wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
...a couple of things of interest from around the Intertubes.

Jersey Shore Gone Wilde. (GVDL)

Vietnam: Historians At War. Truth will out, no matter how diligently liars try to hide it. (Maggie's Farm)

The results of the Auditing final were posted; got an 89 and a C for the class. Better than a poke in the eye, etc.

Hung out with Mark T. yesterday; he insisted on showing me the first three episodes of the HBO series A Game Of Thrones, based on the George R. R. Martin series of the same name. Man, I haven't seen a show with so many characters I wanted to see die in a fire in ages. Awful, awful people. Dire wolf puppies v. cute though, especially when they grow up to be v. protective critters. All the Byzantine political maneuvering reminds me of the more unpleasant parts of Drake & Stirling's Raj Whitehall novels; Westeros in general gives off a strong vibe of 13th century England with a heavy injection of the Eastern Roman Empire where it needed it the least, but that's the way it is. I may have to read the books, once they're all out.

Took some time this afternoon to head down to the VEC office and see what happened with my unemployment, and it's a good thing I did. Will go back tomorrow to resubmit my job apps for the last two weeks and hopefully will get paid Thursday. We'll see how it goes.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Probably one of the worst things about being unemployed, as I may have mentioned before, is that you've lost the externally-imposed structure that gives some order to your life, and if you're not very disciplined,* losing that structure can really mess you up. To cite just one example of this, since you don't have to get up early in the morning to be at work by 0800/0900, there's nothing to keep you from staying up late at night doing nothing in particular or hanging out online with e-migos from the Mountain states or the West Coast. And then you sleep in until 1100/1200, and stay up later the next night...and the next thing you know, your sleep cycle is exactly backward from everyone else's. That makes it hard to deal with the rest of the world, which is still running pretty much on a 9-5 schedule.

In my particular case, screwing with the sleep cycle throws me off my proper dietary habits because I get tired and stupid and eat stuff I shouldn't in large quantities. Then the BG goes up and the weight goes up, and Bad Things happen. That's been the story of this weekend, starting on Friday with a trip to Costco while I was in Fatigue State 4, a late-night strategic op with Goonfleet (we all died, op success) and a Saturday spent mostly in a semi-catatonic state playing Farmville In Space. So the weight is up 15 pounds from its low point back at the beginning of April; fortunately nothing else is out of whack. Except for my head, and I'm working on that.

The lack of cash flow means that I probably won't be going up to Balticon again this year, whether or not they're doing a memorial to Richard. Yes, bin Laden may be dead, but gas is still around $4/gallon and I still don't have a job. Thanks for nothing, President CarterObama.

Got an 89 on my last Government & Nonprofit Accounting test, which means I passed the course; results for Auditing will probably show up today or Monday. I'll going in for my last Management test then, will be turning in some essays and a project as well, and that'll be it for the semester. Summer semester starts next week, IIRC, but I only have one class and it's online. We'll see how that goes.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Some things are going well; others, not so much.
Would you like to learn more? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Eleven-plus hours in the tax mines yesterday, and I'm scheduled for another twelve tomorrow. And that'll be it for this tax season. I was invited to apply for off-season work, but since I'd only be getting 15-20 hours a week at (probably) my existing hourly wage, it makes more sense for me to head down to Accountemps on Tuesday, reactivate my file, and maybe take advantage of some of these accounting classes I've been slaving over this past year. The worst of the jobs listed on the site yesterday pays $3 more per hour than what Block is paying me as a first-year tax preparer, so even if commuting expense goes up I'll come out ahead. Best case, I nail down an assignment at $20/hour or better. We'll see how that works out.

Speaking of school, I am two courses away from finishing my accounting career studies certificate at NVCC. Both courses are being offered over the summer, but unfortunately both of them are only offered online, and I have learned the hard way that I do not do well at those. So I'm just going to take Intermediate Accounting II this summer, lugging Cowzilla to the campus a couple times a week to work on it away from the distractions of home, and then take Advanced Accounting this fall along with whatever business classes I need to meet the requirements for the CPA exam, which I'll be taking next January - or April, depending on how the Becker classes are scheduled over the winter.

All the school & work stress this week has made the weight and BG get a bit out of hand. My weight has rebounded to 350, and my BG has been stubbornly in the low hundreds. On the other hand, I got a clean bill of health from the vascular clinic this week. My legs are both healed up nicely, and you can be sure I'll be hitting the pool hard this summer. Just need to bear down on the diet to get the BG and weight back where they belong.

