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Old 02-11-2011, 11:37 AM   #901
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Re: The well: atakdog

I really hope this works out for you atak. It sounds like pup has the work ethic and mindset that will make him successful. While you might think he has already developed a lot there is a ton of development left to do in high school and he has plenty of time to overcome any obstacles that might be in his way or difficulties that he has been troubled by in the past.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:43 AM   #902
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Re: The well: atakdog

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How and why did you acquire a stalker??
I was going to address this in some detail, but upon reflection realize I shouldn't because I can't actually be sure who it is — I know (well, almost know) that it relates to a particular person, but there's good reason to believe it's not actually that person, but rather someone who knows her. Accordingly, I'm not going to divulge specific personal information, because that may actually be the stalker's goal.

So let's say this: I have, at various times, gotten involved with people who don't let go well and/or don't obey the bounds of what most people would consider propriety. On three different occasions of which I'm specifically aware, and probably at least one more, someone (three different people, I mean) has created a computer dating profile specifically intended to attract my attention (and either find out whom I'm involved with, or embarrass me). Three years ago I started receiving anonymous e-mails threatening to report to my employer that I was involved with a student (these turning out to be from the boyfriend of a girlfriend of the person I was involved with — and yes, I was, and yes, it was against the rules). Recently I got a couple of text messages from an unknown number, messages that clearly were from someone who had my number only and was trying to figure out who I was. And so on.

Why? Mostly, it's that I get involved with people who are attracted to me, I think... and the sort of person who is attracted to me tends to be a little ways off the beaten path. I also get involved in relationships that most people's better judgment would caution against: students, much younger, attached to someone else, that sort of thing; maybe it's poor impulse control, but more than that I think it's that I don't always bow to social norms. The result shouldn't be all that surprising, though for some reason it always is.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:47 AM   #903
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Re: The well: atakdog

Atak,

I consider myself to be a rather slow cardplayer. I can play fast, of course, but I make careless (and noncareless) errors. When I play slower, I also make errors of both types, but I do so with (in my mind) much lower frequency.
edit: As I improve and see "template" situations come up again and again, both my speed and my accuracy have improved along with it, but it's one thing to get problem hands right when they are from a book and another to get them right at the table, c.f. missing a simple strip-and-endplay in cleveland.

I tend to play quicker than my regular partner. But he's a better declarer than I am, and I've learned to give him leeway; usually, when he's deep in thought, he's got a pretty good reason for it.

When we played in Cleveland, did I play more slowly that you were comfortable with? Just curious. I'm not easily offended
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:47 AM   #904
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Your son is lucky to have such a conscientious and caring father, atak.
This thought, which I have slowly come to accept, is the best thing (sometimes one of the few good things) in my favor. After forty-four years there is very little I'm proud of, but I know I'm a good father and I know that matters a lot.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:50 AM   #905
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Atak,

I consider myself to be a rather slow cardplayer. I can play fast, of course, but I make careless (and noncareless) errors. When I play slower, I also make errors of both types, but I do so with (in my mind) much lower frequency.

I tend to play quicker than my regular partner, though. But he's a better declarer than I am, and I've learned to give him leeway; usually, when he's deep in thought, he's got a pretty good reason for it.

When we played in Cleveland, did I play more slowly that you were comfortable with? Just curious. I'm not easily offended
Yes, you did — and I don't consider this an offensive thing, it just is how it is. Your pace would have been inappropriate at pairs but was fine at teams (which, for those who were not there, is what we were playing)... but it's slower than I'm likely to be comfortable with any time soon. If that's your normal pace, it will always be at least a bit of a problem for me.

I'm not saying this judgment is "right" in any sense; it's an idiosyncrasy of mine.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:51 AM   #906
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Re: The well: atakdog

When you move to DC, are we going to hang out?

What do you think of me now, and how does it differ from when I posted this about a year and 4 months ago?

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why do you think I constantly have people trying to lynch me every day? Am I that wolfy? Am I that bad? Or have I just become a different version of biggerboat
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:57 AM   #907
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Yes, you did — and I don't consider this an offensive thing, it just is how it is. Your pace would have been inappropriate at pairs but was fine at teams (which, for those who were not there, is what we were playing)... but it's slower than I'm likely to be comfortable with any time soon. If that's your normal pace, it will always be at least a bit of a problem for me.

I'm not saying this judgment is "right" in any sense; it's an idiosyncrasy of mine.
No, it's no problem. Good to know. I felt like something didn't click when we played (which was surprising, since I thought a priori that we'd be compatible), and I'm sure it was more than this, but it's good to know if you're doing something that bugs partner (so you can do it more when you're mad at him ).

Also good to know for partnerships for Louisville.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:27 PM   #908
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Re: The well: atakdog

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How did the tax preparer gig work out for you? I know you posted that the hours were extreme, especially in May. Besides that, would you recommend such a job? Is the money decent?
I missed this one along the way.

I'm glad I did it, for reasons I'll discuss below. But I would recommend it to no one.

