Tax time

Whee… The government is giving back some of the money that it’s taken from me over the past year.

And for those who don’t know, free federal tax e-filing online is available from http://www.taxfreedom.com/. Some people can get free MA tax e-filing too from http://www.statetaxfreedom.com/, although even if you can’t most people can use the state telefile system.

House building and well drilling update

The bad news: We’re getting only 2 gallons per minute from our well.
The good news: That’s good enough since it’s 500 feet down. There will be roughly 600 gallons sitting in the well, which should be a good enough reserve for us even if it replenishes relatively slowly.

So, the well-drilling people are going to sign the water-is-okay form, which was the last thing blocking our building permit. Assuming we get that okay (and it may take a month or so), then we can start construction in the spring, right on time.

Interest meme

Well, ‘s recently posted with a meme about his Interest list. I’m not sure that my interest list is complete, so I’m going to adapt this somewhat. Please take a look at my Interests in my user info. Then,

  • If there are any that seem odd or interesting to you, ask about them and I’ll try to explain them.
  • If there’s anything not there that you think should be, mention it to me and I’ll think about adding it.
  • If there are other comments about my interests list, feel free to post those, too
  • Feel free to post something along these lines in your journal if you see fit.

    Plans changed, but are okay

    So, the tournament organizer had emailed me a couple weeks ago asking what my availability for judging the prerelease this weekend was. I figured that this meant that they were planning on me being there. Apparently, the TO kinda dropped the ball and didn’t need me after all. (This would have been okay if he told me ahead of time, but being told at the event was kinda disappointing.) So, Jessi and I played in a flight each, and came home before the snowstorm. It now looks like the forecast is for up to 3 feet if we’re unlucky, so I think I’m just as happy to be back home. Plus, to make it up to me, the TO gave me $5 off the entry price and promised that I could judge at the Grand Prix in two weeks. I’m looking forward to helping judge a high-level event like a Grand Prix.

    And, I’m quite happy with my performance today. I went 2-1-1 to bring home 3 packs, and my matches were generally close, fun, and interesting.

    We may go back tomorrow if the weather’s good enough, but I wouldn’t count on it. But if we do, does anyone want to join Jessi and I for a team event tomorrow? (The gameplay is individual matches, but you’re ranked in the event as a team.)

    Snowstorms are sometimes not fun

    This weekend, I was planning on going to the Magic prerelease on both Saturday and Sunday. I was planning on driving home in between those days to sleep.

    The problem, is that it looks like there may be a big snowstorm Saturday night. The NWS says that “This is expected to be a potentially life threatening situation for those who venture out during the height of the storm Saturday night and early Sunday.”

    So, the options I see are as follows:

    • Stick with the original plan. This likely will cut down the amount of sleep I’ll be getting even more than I would expect, since I’ll get home later and need to leave earlier. And then there’s the increased chance of a critical failure.
    • Stay at the hotel next door for roughly $200.
    • Attempt to stay awake the entire time at the event site. (Events run all night, too, although there are less of them.) This idea is crazy.
    • Leave the event earlier on Saturday, and go back later on Sunday if the roads are clear enough. Presumably, the people expecting me there are understanding, but I’d really like to be there as much as possible both days.

    Suggestions? New ideas? Rating of how interesting this post is?

    Phone lines are obsolete

    I had looked a little bit into the various Voice-over-IP services, but recently my coworker Ed said that he signed up for Vonage. It’s a phone connection with unlimited access for $25/mo., or 500 minutes a month for $15/mo. That’s much cheaper than a normal phone line, and calling anywhere in the country works. I’d been thinking of looking into it more when our house got further along, but I may sign up for it sooner than that (since I can just take it with me). I might not have a regular phone line put in when we build our house (or at least, I probably won’t activate it).

    Now the issue would be what area should I get a number from… It looks like the closest options are Worcester and Sturbridge… Since I don’t want my parents to need to call long-distance to get to us, I guess I’ll get a Sturbridge number, but it seems weird that then the people we know in Worcester would need to call long-distance to get to us before we move. But I think I know more people in Charlton than I do in Worcester. (And it’s really just a convenience for inbound callers; outbound going anywhere is the same rate.)

    Anyone have any experiences with various VoIP services and want to make a recommendation?

    Oh, and rate how interesting this post is. :)

    Magic Excitement

    The Magic: the Gathering Betrayers of Kamigawa Prerelease in Boston is on the 22nd and 23rd (a week from this weekend). I’ll be there, most likely judging. Jessi will be with me playing. Others are welcome to come with us for one or both days if we have car room and you don’t mind being there for the *entire* day (likely 7am until 10 or 11pm), which should give you time to play in several events. Prereleases are a lot of fun. They’re a casual tournament where you get to play with brand-new cards.

    Also, Grand Prix Boston is a couple weeks later, and I’ll likely be judging there as well.