I'm not sure the Nationals' present precarious perch in third is due as much to their improved pitching and defense as it is to how awful the Mets are and how long it's taking the Braves to get their act together. Unlike last spring, when the pitching and defense stunk while the bats were going nuts, the p&d are tight and the hitters aren't hitting. So far the defense is keeping us in the games, but we'll see if that lasts. Hopefully it'll last long enough for a sweep of the Brewers.
wombat_socho: Wombat (dead wombat)
I suppose I shouldn't be so flip in referring to the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs, but that's the kind of guy I am. The whole story starts last Wednesday night (although technically, this has probably been going on for most of the month, if not longer) after my exam in Government & Nonprofit Accounting, when I was struck by fever & chills of such intensity that I wasn't sure I'd be able to drive home. I managed to do this, fire off an apologetic e-mail to Stacy regarding Thursday's linkagery, and then collapsed into bed with water and Tylenols. I slept for about thirteen hours, woke up still feeling like crap, drank breakfast, took meds, and went back to bed after informing my Auditing professor I'd have to make up that night's exam on account of illness1.

Friday morning came, and I felt somewhat less crappy, but noticed that while the general whole-body achiness had subsided, my lower left leg was swollen, noticeably warmer than the rest of me, and painful to the touch. I was chatting with P at the time I noticed this, and we agreed it was time for a visit to the VA. Now, I thought this would be a simple matter of dropping by the ER, waiting a few hours, and then going home with a Z-pack, so I didn't bring anything but my Pixi and the Kindle. So of course, after spending about seven hours hanging around the ER waiting to be seen, they wound up sticking some Vancomycin into my arm, doing an ultrasound on my leg to look for clots2 and admitting me to a bed in one of the medical wards.

And that's where I stayed until late Sunday afternoon when they turned me loose to go home with a fistful of Bactrim and some antifungal cream to deal with the athlete's foot that had served as breaching charge for this particular bacterial attack. In the meantime, lots of reading, sleeping, watching the NCAA womens' hoops tournament, sleeping, and more sleeping while the staff dripped more vancomycin and saline into my arm. Not so much eating, though, since the VA still adhere's to the ADA's "balanced diet" stupidity, and I wasn't having any of that. Managed to keep my blood sugar in the normal range without my regular meds and without insulin for the weekend.

1He scheduled the makeup for this Wednesday night during the Government & Nonprofit Accounting class I have with him. This ought to be interesting.
2The radiologist didn't find any. I was almost disappointed. Almost.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Up until about 0200 studying for an accounting exam I thought was today (originally scheduled for last week on the syllabus, but I assumed it was pushed back because of the snow day in early February) and woke up at 0800 feeling like five flavors of crap. Called in sick, did more studying, went in for the test - and realized that the reason there was no class on the syllabus was because this is NVCC's spring break. So I get another week to study for this exam and the auditing exam.

Downloaded For Lack Of A Better Name by deadmau5 on the recommendation of various folks, and it's okay...it's a lot more bouncy and energetic than most of the electronica I listen to, kind of halfway between local dubstep DJ TwoBeans and Scooter, I guess. Not bad background music; probably great music for doing MDMA and dancing your ass off in Goa. Also downloaded "Stripped" by Shiny Toy Guns and the original (I think) from Rammstein, as well as "On The Threshold Of Liberty" by Mark Isham.

I don't have a lot of interest in the NBA, and only slightly more in college hoops, but this column by Joe Posnanski struck a chord. Not being from Cleveland, I didn't take it personally when LeBron James left the Cavaliers, but I sure thought he could have showed more class and an oots more sensitivity to the city that had embraced him as their Great Hoops Hope than he actually did. In fact, when all the hooraw broke loose last summer over his much-publicized free agent signing with the Heat so he could play with his bros Bosh and Wade, I didn't pay it much mind, but now that I'm doing the weeknight linkagery for Stacy I can't help noticing that the Heat are showing massive levels of FAIL against pretty much any NBA team that can play .500 ball. This amuses me, frankly, for the same reason I enjoy seeing the Yankees get whipped during the regular season, though I'm not about to turn on the tube and enjoy the schadenfreude live and in color. I'm saving that for baseball season.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
This morning I attended the first of eight Skills to Win classes I need to take for H&R Block between now and New Year's Eve. This one was taught by the district manager, and was really more of a briefing on what Block expects all of us to be doing throughout the tax season. They're continuing to emphasize customer care this year, as well as the usual tax professional training; lot of emphasis on working as a team, too. The good news is that I'm being paid for the training; the bad news is that because my original offer letter doesn't make me active until the 27th, I probably won't be paid until after that, and I'm not sure whether they're going to pay me my CSP wage or something else.

