First, let’s talk about the trip to the Social Security office yesterday.
It turned out to be a pleasure.
First off, the fellow at the front desk recognized us from before. And, when we weren’t getting enough/right answers from him, he was kind enough to provide access to the fellow who ran the office.
There had been a clerical error on my address – but there was also a calendar issue, so we will find out when that rolls around in about 2-weeks if all our problems miraculously disappear on that date.
Meantime, we had some waiting to do…and I got to talking with the guard. Nice fellow, planning to retire in three years himself, get a Winnebago and travel all 49-states you can get to without swimming.
I was going to explain to him that by then, he might want to include the states of Tijuana, Sonora, Baja, and perhaps as far south as the state of Quintana Roo along with Campeche and Yucatan.
There was a bit of blood on my tongue, as I continued to bite it, realizing that explaining how the North American Onion was gong to work, how British Columbia would also be a state by then, and within 5-years, it would just have to be the “State of Columbia” because the British were not the grand guardians of social welfare as any of the real historians of BC would attest. And the word British part would have to be axed on political grounds simply in honor of the suffering of the coastal bands such as the Haida Gwaii.. (You can probably see why I dummied up: It would have been a long discussion.)
Instead, I asked him about the short office hours, and if someone shows up at 2:30 for an appointment whether they would be kicked out at the 3 PM office closing time. No, he assured me, they actually stay open until 4:30 most days (sometimes later) to make sure everyone is seen.
That was reassuring and I get better about my tax dollars. Private sucktor folks still end up about 200 vacation days short in 50 years, but did I have a cheese to go with that whine?
By the time I’d met all the folks in the office, it was pretty clear that the office doesn’t have a 27-hour workweek, as the sign says. That’s basically the “Public should show up time.” They get seen, the guard fellow explained.
Good one to know. Rather than “hours” the sign really ought to read: Show Up Between (and then list the hours). But not everyone is as literal as us.
In the case of my own application, I screwed up by questioning Social Security’s income record. I had noted in my application, at the time of filing, that my records of income and theirs had some discrepancies.
Turns out that part of Social Security’s public face says Social Security benefits are based on wages. But, after two of the trips to the office, turns out they were based (in my case) on the IRS SE Worksheet.
This has had me buried in the research into how Schedule SE was supposed to work in 2008, for example.
Schedule SE is the Self Employment worksheet. And my income there was $xx,xxx. However, the amount of income that I paid income tax on was $xxx,xxx.
What hadn’t been clear to me at the time (and I think there’s still something smoldering in all this) is that the SE schedule was lower and that is the number used by Social Security.
A little history check here: No wonder government called it a “tax credit” rather than what the reductions as a “tax credit” for self employed persons is: It makes a definite reduction in Social Security payments in later years, when the SE number, not the actual “paid tax on number” is used. Definite lack of candor at the time, typical of the PTB.
In fact, to my way of thinking, it’s typical of Washington doublespeak: Tell small business they are getting a tax credit for small business owners. And then screw them on the back-end when comes time to collect Social Security. But I’m not going to change that – it’s just the way it is…the problems are almost always with the people who write the laws, not the federal workers who are generally good folks. Vacation and bennies differentials aside.
Speaking of which…let’s not forget that president what’s-his-name has just made matters worse in regard to turning federal employees into praetorian minions: Remember the feds minimum wage is $10.10 but for the private sucktor, the min-wage is still $7.25.
When I tell you federal employees are “special” I’m not a-kidding. But, how soon we forget them pen-strokes.
“OK, you fixed your Social Security problem (for now) so would you please get to the retrograde stuff?”
Ah…Well, I got home and then spent a full hour on the line with CenturyLink tech support. Our internet connectivity has become unacceptable. Day before Christmas. Too many retried and I’ve been working on that problem for six days, now. They issue credits, I call the next day for another because it’s still broken.
The good news: I will be getting free internet access until they fix it so it will stream again. The bad news: The won’t be until January 30th until 7 PM says the tech.
I bet you didn’t know that CenturyLink actually has a Bandwidth Exhaustion Department, did you? This is what one of the techs told me.
Apparently, there’s no point to stopping additional sales just because there’s insufficient capacity…just add a department to fix it. Then you can justify six ways to Sunday, rolling in the money, and loving it!
No worries in terms of UrbanSurvival/Peoplenomics: We have a high speed satellite connection which gets us 10-down and 3-up, but only when the weather is clear. Less in rain and not at all in storms….but I will be needing to buy more bandwidth. We eat 3-4 GB per day around here, up to 6-when I run multiple Nostracodeus runs.