I earned my Enrolled Agent qualification, which basically means the IRS allows me to represent clients at audit; that required passing some pretty brutal tests, which in turn required that I learn a ****-ton about income tax. Couple that knowledge with my natural abilities and proclivities, and I'm pretty damned good at it, for someone with as little experience as I (and overall, I think).

With that as background, we proceed to working for H&R Block, which I think is probably typical of, or somewhat above average for, the storefront tax prep industry. And it turns out, unsurprisingly I suppose, that that industry is populated by idiots and slimeballs. More of the former than the latter, but on the other hand it's the latter who climb the ladder and design the structures.

In the office in which I first worked, a majority of the preparers were just plain too dumb to figure out complex situations, and not trained in them well enough that they didn't need to do work them out. And that was fine with Block. To illustrate the corporate attitude: every year, a certain number of hours (I think it was around a dozen) of training in the latest marketing methods are required of every tax pro. You know what's not required? Training in the changes in the tax laws from the previous year. Think about that.

Now, take those incompetent people, but give them a really good software setup and good tech support. What do you get? Strangely, perhaps, what you get is people who can often do taxes pretty well, just because of the system. In fact, almost everyone will do better going to a firm like Block than doing his taxes on his own, and even though I refuse to work for them again I urge people to go there for their own benefit.

The other problem says more about the state of our tax system than anything else, I think: I learned in my year there that most people cheat. I suppose I knew that, but I have now seen it. The only people who don't cheat are those who can't — nothing but W–2 wages, no deductible expenses that can be fudged. Everyone with rental property is cheating. Everyone with any cash income is underreporting it. People with their own businesses are fudging the numbers, always. And everyone on EIC (earned income credit — it's where we hid welfare, when Reagan said he was doing away with welfare but realized he couldn't really do that) is screwing around. Married people who've moved apart are filing as head of household (which they usually can't). And so on, and so on, and so on.

And this is fine with Block too. We were specifically instructed not to delve into too much detail unless it could help lower someone's tax bill — unless the client flat out told us he was lying, we couldn't do anything about it. No matter how wolfy, the client was assumed to be right. (EIC was an exception, but only because the IRS was cracking down on EIC fraud.)

I had a lot of down time in my office until crunch time, and I wound up reading through most of the returns that all the other pros in the office did. On about a third, I found facial errors — things that I could see, without knowing the taxpayer or seeing the underlying documentation, were wrong. I reported these... and got shut out of my work, because more of the errors (both directions) were made by my office manager than anyone else. And I reported the office manager (including two incidents of out-and-out fraud by him)... and nothing happened.

By the way, those of you who are sure your CPAs do better — most of them don't. I had occasion to see perhaps twenty returns prepared by CPAs, both independent and from big name firms, costing up to $12,000 to prepare. Not a single one was correct. The CPAs seem to err much more away from the obvious cheating (probably just hiding it better), but they miss legal opportunities on just about every reasonably complex return. There's a reason for this, too — the way those firms work, they tend not to spend a lot of time talking with the client, and it's in those talks that some opportunities come to light.

So what should you do as a taxpayer? First, don't do your own taxes (certainly not without running them by someone else). You're smart, TurboTax seems pretty good... but if your taxes are at all complicated, there's a decent chance you'll miss something. (TurboTax doesn't catch everything, btw, even if you know how to use it perfectly — and you don't.) Second, have two different professionals look at it. If you're having a CPA do it, take the resulting return to Block (or whoever) and have them look it over; for a smallish fee, you'll find out whether anything was missed. Or go to two or three different offices of storefront places and have them each do a workup — you don't have to pay unless you actually file the return they prepare for you. (It sucks for the preparer when you don't, but that's part of the deal.) And if you want, maybe even have me look at it — I'll do it informally for free (which is dumb for me but I like doing it), and if there's big work to be done, we can maybe work something out.

This reminds me, I promised one POGger I'd look over his stuff; my bad for not having gotten to it yet. Sorry.

Last edited by atakdog; 02-11-2011 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:30 PM   #909
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Re: The well: atakdog

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When you move to DC, are we going to hang out?

What do you think of me now, and how does it differ from when I posted this about a year and 4 months ago?
If I move to DC, yes ldo. But at this point that's maybe a 20% chance. I need to do what's best for pup, and I don't know what that is. But we're down to staying in Chicago or moving to DC.

I don't know what's different; I guess I don't remember your game clearly from before. And I haven't played much in the last year either. But now even when you're saying things that I think are wrong, I can often see why you might think them; before I often couldn't imagine anyone would. I suspect what's going on is hat you're speaking werewolf better.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:51 PM   #910
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Didn't go to class today so I got bored and read this thread (only's Atak's posts but basically the same thing).

Basically posting to ask for an update with life: Are you working? How are things with your son?, anything else you feel is relevant.

Cool thread, thanks.
A bit of cleanup here (I've already addressed most of this), then I'm taking a break:

Not working. In theory I should be doing my paper. I'm not. Kill me, someone. I really don't get it.

pup (I guess I've called him K herein) is doing pretty well. The latest report card was all As but one. That's plenty. He's taking tae kwon do, too, which is good in various ways; previously he's been involved in pretty much no extracurriculars. But the friction with his mother has gotten worse, as one might expect from the decision he's made. She regularly takes away all his electronic devices, including his phone (which I pay for), as punishment for his forgetting schoolwork or the like. He walks on conversational eggshells with her, knowing that he will be punished if she believes he's disagreeing with her about something. And so it goes, though not for much longer.