Spent the afternoon studying for the Cost Accounting final tonight, which I'll be leaving for in a few minutes. I think I'll do okay. All I need is a 65 to pass the class, and I think I'll do better than that.

Tomorrow is Richard's funeral.

Sunday I'll be taking the Tax Knowledge Assessment online after some intensive grinding on filing statuses, dependent rules, and the EIC.

That'll pretty much take up the weekend.

UPDATE: Well, what the hell? Arrived at the school, met two other students who were also there to take the final - and neither the teacher nor the other students we knew were planning on doing the test showed up. I guess it's nice to have the extra study time, but having this happen on zero notice is...really annoying.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Well, I apparently did quite well on the Intermediate Accounting final: there's a B posted for the course. :)

Don't expect to do that well on the Cost Accounting final tonight, but that's okay. I'll settle for a C in that one, and hope I never see any of that stuff ever again.

Another example of two things I don't care much for individually, but combined...well, I think I'd pay money to see The Brothers Mario.

UPDATE: They closed the college at 3 PM today, so no final exam tonight. WTF?
School closes out the fall term next Thursday, so I wonder when we're going to be able to take the final.

UPDATE UPDATE: All classes/tests scheduled for today rescheduled until tomorrow. Okay, then.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I could have been attending school in Pyongyang.

*sigh* I passed the H&R Block tax preparation class, but failed the final by two points, mostly on questions about best filing status/dependents/EIC that the tax prep software answers for you. So...I dunno. I gather there's another exam I can take which is actually harder, or I can just pack it in, resign myself to spending this tax season as a CSP, and do the tax course again in the fall. Long term, it doesn't matter that much since it doesn't count towards my CPA, but I was looking forward to doing some taxes at Block for several people, which is now very unlikely. Welp.
More academic FAIL after the cut )
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
So. Two finals tomorrow, one in the H&R Block course and one in Small Business Accounting. Another final on Tuesday, in Intermediate Accounting. Another on Thursday in Cost Accounting. And the week ends with [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye's funeral. In between, I need to study, take some more unit tests in Business Law and Government/Non-Profit Accounting, and submit papers for Business Law as well; I also need to get my advisor's approval for an English class I'm planning on taking next semester, since apparently my certificate requires a token obeisance to the humanities. Going to be busy, busy, busy.

Think I'll get an early start on it by lulling myself to sleep with a review of questions from the H&R Block workbook. Between that and the nose hose, I should get a solid eight hours' sleep before rising tomorrow morning and wake up ready to slam dunk the tax prep final. We'll see how that plan works.

Truth.

Nov. 30th, 2010 10:22 pm
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
(h/t [livejournal.com profile] cutelildrow, who ganked it from [livejournal.com profile] melvin_udall)


That pretty much sums it up.

In other news, maxed the last quiz in tax class this morning after going in cold, having forgotten that the quiz was today. Final's a week from Thursday. I'm stoked.
Picked up P from Dulles, played her Stacie Collins' Lend The Devil A Hand*, which P agreed rocked very hard. Had dinner with P, dropped her off at her place, then maneuvered through the back roads of Loudoun County to US 29 and then headed for Intermediate Accounting class, arriving only 20 minutes late. Busy day and a good one.


*Off the incredibly awesome Sometimes Ya Gotta, available for download through this here link. Click it. You know you want to. Wombat needs more BACON!
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Shortest Intermediate Accounting class ever; Prof. Peterson had stuck an extra day in, so after a brief review of the test (on which I got an 80, BOOYA) he released us for the long Thanksgiving weekend. I am celebrating with spicy pork rinds. :)

Also, maxed the case review in today's tax class, going 16 for 16 on the questions - and you have to properly do ALL of the segments of the return to get all 16 correct. I am beginning to fall in love with the TPS software.

Going to renew my Foxchase lease tomorrow for 15 months, which should take me through March 2012 at $995/month plus utilities. I'll probably wind up moving into a new house/condo during tax season, but we'll see; I should have a full-time gig nailed down by then.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Stacie Collins' CD "Sometimes You Gotta" is now available, and if you like your country with rock all over it you should get this CD. I personally am getting it for cut #7, which I first heard during her sound check with the Scorchers at the Iota in Arlington last month. If you don't, you are obviously a commie pinko subversive who hates America. ;)

Related but very different: Aaron Static's November 2010 Power Hour is out, and you should download it if you like electronica.