About here, I got to wondering (lights went off between my ears, a truly unique experience) if I was somehow in the “Mercury retrograde penalty box?”
I’ve been a reasonably lucky guy most of my life, but I do have some retrograde periods, and I’m in one now but coming out of it.
Depending on when you were born, you have one, too. (Hopefully, our consulting astrologer will report in with more details on how this works…)
My retrograde window runs about a month before (ahead of) the astrological retrograde (and there may be some other planet in retrograde right now that “rules” my life; I just haven’t gotten down into the fine print of astrology because the fine print of economic super cycles and making money seems more immediately useful. I may have erred.
Nevertheless, little things in life going uncharacteristically wrong are starting to make sense in a weird way. More examples from the current window?
I took Panama up for a Christmas morning airplane ride (had to shoot three full-stop landings) and taxiing in, my right brake felt “soft”. In fact, I had to pump it once. So that will be referred to the mechanic as a squawk.
And, when the plane came to a stop, it dropped two drops of oil! OH NO! Now, this could be for a number of reasons: The Tygon line (part of the crankcase breather) may not have a high point in it. OR, it was because it was 33 F outside, or it was drops from the latest oil change, just 2-flight hours earlier got shaken loose.
But still, that is two squawks in one flight.
And there was another personal “wrong” (and this may be related to the Internet issues), but I bought a pan-zoom-tilt web cam so we could look at various things from every computer on the property.
Well, guess what? Happened to not work at the time it was supposed to and that was inside my personal “retrograde window.” It’s an Amazon return, only the second or so in my lifetime.
Granted, this is a personal laundry list. But for a few more days, I will stay away from power tools and so forth. And I will be keeping very detailed notes on when future things run against me as a “string of bad luck.”
The flip side? When we are in the perfect position (between retrogrades) when my luck should be running strongest, then we will either go to a casino somewhere, or I will buy a couple lottery tickets each day and use the day with “most winners” as a calculator to know exactly where, relative to Mercury retrograde, I should be being more stock options, lottery tickets, and so forth.
It takes a little work, but making note of things that go wrong in your life (these always seem to cluster) and then referring to the retrograde date, should help you figure out what I can only describe as your “personal offset.”
And any time you can get a “leg up on life” like that, it helps to shave the odds just a bit more in your favor. All that remains then is to work on making investments, speculations, gambling, and even marriages/proposals on those peak dates that are off-set to either head of, or behind, the appropriate retrograde.
How to “Work” Retrograde
Let’s use the first experienced retrograde date of December 24, 2014 because that’s when the IP camera failed and when the internet (partially) crapped out. That means my “peak” of bad began 28-days ahead of the January 21st retrograde.
Rolling ahead to the next one in 2015, we find than January 14 will be a “bad spell.”
The cool part is that somewhere from January 5-9 (centered about the 7th) I should have luck running strongest (if this is more than crackpot theory), so I will try to make investment decisions and so forth in this period.
OK, now here’s the weird part: Care to guess which day I was invited to be on Coast to Coast with George Noory on?
Yep: January 6th.
I’m sure it’s a coincidence, but until just sitting down with a calculator and calendar this morning (OK, it was Excel because I’m too ADD to count days), such a thing would never have occurred to me.
I mean: Buy a lotto ticket before an interview? Dang…how many of those hints have I missed?
God, Universe, or whatever you want to call the organizing force of Everything is surely having a good laugh this morning at how slow and dim-witted Ures truly is.
But just in case, I’m make plans to hide under the bed a couple of days either side of January 14th.
Oh! A note to medical students: Has anyone ever done a study to see if people having life threatening diseases, heart attacks and such, have better survival rates in their good luck periods as opposed to their bad luck periods?
Something to think about, for darn sure.
If you know someone in medical school have them propose it as a study: Interview people in the hospital if they had any “new problems” crop up in their life in the couple of days prior to the medical crisis.
Compare those who answer “yes” with those who answer “no” and see if there is a statistical variance of outcomes between those who were in “retrograde” periods and those who were not.
You’ll never guess how I’d bet on that to come out…
Off to cottage cheese pancakes and then some headlines. Thursdays column may be a bit shorter than usual due to the Holiday. Peoplenomics will be same length as usual tomorrow.
One of these days I’m not going to work holidays and maybe I should learn something from those fed workers: More holidays off…Universe owes me 200 catch-up days and I’m still pissed around that.
More coffee? Write when you break-even