Category Archives: Employment

Tax hikes on “the rich” hit everyone.

Money is confusing.Perfect example cited at a second or third remove over on the Whatever. Read it.

It certainly is a little lame to complain about not having enough money when you’re making 250K and have to let your nanny, gardener and housecleaner go because of a tax hike. I recommend not doing that except among other similarly afflicted socialites. Here’s the world’s smallest violin.

However, ask yourself where the sympathy is for the nanny, gardener, and house cleaner.  They’re being let go as a direct result of that tax hike. The same taxes that “stick it to the man” also stick it to the everyday joe the man employs. This is true whether it’s directly as a gardener, nanny or housecleaner to said man or indirectly as the pool guy whose services are no longer required, or even the maid at the one hotel the man doesn’t go to when he shortens his vacation this year due to financial concerns.

Corporations don’t let VPs go when they get hit with a big tax hike, they lay off guys and gals like me.

To Mr. Scalzi’s point, Henderson is still doing just fine. It’s those domestic servants out looking for work now, not Henderson. But, I suppose that’s alright as long as the politicians can crow about ‘taxing the rich’ and everybody thinks that’s smart.

Sometimes you must.

ThisCatIsGoingtoHurtSomebodyI’ve run across a strange plethora of internodes today referencing pets and dogs and cats as companions and friends. Not the least of these was Wil Wheaton’s post about his new dog and his old dog. As well as OK Go’s video for their song White Knuckles.

This has left me with a strong desire to ramble interminably on about my own feelings on pets. I grew up with cats, lots of cats. Dogs are OK too, though they tend to smell. Then I went and married a woman who not only doesn’t particularly like cats but is strongly allergic to them as well as anything else with fur. No cats in my house. This leaves a nostalgic emotional gap.

Once, in Afghanistan, I almost got in a knife fight with a teammate to protect a cat that had pooped in his HMMV’s seat. No blood was shed, though I soon arranged a new home for the cat on our next trip outside the FOB.

So, I still like cats even though I can’t keep any. I’ll always stop to pet one and it fills the gap a little to feel the warmth and hear the purr.

The most significant cat event in my life in the last ten years was not the knife fight either. It’s not a happy memory, so be warned.

It happened on a busy business district street in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was stopped three cars back from the light in the middle of three lanes.  All the lanes were full at least twenty cars back. Up ahead of me, at the head of the lane to my left, some truly evil people rolled down the window of their beater car to up-end a kitten out of a bag and onto the road. The kitten, probably 4 or 5 months old, landed on its feet and looked back where it had come from. The light changed. I started forward slowly so the people behind wouldn’t rear end me when I stopped to pick up the kitten.

The kitten, freaked out by the cars suddenly moving, dashed to hide under the first car in my lane, the rear tires of which caught its hips. The poor thing went down and started yowling, screaming really, and flipping its crushed and broken body around in paroxysms of pain. I was horrified. The second car missed the kitten entirely. As I rolled up on the pitiful spasming thing I realized there was only one thing I could do. Gritting my teeth I accelerated and steered my front tire over the kitten’s front end. The screaming stopped.

I continued through the intersection and caught a glimpse of the beater car disappearing down the road where it had turned left. I considered turning left illegally and following the blackhearted bastards until they stopped and I could confront them. I knew how that would turn out though, with me in jail facing an assault charge.

I continued on to work and parked. Face in my hands I worked the tears out then wiped my eyes and went inside.

I’ve been trying to forget that for 9 years. No luck, so now I immortalize it.

If you people in the beater car ever read this, you’ll know who you are. It’ll take you a while to live that one down you filthy animals. I’ll be happy to help you balance your account though.

It’s been a few weeks.

This being a full time writer thing is very different from a 9 to 5 cubicle marathon.  I’m not making money writing yet. Won’t for years. I think I’ve explained my situation before this.

But man, I love this. I spend more time working for myself: writing, editing, rewriting etc… than I ever did at my actual job. And it’s great.

News on the Lurker project is good. Last night I writing-grouped the first two chapters generated from the outline Stet Canister gave me. And he liked them, as did most everyone. They were not perfect. There’s always something wrong that the writing group catches, and they’re good catches, but they liked the chapters. Woot.

The Music Man

So, I finished the first draft of my first novel today. I can’t say it was my first book because I wrote that memoir about my year in Afghanistan. It was definitely my first novel though.

I’m surprised at how…not blown away I feel. I’ve known I was going to finish this one since I wrote the outline so long ago. I know I’ve got a lot of work to do on it still. Notes from writing group to implement, foreshadowing to insert, exposition to work in, characters to tweak and develop better, and so on…

So it’s not really marked by any real change in my life or circumstances or even prospects. That, may, all come later.

But this is the day I finished it. The same day my wife woke me in the morning to tell me the van had been stolen from our garage and then laughed like a loon when I believed her for just that barest of instants before I realized what day it was. Tying the sprayhead on the kitchen sink in the on position evened that particular score. Slapstick I know, but hey, one does what one can.

I hope it’s not a bad omen that today is that day.

Ok, getting fired was good.

Go me.I have to say, the timing was actually perfect. Thank you, Sonic Innovations.  I’ve got the time to finish my book, and get a huge start if not a completion on the collaboration that’s in the works. I’ve got the time to get ready for Ranger School. This is the bomb.

It’s still scary because I’m leaping headlong after the dream of being a writer, but hey, I’d be an idiot not to with all these opportunities staring me in the face.

The long road to Ranger School…

…has begun.

I’ve been sporadically working out for the past several months, going two or three weeks at a stretch usually, toying with things like P90X and long grueling ruck marches in the middle of the night, for lack of time elsewhen.

All that has changed now. My ATL is a fitness and nutrition guru with a vested interest in getting me into good shape. I might have to drag him out of the line of fire after all.  He’s also a genuinely nice guy willing to put some effort into helping me out. You rock dude.

Today was the first day of the program he’s designed/designing for me. Nothing too complicated but I definitely did some work today.

Oh, and I got fired today too. My company could no longer afford to employ me. They are outsourcing whatever the hell it was I did for them. I suspect it also has something to do with the fact that they know I’m due to deploy pretty soon. They’ve bent over so far backward to accomodate my military requirements to date that I can hardly blame them, though their timing stinks. For me. For them, it’s pretty good.

Nice severance package at least. Gives me 2.5 months to grind out the end of my novel and get a massive start on the collaboration I’m doing with Brandon.Terrified

Bloody terrifying, choosing to finish writing projects instead of searching frantically for another 9-5er. I have faith that it will all work out in the end though. I’ve been handed some pretty incredible opportunities on the fiction front, I’d be a fool not to take them.