer economy of this country is one thing I did very well. Never mind xmas gifts for other people or Jeep parts or travel or dinner tabs or happy hours... (damn!) This year, I got rid of my damned Sony Vaio for an Apple MacBook Pro. Almost a year later, and I'm still extremely happy with it! I also went back to the iPhone and I haven't tossed it against a wall yet. My opinion remains the same, it's a great toy and a fun device but a crappy phone. For function, Blackberry beats it hands down. And to close out the year, my new home theater set up complete with Samsung LED TV, Samsung BluRay, surround sound speakers, wiring, and a Polk Audio sub. This has been a good year for toys.

I started an awesome job which I'm really enjoying. More technology based and the people are very nice. Not to say that the folks at my previous job weren't nice, I just like the work over here much much better. The pay ain't bad either!

I finished off the year in a nice intimate setting at my place with a few friends. Nothing huge, just a couple of us nerding it up on some rock band with a couple bottles of bubbly, some take out thai food, & a couple beers. All in all, I think this was an excellent year. Changes? Yes, but you gotta roll with it in order to grow as a person.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 9:20 AM, ,

2007 Honda CR-V

Aaaah 2007 CR-V from Honda... How I hate you!! But why? I just can't put my finger on it. Is it the under powered engine that I have to wind up to pass anyone? The styling that makes me want to run off to the Dress Barn and buy something beige? How about the interior storage areas that are just perfectly the wrong size and placement making me think of a pair of pants with the pockets sewn upside down?

Maybe it's all of that, however, I this have teensy hang up, you are actually quite good at everything I throw at you. Cargo space is rather spacious and folding the seats flat to the floor allows for easy moving of large objects. 5 fit comfortably for road trips while returning a decent 27mpg hwy on 87 octane. Nothing breaks and the maintenance is rather inexpensive.

Despite the good traits, your driving dynamics make me believe that in order to achieve the MPG listed, you suck away a little bit of my soul every mile we spend together. I find myself speeding not to test your bath tub like handling, but rather so that our time can end that much sooner. Every second makes me happy! Every time I step on the gas peddle, it breaks my heart and makes me wonder why Honda would choose to mate this engine/transmission combo to anything that weighs more than a stapler?

Ultimately, and I say this grudgingly, you are really quite good. You are very good at everything you do and every test I put your through. Maybe that's the source of my angst and why I hate you? Safety, fuel consumption, reliability, cargo/passenger volume, stereo, all good. You are my wife's car, and if you sucked at anything I could find a teeny tiny bit of leverage to try to be rid of you for something that has an ounce or (dare I dream) two worth of fun behind all that sheet metal? But no. You are in my life sucking out my car loving gear head soul until you die and knowing the Honda rep for reliability, that will be another 10 years if I'm lucky but probably closer to 30. Don't you worry, I've got a little happy dance ready to go the day you and I finally part ways.

This post was written in the showroom of a Honda dealership on my MacBook Pro.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 5:13 PM, ,