Monday, November 7, 2011

First Android post

Nothing to see here, just playing around.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I am the 6.5%

I found a site via FB that actually seemed to merit a blog post explaining how working wages and paychecks actually work. The site is called We are the 53%. It's kind of hard to understate how smug and condescending these posts seem to be. To be fair, there are some inspring stories but as a whole I think the site could be titled 'being smug about people who earn less than I do'

Everyone who earns a paycheck pays 1.5% in medicare taxes and 6.4 4.4% (roughly) in FICA or Social security taxes. That's everyone who earns up to about $100k after that you get out of paying FICA - that's what's known as a 'tax break'. If you're self-employed, you get to double that tax break. After these withholdings, you get to pay your income tax based upon your 'tax bracket', and there after you file a return at the end of the year to verify your total tax bill.

With the complexities of the math & deductions(children, mortgages, etc.) involved you can earn so little as to not pay any income tax whatsoever. These people are those 47% of citizens who don't pay taxes. Those people who work crap jobs trying to support kids, a house, etc but don't make enough to pay income tax. However, they don't escape the FICA, medicare, sales, or property taxes from their locales. So while those whiners, complainers, and handout-wanters didn't pay one particular tax because of their low wages, they did not escape the Federal or state taxman.

It's more than likely that these lucky 47% who don't pay taxes mow your lawn, take out your trash, clean your buildings, etc. Some of them are even deadbeats who don't/won't work.

Regardless, having been on both sides of this income breakdown, I'm not so sure what gives these 53% of citizens to look down on their fellow citizen and proclaim how awesome they are because they can *pay* the Federal Income tax. When I was paying *no* income tax, I didn't want these people had and generally considered them jerks. I'm pretty sure the rest of the 47% don't want a handout, but they'd sure like a raise, or some other way to be 'fortunate' enough to pay federal income taxes - I can't speak for any of them of course. However, I think the profound lack of empathy for other suffering people I can speak to, I hope none of these 53% never have the misfortune of being cast in the pit of sodomites that makes up those not in the 53%.

Steve Benen covered this odd meme and I think his words still ring true:
From a purely philosophical perspective, wouldn't a study claiming that nearly half of U.S. households escape paying a federal income tax be good news for a political movement -- as well as its chief media enabler -- that rallies for lower taxes?

Mr. Benen discussed this again as well.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Deep RPG secrets

Ever wonder what sort of heinous gaming I did while not finishing college - well now you can find out. I've listed all of my golden age of geekery books on ebay in the hopes that someone will get more use out of them than I.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Last day thoughts

I got several compliments on my departure email, so I thought I'd share it with the rest of my blog readers (certain stuff left out due to Garmin corp policy)

It seems like such a short time ago I started at Garmin. There were six developers, four analysts, one data architect, and their manager all in the 2nd floor of the old building. It wasn't the IT of a multi-billion dollar company on a shoestring – it was on a thread. As I leave, I see an IT organization that has grown in size and capability that would have astounded the one I was part of four years ago.

I would like to thank the following people for my time here at Garmin.

Bert Pappas: without whom I wouldn't have known there was an IT developer opening which turned into a tech lead which turned into a system architect which turned into an opportunity to pursue a dream
Dr. Min Kao: for founding a company that has allowed me to expand my career and personal growth. I remember meeting Dr. Kao in the elevator during my orientation and thinking 'huh, he's just like another engineer - wow!' You don't meet many genuinely humble and human CEOs of billion-dollar corporation.

There are so many wonderful people I'll be leaving and so many memories I take with me that I can't thank everyone enough. If you make it out to Santa Monica, please drop me an email, text, or phone call.

Best regards and warmest wishes on everyone's future endeavors,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Josie!

Today is Josie's fifth birthday - Party on Princess!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Party time

Our farewell event has been posted on FB - if you're not on our FB friends list - you should be - this should be much fun.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Great things are afoot!

That is one of my favorite lines from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Slartibartfast is telling Arthur Dent that machinations he barely comprehends are underway.

This may be one of those times.

As some of you may know, I have worked in the KC IT industry for quite some time. It has been interesting and at times even fun and rewarding. I cannot complain about the more than fair wages I have been paid or for any of the wonderful people that have tolerated my employment.

A few years ago, Janet and I made our first trip to LA. This was work-related, but we met some great folks out there and got our first taste of the West Coast together. Janet and I went out and got another taste. Then we took our kids out and all tasted it together. We had an awesome time in what I consider to be one of the best cities on earth.

At some point during our last trip I made myself this bargain. I would work ten-hour days if at the end of each day I could come to the beach and just chill out for one hour. To say the least I had fallen in a stupor with west side living. However, the only companies on that side of town were Google, to which I hadn't the courage to apply, and a whole bunch of studios that weren't hiring. I wasn't going to move out to LA to spend two hours per day in traffic to work at a bank/insurance company/government agency and on top of all of that wages were down due to the recession so it looked like LA would just be a vacation spot in the near future.

Then time passed.

As luck would have it a company on the west side was hiring recently. I applied, interviewed, and after a few rounds of negotiations we came to an agreement. They would move me and my family to LA and I would work for them for them. I have high hopes that this is the right thing to do - to move to someplace that I want to live the rest of my life for a new company that seems like a very good fit for me. I hope this works out well and that I can keep up with LA.

It is not without trepidation that I leave this fair city and region that has been my home for my entire life and has shaped my person. I will miss being close to my family, friends, and local online community. There are too many to list in this one post, but if you're reading this, then you're probably one of them.

June 6 is my start date. I've called my family and turned in my notice at work. I'll blog about my new circumstances and the incredibly stressful time that will be the new job, moving, family transition, social adaptation, and a huge urban landscape.

So long, and thanks for all of the fish Kansas City. I'll come back from time-to-time.