Spent some time yesterday studying for my Intermediate Accounting test while watching The Hurt Locker. Man, that is one hardcore movie. Granted, about 90% of it is bullshit, but it's an entertaining war movie if you're not overly concerned about realism and accuracy. :/

I'm increasingly confident in my ability to bend Block's TPS software to my will. While messed up on Dayquils yesterday morning, I nailed a return to the wall - did it straight from the book to TPS, no runs no drips no errors. So I'm pretty sure I've got this down and will be able to do a bang-up job for most of my friends who may need tax work done.

The Intermediate Accounting test also went well, I think, although I was also on the Dayquils and may be completely wrong - but I don't think I am. One thing I do know: I need to find the manual for my HP calculator and work on getting familiar with PV and FV problems because it's not intuitive and I wound up having to resort to the tables instead of just being able to punch keys. Welp.

Time to shave and head out to Ashburn for wings and face time with P. Aloha.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I didn't do a whole lot today; even playing eve was . Never got out of the apartment, so a bunch of stuff that kinda depended on me getting out to various places didn't happen.

Part of this was due to a late night chicken run out to Chantilly, where P gave me my late-arriving birthday present, a fine yellow sign suitable for my living room wall that warns WOMBAT XING. There were also wings, but the sign was the big thing. Going there and back kept me up until all hours of the morning, and so I slept in until about 1000.

I apparently did well on the ACC212 final and got a B for the course. Now I have to buckle down and get some work done on my fall classes, many of which I am horribly behind on. Others I'm merely confused about, but I expect over the next week all will be made clear, as clear as the Operating Code of the Spirit. I do need to spend a little time studying more the H&R Block midterm exam, which is also coming up next week. I am somewhat reassured that when I do the work for real, it won't be on paper.

Tomorrow I'm going to Silver Spring for Mass, and I expect I'll swing by Takoma Park and the Washington Adventist Hospital to see Richard before coming home and hitting the books.

Still not sure how I feel about the Rangers contending with the Yankees for the AL pennant. On the one hand, I hate the Rangers for pulling out in '72, but on the other hand...the Yankees. >:(
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
The weather was pretty decent for a couple of weeks, but it's gone back to being hot & humid for a few days. Makes it hard to motivate myself to pack up the laptop and go out to one of the local libraries or to the Alexandria campus to help maintain the illusion that my full-time student gig is like work. Speaking of the student thing, I'm making definite progress at digging myself out of the hole I got into by being a depressed slack-ass in July and August. I am very nearly done with the Principles of Accounting course that I should have finished; I have the computer project, homework, and the final exam to get done and am confident that I can knock them out this weekend. As for Law, I have three chapters to skim over, posts on Blackboard to make, and I think some other trivial scribbling to do before gearing up for another paper. Then I can turn my attention to Statistics, Government & Non-Profit Accounting, and similar wild delights.

While I am whaling away at the studies, I'm not getting much else done around here. Cataloging all my books in LibraryThing has stalled for now, since I am using my Copious Free Time (sic) to keep up with stuff in EVE, where I am more or less the head of EW training. Getting a couple of my Badgers blown up this week due to inattentiveness/stupidity hasn't helped. It's funny, I finally bought a copy of Bioshock a few months back (June?) but haven't played it hardly at all. I've also been avoiding the flash games on Facebook, as those are enormous time sinks. Thanks to consolidating my e-mail with Thunderbird, I have been doing more surveys, and this is helping the cash flow a wee bit.

The H&R Block tax class continues to go well. I'm very very glad I took the Principles of Federal Taxation courses over the summer; the grounding those provided into why the law works the way it does, and the familiarization with parts of the 1040 I hadn't worked with before have been immensely helpful in the Block class. Also, I love the tax prep software. Not as glitzy and shiny as TurboTax, but it gets the job done as long as you are moderately methodical and careful to punch in the right information. Booya.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I miss Root Boy Slim.

This has been one long-ass, low-energy day, and I don't rightly know why...well, staying up until 0200 working on the homework for today's tax class probably didn't help. That's going well, at least. A lot of the stuff I learned over the summer in Principles of Federal Taxation is clicking into place, which is nice and makes me feel more confident. Intermediate Accounting, not so much; the first four chapters are all review of what we did in the two fundamentals courses, but to my horror very little of it looks familiar. Maybe tonight was just a bad night; I'd scrambled to get the homework for Chapter 3 done but I was a week early, and hadn't done much of Chapter 2's work, and was having a hard time staying awake to boot. Ugh.