I've dated some recently, but find it depressing. It definitely seems I'll be alone forever — not because no one wants to be with me, but because the intersection of those who do and those I want to be with permanently is empty.

I have grand designs, once I somehow get the law stuff done. Graduates of top ten (actually, in law they refer to top fourteen a lot) law schools still command what I consider unconscionable salaries at big firms in prime markets (which both Chicago and DC are). And there's at least some reason to believe that if I can just become a graduate, I'll be able to talk one of those firms into giving me a shot, notwithstanding how nontraditional a candidate I am. And most people I know at big firms are miserable, but I'm pretty sure I won't be. And all I want is enough to be comfortable, pay for school (and college) for K, pay off (a lot of) debt, get a dog (please), and go to the occasional bridge tournament and maybe buy a horse some day... (Really, I want to learn polo; that's a long way off.)

I did have a minor breakthrough on the paper, I thought, while on a vacation (a story I unfortunately can't tell in detail) last fall. But I haven't been able to make anything come of it. I've always felt like if I started writing, I'd finish... but though I think I have a topic, I can't put (virtual) pen to paper.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:52 PM   #911
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Re: The well: atakdog

Come on AIM please?
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:54 PM   #912
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Come on AIM please?
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:56 PM   #913
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #914
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Cum on AIM please?
,
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:07 PM   #915
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Re: The well: atakdog

DC % is up from 10 to 20!
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:08 PM   #916
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Re: The well: atakdog

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DC % is up from 10 to 20!
that's because i've been in the area more
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:12 PM   #917
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Re: The well: atakdog







Party at 30k?
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:12 PM   #918
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Re: The well: atakdog

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that's because i've been in the area more
i actually thought it was because you are off the market for now so there will be less competition for younger females.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:14 PM   #919
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Re: The well: atakdog

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i actually thought it was because you are off the market for now so there will be less competition for younger females.
well played
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:29 PM   #920
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Re: The well: atakdog

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Old 02-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #921
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Re: The well: atakdog

Kingbird of some sort. (That's a flycatcher, genus tyrranus.)

Eight species in the US (which I'll assume it is). Eastern is totally out — different coloration. So are gray and loggerhead, for the same reason. Not thick-billed, because... well, you can guess. That leaves western, Cassin's, tropical, and Couch's.

iirc (it's been a while), Cassins has a more well-defined line at the bottom of the gray area on the chest, and a darker throat. Rule it out, though not with total confidence.

Tropical and Couch's are basically identical to each other — the separation is almost always done by range (one near the Caribbean, the other on the Pacific slope.) So I'd never be able to call that anyway. Plus, I have a feeling they're a bit lighter on the face.

So that leaves... western kingbird. Tyrannus vociferus, I think. Second choice Cassin's.


(Watch it be a dusky-capped flycatcher — you'd be able to tell easily from rufous in the wings, if it weren't taken from underneath.)
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:47 PM   #922
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Re: The well: atakdog

Short-Crested flycatcher.

I looked again and they are South American though. My bad. I just posted the one I thought was pretty.

Here is the bird that atak guessed:



As you can see they are basically ****ing identical lol.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:55 PM   #923
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Re: The well: atakdog

Ah. Yeah, never getting a relatively nondescript member of a three hundred species family that lives in a continent I've barely birded in — but I have no problem with you posting it, as there's no way for you to know what I will or will not know.

The biggest thing is how many of them there are, which is the part a non-birder can't know. For example: Worldwide, there are around 20 albatrosses and 20 penguin species, so it's not unreasonable that I might know any given species even though I've personally seen only one of each family. But there are over 300 parrots and parakeets, so I'm way less likely to get one of those even though its coloration may in theory be quite distinctive. But to the non-birder, they're the same problem.

That actually touches on one reasn I stopped birding as much: when you've seen 50 species of sparrow, say, the fifty-first just isn't all that interesting (to me). I like novelty, and birding seriously stopped providing it.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:06 PM   #924
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Re: The well: atakdog

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I have grand designs, once I somehow get the law stuff done. Graduates of top ten (actually, in law they refer to top fourteen a lot) law schools still command what I consider unconscionable salaries at big firms in prime markets (which both Chicago and DC are). And there's at least some reason to believe that if I can just become a graduate, I'll be able to talk one of those firms into giving me a shot, notwithstanding how nontraditional a candidate I am. And most people I know at big firms are miserable, but I'm pretty sure I won't be. And all I want is enough to be comfortable, pay for school (and college) for K, pay off (a lot of) debt, get a dog (please), and go to the occasional bridge tournament and maybe buy a horse some day... (Really, I want to learn polo; that's a long way off.)
Famous last words.

What makes you think you wouldn't be miserable at Big Law? Or does the idea of finally getting custody of you son, only to never see him because you work 12-14 hours/day doing busy work seem appealing to you.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:13 PM   #925
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