After doing another stack of books pulled from the bedroom dresser, the library (as entered in LibraryThing) is over 400 books, not counting duplicates destined for half.com (another post about that anon) and a small box of books that rather obviously belong to my ex. I'm not even done with the books in the living room yet. O_o
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Well, I was supposed to do a bunch of stuff yesterday but got distracted by various things, and spent the evening entering ISBN numbers into LibraryThing, which was recommended to me by [livejournal.com profile] danae, among others, back in Minnesota. It may pay off for me, since I am finding a number of duplicate books and stuff I acquired from God knows where that I just don't want around any more. So far I've dealt with the contents of one and a half of my Ikea 6' bookshelves, which is 264 books, and I'm hoping to get over 300 before I hit the rack tonight after the cost accounting class.
Along with the cataloging, I'm also trying to sort the books out so that I at least have all the books by David Drake, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, etc. together in the same place.

The H&R Block classes are easy for now, but I'm going to have to buckle down and get busy with those as well or I'm going to be in trouble real quick, much like my online classes. I have time blocked out for all these things and need to start sticking to the schedule.

After idling between 366 and 368 pounds for about a week, my metabolism got back into gear and dumped four pounds in the last couple of days. Doing my best to keep the carbs down, the fat & protein up.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Diabeetus Chef)
Meant to post this yesterday but was distracted by The Operational Art of War*, so here it is today.

September started with an okay BG reading and a lackluster 367 weight, which is only 2 pounds and a few ounces off the 369.4 pounds I started August with. I think a big part of my problem is that I don't have, or haven't settled into, a routine for the fall semester yet, and I need to impose one pretty damn quick if I want to keep the BG in the range where it should be and keep the weight coming off. I also need that routine to help keep me on track with the three online classes I'm taking this semester and the one I still have left over from the summer, because if I can't get into a routine where I'm knocking those classes out on a steady basis, I'm screwed. Most of the business classes I'm taking for the CPA are offered online, and they aren't that damn hard, but I need to resist the temptation to slack off and wait for the deadlines to come around before I devote any effort to a desperate blitz. That'll work, most of the time...maybe. I'm not in a position where I can afford to fail, though. I have a year to blow through the CSC program plus the additional business classes before taking the Kaplan CPA test prep course next fall and sitting for the exam immediately afterward. There is no margin for error and no option to fail and retry, since unemployment won't last forever.

But I digress...generally speaking, my health is good. The leg wounds are continuing to heal, although there's no way they'll be sufficiently scabbed over by the time the pools close this next week. Most days, I can keep the carb intake between 30 and 50 grams, which is where I want it to be, even if some of my friends and compatriots are pushing me to shoot for zero carbs/day. Intellectually I know it's doable, but there are some things I'm not willing to stop doing since I can still do them within a 30-50g carb budget. If I remain stuck at this weight level, I may not have a choice, but we'll see how it works out.

*I am, once again, trying to shoehorn Invasion America into a system not really intended for that sort of thing.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Back To School - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest:
And so, dear students, welcome back! Your generation is going to have dig its own way out of the hole my generation has dug for you (thanks for the Medicare, kids, and sorry about the deficit!), but here are a few tips that may help you get the best out of your college years.


I would quibble with only one thing here. Professor Mead suggests a true liberal arts education, but one can learn these things outside the groves of academe, probably for less money and certainly with less aggravation. If you must go to college for four years, study something like engineering or accounting, if you can. Because while it's not all about money, it sure does make life easier.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Big news of the day is that the Toaster passed its emission control test today, which means that not only could I renew the tags, but I don't need to replace the exhaust system. W00t! Almost as important, Financial Aid at NVCC finally approved my file for processing, which means I ought to get my tuition bills paid sometime in September and get the rest of the money in October, if this summer was any guide. Maybe it'll be faster because this is fall semester and they have all hands on deck. We'll see how that goes.

That took up enough of the day after I did lunch with P at Malibu (nothing better for the low-carb diet than massive quantities of MEAT ON SWORDS) that I barely had time to get pork rinds before accounting class; Small Business Accounting so far is pretty much the same as Computerized Accounting from last semester except that this instructor doesn't go step by freaking step through the PowerPoint slides. In fact, he doesn't use PowerPoint, and let us out at 1800 after starting at 1630. I like this guy. :)

Finally, one of the local hospitals sent me a mailer which is mostly about women's health issues and contains an invitation to a "Ladies for Life" event which will include the opportunity to have a breast cancer assessment/screening and schedule a mammogram. Yeeeaaaah. I think I can find something better to do the weekend before my birthday, thanks. :cripes: In other, less hilarious medical news, my blood sugar continues in the good range because I'm doing a pretty good job of keeping carbs out of my piehole. Update on the fat, or lack thereof, on Wednesday when it'll be September.

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